The Vicarious Atonement

{60} "FORMERLY the world, as guilty, was under judgment from the Law; but now the Word has taken on Himself the judgment, and, having suffered in the body for all, has bestowed salvation on all." Orat. i. § 60.

"When the Father willed that ransom should be paid for all, and to all grace should be given, then truly the Word ... did take earthly flesh ... that, as a high priest ... He might offer Himself to the Father and cleanse us all from sins in His own blood." Orat. ii. § 7.

The perfect Word of God puts around Him an imperfect body, and is said to be created for the creatures, that, paying the debt in our stead ([anth hemon ten opheilen apodidous]), He might by Himself perfect what was wanting in man. Now immortality was wanting to him, and the way to paradise." Orat. ii. § 66.

"How, were the Word a creature, had He power to undo God's sentence, and to remit sin?" Orat. ii. § 67. Our Lord's death is [lutron panton], Incarn. V. D. 25, et passim; [lutron katharsion], Naz. Orat. 30, 20 fin.

"Therefore was He made man, that what was as though given to Him, might be transferred to us; for a mere man had not merited this, nor had the Word {61} Himself needed it. He was united therefore to us," &c. Orat. iv. § 6. Vid. also iii. § 33 init. and In Illud Omnia, § 2 fin.

"There was need He should be both man and God; for unless He were man, He could not be slain; unless He were God, He would have been thought, (not, unwilling to be what He could, but) unable to do what He would." August. Trin. xiii. 18. "Since Israel could become sold under sin, he could not redeem himself from iniquities. He only could redeem, who could not sell Himself, who did no sin; He is the redeemer from sin." Id. in Psalm. 129, n. 12. "In this common overthrow of all mankind, there was but one remedy, the birth of some son of Adam, a stranger to the original prevarication and innocent, to profit the rest both by his pattern and his merit. Since natural generation hindered this, ... the Lord of David became his son." Leon. Serm. 28, n. 3. "Seek neither a 'brother' for thy redemption, but one who surpasses thy nature; nor a mere 'man,' but a man who is God, Jesus Christ, who alone is able to make propitiation for us all ... One thing has been found sufficient for all men at once, which was given as the price of ransom of our soul, the holy and most precious blood of our Lord Jesus Christ, which He poured out for us all." Basil. in Psalm. 48, n. 4. "One had not been sufficient instead of all, had it been simply a man; but if He be understood as God made man, and suffering in His own flesh, the whole creation together is small compared to Him, and the death of one flesh is enough for the ransom of all that is under heaven." Cyril. de rect. {62} fid. p. 132. Vid. also Theod. Eran. iii. pp. 196–8, &c. Procl. Orat. i. p. 63 (ed. 1630); Vigil. contr. Eutych. v. 9 fin. § 15, &c.; Greg. Moral. xxiv. init.; Job. ap. Phot. 222, p. 583.

Pardon, however, could have been bestowed without an Atonement such as our Lord made, though not renovation of nature. Vid. art. Incarnation. {63}


Athanasius lays much stress on this practice, as in fact supplying the evidence of Tradition as to the doctrine which Arius blasphemed.

E.g. "Let them tell us, by what teacher or by what tradition they have derived these notions concerning the Saviour?" de Decr. § 13 init.

"For who was ever yet a hearer of such a doctrine? or whence or from whom did the abettors and hirelings of the heresy gain it? who thus expounded to them when they were at school? who told them, 'Abandon creature worship, and then draw near and worship a creature and a work?' But if they themselves own that they have heard it now for the first time, how can they deny that this heresy is foreign, and not from our fathers? But what is not from our fathers, but has come to light in this day, how can it be but that of which the blessed Paul has foretold, that in the latter times some shall depart from the sound faith," &c.? Orat. i. § 8.

"Who is there, who when he heard, upon his first catechisings, that God had a Son, and had made all things in His proper Word, did not understand it in that sense which we now intend? who, when the vile Arian heresy began, but at once, on hearing its {64} teachers, was startled, as if they taught strange things?" Orat. ii. § 34.

Hence too Athan.'s phrases, [mathon edidasken], de Decr. § 7, Orat. iii. 9, [erotontes emanthanon], Orat. ii. § 1, after S. Paul, 1 Cor. xv. 3. And so "What Moses taught, that Abraham observed, that Noe and Enoch acknowledged," &c., de Decr. § 5. Vid. art. Rule of Faith. {65}

Catholic: The Name and the Claim

For the adoption into Christianity, and the sense and force of the word "Catholic," not a very obvious word, we must refer to the Creed. The articles of the Creed are brief enunciations and specimens of some, and of the chief, of the great mercies vouchsafed to man in the Gospel. They are truths of pregnant significance, and of direct practical bearing on Christian life and conduct. Such, for instance, obviously is "one Baptism for the remission of sins," and "the resurrection of the body." Such then must be our profession of "catholicity." And, thus considered, the two, "the Catholic Church" and "the Communion of Saints," certainly suggest an explanation of each other; the one introducing us to our associates and patrons in heaven, and the other pointing out to us where to find the true teaching and the means of grace on earth. Indeed, what else can be the meaning of insisting on the "One Holy Catholic Apostolic Church"? does it not imply a contrast to other so-called Churches? Now this plain sense of the Article, this its obvious or rather its only sense, is abundantly confirmed by such passages of the Fathers as the following, taken in connection and illustration of each other.

Thus, to begin with what is implied and introduced to us by the name "Christian." Orat. i. §§ 2, 3. "Though the blessed Apostles have become our teachers, and have ministered the Saviour's Gospel, yet not from {66} them have we our title, but from Christ we are and are named Christians. But for those who derive the faith which they profess from others, good reason is it they should bear their name, whose property they have become." Also, "Let us become His disciples and learn to live according to Christianity; for whoso is called by other name beside this, is not of God." Ignat. ad Magn. 10. Hegesippus speaks of "Menandrians, and Marcionites, and Carpocratians, and Valentinians, and Basilidians, and Saturnilians," who "each in his own way, and that a different one, brought in his own doctrine." Euseb. Hist. iv. 22. "There are, and there have been, my friends, many who have taught atheistic and blasphemous words and deeds, coming in the Name of Jesus; and they are called by us from the appellation of the men, whence each doctrine and opinion began ... Some are called Marcians, others Valentinians, others Basilidians, others Saturnilians," &c. Justin. Tryph. 35. "They have a name from the author of that most impious opinion, Simon, being called Simonians." Iren. Hær. i. 23. "When men are called Phrygians, or Novatians, or Valentinians, or Marcionites, or Anthropians, or by any other name, they cease to be Christians; for they have lost Christ's name, and clothe themselves in human and foreign titles." Lact. Inst. iv. 30. "A. How are you a Christian, to whom it is not even granted to bear the name of Christian? for you are not called Christian, but Marcionite. M. And you are called of the Catholic Church; therefore ye are not Christians either. A. Did we profess man's name, you would have spoken {67} to the point, but, if we are so called for being all over the world, what is there bad in this?" Adamant. Dial. § 1, p. 809. "We never heard of Petrines, or Paulines, or Bartholomeans, or Thaddeans, but from the first there was one preaching of all the Apostles, not preaching themselves, but Christ Jesus the Lord. Wherefore also they all gave one name to the Church, not their own, but that of their Lord Jesus Christ, since they began to be called Christians first at Antioch; which is the sole Catholic Church, having naught else but Christ's, being a Church of Christians, not of Christs, but of Christians; He being one, they from that one being called Christians. After this Church and her preachers, all others are no longer of the same character, making show by their own epithets, Manichæans, and Simonians, and Valentinians, and Ebionites." Epiph. Hær. 42, p. 366. "This is the fearful thing, that they change the name of Christians of the Holy Church, which hath no epithet but the name of Christ alone, and of Christians, to be called by the name of Audius," &c. Ibid. 70, 15. Vid. also Hær. 75, 6 fin. "If you ever hear those who are called Christians, named, not from the Lord Jesus Christ, but from some one else, say Marcionites, Valentinians, Mountaineers, Campestrians, know that it is not Christ's Church, but the synagogue of Antichrist." Jerom. adv. Lucif. fin.

Having thus laid down the principle that the name, given to a religious body, is a providential or divine token, they go on to instance it in the word "Catholic." "Since one might properly {68} and truly say that there is a 'Church of evil doers,' I mean the meetings of the heretics, the Marcionists, and Manichees, and the rest, the faith hath delivered to thee by way of security the Article, 'And in One Holy Catholic Church,' that thou mayest avoid their wretched meetings; and ever abide with the Holy Church Catholic, in which thou wast regenerated. And if ever thou art sojourning in any city, inquire not simply where the Lord's House is, (for the sects of the profane also make an attempt to call their own dens houses of the Lord,) nor merely where the Church is, but where is the Catholic Church. For this is the peculiar name of this Holy Body," &c. Cyril Cat. xviii. 26. "Were I by chance to enter a populous city, I should in this day find Marcionites, Apollinarians, Cataphrygians, Novatians, and other such, who called themselves Christian; by what surname should I recognise the congregation of my own people, were it not called Catholic? ... Certainly that word 'Catholic' is not borrowed from man, which has survived through so many ages, nor has the sound of Marcion or Apelles or Montanus, nor takes heretics for its authors ... Christian is my name, Catholic my surname." Pacian. Ep. 1.

Athan. seems to allude, Orat. i. § 2, to Catholics being called Athanasians; supr., vol. i. p. 157. Two distinctions are drawn between such a title in controversy as applied to Catholics, and then again to heretics, when they are taken by Catholics as a note against them. S. Augustine says, "Arians call Catholics Athanasians or Homoüsians, not other {69} heretics call them so. But ye not only by Catholics but also by heretics, those who agree with you and those who disagree are called Pelagians; as even by heretics are Arians called Arians. But ye, and ye only, call us Traducianists, as Arians call us Homoüsians, as Donatists Macarians, as Manichees Pharisees, and as the other heretics use various titles." Op. imp. i. 75. It may be added that the heretical name adheres, the Catholic dies away. S. Chrysostom draws a second distinction, "Are we divided from the Church? have we heresiarchs? are we called from man? is there any leader to us, as to one there is Marcion, to another Manichæus, to another Arius, to another some other author of heresy? for if we too have the name of any, still it is not those who began a heresy, but our superiors and governors of the Church. We have not 'teachers upon earth,'" &c., in Act. Ap. Hom. 33 fin.

Athan. says that after Eusebius had taken up the patronage of the heresy, he made no progress till he had gained the Court, (Hist. Arian. 66,) showing that it was an act of external power by which Arianism grew, not an inward movement in the Church, which indeed loudly protested against the Emperor's proceeding. "If Bishops are to judge," he says, ibid. § 52, "what has the Emperor to do with this matter? if the Emperor is to threaten, what need of men styled Bishops? where in the world was such a thing heard of? where had the Church's judgment its force from the Emperor, or his sentence was at all recognised?" Vid. art. Heretics.

"Many Councils have been before this, many judgments {70} of the Church, but neither the Fathers ever argued with the Emperor about them, nor the Emperor meddled with the concerns of the Church. Paul the Apostle had friends of Cæsar's household, and in his Epistle he saluted the Philippians in their name; but he took them not to him as partners in his judgments. But now a new spectacle, and this the discovery of the Arian heresy," &c. § 52. Again, "In what then is he behind Antichrist? What more will he do when he comes? or rather, on his coming will he not find the way prepared for him by Constantius unto his deceiving without effort? for he is claiming to transfer causes to the Court instead of the Churches, and presides at them in person." Hist. Arian. § 76. And so also Hosius to Constantius, "Cease, I charge thee, and remember that thou art a mortal man. Fear the day of judgment; keep thyself clear against it. Interfere not with things ecclesiastical, nor be the man to charge us in a matter of the kind; rather learn thou thyself from us. God has put into thy hand the kingdom; to us He hath entrusted the things of the Church,—and as he who is traitorous to thy rule speaks against God who has thus ordained, so fear thou, lest drawing to thyself the things of the Church, thou fallest beneath a great accusation." ap. Athan. ibid. 44. {71}


THE Arians were ever shifting their ground or changing their professions, in order to gain either the favour of the State, or of local bishops, or of populations, or to perplex their opponents. Hence Athan. calls them chameleons, as varying their colours according to their company, Decr. § 1, and Alexander, Socr. i. 6. Cyril, however, compares them to "the leopard which cannot change his spots." Dial. ii. init.; vid. also Naz. Orat. 28, 2. Athan. says, "When confuted, they are confused, and when questioned, they hesitate; and then they lose shame and betake themselves to evasions." Decr. § 1. "What wonder that they fight against their fathers, when they fight against themselves?" Syn. § 37. "They have collisions with their own principles, and conflict with each other, at one time saying that there are many wisdoms, at another maintaining one," &c. Orat. ii. § 40. He says, Æg. Ep. 6, that they treated creeds as yearly covenants, and as State Edicts, Syn. § 3, 4. He calls also the Meletians chameleons, Hist. Ar. § 79; indeed the Church alone and her children are secure from change. {72}

The Coinherence

[perichoresis], circumincessio or coinherence of the Divine Three with each other, is the test at once against Arianism and Tritheism. Arius denies it in his Thalia, [anepimiktoi heautois hai hypostaseis]. It is the point of doctrine in which Eusebius so seriously fails. Vid. art. Eusebius. When Gibbon called this doctrine "perhaps the deepest and darkest corner of the whole theological abyss," he made as irrelevant and feeble a remark as could fall from an able man; as if any Catholic pretended that it was on any side of it comprehensible, and as if this was not the very enunciation in which the incomprehensibility lies; as we profess in the Creed, "neque confundentes personas, neque substantiam separantes." This doctrine is not the deepest part of the whole, but it is the whole, other statements being in fact this in other shapes. Each of the Three who speak to us from heaven is simply, and in the full sense of the word, God, yet there is but one God; this truth, as a statement, is enunciated most intelligibly when we say the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, being one and the same Spirit and Being, are in each other, which is the doctrine of the [perichoresis].

"They next proceed," says Athanasius, "to disparage our Lord's words, I in the Father and the Father in Me, saying 'How can the One be contained in the {73} Other and the Other in the One?' &c.; and this state of mind is consistent with their perverseness, who think God to be material, and understand not what is True Father and True Son ... When it is said, I in the Father and the Father in Me, They are not therefore, as these suppose, discharged into Each Other, filling the One the Other, as in the case of empty vessels, so that the Son fills the emptiness of the Father and the Father that of the Son, and Each of Them by Himself is not complete and perfect, (for this is proper to bodies, and therefore the mere assertion of it is full of impiety,) for the Father is full and perfect, and the Son is the Fulness of Godhead. Nor again, as God, by coming into the Saints, strengthens them, is He also thus in the Son. For He is Himself the Father's Power and Wisdom, and, by partaking ([metochei]) of Him, things generate are sanctified in the Spirit; but the Son Himself is not Son by participation ([metousiai], vid. art. Arian Tenets, supr. pp. 39-42), but is the Father's proper Offspring. Nor again is the Son in the Father, in the sense of the passage, In Him we live and move and have our being; for He, as being from the Fountain of the Father, is the Life, in which all things are both quickened and consist; for the Life does not live in Life, else it would not be Life, but rather He gives life to all things." Orat. iii. § 1. And again: "The Father is in the Son, since the Son is what is from the Father and proper to Him, as in the radiance the sun, and in the word the thought, and in the stream the fountain: for whoso thus contemplates the Son, contemplates what belongs to the {74} Father's Substance, and knows that the Father is in the Son. For whereas the essential character ([eidos]) and Godhead of the Father is the Being of the Son, it follows that the Son is in the Father and the Father in the Son." ibid. § 3.

In accordance with the above, Thomassin observes that by the mutual coinherence or indwelling of the Three Blessed Persons is meant "not a commingling as of material liquids, nor as of soul with body, nor as the union of our Lord's Godhead and humanity, but it is such that the whole power, life, substance, wisdom, essence, of the Father, should be the very essence, substance, wisdom, life, and power of the Son." de Trin. 28, 1. S. Cyril adopts Athan.'s language to express this doctrine. "The Son in one place says, that He is in the Father and has the Father again in Him; for what is simply proper ([idion]) to the Father's substance, by nature coming to the Son, shows the Father in Him," in Joan. p. 105. "One is contemplated in the other, and is truly, according to the connatural and consubstantial." de Trin. vi. p. 621. "He has in Him the Son, and again is in the Son, because of the identity of substance." in Joan. p. 168. Vid. art. Trinity; also, Spirit of God.

The [perichoresis] is the test of orthodoxy, as regards the Holy Trinity, against Arianism. This is seen clearly in the case of Eusebius, whose language approaches to Catholic more nearly than that of Arians in general. After all his strong assertions, the question recurs, Is our Lord a distinct being from God, as we are, or not? he answers in the affirmative, vid. {75} infra. art. Eusebius, whereas Catholics hold that He is literally and numerically one with the Father, and therefore His Person dwells in the Father's Person by an ineffable unity. And hence the strong language of Pope Dionysius, supr. vol. i. p. 45, "the Holy Ghost must repose and dwell in God," [emphilochorein toi theoi kai endiaitasthai]. And hence the strong figure of S. Jerome (in which he is followed by S. Cyril, Thesaur. p. 51), "Filius locus est Patris, sicut et Pater locus est Filii." in Ezek. iii. 12. Hence Athan. contrasts creatures, who are [en memerismenois topois], with the Son. vid. Serap. iii. 4. Accordingly, one of the first symptoms of reviving orthodoxy in the second school of Semi-Arians is the use, in the Macrostich Creed, of language of this character, viz., "All the Father embosoming the Son," they say, "and all the Son hanging and adhering to the Father, and alone resting on the Father's breast continually," supr. vol. i. p. 107.

St. Jerome's figure above might seem inconsistent with S. Athanasius's disclaimer of material images; but Athan. only means that such illustrations cannot be taken literally, as if spoken of physical subjects. The Father is the [topos] or locus of the Son, because when we contemplate the Son in His fulness as [holos theos], we only view the Father as Him in whom God the Son is; our mind for the moment abstracting His Substance which is the Son from Him, and regarding Him merely as Father. Thus Athan. [ten theian ousian tou logou henomenen physei toi heautou patri]. in illud Omn. 4. It is, however, but a mode of speaking in theology, and not a real emptying of Godhead from the Father, {76} if such words may be used. Father and Son are both the same God, though really and eternally distinct from each other; and Each is full of the Other, that is, their Substance is one and the same. This is insisted on by S. Cyril: "We must not conceive that the Father is held in the Son as body in body, or vessel in vessel; ... for the One is in the Other." [hos en tautoteti tes ousias aparallaktoi, kai tei kata physin henoteti te kai homoioteti]. in Joan. p. 28. And by S. Hilary: "Material natures do not admit of being mutually in each other, of having a perfect unity of a nature which subsists, of the abiding nativity of the Only-begotten being inseparable from the verity of the Father's Godhead. To God the Only-begotten alone is this proper, and this faith attaches to the mystery of a true nativity, and this is the work of a spiritual power, that to be, and to be in, differ nothing; to be in, yet not to be one in another as body in body, but so to be and to subsist, as to be in the subsisting, and so to be in, as also to subsist," &c. Trin. vii. fin.; vid. also iii. 23. The following quotation from S. Anselm is made by Petavius, de Trin. iv. 16 fin.: "Though there be not many eternities, yet if we say eternity in eternity, there is but one eternity ... And so whatever is said of God's Essence, if repeated in itself, does not increase quantity, nor admit number ... Since there is nothing out of God, when God is born of God ... He will not be born out of God, but remains in God."

"There is but one Face ([eidos], character) of Godhead, which is also in the Word, and One God, the Father, existing by Himself according as He is above all; and {77} appearing in the Son according as He pervades all things; and in the Spirit according as in Him He acts in all things through the Word. And thus we confess God to be One through the Trinity." Orat. iii. § 15. And so: "The Word is in the Father, and the Spirit is given from the Word." iii. § 25. "That Spirit is in us which is in the Word which is in the Father." ibid. "The Father in the Son taketh the oversight of all." § 36 fin.; vid. art. The Father Almighty, 2. "The sanctification which takes place from Father through Son in Holy Ghost." Serap. i. § 20; vid. also ibid. 28, 30, 31, iii. 1, 5 init. et fin., also Hil. Trin. vii. 31. Eulogius says, "The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father, having the Father as an Origin, and proceeding through the Son unto the creation." ap. Phot. cod. p. 865. Damascene speaks of the Holy Spirit as [dunamin tou patros proerchomenen kai en toi logoi anapauomenen], F. O. i. 7; and in the beginning of the ch. he says that "the Word must have Its Breath (Spirit) as our word is not without breath, though in our case the breath is distinct from our substance." "The way to knowledge of God is from One Spirit through the One Son to the One Father." Basil. de Sp. S. 47. "We preach One God by One Son with the Holy Ghost." Cyr. Cat. xvi. 4. "The Father through the Son with the Holy Ghost bestows all things." ibid. 24. "All things have been made from Father through the Son in Holy Ghost." Pseudo-Dion. de Div. Nom. i. p. 403. "Through Son and in Spirit God made all things consist, and contains and preserves them." Pseudo-Athan. c. Sab. Greg. 10. {78}

Since the Father and the Son are the numerically One God, it is but expressing this in other words to say that the Father is in the Son, and the Son in the Father, for all They have and all They are is common to Each, excepting their being Father and Son. A [perichoresis] of Persons is implied in the Unity of Substance. This is the connection of the two texts so often quoted: "the Son is in the Father and the Father in the Son," because "the Son and Father are one." And the cause of this unity and [perichoresis] is the Divine [gennesis]. Thus S. Hilary: "The perfect Son of a perfect Father, and of the Ingenerate God the Only-generate Offspring, (who from Him who hath all hath received all, God from God, Spirit from Spirit, Light from Light,) says confidently 'The Father in Me and I in the Father,' for as the Father is Spirit so is the Son, as the Father God so is the Son, as the Father Light so is the Son. From those things therefore which are in the Father, are those in which is the Son; that is, of the whole Father is born the whole Son; not from other, &c. ... not in part, for in the Son is the fulness of Godhead. What is in the Father, that too is in the Son; One from the Other and Both One (unum); not Two One Person ('unus,' vid. however the language of the Athan. Creed, which expresses itself differently after S. Austin,) but Either in Other, because not Other in Either. The Father in the Son because from Him the Son ... the Only-begotten in the Ingenerate, because from the Ingenerate the Only-generate," &c. Trin. iii. 4.

And so [ergazomenou tou patros, ergazesthai kai tou {79} huion]. in illud Omn. 1. "Cum luce nobis prodeat, In Patre totus Filius, et totus in Verbo Pater." Hymn. Brev. in fer. 2. Ath. argues from this oneness of operation the oneness of substance. And thus S. Chrysostom thinks it right to argue that if the Father and Son are one [kata ten dunamin], They are one also in [ousia]. in Joan. Hom. 61, 2. Tertullian in Prax. 22, and S. Epiphanius, Hær. 57, p. 488, seem to say the same on the same text. Vid. Lampe, Joan. x. 35. And so S. Athan. [trias adiairetos tei physei, kai mia tautes he energeia]. Serap. i. 28; [en thelema patros kai huiou kai boulema, epei kai he physis mia]. in illud Omn. 5. Various passages of the Fathers to the same effect, (e.g. of S. Ambrose, "si unius voluntatis et operationis, unius est essentiæ," de Sp. ii. 12 fin., and of S. Basil, [on mia energeia, touton kai ousia mia], of Greg. Nyss. and Cyril. Alex.) are brought together in the Lateran Council. Concil. Hard. t. 3, p. 859, &c. The subject is treated at length by Petavius, Trin. iv. 15, § 3.

As to the very word [perichoresis], Petavius observes, de Trin. iv. 16, § 4, that its first use in ecclesiastical writers was one which Arianism would admit of; its use to express the Catholic doctrine was later. {80}

Cursus Publicus

ON the Cursus Publicus, vid. Gothofred, in Cod. Theod. viii. tit. 5. It was provided for the journeys of the Emperor, for parties whom he summoned, for magistrates, ambassadors, and such private persons as the Emperor indulged in the use of it. The use was granted by Constantine to the Bishops summoned to Nicæa, as far as it went. Euseb. Constant. iii. v. 6. The Cursus Publicus brought the Bishops to the Council of Tyre, ibid. iv. 43. In the conference between Liberius and Constantius, Theod. Hist. ii. 13, it is objected that the Cursus Publicus is not sufficient to convey Bishops to the Council which Liberius contemplates. Constantius answers that the Churches are rich enough to convey their Bishops as far as the sea. Thus S. Hilary was compelled ("datâ evectionis copiâ," Sulp. Hist. ii. 57) to attend at Seleucia, and Athan. at Tyre. Julian complains of the abuse of the Cursus Publicus, perhaps with an allusion to these Councils of Constantius, vid. Cod. Theod. viii. 5, § 12, where Gothofred quotes Libanius's Epitaph in Julian. t. i. p. 569, ed. Reize. Vid. the passage in Ammianus, who speaks of the Councils being the ruin of the res vehicularia, Hist. xxi. 16. The Eusebians at Philippopolis say the same thing. Hil. fragm. iii. 25. The Emperor provided board and perhaps lodging for the Bishops at {81} Ariminum; which the Bishops of Aquitaine, Gaul and Britain declined, excepting three British by reason of poverty, Sulp. ii. 56. Hunneric in Africa, after assembling 466 Bishops at Carthage, dismissed them without conveyances, provision or baggage. Vict. Ut. iv. fin. In the Emperor's letter before the sixth Ecumenical Council, A.D. 678 (Hard. Conc. t. 3, p. 1048 fin.), he says he has given orders for the conveyance and maintenance of its members. Pope John VIII. (A.D. 876) reminds Ursus, Duke of Venice, of the same duty of providing for the members of a Council, "secundum pios principes, qui in talibus munificè semper erant intenti." Colet. Concil. t. xi. p. 14, Venet. 1730.

Gibbon says that by the Government conveyances "it was easy to travel 100 miles in a day," ch. ii.; but the stages were of different lengths, sometimes a day's journey, Coust. in Hilar. Psalm. 118, Lit. 5, 2 (as over the Delta to Pelusium, and then coasting all the way to Antioch), sometimes half a day's journey, Herman. ibid. Vid. also Ambros. in Psalm. 118, Serm. 5, 5. The halts were called [monai] or mansiones, and properly meant the building where soldiers or other public officials rested at night; hence applied to monastic houses, a statement which, if correct, disconnects the word from [monos]. Such buildings included granaries, stabling, &c. Vid. Cod. Theod. t. 1, p. 47, t. 2, p. 507; Ducange, Gloss. t. 1, p. 426, col. 2. {82}


FROM the first the Church had the power, by its divinely appointed representatives, to declare the truth upon such matters in the revealed message or gospel-tidings as from time to time came into controversy (for, unless it had this power, how could it be the "columna et firmamentum veritatis"?); and these representatives, of course, were the Rulers of the Christian people who received, as a legacy, the depositum of doctrine from the Apostles, and by means of it, as need arose, exercised their office of teaching. Each Bishop was in his own place the Doctor Ecclesiæ for his people; there was an appeal, of course, from his decision to higher courts; to the Bishops of a province, of a nation, of a partriarchate, to the Roman Church, to the Holy See, as the case might be; and thus at length a final determination was arrived at, which in consequence was the formal teaching of the Church, and as far as it was direct and categorical, was, from the reason of the case, the Word of God. And being such, was certain, irreversible, obligatory on the inward belief and reception of all subjects of the Church, or what is called de fide.

All this could not be otherwise if Christianity was to teach divine truth in contrast to the vague opinions and unstable conjectures of human philosophers and {83} moralists, and if, as a plain consequence, it must have authoritative organs of teaching, and if true doctrines never can be false, but what is once true is always true. What the Church proclaims as true never can be put aside or altered, and therefore such truths are called [horisthenta] or [horoi], definitions, as being boundaries or landmarks. Vid. Athan. Decret. § 2.

Decrees or definitions of Councils come to us as formal notices or memoranda, setting forth in writing what has ever been held orally or implicitly in the Church. Hence the frequent use of such phrases as [engraphos exetethe] with reference to them. Thus Damasus, Theod. Hist. v. 10, speaks of that "apostolical faith, which was set forth in writing by the Fathers in Nicæa." On the other hand, Ephrem of Antioch speaks of the doctrine of our Lord's perfect humanity being "inculcated by our Holy Fathers, but not as yet [i.e. till the Council of Chalcedon] being confirmed by the decree of an Ecumenical Council." Phot. 229, p. 801. ([engraphos], however, sometimes relates to the act of the Bishops in subscribing, Phot. ibid., or to Scripture, Clement. Strom. i. init. p. 321.) Hence Athan. says, ad Afros 1 and 2, that "the Word of the Lord, which was given through the Ecumenical Council in Nicæa remaineth for ever;" and uses against its opposers the texts, "Remove not the ancient landmark which thy fathers have set" (vid. also Dionysius in Eus. Hist. vii. 7), and "He that curseth his father or his mother shall surely be put to death." Prov. xxii. 28, Ex. xxi. 17; vid. also Athan. ad Epict. 1. And the Council of Chalcedon professes to "drive away the doctrines of {84} error by a common decree, and renew the unswerving faith of the Fathers," Act. v. p. 452, "according as from of old the prophets spoke of Christ, and He Himself instructed us, and the creed of the Fathers has delivered to us," whereas "other faith it is not lawful for any to bring forth, or to write, or to draw up, or to hold, or to teach," p. 456.

And so S. Leo passim concerning the Council of Chalcedon, "Concord will be easily established, if the hearts of all concur in that faith, which, &c., no discussion being allowed whatever with a view to retractation," Ep. 94. He calls such an act "magnum sacrilegium." Ep. 157, c. 3. "To be seeking for what has been perfected, to tear up what has been laid down (definita), what is this but to be unthankful for what we gained?" Ep. 162, vid. the whole of it. He says that the attempt is "no mark of a peacemaker but a rebel," Ep. 164, c. 1 fin.; vid. also Epp. 145 and 156, where he says, none can assail what is once determined, but "aut antichristus aut diabolus," c. 2.

When at Seleucia Acacius said, "If the Nicene faith has been altered once and many times since, no reason why we should not dictate another faith now," Eleusius the Semi-Arian answered, "This Council is convoked, not to learn what it does not know, not to receive a faith which it does not possess, but walking in the faith of the Fathers," (meaning the Semi-Arian Council of the Dedication, A.D. 341, vid. supr. vol. i. p. 96), "it swerves not from it in life or death." On this Socrates (Hist. ii. 40) observes, "How call you those, who met at Antioch, Fathers, O Eleusius, you who deny their {85} Fathers? for those who met at Nicæa, and who unanimously professed the Consubstantial, might more properly receive the name, &c. But if the Bishops at Antioch set at nought their own fathers, those who come after are blindly following parricides; and how did they receive a valid ordination from them, whose faith they set at nought as reprobate? But if those had not the Holy Ghost, which cometh through laying on of hands, neither did these receive the priesthood; for did they receive from those who have not wherewith to give?"

This reconsideration of points once settled Athan. all through his works strenuously resists, and with more consistency than the Semi-Arians at Seleucia. And so in their Letter the Fathers at Ariminum observe that the Emperor had commanded them "to treat of the faith," to which ambiguous phrase they reply that they mean rather to "adhere" to the faith, and to reject all novelties. At Sardica indeed the Council writes to Pope Julius, that the Emperors Constantius and Constans had proposed three subjects for its consideration: first, "that all points in discussion should be debated afresh (de integro), and above all concerning the holy faith and the integrity of the truth which [the Arians] had violated." Hil. Fragm. ii. 11. Enemies of the Arians too seem to have wished this as well as themselves; but the Council got into difficulty in consequence. Hosius the president and Protogenes Bishop of the place wrote to the Pope to explain, "from fear," says Sozomen, "lest some might think that there was any innovation upon the Nicene decrees." {86} iii. 12. However, from his way of stating the matter, Sozomen seems to have himself believed that the Council did publish a creed. And, in fact, a remarkable confession, and a confession attributed to the Council, does exist. Accordingly Athanasius, Eusebius of Vercellæ, and the Council of Alexandria, A.D. 362, protest against the idea of a treatment de integro. "It is true," they say, "that certain persons wished to add to the Nicene Council as if there was something wanting, but the Holy Council was displeased," &c. Tom. ad Antioch. § 5. However, Vigilius of Thapsus repeats the report. contr. Eutych. v. init.

This, however, did not interfere with their adding without undoing. "For," says Vigilius, "if it were unlawful to receive aught further after the Nicene statutes, on what authority venture we to assert that the Holy Ghost is of one substance with the Father, which it is notorious was there omitted?" contr. Eutych. v. init. He gives other instances, some in point, others not; vid. also Eulogius, apud Phot. Cod. 23, pp. 829, 853. Yet to add to the confession of the Church is not to add to the faith, since nothing can be added to the faith. Leo, Ep. 124, p. 1237. Nay, Athan. says that the Nicene faith is sufficient to refute every heresy, ad Max. 5, fin., also Leo, Ep. 54, p. 956, and Naz. Ep. 102 init., excepting, however, the doctrine of the Holy Spirit; which explains his meaning. The Henoticon of Zeno says the same, but with the intention of dealing a blow at the Council of Chalcedon. Evagr. iii. 14, p. 345. {87}

Aetius of Constantinople at Chalcedon says that at Ephesus and Chalcedon the Fathers did not profess to draw up an exposition of faith, and that Cyril and Leo did but "interpret the Creed." Conc. Hard. t. 2, p. 428. Leo even says that the Apostles' Creed is sufficient against all heresies, and that Eutyches erred on a point "of which our Lord wished no one of either sex in the Church to be ignorant," and he wishes Eutyches to take the plentitude of the Creed "puro et simplici corde." Ep. 31, p. 857, 8. {88}


THE titles which belong to the Divine Word by nature, are by grace given to us, a wonderful privilege, of which the Arians showed their sense, not by teaching the elevation of the creature to the Son of God, but by lowering the Son to the level of the creature. The means by which these titles become ours are our real participation ([metoche]) of the Son by His presence within us, a participation so intimate that in one sense He can be worshipped in us as being His temple or shrine. Vid. arts. In-dwelling and [metousia].

Athanasius insists on this doctrine again and again.

"The Word was made flesh in order to offer up this body for all, and that we, partaking of His Spirit, might be made gods." Decr. § 14.

"While all things which are made, have by participation ([ek metousias]) the grace of God, He is the Father's Wisdom and Word, of whom all things partake. It follows that He, being the deifying and enlightening power of the Father, in which all things are deified and quickened, is not alien in substance from the Father, but one in substance." Syn. § 51.

"He was not man, and then became God, but He was God, and then became man, and that to make us gods." Orat. i. § 39.

"This is our grace and high exaltation, that even {89} when He became man, the Son of God is worshipped, and the heavenly powers are not startled at all of us, who are one body with Him, being introduced into their realms." ibid. § 42.

"Because of our relationship to His body, we too have become God's Temple, and in consequence are made God's Sons, so that even in us the Lord is now worshipped, and beholders report, as the Apostle says, that 'God is in them of a truth.'" ibid. § 43.

"God created Him for our sakes, because of us, preparing for Him that created body, that in Him we might be capable of being renewed and made gods." Orat. ii. § 47.

"Therefore did He assume the body generate and human, that, having renewed it as its framer, He might make it god … For man had not been made god, if joined to a creature, ... the union was of this kind, ... that his salvation and deification might be sure." ibid. § 70.

"Although there be but one Son by nature, True and Only-begotten, we too become sons, ... and, though we are men from the earth, we are yet called gods ... as has pleased God who has given us that grace." Orat. iii. § 19.

"As we are sons and gods, because of the Word in us, so shall we be in the Son and in the Father, because the Spirit is in us." ibid. § 25.

"We men are made gods by the Word, as being joined to Him through His flesh." ibid. § 34.

"That He might redeem mankind ... that He {90} might hallow them and make them gods, the Word became flesh." ibid. § 39.

"What is this advance but the deifying and grace imparted from Wisdom to men?" ibid. § 53.

Vid. also Adelph. 4; Serap. i. 24; Cyr. in Joann. p. 74; Theod. Hist. p. 846 init.

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


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