Page images

he must have been hard put to it, to strain so much for


III. A third article of my gross misrepresentations begins with a new invention of his own ; a very forced interpretation of a passage in Irenæust; which interpretation was never, I believe, thought on by any man before himself, and rests only in strength of imagination. For what if the Father be called Abyos in that chapter as well as the Son, could Irenæus be there talking of the emission or generation of the Father? If this gentleman will but please to look forwards, as far as page 157. and 158. and view the whole process of the argument, he will see what Irenæus meant by the Logos, namely, the only begotten of the Father, the same that Isaiah speaks of chap, liii. 8.

This writer also tells me of citing two passages of Irenæ. us, as containing the Church's notion, when he is ridiculing the notions of the Valentinians: as if a man might not be ridiculing the notion of the Valentinians, and at the same time discover his own. Had the author undertaken to vindicate this his new and 'extraordinary construction, I should have taken care to consider it at large : but as he has only given a few dark and obscure hints of what he would have, I think it sufficient to refer the reader to my Second Defence, and to Irenæus himself, and to his learned editor, who has particularly considered his author's meaningy.

A farther complaint against me, is for falsely interpreting non alius et alius, in Irenæus, of Father and Son;


Qui generationem prolativi hominum Verbi transferunt in Dei æternum Verbum, et prolationis initium donantes et genesim, quemadmodum et suo Verbo. Et in quo distabit Dei Verbum, imo magis ipse Deus, cum sit Verbum, a Verbo hominum, si eandem habuerit ordinationem et emissionem generationis? Įren. p. 132. ed. Mass.

u Vol, iii. p. 67, 253.
* Iren. p. 132, 139. ed. Mass.

Massuet. Dissert. Præv. p. 128. ? Non ergo alius erat qui cognoscebatur, et alius qui dicebat; nemo cognoscit Patrem, sed unus et idem, omnia subjiciente ei Patre, &c. Iren. p. 234. Mass. Præv. Diss. p. 131.

more so.

which is so trifling and groundless, that nothing can be

He has invented another imaginary construction, peculiar to himself, which he endeavours to help out, by supplying something in Irenæus's text, which the good Father never thought on, and which the whole context strongly reclaims against. See my Second Defence a, where I cite the passage, with another parallel place of Tertullian. In this way of charging me with gross misrepresentations, the author may be copious enough; for invention is fruitful.

As to the fourth place, all the fault is, that I follow the common reading, (cum Verbo suo, Iren. p. 183.) though there is one manuscript which leaves out cum : a mamuscript scarce above 400 years old, and of no great authorityb. The manuscript is the Arundel, in the library of the Royal Society : I have seen it, and find the reading to be as Dr. Grabe represented. But that the reading is " without doubt the 'truer reading,” as the Reply pretendsc, against the faith of all the other manuscripts, about ten in number, several of them much older, and most of them more faithful in the whole, will not be taken for granted upon a bare affirmation.

A fifth place of Irenæus by me cited d, I am 'willing to leave with the reader: who may please to consider, whether what this writer object's be of any force against what I said ; since I did not pretend that the Son did any thing contrary to, or without the Father's good pleasure.

IV. This gentleman proceeds to Clemens Alexandrinus, and charges me with misrepresenting him. I vindicated my sense of that passage at large before e, and obviated every pretence to the contrary : nor has this writer so much as attempted to reply to what I there urged; except calling a thing monstrous be the same with confuting it.

• Vol. iii. p. 69.
b See Massuet. præf. p. 8.
· Reply, 'p. 103.
a Second Defence, vol. iii. p. 82.
• Ibid. p. 134.

His repeating here his former opinion about Christ being representative only, (which has been so abundantly answered and baffled in both my Defencesf, beyond any just reply,) only shows to what a degree of hardiness a man may arrive to by long opposing the truth.

There is another place of Clemense, as to which he insists upon his construction, and I also upon mineh; though it is sufficient for me, if mine may be true ; he should prove, on the other hand, that his must. He appeals to all that understand Greek. So do I, and to the context likewise. Bishop Bull, Le Nourry, and the learned editor of Clemens, (who, I believe, understood Greek,) had declared beforehand for my construction. Let this gentleman produce his better vouchers, if he has any, to support his pretences about the nature of the Greek tongue : which he may sometimes happen to mistake, and pretty widely too, as appears by his versions. His translation, as he calls it, of this very place of Clemens, is no translation, but a loose paraphrasei; and such a one, that no. man could ever imagine from it what the Greek words are. Whether I am right or no, he is most certainly wrong in taking the liberty he has, of foisting in words, and altering the turn of the expression, to help out his construction. But besides that, the construction itself appears to me. somewhat forced and unnatural, as referring aj pádio Ia to the negative going before, and to the first member of the sentence, rather than the second; when in the preceding sentence, of like kind, the third part:hangs upon the second. The most natural construction therefore seems to be this; Who is Lord of all, etiain maxime serviensk, &c. even when most subservient, &c. that is, even in his lowest condescension, becoming incarnate, which Clemens had been speaking of. In the very next page, resuming the assertion of the Son's being Lord of all, he again qualifies it, in like manner, by referring all up to the supreme Father.

First Defence, vol. i. p. 24, &c. Second Defence, vol. iii. p. 155, &c. και Ούτ' ούν φθονοίη ποτ' άν τισιν, και πάντας μεν επ' ίσης κεκληκώς, εξαιρέτους δε τις εξαιρέτως πεπιςευκόσιν απονείμας τιμάς. ούθ' ύφ' ετέρου κωλυθείη ποτ' άν, και πάντων κύριος, και μάλιστα εξυπηρετών τώ τε αγαθά και παντοκράτορος θελήματι Fargós. Clem. Alex. Strom. vii. cap. 2. p.

fi Second Defence, vol. iii. p. 469.
· Reply, p. 511. Compare my Second Defence, vol. iii. p. 469.


V. We now come to Tertullian: where he taxes me with a misconstruction; owning however that he had gone before me in the same. I must acknowledge I looked upon the construction of that place as doubtful, at least ; for which reason I had never cited it in my First Defence, or elsewhere, to prove Father and Son one God. But finding at length that some learned men so understood the place, and observing that the Reply also came into it, I thought I might then safely use it. If it be a mistake, (as probably it may, it should not however have come under the head of gross misrepresentations.

He next charges me with a great neglect, as omitting to take notice of what the Reply had objected to my construction of a place in Tertullian, though I again quote the place. It is unreasonable in the man to expect particular notice of every thing that he has any where occasionally dropped, when he has slipped over many and more material things of mine: but I have accustomed him so much to it, that now he insists upon it. After all, his construction of suo jurel, in Tertullianm, which he makes to be the same with sensu sibi proprio, is so extravagant, that it might be safely left with any man that knows Tertullian, or knows Latin. What could Tertullian say less, than that God the Son was God Omnipotent in

[ocr errors][ocr errors]

k As to the like construction of háadota in Clemens, see p. 138, 250, 436, 443, 620, 759, 821.

| Reply, p. 509.

m Omnia, inquit, Patris mea sint, cur non et nomina ? Cum ergo legis Deum omnipotentem, et altissimum, et Deum virtutum, et Regem Israelis, et qui est ; vide ne per hæc Filius etiam demonstretur ; suo jure Deus omnipotens, qua Sermo Dei omnipotentis, &c. Tertull. adv. Prat. cap. 17.


[ocr errors]

his own right, when he so often proclaims him to be of the same substance with the Father? It is not said merely suo jure omnipotens, but suo jure Deus omnipotens : and as the meaning of suo jure is well known to all that know Latin; so are Tertullian's principles well known to as many as know him; and that he makes the Son God in the same sense as the Father is, as partaking of the same divine substance. Tertullian therefore could not mean, as this gentleman says, that the Son is God Almighty, in a sense proper to him, or upon a ground peculiar to himself ; since Tertullian's principles plainly make Father and Son God in the same sense, and upon the same ground, as being of the same divine substance. But this he might mean, and this he did mean, that the Son is Almighty God distinctly, and in his own proper Person and right; and not considered as the Person of the Father, which Praxeas pretended. This gentleman however, by endeavouring to find out some misinterpretations of mine, does nothing else but discover more and more of his own.

He is in the same page (p. 125.) cavilling at a very innocent translation of an Arian passage in my book"; where I render sua virtute, by his own power. He will have it, that it does not mean the Son's own power, but his Father's, because supposed to be given him : which is nothing but equivocating upon the word own. The meaning undoubtedly is, that the Son created all things by his own natural inherent power; though supposed to be given him, with his nature, by the Father. And this is all I meant in my version of the words : it is observable however, that this gentleman never yet came up so high in his doctrine as the ancient Arians did. They supposed Christ invested with creative powers by the Father; which is a great deal more than making him merely an instrument in the work of creation.

As to Tertullian's meaning in some passages which this

[ocr errors]

n. Second Defence, vol. iii. p. 380.

« PreviousContinue »