Tuesday, July 30, 2013

God's Unsearchable Greatness

Great is the Lord, and greatly to be praised, and his greatness is unsearchable.  (Psalm 145:3)

The appearance of God is ineffable and indescribable, and cannot be seen by eyes of flesh.  For in glory He is incomprehensible, in greatness unfathomable, in height inconceivable, in power incomparable, in wisdom unrivaled, in goodness inimitable, in kindness unutterable.  For if I say He is Light, I name but His own work.  If I call Him Word, I name but His sovereignty.  If I call Him Mind, I speak but of His wisdom.  If I say He is Spirit, I speak of His breath.  If I call Him Wisdom, I speak of His offspring.  If I call Him Strength, I speak of His sway.  If I call Him Power, I am mentioning His activity; if Providence, I but mention His goodness.  If I call Him Kingdom, I but mention His glory.  If I call Him Lord, I mention His being judge.  If I call Him Judge, I speak of Him as being just.  If I call Him Father, I speak of all things as being from Him.  If I call Him Fire, I but mention His anger.  You will say to me then, "Is God angry?"  Yes, He is angry with those who act wickedly, but He is good and kind and merciful to those who love and fear Him.  For He is a chastener of the godly and father of the righteous, but he is a judge and punisher of the impious.

And He is without beginning, because He is unbegotten; and He is unchangeable, because He is immortal.  And he is called God on account of His having placed all things on security afforded by Himself … running and moving and being active and nourishing and foreseeing and governing and making all things alive.  But he is Lord, because He rules over the universe; Father, because he is before all things; Fashioner and Maker, because He is creator and maker of the universe; the Highest, because of His being above all; and Almighty, because He Himself rules and embraces all.  For the heights of heaven, and the depths of the abysses, and the ends of the earth, are in His hand, and there is no place of His rest.  For the heavens are His work, the earth is His creation, the sea is His handiwork.  Man is His formation and His image.  Sun, moon, and stars are His elements, made for signs, and seasons, and days, and years, that they may serve and be slaves to man.  And all things God has made out of things that were not into things that are, in order that through His works His greatness may be known and understood.

Theophilus of Antioch, To Autolycus 1.3-4

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