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Forasmuch then as the angels are termed “ the sons of God,” it sufficiently denoteth that they are from him, not of themselves; all filiation inferring some kind of production: and being God hath but one proper and only-begotten Son, whose propriety and singularity consisteth in this, that he is of the same increated essence with the Father, all other offspring must be made, and consequently even the angels created sons; of whom the Scripture speaking saith, “Who maketh his angels spirits, and his ministers a flame of fire." (Psalm. civ. 4.) For although those words, at first spoken by the Psalmist, do rather express the nature of the wind and lightning: yet being the author of the Epistle to the Hebrews hath applied the same to the angels properly so called, we cannot but conclude upon his authority, that the same God who “created the wind,” (Amos iv. 13.) and “made a way for the lightning of the thunder,” (Job xxviii. 26.) hath also produced those glorious spirits ; and as he furnished them with that activity there expressed, so did he frame the subject of it, their immaterial and immortal essence.
If then the angels and their proper habitation, the far most eminent and illustrious parts of the world were made ; if only to be made be one character of imperfection; much more must we acknowledge all things of inferior nature to have dependence on their universal Cause, and consequently this great Universe, or all things, to be made, beside that One who made them.
This is the first part of our Christian faith, against some of the ancient philosophers, who were so wildly fond of those things they see, that they imagined the Universe to be infinite and eternal,* and, what will follow from it, to be even God himself. It is true that the most ancient of the heathen were not of this opinion, but all the philosophy for many ages delivered the World to have been made.+
**Mundum, et hoc quod nomine alio cælum appellare libuit, cujus circumflexu teguntur cuncta, numen esse credi par est, æternum, immensum, neque genitum, neque interituruin unquam.' Plin. Nat. Hist. I. ii. c. 1.
+ Γενόμενον μεν ούν άπαντες είναι φασιν, says Aristotle, De Cælo, 1. i. c. 10. confessing it the general opinion that the world was made. Which was so ancienta tradition of all the first philosophers, that from Linus, Musæus, Orpheus, Homer, Hesiod, and the rest, they all mention the original of the world, entitling their books, Kod pogovía, or Okoyosia, or the like. Εισί γάρ τινες οι φασιν ούθεν αγέννητον είναι των πραγμάτων, αλλά πάντα γίγνεσθαι: γενόμενα δε τα μεν άφθαρτα διαμένειν, τα δε πάλιν φθείρεσθαι μάλιστα μεν οι περί τον “Ησίοδον, είτα δε και των άλλων οι πρώτοι
pucinoyńcartes, says Aristotle, De Cælo, 1. iii. c. 1. In wbich words he manifestly attributes the doctrine of the crea. tion of the world not only to Hesiod, but to all the first natural philosophers : which learning, beginning with Prometheus the first professor of that science, continued in that family amongst the Atlantiadæ, who all successively de. livered that truth. After them the Ionian philosophy did acknowledge it, and the Italian received it by Pythagoras, whose scholars all maintained it beside Ocellus Lucanus, the first of them that fancied the world not made, whom Plato, though he much esteemed him, yet followed not; for there is nothing more evident than that he held the world was made. Λέγωμεν δή, δι' ήν αιτίαν γένεσιν και το παν τόδε και ξυνιστάς ξυνέστησεν, αγαθώς
When this tradition of the Creation of the World was delivered in all places down successively by those wbo seriously considered the frame of all things, and the difference of the most ancient poets and philosophers from Moses was only in the manner of expressing it; those which in after-ages first denied it, made use of very frivolous and inconcluding arguments, grounding their new opinions upon weak foundations.
For that which in the first place they take for granted as an axiom of undoubted truth, that* •Whatsoever hath a beginning, must have an end,' and consequently, “Whatsoever shall have no end, hath no beginning,' is grounded upon no general reason, but only upon particular observation of such things here below, as from the ordinary way of generation, tend in some space of time unto corruption. From whence, seeing no tendency to corruption in several parts of the World, they conclude that it was never generated, nor bad any cause or original of its being. Whereas, if we would speak properly, future existence or non-existence hath no such relation unto the first production. Neither is there any contradiction that at the same time one thing may begin to be, and last but for an hour, another continue for a thousand years, a third beginning at the same instant remain for ever: the difference being either in the nature of the thing so made, or in the determinations of the will of him that made them. Notwithstanding then their universal rules, which are not true but in some limited particulars, it is most certain the whole world was made, and of it part shall perish, part continue unto all eternity ; by which something which had a beginning shall have an end, and something not.
The second fallacy which led them to this novelty was the very name of Universe, which comprehended in it all things; from whence they reasoned thus : If the World or Universe were made; then were all things made; and if the World shall be dissolved, then all things shall come to nothing ;t which is impossible. For if all things were made, then must either all, or at least something, have made itself, and so have been
m. p. 304. ed. Bipont. In which words he delivers not only the generation of the universe, but also the true cause thereof, which is the goodness of God. For he wbich asks this plain and clear question : πότερον ήν αεί, γενέσεως αρχήν έχων έδεμίαν, ή γέγονεν, απ' αρχής τινός αρξάμενος; and answers the question briefly with a yeyuv, p. 302. ; he which gives this general rule upon it : τω δ' αυ γενομένω φαμεν υπ' αιτίου τινός ανάγκης είναι γενέσθαι" and then immediately concludes : τον μεν ούν σκητής και πατέρα τούδε του παντός ευρείν τε έργον, και ευρόντα εις πάντας αδύνατον λέγειν· p. 303. cannot (notwithstanding all the shifts of his Greek expositors) be ima.
gined to have conceived the world not made. And Aristotle, who best understood him, tells us clearly his opinion év Tô Tipaim (from whence I cited the precedent words): εκεί γάρ φησι τον ουρανόν (where by the way observe that in Plato's Timeus ουρανός And κόσμος are made syno . nymous) γενέσθαι μεν, ου μεν φθαρτόν. De Cælo, 1. i. c. 10.
• Ocellus Lucanus, Iegi tñs TOŪ Taytàs DUJE&s, which book Aristotle hath made use of, and transcribed in many parts.
+ Το παν γινόμενον συν πάσι γίνεται, και το φθειρόμενος συν πάσι φθείρεται και τούτο γε αδύνατον. άναρχον ούν και ατελεύτητον το Fãv. Ocellus, c. 1. p. 506, ed. Gal.
cause of itself as of the effect, and the effect of itself as of the cause, and consequently in the same instant both have been and not been, which is a contradiction. But this fallacy is easily discovered : for when we say the Universe or all things were made, we must be always understood to except him who made all things, neither can we by that name be supposed to comprehend more than the frame of heaven and earth, and all things contained in them; and so he which first devised this argument hath himself acknowledged.*
Far more gross was that third conceit, That, if the World were ever made, it must be after the vulgar way of ordinary natural generations: in which+ two mutations are observable, the first from less to greater, or from worse to better; the second from greater to less, or from better to worse. (The beginning of the first mutation is called generation, the end of it perfection: the beginning of the second is from the same perfection, but concluded in corruption or dissolution.). But none hath ever yet observed that this frame of the World did ever grow up from less to greater, or improve itself from worse to better: nor can we now perceive that it becomes worse or less than it was, by which decretion we might guess at a former increase, and from a tendency to corruption collect its original generation. This conceit, I say, is far more gross. For certainly the argument so managed proves nothing at all, but only this (if yet it prove so much), that the whole frame of the World, and the parts thereof which are of greater perfection, were not generated in that manner in which we see some other parts of it are: which no man denies. But that there can be no other way of production beside these petty generations, or that the World was not some other way actually produced, this argument doth not endeavour to infer, nor can any other prove it.
The next foundation upon which they cast off the constant doctrine of their predecessors, was that general assertion, That it is impossible for any thing to be produced out of nothing, or to be reduced unto nothing :$ from whence it will inevitably follow, that the matter of this World hath always been, and must always be. The clear refutation of which difficulty
requires an explication of the manner how the World was made: the second part before propounded for the exposition of this Article.
Now that the true nature and manner of this action may be so far understood as to declare the Christian faith, and refute the errors of all opposers, it will be necessary to consider it first with reference to the object or effect; secondly, in relation to the cause or agent; thirdly, with respect unto the time or origination of it.
The action by which the heaven and earth were made, considered in reference to the effect, I conceive to be the production of their total being ; so that whatsoever entity they had when made, had no real existence before they were so made. And this manner of production we usually term creation, as excluding all concurrence of any material cause, and all dependence of any kind of subject, as presupposing no privation, as including no motion, as signifying a production out of nothing; that is, by which something is made, and not any thing preceding out of which it is made.* This is the proper and peculiar sense of the word creation: not that it signifies so much by virtue of its origination or vulgar use in the Latin tongue;+ nor that the Hebrew word used by Moses, “In the beginning God created the heaven and the earth,” (Gen. i. 1.) hath of itself any such peculiar acceptation. For it is often used synonymouslywith words which signify any kind of production or formation, and by itself it seldom denotes a production out of
בהבראס ,the heavens and of the earth in the ביום עשות ,when they were created
So I conceive it best expressed by Anselm, archbishop of Canterbury : •Dicitur aliquid esse factum de nihilo, cum intelligimus esse quidem factum, sed non esse aliquid unde sit factum.' Monolegii, c. 8.
+ Creatio apud nos generatio vel nativitas dicitur, apud Græcos vero sub Domine creationis verbum factura et conditionis accipitur.' S. Hieron. ad Eph.
* which is of the greatest latitude, denoting any kind of effection, and with my which Iather implies a formation out of something, from whence 77 a potter. For the first, we read Gen. ii. 3. that “
עשה is promiscuously used with ברא ;
, day that the Lord God made the heaven and the earth." So Isa. xlv. 12. “[ have made the earth, and created man upon it :” where the first expresseth the proper, the second the improper creation. Which indifferent acceptation appeareth in collating Psal. cxv. 15. cxxi. 2. with Isa. xlii. 5. xlv. 18. as also Isa. xvii. 7. with Eccl. xii. 1. From whence the LXX. translate na indifferently ToleTV or xriserv. For the second, 7% is usually rendered by the Targum x2 and by the LXX. though generally TáTTEly, yet sometimes xtízely. And that it hath the same signification, will appear by conferring Gen. ii. 7. with Isa. xlv. 12. and not only so, but by that single verse, Isa. xliii. 1. “Now thus saith the Lord 7x73 that created thee, O Jacob, 778 and he that formed thee, O Israel.” Lastly, all these are jointly used in the same validity of expression, Isa. xliii. 7. “Every one that is called by my name : for roxya I have created him for my glory,
I , I have made him."
אשר-ברא אלהים ”,rested from all his work ot that on the sixth day he didם לעשות
the work of two days, that he might rest ou the seventh, as Rabbi Solomon; not that in six days be made the roots of things that they might afterwards prodace the like, as Aben Ezra ; not these or any other fancies of the Rabbins ; as if xia signified one work, and nwy another ; for they both express the produc. tion, as appears clearly in the following Terse, “ These are the generations of
! עשיתיו I have formed him , yea יצרתיו
nothing, or proper creation, but most frequently the making of one substance out of another pre-existing, as the fishes of the water ; (Gen i. 21.) and man of the dust of the earth; (Gen. i. 27. ii. 7.) the renovating or restoring any thing to its former perfection, (Psal. li. lo. Isa. Ixv. 17.) for want of Hebrew words in composition; or lastly, the doing some new or wonderful work,* the producing some strange and admirable effect, as the opening the mouth of the earth, (Numb. xvi. 30.) and the signal judgments on the people of Israel. (Isa. Ixv. 7.)
We must not therefore weakly collect the true nature of creation from the force of any word which by some may be thought to express so much, but we must collect it from the testimony of God the Creator, in his Word, and of the World created, in
The opinion of the Church of the Jews will sufficiently appear in that zealous mother to her seventh and young, est son;
I beseech thee, my son, look upon the heaven and the earth, and all that is therein, and consider that God made them of things that were not :” (2 Macc. vii. 28.) which is a clear description of creation, that is, production out of nothing. But because this is not by all received as canonical, we shall therefore evince it by the undoubted testimony of St. Paul, who, expressing the nature of Abraham's faith, propoundeth “him whom he believed as God who quickeneth the dead, and calleth those things which be not, as though they were." (Rom.iv. 17.) For, as to be called in the language of the Scripture is to be, (“ Behold what manner of love the Father hath bestowed upon us, that we should be called the sons of God," saith St. John in his first Epistle, (iii. 1.) who in his Gospel (i. 12.) told us, “ he hath given us power to become the sons of God :") so to call is to make, or cause to be. As where the prophet Jeremy saith, “ Thou hast caused all this evil to come upon them,” (Jer. xxxii. 23.) the original + may be thought to speak no more than this, thou hast called this evil to them. He therefore " calleth those things which be not, as if they were, who maketh those things which were not, to be, and produceth that which hath a being out of that which had not, that is, out of nothing. This reason, generally persuasive unto faith, is more peculiarly applied by the apostle to the belief of the creation: for “through faith (saith' he) we understand that the worlds were framed by the word of God, so that the things which are seen were not made of things which do appear. (Heb. xi. 3.) Not as if the earth, which we see, were made of air, or any more subtil body, which we see not; nor as if those “things which are seen” were in equal latitude commensurable
Creatio atque conditio nunquam sit, ædificata potius dicitur, quam cone nisi in magnis operibus nominantur : ver dita vel creata. In magnis enim operibus bi causa, mundus creatus est, urbs con atque facturis verbuin creationis assu. dita est; domus vero, quamvis magna mitur. S. Hieron. ad Eph. c. 4.