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in conferring rewards on the holy, and inflicting punishment on the unholy, and respects the future state, as well as the present.
-That God possesses this perfection may be argued from the consideration, that He knows what is right, and has power to do what is right, and has a disposition to do what is right;- from the displays of His justice in the moral world;--and from the Sacred Scriptures.(m)
Q. 14. What is meant by the mercy of God? and how is it proved?
A. Mercy in God means a disposition to bestow, and the actually bestowing, good upon the illdeserving, or pardon and salvation upon sinful men.*
-That God possesses this perfection, we have abundant proof from the gift of His Son, His forbearance with sinners, His provision of the means of salvation, His proffers of eternal happiness, and from express declarations of His Word.(")
Q. 15. What is meant by the truth of God? and how is it proved?
1. Truth in God means the perfect veracity of His disposition, and the accordance of His declarations with the real state of things, His faithfulness in fulfilling His promises, in executing His threatenings, and in accomplishing His predictions. This perfection of God may be proved from His other moral perfections, from His conduct, and from His Word.)
(m) Ps. 119. 137. Righteous art thou, O Lord, and upright are thy judgments.
(n) Eph. 2.4, 5. But God who is rich in mercy, for his great, love where with he loved us, even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ.
(o) Numb. 23. 19. God is not a man, that he should lie, neither the Son of man, that he should repent; hath he said, and shall he not do it? or hath he spoken, and shall he not make it good.
* Mercy when considered as an act of God is frequently in the Scriptures, and also in the writings of Divines, used as synonymous with grace; though in their strict and natural sense these words differ. And in this sense, mercy means good shown to the miserable, without reference to desert; and grace, good shown to the ill-deserving.
Q. 16. Is incomprehensibility a perfection of God?
A. It ought not to be considered as such, for it is presumed He is known to Himself. His incomprehensibility arises solely from our incapacity to comprehend Him. God is infinite; we are finite; and it is impossible that finite beings should comprehend the infinite God. He must, therefore, of necessity be incomprehensible to us in His nature, purposes, and works.(P) Q. 17.
In what does the greatness of God consist?
A. In the infinitude of His natural perfections. Q. 18. What are these perfections? A. They are self-existence, eternity, immutability, omnipresence, omniscience, omnipotence, independence, and unity.
Q. 19. In what does the glory of God consist?
Ă. In His moral perfections. His natural perfections, considered in themselves, are neither morally good nor bad. They derive their real glory from His moral perfections, being exercised under their influence (9)
Q. 20. What are the moral perfections of God?
H. They are goodness, wisdom, holiness, justice, mercy, and truth.
Q. 21. In what may the whole moral character of God be summed up, or briefly comprised?
A. In holiness, benevolence, or love, which may be considered as nearly synonymous. All God's
(p) Job. 11. 7. Canst thou by searching find out od? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?
(9) Ex. 33. 18, 19. And he said, I beseech thee show me thy glory. And he said I will make all my goodness pass before thee, and I will proclaim the name of the Lord before thee, and will be gracious to whom I will be gracious, and will show mercy on whom I will show mercy.
moral perfections are but so many different modifications of holiness, benevolence, or love.(")
(r) Isa. 6. 3. And one cried unto another, and said Holy, holy, holy, is the Lord of hosts; the whole earth is full of his glory:
(s) 1 John 4. 8. He that loveth not, knoweth not God; for God is love.
Trinity. Q. 1. Do the Scriptures teach the Doctrine of three persons in the one essence in the Godhead?
A. They teach, that there is one God, numerically one in essence and attributes, and that, in this one God, there is a three-fold subsistence or distinction, or three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, possessing numerically the same essence, and the same perfections, so far as made known to
This mode of existence is peculiar to the Great Jehovah. In the one self-existent Being, there is a something, as the ground for His existing Trinity in Unity.(a)
(a) Matt. 28. 19. Go ye, therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. 2. Cor. 13. 14. The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ, and the love of God, 'the Father,) and the communion of the Holy Ghost, be with you all. Amen. 1 John 5.7. For there are three that bear record in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost, and these three
2 Thess. 3. 5. And the Lord, (the Holy Ghost) direct your hearts into the love of God, (the Father,) and into the patient waiting for Christ. Gen. 1. 26. And God said, let us make man in our image, after our likeness. Gen. 3. 22. And the Lord God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us to know good and evil. Gen. 11. 7. Go to, let us go down, and there confound their language, that they may not understand one another's speech. Isa. 6.8. Also I heard ihe voice of the Lord, saying, whom shall I send, and who will go for us? Isa. 48. 16. And now the Lord God, and his Spirit hath sent me. Gal. 1.7. Grace be to you and peace from God the Father, and from our Lord Jesus Christ. i Pet.
Q. 2. Why is the term person used in reference to the Trinity in the Godhead?
A. Because distinct personal attributes or properties, and acts, are ascribed to the Father, to the Son, and to the Holy Ghost; and that the three personal pronouns I, Thou, and He are in Scripture, and may, properly be, applied to them. This lays
, the foundation for using the term, though its meaning, when applied to the Trinity, is not the same in all respects, as when applied to men. better term can be found to convey our ideas of the three-fold subsistence in the Godhead.
Q. 3. Is the doctrine of the Trinity taught in the Sacred Scriptures only?
A. It is;—they only reveal it. Q. 4. Are the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, each truly, and essentially divine?
A. They are. In the Scriptures, to each Person, divine names and titles are given, divine attributes, prerogatives, and works are ascribed, divine offices are assigned, and divine worship and honours are paid. Surely then, the Father must be God, the Son must be God, and the Holy Spirit must be God.(5)
1.2. Elect according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, through sanctification of the Spirit unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ. Num. 6. 24-26, and Isa. 6.3.
(b) Jude 1. Jude the servant of Jesus Christ, and brother of James, to them that that are sanctified by God the Father. John 4.23. But the hour cometh, and now is, when the true worshippers shall worship the Father in spirit and in truth; for the Father seeketh such to worship him. Isa. 9. 6. For unto us a child (Christ) is born, unto us a son is given, and the government shall be upon his shoulder, and his name shall be called, Wonderful, Counseller, the mighty God, the everlasting Father, the Prince of Peace. John 1. 1. In the beginning was the Word (Christ) and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, John 10.30. I and my Father are one. John 20. 28. And Thomas answered, and said unto him (Christ) My Lord and my God Heb. 1.8. But unto the Son he (the Father) saith, Thy throne, O God, is forever and ever; a sceptre of righteousness is the sceptre of thy king