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like Basilides, supposes a race (yevos) which is
saved by nature.”' * Of the same kind is the following passage from ORIGEN : ““ Those who,
coming from the schools of Marcion, and Valentinus, and Basilides, have been taught that there are different natures of souls.”'t
$ 2. The reader may well express his surprise at the Bishop's conduct in producing these extracts against the Calvinists. Indeed the words “ two natures" be found occasionally in Calvinistic writers; but is there any similarity of sentiment, between them and the quoted heresies? Not the least. The Saturninians, Marcionites, Bardesanians, Valentinians, Basilidians, Carpocratians, &c, according to a corrupt philosophy, or rather a visionary hypothesis, held that two Creators formed two kinds of men, possessed of two natures directly opposite, according to the characters of the two Deities; that is, one benevolent, the other malignant. SATURNINUS held the doctrine of two eternal principles, one good and the other evil; that unis world and its inhabitants were created by subordinate Deities; that the "nature” given to men by their immediate creator was a mere animal life; that the good eternal principle added to them another nature, which was a
rational soul. Thus, according to this insane dreamer, every man had “two natures," derived from two Creators ;—and, to perfect his folly, he further held, that there are two kinds of men; the one kind, just mentioned, who are by “ nature” well disposed; the other kind, formed by the evil deity, who are by “nature” wickedly disposed; and that the difference now subsisting among men, as good and bad, must arise from these causes.
§ 3. MARCION also had similar notions respecting two eternal principles, one good, the other evil, and a middle deity besides, who had himself two mixed natures, composed of something good and something bad. Mankind, he fancied, had “ two natures,” good, and bad; and this middle deity and the evil principle, were perpetually contending for dominion over these “ two natures” respectively. BARDESANES also held that mankind had “two natures," one formed by the Supreme Being, the other by an evil principle, the prince and author of all wickedness and misery. From the former proceeded reason; from the latter, passion. To this he added, that all matter was of a “ malignant nature,” and consequently all human bodies, whose original framer was the evil principle. VALENTINUS, in like manner, maintained that mankind had “ two natures,” consisting of an
equal portion of what' was subtle and what was gross; while the framer of these tiro natures was not the supreme Being, but a generated deity whom he called the Demiurge. This offspring of two of the Eons (of whom VALENTINUs created more than thirty) is represented as arbitrary and arrogant, aspiring to supreme dominion, as the God of the Jews, keeping mankind in slavery, &c.: but Jesus, one of the Eons, came to our world to chastise Demiurge, and to deliver mankind from his tyranny! It must not be omitted that the mother of this tyrannical pretender resolved to add to the two natures which her son gave to mankind a third nature far better than the other two.
§ 4. BASILIDES was a mystic of 'no less extravagance. He held that mankind had “two natures,” derived from two sources, that is, one nature from malignant matter, self-animated and eternal, but moulded originally into human form by angelic hands; the other nature was a principle of reason added to it by the kindness of the supreme deity. But still he left them under the dominion of their first 'formers; who themselves, in process of time, fell into a state of depravity. To complete his blasphemous nonsense, he asserted that one of these was the God of the Jews, to counteract whose pretensions, and to deliver mankind from the “two
natures” now enslaved, Christ was sent by his Father, the supreme deity. CARPOCRATES differed little from BASILIDES, except by adding a still greater portion of impiety to his philoso. phical reveries.
§ 5. These heresies, among many others of minor consideration, made their appearance in the second century. In the third, the Manichæans made themselves prominent. MANES, the Persian, also held “two natures” in mankind, one sensual, the other rational; the latter derived from a good, the former from an evil deity. This impious magician, in common with the rabblement of Gnostics before mentioned, pronounced all matter to be eternally corrupt, and therefore denied a resurrection. The human body, he supposed, was originally formed by the prince of darkness, and was the prison of man's “ two natures,” or “ two souls;" and the design of Christ, in coming into our world, was to liberate the better nature both from its lustful companion and from its prison; when, having completed his mission, he returned to his native residence, the sun, favouring the better part of mankind with Manes as his Paraclete !
§ 6. Such is a concise account of the fantastical impieties of these heresiarchs,—who
leaving the plain scriptures of truth, bewildered themselves and their followers among the fables and mythologies of the oriental heathen philosophy, falsely so called, - and to whom the Bishop of Lincoln would apparently be very glad to persuade us that the Calvinists are closely allied.
Opinions of earliest Heretics resembling tenets of Calvinism,” proved from the ancient Fathers ! Nothing can be plainer: as these Heretics held, that there are “ two natures” in men, so the Calvinists maintain, that
by nature we are children of wrath," have a “ carnal mind,” which is “ enmity against God,” and that, by a plan of mercy and grace, some are “ made partakers of the divine nature.”
7. On the heresies above recited I would make a few remarks. 1. The specimens produced of the tenets of their leaders, are but a small part of their profane jargon. 2. Some of them put forth their germs in the apostolic age, and by degrees grew up, and infested a great part of the Christian church, for many centuries, though often assuming different aspects, according to the prepossessions of each prominent leader. 3. Many of them, not content with dogmatizing with a fertile imagination, unrestrained either by judgment or any tolerable consistency, permitted their infatuated adherents to indulge in the most licentious practices.