A treatise of the divine essence and attributes. By Thomas Iackson Doctor in Divinitie, chaplaine to his Majestie in ordinary, and vicar of S. Nicolas Church in the towne of Newcastle upon Tyne. The first part
Jackson, Thomas, 1579-1640.
highlight hits: on | off

CHAP. 5.

Of Divine Immensity, or of that branch of absolute infinity, whereof infinity in magnitude, or space ima∣ginary is the shadow.

ORder of nature leads us first to ex∣plicate two branches of perfecti∣on infinite,* that answer unto a kind of infinitie, so frequent and obvious to our thoughts, that our imaginations will hardly suffer it to be severed from those subjects, which our understandings by light of reason may, and by the eye of faith, must confesse to bee finite, to wit, time and place. The cause of this difficultie in abstraction, was signified* before to be this. No event there is observed by sense, but is husked in the circumstance of place and time, whence it is, that these two accompany many Phantasmes, after they Page  43 bee winnowed from all the rest, into the closet of the understāding. The conceit of mathematicall or metaphysicall space, is so naturally annexed to our imagination of time and place physicall; that albeit reason, aswell as Scripture demonstrate the world to be, for Physicall magnitude, finite; yet our phan∣tasies cannot be curbed from running into imagina∣ry locall distance, beyond the utmost surface of this goodly visible worke of God, yea beyond the hea∣ven of heavens. The Philosopher, which thought all place or locall distance to bee contained within the utmost sphere, it beeing contained in nothing else (for extra coelum nihil est, was his saying) might in congruity have granted, a like termination, or cir∣cumscription of succession or time; unto which notwithstanding our imaginations will not easily subscribe. For though our understanding oft re∣fute their errour, which deny the beginning of Time; yet our senses still nurse an imaginary suc∣cessive duration much longer before the creation of this visible world, than the continuation of it hath beene. And (which is much to bee admired) some Schoole-braines have beene so puzled in pas∣sing this unsoundable gulfe, as to suspect that God, which is now in every place of the world created by Him, was as truly in these imaginary distances of place and time, before the creation was attempted. Thus have they made place commensurable to his immensitie, and succession, or time coequall to his eternitie. But what could they answere us, if we should demand, whether this duration, or locall distance, wherein they imagine God to have beene Page  44 before the Creation, were created by Him, or not? whether they were truly something, or meerly no∣thing? If they held them to be meerly nothing, they should have told us, that they had a reall imaginati∣on of an infinite space, which really was not: and therefore could not bee truely tearmed imaginary space before the world was created. For it is one thing to imagine an infinite space, and another to avouch there was an infinite imaginarie space be∣fore they could have any imagination of it. Hee that made the world and all that is in it, is not much beholding to those men, for building him an infi∣nite Castle, not in the Ayre (which had no being before the Creation) but in that which neither thē was, nor since hath had any being, save onely in the vanishing imaginations of men which have perish∣ed. For if this imaginary space were any more thā a meere imagination, it was surely created by God. Had then this imaginary space another space or di∣stance-locall, or this imaginary time or successive duration, another duration, wherin to be produced? or doe they make this imaginary time or place ful∣ly commensurable to eternity or immensity? If God from eternity had been in any other infinity besides himselfe, hee could not be said to be incom∣prehensible. By this imaginary space no realty can bee truely meant besides God himselfe, whom the *Hebrews enstyle by the name of place; to wit, in∣finite.

Page  45 2 But what shall we answer unto these or the like captious demands of the Atheist: If the world, if time, if place, which now are, had not been from everlasting? where was your God when these were not, some where, or no where? If no where, Hee and Nothing might be fellow residents. In respect of eternity or immensity, no creature, no positive essence, no numerable part of this Vniverse is so like unto Him, as this negation of all things, which we describe by the name of Nothing. It hath no begin∣ning or end of dayes. Nothing or the negation of all things, as it is the object of our positive conceit, is more like unto Him than any one thing, in that no distinct or proper place of residence can bee as∣signed to nothing, or to the negation of all things: Yet most unlike him, in that it is truly and abso∣lutely no where, not in it selfe. Non entis, non est actio, non est qualitas, non conditio, That which is not can have no capacity to accept any condition of being, it can have no right or title to bee termed it selfe. We may truly say some objective conceipts are nothing: but we cannot rightly conceive, that nothing should have any degree or kinde of being; and want of being is the worst kinde of barrennesse that can be imagined. We cannot imagine it should bring forth any degree or ranke of being. It can∣not be mother to that which possibly may bee; it cannot be nurse to that which is. But of God wee cannot absolutely say, He was no where, before the world was made; we must use this limitation [Hee was no where save in Himselfe:] But such and so in Himselfe, that He was more than all things, longer Page  46 than time, greater than place, more infinite than ca∣pacity it selfe, uncapable of circumscription or com∣mensurability, able to limit time and place, (or what∣soever we conceive to be by succession or addition infinite,) by his essentiall presence, or coexistence more than penetrative; being so in both, in all things that are, as nothing possibly could have beginning, or continuance of being, unlesse He were in them, as the center of their supportance; yet so as they cannot environ or encompasse him. The absolute infinity of his being includes an absolute impossibi∣lity of his being onely in things, that are, or may be, though by his power those may be in number, by succession, infinite.

3 Had the evaporations of proud phantasticke melancholy, eclipsed the lustre of his glorious pre∣sence, in that late prodigious Questionists braine, which would bring us out of the sunne-shine of the Gospell into old Aegyptian darknesse: For as some well conjecture, this error of inclosing God in the heavens, and excluding his essentiall presence from this inferiour world, was first brought forth in Ae∣gypt, but so ill taken, as it could not be propagated to many nations; entertained by few Philosophers of better sort, Aristotle or the Author of the Booke de mundo ad Alexandrum, excepted; from whose opinion Verstius did herein dissent, that hee held God to be everywhere by his power, and immedi∣ate providence: His error notwithstanding, is ex∣ceeding grosse and unsufferable, in that hee makes his infinite power, wisedome, and goodnesse, in whose sweet harmony Divine Providence especially con∣sists, Page  47 but as Agents or Ambassadors to his infinite Majesty: as if his infinite Majesty onely were full compere to his Essence, unfitting to bee imployed abroad, or to keep residence any where, save in the Court of Heaven. Or if his power and wisedome be joynt assessors with his Essence in the heavens, and yet reach withall unto the earth, unto every thing within this Canopy, which is spred betwixt us and his glorious presence: His power, his wisedome, &c. may in some sort be held more infinite than his Essence, as being in many places where it is not. But for God to be everywhere here on earth, or in the region under the earth, by his wisedome, by his power, or by his goodnesse, is perhaps in his lan∣guage no more, than that the effects of these Attri∣butes are every where, that all things as well in earth as in heaven, are essentially subject to that eternall Law, which he hath appointed them; that every creature doth as constantly fulfill his will, and obey his power, in his absence, as if it were penetrated by his presence; that the eye of his knowledge pierceth every corner of the world, and seeth the secrets of mens hearts, as clearly, as if it were resi∣dent in their centers. And in part, unto this pur∣pose, some great Schoolemen distinguish the man∣ner of Gods being in all things, by his essence, by his power, by his presence. Let us take it as possible to supposition or imagination, (what by the habit of Christian faith, we are fully perswaded to bee in it selfe impossible) what by light of reason might be demonstrated to imply a manifest contradiction to any well-setled understanding, viz. [That infinite Page  48 Essence or Being it selfe should not be every-where es∣sentially present, or that infinite power should not bee able to reach every possible effect:] yet should al things that are, be present to him, whose name, whose best description is [I am.] Nothing could be done or said without his presence, that is, without his per∣fect notice. And in this sense perhaps it hath beene rightly avouched by some good Authors, whose meaning hath beene much mistaken, or wilfully perverted by others, That all things as well future as past, are alike present to Him, who was every where (before there was any distinction of times;) because nothing can bee said or done, without his perfect knowledge or just notice. Nothing can be begun, continued, or finished, without his expresse war∣rant or intuitive permission. He hath a vigilant eye over all things that are, or possibly can be. Or ta∣king it againe as not impossible to imagination, that divine knowledge were not so truly infinite as wee beleeve it is; yet admitting his power to bee truly infinite, nothing could be done, said, or intended, without its concourse, operation, or assistance. So that he might be everywhere by his infinite power, albeit his knowledge were not infinite; or every∣where by his infinite knowledge, albeit his power were but finite. But by the infallible consequence of these indemonstrable principles, it will necessa∣rily follow, That his Essence, being as was shewed before, truly infinite, nor world, nor time, nor place, nor power, nor wisedome, nor any thing possible can be where it is not, it must needs be, where any thing is, or possibly may be. He is in every center Page  49 of bodily or materiall substances, in every point imaginable of this visible Vniverse, as an essentiall root, whence all and every part of what is besides him spring, without waste or diffusion of his sub∣stance, without nutriment or sustentation from a∣ny other root or element. The conservation of im∣material or illocall substances, is from the benefit of his essentiall presence. Materialls are daily made and renewed by the transient efficacy of his crea∣tive power.

4 Doe we make these collections only, or doth not the Scripture teach this Philosophy also? Am I a God at hand, saith the Lord, and not a God farre off? Ier. 23. 23. Nothing is, nothing can be without the reach of his power, his omnipotency cannot be confined within the places that are: for his hand hath made them all, not as Prisons to inclose his Essence, not as manicles to hinder the exercise of his mightie arme. Can any hide himselfe in secret places, that I shall not see him? saith the Lord, Ibid. vers. 24. This is a formall demand of our assent unto the infinitie of his knowledge. These are two speciall, but not the onely wayes of his being eve∣ry where, which the Scripture teacheth: for there followes a third, which after the manner of our un∣derstanding, is the root or foundation of al the rest; that indeed, from which the two former branches are most necessarily inferred, Doe not I fill heaven and earth? saith the Lord. Doth He fill heaven and earth by his power, or by his knowledge onely? Nay, but most properly and in the first place by his essentiall presence. For his Essence is infinitely po∣werfull, Page  50 infinitely wise.

His filling the earth as well as heaven, by his es∣sentiall presence, cannot be denyed but from one of these two reasons following.

Either, That his Essence is altogether uncapable of intimate coexistence, with such grosse and base creatures, as the parts of this inferiour world:

Or else, Because it is his will, to abstract or with∣hold his essentiall presence from them.

To affirme the former part, to wit, That his na∣ture is uncapable of intimate coexistence with any nature created by Him, is to deny his omnipotency; as all, by necessary consequence, doe, which grant not the immensity of his Essence. For what can withstand or withdraw his Essence from piercing the earth, as well as heaven? Not the hardnesse of it, not the loathsomnesse of the vile bodies contai∣ned in it. If either of these qualitites, or ought be∣sides, could deny the admission of his essentiall pre∣sence, he were not omnipotent, because not able to place his Essence in that locall space, in which, were it filled with more subtill or more glorious bodies, it might as well reside, as in the heavens. Suppose he should (as no doubt hee is able) annihilate the earth, and create a new heaven in the space where∣in it now is, or demolish his present heavenly seat, or turne it into a baser masse then this earth is; were it not possible for him to bee in this new hea∣ven by his essentiall presence, or should he be nei∣ther in it, nor in the new earth? If hee could not be here, he were in this respect more impotent than the Angels, who can change their mansions when they mislike them.

Page  51 5 Shall wee then take the latter part of the for∣mer division, and say, It is his will and pleasure to withdraw his Essence from this lower roome of his own Edifice, whiles it remaines so ill garnished, as now it is? If hee have made heaven his habita∣tion by choice, not by necessity of his immensity, with which all places, as we contend, must neces∣sarily be filled; hee might relinquish it by the like free choice of some other mansion, which he could make for himselfe as pleasant and beautifull: yea, Hee might by the like freedome of will, come and dwell with us here on earth. So that in conclusion, he which admitteth Gods wil to be free, but denies the absolute immensity of his Essence, makes him capable of locall motion or migration from place to place. And such motion necessarily includeth mu∣tability, which is altogether incompatible with in∣finity. Reason grounded on Scripture, will warrant us to conclude from the former principle, that hee which hath no cause of being, can have no limits of being, no bounds beyond which it cannot be. Es∣sence or being illimited cannot possibly bee distin∣guished by severalties of internall perfections, though united: much lesse can it be distinguished or limited by any place, whether reall or imagina∣rie. In that he is the authorlesse Author of all being, it is altogether as impossible for Him not to bee in every thing that is, as it is for any thing to be with∣out Him. The indivisible unity of his infinite Es∣sence is the center and supporter of all things, the conservation of place, and that which holdeth things divisible from resolving into nothing.

Page  52 6 Dominus ipse est Deus in coelo sursum & in ter∣ra deorsum: The Lord (saith Moses) hee is God in heaven above, and in the earth below, Deut. 4. 39. yet saith Salomon, 1 King. 8. 27. Behold the heavens, and the heavens of heavens are not able to containe thee. May we say then, Hee is as truely without the hea∣vens, as he is in them? or that he is where nothing is with Him? surely, hee was when nothing was, and then hee was where nothing was besides him∣selfe. Or peradventure before the creation of all things numerable, there neither was whē nor where, but only an incomprehensible perfection of indivi∣sible immensity and eternity; which would still be the same, though neither heaven nor earth, nor any thing in them should any more be. We may not so place him without the heavens, as to cloath him with any imaginary space, or give the checke to his immensity by any parallel distance locall. But hee is said to be without the heavens, in as much as his infinite Essence cannot bee contained in them, but necessarily containes them. Hee is so with∣out them, or if you will, beyond them, that albeit a thousand more Worlds were stowed by His powerfull hand each above other, and all above this; Hee should by vertue of His infi∣nite Essence, not by free choyce of will, or mutation of place, bee as intimately coexistent to every part of them, as Hee now is to any part of this Heaven and Earth which wee see. This attribute of Divine immensitie was ac∣knowledged, and excellently expressed by ma∣ny of the Ancient Philosophers, but most pi∣thily Page  53 by some of the Ancient Fathers. Before all things, saith*Tertullian, God was alone, and hee was to himselfe, world, place, and all things. The manner of his coexistence with the world, *Philo the Iew well expressed: God filleth all things, yet is contained in none, containing all. The vicinity of His Essence preserveth their Essences more truly than the symbolizing qualities of their naturall places doe. And even this efficacy of symbolizing or preserving qualities, flowes as im∣mediately from his essentiall presence, as the passive aptitude of bodies preserved by them, doth. The more the places are through which bodies naturall swiftly move, the lesse properly they are in them. In analogy to this condition of naturall bodies, the more capable man is of all knowledge, the more lyable his capacity is to distraction, as consisting ra∣ther in united perfections, than in firme and indivi∣sible unity of perfection. And therefore it is often said of most pregnant wits, qui ubi{que} est, nusquam est, He that is every where, is no where. Or he that in∣gageth himselfe to all courses of life, goeth through with none. But of God, who is perfection it selfe, not by aggregation, but by absolute unity of Es∣sence; that of Saint Bernard is most admirably verified, Nusquam est, & bi{que} est, Hee is no where, because no place whether reall or imaginary can comprehend or containe him: He is every where, because no body, no space, or spirituall substance can exclude his presence, or avoid the penetration of his Essence. But Saint Gregories Character of Gods ubiquitary presence and immensity, is more Page  54 lively and full. Deus est intra omnia non inclusus, extra omnia non exclusus, supra omnia non elatus; God is within all things, yet not shut up, or inclo∣sed in them; he is without all things, yet not exclu∣ded from them; hee is above all things, yet not ele∣vated or exalted by them; hee is below all things, yet not burdened or depressed by them. Greg. in Psal. 139.

7 Anselmus notwithstanding (had not long custome or generall consent prescribed too strōgly against him) would have reformed this kinde of speech, Deus est in omni loco, God is in every place, by changing one particle, Deus est cum omni loco, God is with every place. This Criticisme of his, though well approved by some good writers; whilest they dispute against such as say God was every where, before any place was, yet (in my opi∣nion) the use of it, were it as common as the other, which he sought by this to correct, would cōceale much matter of admiration, (which the descripti∣on of immensity used by Saint Bernard and others promptly suggests) if not occasion or suggest an er∣roneous imagination of coextension in the Divine Essence. The bodies which are contained in places, are truly said to be with the places which containe them, and the places with them; and wee may di∣stributively averre, that every body is with every place, and every bodily substance is with its mathe∣maticall dimenions, in the same place with it. But so to be in every place, in every least part of e∣very body, as not to bee contained in any or all of them, though we should multiply them in infinitū,Page  55 doth exclude all conceipt or coextension with thē, and much better notifie the indivisible unitie of Gods immensity, & the incōprehensiblenes of his essentiall presence, than if wee should say he were with every place. But as no Characters of the in∣comprehensible Essences ubiquitary presence doe so well befit it, as these that intimate more to our cogitations than we can in words expresse: So of this kinde I have found none, from which I have re∣ceived so full instruction, or reaped the like fruits of admiration, as from that of Trismegist, Deus est sphaera, cujus Centrum est ubi{que}, cujus peripheria nus∣quam, God is a sphere, whose Center is every∣where, whose circumference is no where. Not the least particle of this universall Globe or sphere, but is supported by the indivisible unity of his Essence, as by an internall Center. And yet neither the ut∣most circumference of this visible world, nor any circumference conceiveable, can so circumscribe or comprehend his essentiall presence, that it might bee said, thus farre it reacheth and no further. For albeit hee would crowne the convexity of these Heavens with others, so much higher and more spacious, than these Heavens, as these are than the Earth, and continue this course unto the worlds end: yet all should bee comprehended in his Es∣sence; it could not be comprehended in any. Their circumference should still be somewhere, whereas his Essence, though still inlarging (by this supposed daily exercise of his power) the bounds of its actu∣all coexistence with these new creatures, is in it selfe altogether boundlesse. Omnipotency it selfe, Page  56 cannot pitch a circumference to it, because nothing can be, but it must be in it, which onely truly is, and cannot bee contained in any thing imaginable. In that all things are contained in him, he is rightly re∣sembled by a sphere, which is of al figures the most capacious. In that all things cannot comprehend him, He is rightly resembled by a sphere whose cir∣cumference is no where.

8 Two points notwithstanding in the former resemblance seeme difficult to mens conceipts; but more difficult it is fully to expresse what may rightly be conceived concerning them. The former difficulty is, how a Center should be conceived to be every where: The second, how the indivisibi∣lity of Gods presence in every place, should bee compared unto a Center. To the former it may be sayd, That as the divine Essence by reason of its ab∣solute infinity, hath an absolute necessity of coex∣istence with space or magnitude infinite: so were it possible there should bee (as some Divines hold it possible there may be) a magnitude or materiall sphere actually infinite; this magnitude could have no set point for its Center, but of every point de∣signable in it, wee might avouch this is the Center as well as that. Every point should have the nega∣tive properties of a sphericall Center; there could be no inequality betweene the distances of severall points from the circumference of that which is in∣finite, and hath no bounds of magnitude. To the second difficulty it may bee said, The manner of di∣vine presence or coexistence to every place or par∣cell of bodies visible, is rightly compared unto a Page  53 Center, in that it hath no diversity of parts, but is indivisibly present to all and every part of things divisible. His presence againe is herein like to mag∣nitude actually infinite, in that it can have no cir∣cumference. But whether the divine Essence may have as perfect actuall coexistence to every point or Center, as it hath to every least portion of mag∣nitudes divisible, cannot so cleerely bee inferred from the indivisibility of divine immensity, because the indivisibility of Centers or points, and of spiri∣tuall substances are Heterogeneall, and Heteroge∣nealls are oft-times assymmetrall, that is, not exactly commensurable. Hence the most subtill Schoole-men or metaphysicall Divines, as well ancient as moderne, resolve it as a point irresoluble by hu∣mane wit, whether a mathematicall point or Cen∣ter can be the compleat and definitive place of an Angell, albeit they hold the Angelicall natures to bee as truely indivisible, as points or Centers are. But it is one thing for an immateriall or spirituall Essence to have true coexistence with every Cen∣ter, another to be confined to a Center, or to have a definitive place or coexistence in it. And what∣soever may bee thought of Angells; of the Divine Essence we may say, that he is as properly in every Center as in every place, seting wee acknowledge Him to bee alike incomprehensibly and indivisibly in both. The manner of his indivisibility we con∣ceive by his coexistence to a Center. His incom∣prehensiblenesse, by his coexistence to all spaces or places imaginable, without coextension to any, without comprehension in all. We may in no case Page  58 imagine, that there is more of God, or that God is more fully in a great space than in a little; in the whole world, than in a man or little world. For this once granted, an Asses head should participate the essentiall presence of the Deity in greater measure than a mans heart doth. But in what respects God is said to bee more specially present in one place than in another, or to be present with some, and ab∣sent from others: hereafter.

9 The absolute perfection of this Attribute, in whose right apprehension or conceipt many other divine perfections, according to our manner of conceiving them, are as it were couched or lodged, may best bee gathered by opposition to the imper∣fections of bodies or materiall magnitudes. A body though of Homogeneall nature, suppose a Pole or stone fixed in the earth, invironed above with water and the ayre, can have no coexistence with these di∣vers bodies, otherwise than according to the diver∣sity of its owne parts: that part of it which hath coexistence with the ayre, can have no coexistence with the earth or water. Farre otherwise it is in God, whose absolute infinity in that it is not com∣posed of parts, but consists in perfect unity, cannot bee coexistent to any place after any other manner than He is coexistent to all, that is, by indivisible unity or identity, Wheresoever He is (and Hee is every where,) He is unity it selfe, infinity it selfe, im∣mensity it selfe, perfection it selfe, power it selfe. All these branches of quantity, in which we seek to in∣grasse so many sorts of infinities, thereby to ex∣presse or resemble His incomprehensible nature, Page  59 do flow from participation of his infinite presence. Vnlesse He were infinitie or immensity it selfe, there could be no magnitude, no measure quantitative, by whose multiplication wee could in any sort ga∣ther or guesse what immensitie or infinitie meant. That imaginary infinitie which wee conceive by succession or composition of parts (for their seve∣rall extensions finite, though in number infinite) is but a transient raye or beame of that actuall and stable infinitenesse, which Hee possesseth in perfect unitie, without any imaginary diversity of parts united. Had his immensity any diversity of parts, there should be more power in many parts, than in one, or few: unto the full exercise of his whole po∣wer or force, there should bee a concurrence of all parts required: & this concurrence of parts in num∣ber infinite, would perhaps be impossible. Infinitum transire non potest. At the least, were divine power so lodged in divine immensitie, as strēgth or power is in our bodily faculties, it could not bee so omnipo∣tent, as we beleeve it is. Our strength or force is al∣waies increased by unition or cōtraction of severall parts; His power can receive no increase seeing his immensity excludes al division, & doth not so pro∣perly include, but rather properly is, Vnity it selfe.

10 The Prophets and other holy men in their patheticall expressions sometime speake of God as farre absent, because his powerfull presence is not manifested in such sort as they could wish. Oh that thou wouldest rend the Heavens (saith the Prophet Esa. c. 64. 1.) that thou wouldest come downe, that the mountaines might flow down at thy presence: As when Page  56 the melting fire burneth, the fire causeth the waters to boile: to make thy name knowne to thine adversaries, that the Nations may tremble at thy presence. When thou diddest terrible things which wee looked not for, thou camest downe, the mountaines flowed downe at thy presence. But to indoctrinate us, that this de∣scription of his powerfull presence did include no dogmaticall assertion of his locall descent, no deny∣all of his being everywhere, or filling every place by his essentiall presence: the same Prophet else∣where pictures out his immensity to us under the shape of a Gyant able to squeze the whole Globe of Heaven, Earth & waters; Who hath measured the waters in the hollow of his hand? & meted out heaven with his span, and comprehended the dust of the earth in his three fingers (after such a manner as men take up dust or sand) and weighed the mountaines in scales, and the hills in a ballance? Esay 40. 12. Be∣hold the Nations are as a drop of a Bucket, and are counted as the small dust of the Ballance. Behold, he taketh up the Isles as a very little thing. All Nations before him are as nothing, and they are accounted to him lesse than nothing and vanity, vers. 15. 17. Thus hee linketh his essentiall presence with his power and knowledge. Why sayest thou O Iacob, and speakest O Israel; My way is hid from the Lord, and my Iudgement is passed over from my God? Hast thou not knowne? hast thou not heard, that the everlasting God, the Lord, the Creator of the ends of the Earth fainteth not, neither is wearie? there is no search∣ing of his understanding. vers. 27, 28. Yet Iob in his anguish had almost said as Iacob did; O that Page  61 I knew where I might finde him! that I might come e∣ven to his seat! I would know the words which he would answer me & understand what he would say unto me. Behold, I go forward but he is not there, and backward but I cannot perceive him: On the left hand where he doth worke, but I cannot behold him: he hideth him∣selfe on the right hand, that I cannot see him. Iob 23. 3, 5, 8, 9. But though he might hide himselfe from Iob, yet could not Iob hide himselfe or his wayes from him: for so he confesseth in the next words, He knoweth the way which I take, vers. 10. Whither shall I goe (saith the Psalmist) from thy Spirit? or whither shall I flye from thy presence? If I ascend up into Heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in Hell, behold thou art there. If I take the wings of the mor∣ning and dwell in the uttermost parts of the Sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me, &c. Psal. 139. vers. 7, 8, 9, 10. Thou hast possest my reines; thou hast covered me in my mothers wombe. These and the like straines of other godly men, argue a sympathy of Gods essentiall presence, not onely invironing their bodies, but penetrating their soules, and diffused through their hearts. His coexistence with all, his essentiall presence or inha∣bitation in all, is the same, although the worldly minded take no notice of it. And when it is sayd, that he beholdeth or knoweth the ungodly afarre off, this language fitly expresseth their conceit of him, and of his essence. They consider not, that hee is alwayes neere unto them, alwayes about them, al∣wayes within them, but in heaven onely, whither their thoughts seldome ascend. And according to Page  62 their misconceit of him, so it happens to them, they imagine him to be farre distant from them, and his helpe and succour in their distresse comes slowly to them, as if it had too farre to goe.

highlight hits: on | off