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satisfy you, return to John'i. 1. He was còs before the world was, by your own acknowledgment; which being a word of office, and implying dominion, he was certainly Lord, as soon as ever there was any thing for him to be Lord over. And when he came into the world, the world that was made by him, (John i. 10.) he came unto his own, (John i. 11.) Surely then he was Lord over all long before his resurrection.
You will ask, it may be, what then is the meaning of those texts which you have quoted ? How was all power given him, according to Matt. xxviii. 18? Or how were all things then put under his feet, according to Ephes. i. 22? Nothing is more easy than to answer you this. The Abyos, or Word, was from the beginning, Lord over all; but the God incarnate, the skydpwnos, or God-Man, was not so, till after the resurrection. Then he received, in that capacity, what he had ever enjoyed in another. Then did he receive that full power in both nåtures, which he had heretofore possessed in one only. This is very handsomely represented by Hermas, in his fifth Similitude: where the e Son of God is introduced under a double capacity, as, a son and as a servant, in respect of his two natures, divine and human.
“ f The father calling his son and heir whom he “ loved, and such friends as he was wont to have in “ council, he tells them what commands he had laid upon .66 his servant, and moreover what the servant had done;
6 and they immediately congratulated that servant, for 'that he had received so full a testimony from his “ lord.” (Afterwards the father adds,) “ I will make 6 him my heir together with my son. This design of “ the lord both his son and his friends approved, namely, “ that this servant should be heir together with his « son.”
e See Bull. D. Fid. N. p. 38.
f (Pater) adhibito filio quem carum et hæredem habebat, et amicis quos in consilio advocabat; indicat eis quæ servo suo facienda mandasset, quæ præterea ille fecisset. At illi protinus gratulati sunt servo illi, quod tam plenum testimonium domini assecutus fuisset- volo eum filio meo facere cohæredem. Hoc consilium domini, et filius, et amici ejus comprobaverunt, ut fieret scilicet hic seryus cohæres filio. Herm. Past. Sim. V. c. 2. p. 104. Cot. edit.
It is much to the same purpose that Origen says to Celsus; “g Let those our accusers (who object to us, “our making a God of a mortal man) know, that (this “ Jesus) whom we believe to have been God, and the “ Son of God from the beginning, is no other than the “ Word itself, Truth itself, and Wisdom itself: but we “ say farther that his mortal body, and the human soul “ that was therein, by means of their most intimate con“nection to, and union with the Word, received the “ greatest dignity imaginable, and, participating of his “ divinity, were taken into God.” It is difficult to express the full force of this passage in English: but you may see the original in the margin.
From hence you may perceive, how easy it is to account for our Lord's having all power given him, after his resurrection; given him in respect of his human nature, which was never so high exalted, nor assumed into such power and privilege, till that time; having before been under a state of affliction and humiliation. There is a notable fragment of Hippolytus, which Fabricius has lately given us in the second volume; and which is so full to our purpose, that I cannot forbear adding it to the former. Speaking of that famous passage in the Epistle to the Philippians, chap. ii. and particularly upon these words ; “Wherefore God also hath highly exalted him," ver. 9. he comments upon it thus. «h He is said to be exalted, as “ having wanted it before; but in respect only of his
και "Ίσωσαν οι εγκαλούντες ότι δν μεν νομίζομεν και πεπεισμεθα αρχήθεν είναι Θεόν raà viòy Osb, oitos ó autonóyos ési, xaà ij autoropíc, xai j aurouan Isla Todd θνητόν αυτού σώμα, και την ανθρωπίνην εν αυτώ ψυχήν, τη προς εκείνο, ου μόνον κοινωνία αλλά και ενώσει και ανακράσει, τα μέγισά φαμέν προσειληφέναι, και της ixsívov Isórntos xexovwynxóta is sòv metabsenxévat. Orig. contr. Cels. I. iii. p. 136, &c.
h Hippolytus, vol. ii. p. 29. Fabric. edit. See a parallel place in Origen, Com. in Joh. p. 413.
“humanity; and he has a name given him, as it were a “ matter of favour, which is above every name, as the 6 blessed (Apostle) Paul expresses it. But in truth and “ reality, this was not the giving him any thing, which “ he naturally had not from the beginning: so far from “ it, that we are rather to esteem it his returning to what 5 he had in the beginning i essentially and unalterably; on 6 which account it is, that he having condescended, oixovo“ jixws, to put on the humble garb of humanity, said, Fa“ ther, glorify me with the glory which I had, &c. For “ he was always invested with divine glory, having been « coexistent with his Father before all ages, and before all 65 time, and the foundation of the world k.” · I hope this may suffice to convince you how much you mistake; and how contrary your sentiments are, both to Scripture and catholic antiquity, if you imagine that the Abyos, or Word, then first began to be Lord over all, when that honour was conferred on the Man Christ Jesus.
QUERY VII. Whether the Father's omniscience and eternity are not one,
and the same with the Son's, being alike described, and in the same phrases? See the text above, p. 63.
YOUR answer, lwith respect to the Son's omniscience, is, “ that he hath a relative omniscience communicated to “ him from the Father; that he knows all things relating “ to the creation and government of the universe; and that “ he is ignorant of the day of judgment.”
* ι ουσιωδώς και αναποβλήτως.
kI may add a passage of Novatian. Ac si de cælo descendit Verbum hoc, tanquam sponsus ad carnem, ut per carnis adsumptionem Filius Hominis illuc posset ascendere, unde Dei Filius, Verbum, descenderat: merito, dum per connexionem mutuam, et caro Verbum Dei gerit, et Filius Dei fragilitatem carnis adsumit; cum sponsa carne conscendens illuc unde sine carne descenderat, recipit jam claritatem illam, quam dum ante mundi constitutionem habuisse ostenditur, Deus manifestissime comprobatur. Novat. c. 13.
1 Page 48.
The Son then, it seems, knows all things, excepting that he is ignorant of many things; and is omniscient in such a sense, as to know infinitely less, than one who is really omniscient. Were it not better to say plainly, that he is not omniscient, than to speak of a relative omniscience, which is really no omniscience; unless an angel be omniscient, or a man omniscient, because he knows all things which he knows? What ground do you find in Scripture or antiquity for your distinction of absolute and relative omniscience? Where is it said, that he knows all things relating to his office, and no more? Or how can he be so much as omniscient, in this low sense, if he knows not, or knew not, the precise time of the day of judgment; a thing which, one would imagine, should belong to his office as much as any ? Matt. xxiv. 36. as well as Mark xiii. 32. is plainly meant only of the human nature; and is to the same effect with Luke ii. 52. “ That " he increased in wisdom,” which cannot be literally understood of the Abyos with any tolerable consistency, even upon the Arian hypothesis m. You tell us farther, that “ all the Ante-Nicene writers understand by these two “ texts, that our Lord as the Aéyos, or Son of God, did “ not then know the day of judgment,” (p. 49.) This is very new indeed; if you have read the Ante-Nicene
m A late writer acquaints us, in the name of Dr. Clarke and the Arians, (I presume, without their leave,) “ that the Word really emptied itself, and “ became like the rational soul of another man, which is limited by the “ bodily organs; and is, in a manner, dormant in infancy; and that the “ Word may be deprived of its former extraordinary abilities in reality, “ and grow in wisdom, as others do.” This is making the ságos, that greatest and best of beings, (upon the Arian scheme,) next to God himself, become a child in understanding; though once wise enough to frame and govern the whole universe. The author calls it, (I think very profanely,) “ the “'true and great mystery of godliness, God manifest in flesh.”. One would think, instead of manifest, it should have been, confined, locked up in flesh; which is the author's own interpretation of this mystery, (p. 16.) What design he could have in all this, I know not; unless he considered what turn Arianism took, soon after its revival at the Reformation. See Exam. of Dr. Bennet on the Trin. p.15, 16.
writers, you must know better: if you have not, how unaccountable a thing is it to talk thus confidently without book? If what you say was true, we should, without delay, give you up all these writers to a man; and never more pretend to quote any Ante-Nicene Father, in favour of the present orthodoxy. But as the point is of great moment, we must require some proofs of it: for writing of history by invention is really romancing. You cite Irenæus from n Dr. Clarke, who could find no other: or else we should have heard of it from the first hand. And yet you cry out, all; which is more than the learned Doctor pretended to say; who had his thoughts about him, and would not have let slip any fair advantage to the cause which he espouses.
But has the Doctor really proved that Irenæus meant so? Perhaps not: and then your all, which was but one, is reduced to none. Two things the Doctor, or you, should have proved : first, that Irenæus understood those texts of the Móyos, or Word, in that capacity: and secondly, that he supposed him literally ignorant of the day of judgment. The Doctor knew full well what solutions had been given of the difficulty arising from this passage. Yet he barely recites Irenæus's words; and neither attempts to prove that such was his sense, nor to disprove it. You indeed do observe, from some learned person, that this passage of Irenæus 66 will admit of no evasion. “ For he evidently speaks not of the Son of man, but of 6 the Son of God; even of that Son with whom, as it “ follows, in omnibus Pater communicat." Let this have its due weight: the argument may look so far plausible on that side: but let the other side be heard also, before we determine. • Bishop Bull has given some reasons, and weighty ones too, to show, that if Irenæus attributed any ignorance to Christ, he did it in respect of his human nature only. His reasons are,
n Script. Doctr. p. 146. alias 132. • Def. F. N. p. 82. Comp. Brev. Animadv. in G. Cl. p. 1056.