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N A MES OF GOD
IN HOLY SCRIPTURE
A REVELATION OF HIS NATURE
NOTES OF A COURSE OF LECTURES
“They that know Thy name will put their trust in Thee."
(Psalm ix. 10.)
The following Notes of a course of Lectures, delivered at Torquay in 1882, and lately repeated with some slight additionsin London, are printed at the reiterated request of not a few of those who heard them. I could have wished to re-write them, for in their present form they very inadequately express even what by grace I have been permitted to see of the glorious vision to which they call attention. But I cannot now do what I would. These Notes therefore must go forth as they are, or not at all. Perhaps it is as well that they should remain in all their present imperfectness. They are Notes, and but Notes, touching Him whose fulness is above all words, and before whose glory the brightest seraphs veil their faces. All that one can say upon such a subject is, as Newton said of what he saw of nature, only like picking up some shells on the shore of an ocean, which is unmeasured and immeasurable. And yet, so far as they go, these Notes,
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I believe, open something of the truth, which the varying Names of God, recorded in Holy Scripture, were intended to reveal to us.
The subject has long occupied my thoughts. I was led to it, many years ago, by noticing the four differing Names of God in the first two verses of the ninety-first Psalm. The study of these drew me further to other titles of the same One Blessed God. The Fathers on this subject helped me but little, at least directly. They rarely refer to the teaching of the Names of God, as given in the Old Testament. What I think I most learnt from them was the lesson of our weakness; for their conflicts with the Gnostics shewed, how much there is in God and man, which in its height and depth must be beyond us, or at least unspeakable, so long as we are still in our present bodies of humiliation. And this consideration made me feel, how much we owe to God for the Names under which He has made Himself known in Scripture, which tell us all that we can here bear to know of Himself, His nature, and relationships.
It was Parkhurst's “Hebrew Lexicon," if I remember right, which first suggested to me how much the root or meaning of these Names threw light on the special aspect or attribute of God, which each varying title was given to indicate. Scholars differ as to the precise etymology of some of the Names, and it is at times very difficult to decide between them. I