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add here, that each divine Person is an individual intell; gent agent: but as subsisting in one undivided substance, they are all together, in that respect, but one undivided intelligent agentk; and thus my friends stand clear of Tritheism. You observe, that “ Sabellius held one Hy“ postasis, or divine substance, in opposition to the “ Church, who professed three Hypostases.” Why did you not add, or three divine substances, having rendered hypostasis, divine substance, just before? is not the reason of it visible? You would not say that the Sabellians held one substance, and the Church three, substances, (though you say it in effect,) because the thing is notoriously false. But taking advantage of the ambiguity of the word hypostasis, sometimes used to signify substance, and sometimes person, you contrive a fallacy. The Church never professed three Hypostases in any other sense, but as they mean three Persons; nor would Sabellius have been censured for holding one Hypostasis only, had he meant one substance. If you have a mind to see clearly in what sense the Catholics professed either three Hypostases, or one only, you may please to consult 1 Athanasius and m Gregory Nazianzen, referred to in the margin.
· The truth is, the Church always professed one substance ; , one eternal, immutable, uncreated substance; and this they understood by God. Notwithstanding, they believed the Son and Holy Spirit to be substantially God. Praxeas, Noëtus, Sabellius, and others, not conceiving how one substance could be more than one Person, n one Hypostasis, innovated upon the faith of the Church, and made one single Hypostasis the one God, with three names. You tell us, with great assurance, that “ this never was,
* See Preface to my Sermons.
* Origen expresses the Sabellian notion very distinctly in the following passage.
Ma duce mégse tõi ispod przy còn viòy to terços, ára? I, 8 péves srią, adrà rai υποκειμένω, τυγχάνοντας αμφοτέρους κατά τινας επινοίας, ού κατά υπόστασιν λίyeolau watique xai vióv. Orig. Com. in Joh. p. 186. ed. Huet.
That is to say, The Sabellians did not only make Father and Son one in essence, (as the Church did also,) but they carried it so far as to make them
nor could be Sabellianism,” (p. 109.) To which I shall only say; read, and you will find. You add farther, that " the one God is one Person only, and the “ Father that Person ;” and that this is the “ assertion of “St. Paul.” We will see to St. Paul presently; in the mean while, I again tell you, that this is the very essence of Sabellianism, and the doctrine of Paul of Samosata, (as hath been observed to you above,) and for which he was condemned by the Church. Your pretence from the Apostle's words (““. To us there is but one God, even the “ Father") has been sufficiently answered under the former Queries. I shall only observe here, that the text: mentioned is much stronger against the Doctor and yourself, than against us. For how can you, after so plain and express a text to the contrary, pretend that the Son also is God to us, really and truly God, and in the Scripture-sense of the word God? Whether, think you, do we, who make him essentially the same God with that: one, and suppose but one God in all, more flatly contradict St. Paul; or you, who make two Gods, and in the same relative sense, in which St. Paul is supposed to use the word God ? To take up your own words, upon this very occasion; you will, I trust, be ashamed when you: consider, that you plainly falsify St. Paul. He says, there is but one God, even the Father : but you say, there are more Gods than one; and particularly, that the Son is God also, God to us. How.come you off of this? by the help of a distinction, I suppose: and so can we; by a distinction much older, and much better warranted than yours; and therefore, be so kind as either to take some part of the shame with us, or else to acquit both. You
one subject, suppositum, or hypostasis, having only a nominal, not a real distinction.
"Ivee sis eln, proiv, o lai várta Osòs é natál. Athan. contr. Apollinar, 1. ii. p. 942.
proceed to acquaint us that the “ Father is the only true 6 God p." Very good : and do not the Doctor and you tell us, notwithstanding, that the Son is true God, having true divine power and dominion? If you can reconcile two true Gods with the doctrine of that text; sure, we need not despair, nor have any thing to fear from that text, who agree so far with it already, (more than you,) as to acknowledge but one God. We can give a reason why the Son was tacitly included, being so intimately united to the Father, as partaker of the same divine nature: but that any creature should not be excluded from being God, or that there should be two Gods, notwithstanding the text, must appear very strange. After this, you have two or three subtilties. The Father, you say, will be but a third part. You might, in this way, revive all the impertinencies of Aëtius, and throw them before English readers. I refer you to P St. Austin in the margin for an answer. Let me desire you not to give so great a loose to your fancy in divine things: you seem to consider every thing under the notion of extension, and sensible images. A reverential silence may well become us in so awful a subject, in which imagination has nothing to do, and of which our most refined and elevated thoughts are infinitely unworthy. But to proceed: you add, “ If Fa“ ther, Son, and Holy Ghost are the only true God, then “ they are the Father.” But if the only true God may be sometimes used in a personal, sometimes in an essential sense, there is no force in this reasoning. I might retort the argument upon you, who, in your way of conceiving God by extended parts, apply the phrase of one God, sometimes to one part, sometimes to another, and sometimes to the whole, almost in the Tsame manner, as we do to one, or to all the three Persons : but I am weary of trifling.
P Page 110.
9 Putas Deum Patrem cum Filio et Spiritu Sancto unum Deum esse non posse : times enim ne Pater solus non sit unus Deus, sed purs unius Dei qui constat ex tribus: noli timere, nulla fit partium in Deitatis unitate divisio. In Trinitate-quæ Deus est, et Pater Deus est, et Filius Deus est, et Spiritus Sanctus Deus est, simul hi tres unus Deus : nec hujus Trinitatis pars est unus, nec major pars duo quam unus est ibi, nec majus aliquid sunt omnes quam singuli : quia spiritualis non corporalis est magnitudo. Aug. contr. Maxim. I. ii. c. 10. p. 697, 698.
Pater et Filius et Spiritus Sanctus, et propter individuam Deitatem unus Deus est, propter uniuscujusque proprietatem tres Personæ sunt, et propter singulorum perfectionem partes unius Dei non sunt. Id. ibid. p. 699. Conf. August. de Trin. p. 849. Fulgent. Respons. contr. Arian. in fine.
You ask me, “wherein the present scholastic notion “ disagrees with the Sabellian?”. I answer, in admitting three real subsisting persons. But since you are so often charging us with Sabellianism, it may be proper to observe here, how near akin the Sabellians and Arians are to each other; both, as it were, growing of the same stock.
1. In the first place, both seem to suppose, or take for granted, that if the modus, or manner, be unintelligible, the thing itself is incredible.
2. Both agree in the fundamental principle of heresy, that one substance, or being, can be only one real person, or hypostasis. As Nestorius and Eutyches, though taking different ways, yet proceeded upon the same bottom, that two natures could not make one Person in Christ: so Sabellius and Arius, before them, though differing in the last result, yet set out upon the same principle; that two real persons cannot be one being or substance.
3. In consequence of their prime position, both conspire to discard, in reality, the Son and the Holy Ghost from the one true Godhead; looking upon it as Tritheism to make the Persons real and divine too. One Hypostasis in the Godhead is all that either of them admits; both Judaizing, as s Gregory Nyssen justly observes, in that respect : and the Sabellian's Tpoúvopos (or God with three
?E. G. God exists, God is in heaven above, God is on earth below. The word God here (upon the Doctor's hypothesis of infinite extension) has three several ideas annexed to it.
• "Ov yèp Eabiausos aéya. Tgrávopov, TOŪTOV Evrópsos óvopázsi 'Azérintov. Greg. Nyss. contr. Eunom. p. 676. ' .
names) answers to the Arian's 'Ayévintos, self-existent, or unbegotten God. Thus far they amicably agree: let us next observe where they differ.
Supposing them fixed and settled in the preliminary principle, it is manifest that the Word and Spirit must either be names only, or, if real distinct persons, creatures, The Sabellians were at liberty to choose this or that: but, finding Scripture run high, and tradition strong for the divinity of the Word and Holy Spirit, they made choice of the former; interpreting Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, as different names of one and the same Hypostasis, or real Person. By this, they effectually guarded against the supposed Tritheism of the Catholics, as well as against Pagan Polytheism : and, being wise men so far, secured the point which they aimed at. The Arians, who came after, (and who, as I before said, set out upon the same preliminary principles,) finding that the Sabellian confusion of Persons had been utterly routed, baffled, and exploded by all good Catholics, had really no option left, but either to make the Son and Holy Spirit creatures, or to give up their preliminaries. Accordingly, they took the way which the Sabellians had left them; and were very unhappy in this particular, that, endeavouring to avoid one kind of Tritheism, they fell into another.
The Arian scheme, besides its failing in its principal design of avoiding Polytheism, has many real and great difficulties; being as well too high for some texts, as too low for others; which the Catholics, or Sabellians can much better deal with. Hence, I suppose, it was, that the Unitarians, at the beginning of the Reformation, having modestly begun with + Arianism, for the most part, settled into Socinianism ; which is near to Sabellianism : and our English Unitarians, who, for acuteness of wit, and subtilty of thought, have not been inferior to any of their brethren, have been still refining upon the Socinian scheme, (which had struck
Socin. contr. Erasm. Johan. p. 496.