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procession from the Father and the Son, our knowledge of all which is traced by the Romanists to tradition. Not that they would deny, any more than our opponents, that there are some notices of these doctrines in Scripture, and some testimonies which, when explained and developed by tradition, speak these doctrines. But they assert that they are not fully delivered in Scripture.
As it respects the first of these, viz., that the Father is unbegotten, they defend themselves by a passage of Augustine, which we need only connect with the context, to show that Augustine was of a completely opposite opinion. He says, in a letter to Pascentius, that when the latter presented to him his creed with the word “unbegotten” (ingenitum) in it applied to the Father, he asked him where this word was to be found in the Scriptures ; with the meaning, I fully admit, that though not in the Scriptures, it was to be received. But why did he do this? His own words tell us. “ But this,” he says,
“I did, because, in the beginning of our discourse, when Arius and Eunomius were mentioned matized both Arius and Eunomius, and then immediately demanded that we also should anathematize the Homousion ... You then vehemently demanded that we should show this word to you in the Scriptures, and you would immediately join in communion with us. plied that, since we spoke in Latin, and that was a Greek word, it was first to be inquired what Homousion was; and then the demand to be made that it should be shown in the Sacred Books. You, on the contrary, often repeating the word itself . . . . vehemently urged that we should show the very word which is, [or signifies] Homousion, in the Sacred Books; we at the same time over and over again recalling to you that, inasmuch as our language was not Greek, it was first to be interpreted and explained what Homousion meant, and then it was to be inquired for in the Divine Writings; because although, perchance, the word itself could not be found, yet the thing itself might be found. For what is more litigious, than when the thing itself is clear, to contend about a name? 1 Inasmuch, therefore, as this conversation had passed between us, after the matter proceeded to your writing your creed, as I have mentioned, although I saw nothing in the words contrary to my creed, and therefore I said that I was ready to subscribe; I inquired, as I said, whether the Divine Scripture contained this word, that the Father was unbegotten. And when you replied that it was written, I immediately asked you to show me where. Then one who was present, a companion, as far as I understand, of your faith, says to me, 'What! then, do you say that the Father is begotten?' I replied, 'I do not say
We reQuia etsi fortasse nomen ipsum non inveniretur, res tamen ipsa inveniretur. Quid est enim contentiosius, quam ubi de re constat certare de nomine ?
Then he said, “If, therefore, he is not begotten, he must be unbegotten.' To whom I said, “You see that it may happen that even respecting a word which is not in the Divine Scripture, a reason may be given, showing that it may be rightly used. So, therefore, as to Homousion, which we were required to show in the authority of the Divine books, although we may not find there the word itself, it may happen that we may find that to which this word may be judged to be rightly applied.'
This passage, therefore, taken with its context, shows that Augustine was, in fact, contending both that this doctrine and that of the consubstantiality were fully set forth in Scripture, although these two particular words, “consubstantial” and “unbegotten,” were not there; and that the thing only, and not the name, was worth contending about. And further on he clearly attributes the errors of men respecting Christ, to their not studying the Scriptures. 3
2 Aug. Epist. 238. Ad Pasc. c. 1. Tom. 2. col. 854.
3 Homines autem minus intelligentes quid propter quid dicatur patentes volunt habere sententias ; et, Scripturis non diligenter scrutatis, cum arripiunt defensionem cujusque opinionis, et ab ea vel nunquam vel difficile deflectuntur, dum docti atque sapientes magis putari quam esse concupiscunt, ea quæ propter formam servi dicta sunt volunt transferre ad formam Dei, et rursus quæ dicta sunt ut ad se invicem personæ referantur, volunt nomina esse naturæ atque substantiæ. c. 2. col. 857.
And such passages as this clearly, though indirectly, show, what was Augustine's sole rule of faith in such points; for had he held the views of our opponents, he would have argued on these points as they do. But this by the way, as we shall advert to this more fully hereafter.
Further, as to the doctrine of the divinity of the Holy Spirit, what says Augustine, in the very letter to which we have just referred ? “ Now, for a short space,” he says, “contemplate the passages of Scripture which compel us to confess one Lord God, whether we are interrogated respecting the Father only, or the Son only, or the Holy Spirit only, or of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit together.”)
Still more strongly speaks the great Athanasius, in his Epistle to Serapion, against those who denied the divinity of the Holy Spirit. “To all created beings,” he says, “ and especially to us men, it is impossible to speak worthily of things which are beyond our power of expression; and it is still more audacious for those who cannot express them, to excogitate new words beyond those of the Scriptures.”? And, again, still more clearly ;—“Such an attempt, therefore, being full of madness, and worse, let not any one any longer ask such questions, but learn only what is in the Scriptures ; for the illustrations we have of this matter in them, are sufficient of themselves, and need no addition.” To which I will only add the words of Bishop Pearson, (one of our opponents' witnesses,) “ The Scriptures do clearly manifest the same Spirit to be God, and
"Jam nunc paululum intuere quæ Scripturarum eloquia nos cogant unum Dominum Deum confiteri, sive tantum de Patre, sive tantum de Filio, sive tantum de Spiritu Sancto, sive simul de Patre et Filio et Spiritu Sancto interrogemur, Aug. Ep. 238. Ad. Pasc. c. 3. Tom. 2. col. 858, 9.
1 Εστι μεν γαρ πασι τοις γενητοις, μαλιστα δε ημιν τοις ανθρωποις, αδυνατον, επαξιως ειπειν περι των απορρητων. Τολμηροτερον δε παλιν μη δυναμενοις λεγειν, επινοειν επι τουτων καινοτερας λεξεις παρα τας των γραφων. Athanas. Ep. 1. Ad Serap. $ 17. Tom. 1. p. 2. p. 666.
Περιττης τοιγαρουν και πλεον μανιας ουσης της τοιαυτης επιχειρησεως, μηκέτι τοιαυτα τις ερωτατω, η μονον τα εν ταις γραφεις μανθανετα. Αυταρκη γαρ και έκανα τα εν ταυταις κειμενα περι τουτου παραδειγματα. Athanas. Ep. 1. Ad Serap. § 19. Op. tom. 1. p. 2. p. 667.
term him plainly and expressly so." (On the Creed, Art. 8.)
And, lastly, as it respects the doctrine of the procession of the Holy Spirit from the Son, as well as the Father, it is said by Augustine, after he has adduced various passages of Scripture in which it is contained, “ And there are many other passages by which this is clearly shown, that the Holy Spirit is the Spirit both of the Father and the Son.”ı Nay, we may quote several of the Romanists themselves in behalf of its being fully set forth in Scripture. “ Although,” saith Thomas Aquinas, “it may not be found in so many words in Holy Scripture, that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son, yet it is found, as far as concerns the sense; and particularly where the Son says, John xvi. speaking of the Holy Spirit, “He shall glorify me, for he shall receive of mine.'” And he proceeds to adduce other passages. ?
So Eustathius a S. Paulo ;—“It is proved, first, by the authority of the Holy Scriptures, from which it is clearly enough gathered.” So also Becanus ; –“ Although it may not be in express terms in the Scriptures, yet, nevertheless, it may be clearly deduced from thence.” 4
Nor need we be at all surprised at this; for there is much contradiction among the Romanists themselves on such points. For though they are agreed that tradition is necessary, even for the fundamental points, yet as to the points for which it is necessary, they seem far from agreed. And I believe that for all these points, we could easily prove upon the testimony of Romanists, both that they were fully set forth in Scripture, and also that they were not. And the fact is, that in general, if they are writing expressly upon a particular doctrine, then they can see and admit that Scripture is full and clear on the point; but if they are advocating the necessity of tradition against the Protestants, then there is hardly a doctrine which is fully and clearly set forth in the Scriptures.
? Et multa alia sunt testimonia quibus hoc evidenter ostenditur, et Patris et Filii esse Spiritum, qui in Trinitate dicitur Spiritus Sanctus. In Joh. Ev. c. 16. Tract. 99. $ 6. Op. Tom. 3. p. 2. col. 747.
? Licet per verba non inveniatur in Sacra Scriptura quod Spiritus Sanctus procedit a Filio, invenitur tamen quantum ad sensum, et præcipue ubi dicit Filius, Joh. 16. de Spiritu S. loquens, Ille me clarificabit, quia de meo accipiet. Summ. Theol. 1. q. 36. Art. 2.
3 Probatur imis autoritate sacrarum Scripturarum ex quibus id aperte satis colligitur. Summ. Theolog. P. 1. Tract. 2. disp. 8. q. 2.
* Licet expresse non habeatur in Scripturis, potest tamen evidenter inde deduci. Becan. Summ. Theolog. P. 1. Tract. 2. c. 6. q. 2.
Lastly, thus speaks our opponents’own witness, Bishop Pearson.“ As, therefore, the Scriptures declare expressly that the Spirit proceedeth from the Father, so do they also virtually teach that he proceedeth from the Son. From whence it came to pass, in the primitive times, that the Latin Fathers taught expressly the procession of the Spirit from the Father and the Son ; because, by good consequence, they did collect so much from those passages of the Scripture which we have used to prove that truth.” (On the Creed. Art. 8.)
Further, if it be not fully and clearly set forth in the Scriptures, how can we be certain of it at all, even if we were to admit our opponents' system? For neither they nor the Romanists can, upon their own principles, say that this doctrine is clearly delivered by the unanimous consent of the Fathers, when the whole Greek Church have for centuries denied that the primitive Fathers of their Church maintained it. Nor could this doctrine, as it appears to me, be clearly proved to have had the witness of the early Greek Fathers in its favour.
Mr. Keble adds, that we are indebted to tradition for the full doctrine of the Incarnation ;' which means, I suppose, that, like the Romanists, he maintains that, because the Nestorians, Eutychians, and others, attempted to defend an unorthodox doctrine on this point from the Scriptures, therefore the Scriptures cannot fully set forth the orthodox doctrine respecting it.
On this point, I shall merely refer the reader to the admirable Encyclical Letter of Leo I., in which he thus speaks.
i Serm. p. 41.