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to Constantine, was always Father, he was always King and Saviour. But as it could never be Constantine's intention to say, that the subjects of God's government and salvation were always, any otherwise than all his works may be said to be always, with him, as comprehended in his foreknowledge and purposes ; so neither does it follow from this reason alone, that the Son had any existence in the Father prior to his being begotten, in any other sense, that is, as the Doctor has very properly rendered the word ouvapei. (See Le Clerc's Ars Critica, III. p. 49, edit. 1700.) See also quotation* infra, Chapter iii. Sect. iv. Note, where the same manner of conceiving and reasoning seems to occur in the following words : Ο γαρ δεσποτης των όλων αυτος υπαρχων το σαντος ή υποστασις, κατα μεν την μηδεπω γεγενημενην σοιησιν Μονος ην, καθο δε σασα δυναμις ορατων τε και αορατων αυτος υποστασις ην συν αυτω σαντα. . In the next words, Tatian may be thought to carry the matter farther with respect to the logos. But what I have here transcribed may be sufficient to throw some light on Constantine's notion. Indeed his whole argument is little better than a quibble, and though it might suit Eusebius's purpose to avail himself of it, could never satisfy him, nor, I should think, any other person in the Council.” (X.)]*
** In addition to Note ş, supra, p. 157, the same learned correspondent of the Author has the following remarks:
“I know not whether the following passage in Casaubon's Exercitationes in Baronium has ever fallen in Dr. Priestley's way. If not, it may not be disagreeable to him to see it. •Adfert Cyrillus, libro septimo contra impium Julianum, ty qe διεξερχείαι τον αυτο σολον ξυναποτελων κοσμον, δν εταξε λογό, ο πανίων θειολαλος δραθον. Ecce hic habes Woyoy per quem, ait Plato, factum esse mundum aspectabilem. Videtur dicere idem cum Johanne, et hoc est quod Cyrillus ait. Ceterum si rem peniles spectemus, hay @ Platonis, id est ratio illa quam ait à Deo summo adhibitanı in conditura 'mundi, longe est aliud quam verbum Christus apud Johanuem, et ille do you EYVTOSATos, solis notus iis quibus sacra scriptura innotuit. Talia multa habentur apud patres, in quibus homonymia possit parem cautis imponere.'
"And a little before these words, having quoted an observation from Basil relating to the same subject, he says, "'Hæc viri sumıni admonitio in legendis veterum patrum scriptis apprime est necessaria. Multa enim in illorum monumentis occurrant, ad hujus vocis illustrationem elegauter, ingeniose, addam et utiliter, pro tempore, excogitata, quæ tamen doctrinam parum solidam coutineant. Sic accipienda sunt quæcunque ab illis proferuntur ex antiquis philosophis, ut probent etiam sapientibus inter gentes verbum fuisse notum quod celebrat Johannes." P. 3, col. 2, edit. Genevæ, 1663." (X.)
CHAPTER III. The Defence of the preceding Doctrine by the Fathers. It is no wonder that this strange doctrine of the generation of the Son from the attributes of the Father should bring the orthodox Christians into some difficulties, and expose their scheme to objections; or that, in order to defend it, they should have recourse to a variety of expedients. Accordingly, it appears, by the labour which they bestowed upon this subject, that the doctrine was, in fact, much objected to, and that, in their own opinion, it required to be well explained and defended.
The first thing which they had to guard against was the diminution of the substance of the Father by the production of a Son from himself; and the next thing was to prevent the entire separation of the Son from the Father; for then there would have been two Gods, which the Gnostics, who held the doctrine of the einanation of all super-angelic beings from the Divine essence, readily acknowledged. But this having been so long decried, as a doctrine of the Gnostics, and being exceedingly offensive to the great body of common people among Christians, it could not be adopted.
It was hardly possible to find any comparison in nature by which they could remove both these objections to their doctrine at the same time, viz. the loss of substance in the Father by the generation of the Son, and the entire separation of the Son from him. All their explications, therefore, we find entirely fail in one respect or the other. The earliest of all the explanations of this doctrine is that of the issuing of words from men. The philosophizing Christians compared the emission of the logos from the Father to the emission of logos or reason from man, in speech or discourse; and, miserably lame as this explanation obviously is, many of them could find no better, and therefore they took much pains to answer the objections that were made to it. Another famous comparison to which they had recourse in the earliest period, was the lighting of one torch at another. But though this did not take any thing from the light of the former torch, it made two distinct torches. Still, however, much use was made of this comparison, as being thought remarkably happy
in answering one of the objections. But I must proceed to explain their manner of reasoning by extracts from their own writings.
The Generation of the Son from the Father, illustrated by the
uttering of Words. Tatian says concerning the generation of the logos from the Father, that “it is by division, not by avulsion, because that which is cut off from its origin is entirely removed from it; but that which is divided” (or imparted) “ taking a portion of the economy, * does not leave that from which it was taken, destitute. For as many fires are lighted by one torch, without any diminution of its light; thus the logos emitted from the power of the Father does not leave him void of logos." To explain this, he adds, “ I speak, and you hear, but by discoursing with you I do not become void of logos, by the transmission of my logos to you ; but I propose, by the emission of my voice, to arrange some unformed matter in you.”+ This he, no doubt, meant to be a complete illustration of the emission of the logos from the Father, in order to arrange the matter of the chaos out of which the world was made.
To this explication it was obvious to object, that the emission of a word in speech is no generation of any thing, words being empty sounds, and nothing permanent. But the reply to this was, that words are empty things, and leave nothing permanent when uttered only by man; but that this is not the case with the words of God; the difference in the beings from whom they proceed making a corresponding difference in the things which proceed from them. In the following passages Tertullian states this hypothesis,
This, as part of a general proposition, is a very obscure expression. Had he been describing the emission of the Son from the Father in particular, it would have meant his assuming proper personality, in order to bis taking part in the plan that was formed for the redemption of man, which is often called the economy. This phrase is, therefore, generally synonymous to the incarnation with the fathers. (P.)
+ Γεγονε δε κατα μερισμoν, ου κατα αποκοπην το γαρ απομηθες το πρωί και κεχωριςαι, το δε μερισθεν οικονομιας την αιρεσιν προσλαβον, ουκ ενδεα τον όθεν ειληπλαι πεποιηκεν ώσπερ γαρ απο μιας δαδος αναπίείαι μεν πυρα πολλα, της δε πρωτης δαδος δια
την εξαψιν των πολλων δαδων ουκ ελατelαι το φως, έτω και ο λογος προελθων εκ της τα παίρος δυναμεως, ουκ αλογον πεποιηκε τον γεγεννηκοτα και γαρ αυτος εγω λαλω, και υμεις ακοείε, και ου δηπο δια της μελαβασεως τε λόγο, κενος και προσομιλων λογα γινομαι προβαλλομενος δε την εμαυτα φωνην, διακοσμειν την εν υμιν ακοσμηλον υλην προηρημαι. Ad Grecos, Sect. viii. Opera, p. 22. (P.)
with the proof of it from the Scriptures, before he replies to the objection which I have mentioned.
“ Then therefore did the word (sermo) assume its form and dress, its sound and voice, when God said, Let there be light. This is the perfect nativity of the word, when it proceeded from God, being first formed by him under the name of wisdom. The Lord formed me the beginning of his ways. Then it was effectually generated. When he prepared the heavens, I was present with him. By proceeding from whom, he became his Son, his first-born, as being begotten before all things, and only-begotten, as being alone generated out of God, from the womb of his heart; as the Father himself testifies, when he says, My heart is throwing out a good word, to whom rejoicing, the Father also rejoicing says, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee. Before Lucifer have I begotten thee. So the Son also, under the name of wisdom, confesses the Father. The Lord formed me the beginning of his ways; before the hills has he begotten me. For if here wisdom seems to say that she was made for his works and ways, in another place it is shewn that all things are made by his word, and without it was nothing made. And again, by his word were the heavens made, and all their hosts by his spirit, viz. the spirit which is in the word. So that it is the same power which is sometimes called wisdom, and sometimes the word.” *
His stating of the objection and his answer to it are as follows: “ You suppose this sermo to be a substance, &c. - What, say you, is speech, but the voice and sound of the mouth, with a kind of vacuity, empty, and incorporeal? But I say that nothing empty and having vacuity can proceed from God, as it does not proceed from what is empty and vacuity; nor can that want substance which proceeds from so great a substance, and which has made so many substances.”
* “ Tunc igitur etiam ipse sermo speciem et ornatum suum sumit, sonum et vocem, cùm dicit Deus, Fiat lux. Hæc est nativitas perfecta sermonis, dum ex Deo procedit: conditus ab eo primum ad cogitatum in nonive sophiæ, Dominus condidit me initium viarum. Dehinc generatus ad effectum: Cùm pararet cælum, aderam illic simul. Exinde eum parem sibi faciens, de quo procedendo filius factus est, primogenitus, ut ante omnia genitus; et unigenitus, ut solus ex Deo genitus: propriè de vulva cordis ipsius, secundum quod et Pater ipse testatur, Eructavit cor meum sermonem optimum. Ad quem deinceps gaudens proinde gaudentem in persona illius, Filius meus es tu, ego hodie genui te. Et ante Luciferum genui te. Sic et filius ex sua persona profitetur patrem in nomine sophiæ, Dominus condidit me initium viarum in opera sua. Ante omnes autem colles generavit me. Nam si hic quidem sophia videtur dicere conditam se à domino in opera et vias ejus : alibi autem per sermonem ostenditur omnia facta esse, et sine illo nihil factum : sicut et rursum, sermone ejus cæli confirmati sunt, et spiritu ejus omnes vires eorum; utique eo spiritu qui sermoni inerat : apparet unam eamdemque vim esse nunc in nomine sophiæ, nunc in appellatione sermonis." Ad Praxeam, Sect. V.vii. Opera, p. 503. (P.)
Lactantius answered the same objection in the same manner. “Our breathings are dissoluble, because we are mortal; but the breathings of God live, remain, and have essence, because he is immortal, the giver of essence and life.” † The same answer is given by Origen, Athanasius, Epiphanius, Austin, and, I believe, many others.
66 The logos of God,” says Origen, “ is not like that of all other persons. No other logos is living; no other logos is God, no other logos was in the beginning with him whose logos it was." “ The word of man,” says Epiphanius, “ vanishes, but the word of God abideth,” alluding to Psalm cxviii. 89.9
Athanasius having spoken of the Father as the only God, because he only is unbegotten (ayeventos) and the fountain of Deity; and of the Son as only God of God, says, in answer to the question how this logos can become a person in God, when it is not so in man, “ The word conceived in the mind of man does not become man of man, since it does not live or subsist, but is only the motion of a living and subsisting heart. When it is pronounced, it has no continuance, and being often uttered does not remain : whereas the Psalmist says, the word of the Lord remaineth for ever, and the Evangelist agrees with him,” &c. Il
Ruffinus makes the same comparison between the emis
" Ergo; inquis, das aliquam substantiam esse sermonem, spiritu et sophiæ traditione constructam planè. Non vis enim eum substantivum habere in re per substantiæ proprietatem, ut res et persona quædam videri possit, et ita capiat secundus à Deo constitutus duos efficere, patrem et filium, Deum et Sermonem. Quid est enim, dices, sermo, nisi vox et sonus oris et (sicut grammatici tradunt) aër offensus, intelligibilis auditu; ceterum, vacuum nescio quid, et inane, et incorporale? At ego nihil dico de Deo inane et vacuum prodire potuisse, ut non de inani et vacuo prolatum; nec carere substantiâ, quod de tanta substantia processit, et tantas substantias fecit.” Ad Praxeam, Sect. v. C. vii. Opera, p. 503. (P.)
+ “ Nostri spiritus dissolubiles sunt, quia mortales sumus. Dei autem spiritus et vivunt, et manent, et sentiunt; quia ipse immortalis est, et sensûs et vitæ dator." Instit. L. iv. Sect. viii. p. 371. (P.).
1 Ουτε γαρ ο λογος αυτου τοιολος εςιν, όπου ο πανίων λογο εδεν γαρ ο λογο» ζων, εδενος ο λογο Θεος αδενος γαρ ο λογο εν αρχη προς εκεινον ην, ου ο λογο» ην. In Jer. Hom. xix. Comment. I. p. 184. (P.)
και Ου γαρ και του ανθρωπου λογών, ανθρωπων προς τον ανθρωπον οτε γαρ ζη, ουτε υπερη. καρδιας δε ζωσης και υφεςωσης κινημα εςι μονον, και ουχ υποςασις' λεγείαι γαρ άμα, και παραχρημα ουκετι εςιν, αλλα λαλουμενων διαμενει" του δε Θεου ο λογος, ώς φησι το άγιον πνευμα εν Σομαλι του Προφητου ο λογος σου εις τον αιωνα διαμενει. Ηer. ix. Opera, I. p. 609. (P.)
Η Ου γαρ ο λογο» του ανθρωπω ανθρωπος ες» προς ανθρωπον επει μηδε ζων εςι, μηδε υφεςως, αλλα ζωσης καρδιας και υφεςωσης κινημα μονον" και λεγείαι παραχρημα, και ουκ εςι και πολλακις καλουμενο», ουδεποτε διαμενει τον δε του Θεου λογον ανωθεν, ο Ψαλμωδος κεκραγει λεγων, εις τον αιώνα και λογο» σου διαμενει εν τω ουρανό και συμφωνως αυτω και Θεον ειναι τον λογον ομολογων ο Ευα/γελισης, &c. De alerna Substantia Filii, &c. Contra Sabellii Gregales, Opera, 1. p. 651. (P.)