De Moor V:10: The Son as Autotheos, Part 2

Of course, in Chapter IV, § 20, we saw that by Independence God is of Himself negatively, not in the sense of being His own Cause; and the title Αὐτοθεὸς, God of Himself, means this. 1. Therefore, if the Son is the Most High and Independent God, He is also Αὐτοθεός. 2. And, since the Truth of the Divine Essence is not able to stand without Independence, neither would the Son be True God, unless He were Αὐτοθεὸς at the same time. 3. If the Father is acknowledged as Αὐτοθεὸς, then the Son also must be such, unless it be denied that the Son is the same God in number with the Father, and multiple Gods, multiple Divine Essences, be established. For, the same God, the same Divine Essence, is not able at the same time to be of Himself, and not of Himself. Indeed, the Son is not αὐτουιὸς, Son of Himself; but Αὐτοθεὸς, God of Himself. He is of the Father, as He is Son; but He is of Himself, regarded absolutely as God; since He has the Divine Essence, existing of itself, and not divided or produced from another Essence; but not as having that Essence of Himself. He is God of Himself: not He is of Himself, God, or, which is the same thing, He is not the Son of Himself.


Augustine

An occasion was given for this debate (let me not mention Origen from ancient times, who according to AUGUSTINE de Hæresibus, chapter XLIII, says, that the Son of God, compared with the saints, is truth; but, placed together with the Father, a falsehood: and as far as the Apostles stand apart from Christ, so the Son from the Father: Whence the Son is not to be worshipped with the Father, because He is not the author of the granting of petitions, but the one supplicating: in whose footsteps the Arians thereafter follow: see GOMARUS’ Diatriben de Christo αὐτοθεῷ in Voetius’ Disputationum theologicarum, part I, page 444 [which is also, because of the latter pains of the Author, is found in GOMARUS’ Operibus, part II, pages 502-505]; and VOETIUS’ Notas ad Diatriben illam, pages 451-453) by Valentinus Gentilis, who, while he says that the Son and the Holy Spirit were Essentiated by the Father, as the sole Essentiator, from whom they had received a numerically different Essence; at the same time he considered God the Father as the primary God and αὐτοθεῷ, God of Himself, but the Son and the Holy Spirit as secondary Gods, and not αὐτοθεοῖς, Gods of themselves, as those that are God, with their Deity borrowed, detached and received from another: see CALVIN’S opera, tome 7, pages 660, 672, 673, 675, 676, 678; GOMARUS’ Diatriben de Christo αὐτοθεῷ in Voetius’ Disputationum theologicarum, part I, pages 444 at the end, 445 at the beginning. Against this Valentinus, CALVIN, in the place cited in his Tractatibus theologicis, opera, tome 7, pages 672-678, and after him BEZA, Tractatibus Theologicis, volume I, page 647, asserted that the Son and the Holy Spirit are no less Αὐτοθεὸν, God of Himself, than the Father: since both are God through Deity, which is of itself, not cut off from or produced by another Deity; although the Son received His Deity from the Father, and the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son.


Bellarmine

Then the Papists, Genebrard,[1] Bellarmine, and others, take occasion to calumniate CALVIN and BEZA, and hence they fabricated the heresy of the Autotheans: see PETAVIUS’ Dogmata theologica, volume I, tome 2, book VI, chapters XI, XII, pages 353-361; CHAMIER’S[2] Panstratiam Catholicam, tome 2, book I, chapters V, VI; HEINRICH ALTING’S Scriptorum Heidelbergensium, tome I, part II, pages 328, 329, and similarly Theologiam Problematicam novam, locus III, problem XXXII, pages 225-228; MARCKIUS’ Orationem II, after Exercitationes Miscellaneas, page 431; GOMARUS’ Diatriben de Christo αὐτοθεῷ in VOETIUS’ Disputationum theologicarum, part I, pages 445, 447, and VOETIUS’ Notas ad Diatriben illam, page 453, who observes that at this point the Papists fall into two classes, while some reprehend the very matter in CALVIN, and through calumny thrust heresy, blasphemy, and atheism upon him, as if he were teaching that the Son is not begotten of the Father in the unity of the same Essence: others of them only carp at the expression in CALVIN, like Bellarmin and Gregory of Valentia,[3] and doubt whether a new heresy of the Autotheans ought to be established, which before them Genebrard with others of that stamp had done: add page 459.


Arminius

After that, this Αὐτοθεότητα/Autotheotes/Autotheism, of the Son and of the Spirit was also assailed by James Arminius, and especially by Simon Episcopius, and however many with him maintain that the Son and the Spirit are naturally subordinated to the Father, while they cry that Τριθεότητα/Tritheism is introduced through the acknowledgement of Three Equal persons in the Deity: although Episcopius also acknowledges that faith in the Trinity can be saving, even if the Numeric Unity of Essence be not received: see HEINRICH ALTING’S Scriptorum Heidelbergensium, tome I, part II, pages 328, 329, and similarly Theologiam Problematicam novam, locus III, problem XXXII, pages 225-228; SPANHEIM’S Elenchum Controversiarum, column 861, § XI, opera, tome 3, who here notes Episcopius, Curcellæus, etc., but passes over Arminiu