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said, that he was created ; and the other, that he was actually derived, as a Son from God. Let interested men insinuate what they will, this was not the great point of controversy. It was only a seconda'y object; a turn which the controversy took. But the controversy itself was this: Did the divine Person of Christ have a beginning? Arius affirmed. Alexander, and ali the orthodox denied. And Arius complained, that when nis followers said, God,' who had no beginning. existed before the Son, they were condemned: And adds; "We are persecuted, because we say, the Son hath a beginning.''

Is it not a fact then, that all. who hold that the divine Person of Christ had a beginning, whether they hold with Arius. that Christ was created ; or are far more absurd.and say. he was derived; hold to the very essence of Ariaiiism? 1 see not how they can escape the charge. They .may say plausible things in their own favor; and may deceive the unwary with an idea, that they do not much, if any, differ from the ancient Christian fathers. But they essentially diiier in the material points, the eternity. and the real Deity of Christ. Inasmuch as some of the orthodox have held to an eternal generation of Christ, while yet they held, that he was not posterior nor inferior to the Father, a play upon words may seem to derive countenance from them, in favor of the idea of an actual derivation of the Person of Christ from the Father. But it is well know:., that while the above mentioned orthodox supposed Christ's Sonship related to his divine nature, they conceived at the same time that it was by an eternal generation, which indicated only an eternal mode of existence. They at the same Lime did hold, as an essential point, that Christ was coequal and coeternal with the Father.* Arius held, that he was not thus; but had a beginning. The orthodox combatted his error, as fatal. In doing this, they spake of the Deitj of Christ as being begotten of the Father, as being of his essence, light of light, and very God of very God. This was their manner of treating the subject ; having conceived that the Sonship of Christ related to his divine nature ; and that they must talk in a way, that was consistent with this. But while they talked thus, we know they did not hold, that Christ was actually, or at any period, derived from God: but that he was eternally the verj God. Now therefore, to turn their own language, which they thus used, against themselves, and in favor of a literal derivation of Christ from God, and of his infinite posteriority and inferiority to the Father, when at the same time we do know their meaning, is most unchristian! It is to set them up, against their will, as advocates for the very sentiment, against which they bore their united and most fervent testimony! A line of conduct, which must be pronounced insufferable. It it really a propagation of perverse falsehood! An amazing testimony may, in this way, be adduced from the ancient Trinitarians, and modern likewise, against themselves; and in favor of the very point, which they did reprobate as fatal heresy. And in this way, multitudes of the uninformed may be led into fatal error, while they imagine they are following the footsteps of the flock. But I appeal to ever^ one, who has read church history, that the ancients, by their generation of Christ's Divinity, did not mean, that he ever was actually derived; but was eternal, equal with God, and was God. And it is a perversion of their known sentiments, to take their words to justify a sentiment of our own, that Christ, in his highest nature, is the Son of God, by having been, at some period before creation, literally derived from God, and being dependent on him. This is to revive the essence of the Arian controversy, which was that Christ had a beginning.*

* It appears indeed not certain what the primitive Christians meant by the generation of Christ. Bishop Horsley says, that when Arius stated to Alexander what he disbelieved ; one point was, " that the Sou, previously existing, was afterward begotten." Bishop Horsley supposed this point, whicn Arius denied, to have been the sentiment of the Church at that day.' Arius, writing to Eusebius, taxes Alexander as preaching, "that the Son is coexistent with God, without generation." The Bishop adds," It appears that it was the language of the orthodox, at the time of the Nicene council, that the existence of the Sou was prior to his generation, and independent of it;—coeval indeed with the eternal Father." Athenagoras says," The generation of the Son, can be only a figurative generation." Later writers, (the Bishop further notes) speak of an eternal generation, " which last (he adds) is only a name for the unknown manner, in which the Sou's existence is connected with the Father'!.

* The above baseline of conduct has been too often indulged by those, who deny the doctrine of the Trinity. They have laboured beyond measure to believe and insinuate, that their faith is only the faith of ancient Christians. This was a darling point with Doctor Priestley. Great exertions he made, to ascertain, that his Unitarian faith was supported by good and able characters among the ancients; particularly in the first tentury. These exertions, Bishop Horsley has reviewed, and shown to be most perverse. That most able scholar, critic, and divine, has fairly convicted Dr. Priestley of mistranslating, of misrepresentation, and of sophistry. He convicts him of perverting ancient authors, and making them give testimony against their own evident sentiments.t He shows, that" it is a matter of equal ease with Dr. Priestley, to bring the holy scriptures, or the writings of the fathers, on all occasions, to speak his own 9entiments."|

Bishop Horsley proves that Dr. Priestley's notion, that the Platonic Christians of the second century obt .ined their Logos, (or personality of Christ) by converting a divine attribute into a person, was erroneous : That none did thus, but the Sabellians, who were condemned as heretics.{

t See Tracts, p. SO, 59,60. $ Ibid. p. 119. { Ibid. p. 22T.

But to return from this digression. I have shown that Origin was a Trinitarian, in the modern sense of the term. I think it evident, that Alexander and Athanasius were thug, who, it is said by Mosheim, followed Origin upon this point.

'Dionysius, bishop of Alexandria, Mosheim likewise informs, was a disciple of Origin. And as this historian informs, that •' Origin was the great model, whom the most eminent of the Christian doctors followed, in their explanation of the truths of the gospel;" so we conclude Dionysius did imbibe the views of Origin, his master, whatever they were, upon the Trinity. But the views of Dionysius upon the Trinity were very different from the allegorical Trinity afore noted. Dionysius wrote against the Sabellians, whose tenets were, that the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are but one Person; making "the Word, and the Holy Ghost only virtues, emanations, or functions of Deity; that a certain energy, or portion of the divine nature was united to the Son of God, the man Christ—and that the Holy'Ghost is an energy,

Bishop Horsley convicts Dr. Priestley of making a pitiful shift, —complaining, that he (Bishop H.) did not understand him, when he had showed his inconsistencies. But the Bishop ascertains, that he did understand him, and had proved his sentiments perverse.* This is an easy (and not an uncommon) way, with sdme men, of getting rid of a difficulty ; crying, Oh, you do not understand my scheme: Or, you misrepresent it. Dr. P. complains, that his antagonists availed themselves, of a review of cheap and extensive circulation, in which tocomhat his schemes. Bishop H. tells him, that this conies with an ill grace from him; "who was every day diffusing his dangerous doctrines among the common people, in pamphlets, at the easy price of sixpence, fourpence, or even twopence." Such men will abundantly complain of that in others, of which they themselves are in the every day practice ;. as though none had liberty or rights, hut they!

* Tracts, p. 228.

or a portion of the Father." Dionysius viewed the above scheme to be very abominable; and "showed (says Milner)by unequivocal testimony, that the Father was not the same as the Son; nor the Son the same as the Father.'' The bishop of Rome, fearing that Dionysius had too much given up the Unity of the Trinity, called on him for explanation. This he readily gave.—And, in addition to his having shown, that the Father is not the same as the Son, nor the Son the same as the Father; he said, " The Father cannot be separated from the Son, as he is the Father; for that name at the same time establishes the relation: neither could the Son be separated from the Father; for the word Father implies the union. And the Spirit is in their hands ; because it cannot exist without him, who sends it, to him, who bears it. Thus (says he) we understand the indivisible Unity of the Trinity; and we comprehend the Trinity in the Unity, without any diminution." " This ^says Milner) was satisfactory, and was allowed to contain the sense of Christians on the doctrine." But this account is wholly different from the idea that •Dionysius and the Church at that day held, from Origin, to the afore noted allegorical Trinity. They held to a real Trinity of Persons, different, yet one; equal, without diminution."

Why was Sabellianism, in those days, so alarming to the Church, if Christians generally held that there was no real Trinity of Persons in the Godhead? The Sabeliians illustrated their scheme as follows; "As masi, though composed of soul and hody, is yet but one Person ; so God, though he he Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, is yet but one real Person." This scheme, the followers of Christ reprobated. But why, if they had been believers in an allegorical Trinity, as some of late have in

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