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“ therefore do all things, as having him dwelling in us; ç that we may be his temples, and he our God in us.”
I proceed to Clement of Alexandria, who says thus : 5 ° The Son of God never goes off from his watch-tower: 6 never parted, never separated, nor moving from place 66 to place; but is always everywhere, and contained no“ where : all mind, all light, all eye of his Father, be" holding all things, hearing all things, knowing all 6 things.” · p In another place: “ Ignorance (in any degree) cannot « affect God, him that was the Father's counsellor before o the foundation of the world.”
9 Origen is pretty large upon the very texts whereof we have been speaking. He gives several interpretations : but it is observable, that he studiously endeavours to find some solution, which may acquit the Abyos from the imputation of being literally ignorant of the day of judgment. What Origen's opinion was of Christ's omniscience, you may also see relsewhere. To confirm what hath been said, one general remark I will leave with you.
• Ου γαρ εξίσταται ποτε της αυτού περιωπής ο υιός του Θεού· ου μεριζόμενος, ουκ αποτεμνόμενος, και μεταβαίνων εκ τόπου είς τόπον, πάντη δε ών πάντοτε, και μηδαμή περιεχόμενος, όλος νους, όλος φως, Πατρώος όλος οφθαλμός, πάντα ορών, πάντα á xoúwv, sidūs núvTQ Clem. Alex. Strom, 1. vii. c. 2. p. 831. See also p. 113, 611, 832.
Ρ "Αγνοια γαρ εχ άπτεται του Θεού, του προ καταβολής κόσμου συμβούλου γενοméyou toữ llargós. P. 832.
N. B. The Doctor's criticisms (Script, Doctr. p. 326, alias 294.) upon Clemens are very slight. I need only hint, that martorpctwo is applied to the Son at least twice, (p. 148, 277;) and myxpaths once (p. 647.) by Clemens; and that Taitoxpútwe may as well signify omni-tenens, as omnipotens ; and that omni-tenente voluntate is not improper, but agreeable to Clemens's philosophy: (see the Notes to Clemens, p. 431. ed. Ox.) and that therefore Christ might be supposed naturally omniscient, by Clemens, notwithstanding the Doctor's pretences: besides that the passages themselves referred to, if well considered, can bear no other sense. See my Sermons, p. 266. a Hom. 30. in Mat.
Comm. in Joh. p. 28. Huet. ed. He puts the very question, whether the Son knows all that the Father knows, and determines in the affirmative ; blaming those who, under pretence of magnifying the Father, presumed to deny it. The passage is rather too long to be here inserted.
The Sabellian controversy began early, and lasted long in the Church. The dispute was, whether Father and Son were one and the same hypostasis, or Person. Had the Catholics interpreted these two texts, as you pretend they did, there could not have been any thing more decisive against the Sabellians. Tertullian, you know, encountered them in a pretty large book, his book against Praxeas; Hippolytus entered the lists against Noetus; and his book is still extant; Eusebius's famed piece, against Marcellus, is to the same purport; several fragments besides, of other authors, remain. Please to look them over; and see if s you can find any one of them combating the Sabellians with these texts : and if you cannot, either be content to own, that it was a very strange and unaccountable omission in those writers; or else that they had quite other notions of things, than you have hitherto imagined. The Arians you find afterwards, perpetually almost, teasing the Catholics with those texts: strange they should never have been insisted on against the Sabellians, being so full to the purpose; especially if, as you suppose, the Ante-Nicene writers were themselves of that persuasion, which was afterwards called Arian. It is evident that the Sabellians must have understood the texts, if they are to be taken literally, of the Man Christ Jesus only: otherwise there had been a manifest repugnancy, in the words, “not the Son, but the “Father;” since they supposed Father and Son one and the same hypostasis. It is as plain, that they must have thought that the Catholics agreed with them in that exposition; otherwise they would have charged them, not only with Tritheism, but with the denial of the Son's essential Divinity. It does not appear that those texts ever came into controversy betwixt them, or were ever urged by the Catholics ; so that both seem to have agreed in
Tertullian indeed cites the text, in passing ; not drawing any such argument, as I mean, from it. What he meant will be shown hereafter, under Query 26th.
the same interpretation. So much for the point of omniscience. ..
I come next to consider what you have to object to my argument for the Son's eternity. I had put it upon this ; that it is described in the same phrases with God the Father's; which, one would think, should be high enough. You tell me that “the Son's metaphysical eternity is no “ where expressly revealed.” What the fine word, metaphysical, signifies here, I know not. If his eternity is revealed, it is enough for me. That I understand to be revealed, in these two texts, Rev. i. 17. xxii. 13. “I am " the first, and I am the last.” “I am Alpha and Omega, « the beginning and the end.” That these and the like phrases respect duration, appears from Isa. xliii. 10. compared with Isa. xliv. 6. In the latter, the words are; “ I am the first, and I am the last; and besides me there 6 is no + God.” The former, expressing the same thought, runs thus : “Before me was there no God formed, neither « shall there be after me.” The phrase of “ Alpha and “ Omega, first and last," is, in like manner, explained Rev. i. 8. “I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the “ ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and 6 which is to come.” The phrase then respects duration; and it is applied to our blessed Saviour, as hath been shown, Rev. i. 17. xxii. 13. Therefore there was no God before him: therefore he is, in the strictest sense, eternal. You say, “ the objector , hath not brought one “ text of Scripture that at all proveth it.” I did not produce all the texts proper upon that head: I designed brevity. Besides, I had a mind to remove the cause, from criticism upon words, to one plain and affecting argument; viz. that the proof of the Son's eternity stands upon the same foot, in Scripture, with the proof of the Father's; and is expressed in as strong words. And for this I appeal, as to the texts above cited, so also to Prov.
· Compare also Isa. xlviii. 12. See my Sermons, p. 233.
viii. 22, &c. which you allow to be spoken of the Messias. The original word, which we translate, “from everlast“ing,” is the very same with what we meet with in Psal. xc. 2. where also we find a parallel description of eternity, applied to the one God. See also Psal. xciii. 2. I allow your observation, that the Hebrew word may, and sometimes does, signify a limited, as well as it does, at other times, an unlimited duration. And therefore I do not lay all the stress of my argument upon the critical meaning of the word; but upon that, and other circumstances taken together : particularly this circumstance; that the eternity of the Father is described in the same manner, and in the same phrases, with the other; as by u comparing Psal. xc. 2. with Prov. viii. 22, &c. and Rev. i. 8. (supposing that text to be meant of the Father) with Rev. xxii. 13. may fully appear. I do not argue from a single phrase, or the particular force of it; but from several ; and these equally applied to both : as it were on purpose to intimate, that though these phrases singly might bear a limited sense; yet considering that God had made choice of them, as most significant to express his own duration; and again made choice of the very same, out of many others, to express his Son's duration too, we might from thence be taught to believe that the Son is coeternal with him.
You are sensible of the objection lying against you; namely, that there is no certain proof, according to your way of reasoning, of the eternity of the Father, in the Old Testament: and so resolute you are in this matter, that, rather than admit the Son to be eternal too, you are content to leave us in the dark, so far as the Old Testament goes, about the other. But, for a salvo to the Father's eternity, you observe, that it is emphatically expressed in the New Testament, (Rom. i. 20.) forgetting that the word aidos occurs but sonce more, in the New Testament; and then signifies eternal in a limited sense only, or a parte post, as the schools speak. Well then, for any thing I see to the contrary, we must contentedly go away, without any Scripture proof of the eternity of the Father, for fear it should oblige us to take in the Son's also. And this, indeed, is what you are beforehand apprehensive of, and prepared for; and therefore it is that you tell us, that “there appears no necessity " at all, that the attribute of eternity should be dis“ tinctly revealed with respect to the Father; whose “ eternity our reason infallibly assures us of,” (p. 50.) Infallibly assures : so you say; and, I believe, in my own way, I might be able to maintain your assertion. But I profess to you, that I do not, at present, apprehend how, upon your principles, you will be able to make any complete demonstration of it. It would be ridiculous to talk of proving from reason only, without revelation, that the Person whom we call the Father, the God of Jews and Christians, is the eternal God. I will therefore presume that you mean by reason, reason and revelation both together; and if you effectually prove your point from both, it shall suffice. You can demonstrate that there must be some eternal God, in the metaphysical sense, as you call it, of these words : but since the Father, the God of Jews and Christians, has not declared, either that he is eternal, or God, in the metaphysical sense, it does not appear how he is at all concerned in it. He has said, indeed, that there is no God besides him; but as he did not mean it in the metaphysical sense, there may be another, in that sense, besides him, notwithstanding: nay, it is certain there are and have been other Gods; even in the same sense : for Moses was a
u Before the mountains were | The Lord possessed me in the bebrought forth, or ever thou hadst | ginning of his way, before his works formed the earth and the world, of old. I was set up from everlasteven from everlasting to everlast. || ing, from the beginning, or ever the ing, thou art God, Ps. xc. 2.
earth was_ Before the mountains were settled, before the hills was I brought forth, Prov. viii. 22,
&c. VOL. I.