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of the Nature of God, and the Person of the Father is not here to be repeated, but fupposed; for Christ is set down at the right hand of that God and of that Father, which we understand when we say, I believe in God the Fa
ther. But because there is a difference in the Language of the Greeks beIn the first tween that word which is rendred * Almighty in the first Article, and that Article it is
which is so rendred in the sixth, because That peculiarly signified Authority Παντοκράτως, in the sixth of Dominion, This more properly Power in Operation; therefore we have Παντοδύναμος.
reserved this notion of Omnipotency now to be explained. See p. 50. And this Diftinction is very material, and much observed by the Greeks; as Dionyfius Areopagita (whosoever that is) in his Book De Divinis Nominibus, in the 18th Chapter, explicates the drewa uavviav, or wr7odmapor, and in the 10th Chapter z av?oxaçtaz, as two diflinct Names with different Notions of God. Of the ner7oxeciwz, which we have already conidered, he gives this account, Τομ γάς λεγεί δια το πάντων αυτών είναι παντοκρατορικού έδρgν ζωέχεσαν και τείχισαν τα όλα, και νιδρύεταν και θεμελιώσαν και εισφίγλασαν, και αλλαγές ον εαυτή το σαν λπιγελάσαν και εξ αυτής τα όλα καλάπι οκ ειξης παντοκρατορικής προάγκσαν
, και ας ευγω τα πάντα καθάπες ας πυθμεία παντοκρατορικών επιστρέφεσαν και ζωέχασαν αυτά, ως πανων έδρας παικρατη τα σωεχόμιμα σπάνια και μίαν υπερέχασαν πάντα σιωοχω ασφαλιζομδύω και εκεώσαν τα διεκπεσόνα εαυτής, ως εκ παντελώς εσίας κινέμμα «Sαπολέω. But of the δωαμωνυμία he gives another account, as we Mall see hereafter.
In which, two things are observable; the Propriety, and the Univerfality; the Propriety in the Potency, the Universality in the Omnipotency; first, that he is a God of Power ; fecondly, that he is a God of infinite Power. The Potency consisteth in a proper, innate, and natural force or activity; by which we are assured that God is able to act, work and produce true and real effects, which do require a true and real power to their Production : and in respect of this he is often described unto us under the notion of a mighty God." The omnipotency or infinity of this Power consisteth in an ability to act, perform and produce, whatsoever can be acted or produced, without any possibility of impediment or resistance: and in this respect he is represented to us as an Almighty God. And therefore such an omnipotency we af
cribe unto him : which is sufficiently delivered in the Scriptures, first by the Luke 1. 37. Testimony of an Angel, For with God nothing Mall be impossible ; fecondMark 10. 27. ly, by the Testimony of Christ himself, who said, With men it is impof
sible, but not with God; for with God all things are possible. Now he, to whom all things are possible, and to whom nothing is impossible, is truly and properly omnipotent. Thus whatsoever doth not in it self imply a répugnancy of being or subsisting, hath in reference to the Power of God a poflibility of Production; and whatsoever in respect of the Power of God hath an impossibility of Production, must involve in it self a Repugnancy or Contradiction.
This Truth, though confessed by the Heathens, hath yet been denied by * The Argu, some of them; but with poor and insufficient * Arguments, that we shall need the Heathen no more than an explication of the Doctrine to refute their Objections. used are briefly touched by Plutarch, but were more largely delivered by Pliny. 'Aungñatas 98 (onois) Cue
' Karaopecéxo Tell néy071, Ei Otov oita, "lat" ÖTo sj pašau Aaipove wão dwa tóv. (So it must be read) odio gso Odds duó cloud wav woreñv. 'ETH toile á Θεός εςι ποιείτω 7 χιονα μέλαιναν, το 3 πύρ ψυχρoν, το 3 καθήμενον ορθόν, και το ναντίον. Ρlutarch de Plat. Philof. ι. Ι. c. 7. Imperfectæ verò in homine naturæ præcipua solatia ne Deum quidem posse omnia. Namque nec sibi poteft mortem consciscere, fi velit, quod homini dedit optimum in tantis vitæ pænis, nec mortales æternitate donare, aut revocare defunctos, nec facere ut qui vixit non vixerit, qui honores geflit non gefferit, nullumque habere in præterita jus præterquam oblivionis : atque (ut facetis quoque argumentis focietas hæc cum Deo copuletur) ut bis dena viginti non fint, ac multa fimiliter efficere non posse, per quae declaratur haud dubiè naturæ potentia, idque esse quod Deum vocamus. Plin. Nat. Hift. I. 2. c. 7. Add unto these that objection of Elymas the Sorcerer, recorded by Dionyfius, Καίτοι φησίν "Ελυμας ο μάγο, Ει παντοδυναμός εσιν ο Θεός πώς λέγεται τι μη δμύαθαι προς το καθ' υμάς Θεολόγο. Λοιδορά3 3 του Θείω Παύλο φήσαν7ι, μη δύαα τ Θεόν εαυτόν αρνήσαι. De Divinis Nominibus, cap. 8.
First then we must say. God is omnipotent, because all Power whatsoever is in any Creature, is derived from him; and well may he be termed Almighty, who is the Fountain of all Might. There is no activity in any Agent, do influence of any Cause, but what dependeth and proceeded from the prin
fectus. S. Aug. Ench.ad Laur.
b Dan. 4. 35
cipal Agent or the first of Causes.
* 'H T4409ference of the Universe but hath some kind of Activity, and consequently suú eum in some Power to act ; (for nothing can be done without a Power to do it :) 0:8 dá dosis and as all their Entities flow from the first of Beings, fo all their several and so mugen, various Powers flow from the first of Powers: and as all their Beings cannot do isi be conceived to depend of any but an infinite Essence, so all those Powers tar o aav78
λώς αφίρη3 cannot proceed from any but an infinite Power.
το έχαν τινα
διώαμιν, αλλ' voregi, rolirki i wit mixekis, si Sw7exbi, sociado descuess xe. Kad auto , si Jégers eizeiv, sò divce doc' cepev; sis to evcu i ZH a wigoris dusausws. Dionyf. Areopag. De Divin. Nom. cap. 8.
Secondly, God may be called omnipotent, * because there can be no re- *Neque enim sistance made to his Power, no opposition to his Will, no rescue from his veraciter ob Hands. a The Lord of hosts hath purposed, and who shall disannul it? his omnipotens, hand is stretched out, and who shall turn it back ? b He doth according to nifi quia quichis will , in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth : teft
; nec voand none can stay his hand, or say unto him, What dost thou? According luntate cujusto the degrees of Power in the Agent and the Resistent, is an Action per- på voluntatis formed or hindred: if there be more degrees of Power in the Resistent than omnipotentis the Agent, the Action is prevented; if fewer, it may be retarded or debili- impeditur eftated, not wholly hindred or suppressed. But if there be no degree of Power in the Resistent in reference to the Agent, then is the Action totally vigo- cap. 96. rous; and if in all the Powers, beside that of God there be not the least de Ifa. 14. 27. gree of any resistance, we must acknowledge that Power of his, being above alt opposition, to be infinite. As Jehosaphat said, In thine hand, O-2 Chron. 20. God, is there not power and might, so that none is able to withstand 6. thee? From hence there is no difficulty with God to perform any thing; no greater endeavour or activity to produce the greatest than the least of Creatures : but an equal facility in reference unto all things : which cannot be † imagined but by an infinite excess of power above and beyond all re- † Nifi omnisistance.
potens esset, Thirdly, God is yet more properly called omnipotent, because his own demque faciactive Power extendeth it self to all things; neither is there any thing ima- litate fumma ginably possible which he cannot do. Thus when God several ways had atque ima fedeclared his Power unto Job, d Job answered the Lord, and said, I know gent. de Fide that thou canst do every thing. Now that must needs be infinite activity ad Petrum, which answereth to all kinds of possibility. Thus the power of God is infi- 1 Quis eft nite extensively, in respect of its object, which is all things; for whatsoever omnipotens effects there be of his power, yet still there can be more produced; inten
nifi qui om
nia poteft? fively, in respect of the action, or perfection of the effect produced; for s. Aug. de whatsoever addition of perfection is possible, is within the sphere of God's Trin. lib. 4. omnipotency. The object then of the Power of God is whatsoever is sim
dJob 42. 1, 2.
imply a contradiction. Again,
the Object or in respect of the Agent. In respect of the Object it may
imply a contradiction immediately or consequentially. That doth imply a contradiction immediately, which plainly and in terms doth signifie a Repugnancy, and so destroys it self, as for the same thing to be and not to be, to have
been and not to have been. And therefore it must be acknowledged that it * Tò gelovos is not in the Power of God * to make that nor to have been, which hath ex codiza), already been : but that is no derogation to God's Power, because not within opeãs Ave" the object of any Power.
And he may certainly have all Power, who hath Sar. Móvo gs not that which belongeth to no Power. Again, that doth imply a contraew zg ago0 diction consequentially, which in appearance feemeth not to be impossible, furie moko but by necessary consequence, if admitted, leadeth infallibly to a contraä os" av wr diction.
diction. As that one Body should be at the same time in two distinct places, Tece
hyl Ethic. speaks no repugnancy in terms ; but yet by consequence it leads to that End. 1.5.6. 2. which is repugnant in it self; which is, that the same Body is but one Body, Quisquis di- and not but one. Being then a covert and consequential contradiction is as cit, Si omnipotens est
much and as truly a contradiction as that which is open and immediate, it Deus, faciat followeth that it is as impossible to be effected, and therefore comes not
under the Power of God. sunt facta non fuerint, non videt hoc se dicere, fi omnipotens est faciat ut ea quæ vera funt eo ipfo quo vera funt falfa fint. S. Aug.contra Faustum, l. 26. c. 5. It is granted therefore to be true, which Pliny objects, Deum non facere ut qui vixit non vixerit, qui honores gesit, non gefferit; as this proves nothing against Omnipotency because it is no Act of Foffibility. Had the Act objected been feizable, and God had not the Power to effect it, then had he wanted some Power, and consequently had not been omnipotent. But being it is not want of Power in the Agent, but of possibility in the object, it provech no Deficiency in God.
That doth imply a Contradiction in respect of the Agent, which is repugnant to his essential Perfection; for being every Action floweth from the
Essence of the Agent, whatsoever is totally repugnant to that Essence, must *Neque enim involve a Contradiction as to the Agent. Thus.we may fay God cannot & præscienti- sleep, God cannot want, God canãot * die; he cannot seep whose Being is am Dei fub fpiritual; he cannot want, whose Nature is all-fufficient; he cannot die, who necessitate
is essentially and necessarily existent. Nor can that be a Diminution of his ponimus fi dicamus
, Ne- Omnipotency, the contrary whereof would be a Proof of his Impotency, a ceffe eft De- Demonstration of his Infirmity. Thus it is a impossible for God to f lye, to vivere & cun- whom we say nothing is impossible; and, he who can do all things, b cannot eta præfcire, ficut nec poteftas ejus minuitur, cùm dicitur mori fallique non posse. Sic enim hoc non poteft, ut potiùs fi poffet, minoris esset utique potestatis ; Rectè quippe Omnipotens dicitur qui tamen mori & falli non poteft. Dicitur enim Omnipotens faciendo quod vult, non patiendo quod non vult. Quod fi ei accideret, nequaquam effet Omnipotens. Unde propterea quædam non potest quia Omnipotens eft. Aug. de Civ. Dei, l. 5. 6.10. Nam ego dico quanta non possit. Non potest mori, non poteft peccare, non potest mentiri, non potest falli. Tanta non pot quæ fi posset non esset Omnipotens. Autor. Serm. 11-9. ad Temp.
a Heb. 6. 18.
† Nunquid mentitur Deus. Sed non mentitur; quia impoffibile est mentiri Deum. Impossibile autem istud nunquidnam infirmitatis eft? Non utique ; Nam quomodo omnia poteft, fi aliquid efficere non poteit? Quid ergo ei imposibile ? Illud 'utique quod naturæ ejus contrarium eft, non quod virtuti arduum. Impossibile, inquit, eft ei mentiri, & iinposibile istud non infirmitatis est
, sed virtutis & majeftatis ; quia veritas non recipit mendacium, nec Dei virtus levitatis errorem. S. Amb. Annot. in Num. Si volunt invenire quod Omnipotens non potest, habent prorsus, ego dicam, mentiri non poteft. Credamus ergo quod potest non credendo quod non poteft. S. Aug. de Civ. Dei, I. 22. C. 25. 6 2. Tim. 2. 13. This was the Argument of Elymas the Sorcerer before-mentioned, to which Dionysius gives this answer, 'H 78 dzveis ix77aσις αληθείας εσίν ή και αλήθεια όν έσιν" και η αληθείας έκπτωσις το όν7G- έκπλωσις. Eί πίνω η αλήθεια όν έσιν, ή και άρνησις και αληθείας τα όν7ο- έκπτωσις, οκ τα όν(G- εκπεσών ο Θεός και διώα): και το μη είναι εκ έσιν, ως άν τις φαίη το μη διαλ και duía ), to jen cidévor xos signou xx oidev
. De Divin. Nom. cap. 8. Da jelas 3 rej oro dra) aigesi • Odos, itu osas o Odos deve qele cu un cives Océs: oj gS_aig agv dęć i Oros, óx ési Osós. Orig. cont. Cell. 1.5. Jobius gives this Solution 10 the fame Objection. "A Φαμάν μη διώαι το θείον ταύτα ή μήτε όντων έξι μήτε δωαών όλως υφισάναι, σε γδ υφίστηκε το αρνήσαιτ Θεόν εαυτόν, και η τροπη, και η αγαθότη- έκπτωσις, και τ' αλήθειαν ψεύδο χνέω; ΠαύλοδώαμG- και ύμνάκαι λίwe wis táte acé Tov7c, aures x Carrience ñ de pesos[mpeátwy to 17cc duwé pefu öre Góme 7. Job. de Verb. Incarn. 1. 3. apud Photium in Biblioth. ο Απόστολος φησι αει το Θιά και πατρος, Εν οίς αδιώα7ον ψύσααί Θεόν εκ ασθένειάν τινα καληγορών τσακραίες δωάμεως, αλλα μεγίσω ώμω, ότι ανεπίδεκτός έσι το ψεύδες και η αληθείας πωληςΚαι αλλαχόσε και τούτω οχυρών ?' έννοιαν έφη. Εαν άρνησώμεθα αυτον εκείνων πισός μύει" αρνήσεις και έντον διμύα). Και τετο δ εκ αθενείας ισίν λυπόδωξις, αλλ' ανυπερβλήτα ίχύω, ότι εκ έχωρά τ' θείαν φύσιν έωλίω αρνήσα. Ifid. Peluf. Ep. 335. 1. 3.
Theodoret upon that place of s. Paul, It is imposible for God to lie, Ovx catsvis to cið mócilor, anne ärav cu dexrus dwaτόν. Ούτω δ, φησίν, έσιν αληθές ως αδύαλον είναι ψεύδο TW afué að 707d Tò d'usator czą (ita lege non aduce 70% Šv) danbescs oral to adwar's Couceive ). And upon that, He cannot deny himself, wános šv to du'ay of atrigo dwaHins vadexu donetixov, or. Theod. Dial. 3.
deny himself. Because a Lye is repugnant to the Perfection of Veracity, which is essential unto God as necessarily following from his infinite Knowledge, and infinite Sanctity. We who are ignorant may be deceived, we who are sinful may deceive; but it is repugnant to that Nature to be deccived which is no way subject unto Ignorance ; it is contradictory to that Effence to deceive, which is no way capable of Sin. For as it is a plain Contradiction to know all things, and to be ignorant of any thing ; so is it to know all things and to be deceived, as it is an evident Contradiction, to be infinitely holy, and to be sinful, fo is it to be infinitely holy and deceive. But it is impossible for any one to lye, who can neither deceive nor be deceived. Therefore it is a manifest Contradiction to say that God can lye, and consequently it is no Derogation from his Omnipotency, that he cannot. Whatsoever then God cannot do, whatsoever is impossible to him, doth not any way prove that he is not Almighty, but only Ihew that the rest of his Attributes and Perfections are as essential to him as his Power ; and as his Power suffereth no resistance, so the rest of his Perfections admit no repug
Well therefore may we conclude him absolutely * omnipotent, who * Theodoret by being able to effect all things consistent with his Perfections, theweth in- having pro
ved that there finite Ability: and by not being able to do any thing repugnant to the same Perfections, demonstrateth himself subject to no Infirmity or Imbecillity: things which And in this manner we maintain God's Omnipotency, with the best and fell not under
the Power of eldest, against the worst and latest of the heathen Authors.
God, at la
thusconcludes, Πολλα τοίνυ σύρήκαμεν αδιώατα όντα, τω πανθοδωάμω Θεώ. Αλλά το μη δωηθώαι τί τέτων, απέρα δωάμεως, εκ αθενείας τεκμήριον το γε δωνηθών, αδυναμίας δήπαθεν, και διωάμεως. "Οτι τέτων έκασον το άτρεπον το Θι& κηρύτε και ανaddolw7ov. Dial. 3: And Origen cont. Cell. l. 3. gives this for the Christian's general Rule.' Auxx.cl" núãs walce o Odds aree du culpa og Odds eiva, rj og cyadds civcu, sú tõ Copos eiyou sx ižisa).. And the words of Celfus, though ill intended, are yet very true. "Αυτες (ο Θεός) εφιν ο σάνων τόνων λό/G-, έδεν εν οί τε Χαλοβού εδέ παρ' εαυτόν έρyázat. Apud Orig. 1.4, And so Origen in his Answer confesses
. 'Addai xg xæ0" speãs diy @ to a Scholen šte nas εωτιν εργάσαθαι εσιν Θεός. . f It was the constant Opinion of the most ancient Heathens, as appeareth by Homer, who expresseth it plainly, Odyff. x'.
Χαλεπόν και το δεύασαν
Ανδράσι γε θνηθοίσι, θεοί δέ τε πάνζα διώαναι. And the same sense is attributed to Linus in a Distich cited for his by Stobæus; but may rather be thought to have been made by some of the Pythagoreans. For this was the plain Doctrine of Pythagoras, who taught his scholars to believe Miracles, and to doubt of nothing said to be done by the Gods, because all things were possible to them ; Ou g5 Givors Ta dware T Itão, (vel potiùs rois foois) a jádrade
, war er orsaf ro's Coposonfúrs, dance wrice dwardí rej jj cigxin oj αυτή έσι ή επών, ά εκείνοι φασι κ είναι Λίνα, εσί θύται ίσως εκείνων,
"Ελπεα κρη πάνη' · επά εκ έςεδέν άελπ7ον.
Pobdoce 75 1766 tñ te déca, rý úvývulov xoèv. Iamb. de Vit.: Pythag. 6. 28. So Epicharmus a Disciple of Pythagoras : 'Adóvalov oddy Os. So Pater Omnipotens, and Jupiter Omnipotens, familiar in Virgil and the Poets before and after him. These do far out-weigh the authority in Plutarch, and that of Pliny, with the addition of Galen, who opposeth the opinion of the Philosophers to that of Moses expressly, and to our Saviour obliquely;" Ου δ δη το βεληθώαι, τοιαύτας νέα μόνον ώ αυταρκες" εδε γδα Τσέτραν εξαίφνης εθoλήσειεν, άνθρωπον ποιήσαι δωατόν ait which seems to be opposed to those words of our Saviour, God is able to raise children unto Abraham out of thefe Stones. Και τότ' έςι καθ' ό της Μωσέως δόξης ήθ' ημετέρα και πλάτων και η τ άλλων παρ' "Ελλησιν ορθώς μελαχάρισαμίων της αεί φύσεως λόβες διαφέρς. Το με αρκεί το βεληθώαι τ Θεόν κοσμήσαι τύλω, ή δ' ευθυς κεκόσμη πάντα δίναι τω Θεώ διωατα νομίζα, κάν α τ τέΦρον ίππον ή βεν θέλει ποιών ημείς δ' έχ έτω γινώσκομεν, αλλ' είναι γάρ τινα λέΓοθα αδιώαία φύσα, και τέτοις μηδ' επιχειρών όλως τ Θεόν αλλ' κ η δωαγών με το βέλλιον αίρια. De Ufu Part. 1. 11.
Thus God is omnipotent, and God only. For if the Power of all things beside God be the Power of God, as derived from him, and subordinate unto him, and his own Power from whence that is derived can be subordinate to none, then none can be omnipotent but God.
Again, we say, that God the Father is Almighty; but then we cannot say, that the Father only is Almighty : for the Reason why we say the Father is Almighty, is because he is God; and therefore we cannot say that he * only * Non ergo is Almighty, because it is not true that he only is God. Whosoever then is quispiam au:
bet creaturam five cæleftem five terrestrem dicere Omnipotentem, nisi solam Trinitatem, Patrem scilicet & Filium & Spiritum San&tum. Non enim cùm dicimus nos credere in Deum Patrem Omnipotentem, ficut Hæretici Ariani, negamus filium Omnipotentem, aut Spiritum Sanctum. Author Lib. de Symbolo ad Catechum. 1.2. c. 3.
Nor is it unusual in o
God, hath the same reason and foundation of Omnipotency which the Father hath, and consequently is to be acknowledged properly and truly omnipotent as the Father is. But we have already shewed that the Son of God is truly God; and shall hereafter shew that the Holy Ghost is also God, and that bv the fame Nature by which the Father is God. The Father therefore is Almighty, because the Father is God; the Son Almighty, because the Son is God; and the Holy Ghost Almighty, because the Holy Ghost is God. The Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are God by the fame Divinity: therefore, the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are omnipotent by the fame Omnipotèncy. The Father then is not called Almighty by way of exclusion, but is here mentioned with that Attribute peculiarly, * because the Power of God an
swereth particularly to the right hand of God, as being the right hand of ther Authors power. The Father therefore is here described by the Notion of Almighty, to make mfe to thew, that Christ having ascended into Heaven, and being set down at Omnipotens, the right hand of God, is invested with a greater Power than he exercised rather in re- before: and that Power which was then actually conferred upon him, acprefent occa- knowlcdgeth no Bounds or Limits ; but all Power in the ultimate extent of fion, than in its infinity is given unto him, who is fer down on the right hand of him reference to
who is God the Father ; and, being fo, is therefore truly and properly Althe Person who is said mighty.
o be omnipo-
Jupiter omnipotens audacibus annue coeptis. Hoc epitheton interdum ad gloriam numinis ponitur, interdum ad caufam dicentis. Namque hoc loco dicendo Omnipotens oftendit eum .etiam his qui per se minùs valent præftare poffe virtutem.
Gen. 17. I.
1 Pet. 5. 6.
It is necessary to profess Belief in God Almighty ; First, because the acknowledgment of his Omnipotency begetteth that Fear and Reverence, Sub
mission and Obedience which is due unto his infinite Majesty. Our God is a Deut. 10. 7. great God, a mighty, and a terrible ; therefore terrible because mighty. I Luke 12. 5. will forewarn you, faith our Saviour, whom ye shall fear : Fear him which
after he hath killed hath power to cast into hell, I say unto you fear him. Three times we are commanded to fear, and one only Reason rendred, but fufficient for a thousand Fears, the Power of him who is able eternally to punish us. God
gave a general Command to Abraham, and with it a powerful persuasion to Obedience, when he said unto him, I am the almighty God, walk before me, and be thou perfect. It was a rational Advice which the Apostle gives us. Humble your jelves under the mighty hand of God, that be
exalt in due time. And it is a proper Incentive to the obfervation of the Law of God, to consider that he is the one Law-giver who James 4. 12. is able to save and to destroy.
Secondly, The belief of God's Omnipotency is absolutely necessary, as the foundation of our Faith. All the Miracles which have been seen, were therefore wrought, that we may believe ; and never Miracle had been seen, if God were not omnipotent. "The Objects of our Faith are beyond all natural and finite Power; and did they not require an infinite Activity, an Assent unto them would not deserve the Name of Faith. If God were nor
Almighty, we should believe nothing; but being he is fo, * why should we the Argument disbelieve any thing? what can God propound unto us, which we cannot afwhich ihe Py- fent unto, if we can believe that he is Omnipotent? thagoreans used, who believed many miraculous Actions, which others looked upon as fabulous ; because they would disbelieve nothing which was referred to the divine Power: and the reason of that was, because they thought all things possible to God, as we shewed before. Two tolótwy ö (faith lamblichus, having related several strange actions either fabulous or miraculous) | dexósTwv meubixwo Szumovsixou as perdido dzis81765 •, to år eis to Icov dráun). And whereas others looked upon them as weak and fimple People for giving credit to such fabulous relations, wegs wávce sa tobawia oki auto's buhosts vopisos, anna to's émis 8v7as. Iambl. de Vit. Pythag. cap. 28.
* This was