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the Father, and subject to him. This was certainly unnatural, and a real inconsistency; for, admitting the Son to have been what they represented him, he was, to say the least, fully equal to every thing that could constitute the Father. Indeed, taking from the Father all that they say had constituted the Son, there was nothing of any value left to belong to himself.
Admitting their absurd notion, that, after the generation of such a Son, (to constitute whom, all his own essential attributes, in their fullest extent, contributed,) the Father was not really diminished, but left in all respects the same as if no such communication of his powers had been made; yet as he could not be greater, or more excellent than he had been, and the Son had all the perfections that the Father had ever been possessed of, these writers would naturally have been led to maintain the perfect equality of the Son to the Father, as they actually did some time afterwards. Their not doing this, therefore, for some centuries, clearly discovers that these philosophizing Christians were in very different situations at the two different times, with respect to their fellow-christians, and the opinions that were generally entertained by them.
This remarkable fact cannot, I think, be accounted for, but upon the supposition, that, while they hesitated to pursue their principle to its proper extent, they were restrained by the fear of popular prejudices, which would not have borne the doctrine of the equality of the Son to the Father; or, notwithstanding the tendency of the new doctrine, the force of habit was such, that they could not bring themselves at once to change the language, and the ideas to which they and their ancestors had been long accustomed. Now the circumstance which so long restrained the natural operation of this new doctrine of the generation of the Son from the substance of the Father, and of his very being consisting of the essential attributes of the Father, could be nothing else but the established doctrine of one God, of unrivalled majesty and power, whose servant Christ, as well as all the preceding prophets, had always been considered. It is evident, from numberless passages in their writings, that they were afraid lest the new doctrines of the preexistence and divinity of Christ should give offence to the common people, who were for a long time, generally Unitarians. This hypothesis only can well account for these writers so fully and so frequently expressing their belief of the inferiority of the Son to the Father.
As, in this view, the language they hold on this subject is an article of considerable importance, shewing us their real situation and feelings, I shall produce a considerable number of passages from the ante-nicene fathers, in which their opinion of the inferiority of the Son to the Father is clearly expressed, and it would have been very easy to have doubled the number.
I lay but little stress on any passage in the writings of those who are called apostolical fathers, or the epistles of Ignatius, for reasons that have been given in my Introduction; but as the composition of them, or the interpolations in them, were made in a pretty early age, I shall select a few of them. They shew that the idea of the inferiority of the Son to the Father was not given up when those works were composed.
Hermas, speaking of a vineyard let out by its owner, who had many servants, to his son, when he took a journey, says, “ The owner of the estate represents the Father, the creator of all things; his servant, the son of God; and the vineyard which he keeps, the people.” And, giving a reason why the son is placed in a servile condition, he says, “ It is not a service, but a place of great power ; for that he is the Lord of the people, having received all power from the Father.”* This is not the manner in which an orthodox Christian would have expressed himself on the subject.
Ignatius commends the Ephesians for their harmony; saying, that “they were so joined, as the church to Christ, and as Christ to the Father; that every thing might be in perfect harmony.” + “Be subject to the bishop, and to one another, as Jesus Christ was to the Father (according to the flesh), and the apostles to Christ, the Father, and the Spirit.” I “ Be ye imitators of Christ, as he is of the Father.” “As our Lord did nothing without the Father, being united to him ; neither by himself, nor by his apostles,
• “Dominus autem fundi demonstratur esse is qui creavit cuncta et consummavit, et virtutem illis dedit, servus vero illi filius Dei est. Vinea autem populus est, quem servat ipse. — In servili conditione non ponitur filius Dei, sed in magna potestate et imperio. Vides igitur esse dominum populi, accepta à Patre suo omni potestate." L. iii. C. v. vi. p. 105. (P.)
* Ποσο μαλλον υμας μακαριζω τες εγκεκραμενες ολως, ως εκκλησια Ιησε Χριση, και ο Inoes Xpiso to walpi, iva warla ev čvolnion. Ad Eph. Sect. v. p. 15. (P.)
1 Υποίαγηλε το επισκοπω και αλληλοις, ως Ιησες Χριςος το παιδι κατα σαρκα, και οι απος ολοι το Χριςο και το ταίρι και το πνευμαίι, ένα ένωσις η σαρκικη τε και πνευμαίικη. Ad Mag. Sect. xiii. p. 21. (P.)
και Μιμηται γινεσθε Ιησε Χριςο, ως και αυτος τ8 παίρος αυτε. Ad Philad. Sect. vii. p. 32. (P.)
so do you nothing without the bishop and the elders.” * This language savours of primitive antiquity, and makes me inclined to think that the epistles are not altogether forged, but rather interpolated. At least they must have been forged in an early age.
Justin Martyr, who insists so much on the pre-existence and divinity of Christ, speaking of the logos, says,
" Than whom we know no prince more kingly, and more righteous, after the God who generated him.” † Speaking of the God in heaven, and the God upon earth, who conversed with Abraham, he says, “ The former is the Lord of that Lord who was upon earth, as his Father and God, the cause of his existence, and of his being powerful, and Lord and God.” “ Neither Abraham, Isaac, nor Jacob,” he says, “ nor any man, ever saw the Father and ineffable Lord of all, and of Christ himself; but he who by his will was God, his Son, and an angel, from his being subservient to his will, who at his pleasure was made a man from the virgin, who also in the form of fire appeared to Moses in the bush.”
“I will endeavour to convince you who know the Scriptures, that there is another who is called God and Lord, besides him that made all things, who is also called an angel, on account of his delivering to man whatever he who is the maker of all things, and above whom there is no other God, wills that he should deliver.”||
Though Christ was supposed by this writer to have made all things, yet there was a sense in which the phrase maker of all things (ó ontMS TWY WAYTW), was thought to be applicable to the Father only. “I will endeavour," says he, “ to shew that he who appeared to Abraham, Jacob and Moses, and who is called God, is different from the God that made all things, &c.--I say that he never did any thing
"Ωσπερ Bν ο κυριος ανευ τα παίρος εδεν εποιησε, ηνωμενος ων, ετε δι' αυτά, ετε δια των απος ολων Αλως μηδε υμεις ανευ το επισκοπο, και των πρεσβυζερων μηδεν πρασσεψε. Αd Mag. Sect. vii. p. 19. (P.)
+ Ου βασιλικολαιον και δικαιολαιον αρχοντα, μετα τον γεννησαντα Θεον, έδενα οιδαμεν OTO. Apol. i. p. 17. (P.)
1 “Ος και τα επι γης κυριε κυριος εςιν, ως πατηρ και Θεος, αιτιος τε αυτό το ειναι, και δυνατα, και κυριω, και Θεω. Dial. p. 418. (Ρ.)
6 Ουτε Bν Αβρααμ, οτε Ισαακ, ετε Ιακωβ, οτε αλλος ανθρωπων ειδε τον πατερα και αρρητον κυριον των παντων απλως, και αυτο του Χριςο, αλλ' εκεινον τον κατα βελην την εκεινε και Θεον οντα,υιον αυτό, και αγελον εκ τε υπηρετειν τη γνωμη αυτε, δν και ανθρωπον γεννηθεναι δια της παρθενα βεβουληται, ος και συρ ποτε γεγονε τη προς Μωσεα ομιλια τη umro Tos Barov. Ibid. p. 411. (P.)
| Α λεγω σειρασομαι υμας σεισαι, νοησαντας τας γραφας, ότι εςι και λεγεται Θεος και Κυρια» έτερο(υπερ) τον ποιητης των όλων, ος και αγελο» καλειται, δια το αγελλειν τους ανθρωπους οσαπερ βαλεται αυτοις α/γειλαι ό των όλων ποιητης, υπερ αν αλλο Θεος ουκ *50. It is acknowledged that this útep should be wapa, or imo. Ibid. 1. p. 249. (P.)
but what that God who made all things, and above whom there is no God, willed that he should do or say. With a view to this, Origen calls Christ the immediate maker of the world. +
Alhenagoras did not consider Christ as the one God, but one who was employed by the one God. “Our doctrine,"
“ teaches us, that there is one God, the maker of all things—who made all things by his own logos." I
Clemens Alexandrinus calls the logos “ the image of God, the legitimate son of his mind; a light, the copy of the light, and man the image of the logos.” S He calls the Father the only true God. Alluding to the Heathen mysteries, he says, “ Be thou initiated, and join the chorus with the angels about him who is the unbegotten and immortal, the only true God, God the logos joining with us, he being always the one Jesus, the great high-priest of the one God, and his Father; he prays for men, and gives laws to men.”|| He speaks of Christ as “ subservient to his Father's will, , and only called God by way of figure.” I “ The mediator,' he says, “ performs the will of the Father. The logos is the mediator, being common to both, the Son of God and the Saviour of men. Of the one he is the servant, but our instructor." ** “ There is one upbegotten almighty Father, and one first-begotten, by whom all things were, and without whom nothing was made. For one is truly God, who made the αρχη (the origin) of all things, meaning his first-begotten Son." tt . And yet this writer had represented the logos as equal to God. ##
Πειρασομαι σεισαι υμας ότι έτος ο τε τω Αβρααμ και τα Ιακωβ και τω Μωσει οφθαι λεγομενες και γεγραμμενος Θεος, έτερος εςι του τα παντα ποιησαντον Θεου αριθμο λεγω αλλ' ου τη γνωμη. Ουδεν γαρ φημι αυτον σεπραχεναι τοτε η απερ αυτος και τον κοσμον ποιησας, υπερ ον αλλος ουκ εςι Θεος, βεβουληται, και πραξαι και ομιλησαι. Dial. i.μ. 252. (Ρ.)
* Τον προσεχως δημιουργον. Contra Celsun, L. vi. p. 317. (Ρ.)
1 Επει δε ο λογος ημων ενα Θεον αγει τον τουδε του σαντος ποιη7ην, αυλον μεν ου γενομενον (ότι το ονε γινεται, αλλα το μη ον) παντα δε δια του παρ' αυτου λογου πεποιηκοτα. Apol. p. 40. (Ρ.)
ΚΑΙ Η μεν γαρ του Θεου εικων, ο λογος αυτου. Και υιος του νου γνησιο, ο θειος λογος, φωτος αρχετυπον φως. Εικων δε του λογου, ο ανθρωπος. Ad Gentes, p. 62. (Ρ.)
| Ει βουλει, και συ μυου, και χορευσεις μετ' αυγελων αμφι τον αγεννητον και ανωλεθρον και μονον οντως θεον, συνυμφουντον ημιν του θεου λογου. Αίδιος έτος, Ιησους εις, ο μεγας αρχιερευς Θεου τε ενος του αυτου και παίρος, υπερ ανθρωπων ευχεται, και ανθρωπους εγκελευεται. Ιbid. p. 74. (Ρ.) Ο Θεος εν αν
Τρωπου σχηματι, αχραντος, σατρικω θελημα, διακονος, λογος, Θεος, ο εν τω παίρι, ο εκ δεξιων του παιρος, συν και το σχημαϊι Θεου. Ιbid. p. 80. (Ρ.)
•* Και το θελημα του παιρος και μεσιλης εκτελεί, μεσιτης γαρ ο λογο», ο κοινος αμφοιν, Θεου μεν υιος, σωληρ δε ανθρωπων. Και του μεν διακονος, ημων δε, παιδαγωγος. Ρectsg. L. iii. C. i. p. 215. (Ρ.)
++ Επει δε εν μεν το αγεννη/ον, παντοκραιωρ Θεος εν δε και το προγεννηθεν, δι' και τα παντα εγενετο, και χωρις αυτου εγενετο ουδε έν εις γαρ τω οντι εςιν ο Θεος, ος αρχην των
τα του εποιησεν
«ηττη του πορτοκάλι
Yi η 6ΛΑ.Ρ.)
Tertullian considers “the monarchy of God, as nou infringed by being committed to the Son, especially as it is not infringed by being committed to innumerable angels, who are said to be subservient to the commands of God.” *
How," says he, “ do I destroy the monarchy, who suppose the Son derived from the substance of the Father, who receives all power from the Father, and does nothing without the Father's will; he being a servant to his Father?” † He says, that “ Paul is speaking of the Father only, when he speaks of him whom no man has seen, or can see, and as the king eternal, immortal, and invisible, the only God.” I
According to the economy of the gospel, the Father chose that the Son should be on earth, and himself in heaven ; wherefore the Son himself, looking upwards, prayed to the Father, and teaches us to pray, saying, Our Father, who art in heaven.”
Origen says, that“ God is the agxo (the origin) to Christ, as Christ is the agx to those things which were made in the image of God." | “ Both the Father and the Son,” he says, “ are fountains : the Father, of divinity; the Son, of logos.” “ The Father only is the good, and the Saviour, as he is the image of the invisible God, so he is the image of his goodness.”** “ The logos did whatever the Father ordered.”++ “ The Saviour, and the Holy Spirit,” he says,
.“ Atqui nullam dico doininationem ita unius sui esse, ita singularem, ita monarchiam, ut non etiam per alias proximas personas administretur, quas ipsa prospexerit officiales sibi. Si vero et Filius fuerit ei, cujus monarchia sit, non statim dividi eam, et monarchiam esse desinere, si particeps ejus adsumatur et Filius; sed proinde illius esse principaliter à quo communicatur in Filium; et dum illius est, proinde monarchiam esse, quæ à duobus tam unicis contineiur. Igitur si et monarchia divina per tot legiones et exercitus angelorum administratur, sicut scriptum est, milies millia adsistebant ei, et millies centena millia apparebant ei: nec ideo uuius esse desiit, ut desinat monarchia esse, quia per tanta millia virtutuin procuratur." Ad Praxeam, Sect, jii. p. 502. (P.)
+ “ Ceterum, qui Filium non aliunde deduco, sed de substantia Patris, nibil facientem sine Patris voluntate, omnem à Patre consecutum potestatem, quomodo possum de fide destruere mouarchiam, quam à Patre filio traditam in filio servo." Ibid. (P.)
“ De Patre autem ad Timotheum, quem nemo vidit hominum, sed nec videre potest. Exaggerans amplius, qui solus habet immortalitatem; et lucein habitat inaccessibilem. De quo et supra dixerat, regi autem seculorum, immortali, invisibili, soli Deo." Ibid. Sect. xv. p. 509. (P.)
$“ Tamen in ipsa aconomia, Pater voluit Filiuin in terris haberi, se vero in cælis; quo et ipse Filius suspiciens, et orabat et postulabat à Patre, quo et nos erectos docebat orare: Pater voster, qui es in cælis."' Ibid. Sect. xxiii. p. 514. (P.)
| Αρχη αυτου ο Πατηρ εςιν ομοιως δε και Χριςος αρχη των κατα εικονα γενομενων θεου. Comment. II. p. 18. (P.)
1 Αμφοτερα γαρ πηγης εχει χωραν, ο μεν πατηρ, θεοτητα», ο δε υιος, λογου. 47. (P.) ** Και ο σωτηρ δε, ως εςιν εικων του θεου του αορατου, έτως και της αγαθοτητες αυτου
I. p. 377. (P.)