Page images
PDF
EPUB

present to heal them.” Luke v. 17. He himself saith, that the works which my Father hath given me [power] to do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath sent me." John v. 36. He also confesseth that he cast out devils “by the finger of God;" Luke xi. 20. that he did these works" by the spirit of God." Matth. xii. 18. And, again, “ The Father," saith he, “that dwelleth in me, he doth the works.” John xiv. 10. That he hath all his attributes also derived from the Father, is generally acknowledged, even by those who style themselves the orthodox. And of necessity it must be so, since all properties flow from the essence, and in reality are only the essence partially considered, or with relation to such powers. So that, when the individual essence is one and the same, the actions. and powers flowing from that essence, must be the

And hence they constantly assert, that the will, power, and wisdom, of the whole trinity, is one and the same; and that what one wills, does, and knows, they all will, do, and know, by virtue of this unity of essence.*

The primitive Fathers of the first three centuries do also generally agree, that the Son received his power from the Father, as it hath been observed already. And particularly. Hippolitus, “that his

same.

* Dr Waterland, p. 337. 4

is, one,

knowledge was given him by the Father ;'* to which the orthodox are forced to say, that he received this power, this dominion, and these attributes, by receiving the same individual essence with the Father ; which yet is a thing impossible in itself; since an individual essence cannot be communicated, for that very reason, because it is an individual, that and no more.

Nor can three essences be one and no more, by being connexè et conjunctè, as Tertullian's Thecla, or the Spirit of Montanus taught him, but only three essences joined and connected to one another.

Moreover, hence it must follow, that the same numerical essence must be self-existent, and not selfexistent ; communicated, and yet incommunicable, as a self-existing essence must necessarily be; generated, and ungenerated ; derived, and underived ; it being certain, that the Father's essence is selfexisting, uncommunicated, and underived ; and that the essence of the Son is not so. So that it must be an express contradiction to predicate these opposite and contradictory assertions of the same numerical essence. And hence it will follow, that this God must be Deus de Deo, and yet Deus de Nullo; or, which is the same thing, a self-existing being, as he necessarily is in the Father, and yet he must communicate himself to another ; who yet only is another by having that essence communicated to him ; and he must communicate himself unto another, by continuing invariably the same that he was before. To omit many other like absurdities. Accordingly, a learned author very well observes, “that, as this doctrine would deprive both the Son and Holy Ghost of any proper essence and attributes of their own, so would it follow that they are only names. For the same reason, neither can an individual

* Πάσαν την επιστήμην παρά του πατρός λαβών, Contra Natum.

p. 9.

power be communicated, as the same author proves in these words; "the reason why the individual knowledge or power of God cannot be communicated, any more than his individual existence, is, because they are individual, and nothing that is individual can ever be communicated from one thing to another.”+

[ocr errors]

SECTION II.

The Scriptures teach, that Christ is a distinct Being

from the Father, and subordinate to him.

The essence of the Father being essentially an intelligent and active essence, and so 'a personal essence, it is evident, it cannot be communicated, unless a personal essence be communicated; and then the person to whom it is communicated, must be two persons. From hence arise these corollaries;

* Modest Plea continued, Answer to Query 23, p. 50. + Answer to Remarks, &c. p. 280.

That the Son is a real and distinct person from the Supreme God; and, also,

That he is not of one and the same individual essence with him.

First, He is a real person distinguished from him. For Christ every where declares himself not to be the Father, but to come forth from him, to speak by his authority and commission, to do nothing of himself, but every thing by the power of the Father ; nothing to his own, but every thing to his Father's glory.

And yet he speaks these things of himself, considered as coming down from heaven; and with pronouns personal ; and sometimes in opposition to the whole person of the Father, as when he saith, “He that believeth in me, believeth not in me, but in him that sent me.” John xii. 44.

SECONDLY, That he is not of the same individual or numerical essence with God the Father, is evident from these considerations.

That, where the numerical essence is one and the same, the will and actions of that essence must be one and the same. And where the will and actio are numerically distinct and diverse, thero of vidual essence must also be distinn

And this Damascen declares to be the doctrine of the holy Fathers. *

Hence it demonstratively follows, that, if the essence of the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, be numerically one and the same, the will, and all the other actions of these three, must be numerically one and the same; so that what the Father wills, and does, the Son and Holy Ghost must will, and do, also.

Now to show the inconsistency of this with the plain declarations of holy Scripture, let it be considered,

First, that, if the essence of the Son, for instance, is one and the same with that of God the Father, his will must of necessity be one and the same with that of God the Father. And what the Father wills, the Son must of necessity will also ; that is, the will of the Father must of necessity be his will too. But this is directly inconsistent with these words of Christ, “I seek not mine own will, but the will of the Father which sent me.

.”+ John v. 20. And “I came down from heaven, not that I might do mine own will,

* Οι Πατέρες οι άγιοι έφασαν, ών η ουσία μία, τούτων και η ενέργεια. μία, και ών διάφορος η ουσία, τούτων διάφορος και η ενέργεια. c. 15. de Orthod. Fide, L. 3. p. 232, and c. 19. p. 255.

+ Nec suam, sed Patris perfecit voluntatem, Tertull. adv, Prax. c. 8,

“Ετερον εαυτόν του Πατρός δείκνυται δια του ου ζητώ το θέλημα το εμόν, αλλά το θέλημα του πέμψαντος με, και εκ του ουρανού κατεληλυθήναι ουκ ίνα ποιήση το θέλημα εαυτού αλλά του πέμψαντος αυτών, Euseb. Eccles. Theol. L. 2. c. 7. p. 110,

« ՆախորդըՇարունակել »