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God's Covenant with Man

By Hodge, A. A.

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Book Id: WPLBN0000679906
Format Type: PDF eBook
File Size: 170.93 KB.
Reproduction Date: 2005

Title: God's Covenant with Man  
Author: Hodge, A. A.
Language: English
Subject: Religion, Christianity, Literature
Publication Date:


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Hodge, A. (n.d.). God's Covenant with Man. Retrieved from

Religion and Christian Theology Collection

Excerpt: Our present subject is a wide one. It comprehends the covenants of God-his covenant of works and covenant of grace. It is very obvious that because God is an intelligence he must have a plan. If he be an absolutely perfect intelligence, desiring and designing nothing but good-if he be an eternal and immutable intelligence, his plan must be one, eternal, all-comprehensive, immutable; that is, all things from his point of view must constitute one system and sustain a perfect logical relation in all its parts. Nevertheless, like all other comprehensive systems, it must itself be composed of an infinite number of subordinate systems. In this respect it is like these heavens which he has made, and which he has hung before our eyes as a type and pattern of his mode of thinking and planning in all providence. We know that in the solar system our earth is a satellite of one of the great suns, and of this particular system we have a knowledge because of our position; but we know that this system is only one of myriads, with variations, that have been launched in the great abyss of space. So we know that this great, all-comprehensive plan of God, considered as one system, must contain a great many subordinate systems which might be studied profitably, if we were in the position to do so, as self-contained wholes, separate from the rest. Now, the great system of human redemption must in some respects stand alone, conspicuous and pre-eminent, above all other plans and systems of God. Even though God work through eternity, even though he work through infinity, God has but one Son The incarnation of the Son of God cannot be repeated. This is an event, even in the annals of eternity and in the annals of the universe, without precedent, without parallel, without equal. And this incarnation of the Son of God, this taking upon himself the very nature of man, this uniting himself through the body of man with the whole material universe, and through the soul of man with the whole moral and spiritual universe, must in its very nature have wrought a change affecting universally and intimately all the provinces and kingdoms and all the individuals which it embraces. Besides this, a system which is worthy of the incarnation and the death of the Son of God must be something transcendently superior. I do believe that among all the commonwealths of the sons of God-and I believe these are infinite in number, in extent, and in variety-this commonwealth of redeemed humanity must occupy a central and interior position; that it is something unique, unparalleled, which cannot even in the universe of God be frequently experienced by any of his creatures. And this which seems to us to be possible and probable appears to be absolutely confirmed by the apostle Paul in his Epistle to the Ephesians, where he says, as you will remember, that in the fullness of time this great undiscovered secret, which God had hitherto kept to himself, he had now begun to unveil gradually and slowly through the gospel; to wit, his purpose to make men accepted through the Beloved, his purpose to bring us under one Head in Christ, and to consolidate under one Head in Christ all things which are in heaven or upon the earth, even in him. Now, this plan is in effect a covenant. A great many, comparatively recently, have come to doubt whether it is proper to apply terms so human to the transactions and relations of God. And yet I do believe that I can show to you that the very facts of the case justify this language, and that they implicitly and necessarily contain all these principles. The term covenant is not commonly found in ancient theology. Hints of it-that is, the recognition of God's plan and purpose-began to appear in the century preceding the Reformation in the Roman Catholic Church, and then among the first Reformers. It was developed very distinctly afterward by one of the authors of the Heidelberg Catechism. That form of theology itself is generally attributed to the agency of Dutch theologians, who introduced it about the middle of the seventeenth century. But it is found in the early part of that century, in a book of great simplicity, called The Body of Divinity (compiled by Archbishop Usher, who was a man of very great learning).


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