The Two Forms of Monarchiamsm.
J^OWAEDS the end of the second century, in harmony with the New Testament, the doctrinal development, which had started with the historical, and had passed gradually from lower to higher ground, arrived preliminarily at its goal. Nothing short of attributing to Christ true divinity was able to satisfy minds conscious of having attained absolute reconciliation through Him. We find, too, that at a far earlier date, probably through the influence of the teachings of the Apostles, the conviction that Christ had introduced the absolutely perfect religion, and that everything, both in its rise and continuance, is essentially and originally conditioned by Christianity, had found an expression in the general doctrine of the pre-existence of Christ, and of His second coming to judgment. During the second half of the second century, the mind of the Church advanced unconcernedly onwards towards the goal which the necessity of the case had fixed, until it finally landed, and that with clearly defined consciousness, in the inner sphere of the supramundane divine itself, and traced back the roots of the Logos who appeared in Christ, to the ultimate ground of all things, that is, to the very essence of God Himself. At this point, however, a great shock was experienced: the course taken by the development of the doctrine of the Person of Christ seemed to be adverse to the reigning doctrine of God. A reaction, therefore, took place on the part of the doctrine of the unity of God,—a doctrine which had always been taken for granted, —and Christology was at first refused that resting-place in the eternal divine essence which it undoubtedly needed. Nor was this any longer a conflict with tendencies outside of the Church, but within its own bosom. For the unity of God, which the rational and religious mind universally regards as an unassailable certainty (with which conviction Christians had hitherto unhesitatingly deemed themselves to be in harmony), appeared on reflection to be so irreconcilable with the distinctive principle of Christianity, that one or the other must needs give way. Had the new Christian principle given way, a relapse of humanity into its ante-Christian state would inevitably have followed; and it could have made but little difference whether the place of Christianity were taken by a pantheistic doctrine of the unity of the All, moulded after a Greek type, or by an abstract deistic monotheism, moulded after a Jewish type. On the other hand, did the Christian principle firmly maintain its position, as might be expected from the life and vigour it displayed, and were the monarchy of God sacrificed to it, a relapse into polytheism would be inevitable. In either case, the certain conviction of faith, that Christianity, as the revelation of the inmost essence of God, was the perfect religion, would have received a deadly blow. For a long time already, a storm had been brewing in the sphere of the unity of God, which threatened to spend its force against the course taken by the development of Christology; and no sooner had the doctrine of the Logos led to the distinct and conscious equalization of the Son with the Father, and to Christology directly touching the very apex of theology, than the storm began to burst.
The reaction against the hitherto received Christology could only originate, it is true, with a defective, partially ante-Christian conception of God. For, although it cannot be denied that the conception of the attributes of God had already undergone many a change during the Gnostic movements, and that love had been recognised as a determination of God alongside of the physical determinations, and also alongside of righteousness and sanctity; still the doctrine of the inner nature of God had not been with certainty transformed by the Christian principle. And yet all depended on this latter. Christology gave thereto a mighty impulse; and this impulse governed, in the first instance, the further course taken by the matter, till, about the middle of the third and during the progress of the fourth century, the Church withdrew its attention from the development of Christology, and, taking its Christology for granted, applied itself mainly to the attainment of the true conception of God,—that is, to the task of conciliating the doctrine of the higher nature of Christ, and subsequently that of the Holy Spirit, with the idea of God, —and to the clear and conscious exposition of the Trinity as the properly Christian conception of God, in opposition to heathenism on the one hand, and Judaism on the other.
From the end of the second century, then, we may say, Christology demanded that the previously prevailing conception of God should undergo a transformation in consonance with the divine revelation in Christ. We find, as a general rule, that whilst, on the one hand, the old is the fulcrum or stay for the development of the Christian principle, on the other hand, this development itself is unable to make way save as the truth embodied in previous systems is incorporated with Christianity;— otherwise humanity relapses irrecoverably from Christianity into its ante-Christian condition. And the same process of conciliation between nature and grace—that is, between the anteChristian and the Christian—we find accomplished again in the remarkable stadium to which our attention is now to be devoted. There were not lacking men who, though opposed in other respects, were agreed in their dread of any approach to an undermining of the unity of God (compare Origen in John. T. ii. 2,—To iroXkovs (f>iXoOiov<; eivcu. evyofiivow rapdaaov, eiikafiovfievovs Svo dvar/opevaai Oeov<;; Tertullian adv. Prax. 3,—" Simplices quique, ne dixerim imprudentes et idiotse, quae major semper credentium pars est, quoniam et ipsa regula fidei a pluribus Diis seculi ad unicum et verum Deum transfert, expavescunt ad olKovofiiav. Monarchiam, inquiunt, tenemus"); and because they paid sole regard to this one point, they were designated Monarchians. The Judaizing Christians, indeed, are no longer deserving of much notice in this connection. The rigid conception of God entertained by unbelieving Jews had not entirely escaped the corrosive power of Gnosticism; the principles of Hellenism and Judaism had approximated to each other, in consequence of their return into their pantheistic ground; the old Ebionites, who denied Christ's supernatural birth, whose number even at an earlier period seems never to have been large, and who appear to have been in part more closely connected with the synagogue than with the Christian Church, have now passed away, as far as their importance is concerned. At the very moment, however, when the Christology of the Church had arrived at the above mentioned theological problem, but, though seeking, had not found the solution, old and new elements broke loose; consolidated themselves, as at the time when Ebionism and Docetism prevailed, into opposed heresies,—to wit, into Patripassianism, which was a higher form of Docetism, and into a new form of Ebionism, which had passed through, and therefore received a colouring from, Gnosticism. As has been remarked, Christology still constituted the moving principle; and the two heresies just mentioned were Christological, and not Trinitarian, like Sabellianism and Arianism proper. And as the two earlier Christological heresies found a new prop in the doctrine of the unity of God, which now became a factor of the movement; so, in conjunction with the opposition raised against them by the Church, did they prepare the way for, and introduce, the century which in a doctrinal point of view may be properly termed, the Trinitarian century. But what we found occurring in the case of Cerinthus,—to wit, that when the Docetism and Ebionism, confusedly combined in his system, were separated, the principle of Ebionism logically led to Docetism, and vice versa,—occurs again at this higher stage. The Alogi (see Epiph. Haer. 51; Irenaeus 3, c. 11, 9; compare Heinichen de Alogis, 1829), opposed to Cerinthus on the one side, and to the Montanists on the other, appear, from the indefiniteness which they sought to maintain in reference to the doctrine of the Holy Spirit and of the Logos, and from the latitudinarian and regressive movement which they initiated, to form the point of departure for the two possible forms of Monarchianism (Note 1 in the Appendix). The Ebionite Theodotus is expressly termed an anr6o~iraxTfia eK Ttj? aXoyov alpeaeco<;. That the Alogi accepted the supernatural birth of Christ, we may with certainty conclude from the position they assumed towards the Synoptics, which they made the hasis of their operations against the Gospel of John. On this point, moreover, Epiphanius brings no charge against them. Nor is it at all probable that they denied the divinity of Christ, notwithstanding their rejection of the Gospel of John; nay, even although they may have taken up a position, not merely of indifference, but of actual antagonism, to the developed dogma of the Logos (see Epiphanius' Haer. 51, 28; Anaceph. ed. Pet. 2, 144). For such a denial would by no means have been excused by Epiphanius; he would then rather have justly classed them with the Ebionites: whereas he does the very contrary. They had no intention, therefore, of denying divinity to Christ; but still it is not likely that they willingly traced it back to the Holy Spirit, as a being distinct from God; for to have assumed that, would have been incompatible with their relation both to the doctrine of the Holy Ghost and to Montanism. Even supposing they did the del 0eos X070? irapef-efiaXov, Tov dirb Uarp6s (Anaceph. 2, 144, 5), it is improbable that they admitted the existence of distinctions hi God,—for the purpose of avoiding which, they contented themselves with simply saying that Christ was a man who had in Himself the deity of the Father, instead of adopting the doctrine of the Logos, by which His divinity was more distinctly defined. Naturally enough, when their aim was to preserve the true humanity of Christ, as it decidedly was (see Note 1, Appendix), the doctrine of the preexistence of the higher nature of Christ became converted into the doctrine of the predestination (irpoyvaxris, praedestinatio) of this peculiar union of God with a man.1
Such a doctrine evidently left undetermined, whether the divine in Christ was personal, or a mere force. According, therefore, as the mind was more under the sway of religion, or of the practical understanding, this Monarchianism necessarily took a patripassian or an Ebionitic turn. Let us now consider these two tendencies.
1 The passage from Origen's Comm. in Ep. Tit. T. iv., in Pamph. Apolog. p. 22,—"qui dicunt . . . quod homo natus Patris solam in se habuerit deitatem,"—probably relates to the Alogi. If Bo, the heresies which are there enumerated before and after, form a regular and orderly series. To the " Deitas Patris," ^urpixi itirns, would then be opposed the irxrpixis 0e£s Xo'yof, required by Epiphanius; see Haer. 51, 28.
I. EBIONITICAL MONARCHIANISM; OB, THE REVIVAL OF EBIONISM IN A HIGHER FORM.
The revivification of Ebionism, which we have now to consider, differed from the old in two respects:—in that, firstly, it allowed the supernatural birth of Christ; and, secondly, perceived the impossibility of the belief in the unique and exceptional character of Christ standing its ground, or even of allowing the reality of His human development, unless the divine element which distinguished Him were confessed to have influenced it from the very beginning. This form of Ebionism is in advance also of that abstract, ethical point of view, which attaches worth to a moral development only so far as it springs from human power. There is no reason for doubting what Eusebius mentions having found in an old writing (H. E. 5, 28), that Theodotus the Tanner, of Byzantium, arrived at his thesis—Christ was yfriXos dvOpanrm, although born of the Virgin (Tertull. de prescript. 53), after a denial of Christ, and that his heresy was meant to serve as a cloak to his apostasy. But this ground alone, even though, as is not improbable, he added higher predicates to Christ, should prevent us regarding him as a worthy representative of the higher form of Ebionism which was now reviving into existence. It is quite certain that neither the Alogi, with whom he was connected (see above), nor the school which sprang from him, held Christ to be merely an ordinary man; for then they would not have deserved even the name of heretics (Note 2).1 We will direct our attention a little longer to this school.
It is probable that in the Theodotians a school was found for a speculative, or, more precisely expressed, for a pantheistic form of Ebionism connected with Gnosticism. The fundamental features of this view, as laid down by Theodotus the Money-changer (Theodoret, Hair. fab. 2, 6), or by the Theodotus whom Clemens Alexandr. mentions (with Neander, I hold the two to be one and the same person), are the following :— During the second half of the second century, we find, in general, that the hypostases and mythical JEon-world of Gnosticism, which were formerly kept apart, began to be confounded with each other; and the same thing is particularly observable in the Theodotians, in so far as they assert even the Logos to be absolutely identical with the Father (Exc. Theod. 19).
1 See the Inquiry into the true idea of Heresy, contained in Note U, Appendix, Vol. I. Transl.
The image of this Logos, whom they take pleasure in designating High Priest (compare 27), or Melchizedek (Note 3; see Thecdoret's Haer. Fab. 2, 6), was borne by Christ (ibid.), as, indeed, by all elect souls. No one individual, however, can be said to be identical with that eternal idea; not even Christ contained all its fulness, but was merely one word of the Word (X6yov X«7o?, 19); one ray of the divine was in His soul, and that He shares with all elect souls. The presence of the Redeemer in the world was but a shadow of the glory He has with the Father. Both the elder and the younger Theodotus (Exc. 60) readily appealed to Luke i. 35. They considered the words, "The Holy Spirit will come upon thee, and the power of the Most High will overshadow thee," to refer to the body of the Lord, and to the formative power of God, which moulded it in the womb of the Virgin. In this case, also, they meant to exclude the indwelling or incarnation of the irvevfia or X6yos. To the Logos who was in identity with the Father there attached, it is true, from eternity the irepir/pcuprj, but He had no personal existence (oiala). He was the Father's countenance, or His circumscription (Umschriebenheit) and form; and this is the meaning of the word Son, as applied to God apart from the incarnation (10, 19); Sonship is, as it were, a determination of the Father Himself, the element of finitude in Him. The Father Himself is the Son, so far as He turns His countenance towards us,—in which alone we are able to know Him (10, 23). But the Logos has by no means an exclusive relation to Christ. In becoming incarnate,—and we must not suppose there to have been only one incarnation, for the Son was incarnate also in the prophets (19),—this Son, that is, God, not merely assumed flesh, but also personality (ovald), out of the subject (man). The personality, however, held the position of servant; for it was capable of suffering, and was subject to the active, supreme cause (19). It is scarcely possible not to perceive the after-influence of the system of the elder Theodotus in this form of Ebionism. In a variety of ways he affirmed, in opposition to the Church, that Christ was, after all, a true man; and whatever other divine attributes he may have given to Him, rested solely on the basis of His full human personality. Such also was the position of the younger Theodotus (Note 4). Now, although, like the Gnostic Ebionism which consolidated itself into definite forms towards the end of the second century, after the elder Ebionism had died out, Theodotus found little difficulty in attributing to Christ, or to His elect and predestined soul, a divine substance, the Ebionitic character of his views shows itself at once in his supposition, that the Redeemer merely awakened the soul out of sleep and kindled the divine spark, which lies at all events in the elect (3); and in his not leaving to Christ even the dignity of being an unique incarnation of the Word. The elect differ from each other only in the measure in which the one approaches nearer to the reXo? irpoK<rrrrj<;—that is, to the idea of the true man, created in the image of God—than the other. Accordingly, this form of Ebionism also was at last compelled to agree with the elder Theodotus when he says (Tertull. de praescr. 53),—" Christ is raised above other men nulla alia nisi sola justitiaB auctoritate." An exactly similar position was occupied somewhat later than Theodotus the Elder, according to Eusebius (see 5, 28) and Theodoret (see Ha*. fab. 2, 4), by Artemon; with the single difference that he had probably cast off the Gnostic element (compare Note 3, and take in conjunction therewith Haer. fab. 2, 5, at the commencement). Devoted to Hellenic philosophy (Euseb. 5, 28), and, as it appears, dealing arbitrarily with the Old and New Testament records, he and his school believed themselves warranted in describing it as an innovation to designate Christ, God;—an assertion, the opposite of which we have clearly enough shown to be true, and the drift and nature of which is perfectly plain from his pretence of having the Apostles on his side. The further assertion, that his doctrine had prevailed in Rome till the time of Zephyrinus, does not accord very well with the reception given to Praxeas there; with the exclusion of the elder Theodotus by Victor, prior to Zephyrinus; with the intimate relation existing between Irenaeus and the Romish Church; nor, lastly, with the remarks made above respecting the dogmatical views of the Romish Church subsequent to Clement's day. In fact, he himself recedes from this position to the extent of granting, what he could not deny, that in ancient hymns deity had already been attributed to Christ; but he pretends that, in a doctrinal form, his ideas had held a place side by side therewith, or had even had the predominance. Taking it, however, to be a fact, as history unquestionably teaches, that there was little doctrinal development of the faith in Rome during the second century, this is in itself a refutation of his affirmation; for if we deny the existence of doctrinal development in general, we must deny also the existence of a doctrinal Ebionism. It is, of course, plain that a faith as yet doctrinally undeveloped might tolerate many principles which a keener eye would have condemned; but it does not therefore follow, that the faith itself was identical with such principles; although it agreed with the interest of the Artemonites to maintain the fairness of such a conclusion. For the rest, Artemon does allow that Christ was supernaturally born of the Virgin, and that He was exalted above the prophets by His virtue (Theodoret's Haer. fab. 2, 4). In the matter of Monarchianism, therefore, he was at one with his predecessors; but he was scientifically in advance of them, his views having acquired clearness and definiteness. Like them, he clung to the sinlessness and the supernatural birth; but, instead of misusing the words, o X070? a'ap^ eyevero, as did the Theodotians, who, notwithstanding their adhesion to the formula of the Church, really attributed nothing distinctive to Christ, he entirely avoids such lofty expressions; at the same time, however, he acknowledges the more distinctly that, on account of His sinlessness, an unique dignity appertained to Christ. The divinity which he concedes to Christ is His virtue, which raised Him above the most distinguished of the human race; and that Artemon did not take a merely empirical view of this virtue by representing it as the sole work of Christ's human freedom, is very evident, partly from the comparison with the prophets, who were prophets because they participated in the Divine Spirit, and partly from his assigning to Christ a rank above the prophets, both in consideration of His supernatural birth and of the superior measure of His virtue.1
1 Kxl 'Aprifiuv $& Tis roi fih xu-x To» O?ii»it Qe61/ mapx'Khmiius
nfilv iii%xotv, xinin tlpnxuf eilixl Tov irxinos irounrii»' To'» ii xvpiov 'lnaov» Xl/oroV Atipxleov Ixtri ypthon, ix 7rapdivov ytytvnnfiivw, Tuv o"e irpoQnruiv dptrri xpiirrotx. Tuvru Se xxl roiis cJirooroXovf iXtyi xtxnpvxivxi, iraptpfineevxv ruv iiiuv ypxQu» T^» iixtoixv, Tovs it fitr Ixi'itovf im"hoyrjaat To» Xpitnou, oiix Stru ©eo'c Artemon's party extended far into the second century, and even Paul of Samosata is classed with it by the teachers of the Church,—for example, by Theodoret, Haer. fab. 2, 8.
Paul of Samosata1 gave the completest development to this higher form of Ebionism (about 270 after Christ). Many points of his system, indeed, are but a repetition of what had been .taught before; and the early writers regularly described him as an adherent of Artemon. He did away with the songs of praise to Christ, under the pretence of their being of modern origin;—a mode of procedure resembling that of Artemon in one respect, but in another respect in glaring contradiction to him; for Artemon had maintained (see Schleiermacher's Z. Theol. 2, 490), that a OeoXoyeiv of Christ was discoverable solely in old hymns, and not in strictly doctrinal productions (to which the author of the Little Labyrinth already gave a fitting reply: Euseb. 5, 20). Like Artemon, with whom the ancients constantly class him, he starts with the unity of God, denies the existence of a ao<pla, or X070?, distinct from the Father (evtnro<rraro?), and represents the Logos in God as merely that which intelligence or reason is in the human heart. In this sense he took the passage, "I am in the Father, and the Father in Me." He advances, therefore, no further than that ravrorty; of the Logos with the Father, which the younger Theodotus so decidedly taught in opposition to the doctrine of the Church (Exc. Theod. 19). Up to this time, the Church had found no better way of describing the distinction between the divine in Christ and God, than the, as we have seen, unsatisfactory one of assigning the divine reason or ao<pla to the Son. Paul further resembles his predecessors in laying the main stress on the human personality of Christ; but he carries it out more fully. His Christ is from beneath QcaraBev, Euseb. 7, 30; Theodoret, Haer. fab. 2, 8): ecpapdOrj Tov Xpiorbv avOpanrov Xeyav, Oelas ydpiro<; Sicupep6vrco<; rfemfiivov. Euseb. 7,27,—Tovtov Be (JJavXov) rcnreiva Kcu yapa^ rrerfj irepl Tov Xpiarov irapa rrjv eKKXrjaiatrriicqv ZiZaaKaXlav <f>povqaavrO<;, a>? Koivov Tjjv (pvaiv avOpcbirov yevofievov, etc. C. 30,—Tov fiev yap vlbv Tov Qeov (so say the Bishops in their Synodal Epistle) oi fiovXerai avvofioXoyelv e^ ovpavou KareXrjXvOevai—Xeyei 'Irjaow Xpurrbv KdrcoOev.
1 Compare Euseb. 7, 27-30; Hahn's "Bibliothek der Symbole u. s. w.," pp. 91-97, 129 f.; Epiph. Haer. 65; Theodoret, Haer. fab. 2, 8; Ehriich'a "de erroribus Pauli Samoa." Lips. 1745; Schwab's "de Pauli Sam. vita atque doctrina," Diss. inaug. 1839.
They term Him e^opicrjaap^vov rb fivanjpiov (whereas even he had previously had faith in Christ as Lord and God: Euseb. ed. Heinichen) Kox ip.iropmevovra ry fuapa alpeaei rov ,Aprep£i (compare Euseb. 5, 28, at the commencement). The Logos, that is, the activity of God which breathed through Him from above, did not dwell in Him as a person, but merely as a quality or power (ovk ovauoSw dWA Kara irowrrjra); and although he does not appear to have questioned the supernatural birth of Christ (in opposition to the indefinite expression of Euseb. 7, 27, we may adduce the distinct declaration of Athanasius c. Apoll. 2, 3, that he taught, Qebv e'/ c irapOevov), he laid no particular stress on it; and the utmost he could have meant by it was, that Christ continued permanently the subject of divine influence, and that His humanity was predestined to, and therefore also prepared for, this abiding union with the divine power. What is peculiar to him, however, is his endeavour to establish the Sonship or deity of Christ, on the ground of the divine power which dwelt in Him, after the analogy of the prophets, but in a fuller measure (according to the Contestatio Cleri Constantinop. quod Nestor. ejusd. sit sentent. cum Paulo Samos. Mansi Coll. 4, 1108, Paul's doctrine was—Xva u17re 6 Ik Aafi\B ;$Mcr0eis dXX6rpio<; jj vr}<; ao<j>ias, firjre 17 ao(pia iv aWcp ovrco<; ivoiKrj: compare Baur 1. c. 1, 296), urging that it was the animating principle of His human development, which, having attained its goal, constituted Him, for its excellence, worthy of the name of Son of God. (Compare the above passage from Theodoret, Haer. fab. 2, 8; Athan. de Syn. c. 26,—varepov avrbv fierh rrjv ivavOpayirqai v £k irpoKoirrj<; reOeorroirjaOai, Tg> Ttjv <f>vaiv avOpmirov yeyovevai: c. 45,—e'f avOpamavyer/ove 0eo?. Fragm. Ep. Synod. in Leontius c. Nest. et Eutych., he taught awa<peuw irpbs Ttjv o~o<plav Kara pABrjaiv /eal fierovaiav; Epiph. Haer. 65,—iv avrm ivhrvevaev avaOev 6 X07o?.) As of a like tendency, I am inclined to take the passage in Epiph. 65, 1,—iXBcov 6 X07o? brqpyqae /ttwo? Kal dvfjXOe irpb<; ibv irarepa; but I doubt whether it teaches a separation of the divine from this man, similar to that which Sabellians taught, as Baur affirms (1. c. p. 305). For the only idea justificatory thereof—to wit, that after His perfection Christ was possessed of deity in Himself, in the way above mentioned, and that He therefore needed no longer the influence of the Logos—can scarcely have been entertained by him, seeing that it would have still further weakened the, in other respects, feeble proof of the deification of Christ. At what moment he considered the deity of Christ to have commenced, whether after His resurrection or after His baptism, we are not informed (Note 5). If God-manhood did not pertain to Him originally, it became His through the medium of His irpoKoirrj, of His perfect human development, for the sake of which Paul represents Him as deified. This deification is annexed as an external consequence; but it cannot have been anything more than a quality, a thing of rank and of dignity, not of essence (Theodoret 1. c.). The divine in the Son, or Christ, continues by itself impersonal (dvaipel rrjv rov viov [of the eternal Son] inroaraaiv, <f>daKei firj elvai airrbv ewrroararov, aXXa h> airrm Qeco, Epiph. Hser. 65, 1). When, to his doctrine, "God is one person with the Logos, ?i/ irp6awirov (Epiph. 1. a), even as man is one with his reason," the objection was raised,—" The doctrine of the Church requires one God, but several irpoamira of the same;" he replied, that as he also held Christ to be a person (namely, as a man), his faith too (compare Epiph. 1. c. 7) had several irpoamira; God and Christ stand over against each other as ofioovaioi, that is, probably, as alike personal (see Note 4). A vexatious dialectical procedure of this kind could, of course, deceive no one; but it had the effect of rendering the word 6fioovaio<;, so employed and referred to personality in general, suspicious for a time (according to Athanasius de Syn. Ar. et Sel. c. 45, fears were entertained that, if Paul's view were adopted, a human personality must be admitted into the Trinity), until the fourth century stamped it with the seal of Church authority (Note 6). If the word ovala be taken in the sense of substance or essence (Wesen), Paul teaches an erepoovala of the Son and the Father; in their inmost centre, as to their personality, they continue apart; and the personality of the Son is conceived as merely finite, although eV avrfi evenvevaev avcoOev 6 X070? (compare Pauli Serm. ad Sabian.,—ai Sidcpopoi <pvaeis Kal ra cid<f>opa irpaaanra eva ical fiovov evcoaeco<; eyovat rpoirov) rrjv Kara Oekrjaiv avfifSaaiv).
This Christology is remarkable for combining within itself such varied elements; and, indeed, as Epiphanius already (Haer. 65, 9) seems to hint, Paul's aim in its construction apparently was to attain a point of view from which principles, otherwise antagonistic, would be seen to form part of a higher unity: hence also, until recent times, many were uncertain in what class Paul ought to be placed. We have no longer here to do with the old Ebionism, and its abstract dualistic conception of God; Paul taught, on the contrary, that the power of the divine Logos, in its highest energy, had appeared in this man;—not, however, in a docetical manner, as the Gnostic Christology represented, but permanently. His conception of it, indeed, was such as to enable him to trace out a truly human, free development for Christ, in a more complete manner than the Church teachers of his day; yet at the same time he never supposed a time when the man Jesus, who rose by gradual progress from a lower position up to deification, had been without the Logos. He tried also to assert for Christ Sonship and deity; on the condition, it is true, that it should grow out of the humanity. In consequence, the deity thus claimed for Christ was neither selfless, nor involved a double personality. Further, the Logos who dwelt in Christ was not something subordinate, but a truly divine power, yea, God Himself in His activity. He formed as large a conception of this activity as appeared compatible with the requirements of a free human development. In this respect, he occupied a far higher position than the Patripassians and Sabellians; for they were by no means able to give so perfect a representation of the humanity of Christ. On the other hand, he was essentially one with them in his unitarian conception of God; indeed, he harmonized so completely with them, that we can easily explain how he should have been frequently classed with Sabellians. Epiphanius also charges him with the avvaXupr) of the Logos and the Father; for he denies the pre-existence of the Logos and His possession of an independent hypostasis. On the other hand, he did not conceive God to be motionless and inert, or far removed from the world; but taught that the one God, who is in Himself Logos and Pneuma, and for whose unity he pleads, as did the Sabellians, in opposition to the Church, revealed Himself, became the X070s -rrpo<popiKb<;, and is present in His revelation. Indeed, he might himself have laid down a kind of oeconomic Trinity; and probably he meant to do something of the sort, when, in referring to the Son, he maintained that he also taught the existence of two hypostases, Father and Son. But even if Schleiermacher's supposition were correct, that he regarded the soul in general as essentially divine, we should be scarcely warranted in attributing to him the idea of a selfdiremption of God, into the inner Logos and the X07o? irpo<f>opiK.b<;; in the sense, namely, that God placed Himself over against Himself in humanity (that is, God on earth), specially in the perfect man; and that, out of the independent freedom with which He had, as it were, enfranchised Himself in man, He returns back to Himself through the ethical exercise of that freedom, in the first instance, in Christ. For Paul did not hold the world or humanity to be the X0709 evepyo<;. And even when he says,—" The Logos dwelt in Christ as in a temple; He was in Him what the inner man is in us,"—he merely bordered on, without actually proceeding to, the recognition of the hypostasis of the Logos; for he conceived the inner man rather as a simple attribute or quality. Because, however, he regarded the free human and the divine personalities as mutually exclusive magnitudes, we are justified in saying,—So far as Paul saw in Christ a manifestation of the Father (Epiph. 1. c. 5), and with the Sabellians appealed to John xiv. 9; and, further, so far as he held this person, in its ideal development, to be determined by the ivepyeia of God,—in so far was he on the point of passing over into Sabellianism, and under the necessity of suspending the ivipyeia of the human aspect, of reducing it to a purely passive condition. So far, however, he was unable to go. For his fundamental Christological tendency plainly was to lay chief stress on the humanity; and therefore, notwithstanding some inconsistencies, his theory continued to be Ebionitical, an incarnation of God to be an utter impossibility, and the divine to occupy a place merely on the surface of the kernel of the strictly human personality of Christ. In this sense, we may say that Paul considered the humanity to form the inmost centre and proper substance of the person of Christ; and that the divine, on the contrary, touched merely the actuality of the man Jesus, that is, His phaenomenal aspect.
Looking back from the point at which we now stand to the commencement of the series here terminated, we have a spectacle before us which will often be re-enacted,—the spectacle, namely, that a system whose basis was originally pantheistic, is necessitated, in consequence of the accession of the subjective, personal principle, either to become deistic, or to throw aside its error and accept the truth. For Judaistic and deistic it certainly is, to represent the essence of God and of man as necessarily foreign to each other, and as only coming into contact with each other through the medium of the divine power which dwells in Christ, as in a temple (Contest. cleri Const., etc., 1. c., eV Xpi<ncp (Tjv rj ao<f>ia) <2>s iv vaco Qeov; and Paul frequently employs the expression,—in Christ ao<f>la evoiicei; compare Neander 2, 1036). This, therefore, is again simply the inner relation of the heathenish and the Jewish principle, as we found it existing in the days of the older Ebionism and Docetism: they form two extremes, which unavoidably tend to a false union; that is, they ceaselessly pass over the one into the other, when they fail to find a true union in Christianity.
A Far mightier tendency than the Ebionism just considered— mightier, because more amicably related to the interests of religion—was Patripassianism, which, after undergoing a process of refinement and development, attained its most perfect form and expression in Sabellianism. After making many unconnected beginnings during the course of the second century, even prior to the time of Praxeas, this system attained sudden ripeness and wide diffusion even in the Church;—first, under the imperfect form of Patripassianism, shortly before the end of the second century; and again, after some links of development had intervened, soon after the middle of the third century. Relatively to those beginnings, we may remark in the outset, that Justin Martyr makes us acquainted, in his Dial. c. Tryph. 128, with men who are very like the later Sabellians. One and the same divine Svvafiw, say they, undivided and unseparated from the Father, as the light on earth from the light of the sun in heaven, has appeared under different names and forms, as Messenger, Shechinah, Man, and Word; and these appearances are the appearances of the Father. When He wills, say they, He causes His power to go forth; and when He wills, He calls it back into Himself. Those who held such views must, of course, have regarded all revelation as something momentary and abrupt: no such thing as a knowledge of permanent forms of divine revelation, and of their connection with each other is attainable; everything remains theophany. We find, however, even here, the characteristic feature, that the divine Swafiis in itself is asserted to be absolutely identical with the Father, and that the element of limitation, of distinction from God the Father, is supposed to owe its existence to the entrance into the world of finitude, to be the effect of the olKovofila, or of revelation; whereas the divine substance in itself resists and excludes all distinctions. But if we ask, what is the fundamental philosophical view which lies at the basis of such a theory of the revelation of God; and if, in this behoof, we apply the above propositions to creation in general, and not merely to the Old Testament account (an application which they themselves justify us in making, in that they trace back the origin of the angels also to that divine StW/uf, in which the Father as it were spreads Himself out),—we shall arrive most surely at our goal by taking our stand on their favourite image, and saying:—God is like the sun, which diffuses itself through, and as it were expands itself to the boundaries of, the sphere of light; and as the sun draws back every evening, at setting, the rays in which it appeared to us, so God draws Himself back into Himself. I would just hint with a word also, that the Pseudo-Clementines, with their Monas, which dilates itself to a Dyas, and again returns into itself, and perhaps also the gnosticizing Gospel of the Egyptians, may be placed under the same category.1 Whether the influence of the stoical cosmology or theology should also be taken into consideration as a further factor, is doubtful, notwithstanding that common or similar expressions, like <tu(7toxtj and BiaaroXrj, eicaraais, suggest such a course. More importance ought probably to be attached to the Neo-Platonic philosophy, which began to come into vogue, even before the end of the second century, specially through Celsus. For it does teach that God eternally mediates Himself with Himself through the world, that the divine life flows through a circuit, and that God proceeds forth from Himself and becomes a Son to Himself in the world.
1 Baur, 1. c. p. 274, refers the Gospel of the Egyptians to this connection with a positiveness which I am unable to share; for we know only of a sexual Dyas (Geschlechtsdyas) which becomes a Monas. Compare Grabe'a "Spicilegium" 1, 36.
Related thereto, and unquestionably not without considerable influence on NeoPlatonism, was finally Gnosticism, between which, with its pantheistic fundamental view and the principle of Sabellianism, the affinity was all the greater, the more it turned from its ethnicizing phantastic theosophy to the more sober doctrine of the unity of the Alleinheitslehre—a doctrine essentially involved in it from the beginning,—or the more fully it obeyed the injunction of Irenaeus, to reduce its endless hypostases to momenta of the conception of God. The connection of Sabellianism with Gnosticism, apart from the pantheistic basis common to both, is specially noteworthy for two reasons. Firstly, the older patripassian form of Sabellianism, which did not shrink from attributing change and suffering to God, directs our attention to the transformation already experienced by the rigid Jewish conception of God at the hand of Gnosticism. Secondly, the older patripassian form of Sabellianism was guided, not so much by a philosophical or cosmological, as by a religious interest (not till a later period did it become religio-historical or religiophilosophical); and even in this aspect, the transition from Gnosticism to it was effected by one of the most noted Gnostics, Marcion.1 This religious interest manifested itself particularly in the opposition consciously raised by it to every form of Subordinatianism, and in its disposition to put Christ on a level with God; nor did it object merely to Ebionitical Monarchianism, but also to those doctrines of the Church which subordinate the Son to the Father (compare Origen in Matth. T. xvii. § 14, Neander 2, 994 f.). It is of far more consequence, however, to note the stadium at which the doctrine of the Church itself stood, when this tendency broke out. Here we refer not merely to the indeterminateness which prevailed, and which did not quite exclude Sabellian principles; for example, when the presbyter says, in Irenaeus, "Mensura Patris filius;" or when Clemens Alexandrinus says, with the younger Theodotus, " The Son is the countenance of the Father;" or when Melito says, 0eo? iriirovOev inro Sefta? urparjklriBos (compare Routh 1, 116).
1 So far as I know, Neander was the first to direct attention to this fact. (See above.)
Still more positive countenance was given by two circumstances. Firstly: From the days of the Apostles down to Justin, the Church had, as we have seen, laid prime stress on the hypostatic pre-existence of the higher nature of Christ; and Justin, in connection therewith, had not even avoided subordinatian elements. He himself, however, firmly believed the Logos to be of one substance with the Father; and during the course of the history of the doctrine of the Logos, this constantly assumed a more definite shape, until, in the second half of the second century, the Church was concerned not so much to distinguish the Son from, as to establish His unity with, the Father. Inadequate momenta, which had been intended to aid in establishing the divine hypostasis of Christ, but which intertwined Him immediately with the world, were then cast aside, and the Son was introduced into the inmost adytum of the divine essence itself, as the reason and wisdom of God. Had the matter rested there (a thing to which the teachers of the Church were certainly opposed), Sabellianism would have found a home in the Church, and the impossibility of distinguishing the Son from the Father would have become a manifest fact. For if the divine Trias, which the faith of the Church had long held to be a settled thing, meant nothing more than that reason and spirit (X0709 Ka\ rrvevfia) are in God, Monarchianism would have had no reason for its opposition. Moreover, inasmuch as the Church most decidedly maintained that there was only one God, Sabellianism was the more justified in, as it were, asking the doctrine of the Church, whether a merely oeconomic Trinity would not meet the wants of the Christian mind; and in the then position of the doctrine of an immanent Trinity, it could with certainty reckon on receiving, in many cases, an affirmative reply. Secondly: The revival of Ebionism must have caused the Church to cling more firmly to the doctrine of the essential equality of the Son; and fear both of it, and of the Arianism which now began to raise its head,1 must have prevented it from insisting too strongly on the distinction between the divine in Christ and the Father.
1 Compare Eecognit. Pseudoclement. (see Vol. I. 216 and Note BBBB). On the other hand, after what has been advanced above (Vol. I. 192 ff.), it is not improbable that a class of Ebionites also (of course a higher class, to which one scarcely ought to apply the name) approximated to Patripassianism.
And, in fact, it is quite possible that the ever strengthened tendency to affirm, even as regards the soul, the completeness of the humanity of Christ in opposition to Docetism (Note 7),—a tendency unquestionably little favourable to any form of Sabellianism,—was, in many respects, restrained by the necessity of combating Ebionism; for Ebionism postulated above all, for the integrity of the humanity of Christ, a complete and free personality.
The weakest side of the newer form of Ebionism, in the eyes of simple-minded Christians, was its inability to lay any stress on the death of Christ and His atoning work. (It was otherwise, perhaps, with those alone who are mentioned in the note on the last page.) Some, indeed, are said to have done so (Orig. Comm. in Joh. T. xxxii. 9), but it was mere inconsistency; and the lephv Kal aanrjpiov ypfjfim, which, according to them, 6 irravpuiOel s rf i Koafic o hriBeSijKev, can scarcely be connected, otherwise than arbitrarily and magically, with an Ebionitic Christology. In this respect especially, the patripassian view was far more satisfactory :—the more explicable, therefore, is the great impression made by Praxeas, its earliest representative, and a confessor, during his first stay in Rome. The heresy which Praxeas introduced, Victorinus endeavoured to strengthen (corroborate curavit), says Tertullian in the passage from his "de praescr. haer." 53. This was, without doubt, the Roman Bishop Victor, who excommunicated Theodotus. The excitement which then prevailed precisely in Rome, on account of the revival of Ebionism, would appear therefore to have favoured the introduction of views of a directly opposite character, of which Praxeas, coming from Asia, was the advocate and representative. When we remember that a certain predominance had hitherto always been given to the Father over the Son, we shall confess the admission of the idea, that in Christ the Father had appeared, had actually manifested Himself in His person, to have been an unheard of but a mighty step. The inmost nature of God is disclosed,—a completely new period is inaugurated. We thus enter into fellowship with the Most High God, who is God alone; and no middle being has been able to redeem us. It cannot have been the idea of the mere abstract unity of God that led Patripassians to the view they advocated; on the contrary, that Jewish momentum, in itself, would have absolutely excluded the possibility of change and suffering in God. But it was also the consciousness of entering into immediate fellowship with the Most High God, who as such is the one God, in consequence of His completely clothing Himself with our humanity, sharing the distress of finitude, and the sufferings which fall solely to the lot of our nature,—that constituted a second and equally important momentum of Patripassianism. On the one hand, Praxeas and Marcion are thus brought into closer proximity, the former turning out to be the Church's continuation of the latter; on the other hand, a new explanation iS given of the warfare they waged in common with Montanism, and it is seen to have been the natural result of their essential principles.
Montanism threatened the Church with a new form of Jegality, incompatible with the revelation of the inmost nature of God vouchsafed to men in Christianity. The doctrine of the Trinity by no means furnishes a sufficient explanation of the opposition raised by Praxeas to Montanism; for, in the first place, there are too few traces of an old Montanistic doctrine of the Trinity, and Tertullian had arrived at his doctrine of the Trinity prior to embracing Montanism; and, in the second place, if, as some affirm, it were certain that the Montanistic doctrine of the Trinity was oeconomical, that is, in principle Sabellian, it would be difficult to explain Praxeas' opposition thereto.
Praxeas, says Tertullian (see Adv. Prax. 20), treats the words, " I and the Father are one; He that seeth Me, seeth the Father," as though they formed the entire Bible (Note 8); and in the Old Testament, appeals most readily to the passages which testify to the unity of God (c. 18). This, says Tertullian, is right enough in opposing polytheism; but we are not thereby shut out from understanding, by the one God, the Father, the Son, and the Spirit. But what are the teachings of Praxeas concerning the Christian idea of God, which, even in the general baptismal formula, takes a Trinitarian form? One and the same, says he, is Father, Son, and Holy Ghost (c. 2). Now, as he absolutely refuses to admit of distinctions in the simple divine essence (c. 12, the "unitas simplex," the "unicus et singularis Deus"), what significance can he attach to that triplicity? The question of the Holy Spirit we must leave untouched, for we do not know what Praxeas said regarding Him; but we know that he denied the pre-existence of the Son, and proposed to apply the designation to the Incarnate One alone. It was not a mere power of the Most High that was active in the formation of Christ, but the power of the Most High is the Most High Himself (c. 26); He descended into Mary. Had Praxeas and his school brought the Trinitarian names into connection with the different revelations, the word Father also would have stood to him for a form of the revelation of the one God, and this one God he would then have distinguished, as the Monas, not only from the Son, but even from the Father. We do not find, however, that he did anything of the kind; on the contrary, it is probable that he identified the Father with the Monas.1 The distinction, therefore, that he draws between God in general and Christ, is the following,—" The Father is the Spirit, that is, God, that is, Christ: the Son is the Flesh, that is, the man, that is, Jesus. The higher element in the person of Jesus is God Himself, or the Father; in Jesus, however, He entered into finitude and became man. In the one person of Christ, Praxeas distinguished the part that was born, to wit, the flesh, and God, who is in Himself unalterable. The Father proceeded forth from Himself, and returned back into Himself (c. 23). In this way, the incarnation is reduced to a mere theophany; not even the eternal continuance of this person is ensured, especially as Praxeas taught nothing concerning a soul of Christ. The man, the "caro," must have been conceived as impersonal, as a mere garment, or as an organ whose office it is to present the Father visibly to the world.2
Had Praxeas gone no further, his system would have differed little from the old Docetism,—for example, from that of Marcion. But he conceived the appearance of the Most High God to be at all events one of long continuance, a permanent one: like Noetus, he represents Jesus as having been actually born of Mary, as growing, hungering, thirsting, suffering, and dying. To the assumption of so permanent and peculiar an union of God with human nature, Praxeas was undoubtedly impelled by a regard to the religious nature of man, which feels that in Christ, God did enter into the most intimate fellowship with our nature.
1 C. 16: "Patrem in vulvam Mariae deducunt." C. 27: Out of the " virtus Altissimi" which overshadowed Mary, "Patrem faciunt." Compare c. 23,2.
2 C. 23: "Tolerabilius erat, duos divisos, quam unum Deum vereipellem praedicare."
Such a fellowship would not have been established, had not He participated in all the acts and sufferings of the man Jesus, and had He assumed human nature merely externally as a garment. For this reason, Schleiermacher (1. c. p. 497) had no right to throw doubt on the statement frequently made by Tertullian and others, to the effect that Praxeas and his school represented God Himself, or the Father, as sympathetically suffering ,with us. Tertullian's expression, "Patrem crucifixit," must, of course, perhaps be taken rhetorically; for he distinguished between the "caro" and the Father, and therefore also, that which could befall the former alone, from that which might also touch the latter. But that he in some way or other held the Father to have participated in the sufferings of Christ, cannot be doubted.1 He and his school believed themselves the rather warranted in doing so, as even the recognised teachers of the Church were accustomed to say,—The Son, or even God, suffered; Christ, the Son of God, died.2 But they tried to make their meaning more intelligible by the formula, "compassus est pater filio" (c. 29). For fear of directly blaspheming the Father, Tertullian supposes, they adopted this milder form of expression, and granted that the Father and Son are two. It is scarcely likely, however, that Praxeas and his school meant, in adopting the formula, to grant that there were two (duos) subjects; for this would have thoroughly clashed with their theory. Their meaning probably was,—The sufferings affected, it is true, in the first instance, merely the body, through which God is Son; for the human substance alone was mortal (c. 30). But the sufferings of the flesh could not remain indifferent and foreign to the higher part of this person; on the contrary, the higher part, or the Father, sympathized in the sufferings (compassus est). We do not find Praxeas ever alluding to a human soul of Christ; and therefore it was impossible for him to avoid representing the ipse-Deus, the atno0eo?, as taking part in the sufferings of Christ.
1 In c. 2, where Tertullian professes to give an account of the doctrine of Praxeas, we read, "Itaque post tempus pater natus, Pater passus:" c. 16, —" Ipsum credunt Patrem et visum et congressum et operatum et sitim et esuriem passum."
2 Ergo inquis, et nos eadem ratione Patrem mortuum dicentes, qua vos Filium, non blasphemamus in Dominum Deura, non enim ex divina sed ex humana substantia mortuum dicimus :" c. 30; compare Melito in Routh 1, 11C.
With this was connected his attributing a passible aspect to the nature of the Father, his assuming in the Father Himself that momentum of finitude, which others—as, for example, his opponent Tertullian —assumed in the Son, even prior to His incarnation. Tertullian was quite right in drawing the conclusion,—Sympathy is, after all, suffering; suffering, that is, with another. Either the Father is incapable of suffering, and then He is incapable of sympathy; or, if He be capable of sympathy, He is also capable of suffering. And, in fact, a mere suffering of the body, especially as nothing is said of the existence of a human soul, would be spiritless, and without significance relatively to redemption.
If we ask further, how Praxeas found it possible to transfer passibility to God, a reply is offered to us by his doctrine, that the divine had determined itself in itself as finite, had set forth out of itself the momentum of finitude (the "caro"); or rather, inasmuch as this would lead to a docetical, heavenly humanity, the Father took up this finite momentum, that is, flesh, into His essence, out of Mary, fully appropriated it and identified Himself with it, so that He really became man; and "caro," with all its liability to suffering, is, not something foreign to Him, but a momentum of Himself. This incorporation of humanity with His substance evidently presupposes, however, that the Father was in one aspect susceptible to the finite, to the passible; and it is this aspect which is manifested in the incarnation. So we understand it, when Tertullian finds it necessary, in opposition to Praxeas, to assure his readers, "caro non deus est" (c. 27); and when he gives a long refutation and exposition of the above mentioned theory, which at this period was not an uncommon one, namely, that God had, as it were, transformed Himself into "caro;" in consequence whereof, Christ's flesh participated in the divine essence, and it was possible to term His sufferings divine sufferings (Note 9). None the less, however, was God the Father present in this "caro," even as to His unchangeableness: the distinction between "caro" and "spiritus," that is, "Deus," is a real one; for, without renouncing Himself, God, as it were, gave Himself another form of being (Andersseyn) in the "caro" of Christ; but inasmuch as it is God Himself who gave Himself this other form of existence, the two aspects meet in the person of Christ, and do not stand over against each other as foreign. Whether this were the theory of Praxeas or not, we must allow that Tertullian was justified in charging him with great inconsequence. For either he was in earnest in asserting the Father, the avroOeos, to be an absolutely simple Being; and then he could not attribute to Him a capability and an incapability of suffering at one and the same time, but must have reduced the incarnation to a process, which merely transitorily affected His unchangeable essence, and must have represented Christ as an organ through which the omnipresent, unchangeable Father appears differently from elsewhere, although the incarnation was not on His part, that is, objectively, a peculiar deed.1 Or else, if he were in earnest in saying that God took finitude upon Himself in Christ, he must have allowed the existence of much more determinate distinctions in God, and have renounced on the one hand his doctrine of the abstract unity of God, and on the other hand his complaints against the doctrine of the Church.2 This, too, was the point to which Tertullian endeavoured to drive him. With great insight he shows him how the incarnation must either be reduced to a mere semblance; how, consequently, it must be attributed to the subjective manner of consideration, when He, who in Himself is unchangeable, appears in Christ and Christianity differently from elsewhere; and how humanity would thus relapse in its ante-Christian condition: or that he must go forwards (c. 4, 2, 6, 30; Apolog. 21), admit the existence of objective distinctions in God, reject the abstract simplicity of the divine nature; and then it would be possible for him to regard the divine Son as really and truly participating in finitude.
1 C. 11: "Veracem Deum credens scio, ilium non aliter, quam disposuit, pronuntiasse, nee aliter disposuisse, quam pronuntiavit. Tu porro eum mendacem efficias et fallacem et deceptorem fidei hujus, si cum ipse esset sibi Alius, alii dabat filii personam" (that is, if God in Christ seemed to be another, appeared as another, than the Father, and yet was in reality merely an appearance of the Father). Compare c. 23.
* What does it mean, Bays Tertullian, ,when the Son is said to pray to the Father, if there is no distinction between Father and Son? (c. 23). What is the resurrection of the Son, and His anointing (c. 28), or the curse which Christ was made for us? or the desertion of the Son, when He cried out, My God, My God, why hast Thou forsaken Me? (c. 30). It is a blasphemy to say that the Father became a curse for us.—In fact, the fellowship which God holds with man in Christ is reduced to a mere semblance, if full justice be not done to the distinction between the Father and the Son :—we see this most clearly in connection with the work of atonement. If God continue in simple identity with Himself, the process of reconciliation is a mere subjective play and appearance. At this point the affinity between Patripassianism and the entire Sabellian tendency on the one hand, and Docetism on the other, shows itself, as was hinted above, with peculiar distinctness.
This he expresses in the following way (c. 13),—"Through the appearance of Christ, the name of God has been more perfectly revealed. The difference between the worshippers of one God and of many gods (plurimaB divinitatis) is fixed by Christianity; for if we really meant that there are three Gods and three Lords, when we teach that there are Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, we, the sons of light, should have extinguished the torches which light us to the martyr's death. But also between Christianity and Judaism (c. 31) there is no other difference than this, that the Jews believe monotheism to be incompatible with reckoning the Son, and after the Son the Spirit, to the one God. But what would be the work of Christianity, and the substance of the New Testament, which sets a limit to the law and the prophets with John, if Father, Son, and Spirit, believed in as three, do not constitute the one God?"
By several teachers of the Church a connection is supposed to have existed between Praxeas and Hermogenes, the wellknown defender of the eternity of matter (compare Philostr. de Haeres. c. 54 f.; see Leopold's "Hermogenis de origine mundi sententia," 1844, pp. 22 f. 28 ff.). As he does not appear to have called in question the deity of Christ (Tertull. adv. Hermog. 1), although he probably doubted His pre-existence as a divine hypostasis and His participation in the creation of the world, he belongs without doubt to the class now under consideration. With this agrees the further circumstance, that, according to Theodoret, he did not hold the humanity of Christ to be eternal, but, like two Galatian heretics, Seleucus and Hermias, represented Him as laying aside His body in the sun; in proof of which theory, they appealed to Ps. xix. 4. His opinion was perhaps the following:—that Christ laid aside the gross material element; whereas the soul, which (in his view) appertained to matter, might have continued Christ's (compare Theodoret's Haer. fab. 1, 19). It is worthy of remark, that, with his view of matter, he was able to attribute a soul also to Christ,—without rrvevfia, it is true:—uvevfiia, however, was involved in the divine substance of Christ. That the doctrine of a matter, independent of God, might very well suit this class of Monarchians, we shall see below.
In Asia, patripassian views appear to have already existed a considerable period; at all events, the names of several representatives thereof have been handed down to us. So Epigonos and Cleomenes (see Theodoret's Haer. fab. 3, 3). But we have more precise information regarding Noetus, who, according to Hippolytus (c. Noetum, ed. Fabric. T. 1, 235 ff., of the Greek text, T. 2, 5 ff.) and Theodoret 1. c., as also according to John of Damascus, was a native of Smyrna; according to Epiph. (Etar. 57), of Ephesus.
Noetus also aimed at conciliating the true and perfect deity of Christ with the unity of God,1 by saying, " Christ Himself is the Father." For the Father is God (Fabr. T. 2, 7), but Christ, who Himself was God, suffered; inasmuch, then, as we know but one God and no other, to wit, the Father, I must necessarily attribute suffering to this God (roxhov Viro irdOos (pepeiv). The Father is Himself the Son; the Son was born, suffered, and raised Himself from the dead. This explains, says he, why in the New Testament the resurrection of Christ is at one time treated as the work of the Father, at another time as the work of the Son. The meaning of this, again, is undoubtedly that the Father, God in Himself, is not the Son, apart from the incarnation; and that the existence of a Son began with the incarnation; whereas the Church terms the Logos aaapicos, Son: so, for example, Justin, Tertullian, and others.2 The Father, therefore, constituted Himself His own Son in Christ. Besides the passages in Praxeas, Noetus appealed to Baruch iii. 35, Isa. xlv. 14, in proof of the unity of God; on the other hand, to Kom. ix. 5, 1 Cor. viii. 6, which put Christ on a level with the Most High God, in proof of His identity with the Father.
1 According to Hippolytus c. Noct., he said to his opponents, rt ov» xuxot iroiu Jo£«£iu» roe Xpurrou; according to Epiphanius, rl yAp Kxkon iriir'iinxx; itu 0eo» io^x^u, hu i,riarxuat xxl ovx ufj.ov, ytttnilinx, diroiutivru. To judge from the reply of the presbyters and from the nature of the case, Noetus considered the two to be indissolubly connected.
* From this point of view Hippolytus c. Noetum 15, must be estimated.
The fate of finitude, of suffering, and the like, Noetus probably transferred to God, much more decidedly than even Praxeas: moreover, he does not appear even to have distinguished so clearly between the aap^ and the God in Christ, as did Praxeas; but rather to have regarded God Himself as one nature, which, in one aspect, is incapable of suffering, in another aspect, capable of suffering, mortal, and so forth;—thus, like Praxeas, after blotting out the distinction between Father and Son, importing a distinction into the very essence of God. It deserves, however, acknowledgment and remark, that Noetus had already completed the system of Patripassianism, and had stripped it of that ethnic appearance of rendering God's <pvais immediately finite, which it had in the hands of Praxeas. For, in the passage to be immediately quoted from Theodoret, the iOeXeiv plays a great role relatively to the passible aspect of God's being, recognised by Noetus. Everything finite, all change and suffering, affects God solely through the medium of His will; which, if it continues the same and is in itself absolute (for example, as the will of love), is a sufficient guarantee of the unchangeableness of the divine being. To be invisible, ungenerated, immortal, and impassible, belongs, on the contrary, to the divine essence in itself; at the same time, however, in the view of Noetus, this His essence cannot be a check on His will, but remains subject thereto, and on that account can be made passible, mortal, and so forth. It would be interesting to ascertain Noetus' precise doctrine of redemption, in order to see whether his conception of this will of God, on which he lays such great stress, as opposed to the divine nature, or to the physical categories of the idea of God, is an ethical one; or whether he regarded it as mere unconditioned, perfect power, which, being destitute of determinations in itself, is not raised above caprice. All that we certainly know, however, is that, in the view of Noetus, the eternal God put Himself, by His will, into the condition of passibility and visibility; such is his estimate of the significance of the appearance of Christ. I am not inclined, therefore, with Schleiermacher (Theol. Nachlass 2, 506 f.), to charge Theodoret with error in saying, eva (paalv elvai 6eov Kal irarepa, T£>v Oxcov Srjfuovpyov cupavrj fiev, orav iOeXrj, <paiv6fievov Be rjviic av /9ouX~qrai, Kcij rbv Outov doparov elvai Kal opcofievov, Kal yewryrov Kal ayiwnrov dyewryrov p.ev ef dpj^)<;, yewnrbv Be ore Ek r!js irapBevov yewnOrJvai 'fjOeX'qaev diraOfj Kal dBdvarov Kal irdXiv av iraOnrbv Kal Ovryrov diraOrj<; yap &v, <pnai, To Tov aravpov 7rd"#o? iOeXqaas inrifievev. For Hippolytus, Epiphanius, and Theodoret agree too decidedly in representing Noetus as attributing suffering to God. Moreover, by introducing the element of will, he refined the representation; and in the very act of apparently undermining the unchangeableness of God (by making the divine nature, which is in itself impassible, unbegotten, immortal, dependent on the divine will), he gave it a new hold, in the potence of the same will. Besides the passages which those Fathers cite, and which, if not correct, they must have forged, the view just mentioned is specially favoured by the circumstance, that on the minds of Hippolytus and Epiphanius, who made use of independent sources of information, the theory of Noetus left the same impression,—the impression, to wit, that, to be consistent, he ought to have assumed an essential connection between the humanity of Christ and the deity; be it either by Christ's bringing humanity with Him down from heaven, or by God's converting Himself into humanity: and this impression evidently arose from the circumstance that on his principles finitude was constituted a determination of the divine essence (Note 10). What further distinguishes Noetus from Praxeas is, not that he attributes a human soul to Christ,—for that is done rather by his opponent Hippolytus (c. Noet. 17),—but that he already brings under consideration the other revelations of God. He of course believed that it was one and the same divine nature which manifested itself in the repeated and multiform revelations; and to this one nature, which, like Praxeas, he designates Father, he must have attributed the capability of being finite, visible, passible. This general possibility became an actuality, in and through the various revelations of God. Here the horizon widens, and the task presented itself, of pointing out the distinction between the revelation in Christ and all other revelations. To define this difference was the more necessary, as, from the absence of distinctions in the divine nature, we should naturally conclude that its revelations would be uniform and identical; and that, consequently, notwithstanding the purpose to exalt Christ to the highest rank, there could have been nothing in Him, as a revelation, which had not been substantially contained in all other revelations. Noetus, however, did nothing of importance towards the settling of this question. On the contrary, although he broke the ground for a comparison of the Christian revelation with others, he did not advance beyond the affirmation, that, when God wills, He is invisible, and when He wills, He manifests Himself,—as though his sole task had been to show that the unchangeableness of God was not such as to exclude a revelation like that in Christ, seeing that related revelations had already been made. In this way, Christianity is plainly assigned a place again amongst mere theophanies; nor, as a matter of fact, do we find Noetus expressing any opinion as to the duration of the Person of Christ. Quite as suspicious a feature of his system is, that it sets no limits whatever to the revelations of God. In each of them, it is true, He Himself is present; but ever new revelations might appear necessary, unless it were proved that the full idea of a theophany had attained realization in Christ, and that God had manifested Himself once for all in the God-man. Thus viewed, the objection raised by the Noetians to the doctrine of the Church, that it afforded no protection against an endless polytheism, might have been justly retaliated; for the Church might have objected, that the Noetians came to no end with their endless theophanies.
To the class of men who shared the tendency of Noetus, belong further Beron and his associates (Note 11). "Recently," says Hippolytus (Fragm. 5, Fabr. 1, 228), "Beron and some others made their appearance; who quitted the sect of Valentinus in order to involve themselves in deeper error. They say,—The flesh appropriated by the Logos worked like works with the deity (ravrovpyos), in virtue of its assumption (irpoaXr^sfris), and the deity had the like capability of suffering with the flesh, in virtue of its Kevaxris; thus teaching that the two aspects were changed, commingled, poured together, and converted into each other." Hippolytus answers,—If both, to wit, the flesh and deity, suffered and worked in the like manner, then all distinction between deity and flesh must have vanished, and they cannot have retained their respective natures (Tragm. 6). What conception can they form, then, of the one Christ, who is at one and the same time God and man by nature? What sort of existence can they attribute to Him, if, as they say, He became man by the conversion of deity into humanity; and if, on the other hand, He became God through the conversion of the flesh? For the mutation of the one into the other (jierdirrco(ri<;) is the entire destruction of both.
However confused this theory may at first sight appear, light is thrown upon it when we commence our examination with the point which Hippolytus mentions second; and when we assume, as the first and eighth Fragments justify us in doing, that two things, which, according to the representation of Hippolytus, would seem to have heen uttered, as it were, in one breath, were actually separated by an interval of time. Hippolytus was led to the view he took by Beron's presupposition of the essential equality of the two natures. But if we take the Kevaats;, which Beron must have posited as the first, for our point of departure, we are led into the following course of thought:—God has subjected Himself to the determination of finitude or of humanity; He entered into the limitation and circumscription of humanity; His self-emptying was real and objective (see Fragm. 1); and the result thereof was, that God posited Himself as an actual man. The irepvypcufyrj is thus taken up into God Himself; the limitation did not affect the humanity alone, but in positing Himself as a man, God subjected Himself to limitation. The man thus originated, as we may conclude from the second part of the first Fragment, is related to God in Himself, that is, to the complete idea of the divine, as the lesser to the greater; and does not correspond to the latter. At this point, however, commences the opposed development. The humanity, which arose in such a manner, is not foreign to the highest, to the divine; but, conformably to its origin, carries the divine within itself, as its inner essence; consequently, the development of this humanity is its deification. We can now understand the proposition, on which Beron and his school laid such great stress, that Hippolytus derived their entire error from it (Fragm. 8, Fabr. 1, 229 f.). They maintain, says he, that the divine activity, which in reality did but manifest itself through the medium of the flesh in miracles, became the very activity of the flesh itself (lSlav yeveaOai rijs aapicb<; Tt)v Belav evepyeiav, compare Bibl. Max. iii. 261, c. 7). At the same time, we see that the eternal duration of the humanity of Christ is thereby secured,—a thing which always remained doubtful with the other men of this tendency. One might, indeed, here also imagine that God must restore Himself to the state in which He was prior to the transformation, after the revelation had been accomplished; but such a supposition would involve the disappearance of the humanity. Whereas the development of the humanity, which the divine potence constituted its own, is itself the return or restoration of God to Himself, for it is deification; consequently, to teach the laying aside of the humanity was forbidden on the same ground as that urged by the teachers of the Church.
This theory is very far removed from Ebionism; but it is equally remarkable as indicating that Patripassianism, which had originally put the humanity of Christ surprisingly into the background, as compared with His divine nature, had arrived at a stadium when it found it needful to lay special stress thereon. No allusion, it is true, is made to a human soul; but the doctrine that the divine had gained ISlav ovala<; irepvypcuprjv by the /cew»<n?, and indeed the entire course taken by this Christology, secured for the humanity of Christ a dignity and importance such as the doctrine of the Church was as yet far from attributing to It.
Hippolytus answered Beron as follows: —" God is unchangeable. The Logos, in the aspect in which He is identical with the Father, was not, in any respect whatever, rendered identical with the flesh through the Kevaais; but what He was prior to assuming the flesh, that He continued,—to wit, independent of all circumscription (irepvypa<prj). Through the wholesome act of incarnation, He introduced into the flesh the activity of His own deity; but this activity was neither circumscribed by the flesh, in consequence of the Kevaxris, nor did it grow <$>v<h.k5>s out of the flesh, as it grew out of the deity (Fragm. 1, 11). What the divine was prior to the incarnation, that it was afterwards,—to wit, unbounded as to its essence, incomprehensible, impassible, incomparable, unchanged, unconverted, mighty in itself, abiding in its own natural existence, and working according to its own nature. So also, what the flesh was as to essence and operation, that it continued to be even after it had been most intimately united with the deity. Thus the Incarnate One worked both after a divine and after a human manner. So far as He worked after a divine manner, the divine activity shone through the flesh. For the nature of the deity was by no means transmuted, as though it had become essentially flesh, that is, flesh of deity; but the flesh remained what it was, that is, weak flesh, in accordance with the word of the Lord, 'The spirit is willing, the flesh is weak.' In the flesh, He performed and suffered that which pertained to the flesh. The abasement of the deity was solely a thing for us; that is, it had no objective reality. Moreover, the distinction between deity and humanity is not a merely quantitative, comparative one (tcara avyicpiaiv); otherwise, we should have to describe one and the same being as both greater and less than Himself. But beings of the lite essence alone can be compared with each other; not those of unlike essence. Between God, the Creator of the universe, and the creature, between the unbounded and the bounded, between illimitedness and limitedness, no comparison can be instituted. God never falls out of Himself (jievei avimrrayrosi); never did He enter on an existence outside of Himself (e^co yeyove); and yet the incarnation was a reality, and God truly revealed Himself in it." By way of illustration, he employs the relation of a thought to its representation in word, through the medium of the tongue, or in signs written by the "hand (Fragm. 3). Thought is the self-moved energy of the soul, which flows forth, according to its nature, in a continual stream (as did the energy of Christ out of the deity). When I mould thoughts into words, or delineate them in signs, employing the tongue as an instrument, or written signs, which in themselves are foreign to the thing represented, the thoughts themselves remain unchanged. Although they attain to actuality by means of something unlike themselves, they are not changed, but simply revealed and perceived. It is true, I employ my tongue and letters for the manifestation of my thoughts; and yet the thoughts do not belong to the words or signs, but to me the speaker; and I give expression to them as mine in both ways, just as they flow out of my rational soul. The tongue is merely the organ. Now, as the power, whose essence is rational, whilst continuing unaltered in itself, expresses itself by means of the bodily tongue; so, if two things utterly incomparable may be compared, by means of the supernatural acofulrcocris, was the almighty, all-creating activity of the entire deity manifested without change through the holy flesh of Christ, in all that He worked after a divine manner; but the deity itself remained essentially exempt from irepvypcufr!j, although it shone through a nature essentially limited. God is equal to Himself, and has nothing unequal to Himself.11 Gott ist Bich selbet gleich und hat nichts sich Ungleiches.
But for our redemption's sake, and in order to constitute the universe a sharer in unchangeableness, the Creator of the universe appropriated to Himself out of the Virgin, without conversion (t/iowi)), a rational soul and a sensitive body, became man, and worked nothing divine without the body (yvfivov aaywro?), and nothing human without the participation of the deity (afioipov OeoTqjos), in that He preserved for Himself a new and fitting method of working after the manner of both, whilst leaving the nature of each unaltered. We have no original information to the effect that Beron taught that Christ had a human soul; but we need not be surprised at Hippolytus' not making this a charge against him, for the human soul of Christ plays but an impersonal role in Hippolytus' own system: indeed, his favourite name for the humanity of Christ is that of a garment; and when he alludes to the soul of Christ, it is not so much on its own account, as because he meant to postulate the existence of two complete natures, and the human nature would not be complete without the soul. But, what is of still more importance, Beron is unquestionably in this aspect superior to Hippolytus, although he does not give any special prominence to the human soul. For the fundamental aim of his system was to show, that that which is otherwise attributed to the deity alone, working through human nature, must also be attributed to the human nature itself, and be regarded as its own activity.1 Beron's aim was not an eternal or heavenly humanity, although he did not consider it incompatible with the eternal nature of God that He should be passible; but he believed that God first became passible when He posited Himself as a man in Christ, by the act of tcewuat?.2 But as he held that an individual man, Jesus of Nazareth, a limited personality (mpvypairrosi), was thus brought into being, so also did he conceive the act of incarnation to introduce limits into God Himself :—that is, by His own act, a limitation and circumscription was introduced into God, wnich had not previously existed.
1 innHms lilut 'yttitixt r7jf oupxo$ T>j» itix» hipytmr. This, like the doctrine of the fitrx-roinuis aupxis in God, reminds us of Paul of Samosata. The point of departure, of course, in consequence of Beron's doctrine of the xerxois, is quite different; and, for this reason, everything stands, from the very outset, in a different light. Beron, moreover, appears to have paid less regard to the ethical and the intellectual than to the tuvfiuru.
* Another view was soon afterwards taken by the Manichseans, with their "Jesus patibilis."
In Christ, therefore, God was self-emptied, and had acquired an ISia irepvypcu^t). It is self-evident that, even though Beron spoke of the Logos, as we may perhaps conclude from the fifth Fragment (Fabr. 1, 228; Bijpcov ris, fieff eripcov Tiv&v Tt)v Bdkevrlvov (pavraaiav d(f>ivre<;, yelpovi Kokco Kwrerrdprjaav, Xeyovres rtjv fiev rrpocfXtj<pOeiaav Tgi X6yq> aapica yeviaOac ravrovpyov Tj} Oeorr)ri, Sia Ttjv irp6aXipfriv rrjv Oeorryra 8e yeveaOai ravrOiraOij Tt} aapicl Sul Kevaxriv, rpoirrjv 6fiou ical <f>vpaiv ical avyyyaiv, Km rrjv els aXXrjXovs dn(f>0repcov fierafio)v ScY/iar^bire?), he cannot have attributed to Hiin an hypostasis or ireptr/pa<prj of His own, apart from the incarnation. Apart from the incarnation, he could only speak of the Logos as perhaps Sabellius may have done (Ang. Mai. 1. c. T. 7, 170 ff.), and as Noetus (Hipp. c. Noet. 15) did (see Appendix, Note 16). The more Beron felt himself compelled to attribute objective significance to the Acimboy?, the more necessary was it undoubtedly for him to distinguish, from the time of the incarnation, between the divine which became man and subjected itself to circumscription and passibility, and God, so far as He did not enter into the irepiypa<f>rj; for it could never be his intention to maintain that the absolute God existed solely and entirely in this Kevao~n;, subsequently to the incarnation. But inasmuch as he represented the divine in Christ as acquiring a ireptypa<prj of its own through the incarnation, it is the more certain that he did not attribute to Him a irepvypa^yrj previously.1
1 Gregor. Thaumat. speaks (see Ang. Mai 7, 170) of men who introduce an diroxoirr i into the essence of God, through the axy.x of Christ, and who, through the body, d»tpuirhxs irtpiypmQovai Tiik yimyair Tos vlov ix Tow irxrpit. Quite as objectionable is it, says he, to attribute progress and 'irxin to the deity, as to separate the progressing and suffering body (i.e., the humanity) from the deity (that is, from the non-emptied, unchangeable deity); as though the body were /8/«£oVr«f CQurro;, that is, in the language of Beron, as though all kvipyuu, even the divine, were litu rns axpkos or oiaixlus ixQvofiiinn out of it (Fragm. 2). Because Beron did not believe in the existence of a Logos, prior to the incarnation, who possessed a lapiypxQii of His own, it was in his power to designate the deity which set itself forth as man, the irairptxi itorm; and for this reason, we have a right to class him as above.
The divine element which thus subjected itself to the fate of finitude, might, indeed, appear as an diroKcmrj of the original divine; nay, even, as though plunged and lost in Lethe, through the tcewoat? which it voluntarily underwent; but, even after the transformation, it continued to
constitute the inmost essence of the humanity, and manifested itself ever more and more fully in the development of the man Jesus, until he was at last transmuted into God.1 Here, therefore, we find a course exactly similar to that taken by the theory of Paul of Samosata, though starting from a completely opposite theological point of view. The Ebionitical element, which sinks back to the category of power, and which would be involved in the airoKonrrj, does not, however, like the airoKonrrj itself, make its appearance in the Fragments of Beron; indeed, it is scarcely likely that he, on the whole, shared this tendency to Ebionism. On the contrary, he may have been influenced by the double desire, neither to represent the humanity of Christ as impersonal, on the one hand, nor the natures outside of each other as a double personality, on the other.
Similar, if indeed not more than similar, to Beron, both in name and in views, was Beryll of Bostra. We have nothing certain regarding him, save a passage in Eusebius, which has given rise to the most varied combinations.2 The views entertained concerning him diverge as far as possible from each other. Furthest removed from each other are those of Schleiermacher and Baur. The former (1. c. 519-533) reckons him amongst the Patripassians, and maintains, not that he transferred sufferings into God, but that he believed the objective substance of God to have undergone an alteration, a limitation (t'oYa ovalas irepvypcuf>rj), through the incarnation; the latter (1. c. 284-292) classes him with the Artemonites or Neo-Ebionites. A middle course between these two is taken by Neander (2, 1018-20); (similarly also Rossel, the writer of a review of Baur's "Trin. und Menschwerdung" in the Berl. Jahrbiicher, 1844, Nos. 4145.) The idea of a real indwelling of God Himself he does not venture on attributing to him, but considers that he occupied a middle position between Ebionism and Patripassianism, in that he taught that the man Jesus was irradiated by a divine power.
1 L. c, Fragm. 3; ftirxfiohri hornros ywifittos Attpxiros, xxl au.pxis fiirxiroiiati Qtis.
3 Euseb. H. E. 6, 33; Bhei rltx rfis irt<rruis ^xpuaflpu» imipxro, To'k 1'xri)px xcil Kvptw iifiur "hiynt n>..««» fir i irpovtftarx»xi *«f loixr ovaixs xtpiypxQi» irpo rijf tls dtipuirovf Itiinfiixs, fimli firi» hirnrx iS/«» «x«(», olAX' ifiiroXtrevofihmt xiir$ fiivm» Tiiu ^xrrpixi». The passage quoted from Socrates, in Note 7, indicates that the discussions relative to the soul of Christ played a great r61e at the Synod which was convened on his account. Compare Euseb. 6, 20.
According to Rossel's further exposition, the humanity of Jesus is the personal element; but alongside thereof are also patripassian elements. This view, however, renders the theory selfcontradictory, and introduces into it elements so heterogeneous, that they could not continue in combination. According to Neander, on the contrary, that irradiation which by the incarnation became an hypostatization of divine power, was the personific element. Even at an earlier period, the opinion was expressed by Mosheim (" de rebus Christianis ante Constantinum Commentarii," p. 699 ff.), that Beryll did not conceive the entire essence of the Father to have passed over into Christ, on the one hand; nor, on the other hand, merely a divine power, which would have been decidedly Ebionitic; but the purest, most glorious, wisest possible soul, taken out of, and therefore perfectly like, the nature of the Father. Such an idea would have been Arian. Against both Neander and Mosheim, however, is the text of Eusebius, which says, not that a power or soul of the Father, or deity of the Father, but the (ttjv) deity of the Father, dwelt in Him. Ullmann (see his "Comm. -de Beryllo Bostreno ejusqne doctrina," Hamb. 1835; and compare "Theol. Studien und Kritiken," 1836, pp. 1073 f.) is of opinion that Beryll did not view the divine in Christ merely ebionitically, as a simple power, but conceived it also to be possessed of consciousness or of personality; thus approximating to Schleiermacher's position. On the other hand, however, he represents him not merely denying that the incarnation posited a distinction in God Himself, but also as maintaining that the circumscriptive, personific human element (das unschreibende personbildende Menschliche) constituted the personality of Christ; which is scarcely reconcilable with the recognition of the personal existence of the divine in Christ, and involves the assumption of a double personality—an assumption, to which both Ebionites, Patripassians, and Sabellians were most thoroughly opposed. Baur also tries to show that Beryll assumed a twofold personality, after the manner of Nestorius. His words are (1. c. p. 289),—" The expression efnroXireveaOai, although it involves the idea of indwelling, implies, at the same time, that a free relation existed between the Redeemer and the Father, even as a citizen stands connected with other citizens equal to himself iu the place where he lives." I think, however, that the knot, which Ullmann leaves behind, can be untied. We must either start with the humanity as the primary, the personific element and then Beryll must be acknowledged to have been Ebionitical or, we must take our start with the deity, as the personific, or. more historically expressed, as the active, the hegemonical element, the element which formed the avaraai<; (Hippol. c. Noet. 15). Those who took this latter view of the matter naturally denied that the Son of God had an hypostatical, or an in any way circumscribed pre-existence. He first became circumscribed when He became incarnate. There is, however, an ambiguity in this latter supposition, the clearing up and removal of which throws an important light upon the whole; namely, the circumscription of the Son resulted either from the self-determination of God, or from the activity of the human nature. In the latter case, the divine aspect occupied a purely passive and receptive position; it was subjected to circumscription, to limitation: if, however, it were inactive, nay more, passive, we cannot allow that God and man were united in the highest way, to wit, personally and consciously; for such an union requires that the divine stand in an active, hegemonical relation to the human aspect. If the divine aspect were passive, we must assume the existence in Christ of a higher principle, of a power, which, however, was by no means all-determining; in other words, we must go over to Ebionism. In this way, Ullmann appears to have glided over from the initiatory Patripassianism to the ultimate Ebionism of Beryll. But—and this leads us to the second case—it was not necessary that Patripassianism should pay this price for the personality of Christ, although we by no means intend to deny that many may have taken this course. Those are chiefly chargeable therewith who conceived God, after an ethnic manner, to be immediately capable of suffering; or who resorted to the idea of an airoicoirrj of God in Christ, in order not to be compelled to represent the entire Father as swallowed up and absorbed by Christ, at all events for the period of his development as a child: those are least chargeable therewith, who, like Noetus, set the eOeXeiv, the divine will, in opposition to the ethnic principle, and represented everything as dependent thereon. Indeed, Patripassians might also have said,—The conscious, personal God willed to exist in the form of an actual finite being; He consequently either produced the limited humanity out of Himself,—which would be a Docetical idea, and incompatible with their recognition of the birth from the Virgin; or, and this is the only possible alternative, God so perfectly appropriated the body, which sprung from Mary, and took it up into His own essence, that the unity of the person was complete, and the Father, or the fatherly deity, possessed the finitude and the passibleness of this man as its own. To this might be added (as we have found Beron doing) the Khmais, and, on the basis thereof, have been taught the doctrine of a conversion of God into a man born of Mary, which man, however, owed his rise out of the elements in Mary to the afore-mentioned divine conversion. Finally, Fock, in his Diss. de Christolog. Berylli Bostr. 1843, decides—and, as it appears to me, justly—both against Baur, with his imputation of Ebionism, and Neander and Mosheim, with their attempt to weaken the force of the words, Ttjv irarpucrjv Beanyra ifnroXirevofievrjv h> avrco, which leads to a kind of Arianism. For the reason assigned, he is also opposed to Ullmann; he therefore substantially adopts Schleiermacher's view, and classes Beryll with the Patripassians, putting him even on the same level with Praxeas. He is above all averse to granting that Beryll attributed a human soul to Christ, as do Baur and Ullmann (Neander and Rossel ought consistently to do the same); justly urging, that unless Beryll had given occasion thereto, the Synod which was held on his account would not have proceeded so "ex abrupto," to the consideration and affirmation of the human soul of Christ (see Notes 7 and 30). He fails, however, to answer the important objection, why Beryll was never reproached with the denial of the human soul of Christ. For we have shown above, that what he says regarding the absence of a soul of Christ in the systems even of Irenaeus and other teachers of the Church, is historically inaccurate. Further, Ullmann's objection, that the idea of the assumption of a mere body would be too coarse, Fock sets aside by an appeal to Apollinaris. Nay more, he hints that much may be urged in favour of the opinion, that they regarded the divine subject as the Ego and the intelligence, in brief, as the Spirit in Christ; if, indeed, it be not quite maintainable. On the other hand, however, not content with characterizing (after Schleiermacher's example) the strictly patripassian element, to wit, the subjection of the Father to suffering, as an idea too coarse to be entertained by this entire series of thinkers, and in particular by Beryll,—a notion which, after what has been advanced above, is by itself untenable; he will not even concede, with Schleiermacher, that Beryll believed in the existence of a circumscription in the divine nature itself, subsequent to the incarnation. He is rather of Baur's opinion, that we must then read, Kclt ISlav rrjs ovaUvi irepir/pa^>rjv, instead of Kor IBlav ovala<; irepir/pcufirjv. His judgment, accordingly, appears to be,—Beryll merely maintained that, subsequently to the incarnation, the Redeemer existed in the circumscribed form of an individual; whereas, previously, He had been neither hypostatical nor circumscribed, but absolutely identical with the Father. The circumscription was not therefore in Him, but He in the circumscription. Here again, however, we come upon the ambiguity cleared up above. If the Father had not posited circumscription as an objective determination of His own being, He could only have existed in circumscription so far as His entire being was embraced and bounded by finitude. But on this supposition, the finite would be the active element; and, as we have shown, Beryll must then be described as an Ebionite. As Fock, however, by no means intends to class Beryll amongst Ebionites, his only alternative is to return to Schleiermacher's view, and to accept the irepvypcuptj as an objective determination of the divine nature itself, with the following proviso—this determination and circumscription was not the effect of the action of the human nature on the divine (a notion which, besides being essentially Ebionitic, had been already given up as untenable by Noetus), but the work of the divine will. From what we know of the man as a whole, this must be assumed to have been his view, even should the sense of the words of Eusebius be, "The Redeemer exists since the incarnation in the circumscription of an individual being (ovalas)." It is more than questionable, however, whether this is the true sense of the words. In the first place, this use of ovaia is not the usual one, and is particularly unsuitable here, because the idea of individuality is already expressed in the words lola irepvypcuprj, as whose object we may very appropriately take the substance (pvaid) which is circumscribed. The article is not absolutely indispensable; for the connection itself, as we shall directly see, indicates clearly what sort of an ovala is meant. Secondly, In the text of Eusebius, nothing is directly, said of circumscription by means of the incarnation. We first arrive at that idea in the way of deduction. Eusebius rather says, the Redeemer did not exist mvr ISlav ovalas irepir/pa^qv. How, then, can we translate as though Beryll maintained that Christ had not pre-existed in the circumscription of an individual being? for the Church itself did not assert such a pre-existence, and the denial thereof would therefore have been no ground of reproach. Eusebius blames him because he denied that the general substance (ovala) of God had been distinguished into Father and Son; which is figuratively expressed by saying, he attributes to the Redeemer no circumscription of the divine substance peculiar to Himself. If we adopt the rendering, "not in the special circumscription of an hypostasis," it is true, indeed, that ovaia, at an earlier period, and down to the fourth century, was used as equivalent to inrdcrraavs; but then a new difficulty arises, to wit, we shall be certainly compelled to complete the sense by supplying the thought,—"but since the incarnation, the Lord and Redeemer exists in the particular circumscription of an hypostasis." That, however, would be equivalent to saying, that Eusebius conceived the divine hypostasis to be of precisely the same nature, or identical, with that which was posited by the human circumscription; which is hard to believe. For such a human circumscription brings merely limitation, finitude; whereas the idea of a divine hypostasis, besides the negative element, demands in particular a positive, special, independent divine existence. Eusebius, therefore, cannot have meant to say,—The hypostasis which Beryll denies to the Saviour, prior to the incarnation, he represents Him as acquiring subsequently; for that is not true. Beryll was not of opinion that the incarnation introduced a special and distinct hypostasis into the divine substance; but that one and the same hypostasis or personality of the Father, continued to be the subject, the inner personality, of the circumscription effected by finitude. If, then, the translation, "hypostasis," is inadmissible, we must necessarily take the word ovaia in its usual sense; and then the entire passage may be rendered,—The Redeemer did not preexist in a circumscribed form of being of His own (in virtue of a distinction in the fatherly deity); but after the incarnation a peculiar circumscription was introduced into this substance;— naturally, as Beryll was not an Ebionite, in consequence of the Father's own act. Oialas irepir/pcuf>i) is, as it were, one conception—circumscription of essence; the absence of the article cannot^ therefore, turn the scale.
It appears to me, therefore, that the following ideas are contained in the words of Eusebius:—I. Beryll believed that the irarpiKrj Oe6rrj<; was in Jesus, but not an ISla Oeony; (Note 12). What the latter denotes, will be clear from the foregoing observations. II. Our Lord and Redeemer did not exist, prior to His incarnation (iiriSrjfila), in the form of a circumscription of substance of His own (jcar iSi'av ovaia<; 'rrepeypaxprjv); that is, He did not pre-exist as an independent being: consequently, it could only be the divine itself, the fatherly deity, that was in Christ. III. But when Eusebius says, that, according to Beryll, the Lord did not exist prior to the incarnation in the form of an independent irepvypa(frrj, he gives us therewith to understand, that, subsequently to the eiriSrjfila, the case was different. From that event onwards, the Redeemer, who had previously been identified with the irarpiKrj Oearrjs, and destitute of an hypostasis, became, at all events, a circumscribed being, possessed of an independent existence—in the sense, indeed, that the fatherly deity acquired a different determination in Him. Now, if the incarnation introduced limitation and circumscription into the irarpiKr) Oeorrj<;, Beryll should unquestionably be classed amongst those who import finitude into God Himself. Not, however, by any means as though the humanity were a limit imposed from without, by which the irarpiKr) Oeomy; was reduced to a passive condition. After what has been advanced above, on the contrary, it must be plain that, as Beryll did not adopt the opinion of the Ebionites, he, and other men of his age, must have traced the limit up to the appropriative act of God itself, and have conceived the divine as determining itself to finitude, as positing itself human. It would seem, therefore, that, as in the view of Beron—of whom, be it remarked, we are very distinctly reminded by some of the expressions here employed—so also, in the view of Beryll, the acquirement of an ISla ovalas irepvypacf}ij by the Redeemer, and the rise of the humanity, was one and the same act; nay more, the Father's position of finitude and limitation in Himself was one and the same act with His self-abnegation. But although the irarpiKr) ^eonj? thus circumscribed itself, that is, posited itself as finite and human, it did not absolutely cease to exist as divine. On the contrary, as its inmost soul and motive power, the divine was naturalized, yea, was at home in the human circumscription and nature; for the union between the two was not merely momentary, but essential and most intimate,—the latter, in fact, owing its very rise to tjie irarpiKrj Oe6rr)<;, so far as it had given itself the determination of ISca ovala<; irepiypcKprj.
If this were Beryll's idea, we can easily understand that Origen should have had greater influence on it than, for example, Hippolytus, and that that teacher's doctrine of the soul should have been able to bring about that crisis in Beryll's views, which, after the hints given above, we may probably assume to have taken place. Hitherto, namely, Beryll had treated the question of the humanity of Christ rather lightly than otherwise; the teachers of the Church, as, for example, Hippolytus, held a too impersonal view of the humanity, treating it as the mere organ or O~toxtj of the divine. Patripassianism was at first marked by the same feature; in its first forms, it conceded no place to the human soul of Christ. But the more decided the advances made towards conceiving passibility, and even finitude in general (irepir/pafprf), as a determination of God, and the greater were the importance and worth attached to the finitude and the humanity, although merely as an aspect of the divine itself. For this, a welcome connecting link was found in the Church's doctrine of the icivcoais. This plainly involved an approximation to Ebionism, whatever abhorrence Beryll might inwardly feel for that system. In this state of mind, Beryll must have welcomed the theory laid before him by Origen, in which the free human soul of Christ held so important a place; and as coming from the Church, it must have appeared to him a new thing, nay more, as a development of that which he himself aimed at, in laying greater stress on the humanity. On the other hand, however, the more decided the prominence given to the human factor, the more Beryll's theory assumed unintentionally a predominantly Ebionitic character; and on this ground also we can understand why he would willingly accept from Origen the idea of the pre-existent divine hypostasis of Christ, offering as it did that counterpoise which his own theory lacked. To this course he might be led by several considerations. Firstly, Origen did not overthrow the fiovapyla of God, but protected it by a species of subordinatianism, growing out of Sabellian principles. Secondly, BerylFs own Monarchianism,— and Monarchianism was, without doubt, originally one of his points of departure,—had gradually assumed such a form, that he himself could not have avoided attributing to God a certain objective circumscription; that is, he must himself have admitted a distinction into his idea of God (Note 13). It could, therefore, be no great step for him to acknowledge this distinction, properly modified, to have eternally existed in the divine nature, especially as God Himself, and not the temporal world, was represented as the ground thereof (compare c. Celsum, 8, 12). From the view just given, it will be clear, on the one hand, why in the Synodal Epistle reference was made to the human soul of Christ; for it undoubtedly played a part in the conferences with Beryll; and, on the other hand, why he was not charged with denying the human soul of Christ. By raising the humanity to the rank of a determination of God Himself, Beryll secured it such a degree of relative independence and significance, that, with his general tendency of mind, he must already have been on the way towards the assumption of the existence of a human soul of Christ. This becomes still clearer when we compare the related system of Beron, who, on the ground of that divine Kevaxris which constituted humanity a determination of God's own essence, and of the immanence and hegemony of the divine principle, was able to represent all its activity and its deification as proceeding from the humanity itself. From our exposition, it is also plain why doubts could be entertained whether Beryll held the circumscription to have been the work of the human or of the divine aspect. For the human aspect unquestionably was essentially connected therewith; it formed a circumscription. It was, however, merely the means employed by God for constituting circumscription a determination of Himself, and not in any sense the original cause. To have supposed the latter, would have been Ebionitic. And now at last we are in a position to mediate between Baur and Schleiermacher. Neander was right in his surmise, that Beryll held a kind of middle position between the Artemonites and the Patripassians; though I consider it should be argued on different grounds. We must, in the first instance, direct attention to the consideration, that the assumption of finitude into the fatherly deity, forming as it did one act with the tcew»cris of God, reduced the divine to the position of an active potence of the humanity itself; the latter consequently gained considerably in importance, and deity pertained as truly to its substance as it pertained to the substance of deity. It was therefore possible for it to develop itself out of itself. So far the system bears a certain resemblance to Ebionism. On the other hand, however, this person and its development owed their existence entirely to the fatherly deity, which became man; and therefore, when the person attained completion, its actual deity was not a mere title, nor a mere moral unity with God, but the realization of its own inner essence. Accordingly, the starting-point and the conclusion of this theory bear rather an anti-Ebionitical than an Ebionitical character. It may be said to occupy a middle position between Ebionism and the early Patripassianism: neither treating the human as a mere selfless accident, on the one hand, nor viewing the divine in Christ after the type of the indwelling of the Spirit in the prophets, on the other hand; but aiming to combine both in inward, essential, and abiding unity. At the same time, it did not teach that this unity was the result of an influx of personific, divine power into the humanity. But though Beron and Beryll aided decidedly in advancing Patripassianism to a higher position, their theory undoubtedly involved new difficulties; and these difficulties, in turn, further explain Beryll's adoption of Origen's views. Por the question still remained, Did the entire Father, the entire irwrpucrj Oeorrjs, abase itself when God became man, and subjected Himself to a human development; or merely one part or one aspect of its substance? In the former case, we should come upon the monstrous idea, that the Father had no longer an existence save in the man Jesus; and that in him, in virtue of the Kevoxris which had taken place, He existed at first as the mere potence of true humanity: consequently, during the continuance of the Redeemer's development, the world in general had no actual God. In the second case, we should arrive at Ebionism, that is, in its new Hellenic form. As Beryll declined being classed with the Ebionites, he would naturally welcome the loophole offered by the Church, and thenceforth regard the divine in the Redeemer, not as mere portion or segment, but as an aspect or particular mode of existence, of the entire divine substance.
In the line of Monarchians, Beryll forms the connecting link between the older ones,—the Patripassians, who allowed of absolutely no irpdawwov side by side with the irarpiKrj Oe6rtj<;,— and Sabellius, who not merely recognised in Christ a distinct 'rrpocramov, a distinct irepir/pa<prj, but, by advancing onwards to the Holy Spirit, was able to construe a species of trinity. His system was the bridge between the two, firstly, because it described the being of God in Christ as a irepvypwf>i) in God Himself; secondly, because it assumed a peculiar relation of God to this man; and, lastly, seeing that the relation referred to could only be grounded in the divine essence, because Beryll necessarily regarded it as a determination of God Himself, conformably to which He had both the will and the power to posit Himself as a man. Whether Beryll understood this in a patripassian sense, as a self-subjection of the divine nature to passibility; or in Beron's sense, as a conversion (rpowfj) of God into the man Jesus; or in a more Sabellian sense, as the non-passive activity of God in the circumscription of the irpoaamov of Christ (which unquestionably interweaves God with finitude, if lie not merely acted upon, but really dwelt in, Christ; sec above, page 38) ; he is certainly akin to both, in so far as he attributes to the irepvypcuf>rj, or limitation and finitude, a relation to God's own substance, whilst at the same time denying to it, as indeed to distinction in general, any, save perhaps an ideal, reality in God, apart from the incarnation.
All these theories, although it cannot be doubted that their authors were stirred by religious motives, necessarily strike at the very root of religion in general, and of Christianity in particular. If the Father Himself is immediately the revealer—if there is no distinction in Him, no Son through whom, .is through His image, He reveals Himself, first in Himself and for Himself, and then also in the world—then the object of revelation is lost, and its idea is destroyed. For if the Father, as the final ground, Himself comes forth in revelation; and if, in order that the revelation may be complete, nothing can be left behind in the ground; then did the Father, that is, God, pass over into, and really become, the world; and there is consequently nothing left but the world. This is the ethnical, pantheistic feature of Patripassianism and Sabellianism. The final result is, to do away altogether with revelation; for, on the supposition referred to, that which was to be made manifest by revelation no longer exists. Noetus escaped this danger; for, in the absolute will of God, which at one time decrees the assumption of visibility and passibility, and at another time the return to invisibility and impassibility, he had that potence, which, in that it has power over itself, is unalterable, and can neither succumb to the world, nor tolerate God's passing over into it. But, not having laid firm hold of the eternal ethical principle in God, which is the only basis of an abiding incarnation, the incarnation recognised by him is but a momentary thing, originating and grounded in a particular act of will. Consistency, therefore, required him to treat Christ's person and appearance as transitory (although it is scarcely likely that he actually taught it); unless he were prepared to suppose that the Father did not again return into that unalterableness which his Monarchianism compelled him to regard as the true essence of God.