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The Omnipotence of God a Ground

The Omnipotence of God a Ground

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Published by GLENN DALE PEASE

BY JAMES W. ALEXANDER, D. D

BY JAMES W. ALEXANDER, D. D

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Published by: GLENN DALE PEASE on May 08, 2013
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02/08/2014

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THE OMIPOTECE OF GOD A GROUDOF ELARGED CHRISTIA EXPECTATIOBY JAMES W. ALEXADER, D. DIF any are dissatisfied witli tlie Christian religion,it is because of their own ignorai^ce or perverse-ness. It is impossible to conceive of any highergood, than that which the Gospel offers to everyhuman being who hears it. othing has so revealedthe capacities of the soul, as Christianity ; all thespeculations of antiquity are trifling in comparison •and these capacities seem to be revealed for the verypurpose of exalting our delightful expectations, asto their being filled. When Christianity would laya foundation for our hopes, it does not build on anydoubtful analogies, but digs deep, and shows us thesolid rock of God's infinite perfections ; saying, as itwere, K you would know what you shall receive,think what God is — ^how great and how good. " Allis yours, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's."And we have endeavoured to set this forth, from thebeginning, as the true ground of all rational comfortin religion. For if our distresses and trials do notdrive us to seek support in the attributes of God,they do not afford us any benefit. The ground of all our hopes is God's love, manifested to the worldin the gift of his only begotten Son. From this88 COSOLATIO.source we cannot expect too mucli. Hence you willaniformly observe, that those who dwell most onthe person and work of Christ, have the brightestprospects of future blessedness. And the apostlePaul uses a fervent prayer, that those to whom hewrote, might attain to the knowledge of this love of Christ, by means of which they would learn theriches of their destined inheritance.The apostle Paul breaks forth in a mingled dox-ology and prayer, when writing to the Ephesians :"ow unto Him that is able to do exceeding
 
abundantly above all that we ask or think." Godis thus able ; and thus his omnipotence is a groundof consolation.I. God's omnipotence and grace, authorize us toexpect from him blessings beyond our comprehen-sion. The little child takes a pleasure in learningits father's riches, because it knows that this is allfor its own advantage, and it never dreams of theparent's being restrained from giving by any thingbut want of means. In like manner the Christianwho has any right views of God as a Father, and of his relation to God, only needs to be informed thatGod is Almighty to be assured that he will bestowall good. Hence meditation on the omnipotenceof God is greatly edifying, not only as it raises us tohigh thoughts of the adorable divine character,but as it assures us of the infinite sufficiency thereis in him. To say that God is able, is to say thathe is willing. This method of proceeding fromhis disposition to his nature, from his goodness to hisgod's OMmPOTECE. 89greatness, of presuming on his love and then com-forting ourselves with his power, is more pleasing than the reverse. For it is dreadful to havea full view of God's power, and at the same timeto be in doubt whether it is not all arrayed againstus. The impression of this is what gives triplehorrors to hours of conviction, when some poor dis-mayed soul is brought into the presence of infinitesovereignty, might, and wrath, but as yet has noray of hope. Very different is the view whichprompted the words of Paul : " Unto him that isohle to do," — as if he had said, Once convince methat God is ohle to make me happy, and I am con*tent : of his disposition to bless, I can have no doubt.The apostle does not say God is ivilling : this wasunnecessary.You will possibly have a reply ready, to wit, thatnobody doubts God's power : all who believe in aGod, believe he is almighty. But it is important toobserve, that there are many great truths which we
 
do not deny, and which, nevertheless, we do notbelieve ; and again, that there are degrees of faith,from the faintest assent, of which we are scarcelyconscious, up to the full assurance of certainty. If nothing were necessary but to know and admit thegeneral propositions of religious truth, much of ourpreaching, hearing, reading, and meditation wouldbe superfluous; but we must keep the mind's eyefixed on these truths until our knowledge becomesmore intimate, extensive, and spiritual, and our faithgrows jprith contemplation. Thus, while we sit and90 COSOLATIO.look eastward, like those that watcli for the iaorii«ing, we behold, first the dawn, then the sunrise, thenthe bright morning, and then the blazing noon.This is especially true of God's attributes. Weknow them. The t^rms which express them aresimple enough. Our first catechisms give us almostall we need to have expressed in the way of defini-tion. evertheless, Avhat a world of knowledge is yetto be compassed on any one of those points ! Andhow does he who meditates on a divine perfectionseem to go forth on a voyage from which there is noreturn ! In this way the power of God, however fami-liar and admitted, requires to be mused upon and tra-versed in our thoughts ; as the astronomer by nightlyobservations, repeated for years, tries to penetrate thewonders of the heavens ; though the object whichtasks his powers and arouses his curiosity is somenebula familiar to his eye from early youth. It iswise to ponder upon known truth, and he who neverpractises it will make slender attainments in newdiscovery. It was well for Paul to turn the gaze of the Ephesians upon the wonders of God's power — God " is able to do ;" and to connect it with thatlove of Christ and fulness of God, of which hehad just been speaking (Ephes. 3 : 20). There is alittle cleft of heaven opened to us by these words,and some light breaks in.Hope is a pleasant thing, even when it concernsitself about temporals ; but when it overleaps thefences of time and space, and begins to expatiate in

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