The Attributes of God
The Attributes of God
THE ATTRIBUTES OF GOD
The OMNIPRESENCE of God
God is infinite. All created beings are finite. The Greek word for "infinite" signifies "without bounds or limits." God is not confined to any place. He is infinite, and so is present in all places at once. His center is everywhere. "In no place is God's Being either confined or excluded," Augustine. "Behold, the heaven and heaven of heavens cannot contain you." The Turks build their temples open at the top, to show that God cannot be confined to them-but is in all places by his presence. God's essence is not limited either to the regions above, or to the terrestrial globe-but is everywhere. As philosophers say of the soul, "the soul is in every part of the body," in the eye, heart, foot; so we may say of God, his essence is everywhere; his circuit is in heaven, and in earth, and sea, and he is in all places of his circuit at once. "This is to be infinite." God, who bounds everything else, is himself without bounds. He sets bounds to the sea, "Hitherto shall you come, and no further!" He sets bounds to the angels; they, like the cherubim, move and stand at his appointment, but he is infinite, without bounds. He who can span the heavens, and weigh the earth in scales, must needs be infinite!
Vorstius maintains that God is in all places at once-but not in regard of his essence; but by his virtue and influence: as the body of the sun is in heaven, it only sends forth its beams and influences to the earth; or as a king, who is in all places of his kingdom authoritatively, by his power and authority-but he is personally on his throne.
God, who is infinite, is in all places at once, not only by his influence-but by his essence; for, if his essence fills all places, then he must needs be there in person. Jer 23:34. "Do not I fill heaven and earth?"
But does not God say that heaven is his throne?
It is also said, that a humble heart is his throne. The humble heart is his throne, in regard to his gracious presence; and heaven is his throne, in regard to his glorious presence; and yet neither of these thrones will hold him, for the heaven of heavens cannot contain him.
But if God is infinite in all places-he is in impure places, and mingles with impurity.
Though God is in all places, in the heart of a sinner by his inspection, and in hell by his justice-yet he does not mingle with the impurity, or receive the least tincture of evil. "The divine nature does not intermix with created matter, nor is contaminated by its impurities," Augustine. No more than the sun shining on a dunghill is defiled, or its beauty spotted; or than Christ going among sinners was defiled, whose Godhead was a sufficient antidote against infection.
God must needs be infinite in all places at once, not only in regard to the simplicity and purity of his nature-but in regard to his power, which being so glorious, who can set bounds to him, or prescribe him a circuit to walk in? It is as if the drop should limit the ocean, or a candle set bounds to the sun.
Use one: If God is infinite, present in all places at once, then it is certain he governs all things in his own person, and needs no proxies or deputies to help him to carry on his government. He is in all places in an instant, and manages all affairs both in the earth and heaven. A king cannot be in all places of his kingdom in his own person, therefore he is forced to govern by deputies and viceregents, and they often pervert justice. But God, being infinite, needs no deputies, he is present in all places, he sees all with his own eyes, and hears all with his own ears; he is everywhere in his own person, therefore is fit to be the judge of the world; he will do everyone right.
Use two: If God is infinite by his omnipresence, then see the greatness and immenseness of the divine majesty! What a great God do we serve! "Yours, O Lord, is the greatness,