Page images
PDF
EPUB

claring expressly against any such vain imagination as that of a subordinate God, and throwing it off as a Pagan dream; the same that says, the Divinity has no degrees, being one only. Will you bring him for a voucher, so directly against himself? True, he uses the similitude of a king upon a throne, and a son administering his father's kingdom; but to a very different purpose from what you would have it serve. The objection against more Persons than one in the Godhead (as Tertullian resolves it) was, that the authority would not be one; that there would not be unicum imperium: see the place in the cmargin. The similitude is pertinent to show how the authority, or government, may be one in the hands of several Persons. But if you ask Tertullian how Father and Son can be reputed one God, he tells you in the d chapter before, and in that very passage which the Doctor quotes, that it is by unity of substance, and original. Unity of authority,

ç Monarchiam, inquiunt, tenemus. Et ita sonum vocaliter exprimunt Latini, etiam opici, ut putes illos tam bene intelligere monarchiam, quam enuntiant. Sed monarchiam sonare student Latini; et economiam intelligere nolunt etiam Græci. At ego, si quid utriusque linguæ præcerpsi, monarchiam nihil aliud significare scio, quam singulare et unicum imperium : non tamen præscribere monarchiam, ideo quia unius sit, eum, cujus sit, aút filium non habere, aut ipsum se sibi filium fecisse, aut monarchiam suam non per quos velit administrare. Atquin, nullam dico dominationem ita unius sui esse, ut non etiam per alias proximas personas administretur Si vero et filius fuerit ei, cujus monarchia sit, non statim dividi eam, et monarchiam esse desinere, si particeps ejus adsumatur et filius. Contr. Prax. c. iii. p. 502.

The sense of this passage is very clear: the Praxeans (I suppose taking advantage of this, that the Church had always rejected tria principia, and ogsīs úvágzous) pleaded for themselves, and against a real Trinity; plovagziny tenemus. Tertullian tells them, that they misunderstood movzexic : (as it might signify unum principium, he had answered the objection before, c. 2.) Here, he says, it signifies only one authority; and he shows that, taken in that sense, it was no just objection against a Trinity of Persons. Thus, having maintained, first, unity of principle, and afterwards unity of author rity, he sufficiently guarded the doctrine of the Trinity against the cavils of Praxeas.

d Unus omnia, dum ex 'uno omnia, per substantiæ scilicet unitatem, p.

501.

Filium non aliunde deduco, sed de substantia Patris, c. iv. p. 502.

and unity of Godhead, are, with Tertullian, distinct things, however you may please to confound them : God and his angels have, according to him, one authority; but he does not therefore say, that the angels are Gods; or that if they were, there would still be but one God.

e Athenagoras makes use of the same similitude for the same purpose with Tertullian, to illustrate the unity of authority and power common to Father and Son; not the unity of Godhead. It was the f government divine which he undertook, in some measure, to illustrate by that comparison of a king and his son, (which however would argue an equality of nature, contrary to your tenets.) But as to unity of Godhead, he resolves it into 8 other principles, the same with Tertullian's ; namely, unity of substance and original, making the Holy Ghost (and the reason is the same for the Son) to be a substantial h emanation from the Father, as light from fire. The common answer to the charge of Tritheism, or Ditheism, as well of the Post-Nicene as Ante-Nicene Fathers, was, that there is but one Head, Root, Fountain, Father of all;" not in respect of authority only, but of substance also; as Tertullian before expresses it: “Non aliunde deduco, sed “de, substantia Patris.” This was the concurrent sense of i all in general; and into this chiefly they resolved the unity of Godhead; as they must needs do, since they believed God to be a word denoting substance, not dominton only; and one Divinity, Osórns, was with them the same thing as one Divine substance. The learned Doctor, after his manner of citing, k produces, I think, thirteen vouchers (ten ancient, three modern) for his notion of the Unity. Tertullian, Athenagoras, and Novatian, (three of them,) evidently resolve the Unity, as before observed, into communion of substance. Justin, Athanasius, Hilary, Basil, Pearson, Bull, Payne, (seven more,) most of them, in the very passages which the Doctor cites; all of them, somewhere or other, are known to resolve it into Sonship, or unity of principle; either of which comes to the same with the former. None of these authors so understood the Father to be one God, as to exclude the Son from being one God with him in nature, substance, and perfection : nor would they have scrupled to call Father and Son together one God; most of them doing it expressly, all implicitly.

e Legat. c. xv. p. 63. f επουράνιον βασιλείαν. & Page 38, 39, 96. h Nos, Aớyos, copia, vios Toũ g ạo , sáp on, os pas de sugà, sysữa, p. 96. i Some pretended exceptions will be considered in another place, Qu. 23, * Script. Doctr. p. 334, 335, &c. alias p. 301, &c.

Origen, another of the Doctor's authors, resolves the Unity into communion of Godhead, in the lpassage cited. Osórns is the word he uses ; m generally, if not constantly, signifying substance in that very comment from whence the citation is taken; agreeably to the most usual sense of Ocòs, in the Ante-Nicene writers; and of Divinitas, in Tertullian; and of Osórns, in other n authors. .

Lactantius, the twelfth of the number, would have spoken fully to our purpose, in the very •chapter referred to, if the Doctor would have suffered him. He would have told us, (however unhappy he may otherwise be in his explications of that mystery,) that Father and Son are one substance, and one God; so far, at least, contrary to what the learned Doctor cites him for. There remains only Eusebius, whose expressions are bold and free; and so far favourable to the Doctor, as they are different from those of the Catholics of his own time, or of the times before, and after. If they are really to be understood, so as to exclude the Son from being one God with the Father, they ungod the Son, and contain plain Arianism. But perhaps they may admit of such a favourable excuse as, PGelasius tells us, Eusebius, in effect, made for himself, in respect of any uncautious expressions, which, in the warmth of dispute, or out of his great zeal against Sabellianism, had dropped from him: “That he did not “ intend them in the impious sense, (of Arius,) but had “only been too careless and negligent in his expressions." One may be the more inclined to believe it, since he admitted, at other times, (as I have observed above,) one God in three Persons: and elsewhere I speaks very orthodoxly of the holy uņdivided Trinity, illustrating the equality of the Persons by a very handsome similitude. But to return to the learned Doctor. In the close of this article he has a peculiar turn, which should be taken notice of. “ The Scholastic writers,” says he, “in later “ages, have put this matter” (meaning the Unity of the Godhead) “ upon another foot:” that is, different from what himself, and perhaps Eusebius in those passages, had put it upon. They have not, it seems, put it upon a real, proper numerical individuality, as the learned Doctor would have had them do. They do not make the Godhead uovongównos, one single hypostasis; which, in the main, is all one with the Sabellian singularity.

I Comm. in Joh. p. 46.
m See ibid. p. 35, 133, 154, 228, 262.

n Epist. Synod. Antioch. Labb. tom. i. p. 847. Eusebius Comm. in Psalm. p. 323, 592. et in Isa. p. 375, 382, 551. Athanas. passim. Epiphan. Hæres. Ixiv. c. 8.

• Una utrique mens, unus Spiritus, una substantia est; sed ille quasi exuberans fons est; hic tanquam defluens ex eo rivus : ille tanquam sol; hic quasi radius a sole porrectus. Ad utramque Personam referens intulit, et præter me non est Deus; cum possit dicere, præter nos; sed fas non erat plurali numero separationem tantæ necessitudinis fieri. Lib. iv. c. 29. p. 403, 404.

The reader should be told, that those Scholastic writers are as old as Tertullian, Irenæus, or Athenagoras; which brings it up almost to the middle of the second century. So early, at least, Father and Son together have been called, and all along believed to be one God. Let but the reader understand, and take along with him, what I have now observed, and I shall not differ with you about names. Scholastic may stand for Catholic, as I perceive it often does with you also, if you think the Catholic faith may, under that borrowed name, be more safely or more successfully attacked. The Scholastic notion then, which has prevailed for fifteen centuries at least, is, that Father and Son are one God: yours, on the other hand, is, that the Father is one God, and the Son another God: and I am to convince you, if I can, that one God, and another God, make two Gods. You ask me seriously, so whether Herod the Great was not king of Ju“ dea, though the Jews” (that is, when the Jews) “ had “ no king but Cæsar?” I answer, he was not: for Herod the Great had been dead above thirty years before ; and the Jews had really no king but Cæsar when they said so. However, if there had been one king under another king, there would have been two kings. The same I say for one God under another God; they make two Gods. You ask, next, “ whether there were more kings of Persia 6 than one, though the King of Persia was king of 6 kings ?” I shall not dispute whether king of kings was titular only to the kings of Persia, or whether they had other kings under them. I shall only say thus: either the supposed kings of Persia were kings of Persia, or they were not : if they were, then there were more kings of Persia than one : if they were not kings of Persia, they should not be so called. To apply this to our present purpose; either there are two Authors and Governors of the universe, that is, two Gods; or there are not: if there are, why do you deny it of either? If there are not, why do you affirm it of both ?

P Oj peny xarà año de os bñ xsivou prvosav, aaa' is a tipiégyou taórntos. Gelas. 1. 2. de Syn. Nic. c. i. p. 11.

9 Eικών δε ταύτα μυστικής και παναγίας και βασιλικής τριάδος, ή της ανάρχου και αγεννήτου φύσεως ήρτημένη, της των γεννητών απάντων ουσίας τα σπέρματα, και Tous aoyous, vai tùs airias, atsianpe. Orat. de Laud. Constant. p. 511. ed. Vales.

Script. Doctr. p. 349.

After all, please to take notice, that I do not dispute against the notion of one king under another; a petty king under a supreme. There is no difficulty at all in the conception of it. But what I insist upon is this : that à

s Page 45.

« PreviousContinue »