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rying the Decree of the Synod with him, to have it subscrib'd there. But St. Chryfoftom refus'd to subscribe, judging it very hard and unequal, and not according to the manner of Ecclefiaftical Censures, that a Person of so great Learning and Piety, who had been fo serviceable to the Church, who liv'd two hundred Years before, whose Books no Council had condemn'd, should now be condemn'd by a small pack'd Synod of his profess'd Enemies. But Epiphanius was resolv'd to go thro with his Work, being abetted in it not only by the false and implacable Theophilus, but also by the Empress her felf, and some potent Men in the Court, and several licens tious Priefts, who had a pique againft Chryfoftom for his free reproving of their Faults; and therefore in the moft invidious manner he could, before all the People, he recited the Decree, exprelly naming some of the Origenij!s, to wit, those whom the wrathful Theophilus so causelesly persecuted, with oblique Reflections also upon Chryfoftom as the Patron of them. And this fervent Zeal of his for the Truth, as he conceiv'd, was the more easily boild up to this irregular height because of some Disciples of Arius, who since the Condemnation of their Mafter and his Doctrine, not daring to avow his Herefy under that Title, craftily and moft falfly endeavour'd to pro pagate it under the unmeet Cover of the plausible name of Origen. If I was concern'd in the Opinions of Origen more than barely to give you an historical Account of them, or took so great an Interest in his Quarrel, as to be an Adverfary to his Adversaries, I could mention to you, that Chrysoliom gently snubbing Epiphanius by Seraphion for this pragmatical Design of his (as some would call it) and meddling lo much where he had so little to do, and kindly bidding him beware left from the Stir and Commotion he had put the People in any danger should redound to himself; the good Man forthwith upon this advertisement hafted from Conftantinople to his own See, but died by the way. I could also tell you what befel Cyrinus Bishop of Chalcedon, a bitter Enemy of Chryfoftom's, when the pack'd Bishops were there who were to compose a. nother Synod against that pious Father. There are not wanting who draw such Accidents into Argument againft their unrighteous Proceedings against two such excellent Persons, and think they were the Rebukes of Providence : But such Events are of too lubricous a consideration to be taken notice of by any but an Adversary and an Orator ; but I am neither in this work you have impos'd on me. Only this you may plainly gather from what I have now related, that the great Heat and Bitterness against the Opinions of Origen had fach beginnings as np Man now would dare to own, vix, the
fatisfying the Revenge of an impious Diffembler, and the discountenancing a Do&rine which almost all the Christian World believes for true. But the eager Contention against this one Opinion would neceffarily discover many others which were like to be suspected likewise; for Origen's rais'd Genius could not but light on such Conclusions as were of an higher and more remote Speculation, which to Heads unus'd to such Theories, would first appear ftrange, and then false, because we are very unwilling that any thing should be true which we never heard of before, and which we do not now understand. Many of which Conclusions fagotted together by some malicious or quarrelsom Reader of his Works, would make such a thow to his Disadvantage in the Judgment of the Simple and Unlearned, that without any scruple they would be set againft him as a Man of moft monftrous Con ceits, Qur third Query is, What his Dogmata are?
By which Question I presüme you do not mean all the Do&trines that are in his Writings, which cannot be found in the common compendious Creed of the Christian Church, nor amongit the Articles of particular Churches, no nor yet in the nfual Systems of Theology; for it would be as hard to tell you what his Opinion is in all those Questions he proprounds and discusses in his Books, as it is unworthy in him who hath heap'd up several of them together as `his Opinions, when yet he professes of them that he does not propound them as the Sentiments of his own Mind, but only as noble and illuftrious Arguments of our Contemplation, very well worthy to be further enquir'd of : but your meaning, i suppose, is of the moft'material of them, and which most offend our otherways taught Ears. Those of this fort may be reduc'd to these Six.
1. His Doctrine concerning the Holy Trinity, among the Hypoftases whereof, they say, he puts an Inequality.
2. That the Souls of Men do pre-exift.
3. That thro their Fault and Negligence they appear here Inhabitants of the Earth çloth'd with Terrestrial Bodies
4. That the Myftery of the Resurrection is this, that we shall be cloth'd with heavenly or æthereal Bodies.
5. That after long periods of time the Damn'd shall be deliver'd from their forments, and try their Fortunes again in such Régions of the World as their Nature fits them for.
6. That the Earth, after her Confiagration, shall become habitable again, and be the mansion of Men and other Animals; and this in eteşaa! Viciffitades.
There are the chief Matters wherein Origen is conceiv'd to have mightily, transgress'd ; and of which ferom says, Cum bæc rejeceritis do quasi censoriâ virgula separaveritis a fide Ecclesiæ, tuto legam cætera : nec venena jam timebo, cum antidotum prebibero. HOW Tow he afferts these, and upon what Grounds and Rea
fons, is your fourth Query, which in order comes now to be answer'd.
Concerning the First of them, whether Origen ever usd the Tery Term Inequality or Inequal in his Speculations of that mysterious and blessed Effence, I cannot ay, Sure I am, I never met with it in his Writings; and, what is a better Arguiment that he us'd it not, none of those object it to him who have made Collections of his Errors and dangerous Speeches. And therefore if the thing it self be laid to his Charge, it must be infer'd from such Passages, as these they take notice of, and have 'excerpted out of his Writings, ' Pater non videtur a Filio, Pater non comprehenditur a Filio, Filius, qui est imago invisibilis Patris, comparatus Patri non eft Veritas, &c. But if he did hold a kind of Inequality amongst the blessed Hypofrases of the most Sacred Trinity, a Man would probably guess from what he finds in his Writings that his Grounds were there.
1. The Difference of their Effential Characters and Idio. mata, which is such as might easily induce him to think that the Divine Hypofta ses, which substantially were those Idiomata or Properties, did also differ one from another according as the Perfections differ'd fignify'd by those Effential Propera ties. They are these, Original Goodness, or firft Plenitude of Life ant Being, All-comprehensive Wifdom or Reason, and Demiurgical Love; which tho they all be truly and properly universal Natures, yet there is manifestly in the two latter and derivative Hypoftases a verging towards Particularity, if compar'd with the first Primitive Fountain of the Deity; and this drawing towards Particularity is greater in the Third than in the Second. For all things are in the First in ith an indiftinét manner, and in such Exuberances flow froin' him, that our Minds cannot particularly set out this and that: bur emptying himself into the Second, we then find them, according to his Name and Nature,limited and bounded and divided into their respective Reasons and Ideas,' but without deftroying his Effential Unity; for he is them all; from whom they being further carry'd down to the Third, are by his Almighty and never-failing Power distinctly brought forth into visible Life and Exiftence, exactly accord
ing to those eternal Reasons and Ideas which shone into him from the Second, and faithfully govern'd the Operations of his Power. And if we descend from this higher Metaphysical Speculation, and take a view of these three Excellencies, not as they are Substances in the Deity, but as Difpofitions and Qualities in created Beings; we cannot but pronounce that there is such plain difference in their Notions, that if they were from their accidental Nature exalted into Substantial life, they would there also still retain their difference.
2. There seems such a Necessity of Nature, that all Effects and Productions whatever, whether voluntary or emanative, should decline something from the supereminent Excellency of the Cause and Producer, that it is scarce possible to keep our Minds from thinking but that the Rule holds also in the Divine Emanations; especially when the very Names of Father and Son, and the Modes of Derivation, being begot by the Father, and proceeding from both, do fo fairly countenance the Truth of it.
3. Tho the Divine Hypoftases he acknowledg’d Three in respect of their proper Effences, ( for so, for more plainness, I shall crave leave to speak) and those three different, or alius atque alius ; and not only fo, in regard of three different Names, or a threefold Order (as the Church hath rightly determin'd, against Sabellius, I take it :) yet if we abitraét from them in our Minds their Names and Order, and barely contemplate those Effences, we can find nothing in them (according to the Hypothesis of the Equalists) why one hould be call’d the Farber or Son rather than another: which must needs have seem’d very harsh to Origen's contemplative Spirit, if not derogatory to him who is simply First in that everblefred Triad.
4. The strict Equalists could not give him any reason why the Deity was not rather multiply'd into an Infinity of Hy poftases, than have its Progressions ftop'd at Three. Nay, it seems necessary by their Hypothetis, that the Multiplication should be Infinite. For the first Original Good communicae ting of him'elf to his first Productions, according to the emanative fertility of his own exuberant Fulness, if they did as fully receive his Life and Power, as he their Author was himself possess’d of it, the Third would be as able, and by the neceility of equal plenitude, would be as much contraind (as I may lo speak wich reverence ) to produce Three more, and so on perpetually. And for them to say that the Nuinber was limited to Ihree by explicit Will and Counsel, is to hazard the neceffary Existence, and consequently the Divinity of the two latter Hypofta ses, and to induce such an Indifferency in
to the firft and earliest Operations of the Author of all things, as is inconfiftent with infinitely-full Goodness. Wherefore Origen was forc'd to conclude that the Number was limited in a Triad by their unequal Declension from the First, in such a measure and proportion that those Three did perfectly comprehend and make up together in their Effential Idiomata, whatever Perfection goes to the constituting the entire Orion, or Divine Essence.
5. Since God is an Effence infinitely perfect, and since all the Perfections worthy of the Divine Nature, as Goodness, Wisdom, Power, doc. are neither of the same Nature; nor of the same Worth and Excellency; if every Hypoftafis be effentially all those Perfections, they are three Gods; if one be one of them, another be another, they are not essentially equal.
6. He was encourag'd to think these his Reasons good, and his Conclusioni true, from the fair Confirmations of it in Holy Scripture : ex. gr. My Father is greater than I. I live by the Father. The Son can do nothing of himself. I can of my self de nothing. The words that I speak unto you, I speak not of my self. And of the Holy Ghost it is said, that be proceeded from the Fatber, and is fent into the World by him. That he is the Spirit of the Son. That be shall not speak of himself. He mall receive of mine. All which places, that I may name no more, do moft naturally imply fome kind of inequality; and after the Reasons given, may pass for an evident Testimony of the Truth of Origen's Doctrine which some Men say is necessary to be establish'd and beliey'd, test otherwise we be as facrilegious to the Honour and Mac jefty of the Father of all tbings, as the antient Hereticks were impudently injurious to the other two blessed and ever-to-beador'd Hypotta fes. And if the temerarious and confounded Conclusions of the meddlesom Schoul-men be receiv'd with a like temerity, they think there will be as much need to multiply Councils in this latter Age of the Church, to assert the Honour due to God the Father, as there was of old to restore the Son and Holy Ghost to their deserv’d Dignity of Nature in the Beliefs of Chriftians, from whence the faucy Ignorance and Impiety of some bold Men had detruded them. Thus, Şir, you have some of those Reasons upon which Origen founded his Doctrine of Inequality. Which Hypothesis of his he hath so warily and judiciously form'd, that it hath been said by fome, that neither the subtiler Attacks nor more rude and boisterous Shocks of his Adversaries have been able hitherto' to shake or disorder it, much less utterly to deftroy the Reasonableness and Concinnity of it. And what some have too haftily fancied, and as clamorously pronouncd, viz. that it made the