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both may be expressed by one word, and included in one Article.
And that the unity of the Godhead is included in this Article is apparent, not only because the Nicene Council so expressed it by way of exposition, but also because this CREED in the churches of the east, before the Council of Nice, had that addition in it, I believe in one God. We begin our CREED then as Plato* did his chief and prime epistles, who gave this distinction to his friends, that the name of God was prefixed before those that were more serious and remark
able, but of gods, in the plural, to such as were more vulgar Deut. iv. 35. and trivial.
Unto thee it was shewed (saith Moses to Israel), that thou mightest know that the Lord he is God, there is
none else beside him. And as the Law, so the Gospel teach1 Cor. viii. 4. eth us the same. We know that an idol is nothing in the
world, and that there is none other God but one. This unity of the Godhead will easily appear as necessary as the existence, so that it must be as impossible there should be
1.Solum Deum confirmas, quem Joseph Albo in Ikkarim [ii. 5, 6, tantum Deum nominas.' Tertull. de 13]. Testim. Anima, c. 2. When Leo,
3 Orientales Ecclesiæ omnes pene bishop of Rome, in an Epistle to ita tradunt : Credo in uno Deo Patre Flavianus, had written these words omnipotente.' Ruff. in Symb. & 4. p. 57. [Epist. xxviii. c. 2. vol. 1. p. 803], 'Fi Bene hæc omnia potuerunt ad solos delium universitas profitetur: Credere hæreticos pertinere, qui falsa verunt se in Deum Patrem omnipotentem, Symbolum; dum alter dixerit duos et in Jesum Christum Filium ejus:' Deos, cum Deus unus sit.' Optat. 1. one of the Eutychians objected with i. c. 10. Nos enim et scimus, et this question: "Cur non dixerit in legimus, et credimus, et tenemus, unum Deum Patrem, et in unum unum esse Deum, qui fecit cælum Jesum, juxta Nicani decretum Con pariter ac terram, quoniam nec altecilii?' To which Vigilius, bishop of rum novimus, nec nosse, cum nullus Trent, or rather of Tapsus, gives this sit, aliquando poterimus. Novatiaanswer: 'Sed Romæ et antequam nus de Trinit. c. 30. And before all Nicæna Synodus conveniret, a tempo these Irenæus, citing under the title ribus Apostolorum usque ad nunc,– of Scripture, a passage out of the ita fidelibus Symbolum traditur; nec book of Hermas, called Pastor: 'Bene præjudicantur verba ubi sensus inco ergo pronuntiavit Scriptura quæ lumis permanet: magis enim cum dicit, Primo omnium crede quoniam Domini Jesu Christi sententia hæc unus est Deus, qui omnia constituit fidei professio facit, dicentis, Creditis et consummavit, et fecit ex eo quod in Deum, et in me credite (Joan. non erat, ut essent omnia, omnium xiv. 1): nec dixit in unum Deum capax, et qui à nemine capiatur.' Patrem, et in unum meipsum. Quis 1. iv. [c. 20, § 2, p. 253). enim nesciat, unum esse Deum, et 4 Euseb. in Præp. Evang. l. xi. c. unum Jesum Christum Filium ejus?' 13. [Demonstr. Evang. 1. iii.c. 6.] The Vigil. 1. iv. contra Eutych. & 1. passage is yet extant in the epistles
? Rab. Chasdai in Or Adonai. R. of Plato (Epist. 13, p. 363 B).
more gods than one, as that there should be none: which
Coro For, first, the nature of God consists in this, that he is
iuperior the prime and original cause of all things, as an independent Being upon which all things else depend, and likewise the ultimate end or final cause of all; but in this sense two prime causes are inimaginable, and for all things to depend of one, and to be more independent beings than one, is a clear contradiction. This primity God requires to be attributed to himself; Hearken unto me, 0 Jacob, and Israel, my called ; Isai xlviii. 12. I am he; I am the first, I also am the last. And from this primity he challengeth his unity; Thus saith the Lord, the Isai. xliv. 6. King of Israel, and his Redeemer the Lord of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God.
Again, if there were more gods than one, then were not all perfections in one, neither formally, by reason of their distinction, nor eminently and virtually, for then one should have power to produce the other, and that nature which is producible is not divine. But all acknowledge God to be abso
lutely and infinitely perfect, in whom all perfections imaginable 24 which are simply such must be contained formally, and all others which imply any mixture of imperfection virtually.
But were no arguments brought from the infinite perfec- diruna tions of the divine nature able to convince us, yet were the mou cifache consideration of his supreme dominion sufficient to persuade Curie?
The will of God is infinitely free, and by that freedom doth he govern and dispose of all things. He doeth accord- Dan. iv. 35. ing to his will in the army of heaven, and among the inhabitants of the earth, said Nebuchadnezzar out of his experience; and St Paul expresseth him as working all things Eph. 1. 11. after the counsel of his own will. If then there were more supreme governors of the world than one, each of them absolute and free, they might have contrary determinations concerning the same thing, than which nothing can be more prejudicial unto government. God is a God of order, not confusion; and therefore of unity, not admitting multiplication. If it be better that the universe should be governed 1 Τα όντα ου βούλεται πολιτεύεσθαι κακώς: Ουκ αγαθών πολυκοιρανίη, είς κoίρανος έστω.
Aristot. Metaph. [1. xi. c. 10. & 14.]
(Il. B. 204.]
by one than many, we may be assured that it is so, because nothing must be conceived of God but what is best. He therefore who made all things, by that right is Lord of all, and because all power' is his, he alone ruleth over all.
Now God is not only one, but hath an unity’ peculiar to himself by which he is the only God; and that not only by way of actuality, but also of possibility. Every individual man is one, but so as there is a second and a third, and consequently every one is part of a number, and concurring to a multitude. The sun indeed is one; so as there is neither third nor second sun, at least within the same vortex: but though there be not, yet there might have been; neither in the unity of the solar nature is there any repugnancy to plurality; for that God which made this world, and in this the sun to rule the day, might have made another world by the same fecundity of his omnipotency, and another sun to rule in that. Whereas in the divine nature there is an intrinsical and essential singularity, because no other being can have any existence but from that; and whatsoever essence
hath its existence from another is not God. I am the Lord, Isal. xlv. 5, 6. (saith he), and there is none else, there is no God beside me: & Luxii. 39. that they may know from the rising of the sun, and from
the west, that there is none beside me, I am the Lord, and
there is none else. He who hath infinite knowledge knoweth Isal. xlv. 18, no other God beside himself. Is there a God beside me? 21, 22, &
1. Unus-omnium Dominus Deus: c. 1. § 4. Quod autem diximus, neque enim illa sublimitas potest Orientis Ecclesias tradere habere consortem, cum sola omnem Deum Patrem omnipotentem, et teneat potestatem.' S. Cyprian. unum Dominum, hoc non intelligen[Quod idola dii non sint, & 7, p. 25.] dum est, unum numero dici, sed
2 universitate: verbi gratia, si quis dicat
unum hominem, aut unum equum, hic unum pro numero posuit. Potest enim et alius homo esse, et tertius, vel equus.
Ubi autem alius vel :
tertius non potest jungi, unus si God is one, not two, or more than two, dicatur, non numeri, sed universitatis but only one; whose unity is not like est nomen. Ut si exempli causa to that of the individuals of this world, dicamus unum Solem, hic unus ita neither is he one by way of species dicitur ut vel alius vel tertius addi comprehending many individuals, nei non possit, unus est enim Sol. Multo ther one in the manner of a body magis ergo Deus cum unus dicitur, which is divisible into parts and ex unus non numeri, sed universitatis tremes: but he is so one, as no unity vocabulo nuncupatur, id est, qui like his is to be found in the world. propterea unus dicitur, quod alius Moses Maimon. de Fundam. Legis, non sit.' Ruffin, in Symb. & 5. p. 60.
Psal. xviii. 31.
! אלוה זה אחד הוא ואינו לא שנים ולא יותר על שנים אלא אחד שאין כייחודה אחד מן האחרים הנמצאים בעולם לא אחד במין שהוא כולל אחרים הרבה ולא אחד בגוף שהוא נחלק למחלקות ולקצוות אלא אחר שאין ייחוד אחד כמותו בעולס :
yea, there is no God; I know not any. And we who believe in him, and desire to enjoy him, need for that end to know no other God but him: For this is life eternal, that they might John xvii. & know thee the only true God'; as certainly one, as God.
It is necessary thus to believe the unity of the Godhead, that being assured there is a nature worthy of our devotions, 25 and challenging our religious subjection, we may learn to
know whose that nature is to which we owe our adorations, lest our minds should wander and fluctuate in our worship about various and uncertain objects. If we should apprehend more gods than one, I know not what could determinate us in any instant to the actual adoration of any one; for where no difference doth appear (as, if there were many, and all by nature gods, there could be none), what inclination could we have, what reason could we imagine, to prefer or elect any one before the rest for the object of our devotions ? Thus is it necessary to believe the unity of God in respect of us who are obliged to worship him.
Secondly, it is necessary to believe the unity of God in respect of him who is to be worshipped. Without this acknowledgment we cannot give unto God the things which are God's, it being part of the worship and honour due unto God, to accept of no compartner with him. When the Law was given, in the observance whereof the religion of the Israelites consisted, the first precept was this prohibition, Thou shalt Exod. II. & have no other gods before me; and whosoever violateth this, denieth the foundation on which all the rest depend, as the Jews ? observe. This is the true reason of that strict precept by which all are commanded to give divine worship to God only, Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and him only Matt. iv. 10. shalt thou serve; because he alone is God : him only shalt thou fear, because he alone hath infinite power; in him only
1 Veritas Christiana destricte pronuntiavit, Deus si non unus est, non est; quia dignius credimus non esse, quodcunque non ita fuerit ut esse debebit.' Tertull. adv. Marcion. 1. i. c. 3. “Deus cum summum mag. num sit, recte veritas nostra pronuntiavit, Deus si non unus est, non est. Non quasi dubitemus esse Deum, dicendo, Si non unus, non est; sed quia, quem confidimus esse, id eum
definiamus esse, quod si non est,
2 Moses Maimon. de Fundam.
Psal. Ixli. 2 shalt thou trust, because he only is our rock and our salva
to him alone shalt thou direct thy devotions, because 2 Chron. vh he only knoweth the hearts of the children of men. Upon
this foundation the whole heart of man is entirely required Deut. vi. 4,5. of him, and engaged to him. Hear, O Israel, the Lord our
God is one God: and (or rather therefore) thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thine heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy might. Whosoever were truly and by nature God, could not choose but challenge our love upon the ground of an infinite excellency, and transcendent beauty of holiness; and therefore if there were more Gods than one, our love must necessarily be terminated unto more than one, and consequently divided between them; and as our love, so also the proper effect thereof, our cheerful and ready obe
dience, which, like the child propounded to the judgment of Matt. vi. 24. Solomon, as soon as it is divided, is destroyed. No man can
serve two masters : for either he will hate the one, and love the other: or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other.
Having thus described the first notion of a God, having demonstrated the existence and unity of that God, and having in these three particulars comprised all which can be contained in this part of the Article, we may now clearly deliver, and every particular Christian understand, what it is he says when he makes his confession in these words, I believe in God: which in correspondence with the precedent discourse may be thus expressed :
Forasmuch as by all things created is made known the eternal power and Godhead, and the dependency of all limited beings infers an infinite and independent essence; whereas all things are for some end, and all their operations directed to it, although they cannot apprehend that end for which they are, and in prosecution of which they work, and therefore must be guided by some universal and overruling wisdom; being this collection is so evident, that all the nations of the earth have
Rom. L 20.
1 Numerus autem divinitatis summa ratione constare deberet, vel quoniam et cultura ejus in anceps deduceretur. Ecce enim, duos intuens Deos tam pares quam duo summa magna, quid facerem si ambos colerem ? Vererer, ne abun. cantia officii superstitio potius quam
religio existimaretur: quia duos tam pares et in altero ambos possem in uno demereri: hoc ipsum testimonio præstans parilitati et unitati eorum, dum alterum in altero venerarer, dum in uno mihi duo sunt.' Tertull. adv. Marcion. 1. i. c. 5.