GOBIUS, the goby, in natural history, a genus of fishes of the order Thoracici. Generic character : head small ; eyes ap proximated, with two punctures between them ; gill membrane, four-rayed, ven tral fins united into a funnel-like oval ; dorsal fins two. There are twenty-five species, of which we shall notice the fol lowing. G. niger, or the black goby, is about six inches in length. It inhabits the Mediterranean and North Seas, and often, in summer, when it deposits its Spawn, enters the mouths of rivers for that purpose. It is eaten, but not highly valued. The ventral fins unite into a spe cies of funnel, by which this fish is said often to attach itself almost inseparably to stones and rocks. It lies chiefly under stones ; and its food consists of worms, in stets, and the young of small fishes. For another species, the lanceolated goby, see Pisces, Plate IV. fig. 4.
GOD, Deus, the Supreme Being, the first cause or creator of the universe, and the only true object of religious worship, The Hebrews called-him Jehovah; which name they never pronounced, but used instead of it the words Adonai, or Ego him.
God, says Sir Isaac Newton, is a rela tive term, and has respect to servants. It denotes, indeed, an eternal, infinite, absolutely perfect being : but such a be ing, without dominion, would'not be God. The word God, frequently signifies tord,. , but every lord is not God. The domi nion of. a spiritual being, or lord, consti tutes God ; true dominion, true God. From such true dominion it follows, that the true God is living, intelligent, and powerful ; and from his other perfec tions, that he is supreme, or supremely perfect. He is eternal and infinite ; om nipotent and omniscient ; that is, he en dures from eternity to, eternity, and is present from infinity to infinity He go verns all things that exist, and knows all things that are to be known. He is not eternity or infinity, but eternal and infi nite. He is not duration and space, but he endures and is present ; he endures always, and is present every where ; and by existing always and every where, con stitutes the very things we call duration and space, eternity and infinity. He is omnipresent, not only virtually, but sub stantially; for power without substance cannot subsist. All things are contained and move in him, but without any mutual passion ; that is, he suffers nothing from the motions of bodies, nor do they under go any resistance from his omnipresence.
It is confessed, that God exists neces sarily ; and by the same necessity he exists always and every where. Hence also he must be perfectly similar; all eye, all ear, all brain, all arm, all percep tion, intelligence, and action ; but after a manner not at all corporeal, not at all like men ; after a manner altogether unknown to us. He is destitute of all body and
bodily shape, and therefore cannot be seen, heard, or touched; nor ought to be worshipped under the representation of any thing corporeal. We know him only by his propert-es, or attributes, by the most wise and excellent structure of things, and by final causes ; but we adore and worship him only on account of his dominion : for God, setting aside domi nion, providence, and final causes, is no thing but fate and nature.
The plain argument, says Mr. Maclau rin, for the existence of the deity, obvi ous to all, and carrying irresistible con viction with it, is from the evident con trivance and fitness of things for one another, which we meet with throughout all parts of the universe. There is no need of nice or subtle reasonings in this matter; a manifest contrivance immedi ately suggests a contriver. It strikes us like a sensation, and artful reasonings against it may puzzle us, but without shaking our belief. No person, for ex ample, that knows theprinciples of op tics and the structure of the eye, can be lieve that it was formed without skill in that science, or that the ear was formed without the knowledge of sounds, or that the male and female, in animals, were not formed for each other, and for con tinuing the species. All our accounts of' nature are full of instances of this kind. The admirable and beautiful structure of things for final causes exalt our idea of the contriver : the unity of design shows him to be one. The great motions in the system, performed with the same facility as the least, suggest his almighty power, which gave motion to the earth and the celestial bodies with equal ease as to the minutest particles. The subtility of the motions and actions in the internal parts of bodies, shows that his influence pene trates the inmost recesses of things, and that he is equally active and present every where, The simplicity of the laws that prevail in the world, the excel lent disposition of things in order to ob tain the best ends, and the beauty which adorns the works of nature, far superior to any thing in art, suggest his consum mate wisdom. The usefulness of the whole scheme, so well-contrived for the intelligent beings that enjoy it, with the internal disposition and moral structure of those beings themselves, show his un bounded goodness. These are the argu ments which are sufficiently open to the views and capacities of the unlearned ; while, at the same time, they acquire new strength and lustre from the disco veries of the learned.