De Moor IV:18: The Infinity and Perfection of the Divine Being, Part 2

But, that thus God in a manner agreeing with Himself possesses an Infinity of Perfections, and is not merely called and conceived of by us as Infinite according to our impotence, while actually He is not such in Himself, as Hobbes maintains, see COCQUIUS’ Anatomen Hobbesianismi, locus VI, chapter XII, page 125; our AUTHOR proves, α. From the enumeration of the individual Perfections made in the Scripture; β. And from the exclusion of all Imperfections. γ. Especially from the Sufficiency of God asserted in the Scripture, or that Perfection of God whereby He is in fact of Himself and to Himself, and is able of Himself to be to all others by the fruition of Him all in all, Genesis 17:1;[1] Acts 17:25: from the Blessedness of God, 1 Timothy 6:15, since it is nothing other than the same Infinite Perfection of God and Omnisufficiency, insofar as this immense amplitude of His Perfection God understands perfectly, in such a way that He reposes in it with consummate tranquility. From His Glory and Majesty, Matthew 6:13; Job 37:22, which, if I might make use of the words of WITSIUS, Miscellaneorum Sacrorum, tome 2, Exercitation I, § 21, page 22, “is that venerable eminence, and most august splendor, which from the infinitude of all God’s Perfections joined together shines, and in all His works glimmers with the most brilliant light, and obliges all rational creatures to admiration and reverence.” From His Goodness, Matthew 19:17, concerning which below in § 41. From His Greatness, Psalm 145:3, just as what is immense both in its Infinity of Essence, and in the amplitude of its Perfections, is declared to exceed the perfection of whatever creature, since there is no proportion between the infinite and the finite. But thus God is not at all indicated to be Corporeal; as Hobbes frivolously repeats that he does not know in what sense anything is able to be called greatest or great, if it be not a Body: against which assertion compare COCQUIUS in his Anatome Hobbesianismi, locus VI, chapter XII, page 112. Not even with Vorstius should you believe that God is thus pronounced Great, not only with respect to Quality, but also with respect to Quantity, although not the crass and sensible Quantity agreeing with Bodies, but spiritual and divine, or agreeing with divine substance, in his Notes on Disputation III de Deo, pages 238-242, comparing HEINRICH ALTING’S[2] Theologiam problematicam novam, locus III, question XI, pages 183-185. From His Loftiness, Psalm 92:8; compare above in § 5, where it is treated of the name עֶלְיוֹן/Elyon, lofty, the highest. From His Incomparability, Isaiah 40:25, which in turn arises from His Infinity, unto which a finite creature has absolutely no proportion, so that all finite perfections, no matter how many times taken and repeated, never equal or exceed the Infinite Perfection of God. Finally, from the asserted Incomprehensibility of God also, or that supereminent Perfection of God, whereby He is able perfectly to be known by no mind except His own, as He is in Himself; concerning which Job 11:7-9, and § 11 above. This Incomprehensibility arises in turn from the Infinity of God and of His Perfections, which indicates no proportion to the finite intellect, such that however often the finite mind might return to meditation concerning God, it always understands infinitely less than what remains to him to be understood concerning God. To which, δ. is added the common notion of all, when they discuss God. For, although there be a great divergence of opinions in conceiving and attributing to God these or those Attributes, in this one thing all agree, however many are not plainly Atheists, that by the name of God is understood an infinitely Perfect Being, than which there is nothing greater and more excellent. Indeed, it happens by the error of men, that either in practice they hold created things as Gods, or in theory also they sometimes ascribe to that highest Being those things that actually argue imperfection; yet no one attributes to it anything that he does not at least esteem to denote a Perfection. ε. No one is able to doubt of this Infinity and Consummate Perfection of God, if he will but attend to the Independence of God, which, when we discourse concerning God, we ought always to set before our eyes. Now, what is Independent is as perfect as it is possible to be. But, what is as Perfect as it is possible to be is infinitely perfect. Therefore, what is Independent is Infinitely Perfect. The Major is certain: for whatever is not as perfect as it is able to be, that is dependent upon a possible perfection that is able to be added to it, and to this exent is not absolutely Independent. The Minor is no less certain; seeing that a thing is finitely perfect, because something greater is able to be added to it. But what is as perfect as it is able to be, nothing is able to be added to it. And so necessarily that which is as perfect as it is able to be is Infinitely Perfect. It remains, therefore, that God, because He is Independent, is Infinitely Perfect: consult GROTIUS in his de Veritate Christianæ Religionis, book I, § 4, 5.

Our AUTHOR advises that the Singularity of God does not hinder; for God is an altogether singular Being, indivisible in Himself and separated from all other things: but this Singularity does not remove His Eminent Complex/Embracing of all.

It is immediately understood that this Infinity of God extends itself to His Essence, to the Faculties just now expounded, and finally to all the Properties following, and these individually also: for whatever is Infinite in any way, that is Infinite in every way; and whatever is finite in any way, that is finite in every way: because a mixture of the Finite and the Infinite, things having no proportion, is inconceivable.

[1] Genesis 17:1: “And when Abram was ninety years old and nine, the Lord appeared to Abram, and said unto him, I am the Almighty God (אֵ֣ל שַׁדַּ֔י, El Shaddai); walk before me, and be thou perfect.”

[2] Heinrich Alting (1583-1644) was a German Reformed divine, specializing in Ecclesiastical History and Historical Theology. He served as Professor of Theology at Heidelberg (1613-1622), and then Professor of Historical Theology at Groningen (1627-1644).

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