De Moor IV:32: Defense of Divine Eternity without Succession, Part 2



β. That He exists immutably the Same, Psalm 102:26, 27. Of course, there in the context the omnimodal Eternity of God is taught with compete clarity: both in parts, when not only is a Beginning removed from God, inasmuch as He was before the foundation of the earth and the fashioning of the heavens, verse 25, and an End, as the one who endures forever, verse 13, and whose years are from generation to generation, verse 24, whose years shall have no end, verse 27; but also all Succession, when He is said to endure, וְאַתָּ֪ה תַ֫עֲמֹ֥ד, thou shalt endure, without any mutation, verse 26, and to be the Same, וְאַתָּה־הוּא, and thou art the same, verse 27: but he is not ever the Same, from whom something is taken away almost every moment that passes, and to whom something is added with almost every moment that comes. And conjointly also this most constant Eternity of God is taught, when the Duration of God is set over against the mutability of the most constant things that have a beginning, an end, and succession, verses 25 and 26: compare what things out of AUGUSTINE’S Enarratione upon this Psalm VRIESIUS cites in his Exercitatione Rationali VIII, § 3. In John 8:58, πρὶν Ἀβραὰμ γενέσθαι, ἐγώ εἰμι, before Abraham was, I am; not ἐγὼ ἦν, I was: concerning which passage miserably vexed by the Socinians see below, Chapter V, § 21. With which agrees the Inscription of the Delphic Temple τοῦ Εἶ, of thee that art, concerning which PLUTARCH wrote an entire book, περὶ τοῦ Εἶ τοῦ ἐν Δελφοῖς, Concerning thee that art at Delphi, which is found in his Operibus, tome 2, pages 384 and following, in which he contends among other things, that the word Εἶ, which signifies Thou art, is applicable in the highest degree to God, and to God alone, since He alone exists ever the Same without any mutation or succession of existence and subsistence: the same particular passage upon this matter out of Plutarch, pages 391 at the end, 392, 393, is cited by EUSEBIUS, Præparatione Euangelica, book XI, chapter XI, pages 527-529. These things are certainly to be preferred to those that in Plutarch’s cited book, page 385, precede concerning Εἶ signifying the quinary Number, which some applied to the five Wisemen of Greece; ει in the place of ε,[1] from the interchangeable pronunciation of this vowel and diphthong, which the Greeks formerly pronounced promiscuously: although JOSEPH SCALIGER prefers this account, Animadversionibus in Chronologica Eusebii, page 112a, compare ROSSAL,[2] de Christo per errorem in Chrestum commutato, chapter X, pages 59, 60. To these things many other arguments of the Ancient Philosophers are able to be joined concerning the present Existence of God without past or future, which sort out of PLATO EUSEBIUS cites in his Præparatione Euangelica, book XI, chapter IX, pages 524, 525, where you will also find these things: Τὰ τοιαῦτα γὰρ μέρη χρόνου, τὸ ἦν, καὶ ἔσται· ἃ δὴ φέροντες λανθάνομεν ἐπὶ τὴν ἀΐδιον οὐσίαν, οὐκ ὀρθῶς· λέγομεν γὰρ δὴ, ὡς ἦν, ἐστί τε, καὶ ἔσται· τῇ δὲ, τὸ ἔστι μόνον, κατὰ τὸν ἀληθῆ λόγον προσήκει· τὸ δὲ ἦν, καὶ τὸ ἔσται, περὶ τὴν ἐν χρόνῳ γένεσιν οὖσαν πρέπει λέγεσθαι· κινήσεις γάρ ἐστον τὸ δὲ ἀεὶ κατὰ τὰ αὐτὰ ἔχον ἀκινήτως, οὔτε πρεσβύτερον οὔτε νεώτερον προσήκει γίνεσθαι διὰ χρόνον, etc., For all these are parts of time, the was and shall be; which we without thought transfer even to the eternal Essence, but incorrectly: For we say that it was, and is, and shall be: But to this essence the is alone is truly appropriate; and the was and the will be are proper to be spoken of the generation in time, for both words signify motion: But to that which is always immovably in the same conditions it belongs not to become either older or younger through time, etc.


Eusebius

[1] Ε is the fifth letter in the Greek alphabet.


[2] Michael Rossal (1674-1744) served as the librarian of the University of Groningen from 1727 to 1744.

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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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