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repeated prohibitions to worship the celestial bodies, or the most remote emblems of power and attributes of any kind, in imitation of the surrounding nations,-and that under the most dreadful threatening, their Poets and Prophets proclaim and celebrate the great Creator of all things, in language the most solemn and sublime. "Praise him," exclaims the enraptured Psalmist, " sun and moon; praise him all ye stars of light; praise him ye heaven of heavens! Let them praise the name of the Lord, for he commanded, and they were created." The prophet Jeremiah, speaking in the name of the Being who inspired him, declares," I have made the earth, and created man upon it. I, yea my own hand have stretched out the heavens, and all their hosts have I commanded." Expostulating with the Israelites for their propensities to idolatry, he reminds them that, the Lord is the true God; he is the living God and an everlasting king. The gods that have not made the heavens and the earth, they shall perish from the earth, and from under the heavens." "He hath made the earth by his power; he hath established the world by his wisdom; and he hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion."
As the existence of one God is uniformly
maintained, in opposition to every imagined deity, thus do these Scriptures repeatedly ascribe to him all those attributes, natural and moral, or relative, which we have shewn to be so conformable to the truest reason, and essential to the happiness of man:-Eternity, Omnipresence, Power, Wisdom, Knowledge, Holiness, Justice, Truth, and Goodness in its various branches. The passages in which these perfections are ascribed to the one God, are numberless. We shall select a very few under each head. Their interesting sublimity will prevent their appearing tedious to the devout reader.
"Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadst formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God." "A thousand years in thy sight, are but as yesterday when it is passed, and a watch in the night." "Of old thou hast laid the . foundations of the earth, and the heavens are the work of thy hands; yea all of them shall wax old like a garment; and as a vesture shalt thou change them, and they shall be changed;
but thou art the same, and thy years shall have
OMNIPRESENCE, AND OMNISCIENCE.
"The eyes of the Lord run to and fro throughout the whole earth." "The eyes of the Lord are in every place, beholding the evil and the good." "Whither shall I go from thy spirit, or whither shall I fly from thy presence ?" "If I ascend into heaven thou art there, if I make my bed in hades, behold thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea, even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say surely the darkness shall cover me, even the night shall be light about me: Yea the darkness hides not from thee, but the night shineth as the day; the darkness and the light are both alike unto thee."
"I am the Almighty God; walk before me." "I appeared unto Abraham by the name of
* We omit the numerous references as tedious and unnecessary.
God Almighty." "The thunder of his power who can understand ?" "He ruleth by his power for ever." "He hath shewn his people the power of his works." "The Lord reigneth, he is clothed with majesty the Lord is clothed with strength, wherewith he hath girded himself." "The floods have lifted up, O Lord; the floods have lifted up their voice: the floods lift up their waves. The Lord on high is mightier than the noise of many waters, yea, than the mighty waves of the sea."
"The Lord by wisdom hath founded the earth; by understanding he hath established the heavens; by his knowledge the depths are broken up, and the clouds drop down the dew." "Lord, how manifold are thy works; and in wisdom thou hast made them all." "He establishes the world by his wisdom." "Blessed be the name of God for ever and ever; for wisdom and might are his." "He giveth wisdom to the wise, and knowledge to them that know understanding.”
The moral perfections of God are represented, in these sacred oracles, under the characters of
Purity and Holiness, as well as Justice, Truth, and Goodness. The Purity of God, is a term now understood to express the perfection of the divine nature in general, both in principle or rule of acting, and perfect equity of conduct. But among the Hebrews it implied something As the Jewish nation was surrounded with Paganism, and deities were worshipped, to whom were ascribed, without a blush, the immoralities and propensities of wicked men, the Purity of the one spiritual Being and the true God, was often placed in contrast to the imputed characters and conduct of these imaginary beings. Since the establishment of Christianity, the gods of our ancestors are almost effaced from the memory. Our conceptions of superior intelligences are now sublimated from the grossness of matter; and we reject, with disgust and horror, every idea of corporeality and depraved affections, when we contemplate the divine Being. The terms Purity and Impurity now relate to Mind alone; and we can form no other conceptions of the divine Purity, than as implying a total exemption from every thing that is inconsistent with a perfection of character; as perfect rectitude, or an infinite superiority to every unworthy principle, improper motive, and