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very different ideas, and spoke of Christ as the Lo

gos of God.

If we suppose this to have been the case, (nor is the hypothesis a violent one,) the whole mystery of St. John's phraseology vanishes at once. I cannot think that the process which I have described was unnatural or unlikely to have happened". We have in fact many similar instances of accommodation of terms, though we do not meet with them in the apostolic writings. Why did the Fathers speak of unbaptized persons as áuíntol, or uninitiated, except by a reference to heathen mysteriesi ? Whence was it that the term Sacramentum was universally adopted in the Latin church, except from the analogy of a military oath ? Nay, we cannot read the works of Clement of Alexandria, without perceiving that the very term Gnostic was applied by the Christians to themselves, who contrasted their own true and heavenly knowledge with that which was professed by the Gnostics, falsely so called. Ac

b This is nearly the hypo Being, St. John might, withthesis of Michaelis, who ex out the least impropriety, presses himself thus: “Perhaps “ retain this name in a work “ the opinion, that St. John “ which was written against “ derived the term Aóyos from “ the Gnostics, and apply it to “ the Gnostics, will be thought “ the second Person of the “ by many to affect in some Trinity.” (Vol. III. p. 282.) “ degree his character as a di- I may add, that we have in“ vine apostle. But such per. stances in later times of Chris

sons should recollect, that tian writers adopting Gnostic " there is nothing more in a terms. Synesius called God “ mere name than in a sign of Buôòs tratpoos. (Hymn. II. 27.) “ algebra. It is the notion He says also, συ δε άρρην, συ δε " ascribed to the name, and onlus oryà, gavas “not the name itself, to which aiôvos aiàv, &c. (Ib. 64.) “ we must attend. If the i See Mosheim, de Rebus “ Gnostics gave the name of ante Const. Cent. II. 36. Not. * Λόγος to the Being who came “ next in order to the supreme

n. 0.

cording to this notion, St. John was as far as possible from being the first to apply the term Logos to Christ. I I suppose him to have found it so universally applied, that he did not attempt to stop the current of popular language, but only kept it in its proper channel, and guarded it from extraneous corruptions. He knew very well that the word Logos did not properly belong to Christianity: but terms are of little importance, if the’ ideas which they convey are sound : and I can see nothing more extraordinary in St. John making use of a popular expression, than in St. Paul arguing from the inscription to the unknown God, though he knew very well that the altar was not really raised to the God whom he then announced. We may put a parallel case, which might happen in our own days. We are told that the Avatar, or Incarnation of Vishnu, holds a conspicuous place in the Hindoo mythology. Now if a Christian missionary should find that the Indian notion of an incarnation was substantially the same with that of the Christians, would he introduce a new term, or would he not suffer his converts to speak of the Avatar of Christ as they had before spoken of the Avatar of Vishnu ? There is no compromise of principles in an accommodation such as this.

He would explain that the incarnation Christ had happened only once : and he would also explain the causes which occasioned it: but if he was scrupulous in not using the term which had been profaned by superstition, we may be sure that his converts would use it for themselves : and at length he would be compelled, as we have supposed St. John to have been, to admit the heathen term, and consecrate it to a purer creed.

It has been said that the Christians came to speak of Christ as the Word, because in the Jewish Targums, Memra, or the Word, was substituted for the ineffable name Jehovah. The fact appears to be partly true; but the argument deduced from it is extremely fallacious. When we read of God acting or speaking by himself, he is said in the Targums to have acted or spoken by his Word: and it has been asserted that Memra, or the Word, is used distinctively for the Messiah. But it has been proved satisfactorily, that Memra is never used in the Targums for a distinct and separate person : it is in fact only another form for the pronoun himself. It was at first applied only to Jehovah, as when he is said to have sworn by himself, or to have made a corenant between himself and any one.

The use of the term was afterwards transferred to human actions: and though the Targums apply it in those places which they interpret of the Messiah, yet this application of it is by no means exclusive: and as I have said, it is never used for a person separate and distinct from the principal subject of the sentence. If this be so, the Christians could never have borrowed this form from the Targums to express their notion of the Son of Godk. The Platonic Jews, such as Philo, may have found an agreement between the Memra of the Targums and the Logos of Plato: but this was, as I have observed, because the Platonic Logos was rather an attribute than a

The names of writers on and archbishop Laurence, Diss. both sides of the question may on the Logos. Deylingius, 06be seen in Wolfs Bibliotheca seru. Sacr. vol. I. p. 247. MiHebræn, vol. II. p. 1186–89. chaelis, de pago Chaldæorum. The reader may also consult Le Clerc, Epist. Crit. VIII. Saubert, Diss. de Voce Aoyos; p. 277.

person, and the Reason of God was merely the mind, or will, or counsel of the Deity, shewing itself in action. It is certain, that not one of the Fathers ever alludes to the term Logos being borrowed from the Jewish Targums! When they account for the origin of the term, it is by the analogy of human reason and human speech. A word is the exponent of an idea. They are in fact the same thing. A word, before it is uttered, is merely a thought; and the thought, when embodied in sound, is a word. The Greeks could express both by the same term Logos: and hence the Fathers compared Christ to the Logos, or Reason of God, inasmuch as he was one with Him, and though produced from him, was yet inseparable: and they compared him to the Lo gos or Word of God, inasmuch as he had a personal existence, the effect of which was distinctly perceptible.

We may regret that the Fathers should have recourse to these analogies, which like that of the Sun and its effulgence, or water and its vapour, can still very imperfectly represent the modes of the divine existence. But the Fathers clearly shew that the term was not one of their own inventing: and when it is argued from this analogy that the Fathers believed Christ to be an unsubstantial energy, a mere mode or quality of God, nothing can be more unfair, nor shew a greater ignorance of the writings of the Fathers. They appeal, it is true, to this analogy ; but they repeat over and over again, that the

| The words of Origen are never heard any one of them well worthy of remark, who approve of our doctrine, that says to Celsus,

I have met “ the Son of God is the Word." “ with many Jews who pro (Cont. Cels. II. 31. p. 413.) “ fessed to be learned, and I

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analogy is imperfect : and it is impossible for words to be stronger than those of Irenæus, who charges the heretics with ascribing thoughts and words to God, like those of human beings, whereas God is all mind and all reasons. It is plain that the term itself was borrowed from the school of Plato: and if it had not been for the Gnostics, it would never have been applied to Christ, nor would St. John have used it in his Gospel. Let it once be proved that St. John borrowed his doctrine of the Logos from Plato, and I will abandon the hypothesis, not only as untenable, but wicked. But what is the fact? Plato, as I have often observed, spoke of the Logos, or Reason of God, as the Deity himself in action: St. John speaks of the Logos as the begotten Son of God. He could not therefore have taken his meaning of the term from Plato: and I have also stated, that the later Platonists charged the Christians with having borrowed the term, but altered its meaning. Neither could St. John have taken his doctrine of the Logos from the Gnostics. According to them there was a time when God or the first Cause existed alone in the Pleroma: though Christ as an on, was eternal, it was not as the schoolmen would say, a parte ante, but only a parte post: but St. John says, In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God: and he repeats it again, The same was in the beginning with God. Again, in most schemes of the Gnostics, the Logos and Christ were two separate Æons : both of them therefore could not be God; nor was it ever imagined by the Gnostics that the Logos or Christ was properly God. But St. John says, The Word was God. Again, the Gnostics believed the world

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