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God is a Spirit.
WHAT is God?
HAT is God?
A. God is a Spirit, infinite, eternal, and unchangeable in his Being, Wisdom, Power, Holiness, Justice, Goodness, and Truth.
Q. s. Can the Nature of God be defined, fo as Men may, exprefs properly and frictly what God is ?
A. No: Job xi. 7. Canft thou by searching and out God? canft thou find out the Almighty unto Perfection
We do then conceive most rightly of God, when we acknowledge him to be unconceivable; and therefore one being aked the Question, what God is ? answered rightly; If I fully knew that, I should be a God myself;- for God only knows his own Effence. Q. 2. How many Ways are there by which Men may
know and describe the Nature of God, though still with imper. fect Knowledge ?
A. There are two Ways of knowing God in this Life; First, by Way of Affirmations affirming that of God by Way of Eminence, which is excellent in the Creature; as when we affirm him to be wise, good, merciful, &c. Secondly, by Way of Negation, when we remove from God in our Conceptions all that is imperfect in the Creature: So we fay God is immense, infinite, immutable; and in this Sense we also call him a Spirit, i.e. he is not a grofs corporeal Substance. Q. 3.
How many sorts of Spirits are there! And of which Sort is God?
A. There be two Sorts of Spirits, created and finite ; as Angels, and the Souls of Men are. Secondly, uncreated, and infinite ; and fueh a Spirit God only is, infinitely above all other Spirits.
Q. 4. If God be a Spirit, in what Sense are we to underfand all those Scriptures, which speak of the Eyes of the Lord, the Ears and Hard of God
A. We are to understand them as Expressions of God, in Condescention to the Weakness of our Underfandings; even' as the Glory of Heaven is expreft to us in Scripture by a
City, and the Royal Feast. These Shadows are useful to, us whilst we are in the Body; but we hall know him in Heaven after a more perfect Manner.
Q. 5. What may be inferred from the Spiritual Nature of God?
A. Hence learn, that it is both sinful and dangerous to frame an Image or Picture of God. Who can make an Image of his Soul? which yet is not so perfect a Spirit as God is? And as it is finful to attempt it, so it is impossible to do it; Deut. iv. 15; 16. Take ye therefore good heed unto jourselves; for ye law no Manner of Similitude on the Day that the Lord spoke 1o you in Horeb out of the midst of the Fire; left ye corrupt yourselves, and make you a graven Image, the Similitude of any-Figure, &c.
Q. 6. What else may be inferred from thence ?
A. That our Souls are the moft noble and excellent Part of us, which most resembles God, and therefore our chief Regard and Care should be for them, whatever becomes of the vile Body, Mat. xvi. 26. For what is a Man profited if he gain the whole world, and lose his own Soul? Or what fall a Man giye in Exchange for his Soul ?
Q.7 . What further Truth may be inferred hence ?
A. That Men should beware of fpiritual Sins, as well as' of gross and outward Sins; for there is a Filthiness of the Spirit, as well as of the Flesh, 2 Cor. vii. 1. Let'us cleanse ourselves from all Filthiness of Flesh and Spirit ; and as God sees them, so he greatly abhors them, as Sins that defile the noblest Part of Man, on which he stamped his own Image.
Q. 8. What also may be inferred from hence:
A. Hence we learn, that fpiritual Worship is most agreeable to his Nature and Will; and the more spiritual it is, the more acceptable it will be to him, John iv. 24. God is a Spirit, and they that worship him, must worship him in Spirit and in Truth. Externals in worship are of little Regard with God; as places, Habits, Gestures, &c.
Secondly, To Children that fay a Prayer, but mind not to whom, nor what they fay,
Of God's Infinity. Quest. I. HAT is the Senfe and Meaning of this
Word [Infinity ?)...!!!! A. It fignifies that which hath no bounds or Limits, within which it is contained, as all created 'Chings are.
R. 2. In how many Respects is God infinite ?
First, In Respect of the Perfection of his Nature; his Wisdom, Power, and Holiness, exceed all Measures and Limits; as 1 Sam. ii. 2. There is none holy as the Lord, &c. Secondly, In Respect of Time and Place; no Time can meafure him, Ifai lvii. 215. Thus faith the bigh and lafty One, that inhabiteth Eternity, i Kings, viii. 27.. Bebeld the Hebven of Heavens cannot contain thee, barw much less this House which I have built? The Heaven of Heavens contains all created Beings; but not the Creator. Thirdly, in Respect of his Incomprehenfibleness, by the Understanding of all Creatures, Job xi. 7. Canft tbou by searching find out God? canft thou find out tbe Almighty to Perfeétion?
3. If God be thus infinite, and no Undertanding can comprehend him, how then is it said in 1 John iii. 2. W fall see him as he is?
A. The Meaning is not, that glorified Saints fhall comprehend God in their Understandings ; but that they fal} have a true apprehenfive Knowledge, though not a comprehensive Knowledge of God: And that we all see him immediately, and not as we do now thorough a Glafs darkly.
Q. 4. What is the first Lesson ' to be learnt from God's Infinity?
A. That therefore Men should tremble to fin even in Secret, Pfal. cxxxix. 11. If I say, surely the Darkness fall cover me, even the Night foall be Light about me.
Q. 5. What is the second Inkruction from hence?
A. The fecond Instruction is, That there is an infinite Evil in Sin, objectively considered, as it is committed against an infinite God; and therefore it deferves eternal Punishment; and no Satisfaction can poflblybe made for it, but by the Blood of Christ, 1 Pet. i. 18. Forasmuch as ye know that
je were not redeemed with corruptible Things, as Silver and Gold -but with the precious Blood of Christ.
Q. 6. What is the third Instruction from God's Infinity? CA. The third Inftruction is, That those who are reconciled to God in Christ, need not fear his Ability to perform any Meroy for them; sfor' he is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we can ask or think, Eph. iii. 20. And thote that are not reconciled, are in a very miserable Condition, having infinite Power' fet on work to punith them, 2 Thef. i. 9. Who shall be punished with everlasting Destruction from the Presence of the Lord, and
from the Glory of his Power.
Q. 7. What is the fourth Inftrudion from God's Infinity?
A. That no Place can bar the Access of gracious. Souls to God. They are as near him in a Dungeon, as when at Liberty; and that he knows their Thoughts, when their Tongues. cannot utter them.
[Eternal. ] Queft. 1. HAT is it to be eternal as God is?
A. The Eternity of God is, to be without Beginning and without End. Pfal. xe. 2. From everlasting to everlofting thou art God.
Q. 2. How doth God's Eternity differ from the Eternity of Angels, and humane Souls ?
A. It differs in two Respects; First, In this, That tho' Angels, and the Souls of Men shall have no End;"yet they had à Beginning, which God had not; Secondly, Our Eternity is by Gift from God, or by his Appointment;' but his Eternity is necessary, and from his own Nature,
Q. 3. In what Sense is the Covenant called an everlasting Covenant !
A. The Covenant is called an everlasting Covenant, 2 Sam. xxiii. 5. because the Mercies of it, coveyed to Believers, as Pardon, Peace, and Salvation, are Mercies that shall have no End..i
Q.4. In what Sense is the Gospel everlasting?
6. because the Effects thereof upon the Souls it fan&tifies, will abide in them for ever.
Q. 5. In what Sense is the Redemption of Christ called the eternal Redemption ?
A. The Redemption of Christ is called eternal Redemption in Heb. ix. 12. because those whom he redeems by his Blood, shall never more come into Condemnation, John v. 24. He that heareth my Word, and believeth on him that sent me, bath everlasting Life, and shall not come into Condemnation, but is passed from Death to Life.
Q. 6. Why is the last Judgment of the World by Christ, called eternal Judgment?
A. The last Judgment is called eternal Judgment, not because God judged men from Eternity, or because the Day of Judgment Thall last to Eternity; but because the Confequences of it will be everlasting Joy or Misery to the Souls of Men; therefore it is called eternal Judgment, Heb. vi. 2.
Q. 7: What may wicked Men learn from the Eternity of God?
A. Hence wicked Men may see their own Misery in the Perfection of it, that they will have an eternal Enemy to avenge himself upon them for ever, in the World to come, 2 Theff
. 1. 9. Who shall be punished with everlasting Destruction, from the Presence of the Lord.
Q. 8.. What may good Men learn from it?
Ā. That their Joy and Happiness will be perfect and endless, who have the eternal God for their Portion, Psalm xvi. 11. In thy Presence is Fulness of Joy, at thy right Hand there are pleasures for evermore.
Q. 9. What may all Men, good and bad, learn from it?
A. All Men may learn three Things from the Eternity of God. First, That their Life is a Thing of Nought, compared with God, Psal. xxxix. 5. Mine Age is nothing before thee. Secondly, That Sins, or Duties, long since committed, or performed, are all present before God. Thirdly, That God can never want Opportunity to do his work, and carry on his Designs in the World. All Time is in the Hand of the eternal God, Rev. xii. 12. The Devil is come down unto jou, having great Wrath, because he knoweth that he hath but a short Time.