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* the Creator of all things; not appearing when he thinks

fit, appearing when he pleaseth; and that the same is invisible and visible, begotten and unbegotten; unbegotten from the beginning, begotten when he pleased to • be born of a virgin ; impassible and immortal, and again • passible and mortal. For when he was impassible, they . say, he willingly suffered on the cross. Him they call • both Son and Father, as occasion is. They who embraced • this heresy were called Noetians. After Noetus it was • maintained by Callistus, who made some additions to that impious doctrine,

I need not translate the article in Prædestinatus. But there is a particular omitted by other writers; that Noetus was condemned by Tranquillus, bishop of the Chalcedo nians, in Syria.

These are accounts of Noetus and his opinion, which we find in ancient writers; from whence it appears probable, that he and others who agreed with him believed one divine person only, and denied a distinct and proper personality of the word and spirit: but their doctrine seems to be set in a bad light. It is affirmed, that they said, the Father was born, and suffered, and died, and was Christ. Beausobre, who shows a great deal of candour and equity in his judgment of those called heretics, declarés, that this is

so absurd, and so manifestly contrary to many texts of the • New Testament, that it appears scarce possible it should • be maintained by any reasonable man; which makes him suspect, that this was not the opinion of those persons, but a consequence, which the orthodox drew from their principles:' * This appears to me not unlikely: a passage of Augustine will confirm the supposition ; for he argues and affirms, ó thate all who are of that opinion, that the same is

Father, Son, and Spirit, must also say, that the Father • suffered. This seems to show, that he had no proof from their own writings, or expressions, that the Sabellians, and others, whom he charges with that opinion, were Patripassians, but he inferred it from their doctrine concerning the unity and simplicity of the Deity.

Whereas it is related, that Noetus said he was Moses, and his brother Aaron; Beausobre thinks this to be •

• Hic damnatus est a Tranquillo episcopo Chalcedoniorum Syriæ, &c. Prædestin. H. 36. ap. Bibl. Patr. Max. T. 27. p. 544. F. d See his Hist. de Manichée, &c. as before, p. 533.

Vel quomodo possunt intelligi quilibet eorum Patrem passum fuisse non dicere, cum dicant eundem ipsum esse et Patrem et Filium et Spiritum Sanctum ? Aug. De Hær. cap. xli. Vid. etiam supra, not. Y. p. 446. See him, as before, T. i. p. 534, 535.

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* travagance, that is not at all credible, and that renders the • rest of the history more than suspected: the truth,' says he, is this; Noetus and his brother pretended to defend • the doctrine of the unity of God taught by Moses and • Aaron, and to be sent to cleanse the church from the • heathen error of the plurality of gods. So Beausobre. It is observable that Theodoret makes no mention of this particular: and Philaster differs from Hippolytus and Epiphanius, who may be considered as one. They say, he declared his brother to be Aaron; but Philaster, that he was Elias the prophet. This story seems to me to have no other foundation but this; that some of their enemies said of Noetus and his brother, that they acted as if they had been, the one another Moses, and the other another Aaron; whilst some other people said of them, they behaved as if they were another Moses and Elias.

Another observation of Beausobre may be inserted here : · When,' says 8 he, the ancients describe Sabellianism, they • perpetually confound the Word and the Son of God. In • the theology of the church, the Word and the Son are the same person; but in the Sabellian theology they are two very different things. The Word is not the Son of God; * he is only an attribute, a faculty, a property of the divine ó nature. It is h the man Jesus Christ, who became the Son of God by the communication of the Word, as Marcellus says in Eusebius. Hence it came to pass, that the Noe• tians reproached the orthodox withi introducing a strange 6 and new language in calling the Word the Son of God. • That appellation [of Son of God] agrees only to the man Jesus, mere man, as to his nature, how great soever be was by his gifts.' So that learned writer describes the Sabellian, or the Noetian theology, which are both one.

What Epiphanius aims at, when he says the faithful, or more orthodox christians, refused to bury Noetus and his brother, I cannot tell. Noetus bad friends and followers; whose business, I think, it was to bury him and bis brother when they died, as I suppose they did.

Once more: Epiphanius said that Noetus was the first who advanced the opinion be maintained: but Philaster and Augustine say, that it was the same opinion that was before taught by Praxeas and Hermogenes, and afterwards by

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8 See Beausobre, as before, Hist. de Manichée, T. i. p. 539. δια την προς αυτον κοινωνιαν.(τα λογο) υιον θεα γενεσθαι. ap. Euseb. de Ecc. Th. 1. ii. c. 8. p. 113.

Αλλ' ερει μοι τις Elevov MOL Qepels, Aoyov deywu viov. [id est; sed dicet mihi aliquis : Novum mihi affers, cum Verbum Filium vocas.] Hipp. contr. Noet. n. xv. p. 16.

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Sabellius: and Theodoret still increases the number of those who were of this opinion about that time; for, besides those mentioned by the Latin writers, he speaks of two others, predecessors of Noetus, and another after bim. And indeed learned moderns are now sensible, that what Epiphanius says is a mistake. He is k corrected for it by bis editor and coinmentator Petavius. And' Huet says, that Noetus rather propagated an old heresy than invented a new one.

That there were such people as these among christians about that time, we have clear evidence from Origen's writings, and Eusebius's History of him. I formerly m gave an account of Beryllus, once of this opinion, afterwards converted by Origen. And Origen himself refers to Beryllus, or Noetus, or some others of this sentiment, in several places of his still remaining works; particularly in his Greek Commentary upon St. Matthew, published by Huet, where he speaks of some who confounded the

notion of Father and Son, making the Father and Son to • be one subsistence, differing only in thought and names. • Which sentiment, he says, is false; though those persons * think thereby to do honour to the Deity.' Of these Origen is supposed to speak in a passage of his Cominentary upon Titus, preserved in Pamphilus's Apology for him, which we now have in Latin only. An anonymous author of an Apology for Origen, in p Photius, speaks of Origen's having opposed, or written against the Sabellian heresy; which, as 9. Huet explains it, ought not to be understood of Sabellius himself, who did not appear till after Origen, but of Noetus, or some other persons who held the like unitarian sentiment. Andr in his Greek · Commentary upon St. John's gospel, Origen says, that many well disposed persons went into that opinion to avoid polytheism. Perhaps Origen has an eye to this same thing in his books against Celsus. That Epicurean had ridiculed the venerak Petav. Animadv. p. 224.

i Origen. I. ii. qu. 2. n. xi. p. 37.

m See chap. xxxviii. p. 477, 478. φαντασια τα δοξαζειν αυτον, οποιοι εισιν οι συγχέοντες πατρος και υιο εννοιαν, και τη υποστασει ένα διδοντες ειναι τον πατερα και τον υιον, τη επινοιά μονη και τοις ονομασι διαιροντες το εν υποκειμενον. Orig. in Μatt. Huet. T. i. p. 450. D. Conf. Huet. in loc.

• Sed et eos qui hominem dicunt Dominum Jesum præcognitum et prædestinatum, qui ante adventum carnalem substantialiter et proprie non extiterit : sed quod homo natus patris solam in se habuerit deitatem, &c. Vid. Pamph. Ap. ap. Hieron. T. v. ed. Bened. p. 226. Conf. Origen. Huet, ubi supra, p. 37. Vid. etiam Origen. in Rom. cap. x. p. 588. m. P Cod. 117. p. 296.

? Huet, Origen. p. 37. Και το πολλες φιλοθεος ειναι ευχομενός ταρασσον. κ. λ. Orig. Comm. in Joh. p. 46. D. T. 2. Huet.

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tion which christians had for the Son of God. Origen, in bis answer,' says, ' Grant, that in a vast multitude of believers, some, different from the rest, should rashly affirm our Saviour to be the great God over all: nevertheless,

do not hold any such thing, believing what he himself says, “ The Father that sent me is greater than 1.”! See John xiv. 28. Cyprian likewise, among other heretics, mentions Patripassians.

Though the writers above transcribed may bave been guilty of some mistakes in their History of Noetus, and in their representation of his sentiment; yet we are very much indebted to them, upon the whole, for the accounts they have left us, and in particular for the testimony they bear to Noetus and his followers, that they received the hol scriptures, and depended upon them; how much soever in the judgment of these writers they may have misunderstood and misinterpreted them. Of this we are now to take notice.

In the piece ascribed to Hippolytus, of which we have already made so much use, it is said, the Noetians argued for their opinion in this manner: It u is written in the law; 6“ I am the God of your fathers, ye shall have no other 'gods beside me.” See Exod. iii. 6; xx. 3. And again in ' another place: “I,” saith be," am the first, and the last,

and beside me there is no other." Thus w they say they prove there is but one God.” See Isa. xli. 4; xliv. 6; xlv. 5. They insisted likewise upon Isa, xlv. 14. You *

• see,' say they, how the scriptures declare one God.'

• They add, 'Wey can go no farther, for the apostle also acknowledgeth one God, saying, “ whose are the fathers, and of whom as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over 6 all God blessed for ever.'

.". The z like things are to be seen in Epiphanius. The author, supposed to be Hippolytus, replies to the foregoing argument: “The& scriptures speak

* Εσω δε τινας, ως εν πληθει πιςευοντων, και δεχομενων διαφωνιαν, δια την προπετειαν υποτιθεσθαι τον σωτηρα ειναι τον μεγισον επι πασι θεον" αλλ' οτε ye vpeis TolBTOV. K. 1. Or. contr. Cels. 1. 8. p. 387. Cant. sect. 14. p. 752. E. Bened.

+ Vid. Cypr. ad Jub. Ep. 73. p. 200. Oi,

γαρ δειξαι βελονται συσασιν τω δογματι, λεγοντες, ειπεν εν νομω Εγω Elle 6. DEOS TWV Tatspwv juwv, k. 1. Hippol. contr. Noet. n. ii. p. 6. v Ibid. p. 6, 7.

* Ούτω φασκgσιν συνισαν ενα θεον. ibid. * Ορας, φησιν, πως ένα θεον κηρυσσασιν αι γραφαι. ibid. p. 7.

Υ Αλλο δε, φησιν, και δυναμεθα λεγειν" και γαρ ο αποσολος ενα θεον ομολογει, λεγων ων οι πατερες, εξ ών ο Χριςος το κατα σαρκα, ο ων επι παντων θεος ευλογητος εις τες αιωνας. ibid. p. 7.

z Vid. Epiph. H. 57. num. ii, iii.

4 “Αι μεν γραφαι ορθως λεγεσιν, αλλα αν και Νοητος νοει" Ουκ ηδη δε εί, Νοητος μη νοεί, παρα τετο εκβλητοι αι ypapat. ibid. num. iii. p. 7.

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* truth, but Noetus does not understand them; but though • Noetus does not understand, the scriptures nevertheless • are not to be laid aside.' In this piece against the Noetians, there are many texts alleged out of the gospels, and Paul's epistles, and the book of the Revelation, and some out of the b book of the Acts of the Apostles; which shows, that these people received the scriptures of the New Testament, as other christians did.

In the same piece against Noetus, is this remarkable passage: 'There is indeed, brethren, one God, whom we

can know no otherwise but from the holy scriptures. For, as he who is desirous to learn the wisdom of this world, * must acquaint himself with the sentiments of philosophers, • if he would obtain his end; in like manner, whoever of

us are desirous to understand religion, and be truly pious, • should apply ourselves to the oracles of God. Whatever • therefore the divine scriptures declare, that let us em• brace; what they teach, let us learn; and as the Father • willeth we should believe, so let us believe; as he willeth [or requireth] the Son should be honoured, so let us honour him: as he willeth the Holy Ghost should be 'given, so let us accept; not according to any particular

preconceived opinion, nor according to any particular • notion of ours, nor wresting the oracles given by God;

but so understanding things as he has been pleased to • show them to us by the holy scriptures. In a note upon this passage, Fabricius observes, that it contains a signal testimony concerning the sufficiency of scripture. I think it likewise to be herein implied, that the Noetians were strenuous assertors of the authority of holy scripture.

Epiphanius confirms our allegations from the fore-mentioned writer : for in his article of the Noetians he quotes many books of the Old and New Testament, and has this passage, with which I conclude this article. So that,' sayse he,' the writings (or oracles] of the prophets agree • with those of the apostīes, and the apostles agree with the evangelists, and the evangelists with the apostles, and the apostles with the prophets.'

After this there can be no reason to think, that the Noetians rejected any books of scripture generally received by

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• Vid. ib. num. vi. p. 11. n. xiii. p. 15. n. xviii. p. 19. c Ibid. n. ix. p. 12, 13.

και ως θελει πνευμα άγιον δωρεισθαι, λαβωμεν μη κατ' ιδιας προαιρεσιν, κατ' ιδιον ναν, μηδε βιαζομενοι τα υπο τε θεα δεδομενα, αλλ' όν τροπον αυτος εβεληθη δια των αγιων γραφων δειξαι, ούτως ιδωμεν. Ιbid.

° όπως συναδη τα προφητικα τοις απoσoλικοις, κ. λ. Epiph. H. 57. p. 486. Β.

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