Imágenes de páginas




OTHERS. 5. Men are under no natural 5. “ The Pagans, and even or mental incapacity of savingly little children know the nature understanding the scriptures: of virtue and vice, and are able they merely want a right dispo- lo perceive the essential differsition of heart to discern what ence between truth and falsethey are perfectly able to un- hood, justice and injustice, derstand.

kindness and unkindness, obeSyst. Part 1. ch. 1. and Part dience and disobedience, as 2. ch. Ale

well as their parents, or any other persons, who are quainted with God and the revelation of his will."

Emmons, p. 64. 6. It is our crime, that we 6. Men are criminal for not do not savingly understand the understanding the word of God; scriptures, because we have the because it is an exhibition of natural ability, but want the dis- the difference of right and position.

wrong in the nature of things, System, Part 1. ch. 1. which difference they have na

tural conscience to perceive.

Emmons' Ser. passim. 7. The same says Dr. Hop

7. And Dr. Emmons, the kins:






HOPKINS, 1. That there is one uncrea- 1. “ The bare possibility of ted, eternal God, may be pro- the world's beginning to exist, ved, from the existence of our amounts to a demonstration, selves and other things; from that it did begin to exist; and the manner of our own exist- the bare possibility of its beence and of other visible things; ginning to exist, by a cause,



OTHERS. The being of God may be the universe ; but more clearly proved, from our own exist- by « his holy and divine word.” ence : B. 1. ch. 1. sec. 1.

Con. R. D. C. Art. 2. from the existence of all things around us : B. 1. ch. 5. sec. 1. and from his impressions on the minds of men. B. I. ch. 3.

2. God is immutable and

2. God is immutable, and without passions.

without passions. Inst. B. 1. passim.* Say. Plat. p. 19. Con. P. C.

U.S. p. 12 and 160. 3. There is an excellence, a 3. The perfection of God beauty and glory, in God's na- constitutes his excellence; and tural as well as moral perfec- his excellence consists in the tions. " He hath in all his union of all that consitutes the works graven certain marks of character of God. Jehovah is his glory." There is a glory the proper object of reverence, of his power and intelligence, obedience and love, because he displayed in the creation of the is “ infinite in being and perheavens, even to those who fection, a most pure spirit, inare ignorant of his holiness. visible, without body, parts, or “Wherefore the author of the passions, immutable, immense, epistle to the Hebrews doth ve- eternal, incomprehensible, alry well call the ages of the world, mighty, most wise, most holy, the spectacle of invisible things most free, most absolute; workHeb. i. 3. For that the so order- ing all things according to the ly framing of the world serveth counsel of his own immutable us for a mirror, wherein we may and most righteous will, for his behold God, who is otherwise own glory ; most loving, grainvisible.

cious, merciful, long-suffering,


* Calvin treats not so much systematically, as practically of the attributes of the Godhead; but it may be clearly gathered, that his sentiments were perfectly accordant with the Confessions of Faith in the reformed churches. In one place, or other, he speaks of every natural and moral attribute ; or of all the perfections which are now enumerated under these two heads ; for Calvin appears to have worshipped the undivided character of the Godhead.



HOPKINS, and from the existence of such amounts to a demonstration, that a book as the bible.

there was some cause of its beSyst. Part. 1. ch. 2. ginning to exist ;" and this

cause of the beginning of all created things is God.

Emmons, p. 16. 2. God has no passions like 2. God is possessed of afthose of men : no affections in- fections, which change as the consistent with the eternal and objects of those affections unchanging disapprobation of change. Emmons, p. 115 and sin, and love of holiness.* 118. " It is the design of Syst. Vol. 1. p. 85. prayer to move God.”

Emmons, p. 487. 3. « The infinite excellence, 3. “ It is well known, that beauty and glory of God, con- goodness is the sum and comsist wholly in his moral perfec- prehension of all moral exceltions and character.” These lence.” Emmons, p. 23. are comprehended in holiness; nevolent affections form the and “ the whole of true holi- moral beauty of the divine chaness, or the moral excellence racter. God is love. In this and perfection of God, is com- alone consists his moral excelprehended in love ;" or in mo- lence. His independence, alral exercises of good will. mighty power, and unerring These exercises have their ob- wisdom, are mere natural perjects, and therefore all the mo- fections ; but his benevolent ral perfection of God consists feelings are moral beauties. in the acts of his will, which Benevolence appears virtuous regard himself and all other and amiable in any moral beings, according to the nature agent." The passages of scripand fitness of things. Syst. ture which ascribe affections

. Vol. 1. p. 68, 69, and 82. This of love, hatred, anger, and de

66 Be.

Upon the subject of the natural perfections of the Deity, Dr. H. agrees with Calvin, that God is necessarily existent, infinite in understanding, wisdom and power, eternal, immutable, invisible and incomprehensible. In vol. 1. p. 63, he gives such intimations as would lead one to think his notions of the moral attributes peculiar ; and assures us, that all who receive his sentiments upon this subject, will assent to his whole system of religious truth.



OTHERS For which cause the prophet abundant in goodness; and truth, assigneth to the heavenly crea- forgiving iniquity, transgrestures a language that all nations sion and sin, the rewarder of understand, for that in them them that diligently seek him ; there is an evident testification and withal most just and terrible of the Godhead."

in his judgments; hating all sin, B. 1. ch. 5. sec. 1. and who will by no means clear The Godhead is manifested the guilty.” to excite admiration, holy fear, Con, C. Scot. ch. 2. sec. 1. confidence, hope, love. Be Con. P. C. U. S. ch. 2. sec. 1. cause he is the fountain of all Say. Plat. ch. 2. sec. 1. good things, we should desire The glory of God's power, to cleave to him.

wisdom and goodness was the B. 1. ch. 2. sec. 2. and ch. 3. end of the creation. The glory Goodness moved God to cre- of God's power, wisdom, goodation. B. 1. ch. 5. sec. 5.

ness and mercy, is the end of God's will, and not the na- the works of Providence. The ture of things, is the law of di- glory of God's grace, was the vine action. “It is great wick- end of election; and the glory edness to inquire of the causes of his justice, the end of reproof the will of God; since it is bation. To glorify himself is the cause of all things that ex- the end of all his works; and to

: ist, and worthily so ought to be. glorify God is the chief end, For if it have any cause, then and happiness of man.* somewhat must go before it,

All the Confessions. whereto it must be as it were connected; which it is unlaw. ful once to imagine.”

Inst. B. 3. ch. 23. sec, 2.

* The Confessions say nothing of disinterested love in the Godhead. The Calvinists, however, suppose, that disinterested must mean, that the person who loves has either some interest or no interest; for, in every moral action, the agent must be either interested or un-interested. God they cannot suppose to have been un-interested, or, not interested, in his works. Interest, in man, may be according to moral law, or contrary to it: and that interest, of a personal nature, which the law allows, is self-love; and is a duty : while a regard to personal interest, contrary to law is selfwhness; and is sin.





HOPKINS, holiness, or love of God is uni- light to God, are not figurative; versal, infinite, disinterested* but ought to be taken in a literbenevolence, which necessariiy al sense. Emmons, p. 114, 115. includes the love of compla. « Since all the affections of the cence in all goodness, a regard Deity are only different modifito being in general, opposition cations of pure, disinterested to all which is opposite to itself, benevolence, they admit of a even to all self-love, or selfish- constant and perfect gratificaness; wisdom to design and tion; and since he is able with

; promote the greatest good, jus- infinite ease to attain every detice to punish self-love, truth, sirable object, his affections are mercy, grace, compassion, pa- always gratified, and always aftience, forbearance, wrath; and ford him a source of complete absolute, uncontrolable sove- and permanent felicity.” Emreignty.

mons, p. 116.

6 God loves and Syst.from 68 to 89 p. of Vol. 1. hates with all his heart, with all

his mind, and with all his strength. In the view of this subject, we may discover what it was, which moved God to the work of creation."

Emmons, n. 120. Williams Ser. p. 142.

[ocr errors]


* This word forms no inconsiderable part of the Hopkinsian system. It is repeatedly applied to God as well as men. Disinterested love, the defenders of the word say, is directly opposed to self-love. Do they intend that a due regard to self is sin ? By no means. Again, they say that disinterested love consists in the preference of a greater public, to a less private good. The Calvinists ask, How can you apply this term to God ? Does be act from any other motive than a love of himself ? The Hopkinsians answer, “ God is himself the greatest good; and therefore he loves him. self, not for his own sake, but because he is the greatest good; and this is not self-love, but dis-interested benevolence.” Hence they say, that it was not self-love which actuated the Deity in creation : but to promote his own happiness he made all things, because it was required by disinterested benevolence, that he should supremely gratify the most perfectly benevolent BEING in existence,

[ocr errors]
« AnteriorContinuar »