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God the first Cause, and last
ROM XI. 36.
For of him, and through him, and
to him are all things, to whom be Glory for ever. Amen.
Aving consider'd the
fections of the Divine Nature, as also that which results from the infinite Excellency and Perfection of God, compar'd with the Imperfection of our Understandings; I come in the last place to treat of such as are mere D d 2
mly and purely Relative; as that Vol. 1.
He is the first Cairse, and the last End of all things; to which purpose I have chosen these words of the Apostle, for the Subject of my present Discourse ; For of him, and through him &c,
The dependence of these Words upon the former is briefly this. The Apostle had been speaking before in this Chapter, several things that might tend to raise us to an Admiration of the Wisdom, and Goodness, and Mercy of God, in the dispensation of his Grace, for the Salvation of men, both Jems and Gentiles, and therefore would have us ascribe this work wholly to God; the contrivance of it to his Wisdom, and not to our own counsel, v. 34. For who hath known the mind of the Lord? and who hath been his counsellour ? and the bestowing this grace, to his free Goodness and Mercy, and not to any desert of ours, v. 35. Or who hath first given to him, and it shall be recompensed to him
again? Yea, and not only in the u
Vol. VII dispensation of Grace, but of all good things; tiot only in this work of Redemption, but also of Creation, God is the Fountain, and Original, and first Cause, from whenceevery thing proceeds; and the last End, to which every thing is to be referr’d. For of him, &c. E auto, from him, the efficient Cause producing all things; si dute, by, or through him, as the efficient conserving Cause of all things; y els óvtov, and to him, as the final Cause of all things, and the End for which they were made.
The Proposition I shall speak to is, that God is the first Cause, and last End.
Firsi, I Mall a little Explain the Terms.
Secondly, Confirm the Proposition.
Vol. VII. Thirdly, Apply it.
First, For the Explication of the Terms.
1. That God is the first Cause signifies,
1. Negatively, that he had no Cause, did not derive his Being from any other, or does depend upon any other Being ; but that he was always, and eternally of himself,
2. Pofitively, that he is the Cause of all things besides himself, the Fountain and Original of all Created Beings, from whom all things proceed, and upon whom all things depend; or, that I may use the expression of Saint John, Joh. 1. 3. which I know is appropriated to the Second Person in the Trinity, By him all things were made, and without him was nothing made that was made. So that when we attribute to God, that