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Help Thy feeble Child, and give

Strength to serve Thee day and night,
Loving Thee with all my Might,
While on Earth I yet must live:

So shall I, when Time is o'er,

Praise and Love Thee evermore!'

Paul Gerhardt, 1659.

The Name of GOD, when taken absolutely, is to be considered as relating to God the Father; as when it is said, in the Epistle to the Romans, (Chap. viii. 3.) 'GOD sent His own Son;' for He is the Origin, Author, Root, and Fountain, of the whole Divinity. His Dignity, therefore, is expressed by His being the First Person of the Holy Trinity.

The next Word of the Creed teaches us His chief attribute-we say, 'I BELIEVE IN GOD THE FATHER ALMIGHTY.' And fit it is that this term should be chosen, and set at the commencement of our Belief, because, as Bishop Nicholson remarks, 'the things which follow are most of them so transcendent, and so far pass our capacity and understanding, that if at any time there should be in us an evil heart of unbelief, so that we stagger at the promises, we might have an eye to this word Almighty, and remember that He is an Omnipotent Father, a Powerful LORD and King, and can do what He will in Heaven and Earth.'

'With God all things are possible.' (St. Mark, x. 27.) "The Name, the Almighty, or GOD Almighty, is but seldom used in Holy Scripture. It is not used as a mere Name of GOD, but always in reference to His Might.

'In the New Testament it occurs almost exclusively in the Revelations, which reveal His Judgments to come. GOD revealed Himself by this Name to Abra

ham, when renewing to him the promise which was beyond nature-that he should be a Father of many nations, when he and Sarah were "old and well stricken in age,"-"I am the Almighty GOD." (Gen. xvii. 1.)

'He again uses it of Himself in renewing the Blessing to Jacob; (Gen. xxxv. 11.) and Isaac and Jacob use it in Blessing in His Name. (Gen. xxviii. 3.) "GOD Almighty Bless thee." (Gen. xliii. 14.) "GOD Almighty give you mercy before the man." (Gen. xlix. 25.) “By the God of thy Father Who shall help thee, and by the Almighty Who shall Bless thee."

'In the book of Job, which treats chiefly of GOD'S Power, it occurs thirty-one times :-twice in the Psalms, once when speaking of GOD putting forth His might, (Ps. lxviii. 14.) "When the Almighty scattered Kings for their sakes," and once when speaking of His protecting power, (Ps. xci. 1.) "Whoso dwelleth under the defence of the Most High, shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.""

From the writings of those learned Divines who have examined the derivation of this word, Almighty, we learn that it has two significations-the one, expressive of the Rule and Dominion which God hath over all; the second, the Strength, Force, and Power, by which He is able to perform His Will upon and with all things. With the former of these meanings, this, the first Article of the Creed, seems to have the greater connection: as we learn by it the following Truths respecting the Great Creator. First, His right of making and framing any thing which He willed; secondly, His right of having and possessing all things so made by Him; thirdly, His right of using and disposing of all things according to His good Pleasure:

* Dr. Pusey-' Commentary on the Minor Prophets.'

thus this word asserts His right of universal Rule and Dominion.

'He is the Blessed and only Potentate-the King of Kings, and LORD of Lords.' (1 Tim. vi. 15.)

'And this Right of Dominion He receiveth not from any other; it is exercised by acts of His own Will; it is unlimited, absolute, and supreme; and is the Foundation whence all Dominion in any other is derived; whoever else has any, he hath it from Him either by Gift or Permission." "*

This Power of Almighty God is like all His other attributes-Eternal; it diminishes not, it changes not; as it was in the Beginning, so it is now, and ever shall be, world without end.'

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In our consideration of the Baptismal Vow, we dwelt upon the importance of having the Love of GOD working in our hearts-to possess also the Fear of GOD is most essential. What is it which deters men generally from offending against the laws of their Country? Is it not the fear of detection, the fear of Punishment? In like manner, Fear of the Wrath of a Mighty and Terrible GOD, Whose Power is Infinite, and Whose Justice Immutable, may well stop us in our career of evil doings, especially when we know that there is no possibility of our avoiding detection by Him 'unto Whom all Hearts are open, all Desires known, and from Whom no secrets are hid.' He is at once Omniscient and Omnipresent. 'The Eyes of the LORD are in every place, beholding the Evil and the Good.' (Prov. xv. 3.)

Moreover, 'The Fear of the LORD is the beginning of Wisdom,'t for it excites the Sinner to depart from Evil; as it is written, 'By the Fear of the LORD men depart from evil.' (Prov. xvi. 6.)

*Pearson on the Creed.

+ Ps. cxi. 10.

That Mankind might learn how essential it was for them to possess this Fear of Almighty GoD, and to fix in their minds a reverential Awe of His Glorious and Fearful Majesty, the LORD Himself delivered Ilis Law to His chosen people from Mount Sinai, accompanied with every sign and visible token of Mighty and Terrible Power, combining with these awful sights and sounds an express command that no persons, but those especially desired to do so, should come near or 'touch' the mountain, on pain of Death. We read that so intense was the Fear produced in the minds of the people of Israel, that they removed and stood afar off, and said unto Moses, Speak thou with us, and we will hear; but let not GOD speak with us, lest we die.' (Exodus, xx. 19.) Thus this display of Almighty Power led this self-willed and stiff-necked people to yield themselves to the Governance of the Most High, and to submit to all the restraints which were ordained to keep them separate from the Heathen nations around them.

All their appointed Rites and Ceremonies preserved in some measure in their minds the remembrance of the Majesty of Heaven, and the unapproachableness of guilty man towards Him without the intervention of a Mediator. The Fear of the LORD was kept always before them.

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But let us mark the change which passed upon the mind of mankind when the Gospel of Love was announced. There were shepherds abiding in the field, keeping watch over their Flock by night. And lo! the Angel of the LORD came upon them, and the Glory of the LORD shone round about them, and they were sore afraid." But this Fear was now to be cast aside by the good Tidings of Salvation-the Great Joy

*

* St. Luke, ii. 8, 9.

which was to be to all people.' For this cause the Angel said unto them, 'Fear not.' He had come Who, as the Prophet had foretold, (Isa. Ixi.)' was anointed to Preach good Tidings to the Meek, to Bind up the Broken-hearted, to Proclaim Liberty to the Captive, and the opening of the Prison to them that are bound ;' and when this Saviour of the World, the only-begotten Son of God, wrought His wondrous Miracles of Love and Mercy amongst us, we read (St. Luke, vii. 16.) that 'there came a Fear on all;' but it was a Fear of Astonishment, not of dread alone. Love to GOD for His Mercy to them, so subdued the Fear of His Power, that a desire to Praise Him took possession of their Hearts, and they felt drawn towards Him Who had done such great things for them; for we read, 'they Glorified GOD.'

Then was fulfilled the prophecy of the Prophet Hosea: (Chap. iii. 5.) 'They shall Fear the LORD and His Goodness in the latter days;' which phrase always means the days of the Messiah. 'This Fear is not one which makes man shrink back from His Awful Majesty. It is a fear most opposed to this; a Fear, whereby they shall flee to Him for help from all that is to be feared; a Reverent Holy Awe, which should even impel them to Him; a Fear of losing Him, which should make them hasten to Him: yet they should hasten tremblingly, as bearing in memory their past unfaithfulness and ill deserts, and fearing to approach, but for the greater fear of turning away! His Goodness draws them, and to it they betake themselves, away from all the causes of fear their Sins, themselves, the Evil One. Yet even His Goodness is a source of Awe. His Goodness! How much it contains! All whereby GOD is good in Himself; all whereby He is good to us. So, then, His

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