Can you by searching find out God? can you find out the Almighty to perfection?
This term or attribute is a relative term, and speaks a relation between an object and a faculty, between God and a created understanding. God knows Himself, but He is incomprehensible to His creatures. Give the proof of the doctrine —
I. BY WAY OF INSTANCE OR INDUCTION OF PARTICULARS.
1. Instances on the part of the object. The nature of God, the excellency and perfection of God, the works and ways of God, are above our thoughts and apprehensions. We can only understand God's perfections as He communicates them, and not as He possesses them. We must not frame notions of them contrary to what they are in the creature, nor must we limit them by what they are in the creature. The ways of God's providence are not to be traced. We take a part from the whole, and consider it by itself, without relation to the whole series of His dispensations.
2. Instances on the part of the subject, or the persons capable of knowing, God in any measure. The perfect knowledge of God is above a finite creature's understanding. Wicked men are full of false apprehensions of God. And good men have some false apprehensions. The angels do not arrive at perfect knowledge of Him.
II. BY WAY OF CONVICTION. If the creature be unsearchable, is not the Creator much more unsearchable. He possesses all the perfections which He communicates, and many which cannot be communicated to a creature.
III. THE CLEAR REASON OF IT. Which is this — the disproportion between the faculty and the object; the finiteness of our understandings, and the infiniteness of the Divine nature and perfections. Apply this doctrine —
1. It calls for our admiration, and veneration, and reverence.
2. It calls for humility and modesty.
3. It calls for the highest degree of our affection.
(J. Tillotson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Canst thou by searching find out God? canst thou find out the Almighty unto perfection?