Note on Chapter 2.

Concerning the Confessions at Sirmium

{160} It has been thought advisable to draw up, as carefully as may be, a statement of the various Arian Confessions which issued at Sirmium, with the hope of presenting to the reader in a compendious form an intricate passage of history.

1. A.D. 351. Confession against Photinus,
(First Sirmian. supr. p. 118.)

This Confession was published at a Council of Eastern Bishops (Coustant. in Hil. p. 1174, note 1), and was drawn up by the whole body, Hil. de Syn. 37. (according to Sirmond. Diatr. 1. Sirm. p. 366. Petavius de Trin. 1. 9. § 8. Animadv. in Epiph. p. 318 init. and Coustant, in Hil. l. c.) or by Basil of Ancyra (as Valesius conjectures in Soz. iv. 22. and Larroquanus, de Liberio, p. 147.) or by Mark of Arethusa, Socr. ii. 30. but he confuses together the dates of the different Confessions, and this is part of his mistake (vid. Vales. in loc. Coustant. in Hil. de Syn. l. c. Petav. Animad. in Epiph. l. c.). It was written in Greek.

Till Petavius [Note A], Socrates was generally followed in ascribing all three Sirmian Confessions to this one Council, though at the same time he was generally considered mistaken as to the year. E.g. Baronius places them all in 337. Sirmond defended Baronius against Petavius (though in Facund. x. 6. note c, he agrees with Petavius); and assigning the third Confession to 359, adopted the improbable conjecture of two Councils, the one Catholic and the other Arian, held at Sirmium at the same time, putting forth respectively the first and second Creeds somewhat after the manner of the contemporary rival Councils of Sardica. Pagi. Natalis Alexander, Valesius, de Marca, Tillemont, S. Basnage, Montfaucon, Coustant, Larroquanus (de la Roque, ) agree with Petavius in placing the Council at which Photinus was deposed, and the Confession published by it, in A.D. 351. Mansi dates it at 358. {161}

This was the Confession which Pope Liberius signed according to Baronius, N. Alexander, and Coustant in Hil. note n. p. 1335-7, and as Tillemont thinks probable.

In p. 114, note B. supr. the successive condemnations of Photinus are enumerated; but as this is an intricate point on which there is considerable difference of opinion among critics, it may be advisable to state them here, as they are determined by various writers.

Petavius (de Photino Hæretico, 1.), enumerates in all five Councils:—1. at Constantinople, A.D. 336, when Marcellus was deposed, vid. supr. p. 109, note M. 2. At Sardica, A.D. 347. 3. At Milan, A.D. 347. 4. At Sirmium, 349. 5. At Sirmium, when he was deposed, A.D. 351. Of these the 4th and 5th were first brought to light by Petavius, who omits mention of the Macrostich in 345.

Petavius is followed by Natalis Alexander, Montfaucon (vit. Athan.), and Tillemont; and by De Marca (Diss. de temp. Syn. Sirm.), and S. Basnage (Annales), and Valesius, (in Theod. Hist. ii. 16. p. 23. Socr. ii. 20.) as regards the Council of Milan, except that Valesius places it with Sirmond in 346; but for the Council of Sirmium in 349, they substitute a Council of Rome of the same date, while de Marca considers Photinus condemned again in the Eusebian Council of Milan in 355. De la Roque, on the other hand (Larroquan. Dissert. de Photino Hær.), considers that Photinus was condemned, 1. in the Macrostich, 346 [345]. 2. at Sardica, 347. 3. at Milan, 348. 4. at Sirmium, 350. 5. at Sirmium, 351.

Petavius seems to stand alone in assigning to the Council of Constantinople, 336, his first condemnation.

2. A.D. 357. The Blasphemy of Potamius and Hosius,
(Second Sirmian. supr. p. 122.)

Hilary calls it by the above title, de Syn. 11. vid. also Soz. iv. 12. p. 554. He seems also to mean it by the blasphemia Ursacii et Valentis, contr. Const. 26.

This Confession was the first overt act of disunion between Arians and Semi-Arians.

Sirmond, de Marca and Valesius (in Socr. ii. 30.), after Phæbadius, think it put forth by a Council; rather, at a Conference of a few leading Arians about Constantius, who seems to have been present; e.g. Ursacius, Valens, and Germinius. Soz. iv. 12. Vid. also Hil. Fragm. vi. 7.

It was written in Latin, Socr. ii. 30. Potamius wrote very barbarous Latin, judging from the Tract ascribed to him in Dacher. Spicileg. t. 3. p. 299, unless it be a translation from the Greek. vid. also Galland. Bibl. t. v. p. 96. Petavius thinks the Creed not written, but merely subscribed by Potamius (de Trin. i. 9. § 8) and Coustant. (in Hil. p. 1155, note f) that it was written by Ursacius, Valens, and Potamius. It is remarkable that the Greek in Athanasius is clearer than the original.

This at first sight is the Creed which Liberius signed, because {162} S. Hilary speaks of the latter as "perfidia Ariana," Fragm. 6. Blondel (Prim. dans l'Eglise, p. 484.), Larroquanus, &c. are of this opinioin. And the Roman Breviary, Ed. Ven. 1482, and Ed. Par. 1543, in the Service for S. Eusebius of Rome, August 14, says that "Pope Liberius consented to the Arian misbelief," Launnoi Ep. v. 9. c. 13. Auxilius says the same, ibid. vi. 14. Animadv. 5. ii. 18. Petavius grants that it must be this, if any of the three Sirmian (Animadv. in Epiph. P. 316), but we shall see his own opinion presently.

3. A.D. 357. The foregoing interpolated.

A creed was sent into the East in Hosius's name, Epiph. Hær. 73. 14. Soz. iv. 15. p. 558, of an Anomœan character, which the "blasphemia" was not. And S. Hilary may allude to this when he speaks of the "deliramenta Osii, et incrementa Ursacii et Valentis," contr. Const. 23. An Anomœan Council of Antioch under Eudoxius of this date, makes acknowledgments to Ursacius, Valens, and Germinius, Soz. iv. 12, fin. as being agents in the Arianising of the West.

Petavius and Tillemont consider this Confession to be the "blasphemia" interpolated. Petavius throw s out a further conjecture, which seems gratuitous, that the whole of the latter part of the Creed is a later edition, and that Liberius only signed the former part. Animadv. in Epiph. p. 316.

4. A.D. 358. The Ancyrene Anathemas

The Semi-Arian party had met in Council at Ancyra in the early sp ring of 358 to protest against the "blasphemia," and that with some kind of correspondence with the Gallic Bishops who had just condemned it, Phæbadius of Agen writing a Tract against it, which is still extant. They had drawn up and signed, besides, a Synodal Letter, eighteen anathemas, the last against the "One in substance." These, except the last, or the last six, they submitted at the end of May to the Emperor who was again at Sirmium. Basil, Eustathius, Eleusius, and another, formed the deputation; and their influence persuaded Constantius to accept the Anathemas, and even to oblige the party of Valens, at whose "blasphemia" they were levelled, to recant and subscribe them.

5. A.D. 358. Semi-Arian Digest of Three Confessions

The Semi-Arian Bishops pursuing their advantage, composed a Creed out of three, that of the Dedication, the first Sirmian, and the Creed of Antioch against Paul 264-270, in which the "One in substance is said to have been omitted or forbidden. Soz. iv. 15. This Confession was imposed by Imperial authority on the Arian party, who signed it. So did Liberius, Soz. ibid. Hil. Fragm. vi. 6. 7; and Petavius considers that this is the subscription by which he lapsed. de Trin. i. 9. § 5. Animadv. in Epiph. p. 316. and S. Basnage, in Ann. 358. 13.

It is a point of controversy whether or not the Arians at this time suppressed the "blasphemia." Socrates and Sozomen say {163} that they made an attempt to recall the copies they had issued, and even obtained an edict from the Emperor for this purpose, but without avail. Socr. ii. 30 fin. Soz. iv. 6. p. 543.

Athanasius, on the other hand, as we have seen, supr. p. 123, relates this in substance of the third Confession of Sirmium, not of the "blasphemia" or second.

Tillemont follows Socrates and Sozomen; considering that Basil's influence with the Emperor enabled him now to insist on a retractation of the "blasphemia." And he argues that Germinius in 366, being suspected of orthodoxy, and obliged to make profession of heresy, was referred by his party to the formulary of Ariminum, no notice being taken of the "blasphemia," which looks as if it were suppressed; whereas Germinius himself appeals to the third Sirmian, which is a proof that it was not suppressed. Hil. Fragm. 15. Coustant in Hil. contr. Const. 26, though he does not adopt the opinion himself, observes, that the charge brought against Basil, Soz. iv. 132. Hil. l. c. by the Acacians of persuading the Africans against the second Sirmian is an evidence of a great effort on his part at a time when he had the Court with him to suppress it. We have just seen Basil uniting with the Gallic Bishops against it.

6. A.D. 359. The Confession with a date,
(third Sirmian, supr. p. 83.)

The Semi-Arians, with the hope of striking a further blow at their opponents by a judgment against the Anomœans, Soz. iv. 16 init. seem to have suggested a general Council, which ultimately became the Councils of Seleucia and Ariminum. If this was their measure, they were singularly out-manœuvred by the party of Acacius and Valens, as we have seen in Athanasius's work. A preparatory Conference was held at Sirmium at the end of May in this year; in which the Creed was determined which should be laid before the great Councils which were assembling. Basil and Mark were the chief Semi-Arians present, and in the event became committed to an almost Arian Confession. Soz. iv. 16. p. 562. It was finally settled on the Eve of Pentecost, and the dispute lasted till morning. Epiph. Hær. 73. 22. Mark at length was chosen to draw it up, Soz. iv. 22. p. 573. yet Valens so managed that Basil could not sign it without an explanation. It was written in Latin, Socr. ii. 30. Soz. iv. 17. p. 563. Coustant, however, in Hil. p. 1152, note i, seems to consider this dispute and Mark's confession to belong to the same date (May 22) in the foregoing year; but p. 1363, note b, to change his opinion.

Petavius, who, Animadv. in Epiph. p. 318, follows Socrates in considering that the second Sirmian is the Confession which the Arians tried to suppress, nevertheless, de Trin. i. 9. § 8, yields to the testimony of Athanasius in behalf of the third, attributing the measure to their dissatisfaction with the phrase "Like in all things," which Constantius had inserted, and with Basil's explanation on subscribing it, and to the hopes of publishing a bolder creed which their increasing influence with Constantius inspired. He does not think it {164} impossible, however, that an attempt was made to suppress both. Coustant, again, in Hil. p. 1363, note b, asks when it could be that the Eusebians attempted to suppress the second Confession; and conjectures that the ridicule which followed their dating of the third and their wish to get rid of the "Like in all things," were the causes of their anxiety about it. He observes too with considerable speciousness that Acacius's second formulary at Seleucia (Confession xth, supr. p. 123) and the Confession of Nice (xth, supr. p. 125) resemble second editions of the third Sirmian. Valesius in Socr. ii. 30, and Montfaucon in Athan. Syn. § 29, take the same side.

Pagi in Ann. 357. n. 13. supposes that the third Sirmian was the Creed signed by Liberius. Yet Coustant, in Hil. p. 1335, note n, speaking of Liberius's, "perfidia Ariana," as S. Hilary calls it, says, "Solus Valesius existimat tertiam [confessionem] hic memorari:" whereas Valesius, making four, not to say five, Sirmian Creeds, understands Liberius to have signed, not the third, but an intermediate one, between the second and third, as Petavius does, in Soz. iv. 15 and 16. Moreover, Pagi fixes the date as A.D. 358. ibid.

This Creed, thus drawn up by a Semi-Arian, with an Acacian or Arian appendix, then a Semi-Arian insertion, and after all a Semi-Arian protest on subscription, was proposed at Seleucia by Acacius, Soz. iv. 22. and at Ariminum by Valens, Socr. ii. 37. p. 132.

7. A.D. 359. Nicene Edition of the third Sirmian,
(Tenth Confession, supr. p. 125.)

The third Sirmian was rejected both at Seleucia and Ariminum; but the Eusebians, dissolving the Council of Seleucia, kept the Fathers at Ariminum together through the summer and autumn. Meanwhile at Nice in Thrace they confirmed the third Sirmian, Socr. ii. 37. p. 141, Theod. Hist. ii. 16, with the additional proscription of the word hypostasis; apparently lest the Latins should by means of it evade the condemnation of the "One in substance." This Creed, thus altered, was ultimately accepted at Ariminum; and was confirmed in January 360 at Constantinople; Socr. ii. 41. p. 153, Soz. iv. 24 init.

Liberius retrieved his fault on this occasion; for, whatever was the confession he had signed, he now refused his assent to the Ariminian, and, if Socrates is to be trusted, was banished in consequence, Socr. ii. 37. p. 140.

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Note on page 147

On the alleged Confession of Antioch against Paul of Samosata

{165} A number of learned writers have questioned the fact, testified by three Fathers, S. Athanasius, S. Basil, and S. Hilary, of the rejection of the word [homoousion] in the Antiochene Council against Paul between A.D. 264-270. It must be confessed that both S. Athanasius and S. Hilary speak from the statements of the Semi-Arians, without having seen the document which the latter had alleged, while S. Basil who speaks for certain lived later. It must also be confessed, that S. Hilary differs from the two other Fathers in the reason he gives for the rejection of the word. There is, however, a further argument urged against the testimony of the three Fathers of a different kind. A Creed, containing the word, is found in the acts of the Council of Ephesus 431, purporting to be a Definition of faith "of the Nicene Council, touching the Incarnation, and an Exposition against Paul of Samosata." This Creed, which (it is supposed) is by mistake referred to the Nicene Council, is admitted as genuine by Baronius, J. Forbes (Instr. Hist. Theol. i. 4. § 1), Le Moyne (Var. Sacr. t. 2. p. 255), Wormius (Hist. Sabell. p. 116-119: vid. Routh, Rell. t. 2. p. 523), Simon de Magistris (Præf. ad Dionys. Alex. p. xl), Feverlin (Diss. de P. Samos. § 9), Molkenbuhr (Dissert. Crit. 4), Kern (Disqu. Hist. Crit. on the subject), Dr. Burton in Faber's Apostolicity of Trinitarianism, vol. ii. p. 302. and Mr. Faber himself. As, however, I cannot but agree with the President of Magdalen l. c. that the Creed is of a later date, (in his opinion, post lites exortas Nestorianas,) or at least long after the time of Paul of Samosata, I will here set down one or two peculiarities in it which make me think so.

The Creed is found in Harduin Council. t. 1. p. 1640. Routh, Rell. t. 2. p. 524. Dionys. Alex. Oper. Rom. 1696 [1796]. p. 289. Burton, Testimonies, pp. 397-399. Faber, Trinitarianism, vol. 2. p. 287.

1. Now first, the Creed in question has these words: [holon homoousion theoi kai meta tou somatos, all' ouchi kata to soma homoousion toi theoi]. Now to enter upon the use of the word [homoousion], as applied to the Holy Trinity, would be foreign to my subject; and to refer to the testimony of the three Fathers, would be assuming the point at issue; but still there are other external considerations besides, which may well be taken into account.

(1) And first the Fathers speak of it as a new term, i.e. in Creeds. "To meet the irreligion of the Arian heretics, the Fathers framed the new name Homoüsion." August. in Joann. 97. n. 4 [p. 904 O.T.]. He says that it was misunderstood at Ariminum "propter novitatem verbi" (contr. Maxim. ii. 3), though it was the legitimate "offspring of the ancient faith." Vigilius also says, "an ancient {166} subject received the new name Homoüsion." Disp. Ath. et Ar. t. v. p. 695. (the paging wrong.) Bibl. P. Col. 1618. [Bibl. Max. Vet. Patr. 8. 757 fin.] vid. Le Moyne. Var. Sacr. l. c.

(2) Next Sozomen informs us, Hist. iv. 15. (as we have seen above, p. 162.) that the Creed against Paul was used by the Semi-Arians at Sirmium, A.D. 358, in order to the composition of the Confession, which Liberius signed. Certainly then, if this be so, we cannot suspect it of containing the [homoousion].

(3) Again, we have time evidence of the Semi-Arians themselves to the same point in the documents which Epiphanius has preserved, Hær. 73. They there appeal to the Council against Paul as an authority for the use of the word [ousia], and thereby to justify their own [homoiousion]; which they would hardly have done, if that Council had sanctioned the [homoousion] as well as [ousia]. But moreover, as we have seen, supr. p. 162, the last Cannon of their Council of Ancyra actually pronounced anathema upon the [homoousion]; but if so, with what face could they appeal to a Council which made profession of it?

(4) And there is nothing improbable in the Antiochene Council having suppressed or disowned it; on the contrary, under their circumstances it was almost to be expected. The Fathers concerned in the first proceedings against Paul, Dionysius, Gregory of Neocæsarea, Athenodorus, and perhaps Firmilian, were immediate disciples of Origen, who is known to have been very jealous of the corporeal ideas concerning the Divine Nature which Paul (according to Athanasius and Basil) imputed to the word [homoousion]. There were others of the Fathers who are known to have used language of a material cast, and from them he pointedly differs. Tertullian speaks of the Divine Substance as a corpus, in Prax. 7. and he adopts the Valentinian word [probole], as Justin had  used [problethen gennema] (vid. supr. p. 97, note H), whereas Origen in his controversy with Candidus, who was of that heresy, condemns it; and he speaks in strong language against the work of Melito of Sardis, [peri ensomatou theou], in Genes. Fragm. t. 2. p. 25,whom he accuses of teaching it. vid. also de Orat. 23. His love of Platonism would tend the same way, for the Platonists, in order to mark their idea of the perfection and simplicity of the Divine Nature, were accustomed to consider It "above substance."

Thus Plotinus calls the Divine Being the "origin of being and more excellent than substance." 5 Ennead. v. 11. and says that He "transcends all, and is the cause of them, but is not they." ibid. c. ult. The views of physical necessity too, which the material system involved, led him to speak of His energy and will being His substance. 6 Enn. viii. 13. And hence Origen; "Nor doth God partake of substance, rather He is partaken, than partakes." contr. Cels. vi. 64. And thus the word [hyperousion] is used by Pseudo-Dion. de div. nom. i. n. 2. whose Platonic tone of thought is well known; as by S. Maximus, "Properly substance is not predicated of God, for He is [hyperousios]." in Pseudo-Dion. de div. nom. v. init. Vid. also Dam. F. O. i. 4. and 8. pp. 137. 147. while S. Greg. Naz. also speaks of Him as [hyper ten ousian]. Orat. 6. 12. {167}

Nay further, in Joann. t. 20. 16. Origen goes so far as to object to the phrase [ek tes ousias tou patros gegennesthai ton huion], but still assigning the reason that such a phrase introduced the notion of a [meiosis], or the like corporeal notions, into our idea of God.

It is scarcely necessary to add, that there was no more frequent charge against the [homoousion] in the mouths of the Arians, than that it involved the Gnostic and Manichæan doctrine of materiality in the Divine Nature. vid. supr. p. 17, note L; p. 63, note H.

Again we know also that S. Dionysius did at first decline or at least shrink from the word [homoousion], accepting it only when the Bishop of Rome urged it upon him. But an additional reason for such reluctance is found in the rise of Manichæism just in the time of these Councils against Paul, a heresy which adopted the word [homoousion] in its view of the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, and that in a material sense; so that the very circumstances of the case exactly fall in with and bear out the account of their rejection of the word given by the two Fathers.

(5) Nor is there any thing in S. Hilary's reason for it inconsistent with the testimony of S. Athanasius and S. Basil. Both accounts may be true at once. The philosophical sense of [ousia], as we have seen, supr. p. 152, note A, was that of an individual or unit. When then the word [homoousios] was applied to the Second Person in the Blessed Trinity, or He was said to be of one substance with the Father, such a doctrine, to those who admitted of no mystery in the subject, involved one of two errors, according as the [ousia] was considered a spiritual substance or a material. Either it implied that the Son of God was a part of God, or [meros homoousion], which was the Manichæan doctrine; or if the [ousia] were immaterial, then, since it denoted an individual being, the phrase "one in substance" involved Sabellianism. Paul then might very naturally have urged this dilemma upon the Council, and said, "Your doctrine implies the [homoousion], which is Manichæan, unless it be taken, as I am willing to take it, in a Sabellian sense." And thus it might be at once trite as Athanasius says, that Paul objected, "Unless Christ has of man become God, it follows that He is One in substance with the Father; and if so, of necessity there are three substances, &c." supr. § 45. and also, according to Hilary's testimony "Homoüsion Samosatenus confessus est; sed nunquid melius Ariani negaverunt?" de Syn. 86.

2. The Creed also says, [meta tes theotetos on kata sarka homoousios hemin].

There are strong reasons for saying that the phrase [homoousios hemin] is of a date far later than the Council of Antioch.

(1) Waterland considers the omission of the phrase in the Athanasian Creed as an argument that it was written not lower than "Eutychian times," A.D. 451. "A tenet," he observes of it, "expressly held by some of the ecclesiastical writers before Eutyches's time, but seldom or never omitted in the Creeds or Confessions about that time, or after. To be convinced," he proceeds, "of the truth of this … article, one need but look into the Creeds and Formularies of those {168} times, viz. into that of Turribius of Spain in 447, of Flavian of Constantinople, as also of Pope Leo in 449, of the Chalcedon Council in 451, of Pope Felix III, in 485, and Anastasius II, in 496, and of the Church of Alexandria in the same year; as also into those of Pope Hormisdas, and the Churches of Syria, and Fulgentius, and the Emperor Justinian, and Pope John II, and Pope Pelagius I, within the 6th century. In all which we shall find either express denial of one nature, or express affirmation of two natures, or the doctrine of Christ's consubstantiality with us, or all three together, though they are all omitted in the Athenasian Creed." vol. iv. p. 247.

(2) The very fact of Eutyches denying it seems to shew that the phrase was not familiar, or at least generally received, in the Church before. "Up to this day," he says in the Council of Constantinople, A.D. 448, "I have never said that the Body of our Lord and God was consubstantial with us, but I confess that the Holy Virgin was consubstantial with us, and that our God was incarnate of her." Conc. t. 2. p. 164, 5. [Harduin; t. 4. 1013 fin. ed. Col.] The point at issue, as in other controversies, seems to have been the reception or rejection of a phrase, which on the one hand was as yet but in local or private use, and on the other was well adapted to exclude the nascent heresy. The Eutychians denied in like manner the word [physis], which, it must be confessed, was seldom used till their date, when the doctrine it expressed came into dispute. And so of the phrase [homoousion toi patri], and of [hypostasis]; vid. Note, supr. p. 71.

Now the phrase "consubstantial with us" seems to have been introduced at the time of the Apollinarian controversy, and was naturally the Catholic counter-statement to the doctrine of Apollinaris that Christ's body was "consubstantial to the Godhead;" a doctrine which, as Athanasius tells us, ad Epict. 2. was new to the world when the Apollinarians brought it forward, and, according to Epiphanius, was soon abandoned by them, Hær. 77, 25. It is natural then to suppose that the antagonist phrase, which is here in question, came into use at that date, and continued or was dropped according to the prevalence of the heretical tenet. Moreover both sections into which the Apollinarians soon split, seemed to have agreed to receive the phrase "consubstantial with us," and only disputed whether it continued to be predicable of our Lord's body on and after its union with the divine Nature. vid. Leont. de fraud. Apollin. and this of course would be an additional reason against the general Catholic adoption of the phrase. It occurs however in the Creed of John of Antioch, A.D. about 431, on which S. Cyril was reconciled to him. Rustic. contr. Aceph. p. 709. but this is only twenty-one years before the Council of Chalcedon, in which the phrase was formally received, as the [homoousion toi patri] was received at Nicæa. ibid. p. 805.

The counter-statement more commonly used by the orthodox to that of the flesh being [homoousion theoteti], was not "consubstantial with us," but "consubstantial with Mary." S. Amphilochius speaks thus generally, "It is plain that the holy Fathers said that the Son was consubstantial with His Father according to the Godhead and consubstantial with His Mother according to the manhood." apud Phot. {169} Bibl. p. 789. Proclus, A.D. 434, uses the word [homophylon], and still with "the Virgin." [toi patri kata ten theoteta homoousios, houtos ho autos kai tei partheoi kata ten sarka homophylos]. ad Arm. p. 618, circ. init. vid. also p. 613 fin. p. 618. He uses the word [homoousion] frequently of the Divine Nature as above, yet this does not suggest the other use of it. Another term is used by Athanasius, [ton henomenon patri kata pneuma, hemin de kata sarka]. apud Theod. Eranist. ii. p. 139. Or again that He took flesh of Mary, e.g. [ouk ek Marias all' ek tes heautou ousias soma]. ad Epict. 2. Or [teleios anthropos], e.g. Procl. ad Arm. p. 613. which, though Apollinaris denied, Eutyches allowed, Concil. t. 2. p. 157. Leon. Ep. 21.

However, S. Eustathius (A.D. 325.) says that our Lord's soul was [tais psuchais ton anthropon homoousios, hosper kai he sarx homoousios tei ton anthropon sarki]. ap. Theod. Eranist. i. p. 56. vid. also Leont. contr. Nestor. et Eutych. p. 977. and S. Ambrose, ibid. Dial. ii. p. 139. [homoousion toi patri kata ten theoteta, kai homoousion hemin kata ten anthropoteta], but the genuineness of the whole extract is extremely doubtful, as indeed the Benedictines almost grant. t. 2. p. 729. Waterland, Athan. Creed, ch. 7. p. 254. seems to think the internal evidence strong against its genuineness, but yields to the external; and Coustant (App. Epist. Pont. Rom. p. 79) considers Leontius a different author from the Leontius de Sectis, on account of his mistakes. Another instance is found in Theophilus ap. Theod. Eranist. ii. p. 154.

This contrast becomes stronger still when we turn to documents of the alleged date of the Confession. A letter of one of the Councils 263-270, or of some of its Bishops, is still extant, and exhibits a very different phraseology. Instead of [homoousios hemin] we find the vaguer expressions, not unlike Athanasius, &c. of the Son "being made flesh and made man," and "the Body from the Virgin," and "man of the seed of David," and "partaking of flesh and blood." Routh Rell. t. 2. p. 473. And the use of the word [ousia] is different; and its derivatives are taken to convey the idea, neither of the divine nature of our Lord, nor the human, but of the divine nature substantiated or become a substance, in the material world: almost as if under the feeling that God in Himself is above substance, as I had just now occasion to mention. E.g. Pseudo-Dionysius asks [pos ho hyperousios Iesous anthropophuiais]. Myst. Theol. iii. vid. also de Div. Nom. i. 2. and Epist. 4. Hence Africanus says, [ousian holen ousiotheis, anthropos legetai]. African. Chron. ap. Routh, t. 2. p. 125. In like manner the Antiochene Fathers insist, [katho-Christos, hen kai to auto on tei ousiai]. Routh Rel. t. 2. p. 474. and Malchion at the same Council accuses Paul of not admitting [ousiosthai en toi holoi ton huion ton monogene]. ibid. p. 476. or that the Son was "substantially present in the whole Saviour." vid. also p. 485. In all these passages [ousia] is used for nothing else than substance, whereas in the phrase [homoousion hemin] it rather stands for [physis] or [genos]. And so much was the former its meaning in the earlier times, that Hippolytus plainly denies that men are one substance one with another; for he asks, [me pantes hen soma esmen kata ten ousian]; contr. Noet. 7. And this moreover altogether agrees with what was said {170} above, that in Paul's argument against the [homoousion patri] the word [ousia] was taken (and rightly) in what Aristotle as Anastasius (Hodeg. 6. p. 96), and Theorian (Leg. p. 441), after him, assigns as the proper sense of the word, viz. an individual, and not a common nature.

3. The Creed also speaks of our Lord as [hen prosopon suntheton ek theotetos ouraniou kai anthropeias sarkos].

Now the word [suntheton], in the Latin compositum, is found in the fragment of Malchion's disputation in the Council. Routh Rell. t. 2. p. 476. But [suntheton] and [suntheton prosopon] seem to me of a later date.

The word persona, applied to our Lord in His two natures and in contrast with them, is to be found in Tertull. contr. Prax . 27. Though, however, it was not absolutely unknown to ecclesiastical authors, this is a very rare instance of its early occurrence.

We also find Novatian de Trin. 21. speaking of the "regula circa Personam Christi;" and considering his great resemblance to Tertullian, it may be supposed that persona here denotes, not merely our Lord's subsistence in the Holy Trinity, but in His two natures. But on the other hand, he uses Christus absolutely for the Second Person all through his Treatise, e.g. 9. init. "Regula veritatis docet nos credere post patrem etiam in Filium Dei Christum Jesum, Dominum Deum nostrum, sed Dei filium, &c." Again. "Christus habet gloriam ante mundi institutionem." 16. vid. also 13. where he speaks of Christ being made flesh, as if the name were synonymous with "Word" in the text, John i. 14. And, moreover, subsequently to "persona Christi," he goes on to speak of "secundam personam post Patrem." 26 and 31. vid. also 27.

However, in spite of these instances, one might seem to say confidently, if a negative can be proved, that it was not in common use at soonest before the middle of the fourth century, and perhaps not till much later.

(1) I have not discovered it in S. Athanasius's treatises against Apollinarianism, which were written about 370, except in two places, which shall be spoken of prescently. Nor in S. Gregory Naz.'s Ep. 202. ad Nectar. and Ep. 101. 102. ad Cledon. Nor in S. Gregory Nyssen. Fragm . in Apollinarem. Nor in Theodoret's Eranistes, except in one place, in a Testimony, given to S. Ambrose, and which has already been mentioned as probably spurious. Nor is it found in the Creed of Damasus, by whom Apollinaris was condemned. vid. Epp. 2 and 3; nor among the testimonies of the Fathers cited at the Council of Ephesus; nor in Epiphanius's Creed, Ancor. 121. vid. also 75.

(2) It is not used in passages where it might have been expected, but other modes of speech are usua1 instead; and that by a sort of rule, so as to makc them almost technical, or with such variety of expression as pointedly to mark the omission; e.g. for "two natures and one Person" we always find [ouk allo, allo,— eis,— hen, — ho autos]. &c. &c.

S. Irenæus:—Non ergo alterum filium hominis novit Evangelium, nisi hunc qui ex Mariâ, &c. et eundem hunc passum resurrexisse {171} ... Etsi linguâ quidem confitentur unum Jesum Christum, … alterum quidem passum, et natum, &c. et esse alterum eorum, &c. Hær. iii. 16. n. 5. 6 [p. 267 O.T]. unus quidem et idem existens, n. 7. per multa dividens Filium Dei. n. 8. unum et eundem, ibid. Si alter ... alter, ... quoniam unum eum novit Apostolus, &c. n. 9. The passage upon the subject is extended to c. xxiv.

S. Ambrose:—Unus in utrâque [divinitate et carne] loquitiir Dei Filius; quia in eodem utraque natura est; et si idem loquitur, non uno semper loquitur modo. de fid. ii. 9. vid. 58. Non divisus sed unus; quia utrumque unus, et unus in utroque ... non enim alter ex Patre, alter cx Virgine, sed idem aliter ex Patre, aliter ex Virgine, de Incarn. 35. vid. 47. 75. and Non enim quod ejusdem substantiæ est, unus, sed unum est, 77. where persona follows of the Holy Trinity.

S. Hilary:—Non alius filius hominis quam qui filius Dei est neque alius in forma Dei quam qui in forma servi perfectus homo natus est; … habens in se et totum verumque quod homo est, et totum verumque quod Deus est. de Trin. x. 19. Cum ipse ille filius hominis ipse sit qui et filius Dei, quia totus hominis filius totus Dei filius sit, &c. ... Natus autem est, non ut esset alius atque alius, sed ut ante hominem Deus, suscipiens hominem, homo et Deus possit intelligi. ibid. 22. Non potest ... ita ab se dividuus esse, ne Christus sit; cum non alius Christus, quam qui in forma Dei, &c. neque alius quam qui natus est, &c. ... neque alius quam qui est mortuus, &c. in cœlis autem non alius sit quam qui &c. ibid. ut non idem fuerit qui et, &c. ibid. 50. Totum ei Deus Verbum est, totum ei homo Christus est, ... nec Christum aliud credere quam Jesum, nec Jesum aliud prædicare quam Christum. 52.

And in like manner S. Athanasius:—[allos, allos; heteros, heteros; eis kai autos; tauton, adiairetos], Orat. iv. § 15. and 29. [allos, allos;] § 30. [hena kai ton auton]. § 31. [ouch hos tou logou kechorismenou]. ibid. [ton pros autou lephthenta, hoi kai enosthai pisteuetai, anthropon ap' autou chorizousi]. ibid. [ten anekphraston henosin]. § 32. [to theion hen kai haploun mysterion]. ibid. [ten henoteta]. ibid. [holon auton anthropon te kai theon homou]. § 35. vid. especially the long discussion in Orat. iii. § 30-58. where there is hardly a technical term.

Other instances of ecclesiastical language are as follows:—Mediam inter Deum et hominum substantiam gerens. Lactant. Instit. iv. 13. [theos kai anthropos teleios ho autos]. Meliton. apnd Routh, Rell. i. p. 113. ex eo quod Deus est, et ex illo quod homo ... permixtus et sociatus ... alterum vident, alterum non vident. Novat. de Trin. 25. vid. also 11, 14, 21, and 24. duos Christos ... unum, alium. Pamphil. Apol. ap. Routh, Rell. t. 4. p. 320. [ho autos estin aei pros heauton hosautos echon] Greg. Nyss. t. 2. p. 696. [hena kai ton auton]. Greg. Naz. Ep. 101. p. 85. [allo men kai allo ra ex hon ho Soter. ouk allos de kai allos]. p. 86.

Vid. also Athan. contr. Apollin. i. 10 fin. 11 fin. 13 e. 16 b. ii. 1 init. 5 e. 12 e. 18. circ. fin. Theoph. Alex. apud Theod. Eranist. ii. p. 154. Hilar. ibid. p. 162. Attic. ibid. p. 167. Jerom. in Joan. Ieros. 35.

A corresponding phraseology and omission of the term "person" is found in the undoubted Epistle of the Antiochene Fathers; [to ek {172} tes parthenou soma choresan pan to pleroma tes theotetos somatikos, tei theoteti atreptos henotai kai tetheopoietai; ou charin ho autos theos kai anthropos k.t.l.] Routh, Rell. t. 2. p. 473. [houto kai ho Christos pro tes sarkoseos hos eis onomastai]. ibid. p. 474. [ei allo men … allo de … duo huious]. ibid. p. 485. And so Malchion, Unus factus est ... unitate subsistens, &c. ibid. p. 476.

(3) It is indisputable too that the word [prosopon] is from time to time used of our Lord by the early writers in its ordinary vague sense, which is inconceivable if it were already received in creeds as an ecclesiastical symbol.

E.g. S. Clement calls the Son the "person" or countenance, [prosopon], "of the Father." Strom. v. 6. p. 665. and Pædag. i. 7. p. 132. vid. also Strom. vii. 10. p. 886. And so [en prosopoi patros], Theoph. ad Autol. ii. 22 (vid. supr. p. 114, note D). and even Cyril Alex. Dial. v. p. 554. Vid. also Cyril. Catech. xii. 14 fin. [homoioprosopon]. Chrysostom speaks of [duo prosopa], i.e. human and divine, [dieiremena kata ten hypostasin], in Hebr. Hom. iii. 1 fin. [p. 33 O.T.] where too he has just been speaking against Paul of Samosata, against whom the Creed which we are examining is alleged to have been written. vid. also Amphiloch. ap. Theod. Eranist. i. p. 67. who speaks of Christ as saying, "My Father is greater than I," "from the flesh and not [ek prosopou tes theotetos]." In these passages [prosopon] seems to stand for character, as is not unusual in Athanasius, vid. supr. p. 22. note Z, where instances are given. And thus I would explain those passages referred to just above, in which he seems to use [prosopon] for person, in Apoll. ii. 2. and 10. viz. [en diairesei prosopon], which Le Quien (in Damasc. dialect. 43.) most unnecessarily calls an instance, and as he thinks solitary, of [prosopon] being used for nature, though Athan. in one of the two passages explains the word himself, speaking of [prosopon e onomaton]. And this seems a truer explanation, though perhaps less natural, than to render it (supr. p. 22.) "not as if there were divisions of persons." These passages of Athan. might make us less decisive than Montfaucon as to the internal evidence against the fragment given in t. i. p. 1294. He says, after Sirmond in Facund. xi. 2. that it contains a doctrine "ab Athanasianâ penitus abhorrentem;" and this, because the Latin version, (another reason, but of a different kind, why it is difficult to judge of it,) speaks broadly of "duas personas, unam circa hominem, alteram circa Verbum." But besides the above instances, we find the same use in an extract from a work of Hippolytus preserved by Leontius, Hippol. t. 2. p. 45. where he speaks of Christ as [duo prosopon mesites], God and men.

Again S. Hilary speaks of utriusque naturæ personam. de Trin. ix. 14. ejus hominis quam assumpsit persona. in Psalm 63. n. 3. vid. also in Psalm 138. n. 5. and S. Ambrose, in personâ hominis. de Fid. ii. n. 61. v. n. 108. 124. Ep. 48. n. 4. From a passage quoted from Paschasius Diaconus, de Spir. § ii. 4. p. 194. by Petavius (de Trin. iv. 4. § 3.) it seems that the use of the word persona in the sense of quality or state had not ceased even in the 6th century.

Further, it would seem as if the vague use of the word "person," as used in speaking of the Holy Trinity, which S. Theophilus and {173} S. Clement above exemplify, on the whole ceased with the rise of the Sabellian controversy and the adoption of the word (as in Hippol. contr. Noet. 14.), as a symbol against the heresy. It is natural in like manner that till the great controversy concerning the Incarnation which Apollinaris began, a similar indistinctness should prevail in its use relatively to that doctrine.

And hence S. Cyril in his 4th anathema is obliged to explain the word by the more accurately defined term hypostasis: [ei tis prosopois dusi, egoun hypostasesi, k.t.l.] Vid. also the caution or protest of Vincentius Lirinens. Comm. 14.

(4) Moreover, a contrast is observable between the later accounts or interpretations of early writings, and those writings themselves as far as we have them; words and phrases being imputed, which in the originals exist only in the ideas themselves intended by them.

E.g. Ephrem of Antioch reports that S. Peter of Alexandria, S. Chrysostom, S. Basil, S. Gregory Nazianzen, &c. acknowledge the doctrine of "the union of two natures and one Subsistence and one Person." ap. Phot. cod. 229. pp. 805-7. but Chrysostom, &c. uses the words and phrases, [henosis, sunapheia, hen ho theos logos kai he sarx]; Nazianzen is silent about persona in his Ep. ad Cledon. to which Ephrem there refers, and Peter in all that remains of him uses such words as [sarx genomenos ouk apeleiphthe tes theotetos; gegonen en metrai tes parthenou sarx; theos en physei kai gegonen anthropos physei]. Routh Rell. t. 3. pp. 344-346.

Again, let it be observed how S. Maximus comments upon S. Gregory Nazianzen's words in the following passage: "The great Gregory Theologus seems to me thus to teach in his great Apologetic, 'One, [hen], out of both, and both through One,' as if he would say, for as there is one out of both, that is, of two natures, One as a whole from parts according to the definition of hypostasis, so," &c. t. 2. p. 282.

Instances of this kind, which are not unfrequent, make one suspicious of such passages of the Fathers as come to us in translation, as Theodoret's and Leontius's extract from S. Ambrose, of which notice has been taken above; especially as the common Latin versions in the current editions of the Greek Fathers offer parallel instances of the insertion of the words persona, &c. not in the original, merely for the sake of perspicuity.

(5) It might be shewn too that according as alleged works of the Fathers are spurious or suspected, so does persona appear as one of their theological terms. The passage of S. Ambrose above cited is in point; but it would carry us too far from the subject to illustrate this as fully as might be done; nor is it necessary. Another specimen, however, may be taken from S. Athanasius. The absence of [prosopon] from his acknowledged works has already been noticed; but let us turn to the fragments at the end of vol. 1. of the Benedictine edition. E.g. p. 1279 is a fragment which Montfaucon says olet quidpiam peregrinum, et videtur maxime sub finem Eutychianorum hæresin impugnare; it contains the word [prosopon]. And a third is the letter to Dionysius falsely ascribed to Pope Julius, in which as before {174} [prosopon] occurs, n. 2. Coust. Ep. Pont. Rom. Append. p. 62. And for a fourth we may refer to the [ekthesis tes kata meros pisteos] ascribed to S. Gregory Thaumaturgus, one of the Antiochene Fathers, but which according to Eulogius ap. Phot. cod. 230. p. 846. is an Apollinarian forgery; it too uses the word "persona" of the union of natures in our Lord. And for a fifth to the Serm. in S. Thomam, which is quoted by the 6th General Council as S. Chrysostom's, but which Montfaucon and his other Editors consider spurious, and Tillemont considers preached at Edessa, A.D. 402. It contains the word [prosopon]. Ed. Ben. tom. 8. part 2. p. 14.

(6) Too many words would have been spent on this point, were it not for the eminent writers who have maintained the genuineness of the Creed in question; and in particular, were it not for the circumstance, which is at first sight of great cogency, that Tertullian, whose acquaintance with Greek theology is well known, not only contains in his contr. Prax. a fully developed statement of the ecclesiastical doctrine of the Incarnation, but uses the very word persona or [prosopon] which has here been urged in disproof of the genuineness of the Creed under consideration.

Such passages shall here be subjoined as contain the word in its ecclesiastical sense, as far as I have met with them.

In the extracts of the letters of Apollinaris and his disciples who wrote against each other (A.D. 380) the word occurs ap. Leont. p. 1033 b. p. 1037 b. p. 1039 b. as well as the [homoousion hemin] as noticed above.
Also in an extract of Apollinaris, ap. Theod. Eranist. ii. p. 173.
By an auctor against the Arians whom Sirmond called antiquissimus. Opp. t. i. p. 223.
By S. Athanasius, that is, as quoted by Euthymius, ap. Petav. Incarn. iii. 15, note 19.
By S. Gregory Nyss. ap. Damasc. contr. Jacob. t. i. p. 424.
By S. Amphilochius, ap. Damasc. ibid. et ap. Anast. Hod. 10. p. 162. and ap. Ephrem ap. Phot. p. 828.
In a Greek version of S. Ambrose, ap. Phot. p. 805.
By S. Chrysostom, Ep. ad Cæsar. fin.
By Isidore Pelus, p. 94 Epist. i. 360.
In Pelagius's Creed, A.D. 418. in S. August. Opp. t. 12. p. 210.
By S. Augustine, contr. Serm. Arian. 8. Ep. ad Volusian. 137. n. 11 de Corr. et Grat. 30. and passim.
By Proclus ad Armen. p. 643.
After the third General Council, A.D. 431, of course the word becomes common.

(7) It may be objected, that Paul of Samosata himself maintained a Nestorian doctrine, and that this would naturally lead to the adoption of the word [prosopon] to represent our Lord's unity in His two natures, as it had already been adopted 60 years before by Hippolytus to denote His Divine subsistence against Noetus. But there is no good evidence of Paul's doctrine being of this nature, though it seems to have tended to Nestorianism in his followers. I allude to a passage in Athan. Orat. iv. § 30 [infra pp. 549, 550], where he says, {175} that some of the Samosatenes so interpreted Acts x. 36, as if the Word was sent to "preach peace through Jesus Christ." As far as the fragments of the Antiochene Acts state or imply, he taught more or less, as follows:—that the Son's pre-existence was only in the divine fore-knowledge, Routh Rell. t. 2. p. 466. that to hold His substantial pre-existence was to hold two Gods, ibid. p. 467. that He was, if not an instrument, an impersonal attribute, p. 469. that His manhood was not "unalterably made one with the Godhead," p. 473. "that the Word and Christ were not one and the same," p. 474. that Wisdom was in Christ as in the prophets, only more abundantly, as in a temple; that He who appeared was not Wisdom, p. 475. in a word as it is summed up, p. 484. that "Wisdom was born with the manhood, not substantially, but according to quality." vid. also pp. 476. 485. All this plainly shews that he held that our Lord's personality was in His Manhood, but does not shew that he held a second personality in His godhead; rather he considered the Word impersonal, though the Fathers in Council urge upon him that he ought to hold two Sons, one from eternity, and one in time, p. 485.

Accordingly the Synodal Letter after his deposition speaks of him as holding that Christ came not front Heaven, but from beneath. Euseb. Hist. vii. 30. S. Athanasius's account of his doctrine is altogether in accordance (vid. supr. p. 16, note I.), that Paul taught that our Lord was a mere man, and that He was advanced to His divine power, [ek prokopes].

However, since there was a great correspondence between Paul and Nestorius, (except in the doctrine of the personality and eternity of the Word, which the Arian controversy determined and the latter held,) it was not unnatural that reference should be made to the previous heresy of Paul and its condemnation when that of Nestorius was on trial. Yet the Contestatio against Nestorius which commences the Acts of the Council of Ephesus, Harduin. Conc. t. i. p. 1272. [t. 3 pp. 888, 889 ed. Col.] and which draws out distinctly the parallel between them, says nothing to shew that Paul held a double personality. And though Anastasius tells us, Hodeg. c. 7. p. 108. that the "holy Ephesian Council shewed that the tenets of Nestorius agreed with the doctrine of Paul of Samosata," yet in c. 20. pp. 323, 4. he shews us what he means by saying that Artemon also before Paul "divided Christ in two." Ephrem of Antioch too says that Paul held that "the Son before ages was one, and the Son in the last time another." ap. Phot. p. 814. but he seems only referring to the words of the Antiochene Acts, quoted above. Again, it is plain from what Vigilius says in Eutych. t. v. p. 731. Ed. Col. 1618. (the passage is omitted in Ed. Par. 1624.) that the Eutychians considered that Paul and Nestorius differed; the former holding that our Lord was a mere man, the latter a mere man only till He was united to the Word. And Marius Mercator says, "Nestorius circa Verbum Dei, non ut Paulus sentit, qui non substantivum sed prolatitium potentiæ Dei efficax Verbum esse definit." p. 50. Ibas, and Theodore of Mopsuestia, though more suspicious witnesses, say the same, vid. Facund. vi. 3. iii. 2. and Leontius de Sectis, iii. p. 504. {176}

The principal evidence in favour of Paul's Nestorianism consists in the Letter of Dionysius to Paul and his answer to Paul's Ten Questions, which are certainly spurious, as on other grounds, on some of those here urged against the professed Creed of Antioch, but which Dr. Burton in his excellent remarks on Paul's opinions, Bampton Lectures. No. 102, admits as genuine. And so does the accurate and cautious Tillemont, who in consequence is obliged to believe that Paul held Nestorian doctrines; also Bull, Fabricius, Natalis Alexander, &c. In holding these compositions to be spurious, I am following Valesius, Harduin, Montfaucon, Pagi, Mosheim, Cave, Routh, and others.

It might be inquired in conclusion, whether after all the Creed does not contain marks of Apollinarianism in it, which, if answered in the affirmative, would tend to fix its date. As, however, this would carry us further still from our immediate subject in this Volume, it has been judged best not to enter upon the question. Some indulgence may fairly be asked for what has been already said, from its bearing upon the history of the word [homoousion].

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A. Dicam non jactantiæ causâ, sed ut eruditi lectoris studium excitem, fortassis audacius, ab hinc mille ac ducentis propemodum annis liquidam ac sinceram illorum rationem ignoratam fuisse. Quod nisi certissimis argumentis indiciisque monstravero, nihil ego deprecabor, quin id vanissimè à me dictum omnes arbitrentur. Petav. Animadv. in Epiph. p. 306. Nos ex antiquis patribus primum illud odorati sumus, tres omnino conventus Episcoporum eodem in Sirmiensi oppido, non iisdem temporibus celebratos fuisse. ibid. p. 113.
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