matter, but he has no necessary connection with matter ( <422439>Luke 24:39 ? ?A spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye behold me having?).
John gives us the three characteristic attributes of God when he says that God is ?spirit,? ?light? ?love? ( <430424>John 4:24; I <430105>John 1:5; 4:8), ? not a spirit, a light, a love. Le Conte, in Royce?s Conception of God, 45 ? ?God is spirit, for spirit is essential Life and essential Energy, and essential Love, and essential Thought; in a word, essential Person.? Biedermann, Dogmatik, 631 ? ?Das Wesen des Geistes als des reinen Gegensatzes zur Materie, ist das reine Sein, das in sich ist, aber nicht da ist.? Martineau, Study, 2:366 ? ?The subjective Ego is always here, as opposed to all else, which is variously there? Without local relations, therefore, the soul is inaccessible.? But, Martineau continues, ?if matter be but centers of force, all the soul needs may be centers from which to act.? Romanes, Mind and Motion, 34 ? ?Because within the limits of human experience mind is only known as associated with brain, it does not follow that mind cannot exist in any other mode.? La Place swept the heavens with his telescope, but could not find anywhere a God. ?He might just as well,? says President Sawyer, ?have swept his kitchen with a broom.? Since God is not a material being, he cannot be apprehended by any physical means.
Those passages of Scripture, which seem to ascribe to God the possession of bodily parts and organs, as eyes and hands, are to be regarded as anthropomorphic and symbolic. When God is spoken of as appearing to the patriarchs and walking with them, the passages are to be explained as referring to God?s temporary manifestations of himself in human form ? manifestations, which prefigured the final tabernacling of the Son of God in human flesh. Side by side with these anthropomorphic expressions and manifestations, moreover, are specific declarations which repress any materializing conceptions of God; as, for example, that heaven is his throne and the earth his footstool ( <236601>Isaiah 66:1) and that the heaven of heavens cannot contain him ( <110827>1 Kings 8:27). <023318> Exodus 33:18-20 declares that man cannot see God and live; <460207>1 Corinthians 2:7-16 intimates that without the teaching of God?s Spirit we cannot know God; all this teaches that God is above sensuous perception, in other words, that he is not a material being. The second command of the decalogue does not condemn sculpture and painting, but only the making of images of God. It forbids our conceiving God after the likeness of a thing, but it does not forbid our conceiving God after the likeness of our inward self, i.e., as personal. This again shows that God is a spiritual
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