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"be Tritheism." Upon this our Observator remarks; "Better than Dr. Waterland himself does, is all that he " means." I would allow the justice of his reflection, were we disputing what one God is, upon the foot of Scripture: for then it would amount only to this difference, that his interpretation leads one way, and mine another. But as the competition is made between Scripture and philosophy, he may easily perceive both the impertinence and iniquity of his reflection. While the point is removed from Scripture to philosophy for a decision of it, I insist upon it, that this is interpretatively, and in effect, though not in design, pretending to understand the thing better than God himself does. But to proceed with our writer's pretences against the account I had before given from the ancients.
He objects, (p. 86.) that "one substance is not the same as one God; because two equally supreme, two "unoriginate divine Persons would be two Gods," by my own confession: for I say (vol. iii. p. 195.) that " two un"originate divine Persons, however otherwise inseparable, "would be two Gods according to the ancients." I knew very well what I said, though I perceive this gentleman does not apprehend it. The ancients thought this reference of one Person to the other, as Head, was one requisite among others, to make the substance one, being thus more closely allied, and, as it were, of one stock. This made me say, however otherwise inseparable: that is, whatever other union may be supposed, the Persons would not be perfectly inseparable, not perfectly one substance, (according to the ancients,) and so not one God, but upon the present supposition. And now how does this show that one substance and one God are not, in this case, tantamount? To me it seems, that it both confirms and explains it.
X. The Observator charges me (p. 94.) with making one compound person of many distinct persons. His words are: "He thinks a person may be compounded of many distinct persons.' He refers to page the 340th of my Second Defence. If the reader can find any such
thing there, or any where else in my books, let the charge of false doctrine lie upon me: if not, let the charge of slander and calumny lie upon the accuser.
XI. He charges me, p. 62. with referring to a passage in Modest Plea, without "pretending to make any the "least answer to it." This is like his other misreports: I abundantly answer it, (vol. iii. p. 205.) by allowing necessary existence to be positive, but denying it of self-existence.
From the instances here given, (to which more will be added under the next chapter,) the reader may perceive, that speaking of the truth, in simplicity and singleness of heart, is none of this gentleman's talent. If he hits upon any thing really true, and which he might perhaps make some little advantage of, he has such a faculty of inventing and straining, that he quite spoils it in the telling, and turns it into romance. One would not expect such exorbitances as these are from men of their profession and character: but it now brings to my mind the Postscript to the Reply: and I shall wonder at nothing of this kind hereafter.
Misreports and Misrepresentations contained in the
EVERY page of the pamphlet is concerned in this charge the whole is, in a manner, one continued misrepresentation from beginning to end. But some of the misrepresentations have been already shown in the first chapter, among false charges; and others will fall under a subsequent chapter. I shall select a convenient number to fill up this.
I. Page 11. the author writes thus: "The Doctor is "forced farther to affirm, that the Son is tacitly included, "though the Father be eminently styled the one God:
8 See my Second Defence, vol. iii. p. 483.
"nay, (which is very hard indeed,) tacitly included, though "by name expressly excluded, and contradistinguished by "a peculiar character of his own, in the very words of "the text itself." Thus he leaves the remark, without informing the reader in what sense I suppose the Son tacitly included. I explain it in my Second Defence, vol. iii. p. 425.
"I have before shown what we mean by saying that "the Son is tacitly included, though the Father be emi"nently styled the one God: not that the word God, or "the word Father, in such cases, includes Father and "Son; but the word God is predicated of one only, at "the same time that it is tacitly understood that it may "be predicated of either, or both; since no opposition is "intended against either, but against creatures and false gods."
This gentleman pretends indeed that the one God is opposed to the one true Lord, (in 1 Cor. viii. 6.) as well as to false gods. But this is gratis dictum; and he does not consider that then the Son can be no God at all to us, contrary to Rom. ix. 5. besides many other places of Scripture. I say therefore that the exclusive term, in this case, is not to be understood with utmost rigour, but with such qualifying considerations, as other Scriptures manifestly require to be consistent with this. I gave instances, in good number, of exclusive terms so used, h which this laconic gentleman confutes, first, by calling them ridiculous; and next, by positively affirming, that "wherever any particular thing or person is by any par"ticular title or character contradistinguished from any "other thing or person mentioned at the same time under "another particular title or character, it is infinitely ab"surd to suppose the latter tacitly included in the former, "from which it is expressly excluded." Now allowing him the whole of what he here asserts, all that follows is, that in 1 Cor. viii. 6. the Son is excluded from being God
h Vol. ii. Sermon iv. Second Defence, vol. iii. p. 30,
in that eminent manner, that unoriginate manner as the
II. Page the 18th of the Observations, I am found fault with for misunderstanding a passage of Athanasius, in his Epistle to Serapionk. I had said, that the one God is his subject in that passage; as is manifest to every one that can read and construe.
My smart corrector here says, "And yet not only the necessary construction of this very passage, but moreover Athanasius himself declares, on the contrary, in "the fullest and most express words, that he is speaking "of the Father all the way." And to prove this, he refers me to Athanasius's third Oration against the Arians; a prior work, and which therefore could declare nothing about his meaning in the place I had to deal with: so far
i See my Second Defence, vol. iii. p. 55.
k Second Defence, vol. iii. p. 62.
Ἓν γὰρ εἶδος θεότητος, ὅπερ ἐστὶ καὶ ἐν τῷ Λόγῳ, καὶ εἷς Θεός, ὁ πατὴρ ἐφ' ἑαυ τῷ ὢν κατὰ τὸ ἐπὶ πάντων εἶναι, καὶ ἐν τῷ υἱῳ δὲ φαινόμενος κατὰ τὸ διὰ πάντων διήκειν, καὶ ἐν τῷ πνεύματι δὲ κατὰ τὸ ἐν ἅπασι διὰ τοῦ Λόγου ἐν αὐτῷ ἐνεργεῖν, οὕτω γὰρ καὶ ἕνα διὰ τῆς τριάδος ὁμολογοῦμεν εἶναι τὸν Θεὸν—ὅτι τὴν μίαν ἐν τριάδι θεόTnra govoμsv. Athan. Orat. iii. p. 565.
Εἷς Θεὸς ἐν τῇ ἐκκλησίᾳ κηρύττεται, ὁ ἐπὶ πάντων, καὶ διὰ πάντων, καὶ ἐν πᾶσιν ἐπὶ πάντων μὲν, ὡς πατὴς, ὡς ἀρχὴ, καὶ πηγή· διὰ πάντων δὲ διὰ τοῦ Λόγου· ἐν πᾶσι δὲ ἐν τῷ πνεύματι τῷ ἁγίῳ οὐκ ἔστι μὲν τὸ τοῦτον ὑμῶν φρόνημα εἰς ἕνα Θεὸν, τὸν ἐπὶ πάντων, καὶ διὰ πάντων, καὶ ἐν πᾶσι. Τὸ γὰρ, ἐν πᾶσιν οὐκ ἔχετε, διαιρῶντες καὶ ἀποξενῶντες ἀπὸ τῆς θεότητος τὸ πνεῦμα. Athanas, ad Serap. i. p. 677. VOL. IV.
from declaring in the fullest and most express words. It would have been sufficient for a cooler writer to have said, that Athanasius had explained his meaning in one place by what he had said in another: and to have offered it as a probable argument to determine a doubtful con
Certain it is, that Athanasius did not, could not in full and express words, declare beforehand in his third Oration against the Arians, that he should be "speaking of the "Father all the way," several months or years after, in an epistle not yet written, nor perhaps thought of. I can with better reason plead, that since the Epistle to Serapion was written after the other, and contained his later thoughts, that either the former treatise should be interpreted by the latter, or at least that his second thoughts upon the text should be preferred. However, upon a careful review of both the places, and upon considering the context, and the argument Athanasius is upon in both, (namely, to prove one Godhead in all the three Persons, one God in, or by, a Trinity, his express words,) I am so far from thinking that the passage in his Oration is at all against me, that it rather confirms my construction of the other; allowing only a different pointing from what appears in the prints, such as I have here given. And I desire the words, Eva Oeòv dià Tñs τgiádos, may be attended to, one God in Trinity. If eva Oeòv means the Father only, then the sense is, one God the Father, in (or by) Father, Son, and Holy Ghost; which is a sense that this writer will call perfectly absurd. I submit this whole matter to the judgment of the learned. In the meanwhile it is evident, that our Observator has let his pen run too fast; has been exceeding positive in a thing which he cannot make clear, or so much as probable; and that he has expressed his positiveness in such a manner, and in such words, as cannot be justified by common rules.
I may just note, before I leave this article, that this gentleman has not shown his skill in Greek, by rendering ἐφ' ἑαυτῷ ὤν, (as if it had been ἀφ' ἑαυτοῦ, or ἐξ ἑαυτοῦ,) ex