De Moor IV:10: Arguments for the Existence of God: Conscience

When we contend for the Existence of God, it is not only to be proven that there is eternal Being, subsisting of itself, which perhaps no Atheist would deny: albeit this also is able to be proven from this, that if sheer Nothingness had ever existed, nothing would have ever received Essence. But in addition we propose this, that there is a most wise, most powerful, and supreme Being, which created and governs all things according to the good pleasure of His own will.[1] Now, that there is such a Being, which we call God, our AUTHOR proves from three Classes of testimonies, α. Conscience, β. Nature, γ. Scripture.


α. Indeed, Conscience supplies multiple arguments:


1. That innate in it is the sense of Divinity, or an inclination to assent to this proposition, God exists, is evident from experience, and we discourses concerning this in Chapter I, § 12: consult VRIESIUS’ Exercitationem Rationalem II, § 11.


2. By συντήρησιν/synteresis Conscience dictates a distinction, innate to it, of between shame and uprightness, which we treated at the same time in Chapter I, § 12, teaching that this natural Knowledge of the Law at the same time argues a Legislator, who impressed the mind with the Knowledge of His own will. Otherwise, it would not be possible in such a diversity personalities, that all would consent to such a degree in the distinction between shame and uprightness, if men were obliged to investigate and acquire for themselves from elsewhere the Knowledge of this distinction.


3. The innate Fear of Conscience is added, when by συνείδησιν/syneidesis[2] it is conscious of sins formerly perpetrated, even if the sins be hidden, and committed by the greatest Monarchs, who have no avenger of sins on earth to be feared: concerning which OVID in book I Fastorum, verses 485, 486.


As each man’s conscience is, so doth it, for his deeds,

conceive within his breast either hope or fear.


But this argues an omniscient and just Judge, a witness and avenger of the transgressions of His Law. Which we similarly urged in Chapter I, § 11, 12, in which the Consent of all Peoples and Men in the acknowledged Existence of God also was opened to us from this.

[1] Ephesians 1:5.


[2] That is, the remembrance and evaluation of past actions.

ABOUT US

Dr. Steven Dilday holds a BA in Religion and Philosophy from Campbell University, a Master of Arts in Religion from Westminster Theological Seminary (Philadelphia), and both a Master of Divinity and a  Ph.D. in Puritan History and Literature from Whitefield Theological Seminary.  He is also the translator of Matthew Poole's Synopsis of Biblical Interpreters and Bernardinus De Moor’s Didactico-Elenctic Theology.

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