« PreviousContinue »
the frankness of it. You are very right, upon these Principles, in your parallel from Angels : Had the Antients thought the Office of the Son ministerial, in your low Sense, They would have paid Him no more respect than they paid to Angels; and would certainly never have worship'd Him. But I pass on: Creation, you say, is no Aft of Dominion; and therefore is not a fufficient Foundation for Worship. The fame Reason will hold with respect to the Father also · for, Creating is one thing, and Ruling another. Yer you'l find that Scripture makes Creation the ground and Reason of Worship, in so particular and distinguishing a Manner, that no Person whatever, that had not a hand in Creating, has any right or title to Worship, upon Scripture-Principles; to which Catholick Antiquity' is intirely Consonant, as we have observed above. I did not found his Right cf Worship on Creation only, but Preservation too; referring to Coloff. 1. 17. By Him all Things confijt; to which may be added Heb. 1. 3. Vpholding all Things by the word of his Power. The Titles of Creator, Preserver, Sustainer of all Things found very high ; and express His super-eminent Greatness and Ma. jesty, as well as Our Dependence; and therefore may seem to give Him a full Right and Title to Religious Worship; especially if it be consider'd, that they imply Dominion, and cannot be understood without it. Besides that Creator, as hath bocn flown, is the Mark, or
Characteristick of the true God, to whom all Honour and Worship is due. Add to this, that by Joh. 1. 1. the Son was oe's before the Foundation of the World; which implies, at least, Dominion, upon your own Principles : And when He came into the World, * He came un. to his own, (Joh. 1. 11.) having been their Crea. tor, V. 20. and, as is now explain'd, Governor from the first. Wherefore, certainly, He had a just Claim and Title to Adoration and Worship from the Foundation of the World, even upon your own Hypothesis. As to his creating miniAterially only, I have said enough to that Point, under the Eleventh Query, whither I refer you.
From what hath been observed, it may appear fufficiently, that the divine Móra was our King, and our God long before; that He had the same Claim and Title to religious Worship that the Father Himself had; only not so distinctly reveald; and that his Enthronization, after his Resurrection, was nothing more than declaring the Dignity of His Person more solemnly, and investing Him as † God-Man, in his
• Unus Deus Pater fuper Omnes, & Unum verbum Dei quod per omnes, per Quem omnia facta sunt, & quoniam Hic Mundus proprius iplius, & per Ipsum faétus eft Voluntate Patis, cer. - Muodi enim Factor vere verbum Dei eft. Iren. p. 319.
Verbum autem Hoc illud eft, Quod in sua venit, & Tui Eum non receperunt. Mundus enim per Eum factus eft, & Mundus Euon non cognovit. Novat. C. 13. p. 714.
si Homo tantummodo Christus, quomodo Veniens in hunc Mundum in fua venit, cum Homo nullum fecerit Mundum? Novas. p. 215. Vid. & Hippolye. contr. Noer. C, 12. p. 14. : * Ei Nimfit détou, a cv test ruchouala Tó ito se zov öropese arxetay, siç ixsivo dyderón ha capxos imurcza)sis ömping xai ix** ragroso Cyril. Alex. Ther. p. 130.
whole Person, with the fame Power and Au. thority, which, as God, He always had; and now was to hold in a different Capacity, and with the Addition of a new and special Title, that of Redeemer. * They therefore who endeavor to found the Son's Title to Worthip, only upon the Powers and Authority of the Mediator, or God-Man, after the Resurrection (alledging Joh. 5. 22. Phil. 2. 10. Heb. 1.6. and the like) give us but a yery lean and poor Account of this Matter; neither consistent with Truth, nor indeed with their own Hypothesis. You quote Phil. 2. 6. in favour of your Notion; and say, that Christ was from the Beginning in the form of God; yet He did not assume to Himself to be honoured like unto God, till after his Humiliation. But this Position can never be made out from that Text. Allowing you your Interpretation, about, af suming to be honour'd, yet this can mean only, that He did not assume, during his Humiliation, without any reference to what He had done before. It is very clear from Joh. 17.5. that our blessed Saviour was to have no greater Glory after his Exaltation and Ascension, than He had before the World was. Glorify me, with thine own self, with the Glory, which I had with Thee, before the World was. His Glory had, to appearance, been under an Eclipse, during the state of his Humiliation :
* Clarke's Script. Doar. Prop. 48. 50, 51. Clarke's Reply, pag. 239
pag. 279. .
But after that, He was to appear again in full Lustre; in all the Brightness and Splendor of his divine Majesty, as He had done ever before. You think, that our Worship of Him, in his own distinct Perfon and Chara. cter, commenc'd after his Resurrection from the dead. I might allow this to be so in Fact; and yet maintain, that He always had the same just Right and Title to religious Worship; which must have had its effect, had it been clearly and distinctly revealed, sooner. This is enough for my purpose; in as much as I con. tend only, that the Worship due to Him is not founded merely upon the Power and Authority supposed to have been given Him after his Refurrection; but upon his perfonal Dignity, and essential Perfections. He might have had the very fame right and claim all along, that ever He had after; only it could not take effect, and be acknowledged, till it came to be clearly revealed. Thus, God the Father had, undoubtedly, a full Right and Title to the Worship and Service of Men, or of Angels, from the first: But that Right could not take place before He revealed and made Himself known to Them. This, I say, is sufficient to my purpose; and all that I infilt upon. Yet, because I have a religious Veneration for every Thing which was universally taught and believed by the earlicst Catholick Writers, especially if it has some Countenance likewise from Scripture; I incline to think that Worship, distinct Wor. T 4
thip, ship, was paid to the Son, long before his Incarnation.
Irenæus is * express that the soy@ was worship'd of old, together with the Father. And this must have been the Sense of all those Fa: thers, before the Council of Nice, who understood and believed that the Person who appeared to the Patriarchs, who presided over the Jewish Church, gave them the Law, and all along headed and conducted that people, was the second Person of the ever blessed Trinity. Now, this was the general and unanimous Opinion of the Ante-Nicene Writers, as hath been Thown at large, under Query the second. And it is observable, that Eufebius and Athanasius, (two very considerable Men, and thoroughly vers'd in the Writings of the Christians before Them) tho' They were opposite as to Party, and differ'd as to Opinion, in lome Points; yet They † intirely agreed in This, that the Son was worship'd by Abraham, Mofes, &c. and the Jewish Church. And herein, had we no other Writings left, we might reasonably believe that They spake the Sense of their Prédecessors, and of the whole Christian Church, as well before, as in their own Times. You will say perhaps, that the Worship, fupposed to have been then paid to the Son, was not' di
* Qui igitur a Prophetis adorabatur Deus Vivus, Hic est Vio vorum Deus & Verbum Ejus l. 4. c. 5. p. 232. Ed. Bened.
See also Novatian, c. 15. Deum & Angelum invocatun. . † Euleb. E. H. I. 1. c. 2. See also Comm, in Isa. p. 381. 386.
Athanal. Vol. I. pi 443. 44.