Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:
Knowledge as to the fact that there is one God is of high importance to its possessor. In connection with this statement, as to its importance, it may be predicated that evidence has never been adduced to prove that there is more than one God — the one Jehovah. Evidence upon evidence, however, can be adduced to prove that there is one God, the Creator of the ends of the earth, the Upholder and Proprietor of all things. In evidence of this, we have only to look around us upon the things that exist; for they all speak of God as the Great First Cause of their existence. For the sake of argument, however, let it be supposed that the proposition is submitted that there are more Gods than one, how could this proposition be supported? How could there be any being equally high with the Highest, or equally excellent with the Most Excellent — two super-superlatives? The idea is not tenable. Not so, however, is it with the idea that there is one God, one Supreme Ruler in the universe; and from whom the universe itself had its origin. This idea has manifold support; and, from among the many evidences that might be adduced in support of it, reference may be made to that unity of design which is manifest throughout all the works of God: as in these works, so far as they can be surveyed by the human mind in present circumstances, this unity, embracing simplicity, testifies to the infinite wisdom and power of a Designer. The extent to which this truth might illustratively be carried out can only be glanced at in present circumstances. New countries, for example, are constantly discovering themselves to the eye of the traveller; and yet, go where he may, he still finds that the old laws of nature, by the appointment of Heaven, come into view. Many new plants may be found on foreign shores; yet all of them indicate the necessity of their continuance to exist in the adhesion of the pollen of the stamens to the gummy stigma of the pistil. Yes; and new animals may be found in different parts of the globe. Whatever their variety, however, they are all maintained by the same earth, cheered by the same sun, invigorated by the same breath, and refreshed by the same moisture. Go where we will the elements act upon each other, the tides uniformly fluctuate; and true to its index is the instrument, when properly adjusted, by which the ship may be steered. Man, too, go where we may, has the same origin, the same general external construction, and the same characteristics by which he is distinguished from creatures of a lower grade. Now whence, or for what purpose, does this uniformity of design exist? The text replies — "The Lord our God is one Lord," one self-existent, all-wise, and independent Jehovah, and of whose existence and attributes there is incontrovertible evidence, not only in things that exist, but in the unity, simplicity, and harmony of those principles which operate, with marvellous uniformity, throughout every department of the material world. In Him, as thus revealed, we have a God to adore, worthy of our worship, worthy of our confidence, and whose goodness may well captivate with thrilling emotions every affectionate impulse of the soul. But an awful question here comes into my mind. Is this one Jehovah, so plainly revealed, my God? How can I, without arrogant presumption, cherish the thought that I may find acceptance in the sight of Him, compared with whom I am as "nothing; less than nothing, and vanity"? His greatness, and my insignificance; His holiness, and my impurity, seem to repel every ground on which the hope of acceptance with Him would seek to rest. Through what medium, honouring to God, can His favour ever reach this poor heart of mine? How can condescension, in God, to take notice of me, ever accord with His own infinite purity, justice, and dignity? The case transcends my reason: it is too great for me. I am as one utterly out at sea in a frail bark, without a rudder or a hand to guide it. Here, in this labyrinth of perplexity, the great Jehovah might have left me to the guidance of my own mental wanderings till the long night of death had closed over my head. But in great goodness He has not left me thus! With a condescension upon which created intelligence, of itself, never could have reckoned, He has unfolded to me the mystery, that, while there is only one God, there are yet, in the essence of this one God, or Godhead, three distinct personalities — the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost — each of them fulfilling a separate department in the economy of human redemption; and that, while thus separate in their gracious manifestations, they are nevertheless one as to undivided essence. The day now begins to dawn somewhat upon my hitherto benighted soul; and though its light be dim amid the darkness through which it comes, there is in it an intimation that, like the dawn of morn, its light shall increase. Be it borne in mind, however, that the revelation indicated is only intended to suit the infancy of our existence in the life that now is; and that while it does not tell us all that in due time we shall be made to know, it tells us all that our present circumstances require.
Parallel VersesKJV: Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD: