Page images

first verse was rendered in Greek,)“ the Son the right spirit, and the Holy Spirit being expressly mentioned in the last

place.” *


Pope Gregory says, that “ David taught the doctrine of the Trinity in Psalm lxvii., God, be merciful unto us, and bless us."' + But this shadow of an argument can only be founded on the circumstance of the name of God occurring three times in the verses that he quotes.

Austin proves that Christ wrought miracles before he was born of Mary, from Psalm cxxxvi. 4. " Who did them, says he, “ but he of whom it is said, who only doeth marvels"? I

Eusebius, interpreting Psalm lvii. 3, “God shall send forth his mercy and his truth,” says, “ What can the mercy and the truth that is sent from God be, but the logos of God, concerning which it is said, ' He sent forth his word and healed them, and delivered them out of their destructions'? The same is also called a light, and is said to be sent, in that Psalm, in which it is said, “Send forth thy light and thy truth; they shall guide me.' But the light, and the truth, and the word, sent from the most high God, cannot want essence or substance; for a thing without substance cannot be seni. For our logos, consisting of syllables, and words, and names, and pronounced by the tongue and the voice, is not properly and truly logos.” Š In his commentary on Psalm lxxxii. 1, he says,

- Lest any one should be disturbed on account of the monarchy, hearing that the Christ of God is called God, he justly afterwards makes mention of many gods, with censure, but exhorts not to decline giving the title of God to the Son of

• “Ο γεν Δαβιδ εν τω ψαλμω της εξομολογήσεως περι τελων των πνευμαίων αιλει τον πατερα λεγων πνευμαίι ηγεμονικό σηριξον με, πνευμα ευθες εγκαινισον εν τοις εγκαίοις με, και το πνευμα το άγιον σε μη αντανελης απο εμε, τινα τα τρια πνευματα ταυτα, το ηγεμονικον ο πατηρ το ευθες ο Χριςος, και το πνευμα το άγιον. In Jer. Ηom. viii. Comment. I. p. 95. (P.)

† “ David quippe ut auctorem omnium Deum in Trinitate ostenderet, dixit: Benedicat nos Deus, Deus noster, benedicat nos Deus." In Job, C. xxviii. Opera, p. 174, B. (P.)

I“ Miracula enim et nondum natus de Maria fecit. Quis enim unquam fecit, nisi ipse de quo dictum est, qui facit mirabilia magna solus?” In Ps. xc. Opera, VII. p. 199. (P.)

5 Ελεος δε και αληθεια εξαπος ελλομενη τις αν ειη, η τε Θεου λογος περι ου ελεγείο: Εξαπεςειλε τον λογον αυ7e, και ιασατο αν7ες, και ερρυσατο αυτες εκ των διαφθορων αυτων και δ' αυτος ομοιας και φως αποτελλομενον ειρηναι εν τω φασκoντι ψαλμων, Εξαποφειλον το φως σε και την αληθειαν σε, αυτα με οδηγησει φως δε και αληθεια και λογον απος ελ. λομενα παρα το υψις Θεου, εκ ανεσια εδε ανυποςατα.--Ο γεν ημείερος λογος αν, συλλαβαις και σημασι και ονομασι την υποςασιν εχων, και δια γλωττης και φωνης εξηχαμενος, εκ αν λεχθειη κυριως και αληθως λογος. Moutfaucou's Collectio Patrum, 1. p. 249. (P.)

aşxan of his

God. For if the princes of the nation, who had bad characters, were called gods, what danger can there be in calling the man who is at the right hand of God, and the Son of man who is made strong, a God ?"*

Eusebius finds Christ in Psalm cvii. 20: “ He sent his word and healed them ;”+ and in Psalm cxlvii. 15: “ His word runneth very swiftly." I Austin understood “ the fountain of life," Psalm xxxvi. 9, of the Father producing the Son who is light. S All the fathers understood Christ to be meant by wisdom in the book of Proverbs, and proved from it that he made the world. ||

There is a double reason why Christ should be intended by wisdom, Prov. viii. 22 : “ The Lord possessed me in the beginning of his ways;” because in the LXX. it is, The Lord created me the

ways.. See this text quoted for this purpose, besides innumerable other places, in those cited in the margin. The wisdom of which mention is made in the book of Job, (xxviii. 12,) 6. Where shall wisdom be found?” &c., is applied to Christ by Eusebius. **

It will make my reader smile to be informed, that the two garments which the good wife in the book of Proverbs is said to have made for her husband, were thought by Ambrose to signify the divinity and humanity of Christ. It

Paulinus calls the Trinity the “ three-fold cord” that " is not quickly broken," in Eccles. iv. 12.” Ii

An argument for the divinity of Christ is brought by many of the fathers from Isaiah ix. 6, where Christ is supposed to be called the “counsellor, the mighty God.” They always call him the angel of the great council, which is the version of the LXX.

Gregory Nyssen says, that, Isaiah xlviii. 13, My hand has made all things, means the Son. SS In Isaiah xlyiji. 16, we read, “ The Lord God, and his Spirit has sent me.” “ This," says Theodoret, “ plainly shews that there is another person besides God, to confute the Jews and Sabellians.” * The three holies, in Isaiah vi. 3, are frequently inentioned as signifying the three persons in the Trinity.t

* Και όπως μη ταραχθειη τις εις τον σερι μοναρχιας λογον, Θεον ακέων τον Χριςον το Θεου, εικοθως και πλειονας θεους ονομαζει τις δια των εξης κατηγορεμενους, μονονάχι σαρακελευομενος μη αποκνειν και τον υιον τε Θεου Θεον αποκαλειν ει γαρ οι διαβαλλομενοι το εθνες αρχοντες θεοι ηξιώθησαν ονομασθήναι, ποιος αν γενοδο κινδυνος τον ανδρα της δεξιας το Θεου και τον υιον το ανθρωπο τον κεκραίαιωμενον Θεον ομολογειν; Montfaucon's Collectio Patrum, I. p. 424. (P.) + Preparatio, p. 320. (P.)

| Ibid. (P.) § De Filii Divinitate, C. v. Opera, I. p. 281. (P.) il Euseb. Hist. L. i. C. ii. p. 7; Preparatio, p. 320. (P.)

Origenis Comment. in Johan. ii., I. p. 17; Euseb. Preparatio, L. vii. C. xii. 230; Ambrosii Hexameron, L. i. Opera, I. p. 6. (P.)

** Preparatio, L. vii. C. xii. p. 320. (P.) tt “ Dicuntur vero binæ, quia Christum Deum et hominem confitetur." In Prov. xxxi. Opera, I. p. 1102. (P.)

11 “ Astriogamur autem huic arbori fune validissimo, vincti in spe, fide, charitate, credentes cordibus et oribus confitentes individuam Trinitatem, quæ



So much was it taken for granted that the logos was to be understood of Christ, that Origen says, “ What is the word (logos), that came from the Lord, whether to Jeremiah, to Isaiah, to Ezekiel, or to any other, but that which was in the beginning with God? I know no other word of the Lord but that which the evangelist spake of, when he said, “ In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God.”# The word that came to Hosea is also interpreted of Christ, by Jerome. §

Austin, after urging many arguments against Photinus, concludes with what he says is alone sufficient, if he be in his right mind, viz. this from Jer. xvii. 5, “ Cursed is the man that trusteth in man."|| But this is, perhaps, rather applying a maxim than urging a particular text, as referring originally to Christ.

Lastly, Cyprian says, that the “ three hours of prayer observed by the three who were strong in faith, and the three out of the fire,” meaning those who were cast into the fiery furnace in Daniel, “ were eniblems of the Trinity.”

Και νυν κυριος, κυριος απεςειλε με, και το πνευμα αυτ8,-σαφως δε ημιν ενταυθα έτερον εδειξε παρα τε Θεου προσωπον, εις ελεγχος και των Ιεδαίων, και των τα Σαβελλια you byłww. Opera, II. p. 111. (P.)

+ As by Ambrose, De Fide, L. ii. C. iv. Opera, IV. p. 141. (P.) Bishop Lowth, instead of condescending thus to advocate the Creed of his Church, remarks in loc.

“ This hymn, performed by the Seraphim, divided into two choirs, the one singing responsively to the other; which Gregory Nazian. (Carm. 18) very elegantly calls Συμφωνoν, αντιφωνον, αγελων φασιν, is formed upon the practice of alternate singing, which prevailed in the Jewish Church from the time of Moses, whose Ode at the Red Sea was thus performed, (see Exod. xv. 20, 21,j to that of Ezra, (iii. 11,) under whom the Priests and Levites sung alternately,

• O praise Jehovah, for he is gracious ;

For his mercy endureth for ever.'" Η Τις γαρ εςιν ο λογος και γενομεν εν παρα κυριε, ειτε προς Ιερεμιαν, ειτε προς Ησαιαν, ειτε προς Ιεζεκιήλ, είτε προς τον δηποτε; “Ο εν αρχη προς τον Θεον; Εγω ουκ οιδα αλλον λογον κυριο, η ου τε7ον περι ου ειρηκεν ο ευαγγελισης, το εν αρχή ην ο λογος, και ο λογος ην προς τον Θεον, και Θεος ην ο λογος. Comnent. in Jer. Ι. p. 102. (Ρ.) Ś Opera, V. p. 35. (P.)

“Maledictum plane legis Photinus evadere non potest, quia spem suam habet in Christo, quem tantum hominem dicit, cum legat, Maledictus homo qui spem habet in homine. Apostolus autem sciens Christum Deum ideo et in præsenti et in futuro spem esse in eo ait." Quest. ex N. T. xci. Opera, IV. p. 769. (P.)

“In orationibus vero celebrandis invenimus observasse cum Daniele tres pueros in fide fortes, et in captivitate victores, horam, sextam, nonam, sacramento scilicet Trinitatis: quæ in novissimis temporibus manifestari habebat. Nam et prima hora in tertium veniens, consummatum numerum Trinitatis ostendit.” Overa. SECTION II.

Arguments for the Divinity of Christ from the New Testament.

When the idea of the divinity of Christ was once formed from the principles of Platonism, it was not difficult to imagine that it was likewise the doctrine of the Scriptures ; and that there were passages in the New Testament no less fa. vourable to it than those above recited from the Old; though all the books were in the hands of the common people, for whose use they were particularly calculated, and they saw no such doctrine in it.

The great argument for the divinity of Christ from the New Testament was, that “ though Christ appeared to be a man by his infirmities, he appeared to be a God by his works," as it is expressed by Novatian. *

And yet our Saviour himself always ascribes his miraculous work's to his Father, and never to himself; and the people who saw those works were not led by them to suspect that he was any thing more than a man; for we only read, that when they were most struck with them, they wondered that God had given such power unto man. Eusebius likewise alleges the spread of the gospel, and its overturning Heathenism, as a proof of the divinity of Christ, but by the same kind of argument he might have proved the divinity of Moses.

The two styles in which our Saviour speaks of himself were observed by Origen, and were considered by him, as they are by the orthodox to this very day, as proofs, the one of his perfect humanity, and the other of his proper divinity. “ Jesus,” says he, “ sometimes speaks as the first-born of all the creation, as when he says, 'I am the way, the truth, and the life ;' and sometimes as a man, as when he says, 'You seek to kill me, a man who has told you the truth.'”

The author of a treatise ascribed to Athanasius produces thirty arguments to prove that Christ cannot be a mere man; the chief of which are these: “He that was subject to death

• “ Ut homo ex infirmitatibus comprobetur; probatio divinitatis in illo collecta ex virtutibus illuc proficiet, ut etiam Deus ex operibus adseratur.” C. xi. p. 33. (P.)

* Ότι αι μεν τινες εισι φωναι τα εν τω Ιησε πρωτολοκο σασης κτισεως, ως η. Εγω ειμι η οδος, και η αληθεια, και η ζωη, και αι τελοις παραπλησιαι αι δε το κατ' αυτον νουμενα ανθρωπο ως η του. . Νυν δε με ζητειτε αποκτειναι ανθρωπον ος την αληθεια» ýpis aedahgua. Ad Celsum, L. ii. p. 76. (P.) VOL. VI.

2 x

cannot take away death. No man has glory from eternity; but Christ had. Christ was sinless; but no man is so. The flesh of no man is from heaven ; but the flesh of Christ is. A man actuated by God, is not God; but Christ is God."* A better reason than any of these is given by Austin, who says, that “no man was ever greater than Solonion, but Christ was so.”ť. Ambrose gives a curious reason why the father of Jesus should be a carpenter : “ It was,” he says, " to signify, that Christ was the Son of the Maker of all things.”

It is the Gospel of John that has always furnished the greatest number of proofs of the divinity of Christ, though it is remarkable, that in none of the Gospels are there more evident proofs of his proper humanity. But of these no account was made, because they were only considered as proving what was never denied, viz. that Christ had human nature. Epiphanius proves the divinity of Christ from the Father being called the light, and the Son " the true light.” John the Baptist said, (John i. 30,) " After me cometh a man,” who " was before me.“Here,” says Theodoret, “ both the humanity and the divinity of Christ are taught.”ll

That it was Christ who spake both in the prophets and in the gospel, Ambrose proves from our Saviour's own words: “ In foretelling the gospel by Isaiah, I who spake am pre

* Ουδεις ανθρωπων προ των αιωνων εχει δοξαν Χριςος δε εχει.-Ο εξ αμαρτιας σωζων, υπερ αμαρτιαν εςιν" και σωζει Χριςος εδεις δε ανθρωπων υπερ αμαρτιαν ουκ αρα ανθρωπος ο Χριςος.-Ουδενος ανθρωπο η σαρξ εξ ερανου λελεκται Χριςε δε ή σαρξ εξ ερανου ειρηται. Ανθρωπος υπο Θεου ενεργομενος, oυ Θεος, σωμα δε συναφθεν Θεώ, Θεος. Θεος δε ο Χριςος. -Πας ανθρωπος υπο θανατον, και εδεις υπο θανατον ων, καταργει θανατον. Opera, T. p. 248. (P.)

+ “Salomoni cùm sapientiam à Deo postulasset, responsum à Domino est : Ecce dedi tibi, inquit, cor sapiens et prudens, quale non fuit ante te, et post te non exurget vir similis tibi. Quid dicemus, verum est quod promisit Deus ? Imo verum est. Nemo ergo hominum similis erit Salomoni. Et quid videbit de Christo, qui inter cætera, Regina, inquit, austri venit ab ultimis terræ audire sapientiam Salomonis ? Et ecce plus Salomone hîc. Nunc elige cui credas, Photine, Deo an Christo, Patri an Filio? Si Patri credis, arguis Filium : Si Filio credis, accusas Patrem. Si enim homo tantum est Christus frustra se præposuit Salomoni contra promissum Dei." Questiones, Ex. T. J. Opera, IV. p. 769. (P.) I“ Non alienum etiam videtur ut qua ratione fabrum patrem habuerit, decla

Hoc enim typo eum patrem sibi esse demonstrat qui fabricator omnium condidit mundum, juxta quod scriptum est, In principio fecit Deus cælum et terram." In Luc. iii. Opera, Il. p. 42. (P.)

5 Και δρα μου την των γραφων ακριβειαν εςι μεν γαρ πατηρ φως, και ου προσκειλαι τα τερι πατρος, φως αληθινον επει δε το περι υιε ειπε, φως αληθινον, και ουδεις τολμα arhws heyelv. Ancoratus, Sect. ii. Opera, II. p. 8. (P.)

| Και ο τελου δε ομωνυμος εβρα λεγων Οπισω με ερχείαι ανηρ, ος εμπροσθεν με γεγονεν, ότι πρωτος μου ην και το ένα προσωπον δειξας αμφοτερα τεθηκε, και τα θεια, και τα ανθρωπινα ανθρωπινον μεν γαρ, και το, ανηρ και το, ερχεται: θειον δε το ότι πρωτος μου ην αλλ' ομως ουκ αλλον οιδε τον οπισω ερχομενον, και αλλαν τον προ αυτου οντα. Εpist. Ixxxiii. Opera, IV. p. 1149, ed. Halæ. (P.)


« PreviousContinue »