Tag Archives: God’s Attributes

“The presence of God in the pressures of His people” by Stephen Charnock

“The omnipresence of God is a comfort in sharp afflictions. Good men have a comfort in this presence in their nasty prisons, oppressing tribunals; in the overflowing waters or scorching flames, He is still with them, (Isa. 43:2).

And many times, by His presence, He keeps the bush from consuming, when it seems to be all in a flame. In afflictions, God shows Himself most present when friends are most absent: ‘When my father and mother forsake me, then the Lord shall take me up,’ (Ps. 27:10).

Then God will stoop and gather me into His protection; Heb. ‘shall gather me,’ alluding to those tribes that were to bring up the rear in the Israelites’ march, to take care that none were left behind, and exposed to famine or wild beasts, by reason of some disease that disenabled them to keep pace with their brethren.

He that is the sanctuary of His people in all calamities is more present with them to support them, than their adversaries can be present with them, to afflict them: ‘A present help in the time of trouble,’ (Ps. 46:2).

He is present with all things for this end; though His presence be a necessary presence, in regard of the immensity of His nature, yet the end of this presence, in regard that it is for the good of His people, is a voluntary presence.

It is for the good of man He is present in the lower world, and principally for the good of His people, for whose sake He keeps up the world: (2 Chron. 16:9), ‘His eyes run to and fro throughout the whole earth, to shew Himself strong in the behalf of them whose heart is perfect towards Him.’

If he doth not deliver good men from afflictions, He will be so present as to manage them in them, as that His glory shall issue from them, and their grace be brightened by them.

What a man was Paul, when he was lodged in a prison, or dragged to the courts of judicature; when he was torn with rods, or laden with chains! Then did he show the greatest miracles, made the judge tremble upon the bench, and break the heart, though not the prison, of the jailor,—so powerful is the presence of God in the pressures of His people.

This presence outweighs all other comforts, and is more valuable to a Christian than barns of corn or cellars of wine can be to a covetous man, (Ps. 4:7). It was this presence was David’s cordial in the mutinying of his soldiers, (1 Sam. 30:6).

What a comfort is this in exile, or a forced desertion of our habitations! Good men may be banished from their country, but never from the presence of their Protector; ye cannot say of any corner of the earth, or of any dungeon in a prison, God is not here.

If you were cast out of your country a thousand miles off, you are not out of God’s precinct. His arm is there to cherish the good, as well as to drag out the wicked.

It is the same God, the same presence in every country, as well as the same sun, moon, and stars.”

–Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse Upon God’s Omnipresence,” in The Existence and Attributes of God, in The Works of Stephen Charnock, Vol. 1 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1681/2010), 1: 451–452.

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“An infinite God” by Matthew Mead

“It is an infinite righteousness that must satisfy for our sins, for it is an infinite God that is offended by us.

If ever your sin be pardoned, it is infinite mercy that must pardon it.

If ever you be reconciled to God, it is infinite merit must do it.

If ever your heart be changed, and your soul renewed, it is infinite power must effect it.

And if ever your soul escape Hell, and be saved at last, it is infinite grace must save it.”

–Matthew Mead, The Almost Christian Discovered; or, the False Professor Tried and Cast (London: William Baynes and Son, 1825), 241.

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“He cannot give a greater Son to us” by Stephen Charnock

“In God’s giving Christ to be our Redeemer, He gave the highest gift that it was possible for divine goodness to bestow. As there is not a greater God than Himself to be conceived, so there is not a greater gift for this great God to present to His creatures.

And though He could create millions of worlds for us, He cannot give a greater Son to us.

When God intended in redemption the manifestation of his highest goodness, it could not be without the donation of the choicest gift.

As when He would ensure our comfort He swears ‘by Himself,’ because He cannot ‘swear by a greater,’ (Heb. 6:13), so when He would ensure our happiness He gives as His Son, because He cannot give a greater, being equal with Himself.

Had the Father given Himself in person, He had given one first in order, but not greater in essence and glorious perfections.

The wounds of an Almighty God for us are a greater testimony of goodness than if we had all the other riches of heaven and earth.”

–Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse on the Goodness of God,” The Existence and Attributes of God, The Works of Stephen Charnock, Vol. 2 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1681/2010), 2: 324-325.

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“Whatsoever God is, He is infinitely so” by Stephen Charnock

“All the perfections of God are infinitely elevated above the excellencies of the creatures, above whatsoever can be conceived by the clearest and most piercing understanding.

The nature of God, as a Spirit, is infinitely superior to whatsoever we can conceive perfect in the notion of a created spirit.

Whatsoever God is, He is infinitely so.

He is infinite wisdom, infinite goodness, infinite knowledge, infinite power, infinite spirit, infinitely distant from the weakness of creatures, infinitely mounted above the excellencies of creatures.

As easy to be known that He is, as impossible to be comprehended what He is.

Conceive of Him as excellent, without any imperfection, as a Spirit without parts, as great without quantity, as perfect without quality, as everywhere without place, as powerful without members, as understanding without ignorance, as wise without reasoning, as light without darkness.

Conceive of Him as infinitely more excelling the beauty of all creatures, than the light in the sun pure and unviolated exceeds the splendour of the sun dispersed and divided through a cloudy and misty air.

And when you have risen to the highest, conceive Him yet infinitely above all you can conceive of spirit, and acknowledge the infirmity of your own minds.

And whatsoever conception comes into your minds, say, ‘This is not God. God is more than this.’

If I could conceive Him, He were not God, for God is incomprehensibly above whatsoever I can say, whatsoever I can think and conceive of Him.”

–Stephen Charnock, “A Discourse Upon God’s Being a Spirit,” The Works of Stephen Charnock, Vol. 1 (Carlisle, PA: Banner of Truth, 1681/2010), 1: 279.

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