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not proceed from him?”* To this he suggests no satisfactory answer.
The Macedonian, in Athanasius, does assign a reason, supposing it not to be in itself impossible, but only improper. “ Both the Macedonians and the orthodox,” says he, “suppose that the Spirit could have generated a son as well as the Father ; but that he did not choose to do it, lest there should be a multiplicity of Gods." +
Notwithstanding all these objections, the importance of this doctrine of the generation of the Son from the Father was thought to be so great, that it was represented as if the very being of the Father himself depended upon it. there had been no Son,” says Gregory Nyssen, “ there could have been no Father; if no beam, no sun; if no image, no substance.” | Athanasius represents this generation as a necessary consequence from the nature of Deity. “ If God,”
" is a fountain, and light, and a Father, it cannot be that a fountain should be dry, that light should be without beams, or God without logos ; lest he should be without wisdom, without reason, and without light.” §
Cyril of Alexandria also compares the relation of the Son to the Father to that of splendour to the sun, and heat to the fire, both being inseparable, and also coeval. though the sun,” he says, “ emits splendour, and the fire heat, yet the sun cannot be without its splendour, nor the fire without its heat." || But this did not apply to the Son or the Spirit, for the Father only was considered as the fountain of Deity.
• Ετι δε, ει εκ το παίρος ο υιος γεγεννηται, το δε σνευμα εκ τ8 σαιρος και το υιε εκπορευελαι' τις η καινολομια τα πνευματος, μη και έτερον τι αυτε εκπεπορεύεσθαι. Εp. ii. p. 53. (P.)
+ ΟΡΘ: Εαν εν θεληση και υιος, της αυτης ων φυσεως τω παίρι, δυναται γεννησαι υιον ΜΑΚ. Ναι δυναται· αλλ' ίνα μη θεογονιαν διδαχθωμεν, τελο ου σοιει. Con, Mac, Dial. i. Opera, Il. p. 279. (P.)
1 Κι αν 8κ ην ο υιος, πανίως εδε ο πατηρ ην ει εκ ην το απαύγασμα, εδε το απαύγαζον ην ει 8κ ην ο χαρακληρ, πανίως εδε η υποςασις ην. Opera, ΙΙ. p. 900. (Ρ.)
και Ει πηγη και φως και πατηρ εςιν ο Θεος, ου θεμις ειπειν ετε την σηγην ξηραν, ότε το φως χωρις ακτινο», 8τε τον Θεον χωρις λογα, ίνα μη ασοφος και αλογος και αφεγλης η ο EOS. Epist. ad Serapionem, Opera, 1. p. 167. (P.)
ll “ Nihil eniin aliud nomen fontis nobis significat, quam ut ex quo; filius vero in patre et ex patre est non profluens foras, sed aut quasi à sole splendor, aut quasi ab igne insita sibi caliditas. In his enim exemplis unum ab uno produci, et ambo consen rna sic esse conspicimus, ut aliud absque alio nec esse possit, nec naturæ suæ rationem retinere. Quomodo enim erit sol, splendore privaius; vel quomodo erit splendor, nisi sol sit à quo defluat? Ignis vero quomodo erit calore carens; vel calor unde manabit, nisi ab igne, aut ab alio forsav non procul à substantiali qualitate ignis disjecto? Sicut igitur quæ ab istis profluunt, simul cum illis sunt unde proAuunt, ac semper unde fluant ostendunt: sic in unigenito intelligendum est." In Johan. L. i. C. i. Opera, I. p. 600. (P.)
" And ' Γιγνονται δε και εν Αρειανους διαιρεσεις, δι' αιτιαν τοιαύτην.--Eπει γαρ εν τη εκκλησια τεπιςευλαι ο Θεος Πατηρ ειναι για το λογα, ζητημα ενεπεσεν εις αυτές, ει δυναται και προ τα υπος ηναι τον υιον, ο Θεος καλεισθαι Παληρ. Socrat. Ηist. J. v. C. xxiii. p. 800. (P.)
It was a question even among the Arians, whether God could be called a Father before the creation of Christ.
Farther, it was considered as reproachful to the Father, not to be able to generate a son.
“ The heretics,” says Novatian, “reproach the Father, when they say he could not generate a son, who should be God.”+ Epiphanius thought it reproachful to the Unitarians, that they should say that the Father was ayovos, that is, unable to generate a son. I
The orthodox, it must be allowed, took pains enough to do away this reproach ; but it was at the risk of exposing their scheme to ridicule, as must have been perceived already. They themselves even proceeded so far as to speak of the labours of the Father in generating the Son. For mention is actually made of this circumstance in a serious hymn of Synesius on this subject; the Son being called xpašvalov TI hoxeuja, a great birth.S
Ambrose speaks of the womb of the Father. || What could the heretics, alluded to in the following passage of Cyril of Alexandria, have said more? 66 Those who do not approve of the doctrine, when they hear of the Father generating from his womb, understand a real womb, and a real child-birth.”
At length the orthodox learned to be less confident, and more modest on this subject; representing it as a mysterious thing, and incapable of any explanation. Indeed, Irenæus expressed his sense of the difficulty of this subject at an early period; but it was in opposition to the Gnostics, who made no difficulty at all of the prolation of one incorporeal being from another. “ If any person,” says he, “ ask how is the Son produced from the Father? we say, that this production, whether it be called generation, or nuncupation, or ada pertion, or by whatever other name this ineffable generation be called, no one knows; neither Valentinus, nor Marcion, nor Saturninus, nor Basilides, nor angels, nor archangels, nor principalities, nor powers; but the Father only who generated, and the Son who was generated.”.*
† “ Hæc enim cuntuinelia hæreticorum ad ipsum quoquc Deum patrem redundabit, si Deus Pater filium Deum generare non potuit." C. iv. p. 32. (P.)
1 Ουτο δε ου λεγει μονον Θεον, δια το πηγης ειναι τον πατερα, αλλα μονον Θεον, αναιρων όσον το κατ' αυλον την το υια θεοληλα και υποςασιν, και το άγιο πνευμαλον εχων δε αυλον τον παθερα ενα Θεον, αγονον υιο, ως ειναι τα δυο αλελη σαθερα και υιον τον μεν παλερα αγονον υια, και ακαρπον τον λογον Θεου ζωνλος και σοφιας αληθινης. Ηer. Ixv. Opera, 1. p. 609. (P.)
§ Hymn ii. Opera, p. 317, and in Hymn iv. p. 336, there occurs the phrase wõiva πατρο, (Ρ.)
8 “ Sicut enim siuus patris spiritalis intelligitur intimum quoddam paternæ charitatis naturæque secretum, in quo semper est filius, ita ctiam patris spiritalis et vulva interioris arcanum, de quo tanquam ex genetali alio processit filius. Denique diversé legimus nunc vulvam patris, nunc cor ejus, quo verbum eructavit." De Benedictionibus Patriarcharum, Opera, I. p. 412. (P.) ! " Hæc qui recte dici negant, quum generare patrem ex utero audiant, uterum,
In Johan, C, iv. Opera, I. p. 608. (P.)
et dolores partûs intelligunt."
However, in general, those who followed him complained of no difficulty in this business, as we have seen. Constantine intimates, that “ the generation of the Son may be understood by those who are beloved of God." ť
Considering the time in which Novatian wrote, it is rather extraordinary that he should express himself with so much modesty as he does. “ The Son,” says he, “is not a mere sound or voice, but the substance of the power of God prolated; with which sacred and divine nativity, neither the apostles, nor prophets, nor the angels, were acquainted; but the Father and the Son only.”
We do not wonder at this modesty in later times, when the orthodox had been long teazed with objections, to which they had not been able to make any satisfactory answer. Phæbadius says, “ the Father generated the Son, but no one knows from whence;" meaning, probably, from what part of himself; for that the Son was generated from the-substance of the Father was never doubted by those who were reckoned orthodox. At present this generation is esteemed to be as great a mystery as any other circumstance relating to the Trinity. But this only cuts off all defence of it, and is by no means any answer to the objections made to it.
• “Quandoquidem et Dominus, ipsc filius Dei, ipsum judicii diem et horam concessit scire solum patrem, manifeste dicens : De die autem illa, et hora nemo scit, neque filius, nisi pater solus. Si igitur scientiam dici illius filius non erubuit referre ad patrem, sed dixit quod verum est ; neque nos erubescimus, quæ sunt in quæstionibus majora secundum uos, reservare Deo. Nemo enim super magistrum est. Si quis itaque nobis dixerit : Quomodo ergo filius prolatus à patre est ? dicimus ei, quia prolationem istam, sive generationem, sive nuncupationem, sive adapertionem, aut quolibet quis nomine vocaverit generationem ejus inenarrabilem existentem, nemo novit ; non Valentinus, non Marcion, neque Saturninus, neque Basilides, neque angeli, neque archangeli, neque principatus, neque potestates, visi solus qui geueravit pater, et qui natus est filius." L. ii. C. xlviii. p. 176. (P.)
+ Αλλα την γενεσιν διπλην τινα νοεισθαι χρη, την μεν εξ αποκυησεως, την συνεγνωσμενην ταυτην. Ελεραν δε την εξ αίδιο αιλιας, ής τον λογον Θεου προνοια θεαθαι, και ανδρων ος ENELYQ pidos u TAPXEb. Oratio, C. xi. p. 688. (P.)
1 “Qui non in sono percussi æris, aut tono coactæ de visceribus vocis accipitur; sed in substantia prolatæ à Deo virtutis agnoscitur; cujus sacræ et divinæ nativitatis arcana nec apostolus didicit, nec prophetes comperit, nec angelus scivit, nec creatura cognovit, filio soli nota sunt, qui patris secreta cognovit." C. xxxi. p. 120. (P.)
Š “ Genuit quidem filium Pater, sed nemo scit unde." Bib. Pat. V. p. 266. (P.)
SECTION IV. Whether the Generation of the Son was in Time, and also
whether it was a voluntary or involuntary Act of the Father.
Admitting this mysterious generation, and supposing all objections removed, there still remain two questions to be considered, viz. at what time did this event take place; and was this generation on the part of the Father voluntary or involuntary.
With respect to these questions, all the early fathers, indeed all before the Council of Nice, say that the Son was generated in time, that there was a time when God was without a Son; and that this generation took place immediately before the creation, in order to the Son's being instrumental in it. Of course, they either expressly said, or must have supposed, that the generation of the Son was voluntary, so that the Father might liave chosen to be without a Son. But in a more advanced state of orthodoxy, after the Council of Nice, these opinions were considered as very exceptionable and heretical. The language then was, that God was always a Father, in the proper sense of the word, as there had always been a Son ; and though they did not choose to say that God did any thing necessarily, yet they scrupled not to intimate, in less offensive expressions, that it was so in fact. I shall produce a variety of passages from the fathers in proof of these assertions, and shall dispose them nearly in the order of time, that the above-mentioned change in their language and sentiments may be more easily perceived.
Talian represents the Father as “ having been alone before the creation of the world, that every thing was in him, by the power of the logos, and the logos itself; that at his will the logos came out of him, who was a simple being, and became the first production of his Spirit. This logos,” he says,
56 was the agxn to the external world,” or the source from which it proceeded. *
δεσποτης των όλων αυλος υπαρχον το πανθος ή υποςασις, κατα μεν την μηδεπω γεγενημένην ποιησιν μονος ην καθο δε σασα δυναμις, δραιων τε και αοραίων αυτος υποφασις ην, συν αυθω σανία συν αυτω γαρ δια λογικης δυναμεως, αυλος και λογος, ος ην εν αυλφ, υπεςησε θελημαίε δε της απλοΐηλος αυλα προπηδα λογος και δε λογος ου κατα κενό χωρησας, εργου πρωθολοκον τα πνευματος γινείαι· τυλον ισμεν τα κοσμα την αρχην. Ad Greco», Sect. vii. p. 20. (P.)
“ 'O yeup
Theophilus says, “ John says, In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, shewing that at first God was alone, and the logos jo him.'
Clemens Alexandrinus evidently supposed that there was a time before either the world or the Son existed; for, he says,
“He shewed that he was righteous by the logos from of old, from the time that he became a father ; for he was God before he was a creator, and he was good ; and on this account he chose to be a creator and a father.” + In another passage, speaking of the logos as equal to God, calling him “ the divine logos, God most manifest, made equal to the Lord of all, and before the sun, as being his Son, and the logos that was in God,” he speaks of him as “ deriving his origin from the will of the Father.” I He says, that “the logos was before Lucifer." “ Do you inquire about the generation of the logos?” says Hippolitus, "God the Father generated whom he pleased, and as he pleased.”|| “We believe,” says Athanasius, “ that God generated him spon. taneously and voluntarily."
Tertullian expressly says, that “ God was not always a father or a judge; since he could not be a father before he had a son, nor a judge before there was sin ; and there was a time when both sin and the Son, which made God to be a judge and a father, were not. The same is also implied in the following passage:
“ At first, before the Son made his appearance, God said, Let there be light, and there was light; the word itself was immediately the true light; for from that time Christ the word assisted and administered. God would that things should be, and God made
* Εξ ων Ιωαννης λεγει εν αρχή ην ο λογος, και ο λογα- ην προς τον Θεον δεικνυς ότι εν πρωτοις μονος ην ο Θεος, και εν αυτω ο λογο». L. iii. p. 30. (Ρ.)
* Το δικαιον δε ημιν δια το λογα ενδεικνυλαι τα εαυle" εκειθεν ανωθεν, όθεν γεγονε παλης πριν γαρ κλισην γενεσθαι, Θεος ην, αγαθος ην, και δια τελο και δημιεργος ειναι και σαλης JJENNOEY. Ped. L. i. C. ix. p. 127. (P.)
1 “Ο θειος λογος, ο φανερωλαθος ονίως Θεος, και το δεσποτη των όλων εξισωθεις ότι ην υιος αυ7ε, και ο λογος ην εν τω Θεω.-Ταχιςα δε εις σανίας ανθρωπος διαδοθεις, θαττον ήλιο εξ αυλης αναλειλας της πατρικης βελησεως, δασα ημιν επελαμψε τον Θεον. Ad Gentes, p. 08. (P.)
και Προ Εωσφορά γαρ ην, και εν αρχή ην ο λογος, και ο λογος ην προς τον Θεον, και θεος ην å hoyos. Ibid. p. 5. (P.)
| Περι δε λογα γενεσιν ζηλεις; όνπερ βεληθεις ο ΘεΟ. Παληρ εγεννησεν ως ηθελησεν. In Noetum, Sect. xvi. Opera, p. 18. (P.)
Η Αυτοκρατορα γαρ ημεις τον Θεον και Κυριον αυθον εαυτο ειδολες, εκεσιως αυλον και εθελον-ην ůtoy yeyevenuevai evo ECWS ÚTI ELAN Paper. De Syn. Arim, Opera, l. p. 898. (P.)
** « Quia et Pater Deus est, et judex Deus est, non tamen ideo pater et judex semper. Nam nec pater potuit esse ante filium, nec judex ante delictum. Fuit autem tempus cum et delictum et filius non fuit quod judicem et qui Patrem Dominum fecerit." Ad Hermogenem, C. iii. Opera, p. 234. (P.)