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Bible Encyclopedias

Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature

Perfection

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(Lat. perfectum, "made out," complete) is applied to that which wants nothing. According to some, it is divided into physical or natural, whereby a thing has all its powers and faculties; moral, or an eminent degree of goodness and piety; and metaphysical or transcendent in the possession of all the essential attributes or parts necessary to the integrity of a substance; or, in general, it is that whereby a thing has or is provided with everything belonging to its nature. Perfection is relative or absolute. A being possessed of all the qualities belonging to its species in the highest degree may be called perfect in a relative sense. But absolute perfection can only be ascribed to the Supreme Being. We have the idea of a Being infinitely perfect and from this Descartes reasoned that such a Being really exists.

The PERFECTIONS OF GOD are those qualities which he has communicated to his rational creatures, and which are in him in an infinitely perfect degree. They have been distinguished as natural and moral the former belonging to Deity as the great first cause such as independent and necessary existence the latter as manifested in the creation and government of the universe such as goodness, justice, etc. But they are all natural in the sense of being essential. It has been proposed to call the former attributes and the latter perfections. But this distinctive use of the terms has not prevailed; indeed it is not well founded. In God there are nothing but attributes because in him everything is absolute and involved in the substance and unity of a perfect being. (See ATTRIBUTES).

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Bibliography Information
McClintock, John. Strong, James. Entry for 'Perfection'. Cyclopedia of Biblical, Theological and Ecclesiastical Literature. https://www.studylight.org/encyclopedias/eng/tce/p/perfection.html. Harper & Brothers. New York. 1870.

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