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thing new or unanswerable in cavils and objections which, in every shape and colour they could appear in, have been entirely baffled and defeated. His first text [Ephes. iv. 6.] was generally understood by the ancients of the whole Trinity, (so little did they dream of his inference, that the Father only is the one God of Christians,) above all as Father, through all by the Word, and in all by the Holy Ghost. And his second, [1 Cor. viii. 6.] when fairly expounded, is strong against him : There is, says the apostle, none other God but one, ver. 4. Here he foresaw an objection might be started, which therefore he anticipates, ver. 5. For though there be that are called gods, whether in heaven or in earth, (as there be gods many and lords many,) that is, Though there be many that are called and accounted gods and lords by the heathen, or else are styled gods and lords in scriptured, as angels in heaven, and princes and magistrates on earth; yet, to us there is but one God, the Father, of whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. If the Son is not here to be referred to the one God, why did the apostle mention him at all? Upon this supposition is it not as unaccountable as if he had said, There is but one God, the Father, and Michael the archangel? Is the Son excluded amongst the false or nominal gods, mentioned in ver. 5? The gentleman will hardly say so; but he will allege, that the Son is contradistinguished from the Father, whom the apostle there styles the one God. And must they
d Vid. Bisterfeldii Mysterium Pietatis contra Crellium, p. 35, 36, &c.
not necessarily be contradistinguished, be pointed out to us by distinct personal characters and operations, if the plurality of Persons be revealed at all ? The Father is here styled the one God, with this further characteristic—of whom are all things; the Son is called the one Lord, with this note of distinction, that he is the Person by whom are all things. Suppose these personal characters and distinctions had not been observed here by the apostle, and the same method had been almost or altogether uniformly kept up through the whole tenor and style of scripture, and what would have been the consequence? Why, for want of such plain and uncontestable marks of personal distinction, the catholics must have been exposed defenceless to the attacks of Sabellians and Unitarians; or, perhaps, never have dreamt of a trinity of Persons in the Godhead
at all. As therefore such contradistinctions are ne· cessary, even upon supposition of the truth of our
doctrine, it is an odd way to make them an argument backwards against the truth of that very doctrine. In short, so far is this passage from disserying the catholic hypothesis, that there are two things suggested in it which are not to be accounted for upon any other : the Son is here represented as a creating and as an adorable Lord; the author of our being, and the object of our worship. And if Christianity allows us to think thus of any being, besides, and different from the one God; let the professors of it cease to charge the heathens with polytheism and idolatry. The adversary, no doubt, will still wrangle on with their prepositions, their of, and their by or through; but that matter has been entirely cleared up to universal satisfaction. The Fa. ther and the Son, the one God and one Lord, are no otherwise distinguished than in person, and in the manner, or order, of operating ; not as one cause from another cause : “ for as all things are of one, “ and by the other, both together are one cause of “ all things; their operations undivided, their na“ ture, power, perfections, and glory one.” But whither have this author's excursions led me? An apustle must be heard with reverence whenever be speaks; but why is St. Paul brought in as a witness, not of the truth, but of the intent and meaning of the primitive creeds? If the ancients actually did mean, by the forms above mentioned, to profess their belief in the sacred Three, as being the one God, nothing that St. Paul has said can alter the case, or make their meaning different from what it really was. But when their meaning is once fixed, by proper evidences, to be altogether contradictory to what this gentleman would impose upon St. Paul, it wil afford us a very strong presumption against such Arian glosses upon holy scripture.
With our author's leave, then, we will return to the business of creeds. The ancient Creed of Jerusalem, preserved by Cyril, is very express for the divinity of the Son'; no wonder, therefore, that this writer has something to offer in disparagement of it: “ It may be questioned whether it be older than the “ fourth century,” p. 43. He may make a question
• Dr. Waterland's Second Defence, p. 179, 437, 462. Sermons, p. 54, &c. 78, 106, 111. Farther Defence, p. 14, &c. and places there referred to.
See the Importance, &c. p. 230.
of any thing; but what ground is there to question
that the Creed is not as ancient as it pretends to po be? Would he intimate, by twice calling it the at. Creed of Cyril, that Cyril forged it ? Cyril found it er there, and, whilst he was catechist, expounded it to er the competentes, or candidates of baptism. “Howe “ ever, there is good reason to think that the words
“ (cov åanovòv) true God were inserted out of the " Nicene Creed; because they are not to be found “ in any creed of the three first centuries, though
“ in some of them Christ is styled God." This, I ap's suppose, is his “good reason;" but is it not begging
the question ? or else arguing very inconclusively ? If he means that the words are not to be found in any other creed of the three first centuries, that may be true; and yet no “good reason” to think that they were inserted into this out of the Nicene Creed. Bishop Bull has made the reverse appear very probable, that the Nicene Fathers took these words from the old Jerusalem Creed 8. The Ante-Nicene church
was not ignorant that the title of true God be** longed to Christ; besides, if they styled him God, it
is sufficient, as they knew of no distinction between God and true God before the Arian controversy b. From the Creed, he comes to St. Cyril's own sentiments; and he expresses, he says, his faith very clearly, that “ the one God of Christians was God
" the Father only, in contradistinction to the Son." beton In answer to which stale pretence he has often been
told, that, whatever contradistinction there may be,
there is no opposition to the Son, or excluding him 2.14 from the same Godhead. The exclusive terms con
& Bull. Judic. Eccles. cap. vi. sect. 5.
cern not him at all, as he is not another God, but reckoned with the Father, and referred up to him. This matter has been so well adjusted, that I have nothing to do but to refer i Cyril, he owns, “ held “ the Son to be true God, and consubstantial with “ the Father;" and yet (what is very strange) did not infer that he was equal to him. The reason perhaps may be, that he thought the inference se plain, that he left his readers to make it. Our author, however, will not allow, that being consubstantial implies any such thing; or that it was understood to do so by the council of Nice. But it has been shewn, that they did understand it to imply equality of nature k; which is abundantly sufficient to overthrow the Arian notion of the Father's supremacy. Our author's conclusion is truly marvellous ; "thus his (Dr. Waterland's) own author, an “ Athanasian too, is clear and strong against his doc“ trine of the Trinity.” Cyril's sentiment of the supremacy may be seen in the doctor's Farther Defencel; where he holds no subjection of the Son, but what is voluntary and chosen, and no supremacy of the Father, but that of order and office, (not in nature,) just as Dr. Waterland does. So that he is “clear and strong" against this gentleman's doctrine of the Trinity, if one may call it so. Irenæus will come under consideration again, and so we may pass him by in this place: indeed his principles have been shewn to be so diametrically opposite to Arian
· Dr. Waterland's Sermons, IV. per tot. Second Defence, p. 26, 51, 52, 79, 94, 193, 385, 462, 463. Third Defence, p. 33, 34. Alexander's Essay on Irenæus, p. 119.
k First Defence, p. 461. | Farther Defence, p. 125.