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L. VIII. that he who creates by his own Power, muft C. 12. P. be vaftly fuperiour to him that does it at the alibi paf pleasure of bis Father, and confeffes that he does fim. nothing of himself; and he that is ador'd, from Joh.V.19. him that adores.
If therefore they esteem it not at all abfurd to afcribe all these things equally to both, as for inftance, Subftance, Energy, Power, and Name, as intending to take away all diftinction both as to Names and Things; let them plainly call them both Unbegotten Beings. But if this be a notorious piece of Impiety, let them not, under a colour, by using the word Likenefs, hide that which is by all own'd for Impiety.
But left we should feem to offer violence to the Truth by our own Fictions and Reafonings, as we are falfly accus'd to do; and that falfe Accufation is laid heavily to our charge by abundance of People: we will demonstrate what we aim at out of the Scriptures themfelves.
Conftitut. There is but one God, who is declar'd both L. VI. C. by the Law and the Prophets and he is own'd 11. P.339, by our Saviour himself to be the God of the Joh. XX. Only-begotten. For fays he, I go unto my God 17. and your God. The only True God, the only XVII.3. Wife, and only Good, and only Powerful Being, 1 Tim. I. who only has Immortality. Nor let any one be 17. diforder'd or disturb'd in his mind at this. 16, 17. For we do not ufe this Language in order to ITim. VI. take away the Divinity of the Only-begotten, or his Wisdom, or his Immortality, or his L. VIII. Goodness, but in order to put a difference between things; and to own the fupereminent Dignity of the Father. For we acknowledg the only-begotten God and our Lord Jefus,
15, 16. Conftitut.
C. 5. P. 391.
to be Incorruptible, and Immortal, and Wife, and Good; but we affirm that the Father is the Caufe of his intire Being, and of every thing that he is; who himself has no caufe of his own Substance, or of his Goodness; as being Unbegotten the foregoing Premifes affording us this Notion. If therefore he be the only True God, as being only Wife, and only Unbegotten, the Son is his Only Begotten, because he alone is a Being begotten by the Unbegotten Ubi priBeing: which yet he would not be alone, if us. the Nature was common to both, on account of their Likeness.
We ought therefore to lay afide the Notion of Likeness as to Subftance, and to embrace that of the Likenefs of a Son to the Father, in agreement with his own words; that is, fo to reduce the intire Cause and Origin of all to the One and Only Being, that the Son may be esteem'd subject to his Father. Paffim. We ought alfo exactly to purify our Notions about these matters, and not to cfteem the manner of his Operation to be after the manner of Men; but with eafe, and divine: and not to esteem his Operation to be any fort of division, or removal of his Substance; fuch as thofe cannot avoid who are led by the Sophistry of the Greeks, and connect the Energy to the Substance; and because they fuppofe the World to be coeval with God, fall into all forts of Abfurdities on that account. For those that allow'd no Period to the World, no wonder that they affiga'd to it no Beginning: nor would that ceafe or come to an end which was not deriv'd from a certain Beginning. But as to these Greeks, which never look'd on the difference of B 3
things with clear eyes, nor can be equitable Arbitrators, let them not be concern'd in thefe matters fince the juft Judgment of God has hidden the Truth from them, on account of the Pravity of their Difpofitions.
But then, as to our felves, we do not think it fafe, as we have faid a little before, to connect the Operation with the Substance: fince we judg of it by its Works, and know the Subftance to be without beginning, fimple, and without end: but the Operation not to be without beginning; for if it were, the Work it felf would be without beginning alfo, as well as without end: fince 'tis not poffible for the Works to ceafe, and yet the Operation never to do fo. For 'tis very childish, and the reafoning of a very weak Mind, to fay the Operation is unbegotten, and without end: and while they fuppofe it the fame with the Subftance, yet to own that none of the Works can be made fo as to be Unbegotten, or as to be without end. For one of these two things would hence follow, either that the Operation of God did not operate, or the Work must be Unbegotten: but if both of thofe Hypotheses are without question abfurd, what remains muft be true; that because the Works have a beginning, the Operation was not without beginning; and because they must cease, fo muft the Operation ccafe alfo.
Wherefore we ought not to acquiefce in the Opinions of the Greeks, taken up without examination; and fo to connect the Operation with the Subftance; but to esteem the Will of God to be the trueft Operation; which is moft worthy of God, and fufficient for
for the Being and Prefervation of all things; as the words of the Prophet do alfo atteft: For he hath done whatfoever he pleafed. For Pf. CXV; he does not stand in need of any Being for 3. the Constitution of those things he is pleas'd Conftitut. to make: but at the fame time that he wills, C. 12. what he pleases is made.
Wherefore if the Word of God demonftrates that his Will is his Operation, and not that his Substance is fuch; and that the Onlybegotten fubfifted by the Will of the Father; 'tis certainly neceffary that the Son preferve this Likeness, not as to Subftance, but as to Operation, which is alfo his Will. Whence alfo we ought to be perfuaded to preferve that true Notion of his being his Father's Image, which the bleffed Apostle Paul declar'd, when he faid, Who is the Image of the Coloff I. Invifible God, the first-born of every Creature; 15, for in him were all things created, both things in Heaven, and things on Earth, vifible and invifible. For therefore is he call'd, The Image of God. Now these words, All things were created in him, together with the Appellation of the First-born, do not give us the Character of an Unbegotten Subftance: for here is nothing about Substance, but about that Operation whereby he, as a Son, performs all things. The Expreflion of Image does not bear any resemblance to the Substance, but to that Operation which was hidden, without any Generation, in God's Foreknowledg, even before the Conftitution of the Son, and of those things which were created in him. For who is there that knowing the Only-begotten himself, and confidering that all things Joh.1.3were made by him, will not acknowledg that
he at once contemplates the whole Power of the Father? To which the most blessed Apostle Paul has respect, when he does not fay by him, but in him; altho he adds the Character of First-born: that when himself is alfo included, together with all the Beings made by him, he may make manifeft to all that are able to comprehend the whole at one view, the Operation of the Father. We therefore call him the Image of the Father, not as comparing a Begotten Being with that which is Unbegotten; for that is certainly difagreeable, and in all Beings impoffible; but as owning him the Only begotten, and Firstbern of the Father: the appellation of San declaring the Subftance, as does that of Father the Operation of him that begat him. But if any one out of the love of Contention, and as fixt in his own Opinions, will not apply his Mind to what has been faid; but vet is forc'd to own that the Character of Father is fignificative of the Substance; let him attribute the like Character to the Son, to whom he has already attributed the like Subftance. Or rather let him attribute both Characters to each of them; we mean the Character of Son to the Father, and that of Father to the Son. For the Similitude of Subftance obliges thofe who are of that opinion to characterize them both by the fame Appellations.
Having now spoken fufficiently concerning the Only-begotten, Order requires that we difcom fe next concerning the Comforter; not following the Opinions of the many, which are taken up without examination, but keep