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Pordage, John - On God



Type of Spiritual Experience


A description of the experience

The Wisdom of John Pordage [editor Arthur Versluis]

I searched diligently and found that no pardoning mercy, nor justice, nor wrath, nor death, curse, anguish, sorrow, darkness or evil elements were to be found in the solitary abstractness of the Deity. I say no pardoning mercy because there was nothing beside himself, and so no object stood in need of pardon or forgiveness. There was no vindictive justice, for there was no object capable or punishment.


But you will say that these faculties, as likewise the senses of seeing, hearing, tasting, smelling and feeling are only attributed to God to comply with our weakness, and to make him intelligible to our understanding, not that there are any such faculties or senses in God, but only by way of analogy.

To this I reply that the fore-mentioned faculties and senses are most really and truly in God, even more really than they are or can be in any creature, for in him they are originally and in truth, and in the creature only by way of participation. Understanding, will, wisdom, hearing, seeing and so forth are in God primarily, essentially, and in the creature only derivatively and by way of resemblance, as the copy resembles and expresses its original.

And you will further object that by attributing these faculties and senses to God we seem to espouse the error of the anthropomorphites, who supposed the spirit of eternity was in the likeness of a man. But the anthropomorphrites framed God after the image of a man, whereas we attribute these faculties and senses to God after a divine manner, primarily, originally, as is consistent with the super excellence of the divine being. Further we say that these faculties and senses are in God after a spiritual manner, without being fixed to particular and distinct members or organs, which cannot be in God, as he is in spirit, and is a perfect unity in himself.


But you will object that the scriptures tell us that God has no image. To this I answer that God indeed has no organic outward image resembling those of angels and men.

The source of the experience

Pordage, John

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