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pture; evenfuch as include All Divine Powers,excepting abfolute Supremacy and Independency; and accordingly, among the Particulars, he fets down his (a) Knowledge of all things, without making any Exception. Now this Affertion, as it ftands here, I take to be perfectly indefenfible; and that if the greatest Things Spoken of Chrift, and the higheft Titles given to him, be but taken with all the other Paffages fpeaking of his Inferiority, Subordination, Generation, Creation, Dependence, Submiffion, Obedience, Prayers, Praises, leffer Power, leffer Knowledge, leffer Goodnefs, and the Series and Scope of every place be attended to, it will most evidently appear, that the Propofition is intirely falfe in fact; and that on the contrary, thefe very great Things and High Titles, which are really fuch, if compared with the vastly inferior State of all the fubordinate Creatures, especially of Mankind, which were all made and are governed by his Miniftration; and with the diminishing Reprefentation of them in Scripture, are yet Small Things and Mean Titles, if they be compared with the moft exalted State, Perfections and Attributes of the One,Supreme, Eternal, Immortal, and Invisible God of the Universe; as they are every-where reprefented in the fame Scriptures. And for the Truth of this I do here fairly Appeal, not only to my own, but even to Dr. Clarke's (b) Collections of the feveral Texts relating to thefe Points; and put it to every honest Christian's Conscience, whether what I here fay be not certainly true. Nor can Dr. Clarke, who fully owns that the very Being, and Attributes, and Powers of the Son were deriv'd from the Father freely and voluntarily, have any Foundation for this Suppofition, that thofe Powers and Attributes include all Divine Powers, excepting abfolute Supremacy and Independency; Since God muft only have communicated them according to his own good Pleafuie, and fo in what Degrees and at what Times he pleafed, but not otherwife; which laft Obfervation alfo highly deferves the careful Confideration of every Chriftian. I faid above, that only, as it stands here, this Affertion is indefenfible; meaning that it appears to me that in the full Senfe the Words bear, 'tis not very agreeable to the rest of Dr. Clarke's Doctrine in many other Parts of his Book, efpecially in thofe places above refer'd to. Accordingly I hope, that when he comes to reconfider thefe Words, he will fee reafon to alter them, and to own fome other Things and Titles to belong to Go₫ the Father, in diftinction from God the Son, befides thofe of abfolute Supremacy and Independency. I Obferve
(a) P. 299.
(b) Comparept. 2. §. 1.-11. particularly §. 1c. with §. 12.-18. & 24.-27.&34-38.
V. That tho' Dr.Clarke does not properly affert our (d) Saviour's Eternity or Coeternity with the Father, yet is he unwilling directly to difown it. Now here I cannot but note feveral things as to this important Matter; (1.) That abfolute Eternity is one of the known,proper, peculiar Characters of the one unoriginated Being, and of no other; as the Voice of Nature proclaims, and all our old Teftimonies confirm. Efpecially when it appears; (2.) That there is not one direct Proof of any fuch thing in all the facred publick Books of our Religion; much lefs in the old Creeds, or Apoftolical Conftitutions; nor indeed any pretence for it in any Writer till Philofophy prevail'd in the Church; (3.) That after Philofophy prevail'd, it was never fully afferted by any one Catholick in more than three hundred Years; (for the use of Eternus by the (e) Author of the Recognitions, and by Ireneus; as well as of aid by Clement of Alexandria, are far from fuch a full Affertion; fince 'tis plain, that the first and third of them own'd him a Created Being notwithstanding, whatever the second did; and I believe they never thought then of an Eternal Creature.) (4) All the Handle that was taken to doubt about it feems to have been this, that the Original Books had not exprefly told us how long before the beginning of the Mofaick Creation Chrift was begotten, or created, by the Father; and that they usually do but mention his Existence at or before the beginning of the Mofaick Creation. As to which Argument I fay, that if it be taken univerfally, 'tis utterly falfe; Chrift's Generation and Creation being by (f) Solomon in the LXXII. fixt to the very beginning, by the fame Words that the firft Verfe of Genefis fixes the Creation of the Heaven and Earth to the fame time; and that if the Obfervation were true univerfally, thereby we might fuppofe Angels and the other Invifible Creatures, the exact time of whofe Production is never fet down, to be Eternal or Co-eternal alfo. (5) The obvious natural meaning of the two undoubted Words made ufe of originally in this matter, I mean that Chift was begotten and that He was created by the Father, does directly contradict this proper Eternity: It being as certain that Children, which are begotten, cannot be coeval with their Parents; as it is that Clocks or Watches,which are made,cannot be coeval with their Makers; except it be poffible to conceive an Eternal Creation, or a Creature coeternal to its Creator. Which Notion, though wholly unknown among the old Chriftians, yet from fome Expielfions in Dr. Clarke's Books,do I fufpect he may think not to be im
(d) P. 272. &'c.
(e) See Account of the Primitive Faith Artic. VI. & Recognit. L.I. §. 24. P. 492. §. 43. P. 497. (f) Prov. VIII. 23.
poffible. As for my felf, I own that, as far as I can obferve, both thofe Words, Generation and Creation were ever used originally in direct Oppofition to the notion of proper Eternity. (6) Both the Conftitutions and Canons of the Apoftles, give us an Account of one of the (g) Antient Herefies, part of whofe heretical Doctrine was this, that there were Three Beings co-eternal to one another. Which makes it utterly impoffible for me to come into any fuch notion. (7.) When in the latter part of the Second Century we find the firft Traces of fomewhat like this Eternity, 'tis plainly what I call a Metaphyfick, and not real Eternity which was aimed at; 'tis fuppos'd prior to Chrift's real Generation and Creation, and not posterior thereto; and this evidently appears to have been the Philofophick Notion at the Council of Nice it felf; all whichl have fully fhewn (b) elfewhere. (8.) Thofe Authors that faid our Saviour was always with the Father, and that the Father was always a Father, and fo have to fome feem'd to imply the Sons real Eternity, used that Word always as a Word of Time, which began with the World; and not of that Duration which was before it; and have by other Wolds plainly fhewed, that they did not believe that real Eternity. Thus the moft antient Author of the (1) Recognitions, who first ufes that Language, is exprefs, that Time began with the World; and is by all own'd to be against any fuch Notion of Coeternity. Thus alfo Novatian who uses it, is exprefs, (k) that the Father was before the Son; and this as a peceflary confequence from his being his Father: Which was alfo the almost univerfal Doctrine of the Eaft(at the Council of Nice. Nor do I perceive fuch Authors as thefe to have had any notion of a real Co-eternity of our Saviour, prior to the Creation, by any of their Expreflions of this nature; but a metaphyfical notion rather about that Duration, which was before all Creatures, and before all Time; as if it were not to be reckon'd, or were quite incomprehenfible by us; contrary to our modern Philofopy in that matter: Which thing fuppofed, all their Expreffions are very accountable; and, I think, are fo upon no other Hypothefis whatfoever. Ireneus indeed ufes fuch Words without any exprefs Evidence that he difown'd the real Eternity; tho', as he never directly afferts it in other Words, fo does he rather intimate, (m) that it was a Metaphyfick Eternity before his Generation, which he meant ; and of which
(g) Conftit. L. VI. c. 8. p. 336. c. 10. p. 339. Can. XLIX.
(k) De Trinit. c. 31. p. 763.
See Account of the Primitive Faith p.156. (n) L. II. c. 48. p. 176. & L.III. c.20. p. 245.
indeed he was very fond. This, I own, he exprefs'd the most like to one that fuppos'd fomewhat of a real Eternity of any of the Antients; efpecially this is the more remarkable in him on account of his plain avoiding of part of the old Language, that God created our Saviour; and fubftituting other Metaphylical Words in its ftead. So that this Notion, of a fort of real Eteraity of our Saviour, almoft wholly ftands, at least for Two Cen turies, upon a few Paffages in Irenaus.
Now I cannot perfwade my felf to go into it upon fuch Authoity; because no Apoftle, nor any one that knew an Apoftle ever faid fo; no Eaftern Writer then ever faid fo; no Unphilofophical Writer ever faid fo; neither himself nor any body else say so in their Creeds, or Accounts of Doctrines deriv'd from the Apoftles; He that faid fo was a very weak Reafoner, and ventured to argue rafhly enough with the Hereticks,inftead of the better original way of confuting them rather by Tradition and Scripture. He Liv'd in the Weft, where Antichriftianifm first began; and he brought in heretical Language into the Church in this matter, as we fhall fee prefently; nay he went in with the corrupt Roman Practice about Eafter, even against his own Mafter Polycarp, and the Apoftles themselves, as is well known. So that I cannot fet up a few unfupported Expreffions of Irenaus alone, were they never fo plain, as they are not, againft all the other full Evidence of the Chriftian Doctrine in this matter. I Obferve
VI. That tho' Dr.Clarke does not affert,(n)that our Saviour was not created, nor can deny the original Ufe of the Words Create and Creature, with the like; yet does he leave too much room for the Reader to fuppofe that he dilapproves of thofe Words; and that the Term begotten feems to him more proper for this Myftey. Now here I must greatly complain that the Doctor has not given us the Evidence that he feems to oppofe: He has not fet down even all the Words of the facred Writers hereto relating: He has made an Obfervation or two to evade the Acknowledg ment of this Creation, not over exact; and put an Interpretation` or two on fome Texts not well fupported. I fhall therefore here both refer the Reader to my own and Dr. Clarke's Collections, (0) that the Generation of our Saviour was not neceffary but volunary; nay that the Will or good Pleafure of God preceded that Generation; and fhall actually produce the original Paffages themfelves, for his Creation; and then defire the Reader to judge, whether the particular Humour of Irenæus, before,
(n) P. 182. &c.
(0) Scripture Doctrine of the Tiin, t, 280. &c. Account of the Primitive Faith Art. VI.
and of Eufebius after the Council of Nice, to avoid one of the undoubted Notions and Words of our Religion, be of fufficient Authority to fet it afide among impartial Men.
ΚύειΘ- (α) ἔκτισε με, ἀρχω ὁδῶν αυτέ, εἰς ἔργα ἀυτῷ' πρὸ το αἰῶν ἐθεμελίωσέ με' ἐν ἀρχῇ, πρὸ τὸ τω γῆν ποιῆται, ως το προελθεῖν τὰς πηγὰς τῆς ὑδάτων, πρὶ από τα όρη έδραθεται πρὸ ἡ πάν των βυνῶν γυνᾷ με. Son of Sirach. Προτέρα (b) πάντων ἔκτισαι στ φία· καὶ σκύεσις φρονήσεως ἐξ αἰ ῶνθρ κύειΘ' ἔκτισεν αὐτω
κ. τ. λ.
Τότε (c) ἐνετείλατό μοι ὁ κήσης ἁπάντων· καὶ ὁ κτίσας με κατέπαυσε από το αιών τω σκll με. νΘ, ἀπ ̓ ἀρχῆς, ἔκτισέ με· καὶ ἕως αἰῶνΘ, καὶ μὴ ἐκλίπω.
The Lord created me, the beginning of his ways, for his Works: before the World he founded me: in the beginning, before he made the earth, before the Fountains of Water
Ὁ Θεὸς (2) ἐκτίσατό με, προ τσιν τῆς ἑαυτῷ ἔργων, καὶ πρὶ τὸ αἰῶνα ἐθεμελίωσέ με.
before the mountains
were faftened : he begat me be
fore all the hills.
Wisdom hath been created before all things ; and the underftanding of prudence from the beginning of the World. — The Lord Created her, &'c.
Then the Creator of all things gave me a Commandment, and he that Created me caufed my Tabernacle to reft. – He Crea ted me before the World began, from the beginning: and I inall not fail to the end of the World.
God Created me, the first of
his works; and before the World began did he found me.
The Firft-born of every Crea
He was faithful to him that Made him?
The beginning of the Creation of God. With a plain Allufion to the Text in the Proverbs.]
Πέξος (3) ἐν τῷ κηρύγματι λέ261, γινώσκετε ὅν ὅτι εἷς Θεός στην μαὼ τὸ ἀγγύνηπν, ὁ παντοκράτες
ning of all things. There is One
Θεός· ἓν ἢ καὶ τὸ περιγωνηθὲν, δι ̓ Unbegotten Being, the Almigh
Peter in his Preaching fays,
Know ye therefore that there is
€ vulgat, Antiq. conftanter legunt.
(a) Prov. VIII. 22. &c. Sic LXXII. Chald. Paraphr. Synus, Arabs,
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