The Oneness Of God In Revelation And In Nature -- By: Austin Phelps

Journal: Bibliotheca Sacra
Volume: BSAC 016:64 (Oct 1859)
Article: The Oneness Of God In Revelation And In Nature
Author: Austin Phelps


The Oneness Of God In Revelation And In Nature1

Austin Phelps

Thus saith God the Lord, He that created the heavens, and stretched them out; He that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it; He that giveth breath unto the people upon it, and spirit to them that walk therein; I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles. — Isaiah 42:5-6.

It was one of the querulous objections of Voltaire to Christianity, that the “priesthood,” as he loved to call even the protestant clergy of his day, persisted in selecting brief and isolated passages from an obsolete volume, as the texts of their discourses. It argued, he said, their own poverty of thought, and the puerility of the superstition by which they would enslave the minds of men. But the Bible, aside from its inspired dignity, is more affluent in thought than any other volume in any literature. Although, for the most part, it is a plain book, written by plain men, composed of plain histories and biographies, of familiar letters, and of stories for children, yet it is dense with principles, which the philosophy of the ages has struggled for in vain, until it has condescended to inquire of these plain scriptures. A single paragraph of the scriptures often contains a truth, which, had it been a discovery of human science, would have made the name of the discoverer immortal. Such is the character of the text.

The first of the two verses is a description of God; the second is a declaration of his purposes. “Thus saith God the Lord, he that created the heavens and stretched them out” — that is, “thus saith that Being whose power and wisdom are displayed in the stellar universe.” “He that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it” — that is,

“thus saith that Being who formed the terrestrial continents and oceans, and has given life to the processes of vegetation.” “He that giveth breath unto the people upon it” — that is, “thus saith that Being who has called into existence the sentient creation upon the earth.” “He that giveth spirit to them that walk therein” — that is, “thus saith that Being, who is the God of mind, and the disposer of its laws of action.” Thus the prophet describes God as the God of nature. What then, is the declaration which is introduced so impressively? It is often an idiom of prophetic speech, and especially of the style of Isaiah, when a declaration is to be made respecting the work of redemption, to give it the form of a direct address t...

You must have a subscription and be logged in to read the entire article.
Click here to subscribe
visitor : : uid: ()