The Divinity of
Holding fast the faithful word as he hath been taught, that he may be able by sound doctrine both to exhort and to convince the gainsayers.
TIT. i. 9.
A GREAT doctrine which claims to rule the thought of men and to leave its mark upon their conduct must of necessity encounter some rude and probing tests of its vitality as it floats along the stream of time. The common speech of mankind, embodying the verdict of man’s experience, lays more emphasis upon the ‘ravages’ than upon the conservative or constructive effects of time:—
‘Tempus edax rerum, tuque invidiosa vetustas,
Omnia destruitis, vitiataque dentibus aevi
Paulatim lenta consumitis omnia morte1.’
The destructive force of time is no less observable in the sphere of human ideas and doctrines than in that of material and social facts. Time exposes every doctrine or speculation to the action of causes which, if more disguised and subtle, are not less certainly at work than those which threaten political systems or works of art with decay and dissolution.
A doctrine is liable to suffer with the lapse of time from without and from within. From within it is exposed to the risk of decomposition by analysis. When once it has been launched into the ocean of our public intellectual life, it is forthwith subjected, as a condition of its acceptance, to the play and scrutiny of many and variously constituted minds. The several ingredients which constitute it, the primary truths to which it appeals and upon which it ultimately reposes, are separately and constantly examined. It may be that certain elements of the doctrine, essential to its perfect representation, are rejected altogether. It may be that all its constitutive elements are retained, while the proportions in which they are blended are radically altered. It may be that an impulse is given to some active intellectual solvent, hitherto dormant, but from the first latent in the constitution of the doctrine, and likely, according to any ordinary human estimate, to break it up. Or some point of attraction between the doctrine and a threatening philosophy outside it is discovered and insisted on; and the philosophy, in a patronizing spirit, proposes to meet the doctrine half way, and to ratify one half of it if the other may be abandoned. Or some subtle intellectual poison is injected into the doctrine; and while men imagine that they are only adapting it to the temper of an age, or to the demands of a line of thought, its glow and beauty are forfeited, or its very life and heart are eaten out. Then for awhile its shell or its skeleton lies neglected by the side of the great highway of thought; until at length some one of those adventurers who in every age devote themselves to the manufacture of eclectic systems assigns to the intellectual fossil a place of honor in his private museum, side by side with the remains of other extinct theories, to which in its lifetime it was fundamentally opposed.
But even if a doctrine be sufficiently compact and strong to resist internal decomposition, it must in any case be prepared to encounter the shock of opposition from without. To no doctrine is it given to be absolutely inoffensive; and therefore sooner or later every doctrine is opposed. Every doctrine, however frail and insignificant it may be, provokes attacks by the mere fact of its existence. It challenges a certain measure of attention which is coveted by some other doctrines. It takes up a certain amount of mental room which other doctrines would fain appropriate, if indeed it does not jostle inconveniently against them, or contradict them outright. Thus it rouses against itself resentment, or, at any rate, opposition; and this opposition is reinforced by an appetite which is shared in by those who hold the opposed doctrine no less than by those who oppose it. The craving for novelty is by no means peculiar to quickwitted races like the Athenians of the apostolical age or the French of our own day. It is profoundly and universally human; and it enters into our appreciation of subject-matters the most various. Novelty confers a charm upon high efforts of thought and enquiry as well as upon works of art or of imagination, or even upon fashions in amusement or in dress. To treat this yearning for novelty as though it were only a vicious frivolity is to overlook its profound significance. For, even in its lowest and unloveliest forms, it is a living and perpetual witness to the original nobility of the soul of man. It is the restlessness of a desire which One Being alone can satisfy; it reminds us that the Infinite One has made us for Himself, and that no object, person, or doctrine, that is merely finite and earthly, can take His place in our heart and thought, and bid us finally be still. And therefore as man passes through life on his short and rapid pilgrimage, unless his eye be fixed on that treasure in heaven which ‘neither moth nor rust doth corrupt,’ he is of necessity the very slave of novelty. Each candidate for his admiration wins from him, it may be, a passing glance of approval; but, unsatisfied at heart, he is ever seeking for some new stimulant to his evanescent sympathies. He casts to the winds the faded flower which he had but lately stooped to gather with such eager enthusiasm; he buries beneath the waves the useless pebble which, when his eye first detected it sparkling on the shore, had yielded him a moment of such bright enjoyment. Nothing human can insure its life against the attractions of something more recent than itself in point of origin; no doctrine of earthly mould can hope to escape the sentence of superannuation when it is fairly confronted with the intellectual creations of an age later than its own. A human doctrine may live for a few years, or it may live for centuries. Its duration will depend partly upon the amount of absolute truth which it embodies, and partly upon the strength of the rivals with which it is brought into competition. But it cannot always satisfy the appetite for novelty; its day of extinction can only be deferred.
'ouk exw proseikasai
plhn Dioj, ei to matan apo frontidoj axqoj
xrh balein ethtumwj.
oud ostij paroiqen hn megaj,
pammaxw qrasei bruwn,
ouden an lecai prin wn,
os d epeit efu, tria-
kthroj oixetai tuxwn.'2
So it must ever fare with a religious dogma of purely human authorship. In obedience to the lapse of time it must of necessity be modified, corrupted, revolutionized, and then yield to some stronger successor.
‘Our little systems have their day,
They have their day and cease to be.’
This is the true voice of human speculation on Divine things, conscious that it is human, conscious of its weakness, and mindful of its past and ever-accumulating experience. He only, ‘with Whom is no variableness neither shadow of turning,’ can be the Author of a really unchanging doctrine; and, as a matter of historical fact, ‘His truth endureth from generation to generation.’
When the doctrine of our Lord’s Divinity entered into the world of human thought, it was not screened from the operation of the antagonistic and dissolvent influences which have just been noticed. It was confronted with the passion for novelty beneath the eyes of the Apostles themselves. The passion for novelty at Colossae appears to have combined a licentious fertility of the religious imagination with a taste for such cosmical speculations as were current in that age; while in the Galatian Churches it took the form of a return to the discarded ceremonial of the Jewish law. In both cases the novel theory was opposed to the apostolical account of our Lord’s personal dignity; and in another generation the wild imaginings of a Basilides or of a Valentinus illustrated the attractive force of a new fashion in Christological speculation still more powerfully. Somewhat later the dialectical habits of the Alexandrian writers subjected the doctrine to a searching analysis, while the neo-Platonic philosophy brought a powerful intellectual sympathy to bear upon it, which, as an absorbing or distorting influence, might well have been fatal to a human dogma. Lastly, the doctrine was directly opposed by a long line of Humanitarian teachers, reaching, with but few intermissions, from the Ebionitic period to the Arian.
In the history of the doctrine of Christ’s Divinity the Arian heresy was the climax of difficulty and of triumph; it tested the doctrine at one and the same time in each of the three modes which have been noticed. Arianism was ostentatiously anxious to appear to be an original speculation, and accordingly it taunted the Nicene fathers with their intellectual poverty; it branded them as 'afeleij kai idiwtai' because they adhered to the ground of handing on simply what they had received. Its method of conducting discussion is traceable to the schools of the Sophists at Antioch; and by this method, as well as by the assumption that certain philosophical placita were granted, Arianism endeavored to kill the doctrine from within by a destructive analysis. And it need scarcely be added that Arianism inherited and intensified the direct opposition which had been offered to the doctrine by earlier heresies; Arianism is immortalized, however ingloriously, in those sufferings, in those struggles, in those victories of the great Athanasius, of which its own bitter hostility to our Lord’s Essential Godhead was the immediate cause.
That such a doctrine as our Lord’s Divinity should be thus opposed was not unnatural. It is in itself so startling, so awful; it endows the man who honestly and intelligently believes it with a conception of the worth and drift of Christianity, so altogether unique; it is so utterly intolerable if you admit a suspicion of its being false; it is so necessarily exacting when once you have recognized it as true; it makes such large and immediate demands, not merely upon the reason and the imagination, but also upon the affections and the will; that a specific opposition to it, as distinct from a professed general opposition to the religion of which it is the very heart and soul, is only what might have been expected. Certainly, such a doctrine could not at first bring peace on earth; rather it could not but bring division. It could not but divide families, cities, nations, continents; it could not but arm against itself the edge and point of every weapon that might be forged or whetted by the ingenuity of a passionate animosity. It could not but have collapsed utterly and vanished away when confronted with the heat of opposition which it provoked, had it not descended from the Source of Truth, had it not reposed upon an absolute and indestructible basis. The Arian controversy broke upon it as an intellectual storm, the violence of which must have shattered any human theory. But when the storm had spent itself, the doctrine emerged from the conciliar decisions of the fourth century as luminous and perfect as it had been when it was proclaimed by St. Paul and St. John. Resistance does but strengthen truth which it cannot overthrow: and when the doctrine had defied the craving for novelty, the disintegrating force of hostile analysis, and the vehement onslaught of passionate denunciation, it was seen to be vitally unlike those philosophical speculations which might have been confused with it by a superficial observer. The doctrine was unaltered; it still involved and excluded precisely what it had excluded and involved from the first. But henceforth it was to be held with a clearer recognition of its real frontier, and with a stronger sense of the necessity for insisting upon that recognition. In the Homoousion, after such hesitation as found expression at Antioch, the Church felt that she had lighted upon a symbol practically adapted to tell forth the truth that never had been absent from her heart and mind, and withal, capable of resisting the intellectual solvents which had seemed to threaten that truth with extinction. The Homoousion did not change, it protected the doctrine. It clothed the doctrine in a vesture of language which rendered it intelligible to a new world of thought while preserving its strict unchanging identity. It translated the apostolical symbols of the Image and the Word of God into a Platonic equivalent; and it remains with us to this hour, in the very heart of our Creed, as the complete assertion of Christ’s absolute oneness with the Essence of Deity, as the monument which records the greatest effort and the greatest defeat of its antagonist error, as the guarantee that the victorious truth maintains and will maintain an unshaken empire over the thought of Christendom.
We are all sufficiently familiar with the line of criticism to which such a formula as the Homoousion is exposed in our day and generation. A contrast is depicted and insisted upon with more vehemence than accuracy, between the unfixed popular faith of Christians in the first age of the Church and the keen theological temper of the fourth century. It is said that the Church’s earliest faith was unformed, simple, vague, too full of childlike wonder to analyze itself, too indeterminate to satisfy the requirements of a formalized theology. It is asserted that at Alexandria the Church learned how to fix her creed in precise, rigid, exclusive moulds; that she there gradually crystallized what had once been fluid, and cramped and fettered what had before been free. And it is insinuated that in this process, whereby the fresh faith of the infant Church ‘was hardened into the creed of the Church of the Councils,’ there was some risk, or more than risk, of an alteration or enlargement of the original faith. ‘How do you know,’ men ask, ‘that the formulary which asserts Christ’s Consubstantiality with the Father is really expressive of the simple faith in which the first Christians lived and died? Do not probabilities point the other way? Is it not likely that when this effort was made to fix the expression of the faith in an unchanging symbol, there was a simultaneous growth, however unsuspected and unrecognized, in the subjectmatter of the faith expressed? May not the hopes and feelings of a passionate devotion, as well as the inferential arguments of an impetuous logic, have contributed something to fill up the outline and to enhance the significance of the original and revealed germ of truth? May not the Creed of Nicaea be thus in reality a creed distinct from, if not indeed more extensive than, the creed of the apostolic age?’ Such is the substance of many a whispered question, or of many a confident assertion, which we hear around us; and it is necessary to enquire, whether the admitted difference of form between the apostolic and Nicene statements does really, or only in appearance, involve a deeper difference—a difference in the object of faith.
I. Let it then be considered that a belief may be professed either by stating it in terms, or by acting in a manner which necessarily implies that you hold it. A man may profess a creed with which his life is at variance; but he may also live a creed, if I may so speak, which he has not the desire or the skill to put into exact words. There is no moral difference between the sincere expression of a conviction in language, and its consistent reflection in action. There is, for example, no difference between my saying that a given person is not to be relied upon when dealing with money matters, and my pointedly declining to act with him on this particular trust, when I am asked to do so. It is not necessary that I should express my complete opinion of his character, until I am obliged to express it. I content myself with acting in the only manner which is prudent under the circumstances. Meanwhile my line of action speaks for itself; its meaning is evident to all who are practically interested in the subject. Until I am challenged for an explanation; until the assumption upon which I act is denied; there is no necessity for my putting into words an opinion which has already been stated in the language of action and with such unmistakeable decision.
Did then the ante-Nicene Church as a whole—did its congregations of worshippers as well as its councils of divines—did its poor, its young, its unlettered multitudes, as well as its saints and doctors, so act and speak as to imply a belief Jesus Christ is actually God?
A question such as this may at first sight seem to be difficult to answer, by reason of the one-sidedness and caprice of history. History for the most part concerns herself with the actions and opinions of the great and the distinguished, that is to say, of the few. Incidentally, or on particular occasions, she may glance at what passes beyond the region of courts and battle-fields; but it is not her wont to enable us readily to ascertain the real currents of thought and feeling which have swayed the minds of multitudes in a distant age.
Such at any rate is the rule with secular history; but the genius of the Church of Christ is of a nature to limit the force of the observation. In her eyes, the interests of the many, the customs, the deeds, the sufferings of the illiterate and of the poor, are, to say the least, not less precious and noteworthy than those of kings and prelates. For the standard of aristocracy within her borders is not an intellectual or a social, but a moral standard; and her Founder has put the highest honor not upon those who rule and are of reputation, but upon those who serve and are unknown. The history of the Christian Church does therefore serve to illustrate the point before us; and it proves the belief of Christian people in the Godhead of Jesus by its witness to the early and universal practice of adoring Him.
The early Christian Church did not content herself with ‘admiring’ Jesus Christ. She adored Him. She approached His glorious Person with that very tribute of prayer, of self-prostration, of self-surrender, by which all serious Theists, whether Christian or non-Christian, are accustomed to express their felt relationship as creatures to the Almighty Creator. For as yet it was not supposed that a higher and truer knowledge of the Infinite God would lead man to abandon the sense and the expression of complete dependence upon Him and of unmeasured indebtedness to Him, which befits a reasonable creature whom God has made, and whom God owns and can dispose of, when such a creature is dealing with God. As yet it was not imagined that this bearing would or could be exchanged for the more easy demeanor of an equal, or of one deeming himself scarcely less than an equal, who is intelligently appreciating the existence of a remarkably wise and powerful Being, entitled by His activities to a very large share of speculative attention3. The Church simply adored God; and she adored Jesus Christ, as believing Him to be God. Nor did she destroy the significance of this act by conceiving that admiration differs from adoration only in degree; that a sincere admiration is practically equivalent to adoration; that adoration after all is only admiration raised to the height of an enthusiasm.
You will not deem it altogether unnecessary, under our present intellectual circumstances, to consider for a moment whether this representation of the relationship between admiration and adoration be strictly accurate. So far indeed is this from being the case, that adoration and admiration are at one and the same moment and with reference to a single object mutually exclusive of each other. Certainly, in the strained and exaggerated language of poetry or of passion, you may speak of adoring that on which you lavish an unlimited admiration. But the common sense and judgment of men refuses to regard admiration as an embryo form of adoration, or as other than a fundamentally distinct species of spiritual activity. Adoration may be an intensified reverence, but it certainly is not an intensified admiration. The difference between admiration and adoration is observable in the difference of their respective objects; and that difference is immeasurable. For, speaking strictly, we admire the finite; we adore the Infinite. Why is this? It is because admiration requires a certain assumption of equality with the object admired, an assumption of ideal, if not of literal equality4. Admiration such as is here in question is not a vague unregulated wonder; it involves a judgment; it is a form of criticism. And since it is a criticism, it consists in our internally referring the object which we admire to a criterion. That criterion is an ideal of our own, and the act by which we compare the admired object with the ideal is our own act. We may have borrowed the ideal from another; and we do not for a moment suppose that we ourselves could give it perfect expression, or even could produce a rival to the object which commands our critical admiration. Yet, after all, the ideal is before us; it is, by right of possession, our own. We take credit to ourselves for possessing it, and for comparing the object before us with it; nay, we identify ourselves more or less with this ideal when we compare it with the object before us. When you, my brethren, express your admiration of a good painting, you do not mean to assert that you yourselves could have painted it. But you do imply that you have before your mind an ideal of what a good painting should be, and that you are able to form an opinion as to the correspondence of a particular work of art with that ideal. Thus it is that, whether justifiably or not, your admiration of the painting has the double character of self-appreciation and of patronage. Indeed it may be questioned whether as art-critics, intent upon the beauty of your ideal, you are not much more disposed secretly to claim for yourselves a share of merit than would have been the case if you had been the artist himself whose success you consent to admire; since the artist, we may be sure, is at least conscious of some measure of failure, and is humbled, if not depressed, by a sense of the difficulty of translating his ideal into reality, by the anxieties and struggles which always accompany the process of production.
Now this element of self-esteem, or at any rate of approving reflection upon self, which enters so penetratingly into admiration, is utterly incompatible with the existence of genuine adoration. For adoration is no mere prostration of the body; it is a prostration of the soul. It is reverence carried to the highest point of possible exaggeration. It is mental self-annihilation before a Greatness Which utterly transcends all human and finite standards. In That Presence self knows that it has neither plea nor right to any consideration; it is overwhelmed by the sense of its utter insignificance. The adoring soul bends thought and heart and will before the footstool of the One Self-existing, All-creating, All-upholding Being; the soul wills to be as nothing before Him, or to exist only that it may recognize His Glory as altogether surpassing its words and thoughts. If any one element of adoration be its most prominent characteristic, it is this heartfelt uncompromising renunciation of the claims of self.
Certainly admiration may lead up to adoration; but then real admiration dies away when its object is seen to be entitled to something higher than and distinct from it. Admiration ceases when it has perceived that its Object altogether transcends any standard of excellence or beauty with which man can compare Him. Admiration may be the ladder by which we mount to adoration; but it is useless, or rather it is an impertinence, when adoration has been reached. Every man of intelligence and modesty meets in life with many objects which call for his free and sincere admiration, and he himself gains both morally and intellectually by answering to such a call. But while the objects of human admiration are as various as the minds and tastes of men,
‘Denique non omnes eadem mirantur amantque,’
One Only Being can be rightfully adored. To ‘admire’ God would involve an irreverence only equal to the impiety of adoring a fellow-creature. It would be as reasonable to pay Divine worship to our every-day associates, as to substitute for that incommunicable honor which is due to the Most High some one of the tranquil and self-satisfied forms of a favorable notice with which we greet accomplishments or excellence in our fellow-men. ‘When I saw Him,’ says St. John, speaking of Jesus in His glory, ‘I fell at His feet as dead5.’ That was something more than admiration, even the most enthusiastic; it was an act, in which self had no part; it was an act of adoration.
If Jesus Christ had been only a morally perfect Man, He would have been entitled to the highest human admiration; although it may be questioned, as we have seen, whether He can be deemed morally perfect if He is in reality only human. But the historical fact before us is, that from the earliest age of Christianity, Jesus Christ has been adored as God. This adoration was not yielded to Him in consequence of the persuasions of theologians who had pronounced Him to be a Divine Person. It had nothing in common with the fulsome and servile insincerities which ever and anon rose like incense around the throne of some pagan Caesar who had received the equivocal honor of an apotheosis. It was not the product of a spiritual fascination, too subtle or too strong to be analyzed by those who felt its power, but easy of explanation to a later age. You cannot trace the stages of its progressive development6. You cannot name the time at which it was regarded only as a pious custom or luxury, and then mark this off from a later period when it had become, in the judgment of Christians, an imperious Christian duty. Never was the adoration of Jesus protested against in the Church as a novelty, derogatory to the honor and claims of God. Never was there an age when Jesus was only ‘invoked’ as if He had been an interceding saint, by those who had not yet learned to prostrate themselves before His throne as the throne of the Omnipotent and the Eternal. In vain will you endeavor to establish a parallel between the adoration of Jesus and some modern ‘devotion,’ unknown to the early days of Christendom, but now popularized largely in portions of the Christian Church; since the adoration of Jesus is as ancient as Christianity. Jesus has been ever adored on the score of His Divine Personality, of Which this tribute of adoration is not merely a legitimate but a necessary acknowledgment.
1. During the days of His earthly life our Lord was surrounded by a varied homage, extending, as it might seem, so far as the intentions of those who offered it were concerned, from the wonted forms of Eastern courtesy up to the most direct and conscious acts of Divine worship. As an Infant, He was ‘worshipped’ by the Eastern sages7; and during His ministry He constantly received and welcomed acts and words expressive of an intense devotion to His Sacred Person on the part of those who sought or who had received from Him some supernatural aid or blessing. The leper worshipped Him, crying out, ‘Lord, if Thou wilt, Thou canst make me clean8.’ Jairus worshipped Him, saying, ‘My daughter is even now dead: but come and lay Thy hand upon her, and she shall live9.’ The mother of Zebedee’s children came near to Him, worshipping Him, and asking Him to bestow upon her sons the first places of honor in His kingdom10. The woman of Canaan, whose daughter was ‘grievously vexed with a devil,’ ‘came and worshipped Him, saying, Lord, help me11.’ The father of the poor lunatic, who met Jesus as He descended from the Mount of Transfiguration, ‘came, kneeling down to Him, and saying, ‘Lord, have mercy on my son12.’ These are instances of worship accompanying prayers for special mercies. And did not the dying thief offer at least a true inward worship to the Crucified Ruler of the unseen world, while he uttered the words, ‘Remember me when Thou comest into Thy kingdom13’?
At other times such visible ‘worship’ of our Savior was an act of acknowledgment or of thanksgiving for mercies received. Thus it was with the grateful Samaritan leper, who, ‘when he saw that he was healed, turned back, and with a loud voice glorified God, and fell down on his face at His feet, giving Him thanks14.’ Thus it was when Jesus had appeared walking on the sea and had quieted the storm, and ‘they that were in the ship came and worshipped Him, saying, Of a truth Thou art the Son of God.’ Thus too was it after the miraculous draught of fishes, that St. Peter, astonished at the greatness of the miracle, ‘fell down at Jesus’ knees, saying, Depart from me; for I am a sinful man, O Lord15.’ Thus the penitent, ‘when she knew that Jesus sat at meat in the Pharisee’s house, brought an alabaster box of ointment, and stood at His feet behind Him weeping, and began to wash His feet with tears, and did wipe them with the hairs of her head, and kissed His feet, and anointed them with the ointment16.’ Thus again when the man born blind confesses his faith in ‘the Son of God,’ he accompanies the confession by an act of adoration. ‘And he said, Lord, I believe. And he worshipped Him17.’ Thus the holy women, when the Risen ‘Jesus met them, saying, “All hail,” came. . . and held Him by the feet, and worshipped Him18.’ Thus apparently Mary of Magdala, in her deep devotion, had motioned to embrace His feet in the garden, when Jesus bade her ‘Touch Me not19.’ Thus the eleven disciples met our Lord by appointment on a mountain in Galilee, and ‘when they saw Him,’ as it would seem, in their joy and fear, ‘they worshipped Him20.’ Thus, pre-eminently, St. Thomas uses the language of adoration, although it is not said to have been accompanied by any corresponding outward act. When, in reproof for his skepticism, he had been bidden to probe the Wounds of Jesus, he burst forth into the adoring confession, ‘My Lord and my God21.’ Thus, when the Ascending Jesus was being borne upwards into heaven, the disciples, as if thanking Him for His great glory, worshipped Him; and then ‘returned to Jerusalem with great joy22.’
It may be that in some of these instances the ‘worship’ paid to Jesus did not express more than a profound reverence. Sometimes He was ‘worshipped’ as a Superhuman Person, wielding superhuman powers; sometimes He was worshipped by those who instinctively felt His moral majesty, which forced them, they knew not how, upon their knees. But if He had been only a ‘good man,’ He must have checked such worship23. He had Himself re-affirmed the foundation-law of the religion of Israel: ‘Thou shalt worship the Lord thy God, and Him only shalt thou serve24.’ Yet He never hints that danger lurked in this prostration of hearts and wills before Himself; He welcomes, by a tacit approval, this profound homage of which He is the Object. His rebuke to the rich young man implies, not that He Himself had no real claim to be called ‘Good Master,’ but that such a title, in the mouth of the person before Him, was an unmeaning compliment25. He seems to invite prayer to Himself, even for the highest spiritual blessings, in such words as those which He addressed to the woman of Samaria: ‘If thou knewest the gift of God, and Who it is that saith unto thee, Give Me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of Him, and He would have given thee living water26.’ He predicts indeed a time when the spiritual curiosity of His disciples would be satisfied in the joy of perfectly possessing Him; but He nowhere hints that He would Himself cease to receive their prayers27. He claims all the varied homage which the sons of men, in their want and fullness, in their joy and sorrow, may rightfully and profitably pay to the Eternal Father; all men are to ‘honor the Son even as they honour the Father.’
2. Certain it is that no sooner had Christ been lifted up from the earth, in death and in glory, than He forthwith began to draw all men unto Him28. This attraction expressed itself, not merely in an assent to His teaching, but in the worship of His Person. No sooner had He ascended to His throne than there burst upwards from the heart of His Church a tide of adoration which has only become wider and deeper with the lapse of time. In the first days of the Church, Christians were known as ‘those who called upon the name of Jesus Christ29.’ Prayer to Jesus Christ, so far from being a devotional eccentricity, was the universal practice of Christians; it was the act of devotion which speciaily characterized a Christian. It would seem more than probable that the prayer offered by the assembled apostles at the election of St. Matthias, was addressed to Jesus glorified30. A few months later the dying martyr St. Stephen passed to his crown. His last cry was a prayer to our Lord, molded upon two of the seven sayings which our Lord Himself had uttered on the Cross. Jesus had prayed the Father to forgive His executioners. Jesus had commended His Spirit into the Father’s hands31. The words which are addressed by Jesus to the Father, are by St. Stephen addressed to Jesus. To Jesus Stephen turns in that moment of supreme agony; to Jesus he prays for pardon on his murderers; to Jesus, as to the King of the world of spirits, he commends his parting soul. It is suggested that St. Stephen’s words were ‘only an ejaculation forced from him in the extremity of his anguish,’ and that as such they are ‘highly unfitted to be made the premiss of a theological inference.’ But the question is, whether the earliest apostolical Church did or did not pray to Jesus Christ. And St. Stephen’s dying prayer is strictly to the point. An ‘ejaculation’ may show more clearly than any set formal prayer the ordinary currents of devotional thought and feeling; an ejaculation is more instinctive, more spontaneous, and therefore a truer index of a man’s real mind, than a prayer which has been used for years. And how could the martyr’s cry to Jesus have been the product of a ‘thoughtless impulse’? Dying men do not cling to devotional fancies or to precarious opinions; the soul in its last agony instinctively falls back upon its deepest certainties. Nor can the unpremeditated ejaculation of a person dying in shame and torture be credited with that element of dramatic artifice which may in rare cases have colored parting words and actions when, alas! on the brink of eternity, men have thought more of a ‘place in history’ than of the awful Presence into which they were hastening. Is it hinted that St. Stephen was a recent convert, not yet entirely instructed in the complete faith and mind of the apostles, and not unlikely to exaggerate particular features of their teaching? But St. Stephen is expressly described as a man ‘full of faith and of the Holy Ghost32.’ As such he had recently been chosen to fill an important office in the Church; and as a prominent missionary and apologist of the Gospel he might seem almost to have taken rank with the apostles themselves. Is it urged that St. Stephen’s prayer was offered under the exceptional circumstances of a vision of Christ vouchsafed in mercy to His dying servant33? But it does not enter into the definition of prayer or worship that it must of necessity be addressed to an invisible Person. And the vision of Jesus standing at the right hand of God may have differed in the degree of sensible clearness, but in its general nature it did not differ, from that sight upon which the eye of every dying Christian has rested from the beginning. St. Stephen would not have prayed to Jesus Christ then, if he had never prayed to Him before; the vision of Jesus would not have tempted him to innovate upon the devotional law of his life; the sight of Jesus would have only carried him in thought upwards to the Father, if the Father alone had been the Object of the Church’s earliest adoration. St. Stephen would never have prayed to Jesus, if he had been taught that such prayer was hostile to the supreme prerogatives of God; and the apostles, as monotheists, must have taught him thus, unless they had believed that Jesus is God, Who with the Father is worshipped and glorified.
Indeed St. Stephen’s prayer may be illustrated, so far as this point is concerned, by that of Ananias at Damascus. To Ananias Jesus appeared in a vision, and desired him to go to the newly-converted Saul of Tarsus ‘in the street that is called Straight.’ The reply of Ananias is an instance of that species of prayer in which the soul trustfully converses with God even to the verge of argument and remonstrance34, while yet it is controlled by the deepest sense of God’s awful greatness: ‘Lord, I have heard by many of this man, how much evil he hath done to Thy saints at Jerusalem: and here he hath authority from the chief priests to bind all that call on Thy Name35.’ Our Lord overrules the objections of His servant. But what man has not at times prayed for exemption, when God has made it plain that He wills him to undertake some difficult duty, or to embrace some sharp and heavy cross? Who has not pleaded with God the claims of His interests and His honor against what appears to be His Will, so long as it has been possible to doubt whether His Will is really what it seems to be? Ananias’ ‘remonstrance’ is a prayer; it is a spiritual colloquy; it is a form of prayer which implies daily, hourly familiarity with its Object; it is the language of a soul habituated to constant communion with Jesus. It shows very remarkably how completely Jesus occupies the whole field of vision in the soul of His servant. The ‘saints’ whom Saul of Tarsus has persecuted at Jerusalem, are the ‘saints,’ it is not said of God, but of Jesus; the Name which is called upon by those whom Saul has authority to bind at Damascus, is the Name of Jesus. Ananias does not glance at One higher than Jesus, as if Jesus were lower than God; Jesus is to Ananias his God, the Recipient of his worship, and yet the Friend before Whom he can plead the secret thoughts of his heart with earnestness and freedom.
But he to whom, at the crisis of a far greater destiny, Ananias brought consolation and relief from Jesus, was himself conspicuous for his devotion to the adorable Person of our Lord36. Even at the very moment of his conversion, Saul of Tarsus sought guidance from Jesus Christ in prayer, as from the lawful Lord of his being. ‘Lord,’ he cried, ‘what shall I do?37’ And when afterwards in the temple our Lord bade St. Paul, ‘Make haste and get thee quickly out of Jerusalem,’ we find the Apostle, like Ananias, unfolding to Jesus his secret thoughts, his fears, his regrets, his confessions; laying them out before Him, and waiting for an answer from Jesus in the secret chambers of his soul38. Indeed St. Paul constantly uses language which shows that he habitually thought of Jesus as of Divine Providence in a Human Form, watching over, befriending, consoling, guiding, providing for him and his, with Infinite foresight and power, but also with the tenderness of a human sympathy. In this sense Jesus is placed on a level with the Father in St. Paul’s two earliest Epistles. ‘Now God Himself and our Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, direct our way unto39;’ ‘Now our Lord Jesus Christ Himself, and God, even our Father, Which hath loved us, and hath given us everlasting consolation and good hope through grace, comfort your hearts, and stablish you in every good word and work40.’ Thus Jesus is associated with the Father, in one instance as directing the outward movements of the Apostle’s life, in another as building up the inward life of the recent converts to Christianity. In other devotional expressions the Name of Jesus stands alone. ‘I trust in the Lord Jesus,’ so the Apostle writes to the Philippians, ‘to send Timotheus shortly unto you41.’ ‘I thank Christ Jesus our Lord,’ so he assures St. Timothy, ‘Who hath given me power, for that He counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry42.’ Is not this the natural language of a soul which is constantly engaged in communion with Jesus, whether it be the communion of praise or the communion of prayer? Jesus is to St. Paul, not a deceased teacher or philanthropist, who has simply done his great work and then has left it as a legacy to the world; He is God, ever living and ever present, the Giver of temporal and of spiritual blessings, the Guide and Friend of man both in man’s outward and in his inward life. If we had no explicit records of prayers offered by St. Paul to Jesus, we might be sure that such prayers were offered, since otherwise the language which he employs could not have been used. But, in point of fact, the Apostle has not left us in doubt as to his faith or his practice in this respect. ‘If,’ he asserts, ‘thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised Him from the dead, thou shalt be saved. For with the heart man believeth unto righteousness; and with the mouth confession is made to salvation. For the Scripture saith, Whosoever believeth on Him shall not be ashamed. For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the Same is Lord over all, rich unto all that call upon Him. For whosoever shall call upon the Name of the Lord shall be saved43.’ The prophet Joel had used these last words of prayer to the Lord Jehovah. St. Paul, as the whole context shows beyond reasonable doubt, understands them of prayer to Jesus44. And what are the Apostle’s benedictions in the name of Christ but indirect prayers offered to Christ that His blessing might be vouchsafed to the Churches which the Apostle is addressing? ‘Grace be to you from God our Father, and from the Lord Jesus Christ45.’ ‘The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you all46.’ Or what shall we say of St. Paul’s entreaties that he might be freed from the mysterious and humiliating infirmity which he terms his ‘thorn in the flesh’? He tells us that three times he besought the Lord Jesus Christ that it might depart from him, and that in mercy his prayer was refused47. Are we to imagine that that prayer to Jesus was an isolated act in St. Paul’s spiritual life? Does any such religious act stand alone in the spiritual history of an earnest and moderately consistent man? Apostles believed that when the First-begotten was brought into the inhabited world, the angels of heaven were bidden to worship Him48. They declared Him49, when His day of humiliation and suffering had ended, to have been so highly exalted that the Name which He had borne on earth, and which is the symbol of His Humanity, was now the very atmosphere and nutriment of all the upward torrents of prayer which rise from the moral world beneath His throne; that as the God-Man He was worshipped by angels, by men, and by the spirits of the dead. The practice of the Apostles did but illustrate their faith; and the prayers offered to Jesus by His servants on earth were believed to be but a reflection of that worship which is offered to Him by the Church of heaven.
If this belief is less clearly traceable in the brief Epistles of St. Peter50, it is especially observable in St. John. St. John is speaking of the Son of God, when he exclaims, ‘This is the confidence that we have in Him, that, if we ask anything according to His Will, He heareth us: and if we know that He hear us, . . . . we know that we have the petitions that we desired of Him51.’ These petitions of the earthly Church correspond to the adoration above, where the wounded Humanity of our Lord is throned in the highest heavens. ‘I beheld, and lo, in the midst of the throne . . . . stood a Lamb as It had been slain52.’ Around Him are three concentric circles of adoration. The inmost proceeds from the four mysterious creatures and the four and twenty elders who ‘have harps, and golden vials full of odors, which are the prayers of the saints53.’ These are the courtiers who are placed on the very steps of the throne; they represent more distant worshippers. But they too fall down before the throne, and sing the new song which is addressed to the Lamb slain and glorified54: ‘Thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by Thy Blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation; and hast made us unto our God kings and priests, and we shall reign on the earth55.’ Around these, at a greater distance from the Most Holy, there is a countless company of worshippers: ‘I heard the voice of many angels round about the throne and the creatures and the elders: and the number of them was ten thousand times ten thousand, and thousands of thousands; saying with a loud voice, Worthy is the Lamb That was slain to receive power, and riches, and wisdom, and strength, and honor, and glory, and blessing56.’ Beyond these again, the entranced Apostle discerns a third sphere in which a perpetual worship is maintained. Lying outside the two inner circles of conscious adoration offered by the heavenly intelligences, there is in St. John’s vision an assemblage of all created life, which, whether it wills or not, lives for Christ’s as for the Father’s glory: ‘And every creature which is in heaven, and on the earth, and under the earth, and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, heard I saying, Blessing, and honor, and glory, and power, be unto Him that sitteth upon the throne, and unto the Lamb for ever and ever57.’ This is the hymn of the whole visible creation, and to it a response comes from the inmost circle of adoring beings, ratifying and harmonizing this sublime movement of universal life: ‘And the four creatures said, Amen58.’ And how does the redeemed Church on earth bear her part in the universal chorus of praise? ‘Unto Him That loved us, and washed us from our sins in His Own Blood, and hath made us kings and priests unto God and His Father; to Him be glory and dominion for ever and ever. Amen59.’ It is surely impossible to mistake the force and meaning of this representation of the adoration of the Lamb in the Apocalypse. This representation cannot be compared with the Apocalyptic pictures of the future fortunes of the Church, where the imagery employed frequently leaves room for allusions so diverse, that no interpretation can be positively assigned to a particular symbol without a certain intellectual and spiritual immodesty in the interpreter who essays to do so. You may in vain endeavor satisfactorily to solve the questions which encompass such points as the number of the beast or the era of the millennium; but you cannot doubt for one moment Who is meant by ‘the Lamb,’ or what is the character of the worship that is so solemnly offered to Him.
But upon this worship of Jesus Christ as we meet with it in the apostolical age, let us here make three observations.
a. First, then, it cannot be accounted for, and so set aside, as being part of an undiscriminating cultus of heavenly or super-human beings in general. Such a cultus finds no place in the New Testament, except when it, or something very much resembling it, is expressly discountenanced. By the mouth of our Lord Jesus Christ the New Testament reaffirms the Sinaitic law which restricts worship to the Lord God Himself60. St. Peter will not sanction the self-prostrations of the grateful Cornelius, lest Cornelius should think of him as more than human61. When, at Lystra, the excited populace, with their priest, desired to offer sacrifice to St. Paul and St. Barnabas, as to ‘deities who had come down to them in the likeness of men,’ the Apostles in their unfeigned distress protested that they were but men of like feelings with those whom they were addressing, and claimed for the living God that service which was His exclusive right62. When St. John fell at the feet of the angel of the Apocalypse, in profound acknowledgment of the marvellous privileges of sight and sound to which he had been admitted, he was peremptorily checked on the ground that the angel too was only his fellow-slave, and that God was the one true Object of worship63. One of the most salient features of the GnosticoJewish theosophy which threatened the faith of the Church of Colossae was the worshipping of angels; and St. Paul censures it because it tended to loosen men’s hold upon the incommunicable prerogatives of the great Head of the Church64. Certainly the New Testament does teach that we Christians have close communion with the blessed angels and with the sainted dead, such as would be natural to members of one great and really undivided family. The invisible world is not merely above, it is around us; we have come into it; and Christ’s kingdom on earth and in heaven65 forms one supernatural whole. But the worship claimed for, accepted by, and paid to Jesus, stands out in the New Testament in the sharpest relief. This relief is not softened or shaded off by any instances of an inferior homage paid, whether legitimately or not, to created beings. We do not meet with any clear distinction between a primary and a secondary worship, by which the force of the argument might have been more or less seriously weakened. Worship is claimed for, and is given to, God alone; and if Jesus is worshipped, this is simply because Jesus is God66.
b. The worship paid to Jesus in the apostolic age was certainly in many cases that adoration which is due to the Most High God, and to Him alone, from all His intelligent creatures. God Himself must needs have been, then as ever, the One Object of real worship. But the Eternal Son, when He became Man, ceased not to be God. As God, He received from those who believed in Him the only worship which their faith could render67. This is clear from the representations of heavenly worship in the Apocalypse, which we have been considering, even if we take no other passages into account. The Apocalyptic worship of our glorified Lord is not any mere honorary acknowledgment that His redemptive work is complete. Even at the moment68 of His Incarnation worship is addressed to Christ’s Divine and Eternal Person. Doubtless the language of devotion to Him which we find in the Gospels represents many postures of the human soul, ranging between that utter self-prostration which we owe to the Most High, and that trustful familiarity with which we pour our joys and sorrows, our hopes and fears into the ear of a human friend. Such ‘lower forms’ of worship lead up to, and are explained by, the higher. They illustrate the condescension and purpose of the Incarnation. But the familiar confidence which the Incarnation invites cannot be pleaded against the rights of the Incarnate God. A free, trustful, open-hearted converse with Christ is compatible with the lowliest worship of His Person; Christian confidence even ‘leans upon His breast at supper,’ while Christian faith discerns His Glory, and ‘falls at His feet as dead.’
c. The apostolic worship of Jesus Christ embraced His Manhood no less than it embraced His Godhead69. According to St. Paul His Human Name of Jesus, that is, His Human Nature, is worshipped on earth, in heaven, and among the dead. It is not the Unincarnate Logos, but the wounded Humanity of Jesus, Which is enthroned and adored in the vision of the Apocalypse. To adore Christ’s Deity while carefully refusing to adore His Manhood would be to forget that His Manhood is for ever joined to His Divine and Eternal Person, Which is the real Object of our adoration. Since He has taken the Manhood into God, It is an inseparable attribute of His Personal Godhead; every knee must bend before It; henceforth the angels themselves around the throne must adore, not as of yore the Unincarnate Son, but ‘the Lamb as It had been slain.’
3. Thus rooted in the doctrine and practice of the apostles, the worship of Jesus Christ was handed down to succeeding ages as an integral and recognized element of the spiritual life of the Church. The early Fathers refer to the worship of our Lord as to a matter beyond dispute. The apostolic age had scarcely passed, when St. Ignatius bids the Roman Christians ‘put up supplications to Christ’ on his behalf, that he might attain the distinction of martyrdom70. St. Polycarp’s Epistle to the Philippians opens with a benediction which is in fact a prayer to Jesus Christ, as being, together with the Almighty Father, the Giver of peace and mercy71. Polycarp prays that ‘the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the Eternal Priest Himself, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, would build up his readers in faith and truth and in all meekness, . . . and would give them a part and lot among the saints72.’ And at a later day, standing bound at the pyre of martyrdom, he cries, ‘For all things, O God, do I praise and bless and glorify Thee, together with the Eternal and Heavenly Jesus Christ, Thy well-beloved Son, with Whom, to Thee and the Holy Ghost, be glory, both now and for ever. Amen73.’ After his death, Nicetas begged the proconsul not to deliver up his body for burial, ‘lest the Christians should desert the Crucified One, and should begin to worship this new martyr74.’ The Jews, it appears, employed an argument which may have been the language of sarcasm or of a real anxiety. ‘They know not,’ continues the encyclical letter of the Church of Smyrna, ‘that neither shall we ever be able to desert Christ Who suffered for the salvation of all who are saved in the whole world, nor yet to worship any other. For Him indeed, as being the Son of God, we do adore; but the martyrs, as disciples and imitators of the Lord, we worthily love by reason of their unsurpassed devotion to Him their own King and Teacher. God grant that we too may be fellowpartakers and fellow-disciples with them75.’ The writers of this remarkable passage were not wanting in love and honor to the martyr of Christ. ‘Afterward,’ say they, ‘we, having taken up his bones, which were more precious than costly stones, and of more account than gold, placed them where it was fitting76.’ But they draw the sharpest line between such a tribute of affection and the worship of the Redeemer; Jesus was worshipped as ‘being the Son of God.’ The Apologists point to the adoration of Jesus Christ, as well as to that of the Father, when replying to the heathen charge of atheism. St. Justin protests to the emperors that the Christians worship God alone77. Yet he also asserts that the Son and the Spirit share in the reverence and worship which is offered to the Father78; and in controversy with Trypho he especially urges that prophecy foretold the adoration of Messiah79. St. Irenaeus insists that the miracles which were in his day of common occurrence in the Church were not to be ascribed to any invocation of angels, nor yet to magical incantations, nor to any form of evil curiosity. They were simply due to the fact that Christians constantly prayed to God the Maker of all things, and called upon the Name of His Son Jesus Christ80. Clement of Alexandria has left us three treatises, designed to form a missionary trilogy. In one he is occupied with converting the heathen from idolatry to the faith of Christ; in a second he instructs the new convert in the earlier lessons and duties of the Christian faith; while in his most considerable work he labors to impart the higher knowledge to which the Christian is entitled, and so to render him ‘the perfect Gnostic.’ In each of these treatises, widely different as they are in point of practical aim, Clement bears witness to the Church’s worship of our Lord. In the first, his Hortatory Address to the Greeks, he winds up a long argumentative invective against idolatry with a burst of fervid entreaty: ‘Believe, O man,’ he exclaims, ‘in Him Who is both Man and God; believe, O man, in the living God, Who suffered and Who is adored81.’ The Paedagogus concludes with a prayer of singular beauty ending in a doxology82, and in these the Son is worshipped and praised as the Equal of the Father. In the Stromata, as might be expected, prayer to Jesus Christ is rather taken for granted; the Christian life is to be a continuous worship of the Word, and through Him of the Father83. Tertullian in his Apology grapples with the taunt that the Christians worshipped a Man Who had been condemned by the Jewish tribunals84. Tertullian does not deny or palliate the charge; he justifies the Christian practice. Whatever Christ might be in the opinion of the pagan world, Christians knew Him to be of one substance with the father85. The adoration of Christ, then, was not a devotional eccentricity; it was an absolute duty. In one passage Tertullian argues against mixed marriages with the heathen, because in these cases there could be no joint worship of the Redeemer86; elsewhere he implies that the worship of Jesus was co-extensive with faith in Christianity87.
Origen’s erratic intellect may have at times betrayed him, on this as on other subjects, into language88, more or less inconsistent with his own general line of teaching, by which it must in fairness be interpreted. Origen often insists upon the worship of Jesus Christ as being a Christian duty89; he illustrates this duty, especially in his Homilies, by his personal example90; he bases it upon the great truth which justifies and demands such a practical acknowledgment91. It is in keeping with this that Origen explains the frankincense offered by the wise men to our Infant Savior as an acknowledgment of His Godhead; since such an action obviously involved that adoration which is due only to God92. This explanation could not have been put forward by any but a devout worshipper of Jesus. In the work on the Trinity93, ascribed to Novatian, in the treatises and letters94 of St. Cyprian, in the apologetic works of Arnobius95 and Lactantius96, references to the subject are numerous and decisive. But our limits forbid any serious attempt to deal with the materials which crowd upon us as we advance into the central and later decades of the third century; and at this point it may be well to glance at the forms with which the primitive Church actually approached the throne of the Redeemer.
It is clear that Christian hymnody has ever been prized and hated for its services in popularizing the worship of Jesus Christ. Hymnody actively educates, while it partially satisfies, the instinct of worship; it is a less formal and sustained act of worship than prayer, yet it may really involve transient acts of the deepest adoration. But, because it is less formal; because in using it the soul can pass, as it were, unobserved and at will from mere sympathetic states of feeling to adoration, and from adoration back to passive although reverent sympathy;—hymnody has always been a popular instrument for the expression of religious feeling. And from the first years of Christianity it seems to have been especially consecrated to the honor of the Redeemer. We have already noted traces of such apostolical hymns in the Pauline Epistles; but some early Humanitarian teachers did unintentional service, by bringing into prominence the value of hymns as witnesses to Christian doctrine, and as efficient means of popular dogmatic teaching. When the followers of Artemon maintained that the doctrine of Christ’s Godhead was only brought into the Church during the episcopate of Zephyrinus, a Catholic writer, quoted by Eusebius, observed, by way of reply, that ‘the psalms and hymns of the brethren, which, from the earliest days of Christianity, had been written by the faithful, all celebrate Christ, the Word of God, proclaiming His Divinity97.’ Origen pointed out that hymns were addressed only to God and to His Only-begotten Word, Who is also God98. And the practical value of these hymns as teaching the doctrine of Christ’s Deity was illustrated by the conduct of Paulus of Samosata. He banished from his own and neighboring churches the psalms which were sung to our Lord Jesus Christ; he spoke of them contemptuously as being merely modern compositions. This was very natural in a prelate who ‘did not wish to confess with the Church that the Son of God had descended from heaven99;’ but it shows how the hymnody of the primitive Church protected and proclaimed the truths which she taught and cherished.
Of the early hymns of the Church of Christ some remain to this day among us as witnesses and expressions of her faith in Christ’s Divinity. Such are the Tersanctus and the Gloria in Excelsis. Both belong to the second century; both were introduced, it is difficult to say how early, into the Eucharistic Office; both pay Divine honors to our Blessed Lord. As each morning dawned, the Christian of primitive days repeated in private the Gloria in Excelsis; it was his hymn of supplication and praise to Christ. How wonderfully does it blend the appeal to our Lord’s human sympathies with the confession of His Divine prerogatives! ‘O Lord God, Lamb of God, Son of the Father, That takest away the sins of the world, have mercy upon us.’ How thrilling is that burst of praise, which at last drowns the plaintive notes of entreaty that have preceded it, and hails Jesus Christ glorified on His throne in the heights of heaven! ‘For Thou only art holy; Thou only art the Lord; Thou only, O Christ, with the Holy Ghost, art most high in the glory of God the Father.’ Each evening too, in those early times, the Christian offered another hymn, less known among ourselves, but scarcely less beautiful. It too was addressed to Jesus in His majesty:—
‘Hail! gladdening Light, of His pure glory poured,
Who is th’ Immortal Father, heavenly, blest,
Holiest of Holies—Jesus Christ our Lord!
Now we are come to the sun’s hour of rest,
The lights of evening round us shine,
We hymn the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit Divine!
Worthiest art Thou at all times to be sung
With undefiled tongue,
Son of our God, Giver of life, Alone!
Therefore in all the world, Thy glories, Lord, they own100.’
A yet earlier illustration is afforded by the ode with which the Alexandrian Clement concludes his Paedagogus. Although its phraseology was strictly adapted to the ‘perfect Gnostic’ at Alexandria in the second century, yet it seems to have been intended for congregational use. It celebrates our Lord, as ‘the Dispenser of wisdom,’ ‘the Support of the suffering,’ the ‘Lord of immortality,’ ‘the Savior of mortals,’ ‘the Mighty Son,’ ‘the God of peace.’ It thrice insists on the ‘sincerity’ of the praise thus offered Him. It concludes:—
‘Sing we sincerely
The Mighty Son;
We, the peaceful choir,
We, the Christ-begotten ones,
We, the people of sober life,
Sing we together the God of peace101.’
Nor may we forget a hymn which, in God’s good providence, has been endeared to all of us from childhood. In its present form, the Te Deum is clearly Western, whether it belongs to the age of St. Augustine, with whose baptism it is connected by the popular tradition, or, as is probable, to a later period. But we can scarcely doubt that portions of it are of Eastern origin, and that they carry us up wellnigh to the sub-apostolic period. The Te Deum is at once a song of praise, a creed, and a supplication. In each capacity it is addressed to our Lord. In the Te Deum how profound is the adoration offered to Jesus, whether as One of the Most Holy Three, or more specially in His Personal distinctness as the King of Glory, the Father’s Everlasting Son! How touching are the supplications which remind Him that when He became incarnate ‘He did not abhor the Virgin’s womb,’ that when His Death-agony was passed He ‘opened the kingdom of heaven to all believers!’ How passionate are the pleadings that He would ‘help His servants whom He has redeemed with His most precious Blood,’ that He would ‘make them to be numbered with His saints in glory everlasting!’ Much of this language is of the highest antiquity; all of it is redolent with the fragrance of the earliest Church; and, as we English Christians use it still in our daily services, we may rejoice to feel that it unites us altogether in spirit, and to a great extent in the letter, with the Church of the first three centuries102.
The Apostolical Constitutions contain ancient doxologies which associate Jesus Christ with the Father as ‘inhabiting the praises of Israel,’ after the manner of the Gloria Patri103. And the Kyrie Eleison, that germinal type of supplication, of which the countless litanies of the modern Church are only the varied expansions, is undoubtedly sub-apostolic. Together with the Tersanctus and the Gloria in Excelsis it shows very remarkably, by its presence in the Eucharistic Office, how ancient and deeply rooted was the Christian practice of prayer to Jesus Christ. For the Eucharist has a double aspect: it is a gift from heaven to earth, but it is also an offering from earth to heaven. In the Eucharist the Christian Church offers to the Eternal Father the ‘merits and Death of His Son Jesus Christ;’ since Christ Himself has said, ‘Do this in remembrance of Me.’ The canon of Carthage accordingly expresses the more ancient law and instinct of the Church: ‘Cum altari adsistitur, semper ad Patrem dirigatur oratio104.’ Yet so strong was the impulse to offer prayer to Christ, that this canon is strictly observed by no single liturgy, while some rites violate it with the utmost consistency. The Mozarabic rite is a case in point: its collects witness to the Church’s long struggle with, and final victory over, the tenacious Arianism of Spain105. It might even appear to substitute for the rule laid down at Carthage, the distinct but (considering the indivisible relation of the Three Holy Persons to each other) perfectly consistent principle that the Eucharist is offered to the Holy Trinity. This too would seem to be the mind of the Eastern Church106. It is unnecessary to observe that at this day, both in the Eucharistic Service and elsewhere, prayer to Jesus Christ is as integral a feature of the devotional system of the Church of England, as it was of the ancient, or as it is of the contemporary Use of Western Christendom107.
Nor was the worship of Jesus Christ by the early Christians an esoteric element of their religious activity, obvious only to those who were within the Church, who cherished her creed, and who took part in her services. It was not an abstract doctrine, but a living and notorious practice, daily observed by, and recommended to, Christians. As such it challenged the observation of the heathen from a very early date. It is probable indeed that the Jews, as notably on the occasion of St. Polycarp’s martyrdom108, drew the attention of pagan magistrates to the worship of Jesus, in order to stir up contempt and hatred against the Christians. But such a worship was of itself calculated to strike the administrative instincts of Roman magistrates as an unauthorized addition to the registered religions of the empire, even before they had discovered it to be irreconcileable with public observance of the established state ceremonies, and specially with any acknowledgment of the divinity of the reigning emperor. The younger Pliny is drawing up a report for the eye of his imperial master Trajan; and he writes with the cold impartiality of a pagan statesman who is permitting himself to take a distant philosophical interest in the superstitions of the lower orders. Some apostates from the Church had been brought before his tribunal, and he had questioned them as to the practices of the Christians in Asia Minor. It appeared that on a stated day the Christians met before daybreak, and sang among themselves, responsively, a hymn to Christ as God109. Here it should be noted that Pliny is not recording a vague report, but a definite statement, elicited from several persons in cross-examination, moreover touching a point which, in dealing with a Roman magistrate, they might naturally have desired to keep in the background110. Again, the emperor Adrian, when writing to Servian, describes the population of Alexandria as divided between the worship of Christ and the worship of Serapis111. That One Who had been adjudged by the law to death as a criminal should receive Divine honors, must have been sufficiently perplexing to the Roman official mind; but it was much less irritating to the statesmen than to the philosophers. In his life of the fanatical cynic and apostate Christian, Peregrinus Proteus, whose voluntary self-immolation he himself witnessed at Olympia in A.D. 165, Lucian gives vent to the contemptuous sarcasm which was roused in him, and in men like him, by the devotions of the Church. ‘The Christians,’ he says, ‘are still worshipping that great man who was gibbeted in Palestine112.’ He complains that the Christians are taught that they stand to each other in the relation of brethren, as soon as they have broken loose from the prevailing customs, and have denied the gods of Greece, and have taken to the adoration of that impaled Sophist of theirs113. The Celsus with whom we meet in the treatise of Origen may or may not have been the friend of Lucian114. Celsus, it has been remarked, represents a class of intellects which is constantly found among the opponents of Christianity; Celsus has wit and acuteness without moral earnestness or depth of research; he looks at things only on the surface, and takes delight in constructing and putting forward difficulties and contradictions115. The worship of our Lord was certain to engage the perverted ingenuity of a mind of this description; and Celsus attacks the practice upon a variety of grounds which are discussed by Origen. The general position taken up by Celsus is that the Christians had no right to denounce the polytheism of the pagan world, since their own worship of Christ was essentially polytheistic. It was absurd in the Christians, he contends, to point at the heathen gods as idols, whilst they worshipped one who was in a much more wretched condition than the idols, and indeed was not even an idol at all, since he was a mere corpse116. The Christians, he urges, worshipped no God, no, not even a demon, but only a dead man117. If the Christians were bent upon religious innovations; if Hercules, and Aesculapius, and the gods who had been of old held in honor, were not to their taste; why could they not have addressed themselves to such distinguished mortals as Orpheus, or Anaxarchus, or Epictetus, or the Sibyl? Nay, would it not have been better to have paid their devotions to some of their own prophets, to Jonah under the gourd, or to Daniel in the lions’ den, than to a man who had lived an infamous life, and had died a miserable death118? In thus honoring a Jew who had been apprehended and put to death, the Christians were no better than the Getae who worshipped Zamolxis, than the Cilicians who adored Mopsus, than the Acarnanians who prayed to Amphilochus, than the Thebans with their cultus of Amphiaraus, than the Lebadians who were so devoted to Trophonius119. Was it not absurd in the Christians to ridicule the heathen for the devotion which they paid to Jupiter on the score of the exhibition of his sepulchre in Crete, while they themselves adored one who was himself only a tenant of the tomb120? Above all, was not the worship of Christ fatal to the Christian doctrine of the Unity of God? If the Christians really worshipped no God but One, then their reasoning against the heathen might have had force in it. But while they offer an excessive adoration to this person who has but lately appeared in the world, how can they think that they commit no offense against God, by giving such Divine honors to His servant121?
In his replies Origen entirely admits the fact upon which Celsus comments in this lively spirit of raillery. He does not merely admit that prayer to Christ was the universal practice of the Church; he energetically justifies it. When confronting the heathen opponent of his Master’s honor, Origen writes as the Christian believer, rather than as the philosophizing Alexandrian122. He deals with the language of Celsus patiently and in detail. The objects of heathen worship were unworthy of worship; the Jewish prophets had no claim to it; Christ was worshipped as the Son of God, as God Himself. ‘If Celsus,’ he says, ‘had understood the meaning of this, “I and the Father are One,” or what the Son of God says in His prayer, “As I and Thou are One,” he would never have imagined that we worship any but the God Who is over all; for Christ says, “The Father is in Me and I in Him123.” Origen then proceeds, although by a questionable analogy, to guard this language against a Sabellian construction: the worship addressed to Jesus was addressed to Him as personally distinct from the Father. Origen indeed, in vindicating this worship of our Lord, describes it elsewhere as prayer in an improper sense124, on the ground that true prayer is offered to the Father only. This has been explained to relate only to the mediatorial aspect of His Manhood as our High Priest125; and Bishop Bull further understands him to argue that the Father, as the Source of Deity, is ultimately the Object of all adoration126. But Origen entirely admits the broad fact that Jesus received Divine honors; and he defends such worship of Jesus as being an integral element of the Church’s life127.
The stress of heathen criticism, however, still continued to be directed against the adoration of our Lord. ‘Our gods,’ so ran the heathen language of a later day, ‘are not displeased with you Christians for worshipping the Almighty God. But you maintain the Deity of One Who was born as a man, and Who was put to death by the punishment of the cross (a mark of infamy reserved for criminals of the worst kind); you believe Him to be still alive, and you adore Him with daily supplications128.’ ‘The heathen,’ observes Lactantius, ‘throw in our teeth the Passion of Christ; they say that we worship a man, and a man too who was put to death by men under circumstances of ignominy and torture129.’ Lactantius and Arnobius reply to the charge in precisely the same manner. They admit the truth of Christ’s Humanity, and the shame of His Passion; but they earnestly assert His literal and absolute Godhead. However the heathen might scorn, the Godhead of Christ was the great certainty upon which the eye of His Church was persistently fixed; it was the truth by which her practice of adoring Him was necessarily determined130.
If the Gospel had only enjoined the intellectual acceptance of some philosophical theistic theory, its popular impotence would have earned the toleration which is easily secured by cold, abstract, passionless religions. In that case it would never have provoked the earnest scorn of a Lucian or of a Celsus. They would have condoned or passed it by, even if they had not cared to patronize it. But the continuous adoration of Jesus by His Church made the neutrality of such men as these morally impossible. They knew what it meant, this worship of the Crucified; it was too intelligible, too soul-enthralling, to be ignored or to be tolerated. And the lowest orders of the populace were for many long years, just as intelligently hostile to it as were the philosophers. Witness that remarkable caricature of the adoration of our crucified Lord, which was discovered not long since beneath the ruins of the Palatine palace131. It is a rough sketch, traced, in all probability, by the hand of some pagan slave in one of the earliest years of the third century of our era132. A human figure with an ass’s head is represented as fixed to a cross; while another figure in a tunic stands on one side. This figure is addressing himself to the crucified monster, and is making a gesture which was the customary pagan expression of adoration. Underneath there runs a rude inscription: Alexamenos adores his God. Here we are face to face with a touching episode of the life of the Roman Church in the days of Severus or of Caracalla. As under Nero, so, a century and a half later, there were worshippers of Christ in the household of the Caesar. But the paganism of the later date was more intelligently and bitterly hostile to the Church than the paganism which had shed the blood of the Apostles. The Gnostic invective which attributed to the Jews the worship of an ass, was applied by the pagans with facile indifference both to Jews and Christians. Tacitus attributes the custom to a legend respecting services rendered by wild asses to the Israelites in the desert133; ‘and so, I suppose,’ observes Tertullian, ‘it was thence presumed that we, as bordering on the Jewish religion, were taught to worship such a figure134.’ A story of this kind once current, was easily adapted to the purposes of a pagan caricaturist. Whether from ignorance of the forms of Christian worship, or in order to make his parody of it more generally intelligible to the pagan public, the draughtsman has ascribed to Alexamenos the gestures of a heathen devotee135. But the real object of this coarse caricature is too plain to be mistaken. Jesus Christ, we may be sure, had other confessors and worshippers in the imperial palace who knelt side by side with Alexamenos. The moral pressure of the advancing Church was making itself felt throughout all ranks of pagan society; ridicule was invoked to do the work of argument; and the social persecution which crowned all true Christian devotion was often only the prelude to a sterner test of that loyalty to a crucified Lord, which could meet heathen scorn with the strength of patient faith, and heathen cruelty with the courage of heroic endurance.
The death-cry of the martyrs must have familiarized the heathen mind with the honor paid to the Redeemer by Christians. Of the worship offered in the Catacombs, of the stern yet tender discipline whereby the early Church stimulated, guided, molded the heavenward aspirations of her children, paganism knew, could know, nothing. But the bearing and the exclamations of heroic servants of Christ when arraigned before the tribunals of the empire, or when exposed to a death of torture and shame in the amphitheatres, were matters of public notoriety. The dying prayers of St. Stephen expressed the instinct, if they did not provoke the imitation, of many a martyr of later days. What matters it to Blandina of Lyons that her pagan persecutors have first entangled her limbs in the meshes of a large net, and then have exposed her to the fury of a wild bull? She is insensible to pain; she is entranced in a profound communion with Christ136. What matters it to that servant-boy in Palestine, Porphyry, that his mangled body is ‘committed to a slow fire?’ He does but call more earnestly in his death-struggle upon Jesus137. Felix, an African bishop, after a long series of persecutions, has been condemned to be beheaded at Venusium for refusing to give up the sacred books to the proconsul. ‘Raising his eyes to heaven, he said with a clear voice. . . “O Lord God of heaven and earth, Jesu Christ, to Thee do I bend my neck by way of sacrifice, O Thou Who abidest for ever, to Whom belong glory and majesty, world without end. Amen138.”’ Theodotus of Ancyra has been betrayed by the apostate Polychronius, and is joining in a last prayer with the sorrowing Church. ‘Lord Jesu Christ,’ he cries, ‘Thou Hope of the hopeless, grant that I may finish the course of my conflict, and offer the shedding of my blood as a libation and sacrifice, to the relief of all those who suffer for Thee. Do Thou lighten their burden; and still this tempest of persecution, that all who believe in Thee may enjoy rest and quietness139.’ And afterwards, in the extremity of his torture, he prays thus: ‘Lord Jesu Christ, Thou Hope of the hopeless, hear my prayer, and assuage this agony, seeing that for Thy Name’s sake I suffer thus140.’ And when the pain had failed to bend his resolution, and the last sentence had been pronounced by the angry judge, ‘O Lord Jesu Christ,’ the martyr exclaims, ‘Thou Maker of heaven and earth, Who forsakest not them that put their hope in Thee, I give Thee thanks for that Thou hast made me meet to be a citizen of Thy heavenly city, and to have a share in Thy kingdom. I give Thee thanks, that Thou hast given me strength to conquer the dragon, and to bruise his head. Give rest unto Thy servants, and stay the fierceness of the enemies in my person. Give peace unto Thy Church, and set her free from the tyranny of the devil141.’
Thus it was that the martyrs prayed and died. Their voices reach us across the chasm of intervening centuries; but time cannot impair the moral majesty, or weaken the accents of their strong and simple conviction. One after another their piercing words, in which the sharpest human agony is so entwined with a superhuman faith, fall upon our ears. ‘O Christ, Thou Son of God, deliver Thy servants142.’ ‘O Lord Jesu Christ, we are Christians; Thee do we serve; Thou art our Hope; Thou art the Hope of Christians; O God Most Holy, O God Most High, O God Almighty143.’ ‘O Christ,’ cries a martyr again and again amidst his agonies, ‘O Christ, let me not be confounded144.’ ‘Help, I pray Thee, O Christ, have pity. Preserve my soul, guard my spirit, that I be not ashamed. I pray Thee, O Christ, grant me power of endurance145.’ ‘I pray Thee, Christ, hear me. I thank Thee, my God; command that I be beheaded. I pray Thee, Christ, have mercy; help me, Thou Son of God146.’ ‘I pray Thee, O Christ: all praise to Thee. Deliver me, O Christ; I suffer in Thy Name. I suffer for a short while; I suffer with a willing mind, O Christ my Lord: let me not be confounded147.’
Or listen to such an extract from an early document as the following:—‘Calvisianus, interrupting Euplius, said, “Let Euplius, who hath not in compliance with the edict of the emperors given up the sacred writings, but readeth them to the people, be put to the torture.” And while he was being racked, Euplius said, “I thank Thee, O Christ. Guard Thou me, who for Thee am suffering thus.” Calvisianus the consular said, “Cease, Euplius, from this folly. Adore the gods, and thou shalt be set at liberty.” Euplius said, “I adore Christ; I utterly hate the demons. Do what thou wilt: I am a Christian. Long have I desired what now I suffer. Do what thou wilt. Add yet other tortures: I am a Christian.” After he had been tortured a long while, the executioners were bidden hold their hands. And Calvisianus said, “Unhappy man, adore the gods. Pay worship to Mars, Apollo, and Aesculapius.” Euplius said, “I worship the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost. I adore the Holy Trinity, beside Whom there is no God. Perish the gods who did not make heaven and earth, and all that is in them. I am a Christian.” Calvisianus the praefect said, “Offer sacrifice, if thou wouldest be set at liberty.” Euplius said, “I sacrifice myself only to Christ my God: more than this I cannot do. Thy efforts are to no purpose; I am a Christian.” Calvisianus gave orders that he should be tortured again more severely. And while he was being tortured, Euplius said, “Thanks to Thee, O Christ. Help me, O Christ. For Thee do I suffer thus, O Christ.” And he said this repeatedly. And as his strength gradually failed him, he went on repeating these or other exclamations, with his lips only—his voice was gone148.’
You cannot, as I have already urged149, dismiss from your consideration such prayers as these, on the ground of their being ‘mere ejaculations.’ Do serious men, who know they are dying, ‘ejaculate’ at random? Is it at the hour of death that a man would naturally innovate upon the devotional habits of a lifetime? Is it at such an hour that he would make hitherto unattempted enterprises into the unseen world, and address himself to beings with whom he had not before deemed it lawful or possible to hold spiritual communion? Is not the reverse of this supposition notoriously the case? Surely, those of us who have witnessed the last hours of the servants of Christ cannot hesitate as to the answer. As the soul draws nigh to the gate of death, the solemnities of the eternal future are wont to cast their shadows upon the thought and heart; and whatever is deepest, truest, most assured and precious, thenceforth engrosses every power. At that dread yet blessed hour, the soul clings with a new intensity and deliberation to the most certain truths, to the most prized and familiar words. The mental creations of an intellectual over-subtlety, or of a thoughtless enthusiasm, or of an unbridled imagination, or of a hidden perversity of will, or of an unsuspected unreality of character, fade away or are discarded. To gaze upon the naked truth is the one necessity; to plant the feet upon the Rock Itself, the supreme desire, in that awful, searching, sifting moment. Often, too, at a man’s last hour, will habit strangely assert its mysterious power of recovering, as if from the grave, thoughts and memories which seemed to have been lost for ever. Truths which have been half forgotten or quite forgotten since childhood, and prayers which were learned at a mother’s knee, return upon the soul with resistless persuasiveness and force, while the accumulations of later years disappear and are lost sight of. Depend upon it, the martyrs prayed to Jesus in their agony because they had prayed to Him long before, many of them from infancy; because they knew from experience that such prayers were blessed and answered. They had been taught to pray to Him; they had joined in prayers to Him; they had been taunted and ridiculed for praying to Him; they had persevered in praying to Him; and when at last their hour of trial and of glory came, they had recourse to the prayers which they knew full well to be the secret of their strength, and those prayers carried them on through their agony, to the crown beyond it.
And, further, you will have remarked that the worship of Jesus by the martyrs was full of the deepest elements of worship. It was made up of trust, of resignation, of self-surrender, of self-oblation. Nothing short of a belief in the absolute Godhead of Jesus could justify such worship. The Homoousion was its adequate justification. Certainly the Arians worshipped our Lord, although they rejected the Homoousion. So clear were the statements of Scripture, so strong and so universal was the tradition of Christendom, that Arianism could not resist the claims of a practice which was nevertheless at variance with its true drift and principle. For, as St. Athanasius pointed out, the Arians did in reality worship one whom they believed to be a being distinct from the Supreme God. The Arians were creature-worshippers not less than the heathen150. Some later Arians appear to have attempted to retort the charge of creature-worship by pointing to the adoration of our Lord’s Humanity in the Catholic Church. But, as St. Athanasius explains, our Lord’s Manhood was adored, not as a distinct and individual Being, but only as inseparably joined to the adorable Person of the Everlasting Word151. A refusal to adore Christ’s Manhood must imply that after the Incarnation men could truly conceive of It as separate from Christ’s Eternal Person152. There was no real analogy between this worship and the Arian worship of a being who was in no wise associated with the Essence of God; and Arianism was either virtually ditheistic or consciously idolatrous. It was idolatrous, if Christ was a created being; it was ditheistic, if He was conceived of as really Divine, yet distinct in essence from the Essence of the Father153.
The same phenomenon of the vital principle of a heresy being overridden for a while by the strength of the tradition of universal Christendom was reproduced, twelve centuries later, in the case of Socinianism. The earliest Socinians taught that the Son of God was a mere man, who was conceived of the Holy Ghost, and was therefore called the Son of God. But they also maintained that on account of His obedience, He was, after finishing His work of redemption, exalted to Divine dignity and honor154. Christians were to treat Him as if He were God: they were to trust Him implicitly; they were to adore Him155. Faustus Socinus156 zealously insisted upon the duty of adoring Jesus Christ; and the Racovian Catechism expressly asserts that those who do not call upon or adore Christ are not to be accounted Christians157. But this was only the archaeology, or at most the better feeling of Socinianism. Any such mere feeling was destined to yield surely and speedily to the logic of a strong destructive principle. In vain did Blandrata appeal to Faustus Socinus himself158, when endeavoring to persuade the Socinians of Transylvania to adore Jesus Christ: the Transylvanians would not be persuaded to yield an act of adoration to any creature159. In vain did the Socinian Catechism draw a distinction between a higher and a lower worship, of which the former was reserved for the Father, while the latter was paid to Christ160. Practically this led on to a violation of the one positive fundamental principle of Socinianism; it obscured the incommunicable prerogatives of the Supreme Being. Accordingly, in spite of the texts of Scripture upon which their worship of Christ was rested by the Socinian theologians, such worship was soon abandoned; and the later practice of Socinians161 has illustrated the true doctrinal force and meaning of that adoration which Socinianism refuses, but which the Church unceasingly offers to Jesus, the Son of God made Man. Of this worship the only real justification is that full belief in Christ’s Essential Unity with the Father which is expressed by the Homoousion.
II. But the Homoousion did not merely justify and explain the devotional attitude of the Church towards Jesus Christ: it was, in reality, in keeping with the general drift and sense of her traditional language.
Reference has already been made to the prayers of the primitive martyrs; but the martyrs professed in terms their belief in Christ’s divinity, as frequently as they implied that belief by their adorations of Christ. This is the more observable because it is at variance with the suggestions by which those who do not share the faith of the martyrs, sometimes attempt to account for the moral spectacle which martyrdom presents. It has been said that the martyrs did not bear witness to any definite truth or dogma; that the martyr-temper, so to term it, was composed of two elements, a kind of military enthusiasm for an unseen Leader, and a strange unnatural desire to brave physical suffering; that the prayers uttered by the martyrs were the product of this compound feeling, but that such prayers did not imply any defined conceptions respecting the rank and powers of Him to Whom they were addressed. Now, without denying that the martyrs were sustained by a strictly supernatural contempt for pain, or that their devotion to our Lord was of the nature of an intense personal attachment which could not brook the least semblance of slight or disloyalty, or that they had not analyzed their intellectual apprehension of the truth before them in the manner of the divines of the Nicene age, I nevertheless affirm that the martyrs did suffer on behalf of a doctrine which was dearer to them than life. The Christ with Whom they held such close and passionate communion, and for Whose honor they shed their blood, was not to them a vague floating idea, or a being of whose rank and powers they imagined themselves to be ignorant. If there be one doctrine of the faith which they especially confessed at death, it is the doctrine of our Lord’s Divinity. This truth was not only confessed by bishops and presbyters. Philosophers, like Justin162; soldiers, such as Maurice163, and Tarachus164, Theodorus165; young men of personal beauty like Peter of Lampsacus166, or literary friends of high mental cultivation as were Epipodius and Alexander167; widows, such as Symphorosa168; and poor women like Domnina169; and slaves such as Vitalis170; and young boys such as Martialis171;—the learned and the illiterate, the young and the old, the noble and the lowly, the slave and his master, united in this confession. Sometimes it is wrung from the martyr reluctantly by cross-examination; sometimes it is proclaimed as a truth with which the Christian heart is full to bursting, and which, out of the heart’s abundance, the Christian mouth cannot but speak. Sometimes Christ’s Divinity is professed as belonging to the great Christian contradiction of the polytheism of the heathen world around; sometimes it is explained as involving Christ’s Unity with the Father, against the pagan imputation of ditheism172; sometimes it is proclaimed as justifying the worship which, as the heathens knew, Christians paid to Christ. The martyrs look paganism in the face, and maintain that, although Christ was crucified, yet nevertheless Christ is God; that even while His very Name is cast out as evil, Christ is really Master of the fortunes of Rome and Disposer of the events of history; that the pagan empire itself did but unwittingly subserve His purposes and prepare His triumph173; that He Who is the Creator of heaven and earth, can afford to wait, and is certain of the future. This was the faith which made any compromise with paganism impossible174. ‘What God dost thou worship?’ enquired the judges of the Christian Pionius. ‘I worship,’ replied Pionius, ‘Him Who made the heavens, and Who beautified them with stars, and Who has enriched the earth with flowers and trees.’ ‘Dost thou mean,’ asked the magistrates, ‘Him Who was crucified?’ ‘Certainly,’ replied Pionius; ‘Him Whom the Father sent for the salvation of the world175.’
The point before us notoriously admits of the most copious illustration176: and it is impossible to mistake its significance. If the dying words of this or that martyr are misreported, or exaggerated, or colored by the phraseology of a later age, the general phenomenon cannot but be admitted, as a fact beyond dispute. The martyrs of the primitive Church died, in a great number of cases, expressly for the dogma of Christ’s Divinity. The confessions of the martyrs explain and justify the prayers of the martyrs; the Homoousion combines, summarizes, fixes the sense of their confessions. The martyrs did not pray to or confess a creature external to the Essence of God, however dignified, however powerful, however august. They prayed to Christ as God, they confessed that Christ is God, they died for Christ as God. They prayed to Him and they spoke of Him as of a distinct Person, Who yet was one with God. Does not this simple faith of the Christian people cover the same area as the more clearly defined faith of the Nicene fathers? Or could it be more fairly or more accurately summarized by any other symbol than it is by the Homoousion?
But you admit that the Nicene decision did very fairly embody and fix in a symbolical form the popular creed of earlier centuries. ‘This,’ you say, ‘is the very pith of our objection; it was the popular creed to which the Council gave the sanction of its authority.’ You suggest that although a dying martyr may be an interesting ethical study, yet that the moral force which carries him through his sufferings is itself apt to be a form of fanaticism hostile to any severely intellectual conception of the worth and bearings of his creed. You admit that the martyr represents the popular creed; but then you draw a distinction between a popular creed, as such, and the ‘ideas’ of the ‘thinkers.’ ‘What is any and every creed of the people,’ say you, ‘but the child of the wants and yearnings of humanity, fed at the breast of mere heated feeling, and nursed in the lap of an ignorance more or less profound?’ A popular creed, you admit, may have a restricted interest, as affording an insight into the intellectual condition of the people which holds it; but you deem it worthless as a guide to absolute truth. The question, you maintain, is not, What was believed by the primitive Christians at large? The question is, What was taught by the well-instructed teachers of the early Church? Did the creed of the people, with all its impulsiveness and rhetoric, keep within the lines of the grave, reserved, measured, hesitating, cautious language of the higher minds of primitive Christendom?
Now here, my brethren, I might fairly take exception to your distinction between a popular and an educated creed, as in fact inapplicable to the genius and circumstances of early Christianity. Are not your criteria really derived from your conceptions of modern societies, political and religious? It was once said of an ancient state, that each of its citizens was so identified with the corporate spirit and political action of his country, as to be in fact a statesman. And in the primitive Church, it was at least approximately true that every Christian, through the intensity and intelligence of the popular faith, was a sound divine. Men did not then die for rhetorical phrases, any more than they would do so now; and if the martyrs were, as a rule, men of the people, it is also notorious that not a few among them were bishops and theologians of repute. But that we may do justice to the objection, let us enquire briefly what the great Church teachers of the first three centuries have taught respecting the Higher and Eternal Nature of Jesus Christ.
And here let us remark, first of all, that a chain of representative writers, reaching from the sub-apostolic to the Nicene age, does assert, in strong and explicit language, the belief of the Church that Jesus Christ is God.
Thus St. Ignatius of Antioch dwells upon our Lord’s Divine Nature as a possession of the Church, and of individual Christians; he calls Jesus Christ ‘my God,’ ‘our God.’ ‘Jesus Christ our God,’ he says, ‘was carried in the womb of Mary177.’ The Blood of Jesus is the Blood of God178. Ignatius desires to imitate the sufferings of his God179. The sub-apostolic author of the Letter to Diognetus teaches that ‘the Father hath sent to men, not one of His servants, whether man or angel, but the very Architect and Author of all things, by Whom all has been ordered and settled, and on Whom all depends. . . . He has sent Him as being God180.’ And because He is God, His Advent is a real revelation of God; He has shown Himself to men, and by faith men have seen and known their God181. St. Polycarp appeals to Him as to the Everlasting Son of God182; all things on earth and in heaven, all spirits obey Him183; He is the Author of our justification; He is the Object of our hope184. Justin Martyr maintains that the Word is the First-born of God, and so God185; that He appeared in the Old Testament as the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob186; that He is sometimes called the Glory of the Lord, sometimes the Son, sometimes the Wisdom, sometimes the Angel, sometimes God187. St. Justin argues against Tryphon that if the Jews had attentively considered what the prophets have written, they would not have denied that Christ is God and the Only Son of the Unbegotten God188. He maintains that the Word is Himself the witness to His own Divine Generation of the Father189; and that the reality of His Sonship is itself a sufficient evidence of His True Divinity190. Tatian is aware that the Greeks deem the faith of the Church utter folly; but he nevertheless will assert that God has appeared on earth in a human form191. Athenagoras proclaims with special emphasis the oneness of the Word with the Father, as Creator and Ruler of the universe192. Melito of Sardis speaks of Jesus as being both God and Man193: ‘Christians,’ he says, ‘do not worship senseless stones, as do the heathen, but God and His Christ, Who is God the Word194,’ St. Irenaeus perhaps represents the purest and deepest stream of apostolic doctrine which flowed from St. John through Polycarp into the Western Church. St. Irenaeus speaks of Christ as sharing the Name of the only true God. He maintains against the Valentinians that the Divine Name in its strictest sense was not given to any angel; and that when in Scripture the Name of God is given to any other than God Himself there is always some explanatory epithet or clause in order to show that the full sense of the word is not intended195. None is directly called God save God the Father of all things and His Son Jesus Christ196. In both Testaments Christ is preached as God and Lord, as the King Eternal, as the Only-begotten, as the Word Incarnate197. If Christ is worshipped198, if Christ forgives sins199, if Christ is Mediator between God and man200, this is because He is really a Divine Person.
And if from Gaul we pass to Africa, and from the second to the third century, the force and number of primitive testimonies to the Divinity of our Lord increase upon us so rapidly as to render it impossible that we should do more than glance at a few of the more prominent. At Alexandria we find Clement speaking of That Living God Who suffered and Who is adored201; of the Word, Who is both God and man, and the Author of all blessings202; of God the Savior203, Who saves us, as being the Author and Archetype of all existing beings. Clement alludes to our Lord’s Divinity as explaining His equality with the Father204, His prescience during His Human Life205, His revelation of the Father to men206. Origen maintains Christ’s true Divinity against the contemptuous criticisms of Celsus207. Origen more than once uses the expression ‘the God Jesus208.’ He teaches that the Word, the Image of God, is God209; that the Son is as truly Almighty as the Father210; that Christ is the Very Word, the Absolute Wisdom, the Absolute Truth, the Absolute Righteousness Itself211. Christ, according to Origen, possesses all the attributes of Deity212; God is contemplated in the contemplation of Christ213. Christ’s Incarnation is like the economical language of parables which describe Almighty God as if He were a human being. So real is Christ’s Deity, that His assumption of our Nature, like the speech of a parable, is to be looked upon as only a condescension to finite intelligences214. There is no Highest Good in existence which is superior to Christ215; as Very God, Christ is present in all the world; He is present with every man216. Origen continually closes his Homilies with a doxology to our Lord; and he can only account for refusal to believe in His Divinity by the hypothesis of some kind of mental obliquity217. Tertullian’s language is full of Punic fire, but in speaking of Christ’s Divinity he is dealing with opponents who would force him to be accurate, even if there were not a higher motive for accuracy. Tertullian anticipates the Homoousion in terms: Christ, he says, is called God, by reason of His oneness of substance with God218. Christ alone is begotten of God219; He is God and Lord over all men220. Tertullian argues at length that an Incarnation of God is possible221; he dwells upon its consequences in language which must appear paradoxical to unbelief or half-belief, but which is natural to a sincere and intelligent faith in its reality. Tertullian speaks of a Crucified God222; of the Blood of God, as the price of our redemption223. Christians, he says, believe in a God Who was dead, and Who nevertheless reigns for ever224. St. Cyprian argues that those who believe in Christ’s power to make a temple of the human soul must needs believe in His Divinity; nothing but utter blindness or wickedness can account for a refusal to admit this truth225. St. Hippolytus had urged it against Jews and Sabellians226; Arnobius determines to indent it upon the pagan mind by dint of constant repetition227. Theonas of Alexandria instructs a candidate for the imperial librarianship how he may gradually teach it to his pagan master228. Dionysius of Alexandria vehemently repudiates as a cruel scandal the report of his having denied it229. St. Peter of Alexandria would prove it from an examination of Christ’s miracles230. For the rest, St. Methodius of Tyre may represent the faith of western Asia231; the martyred Felix that of the Roman chair232; and, to omit other illustrations233, the letter of the Council to Paulus of Samosata summarizes the belief both of eastern and western Christendom during the latter half of the third century234.
This language of the preceding centuries does in effect and substance anticipate the Nicene decision. When once the question of Christ’s Divinity had been raised in the metaphysical form which the Homoousion presupposes, no other answer was possible, unless the Nicene fathers had been prepared to renounce the most characteristic teaching of their predecessors. Certainly it did not occur to them that the Catholic language of earlier writers had been ‘mere rhetoric,’ and could, as such, be disregarded. What is the real meaning of this charge of ‘rhetoric’ which is brought so freely against the early Christian fathers? It really amounts to saying that a succession of men who were at least intelligent and earnest, were nevertheless, when writing upon the subject which lay nearest to their hearts, wholly unable to command that amount of jealous self-control, and cautious accuracy in the use of language, which might save them from misrepresenting their most fundamental convictions. Let us ask ourselves whether this judgment be morally probable? Doubtless the fathers felt strongly, and, being sincere men, they wrote as they felt. But they were not always exhorting or declaiming or perorating: they wrote, at times, in the temper of cold unimpassioned reasoners, who had to dispute their ground inch by inch with pagan or heretical opponents. Tertullian is not always ‘fervid’; St. Chrysostom is not always eloquent; Origen does not allegorize under all circumstances; St. Ambrose can interpret Scripture literally and morally as well as mystically. The fathers were not a uniform series of poets or transcendentalists. Many of them were eminently practical, or, if you will, prosaic; and they continually wrote in view of hostile criticism, as well as in obedience to strong personal convictions. To men like Justin, Origen, and Cyprian the question of the Divinity of our Lord was one of an interest quite as pressing and practical as any that moves the leaders of political or commercial or scientific opinion in the England of to-day. And when men write with their lives in their hands, and moreover believe that the endless happiness of their fellow-creatures depends in no slight degree upon the conscientious accuracy with which they express themselves, they are not likely to yield to the temptation of writing for the miserable object of mere rhythmical effect;—they may say what others deem strong and startling things without being, in the depreciatory sense of the term, ‘rhetorical.’
But,—to be just,—those who insist most eagerly upon the ‘rhetorical’ shortcomings of the fathers, are not accustomed to deny to them under all circumstances the credit of writing with intelligence and upon principle. If, for example, a father uses expressions, however inadvertently or provisionally, which appear to contradict the general current of Church teaching, he is at once welcomed as a serious writer who is entitled to marked and respectful attention. Critics who lay most stress upon the charge of unprincipled rhetoric as brought against the fathers are often anxious to take advantage of the argument which screens the fathers and which they themselves reject. ‘Give that argument,’ they say, ‘its full and honest scope. If the Nicene fathers were not mere rhetoricians, neither were the ante-Nicene. If Athanasius, Basil, and the Gregories are to be taken at their word, so are Justin Martyr, Clement, Origen, and their contemporaries. If the orthodox language of one period is not rhetoric, then the doubtful or unorthodox language of another period is not rhetoric. If for the moment we admit the principle upon which you are insisting, we claim that it shall be applied impartially,—to the second century as to the fourth, to the language which is said to favor Arias, no less than to the language which is insisted upon by the friends of Athanasius.’
‘Is it not notorious,’ men ask, ‘that some ante-Nicene writers at times use language which falls short of, if it does not contradict, the doctrine of the Nicene Council? Does not St. Justin Martyr, for instance, speak of the Son as subserving the Father’s Will235? nay, as being begotten of Him at His Will236? Does not Justin even speak of Christ as “another God under the Creator237?” Do not Athenagoras, Tatian, Theophilus, and St. Hippolytus apply the language of Scripture respecting the generation of the Word to His manifestation at the creation of the world, as a distinct being from God? Do they not so distinguish between the 'logoj endiaqetoj' and the 'logoj proforikoj' as to imply that the Word was hypostatized only at the creation238? Does not Clement of Alexandria implicitly style the Word the Second Principle of things239? Does he not permit himself to say that the Nature of the Son is most close to the Sole Almighty One240? Although Origen first spoke of the Savior as being “ever-begotten241,” has he not, amidst much else that is questionable, contrasted the Son, as the immediate Creator of the world, with the Father as the original Creator242? Did not Dionysius of Alexandria use language which he was obliged to account for, and which is repudiated by St. Basil243? Was not Lucian of Antioch excommunicated, and, martyr though he was, regarded as the founder of an heterodox sect244? Is not Tertullian said to be open to the charge that he combated Praxeas with arguments which did the work of Arius245? Has he not, in his anxiety to avoid the Monarchianist confusion of Persons, spoken of the Son as a “derivation from, and portion of, the whole Substance of the Father246,” or even as if He once was not247? Does any Catholic writer undertake to apologize for the expressions of Lactantius. Has not recent criticism tended somewhat to enhance the reputation of Petavius at the expense of Bishop Bull248? Nay, is not Bull’s great work itself an illustration of what is at least the prima facie state of the case? Does it not presuppose a considerable apparent discrepancy between some ante-Nicene and the post-Nicene writers? Is it not throughout explanatory and apologetic? Can we deny that out of the long list of writers whom Bull reviews, he has, for one cause or another, to explain the language of nearly one-half?’
This line of argument in an earlier guise has been discussed so fully by a distinguished predecessor249 in the present Lecture, that it may suffice to notice very summarily the considerations which must be taken into account, if justice is to be done, both to its real force and to the limits which ought to be, but which are not always, assigned to it.
(a) Undoubtedly, it should be frankly granted that some of the ante-Nicene writers do at times employ terms which, judged by a Nicene standard, must be pronounced unsatisfactory. You might add to the illustrations which have already been quoted; and you might urge that, if they admit of a Catholic interpretation, they do not always invite one. For in truth these anteNicene fathers were feeling their way, not towards the substance of the faith, which they possessed in its fullness, but towards that intellectual mastery both of its relationship to outer forms of thought, and of its own internal harmonies and system, which is obviously a perfectly distinct gift from the simple possession of the faith itself. As Christians they possessed the faith itself. The faith, delivered once for all, had been given to the Church in its completeness by the apostles. But the finished intellectual survey and treatment of the faith is a superadded acquirement; it is the result of conflict with a hostile criticism, and of devout reflections matured under the guidance of the Spirit of Truth. Knowledge of the drift and scope of particular lines of speculation, knowledge of the real force and value of a new terminology, comes, whether to a man or to a society, in the way of education and after the discipline of partial and temporary failure. Heresy indirectly contributed to form the Church’s mind: it gave point and sharpness to current conceptions of truth by its mutilations and denials; it illustrated the fatal tendencies of novel lines of speculation, or even of misleading terms; it unwittingly forced on an elucidation of the doctrines of the Church by its subtle and varied opposition. But before heresy had thus accomplished its providential work, individual Church teachers might in perfect good faith attempt to explain difficulties, or to win opponents, by enterprising speculations, in this or that direction, which were not yet shown to be perilous to truth. Not indeed that the Universal Church, in her collective capacity, was ever committed to any of those less perfect statements of doctrine which belong to the ante-Nicene period. Particular fathers or schools of thought within her might use terms and illustrations which she afterwards disavowed; but then, they had no Divine guarantee of inerrancy, such as had been vouchsafed to the entire body of the faithful. They were in difficult and untried circumstances; they were making experiments in unknown regions of thought; their language was tentative and provisional. Compared with the great fathers of the fourth and fifth centuries, who spoke when collective Christendom had expressed or was expressing its mind in the Oecumenical Councils, and who therefore more nearly represented it, and were in a certain sense its accepted organs, such ante-Nicene writers occupy a position inferior, if not in love and honor, yet certainly in weight of authority. If without lack of reverence to such glorious names the illustration is permissible, the Alexandrian teachers of the second and third centuries were, relatively to their successors of the age of the Councils, in the position of young or half-educated persons, who know at bottom what they mean, who know yet more distinctly what they do not mean, but who as yet have not so measured and sounded their thoughts, or so tested the instrument by which thought finds expression, as to avoid misrepresenting their meaning more or less considerably, before they succeed in conveying it with accuracy. When, for example, St. Justin, and after him Tertullian, contrast the visibility of the Son with the invisibility of the Father, all that their language is probably intended to convey is that the Son had from everlasting designed to assume a nature which would render Him visible. When again St. Justin speaks of the Son as a Minister of God, this expression connects Him without explanation with the ministering Angel of the Old Testament. Yet it need involve nothing beyond a reference to His humiliation in the days of His Flesh. A like interpretation may fairly be put upon the ultrasubordinationist terms used by Origen and Tertullian in dealing with two forms of heretical Monarchianism; and upon the misconstrued phrases of the saintly Dionysius which expressed his resistance to a full-blown Sabellianism250. Language was employed which obviously admitted of being misunderstood. It would not have been used at a later period. ‘It may be,’ says St. Jerome, with reference to some of the ante-Nicene fathers, ‘that they simply fell into errors, or that they wrote in a sense distinct from that which lies on the surface of their writings, or that the copyists have gradually corrupted their writings. Or at any rate before that Arius, like “the sickness that destroyeth in the noonday,” was born in Alexandria, these writers spoke, in terms which meant no harm, and which were less cautious than such as would be used now, and which accordingly are open to the unfriendly construction which ill-disposed persons put upon them251.’
Indeed it is observable that the tentative and perplexing Christological language which was used by earlier fathers, at a time when the quicksands of religious thought had not yet been explored by the shipwrecks of heresy, does not by any means point, as is sometimes assumed, in an Arian direction exclusively. If, for instance, a few phrases in St. Justin may be cited by Arianism with a certain plausibility, a similar appeal to him is open from the opposite direction of Sabellianism. In his anxiety to discountenance Emanatist conceptions of the relation of the Logos to the Father, Justin hastily refers the beginning of the Personal Subsistence of the Word to revelation or to the creation, and he accordingly speaks of the Word as being caused by the Will of God. But Justin did not place the Son on the footing of a creature; he did not hold a strict subordinationism252; since he teaches distinctly that the Logos is of the Essence of God, that He is a Power eternally begotten of God Himself253. Thus St. Justin’s language at first sight seems to embrace two opposite and not yet refuted heresies: both can appeal to him with equal justice, or rather with equal want of it254.
(b) Reflect further that a doctrine may be held in its integrity, and yet be presented to men of two different periods, under aspects in many ways different. So it was with the doctrine of Christ’s Divinity, in the ante-Nicene as compared with the postNicene age of its promulgation. When the Gospel was still struggling with paganism throughout the empire, the Church undoubtedly laid the utmost possible stress upon the Unity of the Supreme Being. For this was the primal truth which she had to assert most emphatically in the face of polytheism. In order to do this it was necessary to insist with particular emphasis upon those relations which secure and explain the Unity of the Divine Persons in the Blessed Trinity. That, in the ineffable mystery of the Divine Life, the Father is the Fount or Source of Godhead, from Whom by eternal Generation and Procession respectively, the Son and the Spirit derive their Personal Being, was the clear meaning of the theological statements of the New Testament. When, then, Origen speaks of the Father as the ‘first God255’ he means what the Apostle meant by the expression, ‘One God and Father of all, Who is above all.’ He implicitly means that, independently of all time and inferiority, the Son’s Life was derived from, and, in that sense, subordinate to the Life of the Father. Now it is obvious that to speak with perfect accuracy upon such a subject, so as to express the ideas of derivation and subordinateness, while avoiding the cognate but false and disturbing ideas of posteriority in time and inferiority of nature, was difficult. For as yet the dogmatic language of the Church was comparatively unfixed, and a large discretion was left to individual teachers. They used material images to express what was in their thoughts. These images, drawn from created things, were of course not adequate to the Uncreated Object Which they were designed to illustrate. Yet they served to introduce an imperfect conception of It256. The fathers who employed them, having certain Emanatist theories in view, repeatedly urged that the Son is derived from the Father in accordance with the Divine attributes of Will and Power. Looking to our human experience, we conceive of will as prior to that which it calls into being; but in God the Eternal Will and the Eternal Act are coincident; and the phrase of St. Justin which refers the existence of the Logos to the Divine Will is only misunderstood because it is construed in an anthropomorphic sense. In like manner the Alexandrian distinction between the 'logoj endiaqetoj' and the 'logoj proforikoj' fell in naturally with the subordinationist teaching in the anteNicene Church. It could, in a sense, be said that the Son left the Bosom of the Father when He went forth to create, and the act of creation was thus described as a kind of second generation of the Son. But the expression did not imply, as it has been understood to imply, a denial of His eternal Generation, and of His unbegotten, unending Subsistence in God. This indeed is plain from the very writers who use it257. Generally speaking, the early fathers are bent on insisting on the subordination ('kata tacin') of the Son, as protecting and explaining the doctrine of the Divine Unity. If some of these expressed themselves too incautiously or boldly, the general truth itself was never discredited in the Church. Subordinationism was indeed allowed to fall somewhat into the shade, when the decline of paganism made it possible, and the activities of Arianism made it necessary, to contemplate Jesus Christ in the absoluteness of His Personal Godhead rather than in that relation of a subordinate, in the sense of an eternally derived subsistence, in which He also stands to the Eternal Father. But Bishop Bull has shown how earnestly such a doctrine of subordination was also taught in the Nicene period; and at this day we confess it in the Nicene Creed itself. And the stress which was laid upon it in the second and third centuries, and which goes far to explain much of the language which is sometimes held to be of doubtful orthodoxy, is in reality perfectly consistent with the broad fact that from the first the general current of Church language proclaims the truth that Jesus Christ is God.
(c) For that truth was beyond doubt the very central feature of the teaching of the ante-Nicene Church, even when Church teachers had not yet recognized all that it necessarily involved, and had not yet elaborated the accurate statement of its relationship to other truths around it. The writers whose less-considered expressions are brought forward in favor of an opposite conclusion do not sustain it. If, as we have seen, Justin may be quoted by those who push the Divinity of Christ to the denial of His Personal distinction from the Father258, no less than by Arianizers; so also, as Petavius himself admits259, do both Origen and Tertullian anticipate the very language of the Nicene Creed. Nor, when their expressions are fairly examined, can it be denied that the writers who imported the philosophical category of the 'logoj endiaqetoj' and 'proforikoj' into Christian theology did really believe with all their hearts in the eternal Generation of the Word. For it should especially be remarked that when the question of our Lord’s Divinity was broadly proposed to the mind of the ante-Nicene Church, the answer was not a doubtful or hesitating one. Any recognized assault upon it stirred the heart of the Church to energetic protest. When Victor of Rome excommunicated the Quartodecimans, his censures were answered either by open remonstrance or by tacit disregard, throughout Gaul and the East260. When he cut off Theodotus from the communion of the Church, the act commanded universal acquiescence; the Christian heart thrilled with indignation at ‘the God-denying apostasy’ of the tanner of Byzantium261. When Dionysius of Alexandria, writing with incautious zeal against the Sabellians, was charged with heterodoxy on the subject of our Lord’s Divine Nature, he at once addressed to Dionysius of Rome an explanation which is in fact an anticipation of the language of Athanasius262. When Paulus of Samosata appeared in one of the first sees of Christendom, the universal excitement, the emphatic protests, the final, measured, and solemn condemnation which he provoked, proved how deeply the Divinity of Jesus Christ was rooted in the heart of the Church of the third century. Moreover, unless Christ’s absolute Godhead had been thus a matter of Catholic belief, the rise of such a heresy as that of Sabellianism would have been impossible. Sabellianism overstates that which Arianism denies. Sabellianism presupposes the truth of Christ’s Godhead, which, if we may so speak, it exaggerates even to the point of rejecting His Personal distinctness from the Father. If the belief of the ante-Nicene Church had been really Arianizing, Noetus could not have appealed to it as he did, while perverting it to a denial of hypostatic distinctions in the Godhead263; and Arius himself might have only passed for a representative of the subordinationism of Origen, and of the literalism of Antioch, instead of being condemned as a sophistical dialectician who had broken altogether with the historical tradition of the Church, by daring to oppose a central truth of her unchanging faith.
The idea that our Lord’s Divinity was introduced into the belief and language of the Church at a period subsequent to the death of the apostles, was indeed somewhat adventurously put forward by some early Humanitarians. Reference has already been made in another connection to an important passage, which is quoted by Eusebius from an anonymous writer who appears to have flourished in the early part of the third century264. This passage enables us to observe the temper and method of treatment encountered by any such theory in ante-Nicene times.
The Humanitarian Artemon seems to have been an accomplished philosopher and mathematician; and he maintained that the Divinity of Christ was imported into the Church during the episcopate of Zephyrinus, who succeeded Victor in the Roman chair. Now if this story could have been substantiated, it would have been necessary to suppose, either that the Church was the organ of a continuous and not yet completed revelation, or else that the doctrine was a human speculation unwarrantably added to the simpler creed of an earlier age. But the writer to whom I have referred meets the allegation of Artemon by denying it point-blank. ‘Perchance,’ he archly observes, ‘what they [the Artemonites] say might be credible, were it not that the Holy Scriptures contradict them; and then also there are works of certain brethren, older than the days of Victor, works written in defense of the truth, and against the heresies then prevailing. I speak of Justin and Miltiades, and Tatian and Clement, and many others, by all of whom the Divinity of Christ is asserted. For who,’ he continues, ‘knows not the works of Irenaeus and Melito, and the rest, in which Christ is announced as God and Man265?’ This was the argument upon which the Church of those ages instinctively fell back when she was accused of adding to her creed. Particular writers might have understated truth; or they might have ventured upon expressions requiring explanation; or they might have written economically as in view of particular lines of thought, and have been construed by others without the qualifications which were present to their own minds. But there could be no mistake about the continuous drift and meaning of the belief around which they moved, and which was always in the background of their ideas and language. There could be no room for the charge that they had invented a new dogma, when it could be shown that the Church from the beginning, and the New Testament itself; had taught what they were said to have invented.
III. Of the objections to which the Homoousion is exposed in the present day, there are two which more particularly demand our attention.
(a) ‘Is not the Homoousion,’ it is said, ‘a development? Was it not rejected at the Council of Antioch sixty years before it was received at Nicaea? Is not this fact indicative of a forward movement in the mind of the Church? Does it not show that the tide of dogmatic belief was rising, and that it covered ground in the Nicene age which it had deliberately left untouched in the age preceding? And, if this be so, if we admit the principle of a perpetual growth in the Church’s creed, why should we not accept the latest results of such a principle as unequivocally as we close with its earlier results? If we believe that the Nicene decision is an assertion of the truth of God, why should we hesitate to adopt a similar belief respecting that proclamation of the sinless conception of the Blessed Virgin which startled Christendom twelve years ago, and which has since that date been added to the official creed of the largest section of the Christian Church?’
Here, the first point to be considered turns on a question of words. What do we mean by a doctrinal development? Do we mean an explanation of an already existing idea or belief, presumably giving to that belief greater precision and exactness in our own or other minds, but adding nothing whatever to its real area266? Or do we mean the positive substantial growth of the belief itself, whether through an enlargement from within, just as the acorn develops into the oak, or through an accretion from without of new intellectual matter gathered around it, like the aggrandisements whereby the infant colony develops into the powerful empire?
Now if it be asked, which is the natural sense of the word ‘development,’ I reply that we ordinarily mean by it an actual enlargement of that which is said to be developed. And in that sense I proceed to deny that the Homoousion was a development. It was not related to the teaching of the apostles as an oak is related to an acorn. Its real relation to their teaching was that of an exact and equivalent translation of the language of one intellectual period into the language of another. The New Testament had taught that Jesus Christ is the Lord of nature267 and of men268, of heaven, and of the spiritual world269; that He is the world’s Legislator, its King and its Judge270; that He is the Searcher of hearts271, the Pardoner of sins272, the Wellspring of life273; that He is Giver of true blessedness and salvation274, and the Raiser of the dead275; it distinctly attributed to Him omnipresence276, omnipotence277, omniscience278; eternity279, absolute likeness to the Father280, absolute oneness with the Father281, an equal share in the honor due to the Father282, a like claim upon the trust283, the faith284, and the love285 of humanity. The New Testament had spoken of Him as the Creator286 and Preserver of the world287, as the Lord of all things, as the King of kings288, the Distributor of all graces289, the Brightness of the Father’s Glory and the Impress of His Being290; as being in the form of God291, as containing in Himself all the fullness of the Godhead292, as being God293. This and much more to the same purpose had been said in the New Testament. When therefore the question was raised whether Jesus Christ was or was not ‘of one substance with’ the Father, it became clear that of two courses one must be adopted. Either an affirmative answer must be given, or the teaching of the apostles themselves must be explained away294. As a matter of fact the Nicene fathers only affirmed, in the philosophical language of the fourth century, what our Lord and the apostles had taught in the popular dialects of the first. If then the Nicene Council developed, it was a development by explanation. It was a development which placed the intrinsically unchangeable dogma, committed to the guardianship of the Church, in its true relation to the new intellectual world that had grown up around Christians in the fourth century. Whatever vacillations of thought might have been experienced here or there, whatever doubtful expressions might have escaped from theologians of the intervening period, no real doubt could be raised as to the meaning of the original teachers of Christianity, or as to the true drift and main current of the continuous traditional belief of the Church. The Nicene divines interpreted in a new language the belief of their first fathers in the faith. They did not enlarge it; they vehemently protested that they were simply preserving and handing on what they had received. The very pith of their objection to Arianism was its novelty: it was false because it was of recent origin295. They themselves were forced to say what they meant by their creed, and they said it. Their explanation added to the sum of authoritative ecclesiastical language, but it did not add to the number of articles in the Christian faith: the area of the creed was not enlarged. The Nicene Council did not vote a new honor to Jesus Christ which He had not before possessed: it defined more clearly the original and unalterable bases of that supreme place which from the days of the apostles He had held in the thought and heart, in the speculative and active life of Christendom.
The history of the symbol Homoousion during the third century might, at first sight, seem to favor the position, that its adoption at Nicaea was of the nature of an accretive development. Already, indeed, Dionysius and others (perhaps Origen) had employed it to express the faith of the Church; but it had been, so to speak, disparaged and discolored by the patronage of the Valentinians and the Manichaeans. In the Catholic theology the word denoted full participation in the absolute self-existing Individuality of God296. Besides this, the word suggested the distinct personality of its immediate Subject; unless it had suggested this, it would have been tautologous. In ordinary language it was applied to things which are only similar to each other, and are considered as one by an abstraction of our minds. No such abstraction was possible in the contemplation of God. His 'ousia' is Himself, peculiar to Himself, and One; and therefore to be 'omoousioj' with Him is to be internal to that Uncreated Nature Which is utterly and necessarily separate from all created beings. But the Valentinians used the word to denote the relation of their Aeons to the Divine Pleroma; and the Manichaeans said that the soul of man was 'omoousion tw Qew,' in a materialistic sense. When then it was taken into the service of these Emanatist doctrines, the Homoousion implied nothing higher than a generic or specific bond of unity297. These uses of the word implied that 'ousia' itself was something beyond God, and moreover, as was suggested by its Manichaean associations, something material. Paulus of Samosata availed himself of this depreciation of the word to attack its Catholic use as being really materialistic. Paulus argued that ‘if the Father and the Son were 'omoousioi,' there was some common 'ousia' in which they partook,’ higher than, and ‘distinct from, the Divine Persons themselves298.’ Firmilian and Gregory were bent, not upon the philological object of restoring the word 'omoousioj' to its real sense, but upon the religious duty of asserting the true relation of the Son to the Father, in language the meaning of which would be plain to their contemporaries. The Nicene Fathers, on the other hand, were able, under altered circumstances, to vindicate for the word its Catholic meaning, unaffected by any Emanatist gloss; and accordingly, in their hands it protected the very truth which at Antioch, sixty years earlier, it would have obscured. St. Athanasius tells us that ‘the fathers who deposed the Samosatene took the word Homoousion in a corporeal sense. For Paulus sophisticated by saying that if. . . . Christ was consubstantial with the Father, there must necessarily be three substances, one which was prior and two others springing from it. Therefore, with reason, to avoid that sophism of Paulus, the fathers said that Christ was not consubstantial, that is, that He was not in that relation to the Father which Paulus had in his mind. On the other hand,’ continues St. Athanasius, ‘those who condemned the Arian heresy saw through the cunning of Paulus, and considered that in things incorporeal, especially in God, “consubstantial” did not mean what he had supposed; so they, knowing the Son to be begotten of the Substance, . . . . with reason called Him consubstantial299.’ Paulus, as a subtle and hardheaded dialectician, had endeavored to connect with the term a sense, which either made the Son an inferior being or else destroyed the Unity of God. He used the word, so St. Hilary says, as mischievously as the Arians rejected the use of it300; while the fathers at Antioch set it aside from a motive as loyal to Catholic truth as was that which led to its adoption at Nicaea301. Language is worth, after all, just what it means to those who employ it. Origen had rejected and Tertullian had defended the 'probolh' from an identical theological motive; and the opposite lines of action, adopted by the Councils of Antioch and Nicaea respectively, are so far from proving two distinct beliefs respecting the higher Nature of Jesus Christ, that when closely examined, they exhibit an absolute identity of creed and purpose brought face to face with two distinct sets of intellectual circumstances. The faith and aim of the Church was one and unchanging. But the question, whether a particular symbol would represent her mind with practical accuracy, received an answer at Antioch which would have been an error at Nicaea. The Church looked hard at the Homoousion at Antioch, when heresy had perverted its popular sense; and she set it aside. She examined it yet more penetratingly at Nicaea; and from then until now it has been the chosen symbol of her unalterable faith in the literal Godhead of her Divine Head.
Therefore between the imposition of the Homoousion and the recent definition of the Immaculate Conception, there is no real correspondence. It is not merely that the latter is accepted only by a section of the Christian Church, and was promulgated by an authority whose modern claims the fathers of Nicaea would have regarded with sincere astonishment. The difference between the two cases is still more fundamental; it lies in the substance of the two definitions respectively. The Nicene fathers did but assert a truth which had been held to be of primary, vital import from the first; they asserted it in terms which brought it vividly home to the intelligence of their day. They were explaining old truth; they were not setting forth as truth that which had before been matter of opinion. But the recent definition asserts that an hypothesis, unheard of for centuries after the first promulgation of the Gospel, and then vehemently maintained and as vehemently controverted302 by theologians of at least equal claims to orthodoxy, is a fact of Divine revelation, to be received by all who would receive the true faith of the Redeemer. In the one case an old truth is vindicated by an explanatory reassertion; in the other the assertion of a new fact is added to the Creed. The Nicene fathers only maintained in the language of their day the original truth that Jesus Christ is God: but the question whether the Conception of Mary was or was not sinless is a distinct question of fact, standing by itself, with no necessary bearing upon her office in the economy of the Incarnation, and not related in the way of an explanatory vindication of any originally revealed truth beyond it. It is one thing to reassert the revealed Godhead of Jesus; it is, in principle, a fundamentally distinct thing to ‘decree a new honor’ to Mary. The Nicene decision is the act of a Church believing itself commissioned to guard a body of truth which had been delivered from heaven in its integrity, once for all. The recent definition appears to presuppose a Church which can do more than guard the ancient faith, which is empowered to make actual additions to the number of revealed certainties, which is the organ no less than the recipient of a continuous revelation303. It is one thing to say that language has changed its value, and that a particular term which was once considered misleading will now serve to vindicate an acknowledged truth; it is another thing to claim the power of transfiguring a precarious and contradicted opinion, resting on no direct scriptural or primitive testimony, and impugned in terms by writers of the date and authority of Aquinas304, into a certainty, claiming submission from the faith of Christendom on nothing less than a Divine authority. There is then no real reason for the statement that those who now reject the Immaculate Conception would of old have rejected the Homoousion. There is nothing to show that those who bow with implicit faith before the Nicene decision are bound, as a matter of consistency, to yield the same deference of heart and thought to the most modern development of doctrine within the Latin portion of Catholic Christendom.
(b) But it may be rejoined: ‘Why was a fresh definition deemed needful at Nicaea at all? Why could not the Church of the Nicene age have contented herself with saying that Jesus Christ is God, after the manner of the Church of earlier days? Why was the thought of Christendom to be saddled with a metaphysical symbol which at least transcends, if it does not destroy, the simplicity of the Church’s first faith in our Lord’s Divinity?’
(1) Now the answer is simply as follows. In the Arian age it was not enough to say that Jesus Christ is God, because the Arians had contrived to impoverish and degrade the idea conveyed by the Name of God so completely as to apply that sacred word to a creature305. Of course, if it had been deemed a matter of sheer indifference whether Jesus Christ is or is not God, it would have been a practical error to have insisted on the truth of His real Divinity, and an equivocal expression might have been allowed to stand. If the Church of Christ had been, not the school of revealed truth, in which the soul was to make knowledge the food and stimulant of love, but a world-wide debating club, ‘ever seeking and never coming to the knowledge of the truth,’ it would then have been desirable to keep this and all other fundamental questions open306. Perhaps in that case the Nicene decision might with truth have been described as the ‘greatest misfortune that has happened to Christendom.’ But the Church believed herself to possess a revelation from God, essential to the eternal well-being of the soul of man. She further believed that the true Godhead of Jesus Christ was a clearly-revealed truth of such fundamental and capital import, that, divorced from it, the creed of Christendom must perish outright. Plainly therefore it was the Church’s duty to assert this truth in such language as might be unmistakably expressive of it. Now this result was secured by the Homoousion. It was at the time of its first imposition, and it has been ever since, a working criterion of real belief in the Godhead of our Lord. It excluded the Arian sense of the word God, and on this account it was adopted by the orthodox. How much it meant was proved by the resistance which it then encountered, and by the subsequent efforts which have been made to destroy or to evade it. The sneer of Gibbon about the iota which separates the semi-Arian from the Catholic symbol307 (Homoiousion from Homoousion) is naturally repeated by those who believe that nothing was really at stake beyond the emptiest of abstractions, and who can speak of the fourth century as an age of meaningless logomachies. But to men who are concerned, not with words, but with the truths which they enshrine, not with the mere historic setting of a great struggle, but with the vital question at issue in it, the full importance of the Nicene symbol will be sufficiently obvious. The difference between Homoiousion and Homoousion convulsed the world for the simple reason, that in that difference lay the whole question of the real truth or falsehood of our Lord’s actual Divinity. If in His Essence He was only like God, He was still a distinct Being from God, and therefore either created, or (per impossibile) a second God. In a great engagement, when man after man is laid low in defense of the colors of his regiment, it might seem to a bystander, unacquainted with the forms of war, a prodigious absurdity that so great a sacrifice of life should be incurred for a piece of silk or cotton of a particular hue; and he might make many caustic epigrams at the expense of the struggling and suffering combatants. But a soldier would tell him that the flag is a symbol of the honor and prowess of his country; and that he is not dying for a few yards of colored material, but for the moral and patriotic idea which the material represents. If ever there was a man who was not the slave of language, who had his eye upon ideas, truths, facts, and who made language submissively do their work, that man was the great St. Athanasius. He advocated the Homoousion at Nicaea, because he was convinced that it was the sufficient and necessary symbol and safeguard of the treasure of truth committed to the Church: but years afterwards, he would not press it upon semi-Arians whom he knew to be at heart loyal to the truth which it protected308. He was sure that, if he gave them time, they would end by accepting it. And during fifteen centuries experience has not shown that any large number of real believers in our Savior’s Godhead have objected to the Nicene statement; while its efficacy in guarding against a lapse into Arian error has amply confirmed the far-sighted wisdom, which, full of jealousy for the rightful honor of Jesus309, and of charity for the souls of men, has incorporated it for ever with the most authoritative profession of faith in the Divinity of Christ which is possessed by Christendom.
(2) It may indeed be urged that freedom from creeds is ideally and in the abstract the highest state of Christian communion. It may be pleaded that a public confession of faith will produce in half-earnest and superficial souls a formal and mechanical devotion; that the exposure of the most sacred truth in a few condensed expressions to the skepticism and irreverence of those who are strangers to its essence will lead to inevitable ribaldry and scandal. But it is sufficient to reply that these liabilities do not outweigh the necessity for a clear ‘form of sound words,’ since formalists will be formal, and skeptics will be irreverent, with or without it. And those who depreciate creeds among us now, do not really mean to recommend that truth should be kept hidden, as in the first centuries, in the secret mind of the Church: they have far other purposes in view. Rousseau might draw pictures of the superiority of simple primitive savage life to the enervated civilization of Paris; but it would not have been prudent in the Parisians at the end of the last century to have attempted a return to the barbaric life of their ancestors, who had roamed as happy savages in the great forests of Europe. The Latitudinarians who suggest that the Church might dispense with the Catholic creeds, advise us to revert to the defenselessness of ecclesiastical childhood. But, alas! they cannot guarantee to us its innocence, or its immunities. We could not, if we would, reverse the thought of centuries, and ignore the questions which heresy has opened, and which have been oecumenically decided. We might not thus do despite to the kindly providence of Him, Who, with the temptations to faith that came with the predestined course of history, has in the creeds opened to us such ‘a way to escape that we may be able to bear them.’
Certainly if toil and suffering confer a value on the object which they earn or preserve; if a country prizes the liberties which were baptized in the blood of her citizens; if a man rejoices in the honor which he has kept unstained at the risk of life; then we, who are the heirs of the ages of Christendom, should cling with a peculiar loyalty and love to the great Nicene confession of our Lord’s Divinity. For the Nicene definition was wrung from the heart of the agonized Church by a denial of the truth on which was fed, then as now, her inmost life. In the Arian heresy the old enemies of the Gospel converged as for a final and desperate effort to achieve its destruction. The carnal, gross, external, Judaizing spirit, embodied in the frigid literalism of the school of Antioch; the Alexandrian dialectics, substituting philosophical placita for truths of faith; nay, Paganism itself, vanquished in the open field, but anxious to take the life of its conqueror by private assassination;—these were the forces which reappeared in Arianism310. It was no mere exasperation of rhetoric which saw Porphyry in Arius, and which compared Constantius to Diocletian. The life of Athanasius after the Nicene Council might well have been lived before the Edict of Milan. Arianism was a political force; it ruled at court. Anianism was a philosophical disputant, and was at home in the schools. Arianism was, moreover, a proselytizer; it had verses and epigrammatic arguments for the masses of the people; and St. Gregory of Nyssa, in a passage311 which is classical, has described its extraordinary success among the lower orders. Never was a heresy stronger, more versatile, more endowed with all the apparatus of controversy, more sure, as it might have seemed, of the future of the world. It was a long, desperate struggle, by which the original faith of Christ conquered this fierce and hardy antagonist. At this day the Creed of Nicaea is the living proof of the Church’s victory312; and as we confess it we should, methinks, feel somewhat of the fire of our spiritual ancestors, some measure of that fresh glow of thankfulness, which is due to God after a great deliverance, although wrought out in a distant age. To unbelief this creed may be only an ecclesiastical ‘test,’ only an additional ‘incubus,’ weighing down ‘honest religious thought.’ But to the children of faith, the Nicene confession must ever furnish the welcome expression of their most cherished conviction. Let us henceforth repeat it, at those most solemn moments when the Church puts it into our mouths, with a renewed and deepened sense of gratitude and joy. Not as if it were the mere trophy of a controversial victory, or the dry embodiment of an abstract truth in the language of speculation, should we welcome this glorious creed to our hearts and lips. Rather let us greet it, as the intellectual sentinel which guards the shrine of faith in our inmost souls from the profanation of error; as the good angel who warns us that since the Incarnation we move in the very ante-chamber of a Divine Presence; as a mother’s voice reminding us of that tribute of heartfelt love and adoration, which is due from all serious Christians to the Lord Jesus Christ our Savior and our God.
3. Cf. Lecky, History of Rationalism, i. 309. Contrasting the Christian belief in a God Who can work miracles with the ‘scientific’ belief in a god who is the slave of ‘law,’ Mr. Lecky remarks, that the former ‘predisposes us most to prayer,’ the latter to ‘reverence and admiration.’ Here the antithesis between ‘reverence’ and ‘prayer’ seems to imply that the latter word is used in the narrow sense of petition for specific blessings, instead of in the wider sense which embraces the whole compass of the soul’s devotional activity, and among other things, adoration. Still, if Mr. Lecky had meant to include under ‘reverence’ anything higher than we yield to the highest forms of human greatness, he would scarcely have coupled it with ‘admiration.’
4. It is on this account that the apotheosis of men involves the capital sin of pride in those who decree or sanction not less than in those who accept it. The worshipper is himself the ‘fountain of honor;’ and in ‘deifying’ a fellow-creature, he deifies human nature, and so by implication himself. Wisd. xiv. 20; Acts xii. 22, 23; xiv. 11-15; xxviii. 6; Rom. i. 23.
6. The expressions 'Kuriakon deipnon,' 1 Cor. xi. 20, for the Holy Eucharist, and 'Kuriakh hmera,' Rev. i. 10, are, in this connection, significant. In both cases the adjective undoubtedly refers to Jesus Christ; while the Eucharist corresponds to ‘the Lord’s Passover,’ Exod. xii. 11, and the Lord’s Day to the ‘Sabbath of the Lord thy God,’ Exod. xx. 10. The Gospel Rites are to the Jewish as the substance to the shadow; but their very names suggest that Jesus already has a claim upon the devotion of His people corresponding to that of Jehovah.
14. St. Luke xvii. 15, 16: 'eij de ec autwn, idwn oti iaqh, upestreye, meta fwnhj megalhj docazwn ton Qeon; kai epesen epi proswpon para touj podaj autou, euxaristwn autw.' That 'euxaristein' is not used in the Apostolic Epistles with reference to Christ may possibly be explained as an early anticipation of the devotional instinct referred to in Lect. vii. 397.
15. St. Matt. xiv. 32, 33: 'ekopasen o anemoj; oi de en tw ploiw elqontej prosekunhsan autw, legontej, Alhqwj Qeou Uioj ei.' St. Luke v. 8: 'idwn de Simwn Petroj prosepese toij gonasi tou Ihsou, legwn, Ecelqe ap emou, oti anhr amartwloj eimi, Kurie.'
16. St. Luke vii. 37, 38: 'komisasa alabastron murou, kai stasa para touj podaj autou opisw klaiousa, hrcato brexein touj podaj autou toij dakrusi, kai taij qrici thj kefalhj authj ecemasse, kai katefilei touj podaj autou, kai hleife tw murw.' These actions were expressive of a passionate devotion; they had no object beyond expressing it.
17. St. John ix. 35-38: 'hkousen o Ihsouj oti ecebalon auton ecw; kai eurwn auton, eipen autw, Su pisteueij eij ton Uion ton Qeou; Apekriqh ekeinoj kai eipe, Tij esti, Kurie, ina pisteusw eij auton; Eipe de autw o Ihsouj, Kai ewrakaj auton, kai o lalwn meta sou, ekeinoj estin. O de efh, Pisteuw, Kurie; kai prosekunhsen autw.'
20. St. Matt. xxviii. I 7: 'kai idontej auton, prosekunhsan autw; oi de edistasan.' If some doubted, the worship offered by the rest may be presumed to have been a very deliberate act. For the use of 'proskunein' in the strict sense of adoring the Deity, cf. St. Matt. iv. 9, 10; St. John iv. 23, 24; Rev. xix. 10.
21. St. John xx. 28: 'kai apekriqh o Qwmaj, kai eipen autw, O Kurioj mou kai o Qeoj mou.' Against the attempt of Theodore of Mopsuestia and others to resolve this into an ejaculation addressed to the Father, see Alford in loc.; Pye Smith on Messiah, ii. 53. The 'autw' is of itself decisive.
23. This consideration is remarkably overlooked by Channing, who might have been expected to feel its force. Channing is ‘sure’ that ‘the worship paid to Christ during His public ministry was rendered to Him only as a Divine Messenger.’ But prophets and Apostles were messengers from God. Why were they not worshipped? Channing insists further that such titles as ‘Son of David,’ show that those who used them had no thought of Christ’s being ‘the Self-existent Infinite Divinity.’ It may be true that the full truth of His Divine Nature was not known to these first worshippers; but it does not hold good that a particular title employed in prayer exhausts the idea which the petitioner has formed of the Person whom he addresses. Above all Channing urges the indifference of the Jews ‘to the frequent prostrations of men before Jesus.’ He thinks this indifference unintelligible on the supposition of their believing such prostrations to involve the payment of divine honors. That many of these prostrations were not designed to involve anything so definite is freely conceded. That the Jews suspected the intention to honor Christ’s Divinity in none of them would not prove that none of them were designed to honor It. The Jews were not present at the confession of St. Thomas after the Resurrection; but there is no reasonable room for questioning either the devotional purpose or the theological force of the Apostle’s exclamation, ‘My Lord and my God.’ But see Channing, Works, ii. 194.
27. Ibid. xvi. 22: 'palin de oyomai umaj, kai xarhsetai umwn h kardia, kai thn xaran umwn oudeij airei af umwn; kai en ekeinh th hmera eme ouk erwthsete ouden.' Here 'erwthsete' clearly means ‘question.’
29. Thus Ananias pleads to our Lord that Saul ‘hath authority from the chief priests to bind 'pantaj touj epikaloumenouj to onoma sou.' (Acts ix. 14.) On St. Paul’s first preaching in Jerusalem, ‘All that heard him were amazed, and said, Is not this he that destroyed in Jerusalem 'touj epikaloumenouj to onoma touto;' (Ibid. ver. 21.) Thus the title was applied to Christians both by themselves and by Jews outside the Church. In after years St. Paul inserts it at the beginning of his first Epistle to the Corinthians, which is addressed to the Church of God at Corinth 'sun pasi toij epikaloumenoij to onoma tou Kuriou hmwn Ihsou Xristou.' (1 Cor. i. 2.) The expression is illustrated by the dying prayer of St. Stephen, whom his murderers stoned 'epikaloumenon kai legonta, Kurie Ihsou, decai to pneuma mou.' (Acts vii. 59.) It cannot be doubted that in Acts xxii. 16, 2 Tim. ii. 22, the Person Who is addressed is our Lord Jesus Christ. 'Epikaleisqai' is not followed by an accusative except in the sense of appealing to God or man. Its meaning is clear when it is used of prayer to the Eternal Father, 1 St. Pet. i. 17; Acts ii. 21 (but cf. Rom. x. 13); or of appeal to Him, 2 Cor. i. 23; or of appeal to a human judge, Acts xxv. 11, 12, 21, 25; xxvi. 32, xxviii. 19. Its passive use occurs in texts of a different construction: Acts iv. 36; x. 18; xii. 12; xv. 17; Heb. xi. 16; St.James ii. 7.
30. Acts i. 24: 'kai proseucamenoi eipon, Su Kurie kardiognwsta pantwn, anadeicon ek toutwn twn duo ena on ecelecw k.t.l.' The selection of the twelve apostles is always ascribed to Jesus Christ. Acts i. 2: 'ouj ecelecato.' St. Luke vi. 13: 'prosefwnhse touj maqhtaj autou; kai eklecamenoj ap autwn dwdeka, ouj kai apostolouj wnomase.' St. John vi. 70: 'ouk egw umaj touj dwdeka ecelecamhn;' Ibid. xiii. 18: 'egw oida ouj ecelecamhn.' Ibid. xv. 16: 'oux umeij me ecelecasqe, all egw ecelecamhn umaj.' Ibid. ver. 19: 'egw ecelecamhn umaj ek tou kosmou.' Meyer quotes Acts xv. 7: 'o Qeoj ecelecato dia tou stomatoj mou akousai ta eqnh ton logon tou euaggeliou,' in order to show that the Eternal Father must have been addressed. But this assumes that 'Qeoj' can have no reference to our Lord. Moreover St. Peter is clearly referring, not to his original call to the apostolate, but to his being directed to evangelize the Gentiles. St. Paul was indeed accustomed to trace up his apostleship to the Eternal Father as the ultimate Source of all authority (Gal. i. 15; 2 Cor. i. 1; Eph. i. 1; 2 Tim. i. 1); but this is not inconsistent with the fact that Jesus Christ chose and sent all the apostles, and in particular himself: 1 Tim. i. 12, 'qemenoj eij diakonian': Rom. i. 5, 'di ou elabomen xarin kai apostolhn.' The epithet 'kardiognwsthj,' and still more the word 'Kurioj,' are equally applicable to the Father and to Jesus Christ. For the former, see St. John i. 49, ii. 25, vi. 64, xvi. 30, xxi. 17; Rev. ii. 23. It was natural that the apostles should thus apply to Jesus Christ to fill up the vacant chair, unless they had believed Him to be out of the reach of prayer or incapable of helping them. See Alford and Ols. in loc.; Baumgarten’s Apost. Hist. in loc.; Waterland, Works, ii. 555.
34. For similar colloquies with God in prayers, see Gen. xviii. 23-33; Exod. iv. 10-13; 1 Kings xx. 14; Jer. i. 6-9; Jonah iv. 9, 10; Acts x. 13-15. Compare Ps. lxxiv. 1-11; Ps. xliv. passim, and Imitat. Christi, Lib. iii. 17, etc.
35. Acts ix. 13, 14: 'Kurie, akhkoa apo pollwn peri tou androj toutou, osa kaka epoihse toij agioij sou en Ierousalhm; kai wde exei ecousian para twn arxierewn, dhsai pantaj touj epikaloumenouj to onoma sou.'
36. That Acts ix. 11, 'idou gar proseuxetai,' refers to prayers addressed to Christ is rendered at least probable by the prayers of St. Paul at his conversion and in the temple. Acts xxii. 10, 19, 20. For the use of 'proseuxesqai,' of prayer to Christ, see Acts i. 24.
38. Ibid. vers. 19, 20: 'Kurie, autoi epistantai, oti egw hmhn fulakizwn kai derwn kata taj sunagwgaj touj pisteuontaj epi se; kai ote ecexeito to aima Stefanou tou marturoj sou, kai autoj hmhn efestwj kai suneudokwn th anairesei autou, kai fulasswn ta imatia twn anairountwn auton.'
40. 2 Thess. ii. 16, 17: 'autoj de o Kurioj hmwn Ihsouj Xristoj, kai o Qeoj kai Pathr hmwn, o agaphsaj hmaj kai douj paraklhsin aiwnian kai elpida agaqhn en xariti, parakalesai umwn taj kardiaj, kai sthricai umaj en panti logw kai ergw agaqw.'
41. Phil. ii. 19: 'elpizw de en Kuriw Ihsou, Timoqeon taxewj pemyai.' ‘This hope was 'en Kuriw Ihsou': it rested and centered in Him; it arose from no extraneous feelings or expectations, and so would doubtless be fulfilled.’ Bp. Ellicott in loc. Compare, too, Bp. Lightfoot in loc.
43. Rom. x. 9-13: 'ean omologhshj en tw stomati sou Kurion Ihsoun, kai pisteushj en th kardia sou oti o Qeoj auton hgeiren ek nekrwn, swqhsh; kardia gar pisteuetai eij dikaiosunhn, stomati de omologeitai eij swthrian. Legei gar h grafh, Paj o pisteuwn ep autw ou kataisxunqhsetai. Ou gar esti diastolh Ioudaiou te kai Ellhnoj; o gar autoj Kurioj pantwn, ploutwn eij pantaj touj epikaloumenouj auton. Paj gar oj an epikaleshtai to onoma Kuriou, swqhsetai.' Cf. Isa. xxviii. 16; Joel ii. 32. Here St. Paul applies to Jesus the language which prophets had used of the Lord Jehovah. Cf. Acts ii. 21.
44. Cf. Meyer in Rom. x. 12: 'o gar autoj Kurioj pantwn.' ‘Dieser 'Kurioj' ist Christus, der 'autoj' ver. 11 und der mit diesem 'autoj' nothwendig identische 'Kurioj' ver. 13. Ware Gott (i.e. the Father) gemeint, so musste man grade den christlichen Charakter der Beweisfuhrung erst hinzutragen (wie Olsh.: ‘Gott in Christo’), was aber willkurlich ware.’ For 'Kurioj pantwn,' see Phil. ii. 11. Cf. St. Chrys. in loc.
47. 2 Cor. xii. 8, 9: 'uper toutou trij ton Kurion parekalesa, ina aposth ap emou; kai eirhke moi, Arkei soi h xarij mou; h gar dunamij mou en asqeneia teleioutai. hdista oun mallon kauxhsomai en taij asqeneiaij mou, ina episkhnwsh ep eme h dunamij tou Xristou.' Meyer in loc.: ‘ton Kurion,' nicht Gott (the Father), sondern Christum (s. v. 9, 'h dunamij tou Xristou'), der ja der machtige Bezwinger des Satan’s ist . . . . Wie Paulus die Antwort, den 'xrhmatismoj' (Matt. ii. 12: Luk. ii. 6: Act. x. 22) von Christo empfangen habe, ist uns vollig unbekannt.’
48. Heb. i. 6: 'otan de palin eisagagh ton prwtotokon eij thn oikoumenhn, legei, Kai proskunhsatwsan autw pantej aggeloi Qeou.' On this passage see the exhaustive note of Delitzsch, Comm. zum. Br. an die Hebräer, pp. 24-29. ‘Die LXX. ubers. hier ganz richtig 'proskunhsate,' denn 'shachah' ist ja kein praet. consec., und Augustin macht die den rechten Sinn treffende schöne Bemerkung: “adorate Eum;” cessat igitur adoratio angelorum, qui non adorantur, sed adorant; mali angeli volunt adorari, boni adorant nec se adorari permittunt, ut vel saltem eorum exemplo idolatriae cessent.’ Es fragt sich nun aber: mit welchem Rechte oder auch nur auf welchem Grunde bezieht der Verf. eine Stelle, die von Jehova handelt, auf Christum?’ After discussing some unsatisfactory replies, he proceeds: ‘Des Grundsatz, von welchem der Verf. ausgeht, ist. . . . dieser: Ueberall wo im A. T. von einer endzeitigen letztentscheidenden Zukunft (Parusie), Erscheinung und Erweisung Jehova’s in seiner zugleich richterlichen und heilwartigen Macht und Herrlichkeit die Rede ist, von einer gegenbildlich zur mosaischen Zeit sich verhaltenden Offenbarung Jehova’s, von einer Selbstdarstellung Jehova’s als Konigs seines Reiches: da ist Jehova=Jesus Christus; denn dieser ist Jehova, geoffenbaret im Fleisch; Jehova, eingetreten in die Menscheit und ihre Geschichte; Jehova, aufgegangen als Sonne des Heils uber seinem Volke. Dieser Grundsatz ist auch unumstosslich wahr; auf ihm ruht der heilsgeschichtliche Zusammenhang, die tiefinnerste Einheit beider Testamente. Alle neutest. Schriftsteller sind dieses Bewusstseins voll, welches sich gleich auf der Schwelle der evangelischen Geschichte ausspricht; denn dem 'yowm' soll Elia vorausgehn Mal. iii. 23 f. und 'pro proswpou Kuriou' Johannes Lc. i. 76, vgl. 17. Darum sind auch alle Psalmen in welchen die Verwirklichung des weltuberwindenden Konigthums Jehova’s besungen wird, messianisch und werden von unserem Verf. als solche betrachtet, denn die schliessliche Glorie der Theokratie ist nach heilsgeschichtlichem Plane keine andere als die der Christokratie, das Reich Jehova’s und das Reich Christi ist Eines.’
49. Phil. ii. 9, 10: 'o Qeoj auton uperuywse, kai exarisato autw onoma to uper pan onoma; ina en tw onomati Ihsou pan gonu kamyh epouraniwn kai epigeiwn kai kataxqoniwn; kai pasa glwssa ecomologhshtai oti Kurioj Ihsouj Xristoj eij docan Qeou Patroj.' See Alford in loc.: ‘The general aim of the passage is. . . . the exaltation of Jesus. The 'eij docan Qeou Patroj' below is no deduction from this, but rather an additional reason why we should carry on the exaltation of Jesus until this new particular is introduced. This would lead us to infer that the universal prayer is to be to Jesus. And this view is confirmed by the next clause, where every tongue is to confess that Jesus Christ is 'Kurioj,' when we remember the common expression, 'epikaleisqai to onoma Kuriou,' for prayer. Rom. x. 12; 1 Cor. i. 2; 2 Tim. ii. 22.’ For 'en tw onomati,' comp. 1 Kings viii. 44, LXX; Ps. xliv. 10. Bp. Lightfoot in loc.: ‘It seems clear from the context that the Name of Jesus is not only the medium, but the object of adoration.’
51. 1 St. John v. 13-15: 'ina pisteuhte eij to onoma tou Uiou tou Qeou. Kai auth estin h parrhsia hn exomen proj auton, oti ean ti aitwmeqa kata to qelhma autou, akouei hmwn; kai ean oidamen oti akouei hmwn, o an aitwmeqa, oidamen oti exomen ta aithmata a hthkamen par autou.' The natural construction of this passage seems to oblige us to refer 'autou' and 'to qelhma' to the Son of God (ver. 13). The passage 1 St. John iii. 21, 22 does not forbid this; it only shows how fully, in St. John’s mind, the honor and prerogatives of the Son are those of the Father.
55. Ibid. ver. 9: 'esfaghj, kai hgorasaj tw Qew hmaj en tw aimati sou, ek pashj fulhj kai glwsshj kai laou kai eqnouj, kai epoihsaj hmaj tw Qew hmwn basileij kai iereij; kai basileusomen epi thj ghj.'
56. Rev. v. 11, 12: 'kai eidon, kai hkousa fwnhn aggelwn pollwn kukloqen tou qronou kai twn zwwn kai twn presbuterwn. . . . . . kai xiliadej xiliadwn, legontej fwnh megalh, Acion esti to arnion to esfagmenon labein thn dunamin kai plouton kai sofian kai isxun kai timhn kai docan kai eulogian.'
57. Ibid. ver. 13: 'kai pan ktisma o estin en tw ouranw, kai en th gh, kai upokatw thj ghj, kai epi thj qalasshj a esti, kai ta en autoij panta, hkousa legontaj, Tw kaqhmenw epi tou qronou kai tw arniw h eulogia kai h timh kai h doca kai to kratoj eij touj aiwnaj twn aiwnwn.' Cf. vii. 9, 10.
59. Ibid. i. 5, 6: 'tw agaphsanti hmaj kai lousanti hmaj apo twn amartiwn hmwn en tw aimati autou; kai epoihsen hmaj basileij kai iereij tw Qew kai Patri autou; autw h doca kai to kratoj eij touj aiwnaj twn aiwnwn. amhn.'
62. Ibid. xiv. 14, 15: 'diarrhcantej ta imatia autwn eisephdhsan eij ton oxlon, krazontej kai legontej, Andrej, ti tauta poieite; kai hmeij omoiopaqeij esmen umin anqrwpoi, euaggelizomenoi umaj apo toutwn twn mataiwn epistrefein epi ton Qeon ton zwnta.'
63. Rev. xxii. 8, 9: 'kai egw Iwannhj o blepwn tauta kai akouwn; kai ote hkousa kai ebleya, epesa proskunhsai emprosqen twn podwn tou aggelou tou deiknuontoj moi tauta. kai legei moi, Ora mh; sundouloj sou gar eimi kai twn adelfwn sou twn profhtwn, kai twn thrountwn touj logouj tou bibliou toutou; tw Qew proskunhson.'
64. Col. ii. 18: 'mhdeij umaj katabrabeuetw qelwn en tapeinofrosunh kai qrhskeia twn aggelwn.' The Apostle condemns this (1) on the moral ground that the Gnostic teacher here alluded to claimed to be in possession of truths respecting the unseen world of which he really was ignorant, 'a' ['mh' C. K. L.] 'ewraken embateuwn, eikh fusioumenoj upo tou nooj thj sarkoj autou': (2) On the dogmatic ground of a resulting interference with due recognition of the Headship of Jesus Christ, the One Source of the supernatural life of the Church, 'kai ou kratwn thn kefalhn, ec ou pan to swma dia twn afwn kai sundesmwn epixorhgoumenon kai sumbibazomenon, aucei thn auchsin tou Qeou.'
65. Heb. xii. 22: 'proselhluqate Siwn orei, kai polei Qeou zwntoj, Ierousalhm epouraniw, kai muriasin aggelwn, panhgurei kai ekklhsia prwtotokwn en ouranoij apogegrammenwn, kai krith Qew pantwn, kai pneumasi dikaiwn teteleiwmenwn, kai diaqhkhj neaj mesith Ihsou.'
66. The ‘worship’ of Buddha has sometimes been compared to that of our Divine Lord, as if Buddha were regarded as a real divinity by his followers. But ‘le Bouddha reste homme, et ne cherche jamais a dépasser les limites de l’humanité, au dela de laquelle il ne conçoit rien. L’enthousiasme de ses disciples a été aussi réservé que lui-même: dans le culte innocent qu’ils lui rendaient, leur ferveur s’adressait a un souvenir consolateur et fortifiant; jamais leur superstition intéressée ne s’adressait a sa puissance. . . . Ni l’orgueil de Cakyamouni, ni le fanatisme des croyants, n’a conçu un sacrilege; le Bouddha, tout grand qu’il se croit, n’a point risqué l’apothéose; . . . . jamais personne n’a songé a en faire un dieu.’ SaintHilaire, Le Bouddha, p. 68.
67. Meyer’s remarks are very far from satisfactory. ‘Das Anrufen Christi ist nicht das Anbeten schlechthin, wie es nur in Betreff des Vaters, als des einigen absoluten Gottes (!) geschieht, wohl aber die Anbetung nach der durch das Verhaltniss Christi sum Vater (dessen wesensgleicher Sohn, Ebenbild, Throngenosse, Vermittler, und Fursprecher für die Menschen u. s. w. er ist) bedingten Relativität im betenden Bewusstsein. . . . Der Christum Anrufende ist sich bewusst, er rufe ihn nicht als den schlechthinigen Gott, sondern als den gottmenschlichen Vertreter und Mittler Gottes an.’ In Rom. x. 12 our Lord is represented as being equal with the Father (p. 380, note), and equally with Him entitled to adoration. Adoration is strictly due to the Uncreated Substance of God, and to Jesus Christ as being personally of It. The mediatorial functions of His Manhood cannot affect the bearings of this truth. See Waterland’s profound remarks on ‘Scripture’s seeming in some places to found Christ’s title to worship not so much upon what He is in Himself, as upon what He has done for us.’ Works, vol. i. p. 435.
69. Cf. Pearson, Minor Theological Works, vol. i. p. 307: ‘Christus sive Homo Ille Qui est Mediator, adoratus est. Heb. i. 6; Apoc. v. 11, 12. Haec est plenissima descriptio adorationis. Et hic Agnus occisus erat Homo ille, Qui est Mediator; Ergo Homo Ille, Qui est Mediator est adorandus. St. Greg. Nazianzen. Epist. ci.: 'Eitij mh proskunei ton estaurwmenon, anaqema estw, kai tetaxqw meta twn qeoktonwn.' Cf. also Ibid. p. 308: ‘Christus, qua est Mediator, est unica adoratione colendus. Concil. Gen. V. Collat. viii. can. 9. Si quis adorari in duabus naturis dicit Christum, ex quo duas adorationes introducat, semotim Deo Verbo, et semotim Homini: aut si quis. . . . . adorat Christum, sed non una adoratione Deum Verbum Incarnatum cum Ejus Carne adorat, extra quod sanctae Dei ecciesiae ab initio traditum est; talis anathema sit.’ See the whole of this and the preceding ‘Determination.’ And compare St. Cyril’s 8th Anathema; Damasc., iv. 3; Hooker, E. P. v. 54, 9.
70. St. Ign. ad Rom. 4: 'litaneusate ton Xriston' ['ton Kurion' ed. Dressel, which, however, must here mean our Lord] 'uper emou, ina dia twn organwn toutwn' ['Qew' ed. Dressel] 'qusia eureqw.' Cf. ad Magn. 7.
72. Ibid. 12: ‘Deus autem et Pater Domini nostri Jesu Christi, et ipse Sempiternus Pontifex, Dei Filius Jesus Christus, aedificet vos in fide et veritate et in omni mansuetudine, . . . . . et det vobis sortem et partem inter sanctos suos.’
75. Ibid.: 'agnoountej, oti oute ton Xriston pote katalipein dunhsomeqa ton uper thj tou pantoj kosmou twn swzomenwn swthriaj paqonta, oute eteron tina sebesqai. touton men gar Uion onta tou Qeou proskunoumen; touj de marturaj, wj maqhtaj kai mimhtaj tou Kuriou, agapwmen aciwj, eneka eunoiaj anuperblhtou thj eij ton idion basilea kai didaskalon; wn genoito kai hmaj sugkoinwnouj te kai summaqhtaj genesqai.'
78. Ibid. i. § 6, p. 14, ed. Otto: 'Kai omologoumen twn toioutwn nomizomenwn qewn aqeoi einai, all ouxi tou alhqestatou kai patroj diakosunhj kai swfrosunhj kai twn allwn aretwn, anepimiktou te kakiaj Qeou; all ekeinon te, kai ton par autou Uion elqonta kai didacanta hmaj tauta kai ton twn allwn, epomenwn kai ecomoioumenwn agaqwn aggelwn straton, Pneuma te to profhtikon sebomeqa kai proskunoumen logw kai alhqeia timwntej.' With regard to the clause of this passage which has been the subject of so much controversy ('kai ton twn allwn....aggelwn straton'), (1) it is impossible to make 'straton' depend upon 'sebomeqa kai proskunoumen' without involving St. Justin in self-contradiction (cf. the passage quoted above), and Bellarmine’s argument based on this construction (de Beatitud. Sanctor. lib. i. c. 13) proves, if anything, too much for his purpose, viz, that the same worship was paid to the angels as to the Persons of the Blessed Trinity. Several moderns (quoted by Otto in loc.) who adopt this construction use it for a very different object. (2) It is difficult to accept Bingham’s rendering (Ant. bk. 13, c. 2, § 2) which joins 'aggelwn straton' and 'hmaj' with 'didacanta,' and makes Christ the Teacher not of men only but of the angel host. This idea, however, seems to have no natural place in the passage, and we should have expected 'tauta hmaj' not 'hmaj tauta.' (3) It seems b etter, therefore, with Bull, Chevallier (Transl. p. 152), Möhler (Tubing. Theol. Quartalsch. 1833, Fasc. i. p. 53 sqq., quoted by Otto) to make 'aggelwn straton' and 'tauta' together dependent upon 'didacanta': ‘the Son of God taught us not merely about these (viz, evil spirits, cf. § 5) but also concerning the good angels,’ &c.; 'ton aggelwn straton' being elliptically put for 'ta peri tou...aggelwn stratou.'
81. Protrept. c. x. p. 84, ed. Potter: 'pisteuson, anqrwpe, anqrwpw kai Qewpisteuson, anqrwpe, tw paqonti kai proskunoumenw Qew zwnti; pisteusate oi douloi tw nekrw; pantej anqrwpoi, pisteusate monw tw pantwn anqrwpwn Qew; pisteusate kai misqon labete swthrian k.t.l.'
82. Paedagog. lib. iii. c. 7, p. 311, ed. Potter: 'oper oun loipon epi toiauth panhgurei tou Logou, tw Logw proseucwmeqa; Ilaqi toij soij, paidagwge, paidioij, Pathr, hnioxe Israhl, Uie kai Pathr, En amfw Kurie. doj de hmin toij soij epomenoij paraggelmasi to onoiwma plhrwsai.....ainountaj euxaristein, [euxaristountaj] ainein, tw monw Patri kai Uiw, Uiw kai Patri, paidagwgw kai didaskalw Uiw, sun kai tw agiw Pneumati, panta tw Eni, en w ta panta, di on ta panta en,...w h doca kai nun kai eij aiwnaj.'
84. Apolog. c. 21: ‘Sed et vulgus jam scit Christum ut hominum aliquem, qualem Judaei judicaverunt, quo facilius quis nos hominis cultores existimaverit. Verum neque de Christo erubescimus, cum sub nomine ejus deputari et damnari juvat.’
88. Particularly in the treatise, De Oratione, c. 15, vol. 1. ed. Ben. p. 223: 'pwj de ouk esti kata ton eiponta; Ti me legeij agaqon; oudeij agaqoj ei mh eij o Qeoj, o Pathr; eipein an; Ti emoi proseuxh; Monw tw Patri proseuxesqai xrh, w kagw proseuxomai; oper dia twn agiwn grafwn manqanete; Arxierei gar tw uper hmwn katastaqenti upo tou Patroj, kai paraklhtw upo tou Patroj einai labonti, euxesqai hmaj ou dei, alla di arxierewj kai paraklhtou k.t.l.' This indefensible language was a result of the line taken by Origen in opposing the Monarchians. ‘As the latter, together with the distinction of substance in the Father and the Son, denied also that of the Person, so it was with Origen a matter of practical moment, on account of the systematic connection of ideas in his philosophical system of Christianity, to maintain in opposition to them the personal independence of the Logos. Sometimes in this controversy he distinguishes between unity of substance and personal unity or unity of subject, so that it only concerned him to controvert the latter. And this certainly was the point of greatest practical moment to him; and he must have been well aware that many of the Fathers who contended for a personal distinction held firmly at the same time to a unity of substance. But according to the internal connection or his own system (Neander means his Platonic doctrine of the 'to on') both fell together; wherever he spoke, therefore, from the position of that system, he affirmed at one and the same time the 'eterothj thj ousiaj' and the 'eterothj thj upostasewj' or 'tou upokeimenou.' Neander, Ch. Hist. ii. 311, 312. From this philosophical premiss Origen deduces his practical inference above noticed: 'ei gar eteroj, wj en alloij deiknutai, kat ousian kai upokeimenoj estin o Uioj tou Patroj, htoi proskunhteon tw Uiw kai ou tw Patri, h amfoteroij, h tw Patri monw.' De Orat. c. 15, sub init. p. 222. Although, then, Origen expresses his conclusion in Scriptural terminology, it is a conclusion which is traceable to his philosophy as distinct from his strict religious belief, and it is entirely contradicted by a large number of other passages in his writings.
89. Contr. Cels. v. 12, sub fin. vol. i. p. 587. Also Ibid. viii. 12, p. 750 (in juxta-position with some inconsistent language): 'ena oun Qeon, wj apodedwkamen, ton Patera kai ton Uion qerapeuomen; kai menei hmin o proj touj allouj atenhj logoj; kai ou ton enagxoj ge fanenta, wj proteron ouk onta, uperqrhskeuomen.' Ibid. viii. 26: 'monw gar proseukteon tw epi pasi Qew, kai proseukteon ge tw Monogenei, kai Prwtotokw pashj ktisewj, Logw Qeou.'
90. See his prayer on the furniture of the tabernacle, as spiritually explained, Hom. 13 in Exod. xxxv. p. 176: ‘Domine Jesu, praesta mihi, ut aliquid monumenti habere merear in tabernaculo Tuo. Ego optarem (si fieri posset), esse aliquid meum in illo auro, ex quo propitiatorium fabricatur, vel ex quo arca contegitur, vel ex quo candelabrum fit luminis et lucernae. Aut si aurum non habeo, argentum saltem aliquid inveniar offerre, quod proficiat in columnas, vel in bases earum. Aut certe vel aeris aliquid. . . . Tantum ne in omnibus jejunus et infecundus inveniar.’ Cf. too Hom. i. in Lev., Hom. v. in Lev., quoted by Bingham, Ant. xiii. 2, § 3.
91. Comm. in Rom. x. lib. viii. vol. 4, p. 624, ed. Ben., quoted by Bingham, ubi supra: ‘[Apostolus] in principio Epistolae quam ad Corinthios scribit, ubi dicit, “Cum omnibus qui invocant nomen Domini nostri Jesu Christi, in omni loco ipsorum et nostro” eum cujus nomen invocatur, Dominum Jesum Christum esse pronuntiat. Si ergo et Enos, et Moyses, et Aaron, et Samuel, “invocabant Dominum et ipse exaudiebat eos,” sine dubio Christum Jesum Dominum invocabant; et si invocare nomen Domini et orare Dominum unum atque idem est; sicut invocatur Deus, invocandus est Christus; et sicut oratur Deus, ita et orandus est Christus; et sicut offerimus Deo Patri primo omnium orationes, ita et Domino Jesu Christo; et sicut offerimus postulationes Patri, ita offerimus postulationes et Filio; et sicut offerimus gratiarum actiones Deo, ita et gratias offerimus Salvatori. Unum namque utrique honorem deferendum, id est Patri et Filio, divinus edocet sermo, cum dicit: “Ut omnes honorificent Filium, sicut honorificant Patrem.”’
92. Contr. Cels. i. 6o, p. 375: 'ferontej men dwra, a (in outwj onomasw) sunqetw tini ek Qeou kai anqrwpou qnhtou proshnegkan, sumbola men, wj basilei ton xruson, wj de teqnhcomenw thn smurnan, wj de Qew ton libanwton; proshnegkan de, maqontej ton topon thj genesewj autou. All epei Qeoj hn, o uper touj bohqountaj anqrwpoij aggelouj enuparxwn Swthr tou genouj twn anqrwpwn, aggeloj hmeiyato thn twn magwn epi proskunhsai ton Ihsoun eusebeian, xrhmatisaj autoij mh hkein proj ton Hrwdhn, all epanelqein allh odw eij ta oikeia.' Cf. St. Iren. adv. Haer. iii. 9. 2.
94. St. Cyprian. de Bono Patientiae, p. 220, ed. Fell.: ‘Pater Deus praecepit Filium suum adorari: et Apostolus Paulus, divini praecepti memor, ponit et dicit: “Deus exaltavit illum et donavit illi nomen quod est super omne nomen; ut in nomine Jesu omne genu flectatur, coelestium, terrestrium, et infernorum:” et in Apocalypsi angelus Joanni volenti adorari se resistit et dicit: “Vide ne feceris, quia conservus tuus sum et fratrum tuorum; Jesum Dominum adora.” Qualis Dominus Jesus, et quanta patientia ejus, ut qui in coelis adoratur, necdum vindicetur in terris?’ In Rev. xx. 9, St. Cyprian probably read 'tw Kuriw' instead of 'tw Qew.' See his language to Lucius, Bishop of Rome, who had recently been a confessor in a sudden persecution of Gallus, A.D. 252 (Ep. 61, p. 145, ed. Fell.): ‘Has ad vos literas mittimus, frater carissime, et repraesentantes vobis per epistolam gaudium nostrum, fida obsequia caritatis expromimus; hic quoque in sacrificiis atque in orationibus nostris non cessantes Deo Patri, et Christo Filio Ejus Domino nostro gratias agere, et orare pariter ac petere, ut qui perfectus est atque perficiens, custodiat et perficiat in vobis confessionis vestrae gloriosam coronam.’
99. Eus. Hist. Eccl. vii. 30: 'yalmouj de touj men eij ton Kurion hmwn Ihsoun Xriston pausaj, wj dh newterouj kai newterwn andrwn suggrammata.' The account continues: 'eij eauton de en mesh th ekklhsia, th megalh tou pasxa hmera yalmwdein gunaikaj paraskeuazwn, wn kai akousaj an tij friceien.' They seem to have sung in this prelate’s own presence, and with his approbation, odes which greeted him as ‘an angel who had descended from heaven,’ although Paulus denied our Lord’s pre-existence. Vanity and unbelief are naturally and genarally found together. The historian adds expressly: 'ton men gar Uion tou Qeou ou bouletai sunomologein ec ouranou katelhluqenai.'
'Fwj ilaron agiaj dochj aqanatou Patroj
ouraniou, agiou, makaroj,
elqontej epi tou hliou dusin,
idontej fwj esperinon,
umnoumen Patera, kai Uion, kai Agion Pneuma Qeou.
acioj ei en pasi kairoij umneisqai fwnaij osiaij,
Uie Qeou, zwhn o didouj;
dio o kosmoj se docazei.
St. Basil quotes it in part, De Spir. Sanct. 73. It is still the Vesper Hymn of the Greek Church.
101. Clem. Alex. Paed. iii. 12, fin. p. 313; Daniel, Thesaurus Hymnologicus, tom. iii. p. 3. ‘Der Ton des Liedes ist . . . . gnostisch versinnlichend.’ (Fortlage Gesänge Christlicher Vorzeit, p. 357, qu. by Daniel):—
yallwmen omou Qeon eirhnhj.'
103. Constitutiones, viii. 12 (vol. i. p. 482, ed. Labbe), quoted by Bingham: 'parakaloumen se. . . . opwj apantaj hmaj diathrhsaj en th eusebeia, episunagaghj en th basileia tou Xristou sou tou Qeou pashj aisqhthj kai nohthj fusewj, tou basilewj hmwn, atreptouj, amemptouj, anegklhtouj; oti soi pasa doca, sebaj kai euxaristia, timh kai proskunhsij tw Patri, kai tw Uiw, kai tw Agiw Pneumati kai nun kai aei kai eij touj anelleipeij kai ateleuthtouj aiwnaj twn aiwnwn.' Ibid. 13 (p. 483): 'dia tou Xristou sou; meq ou soi doca, timh, ainoj, docologia, euxaristia, kai tw Agiw Pneumati, eij touj aiwnaj, amhn.' Ibid.: 'euloghmenoj o erxomenoj en onomati Kuriou Qeoj, Kurioj, kai epefanen hmin; Wsanna en toij uyistoij.' Ibid. 14 (p. 486): 'eautouj tw Qew tw monw agennhtw Qew, kai tw Xristw autou paraqwmeqa.' Ibid. 15 (p. 486): 'pantaj hmaj episunagage eij thn twn ouranwn basileian, en Xristw Ihsou tw Kuriw hmwn; meq ou soi doca, timh kai sebaj kai tw Agiw Pneumati eij touj aiwnaj, amhn.' Ibid. (p. 487): 'oti soi doca, ainoj, megaloprepeia, sebaj, proskunhsij, kai tw sw paidi Ihsou tw Xristw sou tw Kuriw hmwn kai Qew kai basilei, kai tw Agiw Pneumati, nun kai aei kai eij touj aiwnaj twn aiwnwn, amhn.'
105. Taking a small part of the Mozarabic Missal, from Advent Sunday to Epiphany inclusive, we find sixty cases in which prayer is offered, during the altar service, to our Lord. These cases include (1) three ‘Illations’ or Prefaces, for the third Sunday in Advent, Circumcision, and Epiphany (and part at least of this Mass for the Epiphany is considered by Dr. Neale in his Essays on Liturgiology, p. 138, to be at least not later ‘than the middle of the fourth century’); also (2) several prayers in which our Lord’s agency in sanctifying the Eucharistic sacrifice, or even in receiving it, is implied—e.g. ‘Jesu, bone Pontifex. . . . .sanctifica hanc oblationem;’ or, in a ‘Post Pridie’ for fifth Sunday in Advent: ‘Haec oblata Tibi. . . . .benedicenda assume libamina (. . . . tui Adventus gloriam, &c.).’ (Miss. Moz. p. 17.) So again, on Mid-Lent Sunday: ‘Ecce, Jesu. . . deferimus Tibi hoc sacrificium nostrae redemptionis. . . . .accipe hoc sacrificium;’ on which Leslie quotes St. Fulgentius, de Fide, c. I9: ‘Cui (i. e. to the Incarnate Son) cum Patre et Spiritu Sancto. . . . sacrificium panis et vini. . . . Ecclesia. . . .offerre non cessat.’ Again, in the Mass for Easter Friday, in an ‘Alia Oratio:’ ‘Ecce, Jesu Mediator. . . . hanc Tibi afferimus victimam sacrificii singularis.’ From Palm Sunday to Easter Day inclusive, the prayers offered to Christ, according to this Missal, are twenty-nine. The zeal of the Spanish Church for the Divinity of the Holy Spirit is remarkably shown in a ‘Post Pridie’ for Whitsunday: ‘Suscipe. . . . . Spiritus Sancte, omnipotens Deus, sacrificia;’ on which Leslie’s note says, ‘Ariani negabant sacrificium debere Dei Filio offerri, aut Spiritui Sancto. . . . contra quos Catholici Gotho-Hispani Filio et Spiritui Sancto sacrificium Eucharisticum distincte offerunt;’ and he proceeds to quote another passage from Fulgentius that worship and sacrifice were offered alike to all the Three Persons, ‘hoc est, Sanctae Trinitati.’ The Gallican Liturgies, though in a less degree, exhibit the same feature of Eucharistic prayer to our Lord. In the very old series of fragmentary Masses, discovered by Mone, and edited by the Rev. G. H. Forbes and Dr. Neale (in Ancient Liturgies of the Gallican Church, part i.), as the ‘Missale Richenovense’ (from the abbey of Reichenau, where they were found), there are four cases of prayer to Christ; one of them, in the ninth Mass, being in a ‘Contestatio’ or Preface. In the ‘Gothic’ (or southern-Gallic) Missal, prayer is made to Him about seventy-six times. Some of these cases are very striking. Thus on Christmas Day, ‘Suscipe, . . . . Domine Jesu, omnipotens Deus, sacrificium laudis oblatum.’ (Muratori, Lit. Rom. ii. 521; Forbes and Neale, p. 35.) The ‘Immolatio’ (another term for the Contestatio) of Palm Sunday is addressed to Christ. The ‘Old Gallican’ Missal, belonging to central Gaul, has sixteen cases of prayer to Him, including the ‘Immolatio’ of Easter Saturday. The ‘Gallican Sacramentary’ (called also the Sacramentarium Bobiense, and by Mr. Forbes, the Missal of Besançon) has twenty-eight such cases, including three Contestations. The Canon of the Ambrosian Rite has prayers to Christ.
106. The principle affirmed in the old Spanish rite, that the Eucharist was to be offered to the whole Trinity, and therefore to the Son, is also affirmed in the daily Liturgy of the Eastern Church. The prayer of the Cherubic Hymn, which indeed was not originally a part of St. Chrysostom’s Liturgy, having been inserted in it not earlier than Justinian’s reign, has this conclusion: 'Su gar ei o prosferwn kai prosferomenoj, kai prosdexomenoj, kai diadidomenoj, Xriste o Qeoj hmwn, kai soi thn docan anapempomen k.t.l.' About 1155 a dispute arose as to 'prosdexomenoj,' and Soterichus Panteugenus, patriarch-elect of Antioch, who taught that the sacrifice was not offered to the Son, but only to the Father and the Holy Spirit, was condemned in a council at Constantinople, 1156. ‘This,’ says Neale (Introd. to East. Church, i. 434), ‘was the end of the controversy that for more than seven hundred years had vexed the Church on the subject of the Incarnation.’ Between this event and the condemnation of Monothelitism, Neale reckons the condemnation of Adoptionism, in 794. Compare also, in the present Liturgy of St. James, a prayer just before the ‘Sancta Sanctis,’ addressed to our Lord, in which the phrase occurs, ‘Thy holy and bloodless sacrifices.’ The same Liturgy has other prayers addressed to Him. In St. Mark’s Liturgy, among other prayers to Christ, one runs thus, ‘Show Thy face on this bread and these cups.’ After the Lord’s Prayer, the Deacon says, ‘Bow your heads to Jesus,’ and the response is, ‘To Thee, O Lord.’ In fact, the East seems never to have accepted the maxim that Eucharistic prayer was always addressed to the Father. Our ‘Prayer of St. Chrysostom,’ addressed to the Son, is the ‘prayer of the third Antiphon’ in Lit. St. Chrys.; and the same rite, and the Armenian, have the remarkable prayer, ‘Attend, O Lord Jesus Christ our God and come to sanctify us,’ &c. In the Coptic Liturgy of St. Basil, our Lord is besought to send down the Spirit on the elements. The present Roman rite has three prayers to Christ between the ‘Agnus Dei’ and the ‘Panem coelestem.’
109. Plin. Ep. lib. x. ep. 97: ‘Alii ab indice nominati ease se Christianos dixerunt, et mox negaverunt; fuisse quidem sed desiisse; quidam ante triennium, quidam ante plures annos, non nemo etiam ante viginti quoque. Omnes et imaginem tuam, deorumque simulacra venerati sunt, ii et Christo maledixerunt. Adfirmabant autem, hanc fuisse summam vel culpae suae vel erroris, quod essent soliti stato die ante lucem convenire, carmenque Christo, quasi Deo, dicere secum invicem, seque sacramento non in scelus aliquod obstringere, sed ne furta, ne latrocinia, ne adulteria commiterent.’
110. That the ‘carmen’ was an incantation, or that Christ was saluted as a hero, not as a Divine Person, are glosses upon the sense of this passage, rather than its natural meaning. See Augusti, Denkwurdigkeiten, tom. v. p. 33.
114. Neander decides in the negative (Ch. Hist. i. 225 sqq.), (1) on the ground of the vehemence of the opponent of Origen, as contrasted with the moderation of the friend of Lucian; (2) because the friend of Lucian was an Epicurean, the antagonist of Origen a neo-Platonist.
116. Contr. Cels. vii. 40, p. 722: 'ina mh pantapasin hte katagelastoi touj men allouj, touj deiknumenouj qeouj, wj eidwla blasfhmountej; ton de kai autwn wj alhqwj eidwlwn aqliwteron, kai mhde eidwlon eti, all ontwj nekron, sebontej, kai Patera omoion autw zhtountej.'
118. Ibid. vii. 53, p. 732: 'posw d hn umin ameinon, epeidh ge kainotomhsai ti epequmhsate, peri allon tina twn gennaiwj apoqanantwn, kai qeion muqon decasqai dunamenwn, spoudasai; Fere, ei mh hresken Hraklhj, kai Asklhpioj, kai oi palai dedocasmenoi, Orfea eixete k.t.l.' Cf. 57.
119. Ibid. iii. 34, p. 469: 'meta tauta paraplhsion hmaj oietai pepoihkenai, ton (wj fhsin o Kelsoj) alonta kai apoqanonta qrhskeuontaj, toij Getaij sebousi ton Zamolcin, kai Kilici ton Moyon, kai Akarnasi ton Amfiloxon, kai Qhbaioij ton Amfiarewn, kai Lebadioij ton Trofwnion.'
121. Ibid. viii. 12, p. 750: 'docai d an tij echj toutoij piqanon ti kaq hmwn legein en tw, Ei men dh mhdena allon eqerapeuon outoi plhn ena Qeon, hn an tij autoij iswj proj touj allouj atenhj logoj; nuni de ton enagxoj fanenta touton uperqrhskeuousi, kai omwj ouden plhmmelein nomizousi peri ton Qeon, ei kai uphrethj autou qerapeuqhsetai.'
123. Contr. Cels. viii. 12, p. 750: 'eiper nenohkei o Kelsoj to; Egw kai o Pathr en esmen; kai to en euxh eirhmenon upo tou Uiou tou Qeou en tw; Wj egw kai su en esmen, ouk an weto hmaj kai allon qerapeuein, para ton epi pasi Qeon. O gar Pathr, fhsin, en emoi, kagw en tw Patri.'
126. Bull, Def. Fid. Nic. sect. ii. c. 9, n. 15: ‘Sin Filium intueamur relate, qua Filius est, et ex Deo Patre trahit originem, tum rursus certum est, cultum et venerationem omnem, quem ipsi deferimus, ad Patrem redundare, in ipsumque, ut 'phghn qeothtoj' ultimo referri.’
128. Arnob. adv. Gentes, i. 36: ‘Sed non idcirco Dii vobis infesti sunt, quod omnipotentem colatis Deum: sed quod hominem natum, et (quod personis infame est vilibus) crucis supplicio interemptum, et Deum fuisse contenditis, et superesse adhuc creditis, et quotidianis supplicationibus adoratis.’
129. Lact. Div. Inst. iv. 16: ‘Venio nunc ad ipsam Passionem, quae velut opprobrium nobis objectari solet, quod et hominem, et ab hominibus insigni supplicio adfectum et excruciatum colamus: ut doceam eam ipsam Passionem ab Eo cum magna et divina ratione susceptarn, et in ea sola et virtutem, et veritatem, et sapientiam contineri.’
130. Arnob. adv. Gentes, i. 42: ‘Natum hominem colimus. Etiamsi esset id verum, locis ut in superioribus dictum est, tamen pro multis et tam liberalibus donis, quae ab eo profecta in nobis sunt, Deus dici appellarique deberet. Cum vero Deus sit re certa, et sine ullius rei dubitationis ambiguo, inficiaturos arbitramini nos esse, quam maxime illum a nobis coil, et praesidem nostri corporis nuncupari? Ergone, inquiet aliquis furens, iratus, et percitus, Deus ille est Christus? Deus, respondebimus, et interiorum potentiarum Deus; et quod magis infidos acerbissimis doloribus torqueat, rel maximae causa a summo Rege ad nos missus.’ Lact. Div. Inst. iv. 29: ‘Quum dicimus Deum Patrem et Deum Filium, non diversum dicimus, nec utrumque secernimus: siquidem nec Pater sine Filio nuncupari, nec Filius potest sine Patre generari.’
131. See ‘Deux Monuments des Premiers Siècles de l’Eglise expliqués, par le P. Raphael Garrucci,’ Rome, 1862. He describes the discovery and appearance of this ‘Graffito Blasfemo’ as follows:—‘Comme tant d’autres ruines, le palais des Césars récélait aussi de nombreuses inscriptions dictées par le caprice. Après avoir recueilli celles qui couvraient les parois de toute une salle, nous arrivames a trouver quelques paroles grecques, inscrites au sommet d’un mur enseveli sous les décombres. Ce fut la un précieux indice qui nous fit poursuivre nos recherches. Bientôt apparut le contour d’une tête d’animal sur un corps humain, dont les bras étaient étendus comme ceux des orantes dans les Catacombes. La découverte paraissait avoir un haut intérêt: aussi Mgr. Milesi, Ministre des travaux publics, nous autorisa-t-il, avec sa bienveillance accoutumée, a faire enlever la terre et les debris qui encombraient cette chambre, le 11 Novembre, 1857. Nous ne tardames point a contempler une image que ces ruines avaient conservée intacte a travers les siècles, et dont nous pumes relever un calque fidele.
‘Elle réprésente une croix, dont la forme est celle du Tau grec, surmonté d’une cheville qui porte une tablette. Un homme est attaché a cette croix, mais la tête de cette figure n’est point humaine, c’est celle du cheval ou plutôt de l’onagre. Le crucifie est revêtu de la tunique de dessous, que les anciens désignaient sous le nom d’interula, et d’une autre tunique sans ceinture; des bandes appelées crurales enveloppent la partie inférieure des jambes. A la gauche du spectateur, on voit un autre personnage, qui sous le même vêtement, semble converser avec la monstrueuse image, et eleve vers elle sa main gauche, dont les doigts sont separés. A droite, au dessus de la croix, se lit la lettre U; et au dessous, l’inscription suivante:
ALECAMENOS SEBETE (pour SEBETAI)
Alexamenos adore son Dieu.’
For the reference to this interesting paper I am indebted to the kindness of Professor Westwood. See Wordsworth’s Tour in Italy, ii. p. 143; and for engravings of the Graffito, Tyrwhitt’s Art Teaching of the Primitive Church, p. 7; Northcote and Brownlow, Roma Sotterranea, p. ii, p. 346. Champfleury, Histoire de la Caricature Antique, c. xxiv. p. 287, sqq.
132. P. Garucci fixes this date on the following grounds: (1) Inscriptions on tiles and other fragments of this part of the Palatine palace show that it was constructed during the reign of the Emperor Adrian. The dates 123 and 126 are distinctly ascertained. (Deux Monuments, &c., p. 10.) The inscription therefore is not earlier than this date. (2) The calumny of the worship of the ass’s head by the Christians is not mentioned by any of the Apologists who precede Tertullian, nor by any who succeed Minucius Felix; which may be taken to prove that this misrepresentation of Christian worship was only in vogue among pagan critics in Rome and Africa at the close of the second and at the beginning of the third century. (3) It is certain from Tertullian that there were Christians in the imperial palace during the reign of the Emperor Severus: ‘Even Severus himself, the father of Antoninus, was mindful of the Christians; for he sought out Proculus a Christian, who was surnamed Torpacion, the steward of Euodia, who had once cured him by means of oil, and kept him in his own palace, even to his death: whom also Antoninus very well knew, nursed as he was upon Christian milk.’ Ad Scapulam, c. 4. Caracalla’s playmate was a Christian boy; see Dr. Pusey’s note on Tertull. p. 148, Oxf. Tr. Libr. Fath. (4) ‘Rien dans le monument du Palatin ne contredit cette opinion, ni la paléographie, qui trahit Ia même époque, tant a cause de l’usage simultané de l’E carré et de l’E semicirculaire dans Ia même inscription, que par Ia forme générale des lettres; ni moins encore l’ortographe, car on sait que le changement de l’AI en E a plus d’un exemple a Rome, même sur les monuments grecs du règne d’Auguste. Enfin les autres inscriptions grecques de cette chambre, qui sans prejudice pour notre these, pourraient être d’une autre temps, ne font naitre aucune difficulté sérieuse, étant parfaitement semblables a celle dont nous nous occupons.’ Garucci, Ibid. p. 13.
133. Tac. Hist. v. c. 4. He had it probably from Apion: see Josephus, c. Ap. ii. 10. It is repeated by Plutarch, Symp. iv. 5: 'ton onon anafhnanta autoij phghn udatoj timwsi.' And by Democritus: 'Xrushn onou kefalhn prosekunoun.' Apud Suidas, voc. 'Ioudaj.'
134. Apolog. 16. Tertullian refutes Tacitus by referring to his awn account of the examination of the Jewish temple by Cn. Pompeius after his capture of Jerusalem; Pompey ‘found no image’ in the temple. For proof that the early Christians were constantly identified with the Jews by the pagan world, see Dr. Pusey’s note on Tert. ubi supra, in the Oxf. Tr. Libr. Fath.
136. Eus. Hist. Ecc. v. 1: 'eij gurgaqon blhqeisa, taurw pareblhqh; kai ikanwj anablhqeisa proj tou zwou, mhde aisqhsin eti twn sumbainontwn exousa dia thn elpida kai epoxhn twn pepisteumenwn kai omilian proj Xriston.'
138. Ruinart, Acta Martyrum Sincera, ed. Veronae, 1731, p. 314. Acta S. Felicis Episcopi, anno 303: ‘Felix Episcopus, elevans oculos in coelum, clara voce dixit, Deus, gratias Tibi. Quinquaginta et sex annos habeo in hoc saeculo. Virginitatem custodivi, Evangelia servavi, fidem et veritatem praedicavi. Domine Deus coeli et terrae, Jesu Christe, Tibi cervicem meam ad victimam flecto, Qui permanes in aeternum; Cui est claritas et magnificentia in saecula saeculorum. Amen.’
139. Ibid. p. 303, Passio S. Theodoti Ancyrani, et septem virginum: ‘Theodotus, valedicens fratribus, jubensque ne ab oratione cessarent, sed Deum orarent ut corona ipsi obtingeret, praeparavit se ad verbera sustinenda. Simul igitur perstiterunt in oratione cum martyre, qui prolixe precatus, tandem ait: Domine Jesu Christe, spes desperatorum, da mihi certaminis cursum perficere, et sanguinis effusionem pro sacrificio et libatione offerre, omnium eorum causa qui propter Te affliguntur. Alleva onus eorum; et compesce tempestatem, ut requie et profunda tranquillitate potiantur omnes qui in Te credunt.’
140. Ibid. p. 307: ‘Videns ergo Praeses se frustra laborare, et fatigatos tortores deficere, depositum de ligno jussit super ignitas testulas collocari. Quibus etiam interiora corporis penetrantibus gravissimum dolorem sentiens Theodotus, oravit dicens, Domine Jesu Christe, spes desperatorum, exaudi orationem meam, et cruciatum hunc mitiga; quia propter Nomen Sanctum Tuum ista patior.’
141. Ruinart, Acta, p. 307: ‘Cumque ad locum pervenissent, orare coepit Martyr in haec verba: Domine Jesu Christe, coeli terraeque conditor, qui non derelinquis sperantes in Te, gratias Tibi ago, quia fecisti me dignum coelestis Tuae Urbis civem, Tuique regni consortern. Gratias Tibi ago, quia donasti mihi draconem vincere, et caput ejus conterere. Da requiem servis Tuis, atque in me siste violentiam inimicorum. Da Ecclesiae Tuae pacem, eruens eam a tyrannide diaboli.’
142. Ibid. p. 340; Acta SS. Saturnini, Dativi, et aliorum plurimorum martyrum in Africa, a. 304: ‘Thelica martyr, media de ipsa carnificum rabie hujusmodi preces Domino cum gratiarum actione effundebat: Deo gratias. In Nomine Tuo, Christe Dei Fili, libera servos Tuos.’
143. Ibid.: ‘Cum ictibus ungularum concussa fortius latera sulcarentur, profluensque sanguinis unda violentis tractibus emanaret, Proconsulem sibi dicentem audivit: Incipies sentire quae vos pati oporteat. Et adjecit: Ad gloriam. Gratias ago Deo regnorum. Apparet regnum aeternurn, regnum incorruptum. Domine Jesu Christe, Christiani sumus; Tibi servimus; Tu es spes nostra; Tu es spes Christianorurn; Deus sanctissime; Deus altissime; Deus omnipotens.’
144. Ibid. p. 341: ‘Advolabant truces manus jussis velocibus leviores, secretaque pectoris, disruptis cutibus, visceribusque divulsis, nefandis adspectibus profanorum adnexa crudelitate pandebant. Inter haec Martyris mens immobilis perstat: et licet membra rumpantur, divellantur viscera, latera dissipentur, animus tamen martyris integer, inconcussusque perdurat. Denique dignitatis suae memor Dativus, qui et Senator, tali voce preces Domino sub carnifice rabiente fundebat: O Christe Domine, non confundar.’ Ibid. p. 342: ‘At martyr, inter vulnerum cruciatus saevissimos pristinam suam repetens orationem: Rogo, ait, Christe, non confundar.’
145. Ibid. p. 342: ‘Spectabat interea Dativus lanienam corporis sui potius quam dolebat: et cujus ad Dominum mens animusque pendebat, nihil dolorem corporis aestimabat, sed tantum ad Dominum precabatur, dicens; Subveni, rogo, Christe, habe pietatem. Serva animam meam; custodi spiritum meum ut non confundar. Rogo, Christe, da sufferentiam.’
146. Acta, p. 342: ‘Ne inter moras torquentium exclusa anima corpus supplicio pendente desereret, tali voce Dominum presbyter precabatur: Rogo Christe, exaudi me. Gratias Tibi ago, Deus: jube me decollari. Rogo Christe, miserere. Dei Fili, subveni.’
148. Ruinart, p. 362; Acta S. Euplii Diaconi et Martyris, a. 304: ‘Calvisianus interlocutus dixit: Euplius qui secundum Edictum Principum non tradidit Scripturas, sed legit populo, torqueatur. Cumque torqueretur, dixit Euplius: Gratias Tibi, Christe. Me custodi qui propter Te haec patior. Dixit Calvisianus Consularis: Desiste, Eupli, ab insania hac. Deos adora et liberaberis. Euplius dixit: Adoro Christum, detestor daemonia. Fac quod vis, Christianus sum. Haec diu optavi. Fac quod vis. Adde alia, Christianus sum. Postquam diu tortus esset, jussi sunt cessare carnifices. Et dixit Calvisianus: Miser, adora deos: Martem cole, Apollinem et Aesculapium. Dixit Euplius: Patrem et Filium et Spiritum Sanctum adoro: Sanctam Trinitatem adoro, praeter quam non est Deus. Pereant dii qui non fecerunt coelum et terram, et quae in eis sunt. Christianus sum. Calvisianus praefectus dixit: Sacrifica, si vis liberari. Euplius dixit: Sacrifico modo CHRISTO DEO me ipsum: quid ultra faciarn, non habeo. Frustra conaris: Christianus sum. Calvisianus praecepit iterum torqueri acrius. Cumque torqueretur, dixit Euplius: Gratias Tibi, Christe. Succurre, Christe. Propter Te haec patior, Christe. Et dixit saepius. Et deficientibus viribus, dicebat labiis tantum, absque voce haec vel alia.’
151. Ibid.: 'ei gar kai h sarc auth kaq eauthn meroj esti twn ktismatwn, alla Qeou gegone swma. kai oute to toiouton swma kaq eauto diairountej apo tou Logou proskunoumen, oute ton Logon proskunhsai qelontej makrunomen auton apo thj sarkoj; all eidotej, kaqa proeipomen, to o Logoj sarc egeneto, touton kai en sarki genomenon epiginwskomen Qeon.'
152. St. Athanas. Epist. ad Ade'phium, § 3: 'tij toigaroun outwj afrwn estin wj legein to Kuriw, aposta apo tou swmatoj ina se proskunhsw; k.t.l.' Compare Ibid. § 5: 'ina kai tolmwsi legein' (sc. Ariani), 'ou proskunoumen hmeij ton Kurion meta thj sarkoj, alla diairoumen to swma kai monw toutw latreuomen.'
153. St. Athanas. contr. Arian. Orat. ii. § 14, sub fin. p. 482. Orat. iii. § 16, p. 565, 'ei gar mh outwj exeit, all ec ouk ontwn esti ktisma kai poihma o Logoj, h ouk esti Qeoj alhqinoj, dia to einai auton ena twn ktismatwn, h ei Qeon auton onomazousin entrepomenoi para twn grafwn, anagkh legein autouj duo qeouj, ena men ktisthn, ton de eteron ktiston, kai duo kurioij latreuein, eni men agenhtw, tw de eterw genhtw kai ktismati.....outw de fronountej pantwj kai pleionaj sunayousi qeouj; touto gar twn ekpesontwn apo tou enoj Qeou to epixeirhma. diati oun oi Areianoi toiauta logizomenoi kai noountej ou sunariqmousin eautouj meta twn Ellhnwn;'
155. Cat. Racov.: ‘Qu. 236. Quid praeterea Dominus Jesus huic praecepto addidit? Resp. Id quod etiam Dominum Jesum pro Deo agnoscere tenemur, id est, pro eo, qui in nos potestatem habet divinam, et cui nos divinum exhibere honorem obstricti sumus. Qu. 237. In quo is honor divinus Christo debitus consistit? Resp. In eo, quod quemadmodum adoratione divina eum prosequi tenemur, ita in omnibus necessitatibus nostris ejus opem implorare possumus. Adoramus vero eum propter ipsius sublimem et divinam ejus potestatem.’ Cf. Möhler, Symbolik. Mainz. 1864, p. 609.
156. The tenacity of the Christian practice may be still more remarkably illustrated from the death-cry of Servetus, as given in a MS. account of his execution, cited by Roscoe, Life of Leo X, c. 19. ‘Ipse horrenda voce clamans; Jesu, Fili Dei aeterni, miserere mei.’
157. Cat. Racov.: ‘Qu. 246. Quid vero sentis de iis hominibus, qui Christum non invocant, nec adorandum censent? Resp. Prorsus non esse Christianos sentio, cum Christum non habeant. Et licet verbis id negare non audeant, reipsa negant tamen.’ In his sermon on ‘Satan Transformed,’ South quotes Socinus as saying that ‘Praestat Trinitarium esse, quam asserere Christum non esse adorandum.’
159. Cf. Möhler, Symbolik, p. 609; Bp. Pearson, Minor Works, vol. i. p. 300, and note. Coleridge’s Table Talk, 2nd ed. p. 304: ‘Faustus Socinus worshipped Jesus Christ, and said that God had given Him the power of being omnipresent. Davidi, with a little more acuteness, urged that mere audition or creaturely presence could not possibly justify worship from men;—that a man, how glorified soever, was no nearer God than the most vulgar of the race. Prayer therefore was inapplicable.’ On the responsibility of Socinus for Davidi’s subsequent persecution for this negation, see Priestley, Corr. of Christ., Part i. § 11. For himself Coleridge says (Ibid. p. 50), ‘In no proper sense of the term can I call Unitarians and Socinians believers in Christ; at least not in the only Christ of Whom I have read or know anything.’
160. Cat. Rac.: ‘Qu. 245. Ergo is honor et cultus ad eum modum tribuitur, ut nullum sit inter Christum et Deum hoc in genere discrimen? Resp. Imo, permagnum est. Nam adoramus et colimus Deum, tanquam causam primam salutis nostrae; Christum tanquam causam secundam; aut ut cum Paulo loquamur, Deum tanquam Eum ex quo omnia, Christum ut eum per quem omnia.’ Cf. Bibl. Frat. Pol. tom. ii. fol. 466, qu. by Möhler, Symbolik, p. 609. Mohler observes that ‘man sieht dass an Christus eine Art von Invocation gerichtet wird, die mit der Katholischen Anrufung der Heiligen einige Aehnlichkeit hat.’
161. Cf. Priestley, Corr. of Christ., Part i. § 11: ‘It is something extraordinary that the Socinians in Poland thought it their duty, as Christians, and indeed essential to Christianity, to pray to Jesus Christ, notwithstanding that they believed Him to be a mere man, whose presence with them, and whose knowledge of their situation, they could not therefore be assured of.’ This work appeared in 1782.
163. Ibid. p. 243: ‘Milites sumus, Imperator, tui: sed tamen servi, quod liberè confitemur, Dei. . . . Habes hic nos confitentes Deum Patrem auctorem omnium; et Filium Ejus Jesum Christum DEUM credimus.’
164. Ibid. p. 377: 'Taraxoj eipen: Nun alhqwj fronimwteron me epoihsaj, taij plhgaij endunamwsaj me, eti mallon pepoiqenai me en tw onomati tou Qeou kai tou Xristou autou. Macimoj hgemwn eipen: Anosiwtate kai triskatarate, pwj dusi qeoij latreueij, kai autoj omologwn, touj qeouj arnh; Taracoj eipen: Egw Qeon omologw ton ontwj onta. Macimoj hgemwn eipen: Kai mhn kai Xriston tina efhj einai Qeon. Taraxoj eipen: Outwj exei: autoj gar estin o Xristoj o Uioj tou Qeou tou zwntoj, h elpij twn Xristianwn, di on kai pasxontej swzomeqa.'
165. Ibid. p. 425: ‘Vos autem erratis qui daemonas fallaces et impostores Dei appellatione honoratis; mihi vero Deus est Christus, Dei Unigenitus Filius. Pro pietate igitur atque confessione Istius, et qui vulnerat incidat; et qui verberat laceret; et qui cremat flammam admoveat; et qui his vocibus meis offenditur, linguam eximat.’
166. Ibid. p. 135: ‘Comprehensus est quidam, Petrus nomine, valde quidem fortis in fide; pulcher animo et speciosus corpore. Proconsul dixit: Habes ante oculos decreta invictissimorum principum. Sacrifica ergo magnae deae Veneri. Petrus respondit: Miror, si persuades mihi, optime Proconsul, sacrificare impudicae mulieri et sordidae, quae talia opera egit ut confusio sit enarrare . . . . Oportet ergo me magis DEO vivo et vero, Regi saeculorum omnium Christo sacrificium offerre orationis deprecationis, compunctionis et laudis. Audiens haec Proconsul jussit eum adhuc aetate adolescentulum tendi in rota, et inter ligna in circuitu posita, vinculis ferreis totum corpus ejus fecit constringi: ut contortus et confractus [?] minutatim ossa ejus comminuerentur. Quanto autem plus torquebatur famulus Dei, tanto magis fortior apparebat. Constans vero aspectu, et ridens de ejus stultitia, conspiciens in coelum ait: Tibi ago gratias, Domine Jesu Christe, qui mihi hanc tolerantiam dare diqnatus es ad vincendum nequissimum tyrannum. Tunc Proconsul videns tantam ejus perseverantiam, et nec his quidem defecisse tormentis, jussit eum gladio percuti.’
167. Acta, p. 65, circ. a. 178: ‘Ita literis eruditissimi, concordia crescente, adeo provecti sunt:. . . . . ad haec beatus Epipodius. . . . . Sempiternum vero Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum quem crucifixum memoras, resurrexisse non nosti, qui ineffabili mysterio homo pariter et Deus, famulis suis tramitem immortalitatis instituit, . . . . Christum cum Patre ac Spiritu Sancto Deum esse confiteor, dignumque est ut illi animam meam refundam, qui mihi et Creator est et Redemptor.’
170. Ibid. p. 410 (cf. St. Ambr. de Exh. Virgin. c. 1), circ. a. 304: ‘Martyri nomen Agricola est, cui Vitalis servus fuit ante, nunc consors et collega martyrii. Praecessit servus, ut provideret locum; secutus est dominus. . . cumque sanctus Vitalis cogeretur a persequentibus ut Christum negaret, et ille amplius profiteretur Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, omnia tormentorum genera in eum exercentes, ut non esset in corpore ejus sine vulnere locus, orationem fudit ad Dominum dicens; Domine Jesu Christe, Salvator meus, et Deus meus; jube suscipi spiritum meum; quia jam desidero ut accipiam coronam, quam angelus tuus sanctus mihi ostendit. Et completâ oratione emisit spiritum.’
171. Ibid., Passio S. Felicitatis et Septem Filiorum Ejus, p. 23: ‘Hoc quoque amoto, jussit septimum Martialem ingredi, eique dixit: Crudelitatis vestrae factores effecti, Augustorum instituta contemnitis, et in vestra pernicie permanetis. Respondit Martialis: O si nosses quae poenae idolorum cultoribus paratae sunt! Sed adhuc differt Deus iram suam in vos et idola vestra demonstrare. Omnes enim qui non confitentur CHRISTUM VERUM esse DEUM in ignem aeternum mittentur.’
172. Ibid. p. 122: ‘Post haec cum adstante haud procul Asclepiade, quis diceretur inquireret [Polemon scilicet] respondit Asclepiades, Christianus. Polemon: Cujus ecclesiae? Asclepiades: Catholicae. Polemon: Quem Deum colis? Respondit: Christum. Polemon: Quid ergo? iste alter est? Respondit: Non, sed ipse quem et ipsi paullo ante confessi sunt.’
Cf. Prudentius, Peristeph. Hymn. 10. 671:--
‘Arrisit infans, nec moratus retulit:
Est quidquid illud, quod ferunt homines Deum
Unum esse oportet, et quod uni est unicum.
Cum Christus hoc sit, Christus est verus Deus.
Genera deorum multa nec pueri putant.’
173. Prudentius has given a poetical amplification of the last prayer of St. Laurence, which, whatever its historic value, at any rate may be taken to represent the primitive Christian sentiment respecting the relation of Jesus Christ to the pagan empire. It should be noticed that neither St. Ambrose nor St. Augustine, in their accounts of the martyrdom, report anything of this kind; Prudentius may have followed a distinct and trustworthy tradition. The martyr is interceding for Rome:—
‘O Christe, numen unicum,
O splendor, O virtus Patris,
O factor orbis et poli,
Atque auctor horum moenium!
Qui sceptra Romae in vertice
Rerum locasti, sanciens
Mundum Quirinali togae
Servire, et armis cedere
Ut discrepantum gentium
Mores, et observantiam,
Linguasque et ingenia et sacra
Unis domares legibus.
En onme sub regnum Remi
Mortale concessit genus:
Idem loquuntur dissoni
Ritus, id ipsum sanciunt.
Hoc destinatum quo magis
Jus Christiani nominis,
Quodcumque terrarum jacet
Uno illigaret vinculo.
Da, Christe, Romanis tuis
Sit Christiana ut civitas:
Per quem dedisti, ut caeteris
Mens una sacrorum foret.’
Vox nostra quae sit accipe.
Est Christus et Peter Deus:
Servi hujus ac testes sumus;
Extorque si potes fidem.
Tormenta, carcer, ungulae
Stridensque flammis lamina
Atque ipsa poenarum ultima;
Mors Christianis ludus est.’
175. Ruinart, p. 125: ‘Judices interim dixerunt: Quem Deum colitis? Pionius respondit: Hunc qui coelum fecit, et sideribus ornavit, qui terram statuit, et floribus arboribusque decoravit; qui ordinavit circumflua terrae et maria, et statuta terminorum vel litorum lege signavit. Tum illi: Illum dicis qui crucifixus est? Et Pionius: Illum dico quem pro salute orbis Pater misit.’
176. Ibid., Acta Sincera, p. 210, for the confession of Sapricius, who afterwards fell; p. 235; p. 256 for that of Victor at Marseilles; pp. 274, 314, 341, 435, 438, 439, 467, 470, 479, 483, 506, 513, 514, 521.
180. Ep. ad Diogn. 7: 'autoj o pantokratwr kai pantoktisthj kai aoratoj Qeoj. . . . ou kaqaper an tij eikaseien, anqrwpoij uphrethn tina penyaj h aggelon, h arxonta, h tina twn diepontwn ta epigeia, h tina twn pepisteumenwn taj en ouranoij dioikhsseij, all auton ton texnithn kai dhmiourgon twn olwn. . . . wj Qeon epemyen, wj proj anqrwpouj epemyen, wj swzwn epemyen.'
181. Ep. ad Diogn. c. 8: 'tij gar olwj anqrwpwn hpistato ti pot esti Qeoj, prin auton elqein. . . . anqrwpwn de oudeij oute eiden oute egnwrisen, autoj de eauton epedeicen, epedeice de dia pistewj, h monh Qeon idein sugkexwrhtai.'
187. See the argument of the whole passage, Contr. Tryph. 57-61: 'arxhn pro pantwn twn ktismatwn o Qeoj gegennhke dunamin tina ec eautou logikhn, htij kai doca Kuriou upo tou Pneumatoj tou Agiou kaleitai, pote de Uioj, pote de Sofia, pote de Aggeloj, pote de Qeoj.'
188. Ibid. 126: 'ei nenohkate ta eirhmena upo twn profhtwn, ouk an echrneisqe auton einai Qeon tou monou kai agennhtou Qeou Uion.' Cf. Ibid. 63: 'proskunhtoj -- kai Qeoj.' Justin expresses the truth of our Lord’s distinct Personality by the phrase 'Qeoj eteroj ariqmw all ou gnwmh' (Ibid. 56).
194. Apol. apud Auct. Chron. Pasch. (Gall. tom. i. p. 678): 'ouk esmen liqwn oudemian aisqhsin exontwn qerapeutai, alla monou Qeou tou pro pantwn kai epi pantwn, kai eti tou Xristou autou ontoj Qeou Logou pro aiwnwn esmen qrhskeutai.' Routh, Rel. Sacr. i. 118, 133.
196. Ibid. iii. 6, n. 2: ‘Nemo igitur alius Deus nominatur, aut Dominus appellatur nisi qui est omniurn Deus et Dominus, qui et Moysi dixit, Ego sum Qui sum, . . . . et Hujus Filius Jesus Christus.’ Cf. iii. 8, n. 3: ‘Deu Solus.’
197. Ibid. iii. 19, n. 2: ‘Quoniam autem Ipse proprie praeter omnes qui fuerunt tunc homines, Deus, et Dominus, et Rex Aeternus et Unigenitus, et Verbum Incarnatum praedicatur, et a prophetis omnibus et apostolis, et ab ipso Spiritu, adest videre omnibus qui vel modicum veritatis attigerint.’
203. Strom. ii. 9, § 45: 'Qew tw Swthri;' Ibid. v. 6, § 38: 'o Qeoj Swthr keklhmenoj, h twn olwn arxh, htij apeikonistai men ek tou Qeou tou aoratou prwth kai pro aiwnwn, tetupwken de ta meq eauthn apanta genomena.'
210. Princ. I. ii. n. 10: ‘Ut autem unam eandemque Omnipotentiam Patris et Filii esse cognoscas, sicut unus atque idem est cum Patre Deus et Dominus, audi hoc modo Johannem in Apocalypsi dicentem: Haec dixit Dominus Deus, qui est et qui erat, et qui venturus est, Omnipotens; qui enim venturus est, quis est alius nisi Christus.’
214. In Matt. t. xvii. n. 20: 'wsper o Qeoj anqrwpouj oikonomwn wj en parabolaij anqrwpoj legetai, taxa de pwj kai ginetai: outwj kai o Swthr prohgoumenwj Uioj wn tou Qeou kai Qeoj estin, kai Uioj thj agaphj autou, kai eikwn tou Qeou tou aoratou: ou menei de en w esti prohgoumenwj, alla ginetai kat oikonomian tou en parabolaij legomenou anqrwpou ontwj de Qeou, Uioj anqrwpou kata to mimeisqai, otan anqrwpouj oikonomh, ton Qeon legomenon en parabolaij kai ginomenon anqrwpon.'
216. Ibid. t. vi. n. 15: 'docologian peri thj prohgoumenhj ousiaj Xristou dihgeitai, oti dunamin tosauthn exei, wj kai aoratoj einai th qeiothti autou, parwn panti anqrwpw, panti de kai tw olw kosmw sumparekteinomenoj.'
218. Apol. c. 21: ‘Hunc ex Deo prolatum didicimus, et prolatione generatum, et idcirco Filium Dei, et Deum dictum ex unitate substantiae.’ See Lect. VII. p. 390. Ibid.: ‘Quod de Deo profectum est, Deus est, et Dei Filius, et Unus ambo.’ Adv. Prax. 4: ‘Filium non aliunde deduco, sect de substantia Patris.’ Ibid. 3: ‘Consortibus [Filio et Spiritu Sancto] substantiae Patris.’
225. Ep. 73, ad Jubaianum, 12: ‘Si peccatorum remissam consecutus est . . . et templum Dei factum est, quaero cujus Dei? Si Creatoris, non potuit in eum qui non credidit. Si Christi, nec ejus fieri potest templum qui negat Deum Christum.’ Cf. Ep. 74, c. 6: ‘Quae vero est animae caecitas, quae pravitas, fidei unitatem de Deo Patre, et de Jesu Christi Domini et Dei nostri traditione venientem nolle agnoscere,’ &c.
226. Adv. Jud. c. 6: 'Qeoj wn alhqinwj.' Contr. Noet. c. 6: 'outoj o wn epi pantwn Qeoj estin: legei gar outw meta parrhsiaj: Panta moi paradedotai upo tou Patroj. o wn epi pantwn Qeoj euloghtoj, gegenhtai, kai anqrwpoj genomenoj, Qeoj estin eij touj aiwnaj.' Apud Routh, Opusc. i. p. 59. And c. 17: 'Qeoj Logoj ap ouranwn kathlqen eij thn agian parqenon.' Adv. Beron. et Helic. n. 2: 'o twn olwn Qeoj' is later: cf. Doll. Hipp. and Call. E. T. p. 295. In Eus. v. 28, He is called our 'eusplagxnoj Qeoj.'
227. Adv. Gent. ii. 60: ‘Ideo Christus, licet vobis invitis, Deus; Deus inquam Christus—hoc enim saepe dicendum est, ut infidelium dissiliat et disrumpatur auditus—Dei principis jussione loquens sub hominis forma.’ Ibid. i. 53: ‘Deus ille sublimis fuit; Deus radice ab intimâ, Deus ab incognitis regnis, et ab omnium principe Deus sospitator est missus.’
228. Apud Routh, Rel. Sacr. iii. p. 443; Ep. ad Lucian. Cubicul. Praepos. c. 7: ‘Interdum et divinas scripturas laudare conabitur. . . . laudabitur et interim Evangelium Apostolusque pro divinis oraculis: insurgere poterit Christi mentio, explicabitur paullatim ejus sola Divinitas.’
229. Ep. ad Dionys. Rom. apud S. Athan. Op. tom. i. p. 255: 'kai di allhj epistolhj egraya, en oij hlegca kai o proferousin egklhma kat emou, yeudoj on, wj ou legontoj ton Xriston omoousion einai tw Qew.'
230. Apud Routh, Rel. Sac. iv. 48: 'ta de shmeia panta a epoihse kai ai dunameij deiknusin auton Qeon einai enanqrwphsanta. ta sunamfotera toinun deiknutai: oti Qeoj hn fusei, kai gegonen anqrwpoj fusei.'
231. De Symeon. et Anna, n. 6: 'Su Qeoj prwtoj, emprosqen sou ouk egennhqh qeoj alloj ek Qeou Patroj, kai meta sou ouk estai alloj Uioj tw Patri omoousioj kai omotimoj.' n. 8: 'dia tou monogenouj kai aparallaktou kai omoousiou Paidoj sou thn lutrwsin hmin poihsamenoj.' n. 14: 'fwj alhqinon ek fwtoj alhqinou, Qeoj alhqinoj ek Qeou alhqinou.' Quoted by Klee.
232. Ep. ad Maximin. Epp. et Cler. Alex.: ‘De Verbi autem Incarnatione et fide credimus in Dominum nostrum Jesum Christum, er Virgine Maria natum, quod Ipse est sempiternus Dei Filius et Verbum, non autem homo a Deo assumptus, ut alius sit ab Illo; neque enim hominem assumpsit Dei Filius, ut alius ab ipso exsistat. Sed cum perfectus Deus esset, factus est simul Homo Perfectus ex Virgine Incarnatus.’ Labbe et Coss. Conc. iii. 511.
245. Petavius attacks him especially on the score of this treatise. De Trin. i. 5, 2: ‘Opinionem explicat suam,’ says Petavius, ‘quae etiam Arianorum haeresim impietate et absurditate superat.’ For a fairer estimate, see Klee, Dogmengeschichte, ii. c. 2.
246. Adv. Prax. c. 9: ‘Pater enim tota Substantia est, Filius vero derivatio totius et portio.’ See the remarks of Baur, Dogmengeschichte, i. 444, to which, however, a study of the context will yield a sufficient answer; e.g. c. 8: ‘Sermo in Patre semper. . . . nunquam separatus a Patre.’
251. Apolog. adv. Ruffin. ii. Oper. tom. iv. p. ii. p. 409, apud Petav. de Trin. i. 1: ‘Fieri potest, ut vel simpliciter erraverint, vel alio sensu scripserint, vel a librariis imperitis eorurn paullatim scripta corrupta sint. Vel certè, antequam in Alexandria, quasi daemonium meridianum, Arius nasceretur, innocenter quaedam et minus caute locuti sunt, et quae non possint perversorum hominum calumniam declinare.’ Cf. St. Athan. contr. Ar. iii. 59.
256. ‘In some instances [of ante-Nicene language] which are urged, it is quite obvious on the surface that the writer is really wishing to express the idea of the Son’s generation being absolutely coeval with the Eternal Being of the Father, and is using the examples from the natural world, where the derivation is most immediately consequent upon the existence of the thing derived from, in order broadly to impress that idea of coeval upon the reader’s mind. “The Son,” says St. Clement of Alexandria, “issues from the Father quicker than light from the sun.” Here, however, the very aim of the illustration to express simultaneousness is turned against it, and special attention is called to the word “quicker,” as if the writer had only degrees of quickness in his mind, and only made the Son’s generation from His source “quicker” than that of light from its source, and not absolutely coeval.’ Mozley on the Theory of Development, p. 183.
266. In this sense a Development of Doctrine must necessarily be admitted. When the life of the individual soul is vigorous and healthy, there must be a continuously increasing knowledge of Divine Truth. St. Aug. in Joan. Ev. Tract. xiv. c. 3. n. 5: ‘Crescat ergo Deus qui semper perfectus est, crescat in te. Quanto enim magis intelligis Deum, et quanto magis capis, videtur in te crescere Deus; in se autem non crescit, sed semper perfectus est. Intelligebas heri modicum; intelligis hodie amplius, intelliges cras multo amplius: lumen ipsum Dei crescit in te; ita velut Deus crescit, qui semper perfectus manet. Quemadmodum si curarentur alicujus oculi ex pristina caecitate, et inciperet videre paululum lucis, et alia die plus videret, et tertia die amplius, videretur illi lux crescere: lux tamen perfecta est, sive ipse videat, sive non videat. Sic est et interior homo: proficit quidem in Deo, et Deus in illo videtur crescere; ipse tamen minuitur, ut a gloria sua decidat, et in gloriam Dei surgat.’ A somewhat analogous progress in the knowledge of Truth, received from Christ and His Apostles, is found in the collective Christian Society. Vincent. Lirinens. Commonit. c. 28: ‘Nullusne ergo in Ecclesia Dei profectus? Habeatur plane et maximus: nam quis ille est tam invidus hominibus, tam exosus Deo, qui illud prohibere conetur? Crescat igitur oportet, et multum vehementerque proficiat tam singulorum quam omnium, tam unius hominis quam totius ecclesiae aetatum ac saeculorum gradibus, intelligentia, scientia, sapientia.’ Not that this increasing apprehension of the true force and bearings of the truth revealed in its fulness once for all involves any addition to or subtraction from that one unchanging body of truth. Commonit. c. 30: ‘Fas est enim ut prisca illa coelestis philosophiae dogmata processu temporis excurentur, limentur, poliantur; sed nefas est ut commutentur, nefas ut detruncentur, nefas ut mutilentur. Accipiant licet evidentiam, lucem, distinctionem; sed retineant necesse est plenitudinem, integritatem, proprietatem.’ There is then no real increase in the body of truth committed to the Church, but only a clearer perception on the part of the Church of the force and bearings of that truth which she had possessed in its completeness from the first. With some, few drawbacks, this is fairly stated by Staudenmaier. Wetzer and Welte’s Diction. Encycl.; art. Dogma.
267. St. John v. 17; St. Matt. viii. 3, I3; ix. 6, 22, 25, 29; St. John iv. 50; v. 8. This power over nature He delegated to others: St. Matt. x. 1, 8; St.Mark xvi. 17; St. Luke x. 17; St.John xiv. 12; Acts iii. 6, 12, 16; ix. 34; xvi. 18.
294. Möhler, Symbolik, p. 610: ‘Wären sie (the Socinians) scharfere Denker gewesen, so mussten sie zur Einsicht gelangen, dass, wenn das Evangelium den Sohn als ein personliches Wesen, und zugleich als Gott darstellt, wie die Socianianer nicht laugneten (Christ. Relig. institut. bibl. frat. Pol. tom. i. p. 655. Es wird Joh. i. 1; xx. 21 citirt.), kein anderes Verhaltniss zwischen ihm und dem Vater denkbar sei, als jenes, welches die katholische Kirche von Anfang an geglaubt hatte.’
296. St. Cyril of Alexandria defines 'ousia' as 'pragma auquparkton, mh deomenon eterou proj thn eautou sustasin.' Apud Suicer. in voc. 'ousia.' As 'ousia' meant sometimes individuality or personality, 'omoousion' had for some minds even a Sabellian import.
297. 'Omoousioj' properly means of the same nature—i. e. under the same general nature or species. It is applied to things which are but similar to each other, and are considered as one by an abstraction of our minds. Thus Aristotle speaks of the stars being ‘omoousia with each other.’ Newman, Arians, p. 203. ‘Valentinianism,’ he says (p. 206), ‘applied the word to the Creator and His creatures in this its original philosophical sense. The Manichees followed. . . . they too were Emanatists,’ &c. But such a usage offends against ‘the great revealed principle’ of ‘the incommunicable. . . . Individuality of the Divine Essence:’ according to which principle 'omoousioj,' as used of the Son, defined Him as ‘necessarily included in That Individuality.’ See Dr. Newman’s valuable note on St. Athanasius’ Treatises, i. 152, note a (Libr. Fath.); Ibid. 35, note t; and Soc. i. 8.
299. St. Athan. De Synodis, § 45; cf. Cave, Hist. Lit. i. 134. ‘Non aliud dicit Athanasius quam Paulum ex detorto Catholicorum vocabulo sophisticum argumentum contra Christi Divinitatem excogitasse; nempe, nisi confiteremur Christum ex homine Deum factum esse, sequeretur ipsum Patri esse 'omoousion,' ac proinde tres esse substantias, unam quidem primariam, duas ex illa derivatas: 'swmatikwj' enim et crasso sensu vocabulum accepit, quasi in essentiâ divina, perinde ac in rebus corporeis usu venit, ut ab una substantia altera, eaque diversa, derivetur. Quocirca, ne hac voce haeretici ulterius abuterentur, silentio supprimendam censuerunt patres Antiocheni: non quod Catholicum vocis sensum damnarent, sed ut omnem sophistice cavillandi occasionem haereticis praeriperent, ut ex Athanasio, Basilio, aliisque, abunde liquet.’
302. Cf. especially the treatise of the Dominican, John de Torquemada, Cardinal de Turrecremata, entitled, Tractatus de Veritate Conceptionis B. Virginis. Romae, 1547, 4to; Oxon. 1869. ed. Pusey. Note G in App.
303. I have been reminded that Roman Catholics do not admit this (see the ‘Month,’ Nov. 1867), and, at the instance of my reviewer, I quote with pleasure the following language of the Bull Ineffabilis, which is substantially that of Vincent of Lerins, and which will command the assent of English Churchmen. The Church of Christ, says the Bull, ‘sedula depositorum apud se dogmatum custos, et vindex, nihil in his unquam permutat, nihil minuit, nihil addit, sed omni industria vetera fideliter sapienterque tractando si qua antiquitus informata sunt, et Patrum fides sevit, ita limare expolire studet, ut prisca illa coelestis doctrinae dogmata accipiant evidentiam, lucem, distinctionem, sed retineant plenitudinem, integritatem, proprietatem, ac in suo tantum genere crescant, in eodem scilicet dogmate, eodem sensu, eâdemque sententia,’ p. 11. But the question is whether, if the principle thus stated had been really adhered to, the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin Mary could have been defined to be an article of necessary faith. It is one thing to propose a new and necessary definition or explanation of a truth which has been confessed from the first; it is another thing to say that a fact, the truth of which has been controverted by a series of writers of the highest authority, is now so certain that it must be received as matter of faith. Should not the ‘nihil addit’ of the Bull alone have sufficed to render the definition impossible? See Observations d’un Théologien sur la Bulle de Pie IX, relative a la Conception de la Sainte Vierge, Paris, 1855, pp. 28-38; La Croyance a l’Immaculée Conception de la Sainte Vierge ne peut devenir dogme de foi, par M. l’Abbe Laborde, Paris, 1854, pp. 77-83. Can the assertion that the Immaculate Conception of the Blessed Virgin is a certainty of faith, be really rested upon any other ground, than an assumption in the modern Church of some power to discern and proclaim truths which were altogether unknown to the Church of the Apostles?
304. Sum. Th. iii. a. 27, q. 2: ‘B. Virgo contraxit quidem originale peccatum, sed ab eo fuit mundata antequam ex utero nasceretur.’ Cf. St. Bernard. Ep. 174; Durandus, Rationale Divinorum Officiorum, vii. 7. 4;. St. Bonaventur. Sent. iii. Dist. 3, pars i. art. i. quaest. 2.
305. In the same way modern Socinians ‘believe in the Divinity of Christ.’ Channing, Objections to Unitarian Christianity Considered, Works, vol. ii. p. 361. Yet they also believe that Christ ‘is a Being distinct from the one God.’ Ibid. p. 510. Such a confession of Christ’s ‘Divinity’ implies of course no more than might be said of St. John, and shows how completely language may be emptied of its original value. Cf. Lect. I. p. 26.
306. See the letter addressed in Constantine’s name to St. Alexander and to Arius (Soc. i. 7), in which the writer—probably Eusebius of Nicomedia—insists ‘that the points at issue are minute and trivial.’ Bright’s Hist. Ch., p. 20. Neale, Hist. Alex. i. 134.
308. De Synod. 41: 'Proj de touj apodexomenouj ta men alla panta twn en Nikaia grafentwn, peri de monon to Omoousion amfiballontaj, xrh mh wj proj exqrouj diakeisqai. . . . all wj adelfoi proj adelfouj dialegomeqa, thn authn men hmin dianoian exontaj, peri de to onoma monon distazontaj. . . . . Ou makran eisin apodecasqai kai thn tou Omoousiou lecin.' He repeatedly declares that the Homoousion in its Nicene sense is intended to guard the reality of the Divine Sonship as being uncreated. Ibid. 39, 45, 48, 54.
309. St. Athanasius’ ‘zeal for the Consubstantiality had its root in his loyalty to the CONSUBSTANTIAL. He felt that in the Nicene dogma were involved the worship of Christ and the life of Christianity.’ Bright’s Hist. Ch. p. 149.
310. St. Greg. Nyssa, contr. Eunom. xii. p. 728. Arianism is 'h thj Ioudaikhj apathj sunhgoroj, exousa ti kai thj Ellhnikhj aqeiaj.' So St. Gregory Nazianz. (Orat. i. vol. i. p. 16) describes the Arian conception of the Divine Nature as marked by an 'Ioudaikh penia,' meaning the hard abstract monotheism of the later Jewish creed. Quoted by Baur, Lehre von den Dreieinigkeit. i. pp. 352, 353, note.
311. See Dr. Newman’s translation of it in Athan. Treatises, i. 213, note a: ‘Men of yesterday and the day before, mere mechanics, off-hand dogmatists in theology, servants too, and slaves that have been flogged . . . . are solemn with us and philosophical about things incomprehensible. . . . Ask about pence, and he will discuss the Generate and Ingenerate; inquire the price of bread, he answers, “Greater is the Father, and the Son is subject;” say that a bath would suit you, and he defines that the Son is out of nothing.’ See also St. Athan. Orat. Ari. i. 22, on the profane questions put to boys and women in the Agora; and Ibid. 4 sqq. on the ‘Thalia’ of Arius. Cf. also St. Greg. Nyssen, De Deitate Filii et Sp. Sancti. Opp. iii. 466.
312. The stress here laid upon the Nicene Creed will not be supposed to imply forgetfulness of the great claims, in its due place, of the symbol Quicunque. Coleridge, indeed, has said that the Athanasian Creed is, in his judgment, ‘heretical in the omission or implicit denial of the Filial subordination in the Godhead, which is the doctrine of the Nicene Creed.’ (Table-Talk, p. 41.) But when the Athanasian Creed asserts that the Son is ‘of the Father,’ it virtually affirms the Subordination; and when the Nicene Creed calls the Son ‘Very God’ and ‘Consubstantial,’ it emphatically confesses the Coequality. Coleridge’s judgment can only be sustained by supposing that the Nicene Creed teaches a doctrine of Subordination in which the Nicene Council would assuredly have detected Arianism. See Bright, Sermons of St. Leo, note 99.