Page images



The Eternity of God.



Before the mountains were brought forth, or ever thou hadJt formed the earth and the world, even from everlasting to everlasting thou art God.

[ocr errors]

HE Immensity, and Etera
nity of God are those
Attributes which relate

to his Nature, or manner of Being. Having spoken of the former, I proceed to consider the latter, from these words.

[blocks in formation]

Vol VII. The Title of this Psalm is the

Prayer of Moses, the man of God. He begins his Prayer with the ac, knowledgment of God's Providence to his people from the beginning of the World; Lord, thou hast been our dwelling place from all generations ; in generation and generation ; so the Hebrew. He was well acquainted with the History of the World, and the Providence of God from the beginning of it, and as if he had spoken too little of God, in saying, that his Providence had been exercised in all the Ages of the World, he tells us here in the Text, that he was before the World, and he made it, he was from all Eternity, and should continue to all Eternity the same. Before the mountains were brought forth; the most firm and durable parts of the World, the most eminent and conspicuous; Or. ever thou hados formed the earth and the world; before any thing was created; from everlasting to everlasting thou

art God. In speaking of this At

Vol. VII. tribute, I shall,

First, Give you the Explication of it.

Secondly, Endeavour to prove that it doth belong to God, and ought to be attributed to the Divine Nature.

Thirdly, Draw fome Corotaries from the whole.

First, For the Explication of it. Eternity is a duration without bounds or limits: Now there are two limits of duration, beginning and ending; that which hath always been is without beginning; that which always shall be is without ending. Now we may conceive of a thing always to have been, and the continuance of its being now to ceale, tho' there be no fuch thing in the World: and there are some things which have had a beginning of their Being, but shall have no


A a 3

end, shall always continue, as the Vol. VII.

Angels, and Spirits of Men. The first of these the Schoolmen call Eternity, â parte ante, that is duration without beginning; the latter Eternity â parte post, a duration without ending : but Eternity absolutely taken comprehends both these, and signifies an infinite duration which had no beginning, nor Shall have any end; so tha t when we say God is Eternal, we mean that he always was, and shall be for ever; that he had no beginning of Life, nor shall have any end of Days; but that he is from ever: lasting to everlasting, as it' is here in the Text.

'Tis true indeed, that as to God's Eternity, â parte ante, as to his having always been, the Scripture doth not give us any folicitous account of it, it only tells us in general, that God was before the world was, and that he created it ; it doth not descend to gratifie our curiosity, in giving us any account of what God did before


he made the World, or how he entertaind himself from all Eterni. Vol.VII. nity; it doth not give us any distinct account of his infinite duration, for that had been impoflible for our finite understandings to comprehend; if we should have afcended upward millions of Ages, yet we should never have ascend ed to the top, never have arrived at the beginning of infinity; therefore the Scripture, which was wrote to instruct us in what was necessary, and not to satisfie our curiosity, tells us this, that God was from everlasting, before the world was made, and that he laid the foundations of it.

So that by the Eternity of God, you are to understand the perpetual continuance of his Being, with. out beginning or ending. I shall not trouble


with the inconsistent and unintelligible notions of the Schoolmen; that it is duratio tota fimul, in which we are not to conceive any succ ssion, but to


A a. 4

« PreviousContinue »