{282} THE Semi-Arian symbols admitted of an orthodox interpretation, but they also admitted of an heretical. They served as a shelter for virtual Arians, and as a refuge for those who feared the orthodox homoüsion, as either materialistic or Sabellian. In the first years of the controversy they were tokens of a falling short of the true faith, in the later years tokens of an approaching to it. Hence Athanasius is severe with Eusebius and Asterius, and kind in his treatment of Basil and his party.

Accordingly, these symbols in no way served the necessity of the time as a test to secure the Church against a dangerous and insidious heresy. Eusebius of Cæsarea could have no difficulty in professing our Lord was God, and like in His nature to the Father, yet his heterodoxy has been shown in art. Eusebius. Still more openly heterodox was Eusebius of Nicomedia; yet such statements as occur in the Semi-Arian Councils and Creeds would give him no annoyance. These men did but scruple at the one word homoüsion.

The Catholic Theologians taught, with our Lord, that "He and the Father are one;" and, when asked in what sense one, they answered "numerically one, else were there two Gods;" that is, they were [homoousioi]. The Arians considered them numerically {283} two, and only in agreement one with each other. Either then they held that there were two Gods, or that our Lord was God only in name and not true God. They would answer that that dilemma was none of their making; that is, the idea of incomprehensibility in the Infinite, and of mystery in what was predicated of Him, does not seem to have had a place in their reasonings.

So far Semi-Arians agreed with Arians, in holding a greater God and a less, a true God and a so-called God; a God of all, and a Divine Mediator and representative God; but when Catholics questioned them more closely on their belief, as, for instance, whether the Son was a creature, and what was meant by His being "like" the Father, the Arians proper said boldly that He was a creature, though the first of creatures and unlike other creatures, and not the Son of God except figuratively, as men were His sons, and that, moreover, as a creature He had been liable to fall, as the Angels fell and Adam; but from such blasphemy others shrank, and thus in consequence they were called Semi-Arians, holding that, though our Lord was not in being from everlasting, and though He had been brought into being at the will of the Father, still a gennesis was a divine act in kind different from a creation; not indeed an emanation, else, He was not only like, but the same as the Father in essence, and if so, why had Euseb. Nic. from the first protested against [ex aporrhoias] and [meros homoousion], and why did Euseb. Cæs. so evidently evade the [ex ousias] (as shown supr. art. Eusebius)? In short they were driven by their remaining religiousness, unlike the Arians proper, {284} (who in the later shape of Eunomianism expressly denied that God was incomprehensible) into the admission that there was mystery in the revealed doctrine. And this Eusebius confesses in a passage which will be quoted infr. art. Son of God.

Recurring to the dilemma insisted on against the Arian disputant, it will be observed that the clear-headed Arians grasped fearlessly the conclusion that our Lord was not God, while the more pious and timid Semi-Arians could not extricate themselves from the charge of holding two Gods.

Eusebius (vid. art. Euseb.) calls our Lord a second substance, another God, a second God. And it was in this sense his co-religionists used such epithets as [teleios] of our Lord, and called Him, as in Lucian's creed, "perfect from perfect, king from king," &c. viz. under the impression, or with the insinuation, that the [homoousion] diluted belief in His divinity into a sort of Sabellianism. Whether in giving these high titles to our Lord, Eusebius and his party used them in a Catholic sense, would also be seen in their use and interpretation of the word [perichoresis], co-inherence, (vid. art. Coinherence), which was a practical equivalent to [homoousion], though it too they could explain away, and did. Accordingly viewing Father and Son as distinct substances, and rejecting both [homoousion] and [perichoresis], they certainly considered them, as far as words go, to be distinct Gods. Such strong expressions as [homoiousios], and [aparallaktos eikon], which they used, would but increase the evil, as Athanasius argues against them. "If all that is the Father's is the Son's, as in {285} an Image and Impress," he says, "let it be considered dispassionately, whether a substance foreign to the Father's substance admits of such attributes; and whether such a one can possibly be other in nature and alien in substance, and not rather one in substance with the Father." Syn. § 50. vid. also Orat. iii. 16. vid. art. Idolatry.

However, Athan., and Hilary too, saw enough of what was good and promising in the second generation of Semi-Arians to adopt a kind tone towards them, which they could not use in speaking of the followers of Arius. Athan. calls certain of them "brethren" and "beloved," and Hilary "sanctissimi," and the events in many cases justified their anticipation.

They guard, however, their words, lest more should be understood by others than the language of charity and hope. Athan. speaks severely of Eustathius and Basil. Ep. Æg. 7, and Hilary explains himself in his notes upon his de Syn., from which it appears that he had been expostulated with on his conciliatory tone. Indeed all throughout he had betrayed a consciousness that he should offend some parties, e.g. § 6. In § 77, he had spoken of "having expounded the faithful and religious sense of 'like in substance,' which is called Homœüsion." On this he observes, note 3, "I think no one need be asked to consider why I have said in this place 'religious sense of like in substance,' except that I meant that there was also an irreligious; and that therefore I said that 'like' was not only equal but the 'same.'" vid. also supr. vol. i. p. 134, note. In the next note he speaks of {286} them as not more than hopeful. Still it should be observed how careful the Fathers of the day were not to mix up the question of doctrine which rested on Catholic tradition, with that of the adoption of a certain term which rested on a Catholic injunction. Not that the term was not in duty to be received, but it was to be received mainly on account of its Catholic sense, and where the Catholic sense was held, the word might for a while by a sort of dispensation be waived. It is remarkable that Athanasius scarcely mentions the word "One in substance" in his three Orations, as has been already observed; nor does it occur in S. Cyril's Catecheses, of whom, as being suspected of Semi-Arianism, it might have been required, before his writings were received as of authority. The word was not imposed upon Ursacius and Valens, A.D. 349, by Pope Julius; nor, in the Council of Aquileia in 381, was it offered by St. Ambrose to Palladius and Secundianus. S. Jerome's account of the apology made by the Fathers of Arminum is of the same kind. "We thought," they said, "the sense corresponded to the words, nor in the Church of God, where there is simplicity, and a pure confession, did we fear that one thing would be concealed in the heart, another uttered by the lips. We were deceived by our good opinion of the bad." ad Lucif. 19. The same excuse avails for Liberius. {287}

Son of God

I UNDERSTAND Athanasius (always, of course, after accepting and assuming the doctrine as true and indisputable on the ground of its being revealed,) to go on to argue about it thus:—

The Son of God must be God, granting that the human word "Son" is to guide us to the knowledge of what is heavenly; for on earth we understand by a son one who is the successor and heir to a given nature. A continuation or communication of nature enters into the very idea of [gennesis]; if there is no participation of nature there is no sonship, "[Mia he physis, ou gar anomoion to gennema tou gennesantos, eikon gar estin autou]." Orat. iii. § 4. Hence he speaks of "[oikeiotes tes physeos]," ibid. § 4, 16, &c.

This is the teaching also of the great theologians who followed Athanasius. Basil says that Father is "a term of relationship," [oikeioseos], in Eunom. ii. 24, init. and that a father may be defined, "one who gives to another the origin of being, according to a nature like his own," ibid. 22. And Gregory Nyssen, that "the title 'Son' does not simply express the being from another, but relationship according to nature," c. Eunom. ii. p. 91. And Cyril says that the term "Son" denotes the "substantial origin from the Father." {288} Dial. v. p. 573. This was why the Fathers at Nicæa were not content with "from the Father," but wrote "from the substance of the Father."

The Son then participates in the Divine Nature, and since the Divine Nature is none other than the One individual Living Personal True God, He too is that God, and since He is thus identical with that One True God, and since that One True God is eternal and never had a beginning of existence, therefore the Son is eternal and without beginning.

Again, such a real Son is made necessary by considering what the very Nature of God, the existence of an Infinite, all-abounding, all-perfect Being, implies. We cannot be surprised to be told that the infinite Essence of God necessarily flows out, in consequence of His very immensity, into a reflection or perfect image or likeness of Himself, which in all respects is His reiteration, except in not being He. There are then at least two Selves (so to speak) in God, that is, a First and Second Person.

Now this infinite Image of God is not external to the First Person, because the First is infinite. The image is commensurate, but no more than commensurate, with the Original. The Second cannot extend beyond the First or be external to Him. The First and Second cannot become Two except as viewed in their relation of Father and Son. As eternity a parte ante is not doubled by being added to eternity a parte post; but before and after are two only when contrasted with each other, so, though God and His Image are relatively two, an Image of God does not {289} make two Gods. Indeed we cannot apply ideas arising out of number to the Illimitable.

This Image, as being the Effluence and Expression and Likeness of the Almighty, may equally well be called Word or Son, and, whether we use one of these names or the other, we mean to express, though under a distinct aspect in each of them, a Second Person in the Godhead. The name of Image teaches us that the Second is commensurate and co-equal with the First; that of Son, that He is co-eternal, for the nature of God cannot alter or vary; and the name of Word teaches us that in Him is represented and manifested the intelligence, living force, and operative energy of the Supreme Being. Hence it is that in the history (if I may use the word) of the Creator and His creatures, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity is the chief Agent brought before us, and that the offices which are assigned to Him occupy a far larger portion of revealed teaching than even what belongs to His original Divine Nature.

The Arians joined issue with Catholics on the question as to what was involved in the title "Son." They put aside Word, Image, &c., as figures of speech; said that Son was His real name, and then explained "Son" away, maintaining that, whatever else Sonship might teach us, even at first sight it was plain that a Son could not but be posterior in time to his Father; but if so, if our Lord was not eternal a parte ante, He was only a creature. The Catholics replied that that could not be the essential true meaning of a word which it did not always hold; now the Arian argument from the {290} word "Son" involved the existence of time, that is, of a condition which did not always exist in the instance of the Almighty, of whom we are speaking; either then God had no Son, or else that Son was co-eval, co-eternal with Him. Moreover, there could be no change in the Divine Essence; what He was once, that He ever was. Once a Father, always a Father. The Arians replied that the Almighty was not always Creator, He became a Creator in time; and so as regards the gennesis of the Son, though in its very beginning it was not from eternity but in time, that gennesis was some unknown kind of creation, and that to connect it with the Divine [ousia] was to introduce material notions into the idea of God. The Catholics of course answered that the notion of materiality was quite as foreign to any right conception of God, as that of time was, and that as the Divine Sonship was eternal, so was it simply spiritual, being taught under material images, only because from the conditions of our knowledge we could not speak of it in any other way. vid. art. Arian tenets.

Here Eusebius makes an apposite remark, which ought to have led him farther:—As we do not know how God can create out of nothing, so, he says, we are utterly ignorant of the Divine Generation. We do not understand innumerable things which lie close to us; how the soul is joined to the body, how it enters and leaves it, what its nature, what the nature of Angels. It is written, "He who believes," not he who knows, "has eternal life." Divine Generation is as distinct from human as God from man. The sun's radiance itself is but an earthly image, and gives us no {291} true idea of that which is above all images. Eccl. Theol. i. 12. So too S. Greg. Naz. Orat. 29. 8. vid. also Hippol. in Noet. 16. Cyril, Cat. xi. 11 and 19, and Origen, according to Mosheim, Ante-Const. p. 619. And instances in Petav. de Trin. v. 6, § 2 and 3. vid. arts. Illustrations, Image, &c.

"There are not many Words, but one only Word of the one Father, and one Image of the one God." Orat. ii. § 27.

"The Son does not live by the gift of life, for He is life, and does but give it, not receive." Orat. iii. § 1. S. Hilary uses different language with the same meaning, "Vita viventis [Filii] in vivo [Patre] est," de Trin. ii. 11. Other modes of expression for the same mystery are found in art. Coinherence, "the whole being of the Son is proper to the Father's substance;" Orat. iii. 3. "the Son's being, because from the Father, is therefore in the Father;" ibid. also 6 init. "the fulness of the Father's Godhead is the being of the Son." 5. and Didymus, [he patrike theotes]. Trin. i. 27, p. 82, and S. Basil, [ex hou echei to einai], contr. Eunom. ii. 12, fin. Thus the Father is the Son's life because the Son is from Him, and the Son the Father's because the Son is in Him. All these are but different ways of signifying the [perichoresis].

The Second Person in the Holy Trinity is not a quality, or attribute, or a mere relation, but the One Eternal Essence; not a part of the First Person, but whole or entire God, all that God is; nor does the gennesis impair the Father's Essence, which is already {292} whole and entire God. Thus there are two infinite Persons, in Each Other because They are infinite. Each of Them being wholly One and the Same Divine Being, yet not being merely separate aspects of the Same. Each is God as absolutely as if the Other were not. Such a statement indeed is not so much a contradiction in the terms used, as in our conceptions, from the inability of our minds to deal with infinities; yet not therefore a contradiction in fact, unless we would maintain that human words can express in one formula, or human thought can grasp and contemplate, the Incomprehensible, Self-existent First-Cause.

"Man," says S. Cyril, "inasmuch as he had a beginning of being, also has of necessity a beginning of begetting, as what is from him is a thing generate, but ... if God's substance transcend time, or origin, or interval, His generation too will transcend these; nor does it deprive the Divine Nature of the power of generating that He doth not this in time. For other than human is the manner of divine generation; and together with God's existing is implied His generating, and the Son was in Him by generation; nor did His generation precede His existence, but He was always, and that by generation." Thesaur. v. p. 35. {293}

Special Characteristics of Our Lord's Manhood

1. His manhood had no personality, but was taken up into His divinity as Second Person of the Holy Trinity.

That is, according to the words of the Symbolum S. Athan., "Unus, non conversione divinitatis in carnem, sed assumptione humanitatis in Deum." That personality, which our Lord had had from eternity in the Holy Trinity, He had still after His incarnation. His human nature subsisted in His divine, not existing as we exist, but, so to say, grafted on Him, or as a garment in which He was clad. We cannot conceive of an incarnation, except in this way; for, if His manhood had not been thus after the manner of an attribute, if it had been a person, an individual, such as one of us, if it had been in existence before He united it to Himself, He would have been simply two beings under one name, or else, His divinity would have been nothing more than a special grace or presence or participation of divine glory, such as is the prerogative of saints.

He then is one, as He was from eternity,—the same "He" to whom also belong body and soul, and all their powers and affections, as well as the possession of divinity. He it is, God the Son, who was born, who had a mother, who shed His blood, who died and rose again. {294} His manhood loses the privilege of a personality of its own, in order to gain the special prerogative of belonging to the Second Person of the Divine Trinity, and all for our sake, that He may be the medium of a spiritual union between us and His Father.

This was the question which came into discussion in the Nestorian controversy, when it was formally determined that all that took place in respect to the Eternal Word as man, belonged to His Person, and therefore might be predicated of Him; so that it was heretical not to confess the Word's body, (or the body of God in the Person of the Word,) the Word's death, the Word's blood, the Word's exaltation, and the Word's or God's Mother, who was in consequence called [theotokos], the tessera on which the controversy mainly turned. "The Godhead," says Athanasius, "dwelt in the flesh bodily; which is all one with saying, that, being God, He had a body proper to Him, ([idion],) and using this as an instrument, [organoi], He became man for our sakes; and because of this, things proper to the flesh are said to be His, since He was in it, as hunger, thirst, pain, fatigue, and the like, of which the flesh is capable, [dektike]; while the works proper to the Word Himself, as raising the dead, and restoring sight to the blind, and curing the issue of blood, He did Himself through His body," &c. Orat. iii. 31. vid. the whole passage, which is as precise as if it had been written after the Nestorian and Eutychian controversies, though without the technical words then adopted.

2. He took on Him our fallen nature, vid. art. Flesh, to which add here from Petavius, "Verbum corpus et {295} naturam hominis ex eâdem, quæ in corruptelam defluxerat, massâ sibi formare et assumere voluit; tametsi in eâ, unde genitus est Deus, carne Virginis repurgatum illud fuerit." Incarn. v. 14, 6. He says this, quoting Irenæus; and elsewhere quoting Leontius, "Recte Leontius ejusmodi assumpsisse carnem asserit Verbum, qualem habuit Adam post peccatum damnatus, et qualem nos habemus ex eâdem massâ procreati." Incarn. x. 3, 8. Vid. on this subject Perrone de Incarn. part. ii. c. 2. Corrol. iv.

3. His manhood was subject to death, and to the other laws of human nature.

Athanasius, Orat. ii. 66, says that our Lord's body was subject to death; and so elsewhere, "His body, as having a common substance with all men, for it was a human body (though, by a new marvel, it subsisted of the Virgin alone), yet being mortal, died after the common course of the like natures." Incarn. 20, also 8, 18, init. Orat. iii. 56. And so [ton anthropon sathrothenta]. Orat. iv. 33. And so S. Leo. in his Tome lays down that in the Incarnation, "suscepta est ab æternitate mortalitas" Ep. xxviii. 3. And S. Austin, "Utique vulnerabile atque mortale corpus habuit" [Christus], contr. Faust. xiv. 2. A Eutychian sect denied this doctrine (the Aphthartodocetæ), and held that our Lord's manhood was naturally indeed corrupt, but became from its union with the Word incorrupt from the moment of conception; and in consequence they held that our Lord did not suffer and die, except by miracle. vid. Leont. c. Nest. ii. (Canis. t. i. pp. 563, 4, 8.) vid. supr. art. Adam. {296}

It was a point in controversy with the extreme Monophysites, that is, the Eutychians, whether our Lord's body was naturally subject to death, the Catholics maintaining the affirmative, as Athanasius, Orat. i. § 44. Eutyches asserted that our Lord had not a human nature, by which he meant among other things that His manhood was not subject to the laws of a body, but so far as He submitted to them, did so by an act of will in each particular case; and this, lest it should seem that He was moved by the [pathe] against His will [akousios]; and consequently that His manhood was not subject to death. But the Catholics maintained that He had voluntarily placed Himself under those laws, and died naturally, vid. Athan. contr. Apoll. i. 17, and that after the resurrection His body became incorruptible, not according to nature, but by grace. vid. Leont. de Sect. x. p. 530. Anast. Hodeg. c. 23. To express their doctrine of the [hyperphues] of our Lord's manhood, the Eutychians made use of the Catholic expression "ut voluit," vid. Athan. 1. c. Eutyches ap. Leon. Ep. 21. "quomodo voluit et scit" twice; vid. also Theod. Eranist. i. p. 10. ii. p. 105. Leont. contr. Nest. i. p. 544. Pseudo-Athan. Serm. adv. Div. Hær. § viii. (t. 2, p. 560.)

4. Yet He suspended those laws, when He pleased.

This, our Lord's either suspense or permission, at His will, of the operations of His manhood, is a great principle in the doctrine of the Incarnation. "That He might give proof of His human nature," says Theophylact, on John xi. 34, "He allowed It to do its own work, and chides It and rebukes It by the {297} power of the Holy Spirit. The Flesh then, not bearing the rebuke, is troubled and trembles, and thus gets the better of Its grief." And S. Cyril: "When grief began to be stirred in Him, and His sacred flesh was on the verge of tears, He suffers it not to be affected freely, as is our custom, but 'He was vehement ([enebrimesato]) in the Spirit,' that is, He in some way chides His own Flesh in the power of the Holy Ghost; and It, not bearing the movement of the Godhead united to It, trembles, &c. ... For this I think is the meaning of 'troubled Himself.'" fragm. in Joan. p. 685. "Sensus corporei vigebant sine lege peccati, et veritas affectionum sub moderamine Deitatis et mentis." Leon. Ep. 35, 3. "Thou art troubled against thy will; Christ is troubled, because He willed it. Jesus hungered, yes, but because He willed it; Jesus slept, yes, but because He willed it; Jesus sorrowed, yes, but because He willed it; Jesus died, yes, but because He willed it. It was in His power to be affected so or so, or not to be affected." Aug. in Joan. xlix. 18. The Eutychians perverted this doctrine, as if it implied that our Lord was not subject to the laws of human nature; and that He suffered merely "by permission of the Word." Leont. ap. Canis. t. 1, p. 563. In like manner, Marcion or Manes said that His "flesh appeared from heaven in resemblance, [hos ethelesen]." Athan. contr. Apoll. ii. 3.

"To be troubled was proper to the flesh," says Athan., "but to have power to lay down His life, and to take it again, when He will, was no property of men, but of the Word's power. For man dies, not by {298} his own power, but by necessity of nature and against his will; but the Lord being Himself immortal, but having a mortal flesh, had power, as God, to become separate from the body and to take it again, when He would. Concerning this too speaks David in the Psalm, Thou shalt not leave My soul in hell, neither shalt Thou suffer Thy Holy One to see corruption. For it beseemed, that the flesh, corruptible as it was, should no longer after its own nature remain mortal, but, because of the Word who had put it on, should abide incorruptible." Orat. iii. § 57.

This might be taken as an illustration of the "ut voluit," vid. supr. p. 296. And so the expressions in the Evangelists, "Into Thy hands I commend My Spirit," "He bowed the head," "He gave up the ghost," are taken to imply that His death was His free act. vid. Ambros. in loc. Luc. Hieron. in loc. Matt. also Athan. Serm. Maj. de Fid. 4. It is Catholic doctrine that our Lord, as man, submitted to death of His free will, and not as obeying an express command of the Father. "Who," says S. Chrysostom on John x. 18, Hom. 60, 2, "has not power to lay down his own life? for any one who will may kill himself. But He says not this, but how? 'I have power to lay it down in such sense that no one can do it against My will ... I alone have the disposal of My life,' which is not true of us." And still more appositely Theophylact, "It was open to Him not to suffer, not to die; for being without sin, He was not subject to death ... If then He had not been willing, He had not been crucified." in Hebr. xii. 2. "Since this punishment is contained in {299} the death of the body, that the soul, because it has deserted God with its will, deserts the body against its will ... the soul of the Mediator proved how utterly clear of the punishment of sin was its coming to the death of the flesh, in that it did not desert the flesh unwillingly, but because it willed, and when it willed, and as it willed ... And this did they specially admire, who were present, says the Gospel, that after that work, in which He set forth a figure of our sin, He forthwith gave up the ghost. For crucified men were commonly tortured by a lingering death ... But He was a wonder, (miraculo fuit,) because He was found dead." August. de Trin. iv. n. 16.

5. Though His manhood was of created substance, He cannot be called a creature.

Athan. seems to say, Orat. ii. § 45, that it is both true that "The Lord created Me," and yet that the Son was not created. Creatures alone are created, and He was not a creature. Rather something belonging or relating to Him, something short of His substance or nature, was created. However, it is a question in controversy whether even His manhood can be called a creature, though many of the Fathers, (including Athan. in several places,) seems so to call it. The difficulty may be viewed thus: that our Lord, even as to His human nature, is the natural, not the adopted, Son of God, (to deny which is the error of the Adoptionists,) whereas no creature can be His natural and true Son; and again, that His human nature is worshipped, which would be idolatry, if it were a creature. The question is discussed in Petav. de {300} Incarn. vii. 6, who determines that the human nature, though in itself a created substance, yet viewed as deified in the Word, does not in fact exist as a creature. Vasquez, however, considers that our Lord may be called creature, viewed as man, in 3 Thom. Disp. 66, and also Raynaud Opp. t. 2, p. 84, expressing his opinion strongly. And Berti de Theol. Disc. xxvii. 5, who adds, however, with Suarez after S. Thomas (in 3 Thom. Disput. 35. Opp. t. 16, p. 489,) that it is better to abstain from the use of the term. Of the Fathers, S. Jerome notices the doubt, and decides it in favour of the term: "Since," he says, "Wisdom in the Proverbs of Solomon speaks of Herself as created a beginning of the ways of God, and many through fear lest they should be obliged to call Christ a creature, deny the whole mystery of Christ, and say that not Christ, but the world's wisdom is meant by this Wisdom, we freely declare, that there is no hazard in calling Him creature, whom we confess with all the confidence of our hope to be 'worm,' and 'man,' and 'crucified,' and 'curse.'" In Eph. ii. 10. He is supported by Athan. Orat. ii. § 46. Ep. Æg. 17. Expos. F. 4 (perhaps), Serap. ii. 8, fin. Naz. Orat. 30. 2 fin. 38. 13. Nyss. in Cant. Hom. 13, t. i. p. 663, init. Cyr. Hom. Pasch. 17, p. 233. Max. Mart. t. 2, p. 265. Damasc. F. O. iii. 3. Hil. de Trin. xii. 48. Ambros. Psalm. 118. Serm. 5, 25. August. Ep. 187, n. 8. Leon. Serm. 77, 2. Greg. Mor. v. 63. The principal authority on the other side is S. Epiphanius, who ends his argument with the words, "The Holy Church of God worships not a creature, but the Son, who is {301} begotten, Father in Son," &c. Hær. 69, 36. And S. Proclus too speaks of the child of the Virgin as being "Him who is worshipped, not the creature," Orat. v. fin.

On the whole it would appear, (1.) that if "creature," like "Son," be a personal term, then He is not a creature; but if it be a word of (human) nature, He is a creature; (2.) that our Lord is a creature in respect to the flesh (vid. Orat. ii. § 47); (3.) that since the flesh is infinitely beneath His divinity, it is neither natural nor safe to call Him a creature, (according to St. Thomas's example, "non dicimus, quod Æthiops est albus, sed quod est albus secundum dentes"); and (4.) that if the flesh is worshipped, still it is worshipped as in the Person of the Son, not by a separate act of worship. "A creature worship not we," says Athan., "perish the thought ... but we worship the Lord of creation made flesh, the Word of God; for though the flesh in itself be a part of creation, yet it has become God's body ... who so senseless as to say to the Lord, Remove Thyself out of the body, that I may worship Thee?" ad Adelph. 3. Epiphanius has imitated this passage, Ancor. 51, introducing the illustration of a king and his robe, &c.

And hence Athanasius says, Orat. ii. § 47, that though our Lord's flesh is created, or He is created as to the flesh, it is not right to call Him a creature. This is very much what S. Thomas says above, that "Æthiops, abbus secundum dentes," not "est albus." But why may not our Lord be so called upon the principle of the communicatio Idiomatum, (vid. infr. p. {302} 367) as He is said to be born of a Virgin, to have suffered, &c.? The reason is this:—birth, passion, &c., confessedly belong to His human nature, without adding "according to the flesh;" but "creature," not implying humanity, might appear a simple attribute of His Person, if used without limitation. Thus, as S. Thomas adds, though we may not absolutely say "Æthiops iste albus," we may say "crispus est," or in like manner, "he is bald;" since "crispus," or "bald," can but refer to the hair. Still more does this remark apply in the case of "Sonship," which is a personal attribute altogether; as is proved, says Petav. de Incarn. vii. 6, fin. by the instance of Adam, who was in all respects a man like Seth, yet not a son. Accordingly, we may not call our Lord, even according to the manhood, an adopted Son.

6. In like manner we cannot call our Lord a servant.

"The assumption of the flesh did not make of the Word a servant," says Athan. Orat. ii. § 14. [ouk edoulou ton logon], though, as he said, Orat. ii. § 11, the Word became a servant, as far as He was man. He says the same thing, Ep. Æg. 17. So say Naz. Orat. 32. 18. Nyssen. ad Simpl. (t. 2, p. 471). Cyril. Alex. adv. Theodor. p. 223. Hilar. de Trin. xi. 13, 14. Ambros. 1. Epp. 46, 3. Athan. however seems to modify the statement when he says, Orat. ii. § 50, "Not that He was servant, but because He took a servant's form." Theodoret also denies it, Eran. ii. fin. And Damasc. F. O. iii. 21, who says that our Lord "took on Him an ignorant and servile nature," but "that we may not call Him servant," though "the flesh is servile, {303} had it not been united to God the Word." The parallel question of ignorance, here touched upon, has come under our notice already, vid. art. Ignorance. The latter view prevailed after the heresy of the Adoptionists, who seem to have made "servant" synonymous with "adopted son." Petavius, Incarn. vii. 9, distinguishes between the essence or (what is called) actus primus and the actus secundus; thus water may be considered in its nature cold, though certain springs are in fact always warm. {304}

Spirit of God

THOUGH the Catholic doctrine of the Holy Trinity and the characteristics of the Three Persons have been taught from the first, there have been in the Church certain difficulties in determining what passages of Scripture belong to Each, what are the limits of Their respective offices, and what are the terms under which those offices and the acts of those offices are to be expressed. Thus the word "Spirit," if the Fathers are to be our expositors, sometimes means Almighty God, without distinction of Persons, sometimes the Son, and sometimes and more commonly the Holy Ghost. And, while the Son and Spirit divide, so to speak, the economy and mission of mercy between Them, it is not always clear how the line of division runs, and in what cases there is no assignable line.

It is with a view to remove some portion of this difficulty that Athan. observes, Serap. i. 4-7, that the Holy Ghost is never in Scripture called simply "Spirit" without the addition "of God," or "of the Father," or "from Me," or of the article, or of "Holy," or "The Paraclete," or "of truth," or unless He has been spoken of just before. This rule, however, goes but a little way to remove the difficulty, as it exists in fact. One important class of questions is suggested at once by the Holy Ghost being another Paraclete, which {305} implies that that office is common to Him and the Son. It is hence, I suppose, that in St. Paul's words, "[ho kurios to pneuma estin]," 2 Cor. iii. 17, Spirit is understood of the Third Divine Person by Origen. c. Cels. vi. 70. Basil de Spir. S. n. 52. Pseudo-Athan. Comm. Ess. 6. But there are more important instances than this. "Spirit" is used more or less distinctly of our Lord's divine nature, whether in itself or as incarnate, in John vi. 64, Rom. i. 4, 1 Cor. xv. 45, 1 Tim. iii. 16, Hebr. ix. 14, 1 Pet. iii. 18, &c. Indeed, the early Fathers speak as if the "Holy Ghost" which came down on Mary might be considered the Word, e.g. Tertullian against the Valentinians, "If the Spirit of God did not descend into the womb to partake in flesh from the womb, why did He descend at all?" de Carn. Chr. 19. vid. also ibid. 5 and 14. contr. Prax. 26. Just. Apol. i. 33. Iren. Hær. v. 1. Cypr. Idol. Van. 6. (p. 19, Oxf. Tr.) Lactant. Instit. iv. 12. vid.also Hilar. Trin. ii. 26. Athan. [logos en toi pneumati eplatte to soma]. Serap. i. 31, fin. [en toi logoi en to pneuma]. ibid. iii. 6. And more distinctly even as late as S. Maximus, [auton, anti sporas sullabousa ton logon, kekueke]. t. 2, p. 309. The earliest ecclesiastical authorities are S. Ignatius ad Smyrn. init. and S. Hermas (even though his date were A.D. 150), who also says plainly, "Filius autem Spiritus Sanctus est." Past. iii. 5, n. 5. The same use of "Spirit" for the Word or Godhead of the Word is also found in Tatian. adv. Græc. 7. Athenag. Leg. 10. Theoph. ad Autol. ii. 10. Tertull. Apol. 23. Lact. Inst. iv. 6, 8. Hilar. Trin. ix. 3 and 14. Eustath. apud Theod. Eran. iii. p. 235. {306} Athan. de Incarn. 22 (if it be Athanasius's), contr. Apol. i. 8. Apollinar. ap. Theod. Eran. i. p. 71, and the Apollinarists passim. Greg. Naz. Ep. 101. ad Cledon. p. 85. Ambros. Incarn. 63. Severian. ap. Theod. Eran. ii. p. 167. Vid. Grot. ad Marc. ii. 8. Bull. Def. F. N. i. 2, § 5. Coustant. Præf. in Hilar. 57, &c. Montfaucon in Athan. Serap. iv. 19.

Phœbadius too, in his remarks on 2nd Confession of Sirmium (the "blasphemia"), supr. vol. i. p. 116 note, in condemning the clause, "Hominem suscepisse per quem compassus est," as implying that our Lord's higher nature was not divine, but of the nature of a soul, uses the word "spiritus" in the sense of Hilary and the Ante-Nicene Fathers. "Impassibilis Deus," he says, "quia Deus Spiritus ... non ergo passibilis Dei Spiritus, licet in homine suo passus."

Again, Athan. says that our Lord's Godhead was the immediate anointing or chrism of the manhood He assumed. "God needed not the anointing, nor was the anointing made without God; but God both applied it, and also received it in that body which was capable of it." in Apollin. ii. 3. and [to chrisma ego ho logos, to de christhen hup' emou ho anthropos]. Orat. iv. § 36. vid. Origen. Periarch. ii. 6. n. 4. And S. Greg. Naz. still more expressly, and from the same text as Athan., "The Father anointed Him 'with the oil of gladness above His fellows,' anointing the manhood with the Godhead." Orat. 10. fin. Again, "This [the Godhead] is the anointing of the manhood, not sanctifying by an energy as the other Christs [anointed ones], but by a presence of that Whole who anointed, [holou tou chriontos]; {307} whence it came to pass that what anointed was called man, and what was anointed was made God." Orat. 30. 20. "He Himself anointed Himself; anointing as God the body with his Godhead, and anointed as man." Damasc. F. O. iii. 3. "Dei Filius, sicut pluvia in velbus, toto divinitatis unguento nostram se fudit in carnem." Chrysolog. Serm. 60. It is more common, however, to consider that the anointing was the descent of the Spirit, as Athan. says, Orat. i. § 47, according to Luke iv. 18. Acts x. 38.

Again, in explaining Matt. xii. 32, "Quicunque dixerit verbum contra Filium," &c., he considers our Lord to contrast the Holy Ghost with His own humanity, vid. Orat. i. § 50, but he gives other expositions in Serap. iv. 6, vid. supr. art. Scripture Passages, No. 11.

"The Spirit is God's gift," says Athan., [theou doron], Orat. ii. § 18. And so S. Basil, [doron tou theou to pneuma]. de Sp. S. 57, and more frequently the later Latins, as in the Hymn, "Altissimi Donum Dei;" also the earlier, e.g. Hil. de Trin. ii. 29, and August. Trin. xv. n. 29, who makes it a personal characteristic of the Third Person in the Holy Trinity: "non dicitur Verbum Dei, nisi Filius, nec Donum Dei, nisi Spiritus Sanctus." And elsewhere, "Exiit, non quomodo natus, sed quomodo datus, et ideo non dicitur Filius." ibid. v. 15, making it, as Petavius observes, His eternal property, "ut sic procedat, tanquam donabile," as being Love. Trin. vii. 13, § 20.

It was an expedient of the Macedonians to deny that the Holy Spirit was God because it was not usual {308} to call Him Ingenerate; and perhaps to their form of heresy, which was always implied in Arianism, and which began to show itself formally among the Semi-Arians ten years later, the Sirmian anathematism may be traced: "Whoso speaking of the Holy Ghost as Paraclete, shall speak of the Ingenerate God," &c., supr. vol. i. p. 113. They asked the Catholics whether the Holy Spirit was Ingenerate, generate, or created, for into these three they divided all things. vid. Basil. in Sabell. et Ar. Hom. xxiv. 6. But, as the Arians had first made the alternative only between Ingenerate and created, and Athan. de Decr. § 28, supr. vol. i. p. 50, shows that generate is a third idea really distinct from one and the other, so S. Greg. Naz. adds proceeding, [ekporeuton], as an intermediate idea, contrasted with Ingenerate, yet distinct from generate. Orat. xxxi. 8. In other words, Ingenerate means, not only not generate, but not from any origin. vid. August. de Trin. xv. n. 47, 8.

"If the Word be not from God," says Athan., "reasonably might they deny Him to be Son; but if He is from God, how see they not that what exists from any, is the son of that from whom it is?" Orat. iv. § 15. In consequence it is a very difficult question in theology, why the Holy Spirit is not called a "Son," and His procession "generation." This was an objection of the Arians, vid. ad Serap. i. 15-17, and Athan. only answers it by denying that we may speculate. Other writers apply, as in other cases, the theological language of the Church to a solution of this question. It is carefully discussed in Petav. Trin. vii. 13, 14.

As the Arians objected, Orat. i. § 14, that the {309} First and Second Persons of the Holy Trinity ought to be considered brothers, [adelphoi], so, in the course of the controversy, did they say the same as to the Second and Third. vid. Serap. i. § 15. iv. 2.

"Is the Holy Spirit one," says Athan., "and the Paraclete another, and the Paraclete the later, as not mentioned in the Old Testament?" Orat. iv. § 29. A heresy of this kind is actually noticed by Origen, viz. of those "qui Spiritum Sanctum alium quidem dicant esse qui fuit in Prophetis, alium autem qui fuit in Apostolis Domini nostri Jesu Christi." In Tit. t. 4, p. 695. Hence in the Creed, "who spake by the prophets;" and hence the frequent epithet given by S. Justin to the Holy Spirit of [prophetikon]; e.g. when speaking of baptism, Apol. i. 61, fin. Also Ap. i. 6, 13. Tryph. 49. On the other hand, he calls the Spirit of the Prophets "the Holy Spirit," e.g. Tryph. 54, 61. Vid. supr. art. Coinherence. {310}


THEOGNOSTUS was Master of the Catechetical school of Alexandria towards the end of the 3rd century, being a scholar, or at least a follower, of Origen. He is quoted by Athanasius, as being one of those theologians who, before the Council of Nicæa, taught that the [ousia] of the Son was not created, but from the [ousia] of the Father. Athan. calls him a "learned man," Decr. § 25, and "the admirable and excellent," Serap. iv. 9. His seven books of Hypotyposes treated of the Holy Trinity, of angels, and evil spirits, of the Incarnation, and the Creation. Photius, who gives this account, Cod. 106, accuses him of heterodoxy on these points; which Athanasius in a measure admits, as far as the wording of his treatise went, speaking of his "investigating by way of exercise." Eusebius does not; mention him at all. {311}


"SEE," says Athanasius, "we are proving that this view has been transmitted from Fathers to Fathers; but ye, O modern Jews and disciples of Caiaphas, whom can ye assign as Fathers to your phrases? Not one of the understanding and wise, (for all abhor you,) but the devil alone; none but he is your father in this apostasy, who both in the beginning scattered on you the seed of this irreligion, and now persuades you to slander the Ecumenical Council for committing to writing, not your doctrines, but that which 'from the beginning those who were eye-witnesses and ministers of the Word' have handed down to us. For the faith which the Council has confessed in writing, that is the faith of the Catholic Church; to assert this, the blessed Fathers so expressed themselves while condemning the Arian heresy; and this is a chief reason why these men apply themselves to calumniate the Council. For it is not the terms which trouble them, but that those terms prove them to be heretics, and presumptuous beyond other heresies." Decr. § 27.

Elsewhere he speaks of the Arians "forcing on the divine oracles a misinterpretation according to their own private sense," Orat. i. § 37, and cries out, "Who heard in his first catechisings that God had a Son, without understanding it in our sense? who, on the {312} rise of this odious heresy, was not at once startled at what he heard as being strange to him?" Orat. ii. § 34.

For parallel passages from Athan. and many others, vid. arts. on Definitions, Heretics, Private Judgment, Rule of Faith, and Scripture. From these it would appear that the two main sources of Revelation are Scripture and Tradition; that these constitute one Rule of Faith, and that, sometimes as a composite rule, sometimes as a double and co-ordinate, sometimes as an alternative, under the magisterium, of course, of the Church, and without an appeal to the private judgment of individuals.

These articles, too, effectually refute the hypothesis of some Protestants, who, to destroy the force of the evidence in favour of our doctrine of Tradition, wish to maintain that by Tradition then was commonly meant Scripture; and that when the Fathers speak of "Evangelical Tradition" they mean the Gospels, and when they speak of "Apostolical" they mean the Epistles. This will not hold, and it may be right, perhaps, here to refer to several passages in illustration.

For instance, Irenæus says, "Polycarp, ... whom we have seen in our first youth, ... was taught those lessons which he learned from the Apostles, which the Church also transmits, which alone are true. All the Churches of Asia bear witness to them; and the successors of Polycarp, down to this day, who is a much more trustworthy and sure witness of truth than Valentinus," &c. Hær. iii. 3, § 4. Here is not a word about Scripture, not a hint that by "transmission" and "succession" Scripture is meant. And {313} so Irenæus continues, contrasting "Traditio quæ est ab Apostolis" with Scripture: "Neque Scripturis neque Traditioni consentire;" "Apostolicam Ecclesiæ Traditionem;" "veterem Apostolorum Traditionem." Again, Theodoret says that the word [theotokos] was used, [kata ten apostoliken paradosin]; and no one would say that [theotokos] was in Scripture. Hær. iv. 12. And S. Basil contrasts [ta ek tes engraphou didaskalias] with [ta ek tes ton apostolon paradoseos], de Sp. S. n. 66. Presently he speaks of [oute tes theopneustou graphes, oute ton apostolikon paradoseon]. n. 77. Origen speaks of a dogma, [oute paradidomenon hypo ton apostolon, oute emphainomenon pou ton graphon]. Tom. in Matth. xiii. 1. Vid. also in Tit. t. 4, p. 696, and Periarchon. præf. 2, and Euseb. Hist v. 23. So in S. Athanasius (de Synod. 21, fin.) we read of "the Apostolical Tradition and teaching which is acknowledged by all;" and soon after, of a believing conformably [tei euangelikei kai apostolikei paradosei]." § 23, init. where [paradosis] means doctrine, not books, for the Greek would run [tei euang. kai tei apost.] were the Gospels and Epistles intended. (Thus S. Leo, "secundum evangelicam apostolicamque doctrinam," Ep. 124, 1.) And he makes [he euangelike paradosis] and [he ekklesiastike par.] synonymous. Cf. Athan. contr. Apoll. i. 22, with ad Adelph. 2, init. In like manner, Neander speaks of two kinds of so-called Apostolical Traditions, doctrinal and ecclesiastical, Eccl. Hist. vol. ii. p. 333, transl. And Le Moyne considers the Apostolical Tradition of S. Hippolytus to be what S. Irenæus means by it, doctrine, as distinct from Scripture. Var. Sacr. t. 2, p. 1062. Vid. {314} also Pearson, Vindic. Ignat. i. 4, circ. fin. In like manner, S. Augustine contrasts Apostolical Tradition with writings, de Bapt. contr. Don. ii. 7, v. 23, and he calls Infant Baptism an Apostolical Tradition. De Peccat. Mer. i. 26. And S. Cyprian speaks of, not only wine, but the mixed Cup in the Holy Eucharist, as an "Evangelical truth" and "tradition of the Lord." Epist. 63. 14, 15.

Some instances indeed may be found in the Fathers of Scripture considered as a kind of Tradition, which it is: but these do not serve to make an unnatural (or rather an impossible) interpretation imperative in the case of such passages as the above. E.g. Athan. says, "The Apostolical Tradition teaches, blessed Peter saying, &c., and Paul writing," &c. Adelph. 6. Suicer refers to Greg. Nys. de Virg. xi. fin. Cyril in Is. lxvi. 5, p. 909. Balsamon, ad Can. vi. Nic. 2, Cyprian, Ep. 74, &c.

[Contributed by Dan Meardon, Cary, NC, USA]


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