therefore not will in the sense of volition, but will in the sense of the whole movement of his active being. With Muller?s view Thomasius and Delitzsch are agreed. For refutation of it, see Philippi, Glaubenslehre, 2:63.
God?s essence is not his act, not only because this would imply that he could destroy himself, but also because before willing there must be being. Those who hold God?s essence to be simple activity are impelled to this view by the fear of postulating some dead thing in God, which precedes all exercise of faculty. So Miller, Evolution of Love, 43 ? ?Perfect action, conscious and volitional, is the highest generalization, the ultimate unit, the unconditioned nature, of infinite Being?; i.e. , God?s nature is subjective action, while external nature is his objective action. A better statement, however, is that of Bowne, Philos. of Theism, 170 ? ?While there is a necessity in the soul, it becomes controlling only through freedom; and we ?nay say that everyone must constitute himself a rational soul? This is absolutely true of God.?
By this we mean that the nature, attributes, and will of God are exempt from all change. Reason teaches us that no change is possible in God, whether of increase or decrease, progress or deterioration, contraction or development. All change must be to better or to worse. But God is absolute perfection, and no change to better is possible. Change to worse would be equally inconsistent with perfection. No cause for such change exists, either outside of God or in God himself.
<19A227> Psalm 102:27 ? ?thou art the same?; <390306>Malachi 3:6 ? ?I, Jehovah, change not?; <590117>James 1:17 ? ?with whom can be no variation, neither shadow that is cast by turning.? Spenser, Faerie Queen, Cantos of Mutability, 8:2 ? ?Then ?gin I think on that which nature sayde, Of that same time when no more change shall be, But steadfast rest of all things, firmly stayed Upon the pillars of eternity; For all that moveth doth in change delight, But henceforth all shall rest eternally With him that is the God of Sabaoth hight; Oh thou great Sabaoth God, grant me that Sabbath?s sight!? Bowne, Philos. of Theism, 146, defines immutability as ?the constancy and continuity of the divine nature which exists through all the divine acts as their law and source.?
The passages of Scripture, which seem at first sight to ascribe change to God, are to be explained in one of three ways:
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