Is There A God? (Ursinus)


That there is a God, is proven by many arguments common both to philosophy and theology. These arguments we shall present in the following order:

tumblr_mufr0mmWYW1st5lhmo1_12801.  The order and harmony which we observe every where in nature, gives evidence of the existence of God. There is, as every one must perceive, a wise arrangement of every part of nature, and a constant succession of changes and operations, according to certain laws, which could not exist and be preserved, unless by some intelligent and almighty being. The Scriptures refer to this argument, at considerable length, in the following places: Psalms 8, 19, 104, 135, 136, 147 and 148. Romans 1. Acts 14 and 17.

O Lord, our Lord,
How majestic is Your name in all the earth,
Who have displayed Your splendor above the heavens!  Psalm 8:1

The heavens are telling of the glory of God;
And their expanse is declaring the work of His hands.
Day to day pours forth speech,
And night to night reveals knowledge.  Psalm 19:1, 2

10 He sends forth springs in the valleys;
They flow between the mountains;
11 They give drink to every beast of the field;
The wild donkeys quench their thirst.
12 Beside them the birds of the heavens dwell;
They lift up their voices among the branches.
13 He waters the mountains from His upper chambers;
The earth is satisfied with the fruit of His works.

14 He causes the grass to grow for the cattle,
And vegetation for the labor of man,
So that he may bring forth food from the earth,
15 And wine which makes man’s heart glad,
So that he may make his face glisten with oil,
And food which sustains man’s heart.
16 The trees of the Lord drink their fill,
The cedars of Lebanon which He planted,
17 Where the birds build their nests,
And the stork, whose home is the fir trees.  Psalm 104:10-17

For I know that the Lord is great
And that our Lord is above all gods.
Whatever the Lord pleases, He does,
In heaven and in earth, in the seas and in all deeps.
7 He causes the vapors to ascend from the ends of the earth;
Who makes lightnings for the rain,
Who brings forth the wind from His treasuries.  Psalm 135:5-7

Sing to the Lord with thanksgiving;
Sing praises to our God on the lyre,
Who covers the heavens with clouds,
Who provides rain for the earth,
Who makes grass to grow on the mountains.
He gives to the beast its food,
And to the young ravens which cry.
10 He does not delight in the strength of the horse;
He does not take pleasure in the legs of a man.
11 The Lord favors those who fear Him,
Those who wait for His loving-kindness.  Psalm 147:7-11

2.  A rational nature having some cause, cannot exist except it proceed from some intelligent being, for the reason that a cause is not of a more inferior character than the effect which it produces. The human mind is endowed with reason, and has some cause. Therefore it has proceeded from some intelligent being, which is God.

“But it is a spirit in man,
And the breath of the Almighty gives them understanding.  Job 32:8

They pour forth words, they speak arrogantly;
All who do wickedness vaunt themselves.
They crush Your people, O Lord,
And afflict Your heritage.
They slay the widow and the stranger
And murder the orphans.
They have said, “The Lord does not see,
Nor does the God of Jacob pay heed.”  Psalm 94:4-7

28 for in Him we live and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’  Acts 17:28

3.  The conceptions or notions of general principles which are natural to us, as the difference between things proper and improper, etc., cannot be the result of mere chance, or proceed from an irrational nature, but must necessarily be naturally engraved upon our hearts by some intelligent cause, which is God. “The Gentiles show the work of the law written in their hearts,” Romans 2:15.

4.  From the knowledge or sense which we all have that there is a God. There is no nation, however barbarous or uncivilized, but has some notion or system of religion, which presupposes a belief in some God. “That which may be known of God is manifest in them (that is, in the minds of men), for God has showed it unto them.” (Romans 1:19)

5.  The reproofs of conscience, which follow the commission of sin, and harass the minds of the ungodly, cannot be inflicted by any one except by an intelligent being — one who can distinguish between that which is proper and improper — who knows the thoughts and hearts of men, and who can cause such fears and forebodings to arise in the minds of the wicked.

21 “There is no peace,” says my God, “for the wicked.”  Isaiah 57:21

23 So watch yourselves, that you do not forget the covenant of the Lord your God which He made with you, and make for yourselves a graven image in the form of anything against which the Lord your God has commanded you. 24 For the Lord your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.  Deuteronomy 4:23, 24

14 For when Gentiles who do not have the Law do instinctively the things of the Law, these, not having the Law, are a law to themselves, 15 in that they show the work of the Law written in their hearts, their conscience bearing witness and their thoughts alternately accusing or else defending them,  Romans 2:14, 15

Zacharias Ursinus, Commentary On The Heidelberg Catechism, pp. 121, 122

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