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Thus God is omnipotent, and God only. For if the power of all things beside God be the power of God, as derived from him, and subordinate unto him, and his own power from whence that is derived can be subordinate to none, then none can be omnipotent but God.
Again, we say, that God the Father is Almighty; but then we cannot say, that the Father only is Almighty: for the reason why we say the Father is Almighty, is because he is God; and therefore we cannot say that he only is Almighty, because it is not true that he only is God'. Whosoever then is God, hath the same reason and foundation of omnipotency which the Father hath, and consequently is to be acknowledged properly and truly omnipotent as the Father is. But we have already shewed that the Son of God is truly God; and shall hereafter shew that the Holy Ghost is also God, and that by the same nature by which the
Father is God. The Father therefore is Almighty, because 290 the Father is God; the Son Almighty, because the Son is
God; and the Holy Ghost Almighty, because the Holy Ghost is God. The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are God, by the same Divinity: therefore, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are omnipotent by the same omnipotency. The Father then is not called Almighty by way of exclusion, but is here mentioned with that attribute peculiarly, because the power of God answereth particularly to the right hand of God, as being the right hand of power? The Father therefore is here described by the notion of Almighty, to shew,
γάρ είναι τω θεώ δυνατά νομίζει, και
1 'Non ergo quispiam audebit
Catechum. 1. ii. c. 3. (8 6. Augustin.
Nor is it unusual in other authors
cæptis.' Hoc epitheton interdum ad gloriam Numinis ponitur, interdum ad causam dicentis. Namque hoc loco dicendo omnipotens ostendit eum etiam his, qui per se minus valent, præstare posse virtutem.'
that Christ having ascended into heaven, and being set down at the right hand of God, is invested with a greater power than he exercised before : and that power which was then actually conferred upon him, acknowledgeth no bounds or
limits; but all power in the ultimate extent of its infinity is Matt. xxviii. given unto him, who is set down on the right band of him
who is God the Father; and, being so, is therefore truly and properly Almighty.
It is necessary to profess belief in God Almighty; first, because the acknowledgment of his omnipotency begetteth
that fear and reverence, submission and obedience, which is Deut. I. 17. due unto his infinite Majesty. Our God is a great God, a Luke xi 6. mighty, and a terrible; therefore terrible because mighty. I
will forewarn you (saith our Saviour) whom ye shall fear: Fear him, which after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell; yea, I say unto you, fear him. Three times we are commanded to fear, and one only reason rendered, but sufficient for a thousand fears, the power of him who is able eternally to punish us. God gave a general command to Abraham, and
with it a powerful persuasion to obedience, when he said unto Gen. xvii. 1. him, I am the Almighty God; walk before me, and be thou
perfect. It was a rational advice which the apostle giveth us, Humble yourselves under the mighty hand of God, that he may
exalt you in due time. And it is a proper incentive to the Jam. iv. 12. observation of the law of God, to consider that he is the one
Lawgiver, who is able to save and to destroy.
Secondly, the belief of God's omnipotency is absolutely necessary, as the foundation of our faith. All the miracles, which have been seen, were therefore wrought, that we might believe; and never miracle had been seen, if God were not omnipotent. The objects of our faith are beyond all natural and finite power; and did they not require an infinite activity, an assent unto them would not deserve the name of faith. If God were not Almighty, we should believe nothing; but being he is so, why should we disbelieve any thing'? What can
1 Pet. v. 6.
1 This was the argument which the Pythagoreans used, who believed many miraculous actions, which others looked upon as fabulous; because they would disbelieve nothing, which was referred to the Divine power: and the reason of
that was, because they thought all things possible to God, as we shewed before. Tốp TotoÚTop 5ề (saith Iamblichus, having related several strange actions, either fabulous or miraculous) των δοκούντων μυθικών απομνημονεύουσιν, ώς ουδέν άπιστούντες και τι ών εις το
God propound unto us which we cannot assent unto, if we can believe that he is omnipotent?
Thirdly, It is not only necessary in matters of bare faith, and notions of belief, but in respect of the active and operative reliance upon the promises of God. This was the particular confidence of Abraham the father of the faithful, who staggered Roni. iv. 20, not at the promise of God through unbelief: but was strong in faith, giving glory to God; and being fully persuaded
that what he had promised, he was able also to perform. 291
The promises of God are therefore firm and sure, because he
Lastly, The belief of God's omnipotency is necessary to
θείον ανάγηται· and whereas others looked
them as weak and simple people for giving credit to such fabu. Ioas relations, προς πάντα τα τοιαύτα ούχι αυτούς ευήθεις νομίζουσιν, αλλά TOUS AT LOTOûytas. Iambl. de Vit. Py.
thag. c. 28. [p. 117.)
1 'In Dei promissis nulla est fal. sitas, quia in faciendis nulla omnipo. tenti est difficultas.' Fulgentius, ad Monim. l. 1. [c. 12. p. 10.)
midst of all our temptations, than that we are invited to call F.ph. i 20. upon him in the day of trouble, who is able to do exceeding
abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us.
After this explication of our Saviour's session, we may conclude what every Christian ought, and may be supposed, to intend, when he maketh profession to believe, that Christ is set on the right hand of God the Father Almighty. For thereby he is conceived to declare thus much :
I assent unto this as a most infallible and necessary truth, that Jesus Christ, ascending into the highest heavens, after all the troubles and sufferings endured here for our redemption, did rest in everlasting happiness; he which upon earth had not a place to lay his head, did take up a perpetual habitation there, and sit down upon the throne of God, as a Judge, and as a King, according to his office of Mediator, unto the end of the world; according to that which he merited by his Mediatorship, to all eternity: which hand of God the Father Almighty signifieth an omnipotent power, able to do all things without any limitation, so they involve not a contradiction, either in themselves or in relation to his perfections. And thus I believe in Jesus Christ, who SITTETH AT THE RIGHT HAND OF GOD THE FATHER ALMIGHTY.
FROM THENCE HE SHALL COME TO JUDGE THE QUICK
AND THE DEAD. .
This Article containeth in it four particular considerations, and no more; First, That Christ, who is gone from us, shall come again. Secondly, That the place from whence he shall then come, is the highest heaven, to which he first ascended, for from thence he shall come. Thirdly, That the end for which he shall come, and the action which he shall perform when he cometh, is to judge ; for from thence he shall come to judge. Fourthly, That the object of that action, or the persons whom he shall judge, are all men, whether dead before, or then alive; for from thence shall he come to judge the quick and the dead.
For the illustration of the first particular, two things will be necessary, and no more; first, To shew that the promised Messias was to come again, after he once was come: secondly, To declare how our Jesus (whom we have already proved once to have come as the true Messias) did promise and assure us of a second coming
That the Messias was to come again, was not only certainly, but copiously foretold: the Scriptures did often assure us of a second advent. As often as we read of his griefs and humility, so often we are admonished of his coming to suffer; as often as we hear of his power and glory, so often we are assured of his coming to judge. We must not fancy with the Jews, a double Messias, one the son of Joseph, the other of David; one of the tribe of Ephraim, the other of Judah: but we must take that for a certain truth, which they have made an occasion of their error; that the Messias is twice to come, once in all humility, to suffer and die, as they conceived of
1 Or, from whence; the Latins τους ουρανούς, και πάλιν παραγενησο. sometimes inde, sometimes unde. μενον κριτήν πάντων απλών ανθρώπων And the Greek is ö Bev, unde, both in Mé Xpus avtoũ 'Adáno Dial. cum Tryph. the ancient MS. in Sir Robert Cotton's [c. 132. p. 362.] Others without inde library, and in the Creed of Marcellus. or unde, only venturus, as the Nicene But εκείθεν ερχόμενον, in the later Creed, épxóuevov kpival, [Socrat. 1. i. MS. in Bene't College Library. c. 8.) others tráli épxóuevov, [Labbe, Others neither ödev, nor ékeilev, but Vol. 11. p. 954 A.) or ņšovta málv, and Tálly, as Justin Martyr: 'Hueîs éméy (Venantius) Fortunatus, leaving out νωμεν Χριστόν Υιόν θεου σταυρωθέντα inde venturus, hath only judicaturus και αναστάντα, και ανεληλυθότα εις vivos et mortuos. (Miscell. l. xi. c. 1.)