A Dissertation Concerning The Eternal Sonship Of Christ by John Gill

A Dissertation Concerning The
Eternal Sonship Of Christ
by John Gill
(London: George Keith, 1768)
Thou hast given a standard to them that fear thee;
that it may be displayed because of the truth
— Psalm 60:4
THE eternal Sonship of Christ, or that he is the Son of God by eternal
generation, or that he was the Son of God before he was the son of Mary,
even from all eternity, which is denied by the Socinians, and others akin, to
them, was known by the saints under the Old Testament; by David,

Psalm 2:7, 12; by Solomon,

Proverbs 8:22, 30; by the prophet
Micah, chapter

2, verse 2. His Sonship was known by Daniel, from
whom it is probable Nebuchadnezzar had it,

Daniel 3:25, from which it
appears he was, and was known to be, the Son of God before he was born
of the virgin, or before his incarnation, and therefore not called so on that
account. This truth is written as with a sun-beam in the New Testament;
but my design in what I am about is, not to give the proof of this doctrine
from the sacred scriptures, but to shew who first set themselves against it,
and who have continued the opposition to it, more or less, to this time; and
on the other hand, to shew that sound and orthodox christians, from the
earliest times of christianity to the present, have asserted and defended it. I
shall begin with
I. The first century, in which the Evangelists and Apostles lived; what their
sentiments were concerning this doctrine, is abundantly manifest from their
writings. The persons in this age who opposed the divine and eternal Son-ship
of Christ were,
1st, Simon Magus, father of heresies, as he is justly called; he first vented
the notion afterwards imbibed by Sabellius, of one person in the Godhead;
to which he added this blasphemy, that he was that person that so is.
Before he professed himself a christian he gave out that he was some great
one; he afterwards said, he was the one God himself under different names,.3
the Father in Samaria, the Son in Judea, and the holy Spirit in the rest of
the nations of the world;
or as Austin
expresses it, he said that he in
mount Sinai gave the law to Moses for the Jews, in the person of the
father; and in the time of Tiberius, he seemingly appeared in the person of
the Son, and afterwards as the holy Ghost, came upon the apostles in
tongues of fire. And according to Jerom
he not only said, but wrote it;
for it seems, according to him, he wrote some volumes, in which he said, “I
am the Word of God, that is, the Son of God.” Menander his disciple took
the same characters and titles to himself his master did.
2dly, Cerinthus is the next, who was contemporary with the apostle John,
of whom that well known story is told,
that the apostle being about to
go into a bath at Ephesus, and seeing Cerinthus in it, said to those with
“Let us flee from hence, lest the bath fall upon us in which
Cerinthus, the enemy of truth is:”
he asserted that Christ was, only a man, denying his deity,
and in course
his divine and eternal Sonship; he denied that Jesus was born of a virgin,
which seemed to him impossible; and that he was the son of Joseph and
Mary, as other men are
of their parents. Jerom says,
at the request of
the bishops of Asia, John the apostle wrote his gospel against Cerinthus
and other heretics, and especially the tenets of the Ebionites, then rising up,
who asserted that Christ was not before Mary hence he was obliged plainly
to declare his divine generation; and it may be observed, that he is the only
sacred writer who in his gospel and epistles speaks of Christ as the
begotten and only begotten Son of God, at least speaks mostly of him as
3dly, Ebion. What his sentiment was concerning Christ, may be learned
from what has been just observed, about the apostle John’s writing his
gospel to refute it; and may be confirmed by what Eusebius
says of him,
that he held that Christ was a mere man, and born as other men are: and
though he makes mention of another sort of them, who did not deny that
Christ was born of a virgin, and of the Holy Ghost, nevertheless did not
own that he existed before, being God the Word and Wisdom. Hence
Hilary calls
Photinus, Ebion, because of the sameness of their
principles, and Jerom
says. Photinus endeavoured to restore the heresy
of Ebion; now it is notorious that the notion of the Photinians was the
same with the Socinians now, who say, that Christ was not before Mary;.4
and so Alexander bishop of Alexandria
observes of Arius and his
followers, who denied the natural sonship and eternal generation of Christ,
that what they propagated were the heresy of Ebion and Artemas.
Besides the inspired writers, particularly the apostle John, who wrote his
gospel, as now observed, to confute the heresies of Ebion and Cerinthus,
and in vindication of the deity of Christ, and his divine and eternal
generation, there are very few writings if any in this century extant. There
is an epistle ascribed to Barnabas, cotemporary with the apostle Paul, in
which are these words,
having made mention of the brazen serpent as a
figure of Jesus, he adds,
“what said Aliases again to Jesus the son of Nave, putting this
name upon him, being a prophet, that only all the people might hear
that the Father hath made manifest all things concerning his Son
Jesus in the son of Nave, and he put this name upon him, when he
sent him to spy the land—because the Son of God in the last days
will cut up by the roots the house of Amalek: behold again Jesus,
not the son of man, but the Son of God, manifested in the flesh by a
type.—Likewise David said the Lord said to my Lord.—See how
David calls him Lord, and the Son of God:”
by which it appears that he believed that Christ was the Son of God before
he was manifested in the flesh or became incarnate; and that he was the
Son of God according to the divine nature, as well as the Son of David
according to the human nature, which he also expresses in the same
paragraph. And elsewhere he says,
“For this end the Son of God came in the flesh, that the full sum
might be made of the sins of those who persecuted the prophets,”
so that according to him Christ was the Son of God before he came in the
flesh or was incarnate.
Clemens Romanus was bishop of Rome in this century, and though the
book of Recognitions, ascribed to him, are judged spurious, yet there is an
epistle of his to the Corinthians
thought to be genuine: in which, after
speaking of Christ our Saviour, and the high priest of our oblations, and
the brightness of the magnificence of God, and of his haying a more
excellent name than the angels, observes, that the Lord thus says of his
own Son, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee; thereby
declaring his belief, that Christ is the proper Son of God, and begotten by.5
him. Ignatius was bishop of Antioch in this century, after the first bishop of
that place Evodius, and was early in it, if any truth in these reports that he
was the child Christ took in his arms, when he rebuked his disciples; and
that he saw Christ after his resurrection; but though these are things not to
be depended on, yet it is certain that he lived in the latter end of the first
century, and suffered martyrdom in the beginning of the second. Several
epistles of his are extant, in which, as well as by words, he exhorted the
saints to beware of heresies then springing up among them, and abounding,
as Eusebius observes;
meaning the heresies of Ebion arid Cerinthus
about the person of Christ: and says many things which shew his belief, and
what was their error. In one of his epistles
he exhorts to decline from
some persons, as beasts, as ravenous dogs, biting secretly, and difficult of
cure; and adds,
“there is one physician, carnal and spiritual, begotten and
unbegotten. God made flesh, in a true and immortal life, who is
both of Mary and of God.”
In a larger epistle to the same,
thought by some to be interpolated,
though it expresses the same sentiment;
“our physician is alone the true God, the unbegotten and invisible
Lord of all, the Father and begetter of the only begotten one; we
have also a physician, or Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son
before the world, and the word, and at last man of the virgin
and afterwards in the same
epistle still more expressly,
“the Son of God, who was begotten before the world was, and
constitutes all things according to the will of the Father, he was
bore in the womb by Mary, according to the dispensation of God,
of the seed of David by the Holy Ghost.”
And a little farther,
“be ye all in grace by name, gathered together in one common faith
of God the Father, and of Jesus Christ his only begotten Son, and
the first-born of every creature: according to the flesh indeed of the
family of David: ye being guided by the Comforter.”.6
A plain account, as of the divine Sonship and Humanity of Christ, so of the
doctrine of the Trinity. In another epistle
of his, he speaks of Jesus
Christ, “who was with the Father before the world was, and in the end
appeared,” that is, in human nature in the end of the world; and exhorts all
“run to one temple of God, as to one altar, as to one Jesus Christ,
who came forth from one Father, and being in him and returning to
And a little lower he adds,
“there is one God, who hath manifested himself by Jesus Christ his
Son, who is his eternal word.”
And father on he says,
“study to be established in the doctrines of the Lord, and of the
apostles, that whatsoever ye do may prosper, in flesh and spirit, in
faith and love, in the Son, and in the Father, and in the Spirit.”
A full confession of the Trinity, one of the principal doctrines he would
have them be established in. All which is more fully expressed in the larger
to the same persons: speaking of Christ, he says,
“who was begotten by the Father before the world was; God the
Word, the only begotten Son, and who remains to the end of the
world, for of his kingdom there is no end.”
“there is one God omnipotent, who hath manifested himself by
Jesus Christ his Son, who is his Word; not spoken, but essential,
not the voice of an articulate speech, but of a divine operation,
begotten substance, who in all things pleased him that sent him.”
And father on,
“but ye have a plerophory in Christ, who was begotten by the
Father before all worlds, afterwards made of the virgin Mary
without the conversation of men.”
And in the larger epistle
of his to other persons, he thus speaks of some
heretics of his time;.7
“they profess an unknown God, they think Christ is unbegotten, nor
will they own that there is an holy Spirit: some of them say the Son
is a mere man, and that the Father, the Son and the holy Spirit, are
the same:—beware of such, lest your souls be ensnared.”
And in an epistle to another people
be says,
“there is one unbegotten God the Father, and one only begotten
Son, God the Word and man, and one comforter the Spirit of
And in an epistle
ascribed unto him he has these words,
“there is one God and Father,—there is also one Son, God the
Word—and there is one comforter, the Spirit;—not three Fathers,
nor three Sons, nor three Comforters, but one Father, and one Son,
and one Comforter; therefore the Lord, when he sent his apostles to
teach all nations, commanded them to baptize in the name of the
Father and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost; not in one of three
names, nor into three that are incarnate, but into three of equal
honour and glory.”
Lucian, that scoffing, blasphemous heathen, lived in the times of Trajan,
and before, as Suidas says, wrote a dialogue
in derision of the christian
religion, particularly of the doctrine of the Trinity: which dialogue, though
it is a scoff at that doctrine, is a testimony of it, as held by the christians of
that age; and among other things, he represents them as saying that Christ
is the eternal Son of the Father. I go on,
II. To the second century, in which the same heresies of Ebion and
Cerinthus were held and propagated by Carpocrates, the father of the
by Valentinus and Theodotus the currier, whose disciples
were another Theodotus a silversmith, and Asclepiodotus and. Artemon
also, according to Eusebius.
1st. Carpocrates was of Alexandria in Egypt, and lived in the beginning of
the second century: he and his followers held that Christ was only a man,
born of Joseph and Mary, of two parents, as other men,
only he had a
soul superior to others; which, having a strong memory, could remember,
and so could relate, what he had seen and had knowledge of, when in the
circumference (as they express it) and in conversation with his unknown
and unbegotten Father; and which was endowed with such powers, that he.8
escaped the angels, the makers of the world; and was so pure and holy,
that he despised the Jews, among whom he was brought up; and afterwards
returned to his unknown Father; his soul only, not his body.
seems to be something similar in this notion of the human soul of Christ, to
what is imbibed by some in our day.
2dly, Valentinus. He came to Rome when Hyginus was bishop of that
place, flourished under Pius, and lived till the time of Anicetus.
He and
his followers held, that God the creator sent forth his own Son, but that he
was animal, and that his body descended from heaven, and passed through
the virgin Mary, as water through a pipe; and therefore, as Tertullian,
Valentinus used to say, that Christ was born by a virgin, but
not of a virgin. This is what divines call the heretical illapse; which yet
those disavow, who in our day are for the antiquity of the human nature of
Christ before the world was; though how he could be really and actually
man from eternity, and yet take flesh of the virgin in time, is not easy to
3dly. Artemon or Artemas who lived in the time of Victor bishop of Rome.
He held that Christ was a mere man
and pretended that the apostles and
all christians from their times to the times of Victor, held the same;
which nothing could be more notoriously false, as the writings as Justin,
Irenæus, &c shew: and’ it is said that by him, or by his followers, the
celebrated text in

1 John 5:7, was erased and left out in some copies.
4thly, Theodotus the currier held the same notion he did, that Christ was a
mere man; for which he was excommunicated by Victor bishop of Rome:
which shews the falsity of what Artemon said; for if Victor had been of the
same opinion, he would never have excommunicated Theodotus. Eusebius
says, this man was the father and broacher of this notion,
Artemon, that Christ was a mere man; and denied him to be God. Yea, that
he was not only a mere man, but born of the seed of man.
Tertullian says, that he held that Christ was only a man, but equally
conceived and born of the holy Ghost and the virgin Mary, yet inferior to
The contrary to these notions was asserted and maintained by those
apostolical men, not only Ignatius, who lived in the latter end of the
preceding century, and the beginning of this, as has been observed, but by
Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Irenæus, and others..9
1. Polycarp, bishop of Smyrna a disciple and hearer of the apostle John,
used to stop his ears when be heard the impious speeches of the heretics of
his time. This venerable martyr, who had served his master Christ eighty
six years, when at: the stake, and the fire just about to be kindled upon
him, witnessed a good confession of the blessed Trinity in his last
moments, putting up the following prayer;
“O Father of thy beloved and blessed Son Jesus Christ, by whom
we have received the knowledge of thee; God of angels and of
powers, and every creature—I praise thee for all things; I bless
thee, I glorify thee, by the eternal high priest Jesus Christ thy
beloved Son, through whom, to thee with him in the holy spirit, be
glory, now and for ever, Amen.”
2. Justin, the philosopher and martyr, in his first apology
for the
christians, has these words;
“The Father of all, being unbegotten, has no name—the Son of him,
who only is properly called a Son, the Word, begotten and existing
before the creatures (for at the beginning by him he created and
beautitied all things) is called Christ.”
And in his second apology he says,
“We profess to be atheists with respect to such who are thought to
be Gods, but not to the true God and Father of righteousness, etc.;
him, and his Son who comes from him, and has taught us these
things, and the prophetic Spirit, we adore and worship.”
Afterwards he speaks of the logos, or word, the first birth of God:” which,
says he, we say is begotten without mixture.” And again
“We speak that which is true, Jesus Christ alone is properly the Son
begotten by God, being his Word, and first-born, and power, and
by his will became man; these things he hath taught us.”
And in his dialogue with Trypho the Jew, who is represented as objecting
to him,
“What thou sayest that this Christ existed God before the world,
and then was born, and became man, does not only seem to be a
paradox to me, but quite foolish.”.10
To which Justin replies,
“I know this seems a paradox, especially to those of your nation, —
but if I cannot demonstrate, that this is the Christ of God, and that
he pre-existed God, the Son of the maker of all things, and became
man by a virgin, in this only it would be just to say, that I am
mistaken, but not to deny that this is the Christ of God, though he
may seem to be begotten a man of men, and by choice made Christ,
as asserted by some: for there are some of our religion who profess
him to be Christ, but affirm that he is begotten a man of men; to
whom I do not assent, nor many who are in the same mind with
In which he plainly refers to the heretics before mentioned, who thought
that Christ was born of Joseph and Mary. And in another place, in the
same dialogue, he says,
“I will prove from scripture that God first begat of himself before
all creatures, a certain rational power, which is called by the holy
Spirit, the Glory of the Lord, sometimes the Son, sometimes
Wisdom, sometimes the Angel, sometimes God, sometimes the
Lord and the Word.”
And then, after observing there is something similar in the Word begetting
a Word without any rejection or diminution, and fire kindling fire without
lessening it, and abiding the same; he proceeds to give his proof from the
words of Solomon, Proverbs 8 where
“the word of wisdom testifies, that he is the God who is begotten
by the Father of all, who is the word and wisdom and the power
and the glory of him that generates.”
And then observes, that
“this is the birth produced by the Father, which co-existed with the
Father before all creatures, and with whom the Father familiarly
conversed, as the word by Solomon makes it manifest, that he the
beginning before all creatures is the birth begotten by God, which
by Solomon is called Wisdom.”
And in another place, in the same dialogue, on mention of the same words
in Proverbs he says,.11
“Ye must understand, ye hearers, if ye do but attend, the Word
declares that “this birth was begotten by the Father before all
creatures, and that which is begotten is numerically another from
him that begets.”
What can be more express for the eternal generation of the Son of God,
and that as a distinct person from his Father!
3.Irenaeus, a martyr, and bishop of Lyons in France, and a disciple of
Polycarp. He wrote five books against the heresies of Valentinus and the
Gnostics, which are still extant; out of which many testimonies might be
produced confirming the doctrine of the Trinity, and the deity of Christ. I
shall only transcribe two or three passages relating to the divine Sonship
and generation of Christ. In one place he says,
“Thou art not increated and man, nor didst thou always co-exist
with God, as his own word did, but through his eminent goodness,
hast now had a beginning of beings; thou sensibly learnest from the
word the dispositions of God who made thee; therefore observe the
order of thy knowledge, and lest, as ignorant of good things, thou
shouldest, transcend God himself”
And again,
“should any one say to us, how is the Son brought forth by the
Father? we reply to him, This bringing forth or generation, etc. or
by whatsoever name it is called; no man knows his existing
unspeakable generation; not Valentinus, not Marcion, not,
Saturninus, nor Basilides, nor angels, nor archangels, nor
principalities, nor powers, only the Father who hath generated, and
the Son that is generated; thererefore seeing his generation is
ineffable, whoever attempts to declare such productions and
generations (as the above heretics did) are not in their right minds,
promising to declare those things which cannot be declared.”
And elsewhere, he says,
“The Son, the Word and Wisdom, was always present with him
(God), and also the Spirit, by whom, and in whom, he made all
things freely and willingly; to whom he spake, saying, Let us make
man, etc.”.12
And a little after, “that the Word, that is, the Son, was always with the
Father, we have abundant proof;” and then mentions

Proverbs 3:19 and

Proverbs 8:22, etc.
4. Athenagoras, who flourished at Athens, in the times of Antoninus and
Commodus, to which emperors he wrote an apology for the christians, in
which he has these words,
“Let not any think it ridiculous in me that I speak of God as having
a Son, for not as the poets fable, who make their Gods nothing
better than men, do we think either of God and the Father, or of the
Son; but the Son of God is the Word of the Father, in idea and
efficacy for of him, and him are all things made, seeing the Father
and the Son are one; so that the Son is in the Father, and the Father
is in the Son, by the union and power of the Spirit; the mind, and
word of the Father is the Son of God; now if any through the
sublimity of your understanding would look further and enquire
what the Son means, I will tell him in a few words, that he is the
first birth of the Father; not as made, for from the beginning, God
being the eternal mind, he had the word in himself (the logov, or
reason) being eternally rational, (that is, “never without his word
and wisdom) but as coming forth is the idea and energy of all
For which he produces as a proof

Proverbs 8:22 and then proceeds,
“Who therefore cannot wonder, to hear us called atheists, who
speak of God the Father, and of God the Son, and the holy Spirit,
shewing their power in unity and their distinction in order?”
A little farther,
he strongly expresses the doctrine of the Trinity in Unity;
“We assert God and the Son his Word, and the holy Ghost, united
indeed according to power, the Father, the Son, the Spirit, for the
Mind, Word and Wisdom, is the Son of the Father, and the Spirit
an emanation, or influence, as light from fire.”
Theophilus, bishop of Antioch, flourished under the emperor Antoninus
Verus: in a treatise of his
he has these words concerning the Word and
Son of God,.13
“God having his logon endiaqeton, internal word within himself,
begat him, when he brought him forth with his wisdom before all
things; this word he used in working those things that were made
by him, and he made all things by him. — The prophets were not
when the world was made; but the wisdom of God, which is in him,
and the holy word of God, was always present with him;”
in proof of which he produces

Proverbs 8:27, And in another place,
speaking of the voice Adam heard, says,
“What else is the voice, but the word of God who is his Son? not as
the poets and writers of fables, who say, the sons of the gods are
born of copulation; but as the truth declares, the internal Word
being always in the heart of God, before any thing was made, him
he had as his counsellor, being his mind and prudence, when God
would do what he counselled, he begat the Word, and having
begotten the Word, the first-born of every creature, he always
conversed with his Word,”
for which he quotes

John 1:1-3.
6. Clemens of Alexandria, flourished under the emperors Severus and
Caracalla, towards the latter end of the second century, he bears a plain
testimony to the doctrine of the Trinity, concluding one of his treatises
“Let us give thanks, praising the only Father and the Son, both
teachers, with the holy Spirit, in which are all things, in whom are
all things, and by whom all are one, — to whom “be glory now and
for ever, Amen”
He speaks
of Cbrist the perfect word, as born of the perfect Father; and
of the Son of God,
“that he never goes out of his watchtower, who is not divided nor
dissecated, nor passes from place to place, but is always every
where, is contained no where, all mind, all paternal light, all eye;
who sees all things, hears all things knows all things by his power,
searches powers, and to whom the whole militia of angels and gods
(magistrates) is subject. — This is the Son of God, the Savior and
Lord whom we speak of, and the divine prophecies shew.”.14
A little after he speaks of him as,
“begotten without beginning, that is, eternally begotten, and who,
before the foundation of the world, was the Father’s counsellor,
that wisdom in whom the almighty God delighted; for Son is the
power of God; who before all things were made, was the most
ancient word of the Father. — Every operation of the Lord has a
reference to the almighty; and the Son is, as I may say, a certain
energy of the Father.”
This ancient writer frequently attacks and refutes the Carpocratians,
Valentinians, and Gnostics, and other heretics of this and the preceding
age. I proceed,
III. To the third century, The heresies which sprung up in this age
respecting the Person, Sonship, and Deity of Christ, were those of
Berullus, who revived that of Artemon, and of the Noetians or Sabellians,
sometimes called Patripassians, and of the Samosatenians.
1st, Beryllus, bishop of Bostra in Arctia, who for some time behaved well
in his office, as Jerom says,
but at length fell into this notion, that Christ
was not before his incarnation; or as Eusebius
expresses it, that our
Lord and Savior did not subsist in his own substance before he sojourned
among men, and had no deity of his own residing in him, but his Father’s;
but through disputations he had with several bishops and particularly with
Origen, he was recovered from his error and restored to the truth.
2. The Noetians, so called from Noctus, and afterwards Sabellians, from
Sabellius, a disciple of the former; those held that Father, Son, and Spirit,
are one person under these different names. The foundation of their heresy
was laid by Simon Magus, as before observed. They were sometimes called
Praxeans and Hermogeniaus, from Praxeus and Hermogenes, the first
authors of it, who embraced the same notions in this period, and sometimes
Patripassians, because, in consequence of this principle, they held that the
Father might be said to suffer as the Son.
3. The Samosatenians, so called from Paul of Samosate, bishop of Antioch,
who revived the heresy of Artemo, that Christ was a mere man. He held
that Christ was no other than a common man; he refused to own that he
was the Son of God, come from heaven; he denied that the only begotten
Son and Word was God of God: he agreed with the Noetians and.15
Sabellians, that there was lint one person in the Godhead;
of these
notions he was convicted, and for them condemned by the synod at
The writers of this age are but few, whose writings have been continued
and transmitted to us; but those we have, strongly opposed the errors now
mentioned; the chief are Tertullian, Origen, and Cyprian, besides in some
fragments of others.
1. Tertullian, He wrote against Praxeus, who held the same notion that
Noctus and Sabellius did, in which work he not only expresses his firm
belief of the Trinity in Unity, saying;
“nevertheless the oeconomy is preserved, which disposes Unity into
Trinity, three, not in state or nature, essence) but in degree (or
person) not in substance but in form, not in power but in species, of
one substance, of one state, and of one power, because but one
God, from whom these degrees, forms and species are deputed,
under the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the holy
And that he means three distinct persons, is clear from what he afterwards
“whatsoever therefore was the substance of the Word, that I call a
person, and to him I give the name of Son; and whilst I
acknowledge a Son, I defend a second from the Father.”
The distinction of the Father and Son from each other, and the eternal
generation of the one from the other, are fully expressed by him
“this rule as professed by me, is every where held; by which I
testify, the Father, Son, and Spirit are inseparable from each other;
— for lo, I say, another is the Father, and another is the Son, and
another is the holy Spirit; — not that the Son is another from the
Father, by diversity, but by distribution; not another by division, but
by distinction: — another is he that generates, and another he that
is generated: — a “Father must needs have Son that he may be a
Father, and the Son a Father that he may be a Son.”.16
And again, he explains the words in

Proverbs 8:22. (The Lord
possessed me) of the generation of the Son; and on the clause, when he
prepared the heavens, I was with him, he remarks,
“thereby making himself equal to him, by proceeding from whom
he became the Son and first born, as being begotten before all
things; and the only begotten, as being alone begotten of God.”
On these words, Thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee, he
to Praxeas,
“If you would have me believe that he is both Father and Son, shew
me such a passage elsewhere, The Lord said unto himself, I am my
Son, this day have I begotten my self.”
And in another work
of his, he has these words, speaking of the Word,
“this we learn is brought forth from God, and by being brought
forth generated, and therefore called the Son of God, and God,
from the unity of substance; — so that what comes from God, is
God, and the Son of God, and both one:”
that is, one God.
2. Origen. Notwithstanding his many errors, he is very express for the
doctrine of the Trinity, and the distinction of the Father and Son in it, and
of the eternal generation of the Son: he observes
of the Seraphim, in

Isaiah 6:3 that by saying,
“Holy, holy, holy, they preserve the mystery of the Trinity; that it
was not enough for them to cry holy once nor twice, but they take
up the perfect number of the Trinity, that they might manifest the
multitude of the holiness of God, which is the repeated community
of the trine holiness, the holiness of the Father, the holiness of the
only begotten Son, and of the holy Spirit.”
And elsewhere,
allegorizing the show-bread, and the two tenth deals in
one cake, he asks, how two tenths become one lump? because, says he,
“we do not separate the Son from the Father, nor the Father from
the Son,

John 14:9 therefore each loaf is of two tenths, and set
in two positions, that is in two rows, for if there was one position,
it would be confused, and the Word would be mixed of the Father.17
and the Son, but now indeed it is but one bread for them is one will
and one substance; but there are two posifions; that is, two
proprieties of persons (or proper persons for we call him, the
Father who is not the Son: and him the the Son who is not the
Of the generation of the Son of God he thus speaks,
“Jesus Christ himself, who is come, was begotten of the Father
before every creature was.”
And again,
“it is abominable and unlawful to equal God the Father in the
generation of his only begotten Son, and in his substance, to any
one, men or other kind of animals: but there must needs be some
exception, and something worthy of God, to which there can be, no
comparison, not in things only, but indeed not in thought: nor can it
be found by sense, nor can the human thought apprehend, how the
unbegotten God is the Father of the only begotten Son: for
generation is eternal, as brightness is generated from light, for he is
not a Son by adoption of the Spirit extrinsically, but he is a Son by
3. Cyprian. Little is to be met with in his writings on this subject. The
following is the most remarkable and particular;
“the voice of the Father was heard from heaven, This is my beloved
Son, in whom I am well pleased hear ye him; — that this voice
came from thy paternity, there is none that doubts; there is none
who dares to arrogate this word to himself; there is none among the
heavenly troops who dare call the Lord Jesus his Son. Certainly to
thee only the Trinity is known, the Father only knows the Son, and
the Son knows the Father, neither is he known by any unless he
reveals him; in, the school of “divine teaching, the Father is he that
teaches and, instructs, “the Son who reveals and opens the secrets
of God unto us, and the holy Spirit who fits and furnishes us; from
the Father we receive power, from the Son wisdom, and from the
holy Spirit innocence. The Father chooses, the Son loves, the holy
Spirit joins and unites; from the Father is given us eternity, from the
Son conformity to him his image, and from the holy spirit integrity
and liberty; in the Father we are, in the Son we live, in the holy.18
Spirit we are moved, and become proficients; eternal deity and
temporal humanity meet together, and by the tenor of both natures
is made an unity, that it is impossible that what is joined should be
separated from one another.”
As for the Exposition of the Creed, which stands among Cyprian’s works,
and is sometimes attributed to him, it was done by Ruffinus, and the
testimonies from thence will be produced in the proper place.
4. Gregory of Neocaesarea, sometimes called Thaumaturgus, the wonder-worker,
lived in this century, to whom is ascribed
the following
confession of faith;
“One God, the Father of the living Word, of subsisting wisdom and
power, and of the eternal character, perfect begetter of the perfect
One, Father of the only begotten Son: and God the Son, who is
through all. The perfect Trinity, which in glory eternity and
kingdom, cannot be divided • nor alienated. Not therefore anything
created or servile is in the Trinity, nor any thing superinduced, nor
first and last; nor did the Son ever want a Father, nor the Son a
Spirit: but the Trinity is always the same, immutable and
And among his twelve articles of faith, with an anathema annexed to them,
this is one:
“If any one says, another is the Son who was before the world, and
another who was an the last times, and does not confess, that he
who was before the world, and he who was in the last times, is the
same, as it is written, let him be anathema.”
The interpolation follows; how can it be said, another is the Son of God
before the world was, and another in the last days, when the Lord says,
before Abraham was, I am; and because I came forth from the Father, and
am come; and again, I go to my Father?”
5. Dionysius, bishop of Alexandria, was a disciple of Origen: he wrote
against the Sabellians,
but none, of his writings are extant, only some
fragments preserved in other authors. And whereas Arius made use of
some passages of his, and improved them in favor of his own notions,
Athanasius from him shows the contrary, as where in one of his volumes
he expressly says,
“there never was a time in which God was not a Father; and in the
following acknowledges, that Christ the Word, Wisdom and Power,
always was; that he is the eternal Son of the eternal Father; for if
there is a Father, there must be a Son; and if there was no Son, how
could he be the Father of any? but there are both, and always were.
The Son alone always co-existed with the Father. God the Father
always was; and the Father being eternal, the Son also is eternal,
and co-existed with him as brightness with light.” And in answer to
another objection, made against him, that when he mentioned the
Father, he said nothing of the Son; and when he named the Son,
said nothing of, the Father; it is observed,
that in another volume
of his; he says, that each of these names spoken of by me; are
inseparable and indivisible from one another; when I speak of the
Father, and before I introduce the Son, I signify him in the Father;
when I introduce the Son; though I have not before spoken of the
Father, he is always to be understood in the Son.”
6. The errors of Paulus Samosate were condemned by the synod at
Antioch, towards the latter end of this century, by whom
a formula or
confession of faith was agreed to, in which are these words.
“We profess that our Lord Jesus Christ was begotten of the Father
before ages, according to the Spirit, and in the last days, born of a
virgin, according to the flesh.”
The word omousiov, consubstantial, is used in their creed. Towards the
close of this century, and at the beginning of the next, lived Lactantius, (for
he lived under Dioclesian, and to the times of Constantine) who asserts,
that God, the maker of all things, begat
“a Spirit holy, incorruptible, and irreprehensible, whom he called
the Son.”
He asks,
“how hath he procreated? The divine works can neither be known
nor declared by any; nevertheless the scriptures teach, that the Son
of God is the Word of God.”
Nothing more is to be observed in this century. I pass on,.20
IV. To the fourth century, in which rose up the:Arians and Photinians, and
others, 1st, The Arians, so called from Arius, a presbyter of the church at
Alexandria, in the beginning of this century, who took occasion from some
words dropped in disputation by Alexander his bishop, to oppose him, and
start the heresy that goes under his name; and though the eternal Sonship
of Christ was virtually denied by preceding heretics, who affirmed that
Christ did not exist before Mary; in opposition to whom the orthodox
affirmed, that he was begotten, of the Father before all worlds; yet Arius
was, the first, who pretended to acknowledge the Trinity, that actually and
in express words set. himself to oppose the eternal Sonship of Christ by
generation; and argued much in the same manner as those do, who oppose
it now: for being a man who had a good share of knowledge of the art of
logic, as the historian observes,
he reasoned thus:
“If the Father begat the Son, he that is begotten, must have a
beginning of his existence, from whence it is manifest, that there
was a time when the Son was not; and therefore it necessarily
follows, that he had his subsistence from things that are not;”
or was brought out of a state of non existence into a state of existence. He
understood generated in no other sense than of being created or made; and
asserted, that he was created by God before time, and was the first
creature, and by which he made all others; in proof of which he urged

Proverbs 8:22 taking the advantage of the Greek version, which,
instead of possessed me, reads created me the beginning of his ways. His
sentiments will more fully appear from his own words in his epistles to
Eusebius of Nicomedia, and to his own bishop, Alexander of Alexandria;
in his letter to the former, he says,
“Our sentimemts and doctrines are, that the Son is not unbegotten,
nor a part of the unbegotten in any manner, nor out of any subject
matter, but that by will and counsel he subsisted before times and
ages, perfect God, the only begotten, immutable; and that before he
was begotten or created, or decreed or established, he was not, for
he was not unbegotten; we are persecuted because we say, the Son
had a beginning, but God is without beginning: for this we are
persecuted, and because we say, that he is of things that did not
exist (that is, out of nothing;) so we say, that he is not a part of
God, nor out of any subject-matter; and for this we are
And in his letter to his bishop, he thus expresses himself,
“We acknowledge one God, the only unbegotten; — that this God
begat the only begotten Son before time, by whom he made the
world, and the rest of things; that he begot him not in appearence,
but in reality; and that by his will he subsisted, immutable and
unalterable, a perfect creature, but as one of the creatures, a birth,
but as one of the births — We say, that he was created before times
and ages, by the will of God, and received his life and being from
the Father; so that the Father together appointed glories for him; —
The Son without time was begotten by the Father, and was created
and established before the world was; he was not before he was
begotten, but without time was begotten before all things, and
subsisted alone from the alone Father; neither is eternal nor co
eternal, nor co-unbegotten with the Father, nor had he a being
together with the Father.”
What he held is also manifest from his creed,
which he delivered in the
following words,
“I believe in one eternal God, and in his Son whom he created
before the world, and as God he made the Son, and all the Son has,
he has not (of himself,) he receives from God, and therefore the
Son is not equal to, and of the same dignity with the Father, but
comes short of the glory of God, as a workmanship; and in less
than the power of God. I believe in the holy Ghost, who is made by
the Son.”
The Arians were sometimes called Aetians, from Aetius, a warm defender
of the doctrine of Arius, and who stumbled at the same thing that Arius
did; for he could not understand, the historian says,
how that which is
begotten could be co-eternal with him that begets; but when Arias
dissembled and signed that form of doctrine in the Nicene Synod, Aetius
took the opportunity of breaking off from the Arians, and of setting up a
distinct sect, and himself at the head of them. These were after called
Eunomians, from Eunomius, a disciple of Aetius; he is said
to add to and
to exceed the blasphemy of Arias; he with great boldness renewed the
heresy of Aetius, who not only after Arius asserted that the Son was
created out of nothing, but that he was unlike to the Father.
Hence the
followers of these men were called Anomcoeans. There was another sect
called Nativitarians, who were a sucker or branch that sprung from the.22
Eunomians, and refined upon them; these held that the Son had his nativity
of the Father, and the beginning of it from time; yet being willing to
own:that he was co-eternal with the Father, thought that he was with him
before he was begotten of him, that is, that he always was, but not always a
Son, but that he began to be a Son from the time he was begotten There is
a near approach to the sentiments of these in some of our days.
The Arians were also called Macedonians, from Macedonius a violent
persecutor of the orthodox, called Homoousians,”
who believed that the
Son is of the same substance with the Father; but this man afterwards
becoming bishop of Constantinople, refused to call him a creature, whom
the holy scripture calls the Son; and therefore the Arians rejected him, and
he became the author and patron of his own sect; he denied the Son was
consubstantial with the Father, but taught, that in all things he was like to
him that begat him, and in express words called the Spirit a creature,
and the denial of the deity of the holy Spirit is the distinguishing tenet of
his followers.
2dly, The Photinians rose up much about the same time the Arians did, for
they are made mention of in the council of Nice, but their opinions differ
from the Arians. These were sometimes called Marcellians, from
Marcellius of Ancyra, whose disciple Photinus was, and from him named
Photinians. He was bishop of Syrmium; his notions were the same with
Ebion, and Paul of Samosate, that Christ was a mere man, and was only of
Mary; he would not admit of the generation and existence of Christ before
the world was.
His followers were much the same with our modern
Socinians, and who are sometimes called by the same name. According to
Thomas Aquinas,
the Photinians, and so the Cerinthians, Ebionites, and
Samosatenians before them, as they held that Christ was a mere man, and
took his beginning from Mary, so that he only obtained the honor of deity
above others by, the merit of his blessed life; that he was, like other men,
the Son of God by the Spirit of adoption, and by grace born of him, and by
some likeness to God is in Scripture called God, not by nature, but by
some participation of divine goodness.
These heresies were condemned by the several councils and synods held on
account of them, and were refuted by various sound and valuable writers
who lived in this century: to produce all their testimonies would be endless:
I shall only take notice of a few, and particularly such as respect the
Sonship of Christ..23
1. The tenets of Arius were condemned by the council held at Nice in
Bythinia, consisting of three hundred and eighteen bishops, by whom was
composed the following creed or agreement of faith, as the historian calls
“We believe in one God the Father Almighty, the maker of all
things, visible and invisible; and in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son
of God, the only begotten, begotten of the Father, that is, out of the
substance of the Father, God of God, light of light, true God of true
God; begotten not made, consubstantial (or of the same essence)
with the Father, by whom all things are made which are in heaven
and in earth; who for us men, and for our salvation, descended and
became incarnate, and was made man and suffered, and rose again
the third day; ascended up into heaven, and will come to judge the
quick and the dead. And we believe in the holy Spirit. As for those
that say, there was a time when the Son of God was not, and before
he was begotten was not, and that he was made of what does not
exist (out of nothing), and say, he was from another substance, or
essence, or created, or turned, or changed; the holy catholic and
apostolic church anathematises.”
2. Athanasius was a famous champion for the doctrines of the Trinity, the
proper Sonship of Christ, and his eternal generation; to produce all the
testimonies from him that might be produced in proof of those doctrines,
would be to transcribe a great part of his writings; it may be sufficient to
give his creed; not that which is commonly called the Athanasian creed,
which, whether penned by him is a doubt, but that which stands in his
works, and was delivered by him in a personal disputation with Arius, and
is as follows; which he calls an epitome of his faith.
“I believe in one God the Father, the almighty, being always God
the Father; and I believe in God the Word, the only begotten Son of
God, that he co-existed with his own Father; that he is the equal
Son of the Father, and that he is the Son of God; of the same
dignity; that he is always with his Father by his deity, and that he
contains all things in his essence; but the Son of God is not
contained by any, even as God his Father: and I believe in the holy
Ghost, that he is of the essence of the Father, and that the holy
Spirit is co-eternal with the Father and with the Son. The Word, I
say, was made flesh.”.24
After this I would only just observe, that Athanasius having said that the
Son was without beginning and eternally begotten of the Father, farther
that he was begotten ineffably and inconceivably; and elsewhere he
“it is superfluous or rather full of madness to call in question, and in
an heretical manner to ask, how can the Son be eternal? or, how
can he be of the substance (or essence) of the Father, and not be a
part of him?” And a little farther, “it is unbecoming to enquire how
the Word is of God, or how he is the brightness of God, or how
God begets, and what is the mode of the generation of God: he
must be a madman that will attempt such things, since the thing is
ineffable, and proper to the nature of God only, this is only known
to himself and his Son.”
3. Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, whom Arius opposed, and should
have been mentioned first, in an epistle of his to Alexander, bishop of
acquaints him with the opinion of Arius, that there was
a time when the Son of God wits not, and he that was not before,
afterwards existed, and such was he made, when he was made as every
man is; and that the Son of God is out of things that are not, or out of
nothing; he observes to him, that what was his faith and the faith of others,
was the faith of the apostolic church:
“We believe in one unbegotten Father, — and in one Lord Jesus
Christ, the only begotten Son of God; not begotten out of that
which is not, but from the Father; that exists, not in a corporal
manner by incision, or defluctions of divisions, as seemed to
Sabeilius and Valentinus, but in a manner ineffable and
4. Epiphanius wrote a volume against all heresies, and attempts a
confutation of them: and with respect to the Arian heresy, he thus writes;
“God existing incomprehensible, has begat him that is
incomprehensible, before all ages and times, and there is no space
between the Son and the Father, but as soon as you understand a
Father, you understand a Son, and as soon as you name a Father
you shew a Son; the Son is understood by the Father, and the
Father is known by the Son; whence a Son, if he has not a Father?.25
and whence a Father, it he has not begat an only begotten Son? for
when is it the Father cannot be called a Father, or the Son, a Son?
Though some think of a Father without a Son, who afterwards
comes to a proficiency and begets a Son, and so after the birth is
called the Father of that Son: the Father who is perfect, and never
wants perfection, making a progress or proficiency in the deity.”
5. Hilary, bishop of Poictiers in France, wrote against the Arians, and says
many things in opposition to their tenets, concerning the Sonship of Christ,
and his eternal generation; among others, he says
“the unbegotten begot a Son of himself before all time, not from
any subjacent matter, for all things are by the Son, nor out of
nothing, for the Son is from him himself. — He begot the only
begotten in an incomprehensible and unspeakable manner, before all
time and ages, of that which is unbegotten, and so of the
unbegotten, perfect and eternal Father, is the only begotten, perfect
and eternal Son.”
6. Faustinus the presbyter, wrote a treatise against the Arians; who
observes, that they sometimes use the same words and phrases the
orthodox do, but not in the same sense; they speak of God the Father and
of God the Son, but when they speak of the Father, it is not of one who
truly begets, and when they speak of the Son, it is of him as a Son by
adoption, not by nature; and when they speak of him as a Son begotten
before the world was, they attribute a beginning to him, and that there was
a time when he was not; and so they assert him to he of things not existent,
that is, of nothing. He asks,
“How is he truly a Father, who, according to them, does not beget
(truly)? and how is Christ truly a Son, whom they deny to be
generated of him?”
And again,
“How is he the only begotten of the Father, since he cannot be the
only begotten, other Sons existing by adoption? but if he is truly the
only begotten by the Father, therefore because he only is truly
generated of the Father.”
And elsewhere,
“They say God made himself a Son; if he made him out of nothing,
then is he a creature, and not a Son. What is he that you call a Son,
whom you confirm to be a creature, since you say he is made out of
nothing? therefore you cannot call him both a Son and a creature;
for a Son is from birth, a creature from being made.”
And again,
“In this alone the Father differs from the Son, that the one is a
Father, the other a Son; that is the one begets and the other is
begotten; yet not because he is begotten has he any thing less than
what is in God the Father.”

Hebrews 1:3.
Once more

God alone is properly a true Father, who is a Father without
beginning and end, for he did not sometime begin: he is a Father,
but he was always a Father, having always a Son begotten of him,
as he is ahvays the true God, continuing without beginning and
7. Gregory, bishop of Nazianzum, gives many testimonies to the doctrines
of the Trinity and of the Sonship and generation of Christ, against the
Arians and Eunomians: among which are the following:
“We ought, says he,
to acknowledge one God the Father,
without beginning and unbegotten; and one Son, begotten of the
Father; and one Spirit, having subsistence from God, yielding to the
Father, because he is unbegotten, and to the Son, because he is
begotten; otherwise of the same nature, dignity, honor and glory.”
And elsewhere he says,
“If you ask me, I will answer you again, When was the Son
begotten? When the Father was not begotten. When did the Spirit
proceed? When the Son did not proceed, but was begotten before
time, and beyond expression. — How can it be proved, that they
(the Son and Spirit) are, co-eternal with the Father? From hence,
because they are of him, and not after him, for what is without
beginning is eternal.”
And then he goes on to answer the several objections made to the
generation of the Son by the Eunomians. Again he says,
“Believe the Son of God, the word that was before all ages
begotten of the Father before time, and in an incorporeal manner;
the same in the last clays made the Son of man for thy sake, coming
forth from the virgin Mary in an unspeakable manner.”
And elsewhere he says,
“Do you hear of generation? do not curiously enquire how it is. Do
you hear that the holy Spirit proceeds from the Father? do not be
anxiously solicitous how it is: for if you curiously search into the
generation of the Son, and the procession of the Spirit, I shall
curiously enquire into the temperament of the soul and body, how
thou art dust, and yet the image of God? How the mind remains in
thee, and begets a word in another mind?”
8. Basil, called the great archbishop of Caesarea Cappadocia, wrote a
treatise against Eunomius, in which he says,
“As there is one God the Father always remaining the Father, and
who is for ever what he is; so there is one Son, born by an eternal
generation, who is the true Son of God, who always is what he is,
God the Word and Lord; and one holy Spirit, truly the holy Spirit.”
“Why therefore, O incredulous man, who dost not believe that God
has an own Son, dost thou enquire how God begets? if truly thou
askest of God how and where also, as in a place and when as in
time; which, if absurd to ask such things concerning God, it will be
more abominable not to believe.”
And a little after he says,
“If God made all out of nothing by his will, without labor, and that
is not incredible to us; it will certainly be more credible to all, that
it; became God to beget an own Son of himself, in the divine
nature, without passion, of equal honor, and of equal glory, a
counsellor of the same seat, a co-operator consubstantial with God
the Father; not of a divers substance, nor alien from his sole deity;
for if he is not so, neither is he adorable, for it is written thou shall
not worship a strange God.”.28
9. Gregory, bishop of Nyssa, the brother of Basil, wrote against Eunomius,
in which we have this passage.
“He (Eunomius) does say, that he (the Son) was truly begotten
before the world. Let him say of whom he was begotten: he must
say of the Father entirely, if he is not ashamed of the truth; but from
the eternal Father there is no separating the eternity of the Son; the
word Father “contains a Son.”
10. Ambrose, bishop of Milan, after having said many things in opposition
to Arius, Sabellius, Phontius, and Eunomius, observes, that
“when you speak of a Father, you also design his Son, for no man is
a father to himself; and when you name a son, you confess his
father, for no man is a son to himself; therefore neither the son can
lie without the father, nor the father without the son; therefore
always a father and always a son.”
He has also these words:
“You ask me, how he can be a son if he has not a prior father? I ask
of you also, when or how you think the Son is generated? for to me
it is impossible to know the secret of generation; the mind fails, the
voice is silent; and not mine only, but that of the angels; it is above
angels, above powers, above cherubim, above seraphim, and above
all understanding, if the peace of Christ is above all understanding,

Philippians 4:7 must not such a generation be above all
And in another place,
“God the Father begat the Word co-eternal with himself and co-omnipotent,
with whom he produced the holy Spirit; hence we
believe that the substance of the Son and of the holy Spirit existed
before any creature, out of all time; that the Father is the begetter,
the Son is begotten, and the holy Spirit the holiness and the Spirit
of the begetter and the begotten.”
11. Jerom the presbyter, and a noted writer in this century, speaking of the
Arians says,
“Let them understand, that they glory in vain of the testimony in
which Wisdom speaks of being created in the beginning of the ways.29
of God, and begotten and established; for it, according to them, he
was created, he could not be begotten or born: if begotten or born,
how could he be established and created?”
And a little after he says “God, the
“Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, is a Father according to substance
(or essence,) and the only begotten is not a Son. by adoption, but
by nature; whatsoever we say of the Father and the Son, this we
know is said of the holy Spirit.”
Here the creed of Damasus might be taken notice of, in which he says,
“God has begot a Son, not by will nor by necessity, but by nature;”
and in the explanation of it, it is said,
“Not because we say the Son is begotten of the Father by a divine
and ineffable generation, do we ascribe any time to him, for neither
the Father nor the Son began to be at any time; nor do we any
otherwise confess an eternal Father, but we also confess a co-eternal
Also Ruffinus’s exposition of the apostles creed, which stands among
Jerom’s works,
“when you hear of a Father, understand the Father of a Son, the
image of his substance; but how God begat a Son do not discuss,
nor curiously intrude into the depth of this secret.
12. The errors of the Photinians were not only confuted by the several
above writers, but Photinus himself was condemned by the synod at
Syrmium, of which place he had been bishop; and in the formula of faith
agreed on therein, among others, are the following articles,
“We believe in one God the Father almighty, the creator and maker
of all things; — and in his only begotten Son our Lord Jesus Christ,
who was begotten of the Father before all ages; — and in the holy
Spirit: — and as to those that say, that the Son is of things that are
not, (or of nothing) or of another substance, and not of God; and
that there was a time or age when he was not, the holy and catholic
church reckons them as aliens. — If any one dare to say, that the
un-begotten or a part of him was born of Mary, let him be.30
anathema: and if any one say that he is the Son of Mary by
prescience, and not begotten of the Father before the world, and
was with God by whom all things are made, let him be anathema.
— If any one says, that Christ Jesus was not the Son of God before
the world was, and ministered to the Father at the creation of all
things, but only from the time he was born of Mary was called Son
and Christ, and then received the beginning of deity, let him be
anathema, as a Samosatenian.”
13. The formulas, creeds, and confessions of faith, made by different
persons, and at different places, besides the Nicene creed, and even some
that differed in other things from that and from one another, yet all agreed
in inserting the clause respecting their faith in Christ, the only begotten
Son, as begotten of the father before all ages, or the world was; as at
Antioch, Syrmium, Ariminum, Selucia, and Constantinople.
14. Before the Nicene creed was made, or any of the above creeds, this
was an article of faith with the orthodox christians, that Christ was the
eternal begotten Son of God. From the Writings of Cyril, bishop of
Jerusalem, who lived in the fourth century, may be collected a symbol or
creed containing the faith of the church, and in which this article is fully
that Christ
“is the only begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all
worlds, the true God by whom all things are made;”
and which article he strongly asserts and defends; and the creed which he
explains, is thought to be the
same which the first and ancient church
always professed, and from the beginning; and perhaps is what Eusebius
refers unto, who was bishop of Caesarea in Palestine, when he declared
his faith in the council at Nice; our formula, says he, which was read in the
presence of our emperor (Constantine) most dear to God, is as we
received it from the bishops that were before us; and as when catechized
and received the laver (that is, were baptized,) and as we learnt from the
divine writings, and is in this manner,
“We believe in one God the Father Almighty, — and in one Lord
Jesus Christ, the Word of God, the only begotten Son, the first-born
of every creature, begootten of God the Father before all
worlds, by whom all things are made, etc.”.31
Nor indeed was the word omoousiov, consubstantial, which expresses the
Son’s being of the same substance, nature and essence with the Father, a
new word,
devised in the council of Nice; for it was in use before,
Athanasius has proved from the same Eusebius.
“The bishops, he says, (that is, those assembled at Nice) did not
invent these words of themselves, but having a testimony from the
Fathers, so they wrote; for the ancient bishops near a hundred and
thirty years before, both in the great city of Rome, and in our city
(Alexandria) reproved those that said that the Son was a creature,
and not consubstantial with the Father;”
and this Eusebius who was bishop of Caesarea, knew, who first gave into
the Arian heresy, but afterwards subscibed to the synod at Nice; for being
confirmed, he wrote to his own people thus,
“We find, says he, some sayings of the ancient and famous bishops
and writers, who use the word consubstantial in treating of the
deity of the Father and of the Son.”
And certain it is, that it is used by Gregory of Neocaesarea,
who lived
before the council of Nice, and by the synod at Antioch in their creed,
held A. D. 277.
V. In the fifth century Arianism continued and prospered, having many
abettors, as well as many who opposed it: other heresies also arose, and
some in opposition to the Sonship of Christ.
1st. Felicianus, the Arian, argued against it thus,
“If Christ was born of a virgin, how can he be said to be co-eternal
with God the Father?”
To whom Austin replied,
“The Son of God entered into the womb of the virgin, that he might
be again born, who had been already begotten before, he received
the whole man (or whole humanity) who had had already perfect
deity from the Father, not unlike was he to the begetter, when being
everlasting he was begotten from eternity, nor unlike to men when
born of his mother.”.32
2dly, Faustus, the Manichee, asserted, that according to the evangelists,
Christ was not the Son of God, only the Son of David, until he was thirty
years of age, and was baptized: to which Austin replied,
“The catholic and apostolic faith is, that our Lord and Savior Jesus
Christ, is the Son of God according to Deity, and the Son of David,
according to the flesh: which we so prove from the evangelic and
apostolic writings, as that no man can contradict our proofs, unless
he contradicts limit express words.”
3dly, The Priscillianists asserted that Christ is called the only begotten Son
of God, because he only was born of a virgin; to which Leo Magnus makes
“Let them take which they will, their tenets tend to great impiety,
whether they mean, that the Lord Christ had his beginning from his
mother, or deny him to be the only begotten of God the Father;
since he was born of his mother, who was God the Word, and none
is begotten of the Father but the Word.”
The writers in this century are many, who have plainly and strongly
asserted the eternal generation and Sonship of Christ: as Augustine,
Chrysostom, Proclus archbishop of Constantinople, Leo Magnus,
Theodoret, Cyril of Alexandria,
Paulinus, Victor, Maximus
Taurinensis, etc. it may be abundantly sufficient only to mention the
following formulas, or confessions of faith.
1. Of Augustine, bishop of Hippo, or of Sennadius, presbyter of Marseilles
in France, to whom it is sometimes ascribed:
“We believe there is one God, the Father, Son, and holy Spirit; the
Father because he has a Son, the Son because he has a Father; the
holy Spirit because he is from the Father and the Son (proceeding
and co-eternal with the Father and the Son,) — the eternal Father,
because he has an eternal Son, of whom he is the eternal Father; the
eternal Son, because he is co-eternal with the Father and the holy
Spirit; the eternal holy Spirit, because he is co-eternal with the
Father and the Son.”
2. Of Flavianus, bishop of Constantinople, which he delivered in conc.
Constantinop. A. D. 448 approved of by the synod at Chalcedon, A. D.
“Our Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, perfect God
and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and body; begotten indeed of
the Father, without beginning and before the world, according to
deity, but in the end, in the last days, the same was born of the
virgin Mary for our salvation, according to humanity;
consubstantial with the Father, according to deity, consubstantial
with his mother according to “humanity; for of two natures we
confess that Christ is after the incarnation in one subsistence, in one
person. we confess one Christ, one Son, one Lord.”
3. Of the council at Chalcedon, consisting of six hundred and thirty
“Following the holy fathers, say they, we all harmoniously teach
and confess our Lord Jesus Christ: that he is perfect in deity and
perfect in humanity, truly God and truly man, of a rational soul and
body; co-essential with the Father according to the deity, and co-essential
with us according to the humanity, in all things like unto
us, excepting sin, but begotten of the Father before the world,
according to the deity: and in the last days, for us and our salvation,
was of the virgin Mary, the mother of our Lord, according to the
humanity, etc.”
VI. In the sixth century were a sort of heretics called Bo-o-nosians, who
held that Christ was not the proper but adoptive Son; against whom
dustinian bishop of Valae in Spain wrote;
and Arianism spread and
prevailed under the Gothic kings in several parts. Fulgentius speaks of the
tenets of the Arians in this time, that the Word or Son of God was not of
the same substance with the Father.
This author wrote an answer to ten
objections of theirs: to the first, concerning diversity of words and names
used, he replies,
“When Father and Son are named, in these two names a diversity of
words is acknowledged, but neither by those two different words
the nature of both is signified, for the diversity of those names does
not divide the natures, but shews the truth of the generation, as
from one true Father, we know that one true Son exists.”
To the second objection, concerning the ineffability of generation, he
“because the generation of the Son is unspeakable, it is not
unknowable, nor does it follow, because it cannot be declared, that
it cannot be known.”
Chilpericus, king of the Franks, endeavored to revive the Sabellian heresy,
but was opposed by Gregory Furnensis:
besides Fulgentius and
Gregory, there were others in this age who asserted and defended the
eternal generation and Son-ship of Christ, as Fortunatus, Cassiodorus,
Gregorius Magnus, and others;
and even by a synod consisting of
Gothic bishops,
in number sixty three. In the same century the famous
Boetius declares his faith in God the Father, in God the Son, and in God
the holy Ghost; that the Father has a Son begotten of his substance, and
co-eternal with him, whose generation no human mind call conceive of.
VII. In the seventh century, towards the beginning of it, rose up that vile
impostor Mahomet, as bitter an enemy to the true, proper and eternal
Sonship of Christ, as ever was, for which he gave the following brutish and
stupid reasons;
“because God did not need a Son, because if he had a Son, they
might not agree, and so the government of the world be disturbed.”
Reasons which require no answer, Not to take notice of the several
councils at Toletum, held in this century, in which the article of Christ’s
eternal Son-ship was asserted and maintained, I would observe what is said
in a Roman synod, consisting of a hundred and twenty five bishops, in
which Agatho the Roman pontiff presided;
“We believe, say they, in God the Father almighty, maker of heaven
and earth, and of all things visible and invisible; and in his only
begotten Son, who was begotten of him before all worlds.”
VIII. In the eighth century, the notion that Christ, though the true,
proper, and natural Son of God according to the divine nature, yet
according to the human nature was only the Son of God by adoption and
grace, an adoptive Son, was propagated by Elipandus and Felix, Spanish
bishops; but condemned by the council at Frankfort, called by Charles the
and the eternal Sonship and generation of Christ was asserted and
maintained by Damascene, Bede, Albinus, and others.
IX. In the ninth, tenth and eleventh centuries, the controversies were
chiefly about Image-worship, Transubstantiation, etc. yet in theseand the
following centuries, we have testimonies from various writers to the truth
of Christ’s proper and eternal Sonship by generation; it would be too
numerous to produce them all; it will be sufficient to say, it was not
opposed by any, but plainly and strongly affirmed by Rabanus, Macerus,
and Haymo in century 9 by Theophilact, in century 10 by Anselm, in
century 11 by Peter Lombard and Bernard, in century 12 by Thomas
Aquinas and Albertus Magnus, in century 13, but in these and the
following centuries, till the Reformation, Satan had other work to do than
to stir up men to oppose the Trinity, or any of the divine persons in it,
having enough to do to support the hierarchy of Rome, and the peculiar
tenets of Popery, against the witnesses who rose up at different times to
oppose them, and to endeavor to carry the pride and tyranny of the bishop
of Rome to the highest pitch possible.
X. When the Reformation began in the sixteenth century, and spread
throughout many nations in Europe, great evangelical light broke forth
among the Reformers; and Satan fearing his kingdom would greatly suffer
hereby, went to his old game again, which he had played with so much
success in the first ages of christianity, namely, to stir up an opposition to
the doctrine of the Trinity, and the person of Christ; which was first begun
by Servetus in Helvetia, who afterwards came to Geneva and there ended
his life.
Blandrata, infected with his principles, went into Poland, and
there artfully spread his poison in the reformed churches, assisted by
others, and which at length issued in a division in those churches; when
Faustus Socinus, who had imbibed some bad notions from the papers of his
uncle Laelius about the Trinity, came into Poland, and joined the
Antitrinitarians there, and strengthened their cause, and where the notions
of him and his followers took root and flourished much: and from thence
bays been transplanted into other countries, Those men, who were men of
keen parts and abilities, saw clearly that could they demolish the article of
Christ’s Son-ship by eternal generation, it would be all over with the
doctrine of the Trinity; and therefore set themselves with all their might
against it.
Socinus himself says of it,
not only that it is error and a
mere human invention, and which he represents as if it was held to be more
animantium; but that it is most absurd, most unworthy of God, and
contrary to his absolute perfection and unchangeable eternity;
asserts, that Christ is not called the only begotten Son of God, becase.36
generated of the substance of God; and that there is no other, nor ever
existed any other only begotten Son of God, besides that man, Jesus of
Nazareth: and expressly says, it clearly appears, that the human nature of
Christ is the person of the Son of God; and elsewhere
makes the same
objection to Sonship by generation as Mahomet did, for he says,
“Those who accommodate the Word brought forth in

8:24 to the Son, are not according to the judgment of the
Homoousians, to be reckoned very distant from the blasphemy of
the Turks, who when they hear that the Christians say, God has a
Son, ask, Who is his wife?”
And in this article concerning the Sonship of Christ, and also with respect
to the doctrine of the Trinity, the Remonstrants,
in the seventeenth
century and onwards, seem to agree with them; but the contrary has been
maintained by all sound divines and evangelical churches, from the
Reformation to the present time, as appears by their writings and harmony
of confessions: so that upon the whole it is clear, that the church of God
has been in the possession of this doctrine of the eternal generation and
Sonship of Christ, from the beginning of christianity to the present age,
almost eighteen hundred years; nor has there been any one man who
professed to hold the doctrine of the Trinity, or of the three distinct divine
persons in the unity of the divine essence, that ever opposed it, till the
latter end of the seventeenth century: if any such person in this course of
time can be named, let him be named: none but the followers of Simon
Magus, Cerinthus, Ebion, Carpocrates, the Gnosticks, etc. in the two first
centuries, and then by the Sabellians, Samosatenians, Arians, Photinians,
Mahometans, Socinians, and more lately by the Remonstrants, such as are
Antitrinitarians. The only two persons I have met with who have professed
to hold the doctrine of the Trinity, as it has been commonly received, that
have publicly expressed their doubts or dissatisfaction about the phrase
eternal generation, I mean such as are of any note or character, for as for
the trifling tribe of ignorant writers and scribblers, who know not what
they say, nor whereof they affirm, I make no account of them; I say, I have
met with only two of this sort. The one is Roell, a Dutch Professor at
Franeker, who lived at the latter end of the last century; this man professed
to believe that there are three distinct divine persons, the Father, Son, and
Spirit, and that these three are one; that the second person in the Trinity
was begotten by the Father from all eternity, and that this is the first and
chief reason that he is called a Son; nor did he object to the use of the.37
phrase eternal generation, nor did he disuse it, but explained it to another
sense than that in which it was commonly taken, that is, that it only
signified the co-existence of the second person with the first, and
communion of nature with him. But as the same may be said of the first
and third persons, the phrase of generation so understood might be said of
them as well as of the second; he therefore was obliged to have recourse to
the oeconomy of salvation, and the manifestation of the three persons in it.
On the whole, he was opposed by the very learned Vitringa,
and his
opinion was proscribed and condemned by almost all the synods of the
Dutch churches, and he was forbid by the authority of his supreme
magistrate to propagate it; and most of the synods have decreed, that the
candidates for the ministry shall be examined about this opinion, before
they are admitted into the ministry.
The other person, who has objected
to the eternal generation of the Son of God, is Dr. Thomas Ridgeley,
Professor of Divinity in London, towards the beginning of the present
who strongly asserts, and contends for the doctrine of a Trinity
of divine distinct persons in the Godhead, and vet strangely adopts the
Socinian notion or Sonship by office, and makes the eternal Sonship of
Christ to be what he calls his mediatorial Sonship. There is indeed a third
person of great flame among us, Dr. Isaac Watts, who has expressed his
dissatisfaction with the doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son of
God, but then he is not to be reckoned a Trinitarian, being so manifestly in
the Sabellian scheme, as appears by his Dissertations published in 1725.
Insomuch that the celebrated Fred. Adolphus Lampe, who published his
Theological Disputations concerning the holy Spirit, two or three years
after, spares not to reckon him among the grosset Sabellians: his words
“Nuperius novum systema Socinianum de Trinitate Angtiee J.
WATS edidit, additis quibusdam dissertationibus eam illustrantibus,
quaram quinta ex professo de spiritu S. agit. Existimat quidem sect.
o. p. 126. eatenus se a Socino, Schlictingio, Crellio esse
distinguatum, quod virituem in Deo non accidentalem, sed
essentialem, seu substantialem pro spiritu S. habeat: hoc tamen ita
facit, ut non censeat hanc notionem constanter ubique obtinere:
nam saepius “cum crassioribus Sabellianis spiritum S. esse Deum
ipsum, p. 130. s. 49. defendit.”
Upon the whole, setting aside the said persons, the testimonies for and
against the eternal generation and Sonship of Christ stand thus:.38
Ignatius, Polycarp, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Athenagoras, Theophilus of
Antioch, Clemens of Alexandria, Tertullian, Origen, Cyprian, Gregory of
Neoccesaria, Dionysius of Alexandria, the three hundred and eighteen
Nicene Fathers; Athanasius, Alexander bishop of Alexandria, Epiphanius,
Hilary, Faustinus, Gregory of Nazianzum, Basil, Gregory of Nyssa,
Ambrose, Jerom, Ruffinus, Cyril of Jerusalem, besides the many hundreds
of bishops and presbyters assembled at different times and in different
places, as, at Syrmium, Antioch, Arminum, Seleucia, and Constantinople,
and elsewhere;
Simon Magus, Cerinthus, and Ebion, and their respective followers;
Carpocrates and the Gnostick, Valentinus, Theodotus the currier,
Artemon, and others their associates; Beryllus of Bostra, Praxeus,
Hermogenes, Noctius and Sabellius, the Samosatenians, Arians, Aetians,
Eunomians and Photinians, the Priscillianists and Bonotians; Mahomet and
his followers; the Socinians and Remonstrants; and all Anti-trinitarians;
Augustine, Chrysostom, Leo Magnus, Theodoret, Cyril of Alexandria,
Paulinus, Flavianus, Victor, Maximus Tauriensis, six hundred and thirty
fathers in the council at Chalcedon; Fulgentius, Gregory Turnasis,
Fortunatus, Cassioclorus, Gregorius Magaus, the many bishops in the
several councils at Toletum, the Roman synod of a hundred and twenty-five
under Agatho, Damascene, Beda, Albinus, and the fathers in the
council of Francford, with many others in later times, and all the sound
divines and evangelic churches since the reformation.
Now since it appears that all the sound and orthodox writers have
unanimously declared for the eternal generation and Sonship of Christ in all
ages, and that those only of an unsound mind and judgment, and corrupt in
other things as well as this, and many of them men of impure lives and vile
principles, have declared against it, such must be guilty of great temerity
and rashness to join in an opposition with the one against the other; and to
oppose a doctrine the Church of God has always held, and especially being
what the scriptures abundantly bear testimony unto, and is a matter of such
moment and importance, being a fundamental doctrine of the christian
religion, and indeed what distinguishes it from all other religions, from
those of Pagans, Jews and Mahometans, who all believe in God, and.39
generally in one God, but none of them believe in the Son of God: that is
peculiar to the christian religion.
Irenaeus adv. Haeres l. 1. C. 20.
De Haeres. C. 1.
Comment. in Matt. xxix. 5. tom. 9. fol. 33. A.
Tertullian de praescript. haeret c. 46.
Irenaeus adv. Haeres. l. 3. c. 3.
Tertullian ut supra, c. 48.
Irenaeus ib. l. 1. c. 25.
Catalog. Scrip. eccles. c. 19. sic Irenaeus 1.3. c. 11.
Eccles. Hist. l. 3. c. 27. vid. Tertullian de carne Christ. c. 18
De Trinitate l. 7. p. 81,82.
Catalog. scrip. eccl. c. 117.
Apud Theodoret.hist. eccles. 1. 1. c. 4.
Barnabae epist. c. 9.
Barnabae epist. c. 4.
Clemens. epist. ad Coriuth. P. 84. ed. Oxon. 1669.
Eccles. Hist. 1. 3. c. 36.
Epist. ad Ephes. p.21. Ed. Voss
Ibid. p. 125.
Ibid. p. 136.
Ibid. p. 138.
Epist. as Magnes. p. 33, 34, 37.
Page 145, 147, 151.
AD. Trallianos, p. 160.
Ad. Philadelph. p. 176.
Ad Phillipans, p. 100.
Entitled, Philopatris.
Euseb. hist. eccles. 1. 4. c. 7..41
Ibid. 1. 5. c. 28.
Irenaeus adv. haeres. 1. 1. c. 24. Tertull. de praescript. haeret. c. 48.
Irenaeus ib. Epiphan. contra haeret. haer. 27. Theodoret. haeret. fol. 1.
1. c. 7. Aug. de haeret. c. 7.
Irenaeus 1. 3. c. 4.
Ibid. 1. c. 1. Tertull. de praescript. c. 49. Epiphan. haeres. 31
Adv. Valentin. c. 27: & de carne Christ. c. 20.
Euseb. Eccles. Hist. 1. 5. c. 25. Theodoret. haecret. fol: 1. 2. c. 5.
Wittichii Theolog. pacific. c. 17. s. 25.
Euseb.eccles. hist. 1. 5. c. 28.
Epiphan. Haeres. 54.
De praescript. Haeer. c. 53
Euseb. 1. 4. c. 15.
Page 44.
Adv. Haeres. 1, 2, c. 43.
Adv. Hieres, 2. c. 48.
„Ibid. lib. 4. c. 37.
Legatio pro Christian, p, 10, 11,
Legratio pro Christian, p 27.
Ad. Antolog. c. 1. q. p, 88.
Ibid. p. 100.
Paedagog. I. 3. p. 266.
Ibid. I. I. c. p. 92,
Stromat. 1. 7. p 702, 703.
Catalog. Script. Ecclesiastes c. 70.
Hist. Ecclesiastes 1. 6, c. 33.
Epiphan. Haeres 42. Aug. de haeres, c. 36, 41.
Euseb. Ecclesiastes Hist. I. 7. c. 07, 30. Epiphan, Haeret. 65. Aug. de
Haeres. c. 44.
Euseb. lb. c. 29,
Adv, Praxcam. c. 2..42
Adv. Praxeam. c. 11.
ApolegeL c. 21.
In Esaiam Homil. 1. sol. 100. 4.& Homil. 4, fill. 103. 3.
In Leviticus Homil. 13. fol. 88.1.
peri Arcwn proem fol. 111.4.
Ibid 2l1. c. 2. fok 114.4.,vial. Pan, phiL Atmlog. pro Origen. inter opere
Hieronom. tom. 4. fol. 74. M. & foL 77. A.
Cyprian de baptisnio inter Opera, ejus p. 455.
Expos. Fidei iuter opera ejus, p. 1. cd. Paris.
Epist. ad Xystum spud Euseb. 1:7. c. O. & ad Ammonium &
Igaphrauor. spud Athanasium de Sent Dionys. p. 433, 435.
Elench. & Apolog; vol. 1. spud Athanas; lb. p. 436, 437.
Ibid. vol. 2. apud Athauas. ibid. p. 437.
Apud. Forbes. Instruct. Hist. Theolog. 1. l. c. 4. p. 10.
De verb. Sap. 1. 4. c. 6.
Ibid, c. 8.
Socrat. Hist. Eccl. 1. 1. c. 5.
Apud Theodoret. Eccl. Hist. I. 1. c. 5.
Apud Epiphan. Haeres. 69.
Apud Athanas. in Nie. concil, contr. Arium disput, p. 81, 82.
Socrat. Eccl. Hist, 1. 2. c. 36.
Theodoret. Eccl. Hist. 1. 2. c. 29,
Sosomen. Eccl. Hist. 1. 6. c. 26.
Soerxt. Eccl. Hist. 1. 2. c. 38,
Theodoret, Eccl. Hist. 1. 2. c. 6.
Theodoret. ibid, 1. 5. c. 11. Socrat. 1.7. c. 32. Sozoraon. I. 4. c. 6.
Contr. Gentiles, 1.4. e. 4. p. 610.
Socrat. Hist. I. 1. c. 8.
Contr. Arian. dislmt, inter opera ojus. vol. 1. p. 83.
Exposit fidei, vol. I. p. 394.
„Contr. Arian, Orat, 3. p. 211, 214..43
Aired Theodoret. Hist. I. 1. c. 4,
Contr. Haeres, 1.2. tom, 2 haeres. 69.
De Trinitate, 1. 3. p. 23, 24. rid. ibid. de Unitate fitii & patris, p. 650.
De Trinitate conh’. Arian c. 1. p. 3c,.
De Trinitate contr. Arian. c. 3. p. 124.
Ibid c. 7. p. 157 Ed Oxon.
Orat 26. p. 445.
Orat 35. p. 563.
Orat 40. p. 674.
Orat. 29. I’. 4,92.
Adv. Eunom. I. 5. c. i 1.
lbid. c. 14.
Basil ibid.
„Contr. Eunom. Orat. 1. p, 30.
De Fide ad Gratian. C. 5. p. 119, 120.
In symbolism apostol. c. 1. p. 87. tom. 4.
In Epist. ad Ephes. fol. 96. A. tom. 9.
Vid. opera Hierom. tom. 4. fol. 42.. l.. 44. 2.
Socrat. eccl. Hist. 1. 2. c. 29, 30.
Socrat. eccl. Hist. 1. 2. c. 10, 18, 19, 30, .57, 40, 4l. vid. epist. haeres.
Cateches. 4, s. 5. 5:xi.1.
Vid. Bulli judicium eccl. cathol. p. 123.
Apud. Socrat. eccl. hist. 1. 1. c. 8, and Theodoret hist, 1. 1. c. 12.
Theodoret, ibid, c. 13.
I Theodoret, ibid. c. 8.
In ibid. c. 12.
In Annuntiat. S. Mariae sermo 2. p, 25. & in S. Theophan, p. 36. &
expos, fidci, p. 101.
Apud Forbes. instruct, Hist, Theolog 1. 1. c. 4. p. 10,
Aug. contr. Faustum, 1. 23. 100:1-5..44
Leo Magn. Ep. 93. 100:3.
Vid. Magdeburg. centuriat, cent. 5. p. 75, etc.
Ecclesiastes Dogm. c. 1. Appendix. tom. 3. Aug. operum.
Apud Forbes. Instruct. Hist. Theolog. 1. 2, e, 10. p, 88.
Apud ibid. c. 12. p. 92.
Isidor. Orig. l, 8, c. 6. vid eunrl, do Script. eccl. c. 20. & Chronicum
Goth. p. 276.
Ad hominmn, 1.3. e. 1.
Contr. object. Arian, p, 38, 39. h
Vid. Magdeburg. centur, cent, 6. p, 164.
lbid, p. 53, 54, etc.
Ibid. p. 313.
Confess. Fidei, p, 173.
Altreg. Theolog. Hist. loc. 3. p. 236. rid. Forbes. instruot. Hist,
Theolog. 1.4. c. 6. p. 189, 190.
Apud Forbes. ibid. 1.6. c. 3; p. 227.
Ibid. I. 6. c. 1. p. 292, etc.
Magdeburg. centur. cent. 8. c. 4. p, 61, 52. etc.
Servetus has these blasphemous words concerning eternal generation,
„debuisscnt diccre quod pater” celebat uxorem quandam spiritualem,
vel quod solus ipse masculo-foemineus, out hermaphroditus, simul crat
pater & mater, etc. nam ratio vocabuli nou patitur ut „quis dicatur sine
matrc pater.” Servetus do Trinit. error Septen. 1. 1. A, D. 1531. And
again, „Si Logos filius crat natps cx patre sine matre, dic mihi quomodo
peperit cure, per ventrem an per latus.” Ibid. 1. 2. p. 52,. apud
Hornbeck Socin. consolat, tom. 1. p. 17. Servetus would not own
Christ to be the eternal Son of God, only the Son of the eternal God.
Socinus spud Hornbeck. Ibid. p. 20.
Vid. Racov. Catoch. c. I. qu. 17.-20. Wolzogon de essentia et natura
Dei, c. 9. p, 26, etc.
Christ. Belig. Institut inter opera ejus, vol. 1. p. 655.
Quod regni Polon. c. 4. s, 2. p. 608, 699.
Respons. ad Vujekum, c. 7. p. 607, vol. 2..45
Vid. Peltii Herman Remonstr & Socin, artic,.4, paragr. 1. 4. p. 15, 19.
Vid. Roell. Dis.sort. de gcneratione filii, &e. p. 4,5, 31, 49.
Disputafio Theolog. & E, pilog. Disputat. de generatione fiili.
Mastrict. Theolog. 1. 2. c. 26. s. 17. p. 257.
See his body or divinity, p. 121, etc.
Lampe. disp. de spiritu s. c, 8. s. 13, c. 11,

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