Page images
PDF
EPUB

ther and Creator of the world *, he had nevertheless been led to form very just apprehensions, in some respects, of the eternal nature and attributes of the Logos, and to describe him as a real and acting being, “ the first-begotten Son ti' “ the express image “ of God I," "esteemed the same as God g,” “ the great cause of all things,"

by whom « all things were produced and disposed ll," the person who “ visibly appeared to Abraham, to Jacob, and to Moses in the bush(," the appointed

" Mediator and Intercessor “ for the sins of the world **,” “ the second “ God, who is the Word of the Supreme “ Godfoot," “the Supreme God, by whom a “ ransom and price of redemption of the “ soul may be paid It"

* De Vertutib. p. 562. Edit. Mangey.

+ De Agricult. vol. i. p. 308. TIPÁToyorov vlor. See also de Somn. vol. i. p. 653. 656.

| De Monarch, vol. ii. p. 225. De Mundi Opif. vol. i. p. 6. Ś De Somnis, vol. i. p. 666.

|| De Leg. Alleg. vol. i. p. 121. De Opif. Mundi, vol. i. p. 4. De Plant. Noe,

De Monarch, 1. ii. p. 225. Allegor. I. iii. p. 120-130. et de Vit. Mos. lib. i. de Sacrif. vol. i.

p.

173. ** Quis Rerum. Divin. Hæres. vol. i. p. 501. 532. De Somn. vol. i. p. 653. Frag. vol. ii. p. 625. De Vita Mosis.

.

p.

331.

155. ++ Philo. Frag. vol. ii. p. 625. Tor devleper Gror os ector exeste (θε πρωία) λογος.

# De Confus. Ling, fol. i. p. 418. De Somn, vol. i. p. 331

vol. ii. p.

Philo speaks also remarkably of the Holy Ghost, and styles him “ the all-wise Spirit “ the divine power which breathed the breath 66 of life into man,

“ being sent from the “ blessed nature for abode here, to the ad“ vantage of the human race t, that if man be « mortal as to the visible, he might at least be “ rendered immortal as to the invisible part.” He represents a prophet also as “ not mani“ festing any thing of his own, but as being

an interpreter (another dictating what he “ brings forward) during the time that he “ is under enthusiasm,” “ being himself in “ ignorance, his reasoning faculties receding “ and withdrawing from the citadel of his “ mind, and the Divine Spirit coming upon “ and dwelling in him, impelling and direct

ing the organism of his voice to a dis“ tinct manifestation of what the Spirit pre66 dicts #."

These passages indicate clearly a sense of the personal attributes of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and describe each of them in a manner which the Sacred Writers sanc

* De Gigant. Vol. i. p. 266. 1. 2. + De Mundi Opificio, Vol. i. p. 32. De Special. Leg.

De Mandato, p. 356. I Gen. i. 26. xlviii. 16. Psalm xxxiii. 6. cv. 19. cvii. 20. .cxix. 89. Prov. viii. 22. Isa, ix. 6. Nehem. ix. 20.

p. 343

tion, and the Apocryphal Writers imitate *. It was probably from these sources, indeed, that Philo drew his opinions.

In a very remarkable passage we find an application of a prophetic title of the Messiah deduced from Jeremiah † to the Logos, “I “ have heard,” says he,

says he, “ truly one of the “ assistants (étaigowo) of Moses uttering such " an oracle: Behold a man, whose name is " the East, a very new appellation if it be “ understood of what consists of (mere) body " and soul; but if it be said of that incorpo“ real person bearing the divine image, it “ must be confessed, that the name of the “ East' is most appositely ascribed to him ; “ for the Father of all things wished his most " ancient Son to arise, whom elsewhere he “ declared his first born, and who, being be

gotten, imitating his Father's ways, and

looking to his archetypical examples, framed “ forms I

Philo, however, though he thus applies di

* Judith xii. 17. xvi. 17. Wisd. ix. 4.-17. xvi. 12. xviii. 15. Eccles, xxiv. 5.-7. li. 14.

+ See Jeremiah xxiii. 5. Zach. iii. 8. vi. 12. See also, Luke i. 8. and Tacitus Hist. lib. v. cap. 13. where the He. brew word nox (branch) is translated in the Septuagint, “ oriens." De confus. Ling. vol. i. p. 414.

vine attributes to the different persons of the Godhead, does not state an association and equality in the mysterious union, but distincily observes, that the Scripture says he made man in the likeness of God, and not in bis own likeness, and that this was correctly and wisely proclaimed, for that nothing mortal could be framed in the image of that highest God, the Father of the Universe, but it might be (in the image of) that second God, who is his word * : still, however, notwithstanding these vague and varying notions, Philo must be allowed to have caught, either from the Scriptures or from Plato, some outline of the doctrine of the Trinity, asserting the essential divinity of each person, while, with respect to the Son in particular, he attributes to him also a human character; and he appears in one instance, if the present reading of the passage be adhered to, to represent the Logos as “ being man as to his image t';' and as'" the shepherd of the holy flock ...

The observations, however, expressed by

* Fragmenta Philonis. vol. II. p. 625. Edit. Mangey et Eseb. Prop. Evan. lib. 7. c. 13.

† 'O xal sxevice au99Wmoso De Confus. Ling. vol. i. p. 427, line 6. Euseb. Præp. Evan. lib. xi. c. 15, p. 535, as cited by Bryant. See the sentiments of Philo Judæus, p. 102.

De Agricult. vol. i. p. 308.

.

these and other points of faith, and particularly upon Regeneration and the Divine Grace *, so much resemble what is communicated by St. Luke and St. James, and by the author of the Epistle to the Hebrewst, that we may suppose them to have been borrowed from the inspired writings, if we admit that these Scriptures were produced sufficiently easy for that purpose. We have observed, indeed, that Philo might have seen the Gospel of St. Mark; if he had not any intercourse with the early disciples, be might at least have caught the distant reports of those preachers, whose sound went forth with rapid communication into all lands. On the other hand, it is attended with difficulties to suppose that the testimonies to the word of Christ should have been expressly presented to Philo, and not have been noticed by him. Many, who like him

Philo upon

* Leg. Allegor. vol. i. p. 114. See also p. 379.

+ Compare Leg. Allegor. lib. iii. p. 127. with Heb. vi. 13. Sce also de Alleg. p. 93. 114. De Ebrietate, p. 379. De Agricult. vol. i. p. 301, with Heb. v. 13, 14. De Decem Oraculis. vol.ii. p. 201. with 1 Jolin iv. 20. in Flaccum, p. 542. with 1 Cor. xv. 31; and Fragm. in Johan. Damas. p. 649. with 1 John ii. 15. See also de Abraham, vol. ii. p. 33. 1. 49. p. 3. I. 46. p. 411. 1. 36. p. 463, last line with Acts vii. 4. and Bryant, and Mangey, Prælat.

« PreviousContinue »