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we maintain, at the same time that they strenuously opposed the Sabellians. I shall make particular remarks upon the authors, singly, as I pass along; and afterwards throw in some general observations.
To begin with Tertullian: you will observe, that he interprets the text expressly of unity of substance, in one citation : and he is to be so understood in the other, had you but thought how to construe unitatem, as you should have done. I suppose, unity of love, consent, and power, may very well follow, after so good a foundation laid for it. Tertullian elsewhere : intimates the strict and inviolable harmony of the three Persons, resolving it into unity of substance.
Novatian is your next author : you may please to observe, how absurd he thinks it would have been for any mere man to have said, “I and my Father are one.” And why so ? might not there be unity of will, consent, authority, between God and man? Undoubtedly there might. Well then ; Novatian did conceive the text to speak of unity of love, &c. but equality of nature presupposed : for even Paul and Apollos were not of a different nature; one was as truly man as the other: and so, if Christ was truly God, as well as the Father, he might say, “I 6 and my Father are one.” This is a plainly Novatian's sense, in the citations of the first column; and it is very consistent with the other, in the opposite column. All that unity of consent, love, &c. is founded upon, and resolves into unity of substance and principle, according to this writer.
CYRIL. HIEROS. “E, Suà gồ wrà Tày 9ác ga deo ke ll Oủa tiat iyè sai : sarà & tu, ιπιιδή Θεός Θεόν έγέννησεν. "Εν διά το | αλλ' εγώ και ο πατήρ εν εσμεν, ίνα μήsarà protiv Badiasica ll y doà på pendea | moderaddorpiaowpesy, pinos rovados polos mías cīvas diapovíær ý diáorasii. Ev | viosetogías igyarázsla. P. 142. đề về và tivi &AA xedoũ Snacomers
sra sai &AAG serpes" is yees sy- |w dnpisovgría, P. 142, 143. Ox. ed. 1 * Tam consortibus substantiæ Patris. Contr. Prax. c. 3. • Compare a passage of Novatian, cited above, p. 26.
ires. Orient only to Shts upon a no
Origen comes next. I have set against him a passage of Dionysius of Rome, who quotes the text in confirmation of what he had just before said, that we ought not by any means to undervalue the supereminent dignity of the Son, by supposing him a creature. As to Origen particularly, it is to be considered, that, if he had resolved the unity of Godhead, in that passage, into unity of consent, mentioning no other; yet no certain argument could be drawn from thence, that be held no other; any more than from the passages of Noyatian and Tertullian before cited. Had they been left single, they had been liable to the same charge; and yet it seems merely accidental that they were not. Authors do not always speak their whole thoughts upon a particular occasion; but are content only to say as much as the occasion requires. Origen was guarding against the Sabellian abuse of the text, and his thoughts were turned to that chiefly. However, in that very place, he made so much use of the text, as from thence to infer, that Father and Son are one God, and one object of worship; which, to any one who is acquainted with Origen's principles in that book, must appear to denote the divine and uncreated nature of the Son; and consequently a substantial unity betwixt him and the Father : besides, that this is farther intimated, in the passage cited, by the words, anaúyaoua tñs dóns, and xagaxtñpa tñs ÚNOCTÉCews, which seem to bave been added to qualify the former; and are hardly pertinent but on some such supposition. To confirm which, please to compare Origen with Alexander Bishop of Alexandria's comment on the same text, and you will find them very nearly the same; which is sufficient to acquit Origen of any suspicion of Arianizing in this point.
I come next to Hippolytus, who has but lately appeared, and whom neither the Doctor nor you have took notice of. He argues against the Sabellians, in the very same way with Tertullian, Novatian, and Origen: but then, in the other citation oppositely placed, he clearly resolves the unity of the Godhead into unity of substance and principle. But besides this, it deserves your special notice, that while he speaks of unity of will and concord, (admitting a kind of parallel between the union of Christians, and the union of God and Christ,) he clearly signifies how infinitely more perfect the latter is; resolving it into this, that the Son is the volls natpòs, the living and substantial mind, or thought, of the Father. This then is the case : there is an unity b of concord, and harmonious love, founded upon unity of substance: and the words, “ I and my Father are one,” express both the unity itself, and the foundation of it. Paul and Apollos were one in heart and will, in such measure and degree as they were capable of: and so God and Christ are one likewise ; but by an union infinitely more perfect, and upon an infinitely higher foundation. You need not be told, that ratas often signifies, not an exact equality, but a general similitude c; the remark is just; and, as it is at other times urged against us, so let me here claim the benefit of it.
I have added to the number two Post-Nicene writers, Epiphanius and the elder Cyril; which are enough to show, that the same way of reasoning against the Sabellians (which prevailed before the Nicene Council) obtained likewise afterwards. Some are apt to triumph extremely, if they can but find any the least difference between the Ante-Nicene and Post-Nicene writers. If there be but a text or two differently interpreted, a solemn remark is made upon it; and sometimes a trifling note of some obscure scholiast, or an imaginary difference, (having no foundation but the writer's ignorance, or negligence in
6 Etiam nos quippe incomparabilem consensum voluntatis atque indiriduæ caritatis, Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti confitemur, propter quod dicimus, Hæc Trinitas unus est Deus. August. contr. Maxim, l. ii. p. 720.
Vid. etiam Greg. Nyss. contr. Eunom. I. i. p. 389. , Hilar, de Trin. p. 958.
c Vid. Athanas. Orat. iii. p. 572.
comparing,) is improved into an argument of change of doctrine; and Athanasianism is made the name for what has been constantly held in the Christian Church. If there be occasion to speak of the things seemingly derogatory to the honour of the Son, (his being subordinate ; his referring all things to the Father, as head, root, fountain, cause; his executing the Father's will, and the like,) or of a real distinction between Father and Son, (as their being δύο αριθμώ, due res, or one of them αριθμώ έτερος, that is, personally distinct from the other,) then only Ante-Nicene Fathers are quoted; as if the Post-Nicene did not teach the very same doctrine: but if any thing, which seems to make more for the honour of the Son, be mentioned, (as his being uncreated, eternal, one God with . the Father, Creator of all things, and the like,) this is to be represented as the doctrine of the Post-Nicene Fathers only; though nothing is more evident than that they varied not a tittle, in any material point of doctrine, from their predecessors; but only preserved, as became them, with an upright zeal, the true faith of Christ, “ which “ was once delivered to the saints.”
To retum. It is needless almost to take notice of other testimonies: those in the margin are sufficient to show the true and constant sense of the Christian Church. The Doctor quotes Basil and Chrysostom, as saying Father and Son were one, xata Súvapiv: and, lest the reader should understand what those Fathers meant by Xatè &úvapiv, he cuts Chrysostom short; whose words immediately following (e: 8ề % Suvauss = aỦrì, ebnNov đi xai 1 ουσία) show that he meant by δύναμις, not the same αιthority, but the same inherent, essential, omnipotent power.
Athenagoras's Suvélyes may be rightly interpreted by Hippolytus before cited; or by Chrysostom; or by himself, in several places where he is clear for the consubstantiality. Justin Martyr's sentiments have been explained
a Page 100.
above; and the Council of Antioch’s expression (Ts oup@wvių) is vindicated by e Hilary; who himself may be readily understood by such as remember how the primitive Fathers held the Holy Ghost'to be, as it were, vinculum Trinitatis, and sometimes amor Patris et Filii ; as the Son himself is also styled charitas ex charitate, by fOrigen. These things I can only hint to the intelligent reader, having already exceeded the bounds of a digression.
QUEŘY XXIV. Whether Gal. iv. 8. may not be enough to determine the dis
pute betwixt us; since it obliged the Doctor to confess, that Christ is 8 by nature truly God, as truly as man is by nature truly man. He equivocates, indeed, there, as usual. For, he will have
it to signify that Christ is God by nature, only as having, by that nature which he derives from the Father, true divine power and dominion: that is, he is truly God by nature, as having a nature distinct from, and inferior to God's, wanting h the most essential character of God, self-existence. What is this but trifling with words, and playing fast and loose ?
IN answer hereto, you begin : “ Will the Querist in5 sist upon it, that the Son cannot be God by nature, un“ less he be self-existent?” And you proceed: “I can “ assure him, the learnedest, even of his own friends, are “ ashamed of this: and there are few so hardy, as directly " to affirm it.” But have a little patience, and I will endeavour to make you easy. Where were your thoughts? Where were your eyes ? Either I am strangely mistaken, or the line, which offended you so grievously, was scored underneath; and pag. 92. of the Doctor's Reply referred to, as you find now: and my charging the Doctor with playing fast and loose, immediately after, might have been a sufficient intimation of my meaning. Whether I think
e Page 1170, 1171. * Reply, p. 81.
* Pamph. Apol. p. 235. ed. Bened. h Ibid. p. 92.