{377} A TITLE of the Arians. “The dumb ass forbade the madness of the prophet,” [paraphronian]. On the word [Areiomanitai], Gibbon observes, “The ordinary appellation with which Athanasius and his followers chose to compliment the Arians, was that of Ariomanites,” ch. xxi. note 61. Rather, the name originally was a state title, enjoined by Constantine, vid. Petav. de Trin. i. 8 fin. Naz. Orat. 43. 30, p. 794, note e., and thenceforth used by the general Church, e.g. Eustathius of Antioch, ap. Theod. Hist. i. 7. Constant. ap. Concil. t. i. p. 456. Hilar. de Trin. vii. n. 7, note. Julius ap. Athan. Apol. c. Ar. 23. Council of Egypt, ibid. 77, vid. also 6. Phœbadius contr. Arian. 22. Epiph. Hær. 69, 19. ([ho maniodes Areios].) Greg. Naz. Orat. 2. 37, [ten Areiou kalos onomastheisan manian], and so [ho tes manias eponumos], Orat. 43. 30, vid. also Orat. 20. 5; and so Proclus, [ten Areiou manian], ad Armen. p. 618 fin. And Athan. e.g. [manian diabolou], ad Serap. i. 1; also ad Serap. i. 17 fin. 19 init. 20, 24, 29. ii. 1 fin. iv. 5 init. 6 fin. 15 fin. 16 fin. In some of these the denial of the divinity of the Holy Ghost is the madness. In like manner Hilary speaks continually of their “furor,” de Trin. i. 17.

Several meanings are implied in this title; the real reason for it was the fanatical fury with which it {378} spread and maintained itself; (cf. on the other hand, [ho manikos erastes tou christou], enthusiastic. Chrysost. in Esai. vi. 1. Hom. iv. 3, t. 6, p. 124.) Thus Athan. contrasts the Arian hatred of the truth with the mere worldliness of the Meletians, Ep. Æg. 22. Hence they are [asebeis, christomachoi], and governed by [kakonoia] and [kakophrosune].

Again, Socrates speaks of it as a flame which ravaged, [epenemeto], provinces and cities. i. 6. And Alexander cries out, [o anosiou tuphou kai ametrou manias]. Theod. Hist. i. 3, p. 741. vid. also pp. 735, 6. 747. And we read much of their eager spirit of proselytism. Theod. ibid. The word mania may be taken to express one aspect of it in English. Their cruelty came into this idea of their “mania;” hence Athan. in one place calls the Arian women, in the tumult under George of Cappadocia, Mœnades. “They, running up and down like Bacchantes and furies, [mainades kai erinnues], thought it a misfortune not to find opportunity for injury, and passed that day in grief in which they could do no harm.” Hist. Arian. 59. Also, “profana Arianorum novitas velut quædam Bellona aut Furia.” Vincent. Common. 4. Eustathius speaks of [hoi paradoxoi tes areiou thumeles mesochoroi]. ap. Phot. 225, p. 759. And hence the strange paronomasia of Constantine, [Ares, areie], with an allusion to Hom. Il. v. 31.

A second reason, or rather sense, of the appellation was what is noted supr. art. [alogia], that, denying the Word, they have forfeited the gift of reason, e.g. [ton Areiomaniton ten alogian]. de Sent. {379} Dion. init. vid. ibid. 24 fin. Orat. ii. § 32. iii. § 63 throughout. Hence in like manner Athan. speaks of the heathen as mad who did not acknowledge God and His Word. contr. Gent. fin., also 23 fin. Hence he speaks of [eidolomania]. contr. Gent. 10, and 21 fin. Again, Incarn. 47, he speaks of the mania of oracles, which belongs rather to the former sense of the word.

Other heresies had the word mania applied to them, e.g. that of Valentinus, Athan. Orat. ii. § 70, [kain mainetai]. Epiphanius speaks of the [emmanes didaskalia] of the Noetians. Hær. 57, 2. Nazianzen contrasts the sickness, [nosos], of Sabellius with the madness of Arius, Orat. 20. 5; but Athan. says, [mainetai men Areios, mainetai de Sabellios], Orat. iv. 25. Manes also was called mad: “Thou must hate all heretics, but especially him who even in name is a maniac.” Cyril. Catech. vi. 20. vid. also ibid. 24 fin.—a play upon the name. But this note might be prolonged indefinitely. {380}


First principle or the beginning. This is a term employed both in expounding the doctrine of the Holy Trinity and in that of the Incarnation. For its employment in the former of these, vid. supr. art. Father Almighty. As to the second, it expresses the great providential office of the Second Person towards the universe, spiritual and material, which He has created. The creature, as such, is insufficient for itself; and He, who gave it being, gives it also a grace above its nature to enable it to use and enjoy that being well and happily. Nor is it a mere gift of power or health, as a quality, but it is the very Presence of the Word, the Second Person of the Blessed Trinity, in the creature, of which Presence a certain perfection of being and a continuous life is the result. A still more wonderful dispensation or Economy is revealed to us pre-eminently in the Gospel, vid. Deification, Grace, Sanctification, Indwelling, &c.; but such a gift above nature has been and is exercised in the first instance towards the material and Angelic world, and the title given to the Word in exercising this high Providential office is that of [arche]. Vid. also arts. [akratos, sunkatabasis, prototokos].

This office of the Word, it is plain, commences from the first moment of creation, and in its very nature implies divinity. It is spoken of in Scripture, viz. in {381} the Proverbs,—“Dominus possedit Me in initio viarum suarum;” a passage to which the Arians appealed in the controversy more than to any other place in Scripture. It is in refutation of their arguments that Athan. introduces his own grand dissertation upon the sense of [arche]. The Arians interpreted it as meaning that the Personal Word and Son of God was the work with which creation commenced, that is, He was the first creature. Athan. lays it down that He was not the beginning in the sense of being the first of the whole number of creatures, but as heading the creation of God. He could not have been the first of all, if He had been one of all. As being an efficax initium, or an initium that initiates, He is more than a beginning; He is a cause: He could not initiate, unless He were divine. He entered creation by an act of condescension, in order to associate it with His own greatness. Vid. Orat. ii. § 49. And ibid. § 60, “He who is before all is not a beginning of all, but is other than all.” Yet again, He is a beginning, because He begins the beginning.

In this there is an analogy to the circumstances of His Incarnation. His inhabiting and vivifying the creation implies attributes of the Supreme Being: He could not be by office [prototokos] (first-born) without first being [monogenes] (only-begotten); and in like manner in the Gospel He is able to stoop to be our Mediator, and to be a Priest making atonement for us, and to be our Brother gaining blessings for us, because, though man, He is more than mere man. vid. Priesthood. Such is the force, as Athan. says, {382} of the “wherefore” in Ps. xliv.; because He is by nature God, therefore He was able to be exalted as Mediator.

In consequence of this close analogy between the circumstances of Creation and Redemption, our Lord is called [arche] by Athan. in both dispensations. There is an initial grace necessary for the redeemed, if they are to partake of the redemption, as well as for their having their place in creation. Vid. the passages quoted under Spiritual Freedom. {383}

The [Atreptos]

THAT is, of a nature capable of change in ethical character. Arius maintained this of our Lord in the strongest terms in the earlier statements of his heresy. “On being asked (says Alexander) whether the Word of God is capable of altering, as the devil altered, they scrupled not to say, 'Yes, He is capable.'” Socr. i. 6. vid. the anathema at Sirmium on those who said [ton logon tropen hypomemenekota] supr. vol. i. p. 111, note 4.

It was indeed difficult, with their opinions, to exclude the notion that change of some kind belonged to Him; nay, that He was not only in nature [treptos], but in fact [alloioumenos]. (vid. Decr. § 23. Orat. ii. § 6.) It would be strange if they stopped short of this, as soon as they came to hold that our Lord’s superhuman nature took the place of a soul, and was dependent on the body; and they scarcely would encumber themselves with the mystery of a double [hegemonikon], when they had thrown aside the “mysterium pietatis.” This they seem to have done even in S. Athanasius’s lifetime; for he speaks of them in contr. Apoll. i. 15, as supposing that the Saviour took flesh only, and thus imputing suffering to the impassible Godhead. Vid. also Ambros. de Fid. iii. n. 38. Also an assumption of this tenet seems involved (vid. Macrostich 6) in the {384} ground assigned for condemning the Sabellians. vid. supr. vol. i. p. 106.

This tenet was the connecting point between Arians and Apollinarians. Both held that our Lord was a sort of man made up of a divine being and what resembles a creature, and what Athan. and other Fathers say against the Apollinarians serves against the Arians also. [Atreptos menon], &c., he says, Orat. ii. § 6, against the Arians, and so against Apollinaris he says, [ho logos anthropos gegone, menon theos]. ii. 7: vid. also ibid. 3 circ. init. So [ho men en, diemeinen; ho de ouk en, proselaben]. Naz. Orat. 29. 19. [ousia menousa hoper esti]. Chrysost. ap. Theodor. Eran. p. 47. [ho en emeine di' heauton, kai ho ethelese gegone di' hemas]. Procl. ad Arm. Ep. ii. p. 615, ed. 1630. vid. also Maxim. Opp. t. 2, ed. 1675. [hoper en diamenon, kai genomenos hoper ouk en]. p. 286. vid. also p. 264. “Manens id quod erat, factus quod non erat.” August. cons. Ev. i. n. 53 fin. “Non omiserat quod erat, sed cœperat esse quod non erat.” Hilar. Trin. iii. 16. “Non amittendo quod suum erat, sed suscipiendo quod nostrum erat.” Vigil. contr. Eut. i. 13, p. 498, (Bibl. P. ed. 1624,) and so Leo. {385}

[Boule, kata boulesin]

ONE of the arguments, on which the Arians laid most stress in controversy, was the received doctrine, as it may be considered, that our Lord’s gennesis was [kata to boulema] of the Father. Athanasius says that the doctrine is not only heretical in its application, but in its source, though still not necessarily heretical, viewed in itself. “The phrase,” he says, “is from the heretics, and the words of heretics are suspicious.” Orat. iii. § 59, supr. vol i. p. 192; and in corroboration he might allege various heterodox writers. E.g. of these, Tatian had said [thelemati propedai ho logos]. Gent. 5. Tertullian had said, “Ut primum voluit Deus ea edere, ipsum primum protulit Sermonem.” adv. Prax. 6. Novatian, “Ex quo, quando ipse voluit, Sermo filius natus est.” de Trin. 31. And Constit. Apost. [ton pro aionon eudokiai tou patros gennethenta]. vii. 41. Also Pseudo-Clem. “Genuit Deus voluntate præcedente.” Recognit. iii. 10. And Eusebius, [kata gnomen kai proairesin bouletheis ho theos] and [ek tes tou patros boules kai dunameos]. Dem. iv. 3. Arius, course, [thelemati kai boulei hypeste], ap. Theod. Hist. i. 4, p. 750, and supr. vol. i. p. 84, Arius’s Creed.

This is true, but far higher authorities can be cited in favour of the phrase, so that Athan. feels it necessary to guard and soften his adverse judgment upon it. Hence he says, “If any orthodox believer were to use these {386} words in simplicity, there would be no cause to be suspicious of them, the orthodox intention prevailing over that somewhat simple use of words.” Orat. iii. § 59 (as supra). And, “Had these expositions of theirs proceeded from the great confessor Hosius, Maximinus, Philogonius, Eustathius, Julius,” &c. &c. Ep. Æg. 8. But, after all, his admissions in favour of the phrase do not go far enough, as the following specimens of the use of it will show:—

S. Ignatius speaks of our Lord as “Son of God according to the will ([thelema]) and power of God.” ad. Smyrn. 1. S. Justin as “God and Son according to His will, [boulen],” Tryph. 127; and “begotten from the Father at His will, [thelesei],” ibid. 61; and he says, [dunamei kai boulei autou], ibid. 128. S. Clement, “issuing from the Father’s will itself quicker than light.” Gent. 10 fin. S. Hippolytus, “Whom God the Father, having willed, [bouletheis], begat as He willed, [hos ethelesen].” contr. Noet. 16. Origen, [ek thelematos]. ap. Justin ad Menn. (in Concil. Const. ii. p. 274, Hard.) vid. also “cum filius charitatis etiam voluntatis.” Periarch. iv. 28.

But what is more to the purpose still, Athan. uses the phrase himself, and thereby necessarily sanctions the doctrine which it represents, in one passage in his Discourses, viz. in Orat. iii. § 31. “Our Lord was ever God,” he says, “and hallowed those to whom He came, arranging all things [kata to boulema tou patros].” And similarly he says, “Men came into being through the Word, [hote autos ho pater ethelese].” Orat. i. § 63.

Now let us consider what the argument was which {387} the Arians founded on this phrase, and how it was to be refuted.

They threw it into the form of a dilemma thus: “Was our Lord’s gennesis with or without the Father’s will? If with, then He who willed the Son’s existence, could have not willed it, or could unwill it now; if without, then it is the blind action of some unknown cause or fate, not the act of the Living Almighty God.” If the first of these alternatives was accepted, then followed two conclusions, both contradictory of our Lord’s divinity. “God is self-existent; but a son depends on his father’s will:—God is eternal; but a son is posterior to his father’s will. For both reasons the Son is not God.” If the second alternative is taken, then Necessity is sovereign, and God ceases to be.

This reasoning, which in the first instance they applied to our Lord’s gennesis, they proceeded to apply to all His divine acts also. As He was a being depending for His being, life, and powers on the will of the Supreme God, His Maker, so His great works in creation, conservation, and moral governance, in redemption and sanctification, were all done in obedience to definite commands and fiats of His Almighty Father.

Such was the Arian argument, yet it was not very difficult to expose its fallacy, while admitting the [kata to boulema] to be orthodox; and one can only suppose that Athan. in fact found Catholics perplexed and disturbed by the use the Arians made of it, and felt tender towards those who were not clear-headed. It was scarcely more than another form of the original objection {388} that a son must be posterior to his father, as if the conditions of time existed in eternity. “Sooner” and “later” imply succession, and vanish when time is no longer. It is customary to lay down that with Omnipotence to say is to do: “He spake and it was done;” and if in creation, which is a work in time, to determine and to effect is one act, how much more really is succession as regards His own nature foreign to the Ancient of days, who is at once the Alpha and Omega, the Begining and the End! Then as to the alternative of the Divine acts being subject to necessity or fate, it is obvious to ask whether the Supreme Being is not good and just, omnipotent, and all-blessed, [kata to boulema], yet could He change His nature? could He make virtue vice, and vice virtue? If He cannot destroy Himself, and would not be God if He could or would, why should He cease to be God, if He cannot be, nor can will to be, without a Son? Such thoughts are as profane as they are unmeaning; and in the presence of them, Athanasius begs God to pardon him, if his Arian opponents force him to entertain them.

The gennesis, he says, belongs to the Divine Nature, as the Divine Attributes do, and, as we cannot explain why and how the moral law is what it is, so neither can we understand how Father and Son are what They are. “They say,” he observes, “'Unless the Son has by the Father’s will come into being, it follows that the Father had a Son of necessity and against His good pleasure.' Who is it who imposes necessity on Him? ... What is contrary to will they see; but what is greater and transcends it, has escaped their perception. {389} For, as what is besides purpose is contrary to will, so what is according to nature transcends and precedes counselling ... The Son is not external to the Father, wherefore neither does [the Father] counsel concerning Him, lest He appear to counsel about Himself. As far then as the Son transcends the creature, by so much does what is by nature in God transcend the will ... For let them tell us, that God is good and merciful, does this attach to Him by will or not? if by will, we must consider that He began to be good, and that His not being good is possible ... Moreover, the Father Himself, does He exist, first having counselled, then being pleased, to exist, or before counselling?” Orat. iii. § 62, 63, supr. vol. i. p. 197.

Thus he makes the question a nugatory one, as if it did not go to the point, and could not be answered, or might be answered either way, as the case might be. Really Nature and Will go together in the Divine Being, but in order, as we regard Him, Nature is first, Will second, and the generation belongs to Nature, not to Will. He says, “Whereas they deny what is by nature, do they not blush to place before it what is by will? If they attribute to God the willing about things which are not, why recognise they not what in God lies above the will? Now it is a something that surpasses will that He should exist by nature, and should be Father of His proper Word.” Orat. ii. § 2. In like manner S. Epiphanius: “He begat Him neither willing, [thelon], nor not willing, but in nature, which is above will, [boulen]. For He has the nature of the Godhead, neither needing will, nor acting without {390} will.” Hær. 69, 26. vid. also Ancor. 51, and Ambros. de Fid. iv. 4. Vid. others, as collected in Petav. Trin. vi. 8, § 14-16.

It would seem then that the phrase “by the Father’s will,” is only objectionable, as giving rise to interpretations erroneous and dangerous. vid. Decr. § 18. Hence Athan. says, “It is all one to say 'at will,' and 'once He was not.'” Orat. iii. § 61. But as this needed not be the interpretation of the phrase, and it is well to keep to what has been received, therefore as the earlier Fathers had used it, so did those who came after Arius. Thus Nyssen in the passage in contr. Eun. vii. referred to lower down. And S. Hilary, “Nativitatis perfecta natura est, ut qui ex substantiâ Dei natus est, etiam ex consilio ejus et voluntate nascatur.” Hilar. Syn. 37. The same Father says, “charitate Patris et virtute,” in Psalm. xci. 8, and “ut voluit qui potuit, ut scit qui genuit.” Trin. iii. 4. And he addresses Him as “non invidum bonorum tuorum in Unigeniti tui nativitate.” ibid. vi. 21. S. Basil too speaks of our Lord as [autozoen kai autoagathon], “from the quickening Fountain, the Father’s goodness, [agathotetos].” contr. Eun. ii. 25. And Cæsarius calls the Son [agapen patros]. Quæst. 39. Vid. Ephrem. Syr. adv. Scrut. R. vi. 1, Oxf. Trans. and note there. Maximus Taurin. says, that God is “per omnipotentiam Pater.” Hom. de Trad. Symb. p. 270, ed. 1784. vid. also Chrysol. Serm. 61. Ambros. de Fid. iv. 8. Petavius in addition refers to such passages as one just quoted from S. Hilary, speaking of God as not “invidus,” so as not to communicate Himself, since He was able. “Si {391} non potuit, infirmus; si noluit, invidus.” August. contr. Maxim. ii. 7.

Hence, in order to secure the phrase from an heretical tendency, the Fathers adopted two safeguards, both of which are recognised by Athanasius. (1) As regards the relation between the [boulema] and the [gennesis], they made a distinction between the [boule proegoumene] and the [sundromos], the precedent and the concomitant will; and (2) as to the relation between the [boulema] and creation &c., they took care that the Son Himself should be called the [boule] or [boulema] of the Father. vid. supr. Mediation, p. 220.

(1) As to the precedent will, which Athan. notices, Orat. iii. § 60, supr. vol. i. p. 192 &c., it has been mentioned in Recogn. Clem. supr. p. 385. For Ptolemy vid. Epiph. Hær. p. 215. Those Catholics who allowed that our Lord was [thelesei], explained it as a [sundromos thelesis], and not a [proegoumene]; as Cyril. Trin. ii. p. 450. And with the same meaning S. Ambrose, “nec voluntas ante Filium nec potestas.” de Fid. v. n. 224. And S. Gregory Nyssen, “His immediate union, [amesos sunapheia], does not exclude the Father’s will, [boulesin], nor does that will separate the Son from the Father.” contr. Eunom. vii. p. 206, 7. vid. the whole passage. The alternative which these words, [sundromos] and [proegoumene] expressed was this: whether an act of Divine Purpose or Will took place before the gennesis of the Son, or whether both the Will and the gennesis were eternal, as the Divine Nature was eternal. Hence Bull says, with the view of exculpating Novatian, “Cum Filius dicitur ex Patre, quando ipse voluit, nasci, velle illud {392} Patris æternum fuisse intelligendum,” Defens. F. N. iii. 8, § 8, though Novatian’s word quando is against this interpretation.

Two distinct meanings may be attached to “by will,” (as Dr. Clarke observes, Script. Doct. vol. iv. p. 142, ed. 1738,) either a concurrence or acquiescence, or a positive act. S. Cyril uses it in the former sense, when he calls it [sundromos], as referred to above; in the latter, when he says that “the Father wills His own subsistence, [theletes esti], but is not what He is from any will, [ek bouleseos tinos],” Thes. p. 56; Dr. Clarke would apply to the gennesis the [ek bouleseos], with a view of inferring that the Son was subsequent to a Divine act, i.e. not eternal; but what Athan. says leads to the conclusion, that it does not matter which sense is taken. He does not meet the Arian objection, “if not by will therefore by necessity,” by speaking of a concomitant will, or by merely saying that the Almighty exists or is good, by will, with S. Cyril, but he says that “nature transcends will and necessity also.” Accordingly, Petavius is even willing to allow that the [ek boules] is to be ascribed to the [gennesis] in the sense which Dr. Clarke wishes, i.e. he grants that it may precede the [gennesis], i.e. in order, not in time, viz. the succession of our ideas, Trin. vi. 8, § 20, 21; and follows S. Austin, Trin. xv. 20, in preferring to speak of our Lord rather as “voluntas de voluntate,” than, as Athan. is led to do, as the “voluntas Dei.”

(2) As to our Lord being the Father’s [boule], and thereby the concomitant [boulema], Athan. declares it, Orat. ii. § 31. iii. § 63. Thus in the first of these {393} places, “Since the Word is the Son of God by nature, and is from Him and in Him, so the Father without Him works nothing. God said, Let there be light ... He spoke and it was done ... He spoke, not that some under-worker might hear and learn His will who spoke, and go away and do it, for the Word is the Father’s Will.”

[zosa boule], supr. Orat. ii. 2. Cyril. in Joan. p. 213. [zosa dunamis], Sabell. Greg. 5. [zosa eikon], Naz. Orat. 30. 20. [zosa energeia], Syn. Antioch. ap. Routh, Reliqu. t. 2, p. 469. [zosa ischus], Cyril. in Joan. p. 951. [zosa sophia], Origen. contr. Cels. iii. fin. [zon logos], Origen. ibid.

[agathou patros agathon boulema]. Clem. Pæd. iii. p. 309. [sophia, chrestotes, dunamis, thelema pantokratorikon]. Strom. v. p. 546. “Voluntas et potestas patris.” Tertull. Orat. 4. “Natus ex Patre velut quædam voluntas ejus ex mente procedens.” Origen. Periarch. i. 2, § 6. S. Jerome notices the same interpretation of “by the will of God,” in the beginning of Comment. in Ephes. S. Austin on the other hand, as just now referred to, says, “Some divines, to avoid saying that the Only-begotten Word is the Son of the counsel or will of God, have named Him the very Counsel or Will of the Father. But I think it better to speak of Him as Counsel from Counsel, Will from Will, as Substance from Substance, Wisdom from Wisdom.” Trin. xv. 20. And so Cæsarius, [agape ex agapes]. Qu. 39, supr. vid. for other instances Tertullian’s Works, Oxf. Tr. Note I.

And so Cyril. Thes. p. 54, who uses it expressly, (as has been said above, p. 220,) in contrast to the [kata boulesin] of the Arians, though Athan. uses [kata {394} to boulema], also (as in Orat. iii. 31):—[autos tou patros thelema], says Nyss. contr. Eunom. xii. p. 345. The principle to be observed in the use of such words is this: that we must ever speak of the Father’s will, command, &c., and the Son’s fulfilment, assent, &c., as if one act.

Vid. de Decr. 9. contr. Gent. 46. Iren. Hær. iii. 8, n. 3. Origen contr. Cels. ii. 9. Tertull. adv. Prax. 12 fin. Patres Antioch. ap. Routh. t. 2, p. 468. Prosper in Psalm. 148. (149.) Basil. de Sp. S. n. 20. Hilar. Trin. iv. 16. vid. art. Mediation. “That the Father speaks and the Son hears, or contrariwise, that the Son speaks and the Father hears, are expressions for the sameness of nature and the agreement of Father and Son.” Didym. de Sp. S. 36. “The Father’s bidding is not other than His Word; so that 'I have not spoken of Myself' He perhaps meant to be equivalent to 'I was not born from Myself.' For if the Word of the Father speaks, He pronounces Himself, for He is the Father’s Word,” &c. August. de Trin. i. 26. On this mystery, vid. Petav. Trin. vi. 4.

“When God commands others, ... then the hearer answers, ... for each of these receives the Mediator Word which makes known the will of the Father; but when the Word Himself works and creates, there is no questioning and answer, for the Father is in Him, and the Word in the Father; but it suffices to will, and the work is done.” Orat. ii. § 31. Such is the Catholic doctrine. For the contrary Arian view, even when it is highest, vid. Euseb. Eccl. Theol. iii. 3; also vid. supra, art. Eusebius, in which passage, p. 164, {395} the Father’s [neumata] are spoken of, a word common with the Arians. Euseb. ibid. p. 75. de Laud. Const. p. 528. Eunom. Apol. 20 fin. The word is used of the Son’s command given to the creation, in Athan. contr. Gent. e.g. 42, 44, &c. S. Cyril. Hier. frequently, as the Arians, uses it of the Father. Catech. x. 5. xi. passim. xv. 25, &c. The difference between the orthodox and Arian views on this point is clearly drawn out by S. Basil. contr. Eunom. ii. 21. {396}


Offspring. This word is of very frequent occurrence in Athan. He speaks of it, Orat. iv. 3, as virtually Scriptural. “If any one declines to say 'offspring,' and only says that the Word exists with God, let such a one fear lest, declining an expression of Scripture, ([to legomenon],) he fall into extravagance,” &c. Yet Basil, contr. Eunom. ii. 6-8, explicitly disavows the word, as an unscriptural invention of Eunomius. “That the Father begat we are taught in many places: that the Son is an offspring we never heard up to this day, for Scripture says, 'unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given.'” c. 7. He goes on to say that “it is fearful to give Him names of our own, to whom God has given a name which is above every name;” and observes that offspring is not the word which even a human father would apply to his son, as for instance we read, “Child, ([teknon],) go into the vineyard,” and “Who art thou, my son?” moreover that fruits of the earth are called offspring, (“I will not drink of the offspring of this vine,”) rarely animated things, except indeed in such instances as, “O generation (offspring) of vipers.” Nyssen defends his brother, contr. Eunom. Orat. iii. p. 105. In the Arian formula “an offspring, but not as one of the offsprings,” it is synonymous with “work” or “creature.” On the other hand Epiphanius {397} uses it, e.g. Hær. 76, 8, and Naz. Orat. 29. 2. Eusebius, Demonstr. Ev. iv. 2. Pseudo-Basil. adv. Eunom. iv. p. 280 fin. It may be added, too, that S. Basil seems to have changed his mind, for he uses the word in Hom. contr. Sabell. t. 2, p. 192. It is remarkable that this Homily in substance (i.e. the “contr. Sabell. Greg.” which is so like it that it cannot really be another, unless S. Basil copies it) is also given to S. Athan. {398}

The [Geneton, Genneton]

IN these Treatises [geneton] and [genneton] seem to be one word, whatever distinction was made at a later date. So they were considered by S. Ignatius, by the Neo-Platonists, and by the Arians, who availed themselves of the equivoque of meaning, in order to pronounce our Lord a creature, [gennema], though not as other creatures. So also by Athan. and Basil. Hence perhaps it is that Basil is severe on the application of [gennema] to our Lord, his brother Gregory supporting him. Athanasius on the other hand uses it of our Lord with an explanation. After a time the distinction was made, and this will account for other Fathers, Nazianz. &c., following Athanasius. vid. supr. art. [gennema]. Also Damasc. F. O. i. 8, p. 135, and Le Quien’s note; also note in Cotelerius, in Ign. Eph. t. 2, p. 13.

Athanasius considers that Scripture sanctions both the one and the two uses; and he considers the one and the same word, in its two forms, to have the meaning of Son, but that “Son” admits of a primary sense and of a secondary. He virtually says, “It is true that the Word of God and the creatures whom He has made may both be called [gennemata], but both in a very different sense. Both may be called 'Sons of God,' but the Word of God is true [gennema] by nature, whereas creatures are sons, [gennemata], only by adoption, {399} and that adoption through a mere [metousia] or participation of the divine nature, which is a gift of grace; but our Lord possesses the very [ousia] of the Father, and is thereby His fulness, and has all His attributes.”

Hence Athan. says, “Things generate, [genneta], cannot receive this name, (God’s handiwork though they be,) except so far as, after their making, they partake of the Son who is the True Generate, and are therefore said to have been generated also, not at all in their own nature, but because of their participation of the Son in the Spirit.” Orat. i. § 56. Vid. art. [Arche].

It is by a like neglect of the one [n] and the two, that our Lord is called [monogenes] with a single [n]. And Athan. speaks of the [genesis] of human sons, and of the Divine, de Decr. § 11; and in de Syn. § 47, he observes that S. Ignatius calls the Son [genetos kai agenetos], without a hint about the distinction of roots. Again, one of the original Arian positions was that our Lord was a [gennema all' ouk hos hen ton gennematon], which Athan. frequently notices and combats, vid. Orat. ii. 19. But instead of answering it by showing that our Lord’s epithet should have a double [n] and creatures a single, he allows [gennematon] to be applied to creatures improperly, and only argues that there is a proper sense of it in which it applies to the Word, not as one of a number, as the Arians said, but solely, incommunicably, as being the [monogenes]. It may be admitted, as evident even from this passage, that though Athan. does not distinguish between [geneton] and [genneton], yet he considers [gegennesthai] and [gennema] as especially appropriate to the Son, [gegonenai] and [genomenos] to the creation. {400}


THE [gennesis] of the Eternal Son is intimately connected with the idea of creation; so much so that Origen thought that the creation was eternal because the Son was so; and Tertullian thought that the Son was not eternal because the creation was not.

These were erroneous conclusions, but Catholic theologians allow thus much of truth in them, not that the Creator and the creation were co-eval, but that the mission of the Son to create is included in the eternal gennesis; so that, as by the Father’s teaching the Son is meant “doctum et scientem genuisse,” and, as His committing judgment to Him is “judicem ipsum gignere,” so the mission to create signifies the gennesis of a Son in eternity who is in time to be Creator. vid. Petav. de Trin. viii. 1, § 10. Hence S. Augustine says, “In Verbo Unico Dei omnia pæcepta sunt Dei, quæ ille gignens dedit nascenti.” contr. Max. ii. 14, 9, and still more definitely I understand S. Thomas to say, “Importatur in Verbo ratio factiva eorum quæ Deus facit.” Summ. 1, qu. 34, art. 3.

Immediately upon the creation follows the second act, viz. of conservation; for the Divine Hand is of such incomprehensible force and intensity in operation, that the thing created needs, by the intervention of its Creator, to be enabled to bear creation. “Things {401} created,” says Athanasius, “could not have endured His absolute nature and His splendour from the Father, unless, condescending by the Father’s love for man, He had supported them and taken hold of them, and brought them into substance,” &c. Orat. ii. § 64. vid. [akratos]. {402}


Diabolical. This is Athan.’s judgment about the Arians. vid. Decr. § 5 fin. Orat. ii. § 38, 74. iii. § 17. Ep. Æg. § 4-6. de Sent. Dion. 27 fin., where he says, “Who then will continue to call these men Christians, whose leader is the devil, and not rather diabolical?” and he adds, “not only Christ’s foes in fight, [christomachoi], but diabolical also.” Again, “though the diabolical men rave,” Orat. iii. § 8; “friends of the devil, and his spirits.” ad Ep. Æg. 5.

In Orat. iii. § 8, there seems an allusion to false accusation or lying (which is the proper meaning of the word [diaballon]), as occurring shortly before. And so in Apol. ad Const. when he calls Magnentius [diabolos], it is as being a traitor, 17; and soon after he says that his accuser was [ton diabolou tropon analabon], where the word has no article, and [diabeblemai] and [dieblethen] have preceded; vid. also Hist. Ar. 52 fin. And so in Sent. D. 3, 4, his speaking of the Arians’ “father the devil,” is explained by [tous pateras diaballonton] and [tes eis ton episkopon diaboles].

Another reason of his so accounting them, was their atrocious cruelty towards Catholics; this leads him elsewhere to break out, “O new heresy, that has put on the whole devil in irreligious doctrine and conduct!” Hist. Arian. § 66; also Alexander, “diabolical,” ap. Theod. Hist. 1. 3, p. 731; “satanical,” ibid. p. 741. vid. also Socr. i. 9, p. 30 fin. Hilar. contr. Coust. 17. {403}


[Enos ontos eidous theotetos], says Athan. Syn. § 52. The word [eidos], face, cast of countenance, assemblage of features, is generally applied to the Son, and is synonymous with hypostasis; but it is remarkable that here as elsewhere it is almost synonymous with [ousia] or [physis]. Indeed in one sense nature, substance, and hypostasis, are all synonymous, i.e. as one and all denoting the Una Res, which is Almighty God. They differed, in that the word hypostasis regards the One God as He is the Son. The apparent confusion is useful then as reminding us of this great truth, that God is One; vid. infr. art. [Mia physis].

In Orat. iii. § 6, first the Son’s [eidos] is the [eidos] of the Father, then the Son is the [eidos] of the Father’s Godhead, and then in the Son is the [eidos] of the Father. These expressions are equivalent, if Father and Son are, Each separately, [holos theos]. S. Greg. Naz. uses the word [opisthia], (Exod. xxxiii. 23, which forms a contrast to [eidos],) for the Divine Works. Orat. 28. 3.

Vid. also in Gen. xxxii. 30, 31, Sept., where it is translated “face,” in Vulg., though in John v. 37 “species.” vid. Justin Tryph. 126. In Orat. iii. § 15, [eidos] is also used in composition for “kind.” Athan. says as above, “there is but one face of Godhead;” yet the word is used of the Son as synonymous with “image.” {404} It would seem as if there were a certain class of words, all expressive of the One Divine Substance, which admit of more appropriate application, either ordinarily or under circumstances, to This or That Divine Person who is also that One Substance. Thus “Being” is more descriptive of the Father as the [pege theotetos], and He is said to be “the Being of the Son;” yet the Son is really the One Supreme Being also. On the other hand the word “form,” [morphe], and “face,” [eidos], are rather descriptive of the Divine Substance in the Person of the Son, and He is called “the form” and “the face of the Father,” yet there is but one Form and Face of God, who is at once Each of Three Persons; while “Spirit” is appropriated to the Third Person, though God is a Spirit. Thus again S. Hippolytus says [ek [ton patros] dunamis logos], yet shortly before, after mentioning the Two Persons, he adds, [dumamin de mian]. contr. Noet. 7 and 11. And thus the word “Subsistence,” [hypostasis], which expresses the One Divine Substance, has been found more appropriate to express that Substance viewed personally. Other words may be used correlatively of either Father or Son; thus the Father is the Life of the Son, the Son the Life of the Father; or, again, the Father is in the Son and the Son in the Father. Others in common, as “the Father’s Godhead is the Son’s,” [he patrike huiou theotes], as indeed the word [ousia] itself. Other words on the contrary express the Substance in This or That Person only, as “Word,” “Image,” &c. The word [eidos] also occurs Orat. i. 20. Ep. Æg. 17. contr. Sabell. Greg. 8 and 12. {405}

[Ensarkos parousia]

THIS phrase or its equivalent is very frequent with Athan. vid. Orat. i. § 8, 53, 59, 62 fin. ii. 6, 10, 55, 66 twice, 72 fin. iii. 28, 35. Incarn. 20. Sent. D. 9. Æp. g. 4. Serap. i. 3, 9. Vid. also Cyril. Catech. iii. 11. xii. 15. xiv. 27, 30. Epiph. Hær. 77, 17. The Eutychians avail themselves of it at the Council of Constantinople, vid. Hard. Conc. t. 2, pp. 164, 236. Instead of it [epidemia] is used Orat. i. § 59, three times; ([epedemesen], iii. 30, and [ensoraton], i. § 53.)


Or prerogative, Orat. ii. § 19, iii. 3, iv. § 28, literally special, singular. Vid. also Euseb. Eccl. Th. pp. 47, 73, 89, 124, 129. Theod. Hist. p. 732. Nyssen. c. Eunom. iii. p. 133. Epiph. Hær, 76, p. 970. Cyr. Thes. p. 160. {406}

The [Exoukontion]

A TITLE of the Arians, from [ex ouk onton], “out of nothing,” one of their original positions concerning the Son. Theodoret says that they were also called Exacionitæ, from the name of their place of meeting, Hær. iv. 3, and Du Cange confirms it so far as to show that there was a place or quarter of Constantinople called Exocionium or Exacionium. Some have thought that Exucontians and Exocionites are perhaps the same word corrupted. At the same time, since the Arians of Constantinople were of the violent sort who were called by various names, Anomœans, Aetians, Eunomians, Acacians, as well as pure Arians, it is not improbable that, in order to distinguish them from the more moderate heretics, they were also called in Constantinople from Exocionium, the district of the great metropolis to which they belonged. {407}


[Kat' epinoian, epinoein], conception. This is a word very common with Athanasius. It expresses the view taken by the mind of theological realities, whether that view be the true view or not; thus it is used both in reference to heretical error and to Catholic faith. Thus Athan., Orat. i. init., speaks of heresies as [epinoesasai manian], implying that there is no objective truth corresponding to those conceptions which they so vehemently insist upon. And Socrates, speaking of the decree of the Council of Alexandria, 362, against Apollinaris: “for, not as originating, [epinoesantes], any novel devotion, did they introduce it into the Church, but what from the beginning the Ecclesiastical Tradition declared.” Hist. iii. 7. And the Arians allowed what was imputed to them as far as this, that they were strenuous from the first in maintaining that the titles given to our Lord, viz. Word, Wisdom, &c., were not to be taken as expressing literal facts, but were mere names given to Him in honour and as a reward. Thus in the Thalia, “He is conceived in numberless conceptions, [epinoiais].” de Syn. § 15. Hence Athan. says they held that “He who is really Son is but [kat' epinoian] Word, as He is Vine, and Way, and Door, and Tree of Life, and that He is called Wisdom also only in name (vid. art. [Onomata]), the proper and {408} true Wisdom of the Father, which co-exists ingenerately with Him, being other than the Son, by which He even made the Son, and named Him Wisdom as partaking of Wisdom.” Orat. ii. § 37. Not that they even allowed Him really to be Son, except in the sense that we are sons of God, that is, because adoption involves a gift of the Spirit, which is a real principle of a new birth. Thus Athan. quotes or charges Arius elsewhere as saying, “He is not the very and only Word of the Father, but is in name only called Word and Wisdom, and is called by grace Son and Power.” Orat. i. § 9; and just after he contrasts “true” Son with the Arian tenet, Son “by adoption, which is from participation” of the Spirit “and [kat' epinoian].” vid. also de Sent. D. 2. Ep. Æg. 12, 13, 14. Orat. iv. § 2.

The word, however, has also a good meaning and use, as expressive of the nearest approximation in human thought to the supernatural truths of Revelation, and thus equivalent to economical. (vid. art. in voc.) Thus in our thoughts of the Almighty, though He is in reality most simple and uncompounded, without parts, passions, attributes, or properties, we consider Him as good or holy, or as angry or pleased, denoting some particular aspect in which our infirmity views—in which alone it can view—what is infinite and incomprehensible. That is, He is [kat' epinoian] holy or merciful, being in reality a Unity which is all mercifulness and also all holiness, not in the way of qualities, but as one indivisible Perfection, which is too great for us to conceive as It is. And for the very reason that we cannot conceive It simply, we are bound to use thankfully {409} these conceptions, which are true as far as they go, and our best possible; since some conceptions, however imperfect, are better than none. They stand for realities which they do not reach, and must be accepted for what they do not adequately represent. But when the mind comes to recognise this existing inadequacy, and to distrust itself, it is tempted to rush into the opposite extreme, and to conclude that because it cannot understand fully, it does not realise anything, or that its [epinoiai] are but [onomata].


Vid. Scripture Passages.

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


Top | Contents | Works | Home

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