The Divine Archetype

Sec. III.

In order to apprehend the nature of the ideal-world, the nature of the world of the actual, and especially the nature of the human soul, it is first of all essential to apprehend the nature of God, so far as it is yvwarbv, i.e. so far as it is permitted us to apprehend it, on the one hand in Scripture, on the other hand in the creation; for not Scripture alone, but, moreover, the works of God existing from the foundation of the world, reveal to us far more than the one simple truth that God is. In them is perceived by speculative thought (voeiv), as the apostle to the Komans says (i. 20), God's invisible nature, or, according to the still more significant Greek expression, ra dopara ainov. Such a knowledge of God as presents itself to us in the mirror of God's word and in the mirror of creation is not the problem of psychology, but it is one of its most indispensable elements. Before advancing, therefore, from the eternal conditions, which are assumed to precede the actuality of man, to the creative beginnings of that actuality, we must represent to ourselves the aopara of God, as they have been disclosed on scriptural ground to the general consciousness of the church, and thence, further, to sacred investigation of a profounder character. And hence we say (1) to the catholic dogma of the Trinity a sincere, unreserved, hearty yea and amen. The Godhead is one in three persons—a threefold selfconsciousness in indissoluble and equally eternal unity of nature. God, moreover, is the Triune, irrespectively of the thought of creation, and irrespectively of the thought of redemption; for both the one and the other have their origin, not in the necessity of divine Being, but in the freedom of divine Life: even without them God would be what He is in the manner essential to His nature. Moreover, we do not conceive that, although there is in fact a Trinity immanent in the Divine Essence, Scripture nevertheless only speaks of it economically, i.e. in reference to its relation to creation and redemption, as Urlsperger1 and, more lately, Hofmann have taught. The Scripture passages concerning it have a purpose in the history of salvation; but this purpose is not the limit of what they contain: there are texts of a super-historical and metaphysical character, pointing to the final causes of the history of salvation —to the eternal design of God for the entrance of the Godhead into the field of history. Behind the loving counsel of God, which embraced the creation and redemption, Scripture leaves no unknown and unnamed Christ; but it is just the Trinity of God which is the most remote and ever the same background of this counsel of love which it discloses to us. God is the Triune not only irrespectively of this counsel of love, which pertains to the substance of His absolutely free life: He is so also irrespectively of His eternally essential manifestation, and irrespectively of His historically free revelation. What we mean by this will soon be made plain: we have in the first place to show that the Trinity is itself the eternally disclosed divine nature, not merely a sundering of it, adopted for the purpose of the revelation of redemption.

But, nevertheless, we reject all apprehensions of the essential nature of the eternal procession which are irreconcilable with the historical revelation of the Triune. Of this kind is the erroneous notion that God becomes conscious to Himself of Himself in the development of Himself in the triune relation. If the Son is 6 X07o?, the Father is 6 Xeywv; and is \eyeiv possible without conscious thought? And if the Logos is o wo?, the Father is 6 yevvwv; and is yevvav possible without conscious will 1 Certainly God is m'evfia, and for that very reason He is the most absolute antithesis of every blind proceeding of natural necessity. If we conceive to ourselves the Trinity of

1 See Thomasius, Dogm. i. 487-491. Ph. Matth. Hahn says on the subject in a letter (Siiddcutsche Originalien, published by Barth, Pt. iv. p. 28), " I do not find Urlsperger's doctrine of the Trinity, as he describes it, in the Bible."

the divine nature on this ground, there must still precede it infinitely conscious will, which always clings to our conception. It is only an abstraction; but still it is justifiable, in order to enable us to have in mind the fact that God is not infinitely conscious will for the first time at the conclusion of the procession of the Trinity, but that He already was so at the commencement and in the midst of that procession. But no otherwise than in this procession is He absolute Life living itself forth. The conscious will of the Father, itself stimulating itself, finds its satisfaction only in comprehending itself in the exactly counterpart conscious will of the Son; and while the latter lovingly turns back to the former as to the bosom of its source, and the mutual operation of both is diffused as if by breathing itself forth, there arises a third conscious will, which concludes the unfolding of the nature of the Godhead—that of the Holy Spirit. Or, to speak in the words of the ancients: "Sicut dum Pater se ipsum in essentia sua contemplatur, verbum mentis exprimit et sic Filium generat: ita dum Pater et Filius se in unitate essentiae diligunt, affectus voluntatis, qui est utriusque amor, simul ab utroque exprimitur sicque Spiritus Sanctus producitur."

In these three facts of inexpressibly rich significance, subsists God's eternally disclosed blessed life of love. And its relations are not such that the Father may beget the Son, and the Holy Ghost proceed from both, or not; but without Son and Spirit the Father would not be God, and without this threefold substance the Godhead would not be the Light, and the Love, and the Life.1 Moreover, its relations are not sucli that the Father at any time might be without the Son, and both without the Spirit; and neither are they such, that the Son could at any time be so begotten of the Father, as that He should be begotten of Him no more; nor that the Spirit should at any time have proceeded from both, so as that it should proceed no more; but these are everlasting facts which, if eternity be conceived of as a duration without beginning or

1 Thus also Philippi, Glaubenskhre, ii. 123. The Father requires—to hia subsistence existing by itself as Father—the Son not less in order to be a Father, than the Son in His subsistence conditioned through the Father, as a Son, needs the Father in order to be a Son: the nature of the Godhead itself consists from eternity only in these Three.

end, are apprehended as in ever-during becoming, and nevertheless are still absolutely completed in every moment of eternity. "Nec Deus pater ita generat," say our dogmatists in the words of Gregory of Nazianzen, "ut nondum perfecte generavit, neque ita generavit Filium ut generare desierit." And in a similar sense they call the processio Spiritus Sancti, ceterna et permanens. It is a process of everlasting becoming without resting, and yet, moreover, of everlasting completion without deficiency; and the Godhead, although it is not the product of this procession, yet subsists in its Being in the threefold producing of this procession. It is exactly this interaction of being and becoming which is the life of the Godhead.

But this Life of God, thus completed and hidden in itself, according to which He, the Triune, is irvevfia, has it not at all been manifested as in the presence of itself? Or, in other and plainer words, is there not in God, above all creatures, an analogue of that which in the region of creation we call the appearance inseparable from all being,—the external corresponding to the internal of the nature,—its form, or even perhaps its earliest sphere of action? This question, as will soon appear, is of the greatest psychological importance; and although no sufficient answer is furnished us either in ecclesiastical dogma or in dogmatic philosophy hitherto,—although the subject itself has at least once been freely treated, namely in the controversy of the Hesychasts,1—yet we think, without opposing ourselves to the general consciousness of the church,2 that we may say (2) that there is certainly an analogue of the relation of phenomenon to Being, or of the external to the internal in God; to wit, an everlasting glory, which from everlasting He has framed forth from the natural ground of His personality, for the heaven of His dwelling-place, and for the body of light of His spiritual nature, and for the sphere of His intimately divine operations,—a glory which is not as yet a visible, free, self-revelation of God to the creature, but is first of all the everlasting radiation of His essential perfection, and which, without itself being personal, has its ground of origination in the three persons of the Godhead, whose com

1 See the art. "Hesychasts," by Gasa, in Herzog's Real Encyclop&die. 1 Least of all to Luther himself, who in reference to this says, "The ore lies still half in the mine." See Thomasius, Dogm. i. 78.

bined reflection it is, eternally caused by the Father, eternally mediated by the Son, and eternally effectuated by the Holy Ghost. To the question, Where, then, was God before the creation of the world? our ancients had the pertinent reply, God was in existence. He was in His nature. And onr dogmatists distinguish from the gloria externa of God, which has become manifest in time, an everlasting gloria interna; and from the created caslum angelorum an uncreated coelum Dei; whereof they say, "Coelum Dei majestaticum nullis limitibus circumscribi potest, estque nihil aliud quara aeterna et infinita Dei gloria et niajestas, quam Deus in se habuit ab aeterno et in aeternum habiturus est."1 With reference to passages where tcnsr, oipavo<;, appears as God's name (Dan. iv, 23, Luke xv. 18, comp. Matt. xxi. 25, John iii. 13), they say, hoc ccelum est ipse Deus.1 And this cannot be far from the true account of the matter, for the God of heaven swears (Deut. xxxii. 40) with hand uplifted to heaven: in which passage an old interpreter explains ad ccelum by ad se ipsum? But we must go further, and say with more accuracy, this Heaven is the manifestation of the nature of God the Triune—a manifestation everlasting, infinite, immaterial; and God is called "the Heaven," as He also is named "the name, Df?" (Deut. xxviii. 58, comp. Isa. xxx. 27), for the name is the expression of the nature. The bearing of the matter is this: As God, as the absolute personality, is Himself absolutely revealed to Himself—Himself absolutely present to Himself (sibi prasentissimus)—personality, indeed, is presence to one's self; so also, according to Scripture (without entering more closely into the metaphysical grounds of the question), there is an eternally glorious manifestation of the nature of the Godhead, which is and has itself absolutely present to itself. As in every nature there are distinguished an internal and an external, so also it is, apart from its relation to the world, in the nature of all natures. That which within the kingdom of creation we call appearance, externality, visibility, form, corporeality, is not without its archetype in the Divine Essence. We are not philosophizing a priori, but are forming a conception according to what is revealed Scripture.

1 See Quenstedt, in his Systema Theologicum, T. i. c. 624.

2 The same, c. 626.

3 Raschi, MDtrfoi i.e. 'dvjtsk

There is an eternal "n33, in which the 3iO"t'3 of God, i.e. the entire fulness of His good and holy nature, becomes apparent in the way of manifestation.1 The outward expression of the highest goodness can only be the highest beauty; but" beauty" is too trivial a form of speech for the Holy Scripture to use immediately of God:2 it calls the manifestation of God's nature "Glory," and invokes every mode of expression to denote this inexpressibly great glory. The most usual appellations are and Sofa. The former indicates the glory, with reference to the impression produced by it, as weighty and majestic (comp. /Sapo? oo^?, 2 Cor. iv. 17): the latter, a conception akin to elxeov (1 Cor. xi. 7); if it be derived from Soksiv, in the sense of cpaiveadai, suggests the appearance, especially that appearance3 which is the expression of that which is preeminently excellent. A6%a is called the glorious appearance of the absolutely holy nature of God. More exactly defined, this glory is that which He had irpo iravrb<; Tov aitbvo^, prior to time, and thus everlastingly (Jude ver. 25); the Light, which dwells with God (Dan. ii. 22), or God is called the blessed and only immortal King, who from everlasting dwelleth in this Light: c£w<j Oikwv imp6airov, ov elSev ovSel<; avdpdnrwv ovSe lSeiv Svvareu (1 Tim. vi. 16). It is thus Dipo, the place or sphere of the essentially divine self-life, whence proceed God's mundane operations (Mic. i. 3; Isa. xxvi. 21), and His glorious self-demonstration in the face of heaven and earth (Ezek. iii. 12, comp. 1 Chron. xvi. 27), and whither He withdraws Himself from those who harden themselves against His love, in scornful thanklessness (Hos. v. 15).

Scripture is not afraid of prejudicing the exaltation of God

1 Kahnis, in his Diatribe de Angelo Domini, 1858, translates Ex. xxxiii. 19, omnis pulcritudo mea, and remarks thereupon with propriety, " Esse in Deo naturam quandam qua: ad revelationem in mundo vergit."

2 That Ps. L 2 calls the glory of God itself "the Perfection of Beauty" (non plus ultra) (LXX., Vulg., Luth.), is not so probable as that this is a surname of Zion (Syr., Aq., Hier.): for (1) according to the accents it must thus be construed; (2) Jeremiah (Lam. ii. 15) has thus employed this expression, and has probably thus understood it; (3) Beauty, *S', thus im


mediately predicated of God, is without precedent.

8 See Schott on 1 Pet. i. 24. Ao'Jx is a relative idea; it is the external form, in any way perceivable, in which the life and nature of a personal or real subject comes to its actual manifestation, represents itself by itself.

above the creature when it calls this eternal dwelling in light of God, His body of light, His form of light: ,"Uion, Num. xii. 8, Ps. xvii. 15; elSos, John v. 37; and fiop<f>rj, Phil. ii. 6. It still further discloses to us the mystery, in giving us to understand, that as, according to His self-revealing nature, God is threefold in persons, so this His essential revelation is sevenfold in powers. For the spectacle of the rainbow around Him who is beheld, is that in which the glory of Jehovah, nin' li33, makes itself visible to the prophet Ezekiel (Ezek. i. 28); and also Apoc. iv. 3, an ipis of the colour of an emerald arches itself around the throne of the heavenly King. These are eternal realissima which are thus made manifest to the beholders. But Scripture says the same thing also without any image. He who sits on the throne is there named (iv. 8), o 7\v Kox 6 &v Kal 6 ep^6fievos. It is the same whose greeting occurs in i. 4; but here, in the place of the lpts KVKkoOev Tov Opovov, are named the €7rra irvevfiara who are before His throne—the same seven spirits which (iv. 5) appear as seven burning torches before the throne, and (v. 6) as the seven eyes of the Lamb. These seven spirits are not to be confounded with the seven angels j but neither are they, as is almost generally taught, identical with the Holy Spirit, although they must be regarded as closely related to Him, as may be gathered from Isa. xi. 2, and Zech. iv. 1-4, comp. 5. That the seer should call the Holy Spirit in the immediateness of His nature "the seven spirits," is probably not in itself conceivable; and that he does not wish to be so understood, is clearly evident from iv. 5, where he sees the seven burning torches "before the throne," and from v. 6, where he calls the seven spirits those who are "sent forth unto all the earth." They are the seven powers which, originating from the Father, the 'trarrjp rwv <fx!>rwv (Jas. i. 17), operating in the Son, the airavyaafia Tjjs oof^s avrov (Heb. i. 3), perfected through the Holy Spirit, and for that reason partaking His name and appropriated to Him in a special sense (Apoc. i. 4), form in their harmonious interacting life and operation the effectual glory of the triune God, in unlimited possession of which, moreover, the Son of God now stands as the exalted Son of man.1 Or is the doxa of God actually nothing else than His

1 Philo is on the way to this acknowledgment when he interprets the burning torches (Gen. xv. 17) allegorically of the divine powers, u! iuai

majesty in a peculiar and personal sense? It has been objected that our view confuses the personal conception of God by the adoption of an impersonal one.1 But the doxa, far removed from being an impersonal accident2 of the personal God, is certainly not nature in God, in the sense in which the assumption of a nature in God is rightly apprehended: it is not a nature which precedes the will of God; neither does it clothe itself generally with the conception of nature, which (when this conception is otherwise applied) is its foundation and material, but not itself. The doxa is the nature carried out into form; the effective formulation of that foundation of nature which does not exist in God without His will, but, on the contrary, separates itself by His own will from the actuality of His Ego: it is in its everlasting perfection the eternal triumph of the personality of God, and in its light exalted above all mistiness, the absolute negation of bondage. Or is God's doxa perchance a priori simply light and simply harmony, without having become so by nteans of the balancing of contraries? It has been objected that the successive process of development from below to above is peculiar to the creature, and ought not to be transferred to God.3 But, that development to a limited end—that separation of the original unity—that re-union into a mediate oneness—is not opposed to the nature of God, is shown already

Ivtxfisi; (518, 16), and understands by the good treasure of God (Deut. xxviii. 12) the Logos teeming with divine lights, To» iyx.vfiovx iu'u» q>inu» Uyov (108, 20).

1 Thus, for instance, J. P. Lange, in the Deutschen Zdtsclirift, 1859, p. 22: "That God must have something impersonal in Himself which should be distinguished from Himself as the absolute Spirit, we deny; and it is, in fact, contradicted when we call God the absolute Spirit." That God is Spirit (John iv. 24), proves certainly more than that He is incorporeal. He is absolutely free—Personality operative in itself, and the absolute opposite of blind necessity—Life entirely revolving on itself, indivisible, and having nothing external to itself. That all that God develops out of the ground of His nature must also itself be personal, does not follow therefrom, only that everything is overpowered and penetrated by His personality.

'Thus v. Rudloff, Die. Lehre vom Menschen, p. 13, names it "an accident or attribute of the Divine Trinity, although it is one that belongs to the nature of it." But if it were an accident, it would not for that very reason belong to the nature; and if it were only an attribute, it would not be the unapproachable light in which God dwells, not the (uncreated) heaven after which God Himself is named " the Heaven."

3 The letters of Molitor in the Appendix to this section.

by the procession of the Trinity; and as to the doxa, the essential distinctive character of its nature, as different from that of all created aspiration, consists in this, that the basis of development of the creature is one that subsists without its will—is given or communicated to it; and its development itself is one that is completed in temporal succession, whilst in God there is nothing which preceded His will, and nothing which at any time might not have been, and might for the first time have become. He is altogether causa sui, and His everlasting becoming is at the same time everlasting fulfilment; and the postulates of this eternal completion are only capable of being known from His creative and historical manifestations of Himself and of His nature.

We thus introduce into the conception of God, who is utterly spirit and absolute light, no limitation and no mistiness, when we say that God, considered in Himself apart from the creature, is threefold in persons, and sevenfold in revelation of Himself, the tri-personal One. But if we consider Him in relation to the creature, which according to Rom. i. 20 reflects To. aopara avrov, we need a glance to Gen. i. 2, 3, in the light of John i. 1-4, to apprehend that it is the Godhead in the totality of its nature which produces the creature in the operation of time; for the Father accomplishes it through the Logos under the perfecting co-operation of the Holy Spirit in seven days, of which the seventh is the blissful repose of perfection into which the six other days enter. But the creation realized in time is actually only the temporal realization of that which was everlastingly present to the triune self-consciousness of God; and of the latter as of the former, the same principle is true, that it is God in the totality of His nature from whom and in whom it has its ideal existence. The conceptions of the creation, future as to time, proceed from the Father through the Son, and proceed from both through the Holy Spirit, and form the ideal world of the triune Godhead which it fills with its sevenfold doxa, as it will be the final purpose of the world translated out of the idea into reality to be filled with the glory of the Thrice-holy (Isa. vi. 3). It is one of the most genial flashes of Schleiermacher's spirit, when in his sketch of a system of moral philosophy he calls love " the desire of reason to become soul." The doxa of God is the manifestation of His loving nature creating for itself out of itself a means and an instrument of revelation. In the doxa, God who is Spirit has not only what He inspires, but that wherewith He inspires it. He dwells in it, and unfolds through it, that it may be manifested in the world—the depth of that riches in wisdom and knowledge (Rom. xi. 33) which is personified in Scripture as the wisdom, nc3n, aofyia, and has in the Logos its eternal Mediator, in the glory its eternal medium.

Here we have attained the result which we proposed to ourselves at the close of the preceding section. God is all. All has its original in Him. He is I, and Thou, and He, and It. As I, the Father is the primal source of the Son. The Son, as Thou, is the object of the Father's love. The Spirit, as He, is the emanation of the love of the Father and the Son. The Glory, as It, is the reflection of the Triune, and the origin of the Kosmos. We apprehend now the threefold personal and the sevenfold dynamical; the personal, living, and in itself impersonal indeed, but, as effected by the personality of God, and absolutely interpenetrated by it, the living archetype of the everlasting ideal model, and which includes, moreover, the human soul and humanity in the image of God. We apprehend now, according to the measure of our knowledge, the everlasting postulates which precede psychological facts. And if anybody fables to us of an eternal matter in a falsely philosophical sense, we shall now have wherewith to answer him as Tertullian did Hermogenes (chap, xviii.): "Habuit Deus materiam longe digniorem et idoniorem, non apud philosophos jestimandam sed apud prophetas intelligendam."