תמונות בעמוד
PDF
ePub

SECTION I.
The Acknowledgments of the Christian Fathers that John was

the first who taught the Doctrines above-mentioned. Origen, though a zealous defender of the doctrines of the pre-existence and divinity of Christ, yet, as will appear in its proper place, only considered them as more sublime doctrines, fit for the more perfect Christians. He says, that “ John alone introduced the knowledge of the eternity of Christ to the minds of the fathers.” * - John himself was transformed into God, and so became partaker of the truth, and then pronounced that the word of God was in God from the beginning." +

“No one,” says this writer, “ taught the divinity of Christ so clearly as John, who presents him to us, saying, “I am the light of the world, I am the way, the truth, and the life ; I am the resurrection ; I am the gate, I am the good shepherd; and in the Revelation, “I am the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the first and the last.' therefore boldly say, that as the Gospels are the first-fruits, (or the most excellent part,)“ of the Scriptures, so the Gospel of John is the first-fruits of the Gospels; the sense of which no person can conceive, except he who reclines on the breast of Jesus, and who receives from Jesus his mother Mary, and makes her his own. He must be another John, who was shewn by Jesus as another Jesus. For he who is perfect does not himself live, but Christ lives in him; and since Christ lives in hinr, he says to Mary concerning him, Behold thy Son, Christ himself.”

The meaning of this is, that, to have the knowledge of the

We may,

[ocr errors][merged small]

“ Joannes sola ejus æterna in notitiam fidelium animarum introducit.” Opera, II. p.

428. (P.) +“ Sanctus itaque theologus in Deum transmutatus, veritatis particeps, Domini verbum subsistere in Deo principio, hoc est Deum Filium in Deo Patre, pron unciat.” Ibid. (P.)

1 Ουδεις γαρ εκεινων ακραίως εφανερωσεν αυτη την θεοτηλα ως Ιωαννης, σαρας ησας αυλον λεγονία, Εγω ειμι το φως τα κοσμε, εγω ειμι η οδος, και η αληθεια, και η ζωη: Εγω ειμι η αναςασις: Εγω ειμι ή θυρα, εγω ειμι ο ποιμήν ο καλος και εν τη αποκαλυψει, Εγω ειμι το α και το ω, η αρχη και το τελος, ο πρωτος και ο εσχατο τολμητερν τοινυν ειπειν απαρχην μεν πασων γραφων ειναι τα ευαγΓέλια, των δε ευαγελιων απαρχην το κατα Ιωαννην, ου τον νεν εδεις δυναται λαβειν μη αναπεσων επι τα σηΟ» Ιησε, μηδε λαβων απο Ιησε την Μαριαν γενομενην και αυτο μητερα και τηλικατον δε γενεσθαι δει τον εσομενον αλλον Ιωαννην, ώς τε διoνει τον Ιωαννην δειχθηναι οντα Ιησεν απο Ιησο-και γαρ σας και τετελειωμενο. ζη 8κετι, αλλ' εν αυτω ζη Χρις, και επει ζη εν αυτώ Χρις», λεγεται περι αυτε τη Mapio, ide o ú Qu 08 Xpisau. Comment." in Johan. Il. p. 5.' (P.) 'See Vol. XVII nn

107

10g

sublime doctrines of the pre-existence and divinity of Christ, as taught by John, a man must be a Christian of the first class and rank, far above the ordinary sort. He must be a second John, and a second Jesus, imbibing their spirit, and entering into their most profound meaning.

Eusebius says, that “ John began the doctrine of the divinity of Christ, that being reserved for him, as the most worthy." *

But he who wrote the most largely and the most eloquently on this subject is Chrysostom. And it will be seen, that the greatness of the mystery, its alarming appearance to the Jews, and the extreme caution of the evangelists and apostles in divulging it, gave him great scope for magnifying the courage of John, in teaching what the other apostles had only ventured to hint at, and which it was reserved for him, as the “Son of Thunder," and whose emblem was the eagle, to express his soaring higher than any other that had gone before him. John,” he says,

“ alone taught the eternal and supercelestial wisdom.”+ “ John first lighted up the lamp of theology; and all the most distant churches running to it, lighted up their lamps of theology, and returned rejoicing, saying, In the beginning was the logos.” I

Chrysostom represents all the preceding writers of the New Testament as children, who heard, but did not understand things, and who were busy about cheese-cakes and childish sports, ß but John,” he says, “ taught what the angels themselves did not know before he declared it;" || and he represented them as his most attentive auditors. “ Leaving the Father,” he says," he (John) discoursed concerning the Son, because the Father was known to all, if not as a Father, yet as God, but the unbegotten was unknown.” Of the three first evangelists, he says, They all treated

Της δε θεολογιας απαρξασθαι, ώς αν αυτω προς τα θεια πνευμαλος δια κρειτ7ονι παραπεφυλαγμενης ταυλα μεν ουν ημιν σερι της το κατα Ιωαννην ευαγΓελι8 γραφης ειρησθω. Hist. L. iii. C. xxiv. p. 117. (P.)

* Μονος την αιωνιον και υπερκοσμιον φιλοσοφιαν κηρυξας. In Johan. i. Opera, . p. 235. (P.)

1 Πρωτη αναψασα τω της θεολογιας λυχνον, πασαι των περαιων αι εκκλησιαι προς σε δραμεσαι, έκαςη την εαυτης λαμπαδα την θεολογιαν ανηψε, και υπεςρεψε χαιρεσα, Εν agxn mo ngyos. Ibid. p. 604.' (P.)

και “Οι γε αλλοι άπαντες, καθαπερ τα παιδια τα μικρα, ακe9σι μεν, ουκ ισασι δε απερ aregow, anda wapi whakerlas enloqulas, kab antuguala waidika. In Johan. i. Opera, VIII. p. 2. (P.)

Η “A μηδε αγ/Γελοι πριν η τεΐον γενεσθαι ηδεισαν" μεθ' ημων γαρ δη και έτσι δια της Ιωαννα φωνης και δι' ημων εμαθον άπερ εγνωμεν. Ιbid. (Ρ.)

41 Τι δηποτ' εν τον πατερα αφεις, περι τε υιε διαλεγεται ότι εκεινον μεν δηλ. απασιν ην, ει και μη ως πατηο, αλλ' ως Θεό», ο δε μονογενης ηγνοελλο. Ιbid. p. 11, (Ρ.)

of the fleshly dispensation, and silently by his miracles, indicated his dignity. The dignity of the logos of God was hid, the arrows against the heretics were concealed, and the fortification to defend the right faith was not raised by the pious preaching. John, therefore, the Son of Thunder, being the last, advanced to the doctrine of the logos,” or the divinity of Christ. *

In the beginning was the word.' This doctrine was not published at first, for the world would not receive it. Wherefore Matthew, Mark, and Luke,(John is here added, but it must be an interpolation,)“ began at a distance. When they began the preaching, they did not immediately say what was becoming his dignity, but what would suit the hearers. Matthew, beginning his Gospel, says, ' The book of the generation of Jesus Christ, the son of David, the son of Abraham.' Why does he not say “ the son of God? Why does he conceal his dignity by poor language? Why does he conceal from men the things relating to his deity? He answers, I am preaching to the Jews, who do not even believe him to be a good man. They would not believe Christ to be the son of Abraham, and will they believe his being called the son of God?

“ The blessed Mark, also, when he applied himself to writing a Gospel, taking courage from what had been done before,” (meaning, perhaps, by Matthew,) " calls him the Son of God; but he immediately contracts his discourse, and cuts short what he had intended to say, that he might soothe his hearers. He therefore introduces what he had to say concerning the Baptist, saying, · The beginning of the gospel of Jesus Christ, as it is written in Isajah the prophet,” &c.

- Luke follows in the third place, and goes a middle way. He touches upon the doctrine of the logos, but does not explain, or unfold his dignity ; but says, . Since many have undertaken to give an account of what has come to pass among us, it seemed good to me also, who have attended to every thing from the beginning, to write in order as has

1

* Πανλες ουν εχωρησαν εις την της σαρκων οικονομιαν, και ηρεμα πως, δια των θαυματων, εγνωριζουν την αξιαν. Εκρυπτείο δε ετι τε Θεου λογα αξιωμα. Εκρυπτείο δε τα καλα των αιρετικων βελη, και το της ορθής δοξης επιτειχισμα εδεποτε τω κηρυγμαλι της ευσεβειας εχηγερτο. Ιωαννης τοινυν, ο υιο» της βρονης, τελευταιος, παρηλθεν επι την θεολογιαν. De Sigillis, Opera, VI. p. 173. N. B. The sense of the passage absolutely requires ExpurTelo and not exigur7lo in both the clauses, and in the latter it is so rendered by the Latin translator, though not in the former. The observation that the first verses in the Gospel of John are a refutation of all heresies, is common with the fathers. No person, except one who is pretty well conversant with them, can imagiue how often those verses occur in their writings. (P.)

been delivered to us, by those who were eye-witnesses and ministers of the logos.' But though he mentions the logos, he did not say that the logos was God. What then does he do? Touching upon the subject, and considering that he was speaking in the ears of the dead, he conceals his dignity, and brings on the economy,” that is, the doctrine of the incarnation or humanity of Christ. « There was a priest, Zacharias,” &c.

« John, therefore, the Son of Thunder, last of all advanced - to the doctrine of his divinity, after those three heralds ; and with great propriety he followed them, and they went before, lightening a little, as the lightning precedes the thunder, lest, bursting from the clouds at once, it should stun the hearer. - They therefore lightened the economy, or the humanity of Christ, but he thundered out the theology,” that is, the doctrine of Christ's divinity. *

Again, he introduces John as holding a soliloquy with himself, and saying, after considering the progress of heresy,

Why do I delay? Why have I any longer patience ? Why do I not bring forth the mystery hid from ages? Why do I hide in myself, the wisdom which was before the ages, which I derive from the immortal fountain on which I lean? Why do I not publish what angels are ignorant of? Why do I hide from the ends of the earth what no one knows, except the Father? Why do I not write what Matthew, and Mark, and Luke, through a wise and praiseworthy fear,

* Εν αρχή ην ο λογο ουκ ευθυς τελο εκηρυχθη. Ου γαρ εχωρει ο κοσμος μακραν ημιν δι ευαγΓελιςαι Ματθαιος, Μαρκος, Λεκας, (και Ιωαννης,) οτε ηρξαντο τα κηρυγμαίος, ουκ ευθυς ελαλησαν τα πρεπονία τη αξια, αλλα τα άρμοζονία τους ακροωμενους ο Ματθαιος, αρχην ποιησαμενος των ευαγΓελιων, λεγει: Βιβλος γενεσεως Ιησε Χριςο υιε Δαβίδ, υια Αβρααμ διαι, μη υιε Θεου; Διαιι αιωχη λεξει κρυπτεις την αξιαν; Διαιι τοις ανθρωπους τα θεια καλυπτεις; Παρα Ιεδαιοις, φησι, κηρυτίω, τους μη ανθρωπον δικαιον ειναι πιςευασι. Τον Χριςον υιον Αβρααμ επω εδεξανίο, και υιον Θεου καταγ[ελλομενον ανεξoνται και

Παλιν ο μακαριος Μαρκος καθεις εαυθον εις το ευαγΓελιον, και θαρσησας τους προγεγυμνασμενους, λεγει μεν υιον Θεου, αλλ' ευθεως συνες ειλε τον λογον, και εκολοβωσε την εννοιαν, ένα μαλαξη τον ακροαίην. Επαγει ουν ευθεως τα καλα τον βαπτισην λεγων, αρχη του εναγΓελιο Ιησε Χριςο, καθως γεγραπται εν Ησαια το προφητη.

“Ο Λεκας ακολέθει τριτος, και μεσος χωρει μετα τελων, και απτεται μεν του Θεου λογου, ου μην ερμηνεύει και αναπτύσσει την αξιαν αλλα φησιν, επειδήπερ πολλοι επεχει ρησαν αναταξασθαι διηγησιν σερι των πεπληροφορημενων εν ημιν πραγμαίων, εδοξε καμοι παρακολέθησαι τοις πασιν απαρχης γραψαι, καθως παρεδωκαν ημιν οι απαρχης αυτοπται, και υπηρεται γενομενοι το λογα' αλλα λογον μεν ειπεν, ουκ ειπε δε ότι και Θεος ην ο λογος τι ουν και αυτος σοιει και Αψαμενος το ειναι, και εννοησας, ότι νεκραις ακοαις ενηχει, κρυπτει την αξιαν, και προφερει την οικονομιαν. Εγενετο ιερευς Ζαχαριας και τα εξης του ευα γελιου.

Ιωαννης τοινυν ο υιος της βροντης τελευταιος παρηλθεν επι την θεολογιαν" μετα τις τρεις εκεινες κηρυκας, και εικόλως ο μεν ηκολέθησεν, οι δε προελαβον, τα μικρα τεως αςραπλονίες, ώσπερ γαρ της βροντης προηγείλαι αςραπη, ίνα μη αθροον εκεινη εκ των νεφων ραγεισα πληξη τον ακονία. Ουτως επειδη εμελλε βρονταν ο Ιωαννης, προελαβον οι τρεις ευαγfέλιςαι δικην ατραπων, και οι μεν ηραψαν την οικονομιαν, ο δε βρονία την θεολογιαν. De Sigillis, Opera, VΙ. p. 17i, &c. (Ρ.)

passed in silence, according to the orders that were given them? How shall I speak what was given me freely from above?

“ Matthew, according to what was granted to him, wrote according to his ability. Mark and Luke, in like manner, according to the supply of the Spirit, have written their books in a becoming manner. I also will write, and add to those before, the fourth fountain of life. For there are wanting to the divine voice the discourses of the divinity, and the world is in danger on this quarter. I will write a book which will stop the mouths of all who speak unjustly of Gód. I will write a book which will hide all the wisdom of the world. I will write a book which shall not be confined to what concerns man. For the church is provided with what Moses wrote concerning these things, about the heavens and the earth, &c.

“ But I, leaving all things which have come to pass from time, and in time, will speak of that which was without time, and is uncreated, about the logos of God, which was generated from the Father in an ineffable manner, about which Moses dared not to speak. But I am able to do all things, through Christ who strengthens me.

“ The apostle John having reasoned thus within himself, and having the pen of a writer in his hand, and considering how to begin the theology, rejoicing in spirit, but with a trembling hand, is carried upwards, being in the body at Ephesus, but with a pure heart and holy spirit leaves the earth,” &c. Then representing him as carried up into heaven, he says, that, “ Fishing out of the Father's bosom the doctrine of the divinity, he wrote in his body on earth, In the beginning was the logos,” &c.*

Chrysostom introduces Matthew also reasoning on the subject of his saying so little, or rather nothing, of the divinity

* Ελογιζετο εν εαυτο λεγων, Τι αναβαλλομαι ; Τι, φησι, μακροθυμω ετι; Τι ου προσ. φερω εις μεσον το απο των αιώνων κεκρυμμενον μυςηριον; Τι αποκρυβω εμαυτη την απο των αιωνων σοφιαν, ήν εκ της αθανατο πηγης επιπεσων είλκυσα; Τι ου δημοσιευω, ον αγΓελοι αγνοεσι; Τι ουκ αποκαλυπλω τους περασι, ον ουδεις επιγινωσκει, ει μη ο πατηρ; Τι ου γραφω, όπερ Ματθαιος και Μαρκος και Λακας δι' επαινεμενην δειλιαν παρασιωπησαν7ες παρεδραμον τελεσαν7ες τα προς ελαγμενα αυτοις; Οθεν λαλησω καγω κατα την δοθεισαν μοι δωρεαν ανωθεν;

Ματθαιος μεν οσον εχωρει, έγραψε καλα την ιδιας δυναμιν, Μαρκος δε και Λεκας όμοιων καλα την του άγιο πνευμαλος χορηγιαν τας εαυτων βιβλους θεοπρεπως εδογμαλισαν" γραψω καγω και προσθεσω τους εμπροσθεν της τελαρίην πηγην την ζωης λειπει γαρ εις θεοσυςαιον φωνην

σερι θεολογιας λογος, και κινδυνεύει ο κοσμος εν τω μερει τελω γραψω βιβλον, δι' ής εμφραγη σαν σομα λαλεν κατα Θεον αδικιαν γραψω βιβλον την καλυπτεσαν πασαν εν κοσμο σοφιαν" γραψω βιβλον ου περι ανθρωπε διηγεμενην" ου γαρ λειπει τη εκκλησια, και περι τοτων εγραψε Μωσης περι ερανέ τε και γης και θαλλασσων και ιχθυων και πετεινων

« הקודםהמשך »