Discourse 4.

Subject 1. The doctrine of the Monarchia implies or requires, not negatives, the substantial existence of the Word and Son

. 1-5.

The substantiality of the Word proved from Scripture. If the One Origin
be substantial, Its Word is substantial. Unless the Word and Son be a
second Origin, or a work, or an attribute (and so God be compounded),
or at the same time Father, or involve a second nature in God, He is
from God's Substance and distinct from Him. Illustration of John x.
30. drawn from Deut. iv. 4.

. 1.

{512} 1. THE Word is from God [Note A]; for the Word was God [John i. 1.], and again, Of whom are the Fathers, and of whom Christ, who is God over all, blessed for ever. Amen [Rom. ix. 5.]. And since Christ [Note B] is God from God, and God's Word, Wisdom, Son, and Power, therefore but One God is declared in the divine Scriptures. For the Word, being Son of the One God, is referred [Note C] to Him of whom also He is; so that Father and Son are two, {513} yet the Unity [Note 1] of the Godhead is indivisible [Note D] and inseparable. And thus too we preserve One Origin [Note 2] of Godhead and not two Origins, whence there is properly a divine Monarchy [Note E]. And of this very Origin the Word is by nature Son, not as if another origin, subsisting by Himself, nor having come into being externally to that Origin, lest from that diversity a Dyarchy and Polyarchy should ensue; but of the one Origin He is proper Son, proper Wisdom, proper Word, existing from It. For, according to John, in that Origin [Note F] was the Word, and the Word was with God, for the Origin was God; and since He is from It, therefore also the Word was God.

2. And as there is one Origin and therefore one God, so one is that Substance and Subsistence [Note G] which indeed and truly and really is, and which said I am that I am [Note H] and not two, that there be not two Origins; and from the One, a Son in Nature and Truth, is Its proper Word, Its Wisdom, Its Power, and inseparable from It. And as there is not another substance, lest there be two Origins, so the Word which is from that One Substance has no dissolution [Note 3], nor is a sound significative, but is a substantial Word and  substantial Wisdom, which is the true Son. For were He not substantial, God would be speaking into the air, and having a body [Note I], in nothing differently [Note K] from men; but since He {514} is not man, neither is His Word [Note L] according to the infirmity of man [Note 4]. For as the Origin is one Substance, so Its Word is one, substantial, and subsisting, and Its Wisdom. For as He is God from God, and is Wisdom from the Wise [Note M], and Word from the Rational, and Son from Father, so is He from Subsistence Subsistent, and from Substance Substantial and a Substantive [Note 5], and Being from Being.

. 2.

3. Since were He not substantial Wisdom and substantive Word, and Son existing, but simply Wisdom and Word and Son in the Father [Note N], then the Father Himself would have a nature compounded of wisdom and reason [Note 6]. But if so, the forementioned extravagances [Note 7] would follow; and He will be His own Father [Note O], and the Son begetting and begotten by Himself; or Word, Wisdom, Son, is a name only, and He does not subsist who owns, or rather who is, these titles. If then He does not subsist, the names are idle and empty [Note 8], unless we say that God is Very Wisdom [Note 9] and Very Word [Note P]. But if so, He is his own Father and Son; Father, when Wise, Son, when Wisdom [Note Q]; but these things are not in God {515} as a certain quality; away with the dishonourable [Note 10] thought; for it will issue in this, that God is compounded of substance and quality [Note R]. For whereas all quality is in substance, it will clearly follow that the Divine One [Note 11], indivisible as it is, must be compound, being severed into substance and accident [Note S].

4. We must ask then these reckless men; The Son was proclaimed as God's Wisdom and Word; how then is He such? if as a quality, the extravagance has been shown; but if God is that very Wisdom, then it is the extravagance of Sabellius. Therefore He is as an Offspring in a proper sense from the Father Himself, according to the illustration of light. For as there is light from fire [Note T], so from God is there a Word, and Wisdom from the Wise [Note U], and from the Father a Son. For in this way the Unity [Note 11 sic] remains undivided and entire [Note X], and Its Son and Word, is not unsubstantive, nor not subsisting, but substantial truly. {516}

5. For unless it were so, all that is said would be said only in notion [Note 12] and without a meaning [Note 13]. But if we must avoid that extravagance, then is a true Word substantial. For as there is a Father truly, so Wisdom truly. In this respect then they are two; not because, as Sabellius said, Father and Son are the same, but because the Father is Father and the Son Son [Note Y]; and they are one, because He is Son of the Substance of the Father by nature, existing as His proper Word. This the Lord said, viz., I and the Father are One [John x. 30.]; for neither is the Word separated from the Father, nor was or is the Father ever Wordless; on this account He says, I in the Father and the Father in Me [John xiv. 10.].

. 3.

6. And again, Christ [Note Z] is the Word of God. Did then He subsist by Himself, and after subsisting was joined to the Father, or did God make Him and call Him His Word? If the former, I mean, if He subsisted by Himself and is God, then there are two Origins; and moreover, as is plain, He is not proper to the Father, as being not of the Father, but of Himself. But if on the contrary, He be made externally [Note 14], then is He a creature. It remains then to say that He is from God Himself; but if so, that which is from another is one thing, and that from which it is, is a second; according to this then there are two. But if they be not two, but belong to the same, cause [Note 15] and effect will be the same, and begotten and begetting, which has been shown absurd in the instance of Sabellius. But if He be from Him, yet not another, He will be both begetting and not begetting; begetting because He produces from Himself, and not begetting, because it is nothing other than Himself. But if so, the same is called Father and Son notionally. But if it be unseemly so to say, Father and Son must be two; and they are one, because the Son is not from without, but begotten of God.

7. But if any one shrinks from saying "Offspring" [Note A] and {517} only says that the Word exists with God, let such a one fear lest, shrinking from what is said in Scripture, he fall into an extravagance, making God a being of double nature [Note 16]. For not granting that the Word is from the Unity [Note 17], but simply as if He were joined [Note B] to the Father, He introduces a duality [Note 18] of substance [Note C], and neither of them Father of the other. And the same of power [Note 19]. And we may see this more clearly, if we consider it with reference to the Father; for there is One Father, and not two, but from that One the Son. As then there are not two Fathers, but one [Note D], so not two Origins, but One, and from that One the Son substantial.

. 4.

8. But the Arians we must ask contrariwise: (for the Sabellianizers must be confuted from the notion of a Son and the Arians from that of a Father [Note E]:) let us say then—Is God wise and not word-less: or on the contrary is He wisdom-less and word-less [Note 20]? if the latter, there is an extravagance at once; if the former, we must ask how is He wise and not word-less? does He possess the Word and the Wisdom from without, or from Himself? If from without, there must be one who first gave to Him, and before He received He was wisdom-less and word-less. But if from Himself, it is plain that the Word is not from nothing, nor once was not; for He was ever; since He of whom He is the Image, exists ever. But if they say that He is indeed wise and not word-less, but that He has in Himself His proper Wisdom and proper Word, and that, not Christ, but that by which He made Christ [Note 21], we must answer that, if Christ in that Word was brought to be, plainly so were all things; and {518} it must be He of whom John says, All things were made by Him [John i. 3.], and the Psalmist, In Wisdom hast Thou made them all [Ps. civ. 24.]. And Christ will be found to speak untruly [Note 22], I in the Father, there being another in the Father. And the Word became flesh [John i. 14.] is not true according to them. For if, He in whom all things came to be, became Himself flesh, and Christ is not the Word in the Father, by whom all things came to be, therefore Christ did not become flesh, but, if so be, was but called Word. And if so, first, He will be some one else beside the name, next, all things were not by Him brought to be, but in him in whom Christ was made also.

9. But if they say that Wisdom is in the Father as a quality or that He is Very Wisdom [Note 23], the extravagances will follow already mentioned. For He will be compound [Note 24], and will become his own Son and Father [Note 25]. Moreover, we must confute and silence them on the ground, that the Word which is in God [Note 26] cannot be a creature nor out of nothing. But if the Word be but in God, then He must be Christ who says, I am in the Father and the Father in Me, who also is therefore the Only-begotten, since no other is begotten from Him. He is the One Son, who is Word, Wisdom, Power; for God is not compounded of these, but is generative [Note 27] of them. For as He frames the creatures by the Word, so according to the nature of His proper Substance has He the Word as an Offspring, through whom He frames and creates and dispenses all things. For by the Word and the Wisdom all things came to be, and all things together remain according to His ordinance. And the same concerning the word "Son;" if God be without Son [Note 28], then is He without Work; for the Son is His Offspring through whom He works [Note 29]; but if not, the same questions and the same extravagances will follow their audacity.

. 5.

10. From Deuteronomy; But ye that did attach yourselves unto the Lord your God are alive every one of you this day. From this we may see the difference, and know that the Son of God is not a creature. For the Son says, I and the Father are One, and, I in the Father, and the Father in Me; but things generate, when they make advance, are attached unto the Lord. The Word then is in the Father as {519} being proper to Him; but things generate, being external, are attached, as being by nature foreign, and attached by free choice [Note 30]. For a son which is by nature, is one [Note 31] with him who begat him; but he who is from without, and is made a son, will be attached to the family. Therefore he immediately adds, What nation is there so great who hath God drawing nigh unto them? [Deut. iv. 7. Sept.] and elsewhere, I a God drawing nigh [Jer. xxiii. 23. Sept.]; for to things generate He draws nigh, as being strange to him, but to the Son, as being proper to Him, He does not draw nigh, but He is in Him. And the Son is not attached to the Father, but co-exists with Him; whence also Moses says again in the same Deuteronomy, Ye shall obey His voice, and apply yourselves unto Him [Deut. xiii. 14.]; but what is applied, is applied from without.

Top | Contents | Works | Home


Footnotes

A. In this opening section, the abruptness of which shews that something was meant to precede it, the author is meeting the objection of Marcellus, (urged, e.g. Euseb. Eccl. Theol. pp. 68-70, 109, b. c. 119, d. 141, b.) that plurality of Persons involves plurality of Gods; which he here answers, by insisting on the relation of the Second Person to the First, i.e. as Eusebius, by the doctrine of the Monarchy.
Return to text

B. The introduction of the word "Christ" (vid. also .3 init. 4. c-e. 15, c. 19, b. 30 init ) seems to shew that he is combating a heresy which placed our Lord's personality in the manhood, which Arianism did not, but which Sabellius, Marcellus, Photinus, Nestorius, did. There is very little about "Christ" in the foregoing Discourses against the Arians. The text indeed which he here quotes from Scripture is rather directed against Arians (vid. Orat, i. p. 193. Serap. ii. 2.) than against Sabellians, but he seems to mean it to be an admission to them, lest he should be thought to deny it. It must be granted also, that in one place referred to he uses the word "Christ" when arguing against the Arians, though this is not unnatural, when it has once occurred. Nor must it be forgotten that S. Hilary uses Christus commonly for our Lord's divine nature. vid. Bened. Prf. p. xlii.
Return to text

C. [eis auton anapheretai]. vid. Nazianz. Orat. 20, 7. Damasc. F. O. i. 8. p. 140. Theod. Abulc. Opusc 42. p. 542. And so [anagetai]. Naz. Orat. 42, 15. And [hina hemas anapempse epi ten tou patros authentian]. Euseb.Eccl. Theol. i. p. 84. though in an heretical sense. vid. supr. p. 459, note A.
Return to text

D. [monada de theotetos adiaireton]. This phrase, which occurs p. 515, r. 2. and is sufficiently distinctive to attract the attention of Petavius, vid. Dogm. t. i. pp. 248, 249. though found in other writers, appears to be from Marcellus, who urged it, and is often remarked on by Eusebius. vid. contr. Marc. p. 36, b. 107, b. 131, b. In p. 132, a. Marcellus justifies from Scripture the use of [monas] to express Almighty God.
Return to text

E. The word Monarchia was used as a tessera by all parties; by the Sabellians, (as by Marcellus) against the Church and Arians; vid. supr. p. 45, note H; by Arians, which is surprising, against Catholics; Euseb. Eccl. Theol. p. 69; and by Catholics, as supr. p. 45. and here. Athan. attributes a Dyarchy to Marcion and Valentinus, de Syn. 52. supr. p. 153. Eusebius returns a like answer to Marcellus p. 109. as Athan. here to his nameless antagonist. The principle of the Catholic Monarchia is found infr. 17. [ouden en pros ton patera, ei me to ex autou].
Return to text

F. [arche] here means "origin," as commonly; and stands for the Almighty Father, as supr. ii. 57 fin. Origen. in Joan. t. i. 17. Method. ap. Phot. cod. 235. p. 940. Nyssen. in Eunom. p. 106. Cyril. Thesaur.32. p. 312. Euceb. Eccl. Theol. ii. pp. 118, d. 123, a. and Jerome in Calmet on Ps. 109. Infr. . 8, 25, 26, 27. it must be translated "beginning."
Return to text

G. [ousia kai hypostasis]; and so [he patrike ous. kai hyp.] supr. p. 494, and note T. The word occurs several times towards the end of this Oration.
Return to text

H. This text is brought as an objection to any but the Sabellian view by Marcellus in Euseb. Eccl. Theol. p. 130,c. d.
Return to text

I. [soma echon]. vid. Euseb. [ei pneuma, kreitton [to] theion pantos suntheton somatos] contr. Marc. p. 5, d.
Return to text

K. [ouden pleon]; and so Euseb. contr. Marc. p. 55, b. and infr. 17. [pleion ouden ho logos tou huiou echei]. Also 20, e. and Serap. ii. 1, b. On the classical use of the phrase vid. Blomf. Gloss. in Agam. 995.
Return to text

L. In a somewhat similar passage, ad Ep. g. 16. he is arguing against, not Sabellians, but Arians.
Return to text

M. vid. contr. Sabell. Greg. . 5, d. Basil. contr. Eunom. ii. 17. Euseb. Eccl. Theol. p. 150, a.
Return to text

N. [en toi patri]. he is here opposing the usual formula of Sabellius and Marcellus, who substituted [en toi theoi] for the Scriptural [pros ton theon]. vid. supr. p. 509. (6.) infr. note Q. [ho en anthropoi logos ou pros auton einai legetai, all' en autoi]. Basil. contr. Sabell. 1 fin.
Return to text

O. [autos heautou pater]. So Hipp. contr. Noet. 7. vid, also Euseb. in Marc. pp. 42, b. 61. a. 106, b. 119, d. [huion heautou ginesthai]. Orat. iii. 4 init. Ipsum sibi patrem, &c. Auct. Prd. (ap. Sirmond. Opp. t. i. p. 278. ed. Ven.) Mar. Marc. t. 2. p. 128. ed. 1673. Greg. Bœt. (ap. Worm. Hist. Sabell. p. 17.) Consult Zach. et Apoll. ii. 11. (ap. Dach. Spicil.) Porphyry uses [autopator], but by a strong figure. Cyril. contr. Julian. p. 32. vid. Epiphan. in answer to Aetius on this subject. Hr. p. 937. It must be observed that several Catholic fathers seem to countenance such expressions, Zeno.Ver. and Marius Vict. not to say S. Hilary and S. Augustine. vid. Thomassin. de Trin. 9. For [huiopator] vid. supr. p. 97, note K. to which add Nestor. Serm. 12. ap. Marc. Merc. t. 2. p. 87. and Ep. ad Martyr. ap. Bevereg. Synod. t. 2. Not. p. 100.
Return to text

P. Petavius considers that he here denies these titles to the Son, though elsewhere he attributes them. E.g. contr. Gent. 40, a. 46 fin. de Incarn. V. D. 20, b. Orat. ii. 78, d. 79, e. 80, e. Serap. iv. 20, c. If so, there is no inconsistency; he admits them, (vid. contr. Gent. 46.) in contrast to the [sophia], &c. of creatures; he denies them as implying defect in the Father, impersonality in the Son. Eusebius admits them Eccles. Theol. p. 121, c. and elsewhere.
Return to text

Q. Vid. supr. note M p. 515, note U. Serap. i. 20, d. Eusebius introduces mention of [sophos] and [sophia] in a similar way in Eccl. Theol. pp. 100, 150. He distinctly imputes to Marcellus the doctrine, here spoken of by Athan. viz. that the Son was [ton en autoi toi theoi logon, kath hon logikos noeitai]. Eccl. Theol. pp. 90, b. 106, b. 110, d. 113, b. 130, a. 150, a. vid. supr. p. 208, note B. thus distinguishing him from Sabellius, as making the Word a quality, and God [sunthetos]. ibid. p. 63, c. Cudworth maintains that this same doctrine was held by Plato and Photinus; Intell. Syst. iv. 36. (p. 675. ed. 1733.) nay, by S. Athanasius. Mosheim in loc. seems to defend Athan. Petavius imputes it to Athenagoras, Dogm. t. 2. p. 22. whom Bull defends, D. F. N. iii. 5. . 5.
Return to text

R. So [suntheton ton theon ek poiotetos kai ousias legete]. ad Afros. 8. vid. the whole passage, which, however, is directed against, not Sabellians, but Arians. This is the point of heresy in which the two agreed, vid. supr. p. 41, note E. However, the argument is not exactly the same. For that ad Afros. vid. Basil. Ep. 8, 3. and Cyril. Thes. p. 131. Here he is referring to the great doctrine, or rather mystery, that Christ is [holos theos], "all God," as fully and entirely the one infinitely simple, all-perfect Being, as if there were no Person in the Godhead but He; not an attribute, habit, or the like, which would be making attributes real distinctions in the Divine Nature, not aspects (as they are) under which we men necessarily view that Nature. This the Sabellians seemed to hold, and thus made it compound. Vid. in like manner supr. p. 334, note Y. Epiph. Hr. 73. p. 852. Cyril. Thes. p. 145. Basil. contr. Sabell. 1. Nyssen contr. Eunom. i. p. 69. App. Max. Cap. de Carit. t. i. p. 445. Damasc. F. O. i. 13.p. 151.
Return to text

S. So Eusebius of Marcellus, [suntheton eisegen ton theon, ousian dicha logou sumbebekos de tei ousiai ton logon]. Eccl. Theol. p. 121, b. c. Vid. however Athan. speaking of Arians, de decr. 22. supr. p. 38, note Y. (where Eusebius's opinion has been misstated; vid. also Demonstr. v. pp.213, c. 215, a.) Also supr. p. 493, and notes Q, R, S. ad Ep. g. . 16, a.
Return to text

T. vid. infr. . 10 fin. this is unusual with Athanasius, who commonly speaks of Light and its Radiance. vid. supr. p. 39, note B.
Return to text

U. Pater verax, Filius veritas; quid est amplius, verax an veritas? Pius homo plus est, an pietas? sed plus est ipsa pietas; Pius enim pietate, non pietas pio. Plus est pulchritudo qum pulcher. Castitas plan plus est qum castus. Numquid dicturi sumus plus Veritas qum Verax? si hoc dixerimus, Filium incipiemus dicere Patre majorem. Verax enim Pater non ab e veritate verax est cujus partem cepit, sed quam totam genuit. August. in Joann. 39, 7. vid. also Ambros. de Fid. v. n. 29.
Return to text

X. It has been observed, p. 326, note G. that the Mystery of the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity is not merely a verbal contradiction, but an incompatibility in the human ideas conveyed by them. We can scarcely make a nearer approach to an exact enunciation of it, than that of saying that one thing is two things. The Father is all that is God; He is the One, Eternal, Infinite Being, absolutely and wholly. And His Nature is most simple and free from parts and passions. Yet this One God is also the Son, and He is the One God as absolutely and wholly as the Father, yet without being the Father. In this world we have often great changes in the same being, so that He is one thing at one time, and another at another; but the Unchangeable God is Three all at once, and that Three Persons.
Return to text

Y. vid. pp. 211, 212, notes F and G. and p. 416. note E.
Return to text

Z. Here, as in beginning of . 1. "Christ," not "the Word," is made the subject of the sentence. vid. p. 512, note B.
Return to text

A. vid. supr. p. 37, note K; to which it may be added that S. Basil seems to have changed his mind, for he uses the Word in Hom. contr. Sabell. t. 2. p. 192, c. It is remarkable that this Homily in substance (i.e. the contr. Sabell. Greg. which is so like it that it cannot really be another, unless S. Basil copies it) is given to S. Athan.
Return to text

B. [kekollesthai toi patri logon]. So Eusebius of Marcellus, [henomenon toi theoi logon]. pp. 4 fin. 32, a. &c. vid. next note.
Return to text

C. Athanasius here retorts upon the Sabellian schools the objection of the Monarchia, observing that the fact of the derivation of One Person from the Other is that which preserves in fact the numerical Unity unimpaired, as described just above, note X.. vid. also p. 402, note G. Not that we can understand how it does this. Eusebius objects to Marcellus his holding the [sunageneton]. Eccl. Theol. pp. 119, c. d. 163. d. [logon echein en heautoi henomenon kai sunemmenon autoi phesin, hos diplen tina kai suntheton ousian en heautoi einai]. p. 63, c. And so Athan. in the text, [diphue tina eisagon ton theon … duada ousias eisagei].
Return to text

D. [ou duo pateres, all' eis]. So Eusebius against Marcellus, [ouk anankazetai duo pateras eipein oude duo huios]. p. 109, c.
Return to text

E. That is, since the Sabellians denied our Lord's substantive existence, and the Arians His divinity, to dwell upon a father's communication of nature to his children, was the mode of shewing our Lord's divinity, and to dwell on the idea of a son was the mode of shewing (vid. Euseb. in Marc. i. 4. p. 19.) that He was no abstraction or attribute, but a living subsistence.
Return to text

Top | Contents | Works | Home


Margin Notes

1. [monada], unit.
Return to text

2. [arche].
Return to text

3. [dialelumenos].
Return to text

4. supr. p. 329.
Return to text

5. [enousios].
Return to text

6. [logou], word.
Return to text

7. [atopa].
Return to text

8. p. 307, note D.
Return to text

9. p. 518, r. 2.
Return to text

10. [aprepes] p. 524. r. 3.
Return to text

11. [monas].
Return to text

12. [kat epinoian] p. 333, note U.
Return to text

13. [haplos] p. 254, note L.
Return to text

14. [exothen].
Return to text

15. [aitia].
Return to text

16. [diphue tina].
Return to text

17. [monas], one, or unit.
Return to text

18. [duada].
Return to text

19. vid. p. 501.
Return to text

20. p. 208, note B.
Return to text

21. p. 512, note B.
Return to text

22. [pseudomenos].
Return to text

23. p. 514, r. 5.
Return to text

24. p. 14, note Q. p. 524, r. 2.
Return to text

25. p. 524, r. 4.
Return to text

26. arg. Ad hom. Vid. p. 510. (6.)
Return to text

27. [gennetikos], p. 495, r. 2.
Return to text

28. [agonos], p. 284, note E.
Return to text

29. p. 338. p. 416, note F. p. 422, note L.
Return to text

30. [proairesei].
Return to text

31. p. 219, note B.
Return to text

Top | Contents | Works | Home


Newman Reader — Works of John Henry Newman
Copyright 2007 by The National Institute for Newman Studies. All rights reserved.