The life of those who dwell in the secret place of the Most High may be called a Hidden Life, because the animating principle, the vital or operative element, is not so much in itself as in another. It is a life grafted into another life. It is the life of the soul, incorporated into the life of Christ; and in such a way, that, while it has a distinct vitality, it has so very much in the sense, in which the branch of a tree may be said to have a distinct vitality from the root.

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

God is a Personal Being

God is a personal being. The doctrine that God is an impersonal being, probably owes its origin in part to a mistake in the philosophical elements involved in the doctrine of personality, and in part to the fact, that God is without limits. As we have been in the habit of ascribing personality to beings who, in having form, are subject to the limitations of form, we easily fall into the habit of associating personality with such limitations, and at last are apt to adopt the conclusion, that where there are no limits, no well-defined boundaries of existence constituting a form, there can be no personality. Now it must be admitted, that in the extent or expansion of his being, God is without limits; but it does not at all follow that God, because he transcends the limitations of the human senses, and is not the subject of material measurement or any other measurement, is therefore not a personal God.

The question of personality does not turn upon mere extent or expansion of being, whether physically or even psychically considered, but rather upon the traits or characteristics of being. In considering the subject of God’s personality, it is a proper inquiry, whether he possesses intelligence which is cognizant of the fact of his own existence and power; whether he has the capability of knowing and affirming the fixed relation of himself, both in perception and action, to that interior law of rectitude which is also a part of his being; whether he possesses a volitional power correspondent to the powers of perception and the claims of moral obligation? It is in the answer to such questions as these, that we find the basis of personality considered as a fact or realization. And if the answer is in the affirmative, then God most evidently possesses all the requisites of personality, and stands forth before the universe, not merely as a blind and unintelligent principle of movement, but as a personal God, capable of intelligent design and action, endowed with responsibility both to himself and to all beings that are dependent on him, and entitled, in the case of those who are dependent, to obedience and homage.

— edited from Absolute Religion (1873) Chapter 2.

No comments:

Post a Comment