Introductory Remarks on Discourse 4

§. 1. On the Structure of the Book

{497} THERE is a general agreement among Critics that the "Four Orations" or "Discourses against the Arians," as they are styled in the Benedictine Edition, and also in this Translation, are parts of one work. Nay, such might seem to have been the opinion of Photius when he speaks of Athanasius's "five books against Arius and his doctrines." [Note 1] Montfaucon even goes so far as to consider external evidence unnecessary, and appeals to the structure of the Orations, as even determining their number. "Nihil opus est longiore disputatione," he says, "cùm clarum sit ex hisce ipsis Quatuor Orationibus, nihil eas commune cum ullo alio opere habere, sed ita inter se cohærere, ut unum ipsæ opus simul conficiant. quarum prima sit principium, quarta autem omnium sit finis; quam sane ob causam sola hæc ultima solitâ terminatur conclusione." t. i. pp. 403, 4. However he so far modifies or explains this statement, in his Præf. p. xxxv, and Vit. Ath. p. lxxii, as to allow that they were not written on any exactly determined previous plan, but that the later Orations are in one sense amplifications or defences of what had gone before, in consequence of the continuance of the controversy. This view of their structure is principally derived from the commencement of the Second and Third, in which S. Athanasius, according to his custom on other occasions, speaks of himself as resuming a discussion which he considered already sufficiently extended.

Tillemont speaks as decidedly of the unity and integrity of the Four Orations. "Les quatre oraisons," he says, "sont toutes liées ensemble, et en un même corps, comme il paroit principalement, parce-qu'il n'y a que la dernière qui finisse par la glorification ordinaire." Mem. Eccl. t. 8. p. 701. And again, "Il est certain que ces quatre discours ... semblent ... ne faire qu'une seule pièce, qu'on aura partagée tantôt en quatre, tantôt en cinq." p. 191.

Ceillier follows Tillemont almost word for word. Aut. Eccl. t. v. pp. 217, 218, observing with Montfaucon that the later Discourses are successively defences of the earlier.

Petavius had already incidentally expressed the same opinion in his work de Incarnatione; and that the more strongly, though indirectly, because, like Tillemont, he is at the very time engaged in shewing that the Epist. ad Ep. Æg. et Lib. does not form part of the general Treatise, as the editions of his day considered it, inasmuch as it is but partly engaged with the subject of Arian doctrine; vid. Ep. Æg. (O.T.) p. 125. "Non est ejusdem cum sequentibus argumenti, nam in istis adversus Arianam hæresim disputat, &c. … prima autem (i.e. ad Ep. Æg. et Lib.) nihil horum facit." de Incarn. v. 15. §. 9. {498}

Yet in spite of authorities so great and so concordant, I think it may be made plain with very little trouble, that the Fourth of these Orations, which is now to follow, is not written against the Arians, nor is an Oration, nor is even a continuous discussion, but is a collection of fragments or memoranda of unequal lengths, and on several subjects, principally on the Photinian heresy, partly on the Sabellian and Samosatene, and partly indeed, but least of all, on the Arian. Some remarks shall now be made in behalf of this representation.

1. And here it may be premised, that no passage in the so-called Fourth Oration is quoted, I believe, by any early writer or authority, as a part of S. Athanasius's work "against the Arians," or "on the Trinity;" whereas the Second and Third are quoted by Theodoret [Note 2], Justinian [Note 3], S. Cyril [Note 4], Facundus [Note 5], the Lateran Council under Pope Martin I. [Note 6] Pope Agatho [Note 7], and others, and designated too by the numbers they respectively bear in the Benedictine Edition. And though Photius, as has already been observed, speaks of the whole work as consisting of five parts, while the Seventh General Council [Note 8] and the Greek version of Pope Agatho's Epistle in the Sixth [Note 9], certainly speak of the Benedictine Third as the Fourth, this furnishes no proof that the Book which is here to follow under the name of the Fourth formed the concluding portion or Fifth of Photius's Pentabiblus. For in one MS. this Fourth is called the Sixth; and this obliges us to look out for another Fifth, which Montfaucon considers he has discovered in the De Incarn. contra Arian., which in some MSS. is actually so named. It may be added that the Epist. ad Ep. Æg. et Lib. which was once commonly regarded as the First, is in some MSS. called the Fourth, while in one of Monfaucon's MSS. the so-called Fourth is altogether omitted. In a MS. in the Bodleian Library (Roe 29, dated 1410.) the Incarn. c. Arian. comes after the first Three in the place of the present Fourth. In others the present Fourth is called the Fifth; and in others the Epist. ad Ep. Æg. et Lib. is numbered as the "Third against the Arians," the de Sent. Dion., divided into two parts, being apparently reckoned as the First and Second. With variations then so considerable, no evidence can be drawn from these titles on any side.

2. Next, the very opening of the Book shews that it is no Oration or Discourse of a character like the Three which precede it. The Second and Third begin with a formal introduction, in which allusion is made to the general argument of which they profess to be the continuation; but there is no pretence of composition or method in the commencement of the Fourth. It enters abruptly into its subject, whatever that be, for it does not propose it, with a categorical statement supported by a text; "The Word is God from God, for 'the Word was God,'"—a mode of treating so sacred a subject most unlike the ceremoniousness, as it may be called, which is observable in the Author's finished works.

Abrupt transitions of a similar character are also found in the course of it, and are introductory of fresh subjects; for instance, in §§. 6, 9, and 25, as the commencement of Subjects ii. v. and {499} viii. in the Translation will shew. And so little idea of any continuity of subject was entertained by transcribers, that in five MSS. a place is apparently assigned between §§. 12 and 13. to the Tract de Sabbatis et Circumcisione, doubtfully ascribed to S. Athanasius, and contained in the Benedictine, tom. ii. p. 54. Strikingly in contrast is his ordinary style, running one subject into another, and intimately combining even distinct arguments, so that it is often an extreme difficulty to divide the composition into paragraphs.

It may be added that the Three Orations refer backwards and forwards to each other, and, in spite of whatever is supplemental in the Second and Third, are constructed on a definite plan [Note 10], which comes to an end with, or shortly before, the conclusion of the Third. The main portion of the Three Orations, extending from chapter xi. to chapter xxix. inclusive, is engaged in the interpretation of passages of Scripture, chiefly such as were urged by the Arians against the Catholic doctrine. The remainder is employed upon the notorious Arian formulæ condemned at Nicæa, or the equally notorious interrogations which, as S. Athanasius so often says, they circulated every where, never tired with the repetition. The Fourth Oration has hardly any thing in common with them here.

There is some difference too in phraseology between the first Three and the Fourth of these Orations. The word [homoousion] occurs in the Fourth three times, §§. 10 and 12, as it is found in Athanasius's other works; but it cannot be said to have occurred any where throughout the former Three; for the solitary passage in which it is found, i. 9. is rather a sort of doctrinal confession than a part of the discussion; and it is actually omitted in places where it might naturally have been expected; vid. p. 210, note D. p. 262, note F. p. 264, note G. Moreover in the Second Oration, supr. p. 391, r. 3. p. 393, r. 2. as in earlier works of the Author, the term [autosophia] is admitted, vid. Gent. 40, 46. Incarn. V. D. 20. Serap. iv. 20. whereas in the Fourth, (p. 514, note P.) if Petavius (Trin. vi. 11.) be right, it is abandoned as Sabellian. And so again there is a difference, which it is not too minute to mention, between the Fourth and the Orations which precede it, in one of his most familiar illustrations of the Holy Trinity; the Three using the image of [phos] and its [apaugasma], but the last that of [pur] and its [apaugasma], and [pur] and [phos]. p. 515, note T. The corrupt state of the text is a further characteristic of this Oration compared with the foregoing.

3. Nay, we might even fancy that at least some passages of the Book were fragments of one or more treatises, or first draughts of trains of thought, or instructions for controversy, which have accidentally been thrown together into one. The interpolation formerly of an entirely heterogeneous tract, perhaps not Athanasius's, in some of its MSS. has already been mentioned; and it is remarkable that this very Tract, in all the existing MSS. noticed by the Benedictines but one, is thrown together with the In illud Omnia and a passage from the de Decretis, thus affording an instance in point. A somewhat similar instance is afforded by the {500} Sermo Major de Fide published in Montfaucon's Nova Collectio, which seems to be hardly more than a set of small fragments from Athanasius's other works. Further, in the case of the work before us, some MSS. supply distinct titles to separate portions, as in §§. 9. and 11. which they respectively head [Tous sabellizontas kai tous allous Ellenas eresthai outos], and [Pros tous legontas hoti en ho logos en toi theoi siopomenos husteron de probebletai de hemas hina hemeis ktisthomen]. Moreover, "they" and "he" are at times found without antecedents, (vid. references infr. p. 502.) The abruptness too, already noticed for another reason, is of course also a proof of dissimilarity in the contents. And the §. 25. breaks into the middle of a continuous discussion which runs from §. 15. to §. 36. And §. 11. begins with an allusion to a subject which might have been expected, but is not found, in the passage which now stands immediately before it. Also §§. 6. and 7. the only passage which directly relates to the Arian controversy, is interposed suddenly between lines of argument quite foreign to it; moreover its style is of the flowing oratorical character which obtains throughout the Three Discourses, and which is not found in the sections which precede and follow it. The same oratorical character attaches in a manner to §§. 14, 17, 27, 28, and 34.

Further, Montfaucon tells us in the Monitum prefixed to the Epist. Encycl. that the phrase [peri Eusebion] is never used by S. Athanasius after Eusebiuis's death; "Neque enim," he says, "sequaces Eusebii jam defuncti usquam apud Athanasium [oi peri Eusebion] vocantur, sed [koinonoi ton peri Eusebion] vel [kleronomoi tes asebeias tou Eusebiou]." t. i. p. 110. Now the phrase occurs in §. 8. of this Oration, but Eusebius died A.D. 341, whereas the First Oration was written about A.D. 358. If Montfaucon then be correct in his remark, either the Oration called the Fourth was written many years prior to those which it is considered to follow, or it is made up of portions belonging to separate dates.

Also §§. 1-5, 9, 10, are engaged upon a line of thought altogether different from any other part of the Book. The main subject of these sections is the [monarchia]; and it is observable moreover that the word [arche], there used for "origin," as in the former Orations, is in other places used simply and only in the sense of beginning," vid. §§. 8, 25, 26, 27. And here we may add, as a peculiarity of the passage contained in §§. 30-36, its use of the word [theios] as an epithet of our Lord, viz. 31, d. twice, f. a 34 init. 36 init. Also of the verb [noein].

And what is one of the special peculiarities of the Book, so as quite to give a character to the style, and to prove it, or at least great part of it, to be a collection of notes or suggestions for controversy, is the repeated occurrence of such phrases as [peusteon], 2, e. [eroteteon], 3, f. 4, a. [lekteon], 4 init. 6, d. 10, a. [elenchteon], 3, a. 4, e. [eresthai dikaion, kalon], &c. 11, d. 14, a. 23, b. (vid. also the Benedictine note c. on §. 9. which has been already used in another connection.) Of the same character is the frequent clause "In that case the same extravagant consequences, [atopa], follow," and the like; e.g. 2, e. 4, e. 4 fin. 15 init. 25, b. 26 init. with which {501} may be contrasted e.g. the more finished turn of sentence Orat. ii. 24, b. [kalon autous eresthai kai touto, hin eti mallon ho elenchos k.t.l.]. To these may be added, [to d' auto de kai peri dunameos], §. 3.; which, as well as the foregoing, remind the reader of Aristotle rather than S. Athanasius; and the abrupt setting down of texts for discussion in the beginnings of §§. 1, 5, 9, and 31. which are in the same style.

In the same Aristotelic style is his enunciation of theological principles; e.g. [ei agonos kai anenergetos ho theos]. 4 fin. [to ek tinos hyparchon, huios estin ekeinou]. 15, c. [ouden hen pros ton patera, ei me to ex autou]. 17, d. [on ouk estin eis tas kardias ho huios, touton oude pater ho theos]. 22, b. [ei me huios, oude logos. ei me logos, oude huios]. 24 fin.

4. Further, S. Athanasius frequently implies that he is opposing certain definite teachers of heresy, as well as heretical doctrine itself; yet very seldom does he use names, contrary to his practice when in controversy with the Arians, who are freely specified as [hoi Areianoi, hoi Areiomanitai, hoi peri Eusebion], not to mention the severe and condemnatory epithets by which he has noted them. Here however, though we read of [hoi apo tou Samosateos], and vaguely of [kata Sabellion], we meet more frequently with anonymous opponents in the singular or plural, as signified by [phate], §. 9 init. [piptousi], §. 11 init. [hupelabe], §. 13 init. [auton toiauta legonta], §. 14, a. [hoi touto legontes], §. 15 init. [kat'autous], §. 21 init. [kat' ekeinous], §. 22, c. Vid. also §§. 8, c. 13, c. 20 init. 23, c. 24, a. 25, b. 28 init. The omission of words of denunciation marks either the absence of an oratorical character in the Book, or suggests, what will presently come to be considered, the presence of other parties, perhaps known and tried friends, in the heretical company.

Next, it should be observed, that, though the heresy combated through the greater part of the Book is of a Sabellian character, yet it is not Sabellianism proper, for he compares it to Sabellianism; e.g. [Sabelliou to epitedeuma], §. 9. and [hosa alla epi Sabelliou atopa apantai], §. 25. It is observable too, that in contrasting the opposite heresies in a sentence at the end of §. 3, while, as usual, he speaks of the [Areianoi], he does not on the other hand speak of the [Sabellianoi], but of the [Sabellizontes]; these, and not actual Sabellians, being the persons in controversy with him.

Also, he is opposing a heresy of the day; his mode of speaking of it shews this, and the other heresies which he combats in his writings are such. Even when he speaks of the heresy of Paul of Samosata, (§. 30.) it is not as it existed a hundred years before, but in the shape it took in S. Athanasius's own time. Indeed it is not conceivable, that in the midst of so fierce a struggle with living errors, dominant or emergent, as was the portion of this great Saint, he should address himself to the controversies of a past age.

All this leads to the suspicion, that the heresy which forms the principle subject of the Book, is that imputed to his friend Marcellus, and persons connected with him; for it is well known that in the exactly parallel case of Apollinaris, while he writes Tract after Tract against the heresy in the severest terms, he observes {502} throughout a deep silence about its promulgator. Eusebius too argues with a like reserve against his Arian associates, Eccl. Theol. i. 9, 10; as Vincent of Lerins is supposed to do in reference to S. Augustine. But it is needless to refer to parallel instances of a procedure so natural, that we find it in the schools of philosophy [Note 11] as well as in those of the Church.

An actual comparison of what is known of the teaching of the school of Marcellus and of the tenets opposed in this Oration, which I shall presently attempt, abundantly confirms this suspicion, and, as I think, makes it clear that the Oration is engaged with that teaching, and with the kindred doctrines of Sabellius and Paul of Samosata, and that as truly though not as systematically as the former Orations are engaged on Arianism. In saying this, I put aside the two sections 6 and 7, which certainly do treat of a definite Arian question, quite foreign to the general subject of the Book, whatever be the history of their introduction.

It is satisfactory to be able to add that, since these remarks were drawn up, I have found them incidentally confirmed by the writer of a small work in duodecimo, entitled, "In Eusebii contra Marcellum Libros Selectæ Observationes, Auctoro R. S. C. Lipsiæ, 1787." having mentioned Athanasius's "fifth book," as he calls it, "against the Arians," he continues, "ibi enim, ut in libro de Æt. Subst. Fil. et Sp. S. sententiam Marcelli, suppresso tamen nomine, refellit. Quod an aliis jam sit observatum, ignoro." p. 28.

§. 2. On the main subject of the Book

Before shewing the bearing of this Oration upon the heresy of Marcellus and his pupil Photinus, it will be useful briefly to state the historical connexion between S. Athanasius and the former.

In the early years of S. Athanasius's episcopate, Marcellus wrote his Answer to the Arian Asterius, which was the occasion, and forms the subject of Eusebius's "contra Marcellum" and "Ecclesiastica Theologia," and which shall presently be used, as Eusebius cites it, as the only existing document of his opinions. He was in consequence condemned in several Arian Councils, and retired to Rome, as did S. Athanasius, about the year 341, when both of them were formally acquitted of heterodoxy by the Pope in Council. Both were present, and both were again acquitted at the Council of Sardica in 347. From this very date [Note 12], however, the charges against him, which had hitherto been confined to the Arians, begin to find a voice among the Catholics. S. Cyril in his Catechetical Lectures, A.D. 347, speaks of the heresy which had lately arisen in Galatia, which denied Christ's eternal reign, a description which both from country and tenet is evidently levelled at Marcellus. He is followed by S. Paulinus at the Council of Arles, and by S. Hilary, in the years which follow; but S. Athanasius seems to have acknowledged him down to about A.D. 360. At length the latter began to own that Marcellus "was not far from heresy," vid. Athan. Hist. O. Tr. p. 52, note 1. and S. Hilary and S. Sulpicius say that he separated from his communion. S. Hilary adds (Fragm. ii. 21.) that Athanasius was {503} decided in this course, not by Marcellus's work against Asterius, but by publications posterior to the Council of Sardica. Photinus, the disciple of Marcellus, who had published the very heresy imputed to the latter before A.D. 345, had now been deposed, with the unanimous consent of all parties, for some years. Thus for ten years Marcellus was disowned by the Saint with whom he had shared so many trials; but in the very end of S. Athanasius's life a transaction took place between himself, S. Basil, and the Galatian school, which issued in his being induced again to think more favourably of Marcellus, or at least to think it right in charity to consider him in communion with the Church. S. Basil had taken a strong part against him, and wrote to S. Athanasius on the subject, Ep. 69, 2. thinking that Athanasius's apparent countenance of him did harm to the Catholic cause. Upon this the accused party sent a deputation to Alexandria, with a view of setting themselves right with Athanasius. Eugenius, deacon of their Church, was their representative, and he in behalf of his brethren subscribed a statement in vindication of his and their orthodoxy, which was countersigned by the clergy of Alexandria and apparently by S. Athanasius, though his name does not appear among the extant signatures. This important document, which was brought to light and published by Montfaucon, speaks in the name of "the Clergy and the others assembled in Ancyra of Galatia, with our father Marcellus." He, as well as Athanasius himself; died immediately after this transaction, Marcellus in extreme age, being at least twenty years older than Athanasius, who himself lived till past the age of seventy. One might trust that the life of the former was thus prolonged, till he really recanted the opinions which go under his name; yet viewing him historically, and not in biography, it still seems right, and is in accordance with the usage of the Church in other cases, to consider him rather in his works and in his school and its developments, than in his own person and in his penitence. Whether S. Athanasius wrote the controversial passages which follow against him or against his school, in either case it was prior to the date of the explanatory document signed by Eugenius; nor, is its interpretation affected by that explanation. As to S. Hilary's statement above referred to, that S. Athanasius did not condemn the particular work of Marcellus against Asterius, of which alone portions remain to us, and which is now to be quoted, his evidence in other parts of the history is not sufficiently exact to overcome the plainly heretical import of the statement made in that work. Those statements were as follows:—

Marcellus held, according to Eusebius, that (1) there was but one person, [prosopon], in the Divine Nature; but he differed from Sabellius in maintaining, (2) not that the Father was the Son and the Son the Father, (which is called the doctrine of the [huiopator],) but that (3) Father and Son were mere names or titles, and (4) not expressive of essential characteristics,—names or titles given to Almighty God and (5) His Eternal Word, on occasion of the Word's appearing in the flesh, in the person, or subsistence {504} ([hypostasis]) of Jesus Christ, the Son of Mary. The Word, he considered, was from all eternity in the One God, being analogous to man's reason within him, or the [endiathetos logos] of the philosophical schools. (6) This One God or [monas] has condescended to extend or expand himself; [platunesthai], to effect our salvation. (7 and 8) The expansion consists in the action, [energeia], of the [logos], which then becomes the [logos prophorikos] or voice of God, instead of the inward reason. (9) The incarnation is a special divine expansion, viz. an expansion in the flesh of Jesus, Son of Mary; (10) in order to which the Word went forth, as at the end of the dispensation He will return. Consequently the [logos] is not (11) the Son, nor (12) the Image of God, nor the Christ, nor the First-begotten, nor King, but Jesus is all these; and if these titles are applied to the Word in Scripture, they are applied prophetically, in anticipation of his manifestation in the flesh. (13) And when He has accomplished the object of His coming, they will cease to apply to Him; for He will leave the flesh, return to God, and be merely the Word as before; and His Kingdom, as being the Kingdom of the flesh or manhood, will come to an end.

This account of the tenets of Marcellus comes, it is true, from an enemy, who was writing against him, and moreover from an Arian or Arianizer, who was least qualified to judge of the character of tenets which were so opposite to his own. Yet there is no reason to doubt its correctness on this account. Eusebius supports his charges by various extracts from Marcellus's works, and he is corroborated by the testimony of others. Moreover, if Athanasius's account of the tenets against which he himself here writes, answers to what Eusebius tells us of those of Marcellus, the coincidence confirms Eusebius as well as explains Athanasius. And further, the heresy of Photinus, the disciple of Marcellus, which consisted in the very doctrines which Eusebius deduces from the work of Marcellus, gives an additional weight to such deductions.

I shall now set down in order the distinct propositions contained in the foregoing statement, attempt to bring them home to Marcellus or his school, and set against them the extracts from the (so-called) Fourth Oration, which are parallel to them.

Marcellus then held:—

1. That there is but one Person in the Divine Nature. I set this down to introduce the subject, though I find nothing parallel to it in the Fourth Oration, and do not wish to lay much stress on the use of a word,—however startling a use, especially as interpreted by what is to follow,—especially as in one passage, Marcellus qualifies it by the epithet which he connects with it. After quoting the phrase [kurios ho theos] in Exod. 15. by way of evading the "one God, one Lord," in Eph. iv. 5, 6. he says, [horais hopos hen epideiknus hemin entautha prosopon, to auto kurion kai theon prosagoreuei]; Euseb. p. 132, a. Again, [to gar ego, henos prosopou deiktikon estin]; p. 133, a. he goes on to make [prosopon] synonymous with [he tes theotetos monas]. vid. also again, [henos prosopon], ibid. b. Again, [ananke gar ei duo diairoumena, hos Asterios ephe, prosopa eie, e to pneuma k.t.l.]. p. 168, c. {505}

2. That, whereas Sabellius adopts the doctrine of the [huiopator] that the Father is the Son, and the Son the Father,—

[Sabellios eis auton plemmelon ton patera, hon huion legein etolma], Euseb. p. 76, a. And so Eugenius, in his Explanation addressed to Athanasius, anathematizes Sabellius and those who say with him, [auton ton patera einai huion, kai hote men ginetai huios, me einai tote auton patera, hote de ginetai pater, me einai tote huion]. Nov. Coll. t. 2. p. 2. And S. Basil: [ho Sabellios eipon, ton auton theon, hena toi hypokeimenoi onta, pros tas hekastote parapiptousas xhreias metamorphoumenon, nun men hos patera, nun de hos pneuma hagion dialegesthai]. Ep. 210, 5 fin.

3. On the contrary, Father and Son are but titles applied in time to the relation existing between the Almighty and His Eternal [logos], when, instead of abiding within Him (or being [endiathetos]) it became [prophorikos] in the person or subsistence of Jesus Christ.

[Markellos kainoteran exeure tei planei mechanen, theon kai ton en autoi logon hena men einai horizomenos, duo d' autoi patros kai huion charizomenos epegorias]. Euseb. p. 76, a. vid. also p. 63, c. Accordingly, to mark his sense of the mere figurative meaning of the term Father, he called God "Father of the Word," [en toi [ton Christon] phaskein [ton theon], mede tou patera ta idia tou heautou logou kurion einai, alla kai toutou ton patera, aphaireisthai ton patera ta idia tou paidos deiknusin]. ibid. p. 38.

This agrees with the heretic introduced into the contr. Sabell. Gregal. §. 5. whom R. S. C. p. 28. considers to be Marcellus; [kago, phesin, homologo gennesin; gennatai gar ho logos, hote kai laleitai kai ginosketai].

Elsewhere Eusebius says that he held [auton [theon] einai tou en autoi logou patera]. ibid. p. 167, c. though this is mere catholic language in contrast to that Arianism of which Eusebius is guilty; and need not have been remarked upon, but for the following passage about Photinus in a sermon of Nestorius, which may be taken to illustrate it. "Sabellius [huiopatora] dicit ipsum Filium, quem Patrem, et ipsum Patrem, quem Filium; Photinus vero [logopatora] [Verbum-patrem.]" Mercat. t. 2. p. 87.

4. That the Word is in truth the Word, [alethos logos], and only improperly a Son. [logon gar einai dous ton en toi theoi, en te kai tauton onta autoi touton horisamenos, patera toutou chrematizein auton ephe; ton te logon huion einai autoi, ouk alethos onta huion en ousias hypostasei, kurios de kai alethos onta logon. episemainetai goun hoti me katachrestikos logon, alla kurios kai alethos onta logon, kai meden heteron e logon. ei de meden heteron, delon hoti oude huios en kurios kai alethos, mechri de phones kai onomatos katachrestikos onomasmenos]. Euseb. 61, a, b.

5. That the Word is from eternity in God, or [endiathetos], as an attribute.

He says, [plen theou, ouden heteron en; eichen oun ten oikeian doxan ho logos on en toi patri]. Euseb. p. 39, c. Where, it should be observed, that the phrase [en toi patri] was, as Montfaucon tells us, (Coll. Nov. t. 2. p. lvii.) considered suspicious by many Fathers, as being a substitution for the Scriptural [pros ton theon], which S. John (i. 1.) {506} uses, [ouk eipon], says Eusebius, p. 121, b. [en toi theoi, me katabalei epi ten anthropinen homoioteta, hos en hypokeimenoi sumbebekos].

And so S. Basil, [ouk eipen, en toi theoi en ho logos, alla pros ton theon, k.t.l.]. Homil. xvi. 4. p. 137. ed. Ben.

6. That there has been an expansion or dilatation of the Eternal Unity into a Trinity, and again there will be a collapse into Unity.

Marcellus says, [ei toinun ho logos phainoito ex autou tou patros exelthon, … to de pneuma to hagion para tou patros ekporeuetai, … ou saphos kai phaneros entautha aporrhetoi logoi he monas phainetai platunomene men eis triada, diaireisthai de medamos hypomenousa]; Euseb. p. 168, a, b. Vid. also pp. 108, b, c. 114, b.

In like manner Theodoret states that Marcellus held, [ektasin tina tes tou patros theotetos … meta de ten sumpasan oikonomian palin anaspasthenai kai sustalenai pros ton theon, ex houper exetathe; to de panagion pneuma parektasin tes ektaseos, kai tauten tois apostolois paraschethenai]. Hær. ii. 10. And Nestorius quotes Photinus as saying, "Vides quia Deum Verbum aliquando Deum, aliquando Verbum appellat, tanquam extensum atque collectum." Mercat. t. 2. p. 87.

7. That this expansion or [platusmos] consists in the action or [energeia] of the [monas].

Marcellus says that the Word [energeiai monei, dia ten sarka, kechoresthai tou patros phainetai]. Euseb. p. 51, a.

And accordingly Eusebius argues against him, [ten monada, [hos] phesi Markellos, energeiai platunesthai, epi men somaton choran echei, epi de tes asomatou ousias ouk eti; oude gar en toi energein platunetai, oud en toi me energein sustelletai]. p. 108, b, c. Vid. also the 6th and 7th anathemas of the Council of Sirmium, supr. p. 119. which, compared with the 5th of the Macrostich, supr. p. 114. evidently aim at Marcellus and Photinus.

8. That the first instance of the [energeia] of the [logos] was His creation of the world.

[oudenos ontos proteron], says Marcellus, [e theou monou, panton de dia tou logou gignesthai mellonton, proelthen ho logos drastikei energeiai]. Euseb. p. 41, d. And directly after; [pro tou ton kosmon einai en ho logos en toi patri; hote de ho theos pantokrator panta ta en ouranois kai epi ges proutheto poiesai, energeias he tou kosmou genesis edeito drastikes, kai dia touto … ho logos proelthon egineto tou kosmou poietes]. ibid.

9. That in the [platusmos] of the [monas], or [energeia] of the [logos] in the flesh, i.e. in the man Jesus Christ, consists the Incarnation.

Marcellus says, [ei men he tou pneumatos exetasis gignoito mone, hen kai tauton eikotos einai toi theoi phainoito; ei de he kata sarka prostheke epi tou Soteros exetazoito, energeiai he theotes mone platunesthai dokei]. Euseb. p. 36, a.

And so Theodoret, [ektasin tina tes tou patros theotetos ephesen eis ton Christon eleluthenai]. Hær. ii. 10.

10. That, as the Word was in action, [en energeiai], or became [prophorikos], or went forth, for certain objects, when those objects are accomplished He will return to what He was before.

[Ton en toi theoi logon], says Eusebius, [pote men endon einai en toi theoi {507} ephaske, pote de proienai tou theou, kai allote palin anadrameisthai eis ton theon, kai esesthai en autoi hos kai proteron en]. p. 112, c. Or in Marcellus's own words, [eis theos, kai ho toutou logos theos proelthe men tou patros, hina panta di autou genetai; meta de ton kairon tes kriseos kai ten ton hapanton diorthosin kai ton aphanismon tes antikeimenes hapases energeias, tote autos hypotagesetai toi hypotxanti autoi ta panta theoi kai patri, hina houtos ei en theoi ho logos, hosper kai proteron en, pro tou ton kosmon einai]. Euseb. p. 41, c. d.

S. Basil in his letter to S. Athanasius about Marcellus confirms what is the obvious import of these words: he says that Marcellus taught [logon eiresthai ton monogene, kata chreian kai epi kairou proselthonta, palin de eis ton hothen exelthen epanastrepsanta, oute pro tes exodou einai, oute meta ten epanodon huphestanai]. Ep. 52.

11. That not the Word, but Jesus is the Son. This has been implied in some of the above extracts, but the tenet forms the subject of so large a portion of the Fourth Oration, and is ascribed to Marcellus and Photinus by such various authors, that it must be dwelt upon.

[Hieros apostolos te kai mathetes tou kuriou Ioannes], says Marcellus in Eusebius, [tes aidiotetos autou mnemoneuon, alethes egigneto tou logou partus, en archei en ho logos, legon, kai … ouden genneseos entautha mnemoneuon tou logou]. Euseb. p. 37, b. vid. also p. 27 fin. And again, [ouch huion theou heauton onomazei, all' hina dia tes toiautes homologias [f. [onomasias]. R. S. C.] thesei ton anthropon, dia tes pros auton koinonian, huion theou genesthai paraskeuasei, [i.e. [thesei huion theou]]]. p. 42, a. Again, [outos estin ho agapetos, ho toi logoi enotheis anthropos]. p. 49, a.

And so Epiphanius of Photinus, [ho logos en toi patri, phesin, en, all' ouk en huios]. Hær. p. 830, b. vid. also p. 831.

And Eugenius, when clearing himself and other disciples of Marcellus to Athanasius; [ou gar allon ton huion kai allon ton logon phronoumen, hos tines hemas diebalon]; and they anathematize the madness of Photinus and his followers, [hoti me phronousi ton huion tou theou auton einai ton logon, alla diairousin alogos kai archen toi huioi didousin apo tes ek Marias kata sarka geneseos]. Coll. Nov. t. 2. p. 3, d.

And Nestorius says, Cogitur Photinus Verbum dicere, non autem Verbum hoc Filium confitetur. Mercat. t. 2. p. 87. vid. also Garner. in Mercat. t. 2. p. 314 init.

And Marcellus himself, in his explanatory statement addressed to Pope Julius, lays especially stress on his reception of the point of faith which is in these extracts denied, confessing the "only-begotton Son Word," "of whose kingdom there shall be no end," "the Word, of whom Luke the Evangelist witnesses, 'as they delivered who were eye-witnesses;'" "the Son, that is, the Word of Almighty God;" "the Father's Power, the Son." Epiph. Hær. p. 835, 6.

12. That not the Word but Jesus is the Christ, the First-begotten, the Image of God, the King.

[Ei tis], says Eusebius, [ton huion, hoi panta paredoken ho pater, logon horizoito monon, homoion toi en anthropois, eita sarka phesin aneilephenai, kai tote huion theou gegonenai, kai Iesoun Christon chrematisai, basilea {508} te anagoreuesthai, eikona te tou theou tou aoratou, kai prototokon pases ktiseos, me onta proteron, tote apodedeichthai, tis an leipoito toutoi dussebeias hyperbole]; p. 6, b, d. The passage, which is here curtailed, goes through all the alleged tenets of Marcellus. vid. also pp. 49, 50. In his own words, concerning the "First-begotten," [ou toinun outos ho agiotatos logos, pro tes enenthropeseos prototokos apases ktiseos onomasto, pos gar dunaton ton aei onta prototokon einai tinos; alla ton proton kainon anthropon, eis hon ta panta anakephalaiosasthai eboulethe ho theos, touton ai theiai grapai prototokon onomazousi]. Euseb. p. 44, b, c. Concerning the "Image," [pos ouk eikona tou aoratou theou ton tou theou logon Asterios einai gegraphe; ai gar eikones touton, on eisin eikones, kai aponton, deiktikai eisin; pos eikon tou aoratou theou ho logos, kai autos aoratos on; … delon, hopenika ten kat' eikona tou theou genomenen aneilephe sarka, eikon alethos tou aoratou theou gegone]. p. 47, a-d. vid. also p. 142, b.

And so S. Epiphanius of Photinus's doctrine about the title "Christ;" [phaskei outos ap' arches ton Christon me einai, apo de Marias]. p. 829.

13. That at the end of all things the Word, returning to God, will leave the flesh or manhood, whose Kingdom will then end.

On this point, which may almost be called the peculiarity of this doctrine, and gave occasion to an article in the (commonly called) Nicene Creed, Marcellus is very full. He argues that "the flesh profiteth nothing;" how then can it be everlastingly united to the Word? pp. 42, 43. that our Saviour adds, "What and if ye shall see the Son of Man, &c." which he seems to refer to the separation of the Word from the flesh. p. 51, c. that the Psalmist expressly says, "Sit Thou on My right hand, till I make, &c." and S. Paul, "He shall reign till He hath put, &c." p. 51, d. and S. Peter, "Whom the hearers must receive until [Note 13], &c." p. 52, a. And that the object of the dispensation was, not that the Word, but that man should conquer his enemy and regain heaven. p. 49, c, d. [oude gar autos kath heauton ho logos archen basileias eilephen, all' ho apatetheis hupo tou diabolou anthropos, dia tes tou logou dunameos, basileus gegonen, hina basileus genomenos ton proteron apatesanta nikesei diabolon]. Euseb. p. 52, a. that if His Kingdom had a beginning 400 years since, it is not wonderful that it should have an end. p. 50, d. [hosper archen houto kai telos hexein]. p. 52, c. And if any one asks what will then become of that immortal flesh, which once belonged to the Word, Marcellus answers, [dogmatizein peri on me akribos [ek] ton theion memathekamen graphon, ouk asphales]. Euseb. p. 53, a. [me mou punthanou peri on saphos para tes theias graphes me mematheka; dia touto toinun oude peri tes theias ekeines, tes toi theioi logoi koinonesases sarkos, saphos eipein dunesomai]. ibid. b, c.

Such was the doctrine of Marcellus, Photinus, and their school, and there is scarcely any one of the heads of it as now drawn out, but is distinctly stated and combated in this so-called Fourth Oration of S. Athanasius. And what increases the force of the coincidence is the independence of his testimony relatively to Eusebius, and its connexion with the testimony of S. Basil and {509} Eugenius. When men of such opposite minds and parties as S. Athanasius and Eusebius describe and oppose the very same error, it is natural to think that that error did really exist, and in that quarter to which Eusebius assigns it, and in which Athanasius to say the least does not deny it. On the other hand, Basil, Athanasius, and Eugenius, are parties in one and the same transaction. Basil accuses Eugenius and other followers of Marcellus before Athanasius, of a certain definite heresy. Eugenius clears himself from the same. When Athanasius then is found to have been writing about the very same doctrine, it is obvious to consider that he is aiming at that school which S. Basil attacks and which Eugenius disowns.

Now the following are some of the statements, above imputed to Marcellus and Photinus, which Athanasius combats in the Fourth Oration.

(1.) At least the twenty-one out of thirty-six sections, of which it consists, is devoted to the disproof of the position that "the Word is not the Son;" and though seven of these are primarily directed against the disciples of Paul of Samosata, this does not determine the drift of the remaining and greater portion, which needs some object, and will find it in the school of Marcellus.

(2.) Again, Athanasius protests against the doctrine of the Word being like man's word without subsistence, [ou dialelumenos, e haplos phone semantike, alla ousiodes logos; ei gar me, estai ho theos lalon eis aera … epeide de ouk estin anthropos, ouk an ein oude ho logos autou, kata ten ton anthropon astheneian]. §. 1. Vid. also contr. Sabell. Greg. §. 5. e. This is precisely Eusebius's language against Marcellus, e.g. [epi de tou logou, semantikon auton didosi, kai homoion toi anthropinoi]. p. 118. vid. also p. 128.

(3.) Again Athanasius argues against the doctrine of previous silence and then action in the Divine Nature, such being the language under which the heresy he opposes expressed itself; [ton theon, sioponta men anenergeton, lalounta de ischuein auton boulontai]. §. 11. vid. also §. 12. And Eusebius charges Marcellus with holding that [ho logos endon menon en hesuchazonti toi patri, energon de en toi ten ktisin demiourgein, homoios toi hemeteroi, en sioposi men hesuchazonti, en de phthengomenois energounti]. p. 4, d. Eusebius objects elsewhere, that even human artificers can work in silence by an inward operation of their minds, p. 167, b; Athanasius makes the same remark, §. 11, d.

(4.) Again, we have above read a great deal of the [platusmos] of the [monas] in the flesh, and that by an [energeia]; now this forms one distinct subject of a portion of the Fourth Oration, being contained in §§. 13, 14, and 25. [phesi gar], says Athanasius, [ho pater platunetai eis huion kai pneuma]. §. 25. [tis he energeia tou toioutou platusmou; phanesetai ho pater kai gegonos sarx, eige autos monas on en toi anthropoi eplatunthe]. §. 14.

(5.) Eusebius and S. Basil both mention Marcellus's doctrine of the Word's issuing from and returning to God; now Athanasius ascribes precisely the same language to the heretical creed he is discussing; viz. the doctrine of the Word as [proelthon] and [palindromon], {510} of his [proodos] and [anadrome], that He [proeballeto] and [anakaleitai], of His [gennesis], and (as he infers) of [paula tes genneseos]. §. 12. §. 4, e.

(6.) Marcellus, as we have seen above, lays a special stress upon the phrase [en toi theoi], as applied to the Word; so did the heretics opposed by Athanasius, vid. §. 12 throughout, §. 2 init. &c. §. 4, e.

(7.) Athanasius imputes to this doctrine, as its necessary consequence, if it be not pure Sabellianism, that it considers an attribute to be something real and independent in the Divine Nature, which therefore becomes [sunthetos]; and this is the very consequence which Eusebius imputes to the doctrine of Marcellus. Athanasius: [kata touto he theia monas sunthetos phanesetai, temnomene eis ousian kai sumbebekos], §. 2; Eusebius: [suntheton hosper eisegen ton theon, ousian auton hypotithemenos dicha logou, sumbebekos de tei ousiai ton logon]. p. 121. vid. p. 149, d. And so Athanasius: [ei touto, pater men hote sophos, huios de hote sophia; alla me hos poiotes tis tauta en toi theoi]. §. 2. Eusebius: [ei d' en kai tauton en ho theos kai e en tais paroimiais sophia, hexis ousa sophe en autoi nooumene, katho sophos ho theos, ti ekoluen, k.t.l.] p. 150, b.

(8.) Eusebius says that Marcellus supported his doctrine by the pretence of defending the [monarchia], p. 109, b; and Athanasius opens his Oration by shewing how the [monarchia] is preserved inviolate in the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity.

(9.) Marcellus, as we have seen, insisted on the temporary nature of Christ's kingdom, or its beginning and ending; and Athanasius alludes to a similar doctrine on the part of the heretics against whom he is writing, §. 8. implying that they assign a beginning of being and of rule to the Son.

(10.) Marcellus denies that the Word is called Son, &c. in the Old Testament; Euseb. p. 131, b. pp. 83-101. p. 134-140; and so did the heretics opposed by Athanasius, §§. 23-29.

(11.) Marcellus evaded the force of such texts in the Old Testament as spoke of the Son, the Christ, &c. by saying that they were anticipations; he says, [ei de tis, kai pro tes neas diathekes, tou Christou, huiou onoma toi logoi monoi deiknunai dunasthai epangelloito, heuresei touto prophetikos eiremenon]. Euseb. p. 82, a. And therefore it was that in Rom. 1, 4. he read [prooristheis] for [horistheis]. vid. supr. p. 114, note C. also p. 119, ref. 2. vid. R. S. C.'s Observ. p. 10. Epiphanius says of Photinus too that he considered the Old Testament text written [prokatangeltikos, prochrestikos]. p. 830. And so on the other hand Athanasius of his anonymous heretics: [alla nai, phasi, keitai men, prophetikos de esto]. §. 24.

(12.) When Psalm 109, (110,) 3. was urged against Marcellus, he explained "Lucifer" of the Star which preceded the Magi. Euseb. p. 48, b. id. Epiphan. Hær. p. 833, a. Athanasius devotes two sections to an examination of that text, §§. 27, 28.

(13.) It may be well to add, that the view taken of Sabellianism by S. Athanasius, as contrasted with the doctrine of Marcellus, is identical with the foregoing statements of Eugenius, S. Basil, and Eusebius. [Sabelliou to epitedeuma], says Athanasius, [tou auton huion {511} kai patera legontos, kai ekateron anairountos, hote men huios, ton patera, hote de pater, ton huion]. §. 9.

These are not all the coincidences which might be drawn out between Athanasius's Fourth Oration on the one hand, and the writers against Marcellus and Photinus on the other; and they surely make it clear that against the Photinians, and not against the Arians, that work is directed. Nor is it an objection of much weight, that S. Athanasius is not recorded to have written against them, nor against the earlier heresies which originated them, a circumstance which Montfaucon urges against the genuineness of the contra Sabellii gregales. For if the matter of fact is so, that this Oration does treat of Sabellianism and its offshoots, and if it certainly is genuine, which no one denies, testimony on the point is superfluous, and the absence of it may need an explanation but can prove nothing. Such an explanation, however, is afforded in Sirmond's remark upon S. Jerome's silence concerning Eusebius's Tracts against Sabellius, De infinitis voluminibus, he says, quæ ab Eusebio edita testatur, pauca, certè non omnia [Hieronymum] commemorâsse. Opp. t. 1. init.

Additional evidence, just now alluded to, of a minute character, is contained in some of the notes which follow; in which too is pointed out such matters as may be considered, so far as they go, to detract from its force.

It may be right, before concluding, to subjoin a short analysis of the general contents of the Oration.

(1) Seven sections, §§. 1-5, 9, 10, are upon the Monarchia, and the cognate subjects of the Divine unity, simplicity and integrity, and the generation of the Son; of these one, §. 4, and part of another, §. 3, are addressed to the Arians; the rest are directed against the Sabellian schools of the day.

(2) Two sections, §§. 6 and 7, are expressly directed against the Arians, and are unconnected with the context of the book before and after them.

(3) Three other sections, §§. 8, 11, 12, contrast the opposite schools with each other, dwelling chiefly on the Sabellian.

(4) Three others, §§. 13, 14, 25, are on a prominent tenet of Sabellius and Marcellus.

(5) The rest of the book, being (with the interposition of one section) twenty-one continuous sections, is on one subject, viz. the identity of the Word with the Son, as denied by the school of Marcellus and Paul of Samosata, §§. 15-24, 26-29.

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Margin Notes

1. [he pantbiblos], cod. 140.
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2. Eran. ii. p. 136. and supr. p. 381.
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3. ad Mennam. and supr. p. 308.
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4. Ep. i. p. 4. and supr. p. 440.
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5. Tr. Cap. iii. 3. and supr. p. 481.
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6. Secr. 5. and supr. p. 443.
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7. Ep. ad Impp. and supr. p. 449.
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8. Act iv. and supr. p. 405.
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9. supr. r. 3 [4].
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10. vid. pp. 233, 256, 281; p. 306, note B. pp. 398; 436, 7. and note A. p. 482, note F. p. 484, note A.
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11. Arist. Eth. i. 6. init.
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12. Montf. says from Eus.'s Work, A.D. 336-8. Nov. Coll. p. lii.
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13. supr. p. 381, note I.
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