attributes; for these are accidental, not necessary or inseparable from the idea of God. God would be God, if he had never created.
To make creation eternal and necessary is to dethrone God and to enthrone a fatalistic development. It follows that the nature of the attributes is to be illustrated, not alone or chiefly from wisdom and holiness in man, which are not inseparable from man?s nature, but rather from intellect and will in man, without which he would cease to be man altogether. Only that is an attribute, of which it can be safely said that he who possesses it would, if deprived of it, cease to be God. Shedd, Dogmatic Theology, 1:335 ? The attribute is the whole essence acting in a certain way. The center of unity is not in any on attribute, but in the essence ? The difference between the divine attribute and the divine person is, that the person is a mode of the existence of the essence, while the attribute is a mode either of the relation, or of the operation, of the essence.?
4. The attributes manifest the divine essence. The essence is revealed only through the attributes. Apart from its attributes it is unknown and unknowable.
But though we can know God only as he reveals to us his attributes, we do, notwithstanding, in knowing these attributes, know the being to whom these attributes belong. That this knowledge is partial does not prevent its corresponding, so far as it goes, to objective reality in the nature of God.
All God?s revelations are, therefore, revelations of himself in and through his attributes. Our aim must be to determine from God?s works and words what qualities, dispositions, determinations, powers of his otherwise unseen and unsearchable essence he has actually made known to us; or in other words, what are the revealed attributes of God.
<430118> John 1:18 ? ?No man hath seen God at any time; the only begotten Son, who is in the bosom of the Father, he hath declared him?; <540616>1 Timothy 6:16 ? ?whom no man hath seen, nor can see ?; <400508>Matthew 5:8 ? ?Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God?; 11:27 ? ?neither doth any man know the Father, save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son willeth to reveal him.? C.A. Strong: ?Kant, not content with knowing the reality in the phenomena, was trying to know the reality apart from the phenomena; he was seeking to know, without fulfilling the conditions of knowledge; in short, he wished to know without knowing.? So Agnosticism perversely regards God as concealed by his own manifestation. On the contrary, in knowing the phenomena we know
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