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to divert them from idolatry, and partly, because the doctrines were too sublime to be communicated at so early a period, and before men's minds were properly prepared for them.
SECTION I. The Fact acknowledged by the Christian Fathers. As these concessions are of considerable consequence to my argument, 1 shall produce a number of them, from the earliest Christian writers to a pretty late period, to shew that it was the uniform persuasion of all those who were the greatest friends to the doctrine of the Trinity.
I shall begin with Justin Martyr, the first who advanced the doctrine of the personification of the logos. What the Jews thought of their Messiah in his time, appears very clearly from a passage in his dialogue with Trypho, which will be produced hereafter. In the mean time, I shall give his opinion with respect to the doctrine of the Jews in general on the subject. “ The Jews,” he says, “thinking it was the Father of all who spake to Moses, when it was the Son of God, who is also called an angel, and an apostle, are justly censured by the Spirit of God, and by Christ, as not knowing either him or his Father.” *
Clemens Alexandrinus considered the doctrine of the economy (or that of the incarnation of the logos) to be the doctrine of the perfect, alluded to by Paul in his Epistle to the Colossians, where he speaks (i. 9] of their being “ filled with the knowledge of his will," and of “the mystery which was hid from ages and from generations, but now made manifest to the saints,” [ver. 26,] “ so that there are other mysteries,” he says, “ which were hid till the times of the apostles, and delivered by them as they received them from the Lord.”+ In another passage he speaks of this economy as what Christians only were acquainted with. I Tertullian had the same ideas. “I adore,
“ 1 adore,” says he, “ the Ιεδαιοι Bν ηγησαμενοι αει τον πατερα των ολων λελαληκεναι το Μωσει, τα λαλησαντων αυτώ οντο» υιε τε Θεου, ος και αγ Γελοκαι αποστολών κεκληται, δικαιως ελεγχονται και δια τα προφητικό πνεύματος, και δι' αυτο το Χρις8, ως οτε τον πατερα, οτε τον υιον εγνωσαν. Αpol. 1. p. 94. (Ρ.)
* Το μυςηριον το αποκεκρυμμενον απο των αιώνων και απο των γενεων, ο νυν εφανερωθη τοις άγιοις αυτο δις ηθελησεν ο Θεος γνωρισαι, τι το πλατό της δόξης το μυςηρια τετο εν τοις έθνεσιν ώςε αλλα μεν τα μυςηρια τα αποκεκρυμμενα αχρι των αποστολων, και υπ' αυλων παραδοθεντα ως απο τα κυρια παρειληφασιν. Strom. L. V. p. 576. (Ρ.)
I 'HUEIS EI MEY • δι την οικονομιαν του Θεου κατανενοηκοτες. Ad Gentes, Opera, p. 40. (P.),
fulness of the Scriptures,” meaning those of the Old Testament," which manifest the maker and the things made ; but in the Gospel I find the minister, or the person by whom it was made, and the judge, viz. the word of the maker." * " It is the faith of the Jews so to believe in one God, as not to acknowledge the Son, or the Spirit.—What is the difference between us and them, but this? What need is there of the Gospel, which is the substance of the New Testament, (saying, that the law and the prophets were until John,') if from that period the Father, Son, and Spirit, being three, are not believed to make one God? So God would renew his covenant, that, in a manner, he should be believed in, together with the Son, and his Spirit; that God may be known in his proper names and persons.”+ - The Jews,” says Hippolytus,
says Hippolytus, “ honoured the Father, but they did not give thanks; for they knew not the Son.”
Origen also says, “ The Jews were not acquainted with the incarnation of the only-begotten Son of God.”'S
Eusebius speaks of the Christians as differing from the Hebrews, in that the latter did not acknowledge the divinity of Christ. || He considered the doctrine of the divinity of Christ as peculiar to Christians, and distinguishing them from Jews. “ If any Jew," says he,“ be asked, whether God has a logos, he will say, Certainly. Every Jew will say that he has one, or more of them ; but if he be asked whether he has a son, he will not acknowledge it.” I
Cyril of Jerusalem says, “ In this respect our doctrine is more sublime than that of the Jews, in that they acknowledge one God the Father, but do not admit that he is the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, in which they contradict
• “ Igitur in principio Deus fecit cælum et terram. Adoro scripturæ plenitudinem, quæ mihi et factorem manifestat et facta. In evangelio vero amplius et ministrum atque arbitrum rectoris invenio sermonem." Ad Herm. Sect. xxii. Opera, p. 241. (P.)
+ “ Judaicæ fidei ista res, sic unum Deum credere, ut Filium adnumerare ei nolis, et post Filium Spiritum. Quid enim erit inter nos et illos, nisi differentia ista ? Quod opus evangelii, quæ est substantia Novi Testamenti, statuens legem et prophetas usque ad Joannem, si non exiude Pater et Filius et Spiritus, tres crediti, unum Deum sistunt? Sic Deus voluit novare sacramentum, ut novè unus crederetur
per Filium et Spiritum, ut coram jam Deus in suis propriis nominibus et personis cognosceretur, qui et retro per Filium et Spiritum prædicatus non intelligebatur." Ad Praxeam, Sect. xxx. Opera, p. 518. (P.)
μεν γαρ εδοξασαν πατερα αλλ' ουκ ηυχαριςησαν, υιον γαρ 8κ επεγνωσαν. In Noetum, Sect. xiv. Opera, p. 16. (P.)
$ " Deerat enim illis in Trinitate etiam de unigeniti incarnatione cognoscere." Opera, 1. p. 290. (P.)
|| MyTE TYY JEOTYTA Ouropwyles aute. Demonstratio, L. iv. C. i. p. 144. (P.)
Η Ει γαν τις Ιεδαιων ερoιλο τινα, ει λογον εχοι ο Θεος και παντως σε φησει επει και λογον, και λογος πλειος εχειν αυτον, ομολογησειεν αν, Ιεδαιος ων, άπας" ει δε και υιον εχει ουκ ετ' ay mor.amo elev, spaTVTELS, Contra Marcellam, L. i. p. 4. (P.)
their own prophets, who say, in the Scriptures, • The Lord said unto me, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee."" * Cyril of Alexandria also says, “ The Jews believed that there was a God who was before all things, and after him the creatures, but nothing intermediate between them.”+ Basil ranks the Unitarians with Jews.
" If any one, says he, “suppose the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, to be one, one being under different names, and that they are but one hypostasis, under three denominations, we rank him with the Jews.”
“ The Hebrews,” says Leontius,“ have only one hypostasis, or person, and one nature of God; plainly admitting no Trinity, nor saying that God is Father, Son, or Spirit, except that they call God Father, as the father of all men. They prove this one hypostasis from the words of Moses : · Hear,
Israel, the Lord thy God is one Lord.'”'$
Lastly, Theophylact says, “In the Old Testament, God was known to the Jews only, but not as Father; he was afterwards revealed by the gospel to all the world with the Son.”ll
This is a series of testimony, sufficiently extensive for my purpose, as it clearly shews what was the general opinion among Christians concerning the ancient faith of the Jews; and it is uncontradicted by any other evidence whatever. Some writers of yesterday have maintained, that the Jews always believed in a Trinity, and that they expected that their Messiah would be the second person in that Trinity ; but the Christian fathers, who say just the contrary, were as much interested as any men could be, in finding that doctrine among the Jews, and they were nearer the source of information.
* Ταυτη γαρ αν των Ιεδαιων ανωτερα φρονεμεν οι μεν γαρ ειναι ενα Θεον πατερα καταδεχονται τους δογμασι--το δε και πατερα ειναι το κυριε ήμων Ιησε Χριςο, τελον ου παραδεχονται, τους οικειοις προφηταις εναντια φρονανίες, οι φασι, εν ταις θειαις γραφαις, κυριος ειπε προς με, “Yιος με ει συ, εγω σημερον γεγεννηκα σε. Cat. vii. p. 102. (P.)
个 ↑ “ Intellexerunt enim in his quæ credita sunt, Deum quidem esse ante omnia, et post illum creaturam, intermedium autem, aliud omnino nibil." De Trinitate, L. iii. Opera, II. p. 398. (P.)
1 Ειτις τον αυτον πατερα λεγει, και υιον, και άγιον πνευμα και ένα πραγμα πολυωνυμων υποτιθεται, και μιαν υποςασιν υπο των τριων προσηγοριων εκφωνομενην τον τουρλον ημεις Εν τη μεριδι των Ιεδαιων τασσομεν. Εpist. Ixxii. ΙΙΙ. p. 123. (Ρ.)
S • Igitur Hebræi unam dicunt hypostasin (sive personam) unamque naturam Dei; nullam plane Trinitatem admittentes, ac neque Patrem, neque Filium, neque Spiritum Sanctum dicentes: nisi forte sic Deum, inquiunt, adpellemus Patrem; ut qui omnium sit hominum pater. Unam ex eo probant esse hypostasin Dei, quia Moses dixerit : Audi, Israelitica natio, Dominus Deus tuus, Dominus unus est."" De Sectis. Bib. Pat. App. p. 1849. (P.)
| Ει γαρ και εν τη παλαια εγνωςο, αλλ' Ιεδαιοις μονους και δε τελoις, ως πατηρ ύςερoνδε, δια τα ευαγΓελιο εξεκαλυφθη τη οικεμενη παση, μεία τα υιε. Ιn Rom. Opera, II. P. 4. (P.)
6. The pro
It was, indeed, imagined, as I have observed, that Moses and the prophets were themselves acquainted with the mystery of the Trinity ; but that they thought it was not a proper time to make a full discovery of that doctrine for the satisfaction of the body of the Jews. Eusebius says, that “ Isaiah knew that there was a God in God.” * phets,” says Chrysostom, “who foretold concerning Christ, concealed their treasure in obscure words;" † which implies that, in his opinion, they knew it themselves. “Adam,” says Epiphanius, “ being a prophet, knew the Father, Son, and Spirit, and knew that the Father spake to the Son, when he said, Let us make man."
Pope Gregory likewise represents the people of the Jews as ignorant of the Trinity, though the prophets might teach it.
Of the Reasons why, according to the Christian Fathers, the
Doctrine of the Trinity was not discovered to the Jews. As the ignorance of the Jews, concerning the doctrine of the Trinity, was an objection to the truth of it, which the Christian fathers, who defended it, could not be quite easy under, and they were often urged with it, as we shall see, by the Unitarians; it may be amusing to know more particularly in what manner they accounted for the fact.
That there should be a gradual revelation of so great a mystery as that of the Trinity, the fathers thought to be an argument of great wisdom on the Divine dispensations, as they were by this means better adapted to the different states of the world.
Chrysostom represents Moses as saying, " That the world was made by God, and not by Christ, as accommodating himself to the stupidity of his hearers. Paul himself,” he says,
“ was contented to teach the same doctrine at Athens. But he afterwards held a different language in the Epistle to the Colossians; and says, that God in Christ created all
• Ησαιας προφητων μεγις» σαφως οιδε Θεον εν Θεώ ειναι. Demonstratio, L. v. C. iv. p. 225. (P.)
+ Ουτως και οι προφηθαι Χριςον κηρυξανθες τη ασαφεια των λεξεων εκρυψαν τον θησαυpoy. De Sigillis, Opera, VI. p. 169. (P.)
1 Και ηδει σταθερα Θεον και υιον και αγιων πνευμα, προφητης γαρ ην. L. i. p. 6. (Ρ.)
$ “ Ipsa enim Dei cognitio quæ apud illam in spiritalibus patribus fuit, nota omui Hæbræorum populo non fuit. Nam omnipotentem Deum, sanctam videlicet Trinitatem cum prophetæ prædicarent, populus ignorabat : solum decalogum tenebat in fide, legem Trinitatis nesciens." Super Ezekiel, Hom. xvi. Opera, II. p. 83. F. (P.)
things that are in heaven and in earth. And John, the Son of Thunder, cried, saying, “ All things were made by him, and without him was not any thing made that was made. But not so Moses ; and justly, because it would not have been proper to give those meat who had need to be fed with
“ As Moses," says Cyril of Alexandria, “ was slow of śpeech, so the law of Moses was slow to explain the reason of it, and to open the theology of the Holy Trinity."
“ Observe,” says Job the Monk, “ the wisdom of Divine Providence, that to the ancients the Father appeared superior; in the new, the Son appeared to some persons to be inferior to the Father, but to many, equal to him; the Holy Spirit to many, inferior, but to some, equal; that what is unequal in human apprehension, might be brought to a perfect equality.”Æ According to this writer, therefore, the doctrine of the divinity of the Spirit was not fully revealed even in the time of the apostles, but was reserved for a later period. However, Epiphanius thought that the divinity of Christ was taught by the prophets, though not that of the Spirit. . « One God,” says he, « was chiefly preached by Moses, a Duality by the prophets, and a Trinity by the evangelists; this being suited to a more advanced state of knowledge.”8
The reason that is generally given by the fathers why the Jews were not instructed in the doctrine of the Trinity is, lest it should afford them a pretence for relapsing into Poly
Και μη ξηνισθης αγαπησε, ει Μωύσης ταύτην είρεχε την οδον, εν αρχη και προοιμιοις τοις παχυθεροις Ιεδαιοις διαλεγομενο», όπε γε και ο Παυλ», εν τη χαριλι, ηνικα τοσαυτη η επιδοσις γεγονε τα κηρυγματα», μελλων τους εν Αθήναις διαλεγεσθαι απο των δρωμενων ποιείται προς αυτός την διδασκαλιαν ουλω λεγων ο Θεος ο ποιησας τον κοσμον και παντα τα εν αυτω.
Ηνικα προς Κολοσσαις επες ελλε, μηκέτι ταυτην ερχομενα την οδον, αλλ' έλερως αυλους διαλεγομενου και λεγοντG», ότι εν αυτω εκτισθη τα σανία τα εν τοις Βρανους, και τα επι της γης, τα οραία και τα αοραία, ειλε θρονοι, ειλε κυριοτηλες, ειλε αρχαι, ειλε εξεσιαι, τα πανία δι' αυτον και εις αυλον εκτισθη και Ιωαννης δε και της βρονης υιος, εβρα λεγων Πανία δι' αυλου εγενείο, και χωρις αυλο εγενείο ουδε έν· αλλ' εχ ο Μωύσης δυλως εικολως εδε γαρ ην ευλογον τοις ετι γαλακτοροφεισθαι δεομενους σερεας μεταδεναι τροφης. Ιn Gal. i. Opera, ΙΙ. p. 18. (Ρ.)
f“ Sicut Moses erat tardioris linguæ, ita etiam lex Mosaica ést tardioris linguæ ad explicandam ejus quod est rationem, et aperiendam sanctæ Trinitatis theologiam," Collectania, Opera, I. p. 1036. (P.)
! Και σκοπει της θεωργου προνοιας τον πανσοφον τε και αρρεπη ζυγαν: ο πατηρ εδοκει τους παλαι το μειζον εχειν ο υιος δε σαλιν κατα την νεαν εγιοις μεν το ελατίου, τους πολλοις δε το ισον το δε άγιον πνευμα τους πολλοις μεν το ελατίoν, ολιγοις δε το ισον» ένα αν το ανισον το απο της των ανθρωπων υποληψεως εις ισοτητα επαναχθη. Phot. Bib. Sect. ccxxi. p. 628. (Ρ.)
και Θεοτης δε μια εν Μωύση μαλιςα καταγΓελλεται, δυας δε εν προφηταις σφοδρα κηρυσ. σελαι. Τριας δε εν ευαγΓελιοις φανερείαι, πλειον κατα καιρος και γενεας άρμοζρσα τη δικαι, εις γνωσιν και πιςιν. Η. Ιxxiv. Opera, I. p. 899. He says the same thing ia his Arcoratus, Sect. Ixxiii. Opera, Il. p. 78. (P.)