Outline of the Doctrine of God

In this Chapter concerning GOD occurs:

I. A Nominal Treatment, or an Exposition of His Names, with which the Highest Deity is distinguished in Sacred Scripture. In which,

A. In General it is observed,

א. Negatively,

α. That God has no need of Names;

β. That no Name that expresses Him fully is given.

ב. Positively, that God nevertheless assumes various names, so that He might help us in the Knowledge and Worship of Him, § 1.

B. In Particular there is a discussion,

א. Concerning the Name God, of which

α. The Etymology is uncovered.

β. The true Signification is taught; in which

a. It is demonstrated that the Name of God in its first notion is a Name of Nature, not of Office or Power.

b. Which is defended against the Jews, the Socinians, and the Anabaptists, § 2.

ב. Concerning the many Greek and Hebrew Names or Synonyms; which

α. Are observed, either to be communicated sometimes to Creatures, and hence to be attributed to God with ἐπεξηγήσει/epexegesis, or are completely incommunicable without catachresis, § 3a. Now, the former are,

a. The Greek Names of the New Testament, especially Θεὸς/God and Κύριος/Lord, which are explained, § 3b.

b. The Hebrew Names of the Old Testament,

a. Concerning which in General it is asked, whether they are to be said to be precisely Ten according to the well-known enumeration of the Jews and of Jerome; which is denied, § 4.

b. An exposition of the Hebrew Names of God is subjoined,

1. Both a briefer exposition of the Names, אֵל/El, אֱלוֹהַּ/Eloah, שַׁדַּי/Shaddai, עֶלְיוֹן/Elyon, אָדוֹן/Lord, יָהּ/Yah, אֶהְיֶה/ Ehyeh, § 5:

2. And a more prolix exposition of the Name יְהוָה/Jehovah, which

§. Is considered

̸. According to the external Letter and Sound of the word; in which it is observed,

̅ . That it was known by the Patriarchs before Moses,

̲̅ . And was pronounced also,

̶̲̅ . Is better expressed by Jehovah, than by Adonai,

̶̲͇̅ . Appears to have been written with the genuine points, § 6.

̸ ̸. With respect to the Sense; in which

̅ . Its real Signification is explained, § 7a:

̲̅ . And hence it is deduced, that this Name is altogether Incommunicable and proper to God alone; which

†. Is proven,

††. Is defended against the Socinians, § 7b.

§§. An abuse of this Name is noted, § 8.

β. A threefold Communication of these Names is indicated,

a. Catachrestic,

b. Analogical,

c. Univocal, § 9.

II. A Real Treatment; in which

A. The Existence of God is proven, § 10

B. Inquiry is made into the Definition of God. Concerning which

א. It is observed;

α. Negatively, that a Perfect Definition is not able to be given,

a. Whether we have regard the rules of Logic,

b. Or attend to the Comprehension of the Divine Essence, which is impossible for a Creature. Which is held against the Socinians and Vorstius, § 11.

β. Positively, that nevertheless multi-faceted Description of God is given, among which facets this is best, that contains the Trinity of Persons in accordance with Essential Perfections, § 12a.

ב. The fullest Description of God is set forth in the fewest words possible, § 12b.

ג. In the Exposition of this Description notice is to be taken of:

α. The Quasi-Genus, in the place of which is held the Nature or Essence,

a. Which in general is demonstrated to be attributed to God with good reason, § 13a;

b. According to which in particular God is to be said to be Spirit, § 13b, 14a: hence,

a. Negatively it is proven, that He is Incorporeal, Invisible, Ineffigiable, § 14b. Which is held

1. Against the Anthropomorphites, whose Objections are resolved, § 14c;

2. Against the Papists, who worship and defend Images of the Triune God: whose error

§. Is more specifically refuted: and

§§. To whose Objections answer is made, § 15.

b. Positively it is considered as

1. True Substance, not therefore mere Cogitation.

2. Living and Active of Itself.

3. Provided with Faculties,

§. Of Intellect;

§§. Of Will, which is wont to be distributed into Hidden and Revealed, of Good Pleasure and of Sign;

§§§. Of Power operative ad extra, § 16.

β. The many Properties or Attributes partly occupy the place of Differentia in the Description, § 17-47: which are considered

a. Generally, in which

a. Is delivered a Description of the same, § 17a.

b. For the understanding of which it is observed, that

1. The Attributes are distinguished,

§. Not Really either from the Essence of God, or among themselves:

§§. But with respect to the Objects, Effects, and our Mode of conception, § 17b.

2. That all are comprehend in one complex, as it were, in God’s Infinity, or consummate and absolute Perfection, which is asserted concerning Him, § 18.

c. A Division of the Attributes is subjoined,

1. As Various,

2. Above all into Incommunicable and Communicable, analogically, of course, which Division our AUTHOR approves, § 19.

b. Specifically, in which

a. An Exposition of the Incommunicable Attributes is set forth first. These are:

1. Independence, which

§. Is Defined;

§§. This Definition is proven with respect to the substance of the matter, § 20.

§§§. This Perfection is considered in its breadth, as having regard to God’s

̸. Existence, which hence is Necessary,

̸ ̸. Essence,

̸ ̸ ̸. Faculties,

̅ . Of Intellect, not to be instructed from any other source;

̲̅ . Of Will, which hence is given no Antecedent or Condition;

̶̲̅ . Of Power, whence

†. It is proven that Omnipotence befits God.

††. This Power is distinguished into Actual and Absolute, § 21.

†††. To avert all sinister interpretation of the Divine Omnipotence, it is observed that, with His omnipotence not withstanding, God is not able to do certain things; which are surveyed, § 22.

2. Simplicity, which

§. Is Defined:

§§. This Definition is explained and confirmed,

̸. With respect to the Unity of Essence, which

̅ . Positively is proven.

̲̅ . Negatively various Errors are rejected, that are set in opposition to this Unity of the Divine Essence, § 23.

̸ ̸. With respect to the denial of all Real Composition, either of His Nature and Attributes, or of the Attributes among themselves. Which thesis

̅ . Is proven against the Socinians and Vorstius, § 24a.

̲̅ . At the same time it is shown against the Remonstrants, that this Question is not merely Metaphysical, of which not even a jot occurs in Scripture, § 24b

̶̲̅ . The denial of this sort of Composition in God is defended against the Objections of Adversaries, § 24c.

§§§. From the Simplicity of God thus expounded it is gathered as a Corollary,

̸. That no Partial Communication of the Divine Essence with Creatures obtains, against the Manicheans and Fanatics.

̸ ̸. That no Composition of God with Creatures is able to hold any place, § 25.

3. Immutability, which

§. Is Defined:

§§. This Definition is proven:

§§§. The breadth of this Object is explained:

§§§§. Hence it is deduced, that all Affections are to be removed from God, § 26.

4. Immensity, which embraces Omnipresence in itself. This

§. Is Defined:

§§. The truth of the Essential Immensity and Omnipresence of God,

̸. Is proven,

̸ ̸. Is defended against the Socinians and Remonstrants, § 27.

§§§. There is a discussion concerning the mode of the Essential Omnipresence against Recent Philosophers, § 28.

§§§§. This Attribute is defended as proper to God alone, § 29.

§§§§§. It is considered in its breadth, inasmuch as God by Immensity is also conceived to coexist with all possible Space, § 30.

5. Eternity, which

§. Is distinguished from Great Antiquity and Time and is defined:

§§. The Definition given is proven in parts, in which

̸. It is shown that the Eternity of God is without all Beginning and End, § 31.

̸ ̸. That the same is free from all Succession,

̅ . Is proven,

̲̅ . Is defended against the Socinians, § 32.

§§§. It is shown to befit God alone, § 33.

b. The Communicable Attributes of God,

1. In general are observed to be Three, Knowledge, which is referred to the Intellect; Goodness and Righteousness, which are referred to the Will.

2. They are expounded individually, and

§. In the first place, Knowledge, of which

̸. The Synonymy and Homonymy are set forth.

̸ ̸. A Definition is delivered, § 34, in the Explication of which

̅ . That most perfect Mode of the Divine Knowledge is distinctly set before the eyes, § 35.

̲̅ . The Object of Divine Knowledge is no less diligently explained, in which, among All the Things that God knows,

†. The various classes of things are surveyed, concerning which there is little controversy.

††. In particular are mentioned Future Free and Contingent Acts, which

AA. It is proven are known to God,

BB. And the same is defended against the Socinians, § 36.

̸ ̸ ̸. According to the reckoning of the Objects this Knowledge is called,

̅ . Correctly either of Vision or of Simple Intelligence, which later is confirmed with closer attention, § 37.

̲̅ . Incorrectly is added by the Jesuits and Arminians a certain Middle or Conditioned Knowledge, whose

†. Opinion is refuted, § 38.

††. Objections are resolved, § 39.

̸ ̸ ̸ ̸. As a Corollary it is observed that the Knowledge of God is not properly the Cause of things, § 40.

§§. Attributes follow, which are referred to the Will of God, of which

̸. The First is Goodness, which

̅ . Sometimes denotes the Highest Perfection of God regarded in itself, likewise His Loveableness.

̲̅ . But especially here His Benignity, which

†. Is explained and proven.

††. Now, to this are referred,

AA. His Love, which is here regarded as

אא. Not Natural,

בב. But Voluntary, which is

αα. Of Benevolence and Beneficence,

ββ. Of Complacency, following upon the former, § 41.

BB. His Grace, which

אא. Is distinguished into the one giving Freely and the thing given Freely.

בב. It is distinguished again

αα. Correctly in divers other ways; but

ββ. Incorrectly

aa. By the Jesuits and Arminians into Sufficient and Efficacious Grace:

bb. Into Universal and Particular Grace, § 42.

CC. His Mercy, which is explained and confirmed, § 43.

DD. His Patience or Longsuffering, which also is explained and confirmed as demonstrated both under the Old and under the New Testaments, § 44.

̸ ̸. The other is His Righteousness,

̅ . Divine, or His Natural Holiness, which is explained and proven.

̲̅ . And Dominical, which is a demonstration of the former; to which are referred,

†. God’s Truth or Veracity.

††. God’s Constancy, which is regarded as Fidelity with respect to promises.

†††. God’s Holiness in His precepts.

††††. His Blamelessness in His works, § 45.

̶̲̅ . And Judiciary, which

†. In general is explained.

††. In particular is asserted to be twofold,

AA. Remunerative, since He well compensates; in which again a distinction comes to be made:

אא. Evangelical Remuneration, and

בב. Legal Remuneration, which

αα. Is thus set forth, in such a way that

ββ. Hence Consequences are methodically deduced, that God is not able not only to deprive a holy Creature of reward, but also to afflict it with eternal torments; which is proven and defended, § 46.

BB. Vindictive, which

אא. Is proven to be Natural to God in such a way that He is not able leave Sin unpunished.

בב. Which is defended against the Socinians and Arminians, § 47.

ד. From a just consideration of the Description of God expounded, God’s ὑπεροχὴ/superiority over the Creatures depending upon Him is demonstrated, into which ultimately His Most Absolute Right over all things is resolved, which

α. Is proven, and of which

β. A twofold Determination, Natural and Voluntary, is added, through which His Absolute Right becomes Appointed, § 48.

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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