Imágenes de páginas
PDF
EPUB

carry such

fatigue; but the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth, though he has wrought such stupendous works, fainteth not, neither is weary, Isai. xl. 28. and though he is said to rest on the seventh day, yet not on account of fatigue; but to denote he had finished his work, brought it to perfection, and ceased from it. And now, to what can all this be ascribed but to omnipotence? Which,

11. Appears in the sustentation and support of all creatures, in the provision made for them, with other wonderful works done in providence: all creatures live, move, and have their being in God; as they are made by him, they consist by him; “ he upholds all things by the word of his power;" the heavens, the earth, and the pillars thereof, Acts xvii. 28. Col. i. 16, 17. Heb. i. 3. Psal. Ixxv. 3. which none but an almighty arm can do: and the manner in which the world, and all things in it, are preserved, and continue, is amazing and surprizing, and cannot be accounted for, no other way than by the attribute of omnipotence; for he stretcheth out the north over the empty place, and hangeth the earth upon nothing; he bindeth up the waters in his thick clouds, and the cloud is not rent under him; though these are no other than condensed air, which burdens in them, and yet are not burst by them- he has shut up the sea with doors; with clifts and rocks, and even with so weak a thing as sand; and said, hitherto shalt thou come, and no further, and here shall thy proud waves be staidand has caused the day-spring to know its place- divided a water-course for the overflowing of waters, and a way for the lightening of thunder, to cause it to rain on the earth; which none of the vanities of the Gentiles can do; he gives that and fruitful seasons filling men's hearts with food and gladness, and provides for all the fowls of the air, and “ the cattle on a thousand hills; " see Job xxvi. 7, 8. and xxxviii. 10-26. Acts xiv. 17. But what hand can do all these but an almighty one? To which may be added, those wonderful events in providence, which can only be accounted for by recurring to omnipotence, and to supernatural power and aid; as the drowning of the whole world; the burning of Sodoin and Gomorrah, and the cities of the plain; the strange exploits of some particular persons, as Jonathan and David; the amazing victories obtained by a few over a multitude, sometimes by unarmed men, sometimes without fighting, and always by him that helps, whether with many, or with them that have no power, as the cases of Gideon, Jehoshaphat, and Asa shew; with various other things too numerous to mention, as the removing of mountains, shaking the earth, and the pillars of it, commanding the sun not to rise, and sealing up the stars, Job ix. 5, &c.

11. The omnipotence of God may be seen in the redemption of men by Christ, in things leading to it, and in the completion of it: in the incarnation of Christ, and his birth of a virgin, which the angel ascribes to the power of the Highest, the most high God, with whom nothing is impossible, Luke i. 35, 37. and which was an expedient found out by infinite wisdom, to remove a difficulty which none but omnipotence could surmount, namely, to bring a clean thing out of an unclean; for it was necessary that the Saviour of men should be man,

that the salvation should be wrought out in human nature, that so men might have the benefit of it; and it was necessary that he should be free from sin, who became a sacrifice for it; yet how it could be, since all human nature was defiled with sin, was the difficulty; which was got over, through omnipotence forming the human nature of Christ in the above manner: and which was also evident in the protection of him from the womb; in his infancy, from the malice of Herod; after his baptism, from the violence of Satan's temptations, who put him upon destroying himself; and from the wild beasts of the wilderness; and from all the snares and attempts of the Scribes and Pharisees, to take away his life before his time: and in the miraculous works wrought by him, which were proofs of his Messiahship; such as causing the blind to see, the deaf to hear, the dumb to speak, the lame to walk, and cleansing lepers, and even raising the dead to life; and which were such instances of omnipotence, as caused in those that saw them amazement at the mighty power of God, Matt. xi. 5. Luke ix. 43. and more especially this might be seen in making Christ, the man of God's right hand, strong for himself; in strengthening him in his human nature to work out salvation, which neither men nor angels could have done, by fulfilling the law, and satisfying justice; in upholding him under the weight of sins and sufferings; in enabling him to bear the wrath of God, and the curses of a righteous law, and to grapple with all the powers of darkness, and to spoil them, and make a triumph over them; and in raising him from the dead for justification, without which salvation would not have been compleat; and in which the exceeding greatness of the divine power was exerted; and whereby Christ was declared to be the Son of God with power, Eph. i. 19. Rom. ix. 4.

IV. Almighty power may be discerned in the conversion of sinners; that is a creation, which is an act of omnipotence, as has been proved. Men, in conversion, are made new creatures; “created in Christ, and after the image of God;" have new hearts and spirits, clean and upright ones,' created in them; new principles of grace and holiness formed in them; “are turned from darkness to light, from the power of Satan unto God; and are made willing in the day of God's power" upon them, to be saved by Christ, and serve him; to submit to his righteousness, and to part with their sins and sinful companions: all which are effects of the exceeding greatness of the power of God towards them and upon them : they are quickened when dead in sins, and raised by Christ, the resurrection and the life, from a death of sin to a life of grace; the Spirit of life enters into them, and these dry bones live; conversion is a resurrection, and that requires almighty power. And if we consider the means of it, generally speaking, “the foolishness of preaching," the gospel put into earthen vessels, for this end, that the excellency of the power of God may appear to be of God, and not of men ; and when these means are effectual, they are the power of God unto salvation, 2 Cor. iv. 7. Rom. i. 16. And also the great opposition made to this work, through the enmity and lusts of men's hearts, the malice of

Satan, willing to keep possession; the snares of the world, and the influence of wicked companions; it cannot be thought to be any thing short of the omnipotent hand of God, that snatches men, as brands, out of the burning: and the same power that is put forth in the beginning of the work of grace, is requisite to the carrying of it on: the rise, progress, and finishing of it, are not by might and power of men, but by the mighty, efficacious, and all-powerful grace of God, 2 Thess. i. 11. Zech. iv. 6.

v. That the Lord God is omnipotent, may be evinced from the rise and progress of christianity, the success of the gospel, in the first times of it, and the continuance of it, notwithstanding the opposition of men and devils. The interest of Christ in the world rose from small beginnings; it was like the little stone cut out of the mountain without hands, which became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth; and this by means of the preaching of the gospel; and that by such who, for the most part, were men illiterate, mean, and contemptible, the foolish things of this world; and who were opposed by Jewish Rabbins, and heathen philosophers, by monarchs, kings, and emperors, and by the whole world; yet these went forth, and Christ with them, conquering and to conquer, and were made to triumph in him over all their enemies every where, so that in a short time the universal monarchy of the earth, the whole Roman empire, became nominally christian; and the gospel has lived through all the persecutions of Rome pagan and papal, and still continues, notwithstanding the craft of false teachers, and the force of furious persecutors; and will remain and be the everlasting gospel; all which is owing to the mighty power of God.

vi. The final perseverance of every particular believer in grace and holiness, , is a proof of the divine omnipotence; it is because he is great in power, that not one of them fails; otherwise their in-dwelling sins and corruptions would prevail over them; Satan's temptations be too powerful for them; and the snares of the world, the flatteries of it, would draw them aside; but they are kept by the power of God, the mighty power of God, as in a garrison, through faith unto salvation, 1 Pet. i. 5.

vil. The almighty power of God will be displayed in the resurrection of the dead; which considered, it need not be thought incredible; though otherwise it might; for what but the all commanding voice of the almighty God can rouse the dead, and raise them to life, and bring them out of their graves; "some to the resurrection of life, and some to the resurrection of damnation?” What else but bis almighty power can gather all nations before him, and oblige them to stand at the judgment-seat of Christ, to receive their several sentences? And what but his vengeful arm of omnipotence, can execute the sentence on millions and millions of devils and wicked men, in all the height of wrath, rage, fury, and rebellion? sce Phil. iii. 21. John v. 28, 29. Matt. xxv. 32–46. Rev. XX. 8-10.

[ocr errors]

OF THE OMNISCIENCE OF GOD. Having considered such attributes of God, which belong to him as an active and operative Spirit; as the Life of God, and his Power, or Omnipotence; I proceed to consider such perfections, which may be ascribed to hiin as an intelligent Spirit; to which, rational spirits, endowed with understanding, will, and affections, bear some similarity. God is said to have a mind and understanding, Rom. xi. 34. Isai. xl. 28. to which may be referred, the attributes of knowledge and wisdom, which go together, Rom. xi. 33. I shall begin with the first of

these. And prove, ,

1. That knowledge belongs to God. This is objected to, and called in question, by impious and atheistical persons, Psal. lxxiii. 11. particularly with respect to human affairs; the grounds of which doubts about it, and objections to it, seem to arise, partly from the supposed distance of God in heaven, from men on earth, and partly from the thick and dark clouds which intervene between them, Job xxii. 12–14. and which are easily answered by observing the omnipresence of God, or his presence in all places; and that the darkness hides not any thing from his all-piercing, all-penetrating eye, the darkness and the light being alike to him, Psal. cxxxix. 7–12. Jer. xxiii. 23, 24. Let it be further observed, that in all rational creatures there is knowledge ; there is much in angels, and so there was in man, before the fall, both of natural, divine, and civil things; and since the fall there is a remainder of it, notwithstanding the loss sustained by it; and there is more, especially divine and spiritual knowledge, in regenerate men, who are renewed in knowledge. Now if there is knowledge in

any of the creatures of God, then much more in God himself. Besides, all that knowledge that is in angels or men, comes from God; he is a God of knowledge, or knowledges, of all knowledge, 1 Sam. ii. 3. the source and fountain of it, and therefore it must be in him in its perfection: knowledge of all things, natural, civil, and spiritual, is from him, is taught and given by him; wherefore strong is the reasoning of the Psalmist, He that teaches man knowledge, shall he not know ? Psal. xciv. 10. His knowledge may be inferred from his will, and the actings of it; that he has a will is most certain, and works all things after the counsel of his will, which cannot be resisted, Eph. i. 11. Rom. ix. 19. and this can never be supposed to be without knowledge; it is generally said and believed of the will of man, that it is determined by the last act of the understanding; and it cannot be imagined that God wills any thing ignorantly and rashly; he must know what he wills, and nills, and to whom he wills any thing, or refuses, Rom. ix. 15, 18. and it appears from all his works, from the works of creation, the heavens, earth, and sea, and all in them; which are ascribed to his wisdom, understanding, and knowledge, and could never be made without them, Prov. iii. 19, 20. the government of the world, and the

!

Satan, willing to keep possession; the snares of the world, and the influence of wicked companions; it cannot be thought to be any thing short of the omnipotent hand of God, that snatches men, as brands, out of the burning: and the same power that is put forth in the beginning of the work of grace, is requisite to the carrying of it on: the rise, progress, and finishing of it, are not by might and power of men, but by the mighty, efficacious, and all-powerful grace of God, 2 Thess. i. 11. Zech. iv. 6.

v. That the Lord God is omnipotent, may be evinced from the rise and progress of christianity, the success of the gospel, in the first times of it, and the continuance of it, notwithstanding the opposition of men and devils. The interest of Christ in the world rose from small beginnings; it was like the little stone cut out of the mountain without hands, which became a great mountain, and filled the whole earth; and this by ineans of the preaching of the gospel; and that by such who, for the most part, were men illiterate, mean, and contemptible, the foolish things of this world; and who were opposed by Jewish Rabbins, and heathen philosophers, by monarchs, kings, and emperors, and by the whole world; yet these went forth, and Christ with them, conquering and to conquer, and were made to triumph in him over all their enemies every where, so that in a short time the universal monarchy of the earth, the whole Roman empire, became nominally christian; and the gospel has lived through all the persecutions of Rome pagan and papal, and still continues, notwithstanding the craft of false teachers, and the force of furious persecutors; and will remain and be the everlasting gospel; all which is owing to the mighty power of God.

vi. The final perseverance of every particular believer in grace and holiness, is a proof of the divine omnipotence; it is because he is great in power, that not one of them fails; otherwise their in-dwelling sins and corruptions would prevail over them; Satan's temptations be too powerful for them; and the snares of the world, the flatteries of it, would draw them aside; but they are kept by the power of God, the mighty power of God, as in a garrison, through faith unto salvation, 1 Pet. i. 5.

vil. The almighty power of God will be displayed in the resurrection of the dead; which considered, it need not be thought incredible; though otherwise it might; for what but the all commanding voice of the almighty God can rouse the dead, and raise them to life, and bring them out of their graves; "some to the resurrection of life, and some to the resurrection of damnation?” What else but his almighty power can gather all nations before him, and oblige them to stand at the judgment-seat of Christ, to receive their several sentences? And what but his vengeful arm of omnipotence, can execute the sentence on millions and millions of devils and wicked men, in all the height of wrath, rage, fury, and rebellion? see Phil. iii. 21. John v. 28, 29. Matt. xxv. 32–46. Rev. XX. 8-10.

« AnteriorContinuar »