« PreviousContinue »
and published in the primitive Church ought to found and explain Christ, who by the tacit suggestion of the Spirit did bring the saints with him: and that it would have been a hard matter to enjoin this to the Jews; and to the Gentiles an occasion would be given thereby to think, that many gods were put upon them instead of the multitude of the gods whom they had forsaken.” So this new worship, you see, fetcheth his original neither from the Scriptures of the Old nor of the New Testament: but from I know not what tacit suggestion, which smelt so strongly of idolatry, that at first it was not safe to acquaint either the Jews or the Gentiles therewith. But if any such sweet tradition as this were at first delivered unto the Church by Christ and his apostles, we demand further, how it should come to pass, that for the space of three hundred and sixty years together after the birth of our Saviour, we can find mention no where of any such thing? For howsoever our challenger giveth it out, “ that prayer to saints was of great account” amongst the fathers of the primitive Church, for the first four hundred years after Christ; yet for nine parts of that time, I dare be bold to say, that he is not able to produce as much as one true testimony out of any father, whereby it may appear, that any account at all was made of it; and for the tithe too, he shall find perhaps before we have done, that he is not like to carry it away so clearly as he weeneth.
Whether those blessed spirits pray for us, is not the question here: but whether we are to pray unto them. That God only is to be prayed unto, is the doctrine that was once delivered unto the saints, for which we so earnestly contend: the saints praying for us doth no way cross this (for to whom should the saints pray but to the Kingm of saints ?) their being prayed unto, is the only stumbling block that lieth in this way. And therefore in
tum fundare, et explicare, qui per tacitam suggestionem spiritus sanctos secum adducebat: et durum esset id Judæis præcipere, et occasio daretur Gentibus putandi sibi exhibitos multos Deos pro multitudine Deorum quos relinquebant. Alphons. Salmer, in 1 Timoth. cap. 2. disput. 8.
m Rev. chap. 15. ver. 3.
those first times, the former of these was admitted by some, as a matter of probability: but the latter no way yielded unto, as being derogatory to the privilege of the Deity. Origen may be a witness of both: who touching the former, writeth in this sort: “ Ido think thus, that all those fathers who are departed this life before us, do fight with us and assist us with their prayers : for so have I heard one of the elder masters saying ;" and in another place: “ Moreover, if the saints, that have left the body and be with Christ, do any thing and labour for us, in like manner as the angels do who are employed in the ministry of our salvation: let this also remain among the hidden things of God, and the mysteries that are not to be committed unto writing." But because he thought that the angels and saints prayed for us : did he therefore hold it needful that we should direct our prayers unto them? Hear, I pray you, his own answer, in his eighth book against Celsus the philosopher : “ We must endeavour to please God alone, who is above all things, and labour to have him propitious unto us, procuring his good will with godliness and all kind of virtue. And if Celsus will yet have us to procure the good will of any others, after him that is God over all, let him consider, that as when
» Ego sic arbitror, quod omnes illi qui dormierunt ante nos patres, pugnent nobiscum et adjuvent nos orationibus suis. Ita namque etiam quendam de senioribus magistris audivi dicentem. Origen. in Josue. homil. 16.
• Jam vero si etiam extra corpus positi sancti, qui cum Christo sunt, agunt aliquid, et laborant pro nobis ad similitudinem angelorum qui salutis nostræ ministeria procurant, &c. habeatur hoc quoque inter occulta Dei, nec chartis committenda mysteria. Id. lib. 2. in epist. ad Roman. cap. 2.
Ρ “Ενα ούν τον επί πάσι θεόν ημίν εξευμενιστέον, και τούτον ίλεω έχειν ευκτέον, εξευμενιζόμενον ευσεβεία και πάση αρετή εί δε και άλλους τινάς βούλεται μετά τον επί πάσιν εξευμενίζεσθαι θεόν: κατανοησάτω, ότι ώσπερ το κινουμένω σώματι ακολουθεί η της σκιάς αυτού κίνησις· τον αυτόν τρόπον το εξευμενίζεσθαι τον επί πάσι θεόν έπεται ευμενείς έχειν τους εκείνου πάντας φίλους αγγέλους, και ψυχάς και πνεύματα συναίσθονται γάρ τών άξίων του παρά του θεού ευμενίσμού και ου μόνον και αυτοί ευμενείς τους αξίοις γίνονται αλλά και συμπράττουσι τοις βουλομένοις τον επί πάσι θεον θεραπεύειν, και εξευμενίζονται, και συνεύχονται, και συναξιούσιν" ώστε τολμάν ήμάς λέγειν, ότι ανθρώπους, μετά προαιρέσεως προτιθεμένοις τα κρείττονα, εύχομένοις τω θεώ, μυρίαι όσαι άκλητοι συνεύχονται δυνάμεις ιεραι. Origen. lib. 8. cont. Cels. Op. tom. 1. pag. 789.
the body is moved, the motion of the shadow thereof doth follow it; so in like manner, having God favourable unto us who is over all, it followeth that we shall have all his friends, both angels, and souls, and spirits, loving unto
For they have a fellow-feeling with them that are thought worthy to find favour from God. Neither are they only favourable unto such as be thus worthy, but they work with them also that are willing to do service unto him who is God over all, and are friendly to them, and pray with them, and entreat with them. So as we may be bold to say, that when men, which with resolution propose unto themselves the best things, do pray unto God, many thousands of the sacred powers pray together with them UNSPOKEN to."
Celsus had said of the angels : “ That they belong to God, and in that respect we are to put our trust in them, and make oblations to them according to the laws, and pray unto them, that they may be favourable to us." то this Origen answereth in this manner : “ Away' with Celsus his counsel, saying that we must pray to angels : and let us not so much as afford any little audience to it. For we must pray to him alone who is God over all: and we must pray to the Word of God his only begotten, and the first born of all creatures; and we must entreat him, that he as high priest would present our prayer (when it is come to him) unto his God, and our God, and unto his Father, and the Father of them that frame their life according to the word of God.” And whereas Celsus had further said that we “must offer first fruits unto angels,
4 "Οτι και οι δαιμονές είσι του θεού, και διά τούτο πιστευτέον εστίν αυτοίς, και καλλιερητέον κατά νόμους, και προσευκτέον, ίν' ευμενείς ώσι, Cels. apud Orig. op. tom. 1. pag. 760.
r"Απαγε δή την του Κέλσου συνβουλήν, λέγοντας προσευκτέον είναι δαίμοσι, και ουδέ κατά το ποσόν ακουστέον αυτής. Μόνω γάρ προσευκτέον τώ επί πάσι θεώ, και προσευκτέον γέ τω μονογενεί και πρωτοτόκω πάσης κτίσεως λόγω θεού και αξιωτέον αυτόν, ώς άρχιερεα, την επ' αυτόν φθάσασαν ημών ευχήν αναφέρειν επί τον θεόν αυτού και θεόν ημών, και πατέρα αυτού και πατέρα των βιούντων κατά τον λόγον του θεού. Origen. lib. 8. contr. Cels.
Ibid. pag. 761. • 'Απαρχάς και ευχάς αποδοτέον, έως αν ζώμεν ώς αν φιλανθρώπων aútūv ovyxávoljev. Cels. ibid. pag. 766.
and prayers, as long as we live, that we may find them propitious unto us :" answer is returned by Origen in the name of the Christians, that they held it rather fit to offer first fruits unto him which said: “ Let the earth bring forth grass, the herb yielding seed, and the fruit-tree yielding fruit after his kind.” And “ to whom we give the first fruits,” saith he, “ to him also do we send our prayers, having a great high priest that is entered into the heavens, Jesus the Son of God: and we hold fast this confession whilst we live, having God favourable unto us, and his only begotten Son Jesus being manifested amongst
But if we have a desire unto a multitude, whom we would willingly have to be favourable unto us : we learn that thousand thousands stand by him, and millions of millions minister unto him. Who beholding them that imitate their piety towards God, as if they were their kinsfolks and friends, help forward their salvation who call upon God, and pray sincerely: appearing also, and thinking that they ought to do service to them; and as it were upon one watchword to set forth for the benefit and salvation of them that pray to God, unto whom they themselves also pray. For they are all ministering spirits, sent forth to minister for them, who shall be heirs of salvation.” Thus far Origen, in his eighth book against Celsus: to which for a conclusion we will add that place of the fifth book: “ All“ prayers and supplications and intercessions
• Ω δέ τάς απαρχάς αποδίδωμεν, τούτω και τας ευχάς αναπέμπομεν έχοντες αρχιερέα μέγαν, διεληλυθότα τους ουρανούς, Ίησούν τον υιόν του θεού, και κρατούμεν της ομολογίας, έως αν ζώμεν, φιλανθρώπου τυγχάνοντες του θεού, και του μονογενούς αυτού Ιησού εν ημίν φανερουμένου. Εί δε και πλήθος ποθούμεν ών φιλανθρώπων τυγχάνειν θέλομεν" μανθάνομεν ότι χίλιαι χιλιάδες παρειστήκεισαν αυτώ, και μύριαι μυριάδες έλειτούργουν αυτή αίτινες ως συγγενείς και φίλους τους μιμουμένους την εις θεόν αυτών ευσέβειαν ορώντες, συμπράττουσιν αυτών τη σωτηρία των επικαλουμένων τον θεόν, και γνησίως εύχομένων επιφαινόμενοι, και οιόμενοι αυτούς δεν υπακούειν, και ώσπερ εξ ενός συνθήματος επιδημεϊν επ' ευεργεσία και σωτηρία των εύχομένων θεώ, ή και αυτοί εύχονται και γάρ πάντες εισί λειτουργικά πνεύματα, εις διακονίαν αποστελλόμενα, διά τους μέλλοντας κληρονομεϊν σωτηρίαν. Orig. lib. 8. cont. Cels. Op. tom. 1. pag. 766, 767.
Η Πάσαν μέν γάρ δέησιν, και προσευχήν, και ίντευξιν, και ευχαριστίαν, αναπεμπτέον τώ επί πάσι θεώ διά τού επί πάντων αγγέλων αρχιερέως
and thanksgivings, are to be sent up unto God the Lord of all, by the high priest who is above all angels, being the living Word and God. For to call upon angels, we not comprehending the knowledge of them which is above the reach of man, is not agreeable to reason. And if by supposition it were granted, that the knowledge of them, which is wonderful, and secret, might be comprehended : this very knowledge, declaring their nature unto us, and the charge over which every one of them is set, would not permit us to presume to pray unto any other but unto God the Lord over all, who is abundantly sufficient for all, by our Saviour the Son of God.”
Tertullian and Cyprian in the books which they purposely wrote concerning prayer, deliver no other doctrine, but teach us to regulate all our prayers according unto that perfect pattern prescribed by our great Master, wherein we are required to direct our petitions unto “Our" Father which is in heaven.” “ These' things,” saith Tertullian, in his apology for the Christians of his time, I may not pray for from any other, but from him of whom I know I shall obtain them: because both it is he who is alone able to give, and I am he unto whom it appertaineth to obtain that which is requested; being his servant who observe him alone, who for his religion am killed, who offer unto him a rich and great sacrifice, which he himself hath commanded, prayer proceeding from a chaste body, from an innocent soul, from a holy spirit;" where he accounteth prayer to be the chief sacrifice, wherewith God is wor
εμψύχου λόγου και θεού, &c. 'Αγγέλους, γάρ καλέσαι μη αναλαβόντας την υπέρ ανθρώπους περί αυτών επιστήμην, ουκ εύλογον ίνα δε και καθ' υπόθεσιν ή περί αυτών επιστήμη θαυμάσιος τις ούσα και απορρητος καταληφθή αύτη ή επιστήμη, παραστήσασα την φύσιν αυτών, και εφ' οίς έκαστοι τεταγμένοι, ουκ εάσει άλλο θαρρείν εύχεσθαι, ή τα προς πάντα διαρκεί (fort. διαρκούντι) επί πάσι θεώ, διά του σωτήρος ημών υιού του Osoữ. Origen. lib. 5. op. tom. 1. pag. 580.
w Matth. chap. 6. ver. 9. Luke, chap. 11. ver. 2.
* Hæc ab alio orare non possum, quam a quo me scio consecuturum: quoniam et ipse est qui solus præstat, et ego sum cui impetrare debetur ; famulus ejus qui eum solum observo, qui propter disciplinam ejus occidor, qui ei offero opimam et majorem hostiam, quam ipse mandavit, orationem de carne pudica, de anima innocenti, de spiritu sancto profectam. Tertull. apologetic. cap. 30.