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xxvi. OF SOME QUERIES. “ good pleasure of the invisible Father;" but admitting the more probable construction to be, that every knee might bow, according to the good pleasure of the invisible Father..
It is well known that Irenæus & allows no creature, nothing that had a beginning, to be justly called God; y looks upon the notion of an inferior God as a contradiction; does not z admit that any creature can create : and yet he makes the Son a truly God, 1 coeternal and c consubstantial (though he uses not the very word) with God the Father; Creator of men, of angels, of all things. Testimonies of the last particular are so many and so clear, (some of which have been cited above, that I need not here refer to them. In contradiction to all this, Dr. Whitby would persuade us (from two or three passages which say no such thing) that Irenæus resolved all the dignity of the Son into the powers given him after his resurrection d. I may, upon this occasion, take notice of another writer, who has lately misrepresented Irenæus. He imagines that the good Father supposed the Abyos, or Word, as such, passible. The passages, which he builds this fiction upon, you have in the f margin, according to
* Jren. lib. iii. c. 8. p. 183. ed. Bened. y Lib.ip. c. 2. p. 229.
z Lib. iv. c. 41. p. 288. · Lib. iii. c. 6. p. 180. lib. iv. c. 6. p. 235. b Lib. ii. c. 13. p. 132. lib. ii. c. 25. p. 153. c Lib. iii. c. 21. p. 217. lib. ii. c. 13. p. 132. lib. ii. c. 25. p. 153. d Irenæus's genuine principles may be seen in one short sentence. Pater
verbum suum visibile effecit omni fieri carvi, incarnatum et ipsum, ut in omnibus manifestus fieret rex eorum. Etenim ea quæ judicantur, oportebat videre judicem, et scire hunc a quo judicantur. Iren. I. iii. c. 9. p. 184.
Emlyn, Exam. of Dr. Bennet, p. 18. first edit. f Solus vere magister Dominus noster ; et bonus vere Filius Dei, et patiens, verbum Dei Patris Filius hominis factus. Iren. I. iii. c. 18. p. 211,
o aógos to Osoll vàgt lyévero, rad i rader. L. i. c. 10. p. 50. Compare the following places.
Verbum, unigenitus qui semper humano generi adest, et consparsus suo plasmati, secundum placitum Patris et caro factus, ipse est Jesus Christus Dominus noster, qui passus est. P. 206.
“o, xa lạ và m gagwi, ky j koi fa9ey Aurora. P, 207. Conf. Hippolyt. contr. Noët. c. 15.
the last edition. The most that you can espy in them is, that the Móyos suffered in the flesh: one of the quotations does not certainly say so much, but might bear another construction. It might as reasonably be pretended that the Móyos, as such, was visible, and comprehensible, and changed into a frail man, as that he was passible: see the margin. All that Irenæus intended to prove against the heretics was, that the Abyos was constantly united to the man Christ Jesus, and did not desert the human nature in the passion, it being 8 necessary that the suffering Redeemer should be both God and man: this is all the case. But to proceed with the learned Examiner. · Page 147. he represents Tertullian as making the
Son, in his highest capacity, “ignorant of the day of “ judgment.” Let the reader see the h whole passage, and compare it with another, four chapters lower; and from thence judge of Tertullian's meaning. No reasonable doubt can be made, but that Tertullian understood the Son's being ignorant, &c. in respect only of his humanity, as well as he understood the other things, mentioned together with it in the same paragraph. Such as consider how highly Tertullian, elsewhere, speaks of the Son, as being of one undivided substance with the Father, can make no question of it.
Invisibilis visibilis factus, et incomprehensibilis factus comprehensibilis, et impassibilis passibilis, et Verbum homo. P. 206.
8 See Irenæus, I. iii. c. 18. p. 211. See also the famous passage about quiescence, p. 213. which plainly supposes all that was suffering and low to belong to the man only, all that was high and great to the royos, or divine nature.
b Ignorans et ipse diem et horam ultimam, soli Patri notam ; disponens regnum discipulis, quomodo et sibi dispositum dicit a Patre, habens potestatem legiones angelorum postulandi ad auxilium a Patre si vellet, exclamans quod se Deus reliquisset, in Patris manibus Spiritum ponens. Tertull. adv. Prax. c. xxvi. p. 516.
Habes ipsum exclamantem in passione, Deus meus, Deus meus, ut quid me dereliquisti ? Sed hæc vox carnis et animæ, id est, hominis, non Şermonis, nec Spiritus, id est, non Dei, propterea emissa est, ut impassibilem Deum ostenderet, qui sic Filium dereliquit, dum hominem ejus tradidit in mortem. Tertull. adv. Prax. c. xxx. p. 518.
Here it will be proper to obviate a difficulty which may naturally, upon the first thoughts, arise in one's mind. Why should the Catholics so often urge the texts relating to Christ's human nature only, against the Sabellians? For it may seem that, if they thereby proved two Hypostases, they proved only a divine and a human Hypostasis ; and there might still be but one Hypostasis in the Godhead, as the Sabellians pretended. But it is to be considered, that both Catholics and Sabellians were agreed in one point, that God was incarnate, the divine nature personally united to the man Christ Jesus : and the main question between them was, whether the Father himself made one Person with Christ's human nature, or no. If the Catholics could prove the negative, (as they could easily do,) then the Sabellians must, of course, and upon their own principles, acknowledge another divine Hypostasis, besides the Father. The Catholics therefore urged all the texts, wherever Christ speaks of himself as a distinct Person from the Father; though many of these texts are meant of him in his human capacity only. Had our Saviour Christ spoke of the Abyos, or Word, in the same manner as he does of the Father: had he prayed to the Abyos, or Word, complained of being forsaken by him; or had he said, I know not the day of judgment, but he, the Abyos, or Word, does; it could never have been presumed, that the I and HE, the Abyos and Christ, made one Person. It appearing therefore, from that manner of expression, that the Father was not personally united with the human nature of Christ; this was sufficient against the Sabellians, who allowed that the man Christ Jesus was personally united with God: and if it could not be with the Father, it must of consequence be with another divine Hypostasis, a distinct and real Son of the Father. Thus you see the force and significancy of those texts (and of all texts which intimated a plain personal distinction between the Father and Christ) against the Sabellians. They showed that the Person speaking was not the Father. And yet the Person who spake, having (as both sides allowed) a divine and human nature, might speak of himself in different respects; in this or in that capacity, Thus, in regard to the Son's ignorance of the day of judgment, it is manifest that the Father and Son are there spoken of, as of two Persons; and one as knowing, the other as not knowing, though only in a certain respect : one ignorant in such a capacity, the other not ignorant in any capacity at all, as having never taken human nature, and therewith human ignorance, into a personal union with himself. Thus far to clear this point, and to acquit myself of a i promise made you some time ago.
I shall proceed a little farther in remarking on your friend's performance. It is frequent with him to bring up old objections, neglecting and concealing the Bishop's answers. I shall give a few instances only, that I may not be tedious.
Pag. 17. he pretends that the Bishop has not shown, that the Fathers of the second century resolved the unity into the same principle with the Nicene Fathers. Yet the Bishop khas shown it, and Dr. Whitby allows as much in the very next page; and has nothing to retreat to but the miserable evasion about individual.
Page 84. he refers to Basil as an evidence that Gregory Thaumaturgus believed the Son to be a creature. This he again repeats in the next page; and again in his Preface, p. 10. Yet the fact is evidently false; Basil himself a full witness on the contrary side; and this Bishop Bull had given notice of, and made clear to a demonstration. When a writer strains so hard to put a false sense upon another, there is no uncharitableness in believing that he gives us at least his own true meaning.
Page 87. he revives an old objection, which the learned Prelate had ingenuously m set forth in its full force; and given it as full an answer. Your friend is here pleased
i Qu. vii. p. 79. See Athanasius farther, upon the thing whereof I have been speaking, vol. i. p. 261.
k Bull. D. F. sect. iv. c. 4. 1 Ibid. p. 155, 156, 157, m Ibid. p. 267, :
xxvi. OF SOME QUERIES. to speak with great contempt of the Bishop's answer; for no other reason, that I can see, but because he was not able to confute it. Being however resolved to say something, he stoutly denies a plain matter of fact. Oixoyouía, says he, is never used by the Fathers, in the Bishop's sense. Please to turn to the places noted in the "margin, and judge whether the Bishop or he be the more faithful and accurate in this matter. If any thing farther be wanting in defence of Bishop Bull, in this article, let him speak for himself, in another work, in answer to Gilbert Clerke; who, it seems, was much offended at the oixovouía, grieved, as he well might, to see his most pompous and plausible pretences entirely baffled by it. I should weary my reader, and myself too, if I went on remarking every place, where old objections are brought up, and either none or very slight notice taken of the answers : if you have a mind to compare, you may note some pages referred to in P the margin. I shall proceed
n Tertullian. adv. Prax. c. 2, 3. Clem. Alexandr. p. 831, 955. Tatian. c. 8. ed. Ox. Hippolytus contr. Noët. p. 12, 15.
Valesius had observed the thing long ago, and without any view to controversy.
Vetus omnis Christianorum theologia Deo quidem Patri monarchiam attribuit, Filio vero et Spiritu Sancto oinovoular, id est, administrationem et dispensationém. Vales. Not. ad Euseb. p. 5, 6. See also p. 90, 253.
• Bull's Posth. Works, p. 1045, 1046, 1047, &c.
Bull's Def. F.
161, 162, 163.