Chapter II

CHAPTER II.

ANTE-NICENE TRINITARIANISM.

§ 1. Preliminary Statements.

Tile early history of the Doctrine of the Trinity shows that Christian faith may exist without a scientific and technical expression of it. This ability comes in only as those heresies arise which necessitate the exact and guarded statements of systematic theology. Waterland, in alluding to the severity of the criticisms which Photius makes upon the trinitarianism of the Ante-Nicene writers, justly remarks, that he did not "consider the difference of times, or how unreasonable it is to expect that those who lived before the rise and condemnation of heresies should come up to every accurate form of expression which long experience afterwards found necessary, to guard the faith."1 Many a man in the very bosom of the church at this day cherishes a belief in the triune God, that involves a speculative definition of the three persons and their mutual relations, which in his present lack of theological discipline he could no more give with exactness, and without deviation towards Sabellianism on the right hand, and Arianism on the left, than he could specify the chemical elements of the air he breathes, or map the sky under whose dome he walks every day. The same fact meets us upon the wider arena of the Universal Church. The Christian experience is one and the same in all ages and periods, but the ability to make scientific statements of those doctrines which are received by the believing soul, varies with the peculiar demands for such statements, and the intensity with which, in peculiar emergencies, the theological mind is directed towards them. We do not, therefore, find in the first two centuries of the history of Christian Doctrine, so much fullness and exactitude of technical definition as in after ages, though there was undoubtedly full as much unity of internal belief. The Primitive Christians received the doctrines in the general form in which they are given in Scripture, and were preserved from the laxness of theory, and the corruption of experience and practice so liable to accompany indefinite and merely general views, by the unusual vitality and vigour of the divine life within their souls. General statements of Christian doctrine satisfy two extremes of religious character. They are sufficient for a warm and glowing piety, which, because it already holds the truth in all its meaning and comprehensiveness within the depths of a believing spirit, can dispense with technical and scientific statements. They are satisfactory to a cold and lifeless religionism, which, because it rejects the essential truth in the depths of an unbelieving spirit, prefers an inexact phraseology, because of the facility with which it may be twisted and tortured to its own real preconceptions and prejudices. The absence of a scientific phraseology is characteristic, consequently, either of the most devout, or the most rationalistic periods in Church History.

1 Waterland: Preface to Second Defence, p. 17.

The difference between the mental attitude of each of these two classes towards the truth is perceived in the difference in the feeling exhibited by each, respectively, when a systematic and technical statement is made. The catholic mind accepts the creed when constructed, because it sees in it only an exact and full statement of what it already holds in practical experience. The heretical mind, on the contrary, rejects the creed-statement when made, because it knows that it does not receive the tenets taught by it, and because the logical and technical articles of the creed preclude all equivocation or ambiguity. The Catholic welcomed, therefore, the explicit trinitarian statements of Nice, but the Arian rejected them. A recent writer exhibits the connection between the practical faith of the common believer, and the scientific statements of the theologian, in the following exceedingly clear and truth

ful manner. "No one professes to maintain that the disciples of St. John habitually used such words as 'hypostatic,' 'consubstantiality,' &c.—What proportion of the whole multitude of perfectly orthodox believers on earth, even at this hour, habitually use them, or have ever used them? It may be further admitted, that when a doctrine has come to be intellectually analysed and measured, certain relations may be seen to be involved in it, the distinct expression of which may become thenceforth useful, and even necessary; and that until circumstances, usually heresy, have led to this close intellectual survey, these relations, though involved in the existing belief, and logically deducible therefrom, may not occupy a prominent position in the common expositions of the faith. In what precise degree this holds in such a statement of the doctrine of the trinity as the Athanasian Creed is another question; the principle is exemplified in every stage of the history of theology. Those,—not even to investigate their expressed dogmatic belief,—who were taught to equally worship the mysterious Three into whose single Divine Name they had been baptized,—to look on them habitually as Protecting Powers equally because infinitely above them, separate in their special titles, offices, and agency, and so a real Three, yet One (as the very act of supreme worship implied),—would probably see little in even that elaborate creed beyond the careful intellectual exhibition of truths necessarily involved in that worship. They would easily see that to contradict explicitly any proposition of that creed would be directly or indirectly to deny the faith; while at the same time they may have held, as the infinite majority of the Christian world have since held, the pure faith of Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, without perpetually retaining a distinct explicit recollection of all the separate propositions that

creed contains In short, that creed gives us,

as it were, the intellectual edition of the doctrine held from the beginning,—the doctrine expressed (as mathematicians say) 'in terms of the pure intellect.

"It would probably illustrate this process, if any one were to reflect upon the quantity of minute and refined thought, and the extreme accuracy of expression, required to fix and secure, so as at once to discriminate them from all rival hypotheses, some of those elementary and fundamental notions of simple theism, which yet no one doubts to be the real belief, not merely of all classes of Christians, but of the greater portion of the civilized world. For example, to fix the precise and formal notion of creation out of nothing (so as to distinguish it absolutely from, e. g., the hypothesis of emanation); to state the precise relation of the Divine Power to the Divine Rectitude,—such, that the Almighty God can never do but what is right; to deliver with accuracy liable to no evasion the exact relation of the Divine Omnipotence and Goodness to the existence of moral evil, &c. On all such subjects, every ordinary Christian has a sufficiently decisive practical belief, a belief which would at once be shocked by any express assertion of its contradictory: he tells you, 'God made all things from nothing;' 'God can never do wrong;' 'God makes no man sin, it is the devil who tempts him, it is man's own corrupt choice to do evil:' and yet it is easy to conceive how very different an aspect these simple but profound truths would assume in an Athanasian creed of theism; how novel might appear doctrines, before almost too universally recognized to be laboriously insisted on, if it became necessary to exhibit them guarded at all points against the subtlety of some Arius or Sabellius of Natural Theology."1

But although the doctrine of the trinity, like other doctrines of the Christian system, did not obtain a technical construction in those first two centuries and a half, during which the Church was called chiefly to a general defence of Christianity, rather than to define its single dogmas, it would be a great error to infer that there were no results in this direction. The controversies that were necessitated by the Gnostic heresies led indirectly to some more exact statements respecting the doctrine of the trinity; but the defective and inadequate trinitarianism of certain men of this period, some of whom were excommunicated because of their errors, while some still remained within the pale of the church, either because of the comparative mildness of their heterodoxy, or because a less vigorous and scientific spirit prevailed in those portions of the church to which they belonged, contributed far more than any other cause, to the scientific and technical enunciation of the doctrine of the three Persons in the one Essence.

1 Archer Butler: Letters on Romanism, p. 224.

Some writers have attempted to prove that the Ante-Nicene Church held only the most vague and shadowy species of trinitarianism. But a church that was capable of grappling with the emanationism of the Gnostic, and saw the fatal error in the modal trinitarianism of the Patripassians,—the most subtle, and also the most elevated of all the forms of spurious trinitarianism,—must have possessed an exceedingly clear intuition of the true doctrine. The orthodoxy of the Primitive Church is demonstrated by the heterodoxy which it combatted and refuted. "Had we no other ways to know it," says Sherlock, "we might learn the faith of the catholic Church, by its opposition to those heresies which it condemned." We shall therefore, first specify and delineate those heterodox theories of the Apologetic period which elicited the clearest counter statements, and thereby contributed in a negative way, to the early orthodox construction of the dogma whose historical development we are describing.1

1 "Improbatio quippe haoreti- tua sentiat, et quid habeat sana corum facit eminere quid ecclesia doctrina. Oportuit enim et hae

§ 2. Glasses of Anti-Trinitarians.

In the course of the first three centuries, three sects were formed, with varieties of view and phraseology, all of whom were characterized by an, erroneous apprehension of the doctrine of the trinity; owing, in most instances, to an attempt to fathom the depths of this mystery by a process of speculation, instead of by a comprehensive reflection upon the Biblical data for its construction.1 As we examine them, we shall perceive that the mind looked at only one side of the great truth, and dwelt upon only a single one of the several representations in the revealed word. Some sought to affirm, and that very strongly, the doctrine of the deity of Christ; but denied his distinct personality. Christ, they held, was God the Father himself, in a particular aspect or relationship. Essence and Person were identical, for them; and as there was but one Essence there could be but one Person. Others denied the proper deity of Christ, assumed only an extraordinary and pre-eminent connection of the man Jesus with the Divine Essence, and made two divine powers (Svi>dfitig\ not persons (vxoardattg),

roses esse, ut probati manifest! ample, is qnite intelligible. It is

fierent inter infirmos (1 Cor. xi. a significant remark of Hooeer

19)." Auqusttnus: Confessiones (Eocl. Pol. I. 686), that "the

VII. xix. Scripture doctrine of the Trinity

1 In some instances, probably, is more true than plain, while the

there was a desire to explain the heretical doctrine of the Trinity

doctrine and relieve it of its mys- is more plain than true." tery. The modal trinity, for ex

of the Son and the Holy Spirit. Others still, held Christ to be a mere man. Anti-Trinitarians of this period were, consequently, of three classes; namely Patripassians or Monarchians, Nominal Trinitarians, and Humanitarians. The Church, however, engaged in controversy with only the first two; because the third class did not pretend to hold the doctrine of the trinity in any form, while the others claimed to teach the true Biblical trinitarianism.

I. The first class of Anti-Trinitarians were denominated Patripassians or Monarchians, because they asserted the Monad and denied the Triad. They asserted the deity of Christ, but held the church doctrine of three persons to be irreconcilable with that of the unity of God. Hence they affirmed that there is only one divine Person. This one only Person conceived of in his abstract simplicity and eternity was denominated God the Father; but in his incarnation, he was denominated God the Son. Sometimes, a somewhat different mode of apprehension and statement was employed. God in his concealed unrevealed nature and being was denominated God the Father, and when he comes forth from the depths of his essence, creating a universe, and revealing and communicating himself to it, he therein takes on a different relation, and assumes another denomination: namely, God the Son, or the Logos.

In their Christology, the Patripassians taught that this single divine Person, in his form of Son or Logos, animated the human body of Christ; and denied the existence of a true human soul in the Person of Jesus Christ. It was, consequently, the divine essence itself in alliance with a physical organization and nature, that suffered for the sin of mankind; and hence the term Patripassians was given to the advocates of this doctrine.

The principal Patripassians were the following:1

1. Proceeds of Asia Minor, originally, who appears at Rome about the year 200, and was opposed by Tertullian in his tract Adversus Praxean. The opening sentences of this treatise are characteristic. "The devil is jealous of the truth in various ways. Sometimes he affects it, in order by defending, to overthrow it. He maintains one only supreme Lord, the omnipotent former of the world, in order to construct a heresy out of this unit (unico). He says that the Father descended into a virgin, was himself born of her, himself suffered, and finally that the Father himself is Jesus Christ."

2. Noetw at Smyrna, about 230, was excommunicated on account of heresy. His principal opponent was Hippolytus in his tractate, Contra haeresin Nbeti?

3. Beryl, bishop of Rostra in Arabia, about 250. He was tried for heresy by an Arabian Synod, in 244, and by the arguments of Origen, whom the synod had called to their aid, was convinced of his error, and renounced his Patripassianism. According to Jerome, he sought further instruction from Origen, in a correspondence with him upon the doctrine of the trinity.

• Compare Gpericee: Ohuroh more reliable work than that of

History, § 56. Btosen, in regard to the doctrinal

•See Wordsworth's Hippoly- opinions of Hippolytus, and the

tus, pp. 248, 261 sq., 281 sq.,—a Ante-Nicene period generally.

II. The second class of Anti-Trinitarians, whom we denominate Nominal Trinitarians, conceded no proper deity to Christ, hut only a certain species of divinity. The distinction between deity and divinity is important in the history of Trinitarianism. The former is an absolute term, and implies essential and eternal godhood. The latter is relative, and is therefore sometimes applied to a created essence of a high order, and sometimes to human nature itself. This second class, who attributed divinity but denied deity to Christ, held that the concealed unrevealed God,—corresponding to the Father in the Patripassian theory,—reveals himself by means of two Powers which stream forth from him, as rays of light are rayed out from the sun: one an illuminating Power, the other an enlivening. The illuminating Power is the divine Wisdom, or Reason, or Logos, which exists in two forms: first, the indwelling reflective reason of the Deity, whereby he is capable of rational intelligence (Xoyog ivdid&trog); secondly the outworking self-expressive reason of the Deity, whereby he creates, and makes communications to his creation (\6yog npocpogixog). The enlivening Power is the Holy Spirit. With the divine Logos, or the illuminating Power,—which is" not an hypostasis, but only an emanation issuing from the essential Deity,—the man Jesus was united from his birth in a pre-eminent manner, and in a degree higher than the inspiration of any prophet; and as a man thus standing under this pre-eminent illumination and guidance of the Logos, he is called the Son of God.

1. A representative of this second class of AntiTrinitarians, is Paul of Samosata, bishop of Antioch for some time after 260, a man of great vanity and love of show. He was pronounced heretical by two Antiochian synods, in 264 and 269, and deposed from his bishopric by the last synod, but found powerful support from Queen Zenobia, and continued to discharge the functions of his office. On the conquest of the queen by the emperor Aurelian, the synodal decree of deposition was carried into execution, after a new preferring of charges by the bishops of the region, and the urgent co-operation; of the bishop of Rome.1

2. A second representative of this second class of Anti-Trinitarians is Sabellius, presbyter of Ptolemais in Pentapolis, 250-260; though he stands somewhat between the first and second classes. He belongs to the second class, so far as he understands by the Logos and the Holy Spirit two Powers (dvpdfittg) streaming forth from the divine Essence, through which God works and reveals himself;2 but departs from this class and approximates to the Patripassians, in denying that Christ was merely an ordinary man upon whom the divine Logos only exerted a peculiar influence, and affirming that the Logos-Power itself belonged to the proper personality of Christ, and thereby determined and shaped his personal consciousness during the period of his earthly life. The Logos entered into union with Christ's humanity, and not merely inspired it. But this more exalted view of the Person of Christ is immediately depressed again to the humanitarian level of the second class, by the further assertion, that this divine Logos-Power, which had thus issued forth from God, and united itself with a human body, and formed one communion of life and consciousness with it during the period of Christ's earthly existence, was at the ascension of Jesus again withdrawn into the depths of the Divine Nature.1 Sabellianism maintained itself down into the 4th century, chiefly at Rome and in Mesopotamia.

'euserius: Eocl. Hist., VII. 'Sabellius seems to have re27-80. garded the Monad as antithetic to the Triad, thus introducing and its power of communicating

four factors into the problem, heat and light, so in God we may

Whether he regarded the Father distinguish his self-subsistent es

as the Monad, or supposed the sence Qiovai), the illuminating

Father to stand in the same rela- power of the Logos, and the en

tion to the Monad, that the Lo- livening energy of the Holy Spirit

gos and Spirit do, is uncertain, in the hearts of believers." Ne

Neander (I. 695) is of opinion Aitder (I. 596) also remarks that

that Sabellius held the Father as Sabellius employed the catholic

unrevealed to be the Monad, and phrase, "three Persons," but in

as revealed to be the Father prop- the sense of personifications, or

erly so called. He employed the characters which the one essence

following comparison to illustrate assumed according to varying

his view of the Trinity. "As in occasions. Compare Euserius:

the sun we may distinguish its Eccl. Hist. VII. vi; Epiphantdb:

proper substance, its round shape, Haereses, LXII.

m. The third class of Anti-Trinitarians, whom we denominate the Humanitarians, were those who asserted the mere and sole humanity of Christ, and denied his divinity in any and every sense of the term; some of them holding, however, to an extraordinary humanity in Christ, and others only to an ordinary.2 The views of this class were so palpably in conflict with the representations of Scripture that the Church became engaged in no controversy with them. It was only with those parties who held a species of trinitarianism that the catholic mind entered into earnest and prolonged discussion.

1 Sabellius's trinity, says NeanDee (I. 598-9), is transitory. When the purposes of its formation are accomplished, the Triad is resolved again into the Monad. Sabellins did not apply the name of Son to the Logos; but only to the Person resulting from the union of the Logos with the man Jesus. He maintains, that in the Old Testament no mention is made of the Son of God, but only of the Logos.

* We group under this general name of Humanitarians all those sects, such as the Ebionites, Theodotians, Artemonites, and Alogi, who denied both the deity and the divinity of Christ. Watrri.isn, upon the strength of a statement of Epiphanius, maintains that the doctrine that Christ was only a mere and ordinary man was not taught until Theodotus (A. D. 196)

broached it. The earlier heretics, like the Ebionites, Ccrinthus, and Carpoorat.es, all held to a species of connection between Christ and a superior being, which made his humanity an extraordinary one. These sects held that upon the mere and ordinary man Jesus, who was born by ordinary generation of Joseph and Mary, the aeon Christ descended at his baptism, investing him with miraculous powers, butlefthim again at the time of his death. All these representations were rejected by Theodotus, who held that Christ was in every respect an ordinary mortal man (i^tXrft avipamos). Neander (I. 580), on the contrary, quotes Theodotus's explanation of Luke i. 81 to show that he did not deny the supernatural character of Christ's nativity.

Criticising the first two classes, in reference to whom the term Anti-Trinitarian has its weightiest application, it is obvious that the Patripassians or Monarchians approached nearer to the revealed doctrine of the absolute deity of Christ than did the Nominal Trinitarians. According to them, God in his essential being was in Christ. The Logos was not a mere emanation from the divine nature, but was the very divine nature itself. Their conception of Christ as to his deity was elevated, and hence, as Neander remarks, "the more profound pious feeling in those of the laity who were not well indoctrinated seems to have inclined them rather to that form of Monarchianism which saw in Christ nothing but God, and overlooked and suppressed the human element, than towards the other."1 In respect to Christology, the emanationism of the second class was further from the truth, than was the monarchianism of the first class. But in respect to Trinitarianism, the Patripassians admitted no interior and immanent distinctions in the Godhead. Their Supreme Deity was a monad,—a unit, without any inward and personal subsistences. This unit was only expanded or metamorphosed? A trinality in

1 Neander: Church History, I. phraseology: 17 novas ifXarvvZtton 677. yiyovt rpias' trrXarviftij rj floras

* Athanasius (Contra Arianos, th rpiaha. Again (Cont. A. IV. IV. 14, 22), describes the Monar- 6) he describes the Sabellian chian theory in the following trinitarian process as a " dilatation

\

the Divine Nature itself was denied. The Nominal Trinitarians, on the other hand, approached nearer to the truth, so far as concerns the doctrine of a Trinity in the Unity. They admitted three distinctions of some sort. But they diverged again from the common faith of the church, in holding that these were only modal distinctions. The Logos and the Holy Spirit possessed no essential being. The only essence was the monad,—the Father. The Logos and the Holy Spirit were merely effluences, radiations, powers, energies streaming out like rays from the substance of the sun, which might be and actually were retracted and re-absorbed in the Divine Essence. Tested rigorously, indeed, both classes held a common view. Both alike denied a trinity of essence, and affirmed only a monad without hypostatical distinctions, or persons in it. But having regard only to phraseology, it may be said, that Patripassianism approached nearest to orthodoxy upon the side of Christology; Nominal Trinitarianism nearest, upon the side of Trinitarianism.

§ 3. Trinitarianism of the Apostolic, and Primitive Fathers.

The foundation of the doctrine of the trinity in the Primitive Church was the baptismal formula, and the doxologies in the Epistles, together with the Logos-doctrine of the apostle John. The creedstatement of the dogma did not go beyond the phraseology of these. The catechumen upon his entrance into the Christian Church professed his faith in "God the Father almighty, and in his Sou Jesus Christ, and in the Holy Ghost." This is the formula employed in the so-called Apostles' Creed, and is as definite a statement of the doctrine of the trinity as was made in any public .document, previous to those Sabellian and Arian controversies which resulted in the more exhaustive and technical definitions of the Nicene Symbol.

and contraction," an "expand- Essence. See Baths: Dreieiniging and collapsing " of the Divine keitslehre, I. 257 sq.

The construction of the doctrine of the trinity started not so much from a consideration of the three Persons, as from a belief in the deity of one of them, namely the Son. This was the root of the most speculative dogma in the Christian system. The highly metaphysical doctrine of the trinity, as Guericke1 remarks, "had its origin, primarily, in a living belief; namely, in the practical faith and feeling of the primitive Christian that Christ is the coequal Son of God." For if there is any fact in history that is indisputable, it is that the Apostolic and Primitive Church worshipped Jesus Christ. This was the distinctive characteristic of the adherents of the new religion. Pliny's testimony is well known, that the Christians as a sect were accustomed to meet before day-break, and sing a responsive hymn (carmen dicere secum invicem) to Christ, as to God (Christo quasi Deo).1 The earliest liturgies are full of adoration towards the sacred Thi'ee, and particularly towards the second and middle Person. The liturgy of the Church of Alexandria, which in the opinion of Bunsen2 was adopted about the year 200, and the ground plan of which dates back to the year 150, teaches the "People" to respond: "One alone is holy, the Father; One alone is holy, the Son; One alone is holy, the Spirit." The religious experience of the Primitive Church was marked by joy at the finished work of redemption; and this joy was accompanied with profound and thankful adoration towards its Author. If regard be had to the emotional utterances and invocations of the first generations of Christians, there is full as much evidence for the deity of the Son as of the Father. The religious feeling in all its varieties terminated full as much upon the second Person of the trinity, as upon the first, in that early period in the history of Christianity that was nearest to the living presence and teachings of its Founder. The incarnation of the Logos,—God becoming man,—is the great dogmatic idea of the first Christian centuries, and shapes the whole thinking and experience of the Church. This accounts for the absence of such technical terms as appear in the Nicene Symbol; and explains why it was, that the general, and purely Biblical language of the Apostles' Creed was sufficient for the wants of the Apostolic and Primitive Church. The actual and reverent worship of the believer was constantly going out towards the Son equally with the Father and the Spirit; and in this condition of things, metaphysical terms and distinctions were not required. The faith and feeling of the catholic heart were sufficient. Until pretended and spurious forms of trinitarianism arose, that compelled it, there was no necessity of employing in the creed for the catechumens, a rigorous and exact trinitarian nomenclature,—no use for the terms "essence" and "hypostasis," "generation" and "procession." Hence the Ante-Nicene Church contented itself with embodying its reverence and worship of the Eternal Three, in hymns and liturgical formularies, and with employing in its creed statements the general and untechnical language of the Scriptures.1

1 Church History, § 56.

1 Plinius: Ep. x. 96. that the deity of Christ was con

"bunsex: AnalectaAnte-Nioae- stantly asserted from the begin

na, in. 28. Compare EtisEBros ning, and constantly claimed to be

(Eccl. Hist. V. 28), for the proofs the apostolical doctrine.

The Apostolic Fathers lived before the rise of the two principal Anti-Trinitarian theories described in a previous section, and hence attempted no speculative construction of the doctrine of the trinity. They merely repeat the Biblical phraseology, without endeavouring to collect and combine the data of revelation into a systematic form. They invariably speak of Christ as divine; and make no distinction in their modes of thought and expression, between the deity of the Son and that of the Father. These immediate pupils of the Apostles enter into no speculative investigation of the doctrine of the Logos, and content themselves with the simplest and most common expressions respecting the trinity. In these expressions, however, the germs of the future scientific statement may be discovered; and it is the remark of Meier, one of the fairest of those who have written the history of Trinitarianism, that the beginnings of an immanent trinity can be seen in the writings of the practical and totally unspeculative Apostolic Fathers.1

1"It hath been the custom of of speech they used." Hooeer

the Church of Christ to end Eccl. Pol. V. xliii.—Hooeer adds,

sometimes prayers, and sermons that Basil, because he sometimes

always, with words of glory employed the words "with the

(gloria Patri); wherein, as long Son," and "by the Son, in the

as the blessed Trinity had honor, Spirit," felt compelled to allay

and till Arianism had made it a the suspicions which he thereby

matter of great sharpness, and sub- had unintentionally awakened in

Uety of wit, to be a sound believ- some minds, by writing his tracts

ing Christian, men were not cu- upon the Trinity, rious what syllables or particles

The following extracts from their writings are sufficient to indicate the freedom with which the Apostolic Fathers apply the term God {Otog) to the second Person, who is most commonly conceived of as the God-man, and called Jesus Christ by them.

"Brethren," says Clement of Rome (Ep. II. c. 1), "we ought to conceive of (cpoovtlv ntgl) Jesus Christ as of God (cog ntgt &tov), as of the judge of the living and the dead." Ignatius addresses, in his greeting, the church at Ephesus, as "united and elected by a true passion, according to the will of the Father, and of Jesus Christ our God" Qitjaov Xqiatov, Tov &tov fj/Licov). Writing to the church at Rome, he describes them, in his greeting, as "illuminated by the will of Him who willeth all things that are according to the love of Jesus Christ our God" (ra &ta rjfiav); and desires for them "abundant and uncontaminated salvation in Jesus Christ our God" (ra &ta t]fiav). He also urges them (c. 3), to mind invisible rather than earthly things, for "the things that are seen are temporal, but the things that are not seen are eternal. For even our God, Jesus Christ (o yag &tdg yft<Sv, 'Irjaovg Xqiatoc) being in the Father, [L e. having ascended again to the Father] is more glorified" [in the invisible world than when upon earth]. He enjoins it upon the Trallian Church (c. 7), to "continue inseparable from God, even Jesus Christ" (&tov 'Irjaov Xqiatov); and says to the Smyrnaean Church, (c. 1), "I glorify Jesus Christ, even God (Joga£cj 'Itjdovv Xqiatov Tov &tbi>), who has given you such wisdom."1

1 Meiee: Geschichte der Trinitatslehre, pp. 47, 54.

1 Meier, a recent critic, con- the " shorter recension," " Verum

tends for the genuineness of the acrior ntriasque recensionis in

"longer recension" of the Igna- spectio docet, longiorem quoqne

tian Epistles, rather than the octies decies Christum Deum nom

"shorter recension," because the inare, earn magis definite de per

latter he thinks contains the dis- sona Spiritus Sancti loqui, ple

tinct Nieene statement of Christ's niorique formula Trinitatis esse

deity, while the former enunci- nsam; quo fit, ut merito poste

ates the doctrine of Christ's deity riorihns sit temporibus tribuen

in the more general form of the da." Hefei.e: Patrum Aposto

Ante-Nicene trinitarianism. To licorum Opera (Prolegomena,

which Ilefele replies, in favor of xlv.).

The following allusions to the trinity occur in the Apostolic Fathers. Clement of Rome, in his first epistle to the Corinthians (c. 46), asks: "Have we not one God, and one Christ? Is there not one Spirit of grace, who is poured out upon us, and one calling in Christ?" Poh/carp, according to the Letter of the Smyrna Church (c. 14), closed his prayer at the stake with the glowing ascription: "For this, and for all things, I praise thee, I bless thee, I glorify thee, together with the eternal and heavenly Jesus, thy beloved Son; with whom to thee, and the Holy Ghost, be glory, both now, and to all succeeding ages. Amen." Ignatius, in his epistle to the Magnesians (c. 13), places the Son first in the enumeration of the three Persons in the trinity: "Study,, that whatsoever ye do, ye may prosper both in body and spirit, in faith and charity, in the Son, and in the Father, and in the Holy Spirit,"—following in this particular St. Paul in 2 Cor. xiii. 13. Barnabas (Epist. c. 5) finds the trinity in the Old Testament. "For this cause, the Lord endured to suffer for our souls, although he was Lord of the whole earth, to whom he [the Father] said before the making of the world: 'Let us make man after our own image and likeness.'"1

1 Hefele: Patrnm Apostolico- compact account of the course of

rum Opera, in locis. The ques- criticism upon these earliest Chris

tion of authenticity cannot be tian writings, after the close of

examined, of course, in such a the Canon ; and a defence of their

work as this. The reader will genuineness that accords substan

find in the edition of Hefele a tially with the results of the investigations of English and Con- siderable interpolation in them, tinental scholars, in the 17th, mnch outweighs the learning of 18th, and 19th centuries. That those who have affirmed the sputhe Epistles of Ignatius have un- riousness. Even Baur, while disdergone no interpolations is far puting their genuineness, concedes from the truth; but that they to them a very early origin; reare spurious down to every para- garding them as a "Pauline prograph and letter, is still farther, duct of the second half of the 2d The learning of such scholars as century." Compare Gtterioer: Usher,Vossius, Pearson, Bull, Mo- Church Hist., § 57; and Schafp: sheim, Neander, Gieseler, Rothe, Church Hist., §119. and Dorner,—all of whom affirm 'The text John x. 80 enunciates the genuineness of the "shorter unity of essence with distinction recension" of the seven Ignatian of persons: f'ya> icai 6 n-ar^p (not Epistles mentioned by Eusebius, ?«) iajuv; I and my Father are though some of them, as Mosheim one being (not one person), and Neander, contend for con

Those of the Primitive Fathers who speculated at all upon the trinity confined their reflections mostly to the relations of the first and second Persons. Justin Martyr (f 163), and Clement of Alexandria (f about 220), whose literary activity falls between 150 and 250, represent the Greek trinitarianism of the second century; and Irenaeus (f about 202), Hippolytus (f 235), and Tertullian (f about 220), represent the Latin trinitarianism of the same time. An examination of the writings of these Fathers will evince that they held the two fundamental positions of catholic trinitarianism: namely, unity of essence between the Father and Son, and distinction of persons}

Justin Ma/rtyr afiirms that the Person who spoke to Moses out of the burning bush was the Logos or Son, and not the Father. This Being, who then and there styled himself the self-existent I AM, or The Eternal, he maintains became incarnate in Jesus Christ. In his Dialogue with the Jew Trypho, he argues this position with great earnestness in the following manner. "' And the angel of God spake unto Moses in a flame of fire out of the midst of a bush, and said, I am that I am, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob, the God of your fathers, go down into Egypt and bring up my people from thence.' .... These words were spoken to demonstrate the Son of God and Apostle, to be our Jesus Christ, who is the very pre-existing Logos; who appeared sometimes in the form of fire, sometimes in the likeness of angels, and in these last days was made man by the will of God, for the salvation of mankind, and was contented to suffer what the devils could inflict upon him, by the infatuated Jews; who, notwithstanding that they have these express words in the writings of Moses: 'And the angel of the Lord spake with Moses in a flame of fire out of the bush, and said, I am that I am, the self-existent, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob;' notwithstanding this, I say, they affirm these words to be spoken by God the Father and Maker of all things. For which oversight the Prophetic Spirit thus charges them: 'Israel hath not known me, my people have not understood me;' and as I have said, Jesus taxed them again for the same thing, while He was amongst them: 'No man hath known the Father

but the Son, nor the Son, but those to whom the Son will reveal Him.' The Jews, therefore, for maintaining that it was the Father of the universe who had the conference with Moses, when it was the very Son of God who had it, and who is styled both angel and apostle (Heb. iii. 1), are justly accused by the Prophetic Spirit, and Christ himself, for knowing neither the Father nor the Son; for they who affirm the Son to be the Father, are guilty of not knowing that the Father of the universe has a Son, who, being the Logos, and first-begotten of God, is God (xal &t6$ vnag%ti). And He it is who heretofore appeared to Moses and the rest of the prophets, sometimes in fire, and sometimes in the form of angels; but now under your empire, as I mentioned, was born of a virgin, according to the will of his Father, to save such as believe in Him."x Respecting the nature and dignity of the Logos, Justin remarks that "God in the beginning, before all creation (ngo nuvrciv Tczv xTiafidrtov), begat from himself a certain rational Power (ytytwrjxt dvvafiiv rtva ig tavrov Xoyixrjv), who is called by the Holy Spirit, the Glory of the Lord, sometimes the Son, sometimes, the Wisdom." "This rational Power," he says in another passage, "was generated from the Father by his energy and will, yet without

1 Justin Martyr: Apologia I. 89, for a list of the passages in

63 (Ed. Cong St. Mauri. Par. the Early Fathers, in which this

1742). See Burton's Testimonies same view of Christ as the Jehovah

of Ante-Nioene Fathers, pp. 38, of the Old Testament is taught.

any abscission or division of the essence of the Father."1 In these passages Justin teaches the Nicene doctrine of eternal generation, as distinguished from creation. For in asserting that God the Father begat the Son from Himself (tg tavrov), he teaches that the Son's constitutional being is identical with that of the Father. If the Father had created the Son de nihilo, the Son's substance or constitutional being would not have been tg tavrov, but would have been an entirely new and secondary one. Such phraseology is never applied either by Justin Martyr, or any of the Fathers, to the act of pure creation. Justin's idea of eternal generation, like that of Athanasius, is the direct contrary to that of creation. That which is eternally generated cannot be a created thing, because it is tx dtov tavrov,—in and of His own substance. And that which is created de nihilo, at a certain punctum temporis, cannot be an eternal generation, because it is a new substance willed into being from absolute nonentity. The statement that the Logos was generated from the Father "by his will" is one that appears occasionally in the writings of some of the Post-Nicene trinitarians, and is capable of an explanation in harmony with the doctrine of the absolute deity of the second Person. For it is qualified by the explanation, that the generation occurs without "any abscission or division of the essence of the Father." It must therefore be an immanent act in the Divine Essence; yet voluntary, in the sense of not being necessitated ab extra. The generation is by both nature and will, which in the Godhead are one.

1 Justin Martyr: Dialogus cum Tryphone, 61,128 (Ed. Cong. St. Maori, Par. 1742).

Concerning the distinct personality of the Logos, Justin makes the following statement: "This rational Power is not, like the light of the sun, merely nominally different [from the Father], but really another numerically (ovx cog To tjXiov cpag ovofian fiovov uqix^fitlrai, dXXd xcti ccQi&^ia i'rtQov Ti tarl)} In this passage, Justin teaches that the second Person does not merely sustain the relation to the Divine Essence that a sunbeam does to the sun. He is numerically distinct, trtqov rl, a subsistence, and not a mere effluence or emanation. The pre-existence and eternity of the Logos are asserted by Justin in the following passages: "The Son of the Father, even he who is properly called his Son, the Word, was with him, and begotten of him before the creation (no6 rav froitjfidrcov), because he in the beginning made and disposed all things." "This Being who was really begotten of the Father, and proceeded from him, existed before all creatures (kqo navrebv noitjfiaTav) with the Father, and conversed with him."2 Justin also repeatedly denominates the Logos, God. The passage in the First Apology (c. G3) has already been cited, in which he says that "the Logos is the First-Begotten of God, and he is God" (xal &tbg vnaQXti). In the Dialogue with Trypho, Justin remarks concerning Joshua, that he distributed to the Israelites an inheritance which was not eternal, but only temporal, "forasmuch as he was not Christ who is God, nor the Son of God" (are ov Xpiardg 6 &tb$ civ, ovSt viog &tov)}

'justinMartyr: Dialoguscum 'justin Martyr: Apologia, I. Tryphone, 128, 129 (Ed. Cong. 81; Dialogus cum Tryphone, 129 St. Mauri, Par. 1742). (Ed. Cong. 8t. Mauri, Par. 1742).

Justin's recognition of the trinity appears in the following extracts. Defending the Christians against the charge of atheism, he says: "We worship the creator of this universe Again, we

have learned that he who taught us these things, and who for this end was born (ytwy&tvra), even Jesus Christ, who was crucified under Pontius Pilate the procurator of Judea in the time of Tiberius Caesar, was the Son of him who is truly God; and we esteem him in the second place (^«(>a). And that we with reason honor the Prophetic Spirit in the third rank (*-«£«), we shall hereafter shew."l Again he says, "We bless the creator of all, through his Son Jesus Christ, and through the Holy Ghost..

We confess, indeed, that we are unbelievers who came out from him, and has taught us respecting these things, and respecting the host of the other good angels who follow him, and are made like unto him; and [we worship and adore] the Prophetic Spirit; honoring them in reason and truth." Justin also represents baptism as administered in the church, "in the name of God the Father and Lord of all, and of our Saviour Jesus Christ, and of the Holy Spirit."1

in such pretended gods, but not of the most true God, the Father of righteousness and temperance, and of all other virtues, in whom is no mixture of evil. But we worship and adore Him, and his Son

'Dialogus cum Tryphone, 118 * Apologia I. 18 (Ed. Cong. St. (Ed. Cong. 8t Mauri, Par. 1742). Mauri, Par. 1742).

Clement of Alexandria asserts unity of essence between the Father and the Logos in the most explicit manner. Speaking of the Father and the Son, he says: "The two are one, namely God." (fv yaq uitffco, 6 &tog) Speaking of the Son, he describes him as "the Divine Word who is most manifestly true God (ovrrig &t6g), who is equalized (igtau&tig) with the Lord of the universe, because

he was his Son, and was the Word of God

There is one Unbegotten Being, even God, who rules over all {jtavroxqarag); and there is one First-Begotten Being, by whom all things were made." *

The following extracts from Clement contain very plain statements of the trinality in the Godhead: "There is one Father of the universe; there is also one Word of the universe; and one Holy Spirit, who is everywhere." "Be propitious to thy

■Apologia1.67,6,61(Ed.Oong. dagogus, III. 12; Cohortatio ad St. Mauri, Par. 1742). Gentes, p. 68; Stromata, Lib. VL

"clemensAlexandrines: Pae- (Ed. Potter).

children, O Teacher, Father, Chariot of Israel, Son and Father both One, O Lord" (vi't xal natrjg, tv cifupa, Xvqu). "Let us give thanks to the only Father and Son, Son and Father, our Teacher and Master, together with the Holy Spirit, one God through all things, in whom are all things, by whom alone are all things .... to whom be glory now and forever, Amen."1

These early Greek Trinitarians, as did the early Latin to some extent, made use of figures and analogies borrowed from external nature, and from the mind of man, to illustrate, but not to explain, the personal existence of the Logos, and his relation to the Father. They asserted that the Son was not created a new essence from nonentity, but was generated out of an eternal essence; and this generation they sought to render intelligible by a variety of images. The human logos, or word, they said, is uttered, is emitted from the human soul, without the soul's thereby losing anything from its essence. In like manner, the generation of the Son, or Logos as he was more commonly termed, left the Divine Nature unimpaired, and the same. The ray of light streams forth from the substance of the sun, without any waning or loss in the luminary itself. In like manner the Keason, or Wisdom, of God manifests and mediates God's absolute essence, without any subtraction from it.

1 Clemens AxeXANDRreus: Pae- Buil: Defensio Fidei Nioaenae, dagogus, I. 8; Paedagogus, sub II. 6; Waterland: Second Define. For other extracts to the fence, Query IL same effect from Clement, see

It is evident that these analogical illustrations were not adequate to a complete statement of the doctrine of the trinity. They would serve for only one part of the dogma: that viz. of the unity of essence. Such illustrations would suffice to show how the generation of the Son did not infringe upon the oneness of the Divine Nature; but they would convey an inadequate notion of the hypostasis, or personal distinction. The word uttered from the lips of a human being does not, indeed, diminish anything from his soul; but then this word has no distinct subsistence like his soul. The ray from the sun is not a luminous centre like the orb itself. These figures, consequently, would not afford a just and full analogon to the personal distinction; for this, though discriminated from the Divine Essence, is yet substantial enough to possess and wield all the attributes of the Essence. Yet, so long as the distinct and real personality of Father and Son was not called in question, such illustrations as these were naturally and safely employed to guard against the notion, that the generation of the second Person implied abscission or division of the one eternal Essence of the Godhead.1 These figurative representations, moreover, prepared the way for the conceptional and technical statement of the doctrine of the trinity. They implied, and, so far as it could be done in this manner, they explained, that the Son is, in respect to constitutional substance, identical with the Father, and yet in a certain other respect, is different from the Father. And these two positions constitute the substance of the doctrine of the trinity. But as trinitarian science advanced, under the pressure from Patripassianism and Arianism, distinct metaphysical conceptions of "essence" and "hypostasis" were formed, and were expressed in a technical nomenclature and dialectical propositions ; and under these circumstances, the figurative representations of Justin and Tertullian gave way to the analytic and carefully guarded clauses of the Nicene and Athanasian Creeds.

1 Upon the use of these illustra- fountain and stream, root and

tions by the Early Trinitarians, branch, body and effluvia, light

Waterland (Second Defence, and light, fire and fire, and such

Query VIII.) makes the following like, served more peculiarly to

remarks. "The comparisons of signify the consubstantiality; but those of mind and thought, light to be so, by the ancient Fathers,

The trinitarian positions of TertuUian were called out by the Patripassian theory, and have reference chiefly to that heresy. As his opponents strongly asserted the doctrine of the unity of essence, and of the deity of Christ, there was no special necessity for him to discuss this side of the subject. Tertullian's main force is devoted to the doctrine of the distinct personality of the Son and Spirit. In so doing, he makes a real contribution to the scientific construction of the trinitarian dogma. In affirming sameness of essence between Father and Son, the church had from the first denied that the Son is a creature. The Patripassian also affirmed this, but at the expense of the Son's distinct personality. Tertullian grasps both conceptions, and while maintaining that the Father and Son are one in one respect, contends that they are two in another respect. The positiveness with which Tertullian defends the doctrine of unity of essence between the Father and Son, together with that of a personal distinction between them, is apparent in the following extracts from his writings. Having employed the examples of a river which is never separated from its source, and of a ray which is never separated from the sun, in order to illustrate the doctrine of the unity of the Divine Nature, he then proceeds to argue for the distinction of Persons in the following manner. "Wherefore, in accordance with these examples, I assert that there are two, God and his "Word, the Father and his Son. For the root and the trunk are two things, but conjoined; and the fountain and stream are two phenomenal appearances (species),1 but undivided; and the sun and ray are two forms (formae), but coherent. Everything that issues from another thing (prodit ex aliquo) is a second thing in relation to that from which it issues; but it is not for that reason separate from it. But where there is a second thing, there are two things; and where there is a third thing, there are three. For the third is the Spirit, from God and the Son; as the fruit from the trunk is third from the root, and the canal (rivus) from the stream is third from the fountain, and the scintillation (apex) from the ray is third from the sun. Nevertheless nothing becomes foreign to the source whence it derives its properties. In like manner the trinity (trinitas) flowing down (decurrens) from the Father, through continuous and connected gradations, interferes not with the Divine monarchy, and preserves the status of the Divine economy (monarchiae nihil obstrepit, et

and splendour (dnavyao-pa), were It is certain that sometimes it

more peculiarly calculated to de- was looked upon as a mere energy

note co-eternity, abstracting the or quality (Justin Martyr, Euse

notion of consubstantiality. For bius, Damascene). I say then,

thought is not anything substan- that co-eternity was more fitly

tial. I know not whether splen- represented by those similitudes,

dour (diravyau/ia) was ever taken than consubstantiality."

1 The reader will observe how which his mind was full. The

Tertullian labors to find terms in terms taken singly, and by thera

the rude Punio Latin, to express solves, are inadequate, like any

the trinitarian conceptions with and every other term; but the whole connection of thought 'Tertttlliantjs. Adversus Prax

oixovofiiag statum protegit) I say that the

Father is one, the Son is another, and the Spirit another. Nevertheless the Son is not another than the Father by diversity [of essence], but by distribution [of essence]; not another by division [of essence], but by distinction [of essence]; because the Father and Son are not one and the same [person], but one differs from the other in a certain special manner" (modulo).1

evinces plainly, that like the Ni- ean, Cap. 8, 9, 18.—Tertullian's

cene trinitarians he is endeavoring "distribution" [of essence] is the

to hold in one intuition, unity of es- same as the Nioene "conununi

uonce with distinction of persons, cation" of essence.

On the other side of the subject, namely the unity of essence, Tertullian is equally explicit. "They [the Monarchians, or Patripassians] assume that the number and disposition of the trinity is a division of the unity; whereas the unity deriving the trinity out of itself is not destroyed, but is administered by it (quando unitas, ex semet ipsa derivans trinitatem, non destruatur ab ilia, sed admin

istretur) I who derive the Son not from a

foreign source (aliunde), but from the substance of the Father,—a Son who does nothing without the will of the Father, and has received all power from the Father,—how is it possible that I destroy the Divine monarchy? On the contrary, I preserve it in the Son, delivered to him from the Father..... In this way, also, One is All, in that All are One; by unity of substance, that is. Whilst, nevertheless, the mystery of the economy (oixovofii'ag) is guarded, which distributes the unity into a trinity, placing in their order three [persons], the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost,—three, however, not in condition (statu), but in degree (gradu); not in substance, but in form; not in power, but in aspect; yet of one substance, and of one condition (status), and of one power?1

Tertullian also anticipates an argument for the doctrine of the three Persons in the one Nature, which we shall find employed by Athanasius,2 and others of the Nicene trinitarians. It is the argument that the eternity of ih& first person is conditioned by that of the second, and vice versa. If there be a time when there is no second Person, there is a time when there is no first Person. First and second are necessarily correlated to each other. Father and Son have no meaning except in coexistence and correlationship; and the same argument that disproves the eternity of the Son, disproves the eternity of the Father. "It is necessary," says Tertullian, "that God the Father should have God the Son, in order that he himself may be God the Father; and that God the Son should have God the Father, that he himself may be God the Son. Yet it is one thing to have, and another thing to be" (aliud est autem habere, aliud esse).1

1 Tertullianus: AdversusPrax- 'athanashts: Nicaenae Fidei ean, Cap. 8, 4, 2. Defensio, Cap. iii.

Dorner, in summing up respecting Tertullian's trinitarianism, remarks that the fact that Tertullian distinctly teaches an essential trinity is very significant and important in the history of Trinitarianism, and exerted much influence upon the subsequent developement of the doctrine. "Seine Trinitat fallt nicht in die Sphare des Werdens, ohnehin nicht der ytvrjrd, sondern in die ewige Sphare. Der Sohn ist ihm ewige Hypostase; Gott ist ihm statu, nicht erst gradu dreieinig." 2

'TKrTtrmaNus: Adversus Prax- non statu, sed gradu, nee substan

ean, Gap. 10. tia, Bed forma, nee potestate, Bed

'dorner: Person Ohristi, I. speoie, unius autem substantiae,

641. Dorner, however, is mis- et unius status, et unius potes

taken in this last remark. Ter- tatis, quia unus deus est." Adv.

tullian's language is, "tres autem, Praxean, Cap. 2.

Irenaeus, partly from his practical spirit, which inclined him to adopt traditional views, and partly from his abhorrence of Gnostic speculations, is disposed to accept the doctrine of the trinity as one of pure revelation. He affirms the eternal pre-existence of the Logos; regards him as the Jehovah of the Old Testament, agreeing in this with Tertullian,1 and Justin Martyr; attributes deity to him as to his essence; and represents him as an object of worship. He also distinctly teaches the doctrine of three Persons in the Godhead. The following extracts from his great work, written in defence of the Christian system, in opposition to the heretical theories of his time, will exhibit the general character of Irenaeus's trinitarianism.

Irenaeus argues for the eternal pre-existenoe of the Son as follows: "Having shown that the Word who existed in the beginning with God, by whom all things were made, and who was always present to the human race, has in these last times become a patible man, .. . the objection is excluded of those who say: 'If Christ was born at that time, then before that time he did not exist.' For we have shown that because he always existed with the Father, he did not at that time begin to be the

'irenaetts: Ad versus Haereses, c. 18. "Id Verbum Filias ejus

III. vi. 1 (Ed. Harvey). "In ever- appellatnm, in nomine Dei, varie

siono Sodomitarum scriptura ait visum patriarchis, in prophetis

'Et plnit Dominus super Sodomam semper auditum, postremo dela

et Gomorrham ignem et sulfur turn ex spiritu Patris Dei et vir

a Domino de coelo.' Filium enim tnte in virginem Mariam, etc."

hie significat, qui et Abrahas —See other extracts from the

collocutus sit, a Patre acoepisse Primitive Fathers, to the same

potestatem judicandi Sodomitas effect, in the Oxford Library of

propter iniquitatem eorum." Ter- the Fathers, Tertullian's Works,

Tullian: De Praescriptionibus, I. 447. (Note).

Son of God Wherefore, in the beginning, God

formed Adam, not as though God needed man, but that he might have one upon whom he could bestow benefits. For not only before Adam, but before all creation (ante omnem conditionem), the Word was glorifying his Father, being immanent (manens) in Him; and He himself was glorified by the Father, as he himself says: 'Father, glorify thou me with the glory which I had with thee before the world was.' .... The Jews departed from God, because they did not receive his Word, but supposed that they could know the Father alone by himself, without his Word, that is his Son; not knowing God who spake in a visible form (fignra) to Abraham, and again to Moses, saying: 'I have seen the aflliction of my people in Egypt, and have come down to deliver them.'" After remarking that God does not need either men or angels as the medium by which to create, Irenaeus assigns as the reason, that He has as his medium, "his own offspring (progenies), and his own image (figuratio), viz: the Son and Holy Spirit, the Word and Wisdom; to whom all angels are servants and subject."1 The triviality in the Godhead is taught by Irenaeus, in the following statements. "But if we are not able to find solutions of everything that is required in the Scriptures, we ought not to seek another God than him who is God. For this is the highest impiety. But we should commit such things to God who made us, and gave us accurate knowledge because the Scriptures are perfect, since they were uttered (dictae) by the Word of God, and his Spirit In the name Christ [Anointed] is implied, He who anoints, He who is anointed, and the Unction with which the anointing is made. The Father anoints, but it is the Son who is anointed, in the Spirit, who is the unction; as the Word (Sermo) says by Isaiah, ' The Spirit of God is upon

1 Imwabus: Advewns Haereses Adv. Haer. IV. xxxiv. 7; II. (Ed. Harvey), III. xix. 1; IV. xxxvii. 8; II. xlvii. 2; and Index, xxv. 1; IV. xiv.—Compare also sub voce Logos.

me, because he hath anointed me.' Man is a

tempering together of the spirit and flesh, formed after the similitude of God, and shaped by his hands, that is by the Son, and Holy Spirit, to whom he also said: 'Let us make man.'.... There is one God the Father, in all and through all, and one Word, and one Son, and one Spirit, and one salvation to all who believe in Him." l

Irenaeus testifies to the worship of Christ by the church, and against the Papal doctrine of saintworship, in the following passage, which is only one of multitudes in his writings. "The Church does nothing by angelic invocations or incantations,

■irenaeus: Adversns Haereses Haer. IV. xrxiv. 1, 5, 6, 12; IV. (Ed. Harvey), III. ili. 1; III. xix. xliii. 2; V. i. 3; and Index, sub 8; IV. xL 5.—Compare also, Adv. voce Trinity.

.. . but directing its prayers purely and openly to the Lord who made all things, and invoking the name of the Lord Jesus Christ, performs miracles for the benefit of mankind, but not for their seduction" [as do the Gnostics].1

Tertullian and Irenaeus differ from Justin Martyr, in more frequently employing the term Son, in the discussion, and thereby introduce more of the personal element into the doctrine. Distinguishing, as they generally do, the second person in the Godhead by the name Son, rather than Logos, they prepared the way for that distinct enunciation of hypostatical or personal distinctions in the Divine Nature, which we find in the Polemic period.2 For the terms Logos, Reason, and Wisdom, while they direct attention to the eternity and essentiality of the second distinction in the Godhead, are not so well adapted to bring out the conception of conscious personality, as the term Son. Hence we shall find one great difference between the trinitarian writings of Justin Martyr in the middle of the 2d century, and those of the Nicene period, to consist in the comparative disuse of the term Logos, and the more common use of the term Son, to designate the second hypostasis.

Hippolytus, the disciple of Irenaeus, also, explicitly teaches the doctrine of the trinity, and argues for the catholic doctrine of interior distinctions, in opposition to the modalism of Noetus. Having affirmed that Christ is the Word by whom all things were made, and having quoted the beginning of John's gospel in proof of this, he proceeds to say that, "we behold the Word incarnate in Him; we understand the Father by him; we believe the Son; we worship the Holy Ghost."1 He then encounters the argument of the Noetians, who charged the orthodox with belief in two Gods, because they maintained that the Father is God, and the Son is God, and replies: "I will not say two Gods, but one God, and two Persons. For the Father is one; but there are two Persons, because there is also the Son, and the third Person is the

1 Irenaeub: Adversus Haeresea * Dorner: Person Ghristi, I. (Ed. Harvey), II. xlix, 8. 600.

Holy Ghost The Word of God, Christ, having

risen from the dead, gave therefore this charge to his disciples, 'Go and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost,' showing that whosoever omits one of these, does not fully glorify God. For through the trinity, the Father is glorified. The Father willed, the Son wrought, the Holy Spirit manifested. All the scriptures proclaim this." Hippolytus likewise affirms the deity of the Son, and carefully distinguishes between generation out of the Divine Essence, and creation from nothing. "The Word alone is God, of God himself. Wherefore he is God; being the substance of God. But the world is of nothing; wherefore it is not God. The world is liable to dissolution, also, when He who created it, so wills,"—6 Aoyog fiovog i£ avrov hib xal -frtoQ, ovaia i/xaQ^av &tov. '0 8t xoa/xog t£ ovdtvog ' did ov &tog. 1

1 Hippolytus: In Noet. o. 12.

We close this survey of the trinitarianism of the principal Ante-Nicene Fathers, with the following particulars mentioned by Waterland, which cannot be invalidated, and which prove conclusively that they held the same trinitarianism with the Nicene and Post-Nicene divines.

1. The Ante-Nicene Fathers employed the word God in the strict sense of signifying the Divine substance, and applied it to the Son in this sense. 2. They admitted but one substance to be strictly Divine, and rejected with abhorrence the notion of inferior and secondary divinities. 3. They confined worship to the one true God, and yet worshipped the Son. 4. They attributed eternity, omnipotence, and uncreatedness to the Son, and held him to be the Creator and Preserver of the universe. 5. Had the Ante-Nicene Fathers held that the Son was different from the Father in respect to substance, eternity, omnipotence, uncreatedness, &c, they would certainly have specified this difference in the Sabellian controversy; for this would have proved beyond all dispute that the Son and Father are not one Person or Hypostasis. But they never did.2

1 Wordsworth : Hippolytus, pp. * Waterland: First Defenoe, 175,176,287. Query XXV.

§4. Origeris Trinitarianism.

The speculations of Origen mark an epoch in the history of the doctrine of the Trinity, and we shall, therefore, examine them by themselves.

Origen joined on where his cautious and practical predecessors Tertullian and Irenaeus had left off; but seeking to unfold the doctrine by a speculative method, in which the scriptural data did not receive sufficient examination and combination, he laid the foundation for some radical errors, which it required a whole century of discussion to distinctly detect, explicitly guard against, and condemn.

Origen seized upon the idea of Sonship, which had shaped the views of his predecessors, and which it must be acknowledged is a more frequent idea in the New Testament than the Logos-idea, with great energy. This idea led him to discuss the doctrine of the eternal generation of the second Person in the trinity, which was afterwards authoritatively taught by the Nicene Symbol, and which enters into that construction of the doctrine of the trinity in the most thorough manner.

So far as Origen's general trinitarian position is concerned, it is past all doubt that he was himself sincerely concerned for the orthodox statement of the doctrine of the trinity, as it had been made in the Apostles' Creed. He was the most intellectual and ablest opponent that the Monarchianism of his day had to contend with, and we have already noticed the fact, that by his logic and learning he brought off Beryl from his Patripassian position. At the same time he was always ready to attempt the difficult task of reconciling opposing views, and particularly of detecting and conceding the element of truth in the mass of heterodoxy, in order to conciliate the errorist, and carry him up to that higher orthodox position where the whole truth is to be seen without the mixture of foreign and contradictory opinions. Origen belonged to that enterprising and adventurous class of theologians, who attempt more than they accomplish, and more, perhaps, than the human mind is able to accomplish. In all his controversies,—and his whole life was a controversy,—he seems to have been actuated by a single steady theological endeavour,—the endeavour, namely, to exhibit the doctrinal system of the Church as the solvent, not only for all the problems that press upon the general human mind, but for all the doubts, difficulties, and errors of heresy itself. He strove with an energy of intellect, and a wealth of learning, that made him the greatest man of his century, to show the heretic that the scattered atoms of truth in his radically defective apprehension of Christianity were to be "found in greater fulness, in the orthodox system, and, what was of still more importance, in juster proportions and more legitimate connections; and that only in the com*mon faith of the church, was that all-comprehending

and organic unity of system to be found, in which truth receives a developement in all legitimate directions, while no single constituent part is so magnified or distorted as to become, virtually, the sum-total.

That Origen did not succeed in this grand and noble endeavour, is evident from the fact that both parties claimed him as their authority.1 Arius insisted that the doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son, which Origen urged so earnestly, when fully unfolded, involved the constituent doctrine of his own scheme,—namely, that the Son is finite and created. The opponents of Arius, on the other hand, affirmed that Origen intended, equally with the Nicene theologians who also maintained the doctrine of eternal generation, to distinguish between generation and creation in such a manner as to uphold the true and proper deity of the Son; and that even if he were not entirely successful, the will should be taken for the deed. Athanasius claims Origen, as teaching the same doctrine with that which he is himself maintaining.1 But we shall find the difference to be a marked one, between the Athanasian and the Origenistic definition of "eternal generation;" and it is a difference of the utmost importance in the history of the doctrine of the trinity.

1" Athanasius, Gregory Nazian- appears doubtful, but leans to the

zen, Basil (though Basil thought severer side." See Waterland's

Origen not altogether accurate re- recital, in his Second Defence, Qu.

specting the Holy Ghost), claimed zii. pp. 852-857.—The trinitarian

Origen as against the Arians. Je- ism in Origen's work Contra Cel

rome at first defended him, but af- sum, is better than that in his other

terwards attacks his writings as works; and Bull maintains his

unsound; in which attack he was orthodoxy chiefly by citations

joined by Epiphanins, Theophi- from it. It has been supposed

lus, Anastasius of Rome. Gregory that Origen's writings have been

Nyssen and Chrysostom defend corrupted by interpolations, by

him. Augustine (Haereses, zliii.) latitudinarian hands.

In order to form a just estimate of Origen's scheme, it is necessary to consider the point from which he started, and the position from which he viewed the whole subject. Inasmuch as Monarchianism, and the denial of the hypostases, was the form of error to which the catholic statement of the doctrine of the trinity was most exposed in the time of Origen, it was natural that his speculations should take form from his endeavour to refute, and guard against this. Monarchianism, or Patripassianism, affirmed the unity, and denied the trinality, in the divine essence. The hypostatical distinctions in the nature of the Godhead would consequently be the side of the subject that would be most considered, and urged by an opponent of Monarchianism. Origen's great endeavor, consequently, was to defend the real personality of both the Father and the

'De decretis synodi Nicaenae, as though inquiring, and exer

Oap. vi. §27. Athanasius, how- rising himself (Jot £ijtwk K<h yvpvd

ever, implies that Origen had said fav); but as expressive of parties

some things that appeared to oon- who are disputing in the investi

flict with the Nicene doctrine, gation. Only what he distinctly

For ho remarks: "Let no one declares is to bo regarded as the

take as expressive of Origen's own sentiment of the labour-loving

sentiments what he has written (<f»\on6t>os) man."

Son, the strict hypostatical character of each, against that confusion and mixture of subsistence which leaves for the mind, only a single essential Person in the Godhead. It was his aim to show, that the Son was as truly and distinctly a hypostasis as the Father, and that the personal pronouns could be applied as strictly and properly to one as to the other. In this particular, he made a positive advance upon the views of his teacher Clement of Alexandria, and upon the general views of this school, by more sharply distinguishing three hypostases,—an expression that had not previously been employed,1—and rejecting every identification of the Logos with the Father, as if he were only a power proceeding from him, and working in Christ, as the Holy Spirit does in the believer. In Clement, the hypostatical distinction, though asserted, is not so definitely and energetically asserted, but that the Logos, somewhat as in the trinitarian writings of Justin Martyr, runs some hazard of evaporating into the conception of the Universal Reason.* Origen is not satisfied with any vagueness upon this side of the doctrine of the trinity, and firmly announces that the Father and Son are two real hypostases, or personal subsistences.

1 Origen very seldom denomi- * " Clement sometimes fails to

nates the three hypostases a triad, distinguish carefully between the

The Greek word rpias is found Son and Spirit, though reckoning

only twice: Tom. in Joann. vi them as two Persons in the

188; in Matt. xv. 698,—though trinity." Munscher-Von Oollk:

the translation by Rufmus em- Dogmengeschichte, I. 188. ploys IriniUu oftener than this.

But how is the unity of the Godhead to be maintained in consistence with this trinal distinction, was a question which must be answered. The attempt to answer it introduced a radical defect into the Origenistic construction of the doctrine of the trinity. In opposing the Monarchianism which fixed its eye too exclusively upon the unity of the Divine Essence, Origen, while doing a valuable work for Christian trinitarianism, in forming and fixing the doctrine of hypostatical distinctions, at the same time, by his inadequate statements, laid the foundation for the Arian heresy of a created Son of God.

Origen endeavoured to harmonize the doctrine of three Persons, with the doctrine of one Essence, by employing the idea of eternal generation, suggested by the terni Son, which is so generally used in the New Testament to designate the second distinction in the trinity. In so doing, he took the same method with the Nicene theologians. But unlike the Nicenes, he so defined this phrase as to teach the subordination of the second to the first hypostasis, in respect to essence. He explained his view in the following manner. It is necessary, he said, to distinguish between &tog and 6 &tbg. The Father alone is 6 &t6g; the Son is &tog. The Son is not God in the primary and absolute sense; and hence the apostle John omits the article (John i. 1), when he denominates the Logos God, but employs it when speaking of the absolute God, in the same verse.1 The Son does not participate in the selfsnbsistent substance of the deity, and therefore it is not proper to denominate him consubstantial (6fioovaiog) with the Father. He is God only by virtue of the communication of a secondary grade or species of divinity, which may be termed &tbg, but not 6 &t6g. The first Person in the trinity, alone, possesses the absolute and eternal essence of the Godhead. The eternal generation does not communicate this to the second Person. That which is derived by the Father to the Son, in the eternal generation, is of another essence than that of the Father,—irtgog xaT ovaiav xcti vnoxtifitvov ieriv 6 viog rov nargog.2 Accordingly, Origen sometimes denominates the Son -9-t6g dtvrtgog.3 He will call the Son avjoaotpia, cevroaXrj&ua, etc., but will not call him avro&tog. God the Father of the Truth is greater than the Truth itself, and God the Father of Wisdom is greater than Wisdom itself.

A few extracts will exhibit Origen's mode of reasoning upon this distinction so fundamental in his scheme, and so fatal to the co-equality of the second Person. "Auro&tog is God per se, God with the article. Wherefore the Saviour, in his prayer to the Father, says: 'That they may know thee, the only true God.' But whatsoever is deified (deificatum) over and beside him who is denominated uvTo&tog or God per se, by a participation and communion of that divinity, is not to be denominated God with the article, but more properly God without the article; which latter designation belongs to the First-Begotten of every creature, because inasmuch as he first attracted divinity to himself, he is more honourable than the other gods who exist besides himself; according as it is said: 'God the Lord of gods spake and called the earth.'"1 "Him [Jesus], we affirm to be the Son of God, of God, I say, whom (to employ the phrase of Celsus) we worship supremely (magnopere); and his Son we acknowledge as exalted (auctum) by the Father, by the greatest honours. Grant that there are some, as might be expected in so great a multitude of believers, who differing from the others, rashly affirm that the Saviour himself is God the Lord of the universe: we certainly do not do this, for we believe the Saviour himself when he says: 'My Father is greater than I.' Wherefore we do not subject him whom we denominate the Father, to the Son of God, as Celsus falsely alleges... . For we plainly teach that the Son of the Creator who formed this sensible world is not mightier than the Father, but inferior. This we affirm, on the authority of the Son himself, who says: 'The Father who sent me is greater than I.' Nor is there any one of ns so demented as to say, that the Son of Man is the Lord of God. Yet we ascribe divine authority (imperium) to him as the Word, Wisdom, Justice, and Truth of God, against all who are suspicious of him under this name, but not against God the omnipotent Father of all."1

* Origenes: In Joann. Tom. II. * Origenes: Cont. Celsum, V. p. 271. Ed. Basil. "When tho term 608. For further - citations upon God is employed in reference to this point, see Bedepennihg: the nnbegotten (ingenitus) An- Origenes, II. 804 sq.; Baue: thor of all, he [John] uses the Dreieinigkeitslehre, I. 197 sq.; article, omitting it when the TnoMAsirs: Origenes, 118 sq.; Word is denominated God." Guericee: De Schola Alexandri

* Origenes : De Oratione, 222. na, 201 sq.

1 Origenrs: In Joannem, Tom. II. p. 272, Ed. Basil.

At the same time, Origen denied that the Son is a creature. In his treatise against Celsus, he maintains that the second Person in the trinity is not to be numbered with the ytv^rcc, or created existences, but "he is of a nature midway between that of the Uncreated, and that of all creatures,"— fitra£v Ttjv rov dytvr\Tov xai rrjg rav ytvrjrav nav~ Tcov tpvatag.* As such he is higher than the whole series of creatures from the lowest to the highest. For Origen held to the existence of "a world of spirits, who, as they are allied to the absolute deity by nature, are also by their communion with him deified, and raised superior to the limitations of a finite existence. By virtue of this divine life, the more exalted of these spirits may be denominated in a certain sense divine beings, gods?8 The difference between the Son and the created universe lies in the fact, that the Son derives his (secondary) divinity immediately from the absolute deity (6 &tbg), while the created universe, including the highest celestial spirits or " gods," derives its existence mediately through the Son, from the Father, who is the first ground and cause of all things.1 The Logos is the creator of the universe, in Origen's theory, because, according to his citation of Christ's words, God the Father has given to God the Son, to have life in himself, and he who has life in himself is capable of creating.2

'Oriqeites: Oont. Celsum, Lib. that the subordination is not that

VIII. pp. 798, 794. Ed. Basil, of order and relationship merely,

From these passages, it would as the Nicenes themselves held,

seem that Celsus supposed the but of essence, is proved by his

Christians to subordinate the Fa- distinction between Sfot and o3f or. thertothe Son. Origen in cor- * Origen: Contra Celsum, HI.

recting this error, however, dis- 84, p. 469 (Ed. La Rue), tinctly teaches the subordination 'Neander: Church History, I.

of the Son to the Father. And 587. Neander also adds, that Origen argued for a certain necessity for polytheism, or the worship of these "gods," as one step in the religious education of man, ordained by God.

1 This position was afterwards taken by the Arians. Athanaeros (Nic. Def. III. 7) represents them as explaining the application of the term Only-Begotten to the Son as follows: "We consider that the Son has this prerogative over others, and therefore is to be called Only-Begotten, because he alone was brought into existence by God alone, and all other things were created by God through the Son."

'baur (Dreieinigkeitslehre, I. 197 sq.) makes the following points in his summary of Origen's trinitarianism. 1. Origen starts with the fact of difference between Father and Son; in other words,

from the hypostatioal character. 2. This difference is marked by the Apostle John, in the first verse of his Gospel, by the use of the article when the Unbegotten is meant, and its omission when the Begotten is signified. 8. This difference implies the subordination of the Son to the Father, as to essence; for though he calls the Son avroaocfria, airoaAijSfin, etc., he will not call him avrdafor; he interprets Matt. xiz. 16 to mean that only God in the absolute sense, and not God the Son, is "good;" and holds that the sphere in which the Son acts is second to that in which the Father acts, and that of the Holy Ghost is second to that of the Son,—the Father's sphere being all-comprehending, including those of the Son and the Spirit,—the Son's being comprehensive only of creation, and the Holy Spirit's agency of unity of essence, but of moral

1. In this distinction between 6 &tog and &tog, lies the first defect in Origen's construction of the doctrine of the trinity. Two species of divinity are sought to be maintained; two grades of divine existence are attempted to be established. That idea of deity, which is the simplest, as it is the most profound of all ideas, is made a complex notion, so as to include species under a genus. The distinction between the finite and infinite is annihilated; so that there is a variety of grades and a series of gradations of existence, in the sphere of the infinite and eternal, as there is in that of the finite and temporal. Instead of leaving the conception of Godhood in the pure and uncompounded form in which a true theism finds it and leaves it, Origen, in reality, though without intending it, brought over into the sphere of Christian speculation a polytheistic conception of the deity. Godhood, in his scheme, as in polytheism, is a thing of degrees. The Father possesses it in a higher grade than the Logos; and the nature of Logos again, is more exalted than that of the descending series of the heavenly hierarchies.1 The gulf between the finite and infinite is filled up by an interminable series of intermediates; so that when this theogony is subjected to a rigorous logic and examination, it is found not to differ in kind from the pagan emanation-scheme itself.

being limited to the minds of the harmony of will,

holy. 4. Origen reduces the tri- 'TnoMAsrus: Origenes, pp. 120,

plicity to a unity, not by means 121.

2. The second defect in Origen's construction of the doctrine of trinity is the position, that the generation of the Son proceeds from, the will of the Father. There is some dispute among writers whether Origen did actually adopt this view; but the great preponderance of opinion is in favour of the affirmative. Neander remarks that Origen "affirmed that we are not to conceive of a natural 'necessity in the case of the generation of the Son of God, but, precisely as in the case of the creation, we must conceive of an act flowing from the divine will; but he must have excluded here all temporal succession of the different momenta. From this view of the subject, Origen was also led to object emphatically to the notion of a generation of the Son out of the essence of the Father."1 Neander takes the ground, that the doctrine of the unity of essence of the Son with the Father, was the distinctive peculiarity of the Western theology, and that the subordination-theory, which, he thinks, denied unity of essence and affirmed only similarity of essence,2 was peculiar to the Eastern, and that Origen's writings were the principal source of this view. Ritter thinks that Origen held to a generation by the will of the Father, but out of his essence. Baur is of opinion that Origen reallywavered in his own mind, between the doctrine of a generation out of the divine essence, and a generation by the divine will,—an opinion which certainly has something to support it, in the apparently contradictory statements of this mind so desirous of reconciling opposing views, and of bringing all partial statements into the full comprehensiveness of an all-embracing theological system. Meier agrees with Neander in his judgment; while Dorner differs from all these authorities, and by a minute examination of Origen's positions, and an ingenious specification of subtle distinctions, endeavours to establish the position that Origen did not hold that the existence of the second hypostasis is dependent upon the will of the first. Yet after all his investigation, Dorner himself is compelled to acknowledge that Origen's scheme does in reality make the Father the Monad,—not merely one of the three hypostatical distinctions, but the Godhead itself in its original and absolute unity, in respect to which the second and third hypostases have only a relative existence. Comparing Origen's opinions with those of the later Semi-Arian party, who unquestionably drew their opinions in a great measure from Origen's writings, Dorner concedes, that as the SemiArians made the Father more than a single member of the trinity,—in their phraseology, qi^u ndatjg &toTT]rog,—so Origen regards the Father alone the, nrjytj ndarjg &tOTr)rog, while the Son is nrjyrj &toTt)to; only for the world, or creation.1

■neaitoer: Church History, I. lar with him who is a participant

589. in the same thing, is without

1 Origen's conception of "par- doubt of one substance and one

ticipation" is indicated in the nature with him. Every mind

following extract from De Prin- which participates in intellectual

cipiis, IV. 881. "Every being light is, without doubt, of one na

who participates in any particu- ture with every other mind that in like manner participates in ness of essence; o/xotot?<rior, not intellectual light."—But this is opooiicrtos. Compare Redepinplainly similarity, and not same- King: Origenes, II. 345.

'dorner: Person Ohristi, I. 668. Redepennixo (Origenes II. 802) also inclines to the position that Origen's trinitarianism agrees with that of the Ohurch. After quoting the passage, ouros St 6 vlbs f7c itjparos row rrarpbi yfwqSfit (Fragm. 1. iv. De Princ. 5. p. 80), he adds: "Origenes behanptet nicht direct die Erzcugung des Sohncs aus dem Wesen des V8ters, aber sucht doch hier, mehr, als eine Erzeugung dnrch einen einzelen Willensact desselben. ein Erschafien. So schwankt er denn nicht, wie Baar, in der Geschichte der Lehre von der Dreieinigkeit, I. 204, es angiebt: er will nur jede Emanation beiseitigen. Und wenn er sagt, dor Wille des Vaters geniige zur Hervorbringung des Sohnes (De Princip. I. 112), so ist ihm da der Wille,—in der That das concentrirteste Geistesleben,—eben Wesenheit Gottes selber."—But by "will," Origen here means a volition, and not the voluntary faculty itself. His statement in Rufinus's version is: "filius utique natus ex patre est, velut quaedam voluntas ejus ex mente procederu." (De Princip. I.

112). There is a passage in the De Principiis (I. ii. 4) that seems to teach the doctrine of consubstantiality: "Non per adoptionem spiritus filius fit extrimecus, sed natura filius est" But this " nature" was not, in Origen's view, the absolute and primary nature of God. It was a secondary nature, indicated by the omission of the article. Yet it was a real nature, and not an effluence or emanation, and a highly exalted one; so that Christ was the Son of God by more than a mere "adoption" of an ordinary human nature. Origen, from his position, could energetically reject the low theory of adoption, and yet not accept the high theory of consubstantiality. Bull (Fid. Nie. Sec. III. cap. iii) attempts to prove that Origen was orthodox according to the Kioene standard. He relies chiefly upon the fact, that Origen clearly and often asserts the eternity of the Son. But this is not sufficient in Origen's case, because he also asserted the eternity of oreation. Nothing but the assertion of consubstantiality would be sufficient to prove Nicenism, and this is wanting.— xp^<"<"0- His explanation is, that Waterland (Second Defence, Qu. prayer is most commonly adXVII.) also endeavours to explain dressed to the first Person, and the following passage from Origen that this is what Origen means hy in accordance with the Nicene prayer "literally." Neander (I. trinitarianism: "All supplication 591) interprets a similar passage and prayer, and intercession, and in Origen's treatise Do Oratore thanksgiving are to be sent up to (o. 15), in the opposite and obthe God over all, by the High vious manner. Compare ThojcaPriest, who is above all angels, sirs: Origenes, p. 128. being the living Word, and God. '" It appeared to Origen someAmi we may also offer supplica- thing like a profanation of the tions to the Word himself, and first and supreme essence, to supintercession, and thanksgiving, pose an equality of essence, or a and prayer; if we can understand unity between him and any other the difference between prayer lit- being whatever, not excepting the erally, and prayer figuratively" Son of God. As the Son of God (irpoatvx>js Kvfno\t(iar Kai Kara- and the Holy Spirit are incomparably exalted above all other 'Waterland: Second Defence,

But the decisive evidence that Origen did not clearly see, and firmly assert the doctrine of an immanent trinity, so far as the true and proper deity of the second hypostasis is concerned, is found in the fact of his opposition to the fundamental position that the Son is of the same essence, Sfioovaiog, with the Father.1 It is indeed true, that he opposed the doctrine of an identity of essence between the Father and the Son, primarily because he deemed it to be Sabellian, and incompatible with hypostatical distinctions in the Deity; but it was the duty of a scientific theologian, as it ever has been the problem of scientific theology, to rise above this erroneous supposition, and evince the logical consistency of three personal distinctions in one and the same essence. While, therefore, due weight is to be given to the motive that impelled Origen to oppose the catholic doctrine of the consubstantiality of the Son with the Father, his scientific merits must be judged of by the results at which he actually arrived, and the critical estimate which came to be put upon his views, as the developement of the revealed dogma proceeded.

Origen's views respecting the third Person in the trinity were still farther removed from the catholic type of doctrine. Those who would defend his orthodoxy in regard to the Son, hesitate to do so in regard to the Spirit. "Basil," remarks "Waterland,1 "thought Origen's notion of the Holy Ghost not altogether sound." Redepenning, who we have seen is inclined to maintain the orthodoxy of Origen in respect to the deity of the second Person, remarks that in Origen's scheme, "the Holy Ghost is the first in the series of creatures, but it is peculiar to him to possess goodness by nature;" and that "the Holy Ghost is a creature in the literal sense of the term, the first creature made by the Father through the Son,"—ragti nuvrow (lege Tiqchtov) Tcjv V7io rov itaTQOQ did Xqiatov ysytvrjfitvav (Tom. in Joann. II. 60).2

We close this sketch of Origen's trinitarianism, by summing up in the words of Meier. "The meaning and importance of Origenism, in the history of the doctrine of the trinity, does not lie in the intrinsic worth of the system, so much as in its connections, and relations, and general influence. If the system itself is followed out with rigour, it conducts to a deity who is involved in a constant process of developement,—a doctrine which is utterly incompatible with an immanent and eternal trinity in the Godhead. Its chief value consists in its connection with the antecedent trinitarianism of Tertullian and Irenaeus; first, by its frequent use of the term Son, as well as Logos, to denote the true personality of the second distinction, and, secondly, by its strenuous resistance of the Sabellian doctrine of only one Person, and its assertion of real hypostatical distinctions."1

existences, even in the highest Query XII.

ranks of the spiritual world, so 'Redepenwino: Origenes, II.

high and yet higher is the Father 817,811. Compare also, Gurr

exalted even above them." Nean- Ioee: De Schola Alexandrina, p.

Dkr: I. 590. 197 sq.

1 Meier: Trinitatslehre, 109, ment of this letter of the Roman 110.—The views of Dionysius, Dionysius has been preserved by bishop of Rome, 260, are of much Athanasins (De sententia Piovalue as indicating the condition nysii; and De decretis synodi of trinitarianism in the time of Nic), from which it appears that Origen, and the state of the ques- there were four hypotheses in tion. Dionysius of Alexandria, existence at the time when he in opposing Sabellianism, had wrote; of which, three are remade the distinction between the jected by Dionysius as heretical, Father and Son so wide as to and not received by the church, lead him to some statements that The frst theory was the Sabellian, implied diversity in essence be- which made the Son the Father, tween them. Dionysius of Rome and the Father the Son. The made a statement that combined second was the theory of those unity of essence, with distinction who, in their opposition to Sabelof persons, in such a clear and lianism, made rpfir «p.v"f' three satisfactory manner that Diony- Principles, and, consequently, sins of Alexandria accepted it in rptls wro<rrdo-«r (ims nXX^Xair the place of his own. A frag- nayrartaai Kfx»p«7jif>>ar, three inthat the Word is united (unified, rjvwo-iai) with the God over all: For he says, '1 and my Father are one;' and, 'I am in the Father and the Father in me.' So shall the Divine Trinity ( y 3fm Tf>ias), as also the sacred doctrine of the Unity (jiomp^ia) be preserved." In another passage, preserved by Athanasius, Dionysius remarks that: "The Divine Word must of necessity be united (unified) with the God of the universe (rypcocrScu yap avdykrj rfp 3fto ruv Oxup Tov Sfio* Xdyoc); and it is necessary that the Holy Spirit abide and be immanent in God; and the Divine Trinity (rpidoa) be gathered together, and united into One, as into a certain Head (Knpv<pi)v), viz: the God of the universe, the Almighty." See WaterLand's Second Defence, Query H.

dependent separate Hypostases unallied to each other, and not united in one Substance or Nature. This is condemned as tritheisra. A third opinion, which also arose in opposition to Sabellianisni, made the Father alone the one God, and reduced tho Son and Spirit to the coudition of creatures. The fourth view is that which Dionysius holds, and defends, as the faith of the church, in the following phraseology: "Therefore it concerns us by all means, not to divide the venerable Divine Unity or Monad (povdia) into three deities (3forirrar)i nor to diminish the preeminent majesty and greatness of our Lord by making him a creature; but to believe in God the Father Almighty, and in Christ Jesus his Son, and in the Holy Ghost; and

20