True Christian Religion #90

True Christian Religion (Dick translation)

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90. Those who do not know that the Divine omnipotence proceeds and operates according to order may form many contradictory and fanciful ideas that are opposed to sound reason. Thus they may ask why God did not instantly assume the Human without such progression. Why He did not create or compose for Himself a body out of elements from the four quarters of the earth, and so present Himself as God-Man visible to the Jewish people, nay, to the whole world. Or if it was His will to be born, why He did not infuse His whole Divinity into Himself in the embryonic state, or as an infant. Or why, after birth, he did not at once become an adult and forthwith speak from the Divine Wisdom. Such are the ideas that may be conceived and expressed by those who think of Divine omnipotence apart from order, and who thus fill the Church with wild and groundless absurdities.

This in fact has been done. It has been declared that God could beget a Son from eternity, and then cause a third God to proceed from Himself and the Son. Also that He could be angry with the human race, put them under a curse, and then be willing to show them mercy through the Son, by the Son's intercession and the remembrance of His cross. Further that He can impart His Son's righteousness to man, and implant it in his heart like the simple substance of Wolff, 1 in which, as this author says, is all the merit of the Son that cannot be divided, since if it were divided it would come to nothing. Moreover that He can, as by a Papal Bull, remit sin to whomsoever He will, or cleanse the most impious sinner from his dark evils, making a man, who is as black as a devil, as white as angel of light; and this while he remains inert as a stone, and inactive as a statue or an idol. Many are the other inane notions which those may spread abroad, as the winnower's fan scatters chaff into the air, who with no knowledge and acknowledgment of any order, suppose the Divine Power to be absolute. Such men, in respect to spiritual matters which belong to heaven, the Church, and therefore to eternal life, may wander from Divine truths as a blind man in a wood, who now stumbles over stones, now dashes his forehead against a tree, and now entangles his hair in its branches.

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Footnotes:

1. Wolff, Johann Christian, A.D. 1679-1754, a German philosopher of little originality or depth. His leading ideas are taken from Leibnitz.

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