« FöregåendeFortsätt »
Whereas there is no nature originally sinful, no substance in itself evil, and therefore no being which may not come
Otólwy, to have gone to Jerusalem even about the Apostles' time. Hæres. lxvi. § 3. [Vol. 1. p. 620 A.] Manes then, formerly called Cubricus, (not Urbicus, as St Augustin,) who disseminated this heresy in the days of Aurelianus or Probus the emperor, about the year 277, had a predecessor, though not a master, called first Terebinthus, after Buddas. For this Buddas left his books and estate to a widow, who, saith Epiphanius, ibid. (p. 621 B.] EuELVE πολλώ τω χρόνω ούτως, continued with his estate and books a long time, and at last bought Cubricus for her servant. This Buddas had a former master called Scythianus, the first author of this heresy. Beside these, between Scythianusand Cubricus there was yet another teacher of the doctrine, called Zaranes. "Ην δε προ τούτου (Μάνητος) και έτερος της κακίας διδάσκαλος ταύτης, Ζαράνης ονόματι, ομόφρων αυτού únápxwv. If then we insert this Zaranes into the Manichæan pedigree, and consider the time of the widow between Buddas and Cubricus, and the age of Cubricus, who was then but seven years old, as Socrates testifies, [i. 22.] when she resolved to buy him, and discover the heresy to him; there will be no reason to doubt of the relation of Epiphanius, that Scythiapus began about the apostolical times. Nor need we any of the abatements in the animadversions of Petavius, much less that redargution of Epiphanius, who cites Origen as an assertor of the Christian faith against this heresy: for though he certainly died before Manes spread his doctrine, yet it was written in several books be. fore him, not only in the time of Buddas, to whom Socrates and Suidas attribute them, but of Scythianus, whom St Cyril and Epiphanius make the author of them. Neither can it be objected that they were not Mani. chæans before the appearance of Manes; for I conceive the name of Manes (thought by the Greeks to be a name
taken up by Cubricus, and proper to him) not to be any proper or peculiar nameatall, but the general title of heretic in the Syriac tongue. For I am loath to think that Theodoret or the authorin Suidas were so farmistaken, when they called Scythianus Manes, as to conceive Cubricus and he were the same person: when we may with much better reason conclude that both Scythianus and Cubricus had the same title. For I conceive Manes at first rather a title than a name, from the Hebrew you or "X3" signifying a heretic. And although some of the Rabbins derive their you from Manes, yet others make it more ancient than he was, referring it to Tzadok and Bajethos, called "exy Do'an the first or chief heretics, who lived one hundred years before Christ. Wherefore it is far more rational to assert, that he which began the heresy of the Manichees was called you as a heretic in the oriental tongues, and from thence Mávns by the Greeks (to comply with uavia or madness in their language), than that Máyns was first the name of a man counted a heretic by the Christians; and then made the general name of all heretics, and particularly for the Christians by the Jews, Which being granted, both Scythianus and Cubricus might well at first have the name of Manes, that is, heretic. However, the antiquity of that heresy will appear in the Marcionites, who differed not in this particular from the Manichees. 'Duos Ponticus Deos affert tanquam duas Symplegadas naufragii sui; quem negare non potuit, id est creatorem nostrum; et quem probare non poterit, id est suum. Passusinfelix hujus præsumptionis instinctum, de simplici capitulo Dominicæ pronuntiationis, in homines non in Deos disponentis exempla illa bone et malæ arboris, quod neque bona malos neque mala bonos proferat fructus. Tertull. adv. Marcion. l. i. c. 2. This Marcion lived in the days of Antoninus Pius, and as Eusebius testi
from the same fountain of goodness. I form the light, and Isai. xlv. 7. create darkness ; I make peace, and create evil; I the Lord do all these things, saith he who also said, I am the Lord, and Isai. xiv. 5. there is none else, there is no god beside me. Vain then is that conceit which framed two gods, one of them called Light, the other Darkness; one good, the other evil; refuted in the first words of the CREED, I believe in God, maker of heaven and earth.
But as we have already proved that one God to be the Father, so must we yet farther shew that one God the Father to be the Maker of the world. In which there is no difficulty at all: the whole Church at Jerusalem hath sufficiently declared this truth in their devotions : Lord, thou art God
which hast made heaven, and earth, and the sea, and all that 65 in them is : against thy holy child Jesus, whom thou hast
anointed, both Herod and Pontius Pilate with the Gentiles and the people of Israel were gathered together. Jesus then was the child of that God which made the heaven and the earth, and consequently the Father of Christ is the Creator of the world.
We know that Christ is the light of the Gentiles by his own interpretation; we are assured likewise that his Father gave him, by his frequent assertion: we may then as certainly conclude that the Father of Christ is the Creator of the world, by the prophet's express prediction : For Thus saith God the Isai xli. 5, 6. Lord, he that created the heavens, and stretched them out; he that spread forth the earth, and that which cometh out of it;
fieth, Justin Martyr wrote against him, and might well be embraced by Manes
Tertull. adv. Marcion. l. i. c. 2. πρό εκείνου αισχροποιών και δυσσεβών
I the Lord have called thee in righteousness, and will hold thine hand, and will keep thee, and give thee for a covenant of the people, for a light of the Gentiles.
And now this great facility may seem to create the greater difficulty: for being the apostles teach us, that the Son made all things, and the prophets that by the Spirit they were produced, how can we attribute that peculiarly in the CREED unto the Father, which in the Scriptures is assigned indifferently to the Son and to the Spirit ? Two reasonis may particularly be rendered of this peculiar attributing the work of creation to the Father. First, in respect of those heresies arising in the infancy of the Church, which endeavoured to destroy this truth, and to introduce another Creator of the world, distinguished from the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. An error so destructive to the Christian religion, that it raseth even the foundations of the Gospel, which refers itself wholly to the promises in the Law, and pretends to no other god, but that God of Abraham, of Isaac, and of Jacob; acknowledgeth no other speaker by the Son, than him that spake by the prophets : and therefore whom Moses and the prophets call Lord of heaven and earth, of him our blessed
Saviour signifies himself to be the Son, rejoicing in spirit, Luke x. 21. and saying, I thank thee, O Father, Lord of heaven and
earth. Secondly, in respect of the paternal priority in the Deity, by reason whereof that which is common to the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, may be rather attributed to the Father, as the first person in the Trinity. In which respect the
apostle hath made a distinction in the phrase of emanation 1 Cor. viii 6. or production: To us there is but one God, the Father, of
whom are all things, and we in him; and one Lord Jesus
Christ, by whom are all things, and we by him. And our John v. 19. Saviour bath acknowledged, The Son can do nothing of him
self, but what he seeth the Father do. Which speaketh some kind of priority in action, according to that of the person. And in this sense the Church did always profess to believe in God the Father, Creator of heaven and earth'.
The great necessity of professing our faith in this parti
cular appeareth several ways, as indispensably tending to the illustration of God's glory, the humiliation of mankind, the provocation to obedience, the aversion from iniquity, and all consolation in our duty.
God is of himself infinitely glorious, because his perfections are absolute, his excellences indefective, and the splendour of this glory appeareth unto us in and through the works of his hands. The invisible things of him from the Rom. 1. 20. creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead. For He hath made the earth by his power, he hath established Jer. X. 13, the world by his wisdom, and hath stretched out the heavens by his discretion. After a long enumeration of the wonderful works of the creation, the Psalmist breaketh forth into this pious meditation, O Lord, how manifold are thy works! in Psal. civ. 24. wisdom hast thou made them all. If then the glory of God be made apparent by the creation, if he have made all things Prov. xvi. 4.
for himself, that is, for the manifestation of his glorious 66 attributes, if the Lord rejoiceth in his works, because his Psal cfv. 81.
glory shall endure for ever, then is it absolutely necessary we should confess him Maker of heaven and earth, that we may sufficiently praise and glorify him. Let them praise the name Psal. cxlviii. of the Lord, saith David; for his name alone is excellent; his glory is above the earth and heaven. Thus did the Levites teach the children of Israel to glorify God; Stand up and Neh. ix. 5, 6. bless the Lord your God for ever and ever: and blessed be thy glorious name, which is exalted above all blessing and praise. Thou, even thou, art Lord alone ; thou hast made heaven, the heaven of heavens, with all their host, the earth, and all things that are therein. And the same hath St Paul taught us : For Rom. xi. 36. of him, and through him, and to him, are all things, to whom be glory for ever. Amen. Furthermore, that we may be assured that he which made both heaven and earth will be glorified in both, the prophet calls upon all those celestial hosts to bear their part in this hymn: Praise ye him, all his Psal. cxlvii. angels; praise ye him, all his hosts. Praise ye him, sun and moon; praise him, all ye stars of light. Praise him, ye heavens of heavens, and ye waters that be above the heavens. Let them praise the name of the Lord; for he commanded, and they were created. And the twenty-four elders in the Revelation of St John, fall down before him that sitteth on the throne, and
Ps. xix. 1
worship him that liveth for ever and ever, and cast their crowns,
the emblems of their borrowed and derived glories, before the Rev. iv. 10, throne, the seat of infinite and eternal majesty, saying, Thou
art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory, and honour, and power : for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are
and were created. Wherefore, if the heavens declare the glory Psal. cxlv. of God, and all his works praise him, then shall his saints
bless him, they shall speak of the glory of his kingdom, and talk of his power. And if man be silent, God will speak;
while we through ingratitude will not celebrate, he himself Jer. xxvii. 5. will declare it, and promulgate : I have made the earth, the
man and the beast that are upon the ground, by my great power, and by my outstretched arm.
Secondly, The doctrine of the world's creation is most properly effectual towards man's humiliation. As there is nothing more destructive to humanity than pride, and yet not anything to which we are more prone than that; so nothing can be more properly applied to abate the swelling of our proud conceptions, than a due consideration of the
other works of God, with a sober reflection upon our own Psal. vil & original. When I consider the heavens, the work of thy fingers,
the moon and the stars which thou hast ordained ; when I view those glorious apparent bodies with my eye, and by the advantage of a glass find greater numbers, before beyond the power of my sight, and from thence judge there may be many millions more, which neither eye nor instrument can reach ; when I contemplate those far more glorious spirits, the inhabitants of the heavens, and attendants on thy throne:
I cannot but break forth into that admiration of the prophet, Psal. viii. :. What is man, that thou art mindful of him? What is that
offspring of the earth, that dust and ashes ? What is that son of man, that thou visitest him? What is there in the progeny of an ejected and condemned father, that thou shouldest look down from heaven, the place of thy dwelling, and take care or notice of him? But if our original ought so far to humble us, how should our fall abase us? That of all the creatures wbich God made, we should comply with him who first opposed his Maker, and would be equal unto him from whom he new received his being. All other works of God, which we tbink inferior to us, because not furnished with the light of understanding, or endued with the power of