{150} REVEALED truth, to be what it professes, must have an uninterrupted descent from the Apostles; its teachers must be unanimous, and persistent in their unanimity; and it must bear no human master's name as its designation.

On the other hand, first novelty, next discordance, vacillation, change, thirdly sectarianism, are consequences and tokens of religious error.

These tests stand to reason; for what is over and above nature must come from divine revelation; and, if so, it must descend from the very date when it was revealed, else it is but matter of opinion; and opinions vary, and have no warrant of permanence, but depend upon the relative ability and success of individual teachers, one with another, from whom they take their names.

The Fathers abound in passages which illustrate these three tests.

"Who are you?" says Tertullian, "whence and when came ye? what do ye on my property, being none of mine? by what right, O Marcion, cuttest thou my wood? by what licence, O Valentinus, turnest thou my springs? by what power, O Apelles, movest thou my landmarks? Mine is possession ... I possess of old, I have prior possession ... I am heir of the Apostles." Tertull. de Præscr. 37. "Tardily for me {151} hath this time of day put forth these, in my judgment, most impious doctors. Full late hath that faith of mine, which Thou hast taught me, encountered these Masters. Before these names were heard of, I thus believed in Thee, I thus was new born by Thee, and thenceforth I thus am Thine." Hil. de Trin. vi. 21. "What heresy hath ever burst forth, but under the name of some certain men, in some certain place, and at some certain time? who ever set up any heresy, but first divided himself from the consent of the universality and antiquity of the Catholic Church?" Vincent. Lir. Commonit. 24. "I will tell thee my mind briefly and plainly, that thou shouldest remain in that Church which, being founded by the Apostles, endures even to this day. When thou hearest that those who are called Christ's, are named, not after Jesus Christ, but after some one, say Marcionites, Valentinians, &c., know then it is not Christ's Church, but the synagogue of Antichrist. For by the very fact that they are formed afterwards, they show that they are those who the Apostle foretold should come." Jerom. in Lucif. 27. "If the Church was not ... whence hath Donatus appeared? from what soil has he sprung? out of what sea hath he emerged? from what heaven hath he fallen?" August. de Bapt. contr. Don. iii. 2. vid. art. Catholic, &c.

"However the error was, certainly," says Tertullian ironically, "error reigned so long as heresies were not. Truth needed a rescue, and looked out for Marcionites and Valentinians." "Meanwhile, gospelling was nought, faith was nought, nought was the baptism of so many {152} thousand thousand, so many works of faith performed, so many virtues, so many gifts displayed, so many priesthoods, so many ministries exercised, nay, so many martyrdoms crowned." Tertull. Præscr. 29. "'Profane novelties,' which if we receive, of necessity the faith of our blessed ancestors, either all or a great part of it, must be overthrown; the faithful people of all ages and times, all holy saints, all the chaste, all the continent, all the virgins, all the Clergy, the Deacons, the Priests, so many thousands of confessors, so great armies of martyrs, so many famous populous cities and commonwealths, so many islands, provinces, kings, tribes, kingdoms, nations, to conclude, almost now the whole world, incorporated by the Catholic Faith to Christ their head, must needs be said, so many hundred years, to have been ignorant, to have erred, to have blasphemed, to have believed they knew not what." Vinc. Comm. 24. "O the extravagance! the wisdom, hidden until Christ's coming, they announce to us today, which is a thing to draw tears. For if the faith began thirty years since, while near four hundred are past since Christ was manifested, nought hath been our gospel that long while, and nought our faith, and fruitlessly have martyrs been martyred, and fruitlessly have such and so great rulers ruled the people." Greg. Naz. ad Cledon. Ep. 102, p. 97.

"They know not to be reverent even to their leaders. And this is why commonly schisms exist not among heretics; because while they exist, they are not visible. Schism is their very unity. I am a liar if they do not dissent from their own rules, while every {153} man among them equally alters at his private judgment (suo arbitrio) what he has received, just as he who gave to them composed it at his private judgment. The progress of the thing is true to its nature and its origin. What was a right to Valentinus, was a right to Valentinians, what to Marcion was to the Marcionites, to innovate on the faith at their private judgment. As soon as any heresy is thoroughly examined, it is found in many points dissenting from its parent. Those parents for the most part have no Churches; they roam about without mother, without see, bereaved of the faith, without a country, without a home." Tertull. Præscr. 42. "He writes," says Athan. of Constantius, "and while he writes repents, and while he repents is exasperated; and then he grieves again, and not knowing how to act, he shows how bereft the soul is of understanding." Hist. Arian. 70; vid. also ad Ep. Æg. 6.

"Faith is made a thing of dates rather than Gospels, while it is written down by years, and is not measured by the confession of baptism." Hil. ad Const. ii. 4. "We determine yearly and monthly creeds concerning God, we repent of our determinations; we defend those who repent, we anathematise those whom we have defended; we condemn our own doings in those of others, or others in us, and gnawing each other, we are well-nigh devoured one of another." ibid. 5. "It happens to thee," says S. Hilary to Constantius, "as to unskilful builders, always to be dissatisfied with what thou hast done; thou art ever destroying what thou art ever building." contr. Constant. 23. {154}

"The Emperor [Theodosius] had a conversation with Nectarius, Bishop [of Constantinople], in what way to make Christendom concordant, and to unite the Church ... This made Nectarius anxious; but Sisinnius, a man of ready speech and of practical experience, and thoroughly versed in the interpretation of the sacred writings and in the doctrines of philosophy, having a conviction that disputation would but aggravate the party-spirit of the heretics instead of reconciling schisms, advised him to avoid dialectic engagements, and to appeal to the statements of the ancients, and to put the question to the heresiarchs from the Emperor, whether they made any sort of account of the doctors who belonged to the Church before the division, or came to issue with them as aliens from Christianity; for if they made their authority null, therefore let them venture to anathematise them. But if they did venture, then they would be driven out by the people." Socr. v. 10.

"They who do not pertinaciously defend their opinion, false and perverse though it be, especially when it does not spring from the audacity of their own presumption, but has come to them from parents seduced and lapsed into error, while they seek the truth with cautious solicitude, and are prepared to correct themselves when they have found it, are by no means to be ranked among heretics." August. Ep. 43, init.; vid. also de Bapt. contr. Don. iv. 20. {155}


HIERACAS was a Manichæan. He compared the Two Divine Persons to the two lights of one lamp, where the oil is common and the flame double, thus implying a third substance distinct from Father and Son, or to a flame divided into two by (for instance) the papyrus which was commonly used instead of a wick. vid. Hilar. de Trin. vi. 12.

¶ This doctrine is also imputed to Valentinus, though in a different sense, by Nazianzen, Orat. 33. 16. vid. also Clement, Recogn. i. 69.

Homousion, Homœusion

Vid. [homoousion], Nicene Tests, Semi-Arians, &c. {156}

Hypocrisy, Hypocrites

THIS is almost a title of the Arians, (with an apparent allusion to 1 Tim. iv. 2. vid. Socr. i. p. 13. Athan. Orat. i. § 10, ii. § 1 and § 19, iii. § 16. Syn. § 32. Ep. Enc. 6. Ep. Æg. 18. Epiph. Hær. 73, 1,) and that in various senses. The first meaning is that, being heretics, they nevertheless used orthodox phrases and statements to deceive and seduce Catholics. The term is thus used by Alexander in the beginning of the controversy. vid. Theod. Hist. i. 3, pp. 729, 746. Again, it implies that they agreed with Arius, but would not confess it; professed to be Catholics, but would not anathematise him. vid. Athan. ad Ep. Æg. 20, or alleged untruly the Nicene Council as their ground of complaint, ibid. § 18. Again, it is used of the hollowness and pretence of their ecclesiastical proceedings, with the Emperor at their head; which were a sort of make-belief of spiritual power, or piece of acting, [dramatourgema]. Ep. Encycl. 2 and 6. It also means general insincerity, as if they were talking about what they did not understand, and did not realise what they said, and were blindly implicating themselves in evils of a fearful character. Thus Athan. calls them (as cited supr.) [tous tes Areiou anias hypokritas], Orat. ii. § 1, init.; and he speaks of the evil spirit making them his sport, [tois hypokrinomenois ten manian autou], ad Serap. i. 1. And {157} hence further it is applied, at Syn. § 32, as though with severity, yet to those who were near the truth, and who, though in sin, would at length come to it or not, according as the state of their hearts was. He is here anticipating the return into the Church of those whom he thus censures. In this sense, though with far more severity in what he says, the writer of a Tract imputed to Athan. against the Catholicising Semi-Arians of 363, entitles it "On the hypocrisy of Meletius and Eusebius of Samosata." It is remarkable that what Athan. here predicts was fulfilled to the letter, even of the worst of these "hypocrites." For Acacius himself, who in 361 signed the Anomœan Confession above recorded (vid. vol. i. supr. p. 121, note), was one of those very men who accepted the Homoüsion with an explanation in 363. {158}


[hypostasis], subsistence, person. It is remarkable how seldom this word occurs in Athanasius except as found in Hebr. i. 3; and the more so because it is a term little known outside Christian theology, and within that theology after Athan.'s time so important and authentic. It is not found, I believe, in his first two Orations; twice in the third; in the fourth, which seems a distinct work from the three, by contrast five times, and often in S. Alexander's Letter in Theodoret, to his namesake at Constantinople. Vid. art. [eidos] and [ousia], which Athan. seems to use instead of it.

It would seem as if there were a class of words which, in the first age, before the theological terminology was fixed by ecclesiastical determinations, admitted of standing either for the Divine Being or a Divine Person according to the occasion; and this, as being one of them, was not definite or precise enough for a mind so clear as Athan.'s; vid. Orat. iii. § 66, iv. § 1, 25, 33, 35. Vid. art. [ousia]. {159}

Idolatry of Arianism

ARIANS considered our Lord a creature, with a beginning of existence, with a probation, and during it a liability to fall. Yet it was one of their fundamental tenets that He was Creator of the universe, and created in order to create. Accordingly Athan. and the other Fathers rightly charge them with idol worship.

"We must take reverent heed," says Athanasius, "lest transferring what is proper to the Father to what is unlike Him, and expressing the Father's godhead by what is unlike in kind and alien, we introduce another being foreign to Him, as if capable of the properties of the first, and lest we be silenced by God Himself, saying, My glory I will not give to another, and be discovered worshipping this alien God." Syn. 50. "Who told them, after abandoning the worship of creatures, after all to draw near and to worship a creature and a work?" Orat. i. § 8. vid. also Orat. ii. § 14. Ep. Ægypt. 4 and 13. Adelph. 3. Serap. i. 29.

This point, as might be expected, is insisted on by other Fathers, vid. Cyril. Dial. iv. p. 511, &c. v. p. 566. Greg. Naz. Orat. 40. 42. Hil. Trin. viii. 28. Ambros. de Fid. i. n. 69 and 104. Theod. in Rom. i. 25.

The Arians were in the dilemma of holding two Gods, or worshipping the creature, unless they denied to the Lord both divinity and worship. Hence Athan. {160} says, [phaskontes, ou legomen duo ageneta, legousi duo theous], Orat. iii. 16. But "every substance," says S. Austin, "which is not God, is a creature, and which is not a creature, is God," de Trin. i. 6. And so S. Cyril, "We see God and creation and besides nothing; for whatever falls external to God's nature has certainly a maker; and whatever is clear of the definition of creation, is certainly within the definition of the Godhead." In Joan. p. 52. vid. also Naz. Orat. 31. 6. Basil. contr. Eunom. ii. 31.

Petavius gives a large collection of passages, de Trin. ii. 12, § 5, from other Fathers in proof of the worship of Our Lord evidencing His Godhead. {161}

Ignorance Assumed Economically by Our Lord

"IT is plain that He knows the hour of the end of all things," says Athan., "as the Word, though as man He is ignorant of it, for ignorance belongs to man." Orat. iii. § 43, and Serap. ii. 9.

S. Basil, on the general question being asked him, of our Lord's infirmities, by S. Amphilochius, says that he shall give him the answer he had "heard from boyhood from the fathers," but which was more fitted for pious Christians than for cavillers, and that is, that "Our Lord says many things to men in His human aspect, as 'Give Me to drink,' ... yet He who asked was not flesh without a soul, but Godhead using flesh which had one." Ep. 236, 1. He goes on to suggest another explanation about His ignorance which is mentioned below. And S. Cyril, "Let them [the heretics] strip the Word openly of the flesh and what it implies, and destroy outright the whole Economy [Incarnation], and then they will clearly see the Son as God; or, if they shudder at this as impious and absurd, why blush they at the conditions of the manhood, and determine to find fault with what especially befits the economy of the flesh?" Trin. pp. 623, 4. Vid. also Thes. p. 220. "As He submitted as man to hunger and thirst, so ... to be ignorant," p. 221. Vid. also Naz. {162} Orat. 30. 15. Theodoret expresses the same opinion very strongly, speaking of a gradual revelation to the manhood from the Godhead, but in an argument when it was to his point to do so, in Anath. 4, t. v. p. 23, ed. Schulze. Theodore of Mopsuestia also speaks of a revelation made by the Word. ap. Leont. iii. c. Nest.. (Canis. i. p. 579).

Though our Lord, as having two natures, had a human as well as a divine knowledge, and though that human knowledge was not only limited because human, but liable to ignorance in matters in which greater knowledge was possible; yet it is the received doctrine, that in fact He was not ignorant even in His human nature, according to its capacity, since it was from the first taken out of its original and natural condition, and "deified" by its union with the Word. As then (infra art. Specialties, part 5) His manhood was created, yet He may not be called a creature even in His manhood, and as (ibid. part 6) His flesh was in its abstract nature a servant, yet He is not a servant in fact, even as regards the flesh; so, though He took on Him a soul which left to itself would have been partially ignorant, as other human souls, yet as ever enjoying the Beatific Vision from its oneness with the Word, it never was ignorant in fact, but knew all things which human soul can know. vid. Eulog. ap. Phot. 230, p. 884. As Pope Gregory expresses it, "Novit in naturâ, non ex naturâ humanitatis." Epp. x. 39. However, this view of the sacred subject was not received by the Church till after S. Athanasius's day, and it cannot be denied that he and others of the most eminent {163} Fathers use language which primâ facie is inconsistent with it. They certainly seem to impute ignorance to our Lord as man, as Athan. in the passage cited above. Of course it is not meant that our Lord's soul had the same perfect knowledge which He has as God. This was the assertion of a General of the Hermits of S. Austin at the time of the Council of Basil, when the proposition was formally condemned, "animam Christi Deum videre tam clarè et intensè quàm clarè et intensè Deus videt seipsum." vid. Berti Opp. t. 3, p. 42. Yet Fulgentius had said, "I think that in no respect was full knowledge of the Godhead wanting to that Soul, whose Person is one with the Word,—whom Wisdom did so assume that it is itself that same Wisdom," ad Ferrand. Resp. iii. p. 223, ed. 1639; though, ad Trasimund. i. 7, he speaks of ignorance attaching to our Lord's human nature.

S. Basil takes the words [oud' ho huios, ei me ho pater], to mean, "nor does the Son know except the Father knows," or "nor would the Son but for," &c., or "nor does the Son know, except as the Father knows." "The cause of the Son's knowing is from the Father." Ep. 236, 2. S. Gregory alludes to the same interpretation, [oud' ho huios e hos hoti ho pater], "Since the Father knows, therefore the Son." Naz. Orat. 30. 16. S. Irenæus seems to adopt the same when he says, "The Son was not ashamed to refer the knowledge of that day to the Father;" Hær. ii. 28, n. 6, as Naz. supr. uses the words [epi ten aitian anapherestho]. And so Photius distinctly, [eis archen anapheretai]. "'Not the Son, but the Father,' that is, whence knowledge {164} comes to the Son as from a fountain." Epp. p. 342, ed. 1651.

Origen considers such answer an economy. "He who knows what is in the heart of men, Christ Jesus, as John also has taught us in his Gospel, asks, yet is not ignorant. But since He has now taken on Him man, He adopts all that is man's, and among them the asking questions. Nor is it strange that the Saviour should do so, since the very God of all, accommodating Himself to the habits of man, as a father might to his son, inquires, for instance, 'Adam, where art thou?' and 'Where is Abel, thy brother?'" in Matt. t. 10, § 14; vid. also Pope Gregory and Chrysost. infr.

S. Chrysostom, S. Ambrose, and Pope S. Gregory in addition to the instances in Orat. iii. § 50, refer to "I will go down now, and see whether they have done, &c. and if not, I will know." Gen. xviii. 21. "The Lord came down to see the city and the tower," &c. Gen. xi. 5. "God looked down from heaven upon the children of men to see," &c. Ps. liii. § 3. "It may be they will reverence My Son." Matt. xxi. 37. Luke xx. 13. "Seeing a fig tree afar off, having leaves, He came, if haply He might find," &c. Mark xi. 13. "Simon, lovest thou Me?" John xxi. 15. Vid. Ambros. de Fid. v. c. 17. Chrys. in Matt. Hom. 77, 3. Greg. Epp. x. 39. Vid. also the instances Athan. Orat. iii. § 37. Other passages may be added, such as Gen. xxii. 12. vid. Berti Opp. t. 3, p. 42. But the difficulty of Mar. xiii. 32 lies in its signifying that there is a sense in which the Father knows what the Son knows not. Petavius, after S. Augustine, meets this by explaining it to mean {165} that our Lord, as sent from the Father on a mission, was not to reveal all things, but to observe a silence and profess an ignorance on those points which it was not good for His brethren to know. As Mediator and Prophet He was ignorant. He refers in illustration of this view to such texts as, "I have not spoken of Myself; but the Father which sent Me, He gave Me commandment what I should say and what I should speak ... Whatsoever I speak therefore, even as the Father said unto Me, so I speak." John xii. 49, 50.

It is a question to be decided, whether our Lord speaks of actual ignorance in His human Mind or of the natural ignorance of that Mind considered as human; ignorance "in" or "ex naturâ;" or, which comes to the same thing, whether He spoke of a real ignorance, or of an economical or professed ignorance, in a certain view of His incarnation or office, as when He asked, "How many loaves have ye?" when "He Himself knew what He would do," or as He is called sin, though sinless. Thus Ath. seems, Orat ii. § 55 fin., to make His infirmities altogether imputative, not real; "He is said to be infirm, not being infirm Himself," as if showing that the subject had not in his day been thoroughly worked out. In like manner S. Hilary, who, if the passage be genuine, states so clearly our Lord's ignorance, de Trin. ix. fin., yet, as Petavius observes, seems elsewhere to deny to Him those very affections of the flesh to which he has there paralleled it. And this view of Athan.'s meaning is favoured by the turn of his expressions. He says, such a defect belongs to "that human nature whose property {166} it is to be ignorant;" Orat. iii. § 43; that "since He was made man, He is not ashamed, because of the flesh which is ignorant, to say 'I know not;'" ibid. And § 45, that "as showing His manhood, in that to be ignorant is proper to man, and that He had put on a flesh that was ignorant, being in which, He said according to the flesh, 'I know not;'" "that He might show that as man He knows not," § 46; viz. as man, (i.e. on the ground of being man, not in the capacity of man,) "He knows not," ibid.; and that "He asks about Lazarus humanly," even when "He was on His way to raise him," which implied surely knowledge in His human nature. The reference to the parallel of S. Paul's professed ignorance when he really knew, § 47, leads us to the same suspicion. And so, "for our profit, as I think, did He this." § 48-50.

The natural want of precision on such questions in the early ages was shown or fostered by such words as [oikonomikos], which, in respect of this very text, is used by S. Basil to denote both our Lord's Incarnation, Ep. 236, 1 fin., and His gracious accommodation of Himself and His truth, Ep. 8, 6; and with the like variety of meaning, with reference to the same text, by Cyril. Trin. p. 623; and Thesaur. p. 224. (And the word dispensatio in like manner, Ben. note on Hil. Trin. x. 8.) In the latter Ep. S. Basil suggests that our Lord "economises by a feigned ignorance." And S. Cyril. in Thesaur. l. c. (in spite of his strong language ibid. p. 221), "The Son knows all things, though economically He says He is ignorant of something," Thesaur. p. 224. And even in de Trin. vi. he seems {167} to recognise the distinction laid down just now between the natural and actual state of our Lord's humanity: "God would not make it known even to the Son Himself, were He a mere man upon earth, as they say, and not having it in His nature to be God." p. 629. And S. Hilary arguing that He must as man know the day of judgment, for His then coming is as man, says, "Since He is Himself a sacrament, let us see whether He be ignorant in the things which He knows not. For if in the other respects a profession of ignorance is not an intimation of not knowing, so here too He is not ignorant of what He knows not. For since His ignorance, in respect that all treasures of knowledge lie hid in Him, is rather an economy (dispensation) than an ignorance, you have a cause why He might be ignorant without an actual intimation of not knowing." Trin. ix. 62. And he gives reasons why He professed ignorance, n. 67, viz. as S. Austin words it, "Christum se dixisse nescientem, in quo alios facit occultando nescientes." Ep. 180. 3. S. Austin follows Hilary, saying, "Hoc nescit quod nescientes facit." Trin. i. n. 23. Pope Gregory says that the text "is most certainly to be referred to the Son not as He is Head, but as to His body which we are." Ep. x. 39. And S. Ambrose distinctly: "The Son which took on Him the flesh, assumed our affections, so as to say that He knew not with our ignorance; not that He was ignorant of anything Himself, for, though He seemed to be man in truth of body, yet He was the life and light, and virtue went out of Him," &c. de Fid. v. 222. And so Cæsarius, Qu. 20. and Photius Epp. p. 336, &c. Chrysost. in Matth. Hom. 77, 3. Theodoret, {168} however, but in controversy, is very severe on the principle of Economy. "If He knew the day, and wishing to conceal it, said He was ignorant, see what a blasphemy is the result. Truth tells an untruth." l. c. pp. 23, 24.

The expression, Orat. iii. § 48, &c. "for our sake," which repeatedly occurs, surely implies that there was something economical in our Lord's profession of ignorance. He used it with a purpose, not as a mere plain fact or doctrine. And so S. Cyril, "He says that He is ignorant, for our sake and among us, as man," Thes. p. 221: "economically effecting, [oikonomon], something profitable and good." ibid. And again, after stating that there was an objection, and paralleling His words with His question to S. Philip about the loaves, he says, "Knowing as God the Word, He can, as man, be ignorant." p. 223. "It is not a sign of ignorance, but of wisdom, for it was inexpedient that we should know it." Ambros. de Fid. v. 209. S. Chrysostom seems to say the same, denying that the Son was ignorant, Hom. 77, 1. And Theophylact, "Had He said, 'I know, but I will not tell you,' they had been cast down, as if despised by Him; but now in saying 'not the Son but the Father only,' He hinders their asking ... for how can the Son be ignorant of the day?" Theophyl. in loc. Matt. "Often little children see their fathers holding something in their hands, and ask for it, but they will not give it. Then the children cry as not receiving it. At length the fathers hide what they have got and show their empty hands to their children, and so stop their crying ... {169} For our profit hath He hid it." ibid. in loc. Marc. "For thee He is ignorant of the hour and day of judgment, though nothing is hid from the Very Wisdom ... But He economises this because of thy infirmity," &c. supr. Basil, Ep. 8, 6.

It is the doctrine of the Church that Christ, as man, was perfect in knowledge from the first, as if ignorance were hardly separable from sin, and were the direct consequence or accompaniment of original sin. "That ignorance," says S. Austin, "I in nowise can suppose existed in that Infant, in whom the Word was made flesh to dwell among us; nor can I suppose that that infirmity of the mind belonged to Christ as a babe, which we see in babes. For in consequence of it, when they are troubled with irrational emotions, no reason, no command, but pain sometimes and the alarm of pain restrains them," &c. de Pecc. Mer. ii. 48.

As to the limits of Christ's perfect knowledge as man, we must consider "that the soul of Christ knew all things that are or ever will be or ever have been, but not what are only in posse, not in fact." Petav. Incarn. xi. 3, 6.

Leporius, in his Retractation, which S. Augustine subscribed, writes, "That I may in this respect also leave nothing to be cause of suspicion to any one, I then said, nay I answered when it was put to me, that our Lord Jesus Christ was ignorant as He was man (secundùm hominem). But now not only do I not presume to say so, but I even anathematise my former opinion expressed on this point, because it may not be said, that the Lord of the Prophets was ignorant even {170} as He was man." ap. Sirmond. t. i. p. 210. A subdivision also of the Eutychians were called by the name of Agnoetæ from their holding that our Lord was ignorant of the day of judgment. "They said," says Leontius, "that He was ignorant of it, as we say that He underwent toil." de Sect. 5 circ. fin. Felix of Urgela held the same doctrine according to Agobard's testimony, as contained adv. Fel. 6, Bibi. Patr. Max. t. xiv. p. 244. The Ed. Ben. observes, Ath. Orat. iii. § 44, that the assertion of our Lord's ignorance "seems to have been condemned in no one in ancient times, unless joined to other error." And Petavius, after drawing out the authorities for and against it, says, "Of these two opinions, the latter, which is now received both by custom and by the agreement of divines, is deservedly preferred to the former. For it is more agreeable to Christ's dignity, and more befitting His character and office of Mediator and Head, that is, Fountain of all grace and wisdom, and moreover of Judge, who is concerned in knowing the time fixed for exercising that function. In consequence, the former opinion, though formerly it received the countenance of some men of high eminence, was afterwards marked as a heresy." Incarn., xi. 1. § 15.

The mode in which Athan. expresses himself, is as if he only ascribed apparent ignorance to our Lord's soul, and not certainly in the broad sense in which heretics have done so:—as Leontius, e.g. reports of Theodore of Mopsuestia, that he considered Christ "to be ignorant so far, as not to know, when He was tempted, who tempted Him;" contr. Nest. iii. (Canis. t. i. p. 579,) {171} and Agobard of Felix the Adoptionist that he held "Our Lord Jesus Christ according to the flesh truly to have been ignorant of the sepulchre of Lazarus, when He said to his sisters, 'Where have ye laid him?' and was truly ignorant of the day of judgment; and was truly ignorant what the two disciples were saying as they walked by the way, of what had been done at Jerusalem; and was truly ignorant whether He was more loved by Peter than by the other disciples, when He said, 'Simon Peter, lovest thou Me more than these?'" Bibl. Patr. Max. t. xiv. p. 244. The Agnoetæ have been noticed above.

It is remarkable, considering the tone of his statements, Orat. iii. § 42-53, that there and in what follows upon them, Athan. should resolve our Lord's advance in wisdom merely into its gradual manifestation through the flesh; and it increases the proof that his statements are not to be taken in the letter, and as if fully brought out and settled. Naz. says the same, Ep. ad Cled. 101, p. 86, which is the more remarkable since he is chiefly writing against the Apollinarians, who considered a [phanerosis] the great end of our Lord's coming; and Cyril. c. Nest. iii. p. 87. Theod. Hær. v. 13. On the other hand, S. Epiphanius speaks of Him as growing in wisdom as man. Hær. 77, pp. 1019-24, and S. Ambrose, Incarn. 71-74. Vid. however Ambr. de Fid. as quoted supr. p. 167. The Ed. Ben. in Ambr. Incarn. considers the advancement of knowledge spoken of to be that of the "scientia experimentalis" alluded to in Hebr. v. 8, which is one of the three kinds of knowledge {172} possessed by Christ as man. vid. Berti Opp. t. 3, p. 41. Petavius, however, omits the consideration of this knowledge, (which S. Thomas at first denied in our Lord, and in his Summa ascribes to Him,) as lying beyond his province. "De hac lite neutram in partem pronuntiare audeo," says Petavius, "hujusmodi enim quæstiones ad Scholas relegandæ sunt; de quibus nihil apud antiquos liquidi ac definiti reperitur." Incarn. xi. 4, § 9. {173}


"Is there any cause of fear," says Athan., "lest, because the offspring from men are one in substance, the Son, by being called One in substance, be Himself considered as a human offspring too? perish the thought! not so; but the explanation is easy. For the Son is the Father's Word and Wisdom; whence we learn the impassibility ([apathes]) and indivisibility ([ameriston]) of such a generation from the Father. For not even is man's word part of him, nor proceeds from him according to passion; much less God's Word; whom the Father has declared to be His own Son: lest, on the other hand, if we merely heard of 'Word,' we should suppose Him, such as is the word of man, unsubsistent ([anupostaton]); therefore we are told that He is Son, that we may acknowledge Him to be a living Word and a substantive ([enousion]) Wisdom. Accordingly as in saying 'Offspring,' we have no human thoughts, and, though we know God to be a Father, we entertain no material ideas concerning Him, but while we listen to these illustrations and terms, we think suitably of God, for He is not as man, so in like manner, when we hear of 'consubstantial,' we ought to transcend all sense, and, according to the Proverb, understand by the understanding that is set before us; so as to know, that not by the Father's will, but in eternal truth, is {174} He genuine Son of the Father, as Life from Fountain, and Radiance from Light. Else why should we understand 'Offspring' and 'Son,' in no corporeal way, while we conceive of 'One in substance' as after the manner of bodies? especially since these terms are not here used about different subjects, but of whom 'offspring' is predicated, of Him is predicated 'one in substance also.'" Syn. § 41, 42.

"For whereas men beget with passion, so again when at work they work upon an existing subject matter, and otherwise cannot make. Now if we do not understand creation in a human way, when we attribute it to God, much less seemly is it to understand generation in a human way, or to give a corporeal sense to Consubstantial; instead, as we ought, of receding from things generate, casting away human images, nay, all things sensible, and ascending to the Father, lest in ignorance we rob the Father of the Son and rank Him among His own creatures." Syn. § 51.

S. Athanasius's doctrine is, that, God containing in Himself all perfection, whatever is excellent in one created thing above another, is found in its perfection in him. If then such generation as radiance from light is more perfect than that of children from parents, that belongs, and transcendently, to the All-perfect God.

The question is not, whether in matter of fact, in the particular case, the rays would issue after, and not with, the initial existence of the luminous body; for the illustration is not used to show how such a thing may be, or to give an instance of it, but to convey to the {175} mind a correct idea of what it is proposed to teach in the Catholic doctrine.

Athanasius guards against what is defective in his illustration, Orat. iii. § 5, (e.g. of an Emperor and his image,) but, even independent of such explanation, a mistake as to his meaning would be impossible; and the passage affords a good instance of the imperfect and partial character of all illustrations of the Divine Mystery. What it is taken to symbolise is the unity of the Father and Son, (for the Image is not a Second Emperor but the same, vid. Sabell. Greg. 6,) still no one who bowed before the Emperor's Statue can be supposed to have really worshipped it; whereas our Lord is the Object of supreme worship, which terminates in Him, as being really one with Him whose Image He is.

"Whoso uses the particle as, implies, not identity, nor equality, but a likeness of the matter in question, viewed in a certain respect. This we may learn from our Saviour Himself, when He says 'As Jonas,'" &c. Orat. iii. 22, 23. "Even when the analogy is solid and well founded," says a Protestant writer, "we are liable to fall into error, if we suppose it to extend farther than it really does ... Thus because a just analogy has been discerned between the metropolis of a country, and the heart in the animal body, it has been sometimes contended that its increased size is a disease, that it may impede some of its most important functions, or even be the means of its dissolution." Copleston on Predestination, p. 129. The principle here laid down, in accordance with S. Athan., of course admits of being made an {176} excuse for denying the orthodox meaning of "Word, Wisdom, &c.," under pretence that the figurative terms are not confined by the Church within their proper limits; but here the question is about the matter of fact, which interpretation is right, the Church's or the objector's? Thus another writer says, "The most important words of the N. T. have not only received an indelibly false stamp from the hands of the old Schoolmen, but those words having, since the Reformation, become common property in the language of the country, are, as it were, thickly incrusted with the most vague, incorrect, and vulgar notions ... Any word ... if habitually repeated in connection with certain notions, will appear to reject all other significations, as it were, by a natural power." Heresy and Orthod. pp. 21, 47. Elsewhere he speaks of words "which were used in a language now dead to represent objects ... which are now supposed to express figuratively something spiritual and quite beyond the knowledge and comprehension of man." P. 96. Of course Athan. assumes that since the figures and parallels given us in Scripture have but a partial application, therefore there is given us from above also an interpreter in order to apply them. Vid. art. Economical.

Again, just as S. Athan. says, "A figure is but a parallel, ... hence if we too become one, as the Son in the Father, we shall not therefore be as the Son, nor equal to Him, for He and we are but parallel," so again Dr. Copleston thus proceeds, "Analogy does not mean the similarity of two things, but the similarity {177} or sameness of two relations ... Things most unlike and discordant in their nature may be strictly analogous to one another. Thus a certain proposition may be called the basis of a system ... it serves a similar office and purpose ... the system rests upon it; it is useless to proceed with the argument till this is well established: if this were removed, the system must fall." On Predest. pp. 122, 123. {178}


IS used to signify our Lord's relation to the Eternal Father: and first in Scripture,—

1. We find Him called [eikon], imago, in 2 Cor. iv. 4; and Col. i. 15. In a verse following the former of these passages it is said in like manner that the glory of God is in the face of Jesus Christ. This carries us to Heb. i. 3, where we read of Him as the [apaugasma] of God's glory, and find in the word [charakter], figura, impress, a synonym for the word Image. St. John confirms St. Paul; he speaks of our Lord's glory "quasi Unigeniti a Patre," and says that the "Son who is in the bosom of the Father, hath declared Him."

These modes of expressing the nature and office of the Son as the revealed and revealing God, as the Light, the Glory, the Image, the Impress, the Face of the Almighty, are exemplified with still greater variety and fulness of language in the Book of Wisdom, ch. vii., in a passage too long to quote, in which, among other attributes and prerogatives, Wisdom, that is, our Lord, is called a [pneuma hagion, monogenes, philagathos, philanthropos], the [aporrhoia tes tou pantokratoros doxes], the [apaugasma photos aidiou], the [esoptron akelidoton tes tou theou energeias], and the [eikon tes agathotetos autou].

It is impossible that the Holy Apostles, when they {179} spoke of our Lord as the Word, Image, and Splendour of God, should not have had in mind this passage, so overpowering in its force and significance, and were not investing with personality and substance what they thus viewed as all-perfect, immutable, coeternal, consubstantial with Him.

2. S. Athanasius and the other Fathers take up and insist upon this definite theology, thus found in Scripture.

"We must conceive of necessity," says Athan., "that in the Father is the eternal, the everlasting, the immortal; and in Him, not as foreign to Him, but as in a Fount abiding ([anapauomena]) in Him, and also in the Son. When then you would form a conception of the Son, learn what are the things in the Father, and believe that they are in the Son too. If the Father is creature or work, these attributes are also in the Son, &c. ... He who honours the Son, is honouring the Father who sent Him, and he who receives the Son, is receiving with Him the Father," &c. In illud Omn. 4. "As the Father is I am ([ho on]) so His Word is I Am and God over all." Serap. i. 28. "Altogether, there is nothing which the Father has, which is not the Son's; for therefore it is that the Son is in the Father, and the Father in the Son; because the things of the Father, these are in the Son, and still the same are understood as being in the Father. Thus is understood, 'I and the Father are One;' since not these things are in Him and those in the Son, but the things which are in the Father those are in the Son, and what thou seest in the Father, because thou seest in the Son, thereby is {180} rightly understood 'He that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father.'" Serap. ii. 2.

Again: "Such as the parent, such of necessity is the offspring; and such as is the Word's Father, such must be also His Word ... God is not as man, as Scripture has said, but is existing ([on esti]) and is ever, therefore His Word also is existing, and is everlastingly with the Father as radiance with light ... As radiance from light, so is He perfect offspring from perfect. Hence He is also God, as being God's Image." Orat. ii. § 35. "It was fitting that, whereas God is One, that His Image should be One also, and His Word One, and One His Wisdom." Ibid. § 36.

"He is likeness and image of the sole and true God, being Himself sole also," § 49. [monos en monoi], Orat. iii. § 21. [holos holou eikon], Serap. i. 16. "The Offspring of the Ingenerate," says S. Hilary, "is One from One, True from True, Living from Living, Perfect from Perfect, Power of Power, Wisdom of Wisdom, Glory of Glory," de Trin. ii. 8; [teleios teleion gegenneken, pneuma pneuma]. Epiph. Hær. lxxvi. p. 945. "As Light from Light, and Life from Life, and Good from Good; so from Eternal Eternal." Nyss. contr. Eunom. i. p. 164. App. "De Deo nascitur Deus, de Ingenito Unigenitus, de Solo Solus, de Toto Totus, de Vero Verus, de Perfecto Perfectus, Totum Patris habens, nihil derogans Patri." Zenon. Serm. ii. 3.

"A man will see the extravagance of this heresy still more clearly, if he considers that the Son is the Image and Radiance of the Father, and Impress and Truth. For if, when Light exists, there be withal {181} its Image, viz. Radiance,—and a Subsistence existing, there be of it the entire Impress,—and a Father existing, there be His true representation,—let them consider what depths of impiety they fall into, who make time the measure of the Image and Countenance of the Godhead. For if the Son was not before His generation, Truth was not always in God, which it were a sin to say; for, since the Father was, there was ever in Him the Truth, which is the Son, who says, I am the Truth. And the Subsistence existing, of course there was forthwith its Impress and Image; for God's Image is not delineated from without, but God Himself hath begotten It; in which seeing Himself, He has delight, as the Son Himself says, I was His delight. When then did the Father not see Himself in His own Image? or when had He not delight in Him, that a man should dare to say, 'The Image is out of nothing,' and 'The Father had not delight before the Image was generated?' and how should the Maker and Creator see Himself in a created and generated substance? for such as is the Father, such must be the Image. Proceed we then to consider the attributes of the Father, and we shall come to know whether this Image is really His. The Father is eternal, immortal, powerful, light, King, Sovereign, God, Lord, Creator, and Maker. These attributes must be in the Image, to make it true, that he that hath seen the Son, hath seen the Father." Orat. i. § 20, 21.

"If God be ingenerate, His Image is not generate [made,] but an Offspring, which is His Word and His Wisdom," ibid. § 31. {182}

Athan. argues from the very name Image for our Lord's eternity. An Image, to be really such, must be an impress from the Original, not an external and detached imitation. It was attempted to secure this point before Nicæa by the epithets living and [aparallaktos], unsucessfully, vid. Decr. § 20. Thus S. Basil: "He is an Image not made with the hand, or a work of art, but a living Image," &c. vid. art. [aparallakton], also contr. Eunom. ii. 16, 17. Epiph. Hær. 76, 3. Hilar. Trin. vii. 41 fin. Origen observes that man, on the contrary, is an example of an external or improper image of God. Periarch. i. 2, § 6. vid. Theod. Hist. i. 3, pp. 737, 742.

S. Gregory Naz. argues from the name of Image to our Lord's consubstantiality. "He is Image as [homoousion] ... for this is the nature of an image to be a copy of the archetype." Orat. 30. 20.

Vid. S. Athan.'s doctrine concerning Wisdom, Orat. ii. § 80, &c. He says, Gent. 34, "The soul as in a mirror, contemplates the Word the Image of the Father, and in Him considers the Father, whose Image the Saviour is ... or if not ... yet from the things that are seen, the creation is such, as if by letters signifying and heralding its Lord and Maker by means of its order and harmony." And "As by looking up to the heaven ... we have an idea of the Word who set it in order, so considering the Word of God, we cannot but see God His Father." 45. And Incarn. 11, 41, 42, &c. Vid. also Basil. contr. Eunom. ii. 16.

On the Arian objection, that if our Lord be the Father's Image, He ought to resemble Him in being {183} a Father, vid. article, "Father Almighty." The words "like" and much more "image," would be inappropriate, if the Second Divine Person in nothing differed from the First. Sonship is just that one difference which allows of likeness being predicated of Him.

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


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