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what means we come to assure ourselves of the existence of such a Deity, and upon what grounds we apprehend him of such a transcendent nature that he can admit no competitor; then may we be conceived to have sufficiently explicated the former part of the first Article ; then may every one understand what he says, and upon what ground he proceeds, when he professeth, I believe in God.
The name of God is attributed unto many, but here is to
be understood of him who by way of eminency and excellency Deut. x. 17. bears that name, and therefore is styled God of gods; the 18
Lord our God is God of gods, and Lord of lords : and in the same respect is called the most high God, (others being but inferior, or under him), and God over or above all'. This eminency and excellency, by which these titles become proper unto him, and incommunicable to any other, is grounded upon the Divine nature or essence, which all other who are called gods have not, and therefore are not by nature gods. Then when ye knew not God (saith St Paul) ye did service unto them which by nature are not gods. There is then a God by nature, and others which are called gods, but by nature are not so: for either they have no power at all, because no being, but only in the false opinions of deceived men, as the gods of the heathen; or if they have any real power or authority, from whence some are called gods” in the
Scripture, yet have they it not from themselves or of their 1 Tim. vi. 16. own nature, but from him who only hath immortality, and
consequently only Divinity, and therefore is the only true John xvii. & God. So that the notion of a Deity doth at last expressly
signify a Being or nature of infinite perfection"; and the infinite perfection of a nature or being consisteth in this, that it be absolutely and essentially necessary, an actual being of itself; and potential or causative of all beings beside itself, independent from any other, upon which all things else depend, and by which all things else are governed. It is true,
Gal. iv. 8.
1 'Inprimis quidem necesse est concedatis esse aliquem suhlimiorem Deum et mancipem quendam divini. tatis, qui ex hominibus Deos fecerit.' Tertull. A pol. c. 11.
2 'Ego dixi, Dii estis; sed in eo indulti nominis significatio est: et ubi refertur, ego dixi, loquentis potius est
sermo quam rei nomen.' S. Hilar. de Trin. 1. vii. c. 10. (p. 921 c.]
eus plenæ ac perfectæ divini. tatis est nomen. S. Hilar. de Trin. 1. xi. c. 48. [p. 1110.) «Deus substantiæ ipsius nomen, id est, divini. tatis.' Tertull. adv. Herm. c. 3.
indeed, that to give a perfect definition of God is impossible, neither can our finite reason hold any proportion with infinity; but yet a sense of this Divinity we have, and the first and common notion of it consists in these three particulars; that it is a Being of itself, and independent from any other; that it is that upon which all things which are made depend; that it governs all things. And this I conceive sufficient as to the first consideration, in reference to the notion of a God.
As for the existence of such a Being, how it comes to be Erottuu Pind. known unto us, or by what means we are assured of it, is not so unanimously agreed upon, as that it is. For although some have imagined that the knowledge of a Deity is connatural to the soul of man, so that every man hath a connate inbred notion of a God; yet I rather conceive the soul of man to have no connatural knowledge at all, no particular notion of any thing in it, from the beginning; but being we can have no assurance of its pre-existence, we may more rationally judge it to receive the first apprehensions of things by sense, and by them to make all rational collections. If then the soul of man be at the first like a fair smooth table, without any actual characters of knowledge imprinted in it; if all the knowledge which we have comes successively by sensation, instruction, and rational collection; then must we not refer the apprehension of a Deity to any connate notion or inbred opinion; at least we are assured God never chargeth us with the knowledge of him upon that account.
Again, although others do affirm, that the existence of God is a truth evident of itself, so as whosoever hears but these terms once named, that God is, cannot choose but acknowledge it for a certain and infallible truth upon the first
the first apprehension: that as no man can deny that the whole is greater than any part, who knoweth only what is meant by whole, and what by part : so no man can possibly deny or doubt of the existence of God, who knows but what is meant by God, and what it is to be ; yet can we not ground our knowledge of God's existence upon any such clear and immediate evidence: nor were it safe to lay it upon such a ground, because whosoever should deny it, could not by this means be convinced; it being a very irrational way of instruction to tell a man that doubts of this truth, that he must believe it because it is eviPEARSON.
dent unto him, when he knows that he therefore only doubts of it, because it is not evident unto him.
Athough therefore that, God is, be of itself an immediate, 19 certain, necessary truth, yet must it be evidenced and made apparent unto us by its connexion unto other truths; so that the being of the Creator may appear unto us by his creature, and the dependency of inferior entities lead us to a clear
acknowledgment of the supreme and independent Being. Wisd. xiii. 5. The wisdom of the Jews thought this method proper, for by
the greatness and beauty of the creatures, proportionably the
Maker of them is seen: and not only they, but St Paul hath Roni. i. 20. taught us, that the invisible things of God, from the creation
of the world, are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead'. For if
1 'Hæc propositio, Deus est, quan p. 538. col. 2. ed. 1656.] In which tum in se est, per se nota est, quia explication there is nothing which is prædicatum est idem cum subjecto. not forced and distorted; for though Deus enim est suum esse.
-Sed quia his first observation seem plausible, nos non scimus de Deo quid est, non yet there is no validity in it. He est nobis per se nota, sed indiget bringeth only for proof, Matt. xiii. 35, demonstrari per ea quæ sunt magis κεκρυμμένα από καταβολής κόσμου, , nota quoad nos, et minus nota quoad which proves not at all that and naturam, scilicet per effectus.' Aquin. KTLoews has the same sense: and it is Par. 1. qu. 2. art. 1.
more probable that it hath not, 2 This place must be vindicated because that is usually expressed by from the false gloss of Socinus, who år åpxñs krioews, Mark x. 6, and contends, that it cannot be proved xiii. 19, 2 Pet. iii. 4, never by dard from the creature that there is a God, κτίσεως. Besides, the κεκρυμμένα in and therefore to this place of St Paul St Matthew bears not that analogy answers thus: "Sciendum est verba, with aópata which Socinus pretends, a creatione mundi, debere conjungi signifying not things unseen or uncum verbo invisibilia-Ait igitur eo known till then, but only obscure sayin loco Apostolus, æternam divinitatem ings or parables; for which purpose Dei, id est, id quod nos Deus perpetuo those words were produced out of the facere vult (Divinitas enim hoc sensu Psalms by the Evangelist, to prove alibi quoque apud ipsum enunciatur, that the Messias was to speak in paraut Col. ii. 9), æternamque potentiam, bles, in the original 07paga niin id est, promissiones quæ nunquam LΧΧ. προβλήματα απ' αρχής, id est, intercident (quo sensu paulo superius wise ancient sayings, which were not dixerat Evangelium esse potentiam unseen and unknown, for it immediDei), hæc, inquam, quæ nunquam ately followeth, which we have heard postquam mundus creatus fuerat, ab and known, and our fathers have told hominibus visa fuerant, id est, non us, Psal. lxxviii. 3. And though he fuerant eis cognita, per opera, hoc would make out this interpretation, est, per mirabiles ipsius Dei et divi. by accusing other interpreters of unnorum hominum, præsertim vero faithfulness: Plerique interpretes, Christi et Apostolorum ejus, opera ex præpositione a, ex fecerunt, contra tiones, conspecta fuisse.' [Pralec ipsorum Græcorum codicum fidem, tiones Theologica, Lib. i. c. ii. vol. 1. qui non έκ κτίσεως, sed από κτίσεως
Phidias could so contrive a piece of his own work', as in it to preserve the memory of himself, never to be obliterated without the destruction of the work, well may we read the great Artificer of the world in the works of his own hands, and by the existence of any thing demonstrate the first cause of all things.
We find by the experience of ourselves, that some things in this world have a beginning, before which they were not; the account of the years of our age sufficiently infer our nativities, and they our conceptions, before which we had no being. Now if there be any thing which had a beginning, there must
habent:' yet there is no ground for properly the thing made or created, such & calumny, because and may not the operation or doing of it; as be, and is often rendered e or ex as KTlous is sometimes taken for the well as Èk, as Matt. üi. 4, ÅTÒ TP-X@v creature, sometimes for the creation, Kaunov, e pilis camelinis, vii. 4, ånd but ktioua is the creature only. As Toù oodaluoù sou, ex oculo tuo, 16, therefore we read, 1 Tim. iv. 4, Tây árò arayowv, ex spinis; and even in ktloua Oeoû kalóv, so Eph. i. 10, the sense which Socinus contends αυτού γάρ εσμεν ποίημα. In this for, Matt. xvii. 18, dtò tîs wpas sense spake Thales properly : Ilpeskeluns, V. T. ex illa hora, as Tully, βύτατον των όντων θεός, αγέννητον 1 de Fin. 51, 'Ex ea die,' and Virgil, γάρ κάλλιστον κόσμος, ποίημα γαρ • Ex illo Corydon, Corydon est tem Oeoù. Diog. Laert. [Thales, $ 35.] pore nobis,' Ecl. vii. 70, and, Tem The other interpretations, which he pore jam ex illo casus mihi cognitus was forced to, are yet more extravaurbis Trojanæ,' Æn. i. 623. So the gant: as when he renders the eternal Greek από μέρους the Latins render Godhead, that which God would ex parte, and toll loov, ex æquo: of always have us do,'or ‘his everlasting which examples are innumerable. will,' and proves that rendition by [Dr Burton refers to Matt. vii. 20, another place of St Paul, Col. ii. 9, xi. 19, xvi. 21; Luke xvii. 25; Acts “For in him dwelleth all the fulness ii. 22; Apoc. xii. 6.] There is no of the Godhead bodily;" that is, unfaithfulness then imputable to the says he, ‘all the will of God' (whereinterpreters: nor can such pitiful as it is most certain, that where the criticisms give any advantage to the Godhead is, especially where the first part of Socinus's exposition*. fulness, even all the fulness of the Howsoever the Catholicinterpretation Godhead is, there must be all the depends not on those words and attributes as well as the will of God): KTitews, but on the consideration of and when he interprets the eternal the persons, that is the Gentiles, and power to be 'the promises which shall the other words, ποιήμασι νοούμενα,
never fail;' and thinks he has suffiwhich he farther perverts, rendering ciently proved it, because the same them the miraculous operations of apostle calls the Gospel the power of Christ and his apostles, or, as one of God. For by this way of interpretaour learned men, their doings, mis tion no sentence of Scripture can have taking Toinua, which is from the any certain sense. passive πεποίημαι, for ποίησις, from 1 In the shield of Pallas, Arist. de the active εποίησα: for ποίημα is Mundo, c. vi. & 29.
* Dr Burton cites further, as fixing the meaning of ATÒ KTÍOEWS KÓCMOV, Arist. de Mundo, c. 6, $ 6: Plato apud Cyr. Alex. adv. Julian, iii. vol. vi. p. 97 D.
necessarily be something which had no beginning, because nothing can be a beginning to itself. Whatsoever is, must of necessity either have been made, or not made; and something there must needs be which was never made, because all things cannot be made. For whatsoever is made, is made by another, neither can any thing produce itself; otherwise it would follow, that the same thing is and is not at the same instant in the same respect: it is, because a producer; it is not, because to be produced: it is therefore in being, and is not in being; which is a manifest contradiction. If then all things which are made were made by some other, that other which produced 20 them either was itself produced, or was not: and if not, then have we already an independent being; if it were, we must at last come to something which was never made, or else admit either a circle of productions, in which the effect shall make its own cause, or an infinite' succession in causalities, by which nothing will be made: both which are equally impossible. Something then we must confess was never made, something which never had beginning. And although these effects or dependent beings, singly considered by themselves, do not infer one supreme cause and maker of them all, yet the admirable order and connexion of things shew as much; and this one supreme Cause is God. For all things which we see or know have their existence for some end, which no man who considereth the uses and utilities of every species can deny. Now whatsoever is and hath its being for some end, of that the end for which it is must be thought the cause; and a final cause is no otherwise the cause of any thing than as it moves the efficient cause to work : from whence we cannot but collect a prime efficient Cause of all things, indued with infinite wisdom, who having a full comprehension of the ends of all, designed, produced, and disposed all things to those ends.
Again, as all things have their existence, so have they also their operations for some end®; and whatsoever worketh so, must needs be directed to it. Although then those creatures
1 'Aλλά μήν ότι γ' έστιν αρχή τις, Ib. & 4. και ουκ άπειρα τα αίτια των όντων, , 2 Πόθεν δηλον, ει όλως έστι θεός; ούτ' εις ευθυωρίαν, ούτε κατ' είδος, 'Εκ της των όντων συστάσεώς τε και onlov. Aristot. Metaph. 1. i. [min.] dla povss. Justin. Quæst, et Resp. ad C. 2, § 1; and again : eltep und év Græcos, quæst. iii. 6. [p. 204 c.*] εστι πρώτον, όλως αίτιον ουθέν έστι. 3 'Εν όσοις τέλος εστί τι, τούτου
* This is not a genuine work of Justin.