Section I



The creed adopted by the Council of Nicsea did nothing more for Christian science, in the first instance, than define the goal at which it should aim; it neither did, nor pretended to, attain to the goal. But the determination of the goal is the commencement of its attainment. After the long course through which the dogma had run, now unduly inclining to the one side and then to the other, it became very necessary that the immediate conviction entertained by the Church, relatively to Christ, should assume a more concentrated form, and that testimony should be laid concerning the totality of His person. To this, Arianism gave occasion; for it called everything in question. Not merely did it tend back to Ebionism; not merely was it unable, with its Docetism and its doctrine of a created higher spirit, to allow even the possibility of an incarnation; but, by putting a fantastical under-God between God and man, it separated the two quite as much as it appeared to unite them. Finally, the secret of Arianism was simply, in the first place, that a real, above all, a complete, revelation of God Himself was an impossibility; and in the second place, that such a revelation, if it were possible, was unnecessary. But the creed adopted by the Fathers of the Council of Nicaea, to the point which had been established during the preceding century,—to wit, the indwelling of God in Christ under the very highest, that is, under a personal form, in other words, to the hypostasis of the Son (a point which was now confirmed, in substance, if not in a strictly doctrinal form, as in accordance with the faith),—added that of His true deity, which also had been recognised at a previous period, though for a time allowed to recede to the background. Each of these points, as we have learnt from the course hitherto taken by them, stands or falls with the other, notwithstanding that they appear to be mutually opposed. They are opposed in the sense, namely, in which two poles are opposed. In reality, they constitute the momenta of the higher nature of Christ, which relate to, are inwardly conditioned by, and therefore depend on and are involved in, each other. Each preserves the truth, which was of essential importance relatively to its own aspect of the Person of Christ. They being taken for granted, the necessary conditions of Christian piety are completely fulfilled, as far as this matter is concerned. Without one of the two, a scientific Christology is impossible. An hypostasis without deity (such as Arianism teaches, which is but a refined form of Ebionism, differing therefrom merely in degree, not in kind), would be as contradictory to Christian piety and science as the divinity, without a particular hypostasis, of the higher aspect of Christ (such as is taught by that refined form of Docetism, Sabellianism). Whilst the former, strictly speaking, denies the Christian revelation altogether, the latter changes its inner character, and, not recognising Christ as an abiding revelation, it cannot regard God and man as truly and completely reconciled. Both, therefore, necessarily arrive at the same conclusion—at the conclusion, namely, that the highest revelation has not yet been made, nay, more, that such a revelation is an impossibility. Both are characterized by the abstractness of their conception of God;— the latter clinging to the abstract unity of God, which may easily change into the notion of the All-unity (Alleinheit); the former clinging to the quite as abstract, incommunicable simplicity of God, to the <f>O6vo<; T?}? Oela<; (pvaecos, as Gregory Nazianzen aptly terms it (Or. 1). According to both, therefore, we are still bound by the ante-Christian view of the world in general, and have not yet arrived at the Christian.

But though the Nicene Creed very clearly recognised these two constitutive momenta of the higher nature of Christ, it avoided with right tact a more determinate doctrinal formularization thereof. This creed, it is true, claims unconditionally for the Son, deity and full equality of essence with the Father; but it passes over without further investigation, the questions of the precise nature of the hypostasis, the mode of its generation, and the basis of the Trinity in the Christian idea of God. Indeed, the greatest variety of opinion prevailed amongst the principal Church teachers of this and the following centuries regarding this matter; and all were recognised as christologically admissible, in so far as they did justice to the fundamental demand of faith, to wit, to the doctrine, that the divine which was in Christ was personal, and corresponded to a distinction in God, or of God from God, really existent, though not more precisely defined; and was therefore not a momentary, but a permanent and eternal, being of God in Christ.1

The stormy discussions of the half century succeeding the Nicene Council, for which the scientific position occupied by the Church afforded, as is clear from what has been advanced, opportunity enough, were in the first instance excited by Arianism. We have already remarked, that through Arianism the momenta hitherto recognised were set into a condition of ferment relatively to each other.

1 In accordance herewith, the history of the doctrine of the Trinity henceforth pursues a separate course from that of Christology, so far as it is mainly occupied with its own distinct and peculiar questions; though it continues to hold by the two momenta above mentioned, which are the indispensable condi tions of Christology. These its theological presuppositions once recognised (similarly also, the necessary anthropological presuppositions), it was possible for Christology to enter on its distinctive work ;—and this we find it doing in the fourth century. All that we shall therefore need to do, in order to accomplish the purpose we have in view, is to consider, on the one hand, how, during the conflicts in which the Church engaged till the Second (Ecumenical Synod, the trinitarian conception of God, laid down in the Nicene Creed, was established and confirmed, and consequently the momenta of the higher aspect of Christ's person, which had been completely gained, were ensured; and, on the other hand, how the elements of the human aspect were completely and conclusively recognised; and on the basis of these presuppositions, to proceed to our further Christological work.

Hence we find that all the principal heresies of an earlier period were revived; be it that they proceeded forth from, or were set loose by it. In a kind of rapid recapitulation, they reappeared for a moment on the stage of the Church, serving the purpose of ripening its judgment in all directions; but themselves sinking quickly again into oblivion, and losing all their former seductive power, as soon as they had fulfilled their mission.

These struggles took place principally between three factors: firstly, the Arian school; secondly, the newly revived Sabellian school, with the new form of Ebionism; thirdly, the Church and its tendency. One section of the first-mentioned school, the Semi-Arians, an unsteady and bustling party, were in a special degree the fife of the movement; and after they had stoutly overcome Sabellianism and Ebionism, embodied in themselves on a large scale, the tendency towards the doctrine of the Nicene Council. In their own system, with its undecided character, and inability to offer serious resistance, religion and science were in conflict; but the more advanced Arians pressed them to a decision; and having once allowed their interest in Christianity to predominate over other considerations, this inner approximation to the great Church teachers of the time, gave their system also by degrees a firmer hold.

As far as concerns the Arians proper, their number always was relatively small; for, without truly satisfying the intellect, or advancing beyond the dualism between God and the world, they inflicted a death-blow on christianly religious interests. Hence they gained admission and acquired importance, solely either where they were favoured by external combinations, or where they resorted to reserve and accommodation, or even made concessions. Small as this party or school was, as the nature of the case would lead us to expect, its influence on the further development of the dogma of the Trinity was by no means insignificant, nor did it lack important representatives.1

Above all, mention must be made of Aetius and Eunomius, both of whom lived in Antioch; the former a physician and theological writer, the latter deacon.*

1 The striot Arians were designated 'ejokxo'ww, 'Avofiioi, or, after their chiefs, Aotians and Eunomians, also Eudoxians.

2 Compare Lange's " Der Ariauismus in seiner weitern Entwickelung," in IUgen's Zeitschrift 5,1, and Klose's " Geschichte und Lehre des Eunomius," Kiel 1833. With special love, but also with his usual disfavour towards the Church, is this portion of the History of Dogmas tieated by Baur, 1. c. pp. 361-394; with skill and happy insight by Meyer, in his "Trinitatelehre," pp. 175 ff. Of Eunomius himself, there belong to this connection his Apology (Fabr. Bibl. gr. vol. 8), and the"Ex&<r/s irirmus in Socr. 6,10. Against him Basilius wrote the' A»ti^dt<xof X«ct« lvtnrt/iovs Ev»ofiiov; and Gregory of Nyssa replied to the response of Eunomius in 12 books, entitled 'A»rippjwiurl %pis Eimofiio» x<iyo/12. For notices of Aetius, see Epiph. Haer. 76, and the first Book of Gregory, c. 6.

Neither of them followed out further that ethical principle which, as held by Arians, would lead back to Ebionism; on the contrary, so far as we are informed, Aetius was principally occupied in confuting the equality of essence and the coeternality of the Son with the Father, whereas Eunomius directed his efforts to the development of Arianism as a doctrinal system. In their polemical works, both start with the conception of God as the abstractly simple Being, of whom neither self-communication nor generation can be predicated. God Himself is, in their view, nothing but this absolute simplicity,—Being, in the absolute sense. They regarded it as the most sublime and lofty, but also as the indispensable, predicate of God; and therefore they identified this primal simplicity, which is neither derived from another being, nor can generate another being out of itself, with the essence of God in general. Accordingly, adopting the style of the Church, they taught,—The Father is, as all allow, ayevvrjros; nay more, the Father is the ayevinyrov in God. But this dyewtjiov is absolute Being, or the strict and proper essence of God; consequently, the Father, who alone is unbegotten, is also, in the strict sense, alone God. And as He cannot have been derived along with the Son from another source, for then He would no longer be unbegotten; so also can He not generate the Son, for then He would not be the unbegotten, simple one, but God would be divided into a begotten and unbegotten one. The dr/ewrjrov excludes parts and division, difference and composition; but it is neither a mere subjective notion, nor the bare negation of generation, but something positive and objective. This positive something is the absolute self-rclatedness (Bezogenheit auf sich), absolute selfsameness or simplicity, which needs only to be made the object of thought to exclude all generation; because generation necessarily involves the diremption, the division, of the absolutely simple. The causal relation, which the Arian school so stoutly defended in opposition to Sabellianism (see above), is therefore not applied directly to God in Himself, as though His absolute Being were regarded as an eternal volition or grounding of His own existence; but the fundamental presupposition is, that God can only be said to Be, and that He is absolutely identical with Himself.1 If God abides unceasingly in His unbegotten essence, and that which is begotten continues ever begotten, the notion of equality of substance or of similarity is plainly untenable. For as long as the two beings continue what they are, so long is it impossible to institute a comparison between their essence. And as their being, so also is their knowledge of themselves, totally different. Each of the two knows Himself, when He knows Himself at all, as He is, and not as the other:—the one knows Himself as ungenerated, the other as generated. Were Father and Son equal, as the Church teaches, the Son also must be unbegotten; and what would then become of the doctrine of His generation, or of His distinction? Eunomius therefore requires of the doctrine of the Church, either, that it exclude every species of subordination, even that which is involved in the one being unbegotten and the other begotten; in which case, it would soon be seen whether, in returning to the one God, all distinctions between Father and Son must not be allowed to fall to the ground; or, that it take the subordination seriously, as do the Arians, and represent the one unbegotten One as unbegotten, absolutely simple, and therefore incapable of generating anything out of His essence, and place the Son in the class of creatures. What, asks he, could the unbegotten One take out of His essence, except that which is unbegotten? But according to the doctrine of the Church, inasmuch as the Son is conceived to be on the one hand begotten, and yet on the other hand, to spring from the essence of God, there must be both a begotten and an unbegotten element in God.

1 Thus Aetiua says, in No. 5 of the 'ErixHpfaxrx (see Epiph. haer. 76), —" If God has not given Himself being, not because of any weakness of nature, but because He is exalted above all causality (above being caused), how can a being that is generated reach up to His essential unchangeableness?" Compare No. 2.

The Church has undoubtedly its meaning, said they, when it teaches that God is to be conceived as the cause of Himself; but that lies beyond our horizon; for we regard abstract simplicity as the ultimate and highest in God. Better, says Aetius naively, is the unbegotten than the begotten; for the former has in itself the advantages which the latter has outside of itself. That which is unbegotten, Eunomius goes on to say, cannot possibly resemble the essence of that which is begotten; the unbegotten is unbegotten, and that is its essence: if then the begotten resembles the unbegotten in its essence, it also must be unbegotten.1

Without doubt, Eunomius was quite right in maintaining, that if God in Himself is merely the one simple Being, which, being absolutely without distinctions, stands related solely to itself, there is no place for distinctions in God, and therefore none for a Son. But that is a mere tautological proposition, and the answer is simply,—Such an idea of God is incogitable and false, appropriate to Deism and Judaism, but not to Christianity. We shall find also that the teachers of the Church met them with a different conception of God, and thus cut away the very roots of Arianism. At the same time, it cannot be denied that these Arians had actually hit upon the weak point in the dogmatical system of their opponents. When, in opposition to the Son who is generated, the Father is said to be ungenerated, the Father must be deemed identical with the Aeonj?, with the divine essence in general, if aseity were thus meant to be predicated of the Father alone, and, after the example of older writers, they did not go on to say that the Father is as truly constituted Father by the Son, as the Son is constituted Son by the Father. So long as it was deemed necessary to the preservation of the unity of the Trinity to represent the one Father as the source, not merely of the hypostasis, but also of the deity, of the others; and so long as the Son was not most distinctly conceded a participation in the aseity of the divine substance; so long was He not freed from subordination, notwithstanding its being called for by the ideas of His equality of essence and eternal generation.

1 Besides, Eunomius persists in asserting that Sonship and generation imply a beginning; that they are consequently incompatible with the predicate of eternity; and that the predicate of eternity ,would involve the Son's being unbegotten.

If, however, the Son be allowed to participate in aseity, the passivity, which the Arians were never weary of asserting to be necessarily characteristic of generation, must be decidedly excluded from the generated, and the Son be rather constituted a living momentum of the self-causative God, and thus the Trinity be introduced into that inmost root of the deity, the aseity. The bases thereof were laid even in the fourth century; but they had not yet been plainly and completely carried out. So much the more instructive is it, therefore, to see how the defenders of the view, that God is abstract simplicity, fall into contradiction with themselves, and thus give negative testimony in favour of the very tendency which they were engaged in combating.

The incomparable (davyicpiros), self-sufficient, simple, unapproachable (airpoo~iros) God, who is exalted above every cause, whether in or out of Himself, must not be represented as entirely alone, nor the world as without its cause. But to represent God as the cause of the world, and yet to maintain that the world is characterized solely by unlikeness to its Author, is scarcely reconcilable with the idea of the first cause; and the only resource of Arianism is, to take refuge in the mystery of the creation out of nothing, which nothing it is compelled to describe in an absolutely supernatural or Docetical manner as the essence of the world (firj elvai). The following point, however, is still more important. How can the absolutely simple, selfidentical God, ever come to create? Eunomius denies both movement and self-communication to the divine essence, but goes .back to the divine will (ivipyeia), which—as to be distinguished, be it noted, from the divine essence—called into existence out of nothing that which is, and first of all, the Son as the Creator of the world.1 But to appeal to the will in distinction from the substance—that the Church had a right to do, and availed itself of its privilege when it taught that the world was grounded in the will of God; but Eunomius was not at liberty to make this distinction between will and essence, unless he ceased to represent God merely as abstract, absolute simplicity, and turned to a more living conception. And then the strength of his opposition to the generation of the Son would have been broken, in so far as he could no longer say that aseity or simplicity constituted the essence of God, was that in Him which is inviolable.

1 Compare Gregor. Nyss. adv. Eunom. or. 1.

The method adopted by Eunomius necessitated his

dissociating the divine will from the divine essence, contrary to his own presupposition, if he meant to arrive at a world. He might, indeed, have described the will in God, as something nonessential, accidental, superadded from without. But being unwilling to do so, he fell into new difficulties. He was compelled to trace not only the active will (ei^pyeta) of God, but also the idea of the world, back to the divine essence, as its original seat. The real and ideal potence of the creation of the world, must surely have been contained eternally in God, as he himself acknowledges ;* but how could it break loose from the simple essence of God? We see, therefore, that when he abides by the rigid simplicity and self-identity of God, he either arrives at no world at all, or is compelled to assign the actual world a place eternally, and even immediately, in the essence of God; in other words, he unavoidably falls into the very heathenish error which he himself repudiates—that error which is unable to distinguish between the substance and the will of God, and is therefore pantheistic.*

The Son was held to owe His existence, not to the essence, but to the tvepyeia of God; and the essence not to be in any sense contained in the ivepyeia. The divine essence, therefore, cannot properly be termed Father; for the essence continues immoveable in its simplicity outside of the evepyeia: the evepyeia alone can be termed Father, so far as it brings forth the Son. And the Son is not unlike this energy, but is its image and likeness, seeing that He also has the power to create. In this direction, it was possible for him to approximate to the Nicene Creed, and to return to the milder form of the doctrine of Arius; and, in fact, he says, in his Confession of Faith,— "The Son is a creature, but not like other creatures, etc.; and the higher dignity possessed by Him was not solely the reward of His virtue, but, on the contrary, He became God because He was the Son, and as a Son was generated." Still there is a wide gap between him and Lactantius, who laid down essential deity as the starting-point for the ethical. Eunomius, on the contrary, lets the ethical go; indeed, he lacked real interest as well in the ethical as the religious. (Note 50.)

1 Apol. Eunom. e. 24.

* Eunomius does neither the one nor the other, but continues helplessly clinging to the dualism between the finite and the infinite, which, under his hands, forces its way into God Himself :—the dualism, namely, between the essence of God, which is Airtipo» and simple, and the will of God, which relates to finite objects. Gregory, therefore, charges him with Manichfeism.

These Arians, to whom substantially belonged Arcacius also, who tried to make himself out more orthodox than he really was, exercised a special influence on the Semi-Arians (Hfudpeioi), who bore, besides, the names Eusebians or Homoiusiasts. Overpowered by the force of the arguments brought against their halting and uncertain position, both by the Arians and the Church, and feeling themselves repelled by the former, these Homoiusiasts advanced ever more completely from the doctrine of the similarity to that of the identity of essence. Athanasius aptly met them with the consideration, that similarity can only be spoken of in relation to qualities, not to the essence by itself; for the essence must either be the same or not the same. And so also, the Arians urged, if God or the Father is the ungenerated One, everything outside of Him must belong to the class of generated things; if to be ungenerated is the essence of the Father, to be generated must be the essence of everything outside of Him; consequently, the essence of the latter is the antithesis of the former, and completely dissimilar, not similar, to it. In fact, the Semi-Arians displayed little power of resistance and little productiveness: they belong rather to the general history of the Church than to the history of Dogmas; and, in consideration of this circumstance, or, in other words, in consideration of their interest in religion, might with greater justice be termed Semi-Nicenes than Semi-Arians.

For a long period they did not advance beyond the doctrinal position held by Eusebius of Caesarea (see above); and the various formulae adopted by them bore essentially the same stamp, until the Synod of Ancyra, in the year 358, distinctly asserted the Son not to be a created being, and taught that He was begotten of the substance of the Father. Athanasius now recognised them as brethren; and the doctrine of Cyrill of Jerusalem, who also acknowledged the Son to be coeternal with the Father, is scarcely distinguishable from the Nicene Creed. (Note 51.) Apart from external circumstances, they had a hold only so long as the authors of the Nicene Creed could be supposed to have inclined towards Sabellianism. This supposition was strengthened during the first twenty or thirty years after the Council of Nicaea, by the conduct of Marcellus, who was one of its adherents; and against him, rather than against the Council itself, were their weapons directed, especially those of Eusebius of Caesarea. After having convinced themselves that those who taught the 6filoovaiov were not Sabellian, they gained an ever clearer insight into the untenableness of their own position, and consequently passed more completely over to the party of the Nicene Council.



Marcellus of Ancyra had stood in the foremost ranks of the antagonists of Arianism,—a circumstance which spoke in his favour at Rome longer than it ought to have done. (Note 52.) A short time after the Nicene Council, however, when he became aware of the strength of the party which, whilst conceding to the Son divine essence and eternal generation, yet, in perfect agreement with Eusebius of Caesarea, assigned to the Father the first, to the Son the second place, and in many other respects subordinated the latter; and further, when he found that Arianism derived great support from this vacillation, he opened a campaign in a great work, especially against this middle tendency. At the same time, he attacked also older writers, such as Origen; but he particularly assailed the strong Oriental party, which consisted of the two Eusebiuses, Paulinus, and others, whom he also expressly mentions, although he pretended that Asterius was the proper occasion of the work (compare adv. Marcell. 1, 4, p. 27). They cannot, said he, maintain the divine unity, if they regard the Son as actually God; for by making Him a distinct personality, outside of God, they rend the divine essence; but if they assert the divine unity, they deprive the Son of deity by subordinating Him. So far, therefore, Marcellus was at one with the Arians; the Semi-Arians could not continue in their vacillating position. But he goes beyond the Nicene Council when, with a view to destroying in its very roots the Arian separation between Father and Son, he believed it necessary to subject to examination, and to cast aside, all points on which those were accustomed to lay stress, who maintained a distinction between Father and Son. These are the ideas of generation, Sonship (in the place of which he wished to substitute "procession of the Logos," Eccl. Theol. 2, 8), image, visibility, which were applied by the Fathers of Nicaea to the Logos. The Semi-Arian party in particular took pleasure in calling the Son the image of the Father; so also Asterius. But they drew the conclusion, that so certainly as the image is different from, and inferior to, that which it represents, even so certainly must the Son occupy a lower position than the Father. Further, the Father is absolutely exalted above the world, invisible; the Son, on the contrary, in virtue of His relationship with the world, is characterized by visibility, and therefore appeared under the Old Testament; finally, Sonship and generation subordinate the Son as an effect to its cause. In order to evade these objections, Marcellus endeavoured to limit all these expressions, which even the Fathers of Nicsea had referred to the higher aspect of Christ's Person, to the human aspect, or to the person in its unity and totality; thus hoping the more certainly to exclude every element which could prove of advantage to the Arians. Hence he says,—Not the Logos is termed the image of God, but the God-man; for otherwise the Arians would unquestionably be justified in subordinating the Logos to God, and denying to Him true divinity. The Logos, who is invisible like God, first became the visible image of God when He assumed the man Jesus, and in Him humanity, which is the image and likeness of God. Thus also the Logos first became Son through the humanity which He assumed. Christ usually styles Himself Son of man, and this is to be carefully noted (Eccl. Theol. 1,16): He first became Son of God by becoming Son of man, or man; for the Logos caused the man whom He assumed and completed to be exalted to the rank of Son of God.1

1 Compare adv. Marc. 1, 4, pp. 20, 24 (Ed. Paris, 1628), 2, 3, pp. 43, 46.

The passages in the Old Testament, otherwise referred to the pre-existence of the Son, he described as prophetical anticipations of that which should come with the incarnation; hence also he treated Prov. viii. as a prophecy, and counted Solomon amongst the prophets.1 When Wisdom says, "I was set up from the beginning of the world," he referred it to that divine purpose of incarnation through which the Logos first received a sort of existence outside of God as the Son of God. The idea of generation also would remove the Logos outside of, and subordinate Him to, God. He therefore justifies the Arians in asserting that the Nicene Fathers cannot maintain their point of view, unless they call the Son ungenerated, and therefore eternal like God; but accepts without hesitation the consequence threatened by the Arians, and avows his belief in a Logos, who is unbegotten, eternally united with the Father, coeternal with, consequently in no sense subordinate to, but also not discriminated from Him (adv. Marc. 2, 1, p. 32). The Logos, in his view (adv. Marc. 2, 2, pp. 35 f.), is equivalent to Pneuma, as he endeavours to prove by a comparison of the prologue to the Gospel of John with the Synoptics; but Pneuma is equivalent to God, for God is a Spirit: the Logos, therefore, is simply God Himself—conceived, namely, in activity.

We have directed attention above to the great significance attached to the words, Son, generation, etc., since Tertullian's time; and to the circumstance, that in the third century the doctrine of the Logos taught during the second century was cast into the shade, by the hypostatical element denoted by the word Son. We have seen also, that the Sonship continued to be marked by subordination, so long as it had not found a place in the eternal essence of God Himself. Now Marcellus, who took the doctrine of the Church as his point of departure, stands before us as the embodiment of the despair of solving the problem, how the eternal Logos can be at the same time designated the eternal Son. If we suppose the Son to have a place in the inner sphere of the divine nature, He must be unbegotten, like the Father, and then He is no longer Son. There is therefore no alternative but to renounce the idea of a Son, both as far as affects the inner essence of God (in which there is room for identity of essence, but not for a distinct hypostasis), and also for the period preceding the creation of the world.

1 Adv. Marc. 2, 3, pp. 44 f.; Eccl. Theol. 3, 2, p. 154; adv. Marc. 2, 1,

p. 32:—Miire itvxi, finrt irpovQtarci»xi, fiiiri oAuf Tutoti vlot virup^M @e£, lep<, Toii rtyfiiivxi oix Tvis irxpiimv io%£^un uino» 5=' fiivov eT»xi hiyov Qx<jxUH.

The renunciation of the idea in this latter respect leads of itself to the subordination of the Son, as is abundantly clear from the history of the third century.

But by thus letting go the fruit of the struggles of the third century, namely, the idea of " Sonship," and going back on the mere Logos, the entire system was at once altered. Out of regard, however, for the full deity of the Son, in the sense in which he still conceded Him an existence, namely, to the deity of the God-man, he totally denied His hypostatical pre-existenoe; for only in this way did it seem possible to him to ascribe full deity to the Son, to preserve His equality with the Father. As he constantly repeated,—Before the incarnation there was no Son, but merely the Logos; so also did he go on to say,—Prior to the creation God alone existed.1 God abode in Himself, keeping silence; besides Him was merely the Nothing. But out of nothing, God purposed to create the world. He carried the idea thereof in Himself, but the idea lacked actuality. The world was conceived, and also named (or more correctly, "prepared," eroifialfav, according to Eccl. Theol. 2, 8, p. 113, to be read for ovofuHjusv, adv. Marc. 2, 2, p. 41), by God through the Logos, who was in Him. For He was ever reason, and always spake within Himself. But in order that the world might become an actuality, He gave utterance to the creative word; and this was the procession of the creative omnipotence of God, in which wisdom also is inherent, or the procession of the Logos, as the ivepyeia Spao~nicrj irpdljeax; of God.2 With men also the ordering, commanding word is that by which they accomplish most of their works. This word is, on the one hand, distinguished from God at rest and silent; on the other hand, however, united with Him; both together constitute the complete conception of God. Marcellus was quite aware how closely he thus approximated to Sabellianism; but he expressly blamed Sabellius both for his lack of insight into the significance of the term, and for not having the right conception of God.

1 For example, adv. Marc. 2, 1, p. 32. The consequence of applying the word Son to the Logos, Marcellus supposed, -were sensuous representations of God. Adv. Marc. 1, 4; Eccl. Theol. 2, 8.

Adv. Marc. 2, 2, p. 39. Prior to the world, oilh inp»t «f» *,*<i» ®e»v fiom». The Logos alone firet Ivnifiti in the Father, and absolutely one with Him (ib. p. 37), o7of &r tfn i h Attpxirtp Xiyo;

* Also fco'yof htpyif. Compare Eccl. Theol. 2,9.15. p. 125; adv. Marc. 2, 2. p. 41; Eccl. Theol. 3, 3. p. 166.

It must be allowed that there is an important difference between Marcellus and Sabellius. Marcellus decidedly maintains a creation out of nothing,1 and imports into God Himself a Kua/dos vorjro<;, reason and the potence of the Logos; whereas Sabellius gives a more substantial and physical representation of the process. Marcellus had also appropriated the category of absolute causality, of which Arius made such vigorous use, and had engrafted it on the principle of Sabellianism as far as concerned the relation of God to the world.

Still, Eusebius was probably right in characterizing his doctrine of the Trinity as Sabellian.2 We see this especially from the mode in which Marcellus explains the words, "Let us make man." Instead of regarding them as addressed to the Son, as did the Fathers of Nicaea, he explains them as follows :—Even an human artist, when all lies ready, and he is just about to commence his work, may say, Let us make the picture. In such a sense did God speak these words to Himself. One might, indeed, suppose for a moment that the idea of a distinction in God was not hereby completely cast aside; but had merely passed over into that of the divine self-diremption, which frequently recurs at a later period, and which was supposed to constitute the divine self-consciousness. In favour of which might also be pleaded, that he, notwithstanding, assigned to reason an eternal place in God. This, however, cannot be carried out; for, firstly, nothing whatever is said regarding the Holy Ghost in the silent God; secondly, Marcellus would then have a double Trinity, an immanent and an oeconomic one:—of which no evidence can be adduced.

1 Adv. Marc. 2, 2. p. 39; de ecol. theol. 2,16. p. 125. But still we find him also employing the expression, "The Monas expanded itself into a Trias." De eccl. theol. 3, 4: dimp^iu^ "hiytp iI /«>=£f Qxtttrxi ir"hxrv»ofiitn fiiu els rpidox, iixiptioixi oi firihxfius ix,ofiivovau. In conjunction with which, however, must be taken c. Marc. 2, 2, according to which the expansion of the Monas related not to it itself, bui merely to the hipytix of the tttkns, whereas the Monas continues indissolubly one (itepyttx n horns /iot$ ir'hxrv»inixi 8oxt<).

* Eccl. theol. 1, 1.15. pp. 76 f., c. 17 p. 79 ; adv. Marc. 2, 2. pp. 39, 40: The Logos is not an angel or other being outside of God; not even in the revelation, ovhi yap To» rov d»ttpuirov "hiyav Zvvxfiti Kxi virosrxaii xupiiXi ritl 8k»«tov it yap tirrt xxl rxinov ru dtdpuirtp i Xo'yof Kxl oiieri yyapityfiivos trip?, r i fiirs) rri r)jf irpx&us hipytlx.

He evidently conceived the ivipyeia Spaariicij, so far as it accomplished its highest work in the incarnation, as the second momentum of the Trinity; and, so far as the Holy Ghost proceeds from the God-man, he aimed at representing the third momentum as a branch of the second (Eccl. theol. 3, 4. p. 168). Finally, the distinction he draws is by no means between a speaking and a spoken, but between a speaking and a silent God. The speaking God is his ivepyeia SpaariKrj, which constantly dwells in, and remains inseparable from, God, and bears within itself the divine power and wisdom. The silent or resting (rjavyatfov) God, on the contrary, is God iii His inner fulness and glory, corresponding to the Father; even as the ivepyeia SpaariKr) has the Son for its goal, carries within itself the principle of the incarnation, and, as it were, attains to and satisfies itself in the effect produced, when it brings forth Him in accordance with whose idea all things were created from the beginning. For this reason, Baur's conjecture, that Marcellus tried to draw between the Father and the Son some such distinction as that between being and thought, is untenable; for there can be no doubt that he regarded the silent God as identical with the Father, and believed the latter to have in Himself all fulness, with reason and thought. Marcellus was necessitated, it is true, to regard speaking and thought as still one in the inner essence of God; but for this very reason, speaking, in the strict sense of the term, had as yet no existence. The God who merely thinks is primarily silent, and silent alone; iiontrasted with whom is the Speaking One, the X07o?. This silent one is the Father; the Logos, so far as He does not yet speak, must, according to the fundamental view of Marcellus, be simply identified with the Father, who is also designated the One who is (der Seyende), though not in the sense of His not being able to think. Undoubtedly, the principle of the speaking God, the Logos, must also be contained in God; and in this aspect, one might say that the speaking God is the X07o? irpo<f>opiicb<;, and that this Twyos is in God ivSidOeros (Klose, p. 29). This distinction, however, we do not find that Marcellus drew; still less did he distinguish in the inner divine essence between being and self-consciousness; but the "Ov itself Marcellus conceives to contain the divine fulness, to which belong also reason and thought. He does not teach a preformation of the evepyeia SpaariKrj in the inner divine essence, but is accustomed to look upon the silent God monadically, or as the &w; and not till he comes to the speaking God (the ivepyeia Zpaarucrj) does he refer to the Church doctrine touching the Son. Still less, as is clear from what has been advanced, are we warranted in representing him as teaching that Father, Son, and Spirit are three persons of the Monas, completely co-ordinated with one another (as Klose does; see pp. 27 f.), and so co-ordinated, that the Son (and the Spirit also?) is not derived from, but united with (jivcofiivos, awrjfievo<;), the Father as an equally independent a/>%77 (or, if we include the Holy Spirit, apyaV). In opposition to this view stands Marcellus' conception of God as the &v, of the Monas which admits of no Siaipeais, and the series of passages (Klose, pp. 27 f.) in which he lays stress on the unity of God, after the manner of the Monarchians. Nowhere does he attempt to reduce back the Trias, taught by him, to the Monas; and he could scarcely have avoided doing this had he held the Trias to consist of eternal hypostases in God.

The incarnation he considered to have been undertaken on account of the sin and necessities of men, and on no other ground; but he can only assign even to Christ the transitory position of a means to another end. "Who was worthy," says he, "amongst righteous men and angels to take away the punishment suspended by God over men 1 No other being but the Logos, who was with the Father, and who created along with Him, and to whom God said, Let us make men in our image and likeness" (adv. Marc. 2, 2. pp. 40, 41). "Not to seek or to find anything for Himself, but purely on our account, did He become man,1 in order to set forth him who had been vanquished by the devil, as the devil's conqueror. For this reason He took man upon Himself, in order to bestow on him the first fruits of His power. Now, this man who is united with the Word is the beloved one. His purpose was to battle with the devil in human flesh; and to render man not only imperishable and immortal, but also to set him on a throne in heaven with God.

1 Adv. MaiC. 2, 3, 4, pp. 48 S: Oix h' i Ao'yof iitpthridri, rw nfiiripcf« dvtfa,fiifi aupxci, xA^' I»u i) aoLp% S/ei rij» trpos To» Xiyo» xoivuvixv x$'xvxnix:

In His immeasurable goodness, He purposed not only to free man from bondage, death, and perishableness, but also to confer upon him a glory which transcends man (t?}? inrep avOpcoirov 8o|r7??). Fallen man, who had lost the kingdom, was meant by God's will to become Lord and God; and, therefore, the method of salvation was devised. When the Logos came in human flesh, and became King, man, who was previously abased, destroyed all the power and might of the devil." "What greater glory," he exclaims, "can be conferred on man than this glory! Fallen man He has counted worthy to be united with His Logos, through the Virgin" (pvvcuf>Ofjvai, 1. c. p. 48, c. 3). "Let not Asterius be surprised that something which is younger than the body (that is, the divine Sonship of Christ, which was the result of the incarnation) should attain to the dignity of being regarded as the eldest. For in that the Logos thought fit to take upon Himself, out of the pure Virgin, humanity, although younger, and therewith to conjoin His own nature {evaxras), He not only constituted the man created in Him the first-born of all creation, but wills also that he be the principle of everything which is in heaven and upon earth." What he means to say is, that Christ, although later in point of time, was, as the idea and operative principle, the earlier; even as the final aim, though later in point of appearance, is the first in point of idea. In Him humanity attained its completion. At this point one would expect Marcellus to introduce the doctrine of the eternal duration of the person and kingdom of Christ; why he did not do so, we shall soon see. On account of His humanity, therefore, Christ is termed the First-born of all creation, and not as though He had been begotten prior thereto. For how could He who had always existed be the firstborn of another? On the contrary, the first-born is the new man, in whom God purposed to sum up all things. (IIpcoroTokos ohi iraxTry; Krtaew? Bicb rrjv icaret adpica yeveaiv covopAaOrj,

ov Sia Ttjv irpd>rrjv, «!>? avrol otovrcu Ktiotiv rbv irpSnov

Kcuvov avOpayrrov et's ov To. Ituvtu avaice$>aXaw>aao~9ai ij3ovXrjOrj o 0eo?, Tovtov al Oeiat ypcupal irpcororoicov irdarj<; ovopAipvat Kriaew;: 1. c. p. 43.)1

1 Adv. Marc. 2, 3, p. 44.

But what is Marcellus' conception of the incarnation, when he endeavours to describe it more precisely 1 The body was a

truly human body, and consequently, like all things else, in the last instance, created out of nothing. In so far, therefore, the evipyeia Spaarucrj of God, or His Word, held precisely the same relation to this man as to other things in the world. But with this man (aap^), the evipyeia Spaarucrj was connected in a peculiar manner. For, whereas generally it remains outside of the objects which are brought into existence by its command, it dwells in His aap^; the action of God was, as it were, fixed, so long as the purpose in view required it. The divine evipyeia, says he, expanded itself as far as, and into, this man, laying hold on, assuming, and uniting itself with him. Henceforth this divine evipyeia was the motive, the active principle of the body.1 Marcellus was thus able to assign to the God-man a distinctive position; for, whereas the divine activity does not fill, and is merely present with, so far as it outwardly works upon, other things, it filled Christ with its presence, and had an existence in Him.

But, even on this view of the matter, the divine in Christ cannot be described as a peculiar hypostasis different from the Father. The operative Word, when it extends itself into the humanity of Christ, is not personal in itself; personal alone is the Father in His entirety, and He, as Father, keeps silence; and if He also, like the Word, is immanent, we cannot suppose that Marcellus conceived the entire divine evipyeia, which was fixed in the man Jesus, to have been included in Him. For humanity appeared to him absolutely incapable of being the suitable organ of God.2

L. c. 2, 4, p. 54: Apxarixy yap wtpyiix fiivji T>5 aupxX avjjrj Tov xtvii» uvr^t xu.1 irpxTrtiv, aaxirip e» ijixyyihiois (fiptrxi, ovatx rtji 0«£ ovtriirro, oix "Kayos virapx/uv xxnoi dxuptotos xxl dlixoixros. For this reason, also, he magnifies in forcible terms the greatness and novelty of the mystery revealed in Christ. De eccL theol. 3, 3, p. 157: Tyf ydp irpo 1% tu» irpxyfixru» xirofcifcieif eirtsrtvatn xv, Oti Xo'yof 0to5, lid irapiiuov rtxdtls rii» ilfaripx» dvxKriiptrxi aapx.x, xxl Tii» Itxox» itornrx i» xvrri aufixrixxs ixiItfctrxi. The flesh assumed by Him had not previously existed: the Lord our God created it, the Creator of the tii ot. Adv. Marc. 2, 3, p. 45; 2,

2, p. 40: T/ yap crlpot %» dicoxixpVflfihoU fiUarJipton, jj Kxtx ro» 'i.i'/ou;

Ostu li nt diroxtxpvfifiho» h r£ @tp rovrl irporepov To fivarnpioB, un~t finohx Tos irpvtipov Actov axQus Tx xxrd \oyov iloivxi, d**.' tifixs Tow ^h.ovrov rijf 0a'Juf Kx\ rov diroxtxpvfifietov fivarnpiov diroKxitiv »v»L dnlern iTvxi Tow Ao'yov, at all events, the oup% which rose again, let him know, Sri ov iri», 'iirtp dixvxrim, Tovto &%iov ©tov' fat^uv ydp Ku1 uirns riis ddxvuafxs i Qtos.

2 Adv. Marc. 2, 4, p. 52: If any one suppose, rri<t dttpuirlnp oapxx

Here, therefore, we find occurring again what we have noticed at an earlier period, namely, that the God-man is represented as owing His personality to the limit, the circumscription, the negation, added hy the humanity to the divine evipyeia, which continues the positive element, though not hypostatical in itself. Marcellus, it is true, did not by any means consider the hypostasis of the God-man to have heen grounded in an human Ego, and a positive finite principle; but looked upon the circumstance, that so long as the Logos dwelt in, and was encompassed by, the humanity of Christ, He had a certain existence of His own outside of God, and was so far a kind of hypostasis, not as an advantage possessed by, but as a defect of, the person of the God-man, as part of His humiliation.1

Not merely the earthly form of His humanity, therefore, but His being a man at all, he necessarily counts part of His humiliation, which, as such, could not be permanent. With some degree of acuteness, he argues as follows (adv. Marc. 2, 4): If the Logos had become man for His own sake, to seek something for Himself, or if He Himself could have profited anything by His humanity, it would be conceivable that His humanity should abide for ever. But as it was pure love which moved Him to condescend to appear in the form of a servant— that form in which we are not completely united with God; and as, on the other hand, His work for us will terminate at the judgment; it would be erroneous to suppose that His humanity will abide eternally. By His incarnation, the Logos subjected Himself to a limit and form inadequate to His true essence. He was extruded from God, it is true, merely evepyela, but still this is not a small matter; and the distinction between God and Him became to a certain extent an actuality, through the humanity which He assumed. The God-man spake: "I do not Mine own will, but the will of My Father."

1 Ibid. p. 51: Ktxxpriaixi (leg. xixuptaiui) Tod irxrpos (fut»trxi irpopiuti aupxos. Eccl. theol. 3, 13, p. 181: 'atpyttcf. fiivfi xxpl^ii t xvrtn ioxxr. Adv. Marc. 2, 4: Xlus urn rij» rob iovhov fioptpw ij» xve/Atifrc i Ao'y'fi fiopipw ovau» JoiJxow avttmxi T$ Xo-yip ivvuro»; God, or at all events His hipyiix, is passive under the limitation: a remnant of Patripassianism.

And in Gethsemane, the harmony (a'vfKfxovla) between the will of Christ and that of God was dissolved for a moment, though without sin.1 Must the Logos, then, be supposed to be eternally saddled with this humanity, which is inadequate to Him, and to the assumption of which love alone moved Him to humble Himself? By no means. Were such the case, not even He Himself could ever be said to be perfect; on the contrary, He would for ever fall short of His idea. He must needs, therefore, become again that which He previously was. One might suppose, indeed, that the humanity of Christ could be so glorified as to be worthy of, and adequate to, the eternal indwelling of the deity, of the Logos. But even though the humanity should be made immortal and imperishable, the deity would continue infinitely exalted above it. And, further, what end would the eternity of the humanity of Christ serve, even relatively to us? Christ Himself said, "It is the spirit that quickeneth, the flesh profiteth nothing." Accordingly, the humanity of the Logos and its regiment will continue so long as the work of redemption lasts, and the victory begun therein is not fully completed. The goal, however, once gained, the consummation of things will demand that the Logos return into God, and become that which He previously was (adv. Marc. 2, 4, p. 53: "va ovrco<; rj h> @eu> 6 X07o? &<nrep teal irporepov ?jv); but the body must be emptied of the Logos, or laid aside (eprffiov eaeaOcu To acop.a Tov Aoyov, 1. c. c. 2—4).2

Looking at the high position Marcellus had assigned to the God-man, to wit, the position of the crown of humanity, we should deem Him fitted for something better than a mere transitory means. And yet he was compelled at last to regard Him in the latter light. On the one hand, Marcellus considered the destiny of man in general to be perfect union with God (c. Marc. 2, 2, pp. 40 ff.); and the incarnation was in his eyes so great a thing, because the God-man and His fate were the solution of the problem, the beginning of the perfection of humanity. But, on the other hand, humanity contradicts full union with God; it has something in it essentially inadequate to God, which, so long as it exists at all, cannot be abolished. For this reason, the perfect man, the God-man, must needs return out of the otter form of existence which He had assumed, into identity with God, and cease to be man, in order that He may be made perfect.

1 Adv. Marc. 1, 4, pp. 28 f.; 2, 2, pp. 37, 39.

1 Compare adv. Marc. 2, 3 and 4; Eccl. Theol. 3, 12-14, pp. 180 f. He denies, therefore, the eternal pre-existence and post-existence of the Sonj and limits His existence to the middle period.

This was necessary, further, in order that He may go before us in the process through which we too are destined to pass. We also can only attain to perfection by being raised above ourselves (1. c. p. 42), in order that God may be all in all. The conclusion, therefore, is unavoidable, that our humanity, too, must cease to be, in order that God alone may be. At this point, Origen's opponent becomes almost more Origenistic than Origen himself. He remarks,—If at the time of the universal diroKardaraais, according to Paul, even creation itself is to be converted into freedom, will not the servant's fonn which the Logos assumed, be by its very idea unsuitable to Him? (Euseb. Eccl. Theol. 3, 19.) From this passage, as also from the view given by Marcellus of the relation between the human and the divine, we may conclude with certainty, that finitude in general was, in his eyes, equivalent to bondage and the form of a servant; that, consequently, if the world is destined to attain to freedom, which is its goal (as ho often asserts),1 it also, as well as Christ, its Captain, must cast aside the servant's form; or, in other words, humanity must be abolished, and be transferred or transformed into the divine essence.*

We see, therefore, that Marcellus separates the divine and human in the same abstract way as the Arians; and the conclusion to be drawn also is substantially the same, to wit, that the one member of the antithesis excludes the other. Those Arians whose tendency was predominantly empirical, and who lacked, so to speak, both practical and theoretical piety, really represented man as the Highest, as the concrete and living Divine, whilst they reduced the personal God to a bare abstract unity. Marcellus, on the contrary, in consequence of his more religious and speculative tendencies, arrived at the conclusion, that, in the last instance, God alone will exist. The God of the Arians is purely envious; but man, notwithstanding, took care of himself, by setting himself substantially in the place of God.

1 Adv. Marc. 2, 4, p. 52. * Adv. Marc. 2, 3, pp. 44, 47.

The God of Marcellus is good and communicative; but, because He is represented as only communicative (His communication is effected through the medium of the plan of salvation),—in such a sense, too, that nothing permanent, nothing good, can he allowed to pertain to the first creation,—the continuity of the communications of the divine life leaves no room for any distinction whatever; in order that man may be perfected, God sets Himself in his place; the airoicarao~raais does away with the very grounds of the creation; the perfection of the world is its termination; and finally, therefore, the God whose sole work was self-communication, stands as isolated, as worldless, as He was in the beginning. From which it is clear, that, even acoording to this system, God continues Oetov <pOovepov, until He allows the world to be distinguished from Himself as a Good, and concedes to it an unity with Himself, which admits of and maintains the distinction. If the divine love has not the opos in itself, it becomes in its very effusion again exclusive, and therefore physical.

And, in point of fact, this exclusiveness shows itself clearly enough in the circumstance, that he continues to view the inmost divine essence as an abstract, simple point, as a silent Monas. Love is not the inmost and highest element in God; nor is that inmost substance ever revealed. He tries to keep God far from all division and separation, by assigning everything outside of Him, not to Himself, but solely to His activity.1 This activity neither touches nor moves the divine essence in its simplicity; the divine simplicity admits of no distinctions whatever. But, as this simplicity is represented as the highest element, as the very essence, of God, it follows, that the evepyeia SpaariKrj, or the will of God in its actuality, can only play on the surface of the divine being. God is not through and through will or living; but in Himself is inactive and rigidly silent; at times, however, He breaks this silence, though we can scarcely attribute it to any necessity of nature. Once again, therefore, as in the case of Eunomius, we find the doctrine of a will, which, on the one hand, has nothing in common with that which constitutes the essence of God (that is, with its simple infinitude, its solitariness), and yet, on the other hand, relates to the finite, which is supposed to be excluded from the divine nature.

1 Compare Hilarius de Trin. 7, 3-7, pp. 916-919, ed. Maur. The Sabellius to whom he refers in these passages, is in my opinion Marcellos.

In this way, the world's existence is at one and the same time posited and made impossible; and both by God, for the evepyeia Spaariicrj is in both cases His. The world alternates between existence and non-existence. But the same contradiction of position and exclusion affects God also, who Himself has an alternating idea: at one time He speaks and works; at another, He returns to silence, absorbs the world into Himself under the pretence of perfecting it, and shuts it out from independent existence. What was necessary, was that that rigid distinction, which afterwards passes over into uniformity, should be given up, and that, instead of the alternation, an inward mediation should be effected between unity and distinction, and that the one should be shown to involve and be contained in the other. This work, however, could never be accomplished so long as attention was devoted solely to the relation of God to the world, and no successful efforts were made, above all, to reconcile the divine unity itself with distinctions.

In the respects just touched upon, the system of Marcellus contains a still unvanquished remnant of Dualism. But it has besides still more objectionable features. If the highest in God is that unity which abides in itself; and if the essence of God takes no part whatever in His productive activity (evepyeia SpaariKrj); then, in Christ there dwelt, not the essence, but merely an action of God, fixed in the man Jesus through a longer series of momenta. Marcellus thus diverged, it is true, from the earlier Sabellianism, which conceived God to have converted Himself into the man, even more distinctly than Sabellius himself, who regarded God's self-unfoldment in the Son as an unfolding of the divine essence itself. By tins means also, he removed, more completely than Sabellius was able to do, the appearance of a change having been produced in the divine essence by the incarnation. For time and change, the manifold movements, etc., undertaken by the Logos in Christ, affected merely the divine activity, not the divine essence.1 On this supposition, however, the presence of God in Christ is reduced to a purely dynamical one; not, indeed, as though there had been in Christ merely a divine effect, whilst the power producing the effect remained outside of Him, for both the divine action and the acting power were in Him.

1 Only in so far as he allows the hipytix "ipauirtm to be connected with the essence of God, does he fail to exempt it from the movements and changes which the former undergoes.

Notwithstanding, the inner essence of God took no part in the incarnation. Nay more, where a more living conception of the omnipresence of God is entertained, where the "omnipraesentia operativa" is conceived to involve the "omnipraesentia essentialis," there the distinguishing features which Marcellus supposed he was preserving for Christ, fall away of themselves. Nor shall we be able to charge Eusebius with injustice, when we find him objecting,—" A divine power lived and moved in many men, even before the days of Christ: the new element introduced by Christianity, is the personal indwelling of God."1 Such a personal indwelling, however, Marcellus was unable to concede, because he denied the existence of distinctions in God. A personal God-man, objective to God, appeared to him an essentially imperfect thing; humanity, being inadequate to the divine, must be cast aside ere a perfect union with God can become possible. We arrive, accordingly, at the principle,— It is impossible for the incarnation of God to be a complete one, nor can the union of God and man be thereby brought to pass; both are essentially, physically ($>vais) separated, and can only be united on one condition, that the humanity cease to exist. But so long as the so-called divine Sonship lasted, it was sustained solely by the divine power, by divine action, not by the divine essence. Eunomius also was quite willing to allow the Logos to be as close a resemblance to God as possible, provided only the resemblance were not referred to the essence, but merely to the will of God.

The Ebionism into which this new and refined form of Sabellianism (compare above, p. 150) debouched, occupies in one respect a lower position than Arianism, or even than the Ebionism of the common kind:—to wit, the means which Marcellus represents God as employing for the production of Christ, merely sufficed to exclude the human personality of Christ, and

1 Adv. Marc. 2, 4. Eusebius raises, also, frequently the very apt objection, that although Marcellus affirms that the Logos is invisible, and that no man can know God, save through Him in His visible state, or in the God-man, he still arrives at no revelation, because he is unable to allow that God had a real existence in the Son; all that he attains to is a hint or a symbol of revelation, a anfiuirrixtj litufiis; for example, Eccl. Theol. 1, 17, 20, p. 90.

to constitute His entire appearance a living theophanic symbol, which continues in existence till the judgment; without, however, on the other hand, advancing beyond the category of the dynamical. In this respect, the system of Marcellus' disciple, Photinus of Sirmium, shows traces of progress.1

Photinus developed more clearly the Ebionitical consequences of Sabellianism; but he also, after taking his stand on the true and full humanity of Christ, which he only allowed to have been the subject of a divine influence, sought a compensation for the lack of a physical unity between Christ and God, in their moral unity; for which he required no further condition, than the supernatural birth of Christ. From which it follows of itself, that there can no longer be any reason why the man Jesus, crowned and deified for His virtue's sake, should not be eternally King and Lord in His kingdom. (Note 53.)

1 Compare Athan. de syn. 26; Epiph. Hser. 71; Socr. H. E. 2, 18; Hil. de Trin. 7, 3-7; Fragm. .2, 5, 12; de Synod. c. 38, 39; Marius Mercator Nestorii, serm. 4; Theodoret. haer. fab. 2,11.



When treating of the struggles with Gnosticism, through which the Church had to pass, we found that it had at command an array of able men, who had been raised up to fight its battles and gain its victories; and so now, especially towards the close of the conflict with Arianism, a series of great men was called into existence, distinguished alike for the depth of their Christian life, and their ability for speculative inquiries, who served the Church by their labours, and adorned it by their intellectual and moral eminence. The greatest Fathers of the Church flourished at this period: during the second half of the fourth century, the Patristic literature of the early Church reached its culminating point. To the objections raised by Sabellians and Arians, apt replies flowed forth out of the fulness of the Christian intellect; and the wounds inflicted by opponents, served but to unseal afresh the sources of Christian knowledge, and to cause them to overflow more richly. Arianism, it is true, was soulless, a product of the bare understanding; and, incapable of viewing the matter from the centre, and the parts in their connection with the whole, it clung to the individual and empirical. The positive element which it lays down, or, at all events, leaves standing, is also characterized by abnormity. Not only to minds of the present age, but also to sound reason in general, does an inferior God, a finite, created being which is represented as a creator, appear monstrous, and even superstitious. Furthermore, seeing that, as a system, Arianism has little or nothing to recommend it in itself, and that the human mind would never by itself have arrived at such a monstrous mixture of rational and supernatural elements, it testifies involuntarily to the prior existence of an entirely different faith, which, on the one hand, it has essentially altered, though, on the other hand, it bears clear traces of its influence and impress; in other words, it testifies to the true power of the Christian idea. It stands like a soulless, fantastic ruin, which points to a higher past, and owes its existence to a blundering attempt to coerce the fulness of the primitive Christian idea within the forms of the abstract understanding. In so far, it has a certain resemblance, not only to Socinianism, but also to the older Rationalism of the present day. This latter had no intention of breaking with Christianity; but was willing to allow all that the Scriptures teach regarding Christ to be true in an inferior sense; without perceiving, in its self-deception, that there remained merely a fantastic shell, a soulless, idealess history, which is at once too much and too little. But however untenable Arianism may be as a system, in a scientific point of view; and so certainly as only those whose sole culture is a superficial one of the bare understanding, can regard it as the golden mean between two extremes; in another respect, as we have previously shown, it was a highly important phaenomenon; and it was justified in disputing the right of the Church to the principle which is its life, until the Church had refuted the objections brought against it, and reconciled the contradictions, to which its attention was called, by setting forth the empirical and individual in the light of that view of the whole with which it started; and, above all, until it had renounced all connection with the basis on which both Arianism and Sabellianism rest. That basis is the ante-Christian idea of God, as the unknown, infinite being, which, remaining shut up in the rigid simplicity of its own nature, cannot enter into true fellowship with man, —an idea, whose natural and logical end is either Deism or Pantheism.

We have seen previously (compare the Second Epoch), that during the conflict with the various heathenish and Jewish forms of Gnosticism, the Christian Church acquired its knowledge of the essential attributes or momenta of the idea of God in general. Subsequently to that period, Pantheism and Deism made their appearance in great, though still bungling and inconsequent, forms. Both were far superior to the two older tendencies of Gnosticism and Ebionism, with which they have otherwise so many points of affinity, in so far as they were penetrated by many Christian elements, which, on the one hand, were the source of strength, though, on the other hand, the source of inconsistency and weakness. Both Arianism and Sabellianism appeared to recognise, or at all events to leave untouched, the results at which the Church had previously arrived relatively to the attributes of the idea of God. And yet, in accordance with the experience, that when new and deeper questions are asked, doubt is always thrown for a time on the whole of the principles already recognised, these heresies were destined to make clear, that the Church must either be prepared to lose all that it had gained, or, besides refuting objections, advance on to new results. In point of fact, both Sabellianism and Arianism introduced changes into the doctrine of the divine attributes. In the case of the former, this is quite evident from its older and predominantly physical forms; for it drags down God completely into the physical; it establishes no distinction between God and the world, that can hold its ground; and the very continuity which it posits between the world and God, prevents it taking an ethical view of the latter, prevents it from gaining an insight into that divine love, which, having power over itself, wills the existence of free creatures, and even in the incarnation honours the freedom of humanity. In its later forms, Sabellianism endeavoured, as far as possible, to avoid emanatistic elements; but to the extent to which it succeeded, to that extent did it represent God as abiding in Himself, without communicating His essence; and His revelation as merely " showing" Him, as mere doctrine;—and the doctrine of a God who does not communicate Himself is meagre, nay more, is manifestly self-contradictory in substance, and therefore fitted to lead the way to the opposed deistical point of view. Deism distinguishes more clearly between God and the world, by substituting, as we have pointed out, the category of causality for that of substantiality :—though, be it observed, this substitution affected merely the relation of God to the world, and by no means His relation to Himself, as the cause of Himself. In the relation of the divine causality to the world, Arianism recognised the following point,—that the effect, if it have a real, and not merely an apparent existence, is neither a momentum of, nor primarily annexed to the cause; but exists outside, and relatively independent thereof; and that a cause is not really a cause, has not really worked, until it gives its effect a being of its own. This relative independence of the effect is then heightened by the introduction of the ethical principle. Arianism, however, in consequence of its deistic character, was not able fully to carry out the category of causality, even in relation to the world, but advanced no further than the first step. It posits, indeed, an activity of the first cause; not, however, on its own account, but merely in so far as is necessary to demonstrate the possibility of a world independent of God; it goes back to a first cause for the commencement, but not for the continuance, of the world. It believed the world, once brought into existence, to possess in itself, in particular, power for the exercise of virtue and the attainment of knowledge. Nay more, from the Arian point of view, a deed of Godj an act of divine self-communication, must necessarily have been esteemed a dangerous commingling of God and the world, a threatening of the existence of the latter, and a resumption as it were of the act of creation; for the world owed its independent existence to the fact, that the divine causality posited something outside of God. But herein is involved also, that for Arianism, God must stand in an alien and cold relation to man, that He cannot be Love; nor, on the other hand, can the virtue of man be viewed as love, seeing that love cries out for real fellowship. The only ethical element, therefore, that can here be recognised, on the supposition that God and man stand over against each other as personalities, justified in maintaining a kind of excluVOL. II. T

sive independence of each other, is justice or righteousness, but not love ;—the view taken of the ethical, is simply a juridical, a legal one. The very discrimination, therefore, aimed at by Arianism, like the continuity aimed at by Sabellianism, rendered it impossible to retain a hold on the full ethical character of the idea of God. Both alike lost sight of the attribute of divine love, in a rigid conception of God. But if love fail, all other attributes receive at once another significance and position. On this matter, however, it is not necessary further to dwell. In connection with the idea of creation, we may remark further, that when Arianism represents the causality of God merely as one single act, that is, the one act of. the production of the Son, who was destined to be the Creator of the world, it has at once too little and too much. The world is deemed too bad for God to have been concerned either in its creation or sustentation; and yet, after it has once been created, it confronts God almost on a footing of equality, in accordance with the category of bare justice. God being supposed to be absolutely immutable, cannot take part in the world any further than is necessary for its attaining an independent existence outside of Him. And yet, to assert Him to have been only once the cause of the world, and to deny that He continues at every moment its cause, is to represent Him as mutable. Nay more, the divine causality also is interrupted, if God is not also the ground of the continuous existence of the world. And if it be incompatible with the divine sublimity or unchangeableness, that God should live in constant activity, a single act, the quitting of His rest even for once, is equally incompatible therewith; and Arianism, therefore, must either deny the existence of the world, or conceive God to be constantly active. This would indeed lead back to Pantheism, if, in characterizing the causality as perennial, the idea of causality itself were given up, instead of acquiring completeness. But so certainly as the idea of a perennial causality destroys the possibility of Deism, even so certain is it that, instead of involving, as some think, the abolition of causality, it is its confirmation and full carrying out. As such, it also confirms and establishes the distinction between God and the world. This it only does, of course, when such a view is taken of the ethical causality of God, or of self-communicating love, as does not involve its passing beyond the category of right and law, without at the same time constituting that category part of the full ethical idea; in other words, without assigning to subjective freedom its place as a momentum in the collective process.

The only way to protect the treasures once gained, against the new heresies, and to overcome Pantheism and Deism, was determinately to advance, on the foundations laid, to the development of the doctrine of the Trinity.1 If God is merely self-communicative, without at the same time, and above all things, possessing and maintaining Himself (sich selbst zu haben und zu halten), He is selfless and undistinguishable from the world, He is a being which can neitiier be termed God nor world, because it is physical and absolute at one and the same time. If God, on the contrary, is conceived as personal, as master of Himself, the world is shut out, it is true, from forming part of His idea, it is no longer a momentum of His being. The idea of God, however, is first to be viewed in its avrdpiceia, purely by itself. But if we rest there, as Arianism did, we cannot posit the existence of any world at all; or, if one exist, it has a merely accidental existence. God shuts Himself up in abstract self-sufficiency and simplicity. But as such an abstract simplicity contradicts the ethical nature of God, it must be renounced; and accordingly, the very preservation of the result already arrived at, that is, of the ethical idea of God, rendered it necessary that the Church should further define God as He is in Himself to be, not an abstract Monas, but rather, even apart from the world and His activity therein, a living spirit, originating movements in His own being. Therewith was laid the foundation-stone of a speculative doctrine of the Trinity.

This was the knowledge at which the great Church teachers of the age then arrived. The idea of a living God, as contrasted with the pantheistic or heathenish, and with the deistic idea, found fixed expression in the doctrine of a Trinity of the divine essence. It is undoubtedly true that Christendom owed its conviction that God is a Trinity to revelation, and did not deduce it directly from the conception of God. But at the same time, the doctrine of the Trinity rescued for, if it did not directly confer upon, the Church, the idea of God as the essentially living God.

1 Nitzseh has shown, with peculiar clearness, that the doctrine of the Trinity is the victory alike over Pantheism and Deism, over the error of Heathenism and that of Judaism.

That God can only be conceived by us as possessed of spiritual vitality through the medium of the Trinity, was not yet clearly perceived; and few attempts were made to construe the Trinity out of the idea of God. At all events, however, the conviction was arrived at, that there is the widest difference between the Christian idea of God and both that of Hellenic philosophy and that of Deism, inasmuch as God is to be conceived as a living spirit. The Church felt that it had secured this living idea of God in the Trinity, the existence of which was vouched by faith, although it was not yet scientifically understood, that is, the perception had not yet been arrived at, that a triplicity of momenta was necessary to the constitution of the conception of God as the living Spirit.

Let us now examine more carefully the conflict of the Church with Arianism and Sabellianism. This conflict involved three things:—

I. The critical examination of the systems.

II. The confutation of their objections.

III. The further development of the doctrine of the Church.

I. Athanasius was fully justified in asserting the Arian doctrine to be an innovation (c. Ar. or. 1, 8). Never had the Church defined the Son to be a being created out of nothing; never had it separated Him from God, or attributed to Him a different nature from that of the Father. As little had any teacher of the Church ever dreamed of dwelling with satisfaction, as Arius did, on expressions which lower the Son, still less of basing his system upon them. To curtail the dignity of Christ, was not the end they had in view; they taught subordination only so far as they were unable to reconcile the highest utterances of Christ (to which, be it remarked, they felt themselves, properly speaking, chiefly drawn) with the unity of God. Their view of redemption was totally different from that of Arius, and they saw in Christ the realization of fellowship, not merely between a higher and a lower creature, but between God and man. The Fathers at Nicaea were fully justified, therefore, in appealing both to the whole of Christian antiquity and to the Scriptures; and alongside of many men of the third century, Athanasius adduces Ignatius as a witness against Arius (de Synod. c. 47)

The individual elements of the Arian conception of God are then, in particular, condemned. Athanasius aptly directs attention to the lack of a religious principle in the system of Arius, when he says (de deer. Nic. Synod. 1),—The entire position taken up by Arianism is a false one; for, instead of asking, How could Christ, although God, become man t it asks, How can Christ be God although man? In other words, its Christological starting-point is untheologically the humanity, and therefore it failed to arrive at the deity. The deity can be shown to be the principle of itself and of humanity; but the humanity can neither be the principle of itself nor of the deity. Further, God is to them as light without brightness, as a driedup fountain (c. Ar. or. 1, 14, 19). Through sheer sublimity, the God of Arius is unable to create (c. Ar. or. 2, 25). But if the world is so unworthy of God, and cannot bear Him, what help is it to posit a Son whose work is to create, but who is Himself a creature? If the world cannot bear God, no more can the Son, seeing that He also is a mere creature; and He would require another mediator, that mediator a third, and so on in infinitum (2, 26). Again, if the principle which created the world is not itself God, but is superadded from without (e^coOev iireurari/ofievov, hriKrryrov, compare or. 1, 17), God stands in no connection with the world, but both He and the world remain by themselves, isolated and abstract. The Son is said to have come to bring us into connection with God. If He is to effect this object, He must Himself also be an object of faith; but how can a creature be the object of faith? The true and proper object of faith is the divine; if, then, faith were directed to a creature alongside of the true God, it would be divided in itself, and we should have Svo irlarei^ and the dismemberment of the divine and the disunity of the religious consciousness, which were characteristic of the heathens, would characterize us also (or. 3, 16). A creature made an object of worship is an idol, and to no being created out of nothing can it pertain to create out of nothing (2, 20-22, 29; 1, 26).

1 'Ai>«y*>j Xiyii» uvroVS ivo ieoiis, tru fiet xriarw ro» hi Irtpov xriaro», xxl Silo xvplais Xurpeiiit ttl fii» dyitvtrrp, ie tripip ytttrrr^, xul xriofiuri' iva Te 'jriatiis exl"i filf fAi» *h ro» xXnimiv, Mpaw hi iit To» «'0«i^i»r« y.xi irhouitirrx, ^Xp xirru» xx'i Xixiiinu Qeov.

A creature has not the power or capacity to unite us with God (2, 69); and miserable is the self-deception which contents itself with the mere semblance of a gift, which supposes itself to be able to receive from a creature that which God alone can bestow. Freedom is inconceivable, if he who is to free us is himself a bondsman, and not rather God (2, 16). The Son alone can make us children; adoptive sonship presupposes a real sonship. Only in union with God are the wants of men satisfied; but how can we be deified or made free from the curse by a nature that is foreign to us, or indeed by any other than God Himself? God must reconcile and unite us to Himself through Himself (1, 37-39, 49-51; 2, 69, 70). We first received the Holy Spirit as a lasting possession (/3e/3aiW), after Christ had animated humanity with the Holy Ghost in Himself, in His own person. Every created thing is mutable; in order, therefore, to our standing fast, it was necessary that we should participate in the immutable. Man was to be deified; and that God alone could effect: he was to be made like Him; and that was possible alone through the archetype, whose image we were meant to bear from the beginning (2, 70, ell. 1, 49). How could a creature, which itself must be subject to judgment, deliver us from judgment 1 (2, 6.) How can he, whose knowledge of himself and God is imperfect, reveal God to us even in the way of doctrine? How can he who, like the Logos of Arius, needs first to learn, and who therefore may be subjected to error, forgetfulness, and change, be Wisdom? (1,23 ff.) In short, both the idea of religion and that of creation are incompatible with Arianism. The world is a whole, a living being. If, then, the Son is Himself a creature, and yet at the same time the creator of the world, we arrive at a world that both creates and is created,—a notion which rends the unity of the world, in the same manner as we have previously seen the unity of faith to be rent (2, 28). Such a mediator for the creation of the world would derange and disturb, instead of mediating.1 Yet Arianism, strictly speaking, gave up the hope of union with God, and consequently did not consider the realization of that union to be the task imposed on the Logos and the God-man. It therefore assigned to Christ merely the position of a teacher and example.

1 Athanasius points out the dualistic features of this point of view when he speaks of the Manichaeism of its advocates, ad Episc. JSgypt. et Lib. c. 16; c. Ar. 1, 23.

Athanasius also acknowledged Him to be such (c. At. 1, 51; adv. Apoll. 1, 4, 5; Ps. xvii.); but he at the same time shows that if this be all, Arianism ought consistently to pass over into Ebionism. The Arians maintain, that Christ merely proclaimed the forgiveness of sins (c. Ar. 2, 68); but a remission of sins by mere edict must necessarily remain external to man; the guilt and bondage of sin would still remain. What was required, was a real redemption by means of a real union with God (2,14, 69). When God works, His work must be permanent, and cannot require to be constantly repeated: on the Arian view, therefore, man can never arrive at permanent perfection. Nay more, Arianism depotentiates man altogether; for it denies that union with God is his destiny; whilst, on the other hand, it degrades God, and reduces Him to a Oelov <pOovepbv, by the false sublimity which it feigns for Him.

The error of Arianism, therefore, is, that, on the one hand, it commingles God and the world, by setting up a creature as mediator between God and man, and making thereof an article of faith; and yet, on the other hand, separates the two so essentially and completely, that not even love is able to reduce the distinction to unity. As then the pretended exaltation of God turns into an abasement of Him, nay more, to a confusion of Him with the world, in the Son, so is it with the Son also. Apparently He receives a lofty position, for He is the Creator, the causality; but because He is not the final cause, He is in reality lower than the world, for the world is the final cause. Hence Athanasius rightly says,—If the Son exists only for our sake, if He came into existence merely that we might be brought into existence, He is a mere means, and we, as the end in view, were the object of the divine thought before Him. His existence, therefore, is a transitory one,—that is, only necessary so long as the means, the organ, is necessary, by which we are to be called into existence. His origin He owes to us. The case is the same, if His exaltation affected His higher nature also, and if it were exalted on account of the virtue, which He had the opportunity of displaying towards us (c. Ar. or. 1, 40). All this Athanasius sums up in the one proposition,—If He was not God, there was no need of Him (2, 41). But we need God; for we are created to know, and be united with, Him; and He alone can give us this knowledge, and bring about this union.—In so many respects does he show that Arianism, with its inner invalidity, is incapable of affording the mind the satisfaction which it promises.

H. No less acuteness characterizes his rejoinders to the main objections brought against the doctrine of the Church by the Arians and Sabellians. To notice in detail their explanations of Scripture passages and the Church's exposure thereof, would lead us too far away from our main purpose (compare, however, on Prov. viii. 22, Heb. i. 4, Rom. viii. 29, Col. i. 15, Heb. iv. 2, Athan. c. Ar. or. 2, and 3, 7 ff.; Basil. M. c. Eunom. L. iv.; Greg. Naz. or. 30). Let us now consider the refutation of their dogmatical objections. The Arians said,— The Son must be a creature; for if He were of the substance of God, coeternal with Him, God would be divided, and physical ideas be applied to Him. They asked therefore also,—Did God beget His Son voluntarily or not? If involuntarily, God was subject to compulsion; if voluntarily, the Son having been begotten by the will of the Father, does not belong to His substance, but is a creature. Further,—Did He exist ere He was begotten, or not? If He existed, He must have been eternal; and then we should have the contradiction, that He existed ere He was generated. Consequently, He was not before He was generated; and there was therefore once a time when He did not exist. Finally, they asked,—If the Father is unbegotten, and the unbegotten alone can be designated God, how can deity, in the strict sense, be said to belong to the Son? If the Son is begotten, but yet eternal like the Father, He ought to be described as the unbegotten-begotten one (ar/ewrjroyiwrjrcx;); He must be the Father's brother, and, in order to be perfectly like Him, must Himself also have a Son; not to mention that we should thus fall into Ditheism. That the latter objections, in a slightly altered form, proceeded also from the Sabellians, we have seen in the case of Marcellus. Athanasius replied as follows,—Heathenish it is not, to give the Son divine honour, if He is really God; certainly, however, if He be a creature, as the Arians affirm. Perfect resemblance to the Father does not require that the Son be the Father, i.e., it does not require identity. The Son is perfectly like the Father, in virtue of His immutability, because He remains what He is, even as the Father remains what He is. Amongst men we see only imperfeet copies of fatherhood and sonship; for the same person stands successively in both relations: he who is now a father was once a son, and he who is now the son will one day himself be a father. Instead of the mutability and mobility which characterize men, in the deity the Father represents Fatherhood absolutely and eternally, and the Son Sonship. Indeed, this absolute Fatherhood and Sonship in heaven are the archetype of all fatherhood and sonship on earth.1 The Arians, as we know, were particularly proud of the syllogisms which they derived from the position, that ar/evvrjrov was equivalent to Oeon)s. Athanasius maintains, that it is an abstract formula to describe God as the Unbegotten One. In prayer, when we seek out the fullest and worthiest conception, no one dreams of addressing God by the name, "Unbegotten One." The proper name of the Unbegotten One is Father. If we look at the world, which was created or begotten, in this sense the Son was not at all begotten, but is unbegotten like the Father. So also, if we look to the relation between the Son and the divine essence, and designate this essence unbegotten, it belongs to the Son equally with the Father, and therefore the latter is eternal; but the Father ought not to be identified with the divine essence.3 On the contrary, considered in relation to the Son, the Father is unbegotten, and the Son begotten by the Father. Human mothers, it is true, first become mothers, and are not such eternally; even as they themselves come into existence out of nonexistence. But this is a sign of finitude. The Father, on the contrary, because He is perfect, does not first begin to be a Father, as though He had not been a Father previously; it belongs to His essence to be a Father, even as brightness belongs to light; and this His essence He does not acquire gradually, but it is His eternally.

1 C. Ar. or. 1, 21. 0/ cl»ipxiroi xxrd J/«sox^" xKhfauv yit»uirrxi xxl i yiwufiitcs ix yittu/iifiv 7rxrpir ytimniels tlxirrus xxl xvris iripov yl»trxi xxrrip'iio oiiii torir it To<j Toiovtoie xvplus X«tii» Kxi xvplus vios oiii Ianrixtu tir xvru» To irttrxp xxl To vlis, o ydp xii-os vlis ytvtrxi xxl irxriip. "0im iiri rijf itorVtos fii»ns i irxriip xvplus irxrtip tari, xul 6 vloc xvplus vloc iarit.

* Compare c. Ar. or. 1, 30-34; de decr. Nic. Syn. 28. 'Ayirrrroe is the Father designated, not in relation to the Son, but solely in relation to the ywrfrd.

Therefore, because the Father exists either not at all, or is eternally Father, the Son also is eternally Son.1 Gregory Nazianzen developed this idea further, as follows,—Not even in earth is the causal relation limited to cases in which the cause precedes and the effect follows; in other words, succession in time, is not an essential attribute of the causal relation: the causal relation may have a place, he urges, in connection with things whose existence is contemporaneous; and adduces as an illustration, light and the effects it produces.2 This contemporaneity of cause and effect is evidently a form of the causal relation which is more akin to the higher category of interaction, according to which, without confusion of the distinction, both members of the relation are fully co-ordinated. It is plain also, that causality is in one aspect more perfect, when it is contemporaneous with the existence of that which is the cause. For then it is not merely an accidental cause, which might just as well not be a cause at all; but it is essentially a cause, and it is involved in its very idea that it should be a cause. At the same time, however, it is quite as evident, that on this view of the causal relation, the effect ceases to be something external to the cause, and to occupy an independent position relatively thereto. For, inasmuch as henceforth we are not to conceive the cause without the effect, the effect must belong to the essence of that which is the cause. Not that the Son is therefore the Father, or the brightness the sun; on the contrary, the distinction still continues; but it must be transferred to the sphere of eternal being and its reciprocally related distinctions. Taking this view of the connection between causality or generation and the eternal essence of the Father, two conclusions must be drawn: firstly, that it is no longer contingent or dependent on the pleasure of that which is the cause, whether it be a causality or not; for if the generation of the Son had its ground primarily in a particular act of will, He could no longer be maintained to be coeternal with the Father, in the full sense of the term; it would be possible to form a complete conception of the essence of God apart from the Son; and the Son must be looked upon as something superadded to the divine essence from without.

1 C. At. or. 1, 12-14, 20, 22, 23, 27.—C. 27. "{Weo hplrrwx» rc\s yv»xixXs 'a,tpl ruv xpi»ut, Ovtu irvtixtiaiuau.v xxl rov ifKlnv irtpi row dirxvyoio-fixroe Xvrov xxl riis ir7iyijf irepi rov tg xinris, 'iru fi&iuoit, orlrowrx initdel' av» ixtnois. C. 12 :—T/r ovrug iarh A»omros, «f dftQiiSx^tm ir,tpl rot xu thxi rot) w/o»; Xlort yif ris uhe ifus xfpUf'l! Tow diruvyAafiuroS XufixpornTof;

* Greg. Naz. or. 29, 8 :—AijAo» It To «/t/o», is oi ir&rrxs irpu^inipnn Tovtu», uv irrit xfriot, oiili ydp rov Quris faiof.

For this reason, secondly, that which is effected can no longer wear the character of fortuity or mutability; but as a necessary effect, without which a proper conception cannot be formed of the divine, both the fact and the mode of its being are determined by the essence of that which is its cause. No wonder, then, that the struggle was concentrated specially on this point. Arianism did its utmost to prevent the application to the relation between Father and Son of this form of causality, which supposes an eternal connection to exist between the effect and the essence of that which is its cause: this is the explanation of the dilemma adduced above (page 295). Athanasius, however, replied,—If the Arians talk of constraint, because the generation of the Son did not take place after precedent consultation, or in accordance with an act of volition, they ought to apply the same rule to other matters pertaining to the essence of God; for example, to His attributes. Does God, then, first consider ere He resolves to be good 1 Does freedom consist alone in the possibility of choice, in the capability of acting otherwise? No; a nature that is good and perfect is higher than choice (3, 62 f .).1 Similar also is the reply given by Gregory Nazianzen.' But the Son is not on that account of the nature of a mere attribute, as the Sabellians affirm; nor is He an efflux of God, which would involve the division of the essence of God, but the entire (6X6icXrjpov) divine essence, which, wherever it is present, is present in its entirety or not at all, and in this aspect is simple, indivisible, uncompounded, is in the Father and in the Son, though in each after a peculiar manner: to wit, in the Father prototypically, as the living archetype, the primal source; in the Son antitypically, as the absolute image, which reflects the Father.

1 C. At. 8, 62:—Kul rts i 'nj» xvxyxw iirifix"huv ultrf, ironriporxrol, xul irxinx xp&s T)j» ulpeum iuvruv Wxatm; To fiiu ydp dinixilfmio» rri (iov'hnuti (compulsion) iupcixcuri, To ot' falco» xx.1 virepxiifit»ov ovx ittupnouvTo xcvrek (finriv.TLlirxruau» iifilv uCrol' ri dyxdov livxi xx1 olxrtpfiovx To» Qii», ex fioVKnttuf irp6amri» ujnljs >i ov /3ovAi}»«; In the first case, it is possible that He be not good, for the sake of the choice (^o*)j tU ixinpx, of the irxfos of the Aoy/x«j ipiaie). But to say this of God is absurd.

3 Greg. Naz. or. 29, 6.

III. This leads us to the third point, which was the further development of the doctrine of the Church. Each of the two, both Father and Son, directs attention through Himself to the other,1 because each of the two is involved in the distinctive essence of the other (ISurrrjs is the word used by Gregory Nazianzen). When then, asks Athanasius, are we to suppose God to have existed without Him who is His own (that is, who is so far from being contingent, who is so imperdible, so indispensable to the integrity of His own idea, that this other self constituted as it were a part of the very divine being)? Or who can regard that which is His own (ISiov) as something foreign, as something pertaining to another substance? No created thing, indeed, whatever bears any resemblance to its Creator, as far as the essence is concerned, but is external to Him; and, owing its existence to His good pleasure and His will, exerted through the Logos, it is possible for it to cease to exist, should such be the Creator's will. This is the nature of the creature. But that which belongs peculiarly to the essence of the Father, namely, the Son, how can it, without audacity and impiety, be described as a something created out of nothing, as something which had no existence prior to its generation, or as something contingently superadded, which may, some time or other, cease again to have being? If any man find such ideas arising in his mind, let him consider well, that nothing may be deducted from the perfection and fulness of the essence of the Father;' and in order that he may perceive more clearly the absurdity of the error, let him remember that the Son is the image and brightness of the Father, the configuration (^opaKrrjp) of His essence and the truth. If the light exist, the brightness is its image; if the essence exist, He is the complete expression of the essence (^apatcr^p 6XotcA#/>o?).8

1 Ath. c. Ap. 1, 33: To irxrnp 8»?i«tixo'v iari To5 viw. Compare c. 34, 1G :—At>roi> 5e To» vlon fit.iirovrt: opufiev To» irurtpu. 'II yxp rov viov iiwoict ».ul xurcihrppis y»uais torl irtpi rov irxrp&s, oid To' Ik rijs o&alxs uirov foiov ei»xl yimnnfix.

* C. Ar. 1, 28, in a manner similar to this the eternity of the Son is argued, from the consideration, that it was xoa.i» that the Father should always have been Father. See above on Origen.

8 1st das Licht, so ist der Abglanz sein Bild, ist das Wesen, so ist er des Wesens vollkommner Ausdruck.

Let those, therefore, who subject the image and form of the divine to the conditions of time, look well to the abyss of godlessness into which they are falling. If there ever was a time when the Son did not exist, then the truth cannot have dwelt eternally in God; for the Son says, "I am the truth." Given the essence (yirooraais), the image and expression must also be given; for the image of God is not a thing painted from without, but God Himself is the begetter thereof, and beholding Himself therein, He rejoices (ovto? 6 Qeb<; yewrrrqs e<m ravrry; ev jj eavrbv op&v irpoay^alpei ravrn). When can the Father be said not to have looked on Himself in His image? or when was it not His delight? (Prov. viii. 30.) How could the Creator and Originator of the world behold Himself in that which was merely created? For the image must needs be, as is the Father of the image.1

We have found writers in the West giving utterance to similar thoughts even at an earlier period (see above, pages 186 ff.). In the fourth century also, the same view was propounded by Hilary cf Pictavium. The idea that Father and Son know and behold themselves in each other, was familiar to him. One is, as it were, the mirror of the other; not in the sense that the divine lucific essence projected the merely imagined image of a being foreign to itself, but the mirror or the image is a living nature, and the one is essentially identical with the other. But if they (along with the Holy Ghost, who is still less made the subject of consideration) constitute the Deity, then it necessarily follows from the premises, that the self-consciousness of the Deity consists in this reciprocal knoicledge of the Father and the Son (cognitio mutua), which is not merely a knowledge which the one has of, but which each has in, the other. And this relation seemed to Hilary so clear and certain, that he applied it also to the oeconomic Trinity. To the sphere of the Father's thoughts belong the things which He predestines to realization in the future.

1 C. At. 1, 20: Tiff Viroor&atxs Virapxfivaris, Touttus tiidiif ittxi To» Xupxxrfiux xxl rw elxivx rxirns' oi ydp t%ut)ir iari ypxQofiitn ii Tow Qtov tlxlif o5XA' xvris o Qtis yetwnrjis eori rxvrnf i» /i exv-o» iput xpoaxxlpii rxiry. Hot* yav» ovx iupx Exvtov 6 irxriip iu rrt exvrov ilxovi; «I Tote oil irpoai^xipe;— xuf 81 >.u\ iuvro» x» fim 6 xo/)jri)f xxi xrtarris i» xriarf xxl ywmrrt oirlx; ro<xvrijv ydp Usui hi i rij» ilxotx, o'o'c eoTjf o' ruvms trariip.

The Son, looking into the will of the Father, has the knowledge of the idea of His own work; in other words, by gazing on the thoughts of the Father, He attains to the self-knowledge of that which is essentially the will of His own nature. But this introspection is brought about through the medium of their mutual love and nature.1

This remarkable theory contains already a "kind of speculative construction of the doctrine of the Trinity, out of the idea of the divine self-consciousness. The Father must see, must gaze upon, Himself. In the world, that is, in the created world, He cannot do this; for it is not His perfect image, unchangeable, eternal, divine. If it were, it would no longer be world, but would rather belong to the essence of God; it could neither be said to have become, nor to be now becoming. And, on the other hand, to suppose that genesis (das Werden) belongs to the character of God, is to substitute the heathenish in the place of the Christian conception of God. But if the world is not the other self, in which He can contemplate and know Himself, He must have a perfect image in and with Himself, and this image is designated Son. It belongs necessarily to the essence of God, and is as eternal as God, inasmuch as He can neither begin, nor ever cease, to know Himself. We see now, therefore, the significance of the thought which so frequently occurs in the writings of Athanasius,—apart from the Son, the Father would be without reason, without wisdom (knowledge), without the truth (without the knowledge of Himself, the truth). It has not the same import as it perhaps had in some of the older writers, that the Father, taken by Himself, has not in Himself the principle of all this, but the Son alone; for that would lead to the notion, so frequently repudiated by him, that God is a composite being; whereas he asserts the entire deity to be in the Father and in the Son.

1 De Trin. 2, 3: "Pater autem quomodo erit (sc. Pater), si non quod in se substantia atque naturae est, agnoscat in Filio? 9, 69: Tanquam speculum unus unius est, speculum autem ita, ut non imaginatam speciem naturae exterioris splendor emittat, sed dum vivens natura naturae viventi indifferens est. Comment. in Matt. c. 11, v. 27: Eandem utriusque (Patris et Filii) in mutua cognitione esse substantiam docet (Christus). Tract. in Psalm. ici. 6: Yoluntatem Patris Filius tanquam exemplum operationis introspicit, quia intra paternarum cogitationum providentiam. quadam futurarum rerum praedestinatione formantur (sc. res futures). Introspicit autem per mutuam caritatem atque naturam."

Nor can he mean to teach that the Son was a mere quality of the Father, that is, of God (compare, for example, c. Ar. 4, 4, 2); for then there would have been no need to battle with Arianism and Sabellianism, inasmuch as both would, without hesitation, have conceded the existence of such a Logos in the Father. His meaning must rather have been the following (especially as it was a common custom to attribute wisdom, reason, etc., to the Father also):—that divine self-knowledge, in other words, the divine knowledge "sensu eminenti," is inconceivable, save on the assumption, that a perfect image, a Son, stands over against Him, in whom He beholds Himself, or with whom He has self-consciousness.1 That a very decided step was thus taken in advance of the ante-Christian conception of God, needs no further elucidation; it deserves notice, however, that a deathblow was thus finally dealt at the view of the divine essence, as abstract, motionless, simplicity. The positing of a perfect image, in which the Father contemplates Himself, would be impossible, had not God previously discriminated Himself in Himself; in other words, were it not as just to apply the idea of distinction as that of unity to the divine nature. This point, opposed as it was alike to Sabellianism and to Arianism, was so far from being regarded as dangerous by Athanasius and the other Church teachers of that day, that they used it as a new argument for the refutation of their opponents, and as a fundamental principle for the development of the doctrine of God into a doctrine of the Trinity. That idea of God which excluded a Trinity, to wit, the idea of Him as shut up in His own sublimity, as incliscriminated in Himself, as the Monas, they considered to be false. They believed, on the contrary, that in God is eternal life, eternal movement. Who is able, says Athanasius (de decret. Nic. Syn. 12), to separate brightness from the sun, or to conceive of a fountain without life (c. 15)? God is not to be compared to a sea, which receives its water from without, but to a fountain.

1 After the above account, it will be impossible to give Baur the credit of having gone to the sources for the view of Athanasius contained in such words as—" At one time he regards the Son as a free subject, at another as selfless and dependent, without doing anything to combine the two ;" and, "no trace of an attempt to reconcile the unity with the distinctions is discoverable in his writings" (1. c. 439).

The divine fountain is never dry; light never lacks brightness. God is not unfruitful (ar/ovos). Were He ayovos, He would also be avevepyryros, and could not create; for He creates through the Son.1 This was a correct view to take of the matter, whether they had regard to the Scriptures which teach that the creation was the work of the Son, or to the circumstance (see above, pages 287 ff.) that, through the Trinity, the idea of God acquires that completeness in the self-consciousness by which pantheistic elements are excluded, and the idea of creation rendered possible; or, finally, to the consideration, that, through the Trinity, the idea of God as a self-occluded, motionless being, with which the existence of a world is. incompatible, is overcome, and that, with the assumption of a Son, who, inasmuch as He is deity under a fixed form, stands in a closer relation to finitude, a path of transition is opened to an external world.2 But that we must not merely say,—the Father and Son eternally coexist, but,—The Son is begotten by the Father, he demonstrates as follows: If we only say the former, we arrive at a double God (Si(f>vfj Oeov, c. Ar. 4, 3), at a duality of original beings, which do not derive their existence from some one being. The divine unity, therefore, is preserved by representing the Logos as derived from the Monas, not by introducing a dyas of beings, neither of which is the Father of the other. In like manner, Sabellianism also is to be condemned, because it shuts out a duality conciliated through the medium of unity. Athanasius reproaches it with fusing the distinct ideas of cause and effect (tunov Kui alruvrbv), of generator and generated, into one. On the contrary, Gregory Nazianzen remarks (or. 29, 2 ff.), carrying the matter out further in this aspect,—There were three cases possible: the divine might be represented either as an anarchy, or as a polyarchy, or as a monarchy.

1 C. Ar. 4, 4: El dyatos, xul dvuepytrros 6 ©eoff, yivtnrifiu ydp u.brov i

vlis, ii ov ipyx^trxi. Adv. Sab. Greg. Init.: The Jews have a God Ayo»t»

vlov, xxl Axxfsot ^urrof hiyov xxl ao(f)ixs uhritm^s. Athan. C. Ar. or. 1, 14, 19.

8 C. Ar. or. 1, 16: It is precisely the same thing to say,—God gives a share in Himself, as to say, He begets. No one teaches that the self-communication of God introduces division and separation into God; for, ,were it so, we could have no part in Him. But if we can have part in God, it follows, that the Son also can have part in Him, and that indeed "sensu eminenti;" for we can only have part in God, so far as He communicates Himself to us.

The first is disorder; the second brings tumult, and leads also to the disorder of a dissolution. We must regard monarchy, therefore, as the preferable alternative. Not, however, a monarchy circumscribed by one itpoaamov; for the one also revolts against itself (ecrri Kal To ev erraaid^ov irpos eavrov), in that it strives to pass into plurality; but a monarchy constituted by the like dignity of the essence (6fiorifila), by harmony of sentiment (jyvcofirj<; avfi'rrvoia), by identity of motion (ravrorrjs Kivrjaecos), and by inclination (awvevais) to one of them (the Father). In finitude, a plurality without division is an impossibility; but it is possible in God. For this reason, the Monas moved forward from the beginning into the Dyad, and finally came to a stand in the Triad (SiA rovro fiovh,s air' apyfjs et? BvdSa KivqOelaa, u&ypi rpidBos eari); and this we hold to be the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost,—the one the generator and producer (Tr/>o/SoXeu?), impassive, above time, incorporeal; the second, begotten; the third, produced (irp6fi\.rjfia). For we cannot venture, with some of the wise men of Greece, who, when discoursing of the first and second cause, compared God to an overflowing bowl, to designate these, overflowings of goodness (xnrepyyaiv). To do so, would be to run the risk of introducing an involuntary generation, a physical overflow, which God was unable to repress (irepirrevfiia <pvaucbv, BvatedBeicrov), and which would be totally unworthy of Him. Epistle 243, 7773o? Evdypiov iLovaypv (which, however, it is true, is probably spurious), employs, besides, the simile of a circle and its radii, which, although distinct, can yet only be thought in conjunction with each other; the simile of a word, which, without being separated from the speaking intellect, acquires, at the same time, an objective existence in the souls of the hearers, and, instead of separating, unites the souls; that is, a word continues identically the same as to essence, and yet exists in different forms. "As the rays of light have their peculiar constitution (tijv 71730s aXkrjka o-yiaiv), without division of substance, and are neither separated from the light nor cut off from each other, but carry the pleasant light to us; so also our Redeemer and the Holy Spirit, these twin rays, bring to us the light of the Father. They diffuse their blessings even to us, and yet they remain united with the Father." Accordingly, there are different modes of existence (et&rj) of one and the same substance (ovala) in the Trinity. There is one river (jila pofj), flowing forth from the one eye of the source (that is, from the Father) from the beginning; but there are two branches, inasmuch as the streams assume distinct forms (Bippirros, r&v irorafuav a^fumcrOemav rots etSeai). Although, therefore, the distinctions in God are termed three vipearSyres in point of number, as Athanasius saw in each hypostasis not merely a part of God, but the entire God (oXov oXov Tvitov Kal Tcwtov fiakXov rj afofiowfuz, compare Greg. Naz. or. 30, 20),—yet there is one deity, one <f>vai<; in all, and Father, Son, Spirit, are rpels ISUrrrjres voepai, TcXeiat, KaS" eairra? v<peor&aai (compare irpb<; 'Apeiav sub fin.), that is, three different modes of existence of one and the same whole.

With their derivation of the Trinity from the eternal vitality and movement of God in Himself, we must undoubtedly connect the circumstance, that Athanasius and Gregory Nazianzen were inclined to suppose that the generation was not merely an eternal, but an eternally continuous act. Otherwise, the act of generation would be represented as a single act of God; and God, therefore, must be concluded to have been imperfect prior to the act, if to generate and the thing generated pertain to His inmost essence.1

It will repay our labour to ascertain more exactly the views entertained by Basilius and Gregory of Nyssa on the subject of the Trinity. The main position of the former, in opposition to Eunomius, is,—the word "unbegotten" is a name, not of the essence of God, but of one of His modes of existence (c. Eun. 4, p. 763, C., inrdpyem<; T/307to? To dr/ewrirov Kal Ovk ovaias ovofia) ; the divine essence has other predicates. If every peculiar mode of existence brings with it a distinction in the essence, and if the Son cannot be of like substance with the Father, because He has one mode of existence peculiar to Himself and the Father another, men could not be of like substance with each other, because each of them has his own distinctive mode of existence.

1 Compare Greg. Naz. irtpl vlov Aoy. <*. (or. 29, 13). The Arians object,—e1 fiit oii iriiru ut rov yumcfv i Qtos, cire?nif fl yiv»nais, Xmt irore vxio,trut. He endeavours to show that it never ceases, although it can never be said to be ccrebns. Athan. c. Arian. 4, 12; Basil. c. Eunom. i, 760, ed. Paris, 1638, T. 1.

We regard Father, Son, and Spirit, therefore, not as different ovalas, but as names denoting the wrap^is of each of them (p. 765, B.). As they are all God, the Father cannot be more God than the Son; even as one man is not more man than another. Quantitative differences do not bear application to essences; there, it is either to be or not to be. But this does not make it impossible for the Son to be other than the Father (irepw; e%etr, p. 762); for example, the former is other in virtue of His generation. The dignity of both must be alike, for the essence of the generator and the generated must be one; and the effect is not always less than the cause (p. 761, B.). Were the ar/eiwrfrov a title of honour, it must be given to the Son also; and it does belong to Him, in so far as we understand by it, the uncreated, the unbegotten, the one who is without beginning (pp. 715, 719; c. Eun. L. 1). Whence, then, the necessity for a subjection in point of ra^is, or a precedence in point of time, finding place amongst those whose essence is one? Why could not the God of the universe coexist eternally with an image of Himself eternally reflected? In this case, therefore, we can only speak of an order involved in the inner relation of the matter itself, to wit, the relation of cause and effect. As the cause, the Father takes precedence of the Son (p. 720, C.); but although the Father in this respect may be termed greater (rc o Tt}? dp%j}s Kcli Tt}? curlas X6ycp), it does not interfere with the Ofiotiuov rrjs a^ios.

But notwithstanding that their essence and their dignity are equal, the one is not the other. The Unbegotten is God, it is true; but it is not a definition of God, for not everything which God is^is unbegotten. The conception of God is not covered by the term wyhwrjrov; but to the common essence must be superadded characteristic marks, which distinguish the Father and the Son. In the first place, the Father begets the Son. If God, as our opponents maintain, is not to be supposed to beget, for fear we should have to hold the doctrine of an efflux; let us also say that He does not create, in order that He may not become weary. But if God can create without being passible, much more can He beget without being passible (c. Eun. 4, 760). And in the second Book against Eunomius (p. 730), he sharply blames those who talk in a tone of compassion about the multitude, confuting opinions which they pretend only brutelike men can entertain respecting God; but who, whilst they themselves reject the figurative word generation, and, in rejecting the word, reject also the idea of the hypostatic essential equality of the Son and the Father, and leave unreproved those who lower the Son to the rank of a creature. Secondly, the Son,—such is the import of generation,—has His dpyv from the Father, in equality of essence (c. Eun. 2, 737). He is not a part of God, but oXos oXov yewryrbv; they are not two parts, made out of one whole, but are reXeia ovo (c. Eun. 4, 765). Nor is the element common to the two, a substance which existed prior to the persons, and which was divided, one part being given to the one, and another to the other; but the entire essence is in each, though each has it in a different mode. This mode constitutes the distinction or peculiar character (Suupoph, 1siott)<; XapaKrtjpl£ovaa, c. Eun. 1, p. 719; compare 2, 728). Now, whereas, in the case of men, the differences between those who are of like substance are constituted also thereby, that one has an advantage which the other has not; in other words, whereas human individuals are discriminated from each other also by limitation or privation (distinctions which in their very nature may be transitory, if the one acquires the advantage of which he was formerly destitute); such differences cannot exist in the Trinity. For each of the irpoaanra must possess all divine qualities and excellences. The distinctions, therefore, are not constituted by areprjais, that is, by one possessing an advantage which the other lacks: the distinctive characteristic must rather be something positive, something which does not involve the superiority either of the one or the other (c. Eun. 4, 765). Nor, on the other hand, is this positive something a superior quality pertaining to the divine essence. It is another mode of being of that essence; and the names, Father, Son, Spirit, are not absolute, but relative, designations; for, were they absolute designations, the three would be different essences. They refer to a relation of the irpoawrra, not primarily to the world, but rather to each other; just as the idea of Friend, of one who is begotten, says nothing regarding the essence, but is a relative idea which we can imagine to be connected with another essence. For this reason, Basilius, like Gregory of Nyssa and Athanasius, says,— The idea of the Father is given with that of the Son, and vice versa. This other mode of being or these ISiorrjres, which he also terms yapaKrrJpa<;, fiop<pa<; (c. Eun. 2, 744), distinguish the common substance, it is true, by characteristic marks (tot ? IBid&vcri yapcucrfipiri), but do not discmd it. For example, deity is common to all; Fatherhood and Sonship are distinctive peculiarities; and the union of the two, of the common and the peculiar (e/ c Ttjs kicaripov avfVifkoKfj^ rov re rcoivov Kal Tov lSiov), gives us the true conception of both.

How, then, do they describe the relation of these peculiar modes of existence of the one Deity to each other? In the first place, although totally distinct from, they are not contradictory to, each other; seeing that they share the same essence. Secondly, they do not merely exclude, but rather mutually presuppose, each other,—the one suggests to the mind the idea of the other. They stand in such an inner relation to each other, that the thought of the one necessarily involves the thought of the other; in other words, they are relative conceptions; even as one cannot think an angle, or a side of a triangle, separately, without thinking both. By way of explanation, Basilius uses the following illustrations:—The Son is like a seal, which expresses the entire nature of the Father, or like the knowledge which passes entirely out of the teacher (that is, out of a subjective mode of being) into the pupil, and acquires in this latter another (objective) mode of being. Or He may be compared to thoughts, which as products are different from the producing intellect, or from the movements of the intellect, but yet are, and remain, connected therewith, in a manner unaffected by the conditions of time. Neither Father nor Son is a designation of passivity; but both are relative ideas, which declare that the two are intimately united with each other, that they are inwardly related to, whilst distinguished from, each other (compare c. Eunom. 2,740, A., 737, B.). In consequence of this intimate relation between the irpoaanra, which makes it impossible to form a conception of the one apart from the other, the unity, the simplicity of God, is not endangered by the different rpcnroi trjs irn-dp^eo>s (p. 745). With equal justice we might say, that to affirm any plurality whatever of God, disturbs His simplicity. As the persons are internally connected with each other by the identity of their nature, and of their eternal point of departure; so also are they connected in their works, and yet remain distinct. Every work is accomplished by the entire Deity, by each person in a different way; so that we arrive at the formula,— the divine will, starting with or deriving its impulse from the first cause as from a source, passes through its own image, the God-Logos, in order to manifest itself in actuality (c. Eun. 2, 745, E.). It is true, the simplicity of God is in this case not so disturbed by the Trias, that a different conception is formed of it than that recognised by the Arians. The Arians reckoned thereto, the divine incommunicableness; the self-communication of God, which the Church represents as absolute in the relation between the Father and the Son, His image, they considered to be a passivity on the part of God. This, all the teachers of the Church deny. Negatively contrasting it with divisibility and composition, they view the simplicity of God positively in the following manner:—the occluded, eternal unity of the divine essence subsists in a trias of hypostases, which can neither be increased nor diminished, but are indissolubly conjoined with each other. This latter idea, Gregory of Nyssa especially has carried out. But Basilius also did something of the same sort, in his own way. If we ask, namely, whether, when he speaks of hypostasis, he means a person in the sense in which we use the term of men, we must answer, No. There is a resemblance between person and hypostasis, it is true, in so far as both are constituted by the superaddition of distinctive momenta to the common essence (by irpocrOrjicg of the ISuofiara, or of the ISid£ovaa ewoia, or of the yvapurfia, c. Eun. 2, 745). They resemble each other, further, in that each of the hypostases has something which the other has not (i^alpera IStafuna, de vera Fide, T. 2, 390). A difference between them, however, lies in what we have advanced above, namely, that each of the divine hypostases possesses all the qualities which can be regarded as superiorities;—a thing which cannot be said of human persons. With this is connected the further consideration, that whereas men can be numbered, number is inapplicable to God. Computability presupposes a separateness of existence which can have no place in God. We do not designate God one, at all, as to number, but as to essence; that is, we define Him as simple; whereas amongst creatures, even that which is one is not simple. It does not follow, because a thing is one in point of number, it is therefore simple; and that which is one as to essence, that is, simple, is not therefore one as to number: to the divine simplicity, the idea of number cannot be applied, for number relates to corporeal objects (Ep. ad Caes. 141, T. 3, 164). His idea seems to be, that whatever is subjected to the laws of number, is for that very reason not absolute. For the One involves the possibility of a duality (see above, page 303 f.), of a plurality of beings of the same genus; it implies therefore a limitation, which has no place with God. Sooner could we suppose Father, Son, and Spirit, if not the essence of God, to be subjected to number. But even this, Basilius refuses to allow (de spir. S. c. 18, T. 2, 334). "We do not maintain three Gods, but one essence. The king and his picture are one. But each of the hypostases is like itself alone, and therefore cannot be taken together with the others by computation. We cannot say of Father, Son, Spirit, one, two, three; but one Father, one Son, one Spirit."—In the last point, he goes undoubtedly too far, unless he means wholly to exclude number from the Trinity: for what objection can there be to comprising the three under the common idea of the rpoiros inrdp^ecos, and to saying, there are three hypostases 1 His intention, however, was simply to avoid viewing them as three Gods; the unity of essence, denominated deity, must remain unaffected by the triplicity; regarding the matter in the light of the deity alone, there is but a simple, indivisible unity. Basilius appears further to have been guided by the just feeling, that deity, divine essence, ought not to be taken as the higher, the generic conception, under which the three are subsumed; for if deity be the generic idea, it will scarcely be possible to avoid Tritheism, and then the distinctions in the divine substance would be divisions. Whereas everything wears a different aspect if hypostasis be taken as the common conception, under which are included Father, Son, and Spirit; for hypostasis can undoubtedly be a subject of computation, seeing that, as a relative idea, it suggests at once another like itself, which cannot be affirmed of the divine essence.

In this respect, the position taken up by Gregory of Nyssa is peculiarly interesting; for he enters into a more careful consideration of the question of the relation of the divine essence to the hypostases, and of the unity in the plurality.

Our opponents, says he (de s. trin. T. 3, 6 ff.), charge us at one time with Tritheism, at another time with Sabellianism, or the error of the Jews. We abhor both. In opposition to the heathen, we maintain the unity of the divine essence; in opposition to the Jews, the distinction of hypostases (Orat. catechet. Magna, T. 3, 43 ff.). We do not reject every sort of plurality, but merely that kind which penetrates so deeply as to discerpt the essence of God; for that is heathenish. The truth holds its onward course between the two, Heathenism and Judaism; overthrows the heresies on both sides, and adopts what is good from all. By the unity of essence, we cut away the phantastic plurality of Heathenism, and so heal the heathen; by number, on the other hand, in the form in which we hold it (the plurality of hypostases), we cure the Jews (Cat. c. 3). But now it is possible for the same thing to fall under number, and yet not to fall under number, to be distinguished as to hypostasis without being divided as to the substratum (inroKeifievov); a vague notion may be formed, but it cannot be clearly expressed. That there is a plurality of hypostases in God, he deduces, in the first place (Cat. M. 1, 2), from the consideration, that no one maintains that God is devoid of utterance or word. If God be not without word, it follows that He must have a Logos (X6yov eyeiv Tov firj akoyov). It is true, that men also have word, without therefore having the Logos. But the word must be conceived to be appropriate to the nature of which it is an utterance; and will have a loftier import in the case of God; in our case, a lower import, agreeably to the finitude of our nature. Indeed, the same thing holds good of power, wisdom, life; all which pertain to us also, though in limited measure. In accordance with our nature, our word has no fixed form (airarpj<;). But when we speak of the word of God, we must not suppose that it has merely a momentary existence in the movement of the speaker, and that it immediately disappears again. On the contrary, just as the word of our perishable nature is perishable, even so the word of the eternal and unchangeable essence of God is eternal and substantial. But from the idea of the eternity of the divine word, we must advance to that of its vitality; for it cannot be regarded as lifeless, after the manner of stones; on the contrary, its subsistence is so completely incorporeal and spiritual, that it would have no subsistence at all, if it had no life. As spiritual, it is further to be deemed simple and not composite; from which it follows^ that it does not merely participate in life, whilst it has its subsistence in some other being, for on the latter supposition, it would be composite. Seeing, however, that it is not composite, but simple, it must be life in. itself (avro&rjv elvai rov X6yov). If the divine word is a living Word, it must be able to determine, to form resolutions; and this capacity (irpoaiperiidj Bvvafus) cannot be impotent, but must be conjoined also with power. Now the almighty will of this Word is always inclined to the good and never to the evil, and is able also to carry out whatever good it may resolve. Accordingly, everything is created through the Logos; He is able to do what He will, and He wills only the good, the perfect, the wise (compare Eupp's " Gregory of Nyssa," pp. 168 ff.).

But as far as concerns the relation of the Logos to the Father, he goes on to say,—The Word is different from Him whose word it is; it is, in a certain sense, one of the relative ideas (r&v irpos ri Xeyofiivav iorlv), for a word suggests a speaker. Accordingly, Judaism is kept at a distance. Even a human word is something different from the mind, and yet it is not separated from it, nor is it identical therewith; for the word renders the mind (vovs) visible (a7ei ek To i)upaves) or reveals it. Hence Gregory of Nyssa regards the relation between Father and Son as an inner self-revelation of God. By its independent subsistence, the Word is distinguished from Him through whom it exists; but having the same attributes as God (for example, goodness, power, wisdom, etc.), it is by nature one with God (Cat. M. c. 2). Should some one reply,—If you count three hypostases, why do you not count (in other words, hypostatize) the other attributes, but say, One power, one goodness ?—we answer,—Because we believe in one deity, and because the attributes together constitute this deity, or the divine essence. Inasmuch now as we know the divine essence solely from its works and revelations, one may also say,—By deity, as it exists for us, we understand the divine activity (ivipyeia). But this, too (like all the divine attributes), pertains to all three hypostases, though to each after its own manner (de s. Trin. T. 3, 6 ff.).

Relatively to the Trinity, Gregory lays special stress on the distinction between the ideas ova la and vnwraai?, — ideas which at an earlier period were frequently confounded, because vrr6araavt was held to be etymologically identical with substance (Heb. i. 3); whereas ovala, as opposed to a mere notion, or to a merely phaenomenal existence, might be employed to denote the real substantial distinction in God; for as actual realities they can be termed ovalcu. But the distinctive feature (isikw, Isi6trj<;) was not designated thereby. Gregory now sets apart the word vrroaraai s to express the distinctive peculiarity, and employs it no longer in the sense of oiaia, of substance, as the Nicene Fathers, and with them Athanasius, had frequently done, but as equivalent to irpoacoirov, interchanging the terms inr6or(wis and irpoaanrov. On account of the misuse of the latter word by the Sabellians, he limited himself to the former when he aimed at logical precision, for in his view it expressed the real objective substance of the ISiicbv.1

Gregory devoted three works to the discussion of this question, and contributed materially to fix the uncertain usage of the Church :—the work "De differentia essentia et hypostasis" (T. 3, 32 ff.); the "Quod non tres Dii sint" (T. 3, 15 ff.); and the Ilepl Koiv&v iwoi&v (T. 2, 82 ff.). In the first-mentioned work, he describes it as an error common to both Arianism and Sabellianism, to confound the two ideas of essence and hypostasis. Because the hypostases are different, therefore, say the Arians, the essence also is different; because the essence is one and the same, say the Sabellians, therefore there can only be one hypostasis. But they ought to be discriminated as follows :—ovala is the common element; the hypostases are to be defined as the centres of unity of the distinctive peculiarities (crvvSpofirj T&v irepl eicaarov IBicofMircov, 1. c. p. 35; compare Basi1. c. Eun. 2, 728); and these hypostases are incommunicable in relation to each other, and cannot meet in one common hypostasis (ret ISicofiara or yvaplafiara yapaKTqpi^ovra Tom inroaraaei<;, aKoivcovryra, aavfifiara, 1. c. p. 32).

1 The divine essence, oiW« or ixoktlfit»o», he does not term hypostasis, though there can be no doubt that he ought to have ascribed to it that which we call personality, because personality is the highest form of spirituality, and spirituality in its full compass belongs, according to Gregory, to the very essence of God. His view of the matter therefore was,—he had not at all fully developed it,—that the one divine Ego exists in the three hypostases; in each, however, after a different manner;—each hypostasis is a particular form of the Ego.

So far ought we to be from interchanging essence and hypostasis, that the latter is related to the former as an accident (avfifiefirjKora) is related to its substance (irepl K. evvot&v, p. 88). Now, as hypostasis is that which discriminates those who have the like essence (Father, Son, Spirit), and as each of them has this distinctive characteristic, Gregory is perfectly right in not hesitating to apply number to them (T. 2, 82): he treats the hypostasis, however, and not the essence, as the One, which repeatedly occurs in the Trinity (" Quod non tres Dii," p. 17: 'O fiev tav inroardcrecov Xcyo? Bui rh<; evOeapovfievws lBiorrjra<; eicaarip Tov Biafiepiafiov eirtBeyerai, Kol Kara awOeaiv iv apififup Oempeircu, the hypostases can be counted by addition, 97 Be <f>vai<; fi[a early). But if the three hypostases can be counted, and are incommixtible (no fu^i<; nor dwwcv/cXiiais of the hypostases can take place, because the distinction between cause and effect, the Buuf>oph Kara To Cuttov teal ahiarbv, always remains); if they are oiacai fiepiKal, or, more precisely, if each is Isikcl, arofiov orrep earl irpoAcoitov (T. 2, 83), the question arises, Does not this lead to Tritheism? This question is handled in detail in his other two works. Ablabius had asked,—Peter, James, and John are called three men, although they have one nature; and it is not absurd, therefore, to use the plural of the term nature, in reference to several beings of the like substance. And yet we are suddenly told that the sacred Trinity is an exception to the rule; that Father, Son, Spirit, are three, and of like nature, and yet are not to be counted as three Gods. Gregory's answer seems at first sight strange; but it is rooted, and that deeply, in the realistic character of his entire view of the world. It is an abuse of language, says he (3, 17), to describe those who have the same essence as several, by applying to them the plural of the word nature. The word "man" denotes the nature which is common to all, and this nature can only be one; there are not many human natures. The nature is in itself incapable either of increase or of alteration. And yet we use the word which describes the nature in the plural, and speak of many men; which is just as if there were many human natures, or many humanities. Gregory, therefore, does not protest against all counting whatsoever, but against the use of a word to denote plurality, which has been coined to denote the nature, which cannot be multiple. Those who think of three Gods fall into precisely the same error. The idea of God, or of the deity, is one, indivisible; there exists but one simple divine essence; the plurality does not affect this essence itself, but merely the hypostages, each of which contains the entire essence. It is wrong, therefore, to speak as though the divine essence itself were a plurality. If we wish to speak accurately, scientifically, we ought not to attribute that to the essence, which falls solely into the sphere of the hypostases. Consequently, the idea of God must not be treated as the generic idea under which Father, Son, and Spirit are subsumed, but the idea of hypostasis. This he expresses in various ways. The essence is not divided in the three Persons, therefore also not the word "God;" for it denotes the essence. That unscientific mode of expression is attended with no danger when we speak of men, because scarcely any one will fall on the notion of several humanities. But when we speak of God, we must use greater accuracy; for if we say that there are several Gods or divinities, we lose the idea of God altogether: we no longer have any God at all, seeing that God is simple and unchangeable (3, 25 f.). In the case of humanity, it is, to a certain extent, allowable to treat the word man, although it denotes the essence, not as the self-same, identical, simple essence, but as capable of change, and of being used in the plural form. For that which falls within the compass of the idea man is, in fact, mutable; of those who bear the name man, there are at one time more, at another time less; at one time these, at another those. He means to say, therefore, that in the case of the human race, humanity itself is, to a certain extent, drawn into the change of the individuals, so that it is partly justifiable to use the term in the plural. But in the Holy Triad there remain eternally the same irpoaayrra; these irpixruma continue eternally the same; they admit of no increase to a Tetrad, no diminution to a Dyad, of no growth and no termination (2, 84). Herein lies not only the thought, that the idea of God, which excludes change and multiplicity of Gods by its simplicity, does not allow of being subjected to the law of number, but also the beginnings of an answer to the further near-lying question,—Whether the persons of the Trinity are not distinguished from each other, as, for example, human persons are distinguished? Individual men are peculiar modes of existence of the entire genus. The question is negatived. There is undoubtedly a certain similarity; namely, neither in the case of God nor of man is it allowable to identify essence and hypostasis; nor is it just to regard the latter as the former when we wish to speak precisely,—for example, to speak of the Son as a God. But there is also a difference; and the perception of this difference prevents us in another direction from using language which implies that there are three Gods. We are able to conceive of a man by himself; he is so subjected to the laws of space, especially through his body; he is so externally separated from others, that counting has its full import as applied to him. And when several carry on the same work, each usually accomplishes it by himself, and separated from the rest (T. 3, 22, 25). Indeed, the loose connection between, the isolation of, the persons of the human race, mark their mutability. It is otherwise in God; for no conception whatever can be formed of the one hypostasis apart from, but solely in and with, the two others, and there is not room for a more or a less. They are relative conceptions, which stand or fall with each other; and are therefore conjoined in the most intimate manner to a solidaric unity.1 This idea is then developed, both in relation to their being and to their operation. In regard to the former, Gregory refers to the fact, that not all human irpoaanra are derived from one irpoaairov, but each from a different one. In the Holy Triad, on the contrary, everything proceeds forth from one centre of unity, the Father, who on that account is termed Kvpiav; God,2 because in His hypostasis, as it were, divinity has its principial seat (apyy)? But as to the operation of the hypostases, all divine activity proceeds forth from the Father as the primary impulse, advances onwards through the Son, and culminates in the Holy Spirit.

1 De diff. ess. et hyp. p. 36 :—The author of the Epistle to the Hebrews (c. i. 3) speaks as xxrxuxtvx^ut To A}>ixvtxtus iiritotioixi icxrpl rot vlov. —So also is the Son involved in the conception of the Father :—Sart rot xapxxrripi Tow fiovoyivovs oix to» Tris ^VXt)s ip.fixrut xtxritloxtrx, Xxl r)j{ Tow ,irxrpos virootxoeue. et irtptvoix yitiodxi, ovx eirxTChxooofiitmr. ovoi avvxnxfuyuvfiirns rijf itxpovftitns xirols ihornros, Sort % Tq irxrpl rw yittwit tj viu znu AyitvYialxt iirifiopQxfyit, etc. Ovb"i ydp torl ivtxroty vlot ovouxaxvrx f&n r.xi irurpos it irtpitoicf yttiaixi, oxirtxuf rijf irpoanyoflxs ruires xxl rot irxrtpx ovtxvxipxivovo»il.

* That is, because He is the principle of the hypostatical element in the two others, but not of their divine nature. At all events, he says (2, 82 ff.), —Not as God, is the Father this distinct hypostasis (that is, Father); otherwise the Son would not be God.

'T. 2, 85 :—°E» yap xxl To «wto ^pionirot Tow irxrlpos i% ov 6 w/of yet

txrxI xxi rO irtlVfix ro xy. tXIToptVtrxf 0(0 xxl kVDIUs rot ttx xIrIot o'Jrx rUt

xiirov xlrixrut, itx ©lo'v 0xfiev.

Every work, therefore, passes through the three points or prosopa, irrffq, ivipyeia, rekewais; in their respective activity, which setting forth, as it does, one movement and one governing (tciV^at? Km BiaKoafi'qais), of the good divine will, they are not separated by time.1 Accordingly, the Son is immediately out of the first (irpoaeyw eic Tov irpdnov), and the Spirit is immediately through that which is out of the first (Quod non tres, etc. fin.). Not, therefore, by time, not by place, not by will, not by work, are the persons separated.2 Not even number bears a full application to them, because they are essentially connected, and in no respect separated, momenta of the entire divine essence (T. 3, 25). Those things alone can be arithmetically added which have an ISia 'rrepvypa^rj; such an iZla irepir/pcuprj is possessed alone by objects corporeally bounded; consequently, the divine cannot be counted. Gregory, therefore, employs also an expression which connects the hypostases (avfJ.fiefi'qKOra) more closely with the essence, without, however, confounding them therewith; to wit, the divine nature is simple, but it is discriminated in itself (Suxpopav Se 7r/w eavrijv e%«), as becomes its majesty (c. Eun. 1, 342). What his meaning was, will probably be clear from another passage (de differ. ess. et hyp. pp. 33, 34). The Trinity, says he, presents us with an enigma—a conjoined distinction (Sidtepiais awrjfiivrj) and a discriminated conjunction (BiaiceKpifievrj axn/dxpeia). He employs a beautiful image to show that the distinction need not destroy the unity, nor the unity exclude the distinctive (t&v yvcopiafidrmv To ISidfyv). The rainbow is a reflection of light which, whilst it proceeds forth from, is also refracted back to, the sun. To the light corresponds the divine essence. The light in the rainbow and in the sun is one; but in the rainbow the light, which in itself is one, arrives, as it were, at its maturity. The one light does not therefore distribute itself into many lights, but the colours of the rainbow remain conjoined in unity, and although clearly distinct each from the other, shade away imperceptibly into each other.

T. 3, 22 :—Ylxax t'Apytix r i itiiw Iti Tij» Xttitd iirixovax, xxl xxrx ras irdhvrpiirovs i»otxs ovofix^ofitvn, ix irxrpos dQopfi&txi kul hx Toe viov irp&iioi, xxl h Tu xyitp rt"htiovrxi. Aix Towto ill irhiiios rut ivepyovvrv» To fitofix rijf htpytlxs ov iicurjd^erat.

2 T. 2, 85 :—Ovre ydp xp6»tp Ztxiptnxi olXXiiAxx rct ^piowxx rtn icarnros, ovrt Tttsrp, oil /3ottA7j ovx tirnnieifixri, oltx htpyttx, ov irxdtt oviivl roiovru», oixirtp hcpurxi Irri rut x»dpu^u»' tj fiiuov, ori 6 xxrrip irxrrtp tori, xxl oiy vUsr etc.

After the same manner may the hypostases be represented as the full-blown flower of the one divine essence; its distinctive characteristics beam forth from each of the three whom we believe to constitute the sacred Triad, as from the rainbow. No difference, however, can be perceived between the essence of the one and that of the other; but along with the unity of essence, there shine forth from each the peculiarities by which it is known (mcnrep roivvv iv T£> inroBeiyfiari (sc. 7779 2/>iSo?) Kal T«? r&v ypapArmv Biacpopas <pavep&<; Buvytvu>aKOfiev, Kal Bidaraaiv erepov irpbs erepov Ovk Hem rfj ahrOrjaei Xa/3eti/, Ovtu) fioi X6yicrai Bvvarbv elvai Kal irepl rmv Oelcov Boyfidrcov avaXoytaacrOcu, ra<; fiev T5>v vrroardo~eav lBi6rrjra<;, &cnrep n avOos T5>v Kara. rfjv Xpiv irpcxpaivofiivcov irraarpdirreiv eicdorip r&v iv 777 071a rpidSi 'rreiriarevfievcov Ttjs Be Kara rfjv <pvo~iv lBiorrjro<; fw)Befilav erepov wpo? To erepov errivoeurOai BuKpopav, aX\' eV rfj KOivorryrt T7)? ovaias ra<; yvapiariKas l&i6njra<; irroXdf//rreiv etcaorp).1

A more careful examination, therefore, shows that there is «o ground for reproaching him with Tritheism. It is incorrect co say, that Gregory conceives the hypostatic distinctions in the Trinity to be related to each other as are two individual men; for, on the contrary, he rather reduces the entire distinction between Father and Son to this—that the former is the Cuttov, the latter the alriarbv (ir. K. i. p. 85), whereas the distinctions between actual men are much deeper.2

1 T. 3, 36 :—Bead further, Kxl yap xixti h iira&ttyficm i dirxvyxfyvax riJ» Kri.vxpuiio!t ixiivnu xvyw fitx ovai'x riv, ii iix rrjf faiuxtiis Xxtivos citxxKupt.fon, To 8^ d»do$ Tow Qxmoftitov ^ohvtibis, itxiitvovros oluxi Tos Xiyov xxl riis xrlatus, fir i xxmoirxMv roll irtpl rov liyfixros *6yois, or«» lls To' ivadeupriTo» tfiiriaonrts (1. ifiiripufitii) tpcs rn» avyxxrxiiatv ru» hiyofihuv.

2 Baur's view of Gregory (1. 0. p. 453) is inaccurate, because he has not taken into consideration the chief works which bear upon this point. The imperfection of his acquaintance with Gregory is particularly clear, from the judgment contained in the words,—"What he says respecting the unity of < man' is plainly invented in the interest of the Christian doctrine of the Trinity." Nor would he otherwise need to say (p. 451), that he cannot quite make out what Gregory means to teach. The judgment just quoted proves also that Baur has taken no notice of Gregory's work, xtpi xxrxaxtviis xvipiiirov; for its fundamental idea (c. 16, 17, ed. Bas. 1567) is, that humanity before God is to be considered as one man. Compare Rupp's "Gregor v. Nyssa," pp. 175 ff.

In connection herewith it must be carefully borne in mind, that neither Gregory nor his age generally, regarded the Ego as the central feature of the person. He considered human irpoaarira to be formed by the irepvypa<prj or circumscription of human nature, and by the Isikov, the principle of individuation or the distinctive characteristic. Men are constituted drofia by both together. These urOfia are not described as Egos, but merely as the centres of unity of the characteristics, which distinguish the one from the other (avvSpop.rj Tu>v ISuofiarcov, 3, 35). Equally far is he from speaking of an Ego in connection with the divine hypostases; and it is the more unjust to charge Gregory with teaching three divine Egos, as he takes pains to forefend the application to the sphere of the divine, of the series of determinations by which one finite individual is distinguished from the other. If he defines the divine hypostases also to be awSpofuij r$>v ISimfuiTgw, it is in a different sense from that in which he uses the expression relatively, for example, to men; as is very evident from the simile of the rainbow. Had Gregory more carefully examined the matter, he would undoubtedly have arrived at the conviction, that to be an Ego, or to have self-consciousness, is the highest form under which spirit in general can appear; he must therefore have reckoned it to pertain to the ovala of God (see note, page 313), and have regarded the Ego as the common inroKelfievov of all three. Gregory does not plainly teach, as did Athanasius, that the eternal self-consciousness of God is brought about or mediated by the trinitarian distinctions; though there are faint traces of such an idea in his writings:— for example, when he appears to represent the Logos as an inner revelation in God Himself (C. M. c. 2); or when he says,— "As a man who has looked upon the expression of his form in a clear mirror, so he who knows the Son has taken up into his heart the distinctive characteristic of the hypostasis of the Father through his knowledge of the Son" (de differentia, etc., p. 37).

When we glance backwards at the period through which we have passed, with a view to determining the doctrinal progress made, relatively to the higher aspect of the Person of Christ, we find it to be in the main the following. The two factors, the true divinity and the hypostatical character, of the higher element in Christ, of which the former had had the predominance in the Church during the second, the latter during the third century, were destined to unite and coalesce by interpenetration during the fourth century, if things took their orderly course. As it were, in order that this process of interpenetration might be properly accomplished, it happened that each of the two factors found its own representative, the one in the new Sabellians, the other in the new Arians; and that the two confronted each other at one and the same time. The former asserted the true deity, eternal, non-subordinate, and itself the apyrj, but conceded no distinct hypostasis to Christ; hence the possibility of a relapse into Docetism or Ebionism. The latter affirmed the hypostasis; but it is one that bears merely the name of divinity, and, as a creature, remains constantly outside of God. Each of these parties, in their mutual antagonism, repudiated the factor affirmed by the other; whereas the Church teachers of the second and third centuries, whilst giving predominance, now to the deity and then to the hypostasis, had always tacitly recognised the non-predominant factor. The consequences of retaining the one factor to the exclusion of the other being thus set livingly and clearly before the mind of the Church, it saw the necessity of combining both together, and prepared to accomplish its task. But it was precisely to this combination that the two heresies above mentioned were equally strongly opposed; for its realization would be their extinction. Earnest attention was devoted to the problem from the commencement of the fourth century onwards, in Alexandria, as we see from the labours of such men as Peter of Alexandria, Hierakas, Alexander, and others. Alongside, however, of this line of thinkers, who alone were occupied with the further development of dogmas, there arose another party which adhered more rigidly to the system of Origen. Partly because it coalesced with elements of the older school of Antioch (that of Lucian); and partly, because, for the one it bridged the way over to Arianism, and for the other to a higher view of Christ, this party speedily attained great influence and dimensions. Eusebius of Caesarea was its chief representative. For a long time, it looked upon itself as the true golden mean between the two extremes; inasmuch as it actually did bring about an apparent union of the factors, by commingling the Sabellian and Arian principles. Had the great teachers of VOL. II. x

the Church, however, contented themselves with this seeming solution of the problem, that sharp separation of principles which was destined to bring about the crisis and to prepare the way for a higher union, would have been a lesson given in vain. Instead of making progress, the Church would then, in the best case, have been forced to fall back on the vague and indeterminate doctrinal condition of the third century. The peace thus established, would have been merely apparent; for the Christ of the Semi-Arians was not in a position to accomplish that work of atonement and deliverance which the Church believed their Christ to have accomplished. The Church was compelled to adhere to its conviction, that the inmost, the veritable divine had been revealed to and conferred on humanity, in Christ; whereas the delusive nature of the solution furnished by Semi-Arianism was demonstrated by the circumstance, that its conception of God was essentially identical with that of Sabellianism and Arianism, and that it was as incapable as they of expressing the fulness of the Christian revelation. This is specially apparent from the position taken up by Eusebius relatively to Marcellus. Marcellus, with a view to establishing the true deity of the higher element in Christ, taught that the Logos was coeternal with God; and, in order to exclude all subordination, affirmed Him to be an wyevVtjtov like God. At the same time, in agreement with the Arians, he required of the teachers of the Church, that if they meant to assert the true divinity of the higher element in Christ, they should represent the Logos also, and not the Father alone, as cuyewrjrov. By this Marcellus did not merely mean, that the Logos must have true deity (that aseity must pertain also to Him); but in excluding lyiwqais, he deemed himself also under the necessity of excluding the Sonship and the particular hypostasis of the Logos. To Eusebius, not merely the latter, but also the former, seemed very objectionable. For, even though Marcellus were free from the fault of denying the hypostasis, in his view, to introduce the Logos, after this manner, into the inmost divine sphere, would involve the assumption of a plurality of divine apyai, that is, Polytheism or Dualism (de eccl. theol. 1, 5, 2, 12); from which it is evident, that the hypostasis of the Son, according to Eusebius, is unsuitable to the inner divine essence, and must destroy the unity of God and of the divine self-consciousness. He cannot, therefore, have regarded Christ as the absolute revelation of the Most High God Himself, but must have believed that God remains shut up in Himself. That Sabellianism also participated, against its own will, in the incommunicableness of God which characterizes Arianism and Semi-Arianism, so far as it did not fall back into Patripassianism, we have seen above.

What position did the teachers of the Church take up in relation to this matter?

I. With the Arians, they advanced decidedly beyond the Sabellian idea of substantiality (the traces of which are still discernible in the ir\arvafio<; of the Monas, taught by Marcellus) to that of causality; in the first instance, with regard to the relation between God and the world. They thus excluded everything of the nature of Pantheism. All that is called world, was absolutely caused by the first cunov, which itself has no cause higher than itself. Accordingly, everything truly divine stands over against the yevryrot<; (that is, the world), aa ayivvrjrov, or, more precisely, ar/evqrov. So far they were agreed with the Arians. So also, in conceiving that the higher element in Christ existed in the highest, that is, in the hypostatical form, and neither as mere activity, influence, nor as an indwelling of the entire God in general, which would have involved Patripassianism or Docetism. For this reason, the distinction between airiov and Cutuurov, generator and generated, must not be allowed to sink down into identity.

II. But instead of supposing, as did the Arians, that the highest had been predicated of God when they had predicated irpa>rov aXnov and wyevvqala, they say,—To describe God as the cause of the world, is not to describe His essence (otherwise He would be merely the substance or the force of the world); nor, when we deny that He is caused like the world, or attribute to Him wyewrjaia, have we described His true essence, for this is a merely negative determination. All that the ar/ewrjala does, is to bring the chain of causality to a stand still; it does not bring the cause itself to perfection. And though the teachers of the Church do not view the ovyewtjala positively, as the eternal self-grounding of God, of which no conception can be formed apart from a Trinity, and in which the Son also participates, the distinction just referred to, between generator and generated, between aSrutv and alriarov, leads to the same result; for it implies that causality has a place also in the divine essence, that God stands to Himself in the relation of cause and in the relation of effect. The emptiness and abstract simplicity of the deistic conception of God they despise, and refuse altogether to allow that the highest in God or His essence is described when we say,—He is the cause of the world, or He has not Himself been caused; their conception of God includes, besides the idea of causality, also the spiritual ideas of love and wisdom. However highly they may estimate the significance of the idea of causality relatively to the world, they assign it but a secondary or subordinate position when they treat of the conception of the divine essence. So is it to be understood when the Fathers say,—The Son is partly not to be subsumed at all under the category of causality, for He does not form part of the world, but is ar/ivrjros; and yet the category bears a partial application to Him (for He is yevvrjrb<;, a yiwrifjM of the Father, and this ensures the unity along with the distinctions), though in a subordinate, secondary sense (avfifiefirjte6rco<;). For that He is caused, is not His essence, otherwise He might be a "contingens" like the world, which, the ground of its existence lying out of itself, has the firj 6v cleaving to it. The essence of the Son is the divine itself, the ar/hnjrov (as Marcellus teaches); and, compared with this His absolute essence, His relation to the Father, His being begotten (such is the form in which he presents the category of causality), is a secondary feature. The yvcopurwcal ISiorirres are avfifiefirjkvicu in comparison with the essence or with the conception of God, of which the Son forms as necessary a part as God Himself.

III. If, now, that which constitutes the Son (and the Spirit) a particular hypostasis is a avp.fiefirjKb<; in comparison with His divine essence, a secondary relatively to the common primary, it might appear as though the view propounded by Marcellus, who regarded 9II distinctions in God as merely momentary, posited for our sake, but not as required by the divine essence itself, were justified. The intention of the Church teachers, however, was not to reduce the Triad in God to something accidental, to something dependent on the will of the Monas. We have seen even Origen striving to advance beyond such a representation: the teachers of the fourth century had decidedly advanced beyond it (see above, pp. 301 ff.); for they regarded it as necessary to the full conception of the living God, that He should exist in the form of a Triad. We have also already come upon very remarkable attempts to show that the triplicity is a necessary one. But attempts of this nature could never succeed, unless the three hypostases were presupposed to be perfectly equal in dignity; and this presupposition was adopted in the following form:—They are equal in essence, in the fulness of attributes, divinity pertains alike to all; they are included in that unity of the divine essence which must be taken as the point of departure; the eternal diremption of that unity, therefore, with the iSuofiara of the individual hypostases to which it gives rise, can no longer be deemed incompatible with their equal dignity and deity; this stands firm once for all, the ISuofuvra yapaicrqpi(mKa are for it something indifferent (avp.fiefirjKOs). But they are by no means, in every respect, something accidental; on the contrary, they are required both by the Christian faith and by the Christian conception of God, which has left behind it the lifeless, selfabsorbed *Ov of the ages preceding the advent of the Redeemer. The Christian God,—this is implied by the constructive efforts referred to,—opens Himself, in the first instance, in and for Himself (placing Himself over against, knowing and loving, Himself), and then for the world. This height was ascended neither by the Arians, with their idea of causality, nor by the Sabellians, with their substantiality, nor by the Semi-Arians :—indeed, such a conception of God was derivable neither from the Platonic philosophy, nor from any other region of the ante-Christian world. But undoubtedly the Church teachers, in order to be able to place the Son as the objectified divine over against the objectifying Father, must needs partially renounce the conception of hypostasis, which had been frequently laid down in the third century, and by the Semi-Arians, and which was essential to Arianism. To Arians, the main matter was the hypostasis, which they viewed as essentially finite, with whatever lofty predicates they might adorn it. The personality of the Son, so understood, has in it an exclusive, a repelling element, and cannot at all be represented as endowed with the veritable divine nature, without an approximation to Paganism, that is, to Tritheism. It is therefore deserving of all recognition, that from the moment the Church clearly saw that the problem awaiting solution was the full union of essential deity with the hypostasis, new dogmatical terms were coined, in order to define the word Hypostasis more precisely, and in such a manner as to show its reconcilability with the unity of the deity. Such terms were Suupopal, Siaicplaeis, To eripcol eyeiv, To Isikov, ISui&v, awSpofial or AvflirXoKal T&v ISuofiar(ov, or T&v yvcopio~riK&v yapaKrripi^ovcr&v IBiorrjrmv, Tt}s ISia^ova-rjs iwoias, T&v i^aipercov ISiaftariOv, T&v Isux^ovtav yapaKrrjpav, aXrjfJiariafio<; T&v elB&v, that is, points of unity, foci, or central-points for the marks by which the distinctions are constituted; and starting with this, it was possible to speak of three principles in God, for example, under the image of three connected suns. Further, rpanroi inrdp^eox;, fiop(f>al, fj irpos aWrjXa a^eaY? T&v irpoacoirav, etSrj, iStOr^re?. As the content of the divine essence, its fulness, is common to all three, the distinction can only relate to form, or to the different modes of existence which are eternally contained in, or appertain to, the one deity, and which are the presupposition of God's revelations and their diversity. With all this, these Fathers by no means succeeded in answering the further questions which here suggested themselves; though, as far as lay in their power, they prepared the way for a further development of Christian knowledge. This they would not have done, but, on the contrary, would have stifled all further activity of the Christian mind, under the pretext of the Trinity being an absolute and unapproachable mystery, if, as many seem still to suppose, they had appropriated the Arian, or even the Semi-Arian conception of God, and therewith the problem, that three are no more than one. But, in fact, they objected quite as strongly to subjecting the hypostases to number in respect to then' essence, that is, to their divinity, as the entire deity itself, notwithstanding that it has the distinctions eternally in itself. They were as zealous in opposing those abstract and exclusive representations of the Monas, which reduced it to something finite, as against circumscribing the hypostases in a finite manner (irepvypa<prj). The consequence whereof plainly was, that the hypostases were approximated more nearly to the divine essence than was possible for Arianism, whilst at the same time, unlike Sabellianism, they did not represent the distinctions as affecting God merely in His relation to the world, or reduce them to mere activities, or, in the best case, to different modes of the divine existence, t'n the world.

It must of course be allowed, that the doctrine of the Trinity, as laid down even by the Nicene Fathers, leaves much to be desired. In one point above all, to wit, that the Father is represented, not merely as the logical commencement of the trinitarian process, but not seldom also, as the root and source of all deity and identified with the Monas. He thus acquires a predominance which necessarily involves the subordination of the Son and Spirit. But it would be a gross misapprehension of the spirit of the Church during the fourth century, to suppose that the subordination of the Son and Spirit therein involved, was distinctly intended; above all, to maintain that it is "the one essential determination, in comparison with which all other determinations must withdraw to the background" (Baur 1. c. p. 468). Inasmuch as these teachers of the Church, on the contrary, uniformly resisted everything of an Arian character, and plainly gave decided prominence to the idea that Son and Spirit are of like substance, like honour, like glory, and coeternal with the Father, and deny that they lack any excellence possessed by the Father; inasmuch, further, as they even go so far as to lay down the principle, that the causal relation between Father and Son does not involve the subordination of the Son under the Father, that the Son is as far exalted above originated things as the Father; and make the proviso, that if the causal relation imply that the cause lies outside of the effect, the idea of causality is altogether inapplicable to the Son (compare Basi1. c. Eun. 1, 715, D.); and, lastly, when we find that the teachers of the Church in general maintain, that that which distinguishes one hypostasis from the rest (that, therefore, which is peculiar to it, but not to the others), cannot be subsumed under the category of having (eft?, Haben), and of deprivation (arep^ai?), that it implies no superiority, but merely signifies the peculiar being, which in all three is of like dignity, and also equally divine; the afore-mentioned predominance given to the Father as the Monas, cannot be regarded as intentional, but simply as an unvanquished remnant of the ideas which prevailed during the third century. The historian, therefore, if he is minded not to mistake the living pulse of the entire dogmatical movement, must at this point take pains to recognise the true nature of the task reserved for the next period, and which demanded the complete separation of the old, heterogeneous elements. That the complete equalization of the hypostases was, and continued to be, the goal of the collective efforts of the Church, is evident, not merely from the course pursued by the doctrine of the Trinity, during which, by means of the idea of the irepiymfrrjai s of the persons in each other, on the one hand, and in the Latin Church, by the doctrine of the procession of the Spirit, not only out of the lather, but also out of the Son, on the other hand, the object aimed at was ever more completely attained; but, especially during the fourth century, from the circumstance, that the subordinatian consequence undoubtedly involved in that principle was in no instance drawn, whilst, at the same time, the whole of the view otherwise entertained and clearly indicated, expressly stood in the way of the drawing of such a consequence. That position, therefore, was a remnant of the old subordinatian inheritance handed down from the third century, the influence of which was already broken by the development given to the true, permanent idea of the equality of essence which had been received as an inheritance from the primitive Church. We can also clearly see, what it is that prolonged the existence and vitality of that principle,—to wit, its apologetic significance. It was intended, namely, to show that, notwithstanding the triplicity of persons, the unity is preserved, inasmuch as the Son and the Spirit both proceed from, and return to, the one Father. But the moment this proof is found insufficient, and a more satisfactory one is discovered (as, for example, the idea of the immanence of the persons in each other), we shall find the teachers of the Church readily rejecting the one and embracing the other; and the more so, as they were not in the habit of considering the Father to comprise the .entire deity within Himself, and therefore did not designate Him the source of all divinity, in the sense of the other hypostases being merely parts of Him, the whole (compare Eusebius); —and this must certainly have been their meaning, had they aimed at saving the unity of God, by representing Him as the source of all deity. Two things, however, must not be overlooked in connection herewith :—(1) The more recent of the teachers referred to already arrived at the principle,—The Father is not the source and root of the entire deity; the Son and Spirit derive merely their hypostases, not their deity, from the Father; for the essence is one and the same in all. Deity, is the element coeternally possessed in common by the three persons. (2) The Church teachers of the period now under consideration say, indeed, that no one of the persons can be cogitated apart from the other, that each suggests the other, and that the idea of God cannot be perfectly grasped, save under the form of a Trinity. But even supposing, as this implies, that the three stand in precisely the same relation to the divine essence, the question still arises, How are they related to each other, so far as they are distinguished from each other, or are hypostatical? And here they were justified in taking the Father as their point of departure, to prevent the three being regarded as three effulgurations, completely independent of each other, and only connected by the common divine essence from which they proceed. For, on the latter supposition, we should have three atoms, or individuals, without inner connection; and the unity would either be reduced to a nominalistic generic idea, or the divine essence, lying at the basis, must be allowed the independence which it has in Tetradism. In this respect, therefore, the teachers of the Church were quite right in describing the Father as the motive principle and startingpoint of the process, out of which the hypostases arose. For, logically viewed, the Father. must continue the first hypostasis. The only thing, therefore, for which they deserve blame, is that in contradiction to the propositions which say,—Not the Father by Himself, but the Trinity, is the entire God; they occasionally constitute the Father the Monas. This latter fault, however, is partially to be excused, on the ground that they never say,—The Father by Himself is the Monas; their meaning rather is,—The Father is the Monas, so far as He is conceived in His actuality and not as an abstract idea, or, so far as He must be conceived as the principle and starting-point of the hypostatical process; in other words, so far as He does not exclude the two other hypostases from the deity, but so comprises them in Himself that He would not Himself be the Father if He had not eternally possessed the Son and been the principle of the Spirit.

The second defect is, that these teachers determine rather negatively than positively what hypostasis is. What their positive determination would be, may be best ascertained by considering the claim they make relatively to Christology. Their fundamental presupposition undoubtedly was, that God in Christ was not merely a motive power, nor a mere activity, but a conscious, permanent mode of existence of the deity, distinct from that of the Father. They felt, therefore, that in the incarnation the Most High God Himself was present among men, and that He had not withheld the highest, but had communicated Himself without reserve to humanity in Christ. But Patripassianism having been found worthy of repudiation, the question naturally suggested itself,—How shall we determine the nature of the distinction between the God who became man and the God who did not become man, without destroying the unity of God, on the one hand, or interfering with Christology, on the other? Neither the Council of Nicaea, nor the Church Fathers of the century now under review, satisfactorily answered this question. Instead, then, of complaining, as some do,1 that a clear and distinct answer to the question,—What is the true conception of hypostasis ?—had not been found, it would be more correct and just to pay the tribute of acknowledgment due to the efforts of these "great" men, as they are allowed to be; in doing which, we should perhaps, nay, after what has been advanced above, must discover, that they did their full share towards the accomplishment of the task which they actually did and were necessitated to set for themselves. (Note 54.) Through their labours the pantheistic and deistic conception cf God, or the heathenish and Jewish error, was excluded; and a point established, relatively to the divine aspect of the Person of Christ, which it was necessary to take for granted, if the divine and human were to be conceived as having attained to absolute union in Christ:—this aim, moreover, they consistently and consciously kept in view, in opposition alike to Heathenism and Judaism (compare Gregory of Nyssa, Cat. M. T. 2, 43 ff.; Gregory Nazianzen, Or. 33, and the Homily in Athanasius adv. Sabell. Gregales, which may be read also in Basilius, Opp. T. 1, 518 ff.). However decidedly they testify, as with one voice, that in the nature of God there are unsearchable depths, they are equally decided in asserting the possibility of, and in endeavouring to attain to, a knowledge of God through the medium of His revelation; and the charge brought against them, of taking their refuge in a Platonic, or, more precisely, a Neo-Platonic ignorance of God, is utterly baseless.

1 See Baur 1. c. 441-470.

That God is triune is not merely to be believed, but to be known (compare Gregory Nazianzen's IIpbs Evdypiov rrepl Oeorryros, ed. Basi1. p. 193). But this knowledge must flow forth, in the first instance, from religious experience, through the medium of the Holy Scriptures. They expressly declare it to be both possible and necessary, that in relation to the cogitation of God as a Trinity, faith should become gnosis. Only the "How?" of the procession of the Son and the Spirit is unsearchable; although, even in relation to this point, they maintained that a knowledge becomes every day more possible, in that we are able to say what the process is not; and such a negative explanation implies a certain positive insight. On the other hand, too, they deserve all praise for the sobriety and moderation which they display, and which give the lie to the opposite reproach, frequently brought against them, of being too much given to formularizing and dogmatizing. The spirit of modesty just alluded to prevented them from treating as settled that which was still unsettled, impelled them to continue their investigations into the true idea of hypostasis, and to give free play to all attempts to further a solution, provided only, on the one hand, the interest of Christology were kept in sight, and, on the other hand, that neither mixture nor separation, neither Sabellianism nor Arianism (or Tritheism), were favoured and aided. In fact, we have found also among the Nicene Fathers, considerable differences in this respect, which both indicate that the field still left open was very wide, and show that these first post-Nicene teachers at once earnestly set about the work left them to perform,—the work, to wit, of determining-the precise nature of hypostasis and its relation to unity, on the one hand, and to other hypostases, on the other.