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hand with a rising objection, that the Greek text was TO TVEUL, DEOS; for Deus Spiritus est is ambiguous, and only one of its senses is at all to the purpose of Ambrose's argument; especially too, when he must know, that a little below (chap. iv. 24) there were the words tveyle ο Θεος * ? ?
More examples might be set down, if more were requisite, to shew, either that Ambrose seldom considered what the original text was; or if he did know it, that he was by no means loath to conceal his knowledge, when it might suit with his purpose.
Yes Sir! For this text was valuable in the eyes of Ambrose for its support of the orthodox faith.
6. But before we proceed, I will set down, without any remark, another instance in which our text is found in St. Ambrose. It is in his exposition on St. Luke : “ Et ideo Apostolus avaritiam dicit esse fugiendam, ne impediti, more gentili, iniquitate, malitia, impudicitia, avaritia, ad regnum Christi pervenire nequeamus: Omnis enim immundus, aui avarus, quod est idolorum servitus, non habet hærediiatem in regno Christi et Dei.” (Vol. i. p. 1459.)
* Τι δε τουτο εστι; Καθαπερ, φησι, λεγει Πνευμα ο Θεος, ούτω και ενταυθα, Πνευμα ο Κυριος. Αλλ' ουκ ειπε, Πνευμα ο Κυριος, αλλ', ο Κυριος το πνευμα εστι. Πολυ δε ταυτης κακείνης της συνθήκης το μεσον. Οταν γαρ βουληται ούτω'λεγειν ως ou $75, TW itibetw açlqov ev zapostilasiv, adws de, odwyev, &c. Chrysost. Homil. 7, in 2 Cor. c. ill. v. 17.
But how, it will be asked, could Ambrose's be the favourite interpretation of the orthodox? Surely Mr. Sharp thinks that he is pleading the cause of ortho, doxy, when he is contending for a directly opposite sig, nification? Yet, Sir, I verily believe that you might have incurred some danger of being suspected of heresy, had you contended warmly for your interpretation, in the Latin church, ten centuries ago,
Socinianism was always a puny heresy in ancient times. A philosopher or an enthusiast now and then got puzzled, and wandered into Socinian language; or a coward apostate, in days of persecution sheltered himself from the reproaches of his brethren, in a last dishonest subterfuge; and affirmed that, in renouncing Christ, he had not denied his God: but these instances all were very rare. Arianism was the heresy that penetrated into the heart of the churches.
It was not, therefore, the object of the orthodox in those days, to insist upon the Scripture testi nonies to the simple Deity of Christ. The Arian would cordially have joined with the church-man in maintaining them, in
ops position to all adversáries. It was the business of the Catholic to uphold his faith by manifesting an infinite and incomprehensible union of the Son with the Father-a co-equality in the mystic unity: or, to repel the arguments of the Arians by opposite testimonies, and sounder interpretations. We have already seen St. Ambrose making use of our present text for both these purposes,
7: But, the general attachment of the orthodox to the interpretation of our vulgar translation, will best be inferred from an induction of particulars. They may be had in sufficient plenty, from the days of Ambrose downwards. The three which I shall select (referring you for others to the Appendix) shall be at considerable intervals of time, to shew that the disposition was long prevalent.
Remigius in loc. p. 350. “ Regnum autem Christi et Patris dixit, quia sicut est substantia Patris et Filii et Spiritus sancti, ita una est potestas, una et æternitas, unum regnum.”
Primasius in loc. “ Cantra Arianos, qui dicunt, major est qui prior nominatur.”
Anselm. Laudunens in loc. p. 286. « Christus nunc primo nominatur, et postea Deus, ne secundum Arianos, æstimaretur minor Patre Filius."
To these might be added, all to the same purpose, the writer of the treatise contra Varimadum, published under the name of Idacius Clarus, and by Chifflet assigned to Vigilius Tapsensis, in two places, Fulgentius, Cassiodorus, Breviarium Fidei contra Arianos; and others, it is probable, might be procured*
8. But, did all the Latin writers, without exception, quote and explain the verse in this signification? No Sir!
* For these, and other passages, see Appendix No. 1.
not absolutely all. And little as it is that is to be found on your side, among those writers, I am persuaded you will agree with me, in thinking, that it is more than enough to be set against all the contrary testimony which I have had the fortune to meet with.
In the first place there is Jerome_himself an host. (Vol. iv. p. 382, Commentar. in loc.) « Ad hæc videndum quid sentire voluerit, dicens in regno Christi et Dei. Utrumnam aliud regnum Christi sit, et aliud Dei: an idem regnum sit Patris et Filii. Et si quidem dixisset, in regno Filii et Patris, per Filium veniremus ad Patrem: et licet esset diversitas personarum, tamen esset regnantium una majestas; nunc vero quum dixerit, in regno Christi et Dei, ipsum Deum et Christum (the God Christ) intelligamus: quia et quum tradiderit regnum Deo et Patri, non erit Pater omnia in omnibus, sed Deus omnia in omnibus. Ubi autem Deus est, tam Pater quam Filius intelligi potest.” I need hardly remark, Sir, that the following is the argument of this passage. There is no impropriety in calling the kingdom of heaven Christ's kingdom; for it is not written, that the Father in that kingdom, but that God shall be all in all. Now God is the pame common to all the persons of the Trinity. Therefore this kingdom may be called, as it may suit the writer's purpose, the kingdom of God the Father, of God the Christ, or of God the Holy Spirit.
It's the best the 9. Faustinus was a contemporary of Jerome, and probably, for he spent much time in the East, familiar with
the Greek language. It should seem, that the form of expression in the following passages, from his petition presented to the Emperor Theodosius at Constantinople, is borrowed from this text; which if it should be allowed to me, there can be no doubt of the sense in which he understood the words in question. “ Suaviora habuerunt propria domicilia et possessiones, quam
regno Christi beatam et perpetuam habitationem.” (p. 9). Ad capiendam utique futuram in Dei Christi regno perpetuam beatitudinem.” (p. 12.) Again p. 54) “Opt ans felicissimo imperio vestro securam quietem, et in regno Christi et Dei perpetuam beatitudinem ;” and lastly (p. 55) “ et in futuro Christi filii Dei regno perpetuam cum sanctis beatitudinem consequamini.”
10. The only remaining authority which I can produce, is out of our own Alcuin. As the whole passage is a correct translation from St. Cyril of Alexandria, I need not go about to prove that the writer was well acquainted with the Greek language. “ Beatus denique Cyrillus in tractatu suo inter alia ita dicit ..
Nos enim famuli sumus: ille vero naturaliter Doo minus et Deus, licet factus sit nobiscum, et in his quæ sunt nostra dispensative. Præterea et beatus Paulus Christum eum nominavit et Deum, dicens: Scitote cognoscentes, quia omnis fornicator non habet hæreditatem in regno Christi et Dei.” (Confess. Fidei Felicis Episcopi,
See also Concilium Aquisgranense Anno Christi 799, ap. Concil. vol. iv. p. 832.)
This, Sir, is the whole of my scanty stock of Latin authority for your interpretation,