Chapter I--The Attributes of God





In contemplating the words and acts of God, as in contemplating the words and acts of individual men, we are compelled to assign uniform and permanent effects to uniform and permanent causes. Holy acts and words, we argue, must have their source in a principle of holiness; truthful acts and words, in a settled proclivity to truth; benevolent acts and words, in a benevolent disposition.

Moreover, these permanent and uniform sources of expression and action to which we have applied the terms principle, proclivity, disposition, since they exist harmoniously in the same person, must themselves inhere, and find their unity, in an underlying spiritual substance or reality of which they are the inseparable characteristics and partial manifestations.

Thus we are led naturally from the works to the attributes, and from the attributes to the essence, of God.

For all practical purposes we may use the words essence, substance, being, nature, as synonymous with each other. So, too, we may speak of attribute, quality, characteristic, principle, proclivity, disposition, as practically one. As, in cognizing matter, we pass from its effects in sensation to the qualities which produce the sensations, and then to the material substance to which the qualities belong; and as, in cognizing mind, we pass from Its phenomena in thought and action to the faculties and dispositions which give rise to these phenomena, and then to the mental substance to which these faculties and dispositions belong; so. In cognizing God, we pass from his words and acts to his qualities or attributes, and then to the substance or essence to which these qualities or attributes belong.

L Definition Of The Term Attributes.

The attributes of God are those distinguishing characteristics of the divine nature which are inseparable from the idea of God and which constitute the basis and ground for his various manifestations to his creatures.

We call them attributes, because we are compelled to attribute them to God as fundamental qualities or powers of his being, in order to give rational account of certain constant facts in God's self-revelations.

Shedd, History of Doctrine, 1:240; Kahnis, Dogmatik, 8:172-188.

II. Relation Op The Divine Attributes To The Divine Essence.

1. The attributes have an objective existence. They are not mere names for human conceptions of God—conceptions which have their only ground in the imperfection of the finite mind. They are qualities objectively distinguishable from the divine essence and from each other.

The nominalistic notion that God is a being of absolute simplicity, and that in his nature there is no internal distinction of qualities or powers, tends directly to pantheism ; denies all reality to the divine perfections; or, if these in any sense still exist, precludes all knowledge of them on the part of finite beings. To say that knowledge and power, eternity and holiness, are identical with the essence of God and with each other, is to deny that we can know God at all.

The Scripture declarations of the possibility of knowing God, together with the manifestation of the distinct attributes of his nature, are conclusive against this false notion of the divine simplicity.

Aristotle says well that there is no such thing as a science of the unique, of that which lias no analogies or relations. Knowing is distinguishing; what we cannot distinguish from other things we cannot know. Yet a false tendency to regard God as n being of absolute simplicity has come down from mediieval scholasticism, has infected much of the post-reformation theology, and is found even as recently as Schleiermaclier, ltothe, and Olshausen.

Illustrations of this tendency are found in Scotus Erlgena: "Deus nescit se quid est, quia non est quid "; and in Occam: The divine attributes are distinguished neither substantially nor logically from each other or from the divine essence; the only distinction is that of names; so Gerhard and Quenstedt. Charnock, the l'urltan writer, identities both knowledge and will with the simple essence of God: Schleiermacher makes all the attributes to be modifications of power, Rothe of omniscience; Olshausen, on John 1: 1, attempts to prove that the Word of God must have objective and substantial being, by assuming that knowing = willing; whence it would seem to follow that, since God wills all that he knows, he must will moral evil. Bushncll and others identify righteousness In God with benevolence, and therefore cannot see that any atonement needs to he made to God. Herbert Spencer only carries the principle further, when he concludes God to be simple unknowable force.

But to call God everything is the same as to call him nothing. With Dorner, we say that "definition is no limitation." As we rise in the scale of creation from the mere jelly-sac to man, the homogeneous becomes the heterogeneous, there is differentiation of functions, complexity Increases. We infer that God, the highest of all, instead of being simple force, is infinitely complex, that he has an infinite variety of attributes and powers. Tennyson, Palace of Art (lines omitted in the later editions): "All nature widens upwnrd: evermore The simpler essence lower lies: More complex Is more perfect, owning more Discourse, more widely wise."

Jer. 10:10—God is "the living God " ; John 5 : 26, he "h»th life in himself"— unsearchable riches of positive attributes; John 17 : 23, "thou lovedst me" = luanlfoldness in unity. This complexity In God is the ground of blessedness for bim and of progress for us: 1 Tim. 1:11—"the blessed God ": Jer. 9 : 23, 24—" let him glory in this, that he knoweth me." The complex nature of God permits anger at the sinner and compassion for him at the same moment: Pa. 7: 11 "a God that hath indignation every day" ; John 3 :16—"God so loved the world"; Ps. 85 :10,11—"mercy and truth are met together". See Julius Mtlller, Doct. Sin, 2 :116 *y.; Sohweuser, Glaubenslehre, 1: 229-235; Tbomasius, Christi Person und Werk, 1: 43, 50; Martensen, Dogmatics, ill—" If God were the simply One, To airAws «V. tin; mystic abyss in which every form of determination wore extinguished, there would be nothing in the Unity to be known." Hence " nominalism is incompatible with the idea of revelation. We teach, with realism, that the attributes of Ood are objective determinations in his revelation, and as such are rooted in his inmost essence."

2. The attributes inhere in the divine essence. They are not separate existences. They are attributes of God.


While we oppose the nominalistic view which holds them to be mere names with which, by the necessity of our thinking, we clothe the one simple divine essence, we need equally to avoid the opposite realistic extreme of making them separate parts of a composite God.

We cannot conceive of attributes except as belonging to an underlying essence which furnishes their ground of unity. In representing God as a compound of attributes, realism endangers the living unity of the Godhead.

Notice the analogous necessity of attributing the properties of matter to an underlying substance, and the phenomena of thought to an underlying spiritual essence; else matter is reduced to mere force, and mind to mere sensation—in short, all things are swallowed up in a vast idealism. The purely realistic explanation of the attributes tends to low and polytheistic conceptions of God. instance Christmas Evans's sermon describing a Council in the Godhead, in which the Attributes of Justice, Mercy, Wisdom, and Vower argue with one another. "Realism may so exalt the attributes that no personal subject is left to constitute the ground of unity. Looking upon personality as anthropomorphism, it falls into a worse personitlcation, that of omnipotence, holiness, benevolence, which are mere blind thoughts, unless there Is one who is the Omnipotent, the Holy, the Good." See Luthardt, Compendium der Dogmatik, 70.

3. The attributes belong to the divine essence as such. They are to be distinguished from those other powers or relations which do not appertain to the divine essence universally.

The personal distinctions (proprietates) in the nature of the one God are not to be denominated attributes; for each of these personal distinctions belongs not to the divine essence as such and universally, but only to the particular person of the Trinity who bears its name, while on the contrary all of the attributes belong to each of the persons.

The relations which God sustains to the world (predicata), moreover,

such as creation, preservation, government, are not to be denominated

attributes; for these are accidental, not necessary or inseparable from the

idea of God. God would be God, if he had never created.

To make creation eternal and necessary is to dethrone God and to enthrone a fatalistic development. It follows that the nature of the attributes Is to be illustrated, not alone or chiefly from wisdom and holiness in man. which are not inseparable from man's nature, hut rather from intellect and will in man, without which lie would cease to be man altogether. Only that is an attribute, of which it can be safely said that he who possesses it would, if deprived of it, cease to be God. Shedd: "The attribute is the whole essence acting in a certain way. The centre of unity is not in any one attribute, but in the essence."

4. The attributes manifest the divine essence. The essence is revealed only through the attributes. Apart from its attributes it is unknown and unknowable.

But though we can know God only as he reveals to us his attributes, we do, notwithstanding, in knowing these attributes, know the being to whom these attributes belong. That this knowledge is partial does not prevent its corresponding, so far as it goes, to objective reality in the nature of God.

All God's revelations are, therefore, revelations of himself in and through his attributes. Our aim must be to determine from God's works and words what qualities, dispositions, determinations, powers of his otherwiso unseen and unsearchable essence he has actually made known to us; or in other words, what are the revealed attributes of God.

John 1:18—" No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, which is in the bosom of the Father, be hath declared him"; 1 Tim. 6:16—" whom no man hath seen, nor nan m "; Mat. 5: 8—" Blessed are the pure in heart: for thej shall see God "; 11: 27—" Neither doth anj man know the father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son willelh to reveal him."

TTT. Methods Of Determining The Divine Attrd3tjtes.

We have seen that the existence of God is a first truth. It is presupposed in all human thinking, and is more or less consciously recognized by all men. This intuitive knowledge of God we have seen to be corroborated and explicated by arguments drawn from nature and from mind. Season leads us to a causative and personal Intelligence upon whom we depend. This Being of infinite greatness we clothe, by a necessity of our thinking, with all the attributes of perfection. The two great methods of determining what these attributes are, are the Rational and the Biblical.

1. The Rational method. This is threefold :—(a) the via negationis, or the way of negation, which consists in denying to God all imperfections observed in created beings; (6) the via eminent ire, or the way of climax, which consists in attributing to God in infinite degree all the perfections found in creatures; and (c) the via causalitalis, or the way of causality, which consists in predicating of God those attributes which are required in him to explain the world of nature and of mind.

This rational method explains God's nature from that of his creation, whereas the creation itself can be fully explained only from the nature of God. Though the method is valuable, it has insuperable limitations, and its place is a subordinate one. While we use it continually to confirm and supplement results otherwise obtained, our chief means of determining the divine attributes must be

2. The Biblical method. This is simply the inductive method, applied to the facts with regard to God revealed in the Scriptures. Now that we have proved the Scriptures to be a revelation from God, inspired in every part, we may properly look to them as decisive authority with regard to God's attributes.

The rational method of determining the attributes of God is sometimes said to have been originated by Dionysius the Areopagite, reputed to have been a Judge at Athens at the time of Paul and to have died A. D. 93. It is more probably eclectic, combining the results attained by many theologians, and applying the intuitions of perfection and causality which lie at the basis of all religious thinking. It is evident from our previous study of the arguments for God's existence, that from nature we cannot leant either of the Trinity or of the mercy of God. and that these deficiencies in our rational conclusions with respect to God must be supplied, if at all, by revelation. See Kahnis, Dogmatlk, 3: 181.

IV. Classification Of The Attributes.

The attributes may be divided into two great classes: Absolute or Immanent, and Relative or Transitive.

By Absolute or Immanent Attributes, we mean attributes which respect the inner being of God, which are involved in God's relations to himself, and which belong to his nature independently of his connection with the universe.

By Relative or Transitive Attributes, we mean attributes which respect the outward revelation of God's being, which are involved in God's relations to the creation, and which are exercised in consequence of the existence of the universe and its dependence upon him.

Under the head of Absolute or Immanent Attributes, we make a threefold division into Spirituality, with the attributes therein involved, namely, Life and Personality; Infinity, with the attributes therein involved, namely, Self-existence, Immutability, and Uuity; and Perfection, with the attributes therein involved, namely, Truth, Love, and Holiness.

Under the head of Relative or Transitive Attributes, we make a threefold division, according to the order of their revelation, into Attributes having relation to Time and Space, as Eternity and Immensity; Attributes having relation to Creation, as Omnipresence, Omniscience, and Omnipotence; and Attributes having relation to Moral Beings, as Veracity and Faithfulness, or Transitive Truth; Mercy and Goodness, or Transitive Love; and Justice and Righteousness, or Transitive Holiness.

This classification may be better understood from the following schedule:

It will be observed, upon examination of the preceding schedule, that our classification presents God first as Spirit, then as the infinite Spirit, and finally as the perfect Spirit. This accords with our definition of the term God (see page 29). It also corresponds with the order in which the attributes commonly present themselves to the human mind. Our first thought of God is that of mere spirit, mysterious and undefined, over agninst our own spirits. Our next thought is that of God's greatness; the quantitative element suggests itself: his natural attributes riso before us; we recognize him as the infinite One. Finally comes the qualitative element: our morul natures recognize a moral God; over against our error, seltishness, and impurity, we perceive his absolute perfection.

It should also be observed that this moral perfection, as it is an immanent attribute, involves relations of God to himself. Truth, love, and holiness, as they respectively imply an exercise in God of intellect, affection, and will, may be conceived of as God's self-knowing, God's self-loving, and God's self-willing. The signillcance of this will appear more fully in the discussion of the separate attributes.

Notice the distinction between absolute and relative, between immanent and transitive attributes. Absolute -= existing in no necessary relation to things outside of God. Relative - existing in such relation. Immanent ^ " remaining within, limited to, God's own nature in their activity and effect, inherent and indwelling, internal and subjective —opposed to emanent or transitive." Transitive = having an object outside of God himself. We speak of transitive verbs, and we mean verbs that are followed by an object. God's transitive attributes are so called, because they respect and alTect things and beings outside of God.

On classification of attributes, see Luthardt, Compendium, 71; Rothe, Dogmatik, 71; Kahnls, Dogmatik, 3: 1H2; Thomasius, Christi Person und Werk, 1: 47, 58, 18«. On the general subject, see Chamock, Attributes; Brucli, Elgeuschaftslehre.

V. Absolute Or Immanent Attributes.

First Division.Spirituality, and attributes therein involved.

In calling spirituality an attribute of God, we mean, not that we are justified in applying to the divine nature the adjective "spiritual," but that the substantive "Spirit" describes that nature (John 4: 24, marg.—"God is spirit"; Rom. 1:20—" the invisible things of him"; 1 Tim. 1: 17—"incorruptible, invisible"; Col. 1: 15—"the invisible God"). This implies, negatively, that (a) God is not matter. Spirit is not a refined form of matter, but an immaterial substance, invisible, uncompounded, indestructible. (6) God is not dependent upon matter. It cannot be shown that the human mind, in any other state than the present, is dependent for consciousness upon itfl connection with a physical organism. Much less is it true that God is dependent upon the material universe as his sensorium. God is not only spirit, but he is pure spirit. He is not only not matter, but he has no necessary connection with matter.

Those passages of Scripture which seem to ascribe to God the possession of bodily parts and organs, as eyes and hands, are to be regarded as anthropomorphic and symbolic. When God is spoken of as appearing to the patriarchs and walking with them, the passages are to be explained as referring to God's temporary manifestations of himself in human form— manifestations which prefigured the final tabernacling of the Son of God in human flesh. Side by side with these anthropomorphic expressions and manifestations, moreover, are specific declarations which repress any materializing conceptions of God; as, for example, that heaven is his throne and the earth his footstool (Is. 66: 1), and that the heaven of heavens can not contain him (IK. 8: 27).

The repudiation of images among the ancient Persians (Herod. 1: 131), as among the modern Japanese Shintos, indicates the remains of a primitive spiritual religion. The representation of Jehovah with body or form degrades him to the level of heathen gods. Pictures of the Almighty over the chancels of Homanist cathedrals confine the mind and degrade the conceptions of the worshipper. We may use imagination in prayer, picturing God as a benignant form holding out arms of mercy, but we should regard such pictures only as scaffolding for the building of our edifice of worship, while yet we recognize, with the Scripture, that the reality worshiped is immaterial and spiritual.

The longing for a tangible, incarnate God meets its satisfaction in Jesus Christ. Yet even pictures of Christ soon lose their power. Luther said: "If I have a picture of Christ in my heart, why not one upon canvas?" We answer: Because the picture in the heart is capable of change and improvement, as we ourselves change and improve; the picture upon canvas is fixed, and holds us to old conceptions which we should outgrow. Swedenborg. in modern times, represents the view that God exists in the shape of a man—an anthropomorphism of which the making of idols is only a grosser and more barbarous form; see H. B. Smith, System of Theology, 9,10. This is also the doctrine of Monnonism; see Spencer, Catechism of the Church of Latter Day Saints.

We come now to consider the positive import of the term Spirit. The spirituality of God involves the two attributes of Life and Personality.

1. Life.

The Scriptures represent God as the living God.

Jer. 10 :10—" he is the bring God "; 1 Thess. 1:9—" turned unto God from idols, to serve a living and true God "; Join 5 : 26—" hata life in himself"; ef. 14 : 6—" I am the life", and Heb. 7 :16—" the power of an endless


Life is a simple idea, and is incapable of real definition. We know it, however, in ourselves, and we can perceive the insufficiency or inconsistency of certain current definitions of it. We cannot regard life in God as

(a) Mere process, without a subject; for we cannot conceive of a divine life without a God to live it.

Vcrmw Lewes, Problems of Life and Mind, 1: 110—"Life and mind are processes: neither is a substance; neither is a force; * * the name given to the whole group of phenomena becomes the personification of the phenomena, and the product is supposed to have been the producer." Here wo have a product without any producer—a series of phenomena without any quality or substance of which they are manifestations.

Nor can we regard life as

(6) Mere correspondence with outward condition and environment; for this would render impossible a life of God before the existence of the universe.

Vemw Herbert Spencer, Biology, 1: 59-71—"Life is the definite combination of heterogeneous changes, both simultaneous and successive, in correspondence with external coexistences and sequences." Here we have, at best, a definition of physical and finite life; and even this is insufficient, because the definition recognizes no original source of activity within, but only a power of reaction in response to stimulus from without. We might as well say that the boiling tea-kettle is alive (Pres. Hopkins).

(c) God is rather the living God, as haviug in his own being a source of movement and activity, both for himself and for others.

Life means energy, activity, movement. Aristotle: "Life Is energy of mind." Man's nature is a concave gloss, reflecting in miniature the nature of God. If spirit in man implies life. Spirit in God Implies endless and inexhaustible life. The total life of the universe is only a faint image of that moving energy which we call the life of God.

2. Personality.

The Scriptures represent God as a personal being. By personality we mean the power of self-consciousness and of self-determination. By way of further explanation we remark:

(a) Self-consciousness is more than consciousness. This last tho brute may be supposed to possess, since the brute is not an automaton. Man is distinguished from the brute by his power to objectify self. Man is not only conscious of his own acts and states, but by abstraction and reflection he recognizes the self which is the subject of these acta and states, (b) Selfdetermination is more than determination. The brute shows determination, but his determination is the result of influences from without; there is no inner spontaneity. Man, by virtue of his free-will, determines his action from within. He determines self in view of motives, but his determination is not caused by motives; he himself is the cause.

God, as personal, is in the highest degree self-conscious and self-determining. The rise in our own minds of the idea of God, as personal, depends largely upon our recognition of personality in ourselves. Those who deny spirit in man place a bar in the way of the recognition of this attribute of God.

Ex. 3 :14—" And God said auto Moses. I AM THAT I AM : and he said, Thus shall thou sar unto the children of Israel. I Am hath sent me unto jou." God la not the everlasting "it Is," but this everlasting "I AM" (Morris, Philosophy nnil Christianity, 128). 1 Cor. 2 :11—"the things of God none knoweth, saye the Spirit of God"; Eph. 1 : 9—"pood pleasure which he purposed "; 11—"the counsel of his will." Definitions of personality are the following: Uoethius—" Persona est auimie rationalis indivldua substantia" (quoted in Dorner, Glaubenslehre, 2: 415). F. \V. Robertson, Genesis, 3—"Personality ^ Belf-consciousness, will, character." Porter, Human Intellect, 826— "Distinct subsistence, either actually or latently self-conscious and self-determining." Hurrls, Philos. Basis of Theism: Person = " being, conscious of self, subsisting in Individuality and identity, and endowed with intuitive reason, rational sensibility, and freewill." Sec Harris, 98, 99, quotation from Mansol-"The freedom of the will is so far from being, as It Is generally considered, a controvertible question in philosophy, that it is the fundamental postulate without which all action and all speculation, philosophy in all its branches and human consciousness itself, would be impossible."

One of the most astounding announcements in all literature is that of Matthew Arnold, in his "Literature and Dogma," that the Hebrew Scriptures recognize in God only "the power, not ourselves, that makes for righteousness" - the God of pantheism. The "I Am" of Ex. 3 :14 could hardly have been so misunderstood, if Matthew Arnold had not lost the sense of his own personality and responsibility. From free-will in man we rise to freedom in God—"That living Will that shall endure, When all that seems shall suffer shock." Observe that personality needs to be accompanied by life—the power of self-consciousness and self-determination needs to bo accompanied by activity—In order to make up our total idea of God as spirit. Only this personality of God gives proper meaning to his punishments or to his forgiveness, see Rib. Sac, April, 1884: 217-333; Eichhorn, die Personliohkcit Gottes: also, this Compendium, page 57.

Second DivisionInfinity, and attributes therein involved.

By infinity we meau, not that the divine nature has no known limits or bounds, but that it has no limits or bounds. That which has simply no known limits is the indefinite.

Psalm 145 : 3—"his greatness is unsearchable"; Job 11 : 7-9—"high as heaven" .... "deeper than SheoL"

In explanation of the term mfinity, we may notice

(a) That the infinity of God is not a negative but a positive idea. It does not take its rise from an impotence of thought, but is an intuitive conviction which constitutes the basis of all other knowledge.

Versus Mansel, Proleg. Logtea, chap. 1—"Such negative notions .... imply at once an attempt to think, and a failure in that attempt." Per contra, see Porter, Human Intellect, 651, 852; and these notes, page 29 «/.

(6) That the infinity of God does not involve his identity with 'the all,' or the sum of existence, nor prevent the coexistence of derived and finite beings to which he bears relation. Infinity implies simply that God exists in no necessary relation to finite things or beings, and that whatever limitation of the divine nature results from their existence is, on the part of God, a self-limitation.

Ps. 113 : 5, 6— "That humbleth himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the earth." It is involved in God's Infinity that there should be no barriers to bis self-limitation in creation and redemption (see page 6, F). Jacob Boehme said: "God Is infinite, for God is all." But this is to make God all Imperfection, as well as all perfection. Harris, Fhllos. Basis Theism: "The relation of the absolute to the finite is not the mathematical relation of a total to Its parts, but it is a dynamical and rational relation."

(c) That the infinity of God is to be conceived of as intensive, rather than as extensive. We do not attribute to God infinite extension, but rather infinite energy of spiritual life. That which acts up to the measure of its power is simply natural and physical force. Man rises above nature by virtue of his reserves of power. But in God the reserve is infinite. There is a transcendent element in him, which no self-revelation exhausts, whether creation or redemption, whether law or promise.

Ps. 89 : 2—" Mercy skill be built up forever" = ever growing manifcstions, cycles of fulfilment; first literal, then spiritual. Hal. 2:15—" Did he not make one. although he had the residue of the Spirit?"— he might have created many wives for Adam, though he did actually create but one. Is. S2 :10—"the Lord hath made bare his holy arm' = nature does not exhaust or entomb God; nature is the mantle in which he commonly reveals himself: but he is not fettered by the robe he wears—he can thrust it aside, and make bare hi* arm in providential interpositions for (earthly deliverance, and in mighty movements of history for the salvatiou of the sinner and for the setting up of his own kingdom. t-ee Hlso John 1 :16—"Of his fulness »e all rewired, and graoe for grace" = " Each blessing appropriated became the foundation of a greater blessing. To have realized and used one measure of grace was to have gained a larger measure in exchange for it (xipii" ""i x«("T<,«)": so Westcott, in Bib. Com., in loco. Christ can ever say to the believer, as he said to Nathanael (John 1: 50 ): "Greater things than these shall je see." «

Because God Is infinite, he can love each believer as much as if that single soul were the only one for whom he had to care. Both in providence and in redemption the whole heart of God is busy with plans for the interest and happiness of the single Christian. Threatonings do not half reveal God, nor his promises half express the "eternal weight of glorj" (2 Cor. * :17). Dante, Paradise 19: 40-63- God "Could not upon the universe so write The impress of his power, but that his word Must still be left In distance infinite." To "limit the Holj One of Israel" (Ps. 78 : 41—marg.i is falsehood as well as sin.

This attribute of infinity, or of transcendence, Qualifies all the other attributes, and so is the foundation for the representations of majesty and glory as belonging to God (see fa. 33 :18; Ps. 19 :1; Is. 6 : 3: Mat. 6 :13: Acts 7 : 2: Rom. 1: 23; 9 : 23: Heb. 1: 3; 1 Pet 4 :14; Rot. 21: 23). Glory is not Itself a divine attribute; it is rather a result — an objective result — of the exercise of the divine attributes. This glory exists irrespective of the revelation and recognition of it in the creation (John 17:5). Only God can worthily perceive and reverence his own glory. He does all for his own glory. All religion Is founded on the glory of God. All worship is the result of this immanent quality of the divine nature.

God's Infinity implies absolute completeness. We proceed therefore to consider the attributes therein involved.

Of the attributes involved in infinity, we mention:

1. Self-existence.

By self-existence we mean

(a) That God is causa sui, having the ground of his existence in himself. Every being must have the ground of its existence either in or out of itself. We have the ground of our existence outside of us. God is not thus dependent. He is a se; hence we speak of the aseity of God.

God's self-existence is Implied In the name "Jehorah" (fa. 6 : 3) and in the declaration •' I Am That I Am " (Ii. 3 :14), both of which signify that it is God's nature to be. Selfexistence is certainly incomprehensible to us, yet a self-existent person is no greater mystery than a self-existent thing, such as Herbert Spencer supposes the universe to be; Indeed it is not so great a mystery, for it is easier to derive matter from mind than to derive mind from matter. See Porter, Human Intellect, 661.

But lest this should be misconstrued, we add

(6) That God exists by necessity of his own being. It is his nature to be. Hence the existence of God is not a contingent but a necessary existence. It is grounded, not in his volitions, but in his nature.

Julius Mtiller, Doctrine of Sin, 2: 126,130, 170, seems to hold that God Is primarily will, so that the essence of God is his act: "God's essence does not precede his freedom "; "if the essence of God were for him something: given, something already present, the the question * from whence it is Riven'/' could not be evaded; God's essence must in this case have its origin in something apart from him, and thus the true conception of God would be entirely swept away." But this implies that truth, reason, love, holiness, equally with God's essence, are all products of will. If God's essence, moreover, were his act, it would be in the power of God to annihilate himself. Act presupposes essence; else there is no God to act. The will by which God exists, and in virtue of which he is mum siii, is therefore not will in the sense of volition, but will in the sense of the whole movement of his active being. With MUller's view Thomasius and Delitzsch are agreed. For refutation of it, see Philippi, Glaubenslehre, 2: 63.

2. Immutability.

By this we mean that the nature, attributes, and will of God are exempt from all change. Beason teaches us that no change is possible in God, whether of increase or decrease, progress or deterioration, contraction or development. All change must Vie to better or to worse. But God is absolute perfection, and no change to better is possible. Change to worse would be equally inconsistent with perfection. No cause for such change exists, either outside of God or in God himself.

Psalm 102 : 27—"thou art the same"; Mai. 3 : 6—"I the Lord change not"; James 1:17—"with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is east bj taming." Spencer, Fnerie Queeu, Cantos of Mutability, 8: 2 -"Then 'gin I think on that which nature saydc, Of that same time when no more change shall be, But steadfast rest of all things, firmly stayed Upon the plllours of eternity; For all that moveth doth in change delight, But henceforth all shall rest eternally With him that is the God of Sabaoth higlit; Oh thou great Sabaoth God, grant me that Sabbath's sight!"

The passages of Scripture which seem at first sight to ascribe change to God are to be explained in one of two ways:

(a) As anthropomorphic representations of the revelation of God's unchanging attributes in the changing circumstances and varying moral conditions of creatures.

Gen. • : 6—"it repented the Lord that he had made man" is to be interpreted in the light of Hum. 23 :19 —" God is not a man, that he should lie: neither the son of man, that he should repent" So cf. 1 Sam. 15 :11 with 15 : 29. God's unchanging holiness requires him to treat the wicked differently from the righteous. When the righteous become wicked, his treatment of them must change. The sun is not fickle or partial because it melts the wax but hardens the clay —the change is not in the sun but In the objects it shines upon. The change In Ood's treatment of men is described anthromorphieally, as if it were a change in God himself— other passages in close conjunction with the first being given to correct any possible misapprehension. Threats not fulfilled, as in Jonah 3 : 4, 10, are to be explained by their conditional nature. Hence God's Immutability itself renders it certain that his love will adapt itself to every varying mood and condition of his children, so as to guide their steps, sympathize with their sorrows, answer their prayers. God responds to us more quickly than the mother's face to the changing moods of her babe.

(£>) As describing executions, in time, of purposes eternally existing in the mind of God. Immutability must not be confounded with immobility. This would deny all those imperative volitions of God by which he enters into history. The Scriptures assure us that creation, miracles, incarnation, regeneration, are immediate acts of God. Immutability is consistent with constant activity and perfect freedom.

The abolition of the Mosaic dispensation indicates no change in God's plan; it is rather the execution of his plan. Christ's coming and work were no sudden makeshift, to remedy unforeseen defects in the Old Testament scheme: Christ came rather in "the fulness of the time" (Gal. 4 : 4), to fulfil the "counsel" of God (Acts 2 : 23 ). Gen. 8 :1—" God remembered Koah"= interposed by special act for Noah's deliverance, showed that he remembered Noah. While we change, God does not. There is no fickleness or inconstancy in him. Where we once found him, there we may find him still, as Jacob did at Bethel (Gen. 35 :1, 6, 9). Immutability is a consolation to the faithful, but a terror to God's enemies (Mil. 3: 6 —"I the Lord change not; therefore ye. 0 sons of Jacob, are not consumed "; Ps, 7 : 11 a God that hath indignation every day"). It is consistent with constant activity in nature and in grace (John5:17—

"My Father worketh even until now, and I work "; Job 23 :13,14—" He is in one mind, and who can turn him

he performeth the thing that is appointed for me; and many such things are with him " ). If God's immutability were immobility, we could not worship him, any more than the ancient Greeks were able to worship Fate. On this attribute, see Charnock, Attributes, 1: 310-363; Dorner, GesammeUe Schriften, 188-377; translated in Bib. Sac, 1879: 28-59, 209-223.

3. Unity.

By this we mean (a) that the divine nature is undivided and indivisible (unus); and (b) that there is but one infinite and perfect Spirit (unicus).'

Dent 6 : 4—" Hear, 0 Israel; the Lord our God is one Lord "; Is. 44 : 6—" Beside me there is no God "; John 5 : 44 - " the only God "; 17 : 3—" the only trne God "; 1 Cor. 8 : 4—" no God but one"; 1 Tim. 1:17—" the only God."

Against polytheism, tritheism, or dualism, we may urge that the notion of two or more Gods is self-contradictory ; since each limits the other and destroys his godhood. In the nature of things, infinity and absolute perfection are possible only to one. It is unphilosophical, moreover, to assume the existence of two or more Gods, when one will explain all the facts. The unity of God is, however, in no way inconsistent with the doctrine of the Trinity, for while this doctrine holds to the existence of hypostatical, or personal, distinctions in the divine nature, it also holds that this divine nature is numerically and eternally one.

Polytheism is man's attempt to rid himself of the notion of responsibility to one moral Lawgiver and Judge by dividing up his manifestations, and attributing them to separate wills. So Force, in the terminology of some modern theorizers, is only God with his moral attributes left out. "Henotheism " (says Max MUller, Origin and Growth of Religion,285), "conceivesof each individual god as unlimited by the power of other gods. Each is felt, at the time, as supreme and absolute, notwithstanding the limitations which to our minds must arise from his power being conditioned by the power of all t he gods."

Even polytheism cannot rest in the doctrine of many gods, as an exclusive and all-comprehending explanation of the universe. The Greeks believed in one supreme Fate that ruled both gods and men. Aristotle: "God, though he is one, has many names, because ho is called according to states into which he is ever entering anew." The doctrine of God's unity should teach men to give up hope of any other God, to reveal himself to them or to save them. They arc in the hands of the one and only God, and therefore there is but one law, and one salvation. On the origin of polytheism, see articles by Tholuck, in Bib. Repos., 2: 84,246, 441, and Max MUller, Science of Religion, 124.

Third Division.Perfection, and attributes therein involved.

By perfection we mean, not mere quantitative completeness, but qualitative excellence. The attributes involved in perfection are moral attributes. Bight action among men presupposes a perfect moral organization, a normal state of intellect, affection, and will. So God's activity presupposes a principle of intelligence, of affection, of volition, in his inmost being, and the existence of a worthy object for each of these powers of his nature. Bnt iu eternity past there is nothing existing outside or apart from God. He must rind, and he does rind, the sufficient object of intellect, affection, and will, in himself. There is a self-knowing, a self-loving, a self-willing, which constitute his absolute perfection. The consideration of the immanent attributes is, therefore, properly concluded with an account of that truth, love, and holiness, which render God entirely sufficient to himself.

Mat. 5 : 47—" Ye therefore shall be perfect, as jour heavenly Father is perfect."

1. Truth.

By truth we mean that attribute of the divine nature in virtue of which God's being and God's knowledge eternally conform to each other.

(a) The immanent truth of God is to be distinguished from that veracity and faithfulness which partially manifest it to creatures. These are transitive truth, and they presuppose the absolute and immanent attribute.

Deut. 32 : 4—"A God of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is he "; John 17 : 3— "the only true God" (iAirdirtfr); 1 John 5:20 —"we know him that is true" (to* aAwcHrdi'). In both these passages iAijrfii'ds describes God as the irenulne, the real, as distinguished from i*>n»>j*, the veracious (compare John 6 : 32— "the true bread "; Heb. 8 : 2— "the true tabernacle" ). John 14 : 6—"lam.... the truth." As "I am .... the life" signifies, not "I am the living one," but rather "I am he

who is life and the source of life," so "I am the truth " signifies, not " I am the truthful

one," but "I am he who is truth and the source of truth"—in other words, truth of being, not merely truth of expression. So 1 John 5:7—" the Spint is the truth." Gf. 1 Esdras 4 : 38 —"The truth abideth and is forever strong, and it liveth and ruleth forever'^ personal Truth?

(6) God is truth, not only in the sense that he is the being who truly knows, but also in the sense that he is the truth that is known. The passive precedes the active; truth of being precedes truth of knowing.

Plato: "Truth is his (God's) body, and light his shadow." Holla/, (quoted in Thomasius, Christi Person und Wcrk, 1: 137 > says that " truth is the conformity of the divine essence with the divine intellect." See Gerhard, loc. 11:152: Kahnis, Dogmntfk, 2 : 272, 279; 3: 193—" Distinguish in God the peitsonal self-consciousness [spirituality, personality—see page 121,122] from the unfolding of this in the divine knowledge,which can have no other object but God himself. So far, now, as self-knowing in God Is absolutely Identical with his being, is he the absolutely true. For truth is the knowledge which answers to the being, and the being which answers to the knowledge."

(c) All truth among men, whether mathematical, - logical, moral, or religious, is to be regarded as having its foundation in this immanent truth of the divine nature and as disclosing facts in the being of God.

There is a higher Mind than our mind. No apostle can say "I am the truth," though each of them can say " I speak the truth." Truth is not a scientific or moral, but a substantial, thing—" nicht SuhulSHche, sondern Lebenssache." Here is the dignity of education, that knowledge of truth is knowledge of God. The laws of mathematics are disclosures to us, notof the divine reason merely, for this would imply truth outside of and before God, but of the divine nature.

(d) This attribute therefore constitutes the principle and guarantee of all revelation, while it shows the possibility of an eternal divine self-contemplation apart from and before all creation. It is to be understood only in the light of the doctrine of the Trinity.

To all this doctrine, however, a great school of philosophers have opposed themselves. Duns Scotus held that God's will made truth as well as right. Descartes said that God could have made It untrue that the radii of a circle are all equal. Lord Bacon said that Adam's sin consisted in seeking a good in itself, instead of being content with the merely empirical good. Whedon, On the Will, 316—" Infinite wisdom and infinite holiness consist in, and result from, God's volitions eternally." We reply, that to make truth and good matters of mere will, instead of regarding them as characteristics of God's being, is to deny that anything is true or good In itself. If God can make truth to be falsehood, and injustice to be justice, then God is Indifferent to truth or falsehood, to good or evil, and he ceases thereby to be God. Truth is not arbitrary—it is matter of being —the being of God. There are no regulative principles of knowledge, which are not transcendental also. God knows and wills truth, because he is truth. Robert Browning, A Soul's Tragedy, 214—" Were't not for God, I mean, what hope of tmth—Speaking truth, hearing truth, would stay with Man?" See Bib. Sac., Oct. 1877: 736; Finney, Syst. Theology, 661; Janet, Final Causes, 416.

2. Love.

By love we mean that attribute of the divine nature in virtue of which

God is eternally moved to self-communication.

1 John 4 : 8—"God is love"; 3 :16—"hereby know we love, because be laid down bis life for us"; John 17 : 24 —" thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world "; Rom. 15 : 30—" the love of the Spirit."

(a) The immanent love of God is not to be confounded with mercy and goodness toward creatures. These are its manifestations, and are to be denominated transitive love.

Thomasius, Christi Person und Werk, 1: 138,13ft—" God's regard for the happiness of his creatures Mows from this self-communicating attribute of his nature. Love, in the true sense of the word, is living good-will, with impulses to lmpartation and union; self-communication (Ixmum communlcatUum mil); devotion, merging of the cyo in another, in order to penetrate, All, bless this other with itself, and in this other, as in another self, to possess itself, without giving up itself or losing itself. Love Is therefore possible only between persons, and always presupposes personality. Only as Trinity has God love, absolute love: because as Father, Son, and Holy Ghost he stands in perfect self-lmpartation, self-devotion, and communion with himself." Julius MUller, Doct. Sin, 2: 13S—" God has In himself the eternal and wholly adequate object of his love, independently of his relation to the world."

(6) The immanent love of God therefore requires and finds a personal object in the image of his own infinite perfections. It is to be understood only in the light of the doctrine of the Trinity.

As there is a higher Mind than our mind, so there is a greater Heart than our heart. God is not simply the loving One—he is also the Love that is loved. There is an infinite life of sensibility and affection in God. God has feeling, and in an infinite degree. But feeling alone is not love. Love implies not merely receiving but giving, not merely emotion but fmpartation. So the love of God Is shown in his eternal giving. James 1: 5 — •God. who giveth," or "the giving God" (tog Siooktoi ©toC) ^giving is not an episode in his being—it is his nature to give. And not only to give, but to give himnelf. This he does eternally in the self-communications of the Trinity: this he does transitively and temporally in his giving of himself for us in Christ, and to us in the Holy Spirit.

(cl The immanent love of God constitutes a ground of the divine blessedness. Since there is an infinite and perfect object of love, as well as of knowledge and will, in God's own nature, the existence of the universe is not necessary to his serenity and joy.

Blessedness is not itself a divine attribute; It is rather a result of the exercise of the divine attributes. It is a subjective result of this exercise, as glory is an objective result. Perfect faculties, with perfect objects for their exercise, ensure God's blessedness. But love is especially Its source, lets 20 : 35—" it is more blessed to give than to receive." Happiness (hap, happen) is grounded in circumstances; blessedness, in character.

Is this blessedness of God consistent with sorrow for human misery and sin? Is God passible, capable of suffering? Scripture seems to attribute to God emotions of grief and anger at human sin (Gen 6 : 6—" it grieved him at his heart"; Rom. 1 r 18—" wrath of God "; gph. 4 : 30 —" grieve not the Holv Spirit of God "); painful sacrifice in the gift of Christ (Rom. 8 : 32—" spared not his own son' ; cf. Gen. 22 :16—"hast not withheld thv son") and participation in the suffering of his people (Is. 63 : 9—" in all their affliction he was afflicted " ); Jesus Christ in his sorrow and sympathy, his tears and agony, seems to be the revealer of God's feelings toward tho race, and we an; urged to follow In his steps, that we may be perfect, as our Father in heaven is perfect. We cannot, indeed, conceive of love without self-sacrifice, nor of self-sacrifloe without suffering. It would seem, then, that as immutability is consistent with imperative volitions in human history, so the blessedness of God may be consistent with emotions of sorrow.

But does God feel in proportion to his greatness, as the mother suffers more than the sick child whom she tends? Does God suffer infinitely in every suffering of his creatures? We must remember that God is infinitely greater than his creation, and that he sees all human sin and woe as part of his great plan. We are entitled to attribute to him only such passtblencss as is consistent with Infinite perfection. In combining paselbleness with blessedness, then, we must allow blessedness to be the controlling element, for our fundamental idea of God is thatof absolute perfection. Martensen, Dogmatics, 101—" This limitation is swallowed up in the inner life of perfection which God lives, in total independence of his creation, and in triumphant prospect of the f ulfllment of his great designs. We may therefore say with the old theosophlc writers: 'In the outer chambers is sadness, but in the Inner ones is unmixed joy.'" Per contra., see Shedd, Essays and Addresses, 277. 379, note.

3. Holiness.

Holiness is self-affirming purity. In virtue of this attribute of his nature, God eternally wills and maintains his own moral excellence. In this definition are contained three elements: first, purity; secondly, purity willing; thirdly, purity willing itself.

Ii. 15 :11—"Glorious in holiness"; 19 :10-16—the people of Israel must purify themselves before they come into the presence of God; Is. 6 : 3—" Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts "—notice the contrast with the unclean lips, that must be purged with a coal from the altar (verses 5-7); 2 Cor. 7 : 1—" cleanse ourselves from all defilement of flesh and spirit, perfecting holiness in the fear of God "; 1 Thess. 3:13—" unblamable in holiness "; 4 : 7—" God called us not for uncleanness, but in sanctification "; Heb. 12 : 29- "Our God is a consuming Are —to all iniquity. These passages show that holiness is the opposite to impurity, that it is itself purity.

In further explanation we remark:
A. Negatively, that holiness is not

(a) Justice, or purity demanding purity from creatures. Justice, the relative or transitive attribute, is indeed the manifestation and expression of the immanent attribute of holiness, but it is not to be confounded with it.

Quenstedt, Theol., 8 : 1: 34, defines holiness as "summa omnisque labis expers in Deo puritas, puritatem debitam exigens a creaturis"—a definition of transitive holiness, or justice, rather than of the immanent attribute.

(6) A complex term designating the aggregate of the divine perfections. On the other hand, the notion of holiness is, both in Scripture and in Christian experience, perfectly simple, and perfectly distinct from that of other attributes.

Dick, Theol., 1: 275—Holiness = venerableness, i. c "no particular attribute, but the general character of God as resulting from his moral attributes." Wardlaw calls holiness the union of all the attributes, as pure white light is the union of all the colored rays of the spectrum (Theology, 1: 818-634). So Nitzsch, System of Christ. Doct., 166; H. W. Bcecher: "Holiness = wholeness."

(e) God's self-love, in the sense of supreme regard for his own interest and happiness. There is no utilitarian element in holiness.

Buddcus, Theol. Dogmat., 2: 1: 36, defines holiness as God's self-love. But God loves and affirms self, not as self, but as the holiest. There Is no self-seeking in God. Not the seeking: of God's interests, but love for God as holy, is the principle and source of holiness in man. To call holiness God's self-love is to say that God is holy because of what he can make by it, i. e., to deny that holiness has any independent existence. See Thomaslus. Christi Person und Werk, 1: 155.

(d) Identical with, or a manifestation of, love. Holiness, the self-affirming attribute, can in no way be resolved into love, the self-communicating.

Samuel Hopkins, Works, 2: 9-66— Holiness — love of being in general. Bushnell, Vicarious Sacrifice: "Righteousness, translated into a word of the affections, is love; and love, translated back into a word of the conscience, is righteousness"; "the eternal law of right is only another conception of the law of love"; "the two principles, right and love, appear exactly to measure each other." Many New School theologians agree with Bushnell. So Park, Discourses, 155-180.

But this principle that holiness is a manifestation of love, or a form of benevolence, leads to the conclusions that happiness is the only good, and the only end; that law is a mere expedient for the securing of happiness; that penalty is simply deterrent or reformatory in its aim; that no atonement needs to be offered to God for human sin; that eternal retribution cannot be vindicated, sine* there is no hope of reform. This view ignores the testimony of conscience and of Scripture that sin is intrinsically illdeserving, and must be punished on that account, not because punishment will work good to the universe —indeed, it could not work good to the universe, unless it were just and right in itself. It ignores the fact that mercy is optional with God, while holiness is invariable; that punishment is many times traced to God's holiness, but never to God's love; that God is not simply love but light—moral light—and therefore is "a consuming tn" (Hen. 12 : 29) to all iniquity. Love chastens (H«b. 12 : 6), but only holiness punishes (Jer. 10 : 24—"Correct me, but with judgment; not in thine anger"; Es. 28 : 22—" I shall hire executed judgments in her, and shall be sanctified in her "; 36 : 21,22 —in judgment "I do not this for jour sake, but for my holy name ": 1 John 1: 5—" God is light, and in him is no darkness "— moral darkness; ReY. 15:1, 4— "the wrath of God ... thou only art holy ... thy righteous acts have been made manifest"; 16 : 5—" righteous art

thou because thou didst thus judge "; 19:2—" true and righteous are his judgments; for be hath judged the

great harlot"). See Hovey, God with Us, 187-221; Philippl, Glnubenslehre, 2: 80-82; Thomaslus, Christi Person und Werk, 154,155,346-353; Lange, Pos. Dogmatik, 203.

B. Positively, that holiness is

(a) Purity of substance. In God's moral nature, as necessarily acting,

there are indeed the two elements of willing and being. But the passive

logically precedes the active; being comes before willing; God is pure

before he wills purity.

As truth of being logically precedes truth of knowing, and as a loving nature precedes loving emotions, so purity of substance precedes purity of will. The opposite doctrine leads to such utterances as that of Whedon (On the Will, 316): "God is holy, In that he freely chooses to make his own happiucss in eternal right. Whether he could not make himself equally happy in wrong, is more than we can say." "Infinite wisdom and infinite holiness consist in, and result from, God's volitions eternally." Whedon therefore believes, not in God's unchangmJth'iu^, but in God's unduimjiiiont:^. He cannot say whether motives may not at some time prove strongest for divine apostasy to evil. Tlie essential holiness of God affords no basis for certainty. Here we have to rely on our faith, more than on the object of faith; see H. B. Smith, Review of Whedon, in Faith and Philosophy, 355-399. As we said with regard to truth, so here we say with regard to holiness, that to make holiness a matter of mere will, instead of regarding it as a characteristic of God's being, is to deny that anything is holy in itself. If God can make impurity to be purity, then God in himself is indifferent to purity or impurity, and he ceases thereby to be God. Robert Browning, A Soul's Tragedy, 223—" I trust in God—the Right shall be the Right And other than the Wrong, while He endures."

(6) Energy of will. This purity is not simply a passive and dead quality; it is the attribute of a personal being; it is penetrated and pervaded by will. Holiness is the free moral movement of the Godhead.

As there is a higher Mind than our mind, and a greater Heart than our heart, so there is a grander Will than our will. Holiness contains this element of will, although it is a will which expresses nature, instead of causing nature. It is not a still and moveless purity, like the whiteness of the new-fallen snow, or the stainless blue of the summer sky. It is the moat tremendous of energies, in unsleeping movement. It is "ft glassy M&" (Rev. 15 : 2i, hut "a glassy sea mingled with flw." A. J. Gordon: "Holiness Is not a deadwhite purity, the perfection of the faultless marble statue. Life, as well as purity, enters into the idea of holiness. They who are 'without fault before the throne'are they who 'follow the Lamb whithersoever he goeth■ — holy activity attending and expressing their holy state." Martensen, Christian Ethics, 62, 83—"God is the perfect unity of the ethically necessary and the ethically free"; "God cannot do otherwise than will his own essential nature." See Thomasius, Ohristi Person und Work, 141; and on the Holiness of Christ, see Godet, Defense of the Christian Faith, 203-241.

(c) Self-affirmation. Holiness is God's self-willing. His own purity is the supreme object of his regard and maintenance. God is holy, in that his infinite moral excellence affirms and asserts itself as the highest possible motive and end. Like truth and love, this attribute can be understood only in the light of the doctrine of the Trinity.

Holiness is purity willing itself. We have an analogy in man's duty of self-preservation, self-respect, self-assertion. Virtue is bound to maintain and defend itself, as in the case of Job. In his Inst moments, the Christian feels that purity is not simply the negation of sin, but the affirmation of an inward and divine principle of righteousness. Thomasius, Christi Person und Werk, 1:137—" Holiness is the perfect agreement of the divine willing with the divine being: for as the personal creature Is holy when it wills and determines itself as God wills, so is God the holy one tmcause he wills himself a» what he is (or, to be what he is). In virtue of this attribute, God excludes from himself everything that contradicts his nature, and affirms himself in his absolutely good being — his being like himself." Tholuck on Romans, 5th ed., 151—"The term holiness should be used to indicate a relation of God to himself. That is holy which, undisturbed from without, is wholly like itself." Dorner, System of Doctrine, 1 : 456—" It Is the part of goodness to protect goodness." We shall see, when we consider the doctrine of the Trinity, that that doctrine has close relations to the doctrine of the immanent attributes. It is in the Son that God has a perfect object of will, as well as of knowledge and love. On the whole subject of Holiness, see Baudissin, Begriff der Heiligkeit im A. T.; synopsis In Studien und Kritiken, 1880:16(1; Robertson Smith, Prophets of Israel, 224-234.

VI. Relative Ok Transitive Attributes.

First Division.Attributes having relation to Time and Space. 1. Eternity.

By this we mean that God's nature (a) is without beginning or end; (6) is free from all succession of time; and (c) contains in itself the cause of time.

Deut 32 : 40—" For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, is I live forever ...;" Ps. 90: 2—" Before the mountains .... from everlasting .... thou art God "; 102:27—" thy years shall have no end "; Is. 41: 4—" I the Lord, the trst. and with the last;" 1 Cor. 2:7—npo rmv aiJtvav—"before the worlds" or "ages"= n-pb KaTaSoAijf Koo^ov —"before the foundation of the world (Eph. 1: 4). 1 Tim. 1:17—0a<rtAct Twr aiwvw—" ling of the ages" (so also Rev. 15 i 3). 1 Tim. 6 :16—"who only hath immortality." Rev. 1: 8—"the Alpha and the Omega." Dorner: "We must not make Kronos (time) and Uranos (space) earlier divinities before God.'" They are among the " all things" that were "made by him " (John 1:3). • Yet time and space are not mihttanvcs; neither are they attrilmtex (qualities of substance); they are rather relations of Unite existence. (Porter, Human Intellect, 568, prefers to call time and space "cirrrelata to beings and events.") With finite existence they come into being. they are not mere regulative conceptions of our minds: they exist objectively, whether we perceive them or not.

Eternity is infinity in its relation to time. It implies that God's nature is not subject to the law of time. God is not in time. It is more correct to say that time is in God. Although there is logical succession in God's thoughts, there is no chronological succession.

Time is duration measured by successions. Duration without succession would still be duration, though it would be immeasurable. Rcid, Intellectual Powers, essay 3, chap. 5—" We may measure duration by the succession of thoughts in the mind, as we measure length by inches or feet, but the notion or idea of duration must be antecedent to the mensuration of it, as the notion of length Is antecedent to its being measured." God is not under the law of time. Solly, The Will, 254—"God looks through time as we look through space." Murphy, Scientific Bases, 90—" Eternity is not, as men believe, Before and after us, an endless line. No, 'tis a circle, infinitely great—All the circumference with creations thronged: God at the centre dwells, beholding all. And us we move in this eternal round, The finite portion which alone we see Behind us, is the past; what lies before We call the future. But to him who dwells Far at the centre, equally remote From every point of the circumference, Both are alike, the future and the past."

Yet we are far from saying that time, now that it exists, has no objective reality to God. To him, past, present, and future are "one eternal now," not in the sense that there is no distinction between them, but only in the sense that he sees past and future as vividly as he sees the present. With creation time began, and since the successions of history are veritable successions, he who sees according to truth must recognize them.

Kinney, quoted in Bib. Sac, Oct., 1877 : 723—" Eternity to us means all past, present, and future duration. But to God it means only now. Duration and space, as they respect his existence, mean infinitely different things from what they do when they respect our existence. God's existence and his acts, as they respect finite existence, have relation to time and space. But as they respect his own existence, everything is here and now. With respect to all finite existences, God can say: I was, I am, I shall be, I will do; but with respect to his own existence, all that he can say Is: I am, I do."

Edwards the younger, Works, 1: 388, 387—"There is no succession in the divine mind; therefore no new operations take place. All the divine acts are from eternity, nor is there any time with God. The effect* of these divine acts do indeed all take place In time and in a succession. If it should be said that on this supposition the effects take place not till long after the acts by which they are produced, I auswer that they do so in our view, but not in the view of God. With him there is no time; no before or after with respect to time; nor has time any existence in the divine mind, or in the nature of things Independently of the minds and perceptions of creatures; but it depends on the succession of those perceptions." We must qualify this statement of the younger Edwards by the following from Julius MUller: "If God's working can have no relation to time, then all bonds of union between God and the world are snapped asunder."

It is an interesting question whether the human spirit is capable of timeless existence, and whether the conception of time is purely physical. In dreams we seem to'lose sight of succession; an age is compressed into a minute. Does this throw light upon the nature of prophecy? Is the soul of the prophet rapt into God's timeless existence and vision? It is doubtful whether Rev. 10 : 6—" there skill be time no longer" can be relied upon to prove the affirmative: for the Rev. Vers. marg. and the American Revisers translate "there shall he delay no longer." Julius MUller, Doct. Sin, 2: H7—" All self-consciousness is a victory over time." So with memory; see Dorner, Glaubenslehre, 1:471. On space and time as unlimited, see Porter, Hum. Intellect, 564-566. On the conception of eternity, see Mansel, Lectures, Essays, and Reviews, 111-126, and Modern Spiritualism, 255292; New Englander, April, 1875: art. on the Metaphysical Idea of Eternity. For practical lessons from the Eternity of God, see Park, Discourses, 137-154.

2. Immensity.

By this we mean that God's nature (a) is without extension; (6) is subject to no limitations of space; and (c) contains in itself the cause of space.

1 Iinge 8:27—" Behold, heaven and the heaven of heavens cannot contain thee." Space isa creation of God; Rom. 8: 39—" nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature.'

Immensity is infinity in its relation to space. God's nature is not subject to the law of space. God is not in space. It is more correct to say that space is in God. Yet space has an objective reality to God. With creation space began to be, and since God sees according to truth, he recognizes relations of space in his creation.

Many of the remarks made In explanation of time apply equally to space. Space is not a substance nor an attribute, but a relation. It exists so soon as extended matter exists, and exists as its necessary condition, whether our minds perceive It or not. Keid, Intellectual Powers, essay 2, chap. 9—" Space is not so properly an object of sense, as a necessary concomitant of the objects of eight and touch." When we see or touch body, we get the idea of space in which the body exists, but the idea of space is not furnished by the sense; It is an a priori cognition of the reason. Experience furnishes the occasion of its evolution, but the mind evolves the conception by its own native energy.

It is not precisely accurate to say that space is In God, for this expression seems to intimate that God is a greater space which somehow includes the less. God is rather unspatial and is the Lord of space. The notion that space and the divine immensity arc identical leads to a materialistic conception of God. Space Is not an attribute of God, as Clarke maintained, and no argument for the divine existence can be constructed from this premise (see page 48). On space, see Porter, Human Intellect, 662; Hazard, Letters on Causation in Willing, appendix; Illb. Sac, Oct., 1877: 723. For the view that space and time are relative, see Cocker, Theistlc Conception of the World, 66-96; Calderwood, Philosophy of the Inilnite, ;»l-335. Per contra, see Geer, In Bap. Rev., July, 1880: 434; Lowndes, Phllos. of Primary Beliefs, 144-161.

Second Division. Attributes having relation to Creation. 1. Omnipresence.

By this we mean that God, in the totality of his essence, without diffusion or expansion, multiplication or division, penetrates and fills the universe in all its parte.

Ps. 139:7 sq.—" Whither shall I go from thv Spirit, or whither shall I lee from thy presence?" Jer. 23 : 23, 24— "Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God afar ol? . . . . Do not I fill heaven and earth?" Acts. 17: 27— "He is not far from each one of us: for in him we lire, and more, and have our being."

In explanation of this attribute we may say:

(a) God's omnipresence is not potential but essential.—We reject the Socinian representation that God's essence is in heaven, only his power on earth. When God is said to "dwell in the heavens," we are to understand the language either as a symbolic expression of his exaltation above earthly things, or as a declaration that his most special and glorious self-manifestations are to the spirits of heaven.

Ps. 123 : 1—" 0. thou that fittest in the heavens "; 113: 5—" that hath his seat on high "; Is. 57: 15—" the high and lofty One that inhabiteth eternity." Mere |>otential omnipresence is Deistic as well as Socinian. Like birds in the air or fish in the sea, "at home, abroad, We are surrounded still with God." We do not need to go up to heaven to call him down, or into the abyss to call him up (Rom. 10: 6. 7). The best illustration is found in the presence of the soul in every part of the body. Mind seems not contined to the brain. Natural realism In philosophy, as distinguished from idealism, requires that the mind should be at the point of contact with the outer world, instead of having reports and ideas brought to it in the brain; see Porter, Human Intellect, 149. All believers In a soul regard the soul as at least present in all parts of the brain, and this is a relative omnipresence no less difficult In principle than its presence in all parts of the body. An animal's brain may be frozen into a piece solid as ice, yet, after thawing, it will act as before; although freezing of the whole body will cause death. If the immaterial principle were contined to the brain we should expect freezing of the brain to cause death. But if soul may be omnipresent in the body oreven in the brain, the divine Spirit may be omnipresent in the universe. Uowne, Metaphysics, 136- " If finite things are modes of the Infinite, each thing must be a mode of the entire infinite; and the infinite must be present in its unity and completeness In every finite thing, just as the entire soul is present in nil Its acts."

(b) God's omnipresence is not the presence of a part but of the whole of God in every place.—This follows from the conception of God as incorporeal. We reject the materialistic representation that God is composed of material elements which can be divided or sundered. There is no multiplication or diffusion of his substance to correspond with the parts of his dominions. The one essence of God is present at the same moment in all.

1 lings 8: 27—" the heaven ind the heaven of heavens cannot contain (circumscribe) thee." God must be present in all his essence and all his attributes in every place. lie is " totus In omnl parte." From this it follows that the whole Logos can be united to and be present in the man Christ Jesus, while at the same time he fills and governs the whole universe; and that the whole Christ can be united to, and can be present in, the single believer, as fully ns if that believer were the only one to receive of his fulness.

(c) God's omnipresence is not necessary but free.—We reject the pantheistic notion that God is bound to the universe as the universe is bound to God. God is immanent in the universe, not by compulsion, but by the free act of his own will, and this immanence is qualified by his transcendence.

God might at will cease to be omnipresent, for he could destroy the universe; but while the universe exists, he is and must be in all its parts. God is the life and law of the universe—this is the truth in pantheism. But he is ulso personal and free—tills pantheism denies. Christianity holds to a free, as well us to an essential, omnipresence— qualified and supplemented, however, by God's transcendence. The boasted truth in pantheism is an elementary principle of Christianity, and is only the stepping stone to a nobler truth—God's personal presence with his church. The Talmud contrasts the worship of an idol and the worship of Jehovah: "The idol seems so near, but is so far; Jehovah seems so far, but is so near!" God's omnipresence assures us that he is present wifti us to hear, and present in every heart and in the ends of the earth to answer, prayer. See Rogers, Supernatural Origin of the Bible, 10; Bowne, Metaphysics, 136; Charnoek, Attributes, 1:383-405.

2. Omniscience.

By this we mean God's perfect and eternal knowledge of all things which are objects of knowledge, whether they be actual or possible, past, present, or future.

God knows his inanimate creation: Ps. 147: 4—"telleth the number of the stars; he giveth them all their names." He lias knowledge of brute creatures: Mat. 10: 29—sparrows—"not one of them shall fall on the ground without your Father." Of men and their works: Ps. 33:13-15—" beholdeth all the sons of men .... eonsidereto all their works." Of hearts of men and their thoughts: lets. 15: 8—"God, which knoweth the heart;" Heb. 4 :13—" no creature that is not manifest in his sight .... all things are naked and laid open before the eyes of him ;" Ps. 139: 2—" Understandest my thought afar off." Ofourwants: "Mat.6:8"knoweth what things ye have need of." Of the least things: Mat. 10:30—" the very hairs of your head are all numbered.' Of the past: Mai. 3:16—" book of remembrance." Of the future: Is. 46:9, 10—"declaring the end from the beginning." Of men's future free acts: Is. 44 : 28—" that saith of Cyrus, He is my shepherd and shall perform all my pleasure." Of men's future evil acts: lets 2: 23—"him. being delivered up by the determinate counsel and foreknowledge of God." Of the ideally possible: 1 Sam. 23 :12—"Will the men of leilah deliver up me and my men into the hands of Saul? Ind the Lord said, They will deliver thee up" (SC. if thou remainest); Mat 11:21—"If the mighty works had been done in Sodom which were done in thee, it would have repented." From eternity: lets 15:18—" the Lord, who maketh these things known from the beginning of the world." Incomprehensible: Ps. 139:6—"Such knowledge is too wonderful for me;" Rom. 11:33—" 0, the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God." Related to wisdom: Ps. 104: 24—" In wisdom hast thou made them all;" Eph. 3:10—" manifold wisdom of God."

(a) The omniscience of God may be argued from his omnipresence, as well as from his truth or self-knowledge, in which the plan of creation has its eternal ground.

It Is to be remembered that omniscience, as the designation of a relative and transitive attribute, does not include God's self-knowledge. The term is used in the technical sense of God's knowledge of all things that pertain to the universeof his creation.

(6) As free from all imperfection, God's knowledge is immediate, as distinguished from the knowledge that comes through sense or imagination; simultaneous, as not acquired by successive observations, or built up by processes of reasoning; distinct, as free from all vagueness or confusion; true, as perfectly corresponding to the reality of things; eternal, as comprehended in one timeless act of the divine mind.

An infinite mind must always act, and must always act in an absolutely perfect manner. There is in God no sense, symbol, memory, abstraction, growth, reflection, reasoning'—his knowledge is all direct and without intermediaries. God was properly represented by the ancient Egyptians, not as having eye, but as being eye. His thoughts toward us are "more than can be numbered" iPs. 40:5), not because there is succession In them, now a remembering and now a forgetting, but because there is never a moment of our existence in which we are out of his mind; he is always thinking of us. See Charnock, Attributes, 1: 400-497. Gen. 16 :13—" Thou art a God that seeth." Mivart. Lessons from Nature, 374—"Every creature of every order of existence, while its existence is sustained, is so complacently contemplated by God, that the intense and concentrated attention of all men of science together upon it could but form an utterly inadequate symbol of such divine contemplation." So God's scrutiny of every deed of darkness is more searching than the gaze of a whole Coliseum of spectators, and his eye is more watchful over the good than would be the united care of all his hosts In heaven and earth.

(c) Since God knows things as they are, he knows the necessary sequences of his creation as necessary, the free acts of his creatures as free, the ideally possible as ideally possible.

God knows what would have taken place under circumstances not now present; knows what the universe would have been, had he chosen a different plan of creiitron: knows what our lives would have been, had we made different decisions in the past I Is. 48 : 18—" Oh that thou hadst hearkened then had thy peace been as a river "i.

(d) The fact that there is nothing in the present condition of things from which the future actions of free creatures necessarily follow by natural law does not prevent God from foreseeing such actions, since his knowledge is not mediate, but immediate. He not only foreknows the motives which will occasion men's acts, but he directly foreknows the acts themselves.

Aristotle "maintained that there Is no certain knowledgeof contingent futureevents. Socinus, in like manner, while he admitted that God knows all things that are knowable, abridged the objects of the divine knowledge by withdrawing from the number those objects whose future existence he considered as uncertain, such as the determinations of free agents. These, he held, cannot be certainly foreknown, because there is nothing in the present condition of things from which they will necessarily follow by natural law. The man who makes a clock can tell when it will strike. But free-will, not being subject to mechanical laws, cannot have its acts predicted or foreknown. God knows things only in their causes—future events only in their antecedents." John Milton seems also to deny God's foreknowledge of free acts: "So, without least impulse or shadow of fate. Or aught by me immutably foreseen, They trespass."

With this Soclnian doctrine some Armiuians agree, as McCabe, in his Foreknowledge of God, and in his Divine Nescience of Future Contingencies a Necessity. McCabe, however, sacrifices the principle of free will, in defense of which he makes this surrender of God's foreknowledge, by saying thatin cases of fulfilled prophecy, like Peter's denial and Judas's betrayal, God brought special influences to bear to secure the result. So that Peter's and Judas's wills acted irresponsibly under the law of cause and effect. He quotes Dr. Daniel Curry as declaring that "the denial of absolute divine foreknowledge is the essential complement of the Methodist theology, without which its philosophical incompleteness is defenseless against the logical consistency of Calvinism." So Dugald Stewart: "Shall we venture to affirm that it exeeedsthe power of God to permit such a train of contingent events to take place as his own foreknowledge shall not extend to?" Martensen holds this view, and Itothe, Theologische Ethik, 1: 212-234, who declares that the free choices of men are continually Increasing the knowledge of God.

Against this doctrine of divine nescience we urge not only our fundamental conviction of God's perfection, but the constant testimony of Scripture. In Is. 41: 21, 22, God makes his foreknowledge the tost of his Godhead in the controversy with idols. If God cannot foreknow free human acts, then " the Lamb that hath been slain from the foundation of the world" <Rev. 13: 8j was only a sacrifice to be offered in ciw Adam should fall, God not knowing whether ho would or not, and in cane Judas should betray Christ, God not knowing whether he would or not. Indeed, since the course of nature is changed by man's will when he burns towns and fells forests, God cannot on this theory predict even the •course of nnture. All prophecy is therefore a protest against this view.

How God foreknows free human decisions we may not be able to say, but then the method of God's knowledge in many other respects is unknown to us. The following explanations have been proposed. God may foreknow free acts

1. Medlatelti. by foreknowing the motives of these acts, and this either because these motives induce the acts, (1) necessarily, or (2) certainly. This last " certainly" is to be accepted, if either, since motives art; never caimcx, but are only occasion*, of action. The cause is the will, or the man himself. But it may be said that foreknowing acts through their motives is not foreknowing at all, but is reasoning or inference rather. Moreover, although intelligent beings commonly act according to motives previously dominant, they also at critical epochs, as at the fall of Satan and of Adam, choose between motives, and in such coses knowledge of the motives which have hitherto actuated them gives no clue to their next decisions. Another statement is therefore proposed to meet these difficulties, namely, that God may foreknow free acts

2. Immediately, by pure intuition, inexplicable to us. Julius MUller, Doctrine of Sin, 2 : 203, 225—" If God can know a future event as certain only by a calculation of causes, it must be allowed that he cannot with certainty foreknow any free act of man; for his foreknowledge would then be proof that the act in question was the necessary consequence of certain causes, and was not in itself free. If, on the contrary, the divine knowledge be regarded as intuitu^, we see that it stands in the same immediate relation to the act itself as to its antecedents, and thus the difficulty is removed." Even upon this view there still remains the difficulty of perceiving how there can be in God's mind a subjective certitude with regard to acts in respect to which there Is no assignable objective ground of certainty Yet, in spite of this difficulty,wc feel bound both by Scripture and by our fundamental idea of God's perfection to maintain God's perfect knowledge of the future free acts of his creatures. With President Pepper we say: "Knowledge of contingency is not necessarily contingent knowledge." With Whedon: "It is not calculation, but pure knowledge." See Dorncr, System of Doct., 1: 332-337, 2: 58-62; Jahrbuch flir deutsehe Theologie, 1858 : 001-605; Charnock, Attributes, 1: 42S-446; Solly, The Will, 240-254. For a valuable article on the whole subject, though advocating the view that God foreknows acts by foreknowing motives, see Bib. Sac, Oct., 1883: 655«94. See also Hill, Divinity, 517.

(e) Prescience is not itself causative. It is not to be confounded with the predetermining will of God. Free actions do not take place because they are foreseen, but they are foreseen because they are to take place.

Seeing a thing in the future does not cause it to be, more than seeing a thing in the past causes it to be. As to future events, we may say with Whedon: "Knowledge take* them, not makes them." Foreknowledge may, and does, presuppose predetermination, but it is not itself predetermination.

(/) Omniscience embraces the actual and the possible, but it does not embrace the self-contradictory and the impossible, because these are not objects of knowledge.

God does not know what the result would be If two and two made five, nor does he know "whether a chimtera ruminating In a vacuum devoureth second intentions": and that simply for the reason that he cannot know self-contradiction and nonsense. Tbe9e things are not objects of knowledge.

{g) Omniscience, as qualified by holy will, is in Scripture denominated "wisdom." In virtue of his wisdom God chooses the highest ends, and uses the fittest means to accomplish them.

Wisdom is not simply "estimating all things at their proper value " (Olmstead); it has in it also the element of counsel and purpose. It has been defined as " the talent of using one's talents." It implies two things: first, choice of the highest end; secondly, choice of the best meanB to secure this end.

3. Omnipotence.

By this we mean the power of God to do all things which are objects of power, whether with or without the use of means.

(ton. 17:1—" I am God Almighty." He performs natural wonders: Gen. 1:1-3—" Let there be light;" Is. 44:24—"stretcheth forth the heavens alone:" Heb. 1:3—"upholding all things by the word of his power." Spiritual wonders: 2 Cor. 4: 6—"God that said, light shall shine out of darkness, who shined in our hearts;'' Eph. 1:19—" exceeding greatness of his power to us-ward who believe:" Eph. 3: 20—" able to do exceeding abundantly." Power to create new things: Mat. 3: 9—" able of these stones to raise up children unto Abraham;" Rom. 4 :17—"quickeneth the dead, and calleth the things that are not, as though they were." After his own pleasure: Ps. 115:3— "He hath done whatsoever he hath pleased;" Eph. 1: 11—"worketh all things after the counsel of his will." Nothing impossible: Gen. 18:14—" Is anything too hard for the Lord?" Mat. 19: 26— "With God all things are possible."

(a) Omnipotence does not imply power to do that which is not an object of power; as, for example, that which is self-contradictory or contradictory to the nature of God.

Self-contradietory things: facere factum infectum— the making of a past event to have not occurred (hence the uselessness of praying: "May it be that much good was done "); drawing a shorter than a straight line between two given points; putting two separate mountains together without a valley between them. Things contradictory to the nature of God: for God to lie, to sin, to die. To do such things would not imply power, but impotence. God has all the power that is consistent with infinite perfection—all power to do what is worthy of himself. So no greater thing can be said by man than this: "I dare do all that may become a man; Who dares do more is none." Even God cannot make wrong to be right, nor hatred of himself to be blessed. Some havo held that the prevention of sin in a moral system is not an object of power, and therefore that Gjod cannot prevent sin in a moral system. We hold the contrary: see this Compendium: Objections to the Doctrine of Decrees, 3 (c).

(6) Omnipotence does not imply the exercise of all his power on the part of God. He has power over his power; in other words, his power is under the control of wise and holy will. God can do all he will, but he will not do all he can. Else his power is mere force acting necessarily, and God is the slave of his own omnipotence.

Schleiertnacher held that nature not only is grounded in the divine causality, but fully expresses that causality; there is no causative power in God for anything that is not real and actual. This doctrine does not essentially differ from Spinoza's natura natulan* and natura naturata. See Philippi, Glaubenslehre, 2: 62-80. But omnipotence is not instinctive; it is a power used according to God's pleasure. God is by no means encompassed by the laws of nature., or shut up to a necessary evolution of his own being, as pantheism supposes. As Rothe has shown, God has a will-power over his nature-power, and is not compelled to do all that he can do. He is able from the stones of the street to "raise up children unto Abraham ", but he has not done it. In God are unopened treasures, an inexhaustible fountain of new beginnings, new creations, new revelations. To suppose that in creation he has expended all the inner possibilities of his being is to deny his omnipotence. So Job 26 :14 "Lo, these are but the outskirts of his ways: and how small a whisper do we hear of him; but the thunder of his power who can understand?" See Rogers, Superhuman Origin of the Bible, 10; Hodgson, Time and Space, 579, 580.

(o) Omnipotence in God does not exclude, but implies, the power of selflimitation. Since all such self-limitation is free, proceeding from neither external nor internal compulsion, it is the act and manifestation of God's power. Human freedom is not rendered impossible by the divine omnipotence, but exists by virtue of it. It is an act of omnipotence when God humbles himself to the taking of human flesh in the person of Jesus Christ.

Thomasius: "If God is to be over all and in all, ho cannot himself be all." Ps. 113:5, 6—

>' Who is like unto the Lord our God that humbleih himself to behold the things that are in heaven and in the

earth "; Phil. 2 : 6, 8—" emptied himself humbled himself." See Charnock, Attributes, 2 : 5-107.

Third Division.—Attributes having relation to Moral Beings.

1. Veracity and Faithfulness, or Transitive Truth.

By veracity and faithfulness we mean the transitive truth of God, in its twofold relation to his creatures in general and to his redeemed people in particular.

John 3 : 33—" hath set his seal to this, that God is true "; Rom. 3 : 4—" let God be found true, but every man a liar" Rom. 1: 25—" the truth of God "; John 1* : 17—" the Spirit of truth "; 1 John 5 : 6—" the Spirit is the truth ";

1 Cor. 1 : 9—" God is faithful "; 1 Thess. 5 : 24—" faithful is ha that calleth you "; 1 Pet. 4 :19—" a faithful Creator ";

2 Cor. 1: 20—" bov many soever be the promises of God. in him is the yea"; Norn. 23 : 19—" God is not a man that he should lie"; Tit. 1 : 2—"God, who cannot lie, promised"; Heb. 6 : 18—"in which it is impossible for God to lie."

(a) In virtue of his veracity, all his revelations to creatures consist with his esseutial being and with each other.

In God's veracity we have the guarantee that our faculties in their normal exercise do not deceive us; that the laws of thought are also laws of things: that the external world, and second causes in it, have objective existence: that the same causes will always produce the same effects; that the threats of the moral nature will be executed upon the unrepentant transgressor; that man's moral nature is made In the Image of God's: and that we may draw Just conclusions from what conscience is in us to what holiness is in him. We may therefore expect that all past revelations, whether in nature or in his word, will not only not be contradicted by our future knowledge, but will rather prove to have in them more of truth than we ever dreamed. Man's word may pass away, but God's word abides forever (Mat. 5 :18— " one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass away from the law "; Is. 40 : 8—" the word of our God shall stand forever.")

(6) In virtue of his faithfulness, he fulfils all his promises to his people, whether expressed in words or implied in the constitution he has given them.

In God's faithfulness we have the sure ground of confidence that he will perform what his love has led him to promise to those who obey the gospel. Since his promises are based, not upon what we are or have done, hut upon what Christ is and has done, our defects and errors do not invalidate them, so long as we are truly penitent and believing: 1 John 1 : 9—"faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins"—faithful to his promise, and righteous to Christ. God's faithfulness also ensures a supply for all the real wants of our being, both here and hereafter, since these wants are implicit promises of him who made us: (Ps. 84 :11—" Ho good thing will he withhold from them that walk uprightly "; Mat 6 : 33— " all these things shall be added unto you "; 1 Cor. 2 : 9—" things which eye saw not, and ear heard not, and which entered not into the heart of man, whatsoever things God prepared for them that love him."

2. Mercy and Goodness, or Transitive Love.

By mercy and goodness we mean the transitive love of God in its twofold

relation to the disobedient and to the obedient portions of his creatures.

Titus 3: 4—"his love toward man"; Rom. 2: 4—" goodness of God ": Mat. 5: 44, 45—"love your enemies

that ye may be sons of your Father " ; John 3:16—" God so loved the world "; 2 Pet. 1: 3—" granted unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness " ; Rom. 8: 32—" freely give us all things "; 1 John 4:10—" Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us. and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins."

(a) Mercy is that eternal principle of God's nature which leads him to seek the temporal good and eternal salvation of those who have opposed themselves to his will, even at the cost of infinite self-sacrifice.

Martensen: "Viewed in relation to sin, eternal love is compassionate grace." God's continual importation of natural life is u foreshadowing, in a lower sphere, of what ho desires to do for his creatures in the higher sphere—the communication of spiritual and eternal life through Jesus Christ.

(6) Goodness is the eternal principle of God's nature which leads him to communicate of his own life and blessedness to those who are like him in moral character. Goodness, therefore, is nearly identical with the love of complacency; mercy, with the love of benevolence.

Notice, however, that transitive love is but an outward manifestation of immanent love. The eternal and perfect object of God's love is in his own nature. Men become subordinate objects of that love only as they become connected and identified with its principal object, the Image of God's perfections in Christ. Only in the Son do men become sons of God. To this is requisite an acceptance of Christ on the part of man. Thus it can be said that God imparts himself to men just so far as men are willing to receive him. And as God gives himself to men, in all his moral attributes, to answer for them and to renew them in character, there is truth in the statement of Nordell (Examiner, Jan. 17,1881) that "the maintenance of holiness is the function of divine justice; the diffusion of holiness is the function of divine love." We may grant this as substantially true, while yet we deny that love is a mere form or manifestation of holiness. Solf-impartation is different from self-affirmation. The attribute which moves God to pour out is not identical with the attribute which moves him to maintain. The two ideas of holiness and of love are as distinct as the idea of integrity on the one hand and of generosity on the other. Park: "God loves Satan, in a certain sense, and we ought to." Shedd: "This same love of compassion Go(f~feels"To"ward the non-elect; but the expression of that compassion Is forbidden for reasons which are sufficient for God, but are entirely unknown to the creature." The goodness of God is the basis of reward, under God's government. Faithfulness leads God to keep his promises; goodness leads him to make them.

3. Justice and Righteousness, or Transitive Holiness.

By justice and righteousness we mean the transitive holiness of God, in virtue of which his treatment of his creatures conforms to the purity of his nature,—righteousness demanding from all moral beings conformity to the moral perfection of God, and justice visiting non-conformity to that perfection with penal loss or suffering.

Gen. IS: 25—" shall not the Judge of all the earth do right?" Deal. 32: 4—" All his ways are judgment; a Cod of faithfulness and without iniquity, just and right is he "; Ps. 7: 9-12—" the righteous God trieth the hearts ... saveth the upright.... is a righteous judge, yea, a God that hath indignation every day "; 18: 24—" the Lord recompensed me according to my righteousness .... with the merciful, thou wilt show thyself merciful.... with the perverse ihou wilt show thyself froward "; Mat. 5: 48—'' To therefore shall be perfect, even as your heavenly Father is perfect"; Rom. 2: 6—" will render to every man according to his works "; 1 Pet 1:16—" Ye shall be holy; for I am holy."

(a) Since justice and righteousness are simply transitive holiness—righteousness designating this holiness chiefly in its mandatory, justice chiefly in its punitive, aspect,—they are not mere manifestations of benevolence, or of God's disposition to secure the highest happiness of his creatures, nor are they grounded in the nature of things as something apart from or above God.

Cremer, N. T. Lexicon: Si'kow = " the perfect coincidence existing between God's nature, which is the standard for all, and his acts." Justice and righteousness are simply holiness exercised toward creatures. The same holiness which exists in God In eternity past manifests itself as justice and righteousness, so soon as intelligent creatures come into being.

(b) Transitive holiness, as righteousness, imposes law in conscience and Scripture, and may be called legislative holiness. As justice, it executes the penalties of law, and may be called distributive or judicial holiness. In righteousness God reveals chiefly his love of holiness; in justice, chiefly his hatred of sin.

The self-affirming purity of God demands a like purity in those who have been made in his image. As God wills and maintains his own moral excellence, so all creatures must will and maintain the moral excellence of God. There can be only one centre in the solar system—the sun is its own centre and the centre for all the planets also. So God's purity is the object of his own will—it must be the object of all the wills of all his creatures also.

(c) Neither justice nor righteousness, therefore, are matters of arbitrary will. They are revelations of the inmost nature of God, the one in the form of moral requirement, the other in the form of judicial sanction. As God cannot but demand of his creatures that they be like him in moral character, so he cannot but enforce the law which he imposes upon them. Justice just as much binds God to punish as it binds the sinner to be punished.

All arbitrariness is excluded here. God is what he is—infinite purity. He cannot change. If creatures are to attain the end of their being, they must be like God in moral purits-. Justice is nothing but the recognition and enforcement of this natural necessity. Law is only the transcript of God's nature. Justice does not make law—it only reveals law. Penalty is only the reaction of God's holiness against that which is its opposite. Since righteousness and Justice are only legislative and retributive holiness, God can cease to demand purity and to punish sin only when he ceases to be holy, that is, only when he ceases to be God. "Judex dammit ur cum nocens absolvitur."

(d) Neither justice nor righteousness bestows rewards. This follows from the fact that obedience is due to God, instead of being optional or a gratuity. No creature can claim anything for his obedience. If God rewards, he rewards in virtue of his goodness and faithfulness, not in virtue of his justice or his righteousness. What the creature cannot claim, however, Christ can claim, and the rewards which are goodness to the creature are righteousness to Christ. God rewards Christ's work for us and in us.

Brueh, Eigenschaftslehre, 280-283, and John Austin, Province of Jurisprudence, 1: 88fl3, 220-223, both deny, and rightly deny, that Justice bestows rewards. Justice simply punishes infractions of law. In Mat. 25 : 34—"inherit the kingdom "—inheritance implies no merit; 46—the wicked are adjudged to eternal punishment; the righteous, not to eternal reward, but to eternal life. Luke 17: 7-10—" when ye shall have done all the things that are commanded yon. say, We are unprofitable serrants; we hare done that which it was our duty to do." Rom. 6: 23—punishment is the "wages of sin ": but salvation is "the gift of God " ; 2: 6—God rewards, not mi account of man's works, but "according to his works." Reward is thus seen to be in Scripture a matter of grace to the creature; only to the Christ who works for us in atonement, and in us in regeneration and sanctificatlon, Is reward a matter of debt (see also 2 John 8).

(e) Justice in God, as the revelation of his holiness, is devoid of all passion or caprice. There is in God no selfish anger. The penalties he inflicts upon transgression are not vindictive but vindicative. They express the revulsion of God's nature from moral evil, the judicial indignation of purity against impurity, the self-assertion of infinite holiness against its antagonist and would-be destroyer. But because its decisions are calm they are irreversible.

Anger, within certain limits. Is a duty of man. Ps. 97 :10—" Ye that love the Lord, hate eTil"; Eph. 4 ; 26—"Be ye angry, and sin not." The calm indignation of the Judge, who pronounces sentence with tears, is the true image of the holy anger of God against sin. Weber,

Zorn Gottes, 28, makes wrath only the jealousy of love. It is more truly the jealousy of holiness. Prof. W. A. Stevens, Com. on 1 Thess. 2 : 10— "Holily and righteously are terms that describe the same conduct in two aspects: the former, as conformed to God's character in itself; the latter, as conformed to his law: both axe positive." Lillle, Com. on 2 Thess. 1: 6—"Judgment is 'a righteous thing with God.' Divine justice requires it for its own satisfaction."

The moral indignation of a whole universe of holy beings against moral evil, added to the agonizing self-condemnations of awakened conscience in all the unholy, is only a faint and small reflection of the awful revulsion of God's infinite Justice from the impurity and selfishness of his creatures, and of the intense, organic, necessary, and eternal reaction of his moral being in self-vindication and the punishment of sin: see Jer. 44 : 4—"Oh, do not that abominable thing that I hate!" Num. 32 : 23—"B« sure your sin will find you out"; Heb. 10 : 30, 31—" For ve know him that said, Vengeance belongeth unto me. I will recompense. And again, The Lord shall judge his people. It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God." On justice as an attribute of a moral governor, see N. W. Taylor, Moral Government, 2:253-283; Owen, Dissertation on Divino Justice, In Works, 10 : 483-624.

VTL Rank And Relations Op The Several Attributes.

The attributes Lave relations to each other. Like intellect, affection, and will in man, none of them are to be conceived of as exercised separately from the rest. Each of the attributes is qualified by all the others. God's love is immutable, wise, holy. Infinity belongs to God's knowledge, power, justice. Yet this is not to say that one attribute is of as high rank as another. The moral attributes of truth, love, holiness, are worthy of higher reverence from men, and they are more jealously guarded by God, than the natural attributes of omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence. And yet even among the moral attributes one stands as supreme. Of this and of its supremacy we now proceed to speak.

1. Holiness the fundamental attribute in God.

That holiness is the fundamental attribute in God, is evident:

(a) From Scripture,—in which God's holiness is not only most constantly and powerfully pressed upon the attention of man, but is declared to be the chief subject of rejoicing and adoration in heaven.

It is God's attribute of holiness that first and most prominently presents Itself to the mind of the sinner, and conscience only follows the method of Scripture: I Pet. 1: IS— "ye shall be holy; for I am holy "; Heb. 12 : 14—"the sanctincation without which no man shall see the Lord "; c/. Luke 5 : 8—"Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, 0 Lord." Yet this constant insistence upon holiness cannot be due simply to man's present state of sin, for in heaven, where there is no sin, there is the same reiteration: Is. 6:3—"Holy, holy, holy is the Lord of hosts '; Rot. 4 : 8— "Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord God, the almighty."

(b) From our own moral constitution,—in which conscience asserts its supremacy over every other impulse and affection of our nature. As we may be kind, but must be righteous, so God, in whose image we are made, may be merciful, but must be holy.

See Bishop Butler's Sermons upon Human Nature, Bonn's ed., 385-414, showing " the supremacy of conscience in the moral constitution of man." We muBt be just, before we are generous. So with God, justice must be done always; mercy is optional with him. He was not under obligation to provide a redemption for sinners: 2 Pet. 2 : 4—"God spared not angels when they sinned, but cast them down to hell." Salvation is a matter of grace, not of debt, Shedd, Discourses and Essays, 277-2BK—"The quality of Justice is necessary exaction; but 'the quality of inerey is not (con)strained'" [if. Denham: "His mirth is forced and strained"]. God can apply the salvation, after he has wrought it out, to whomsoever he will: Rom. 9 :18— " he hath mercy on whom he will." The poet says: "AGodall mercy is a God unjust." Emerson: "Your goodness must have some edge to it; else it Is none." We may learn of God's holiness a priori. Even the heathen could say "Flat jus tit ia, ruat c<elum", or "pereat mundns." But, for our knowledge of God's mercy, we are dependent upon special revelation. See Shcdd, Sermons to the Natural Man: Sermon on 41 Mercy optional with God," 366: Mercy, like omnipotence, may exist in God without being exercised. "But Justice is an attribute which not only exigts of necessity, but must be ererrised of necessity; because not to exercise it would be injustice."

If it be said that, by parity of reasoning, for God not to exercise mercy is to show himself unmerciful,—we reply that this is not true so long as higher interests require that exercise to be withheld. I am not unmerciful when I refuse to givo to the poor the money needed to pay an honest debt; nor is the Governor unmerciful who refuses to pardon the condemned and unrepentant criminal. Mercy has its conditions, as we proceed to show, and it does not cease to be, when these conditions do not permit it to be exercixed. Not so with Justice: Justice must always be exercised ; when it ceases to be exercised, it also ceases to be.

(c) From the actual dealings of God,—in which holiness conditions and limits the exercise of other attributes. Thus, for example, in Christ's redeeming work, though love makes the atonement, it is violated holiness that

^requires it; and in the eternal punishment of the wicked, the demand of holiness for self-vindication overbears the pleading of love for the sufferers.

That which conditions all is highest of all. Holiness shows itself higher than love, in that it conditions love. Hence God's mercy does not consist in outraging his own law of holiness, but in enduring the penal affliction by which that law of holiness is satisfied. Conscience in man is but the reflex of holiness in God. Conscience demands either Lretribution or atonement. This demand Christ meets by his substituted suffering. His sacrifice assuages the thirst of conscience in man, as well as the demand of holiness in God: John 6 : 55—"For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed." See Shcdd, Discourses and Essays, 280, 291, 292, from which much of the above is in substance taken. Sec also Thomasius, Christ! Person und Work, 1: 137-155, 348-353; Patton, art. on Retribution and the Divine Goodness, in Princeton Rev., Jan., 1878: 8-16; Owen, Dissertation on the Divine Justice, in Works, 10 : 483-624.

(d) From God's eternal purpose of salvation,—in which justice and mercy are reconciled only through the foreseen and predetermined sacrifice of Christ. The declaration that Christ is "the Lamb .... slain from the foundation of the world " implies the existence of a principle in the divine nature which requires satisfaction, before God can enter upon the work of redemption. That principle can be none other than holiness.

Since both mercy and Justice are exercised toward sinners of the human race, the otherwise inevitable antagonism between them is removed only by the atoning death of the God-man. Their opposing claims do not impair the divine blessedness, because the reconciliation exists in the eternal counsels of God. This is intimated In Rev. 13 : 8 "the Limb that hath been slain from the foundation of the world." This same reconciliation is alluded to in Ps. 85 :10—" Mercy and truth are met together; righteousness and peace hare kissed each other "; and in Rom. 3 : 26 —"that he might himself be just, and the justiter of him that hath faith in Jesus." The atonement, then. If

Iman was to be saved, was necessary, not primarily on toad's account, but on God's account. Shedd, Discourses and Essays, 279: The sacrifice of Christ was an "atonement ab intra, a self-oblation on the part of Deity himself, by which to satisfy those immanent and eternal imperatives of the divine nature which without it must find their satisfaction in the punishment of the transgressor, or else be outraged." Thus God's word of redemption, as well as his word of creation, is forever "settled in heaTen" (Ps. 119 : 89). Its execution on the cross was "according to the pattern" on high. The Mosaic sacrifice prefigured the sacrifice of Christ; but the sacrifice of Christ was but the temporal disclosure of an eternal fact in the nature of God. See Kreibig, Versiihnung, 155,156.

2. The holineHS of God the ground of moral obligation.

A. Erroneous Views. The ground of moral obligation is not

(a) In power,—whether of civil law (Hobbes, Gassendi), or of divine will (Occam, Descartes). We are not bound to obey either of these, except upon the ground that they are right. This theory assumes that nothing is good or right in itself, and that morality is mere prudence.

CMlLaw: See Hobbes, Leviuthan, part i, chap. 6and 13; part ii,chap. 30. Qaneodl, Opera, 6 :120. Upon this view, might makes right; the laws of Nero are always binding: a man may break his promise when civil law permits: there is no obligation to obey a father, a civil governor, or God himself, when once It is certain that the disobedience will be hidden, or when the offender is willing to incur the punishment.

Dunne will: See Occam, lib. 2, quaes. 18 (quoted In Porter, Moral Science, 125): Descartes (referred to in Hickok, Moral Science, 27, 28). Upon this view, right and wrong are variable quantities. Duns Scotus held that God's will makes not only truth but right. God can make lying to be virtuous and purity to be wrong. If Satan were God, we should be bound to obey him. God is essentially indifferent to right and wrong, good and evil. We reply that behind the divine will is the divine nature, and that in the moral perfection of that nature lies the only ground of moral obligation.

As between power or utility on the one hand, and right on the other hand, we must regard right as the more fundamental. We do not, however, as will be seen further on, place the ground of moral obligation even in right, considered as an abstract principle; but place it rather In the moral excellence of him who is the personal Right and therefore the source of right.

(6) Nor in utility,—whether our own happiness or advantage present or eternal (Paley), for supreme regard for our own interest is not virtuous; or the greatest happiness or advantage of being in general (Edwards), for we judge conduct to be useful because it is right, not right because it is useful. This theory would compel us to believe that in eternity past God was holy only because of the good he got from it—that is, there was no such thing as holiness in itself, and no such thing as moral character in God.

Our own Jmpitincxi: Paley, Mor. and Pol. Philos., book I, chap, vii—" Virtue is the doing good to mankind, in obedience to the will of God, and for the sake of everlasting happiness." This unites (a) and (b). John Stuart Mill and Dr. N. W. Taylor held that our own happiness is the Bupreme end. These writers indeed regard the highest happiness as attained only by living for others (Mill's altruism), but they can assign no reason why one who knows no other happiness than the pleasures of sense should not adopt the maxim of Epicurus, who, according to Lucretius, taught that" riucit quemqtic rolupta»." This theory renders virtue impossible; for a virtue which is mere regard to our own interest is not virtue but prudence. "We have a sense of right and wrong independently of all considerations of happiness or Its loss."

Ormient good of hciny: Not only Edwards, but Priestly, Bentham, Dwight, Finney. Hopkins, Fairchild, hold this view. See Edwards, Works, 2: 281-304—" Virtue is benevolence toward being in general": Dwight, Theology, 3: 150-182—" Utility the Foundation of Virtue"; Hopkins, Law of Love, 7-28; Fairchild, Moral Philosophy; Finney, Syst. Theol., 42-135. This theory regards good as a mere state of the sensibility, instead of consisting In purity of being. It forgets that in eternity past "love for being In general " = simply God's self-love, or God's regard for his own happiness. This implies that God is holy only for a purpose; he is bound to be unholy, if greater good would result; that is, holiness has no independent existence in his nature. We grant that a thing is often known to be right by the fact that it is useful; but this is very different from saying that its usefulness makes it right. "Utility is only the setting of the diamond, which nwrte, but does not make, its value." "If utility be a criterion of rectitude, it is only because it is a revelation of the divine nature." See British Quarterly, July, 1877, on Matthew Arnold and Bishop Butler. Bp. Butler, Nature of Virtue, in Works, Bohn's ed., 334. Love and holiness arc obligatory in themselves, and not because they promote the general good. Cicero well said that they who confounded the honcstum with the utile deserved to be banished from society. St* criticism on Porter's Moral Science, in Lutheran Quarterly, Apr., 1885: 328-331.

(c) Nor in the nature of things (Price),—whether by this we mean their fitness (Clarke), truth (Wollaston), order (Jouffroy), relations (Wayland), worthiness (Hickok), sympathy (Adam Smith), or abstract right (Haven and Alexander); for this nature of things is not ultimate, but has its ground in the nature of God. We are bound to worship the highest; if anything exists beyond and above God, we are bound to worship that—that indeed is God.

See Wayland. Mora) Science, 33-48; Hlckok, Moral Science, 27-34: Haven, Moral Philosophy, 37-50; Alexander, Moral Science, 150-198. In opposition to all the forms of this theory, we urge that nothing exists independently of or alxivc God. "If the ground of morals exist independently of God, cither it has ultimately no authority, or it usurps the throne of the Almighty. Any rational being- who kept the law would be perfect without God, and the moral centre of all intelligences would be outside of God" (Talbot). God is not a Jupiter controlled by Fate. He is subject to no law but the law of his own nature. Jvowcjw oMiye—character rules— purity is the highest. And therefore to holiness all creatures, voluntarily or involuntarily, are constrained to bow. Hopkins, Law of Love, 77—" Right and wrong have nothing to do with things, but only with actions; nothing to do with any nature of things existing necessarily, but only with the nature of persons." Another has said: "The Idea of light cannot be original, since right means conformity to some standard or rule." This standard or rule is not an abstraction, hut an existing being—the infinitely perfect God.

B. The Scriptural View. According to the Scriptures, the ground of moral obligation is the holiness of God, or the moral perfection of the divine nature, conformity to which is the law of our moral being (Chalmers, Calderwood, Gregory, Wuttke). We show this:

(a) From the commands: "Ye shall be holy," where the ground of obligation assigned is simply and only: "for I am holy " (1 Pet. 1 : 1(5); and "Ye therefore shall be perfect," where the standard laid down is: "as your heavenly Father is perfect" (Mat. 5 : 48). Here we have an ultimate reason and ground for being and doing right, namely, that God is right, or, in other words, that holiness is his nature.

(6) From the nature of the love in which the whole law is summed up (Mat. 22 : 37—"thou shalt love the Lord thy God "; Rom. 13 : 10—"love therefore is the fulfilment of the law "). This love is not regard for abstract right or for the happiness of being, much less for one's own interest, but it is regard for God as the fountain and standard of moral excellence, or, in other words, love for God as holy. Hence this love is the principle and source of holiness in man.

(c) From the example of Christ, whose life was essentially an exhibition of supreme regard for God, and of supreme devotion to his holy will. As Christ saw nothing good but what was in God (Mark 10 : 18—"none is good save one, even God "), and did only what he saw the Father do (John 5 : 19; see also 30—"I seek not mine own will, but the will of him that sent me"), so for us, to be like God is the sum of all duty, and God's infinite moral excellence is the supreme reason why we should be like him.

For statements of the correct view of the ground of moral obligation, see Chalmers, Moral Philosophy. 412-120; Calderwood, Moral Philosophy; Gregory, Christian Ethics, 112-122: Wuttke. Christian Ethics, 2 : 80-107; Talbot, Ethical Prolegomena, in Bap.Quar., July, 1877,257-274: "The ground of all moral law is the nature of God, or the ethical nature of God in relation to the like nature in man, or the imperativeness of the divine nature." Plato: "The divine will is the fountain of all efficiency; the divine reason is the fountain of all law; the divine nature is the fountain of all virtue." For further discussion of the subject, see section on the Law of God. See also Thorn well, Theology 1: 383-373; Hinton, Art of Thinking, 47-62; Goldwin Smith, in Contemporary Review,' March, 1882, and Jan., 1884; H. D. Smith, System of Theology, 195-211, esp. 223. Holiness is the goal of man's spiritual career; see 1 Thess. 3 :13—" To the end he mar stablish jour hearts unblamable in holiness before oar God and Father." The greatest recent work on the general subject is that of James Martineau, Types of Ethical Theory.