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sion of the logos in God and man, but hints that they are both equally mysterious. Treating of this subject, he says,
Explain first, if you can, how the mind which is within you generates a word, and how the spirit of memory is in it; and though these are different in things and acts, yet they are one in substance and nature; and though they proceed from the mind, they are never separated from
Lactantius proposes and speaks to another difficulty on this subject. For the angels being likewise called spirits or breathings of God, there was some danger lest they should be considered as beings of the same rank with the logos in Christ. But this writer observes, that there is a difference between a word which is emitted with a sound, and a mere breathing which is emitted without that circumstance; and this, according to him, sufficiently accounts for the difference between Christ and the angels.
“ How," says this writer, “ did he” (the Father) "procreate him” (the word)? “ In the first place the works of God cannot be known, nor told by any person. But we learn in the holy Scriptures, that the Son of God is the word of God, or reason ; also, that the other angels of God are spirits, that is, breathings. For a word is a breathing emitted with a sound, expressive of something. But because breathings and a word are emitted from different parts, (for breathings proceed from the nostrils, and a word from the mouth,) there is a great difference between the Son of God and the other angels. For they are silent breathings, emitted from God, because they were created for service, and not for the delivering the doctrine of God. But though he is also a spirit, yet since he issues from the mouth of God, with a voice, and a sound, like a word, for this reason he was to make use of his voice to the people, because he was to teach with authority the doctrine of God, and communicate heavenly secrets to men." +
* “ Expedi primo si potes, quomodo mens, quæ intra te est, generet verbum, et qui sit in ea memoriæ spiritus : quomodo hæc cum diversa sint rebus et actibus, unum tamen sint vel substantia vel natura, et cum è mente procedant, nunquam tamen ab ipsa separentur." In Symbol. Opera, p. 172. (P.)
† “ Quomodo igitur procreavit ? Primum nec sciri à quoquam possunt, nec narrari opera divina; sed tamen sanctæ literæ docent; in quibus cautuni est illum Dei filiun, Dei esse sermonen ; sive etiam rationem ; itemque cæteros angelos Dei spiritus esse. Nam sermo est spiritus cum voce aliquid significante prolatus. Sed tamen quoniam spiritus, et sermo diversis partibus proferuntur; si quidem spiritus naribus, ore sermo procedit; magna inter hunc Dei filium, et cæteros angelos differentia est. Illi enim ex Deo taciti spiritus exierunt; quia non ad doctrinam Dei tradendam, sed ad ministeriam creabantur. Ille vero cum sit et ipse spiritus: tamen cum voce, ac sono ex Dei ore processit, sicut verbum, ea scilicet
Absurd as is this notion of the generation of the Son by merely uttering a word, we find the same or similar explanations of this doctrine after the Council of Nice. Austin says, “ The Father shews every thing to the Son, and in shewing, generates the Son.” *
But in another passage he makes a difference between the uttering of a word in man and in God. - We do not,” he says, generate sounding words, but we make them.”+ But Cyril of Alexandria, quoting Psalm xlv. 1, My heart is throwing out a good matter, says, " The Father produces the Son without passion, as a wise man, out of his own wisdom, produces any work that he has thought of, as of geometry, or music," &c.
This comparison of the word of God to that of man, we find so late as Fulgentius, who also infers the dignity of the word from the dignity of the mind that produces it. S
The Generation of the Son from the Father, illustrated by the
Prolation of a Branch of a Tree from the Root, &c. HAVING, I imagine, pursued this phantom far enough, I shall proceed to consider the generation of the Son from the Father in a more substantial manner, viz. as that of a branch from a root, or a river from a spring, &c., which was likewise very common with the early fathers. This, however, came so near to the system of the Gnostic emanation of celestial beings from the Supreme Mind, that it could not but give some alarm. This objection, therefore, those who have recourse to this explanation of the generation of the Son endeavour to guard against. ratione, quia voce ejus ad populum fuerat usurus; id est, quod ille magister futurus esset doctrinæ Dei, et cælestis arcani ad homines perferendi." Instit. L. iv. Sect. viii. p. 371. (P.)
** Pater ostendit filio quod facit, et ostendendo filium gignit." In Johan. Tr. xxiii. C. v. Opera, IX.p. 204. (P.)
† “ Nos quippe non gignimus sonantia verba, sed facimus.” De Symbol. C. i. Opera, III. p. 141. (P.)
1 " Præterea, sic ex seipso, absque passione, filium genuit pater, sicut si sapiens ex sapientia sua quicquam excogitaverit atque pepererit, veluti geometriam, musi. cam aut aliquid hujusmodi." Thesaurus, L. i. C. vii. Opera, II. p. 229. (P.)
$ “ Sed sic est verbum apud Deum, sicut est in mente verbum, sicut in corde consilium: cum enim mens apud se verbum habet, utique cogitando habet, quia nihil aliud est apud se dicere, quam apud se cogitare. Cum ergo mens cogitat, et cogitando verbum intra se generat, de sua substantia generat verbum, et sic illud verbum generat de se, ut genitum habeat apud se. Nec minus aliquid habet verbum, quod ex mente nascitur quam est mens de qua nascitur, quia quanta est mens quæ generat verbum, tantum est etiam ipsum verbum." Ad Monimum, L. iii. C. vii. p. 439. (P.)
We see, in Athenagoras, what great stress was laid on the idea of a perfect union between the Father and the Son. He says, that “as all things are subject to the emperor and his son, so all things are subject to the one God, and him who is by him considered as his Son, but undivided from him." *
Tertullian, in his answer to the objections that were made to the generation of the Son from the Father, seems to have aimed at nothing besides making out a scheme different from that of the Gnostics, which, in his time, was a doctrine peculiarly offensive. All his object, therefore, is to shew that the Son, though deriving his being from the Father, still remained united to him. “ If any one,” says he, “ thinks that I am introducing some probole, that is, the production of one thing from another, as Valentinus makes, by producing one of his æons from another. - Valentinus separates bis proboles from their author, and so far, that the æon does not know his father.-—But with us the Son only knows the Father.-For God produced his word—as a root produces a branch, a fountain a river, and the sun a beam of light. For these things are the proboles of their respective substances.- Neither is the branch separated from the root, the river from the fountain, or the beam from the sun. So neither is the word from God. So that, according to this example, I profess that I make God and his word two, the Father and his Son. For the root and branch are two, but joined; the fountain and the river are two, but undivided; and the sun and the beam are two, but cohering.”ť
This writer's fear of making a separation between the Son and the Father appears very strongly in the following passage, which has a view to the Unitarians, to whom he thought it necessary to make frequent apologies: “He that is unlearned or perverse takes this in a wrong sense, as if I favoured a
«Ως γαρ υμιν καίρι και για παντα κεχειρωται, ανωθεν την βασιλειαν ειληφοτι, έτως ένι τω Θεω και το παρ' αυτου λογω υιω νοεμενο αμερισω παντα υποτετακται. Αpol. p. 140. (P.)
+ " Hoc si qui putaverit me apo bonny aliquam introducere, id est, prolationem rei alterius ex altera, quod fecit Valentinus, alium atque alium æonem de æone producens.Valentinus probolas suas discernit et separat ab autore: et ita longe eo ponit, ut æon patrem nesciat.Apud nos autem solus filius patrem novit, et sipum patris ipse exposuit, et omnia apud patrem audivit et vidit; et quæ mandatus est à patre, ea et loquitur.-- Protulit enim Deus sermonem, quamadmodum etiam paracletus docet, sicut radix fruticem, et fons Aluvium, et sol radium. Nam et iste species probolæ sunt earum substantiarum, ex quibus prodeunt.Nec frutex tamen à radice, nec fluvius à fonte, nec radius à sole discernitur, sicut nec a Deo sermo.
Igitur secundum horum exemplorum formam, profiteor me duos dicere, Deum et sermonem ejus, patrem et filium ipsius. Nam et radix et frutex duæ res sunt, sed conjunctæ; et fons et flumen duæ species sunt, sed indivisæ; et sol et radius duæ formæ sunt, sed coherentes." Ado. Praxeam, Sect. viii. Opera, p. 504. P.)
diversity, and as if this diversity implied a separation of the Father and the Son. This I urge from necessity, when they contend that the Father, Son and Spirit must be the same, flattering the monarchy against the economy; when I say that making the Son another from the Father, I do not make him different from him, but only maintain a distribution. I do not make a division but a distinction. For the Father and Son are not the sanje, nor yet another, from another model. For the Father is all substance; but the Son a part of this substance, and a portion, as he himself professes : The Father is greater than I.” *
We see the same care to guard against a division of the Father and Son in Hippolytus. By speaking of another,"
“ I do not make two Gods, but as light from light, water from the spring, or a beam of light from the sun. For the power of the whole is one; the Father is the whole, and the logos is his power.” +
On another occasion Tertullian says, that the term woloan (probole), which has been much used by the Gnostics, was not the worse on that account, and therefore he should not scruple to make use of it in his own sense, or the corresponding Latin term prolatio. Speaking of the Son, “ He was,” he says, “ prolated out of God, and generated by prolation, and therefore the Son of God, and called God from an unity of substance.” He then compares this prolation of the Son from the Father, to one light produced from another, without any loss of the original light.-" This ray of God,” he says, "going into a certain virgin, became flesh in her womb, and was born a man, mixed with God. The flesh animated by the spirit is nourished, grows up, speaks, teaches, operates, and is Christ.”In after times the Arians
• " Male accipit idiotes quisque aut perversus hoc dictum, quasi diversitatem sonet, et ex diversitate separationem protendat, patris et filii et spiritûs. Necessitate autem hoc dico cum eumdem patrem et filium et spiritum contendunt, adversus @conomiam monarchiæ adulantes, non tamen diversitate alium filium à patre, sed distributione; nec divisione alium, sed distinctione; quia non sit idem pater et filius, vel modulo alius ab alio. Pater enim tota substantia est : filius vero derivatio totius et portio sicut ipse profitetur, quia pater major me est." Ad Praxeam, Sect. ix. Opera, p. 504. (P.)
+ Και ουτως σαριςατο αυτω έτερος. “Ετερον λεγων ου δυο θεους λεγω, αλλ' ως φως εκ φωτος, η ως υδωρ εκ πηγης, η ως ακτινα απο ηλιου. Δυναμις γαρ μια ή εκ του παντος, το de way latne, iç ou durauis aonyos. Contra Noetum, Sect. xi. Opera, p. 13. (P.)
“Hunc ex Deo prolatum dicimus, et prolatione generatum, et id circo filium Dei, et Deum dictum ex unitate substantiæ, nam et Deus spiritus, et cum radius ex sole porrigitur, portio ex summa; sed sol erit in radio, quia solis est radius, nec separatur substantia, sed extenditur. Ita de spiritu spiritus, et de Deo Deus, ut lumen de lumine accensum, manet integra et indefecta materie matrix, etsi plures inde traduces qualitatem mutueris. Ita et quod de Deo profectum est, Deus est, et Dei filius et unus ambo. Ita et de spiritu spiritus, et de Deo Deus. Modulo alterum, charged the orthodox with this doctrine of prolation, as not differing from that of the Gnostics. * Tertullian was so far carried away with this idea of
generation, that, always delivering himself without reserve, and as clearly as he possibly could, he appears not to have been very solicitous about maintaining the proper unity of the Father and Son, attending only to this one circumstance, that they were of the same substance and strictly connected. " The persons in the Trinity,” says he, “ are three, not in state, but degree ; not in substance, but in form; not in power, but appearance; but of one substance, and one state, and one power, because there is one God, from whom those degrees, forms, and species, in the naine of Father, Son, and Spirit are deputed.”+ He therefore observes, that when our Saviour says, (John x. 30,] “ I and my Father are one,” he used the neuter gender. “ He says unum, in the neuter gender, which does not imply one person, but unity, likeness, conjunction, the love of the Father to the Son, and the obedience of the Son to the will of the Father."I This respected the Sabellians, who laid great stress on Christ's saying that he and the Father were one. These were the philosophical Unitarians, who adhered strictly to the doctrine of one God.
With a view to the Unitarians, who were the majority of the coinmon Christians in the time of Tertullian, as he particularly acknowledges, he is obliged to use a good deal of management, and though he contends for the propriety of calling the Son God, as a branch from God the Father, yet so great was the superiority of the Father to the Son, that he says he does not choose to call the Son God, when the Father non numero; gradu non statu fecit. Et à matrice non recessit, sed extessit. Iste igitur Dei radius, ut retro semper prædicabatur, delapsus in virginem quamdam, et in utero ejus caro figuratus, nascitur homo Deo mistus, caro spiritu instructa nutritur, adolescit, affatur, docet, operatur, et Christus est.” Apol. Sect. xxi. Opera, p. 19. (P.)
• « Volentes igitur hæretici, Dei filium non ex Deo esse, neque de natura, et in natura Dei ex Deo Deum natum, cum jam superius commemorassent unum Deum solum verum, neque adjecissent, et patrem, ut unius veritatis esse patrem, et filium exclusa proprietate nativitatis negarent dixerunt. Nec ut Valentinus prolatione natum patris commentatus est: ut sub specie hæreseos Valentinianæ, nomine prolationis improbato, nativitatem Dei ex Deo improbarent." Hilury, L. vi. Opera, p. 102. (P.)
† “ Tres autem non statu, sed gradu; nec substantia, sed forma ; nec potestate, sed specie; unius autem substantiæ, et unius statūs, et unius potestatis; quia unus Deus, ex quo et gradus isti et formæ et species, in nomine patris et filii et spiritùs sancti deputantur." Ad Prateam, Sect. ii
. p. 501. (P.) 1 “Unum dicit, neutrali verbo, quod non pertinet ad singularitatem, sed ad uvitatem, ad similitudinem, ad conjunctionem, ad dilectionem patris, qui filium diligit, et ad obsequium filii
, qui voluntati patris obsequitur." Ibid. Sect. xxii. Opera, p. 519. (P.)