« Prev The Doctrine of the Truth Continued. Next »

Chapter XXIX.—The Doctrine of the Truth Continued.

Therefore this solitary and supreme Deity, by an exercise of reflection, brought forth the Logos first; not the word in the sense of being articulated by voice, but as a ratiocination of the universe, conceived and residing in the divine mind. Him alone He produced from existing things; for the Father Himself constituted existence, and the being born from Him was the cause of all things that are produced.10771077    [Elucidation XVI.] The Logos was in the Father Himself, bearing the will of His progenitor, and not being unacquainted 151with the mind of the Father. For simultaneously10781078    This passage is differently rendered, according as we read φωνὴ with Bunsen, or φωνὴν with Dr. Wordsworth. The latter also alters the reading of the ms. (at the end of the next sentence), ἀπετελεῖτο ἀρέκων Θεῷ, into ἀπετελεῖ τὸ ἄρεσκον, “he carried into effect what was pleasing to the Deity.” with His procession from His Progenitor, inasmuch as He is this Progenitor’s first-born, He has, as a voice in Himself, the ideas conceived in the Father. And so it was, that when the Father ordered the world to come into existence, the Logos one by one completed each object of creation, thus pleasing God. And some things which multiply by generation10791079    Dr. Wordsworth suggests for γενέσει, ἐπιγενέσει, i.e., a continuous series of procreation. He formed male and female; but whatsoever beings were designed for service and ministration He made either male, or not requiring females, or neither male nor female. For even the primary substances of these, which were formed out of nonentities, viz., fire and spirit, water and earth, are neither male nor female; nor could male or female proceed from any one of these, were it not that God, who is the source of all authority, wished that the Logos might render assistance10801080    See Origen, in Joann., tom. ii. sec. 8. in accomplishing a production of this kind. I confess that angels are of fire, and I maintain that female spirits are not present with them. And I am of opinion that sun and moon and stars, in like manner, are produced from fire and spirit, and are neither male nor female. And the will of the Creator is, that swimming and winged animals are from water, male and female. For so God, whose will it was, ordered that there should exist a moist substance, endued with productive power. And in like manner God commanded, that from earth should arise reptiles and beasts, as well males and females of all sorts of animals; for so the nature of the things produced admitted. For as many things as He willed, God made from time to time. These things He created through the Logos, it not being possible for things to be generated otherwise than as they were produced. But when, according as He willed, He also formed (objects), He called them by names, and thus notified His creative effort.10811081    [Rather, His will.] And making these, He formed the ruler of all, and fashioned him out of all composite substances.10821082    Compare Origen, in Joann., sec. 2, where we have a similar opinion stated. A certain parallel in this and other portions of Hippolytus’ concluding remarks, induces the transcriber, no doubt, to write “Origen’s opinion” in the margin. The Creator did not wish to make him a god, and failed in His aim; nor an angel,—be not deceived,—but a man. For if He had willed to make thee a god, He could have done so. Thou hast the example of the Logos. His will, however, was, that you should be a man, and He has made thee a man. But if thou art desirous of also becoming a god, obey Him that has created thee, and resist not now, in order that, being found faithful in that which is small, you may be enabled to have entrusted to you also that which is great.10831083    Matt. xxv. 21, 23; Luke xvi. 10, 11, 12. [Also 2 Pet. i. 4, one of the king-texts of the inspired oracles.]

The Logos alone of this God is from God himself; wherefore also the Logos is God, being the substance of God.10841084    [Nicene doctrine, ruling out all conditions of time from the idea of the generation of the Logos.] Now the world was made from nothing; wherefore it is not God; as also because this world admits of dissolution whenever the Creator so wishes it. But God, who created it, did not, nor does not, make evil. He makes what is glorious and excellent; for He who makes it is good. Now man, that was brought into existence, was a creature endued with a capacity of self-determination,10851085    αὐτεξούσιος. Hippolytus here follows his master Irenæus (Hær., iv. 9), and in doing so enunciates an opinion, and uses an expression adopted universally by patristic writers, up to the period of St. Augustine. This great philosopher and divine, however, shook the entire fabric of existing theology respecting the will, and started difficulties, speculative ones at least, which admit of no solution short of the annihilation of finite thought and volition. See translator’s Treatise on Metaphysics, chap. x.  [Also compare Irenæus, vol. i. p. 518, and Clement, vol. ii. pp. 319 passim to 525; also vol. iii. 301, and vol. iv. Tertullian and Origen. See Indexes on Free-will.] yet not possessing a sovereign intellect,10861086    Dr. Wordsworth translates the passage thus: “Endued with free will, but not dominant; having reason, but not able to govern,” etc. nor holding sway over all things by reflection, and authority, and power, but a slave to his passions, and comprising all sorts of contrarieties in himself. But man, from the fact of his possessing a capacity of self-determination, brings forth what is evil,10871087    [One of the most pithy of all statements as to the origin of subjective evil, i.e., evil in humanity.] that is, accidentally; which evil is not consummated except you actually commit some piece of wickedness. For it is in regard of our desiring anything that is wicked, or our meditating upon it, that what is evil is so denominated. Evil had no existence from the beginning, but came into being subsequently.10881088    See Origen, in Joann., tom. ii. sec. 7. Since man has free will, a law has been defined for his guidance by the Deity, not without answering a good purpose. For if man did not possess the power to will and not to will, why should a law be established? For a law will not be laid down for an animal devoid of reason, but a bridle and a whip;10891089    Ps. xxxii. 9. whereas to man has been given a precept and penalty to perform, or for not carrying into execution what has been enjoined. For man thus constituted has a law been enacted by just men in primitive ages. Nearer our own day was there established a law, full of gravity and justice, by Moses, to whom allusion has been already made, a devout man, and one beloved of God.

Now the Logos of God controls all these; the first begotten Child of the Father, the voice of the Dawn antecedent to the Morning Star.10901090    Ps. cx. 3; 2 Pet. i. 18, 19. Afterwards just men were born, friends of God; 152and these have been styled prophets,10911091    In making the Logos a living principle in the prophets, and as speaking through them to the Church of God in all ages, Hippolytus agrees with Origen. This constitutes another reason for the marginal note “Origen’s opinion,” already mentioned. (See Origen, Περὶ ᾽Αρχῶν, i. 1.) on account of their foreshowing future events. And the word of prophecy10921092    Hippolytus expresses similar opinions respecting the economy of the prophets, in his work, De Antichristo, sec. 2. was committed unto them, not for one age only; but also the utterances of events predicted throughout all generations, were vouchsafed in perfect clearness. And this, too, not at the time merely when seers furnished a reply to those present;10931093    Hippolytus here compares the ancient prophets with the oracles of the Gentiles. The heathen seers did not give forth their vaticinations spontaneously, but furnished responses to those only who made inquiries after them, says Dr. Wordsworth. but also events that would happen throughout all ages, have been manifested beforehand; because, in speaking of incidents gone by, the prophets brought them back to the recollection of humanity; whereas, in showing forth present occurrences, they endeavoured to persuade men not to be remiss; while, by foretelling future events, they have rendered each one of us terrified on beholding events that had been predicted long before, and on expecting likewise those events predicted as still future. Such is our faith, O all ye men,—ours, I say, who are not persuaded by empty expressions, nor caught away by sudden impulses of the heart, nor beguiled by the plausibility of eloquent discourses, yet who do not refuse to obey words that have been uttered by divine power. And these injunctions has God given to the Word. But the Word, by declaring them, promulgated the divine commandments, thereby turning man from disobedience, not bringing him into servitude by force of necessity, but summoning him to liberty through a choice involving spontaneity.

This Logos the Father in the latter days sent forth, no longer to speak by a prophet, and not wishing that the Word, being obscurely proclaimed, should be made the subject of mere conjecture, but that He should be manifested, so that we could see Him with our own eyes. This Logos, I say, the Father sent forth, in order that the world, on beholding Him, might reverence Him who was delivering precepts not by the person of prophets, nor terrifying the soul by an angel, but who was Himself—He that had spoken—corporally present amongst us. This Logos we know to have received a body from a virgin, and to have remodelled the old man10941094    πεφυρακότα. This is the reading adopted by Cruice and Wordsworth. The translator has followed Cruice’s rendering, refinxisse, while Dr. Wordsworth construes the word “fashioned.”  The latter is more literal, as φυράω means to knead, though the sense imparted to it by Cruice would seem more coincident with the scriptural account (1 Cor. v. 7; 2 Cor. v. 17; Gal. vi. 15). Bunsen does not alter πεφορηκότα , the reading of the ms., and translates it, “to have put on the old man through a new formation.”  Sauppe reads πεφυρηκότα. See Hippolytus, De Antichristo, sec. 26, in Danielem (p. 205, Mai); and Irenæus, v. 6. by a new creation. And we believe the Logos to have passed through every period in this life, in order that He Himself might serve as a law for every age,10951095    [See Irenæus (a very beautiful passage), vol. i. p. 391.] and that, by being present (amongst) us, He might exhibit His own manhood as an aim for all men. And that by Himself in person He might prove that God made nothing evil, and that man possesses the capacity of self-determination, inasmuch as he is able to will and not to will, and is endued with power to do both.10961096    [See vol. iv. pp. 255 and 383.] This Man we know to have been made out of the compound of our humanity. For if He were not of the same nature with ourselves, in vain does He ordain that we should imitate the Teacher. For if that Man happened to be of a different substance from us, why does He lay injunctions similar to those He has received on myself, who am born weak; and how is this the act of one that is good and just? In order, however, that He might not be supposed to be different from us, He even underwent toil, and was willing to endure hunger, and did not refuse to feel thirst, and sunk into the quietude of slumber. He did not protest against His Passion, but became obedient unto death, and manifested His resurrection. Now in all these acts He offered up, as the first-fruits, His own manhood, in order that thou, when thou art in tribulation, mayest not be disheartened, but, confessing thyself to be a man (of like nature with the Redeemer), mayest dwell in expectation of also receiving what the Father has granted unto this Son.10971097    This is the reading adopted by Cruice and Bunsen. Dr. Wordsworth translates the passage thus: “acknowledging thyself a man of like nature with Christ, and thou also waiting for the appearance of what thou gavest Him.” The source of consolation to man which Hippolytus, according to Dr. Wordsworth, is here anxious to indicate, is the glorification of human nature in the person of the Lord Jesus Christ. Dr. Wordsworth therefore objects to Bunsen’s rendering, as it gives to the passage a meaning different from this.


« Prev The Doctrine of the Truth Continued. Next »
Please login or register to save highlights and make annotations
Corrections disabled for this book
Proofing disabled for this book
Printer-friendly version





Advertisements



| Define | Popups: Login | Register | Prev Next | Help |