Page images
PDF
EPUB

But then no man more express than he, for the worshipping of God the Son. The reason is plain : the Son is 'Maker and Governor of the world, and even havtoxpáTwp, according to this excellent writer.

Irenæus likewise, as above cited, gives his testimony for the worship of God only; and against the worship of any creature. But the same Irenæus as constantly supposes the Son to be truly God, and one God with the Father, and expressly s exempts him from the number of creatures ; and therefore no wonder if he admits the Son to be t invocated, as well as the Father.

I shall observe the like of Origen, and then have done; referring the reader, for the rest, to the complete collection of testimonies lately made by the learned u Mr. Bingham, with very judicious reflections upon them.

Origen, as we have seen above, declares for the worship of the one God, in opposition to all creatures, Smulepγήματα, every thing created, γενητόν. But the good Father bad his thoughts about him : he clearly distinguishes the Son from the #musouprýpate, or creatures; and, besides, expressly makes him Xãyéntos, uncreated, immutable, &c. According to Origen, the Creator of the universe, and he only, is to be worshipped y, pag. 367. Very well; and look but back to page 308, and there the Son is a Creator. of the universe. So, in a another place, he tells us, we are to worship him only who made (all) these things; and if we inquire farther we shall find, in the same author, that God the Son b made all things, the very words. It is therefore a very clear case, that Origen thought the Son to have the fullest right and title to religious worship, the same that the Father himself had, as being eternal, immutable, Creator and Governor of all things. And there

9 Vid. p. 311, 851. ed. Ox.

See above, p. 134, 49. • Vid. p. 153, 243. ed. Bened. + Pag. 166, 232. " Origin. Eccl. B. xiii. c. 2. * Contra Cels. p. 287, 169, 170. Y Tού παντός δημιουργός.

Δημιουργός τούδε του παντός. • Elbouw xpon révoy tòy TæŪTA Titoinxóta, p. 158. ' Τον λόγον πεποιηκέναι πάντα, όσα ο πατήρ αυτο ενετείλατο, p. 63.

fore he speaks of his being cworshipped as God, by the Magi; and calls it etcétera, the very same word which he uses, d speaking of the worship due to the Father. In e another place, he speaks of the worshipping Father and Son jointly as one God, and felsewhere mentions the worship of the Son, in his distinct personal capacity. The sum then of Origen's doctrine, as it lies in his book against Celsus, (the most valuable of all his works, and almost the only one to be entirely depended on, as giving the true sense of Origen, or of the Church in his time,) is contained in these particulars.

1. That God the Son, if a creature, or not Creator, or not truly God, should not be worshipped at all.

2. That being truly God, and Creator, &c. he may be worshipped; either jointly with the Father, as one tò Ocīov, or distinctly, as one Person of the Godhead.

3. That though he be God, and Creator, yet the Father is so primarily and eminently as Father, and first Person; and therefore the distinct worship of the Son, considered as a Son, redounds to the Father, as the Head and Fountain of all. Hence it is, that, as the Father is primarily and eminently God, Creator, and object of worship; so also all worship is primarily and eminently the Father's: and thus it is that I understand Origen, in a certain place which has been often misinterpreted.

4. That the worship of the Son, considered as a Son, is not an inferior worship, nor any other than proper divine worship; being an acknowledgment of the same divine

• Pag. 46. 4 Την εις τον των όλων δημιουργόν ευσέβειαν, p. 160. e “Evæ šv Osòv, ás & modsdásnapisy, cày raséque xai sòv viày Déparsvojev, p. 386.

f EdxsG3 Asy Toũ Đos, posuevo dichy láơG9u, p. 238. Tay Đuawasay aurão dóyou toŨ OSOū pooruvúcoulev, p. 239.

N. B. Here the translator (as it is usual with him to misrepresent such passages as relate to the Son) renders Orcéxovoy aúräv, ejus ministrum. The sense is, dispenser of them, i. e. prophecies, just before mentioned. | 8 Asaơáu 9x đồ xaì airọũ Toũ Aớyou, xa: kytubó Sa củy, dạng tin, και προσευξόμεθα δε εαν δυνώμεθα κατακούειν της περί προσευχής κυριολεξίας και - mutaxghoews, p. 233.

Vid. Bull. D. F. p. 121, Bingham, Origin. Eccl. 1. xiii. c. 2. p. 45, &c.

excellencies, and essential perfections communicated from Father to Son: and hence it is, that there is still but one worship, and one object of worship; as one God, one Creator, &c. by reason of the most intimate and ineffable union of the two Persons; which Origen himself h endeavours to express in the fullest and strongest words he could think on.

From what hath been said, we may know what judgment to make of the ancient doxologies. They ought certainly to be understood according to the prevailing doctrine of the primitive Church. They were different in form, but had all one meaning; the same which I have shown you from the primitive writers. The Arians were the first who interpreted some of them to such a sense, as either favoured creature-worship, or excluded the Son and Holy Ghost from proper divine worship. It was low artifice to value one sort of doxology above another, only because more equivocal; and to contend for ancient words, in opposition to the ancient faith. The Catholics understood the subtilty of those men, and very easily defeated it: first, by asserting the only true and just sense of those doxologies, which the Arians had wrested to an heretical meaning; and next, by using, chiefly, doxologies of another form; which had been also of long standing in the Church; and which, being less equivocal, were less liable to be perverted. But the subject of doxologies being already in better hands, I shall here dismiss it, and proceed.

You observe, that “ it was the constant practice of the “ Apostles to pray and give thanks to God, through Je“sus Christ,” (p. 91.) And so it is the constant practice of the Church at this day. What can you infer from

h 'Αναβίβηκε δε προς τον επί πάσι Θεόν, ο ασχίσως και αδιαιρέτως, και άμερίσως augày càow Trà Toũ gạoợtanyaves ix swap viề, Toũ Otoũ áyou waì copies, &c. p. 382.

The same thought is thus expressed by Cyril.

Μήτε δια το τιμάν τον πατέρα νομίζειν, έν τι των δημιουργημάτων τον υιον υποTrillowess, saa’sis warnię si évès vioù ar pooruvsíoIw, xxà poi peegozio Iw ń a gooxúvna ois, Cyril. Catech. xi. p. 143. Oxon.

thence? That the Father and Son are not equal, or are not to be equally honoured ? Nothing less: but, as the Son stands to us under the particular character of Mediator, besides what he is in common with the Father, our prayers, i generally, are to be offered rather through him, than to him: yet not forgetting or omitting, for fear of misapprehension and gross mistakes, to offer prayers directly to him, and to join him with the Father, in doxologies; as the ancient Church did, and as our own, God be thanked, and other churches of Christendom still continue to do. You add, that " whatever honour is paid to the Son, is commanded, on account of his ineffable relation « to God, as the only begotten Son,” &c. But this ineffable relation is not that of a creature to his Creator; but of a Son to a Father, of the same nature with him. This may be styled ineffable : the other cannot, in any true or just sense. If the Son is to be worshipped, as you seem here to allow, it can be on no other account, but such as is consistent with the Scriptures; on the account of his being one with the Father, to whom worship belongs; and to whom it is appropriated in opposition to creatures, not in opposition to him who is of the same nature with, coessential to, and inseparable from him. The “ wor66 ship,” you say, “ terminates not in the Son.” How this is to be understood, and in what sense admitted, I have explained above. Strictly speaking, no honour is paid to either, but what redounds to the glory of both; because of their intimate union; and because both are but

one God. “ But," you say, “ the Father begat, him:” · very well; so long as he did not create him, all is safe:

the eternity, the perfections, the glory of both are one. “ And,” you say, “ gave him dominion over us.” That is more than you can prove; unless you understand it of Christ, considered as God-man, or Mediator.

In some sense every thing must be referred to the Father, as the first Person, the Head and Fountain of all.

See Bull, D. F. p. 121. Fulgent. Fragm. p. 629, 633, 638, 642, &c.

But this does not make two worships, supreme and inferior; being all but one acknowledginent of one and the same essential excellency and perfection, considered primarily in the Father, and derivatively in the Son; who, though personally distinguished, are in substance undivided, and essentially one. All your arguments, on this head, amount only to a petitio principii, taking the main thing for granted; that a distinction of persons is the same with a difference of nature; and that a subordination of the Son, as a Son, to the Father, implies an essential disparity and inequality betwixt them; which you can never make out. Instead of proving the Son to be a creature, and that he is to be worshipped notwithstanding, (which are the points you undertake,) all that you really prove is, that the Son is not the Father, or first Person, nor considered as the first Person in our worship of him; which is very true, but very wide of the purpose. What follows in your reply, (p. 91, 92, 93.) does not need any farther answer; being either barely repetition, or comments on your own mistake of the meaning of the word individual ; of which enough hath been said before. You are pleased (pag. 94.) to make a wonder of it, that I should quote Heb. i. 6. in favour of my hypothesis. But if you consider that the angels are there ordered to worship the Son; and that that text is a proof of the Son's being Jehovah (see Psal. xcvii.) and that worship is appropriated to God only, by many texts of Scripture, and the concurring sense of antiquity, as I have shown above, there will be little farther occasion for wondering, in so clear a case. In that very chapter (Heb. i.) it is sufficiently intimated what it was that made the Son capable of receiving worship and adoration. He is declared to have “ made the worlds ;?? to be the “ shining-forth of his Father's glory, and the “ express image of his Person ;” and to “uphold all things “ by the word of his power,” (ver. 2,3.) Strong and lively expressions of his divine, eternal, uncreated nature; such as might give him the justest claim to the worship and adoration of men and angels. In the close, you have a

« PreviousContinue »