« PreviousContinue »
be easy to shew that τεχνίτης, or however δημιαργός, may not signify as much as n Tronths. But your memory has much deceived you in this matter; and you should be cautious how you make your readers rely upon it. Those words (especially the two last of them) seem to have been used by the ancients promiscuously; and to have been applied indifferently to Father or Son, as they had occasion to mention either. If they are oftener applied to the Father, it is only because he is the first Person ; and is therefore primarily and eminently texvirns, Empedogyòs, or molytis; not that the Son is not strictly, properly, and completely Creator also, according to the fullest sense and import of any, or of all those words. They were intended to signify that the Son is the immediate and efficient cause of all things; had o creative powers; and was, with the Father, Creator of men, of angels, of the whole universe. A late Pwriter is pleased to express himself, upon this head, in such a manner as may deceive ignorant and unwary readers. “I know not” (says he) “ that either Arians, “or any primitive Christian writers, ever adventured to "give the character of great Architect of the universe to “ Jesus Christ; choosing rather, with the sacred writings, " to say, in softer language, that through him God created 5 all, and reserving the absolute title of Creator of the uni“verse to another.”
If he knows not these things, he might forbear to speak of them. What he says, even of the sacred writings, is misrepresentation : for they do not constantly follow that soft language, which he so much approves of. They do it not in John i. 3, 10. Coloss. i. 16. Hebr. i. 10. Neither can that construction be ascertained, in any one of these texts, from any necessary force of the preposition osa. As to antiquity, which this gentleman pretends to, he may know, hereafter, that the character of “4 great Architect “ of the universe,” is expressly given to Jesus Christ, by Eusebius; who was never suspected of carrying orthodoxy too high. A man must be a very stranger to the ancients, who can make any question whether they attributed the work of creation to the Son, as much as to the Father. They ascribed it equally to both; only with this difference, as before observed, that, for the greater majesty and dignity of the Father, as the first Person, they supposed him to rissue out orders, or to give his fiat, for the creation, and the Son to execute. From hence we may easily understand in what sense the title of Creator was s primarily or eminently attributed to the Father; and yet, as to any real power or efficiency, the Son is as truly and properly Creator; and is frequently so styled, by the primitive writers, in the tfullest and strongest
o See Origen. contr. Cels. p. 317. where the Son is said monous röv xóquer, and the Father to be rpúrws, that is, primarily, or eminently, dnpesugrós. If months signified more than onusougròs, Origen spoke very unaccurately.
Cyril of Alexandria supposes God the Father to have been in reality rixvions from everlasting ; Srpesongyòs in power and intention only. Thesaur. ass. iv. p. 34. Yet Athanasius makes months to signify more than 7sqvírns. Orat. contr. Arian. ii. p. 489. Authors do not always observe a critical exactness in the use of words.
• The Arians themselves would say, sua virtute fecit, meaning it of the Son. See the citation above, p. 66. 'p Mr, Emlyn, Exam. of Dr. Bennet, p. 12. first edit.
a 'O péyos tão rwv dnesovgyos aóyos. Euseb. E. H. 1. x. c. 4. pag. 316.
τ Του μεν πατρός ευδοκώντος και κελεύοντος, το δε υι8 πράσσοντος και δημιουργώνTOS, TOū dè a výUOTOS Tpéportos xai aüğovtos. Iren. p. 285. ed. Bened.
Tathne ndéanosv, viòs estoinosy, #vūpese ipavégwosv. Hippol. contr. Noet, p. 16. • II púrws onurougzóv. Orig, contr. Cels. p. 317.
+ Ilgos auri yềg xai di aŭrš révte éyéveto, évòs õvtos cô targès raù tô vidū. Athenag. p. 38. ed. Oxon. Observe apos curs, as well as di aúrs.
Aútòs luuta Thy camy ongelougynous. 'Aygéawn onperougyós. Tatian. p. 22, 26. ed. Ox.
Tộtov povoyevñ, rấTON TÁYTWV FONTÁN. Iren. p. 44. ed. Bened. Tấtoy xóruan gai _sis gà rồi :A1409óma. Ibid. Tay Tay váy dạy krismy, xạ hauloupy3v, kgì goinchy, Aớyou rẽ ess, p. 79. Tãy &=áy bay Tcvirus Aeyes, p. 190. Fabricator omnium, p. 219. Fabricator universorum, p. 307. Mundi factor, p. 315.
12. Tà távra dedmurópynten. Clem. Alexandr. p. 7. edit. Oxon. Eustárra Θεόν ένα μόνον δημιουργών υιον έν πατρι, p. 142. Πάντα ο λόγος ποιεϊ--và Aa AntAquatic sẽ xócon gai goũ LySaigạo 2nguongrès, p. 310. H Tão óaw dexò, p. 669. O rózos dnpesougrías airios, p. 654. Ilárowy dnusoveyê, p. 768.
terms. You may see some testimonies, in the margin, from Athenagoras, Tatian, Irenæus, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen. It would be easy to add more, from Hippolytus, Gregory of Neocæsarea, Novatian, and indeed from the generality of the Church writers down from Barnabas to the Council of Nice. I must observe to you, that even your admired u Eusebius, (whom you before quoted in your favour, mistaking him very widely,) he applies the title of with, Tõv órwv, (the highest which you think the Father himself can have,) to the Son, no less than thrice; as Irenæus had done, thrice also, before, in words equivalent; and Origen, probably, once; as also * Hippolytus : not to mention that all the Fathers, by interpreting Gen. i. 26. (Woyo wjev Övdgwnov, &c.) of Father and Son jointly, have implicitly and consequentially, though not expressly, said the same thing. To proceed.
You have an argument to prove that creating does not imply infinite power. “ For,” you say, “was the extent “ of those powers then exercised, infinite, it is evident, 6 the world must be infinite also,” (p. 58.) This indeed is doing the business at once: for, if this reasoning be just, the Father himself, as well as the Son, is effectually excluded from ever giving any sensible proof, or from exerting any act, of infinite power. St. Paul's argument , from the creation, for the eternial power and Godhead of the Creator, is rendered inconclusive: for it will be easy
Tây róyou astoinx'svou trávou, ou é fathe avrh svetsinato. Orig. contr. Cels. p. 63. Comp. Athanas. de Decret. S. N. p. 216.
Amperougyòv tão Févtwy, xris)v, toimthy, tão FévtWv. Origen. apud Huet. Origenian. p. 38.
N. B. This last citation, from a catena, is of less authority; but the citátions from his other certainly genuine works are, in sense, equivalent.
u Euseb. in Psalm. p. 125. de Laud. Const. c. 14. in Ps. p. 630. See also in Psalm. 631. in the first of the three places the words are remarkably full and strong. 'o onusovegiós kóyos, o months Twy ows. The other two are equivalent in sense. 'A FÁUTW Towitns, and ó mongods aütūv: where we is understood.
* Conte. Beron. et Hel. p. 226. Comp. contr. Noet. p. 16.
The genuineness of the first is somewhat doubtful; but the last is not ques. tioned.
to reply, in contradiction to the Apostle's reasoning, that the things which are made are finite, and therefore cannot prove the maker of them to be infinite: so that atheists and unbelievers were not so entirely without excuse, as the good Apostle imagined. If you think there is some difference between infinite power, and eternal power and Godhead; and therefore that the Apostle's argument is not pertinent to the point in hand; I shall be content, if creating be allowed a sufficient proof of the Son's eternal power and Godhead; since it brings me directly to the point I aim at: besides, that infinite power will come in of course afterwards, by necessary inference and implication. I had almost forgot to take notice of your way of wording your argument, which looks not very fair. You say, “was the extent of those powers infinite;" as if any one said it was, in the sense wherein you understand the word extent. For reasons best known to yourself, you do not distinguish between extent of power ad intra, in respect of degree; and extent of power ad extra, in respect of the exercise of it. It may require an infinite degree of power to create a grain of sand; though the extent of that outward act reaches no farther than the thing created. Now, you know, our dispute is only about infinite extent of power in the first sense. Let us therefore put the argument into plain words, and see how it will bear.
“ Was the power exercised in the creation infinite in 5 degree, or exceeding any finite power, then it is evident 56 that the world must be infinite.” Make this out, with any tolerable sense, or connection, and you will do something. Next let us put the argument in the other light.
6 If the power exercised in the creation extended to an “ infinite compass, or to an infinite number of things, then so it is evident that the world must be infinite.” Right: if the creation had been infinite in extent, the creation must have been infinite in extent. But who is it that you are disputing against ? Or whom do you oblige by these discoveries? The question is, whether the creating, that is, producing out of nothing, any one single thing, however small in extent, be not an act proper to God only; exceeding any finite power; incommunicable to any creature. It is sufficient for you, to put us upon the proof of the affirmative: no considering man would ever attempt to prove the negative. As to the affirmative, there are many very probable presumptive proofs, such as ought to have great weight with us: particularly, creation everywhere in Scripture looked on as a divine act; not so much as a grain of sand, or a particle of matter, said to be created by an angel, or archangel, or any creature whatever; reasonable to suppose that nothing can come into being by any power less than his, who is the Author and Fountain of all being. To this agrees the general sense of the more sober and thinking part of mankind. This was the doctrine of the y Ante-Nicene Catholic writers, so far as appears, as well as of those that came after. Wherefore the Arians, in ascribing creation to a creature, 2 innovated in the faith of Christ, copied after the Gnostics, a and exposed their cause. Since they resolved to make a creature only, of the Son of God, they should not have allowed him any power of creating; but should have interpreted all those texts which speak in favour of it, as the Socinians have done since, of a metaphorical creation. That indeed had been novel, and strained enough; but accompanied with less absurdity than the other. However, this use we may make of what the Arians so generally granted; first, to observe, that Scripture and tradition must have appeared to run very strong, at that time, for it: and it may farther shew,“ how easy
y Hoc Deus ab homine differt, quoniam Deus quidem facit, homo autem fit: et quidem qui facit, semper idem est. Iren. p. 240. ed. Bened.
Nihil enim in totum Diabolus invenitur fecisse, videlicet cum et ipse creatira sit Dei, quemadmodum et reliqui angeli. Iren. p. 228.
See also Bull. D. F. Epilog. p. 291, 292. ·
z púde yàę údè ägyelor omuoveysão duvoortas, xriopata övris xaà avroi, xäx Ουαλιντίνος, και Μαρκίων, και Βασιλείδης τοιαύτα Φρονώσι, και υμείς εκείνων ζηλωται TUYxévast. Athan. Orat. ii. p. 489.
a See Serm. iii. p. 99, &c.