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was in other respects v Sree ouppesleg (1 vf7a6 pothe Image of the Invia udow) ij realw eixóve të disega fible God, so in respect
τα θεϊ, μα και το μεγέθες παof Greatness also be
eisās av Theixóva. Ibid. 1.6 might preserve the 1. mage of bis Fatber; For be could not be an adequate (if I may so call it) and just Image of the Invisible God, if he did not represent him even in his Greatness also.
But the wbole Three Perfons are -- co-equal.] Co.equal : Not in such a Sense, as Three co-ordinare Independent Beings are Equal to each other, or as One and the same Being under different Denominations is Equal to itself: For the First of thele Senses destroys the Unity of God; and the Second introduces a total Confusion of Persons. But they are co-equal in such a Sense, as One or more Persons can be equal to Another, (from whom they derive their Being, ) by a plenary communication of Power, Knowledge, Dignity, and all other communicable Attributes and Perfections. See beneath, No7.
Equal to the Father, as touching his God-head.
Equal: Not in the fame Sense as Two coordinate Beings are Equal to each other : For then all the same things might equally be affirmed of Both: And the Son might be said to be Selfexistent, as well as the Father; or to beget the
Father, as truly as the Father to beget the Son; or to send the Father, as properly as the Father to send the Son : All which, to affirm, are manifest Blasphemy. But the Son is Equal to the Father, in such a Sense, as he which plenarily exercises Anothers power, and has received from him in an ineffable manner) all communicable Perfections, is Equal to Him whose power he exercises ; in such a Sense, as Christ is said in Scripture to be io o sew (or ioa Jew] as God, or equal with God; in such a Sense, as He who derives his Essence or Being from Another, can be Equal with Him from whom he derives it : In a word, the Son is Equal to the Father, in every such Sense, as is consistent with those fore-going Words in the Creed, The Son is of the Father.
And This, it is reasonable to suppose, is All that those Learned Men originally intended, (at least 'uis all that Any of their Arguments prove,) who have affirmed that the Father communicates his whole Nature or Essence to the Son. Por, that the primary Attribute of his Essence, (the tò ayevintov, 7 bis Self-existent Nature should be communicated; is an express contradiction in Terms : But [Geórns ] his Divine Power, Dominion, Dignity, Authority, and other Attributes, (of which alone the Scripture speaks,) these can be and are (in an ineffable and incomprehensible manner) communicated to the Son.
Eusebius well expresses this Notion, when (after the manner of Scripture) he describes the Son [our spovov tñs édutõ Bavinciass' de ecclefiaft. Theol. lib. 1, c. 11,] sitting upon the Same Throne of the Kingdom with his Faiher And Clemens Alexandrinus, when he fyles him [ο τώ δεσπότη των όλων εξισω
Jeisin Protrept. ad Gentes, ] equalized with the Supreme Lord
of all things. Upon which paffage , Apprimè autem nothe learned Bp Bull thus tandum eft, Clementem remarks: 'Tis worthy to
eodem quafi Spiritu,quo be noted in the first place, Filium Patri æqualem that Clemens as it were statuit, coxar tamen in the Same Breath,where- quandam & Prærogatiin he makes the Son equal vam Patris præ Filio agto the Father, yet acknow- noscere,dum Patrem apledges a curtain Præroga- pellat Univerforum Dotive and Preeminer.ce of minum. Scilicet Deus the Father over the Son, Pater frangitixãs dicitur when he calls the Father Dominus Universorum, The Lord of all things : quia causa est & origo Namely, God the Father
non modò creaturarum is peculiarly stiled The omnium,sed &ipfius FiLord of all things, be- lii sui, diversa licèt raCause He is the Cause and tione. Original not only of all hâc Patris Prærogativâ, Creatures, but also even quâ Pater eft & origo of the Son himself, though 7 övr@, entis universi ; ; in a different manner.-- docet Clemens Filium ipSaving therefore this Pre li æqualem effe. Defens. rogative of the Father, by Sect. 4, cap. 2, § 4. which he is the Father and Original of all Being ; Clemens teaches, that the Son is equal with him. And again : He is therc
Proinde ipsi per omfore (says the same learn- nia, (fi id tantum deed Prelate) equal with mas, quòd a Patre fit,) him in all ibings, excep- æqualem esse. Defens. ting only that be derives Sect. 2, cap. 5, § 4; his Being from the Father,
Thus have I endeavoured to explain intelli. gibly this very difficult Creed : understanding feveral of the expressions therein contained, (to
use the Words of a t pious and + Bp Taylor's learned Prelate,) not perhaps as Vindication of the glory of the di molt men do; but I understand them vine Attributes in as they can be true, and as they can the Question of very fairly signify, and as they agree Original Sin, a
with the Word of God and right Reagainst the PrefByterian way of for. If any One shall here obunderstanding it. ject, that probably the Sense I
have now given, does not express the intention of the Compiler : I answer, that it is not easie to know certainly what was the Intention of an unknown Author, who lived in those dark Ages, the 7th or 8th Century: That, if it was never so certainly known, yet all sincere Christians are bound to interpret every bumans Composition according to the Rule laid down in the 6th, the 8th, the 20th, and the 21st of the XXXIX Articles, and not according to what they may imagine was the intention of any uninspired Author : That even some of the Articles of the Church, :( as That concerning Predestination, and That concerning Original Sin,) which are of greater humane Authority than the Composition of any private unknown Author, are by most men understood at this day, (the Doctrine of Scripture so requiring,) in a Sense which it is not very certain the Compilers originally intended : Lastly, that there is an Article even in the Apostles Creed it self, (viz. That of Chrifts Defcent into Hello) which All men Now understand in a Sense whollydifferent from That which in all probability was meant by those who added it to the Creed in the Fourth Cen
tury, but which is more agreeable to the true meaning of those Texts of Scripture upon which the Article was founded.
The learned Bp Peurfon, upon This Subject, thus discourseth very excellently : I observe (faith he ) that what foever is delivered in the Creed, we Therefore believe because it is contained in the Scriptures : and consequently must so believe it, as it is contained there. Whence All this Exposition of the Whole, is nothing else but an illustration and proof of every particular part of the Creed by such Scriptures as deliver the same, according to the True Interpretation of them. Now these words, as they lie in ihe Creed, He defcended into Hell, [and the fame must be understood of every other unfcriptural expression,] are no where formally and exprefly delivered in the Scriptures ; nor can we find any one place, in which the Holy Ghost hath said in express and plain terms, that Christ, as he died and was buried, so he descended into Hell. Wherefore being these words of the Creed are not formally expressed in the Scripture, our enquiry must be in what Scriptures they are contained virtually; that is, where the Holy Ghost doth deliver the same doctrine, in what words foever, which is contained and to be understood in This expression, He descended into Hell.
And the Learned Dr Cudworth, upon a like occasion : As for That Creed ( faith he ) commonly called Athanasian, which was written a long time after by some other hand : Since at first it derived all its Authority, either from the Name of Athanafius 10 which it was entitled, or else because it was super posed to be an Epitome and abridgment of his DoEtrine ; This ( as we conceive ) is therefore to be interpreted according to the Tenour of that doctrine,