According to Rossel's further exposition, the humanity of Jesus is the personal element; but alongside thereof are also patripassian elements. This view, however, renders the theory selfcontradictory, and introduces into it elements so heterogeneous, that they could not continue in combination. According to Neander, on the contrary, that irradiation which by the incarnation became an hypostatization of divine power, was the personific element. Even at an earlier period, the opinion was expressed by Mosheim (" de rebus Christianis ante Constantinum Commentarii," p. 699 ff.), that Beryll did not conceive the entire essence of the Father to have passed over into Christ, on the one hand; nor, on the other hand, merely a divine power, which would have been decidedly Ebionitic; but the purest, most glorious, wisest possible soul, taken out of, and therefore perfectly like, the nature of the Father. Such an idea would have been Arian. Against both Neander and Mosheim, however, is the text of Eusebius, which says, not that a power or soul of the Father, or deity of the Father, but the (ttjv) deity of the Father, dwelt in Him. Ullmann (see his "Comm. -de Beryllo Bostreno ejusqne doctrina," Hamb. 1835; and compare "Theol. Studien und Kritiken," 1836, pp. 1073 f.) is of opinion that Beryll did not view the divine in Christ merely ebionitically, as a simple power, but conceived it also to be possessed of consciousness or of personality; thus approximating to Schleiermacher's position. On the other hand, however, he represents him not merely denying that the incarnation posited a distinction in God Himself, but also as maintaining that the circumscriptive, personific human element (das unschreibende personbildende Menschliche) constituted the personality of Christ; which is scarcely reconcilable with the recognition of the personal existence of the divine in Christ, and involves the assumption of a double personality—an assumption, to which both Ebionites, Patripassians, and Sabellians were most thoroughly opposed. Baur also tries to show that Beryll assumed a twofold personality, after the manner of Nestorius. His words are (1. c. p. 289),—" The expression efnroXireveaOai, although it involves the idea of indwelling, implies, at the same time, that a free relation existed between the Redeemer and the Father, even as a citizen stands connected with other citizens equal to himself iu the place where he lives." I think, however, that the knot, which Ullmann leaves behind, can be untied. We must either start with the humanity as the primary, the personific element and then Beryll must be acknowledged to have been Ebionitical or, we must take our start with the deity, as the personific, or. more historically expressed, as the active, the hegemonical element, the element which formed the avaraai<; (Hippol. c. Noet. 15). Those who took this latter view of the matter naturally denied that the Son of God had an hypostatical, or an in any way circumscribed pre-existence. He first became circumscribed when He became incarnate. There is, however, an ambiguity in this latter supposition, the clearing up and removal of which throws an important light upon the whole; namely, the circumscription of the Son resulted either from the self-determination of God, or from the activity of the human nature. In the latter case, the divine aspect occupied a purely passive and receptive position; it was subjected to circumscription, to limitation: if, however, it were inactive, nay more, passive, we cannot allow that God and man were united in the highest way, to wit, personally and consciously; for such an union requires that the divine stand in an active, hegemonical relation to the human aspect. If the divine aspect were passive, we must assume the existence in Christ of a higher principle, of a power, which, however, was by no means all-determining; in other words, we must go over to Ebionism. In this way, Ullmann appears to have glided over from the initiatory Patripassianism to the ultimate Ebionism of Beryll. But—and this leads us to the second case—it was not necessary that Patripassianism should pay this price for the personality of Christ, although we by no means intend to deny that many may have taken this course. Those are chiefly chargeable therewith who conceived God, after an ethnic manner, to be immediately capable of suffering; or who resorted to the idea of an airoicoirrj of God in Christ, in order not to be compelled to represent the entire Father as swallowed up and absorbed by Christ, at all events for the period of his development as a child: those are least chargeable therewith, who, like Noetus, set the eOeXeiv, the divine will, in opposition to the ethnic principle, and represented everything as dependent thereon. Indeed, Patripassians might also have said,—The conscious, personal God willed to exist in the form of an actual finite being; He consequently either produced the limited humanity out of Himself,—which would be a Docetical idea, and incompatible with their recognition of the birth from the Virgin; or, and this is the only possible alternative, God so perfectly appropriated the body, which sprung from Mary, and took it up into His own essence, that the unity of the person was complete, and the Father, or the fatherly deity, possessed the finitude and the passibleness of this man as its own. To this might be added (as we have found Beron doing) the Khmais, and, on the basis thereof, have been taught the doctrine of a conversion of God into a man born of Mary, which man, however, owed his rise out of the elements in Mary to the afore-mentioned divine conversion. Finally, Fock, in his Diss. de Christolog. Berylli Bostr. 1843, decides—and, as it appears to me, justly—both against Baur, with his imputation of Ebionism, and Neander and Mosheim, with their attempt to weaken the force of the words, Ttjv irarpucrjv Beanyra ifnroXirevofievrjv h> avrco, which leads to a kind of Arianism. For the reason assigned, he is also opposed to Ullmann; he therefore substantially adopts Schleiermacher's view, and classes Beryll with the Patripassians, putting him even on the same level with Praxeas. He is above all averse to granting that Beryll attributed a human soul to Christ, as do Baur and Ullmann (Neander and Rossel ought consistently to do the same); justly urging, that unless Beryll had given occasion thereto, the Synod which was held on his account would not have proceeded so "ex abrupto," to the consideration and affirmation of the human soul of Christ (see Notes 7 and 30). He fails, however, to answer the important objection, why Beryll was never reproached with the denial of the human soul of Christ. For we have shown above, that what he says regarding the absence of a soul of Christ in the systems even of Irenaeus and other teachers of the Church, is historically inaccurate. Further, Ullmann's objection, that the idea of the assumption of a mere body would be too coarse, Fock sets aside by an appeal to Apollinaris. Nay more, he hints that much may be urged in favour of the opinion, that they regarded the divine subject as the Ego and the intelligence, in brief, as the Spirit in Christ; if, indeed, it be not quite maintainable. On the other hand, however, not content with characterizing (after Schleiermacher's example) the strictly patripassian element, to wit, the subjection of the Father to suffering, as an idea too coarse to be entertained by this entire series of thinkers, and in particular by Beryll,—a notion which, after what has been advanced above, is by itself untenable; he will not even concede, with Schleiermacher, that Beryll believed in the existence of a circumscription in the divine nature itself, subsequent to the incarnation. He is rather of Baur's opinion, that we must then read, Kclt ISlav rrjs ovaUvi irepir/pa^>rjv, instead of Kor IBlav ovala<; irepir/pcufirjv. His judgment, accordingly, appears to be,—Beryll merely maintained that, subsequently to the incarnation, the Redeemer existed in the circumscribed form of an individual; whereas, previously, He had been neither hypostatical nor circumscribed, but absolutely identical with the Father. The circumscription was not therefore in Him, but He in the circumscription. Here again, however, we come upon the ambiguity cleared up above. If the Father had not posited circumscription as an objective determination of His own being, He could only have existed in circumscription so far as His entire being was embraced and bounded by finitude. But on this supposition, the finite would be the active element; and, as we have shown, Beryll must then be described as an Ebionite. As Fock, however, by no means intends to class Beryll amongst Ebionites, his only alternative is to return to Schleiermacher's view, and to accept the irepvypcuptj as an objective determination of the divine nature itself, with the following proviso—this determination and circumscription was not the effect of the action of the human nature on the divine (a notion which, besides being essentially Ebionitic, had been already given up as untenable by Noetus), but the work of the divine will. From what we know of the man as a whole, this must be assumed to have been his view, even should the sense of the words of Eusebius be, "The Redeemer exists since the incarnation in the circumscription of an individual being (ovalas)." It is more than questionable, however, whether this is the true sense of the words. In the first place, this use of ovaia is not the usual one, and is particularly unsuitable here, because the idea of individuality is already expressed in the words lola irepvypcuprj, as whose object we may very appropriately take the substance (pvaid) which is circumscribed. The article is not absolutely indispensable; for the connection itself, as we shall directly see, indicates clearly what sort of an ovala is meant. Secondly, In the text of Eusebius, nothing is directly, said of circumscription by means of the incarnation. We first arrive at that idea in the way of deduction. Eusebius rather says, the Redeemer did not exist mvr ISlav ovalas irepir/pa^qv. How, then, can we translate as though Beryll maintained that Christ had not pre-existed in the circumscription of an individual being? for the Church itself did not assert such a pre-existence, and the denial thereof would therefore have been no ground of reproach. Eusebius blames him because he denied that the general substance (ovala) of God had been distinguished into Father and Son; which is figuratively expressed by saying, he attributes to the Redeemer no circumscription of the divine substance peculiar to Himself. If we adopt the rendering, "not in the special circumscription of an hypostasis," it is true, indeed, that ovaia, at an earlier period, and down to the fourth century, was used as equivalent to inrdcrraavs; but then a new difficulty arises, to wit, we shall be certainly compelled to complete the sense by supplying the thought,—"but since the incarnation, the Lord and Redeemer exists in the particular circumscription of an hypostasis." That, however, would be equivalent to saying, that Eusebius conceived the divine hypostasis to be of precisely the same nature, or identical, with that which was posited by the human circumscription; which is hard to believe. For such a human circumscription brings merely limitation, finitude; whereas the idea of a divine hypostasis, besides the negative element, demands in particular a positive, special, independent divine existence. Eusebius, therefore, cannot have meant to say,—The hypostasis which Beryll denies to the Saviour, prior to the incarnation, he represents Him as acquiring subsequently; for that is not true. Beryll was not of opinion that the incarnation introduced a special and distinct hypostasis into the divine substance; but that one and the same hypostasis or personality of the Father, continued to be the subject, the inner personality, of the circumscription effected by finitude. If, then, the translation, "hypostasis," is inadmissible, we must necessarily take the word ovaia in its usual sense; and then the entire passage may be rendered,—The Redeemer did not preexist in a circumscribed form of being of His own (in virtue of a distinction in the fatherly deity); but after the incarnation a peculiar circumscription was introduced into this substance;— naturally, as Beryll was not an Ebionite, in consequence of the Father's own act. Oialas irepir/pcuf>i) is, as it were, one conception—circumscription of essence; the absence of the article cannot^ therefore, turn the scale.
It appears to me, therefore, that the following ideas are contained in the words of Eusebius:—I. Beryll believed that the irarpiKrj Oe6rrj<; was in Jesus, but not an ISla Oeony; (Note 12). What the latter denotes, will be clear from the foregoing observations. II. Our Lord and Redeemer did not exist, prior to His incarnation (iiriSrjfila), in the form of a circumscription of substance of His own (jcar iSi'av ovaia<; 'rrepeypaxprjv); that is, He did not pre-exist as an independent being: consequently, it could only be the divine itself, the fatherly deity, that was in Christ. III. But when Eusebius says, that, according to Beryll, the Lord did not exist prior to the incarnation in the form of an independent irepvypa(frrj, he gives us therewith to understand, that, subsequently to the eiriSrjfila, the case was different. From that event onwards, the Redeemer, who had previously been identified with the irarpiKrj Oearrjs, and destitute of an hypostasis, became, at all events, a circumscribed being, possessed of an independent existence—in the sense, indeed, that the fatherly deity acquired a different determination in Him. Now, if the incarnation introduced limitation and circumscription into the irarpiKr) Oeorrj<;, Beryll should unquestionably be classed amongst those who import finitude into God Himself. Not, however, by any means as though the humanity were a limit imposed from without, by which the irarpiKr) Oeomy; was reduced to a passive condition. After what has been advanced above, on the contrary, it must be plain that, as Beryll did not adopt the opinion of the Ebionites, he, and other men of his age, must have traced the limit up to the appropriative act of God itself, and have conceived the divine as determining itself to finitude, as positing itself human. It would seem, therefore, that, as in the view of Beron—of whom, be it remarked, we are very distinctly reminded by some of the expressions here employed—so also, in the view of Beryll, the acquirement of an ISla ovalas irepvypacf}ij by the Redeemer, and the rise of the humanity, was one and the same act; nay more, the Father's position of finitude and limitation in Himself was one and the same act with His self-abnegation. But although the irarpiKr) ^eonj? thus circumscribed itself, that is, posited itself as finite and human, it did not absolutely cease to exist as divine. On the contrary, as its inmost soul and motive power, the divine was naturalized, yea, was at home in the human circumscription and nature; for the union between the two was not merely momentary, but essential and most intimate,—the latter, in fact, owing its very rise to tjie irarpiKrj Oe6rr)<;, so far as it had given itself the determination of ISca ovala<; irepiypcKprj.
If this were Beryll's idea, we can easily understand that Origen should have had greater influence on it than, for example, Hippolytus, and that that teacher's doctrine of the soul should have been able to bring about that crisis in Beryll's views, which, after the hints given above, we may probably assume to have taken place. Hitherto, namely, Beryll had treated the question of the humanity of Christ rather lightly than otherwise; the teachers of the Church, as, for example, Hippolytus, held a too impersonal view of the humanity, treating it as the mere organ or O~toxtj of the divine. Patripassianism was at first marked by the same feature; in its first forms, it conceded no place to the human soul of Christ. But the more decided the advances made towards conceiving passibility, and even finitude in general (irepir/pafprf), as a determination of God, and the greater were the importance and worth attached to the finitude and the humanity, although merely as an aspect of the divine itself. For this, a welcome connecting link was found in the Church's doctrine of the icivcoais. This plainly involved an approximation to Ebionism, whatever abhorrence Beryll might inwardly feel for that system. In this state of mind, Beryll must have welcomed the theory laid before him by Origen, in which the free human soul of Christ held so important a place; and as coming from the Church, it must have appeared to him a new thing, nay more, as a development of that which he himself aimed at, in laying greater stress on the humanity. On the other hand, however, the more decided the prominence given to the human factor, the more Beryll's theory assumed unintentionally a predominantly Ebionitic character; and on this ground also we can understand why he would willingly accept from Origen the idea of the pre-existent divine hypostasis of Christ, offering as it did that counterpoise which his own theory lacked. To this course he might be led by several considerations. Firstly, Origen did not overthrow the fiovapyla of God, but protected it by a species of subordinatianism, growing out of Sabellian principles. Secondly, BerylFs own Monarchianism,— and Monarchianism was, without doubt, originally one of his points of departure,—had gradually assumed such a form, that he himself could not have avoided attributing to God a certain objective circumscription; that is, he must himself have admitted a distinction into his idea of God (Note 13). It could, therefore, be no great step for him to acknowledge this distinction, properly modified, to have eternally existed in the divine nature, especially as God Himself, and not the temporal world, was represented as the ground thereof (compare c. Celsum, 8, 12). From the view just given, it will be clear, on the one hand, why in the Synodal Epistle reference was made to the human soul of Christ; for it undoubtedly played a part in the conferences with Beryll; and, on the other hand, why he was not charged with denying the human soul of Christ. By raising the humanity to the rank of a determination of God Himself, Beryll secured it such a degree of relative independence and significance, that, with his general tendency of mind, he must already have been on the way towards the assumption of the existence of a human soul of Christ. This becomes still clearer when we compare the related system of Beron, who, on the ground of that divine Kevaxris which constituted humanity a determination of God's own essence, and of the immanence and hegemony of the divine principle, was able to represent all its activity and its deification as proceeding from the humanity itself. From our exposition, it is also plain why doubts could be entertained whether Beryll held the circumscription to have been the work of the human or of the divine aspect. For the human aspect unquestionably was essentially connected therewith; it formed a circumscription. It was, however, merely the means employed by God for constituting circumscription a determination of Himself, and not in any sense the original cause. To have supposed the latter, would have been Ebionitic. And now at last we are in a position to mediate between Baur and Schleiermacher. Neander was right in his surmise, that Beryll held a kind of middle position between the Artemonites and the Patripassians; though I consider it should be argued on different grounds. We must, in the first instance, direct attention to the consideration, that the assumption of finitude into the fatherly deity, forming as it did one act with the tcew»cris of God, reduced the divine to the position of an active potence of the humanity itself; the latter consequently gained considerably in importance, and deity pertained as truly to its substance as it pertained to the substance of deity. It was therefore possible for it to develop itself out of itself. So far the system bears a certain resemblance to Ebionism. On the other hand, however, this person and its development owed their existence entirely to the fatherly deity, which became man; and therefore, when the person attained completion, its actual deity was not a mere title, nor a mere moral unity with God, but the realization of its own inner essence. Accordingly, the starting-point and the conclusion of this theory bear rather an anti-Ebionitical than an Ebionitical character. It may be said to occupy a middle position between Ebionism and the early Patripassianism: neither treating the human as a mere selfless accident, on the one hand, nor viewing the divine in Christ after the type of the indwelling of the Spirit in the prophets, on the other hand; but aiming to combine both in inward, essential, and abiding unity. At the same time, it did not teach that this unity was the result of an influx of personific, divine power into the humanity. But though Beron and Beryll aided decidedly in advancing Patripassianism to a higher position, their theory undoubtedly involved new difficulties; and these difficulties, in turn, further explain Beryll's adoption of Origen's views. Por the question still remained, Did the entire Father, the entire irwrpucrj Oeorrjs, abase itself when God became man, and subjected Himself to a human development; or merely one part or one aspect of its substance? In the former case, we should come upon the monstrous idea, that the Father had no longer an existence save in the man Jesus; and that in him, in virtue of the Kevoxris which had taken place, He existed at first as the mere potence of true humanity: consequently, during the continuance of the Redeemer's development, the world in general had no actual God. In the second case, we should arrive at Ebionism, that is, in its new Hellenic form. As Beryll declined being classed with the Ebionites, he would naturally welcome the loophole offered by the Church, and thenceforth regard the divine in the Redeemer, not as mere portion or segment, but as an aspect or particular mode of existence, of the entire divine substance.
In the line of Monarchians, Beryll forms the connecting link between the older ones,—the Patripassians, who allowed of absolutely no irpdawwov side by side with the irarpiKrj Oe6rtj<;,— and Sabellius, who not merely recognised in Christ a distinct 'rrpocramov, a distinct irepir/pa<prj, but, by advancing onwards to the Holy Spirit, was able to construe a species of trinity. His system was the bridge between the two, firstly, because it described the being of God in Christ as a irepvypwf>i) in God Himself; secondly, because it assumed a peculiar relation of God to this man; and, lastly, seeing that the relation referred to could only be grounded in the divine essence, because Beryll necessarily regarded it as a determination of God Himself, conformably to which He had both the will and the power to posit Himself as a man. Whether Beryll understood this in a patripassian sense, as a self-subjection of the divine nature to passibility; or in Beron's sense, as a conversion (rpowfj) of God into the man Jesus; or in a more Sabellian sense, as the non-passive activity of God in the circumscription of the irpoaamov of Christ (which unquestionably interweaves God with finitude, if lie not merely acted upon, but really dwelt in, Christ; sec above, page 38) ; he is certainly akin to both, in so far as he attributes to the irepvypcuf>rj, or limitation and finitude, a relation to God's own substance, whilst at the same time denying to it, as indeed to distinction in general, any, save perhaps an ideal, reality in God, apart from the incarnation.
All these theories, although it cannot be doubted that their authors were stirred by religious motives, necessarily strike at the very root of religion in general, and of Christianity in particular. If the Father Himself is immediately the revealer—if there is no distinction in Him, no Son through whom, .is through His image, He reveals Himself, first in Himself and for Himself, and then also in the world—then the object of revelation is lost, and its idea is destroyed. For if the Father, as the final ground, Himself comes forth in revelation; and if, in order that the revelation may be complete, nothing can be left behind in the ground; then did the Father, that is, God, pass over into, and really become, the world; and there is consequently nothing left but the world. This is the ethnical, pantheistic feature of Patripassianism and Sabellianism. The final result is, to do away altogether with revelation; for, on the supposition referred to, that which was to be made manifest by revelation no longer exists. Noetus escaped this danger; for, in the absolute will of God, which at one time decrees the assumption of visibility and passibility, and at another time the return to invisibility and impassibility, he had that potence, which, in that it has power over itself, is unalterable, and can neither succumb to the world, nor tolerate God's passing over into it. But, not having laid firm hold of the eternal ethical principle in God, which is the only basis of an abiding incarnation, the incarnation recognised by him is but a momentary thing, originating and grounded in a particular act of will. Consistency, therefore, required him to treat Christ's person and appearance as transitory (although it is scarcely likely that he actually taught it); unless he were prepared to suppose that the Father did not again return into that unalterableness which his Monarchianism compelled him to regard as the true essence of God.