Page images
PDF
EPUB

and makes him l consubstantial with God the Father. This is as much as I mean by his being one with the Supreme God; and therefore I have nothing to fear from this writer, who agrees so well with me in the main, and cannot be brought to bear evidence against me, unless, at the same time, he be found to contradict himself. This being premised, let us now see what he says to the text above mentioned, Phil. ii. 6. “He saith of the Son, (I use your own words, p. 35.) “ that though he was in the form of God, yet he never compared himself with God his Fa- ther.” You have translated the last words, as if they had run thus; Deo, Patri suo. The words are, “ Nunquam se “ Deo Patri aut comparavit, aut contulit: Never compared “ himself with God the Father.” The reason follows, “ Memor se esse ex suo Patre: Remembering he was from “his Father;" that is, that he was begotten, and not unbe. gotten. He never pretended to an equality with the Father, in respect of his original, knowing himself to be second only in order, not the first Person of the ever blessed Trinity. You may see the like expressions in m Hilary and n Phobadius; who can neither of them be suspected of Arianizing in that point. You afterwards cite some other expressions of Novatian, particularly this : “Duo equales inventi duos “ Deos merito reddidissent.” Which you might have rendered thus: “Had they both been equal, (in respect of 66 original, both unbegotten,) they had undoubtedly been 6 two Gods.”

See the whole passage as it lies in the author himself,

1 Unus Deus ostenditur verus et æternus Pater, a quo solo hæc vis Divinitatis emissa etiam in Filium tradita et directa rursum per substantiæ communionem ad Patrem revolvitur. Father is here styled emphatically the one God, but still comprehending, not excluding the Son, consubstantial with him. Ch. xxxi. p. 730.

m Hilary Trin. 1. iii. c. 4. p. 810. ed. Bened. n Phoebad. p. 304.

o Si enim natus non fuisset, innatus comparatus cum eo qui esset innatus, æquatione in utroque ostensa, duos faceret innatos, et ideo duos faceret Deos. Si non genitus esset, collatus cum co (qui) genitus non esset et

and not maimed and mutilated as you quote it, from Dr. Clarke. There is nothing more in it than this, that Father and Son are not two Gods, because they are not both unoriginated : which is the common answer made by the Catholics to the charge of Tritheism; not only before, but after the Nicene Council; as might be made appear by a cloud of witnesses, were it needful. What you are pleased to call “a most strong testimony against an “absolute coequality,” (meaning this passage of Novatian,) is, if rightly understood, and compared with what goes before and after, a most strong testimony of such a coequality as we contend for. And therefore Dr. Whitby, having formerly cited the whole paragraph, as a full and clear testimony of the Son's real divinity, concludes thus. The author, says he, in this passage, “p does, in the “ plainest words imaginable, declare that Christ is God, equal to the Father in every respect, excepting only “ that he is God of God." The doctor indeed has since changed his mind; and now talks as confidently the other way, upon a this very passage. Whether he was more likely to see clearly then, or since, I leave to others to judge, who will be at the pains to compare his former with some of his later writings.

You have given us the sum of the 31st chapter of Novatian, “as it stands collected by the learned Dr. Clarke in “his excellent answer to Mr. Nelson's friend.” You may next .please to consult the no less excellent reply, by Mr. Nelson's friend, p. 170, &c. where you may probably meet with satisfaction.

But to return to our text, Phil. ii. 6. The words, og

æquales inventi, duos Deos merito reddidissent non geniti; atque ideo duos Christus reddidisset Deos, si sine origine esset, ut Pater, inventus, et ipse principium omnium, ut Pater, duo faciens principia, duos ostendisset nobis consequenter et Deos. Cap. 31. Conf. Hilar. de Trin. p. 1040. Neque ex innascibilitate innascibili coæqualem, sed ex generatione unigeniti non disparem. : P Ubi verbis disertissimis ostendit (Novatianus) Christum esse Deum, Patri æqualem paremque, eo tantummodo excepto, quod sit Deus de Deo. Whit. Tract. de Ver. Chr. Deitate, p. 67.

9 Whitby, Disquisitio Modest. p. 164.

*s and as thi cher.Thic oy him, as

caesaruồi trợ aro giva Loa Đeộ, you translate; “ He did “ not affect, did not claim, did not assume, take upon him, “ or eagerly desire, to be honoured as God.” Afterwards, (p. 36.) “ He never thought fit to claim to himself divinity,or more literally, you say, “ he never thought the divinity a thing to be so catched at by him, as to equal 6 himself with God his Father.This you give both as Novatian's sense, and as the true sense of the text. And you endeavour to confirm it from the authorities of Grotius, Tillotson, Whitby, and Clarke; who, by the way, are very different from each other in their interpretations of this place, hardly two of them agreeing together. However, not to stand upon niceties, I may yield to you your own interpretation of this passage, “ did not affect to be honour. “ed as God;" for the stress of the cause does not seem so much to lie in the interpretation of those words, as of the words foregoing viz. Ôs fv popoñ ei útépxwe. “Who being c in the form of God,that is, “truly God, (which best an“swers to the antithesis following, the form of a servant “ signifying as much as truly man,) and therefore might “ justly have assumed to appear as God, and to be always “ honoured as such, yet did not do it, at the time of his in« carnation; but for a pattern of humility, chose rather 6 to veil his glories, and, in appearance, to empty him“ self of them, taking upon him human nature, and be« coming a servant of God in that capacity,” &c. What is there in this paraphrase or interpretation, either disagreeable to the scope of the place, or the context, or to the sober sentiments of Catholic antiquity, not only after, but before the Council of Nice; as may appear from the testimonies cited in the smargin? Now if this be the sense

"I am persuaded that the words may very justly be translated; he did not insist upon his equality with God, but condescended, &c.

s Tertullian's recital of this text, and comment upon it, are worth remarking. Plane de substantia Christi putant et hic Marcionitæ suffragari Apostolum sibi, quod phantasma carnis fuerit in Christo, quum dicit, Quod in effigie Dei constitutus non rapinam existimavit pariari Deo, sed exhausit semetipsum accepta effigie servi, non veritate; et similitudinc hominis, non in homine; et figura inventus ut homo, non substantia, id est, non carne. - Numquid ergo et hic qua in effigie eum Dei collocat? Æque non erit Deus Christus vere, si nec homo vere fuit in effigie hominis constitutus. ' Contr. Marc. 1. v. c. 20. p. 486. Non sibi magni aliquid deputat quod ipse quidem æqualis Deo, et unum cum Patre, est. Orig. in Epist. ad Rom. 1. 5. Osòs faiy xsváous lautòy átà ti sivcı Tone sq. Concil. Antioch. Labb. vol. i. p. 848. O povoyevans of Osê dózjos, tos inégx'wv in , esxévwiesv. laurèy secà tùy ädoğor raútny págra hurio Xito. Hippolytus, vol. ii. p. 29. Fabric.

of it, which I might farther confirm by the authorities of Athanasius, Jerom, Austin, Chrysostom, Theophylact, Ecumenius, and others of the ancients, besides + Bishop Pearson and u Bishop Bull among the moderns, why should you wonder to find it again cited in the same cause, being so full and pertinent to the matter in hand ? Next, we may proceed to the other text, which you as groundlessly pretend to be directly contrary to that for which it is alleged. It is Heb. i. 3. “ Who being the “ brightness of his glory, and the express image of his per“son,” &c. Here you are so obliging as to cite only one passage out of Eusebius against me, I would say, for me. Eusebius, writing against the Sabellians, presses them with this text, and argues thus from it. “The image, “ and that whereof it is the image, cannot both be the 6 same thing, (in the Sabellian sense,) but they are two substances, and two things, and two powers :" from whence he rightly infers, or plainly means to do, that the Father is not the Son, but that they are really distinct. What is there in this at all repugnant to what the Querist maintains ? The force of your objection lies, I suppose, in this, that Father and Son are called dúo dolas, dúo mpáyuara, and dúo duvauers, inconsistently, you imagine, with individual consubstantiality.

I will not be bound to vindicate every expression to be met with in Eusebius : but, allowing for the time when it was wrote, before the sense of those words was fixed

! On the Creed, Article 2,

u Def. Fid. N. 49. 70. Prim. Trad. p. 38. Qui unus locus, si recte expendatur, ad omnes bæreses adversus Jesu Christi Domini nostri personam repellendas sufficit. Def. Fid. p. 37.

αρπαγμόν ηγήσατο το είναι ίσα Θεώ, you translate; « He did “ not affect, did not claim, did not assume, take upon him, “ or eagerly desire, to be honoured as God.” Afterwards, (p. 36.) “ He never thought fit to claim to himself divinity,or more literally, you say, “ he never thought the divinity a thing to be so catched at by him, as to equal himself with God his Father.This you give both as Novatian's sense, and as the true sense of the text. And you endeavour to confirm it from the authorities of Grotius, Tillotson, Whitby, and Clarke; who, by the way, are very different from each other in their interpretations of this place, hardly two of them agreeing together. However, not to stand upon niceties, I may yield to you your own interpretation of this passage, “ did not affect to be honour“ed as God;" for the stress of the cause does not seem so much to lie in the interpretation of those words, as of the words foregoing viz. ôs év lopoñi Osz únápxwv. “Who being in the form of God,that is, truly God, (which best an“swers to the antithesis following, the form of a servant “ fignifying as much as truly man,) and therefore might “justly have assumed to appear as God, and to be always " honoured as such, yet did not do it, at the time of his in“ carnation; but for a pattern of humility, chose rather “ to veil his glories, and, in appearance, to empty him“ self of them, taking upon him human nature, and be“ coming a servant of God in that capacity,” &c. What is there in this paraphrase or interpretation, either disagreeable to the scope of the place, or the context, or to the sober sentiments of Catholic antiquity, not only after, but before the Council of Nice; as may appear from the testimonies cited in the smargin? Now if this be the sense

I am persuaded that the words may very justly be translated; he did not insist upon his equality with God, but condescended, &c.

s Tertullian's recital of this text, and comment upon it, are worth remarking. Plane de substantia Christi putant et hic Marcionitæ suffragari Apostolum sibi, quod phantasma carnis fuerit in Christo, quum dicit, Quod in effigie Dei constitutus non rapinam existimavit pariari Deo, sed exhausit semetipsum accepta effigie servi, non veritate; et similitudinc hominis, non

« PreviousContinue »