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But the following passage is perhaps still more express. “ If that,” says he," which was in God, and came out of God, was not without a beginning, viz. wisdom, which was produced from the time that God deterinined to make the world, much more must things that are without God have a beginning.”+
“ Christ,” says Novatian, “ is always in the Father, lest he should not always be a Father; but the Father must in some sense precede him ; for he is prior, as Father. For in some way it is necessary that he who has no origin precede him who has an origin. He, therefore, when the Father would, proceeded out of the Father, and he who was in the Father, canie out of him.” I Again, he says, “ Nothing was before Christ but the Father;” § and in another place, he says, “ From whom,” (viz. God,) “ and when he chose, the Son, the word, was generated."||
“ God,” says Lactantius, - "the framer and ordainer of all things, before he undertook the construction of this world, generated an incorruptible spirit, which he called his Son.”
Eusebius, speaking of God intending to form the material world, as well as angels, and the souls of men, says, “ He thought of making one to govern and direct the whole ;" and then he proceeds to describe the generation of the Son, as being “the proper wisdom of the Father." ** In the
• “ Primum quidem, nondum Filio apparente, et dixit Deus, Fiat lux, et facta est: ipse statim sermo lux vera, quæ illuminat hominem venientem in hunc mune dum, et per illum mundialis quoque lux. Exinde autem in sermone Christo adsistente, et administrante, Deus voluerit fieri, et Deus fecit." Ad Praxeam, Sect. xii. Opera, p. 506. (P.)
t“Si enim intra Dominum quod ex ipso, et in ipso fuit, sine initio non fuit, sopbia scilicet ipsius, exinde nata et condita, ex quo in sensu Dei ad opera mundi disponenda cæpit agitari, multo magis, non capit sive initio quicquam fuisse quod extra Dominum fuerit.” Ad Hermogenem, Sect. xviii. p. 239. (P.)
“ Semper enim in Patre; ne Pater non semper sit Pater : quin et Pater illum etiam quadam ratione præcedit, quod necesse est quodammodo prior sit qua Pater sit. Quoniam aliquo pacto autecedat necesse est eum, qui habet originem, ille qui originem nescit. Hic ergo, quando Pater voluit, processit ex Patre: et qui in Patre fuit, processit ex Patre.' C. xxxi. p. 121. (P.)
§ “ Ante quem nihil præter Patrem." C. xi. p. 32. (P.)
T “ Est ergo Deo Pater omnium institutor et creator solus originem nesciens, invisibilis, immensus, immortalis, æternus, unus Deus, cujus neque magnitudini, neque majestati neque virtuti quicquam non dixerim prieferri, sed nec comparari potest. Ex quo, quando ipse voluit, sermo, Filius natus est." C. xxxi. p. 120. (P.)
“ Deus igitur machinator constitutorque rerum, ante quam præclarum hoc opus mundi adoriretur, sanctum, incorruptibilem spiritum genuit, quem Filium nuncuparet." Instit. L. iv. Sect. vi. p. 364. (P.)
Προλαβων το μελλον, δια Θεος, τη προγνωσει, συνιδων τε, τελων απανίων περι γενέσεως εν μεγαλω σωματι κεφαλης δεησομενων.-Βεληθεις γαρ ο Θεος, άτε μονος, ως αγαθό»,
same work he says, “ Light is emitted necessarily from the sun; but the Son became the image of the Father from his knowledge and intention, and when he pleased, he became the father of a son."*
It was thought by some of the ancients, as Beausobre says, † that angels were made before the visible world, and that Satan was their prince. The Son, therefore, being generated immediately before the visible world, must have been posterior to Satan; and upon this idea, Athanasius, in the dialogue which he is supposed to have had with Arius, observes, that if he worshipped the first of creatures, he must worship Satan. That Satan was the first of creatures, was inferred from Job xl. 19, where it is said of Behemoth, (which was thought to represent Satan,) that he is "the chief of the ways of God" in the Septuagint, apXn, the beginning. I
We are now advanced as far as the Council of Nice, without finding any other opinion than that of the Father generating the Son voluntarily and in time; but now we come to a stricter kind of orthodoxy, and between them we find some little inconsistency in what Hilary has advanced on this subject.
In some passages he seems to be clearly of the opinion of those who went before him. Thus he says, “ God the Father is the cause of all, being absolutely without beginning and alone. The Son was produced by the Father before all time, being created and founded before the ages. He was not before he was generated; but being generated before time, and before all things, he alone subsisted from the Father alone. He is neither eternal nor co-eternal--for God is before the Son, as we learned of thee, O Pope,” to whom his work is addressed, “ preaching in full congregation.” Again, he says, “ He is his chief, as his God, since he is before him." “ I do not know,” says he,“ when the Son was generated; but it would be wickedness in me to be ignorant that he was generated.” +
αγαθε τε παντον αρχη και πηγη, των αυτο θησαυρων πλειες απoφηναι κοινωνες αρτι τε μελλων την λογικην πασαν προβαλλεσθαι κτισιν, ασωματος τινας νοερας και θειας δυναμεις, αγΓελος τε και αρχαγΓελος, αύλα τε και σαντη καθαρα πνευματα, προσετι δε ψυχας ανθρωπων---Ενα τον της δημιουργειας απασης οικονομον ηγεμονα τε και βασιλεα των όλων προταξασθαι QETO
dery. Demonstratio, L. iv. C. i. p. 145. (P.) Η μεν αυγη ου κατα προαιρεσιν του φωτος εκλαμπει, κατα τι δε της θσιας συμβεβηκος αχωρισον. ο δε νιος κατα γνωμην και προαιρεσιν εικων υπερη τε πατρος βεληθεις γαρ ο Θεος γεγονεν υιε παληρ.. Ιbid. C. iii. p. 148. (Ρ.)
+ Histoire de Manichéisme, I. p. 264. (P.)
! Ο Θεος τω Ιωβ χρηματιζων, έτως εφη περι τα σαλανε, τετεςιν αρχη πλασματος κυριε πεποιημενη εμπαιζεσθαι υπο των αγfέλων με συ αν το πρωτον ποιημα προσκυνων, τον σαταναν προσκυνεις, καθως παρεξησιν ο λογος εαν δε σοφισασθαι θελησειας, ότι το μια προτερον ποιημα εςιν ο σατανας, αρα πρεσβυτερον αυτον σουης το άγιο πνευματος. Opera, Il. p. 120. (P.)
That Hilary did express this opinion is evident from Austin's censuring him for ascribing eternity to the Father only: $ and yet in other passages of this work Hilary holds a different language.
“ Where there is always a father,” he says, “ there is always a son.” “ You think it, О heretic, pious and religious to say that God always was, but that the Father was not always.”|| Again, he says, “ To deny the eternity of Christ is a sin against the Holy Spirit.” |
This inconsistency in Hilary may perhaps be explained by the following maxim of his, viz. " That is eternal wbich is before time.”** By thus making that to be eternal which preceded the creation, when time was supposed to commence, he might say that the generation of Christ was from eternity, and yet mean that he had not always been generated.
After this time the opinion of the Catholic Christians was invariably in favour of a proper eternal generation; and in this they were assisted by the genuine principles of Platonism; according to which, the creation, and consequently the nous or logos, its immediate author, was from eternity. Till this time the Platonizing Christians had only held so much of Platonism as they had been able to retain consistently with the universally-received doctrines of revelation, one of which was supposed to be, that there was a time before God made the world, or had a Son. They were therefore, obliged to hold that there was a time when the Father was alone, the Son having no existence, but as the reason of the Father. But as, in the course of this controversy, the personal dignity of Christ advanced, which it uniformly did, they came to think with the Platonists, that the logos might have been from eternity, though the creation had not. They then argued as the Platonists had done, that the effect, (and such they never scrupled to call Christ,) might always have co-existed with its cause. When it was objected that, “ if the Son and Spirit be eternal, they must be without cause, like the Father;" Gregory Nazianzen replies, “that effects are sometimes contemporary with their causes, as is the case with the sun and his light.”
“ Et quidem Deus Pater causa est omnium, omnino sine initio solitarius : Filius autem sine tempore editus est à Patre, et ante secula creatus et fundatus. Non erat antequam nasceretur: sed siue tempore ante omnia natus, solus à solo Patre subsistit. Nec enim est æternus, aut co-æternus, aut simul non factus cum Patre, nec simul cum Patre habet esse, sicuti quidam dicunt, aut aliqui duo non nata principia introducentes, sed sicut uvio est principium omnium, sic et Deus ante omnia est. Propter quod et ante Filium est, sicut et à te didicimus, Papa, media in ecclesia prædicante. Principatur autem ei, utpote Deus ejus, cùm sit ante ipsum." L. iv. pp. 80, 101. (P.)
† “ Nescio enim quando natus sit Filius, et nefas est mihi nescire quod natus sit." L. ii. pp. 27. (P.)
“ Et quia non mediocris auctoritatis in tractatione scripturarum, et assertione fidei vir extitit, Hilarius enim hoc in libris suis posuit, horum verborum, id est, Patris et imaginis et muneris ; æternitatis et speciei et usus, abditam scrutatus intelligentiam quantum valeo non eum secutum arbitror in æternitatis vocabulo, nisi quod Pater non habet Patrem de quo sit, Filius autem de Patre est ut sit, atque ut illi co-æternus sit.” De Trinitate, L. vi. C. ix. Opera, III. p. 332. (P.) § “ Ubi autem semper pater est, semper et filius est." L. xii. p. 305. (P.)
il “ Pium tibi ac religiosum, hæretice, existimas, Deum semper quidem, sed non semper Patrem confiteri.” Ibid. p. 309. (P.)
“ Peccatum autem in Spiritum est, Deo virtutis potestatem negare, et Christo substantiam adimere æternitatis." In Matt. Opera, p. 519. (P.)
L xii, p. 307. (P.)
*. « Eternum antem est. qucanid tomong excedit."
The difficulty about involuntary generation was not got over so well as that relating to its taking place before all time.
“ The Father,” say Austin, “generated the Son neither necessarily nor voluntarily, because there is no necessity in God. The will cannot be before wisdom, which is is the Son." He then asks, “Do you, O heretic, say whether the Father existed necessarily or voluntarily ?”+ Chrysostom, after representing eructation as an involuntary thing, descants upon God's eructating a good logos. “ It was not the stomach,” he says, “but the heart ; and what did he eructate? Not meat or drink, but the good logos, his only-begotten.” # Cyril of Alexandria seems to say, that Christ, being the will of the Father, it is absurd to ask whether he was generated voluntarily or involuntarily.
In a creed drawn up by the bishops in the east, and sent to those in the west, (in which the Arian doctrines of the creation of the Son out of nothing, and of there ever having been a time when he was not, are condemned,) the opinion that the Father did not generate the Son of his free-will and choice, is likewise condemned." || The same doctrine is
Δηλον δε το αιτιον ως ου σαντος-πρεσβυτερον των ων εςιν αιτιον, εδε γαρ το φωτος joos. Or. xxxv. Opera, p. 568. (P.)
+ “Voluntate genuit Pater Filium, an necessitate? Nec voluntate, nec necessitate: quia necessitas in Deo non est : præire antem voluntas sapientiam non potest, quod est Filius : igitur prius est rationabiliter sapere, quam rationabiliter velle. Dic, inquit, et tu hæretice, Deus Pater necessitate est Deus, an voluntate ?" Quest. Ixv. Opera, IV. p. 678. (P.)
Η Ουχ ο τομαχος και τα σιτια δεχομενος, αλλ' η καρδια εξηγευξατο γαρ φησιν, η καρδια με και τι ερευγεται και ου σιτον εδε σοτον, αλλα τα συγλενη τη τραπεζη, λογον αγαθον, τον Wept te paroyevas. In Psalm xliv. Opera, II. p. 207. (P.)
§ De Trinitate, 11. L. jii. p. 384. (P.)
Η Τες δε λεγονίας εξ Bκ ονίων τον υιον, η εξ έτερας υποφασεως, και μη εκ του Θεά, και ότι ην τοτε χρονος η αιων οτε μη ην, αλλο7 ριες οιδεν ή αγια καθολικη εκκλησια: ομοιως και της λεγοντας τoεις ειναι Θεος, η τον Χριςον μη ειναι Θεον προ των αιώνων, μηδε Χριςον
asserted in another of those oriental creeds, in which it is said, “ If any one shall say that the Son was not generated at the will of the Father, let him be anathema.”
I must not conclude this subject without mentioning the opinion of Origen, viz. that there is no time with respect to God; and, therefore, that it must be impossible to determine when the Son was generated. He says, that " there is no evening or morning with God, but time of the same extent with his eternal life. This is the day in which the Son is generated, the beginning of his birth, and the day of his being founded.” | But it does not appear that any person in his time, or for many years after, supposed that the Son had existed always, except as the reason of the eternal Father, an attribute belonging to him, and not separated from him. Austin also supposes that there was no time before the creation. I
According to Plato himself, time cannot be predicated of what is eternal; so that it cannot be said of God that he was, or that he will be, but only that he is. S He also says that time was made with the heavens. ||
CHAPTER IV. The Inferiority of the Son to the Father, shewn to have been
the Doctrine of all the Antenicene Fathers. It is remarkable that, though all the antenicene fathers were of opinion that the Son derived his being from the substance of the Father, and before his generation was even his own proper wisdom, power, and all his other essential attributes, they uniformly asserted, that he was inferior to
μηδε υιον Θεο ειναι αυλον, η τον αυθον ειναι Πατερα και Υιον και αγιον Πνευμα, και αγεννητον τον υιον, η ότι ου βελησει εδε θελησει εγεννησεν ο πατηρ τον υιον, αναθεμαλιζει η αγια και Kalonumy exxhqOIa. Socratis Hist. L. ii. C. xix. p. 99. (P.)
* Ει τις μη θελησαν7ου τα παιρος γεγεννησθαι τον υιον λεγει, αναθεμα εςω. Ibid. L. ii. C. xxx. p. 120. (P.)
* Ωι αει εςι το σημερον, 8κ εςι γαρ εσπερα Θεα, εγω δε ήγομαι ότι εδε πρωια, αλλ' ο συμπαρεκλεινων τη αγεννηση, και αίδιο αυτο ζωη, εν' ελως ειπω, χρονος, ημερα εςιν αυτω σημερον, εν ή γεγεννηθαι ο υιος. Αρχης γενεσεως αυτο 87ως εχ ευρισκομενης, ως εδε της pepes. Comment. II. p. 31. (P.)
1“ Quæ tempora fuissent quæ abs te non condita essent." Confess. (Quest. xi.) I. p. 190. (P.)
και Ταυλα δε σανία μερος χρόνο, και το, τ' ην, το τ' εςαι, χρονο γεγονοίος ειδη, φερονίες λανθανομεν επι την αίδιον εσιαν, εκ ορθως λεγομεν γαρ δη ως ην, εςι τε και εσαι τη δε το εςι μονον, κατα τον αληθη λογον, προσήκει» το δε ην, το, τ' εςαι, σερι την εν χρονοιγενεσιν saray apetes aeyeofas. Timæus, p. 711. Ed. Genere. (P.).
Η Χρονος δ' αν μετ' έρανο γεγονεν, ίνα αμα γεννηθεντες, αμα και λυθωσιν, αν ποτε λυσις τις αυλων γενηθαι. Ιbid. p. 529. (Ρ.)