§ 117. General Observations. Doctrinal Importance of the Period. Influence of the Ancient Philosophy.


The Nicene and Chalcedonian age is the period of the formation and ecclesiastical settlement of the ecumenical orthodoxy; that is, the doctrines of the holy trinity and of the incarnation and the divine-human person of Christ, in which the Greek, Latin, and evangelical churches to this day in their symbolical books agree, in opposition to the heresies of Arianism and Apollinarianism, Nestorianism and Eutychianism. Besides these trinitarian and christological doctrines, anthropology also, and soteriology, particularly the doctrines of sin and grace, in opposition to Pelagianism and Semi-Pelagianism were developed and brought to a relative settlement; only, however, in the Latin church, for the Greek took very little part in the Pelagian controversy.

The fundamental nature of these doctrines, the greatness of the church fathers who were occupied with them, and the importance of the result, give this period the first place after the apostolic in the history of theology. In no period, excepting the Reformation of the sixteenth century, have there been so momentous and earnest controversies in doctrine, and so lively an interest in them. The church was now in possession of the ancient philosophy and learning of the Roman empire, and applied them to the unfolding and vindication of the Christian truth. In the lead of these controversies stood church teachers of imposing talents and energetic piety, not mere book men, but venerable theological characters, men all of a piece, as great in acting and suffering as in thinking. To them theology was a sacred business of heart and life,1283 and upon them we may pass the judgment of Eusebius respecting Origen: "Their life was as their word, and their word was as their life."

The theological controversies absorbed the intellectual activity of that time, and shook the foundations of the church and the empire. With the purest zeal for truth were mingled much of the odium and rabies theologorum, and the whole host of theological passions; which are the deepest and most bitter of passions, because religion is concerned with eternal interests.

The leading personages in these controversies were of course bishops and priests. By their side fought the monks, as a standing army, with fanatical zeal for the victory of orthodoxy, or not seldom in behalf even of heresy. Emperors and civil officers also mixed in the business of theology, but for the most part to the prejudice of its free, internal development; for they imparted to all theological questions a political character, and entangled them with the cabals of court and the secular interests of the day. In Constantinople, during the Arian controversy, all classes, even mechanics, bankers, frippers, market women, and runaway slaves took lively part in the questions of Homousion and sub-ordination, of the begotten and the unbegotten.1284

The speculative mind of the Eastern church was combined with a deep religious earnestness and a certain mysticism, and at the same time with the Grecian curiosity and disputatiousness, which afterwards rather injured than promoted her inward life. Gregory Nazianzen, who lived in Constantinople in the midst of the Arian wars, describes the division and hostility which this polemic spirit introduced between parents and children, husbands and wives, old and young, masters and slaves, priests and people. "It has gone so far that the whole market resounds with the discourses of heretics, every banquet is corrupted by this babbling even to nausea, every merrymaking is transformed into a mourning, and every funeral solemnity is almost alleviated by this brawling as a still greater evil; even the chambers of women, the nurseries of simplicity, are disturbed thereby, and the flowers of modesty are crushed by this precocious practice of dispute."1285  Chrysostom, like Melanchthon at a later day, had much to suffer from the theological pugnacity of his times.

The history of the Nicene age shows clearly that the church of God carries the heavenly treasure in earthly vessels. The Reformation of the sixteenth century was likewise in fact an incessant war, in which impure personal and political motives of every kind had play, and even the best men often violated the apostolic injunction to speak the truth in love. But we must not forget that the passionate and intolerant dogmatism of that time was based upon deep moral earnestness and strong faith, and so far forth stands vastly above the tolerance of indifferentism, which lightly plays with the truth or not rarely strikes out in most vehement intolerance against the faith. (Remember the first French revolution.)  The overruling of divine Providence in the midst of these wild conflicts is unmistakable, and the victory of the truth appears the greater for the violence of error. God uses all sorts of men for his instruments, and brings evil passions as well as good into his service. The Spirit of truth guided the church through the rush and the din of contending parties, and always triumphed over error in the end.

The ecumenical councils were the open battle-fields, upon which the victory of orthodoxy was decided. The doctrinal decrees of these councils contain the results of the most profound discussions respecting the Trinity and the person of Christ; and the Church to this day has not gone essentially beyond those decisions.

The Greek church wrought out Theology and Christology, while the Latin church devoted itself to Anthropology and Soteriology. The one, true to the genius of the Greek nationality, was predominantly speculative, dialectical, impulsive, and restless; the other, in keeping with the Roman character, was practical, traditional, uniform, consistent, and steady. The former followed the stimulation of Origen and the Alexandrian school; the latter received its impulse from Tertullian and Cyprian, and reached its theological height in Jerome and Augustine. The speculative inclination of the Greek church appeared even in its sermons, which not rarely treated of the number of worlds, the idea of matter, the different classes of higher spirits, the relation of the three hypostases in the Godhead, and similar abstruse questions. The Latin church also, however, had a deep spirit of investigation (as we see in Tertullian and Augustine), took an active part in the trinitarian and christological controversies of the East, and decided the victory of orthodoxy by the weight of its authority. The Greek church almost exhausted its productive force in those great struggles, proved indifferent to the deeper conception of sin and grace, as developed by Augustine, and after the council of Chalcedon degenerated theologically into scholastic formalism and idle refinements.

The fourth and fifth centuries are the flourishing, classical period of the patristic theology and of the Christian Graeco-Roman civilization. In the second half of the fifth century the West Roman empire, with these literary treasures, went down amidst the storms of the great migration, to take a new and higher sweep in the Germano-Roman form under Charlemagne. In the Eastern empire scholarship was better maintained, and a certain connection with antiquity was preserved through the medium of the Greek language. But as the Greek church had no middle age, so it has had no Protestant Reformation.

The prevailing philosophy of the fathers was the Platonic, so far as it was compatible with the Christian spirit. The speculative theologians of the East, especially those of the school of Origen, and in the West, Ambrose and pre-eminently Augustine, were moulded by the Platonic idealism.

A remarkable combination of Platonism with Christianity, to the injury of the latter, appears in the system of mystic symbolism in the pseudo-Dionysian books, which cannot have been composed before the fifth century, though they were falsely ascribed to the Areopagite of the book of Acts (xvii. 34), and proceeded from the later school of New-Platonism, as represented by Proclus of Athens († 485). The fundamental idea of these Dionysian writings (on the celestial hierarchy; on the ecclesiastical hierarchy; on the divine names; on mystic theology; together with ten letters) is a double hierarchy, one in heaven and one on earth, each consisting of three triads, which mediates between man and the ineffable, transcendent hyper-essential divinity. This idea is a remnant of the aristocratic spirit of ancient heathenism, and forms the connecting link with the hierarchical organization of the church, and explains the great importance and popularity which the pseudo-Dionysian system acquired, especially in the mystic theology of the middle ages.1286

In Synesius of Cyrene also the Platonism outweighs the Christianity. He was an enthusiastic pupil of Hypatia, the famous female philosopher at Alexandria, and in 410 was called to the bishopric of Ptolemais, the capital of Pentapolis. Before taking orders he frankly declared that he could not forsake his philosophical opinions, although he would in public accommodate himself to the popular belief. Theophilus of Alexandria, the same who was one of the chief persecutors of the admirers of Origen, the father of Christian Platonism, accepted this doubtful theory of accommodation. Synesius was made bishop, but often regretted that he exchanged his favorite studies for the responsible and onerous duties of the bishopric. In his hymns he fuses the Christian doctrine of the Trinity with the Platonic idea of God, and the Saviour with the divine Helios, whose daily setting and rising was to him a type of Christ’s descent into Hades and ascension to heaven. The desire of the soul to be freed from the chains of matter, takes the place of the sorrow for sin and the longing after salvation.1287

As soon as theology assumed a scholastic character and began to deal more in dialectic forms than in living ideas, the philosophy of Aristotle rose to favor and influence, and from John Philoponus, a.d. 550, throughout the middle age to the Protestant Reformation, kept the lead in the Catholic church. It was the philosophy of scholasticism, while mysticism sympathized rather with the Platonic system.

The influence of the two great philosophies upon theology was beneficial or injurious, according as the principle of Christianity was the governing or the governed factor. Both systems are theistic (at bottom monotheistic), and favorable to the spirit of earnest and profound speculation. Platonism, with its ideal, poetic views, stimulates, fertilizes, inspires and elevates the reason and imagination, but also easily leads into the errors of gnosticism and the twilight of mysticism. Aristotelianism, with its sober realism and sharp logical distinctions, is a good discipline for the understanding, a school of dialectic practice, and a help to logical, systematic, methodical treatment, but may also induce a barren formalism. The truth is, Christianity itself is the highest philosophy, as faith is the highest reason; and she makes successive philosophies, as well as the arts and the sciences, tributary to herself, on the Pauline principle that "all things are hers."1288


 § 118. Sources of Theology. Scripture and Tradition.


Comp. the literature in vol. i. § 75 and § 76. Also: Eusebius: Hist. Eccl. iii. 3; vi. 25 (on the form of the canon in the Nicene age); Leander van Ess (R.C.): Chrysostomus oder Stimmen der Kirchenväter für’s Bibellesen. Darmstadt, 1824.

Vincentius Lirinensis († about 450): Commonitorium pro cathol. fidei antiquitate et universitate Adv. profanas omnium haer. novitates; frequent editions, e.g. by Baluzius (1663 and 1684), Gallandi, Coster, Kluepfel (with prolegom. and notes), Viennae, 1809, and by Herzog, Vratisl. 1839; also in connection with the Opera Hilarii Arelatensis, Rom. 1731, and the Opera Salviani, Par. 1669, and in Migne’s Patrolegis, vol. 50, p. 626 sqq.


The church view respecting the sources of Christian theology and the rule of faith and practice remains as it was in the previous period, except that it is further developed in particulars.1289  The divine Scriptures of the Old and New Testaments, as opposed to human writings; and the oral tradition or living faith of the catholic church from the apostles down, as opposed to the varying opinions of heretical sects together form the one infallible source and rule of faith. Both are vehicles of the same substance: the saving revelation of God in Christ; with this difference in form and office, that the church tradition determines the canon, furnishes the key to the true interpretation of the Scriptures, and guards them against heretical abuse. The relation of the two in the mind of the ancient church may be illustrated by the relation between the supreme law of a country (such as the Roman law, the Code Napoleon, the common law of England, the Constitution of the United States) and the courts which expound the law, and decide between conflicting interpretations. Athanasius, for example, "the father of orthodoxy," always bases his conclusions upon Scripture, and appeals to the authority of tradition only in proof that he rightly understands and expounds the sacred books. The catholic faith, says he, is that which the Lord gave, the apostles preached, and the fathers have preserved; upon this the church is founded, and he who departs from this faith can no longer be called a Christian.1290

The sum of doctrinal tradition was contained in what is called the ApostlesCreed, which at first bore various forms, but after the beginning of the fourth century assumed the Roman form now commonly used. In the Greek church its place was supplied after the year 325 by the Nicene Creed, which more fully expresses the doctrine of the deity of Christ. Neither of these symbols goes beyond the substance of the teaching of the apostles; neither contains any doctrine specifically Greek or Roman.

The old catholic doctrine of Scripture and tradition, therefore, nearly as it approaches the Roman, must not be entirely confounded with it. It makes the two identical as to substance, while the Roman church rests upon tradition for many doctrines and usages, like the doctrines of the seven sacraments, of the mass, of purgatory, of the papacy, and of the immaculate conception, which have no foundation in Scripture. Against this the evangelical church protests, and asserts the perfection and sufficiency of the Holy Scriptures as the record of divine revelation; while it does not deny the value of tradition, or of the consciousness of the church, in the interpretation of Scripture, and regulates public teaching by symbolical books. In the Protestant view tradition is not coordinate with Scripture, but subordinate to it, and its value depends on its agreement with the Scriptures. The Scriptures alone are the norma fidei; the church doctrine is only the norma doctrinae. Protestantism gives much more play to private judgment and free investigation in the interpretation of the Scriptures, than the Roman or even the Nicene church.1291

I. In respect to the Holy Scriptures:

At the end of the fourth century views still differed in regard to the extent of the canon, or the number of the books which should be acknowledged as divine and authoritative.

The Jewish canon, or the Hebrew Bible, was universally received, while the Apocrypha added to the Greek version of the Septuagint were only in a general way accounted as books suitable for church reading,1292 and thus as a middle class between canonical and strictly apocryphal (pseudonymous) writings. And justly; for those books, while they have great historical value, and fill the gap between the Old Testament and the New, all originated after the cessation of prophecy, and they cannot therefore be regarded as inspired, nor are they ever cited by Christ or the apostles.1293

Of the New Testament, in the time of Eusebius, the four Gospels, the Acts, thirteen Epistles of Paul, the first Epistle of John, and the first Epistle of Peter, were universally recognized as canonical,1294 while the Epistle to the Hebrews, the second and third Epistles of John, the second Epistle of Peter, the Epistle of James, and the Epistle of Jude were by many disputed as to their apostolic origin, and the book of Revelation was doubted by reason of its contents.1295  This indecision in reference to the Old Testament Apocrypha prevailed still longer in the Eastern church; but by the middle of the fourth century the seven disputed books of the New Testament were universally acknowledged, and they are included in the lists of the canonical books given by Athanasius, Gregory Nazianzen, Amphilochius of Iconium, Cyril of Jerusalem, and Epiphanius; except that in some cases the Apocalypse is omitted.

In the Western church the canon of both Testaments was closed at the end of the fourth century through the authority of Jerome (who wavered, however, between critical doubts and the principle of tradition), and more especially of Augustine, who firmly followed the Alexandrian canon of the Septuagint, and the preponderant tradition in reference to the disputed Catholic Epistles and the Revelation; though he himself, in some places, inclines to consider the Old Testament Apocrypha as deutero-canonical books, bearing a subordinate authority. The council of Hippo in 393, and the third (according to another reckoning the sixth) council of Carthage in 397, under the influence of Augustine, who attended both, fixed the catholic canon of the Holy Scriptures, including the Apocrypha of the Old Testament, and prohibited the reading of other books in the churches, excepting the Acts of the Martyrs on their memorial days. These two African councils, with Augustine,1296 give forty-four books as the canonical books of the Old Testament, in the following order: Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, Numbers, Deuteronomy, Joshua, Judges, Ruth, four books of Kings (the two of Samuel and the two of Kings), two books of Paralipomena (Chronicles), Job, the Psalms, five books of Solomon, the twelve minor Prophets, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Daniel, Ezekiel, Tobias, Judith, Esther, two books of Ezra, two books of Maccabees. The New Testament canon is the same as ours.

This decision of the transmarine church however, was subject to ratification; and the concurrence of the Roman see it received when Innocent I. and Gelasius I. (a.d. 414) repeated the same index of biblical books.

This canon remained undisturbed till the sixteenth century, and was sanctioned by the council of Trent at its fourth session.

Protestantism retained the New Testament canon of the Roman church,1297 but, in accordance with the orthodox Jewish and the primitive Christian view, excluded the Apocrypha from the Old.1298

The most eminent of the church fathers speak in the strongest terms of the full inspiration and the infallible authority of the holy Scriptures, and commend the diligent reading of them even to the laity. Especially Chrysostom. The want of general education, however, and the enormous cost of books, left the people for the most part dependent on the mere hearing of the word of God in public worship; and the free private study of the Bible was repressed by the prevailing Spirit of the hierarchy. No prohibition, indeed, was yet laid upon the reading of the Bible; but the presumption that it was a book of the priests and monks already existed. It remained for a much later period, by the invention of printing, the free spirit of Protestantism, and the introduction of popular schools, to make the Bible properly a people’s book, as it was originally designed to be; and to disseminate it by Bible societies, which now print and circulate more copies of it in one year, than were made in the whole middle age, or even in the fifteen centuries before the Reformation.

The oldest manuscripts of the Bible now extant date no further back than the fourth century, are very few, and abound in unessential errors and omissions of every kind; and the problem of a critical restoration of the original text is not yet satisfactorily solved, nor can it be more than approximately solved in the absence of the original writings of the apostles.

The oldest and most important manuscripts in uncial letters are the Sinaitic (first discovered by Tischendorf in 1859, and published in 1862), the Vatican (in Rome, defective), the Alexandrian (in London); then the much mutilated codex of Ephraim Syrus in Paris, and the incomplete codex of Cambridge. From these and a few other uncial codices the oldest attainable text must be mainly gathered. Secondary sources are quotations in the fathers, the earliest versions, Stich as the Syriac Peshito and the Latin Vulgate, and the later manuscripts.1299

The faith which rests not upon the letter, but upon the living spirit of Christianity, is led into no error by the defects of the manuscripts and ancient and modern versions of the Bible, but only excited to new and deeper study.

The spread of the church among all the nations of the Roman empire, and even among the barbarians on its borders, brought with it the necessity of translating the Scriptures into various tongues. The most important of these versions, and the one most used, is the Latin Vulgate, which was made by the learned Jerome on the basis of the older Itala, and which afterwards, notwithstanding its many errors, was placed by the Roman church on a level with the original itself. The knowledge of Hebrew among the fathers was very rare; the Septuagint was considered sufficient, and even the knowledge of Greek diminished steadily in the Latin church after the invasion of the barbarians and the schism with the East, so that the Bible in its original languages became a sealed book, and remained such until the revival of learning in the fifteenth century.

In the interpretation of the Scriptures the system of allegorical exposition and imposition was in high repute, and often degenerated into the most arbitrary conceits, especially in the Alexandrian school, to which most of the great dogmatic theologians of the Nicene age belonged. In opposition to this system the Antiochian school, founded by Lucian († 311), and represented by Diodorus of Tarsus, Theodore of Mopsuestia, and best by John Chrysostom and Theodoret, advocated a soberer grammatical and historical exegesis, and made a sharper distinction between the human and the divine elements in the Scriptures. Theodore thereby incurred the suspicion and subsequently even the condemnation of the Greek church.

Among the Latin fathers a similar difference in the interpretation of Scripture appears between the discerning depth and lively play of Augustine and the grammatical and archaeological scholarship and dogmatical superficiality of Jerome.


II. The Holy Scriptures were universally accepted as the supreme authority and infallible rule of faith. But as the Scriptures themselves were variously interpreted, and were claimed by the heretics for their views, the fathers of our period, like Irenaeus and Tertullian before them, had recourse at the same time to Tradition, as preserved from the apostles through the unbroken succession of the bishops. With them the Scriptures are the supreme law; the combined wisdom and piety of the catholic church, the organic body of the faithful, is the judge which decides the true sense of the law. For to be understood the Bible must be explained, either by private judgment or by the universal faith of Christendom.

Strictly speaking, the Holy Ghost, who is the author, is also the only infallible interpreter of the Scriptures. But it was held that the Holy Ghost is given only to the orthodox church not to heretical and schismatic sects, and that he expresses himself through assembled orthodox bishops and universal councils in the clearest and most authoritative way. "The heretics," says Hilary, "all cite the Scriptures, but without the sense of the Scriptures; for those who are outside the church can have no understanding of the, word of God."  They imagine they follow the Scriptures, while in truth they follow their own conceits, which they put into the Scriptures instead of drawing their thoughts from them.

Even Augustine, who of all the fathers stands nearest to evangelical Protestantism, on this point advocates the catholic principle in the celebrated maxim which he urges against the Manichaeans: "I would not believe the gospel, if I were not compelled by the authority of the universal church."  But he immediately adds: "God forbid that I should not believe the gospel."1300

But there are different traditions; not to speak of various interpretations of the catholic tradition. Hence the need of a criterion of true and false tradition. The semi-Pelagian divine, Vincentius, a monk and priest in the South-Gallic cloister of Lirinum († 450), 1301 otherwise little known, propounded the maxim which formed an epoch in this matter, and has since remained the standard in the Roman church: We must hold "what has been everywhere, always, and by all believed."1302  Here we have a threefold test of the ecclesiastical orthodoxy:  Catholicity of place, of time, and of number; or ubiquity, antiquity, and universal consent;1303 in other words, an article of faith must be traced up to the apostles, and be found in all Christian countries, and among all believers. But this principle can be applied only to a few fundamental articles of revealed religion, not to any of the specifically Romish dogmas, and, to have any reasonable meaning, must be reduced to a mere principle of majority. In regard to the consensus omnium, which properly includes both the others, Vincentius himself makes this limitation, by defining the condition as a concurrence of the majority of the clergy.1304  To the voice of the people neither he nor the whole Roman system, in matters of faith, pays the slightest regard. In many important doctrines, however, there is not even a consensus patrum, as in the doctrine of free will, of predestination, of the atonement. A certain freedom of divergent private opinions is the indispensable condition of all progress of thought, and precedes the ecclesiastical settlement of every article of faith. Even Vincentius expressly asserts a steady advance of the church in the knowledge of the truth, though of course in harmony with the previous steps, as a man or a tree remains identical through the various stages of growth.1305

Vincentius is thoroughly Catholic in the spirit and tendency of his work, and has not the most remote conception of the free Protestant study of the Scriptures. But on the other hand he would have as little toleration for new dogmas. He wished to make tradition not an independent source of knowledge and rule of faith by the side of the Holy Scriptures, but only to have it acknowledged as the true interpreter of Scripture, and as a bar to heretical abuse. The criterion of the antiquity of a doctrine, which he required, involves apostolicity, hence agreement with the spirit and substance of the New Testament. The church, says he, as the solicitous guardian of that which is intrusted to her, changes, diminishes, increases nothing. Her sole effort is to shape, or confirm, or preserve the old. Innovation is the business of heretics not of orthodox believers. The canon of Scripture is complete in itself, and more than sufficient.1306  But since all heretics appeal to it, the authority of the church must be called in as the rule of interpretation, and in this we must follow universality, antiquity, and consent.1307  It is the custom of the Catholics, says he in the same work, to prove the true faith in two ways: first by the authority of the holy Scriptures, then by the tradition of the Catholic church; not because the canon alone is not of itself sufficient for all things, but on account of the many conflicting interpretations and perversions of the Scriptures.1308

In the same spirit says pope Leo I.: "It is not permitted to depart even in one word from the doctrine of the Evangelists and the Apostles, nor to think otherwise concerning the Holy Scriptures, than the blessed apostles and our fathers learned and taught."1309

The catholic principle of tradition became more and more confirmed, as the authority of the fathers and councils increased and the learned study of the Holy Scriptures declined; and tradition gradually set itself in practice on a level with Scripture, and even above it. It fettered free investigation, and promoted a rigid, stationary and intolerant orthodoxy, which condemned men like Origen and Tertullian as heretics. But on the other hand the principle of tradition unquestionably exerted a wholesome conservative power, and saved the substance of the ancient church doctrine from the obscuring and confusing influence of the pagan barbarism which deluged Christendom.


I. – Trinitarian Controversies.




I. Sources: On the orthodox side most of the fathers of the fourth century; especially the dogmatic and polemic works of Athanasius (Orationes c. Arianos; De decretis Nicaenae Synodi; De sententia Dionysii; Apologia c. Arianos; Apologia de fuga sua; Historia Arianorum, etc., all in tom. i. pars i. ii. of the Bened. ed.), Basil (Adv. Eunomium), Gregory Nazianzen (Orationes theologicae), Gregory Of Nyssa (Contra Eunom.), Epiphanius (Ancoratus), Hilary (De Trinitate), Ambrose (De Fide), Augustine (De Trinitate, and Contra Maximinimum Arianum), Rufinus, and the Greek church historians.

On the heretical side: The fragments of the writings of Arius (Qavleia, and two Epistolae to Eusebius of Nicomedia and Alexander of Alexandria), preserved in quotations in Athanasius, Epiphanius, Socrates, and Theodoret; comp. Fabricius: Biblioth. gr. viii. p. 309. Fragmenta Arianorum about 388 in Angelo Mai: Scriptorum veterum nova collect. Rom. 1828, vol. iii. The fragments of the Church History of the Arian Philostorgius, a.d. 350–425.


II. Works: Tillemont (R.C.): Mémoires, etc. tom. vi. pp. 239–825, ed. Paris. 1699, and ed. Ven. (the external history chiefly). Dionysius Petavius (Jesuit, † 1652): De theologicis dogmatibus, tom. ii., which treats of the divine Trinity in eight books; and in part toms. iv. and v. which treat in sixteen books of the Incarnation of the Word. This is still, though incomplete, the most learned work of the Roman church in the History of Doctrines; it first appeared at Paris, 1644–’50, in five volumes fol., then at Amsterdam, 1700 (in 6 vols.), and at Venice, 1757 (ed. Zacharia), and has been last edited by Passaglia and Schrader in Rome, 1857. J. M. Travasa (R.C.): Storia critica della vita di Ario. Ven. 1746. S. J. Maimburg: Histoire de l’Arianisme. Par. 1675. John Pearson (bishop of Chester, † 1686): An Exposition of the Creed (in the second article), 1689, 12th ed. Lond. 1741, and very often edited since by Dobson, Burton, Nichols, Chevalier, etc. George Bull (Anglican bishop of St. David’s, † 1710): Defensio fidei Nicaenae. Ox. 1685 (Opp. Lat. fol. ed. Grabe, Lond. 1703. Complete Works, ed. Burton, Oxf. 1827, and again in 1846, vol. 5th in two parts, and in English in the Anglo-Catholic Library, 1851). This classical work endeavors, with great learning, to exhibit the Nicene faith in all the ante-Nicene fathers, and so belongs more properly to the previous period. Dan. Waterland (archdeacon of Middlesex, † 1730, next to Bull the ablest Anglican defender of the Nicene faith): Vindication of Christ’s Divinity, 1719 ff., in Waterland’s Works, ed. Mildert, vols. i. ii. iii. Oxf. 1843. (Several acute and learned essays and sermons in defence of the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity against the high Arianism of Dr. Sam. Clarke and Dr. Whitby.) Chr. W. F. Walch: Vollständige Historic der Ketzereien, etc. 11 vols. Leipzig, 1762 ff. Vols. ii. and iii. (exceedingly thorough and exceedingly dry). Gibbon: History of the Decline and Fall of the Roman Empire, ch. xxi. A. Möhler (R.C.): Athanasius der Grosse u. die Kirche seiner Zeit. Mainz (1827); 2d ed. 1844 (Bk ii.-vi.). J. H. Newman (at the time the learned head of Puseyism, afterwards R.C.): The Arians of the Fourth Century. Lond. 1838; 2d ed. (unchanged), 1854. F. Chr. Baur: Die christl. Lehre von der Dreieinigkeit u. Menschwerdung in ihrer geschichtl. Entwicklung. 3 vols. Tübingen, 1841–’43. Vol. i. pp. 306–825 (to the council of Chalcedon). Comp. also Baur’s Kirchengesch. vom 4ten his 6ten Jahrh. Tüb. 1859, pp. 79–123. Js. A. Dorner: Entwicklungsgesch. der Lehre von der Person Christi. 1836, 2d ed. in 2 vols. Stuttg. 1845–’53. Vol. i. pp. 773–1080 (English transl. by W. L. Alexander and D. W. Simon, in Clark’s Foreign Theol. Library, Edinb. 1861). R. Wilberforce (at the time archdeacon of East Riding, afterwards R.C.): The Doctrine of the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ. 4th ed. Lond. 1852. Bishop Kaye: Athanasius and the council of Nicaea. Lond. 1853. C. Jos. Hefele (R.C.): Conciliengeschichte. Freib. 1855 ff. Vol. i. p. 219 ff. Albert Prince de Broglie (R.C.): L’église et l’empire romain, au IV. siècle. Paris, 1856–’66, 6 vols. Vol. i. p. 331 sqq.; vol. ii. 1 sqq. W. W. Harvey: History and Theology of the Three Creeds. Lond. 1856, 2 vols. H. Voigt: Die Lehre des Athanasius von Alexandrien. Bremen, 1861. A. P. Stanley: Lectures on the History of the Eastern Church. 2d ed. 862 (reprinted in New York). Sects. ii.-vii. (more brilliant than solid). Comp. also the relevant sections in the general Church Histories of Fleury, Schröckh(vols. v. and vi.), Neander, Gieseler, and in the Doctrine Histories of Münscher-cölln, Baumgarten-Crusius, Hagenbach, Baur, Beck, Shedd.


 § 119. The Arian Controversy down to the Council of Nicaea, 318–325.


The Arian controversy relates primarily to the deity of Christ, but in its course it touches also the deity of the Holy Ghost, and embraces therefore the whole mystery of the Holy Trinity and the incarnation of God, which is the very centre of the Christian revelation. The dogma of the Trinity came up not by itself in abstract form, but in inseparable connection with the doctrine of the deity of Christ and the Holy Ghost. If this latter doctrine is true, the Trinity follows by logical necessity, the biblical monotheism being presumed; in other words: If God is one, and if Christ and the Holy Ghost are distinct from the Father and yet participate in the divine substance, God must be triune. Though there are in the Holy Scriptures themselves few texts which directly prove the Trinity, and the name Trinity is wholly wanting in them, this doctrine is taught with all the greater force in a living form from Genesis to Revelation by the main facts of the revelation of God as Creator, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, besides being indirectly involved in the deity of Christ and the Holy Ghost.

The church always believed in this Trinity of revelation, and confessed its faith by baptism into the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost. This carried with it from the first the conviction, that this revelation of God must be grounded in a distinction immanent in the divine essence. But to bring this faith into clear and fixed knowledge, and to form the baptismal confession into doctrine, was the hard and earnest intellectual work of three centuries. In the Nicene age minds crashed against each other, and fought the decisive battles for and against the doctrines of the true deity of Christ, with which the divinity of Christianity stands or falls.

The controversies on this fundamental question agitated the Roman empire and the church of East and West for more than half a century, and gave occasion to the first two ecumenical councils of Nicaea and Constantinople. At last the orthodox doctrine triumphed, and in 381 was brought into the form in which it is to this day substantially held in all orthodox churches.

The external history of the Arian controversy, of which we first sketch the main features, falls into three stages:

1. From the outbreak of the controversy to the temporary victory of orthodoxy at the council of Nicaea; a.d. 318–325.

2. The Arian and semi-Arian reaction, and its prevalence to the death of Constantius; a.d. 325–361.

3. The final victory, and the completion of the Nicene creed; to the council of Constantinople, a.d. 381.

Arianism proceeded from the bosom of the Catholic church, was condemned as heresy at the council of Nicaea, but afterwards under various forms attained even ascendency for a time in the church, until at the second ecumenical council it was cast out forever. From that time it lost its importance as a politico-theological power, but continued as an uncatholic sect more than two hundred years among the Germanic nations, which were converted to Christianity under the Arian domination.

The roots of the Arian controversy are to be found partly in the contradictory elements of the christology of the great Origen, which reflect the crude condition of the Christian mind in the third century; partly in the antagonism between the Alexandrian and the Antiochian theology. Origen, on the one hand, attributed to Christ eternity and other divine attributes which logically lead to the orthodox doctrine of the identity of substance; so that he was vindicated even by Athanasius, the two Cappadocian Gregories, and Basil. But, on the other hand, in his zeal for the personal distinctions in the Godhead, he taught with equal clearness a separateness of essence between the Father and the Son1310 and the subordination of the Son, as a second or secondary God beneath the Father,1311 and thus furnished a starting point for the Arian heresy. The eternal generation of the Son from the will of the Father was, with Origen, the communication of a divine but secondary substance, and this idea, in the hands of the less devout and profound Arius, who with his more rigid logic could admit no intermediate being between God and the creature, deteriorated to the notion of the primal creature.

But in general Arianism was much more akin to the spirit of the Antiochian school than to that of the Alexandrian. Arius himself traced his doctrine to Lucian of Antioch, who advocated the heretical views of Paul of Samosata on the Trinity, and was for a time excommunicated, but afterwards rose to great consideration, and died a martyr under Maximinus.

Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, made earnest of the Origenistic doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son (which was afterwards taught by Athanasius and the Nicene creed, but in a deeper sense, as denoting the generation of a person of the same substance from the substance of the Father, and not of a person of different substance from the will of the Father), and deduced from it the homo-ousia or consubstantiality of the Son with the Father.

Arius,1312 a presbyter of the same city after 313, who is represented as a tall, thin, learned, adroit, austere, and fascinating man, but proud, artful, restless, and disputatious, pressed and overstated the Origenistic view of the subordination, accused Alexander of Sabellianism, and taught that Christ, while he was indeed the creator of the world, was himself a creature of God, therefore not truly divine.1313

The contest between these two views broke out about the year 318 or 320. Arius and his followers, for their denial of the true deity of Christ, were deposed and excommunicated by a council of a hundred Egyptian and Libyan bishops at Alexandria in 321. In spite of this he continued to hold religious assemblies of his numerous adherents, and when driven from Alexandria, agitated his doctrine in Palestine and Nicomedia, and diffused it in an entertaining work, half poetry, half prose: The Banquet (Qavleia), of which a few fragments are preserved in Athanasius. Several bishops, especially Eusebius of Nicomedia and Eusebius of Caesarea, who either shared his view or at least considered it innocent, defended him. Alexander issued a number of circular letters to all the bishops against the apostates and Exukontians.1314  Bishop rose against bishop, and province against province. The controversy soon involved, through the importance of the subject and the zeal of the parties, the entire church, and transformed the whole Christian East into a theological battle-field.

Constantine, the first emperor who mingled in the religious affairs of Christendom, and who did this from a political, monarchical interest for the unity of the empire and of religion, was at first inclined to consider the contest a futile logomachy, and endeavored to reconcile the parties in diplomatic style by letters and by the personal mission of the aged bishop Hosius of Spain; but without effect. Questions of theological and religious principle are not to be adjusted, like political measures, by compromise, but must be fought through to their last results, and the truth must either conquer or (for the time) succumb. Then, in pursuance, as he thought, of a "divine inspiration," and probably also with the advice of bishops who were in friendship with him,1315 he summoned the first universal council, to represent the whole church of the empire, and to give a final decision upon the relation of Christ to God, and upon some minor questions of discipline, the time of Easter, and the Meletian schism in Egypt.


 § 120. The Council of Nicaea, 325.




(1) The twenty Canones, the doctrinal Symbol, and a Decree of the Council of Nicaea, and several Letters of bishop Alexander of Alexandria and the emperor Constantine (all collected in Greek and Latin in Mansi: Collect. sacrorum Conciliorum, tom. ii. fol. 635–704). Official minutes of the transactions themselves were not at that time made; only the decrees as adopted were set down in writing and subscribed by all (comp. Euseb. Vita Const. iii. 14). All later accounts of voluminous acts of the council are sheer fabrications (Comp. Hefele, i. p. 249 sqq.)

(2) Accounts of eye-witnesses, especially Eusebius, Vita Const. iii. 4–24 (superficial, rather Arianizing, and a panegyric of the emperor Constantine). The Church History of Eusebius, which should have closed with the council of Nice, comes down only to the year 324. Athanasius: De decretis Synodi Nic.; Orationes iv contra Arianos; Epist. ad Afros, and other historical and anti-Arian tracts in tom. i. and ii. of his Opera, ed. Bened. and the more important of them also in the first vol. of Thilo’s Bibliotheca Patrum Graec. dogmat. Lips. 1853. (Engl. transl. in the Oxford Library of the Fathers.)

(3) The later accounts of Epiphanius: Haer. 69; Socrates: H. E. i. 8 sqq.; Sozomen: H. E. i. 17 sqq.; Theodoret: H. E. i. 1–13; Rufinus: H. E. i. 1–6 (or lib. x., if his transl. of Eusebius be counted in). Gelasius Cyzicenus (about 476): Commentarius actorum Concilii Nicaeni (Greek and Latin in Mansi, tom. ii. fol. 759 sqq.; it professes to be founded on an old MS., but is filled with imaginary speeches). Comp. also the four Coptic fragments in Pitra: Spicilegium Solesmense, Par. 1852, vol. i. p. 509 sqq., and the Syriac fragments in Analecta Nicaena. Fragments relating to the Council of Nicaea. The Syriac text from am ancient MS. by H. Cowper, Lond. 1857.




Of the historians cited at § 119 must be here especially mentioned Tillemont (R.C.), Walch, Schröckh, Gibbon, Hefele (i. pp. 249–426), A. de Broglie (vol. ii. ch. iv. pp. 3–70), and Stanley. Besides them, Ittig: Historia concilii Nicaeni, Lips. 1712. Is. Boyle: A historical View of the Council of Nice, with a translation of Documents, New York, 1856 (in Crusé’s ed. of Euseb.’s Church History). Comp. also § 65 and 66 above, where this in connection with the other ecumenical councils has already been spoken of.


Nicaea, the very name of which speaks victory, was the second city of Bithynia, only twenty English miles from the imperial residence of Nicomedia, and easily accessible by sea and land from all parts of the empire. It is now a miserable Turkish village, Is-nik,1316 where nothing but a rude picture in the solitary church of St. Mary remains to the memory of the event which has given the place a name in the history of the world.

Hither, in the year 325, the twentieth of his reign (therefore the festive vicennalia), the emperor summoned the bishops of the empire by a letter of invitation, putting at their service the public conveyances, and liberally defraying from the public treasury the expenses of their residence in Nicaea and of their return. Each bishop was to bring with him two presbyters and three servants.1317  They travelled partly in the public post carriages, partly on horses, mules, or asses, partly on foot. Many came to bring their private disputes before the emperor, who caused all their papers, without reading them, to be burned, and exhorted the parties to reconciliation and harmony.

The whole number of bishops assembled was at most three hundred and eighteen;1318 that is, about one sixth of all the bishops of the empire, who are estimated as at least eighteen hundred (one thousand for the Greek provinces, eight hundred for the Latin), and only half as many as were at the council of Chalcedon. Including the presbyters and deacons and other attendants the number may, have amounted to between fifteen hundred and two thousand. Most of the Eastern provinces were strongly represented; the Latin church, on the contrary, had only seven delegates: from Spain Hosius of Cordova, from France Nicasius of Dijon, from North Africa Caecilian of Carthage, from Pannonia Domnus of Strido, from Italy Eustorgius of Milan and Marcus of Calabria, from Rome the two presbyters Victor or Vitus and Vincentius as delegates of the aged pope Sylvester I. A Persian bishop John, also, and a Gothic bishop, Theophilus, the forerunner and teacher of the Gothic Bible translator Ulfilas, were present.

The formal sessions began, after preliminary disputations between Catholics, Arians, and philosophers, probably about Pentecost, or at farthest after the arrival of the emperor on the 14th of June. They closed on the 25th of July, the anniversary of the accession of Constantine; though the members did not disperse till the 25th of August.1319  They were held, it appears, part of the time in a church or some public building, part of the time in the emperor’s house.

The formal opening of the council was made by the stately entrance of the emperor, which Eusebius in his panegyrical flattery thus describes:1320 "After all the bishops had entered the central building of the royal palace, on the sides of which very many seats were prepared, each took his place with becoming modesty, and silently awaited the arrival of the emperor. The court officers entered one after another, though only such as professed faith in Christ. The moment the approach of the emperor was announced by a given signal, they all rose from their seats, and the emperor appeared like a heavenly messenger of God,1321 covered with gold and gems, a glorious presence, very tall and slender, full of beauty, strength, and majesty. With this external adornment he united the spiritual ornament of the fear of God, modesty, and humility, which could be seen in his downcast eyes, his blushing face, the motion of his body, and his walk. When he reached the golden throne prepared for him, he stopped, and sat not down till the bishops gave him the sign. And after him they all resumed their seats."

How great the contrast between this position of the church and the time of her persecution but scarcely passed!  What a revolution of opinion in bishops who had once feared the Roman emperor as the worst enemy of the church, and who now greeted the same emperor in his half barbarous attire as an angel of God from heaven, and gave him, though not yet even baptized, the honorary presidency of the highest assembly of the church!

After a brief salutatory address from the bishop on the right of the emperor, by which we are most probably to understand Eusebius of Caesarea, the emperor himself delivered with a gentle voice in the official Latin tongue the opening address, which was immediately after translated into Greek, and runs thus:1322

"It was my highest wish, my friends, that I might be permitted to enjoy your assembly. I must thank God that, in addition to all other blessings, he has shown me this highest one of all: to see you all gathered here in harmony and with one mind. May no malicious enemy rob us of this happiness, and after the tyranny of the enemy of Christ [Licinius and his army] is conquered by the help of the Redeemer, the wicked demon shall not persecute the divine law with new blasphemies. Discord in the church I consider more fearful and painful than any other war. As soon as I by the help of God had overcome my enemies, I believed that nothing more was now necessary than to give thanks to God in common joy with those whom I had liberated. But when I heard of your division, I was convinced that this matter should by no means be neglected, and in the desire to assist by my service, I have summoned you without delay. I shall, however, feel my desire fulfilled only when I see the minds of all united in that peaceful harmony which you, as the anointed of God, must preach to others. Delay not therefore, my friends, delay not, servants of God; put away all causes of strife, and loose all knots of discord by the laws of peace. Thus shall you accomplish the work most pleasing to God, and confer upon me, your fellow servant,1323 an exceeding great joy."

After this address he gave way to the (ecclesiastical) presidents of the council1324 and the business began. The emperor, however, constantly, took an active part, and exercised a considerable influence.

Among the fathers of the council, besides a great number of obscure mediocrities, there were several distinguished and venerable men. Eusebius of Caesarea was most eminent for learning; the young archdeacon Athanasius, who accompanied the bishop Alexander of Alexandria, for zeal, intellect, and eloquence. Some, as confessors, still bore in their body the marks of Christ from the times of persecution: Paphnutius of the Upper Thebaid, Potamon of Heraklea, whose right eye had been put out, and Paul of Neo-Caesarea, who had been tortured with red hot iron under Licinius, and crippled in both his hands. Others were distinguished for extraordinary ascetic holiness, and even for miraculous works; like Jacob of Nisibis, who had spent years as a hermit in forests and eaves, and lived like a wild beast on roots and leaves, and Spyridion (or St. Spiro) of Cyprus, the patron of the Ionian isles, who even after his ordination remained a simple shepherd. Of the Eastern bishops, Eusebius of Caesarea, and of the Western, Hosius, or Osius, of Cordova,1325 had the greatest influence with the emperor. These two probably sat by his side, and presided in the deliberations alternately with the bishops of Alexandria and Antioch.

In reference to the theological question the council was divided in the beginning into three parties.1326

The orthodox party, which held firmly to the deity of Christ, was at first in the minority, but in talent and influence the more weighty. At the head of it stood the bishop (or "pope") Alexander of Alexandria, Eustathius of Antioch, Macarius of Jerusalem, Marcellus of Ancyra, Rosins of Cordova (the court bishop), and above all the Alexandrian archdeacon, Athanasius, who, though small and young, and, according to later practice not admissible to a voice or a seat in a council, evinced more zeal and insight than all, and gave promise already of being the future head of the orthodox party.

The Arians or Eusebians numbered perhaps twenty bishops, under the lead of the influential bishop Eusebius of Nicemedia (afterwards of Constantinople), who was allied with the imperial family, and of the presbyter Arius, who attended at the command of the emperor, and was often called upon to set forth his views.1327  To these also belonged Theognis of Nicaea, Maris of Chalcedon, and Menophantus of Ephesus; embracing in this remarkable way the bishops of the several seats of the orthodox ecumenical councils.

The majority, whose organ was the renowned historian Eusebius of Caesarea, took middle ground between the right and the left, but bore nearer the right, and finally went over to that side. Many of them had an orthodox instinct, but little discernment; others were disciples of Origen, or preferred simple biblical expression to a scholastic terminology; others had no firm convictions, but only uncertain opinions, and were therefore easily swayed by the arguments of the stronger party or by mere external considerations.

The Arians first proposed a creed, which however was rejected with tumultuous disapproval, and torn to pieces; whereupon all the eighteen signers of it, excepting Theonas and Secundus, both of Egypt, abandoned the cause of Arius.

Then the church historian Eusebius, in the name of the middle party, proposed an ancient Palestinian Confession, which was very similar to the Nicene, and acknowledged the divine nature of Christ in general biblical terms, but avoided the term in question, oJmoouvsio" consubstantialis, of the same essence. The emperor had already seen and approved this confession, and even the Arian minority were ready to accept it.

But this last circumstance itself was very suspicious to the extreme right. They wished a creed which no Arian could honestly subscribe, and especially insisted on inserting the expression homo-ousios, which the Arians hated and declared to be unscriptural, Sabellian, and materialistic.1328  The emperor saw clearly that the Eusebian formula would not pass; and, as he had at heart, for the sake of peace, the most nearly unanimous decision which was possible, he gave his voice for the disputed word.

Then Hosius of Cordova appeared and announced that a confession was prepared which would now be read by the deacon (afterwards bishop) Hermogenes of Caesarea, the secretary of the synod. It is in substance the well-known Nicene creed with some additions and omissions of which we are to speak below. It is somewhat abrupt; the council not caring to do more than meet the immediate exigency. The direct concern was only to establish the doctrine of the true deity of the Son. The deity of the Holy Spirit, though inevitably involved, did not then come up as a subject of special discussion, and therefore the synod contented itself on this point with the sentence: "And (we believe) in the Holy Ghost."1329  The council of Constantinople enlarged the last article concerning the Holy Ghost. To the positive part of the Nicene confession is added a condemnation of the Arian heresy, which dropped out of the formula afterwards received.

Almost all the bishops subscribed the creed, Hosius at the head, and next him the two Roman presbyters in the name of their bishop. This is the first instance of such signing of a document in the Christian church. Eusebius of Caesarea also signed his name after a day’s deliberation, and vindicated this act in a letter to his diocese. Eusebius of Nicomedia and Theognis of Nicaea subscribed the creed without the condemnatory formula, and for this they were deposed and for a time banished, but finally consented to all the decrees of the council. The Arian historian Philostorgius, who however deserves little credit,1330 accuses them of insincerity in having substituted, by the advice of the emperor, for oJmo-ouvsio" (of the same essence) the semi-Arian word oJmoi-ouvsio" (of like essence). Only two Egyptian bishops, Theonas and Secundus, persistently refused to sign, and were banished with Arius to Illyria. The books of Arius were burned and his followers branded as enemies of Christianity.1331

This is the first example of the civil punishment of heresy; and it is the beginning of a long succession of civil persecutions for all departures from the Catholic faith. Before the union of church and state ecclesiastical excommunication was the extreme penalty. Now banishment and afterwards even death were added, because all offences against the church were regarded as at the same time crimes against the state and civil society.

The two other points on which the council of Nicaea decided, the Easter question and the Meletian schism, have been already spoken of in their place. The council issued twenty canons in reference to discipline. The creed and the canons were written in a book, and again signed by the bishops. The council issued a letter to the Egyptian and Libyan bishops as to the decision of the three main points; the emperor also sent several edicts to the churches, in which he ascribed the decrees to divine inspiration, and set them forth as laws of the realm. On the twenty-ninth of July, the twentieth anniversary of his accession, he gave the members of the council a splendid banquet in his palace, which Eusebius (quite too susceptible to worldly splendor) describes as a figure of the reign of Christ on earth; he remunerated the bishops lavishly, and dismissed them with a suitable valedictory, and with letters of commendation to the authorities of all the provinces on their homeward way.

Thus ended the council of Nicaea. It is the first and most venerable of the ecumenical synods, and next to the apostolic council at Jerusalem the most important and the most illustrious of all the councils of Christendom. Athanasius calls it "a true monument and token of victory against every heresy;"  Leo the Great, like Constantine, attributes its decrees to the inspiration of the Holy Ghost, and ascribes even to its canons perpetual validity; the Greek church annually observes (on the Sunday before Pentecost) a special feast in memory of it. There afterwards arose a multitude of apocryphal orations and legends in glorification of it, of which Gelasius of Cyzicus in the fifth century collected a whole volume.1332

The council of Nicaea is the most important event of the fourth century, and its bloodless intellectual victory over a dangerous error is of far greater consequence to the progress of true civilization, than all the bloody victories of Constantine and his successors. It forms an epoch in the history of doctrine, summing up the results of all previous discussions on the deity of Christ and the incarnation, and at the same time regulating the further development of the Catholic orthodoxy for centuries. The Nicene creed, in the enlarged form which it received after the second ecumenical council, is the only one of all, the symbols of doctrine which, with the exception of the subsequently added filioque, is acknowledged alike by the Greek, the Latin, and the Evangelical churches, and to this, day, after a course of fifteen centuries, is prayed and sung from Sunday to Sunday in all countries of the civilized world. The Apostles’ Creed indeed, is much more generally used in the West, and by its greater simplicity and more popular form is much better adapted to catechetical and liturgical purposes; but it has taken no root in the Eastern church; still less the Athanasian Creed, which exceeds the Nicene in logical precision and completeness. Upon the bed of lava grows the sweet fruit of the vine. The wild passions and the weaknesses of men, which encompassed the Nicene council, are extinguished, but the faith in the eternal deity of Christ has remained, and so long as this faith lives, the council of Nicaea will be named with reverence and with gratitude.


 § 121. The Arian and Semi-Arian Reaction,  a.d. 325–361.


The victory of the council of Nicaea over the views of the majority of the bishops was a victory only in appearance. It had, to be sure, erected a mighty fortress, in which the defenders of the essential deity of Christ might ever take refuge from the assaults of heresy; and in this view it was of the utmost importance, and secured the final triumph of the truth. But some of the bishops had subscribed the homoousion with reluctance, or from regard to the emperor, or at best with the reservation of a broad interpretation; and with a change of circumstances they would readily turn in opposition. The controversy now for the first time fairly broke loose, and Arianism entered the stage of its political development and power. An intermediate period of great excitement ensued, during which council was held against council, creed was set forth against creed, and anathema against anathema was hurled. The pagan Ammianus Marcellinus says of the councils under Constantius: "The highways were covered with galloping bishops;" and even Athanasius rebuked the restless flutter of the clergy, who journeyed the empire over to find the true faith, and provoked the ridicule and contempt of the unbelieving world. In intolerance and violence the Arians exceeded the orthodox, and contested elections of bishops not rarely came to bloody encounters. The interference of imperial politics only poured oil on the flame, and embarrassed the natural course of the theological development.

The personal history of Athanasius was interwoven with the doctrinal controversy; he threw himself wholly into the cause which he advocated. The question whether his deposition was legitimate or not, was almost identical with the question whether the Nicene Creed should prevail.

Eusebius of Nicomedia and Theognis of Nicaea threw all their influence against the adherents of the homoousion. Constantine himself was turned by Eusebius of Caesarea, who stood between Athanasius and Arius, by his sister Constantia and her father confessor, and by a vague confession of Arius, to think more favorably of Arius, and to recall him from exile. Nevertheless he afterwards, as before, thought himself in accordance with the orthodox view and the Nicene creed. The real gist of the controversy he had never understood. Athanasius, who after the death of Alexander in April, 328,1333 became bishop of Alexandria and head of the Nicene party, refused to reinstate the heretic in his former position, and was condemned and deposed for false accusations by two Arian councils, one at Tyre under the presidency of the historian Eusebius, the other at Constantinople in the year 335 (or 336), and banished by the emperor to Treves in Gaul in 336, as a disturber of the peace of the church.

Soon after this Arius, having been formally acquitted of the charge of heresy by a council at Jerusalem (a.d. 335), was to have been solemnly received back into the fellowship of the church at Constantinople. But on the evening before the intended procession from the imperial palace to the church of the Apostles, he suddenly died (a.d. 336), at the age of over eighty years, of an attack like cholera, while attending to a call of nature. This death was regarded by many as a divine judgment; by others, it was attributed to poisoning by enemies; by others, to the excessive joy of Arius in his triumph.1334

On the death of Constantine (337), who had shortly before received baptism from the Arian Eusebius of Nicomedia, Athanasius was recalled from his banishment (338) by Constantine II. († 340), and received by the people with great enthusiasm; "more joyously than ever an emperor."1335  Some months afterwards (339) he held a council of nearly a hundred bishops in Alexandria for the vindication of the Nicene doctrine. But this was a temporary triumph.

In the East Arianism prevailed. Constantius, second son of Constantine the Great, and ruler in the East, together with his whole court, was attached to it with fanatical intolerance. Eusebius of Nicomedia was made bishop of Constantinople (338), and was the leader of the Arian and the more moderate, but less consistent semi-Arian parties in their common opposition to Athanasius and the orthodox West. Hence the name Eusebians.1336  Athanasius was for a second time deposed, and took refuge with the bishop Julius of Rome (339 or 340), who in the autumn of 341 held a council of more than fifty bishops in defence of the exile and for the condemnation of his opponents. The whole Western church was in general more steadfast on the side of the Nicene orthodoxy, and honored in Athanasius a martyr of the true faith. On the contrary a synod at Antioch, held under the direction of the Eusebians on the occasion of the dedication of a church in 341,1337 issued twenty-five canons, indeed, which were generally accepted as orthodox and valid, but at the same time confirmed the deposition of Athanasius, and set forth four creeds, which rejected Arianism, yet avoided the orthodox formula, particularly the vexed homoousion.1338

Thus the East and the West were in manifest conflict.

To heal this division, the two emperors, Constantius in the East and Constans in the West, summoned a general council at Sardica in Illyria, a.d. 343.1339  Here the Nicene party and the Roman influence prevailed.1340  Pope Julius was represented by two Italian priests. The Spanish bishop Hosius presided. The Nicene doctrine was here confirmed, and twelve canons were at the same time adopted, some of which are very important in reference to discipline and the authority of the Roman see. But the Arianizing Oriental bishops, dissatisfied with the admission of Athanasius, took no part in the proceedings, held an opposition council in the neighboring city of Philippopolis, and confirmed the decrees of the council of Antioch. The opposite councils, therefore, inflamed the discord of the church, instead of allaying it.

Constantius was compelled, indeed, by his brother to restore Athanasius to his office in 346; but after the death of Constans, a.d. 350, be summoned three successive synods in favor of a moderate Arianism; one at Sirmium in Pannonia (351), one at Arelate or Arles in Gaul (353), and one at Milan in Italy, (355); he forced the decrees of these councils on the Western church, deposed and banished bishops, like Liberius of Rome, Hosius of Cordova, Hilary of Poictiers, Lucifer of Calaris, who resisted them, and drove Athanasius from the cathedral of Alexandria during divine service with five thousand armed soldiers, and supplied his place with an uneducated and avaricious Arian, George of Cappadocia (356). In these violent measures the court bishops and Eusebia, the last wife of Constantius and a zealous Arian, had great influence. Even in their exile the faithful adherents of the Nicene faith were subjected to all manner of abuse and vexation. Hence Constantius was vehemently attacked by Athanasius, Hilary, and Lucifer, compared to Pharaoh, Saul, Ahab, Belshazzar, and called an inhuman beast, the forerunner of Antichrist, and even Antichrist himself.

Thus Arianism gained the ascendency in the whole Roman empire; though not in its original rigorous form, but in the milder form of homoi-ousianism or the doctrine of similarity of essence, as opposed on the one hand to the Nicene homo-ousianism (sameness of essence), and on the other hand to the Arian hetero-ousianism (difference of essence).

Even the papal chair was desecrated by heresy during this Arian interregnum; after the deposition of Liberius, the deacon Felix II., "by antichristian wickedness," as Athanasius expresses it, was elected his successor.1341  Many Roman historians for this reason regard him as a mere anti-pope. But in the Roman church books this Felix is inserted, not only as a legitimate pope, but even as a saint, because, according to a much later legend, he was executed by Constantius, whom he called a heretic. His memory is celebrated on the twenty-ninth of July. His subsequent fortunes are very differently related. The Roman people desired the recall of Liberius, and he, weary of exile, was prevailed upon to apostatize by subscribing an Arian or at least Arianizing confession, and maintaining church fellowship with the Eusebians.1342  On this condition he was restored to his papal dignity, and received with enthusiasm into Rome (358). He died in 366 in the orthodox faith, which he had denied through weakness, but not from conviction.

Even the almost centennarian bishop Hosius was induced by long imprisonment and the threats of the emperor, though not himself to compose (as Hilary states), yet to subscribe (as Athanasius and Sozomen say), the Arian formula of the second council of Sirmium, a.d. 357, but soon after repented his unfaithfulness, and condemned the Arian heresy shortly before his death.

The Nicene orthodoxy was thus apparently put down. But now the heretical majority, having overcome their common enemy, made ready their own dissolution by divisions among themselves. They separated into two factions. The right wing, the Eusebians or Semi-Arians, who were represented by Basil of Ancyra and Gregory of Laodicea, maintained that the Son was not indeed of the same essence (oJmo-ouvsio"), yet of like essence (oJmoi-ouvsio"), with the Father. To these belonged many who at heart agreed with the Nicene faith, but either harbored prejudices against Athanasius, or saw in the term oJmo-ouvsio" an approach to Sabellianism; for theological science had not yet duly fixed the distinction of substance (oujsiva) and person (uJpovstasi"), so that the homoousia might easily be confounded with unity of person. The left wing, or the decided Arians, under the lead of Eudoxius of Antioch, his deacon Aëtius,1343 and especially the bishop Eunomius of Cyzicus in Mysia1344 (after whom they were called also Eunomians), taught that the Son was of a different essence (eJteroouvsio"), and even unlike the Father (ajnovmoio"), and created out of nothing (ejk oujk o[ntwn). They received also, from their standard terms, the names of Heterousiasts, Anomaeans, and Exukontians.

A number of councils were occupied with this internal dissension of the anti-Nicene party: two at Sirmium (the second, a.d. 357; the third, a.d. 358), one at Antioch (358), one at Ancyra (358), the double council at Seleucia and Rimini (359), and one at Constantinople (360). But the division was not healed. The proposed compromise of entirely avoiding the word ouvsia, and substituting o{moio" like, for oJmoiouvsio" of like essence, and ajnovmoio", unlike, satisfied neither party. Constantius vainly endeavored to suppress the quarrel by his imperio-episcopal power. His death in 361 opened the way for the second and permanent victory of the Nicene orthodoxy.


 § 122. The Final Victory of Orthodoxy, and the Council of Constantinople, 381.


Julian the Apostate tolerated all Christian parties, in the hope that they would destroy one another. With this view he recalled the orthodox bishops from exile. Even Athanasius returned, but was soon banished again as an "enemy of the gods," and recalled by Jovian. Now for a time the strife of the Christians among themselves was silenced in their common warfare against paganism revived. The Arian controversy took its own natural course. The truth regained free play, and the Nicene spirit was permitted to assert its intrinsic power. It gradually achieved the victory; first in the Latin church, which held several orthodox synods in Rome, Milan, and Gaul; then in Egypt and the East, through the wise and energetic administration of Athanasius, and through the eloquence and the writings of the three great Cappadocian bishops Basil, Gregory of Nazianzum, and Gregory of Nyssa.

After the death of Athanasius in 373, Arianism regained dominion for a time in Alexandria, and practised all kinds of violence upon the orthodox.

In Constantinople Gregory Nazianzen labored, from 379, with great success in a small congregation, which alone remained true to the orthodox faith during the Arian rule; and he delivered in a domestic chapel, which he significantly named Anastasia (the church of the Resurrection), those renowned discourses on the deity of Christ which won him the title of the Divine, and with it many persecutions.

The raging fanaticism of the Arian emperor Valens (364–378) against both Semi-Arians and Athanasians wrought an approach of the former party to the latter. His successor, Gratian, was orthodox, and recalled the banished bishops.

Thus the heretical party was already in reality intellectually and morally broken, when the emperor Theodosius I., or the Great, a Spaniard by birth, and educated in the Nicene faith, ascended the throne, and in his long and powerful reign (379–395) externally completed the triumph of orthodoxy in the Roman empire. Soon after his accession he issued, in 380, the celebrated edict, in which he required all his subjects to confess the orthodox faith, and threatened the heretics with punishment. After his entrance into Constantinople he raised Gregory Nazianzen to the patriarchal chair in place of Demophilus (who honestly refused to renounce his heretical conviction), and drove the Arians, after their forty years’ reign, out of all the churches of the capital.

To give these forcible measures the sanction of law, and to restore unity in the church of the whole empire, Theodosius called the second ecumenical council at Constantinople in May, 381. This council, after the exit of the thirty-six Semi-Arian Macedonians or Pneumatomachi, consisted of only a hundred and fifty bishops. The Latin church was not represented at all.1345  Meletius (who died soon after the opening), Gregory Nazianzen, and after his resignation Nectarius of Constantinople, successively presided. This preferment of the patriarch of Constantinople before the patriarch of Alexandria is explained by the third canon of the council, which assigns to the bishop of new Rome the first rank after the bishop of old Rome. The emperor attended the opening of the sessions, and showed the bishops all honor.

At this council no new symbol was framed, but the Nicene Creed, with some unessential changes and an important addition respecting the deity of the Holy Ghost against Macedonianism or Pneumatoinachism, was adopted.1346  In this improved form the Nicene Creed has been received, though in the Greek church without the later Latin addition: filioque.

In the seven genuine canons of this council the heresies of the Eunomians or Anomoeans, of the Arians or Eudoxians, of the Semi-Arians or Pneumatomachi, of the Sabellians, Marcellians, and Apollinarians, were condemned, and questions of discipline adjusted.

The emperor ratified the decrees of the council, and as early as July, 381, enacted the law that all churches should be given up to bishops who believed in the equal divinity of the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and who stood in church fellowship with certain designated orthodox bishops. The public worship of heretics was forbidden.

Thus Arianism and the kindred errors were forever destroyed in the Roman empire, though kindred opinions continually reappear as isolated cases and in other connections.1347

But among the different barbarian peoples of the West, especially in Gaul and Spain, who had received Christianity from the Roman empire during the ascendency of Arianism, this doctrine was perpetuated two centuries longer: among the Goths till 587; among the Suevi in Spain till 560; among the Vandals who conquered North Africa in 429 and cruelly persecuted the Catholics, till their expulsion by Belisarius in 530; among the Burgundians till their incorporation in the Frank empire in 534, and among the Longobards till the close of the sixth century. These barbarians, however, held Arianism rather through accident than from conviction, and scarcely knew the difference between it and the orthodox doctrine. Alaric, the first conqueror of Rome; Genseric, the conqueror of North Africa; Theodoric the Great, king of Italy and hero of the Niebelungen Lied, were Arians. The first Teutonic translation of the Bible came from the Arian missionary Ulfilas.


 § 123. The Theological Principles involved: Import of the Controversy.


Here should be compared, of the works before mentioned, especially Petavius (tom. sec. De sanctissima Trinitate), and Möhler (Athanasius, third book), of the Romanists, and Baur, Dorner, and Voigt, of the Protestants.


We pass now to the internal history of the Arian conflict, the development of the antagonistic ideas; first marking some general points of view from which the subject must be conceived.

To the superficial and rationalistic eye this great struggle seems a metaphysical subtilty and a fruitless logomachy, revolving about a Greek iota. But it enters into the heart of Christianity, and must necessarily affect in a greater or less degree all other articles of faith. The different views of the contending parties concerning the relation of Christ to the Father involved the general question, whether Christianity is truly divine, the highest revelation, and an actual redemption, or merely a relative truth, which may be superseded by a more perfect revelation.

Thus the controversy is conceived even by Dr. Baur, who is characterized by a much deeper discernment of the philosophical and historical import of the conflicts in the history of Christian doctrine, than all other rationalistic historians. "The main question," he says, "was, whether Christianity is the highest and absolute revelation of God, and such that by it in the Son of God the self-existent absolute being of God joins itself to man, and so communicates itself that man through the Son becomes truly one with God, and comes into such community of essence with God, as makes him absolutely certain of pardon and salvation. From this point of view Athanasius apprehended the gist of the controversy, always finally summing up all his objections to the Arian doctrine with the chief argument, that the whole substance of Christianity, all reality of redemption, everything which makes Christianity the perfect salvation, would be utterly null and meaningless, if he who is supposed to unite man with God in real unity of being, were not himself absolute God, or of one substance with the absolute God, but only a creature among creatures. The infinite chasm which separates creature from Creator, remains unfilled; there is nothing really mediatory between God and man, if between the two there be nothing more than some created and finite thing, or such a mediator and redeemer as the Arians conceive the Son of God in his essential distinction from God: not begotten from the essence of God and coeternal, but created out of nothing and arising in time. Just as the distinctive character of the Athanasian doctrine lies in its effort to conceive the relation of the Father and Son, and in it the relation of God and man, as unity and community of essence, the Arian doctrine on the contrary has the opposite aim of a separation by which, first Father and Son, and then God and man, are placed in the abstract opposition of infinite and finite. While, therefore, according to Athanasius, Christianity is the religion of the unity of God and man, according to Arius the essence of the Christian revelation can consist only in man’s becoming conscious of the difference which separates him, with all the finite, from the absolute being of God. What value, however, one must ask, has such a Christianity, when, instead of bringing man nearer to God, it only fixes the chasm between God and man?"1348

Arianism was a religious political war against the spirit of the Christian revelation by the spirit of the world, which, after having persecuted the church three hundred years from without, sought under the Christian name to reduce her by degrading Christ to the category of the temporal and the created, and Christianity to the level of natural religion. It substituted for a truly divine Redeemer, a created demigod, an elevated Hercules. Arianism proceeded from human reason, Athanasianism from divine revelation; and each used the other source of knowledge as a subordinate and tributary factor. The former was deistic and rationalistic, the latter theistic and supernaturalistic, in spirit and effect. The one made reasonableness, the other agreement with Scripture, the criterion of truth. In the one the intellectual interest, in the other the moral and religious, was the motive principle. Yet Athanasius was at the same time a much deeper and abler thinker than Arius, who dealt in barren deductions of reason and dialectic formulas.1349

In close connection with this stood another distinction. Arianism associated itself with the secular political power and the court party; it represented the imperio-papal principle, and the time of its prevalence under Constantius was an uninterrupted season of the most arbitrary and violent encroachments of the state upon the rights of the church. Athanasius, on the contrary, who was so often deposed by the emperor, and who uttered himself so boldly respecting Constantius, is the personal representative not only of orthodoxy, but also of the independence of the church with reference to the secular power, and in this respect a precursor of Gregory VII. in his contest with the German imperialism.

While Arianism bent to the changing politics of the court party, and fell into diverse schools and sects the moment it lost the imperial support, the Nicene faith, like its great champion Athanasius, remained under all outward changes of fortune true to itself, and made its mighty advance only by legitimate growth outward from within. Athanasius makes no distinction at all between the various shades of Arians and Semi-Arians, but throws them all into the same category of enemies of the catholic faith.1350


 § 124. Arianism.


The doctrine of the Arians, or Eusebians, Aëtians, Eunomians, as they were called after their later leaders, or Exukontians, Heteroousiasts, and Anomoeans, as they were named from their characteristic terms, is in substance as follows:

The Father alone is God; therefore he alone is unbegotten, eternal, wise, good, and unchangeable, and he is separated by an infinite chasm from the world. He cannot create the world directly, but only through an agent, the Logos. The Son of God is pre-existent,1351 before all creatures, and above all creatures, a middle being between God and the world, the creator of the world, the perfect image of the Father, and the executor of his thoughts, and thus capable of being called in a metaphorical sense God, and Logos, and Wisdom.1352  But on the other hand, he himself is a creature, that is to say, the first creation of God, through whom the Father called other creatures into existence; he was created out of nothing1353 (not out of the essence of God) by the will of the Father before all conceivable time; he is therefore not eternal, but had a beginning, and there was a time when he was not.1354

Arianism thus rises far above Ebionism, Socinianism, deism, and rationalism, in maintaining the personal pre-existence of the Son before all worlds, which were his creation; but it agrees with those systems in lowering the Son to the sphere of the created, which of course includes the idea of temporalness and finiteness. It at first ascribed to him the predicate of unchangeableness also,1355 but afterwards subjected him to the vicissitudes of created being.1356  This contradiction, however, is solved, if need be, by the distinction between moral and physical unchangeableness; the Son is in his nature (fuvsei) changeable, but remains good (kalov") by a free act of his will. Arius, after having once robbed the Son of divine essence,1357 could not consistently allow him any divine attribute in the strict sense of the word; he limited his duration, his power, and his knowledge, and expressly asserted that the Son does not perfectly know the Father, and therefore cannot perfectly reveal him. The Son is essentially distinct from the Father,1358 and—as Aëtius and Eunomius afterward more strongly expressed it—unlike the Father;1359 and this dissimilarity was by some extended to all moral and metaphysical attributes and conditions.1360  The dogma of the essential deity of Christ seemed to Arius to lead of necessity to Sabellianism or to the Gnostic dreams of emanation. As to the humanity of Christ, Arius ascribed to him only a human body, but not a rational soul, and on this point Apollinarius came to the same conclusion, though from orthodox premises, and with the intention of saving the unity of the divine personality of Christ.

The later development of Arianism brought out nothing really new, but rather revealed many inconsistencies and contradictions. Thus, for example, Eunomius, to whom clearness was the measure of truth, maintained that revelation has made everything clear, and man can perfectly know God; while Arius denied even to the Son the perfect knowledge of God or of himself. The negative and rationalistic element came forth in ever greater prominence, and the controversy became a metaphysical war, destitute of all deep religion, spirit. The eighteen formulas of faith which Arianism and Semi-Arianism produced between the councils of Nice and Constantinople, are leaves without blossoms, and branches without fruit. The natural course of the Arian heresy is downward, through the stage of Socinianism, into the rationalism which sees in Christ a mere man, the chief of his kind.

To pass now to the arguments used for and against this error:

1. The Arians drew their exegetical proofs from the passages of Scripture which seem to place Christ in any way in the category of that which is created,1361 or ascribe to the incarnate (not the pre-temporal, divine) Logos growth, lack of knowledge, weariness, sorrow, and other changing human affections and states of mind,1362 or teach a subordination of the Son to the Father.1363

Athanasius disposes of these arguments somewhat too easily, by referring the passages exclusively to the human side of the person of Jesus. When, for example, the Lord says he knows not the day, nor the hour of the judgment, this is due only to his human nature. For how should the Lord of heaven and earth, who made days and hours, not know them!  He accuses the Arians of the Jewish conceit, that divine and human are incompatible. The Jews say How could Christ, if he were God, become man, and die on the cross?  The Arians say: How can Christ, who was man, be at the same time God?  We, says Athanasius, are Christians; we do not stone Christ when he asserts his eternal Godhead, nor are we offended in him when he speaks to us in the language of human poverty. But it is the peculiar doctrine of Holy Scripture to declare everywhere a double thing of Christ: that he, as Logos and image of the Father, was ever truly divine, and that he afterwards became man for our salvation. When Athanasius cannot refer such terms as "made," "created," "became," to the human nature he takes them figuratively for "testified," "constituted," "demonstrated."1364

As positive exegetical proofs against Arianism, Athanasius cites almost all the familiar proof-texts which ascribe to Christ divine names, divine attributes, divine works, and divine dignity, and which it is unnecessary here to mention in detail.

Of course his exegesis, as well as that of the fathers in general, when viewed from the level of the modern grammatical, historical, and critical method, contains a great deal of allegorizing caprice and fancy and sophistical subtilty. But it is in general far more profound and true than the heretical.

2. The theological arguments for Arianism were predominantly negative and rationalizing. The amount of them is, that the opposite view is unreasonable, is irreconcilable with strict monotheism and the dignity of God, and leads to Sabellian or Gnostic errors. It is true, Marcellus of Ancyra, one of the most zealous advocates of the Nicene homoousianism, fell into the Sabellian denial of the tri-personality,1365 but most of the Nicene fathers steered with unerring tact between the Scylla of Sabellianism, and the Charybdis of Tritheism.

Athanasius met the theological objections of the Arians with overwhelming dialectical skill, and exposed the internal contradictions and philosophical absurdities of their positions. Arianism teaches two gods, an uncreated and a created, a supreme and a secondary god, and thus far relapses into heathen polytheism. It holds Christ to be a mere creature, and yet the creator of the world; as if a creature could be the source of life, the origin and the end of all creatures!  It ascribes to Christ a pre-mundane existence, but denies him eternity, while yet time belongs to the idea of the world, and is created only therewith,1366 so that before the world there was nothing but eternity. It supposes a time before the creation of the pre-existent Christ; thus involving God himself in the notion of time; which contradicts the absolute being of God. It asserts the unchangeableness of God, but denies, with the eternal generation of the Son, also the eternal Fatherhood; thus assuming after all a very essential change in God.1367  Athanasius charges the Arians with dualism and heathenism, and he accuses them of destroying the whole doctrine of salvation. For if the Son is a creature, man remains still separated, as before, from God; no creature can redeem other creatures, and unite them with God. If Christ is not divine, much less can we be partakers of the divine nature and children of God.1368


 § 125. Semi-Arianism.


The Semi-Arians,1369 or, as they are called, the Homoiousiasts,1370 wavered in theory and conduct between the Nicene orthodoxy and the Arian heresy. Their doctrine makes the impression, not of an internal reconciliation of opposites which in fact were irreconcilable, but of diplomatic evasion, temporizing compromise, flat, half and half juste milieu. They had a strong footing in the subordination of most of the ante-Nicene fathers; but now the time for clear and definite decision had come.

Their doctrine is contained in the confession which was proposed to the council of Nicaea by Eusebius of Caesarea, but rejected, and in the symbols of the councils of Antioch and Sirmium from 340 to 360. Theologically they were best represented first by Eusebius of Caesarea, who adhered more closely to his admired Origen, and later by Cyril of Jerusalem, who approached nearer the orthodoxy of the Nicene party.

The signal term of Semi-Arianism is homoi-ousion, in distinction from homo-ousion and hetero-ousion. The system teaches that Christ if; not a creature, but co-eternal with the Father, though not of the same, but only of like essence, and subordinate to him. It agrees with the Nicene creed in asserting the eternal generation of the Son, and in denying that he was a created being; while, with Arianism, it denies the identity of essence. Hence it satisfied neither of the opposite parties, and was charged by both with logical incoherence. Athanasius and his friends held, against the Semi-Arians, that like attributes and relations might be spoken of, but not like essences or substances; these are either identical or different. It may be said of one man that he is like another, not in respect of substance, but in respect of his exterior and form. If the Son, as the Semi-Arians ad-mit, is of the essence of the Father, he must be also of the same essence. The Arians argued: There is no middle being between created and uncreated being; if God the Father alone is uncreated, everything out of him, including the Son, is created, and consequently of different essence, and unlike him.

Thus pressed from both sides, Semi-Arianism could not long withstand; and even before the council of Constantinople it passed over, in the main, to the camp of orthodoxy.1371


 § 126. Revived Sabellianism. Marcellus and Photinus.


I. Eusebius Caesar.: Two books contra Marcellum (kata; Markevllou), and three books De ecclesiastica theologia (after his Demonstratio evang.). Hilary: Fragmenta, 1–3. Basil the Great: Epist. 52. Epiphanius: Haeres. 72. Retberg: Marcelliana. Gött. 1794 (a collection of the Fragments of Marcellus).

II. Montfaucon: Diatribe de causa Marcelli Ancyr. (in Collect. nova Patr. tom. ii. Par. 1707). Klose: Geschichte u. Lehre des Marcellus u. Photinus. Hamb. 1837. Möhler: Athanasius der Gr. Buch iv. p. 318 sqq. (aiming to vindicate Marcellus, as Neander also does). Baur: l.c. vol. i. pp. 525–558. Dorner: l.c. i. pp. 864–882. (Both against the orthodoxy of Marcellus.) Hefele: Conciliengesch. i. 456 sq. et passim. Willenborg: Ueber die Orthodoxie des Marc. Münster, 1859


Before we pass to the exhibition of the orthodox doctrine, we must notice a trinitarian error which arose in the course of the controversy from an excess of zeal against the Arian subordination, and forms the opposite extreme.

Marcellus, bishop of Ancyra in Galatia, a friend of Athanasius, and one of the leaders of the Nicene party, in a large controversial work written soon after the council of Nicaea against Arianism and Semi-Arianism, so pushed the doctrine of the consubstantiality of Christ that he impaired the personal distinction of Father and Son, and, at least in phraseology, fell into a refined form of Sabellianism.1372  To save the full divinity of Christ and his equality with the Father, he denied his hypostatical pre-existence. As to the orthodoxy of Marcellus, however, the East and the West were divided, and the diversity continues even among modem scholars. A Semi-Arian council in Constantinople, a.d. 335, deposed him, and intrusted Eusebius of Caesarea with the refutation of his work; while, on the contrary, pope Julius of Rome and the orthodox council of Sardica (343), blinded by his equivocal declarations, his former services, and his close connection with Athanasius, protected his orthodoxy and restored him to his bishopric. The counter-synod of Philippopolis, however, confirmed the condemnation. Finally even Athanasius, who elsewhere always speaks of him with great respect, is said to have declared against him.1373  The council of Constantinople, a.d. 381, declared even the baptism of the Marcellians and Photinians invalid.1374

Marcellus wished to hold fast the true deity of Christ without falling under the charge of subordinatianism. He granted the Arians right in their assertion that the Nicene doctrine of the eternal generation of the Son involves the subordination of the Son, and is incompatible with his own eternity. For this reason he entirely gave up this doctrine, and referred the expressions: Son, image, firstborn, begotten, not to the eternal metaphysical relation, but to the incarnation. He thus made a rigid separation between Logos and Son, and this is the prw'ton yeu'do" of this system. Before the incarnation there was, he taught, no Son of God, but only a Logos, and by that he understood,—at least so he is represented by Eusebius,—an impersonal power, a reason inherent in God, inseparable from him, eternal, unbegotten, after the analogy of reason in man. This Logos was silent (therefore without word) in God before the creation of the world, but then went forth out of God as the creative word and power, the drastikh; ejnevrgeia pravxew" of God (not as a hypostasis). This power is the principle of creation, and culminates in the incarnation, but after finishing the work of redemption returns again into the repose of God. The Son, after completing the work of redemption, resigns his kingdom to the Father, and rests again in God as in the beginning. The sonship, therefore, is only a temporary state, which begins with the human advent of Christ, and is at last promoted or glorified into Godhead. Marcellus reaches not a real God-Man, but only an extraordinary dynamical indwelling of the divine power in the man Jesus. In this respect the charge of Samosatenism, which the council of Constantinople in 335 brought against him, has a certain justice, though he started from premises entirely different from those of Paul of Samosata.1375  His doctrine of the Holy Spirit and of the Trinity is to a corresponding degree unsatisfactory. He speaks, indeed, of an extension of the indivisible divine monad into a triad, but in the Sabellian sense, and denies the three hypostases or persons.

Photinus, first a deacon at Ancyra, then bishop of Sirmium in Pannonia, went still further than his preceptor Marcellus. He likewise started with a strict distinction between the notion of Logos and Son,1376 rejected the idea of eternal generation, and made the divine in Christ an impersonal power of God. But while Marcellus, from the Sabellian point of view, identified the Son with the Logos as to essence, and transferred to him the divine predicates attaching to the Logos, Photinus, on the contrary, quite like Paul of Samosata, made Jesus rise on the basis of his human nature, by a course of moral improvement and moral merit, to the divine dignity, so that the divine in him is a thing of growth.

Hence Photinus was condemned as a heretic by several councils in the East and in the West, beginning with the Semi-Arian council at Antioch in 344. He died in exile in 366.1377


 § 127. The Nicene Doctrine of the Consubstantiality of the Son with the Father.


Comp. the literature in §§ 119 and 120, especially the four Orations of Athanasius against the Arians, and the other anti-Arian tracts of this "father of orthodoxy."


The Nicene, Homo-ousian, or Athanasian doctrine was most clearly and powerfully represented in the East by Athanasius, in whom it became flesh and blood;1378 and next to him, by Alexander of Alexandria, Marcellus of Ancyra (who however strayed into Sabellianism), Basil, and the two Gregories of Cappadocia; and in the West by Ambrose and Hilary.

The central point of the Nicene doctrine in the contest with Arianism is the identity of essence or the consubstantiality of the Son with the Father, and is expressed in this article of the (original) Nicene Creed: "[We believe] in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God; who is begotten the only-begotten of the Father; that is, of the essence of the Father, God of God, and Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father."1379

The term oJmoouvsio", consubstantial, is of course no more a biblical term,1380 than trinity;1381 but it had already been used, though in a different sense, both by heathen writers1382 and by heretics,1383 as well as by orthodox fathers.1384  It formed a bulwark against Arians and Semi-Arians, and an anchor which moored the church during the stormy time between the first and the second ecumenical councils.1385  At first it had a negative meaning against heresy; denying, as Athanasius repeatedly says, that the Son is in any sense created or produced and changeable.1386  But afterwards the homoousion became a positive testword of orthodoxy, designating, in the sense of the Nicene council, clearly and unequivocally, the veritable and essential deity of Christ, in opposition to all sorts of apparent or half divinity, or mere similarity to God. The same divine, eternal, unchangeable essence, which is in an original way in the Father, is, from eternity, in a derived way, through generation, in the Son; just as the water of the fountain is in the stream, or the light of the sun is in the ray, and cannot be separated from it. Hence the Lord says: "I am in the Father, and the Father in Me; He that hath seen Me hath seen the Father; I and My Father are one."  This is the sense of the expression: "God of God," "very God of very God."  Christ, in His divine nature, is as fully consubstantial with the Father, as, in His human nature, He is with man; flesh of our flesh, and bone of our bone; and yet, with all this, He is an independent person with respect to the Father, as He is with respect to other men. In this view Basil turns the term oJmoouvsio" against the Sabellian denial of the personal distinctions in the Trinity, since it is not the same thing that is consubstantial with itself, but one thing that is consubstantial with another.1387  Consubstantiality among men, indeed, is predicated of different individuals who partake of the same nature, and the term in this view might denote also unity of species in a tritheistic sense.

But in the case before us the personal distinction of the Son from the Father must not be pressed to a duality of substances of the same kind; the homoousion, on the contrary, must be understood as identity or numerical unity of substance, in distinction from mere generic unity. Otherwise it leads manifestly into dualism or tritheism. The Nicene doctrine refuses to swerve from the monotheistic basis, and stands between Sabellianism and tritheism; though it must be admitted that the usage of oujsiva and uJpovstasi"_ still wavered for a time, and the relation of the consubstantiality to the numerical unity of the divine essence did not come clearly out till a later day. Athanasius insists that the unity of the divine essence is indivisible, and that there is only one principle of Godhead.1388  He frequently illustrates the relation) as Tertullian had done before him, by the relation between fire and brightness,1389 or between fountain and stream; though in these illustrations the proverbial insufficiency of all similitudes must never be forgotten. "We must not," says he, "take the words in John xiv. 10: ’I am in the Father and the Father in Me’ as if the Father and the Son were two different interpenetrating and mutually complemental substances, like two bodies which fill one vessel. The Father is full and perfect, and the Son is the fulness of the Godhead."1390  "We must not imagine," says he in another place, "three divided substances1391 in God, as among men, lest we, like the heathen, invent a multiplicity of gods; but as the stream which is born of the fountain, and not separated from it, though there are two forms and names. Neither is the Father the Son, nor the Son the Father; for the Father is the Father of the Son, and the Son is the Son of the Father. As the fountain is not the stream, nor the stream the fountain, but the two are one and the same water which flows from the fountain into the stream; so the Godhead pours itself, without division, from the Father into the Son. Hence the Lord says: I went forth from the Father, and come from the Father. Yet He is ever with the Father, He is in the bosom of the Father, and the bosom of the Father is never emptied of the Godhead of the Son."1392

The Son is of the essence of the Father, not by division or diminution, but by simple and perfect self-communication. This divine self-communication of eternal love is represented by the figure of generation, suggested by the biblical terms Father and Son, the only-begotten Son, the firstborn.1393  The eternal generation is an internal process in the essence of God, and the Son is an immanent offspring of this essence; whereas creation is an act of the will of God, and the creature is exterior to the Creator, and of different substance. The Son, as man, is produced;1394 as God, he is unproduced or uncreated;1395 he is begotten1396 from eternity of the unbegotten1397 Father. To this Athanasius refers the passage concerning the Only-begotten who is in the bosom of the Father.1398

Generation and creation are therefore entirely different ideas. Generation is an immanent, necessary, and perpetual process in the essence of God himself, the Father’s eternal communication of essence or self to the Son; creation, on the contrary, is an outwardly directed, free, single act of the will of God, bringing forth a different and temporal substance out of nothing. The eternal fatherhood and sonship in God is the perfect prototype of all similar relations on earth. But the divine generation differs from all human generation, not only in its absolute spirituality, but also in the fact that it does not produce a new essence of the same kind, but that the begotten is identical in essence with the begetter; for the divine essence is by reason of its simplicity, incapable of division, and by reason of its infinity, incapable of increase.1399  The generation, properly speaking, has no reference at all to the essence, but only to the hypostatical distinction. The Son is begotten not as God, but as Son, not as to his natura, but as to his ijdiovth", his peculiar property and his relation to the Father. The divine essence neither begets, nor is begotten. The same is true of the processio of the Holy Ghost, which has reference not to the essence, but only to the person, of the Spirit. In human generation, moreover, the father is older than the son; but in the divine generation, which takes place not in time, but is eternal, there can be no such thing as priority or posteriority of one or the other hypostasis. To the question whether the Son existed before his generation, Cyril of Alexandria answered: "The generation of the Son did not precede his existence, but he existed eternally, and eternally existed by generation."  The Son is as necessary to the being of the Father, as the Father to the being of the Son.

The necessity thus asserted of the eternal generation does not, however, impair its freedom, but is intended only to deny its being arbitrary and accidental, and to secure its foundation in the essence of God himself. God, to be Father, must from eternity beget the Son, and so reproduce himself; yet he does this in obedience not to a foreign law, but to his own law and the impulse of his will. Athanasius, it is true, asserts on the one hand that God begets the Son not of his will,1400 but by his nature,1401 yet on the other hand he does not admit that God begets the Son without will,1402 or of force or unconscious necessity. The generation, therefore, rightly understood, is an act at once of essence and of will. Augustine calls the Son "will of will."1403  In God freedom and necessity coincide.

The mode of the divine generation is and must be a mystery. Of course all human representations of it must be avoided, and the matter be conceived in a purely moral and spiritual way. The eternal generation, conceived as an intellectual process, is the eternal self-knowledge of God; reduced to ethical terms, it is his eternal and absolute love in its motion and working within himself.

In his argument for the consubstantiality of the Son, Athanasius, in his four orations against the Arians, besides adducing the proof from Scripture, which presides over and permeates all other arguments, sets out now in a practical method from the idea of redemption, now in a speculative, from the idea of God.

Christ has delivered us from the curse and power of sin, reconciled us with God, and made us partakers of the eternal, divine life; therefore he must himself be God. Or, negatively: If Christ were a creature, he could not redeem other creatures from sin and death. It is assumed that redemption is as much and as strictly a divine work, as creation.1404

Starting from the idea of God, Athanasius argues: The relation of Father is not accidental, arising in time; else God would be changeable;1405 it belongs as necessarily to the essence and character of God as the attributes of eternity, wisdom, goodness, and holiness; consequently he must have been Father from eternity, and this gives the eternal generation of the Son.1406  The divine fatherhood and sonship is the prototype of all analagous relations on earth. As there is no Son without Father, no more is there Father without Son. An unfruitful Father were like a dark light, or a dry fountain, a self-contradiction. The non-existence of creatures, on the contrary, detracts nothing from the perfection of the Creator, since he always has the power to create when he will.1407  The Son is of the Father’s own interior essence, while the creature is exterior to God and dependent on the act of his will.1408  God, furthermore, cannot be conceived without reason (a[logo"), wisdom, power, and according to the Scriptures (as the Arians themselves concede) the Son is the Logos, the wisdom, the power, the Word of God, by which all things were made. As light rises from fire, and is inseparable from it, so the Word from God, the Wisdom from the Wise, and the Son from the Father.1409  The Son, therefore, was in the beginning, that is, in the beginning of the eternal divine being, in the original beginning, or from eternity. He himself calls himself one with the Father, and Paul praises him as God blessed forever.1410

Finally Christ cannot be a proper object of worship, as he is represented in Scripture and has always been regarded in the Church, without being strictly divine. To worship a creature is idolatry.

When we attentively peruse the warm, vigorous, eloquent, and discriminating controversial writings of Athanasius and his co-laborers, and compare with them the vague, barren, almost entirely negative assertions and superficial arguments of their opponents, we cannot escape the impression that, with all their exegetical and dialectical defects in particulars, they have on their side an overwhelming preponderance of positive truth, the authority of holy Scripture, the profounder speculations of reason, and the prevailing traditional faith of the early church.1411

The spirit and tendency of the Nicene doctrine is edifying; it magnifies Christ and Christianity. The Arian error is cold and heartless, degrades Christ to the sphere of the creature, and endeavors to substitute a heathen deification of the creature for the true worship of God. For this reason also the faith in the true and essential deity of Christ has to this day an inexhaustible vitality, while the irrational Arian fiction of a half-deity, creating the world and yet himself created, long ago entirely outlived itself.1412


 § 128. The Doctrine of the Holy Spirit.


The decision of Nicaea related primarily only to the essential deity of Christ. But in the wider range of the Arian controversies the deity of the Holy Ghost, which stands and falls with the deity of the Son, was indirectly involved. The church always, indeed, connected faith in the Holy Spirit with faith in the Father and Son, but considered the doctrine concerning the Holy Spirit as only an appendix to the doctrine concerning the Father and the Son, until the logical progress brought it to lay equal emphasis on the deity and personality of the Holy Ghost, and to place him with the Father and Son as an element of equal claim in the Trinity.

The Arians made the Holy Ghost the first creature of the Son, and as subordinate to the Son as the Son to the Father. The Arian trinity was therefore not a trinity immanent and eternal, but arising in time and in descending grades, consisting of the uncreated God and two created demi-gods. The Semi-Arians here, as elsewhere, approached the orthodox doctrine, but rejected the consubstantiality, and asserted the creation, of the Spirit. Thus especially Macedonius, a moderate Semi-Arian, whom the Arian court-party had driven from the episcopal chair of Constantinople. From him the adherents of the false doctrine concerning the Holy Spirit, were, after 362, called Macedonians;1413 also Pneumatomachi,1414 and Tropici.1415

Even among the adherents of the Nicene orthodoxy an uncertainty still for a time prevailed respecting the doctrine of the third person of the Holy Trinity. Some held the Spirit to be an impersonal power or attribute of God; others, at farthest, would not go beyond the expressions of the Scriptures. Gregory Nazianzen, who for his own part believed and taught the consubstantiality of the Holy Ghost with the Father and the Son, so late as 380 made the remarkable concession:1416 "Of the wise among us, some consider the Holy Ghost an influence, others a creature, others God himself,1417 and again others know not which way to decide, from reverence, as they say, for the Holy Scripture, which declares nothing exact in the case. For this reason they waver between worshipping and not worshipping the Holy Ghost,1418 and strike a middle course, which is in fact, however, a bad one."  Basil, in 370, still carefully avoided calling the Holy Ghost God, though with the view of gaining the weak. Hilary of Poictiers believed that the Spirit, who searches the deep things of God, must be divine, but could find no Scripture passage in which he is called God, and thought that he must be content with the existence of the Holy Ghost, which the Scripture teaches and the heart attests.1419

But the church could not possibly satisfy itself with only two in one. The baptismal formula and the apostolic benediction, as well as the traditional trinitarian doxologies, put the Holy Ghost on an equality with the Father and the Son, and require a divine tri-personality resting upon a unity of essence. The divine triad tolerates in itself no inequality of essence, no mixture of Creator and creature. Athanasius well perceived this, and advocated with decision the consubstantiality of the Holy Spirit against the Pneumatomachi or Tropici.1420  Basil did the same,1421 and Gregory of Nazianzum,1422 Gregory of Nyssa,1423 Didymus,1424 and Ambrose.1425

This doctrine conquered at the councils of Alexandria, a.d. 362, of Rome, 375, and finally of Constantinople, 381, and became an essential constituent of the ecumenical orthodoxy.

Accordingly the Creed of Constantinople supplemented the Nicene with the important addition: "And in the Holy Ghost, who is Lord and Giver of life, who with the Father is worshipped and glorified, who spake by the prophets."1426

This declares the consubstantiality of the Holy Ghost, not indeed in words, yet in fact, and challenges for him divine dignity and worship.

The exegetical proofs employed by the Nicene fathers for the deity of the Holy Ghost are chiefly the following. The Holy Ghost is nowhere in Scripture reckoned among creatures or angels, but is placed in God himself, co-eternal with God, as that which searches the depths of Godhead (1 Cor. ii. 11, 12). He fills the universe, and is everywhere present (Ps. cxxxix. 7), while creatures, even angels, are in definite places. He was active even in the creation (Gen. i. 3), and filled Moses and the prophets. From him proceeds the divine work of regeneration and sanctification (John iii. 5; Rom. i. 4; viii. 11; 1 Cor. vi. 11; Tit. iii. 5–7; Eph. iii. 16; v. 17, 19, &c). He is the source of all gifts in the church (1 Cor. xii). He dwells in believers, like the Father and the Son, and makes them partakers of the divine life. Blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is the extreme sin, which cannot be forgiven (Matt. xii. 31). Lying to the Holy Ghost is called lying to God (Acts v. 3, 4). In the formula of baptism (Matt. xxviii. 19), and likewise in the apostolic benediction (2 Cor. xiii. 13), the Holy Ghost is put on a level with the Father and the Son and yet distinguished from both; he must therefore be truly divine, yet at the same time a self-conscious person.1427  The Holy Ghost is the source of sanctification, and unites us with the divine life, and thus must himself be divine. The divine trinity tolerates in itself nothing created and changeable. As the Son is begotten of the Father from eternity, so the Spirit proceeds from the Father through the Son. (The procession of the Spirit from the Son, on the contrary, is a subsequent inference of the Latin church from the consubstantiality of the Son, and was unknown to the Nicene fathers.)

The distinction between generation and procession is not particularly defined. Augustine calls both ineffable and inexplicable.1428  The doctrine of the Holy Ghost was not in any respect so accurately developed in this period, as the doctrine concerning Christ, and it shows many gaps.


 § 129. The Nicene and Constantinopolitan Creed.


We look now at the Creeds of Nicaea and Constantinople side by side, which sum up the result of these long controversies. We mark the differences by inclosing in brackets the parts of the former omitted by the latter, and italicizing the additions which the latter makes to the former.


The Nicene Creed of 3251429

the Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Creed of 3811430


Pisteuvomen eij" e{na Qeo;n patevra pantokravtora, pavntwn oJratw'n te kai; ajoravtwn poihthvn

Pisteuvomen eij" e{na Qeo;n, patevra pantokravtora, poihth;n oujranou' kai; gh'", oJratw'n te pavntwn kai; ajoravtwn.


Kai; eij" e{na kuvrion !Ihsou'n Cristo;n, to;n uiJo;n tou' Qeou': gennhqevnta ejk tou'  patro;" »monogenh': tou't je[stin ejk th'" oujsiva" tou' patro;": Qeo;n ejk Qeou' kai;1431¼ fw'" ejk fwto;", Qeo;n ajlhqino;n ejk Qeou' ajlhqinou': gennhqenta, ouj poihqevnta, oJmoouvsion tw'/ patri;: di j ou| ta; pavnta ejgevneto »tav te ejn tw'/ oujranw'/ kai; ta; ejn th'/ gh'/:¼ to;n di j hJma'" tou;" ajnqrwvpou" kai; dia; th;n hJmetevran swthrivan katelqovnta kai; sarkwqevnta, kai; 1432 ejnanqrwphvsanta: paqovnta 1433 kai; ajnastavnta th'/ trivth/ hJmevra/, ajnelqovnta eij" tou;" 1434 oujranou;", 1435 ejrcovmenon krivnai xw'nta" kai; nekrou".

Kai; eij" e{na kuvrion jIhsou'n Cristo;n to;n uiJo;n tou' Qeou' to;n monogenh': to;n ejk tou' patrov" gennhqevnta pro; pavntwn tw'n aijwvnwn: fw'" ejk fwto;", Qeo;n ajlhqino;n ejk Qeou' ajlhqinou', gennhqevnta, ouj poihqevnta, oJmoouvsion tw'/ patri;: di j ou| ta; pavnta ejgevneto: to;n di j hJma'" tou;" ajnqrwvpou" kai; dia; th;n hJmetevran swthrivan katelqovnta ejk tw'n oujranw'n, kai; sarkwqevnta ejk pneuvmato" aJgivou kai; Mariva" th'" parqevnou, kai; ejnanqrwphvsanta: staurwqevnta te uJpevr hJmw'n ejpi; Pontivou Pilavtou, kai; paqovnta, kai; tafevnta, kai; ajnastavnta th'/ trivth/ hJmevra/ kata; ta;" grafa;", kai; ajnelqovnta eij" touv" oujranou;", kai; kaqezovmenon ejk dexiw'n tou' patro;", kai; pavlin ejrcovmenon meta; dovxh" krivnai zw'nta" kai; nekrou;": ou| th'" basileiva" oujk e[stai tevlo".


Kai; eij" to; a{gion pneu'ma.

Kai; eij" to; pneu'ma to; a]gion, to; kuvrion, to; zwopoio;n, to; ejk tou' pa-tro;" ejkporeuovmenon, to; su;n patri; kai; uiJw'/ proskunouvmenon kai; sundoxazovmenon, to; lalh'san dia; tw'n profhtw'n. Eij" mivan aJgivan kaqolikh;n kai; ajpostolikh;n ejk-klhsivan: oJmologou'men e}n bavptisma eij" a[fesin aJmartiw'n: prosdok-w'men ajnavstasin nekrw'n kai; zwh;n tou' mevllonto" aijw'no". jAmhvn.


[Tou;" de; levgonta", o{ti 1436 h\n pote o{te oujk h\n: kai;: pri;n gennhqh'nai oujk h\n: kai; o{ti ejx oujk o[ntwn ejgevneto: h] ejx eJtevra" uJpostavsew" h] oujsiva" 1437 favskonta" ei\nai: h] ktisto;n, h] trepto;n, h] ajlloiwto;n to;n uijo;n tou' Qeou': ajnaqemativzei hJ aJgiva kaqolikh; kai; ajpostolikh; 1438 ejkklhsiva. ]]


We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of all things visible, and invisible.

We believe in one God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible


"And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the Son of God, begotten of the Father [the only-begotten, i.e., of the essence of the Father, God of God, and] Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made [in heaven and on earth]; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down and was incarnate and was made man; he suffered, and the third day he rose again, ascended into heaven; from thence he cometh to judge the quick and the dead.

"And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds ( aeons ), 1439 Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father; by whom all things were made; who for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven , and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost of the Virgin Mary , and was made man; he was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and suffered , and was buried , and the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures, and ascended into heaven , and sitteth on the right hand of the Father ; from thence he cometh again, with glory , to judge the quick and the dead ; whose kingdom shall have no end . 1440


"And in the Holy Ghost.

"And in the Holy Ghost, who is Lord and Giver of life, who pro-ceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spake by the prophets. In one holy catholic and apostolic church, we acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins; we look fo r the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come. Amen . 1441


["And those who say: there was a time when he was not; and: he was not before he was made; and: he was made out of nothing, or out of another substance or thing, or the Son of God is created, or changeable, or alterable; they are condemned by the holy catholic and apostolic Church." ]


A careful comparison shows that the Constantinopolitan Creed is a considerable improvement on the Nicene, both in its omission of the anathema at the close, and in its addition of the articles concerning the Holy Ghost and concerning the church and the way of salvation. The addition: according to the Scriptures, is also important, as an acknowledgment of this divine and infallible guide to the truth. The whole is more complete and symmetrical than the Nicaenum, and in this respect is more like the Apostles’ Creed, which, in like manner, begins with the creation and ends with the resurrection and the life everlasting, and is disturbed by no polemical dissonance; but the Apostles’ Creed is much more simple in structure, and thus better adapted to the use of a congregation and of youth, than either of the others.

The Constantinopolitan Creed maintained itself for a time by the side of the Nicene, and after the council of Chalcedon in 451, where it was for the first time formally adopted, it gradually displaced the other. Since that time it has itself commonly borne the name of the Nicene Creed. Yet the original Nicene confession is still in use in some schismatic sects of the Eastern church.

The Latin church adopted the improved Nicene symbol from the Greek, but admitted, in the article on the Holy Ghost, the further addition of the well-known filioque, which was first inserted at a council of Toledo in 589, and subsequently gave rise to bitter disputes between the two


 § 130. The Nicene, Doctrine of the Trinity. The Trinitarian Terminology.


The doctrine of the essential deity and the personality of the Holy Ghost completed the Nicene doctrine of the Trinity ; and of this doctrine as a whole we can now take a closer view.

This fundamental and comprehensive dogma secured both the unity and the full life of the Christian conception of God; and in this respect it represents, as no other dogma does, the whole of Christianity. It forms a bulwark against heathen polytheism on the one hand, and Jewish deism and abstract monotheism on the other. It avoids the errors and combines the truth of these two opposite conceptions. Against the pagans, says Gregory of Nyssa, we hold the unity of essence; against the Jews, the distinction of hypostases. We do not reject all multiplicity, but only such as destroys the unity of the being, like the pagan polytheism; no more do we reject all unity, but only such unity as denies diversity and full vital action. The orthodox doctrine of the Trinity, furthermore, formed the true mean between Sabellianism and tritheism, both of which taught a divine triad, but at the expense, in the one case, of the personal distinctions, in the other, of the essential unity. It exerted a wholesome regulative influence on the other dogmas. It overcame all theories of emanation, established the Christian conception of creation by a strict distinction of that which proceeds from the essence of God, and is one with him, like the Son and the Spirit, from that which arises out of nothing by the free will of God, and is of different substance. It provided for an activity and motion of knowledge and love in the divine essence, without the Origenistic hypothesis of an eternal creation. And by the assertion of the true deity of the Redeemer and the Sanctifier, it secured the divine character of the work of redemption and sanctification.

The Nicene fathers did not pretend to have exhausted the mystery of the Trinity, and very well understood that all human knowledge, especially in this deepest, central dogma, proves itself but fragmentary. All speculation on divine things ends in a mystery, and reaches an inexplicable residue, before which the thinking mind must bow in humble devotion. "Man," says Athanasius, "can perceive only the hem of the garment of the triune God; the cherubim cover the rest with their wings."  In his letter to the Monks, written about 358, he confesses that the further he examines, the more the mystery eludes his understanding,1442 and he exclaims with the Psalmist: "Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it."1443  Augustine says in one place: "If we be asked to define the Trinity, we can only say, it is not this or that."1444  But though we cannot explain the how or why of our faith, still the Christian may know, and should know, what he believes, and what he does not believe, and should be persuaded of the facts and truths which form the matter of his faith.

The essential points of the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity are these:

1. There is only one divine essence or substance.1445  Father, Son, and Spirit are one in essence, or consubstantial.1446  They are in one another, inseparable, and cannot be conceived without each other. In this point the Nicene doctrine is thoroughly monotheistic or monarchian, in distinction from tritheism, which is but a new form of the polytheism of the pagans.

The terms essence (oujsiva) and nature (fuvsi"), in the philosophical sense, denote not an individual, a personality, but the genus or species; not unum in numero, but ens unum in multis. All men are of the same substance, partake of the same human nature, though as persons and individuals they are very different.1447  The term homoousion, in its strict grammatical sense, differs from monoousion or toutoousion, as well as from heteroousion, and signifies not numerical identity, but equality of essence or community of nature among several beings. It is clearly used thus in the Chalcedonian symbol, where it is said that Christ is "consubstantial (homoousios) with the Father as touching the Godhead, and consubstantial with us [and yet individually, distinct from us] as touching the manhood."  The Nicene Creed does not expressly assert the singleness or numerical unity of the divine essence (unless it be in the first article: "We believe in one God"); and the main point with the Nicene fathers was to urge against Arianism the strict divinity and essential equality of the Son and Holy Ghost with the Father. If we press the difference of homoousion from monoousion, and overlook the many passages in which they assert with equal emphasis the monarchia or numerical unity of the Godhead, we must charge them with tritheism.1448

But in the divine Trinity consubstantiality denotes not only sameness of kind, but at the same time numerical unity; not merely the unum in specie, but also the unum in numero. The, three persons are related to the divine substance not as three individuals to their species, as Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, or Peter, John, and Paul, to human nature; they are only one God. The divine substance is absolutely indivisible by reason of its simplicity, and absolutely inextensible and untransferable by reason of its infinity; whereas a corporeal substance can be divided, and the human nature can be multiplied by generation. Three divine substances would limit and exclude each other, and therefore could not be infinite or absolute. The whole fulness of the one undivided essence of God, with all its attributes, is in all the persons of the Trinity, though in each in his own way: in the Father as original principle, in the Son by eternal generation, in the Spirit by, eternal procession. The church teaches not one divine essence and three persons, but one essence in three persons. Father, Son, and Spirit cannot be conceived as three separate individuals, but are in one another, and form a solidaric unity.1449

Many passages of the Nicene fathers have unquestionably a tritheistic sound, but are neutralized by others which by themselves may bear a Sabellian construction so that their position must be regarded as midway between these two extremes. Subsequently John Philoponus, an Aristotelian and Monophysite in Alexandria about the middle of the sixth century, was charged with tritheism, because he made no distinction between fuvsi" and uJpovstasi", and reckoned in the Trinity three natures, substances, and deities, according to the number of persons.1450

2. In this one divine essence there are three persons1451 or, to use a better term, hypostases, 1452 that is, three different modes of subsistence1453 of the one same undivided and indivisible whole, which in the Scriptures are called the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.1454  These distinctions are not merely different attributes, powers, or activities of the Godhead, still less merely subjective aspects under which it presents itself to the human mind; but each person expresses the whole fulness of the divine being with all its attributes, and the three persons stand in a relation of mutual knowledge and love. The Father communicates his very life to the Son, and the Spirit is the bond of union and communion between the two. The Son speaks, and as the God-Man, even prays, to the Father, thus standing over against him as a first person towards a second; and calls the Holy Ghost "another Comforter" whom he will send from the Father, thus speaking of him as of a third person.1455

Here the orthodox doctrine forsook Sabellianism or modalism, which, it is true, made Father, Son, and Spirit strictly coordinate, but only as different denominations and forms of manifestation of the one God.

But, on the other hand, as we have already intimated, the term person must not be taken here in the sense current among men, as if the three persons were three different individuals, or three self-conscious and separately acting beings. The trinitarian idea of personality lies midway between that of a mere form of manifestation, or a personation, which would lead to Sabellianism, and the idea of an independent, limited human personality, which would result in tritheism. In other words, it avoids the monoousian or unitarian trinity of a threefold conception and aspect of one and the same being, and the triousian or tritheistic trinity of three distinct and separate beings.1456  In each person there is the same inseparable divine substance, united with the individual property and relation which distinguishes that person from the others. The word person is in reality only a make-shift, in the absence of a more adequate term. Our idea of God is more true and deep than our terminology, and the essence and character of God far transcends our highest ideas.1457

The Nicene fathers and Augustine endeavored, as Tertullian and Dionysius of Alexandria had already done, to illustrate the Trinity by analogies from created existence. Their figures were sun, ray, and light; fountain, stream, and flow; root, stem, and fruit; the colors of the rainbow;1458 soul, thought, and spirit;1459 memory, intelligence, and will;1460 and the idea of love, which affords the best illustration, for God is love.1461  Such figures are indeed confessedly insufficient as proofs, and, if pressed, might easily lead to utterly erroneous conceptions. For example: sun, ray, and light are not co-ordinate, but the two latter are merely qualities or emanations of the first. "Omne simile claudicat."1462  Analogies, however, here do the negative service of repelling the charge of unreasonableness from a doctrine which is in fact the highest reason, and which has been acknowledged in various forms by the greatest philosophers, from Plato to Schelling and Hegel, though often in an entirely unscriptural sense. A certain trinity undeniably runs through all created life, and is especially reflected in manifold ways in man, who is created after the image of God; in the relation of body, soul, and spirit; in the faculties of thought, feeling, and will; in the nature of self-consciousness;1463 and in the nature of love.1464 3. Each divine person has his property, as it were a characteristic individuality, expressed by the Greek word ijdiovth",1465 and the Latin proprietas.1466  This is not to be confounded with attribute; for the divine attributes, eternity, omnipresence, omnipotence, wisdom, holiness, love, etc., are inherent in the divine essence, and are the common possession of all the divine hypostases. The idiotes, on the contrary, is a peculiarity of the hypostasis, and therefore cannot be communicated or transferred from one to another.

To the first person fatherhood, or the being unbegotten, 1467 is ascribed as his property; to the second, sonship, or the being begotten;1468 to the Holy Ghost, procession.1469  In other words: The Father is unbegotten, but begetting; the Son is uncreated, but begotten; the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father (and, according to the Latin doctrine, also from the Son). But these distinctions relate, as we have said, only to the hypostases, and have no force with respect to the divine essence which is the same in all, and neither begets nor is begotten, nor proceeds, nor is sent.

4. The divine persons are in one another, mutually interpenetrate, and form a perpetual intercommunication and motion within the divine essence; as the Lord says: "I am in the Father, and the Father in me;" and "the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works."1470 This perfect indwelling and vital communion was afterwards designated (by John of Damascus and the scholastics) by such terms as ejnuvparxi", pericwvrhsi",1471 inexistentia, immanentia, inhabitatio, circulatio, permeatio, intercommunio, circumincessio.1472

5. The Nicene doctrine already contains, in substance, a distinction between two trinities: an immanent trinity of constitution,1473 which existed from eternity, and an economic trinity of manifestation;1474 though this distinction did not receive formal expression till a much later period. For the generation of the Son and the procession of the Spirit are, according to the doctrine, an eternal process. The perceptions and practical wants of the Christian mind start, strictly speaking, with the trinity of revelation in the threefold progressive work of the creation, the redemption, and the preservation of the world, but reason back thence to a trinity of being; for God has revealed himself as he is, and there can be no contradiction between his nature and his works. The eternal pre-existence of the Son and the Spirit is the background of the historical revelation by which they work our salvation. The Scriptures deal mainly with the trinity of revelation, and only hint at the trinity of essence, as in the prologue of the Gospel of John which asserts an eternal distinction between God and the Logos. The Nicene divines, however, agreeably to the metaphysical bent of the Greek mind, move somewhat too exclusively in the field of speculation and in the dark regions of the intrinsic and ante-mundane relations of the Godhead, and too little upon the practical ground of the facts of salvation.

6. The Nicene fathers still teach, like their predecessors, a certain subordinationism, which seems to conflict with the doctrine of consubstantiality. But we must distinguish between, a subordinatianism of essence (oujsiva) and a subordinatianism of hypostasis, of order and dignity.1475  The former was denied, the latter affirmed. The essence of the Godhead being but one, and being absolutely perfect, can admit of no degrees. Father, Son, and Spirit all have the same divine essence, yet not in a co-ordinate way, but in an order of subordination. The Father has the essence originally and of himself, from no other; he is the primal divine subject, to whom alone absoluteness belongs, and he is therefore called preeminently God,1476 or the principle, the fountain, and the root of Godhead.1477  The Son, on the contrary, has his essence by communication from the Father, therefore, in a secondary, derivative way. "The Father is greater than the Son."  The one is unbegotten, the other begotten; the Son is from the Father, but the Father is not from the Son; fatherhood is in the nature of the case primary, sonship secondary. The same subordination is still more applicable to the Holy Ghost. The Nicene fathers thought the idea of the divine unity best preserved by making the Father, notwithstanding the triad of persons, the monad from which Son and Spirit spring, and to which they return.

This subordination is most plainly expressed by Hilary of Poictiers, the champion of the Nicene doctrine in the West.1478  The familiar comparisons of fountain and stream, sun and light, which Athanasius, like Tertullian, so often uses, likewise lead to a dependence of the Son upon the Father1479  Even the Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Creed favors it, in calling the Son God of God, Light of Light, very God of very God. For if a person has anything, or is anything, of another, he has not that, or is not that, of himself. Yet this expression may be more correctly understood, and is in fact sometimes used by the later Nicene fathers, as giving the Son and Spirit only their hypostases from the Father, while the essence of deity is common to all three persons, and is co-eternal in all.

Scriptural argument for this theory of subordination was found abundant in such passages as these: "As the Father hath life in himself (e[cei zwh;n ejn eJautw'/), so hath he given (e[dwke) to the Son to have life in himself; and hath given him authority to execute judgment also;"1480 "All things are delivered unto me (pavnta moi paredovqh) of my Father;"1481 "My father is greater than I."1482  But these and similar passages refer to the historical relation of the Father to the incarnate Logos in his estate of humiliation, or to the elevation of human nature to participation in the glory and power of the divine,1483 not to the eternal metaphysical relation of the Father to the Son.

In this point, as in the doctrine of the Holy Ghost, the Nicene system yet needed further development. The logical consistency of the doctrine of the consubstantiality of the Son, upon which the Nicene fathers laid chief stress, must in time overcome this decaying remnant of the ante-Nicene subordinationism.1484


 § 131. The Post-Nicene Trinitarian Doctrine of Augustine.


Augustine: De trinitate, libri xv., begun in 400, and finished about 415; and his anti-Arian works: Contra sermonem Arianorum; Collatio cum Maximino Arianorum episcopo; Contra Maximinum haereticum, libri ii. (all in his Opera omnia, ed. Bened. of Venice, 1733, in tom. viii. pp. 626–1004; and in Migne’s ed. Par. 1845, tom. viii. pp. 683–1098).


While the Greek church stopped with the Nicene statement of the doctrine of the Trinity, the Latin church carried the development onward under the guidance of the profound and devout speculative spirit of Augustine in the beginning of the fifth century, to the formation of the Athanasian Creed. Of all the fathers, next to Athanasius, Augustine performed the greatest service for this dogma, and by his discriminating speculation he exerted more influence upon the scholastic theology and that of the Reformation, than all the Nicene divines. The points in which he advanced upon the Nicene Creed, are the following:1485

1. He eliminated the remnant of subordinationism, and brought out more clearly and sharply the consubstantiality of the three persons and the numerical unity of their essence.1486

Yet he too admitted that the Father stood above the Son and the Spirit in this: that he alone is of no other, but is absolutely original and independent; while the Son is begotten of him, and the Spirit proceeds from him, and proceeds from him in a higher sense than from the Son.1487  We may speak of three men who have the same nature; but the persons in the Trinity are not three separately subsisting individuals. The divine substance is not an abstract generic nature common to all, but a concrete, living reality. One and the same God is Father, Son, and Spirit. All the works of the Trinity are joint works. Therefore one can speak as well of an incarnation of God, as of an incarnation of the Son, and the theophanies of the Old Testament, which are usually ascribed to the Logos, may also be ascribed to the Father and the Holy Ghost.

If the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity lies midway between Sabellianism and tritheism, Augustine bears rather to the Sabellian side. He shows this further in the analogies from the human spirit, in which he sees the mystery of the Trinity reflected, and by which he illustrates it with special delight and with fine psychological discernment, though with the humble impression that the analogies do not lift the veil, but only make it here and there a little more penetrable. He distinguishes in man being, which answers to the Father, knowledge or consciousness, which answers to the Son, and will, which answers to the Holy Ghost.1488  A similar trinity he finds in the relation of mind, word, and love; again in the relation of memory, intelligence, and will or love, which differ, and yet are only one human nature (but of course also only one human person).1489

2. Augustine taught the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son as well as from the Father, though from the Father mainly. This followed from the perfect essential unity of the hypostases, and was supported by some passages of Scripture which speak of the Son sending the Spirit.1490  He also represented the Holy Ghost as the love and fellowship between Father and Son, as the bond which unites the two, and which unites believers with God.1491

The Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan Creed affirms only the processio Spiritus a Patre, though not with an exclusive intent, but rather to oppose the Pneumatomachi, by giving the Spirit a relation to the Father as immediate as that of the Son. The Spirit is not created by the Son, but eternally proceeds directly from the Father, as the Son is from eternity begotten of the Father. Everything proceeds from the Father, is mediated by the Son, and completed by the Holy Ghost. Athanasius, Basil, and the Gregories give this view, without denying procession from the Son. Some Greek fathers, Epiphanius,1492 Marcellus of Ancyra,1493 and Cyril of Alexandria,1494 derived the Spirit from the Father and the Son; while Theodore of Mopsuestia and Theodoret would admit no dependence of the Spirit on the Son.

Augustine’s view gradually met universal acceptance in the West. It was adopted by Boëthius, Leo the Great and others. 1495 It was even inserted in the Nicene Creed by the council of Toledo in 589 by the addition of filioque, together with an anathema against its opponents, by whom are meant, however, not the Greeks, but the Arians.

Here to this day lies the main difference in doctrine between the Greek and Latin churches, though the controversy over it did not break out till the middle of the ninth century under patriarch Photius, (867). 1496 Dr. Waterland briefly sums up the points of dispute thus:1497 "The Greeks and Latins have had many and tedious disputes about the procession. One thing is observable, that though the ancients, appealed to by both parties, have often said that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father, without mentioning the Son, yet they never said that he proceeded from the Father alone; so that the modern Greeks have certainly innovated in that article in expression at least, if not in real sense and meaning. As to the Latins, they have this to plead, that none of the ancients ever condemned their doctrine; that many of them have expressly asserted it; that the oriental churches themselves rather condemn their taking upon them to add anything to a creed formed in a general council, than the doctrine itself; that those Greek churches that charge their doctrine as heresy, yet are forced to admit much the same thing, only in different words; and that Scripture itself is plain, that the Holy Ghost proceeds at least by the Son, if not from him; which yet amounts to the same thing."

This doctrinal difference between the Greek and the Latin Church, however insignificant it may appear at first sight, is characteristic of both, and illustrates the contrast between the conservative and stationary theology of the East, after the great ecumenical councils, and the progressive and systematizing theology of the West. The wisdom of changing an ancient and generally received formula of faith may be questioned. It must be admitted, indeed, that the Nicene Creed has undergone several other changes which were embodied in the Constantinopolitan Creed, and adopted by the Greeks as well as the Latins. But in the case of the Filioque, the Eastern Church which made the Nicene Creed, was never consulted, and when the addition was first brought to the notice of the bishop of Rome by Charlemagne, he protested against the innovation. His successors acquiesced in it, and the Protestant churches accepted the Nicene Creed with the Filioque, though without investigation. The Greek Church has ever protested against it since the time of Photius, and will never adopt it. She makes a sharp distinction between the procession, which is an eternal and internal process in the Holy Trinity itself, and the mission, of the Spirit, which is an act of revelation in time. The Spirit eternally proceeds from the Father alone (though through the Son); but was sent by the Father and the Son on the day of Pentecost. Hence the present tense is used of the former (John 15:26), and the future of the latter (14:26; 15:26). The Greek Church is concerned for the dignity and sovereignty of the Father, as the only source and root of the Deity. The Latin Church is concerned for the dignity of the Son, as being of one substance with the Father, and infers the double procession from the double mission.


 § 132. The Athanasian Creed.


G. Joh. Voss (Reform): De tribus symbolis, diss. ii. 1642, and in his Opera Omnia, Amstel. 1701 (forming an epoch in critical investigation). Archbishop Usher: De symbolis. 1647. J. H. Heidegger (Ref.): De symbolo Athanasiano. Zür. 1680. Em. Tentzel (Luth.): Judicia eruditoram de Symb. Athan. studiose collecta. Goth. 1687. Montfaucon (R.C.): Diatribe in Symbolum Quicunque, in the Benedictine ed. of the Opera Athanasii, Par. 1698, tom. ii. pp. 719–735. Dan. Waterland (Anglican): A Critical History of the Athanasian Creed. Cambridge, 1724, sec. ed. 1728 (in Waterland’s Works, ed. Mildert, vol. iii. pp. 97–270, Oxf. 1843). Dom. M. Speroni (R.C.): De symbolo vulgo S. Athanasii. Dias. i. and ii. Patav. 1750–’51. E. Köllner (Luth.): Symbolik aller christl. Confessionen. Hamb. vol. i. 1837, pp. 53–92. W. W. Harvey (Angl.): The History and Theology of the Three Creeds. Lond. 1854, vol. ii. pp. 541–695. Ph. Schaff: The Athanasian Creed, in the Am. Theolog. Review, New York, 1866, pp. 584–625. (Comp. the earlier literature, in chronological order, in Waterland, l. c. p. 108 ff., and in Köllner).

[Comp. here the notes in Appendix, p. 1034, and the later and fuller treatment in Schaff: Creeds of Christendom, N. York, 4th ed., 1884, vol. i. 34–42; vol. ii. 66–72, with the facsimile of the oldest MS. of the Athan. Creed in the Utrecht Psalter, ii. 555 sq. The rediscovery of that MS. in 1873 occasioned a more thorough critical investigation of the whole subject, with the result that the Utrecht Psalter dates from the ninth century, and that there is no evidence that the pseudo-Athanasian Creed, in its present complete form, existed before the age of Charlemagne. The statements in this section which assume an earlier origin, must be modified accordingly. Added 1889.]


The post-Nicene or Augustinian doctrine of the Trinity reached its classic statement in the third and last of the ecumenical confessions, called the Symbolum Athanasianum, or, as it is also named from its initial words, the Symbolum Quicumque; beyond which the orthodox development of the doctrine in the Roman and Evangelical churches to this day has made no advance.1498  This Creed is unsurpassed as a masterpiece of logical clearness, rigor, and precision; and so far as it is possible at all to state in limited dialectic form, and to protect against heresy, the inexhaustible depths of a mystery of faith into which the angels desire to look, this liturgical theological confession achieves the task. We give it here in full, anticipating the results of the Christological controversies; and we append parallel passages from Augustine and other older writers, which the unknown author has used, in some cases word for word, and has woven with great dexterity into an organic whole.1499


1. Quicumque vult salvus esse, ante omnia opus est, ut teneat catholicam fidem.1500

1. Whosoever will be saved, before all things it is necessary that he hold the catholic [true Christian] faith

2. Quam nisi quisque integram inviolatamque1501 servaverit, absque dubio1502 in aeternum peribit.

2. Which faith except every one do keep whole and undefiled, without doubt he shall perish everlastingly.

3. Fides autem catholica haec est, ut unum Deum in trinitate et trinitatem in unitate veneremur;1503

3. But this is the catholic faith: That we worship one God in trinity, and trinity in unity;

4. Neque confundentes personas; neque substantiam separantes.1504

4. Neither confounding the persons; nor dividing the substance.

5. Alia est enim persona Patris: alia Filii: alia Spiritus Sancti.1505

5. For there is one person of the Father: another of the Son: another of the Holy Ghost.

6. Sed Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti una est divinitas: aequalis gloria, coaeterna majestas.1506

6. But the Godhead of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost is all one: the glory equal, the majesty coëternal.

7. Qualis Pater, talis Filius, talis (et) Spiritus Sanctus.1507

7. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such is the Holy Ghost.

8. Increatus Pater: increatus Filius: increatus (et) Spiritus Sanctus.

8. The Father is uncreated: the Son is uncreated: the Holy Ghost is uncreated.

9. Immensus Pater: immensus Filius: immensus Spiritus Sanctus.1508

9. The Father is immeasurable: the Son is immeasurable: the Holy Ghost is immeasurable.

10. Aeternus Pater: aeternus Filius: aeternus (et) Spiritus Sanctus.1509

10. The Father is eternal: the Son eternal: the Holy Ghost eternal.

11. Et tamen non tree aeterni: sed unus aeternus.

11. And yet there are not three eternals; but one eternal.

12. Sicut non tres increati: nec tres immensi: sed unus increatus et unus immensus.

12. As also there are not three uncreated: nor three immeasurable: but one uncreated, and one immeasurable.

13. Similiter omnipotens Pater: omnipotens Filius: omnipotens (et) Spiritus Sanctus.

13. So likewise the Father is almighty: the Son almighty: and the Holy Ghost almighty,

14. Et tamen non tres omnipo-entes; sed unus omnipotens.  1510

14. And yet there are not three almighties: but one almighty.

15. Ita Deus Pater: Deus Filius: Deus (et) Spiritus Sanctus.1511

15. So the Father is God: the Son is God: and the Holy Ghost is God.

16. Et tamen non tres Dii; sed unus est Deus.1512

16. And yet there are not three Gods; but one God.

17. Ita Dominus Pater: Dominus Filius: Dominus (et) Spiritus Sanctus.

17. So the Father is Lord: the Son Lord: and the Holy Ghost Lord.

18. Et tamen non tres Domini; sed unus est Dominus.1513

18. And yet not three Lords; but one Lord

19. Quia sicut singulatim unamquamque personam et

19. For like as we are compelled by the Christian verity to Deum et Dominum confiteri christiana veritate compellimur:1514 acknowledge every Person by himself to be God and Lord

20. Ita tres Deos, aut (tres)1515 Dominos dicere catholica religione prohibemur.

20. So are we forbidden by the catholic religion to say, there are three Gods, or three Lords.

21. Pater a nullo est factus; nec creatus; nec genitus.

21. The Father is made of none; neither created; nor begotten.

22. Filius a Patre solo est: 1516 non factus; nec creatus; sed genitus.

22. The Son is of the Father alone: not made; nor created; but begotten.

23. Spiritus Sanctus a Patre et Filio: non factus; nec creatus; nec genitus (est); sed procedens.  1517

23. The Holy Ghost is of the Father and the Son: not made; neither created; nor begotten; but proceeding.

24. Unus ergo Pater, non tres Patres: unus Filius, non tres Filii: unus Spiritus Sanctus, non tres Spiritus Sancti.1518

24. Thus there is one Father, not three Fathers: one Son, not three Sons: one Holy Ghost, not three Holy Ghosts.

25. Et in hac trinitate nihil prius, aut posterius: nihil maius, aut minus.1519

25. And in this Trinity none is before or after another: none is greater or less than another.

26. Sed totae tres personae coaeternae sibi sunt et coaequales.

26. But the whole three Persons are co-eternal together, and co-equal

27. Ita, ut per omnia, sicut jam supra dictum est, et unitas in trinitate et trinitas in unitate veneranda sit.1520

27. So that in all things, as aforesaid, the Unity in Trinity, and the Trinity in Unity is to be worshipped.

28. Qui vult ergo salvos esse, ita de trinitate sentiat.

28. He therefore that will be saved, must thus think of the Trinity.


The origin of this remarkable production is veiled in mysterious darkness. Like the Apostles’ Creed, it is not so much the work of any one person, as the production of the spirit of the church. As the Apostles’ Creed represents the faith of the ante-Nicene period, and the Nicene Creed the faith of the Nicene, so the Athanasian Creed gives formal expression to the post-Nicene faith in the mystery of the Trinity and the incarnation of God. The old tradition which, since the eighth century, has attributed it to Athanasius as the great champion of the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity, has been long ago abandoned on all hands; for in the writings of Athanasius and his contemporaries, and even in the acts of the third and fourth ecumenical councils, no trace of it is to be found.1530  It does not appear at all in the Greek church till the eleventh or twelfth century; and then it occurs in a few manuscripts which bear the manifest character of translations, vary from one another in several points, and omit or modify the clause on the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father and the Son (v. 23).1531  It implies the entire post-Nicene or Augustinian development of the doctrine of the Trinity, and even the Christological discussions of the fifth century, though it does not contain the anti-Nestorian test-word qeotovko", mother of God. It takes several passages verbally from Augustine’s work on the Trinity which was not completed till the year 415, and from the Commonitorium of Vincentius of Lerinum, 434; works which evidently do not quote the passages from an already existing symbol, but contribute them as stones to the building. On the other hand it contains no allusion to the Monophysite and Monothelite controversies, and cannot be placed later than the year 570; for at that date Venantius Fortunatus of Poictiers wrote a short commentary on it.

It probably originated about the middle of the fifth century, in the school of Augustine, and in Gaul, where it makes its first appearance, and acquires its first ecclesiastical authority. But the precise author or compiler cannot be discovered, and the various views of scholars concerning him are mere opinions.1532  From Gaul the authority of this symbol spread over the whole of Latin Christendom, and subsequently made its way into some portions of the Greek church in Europe. The various Protestant churches have either formally adopted the Athanasian Creed together with the Nicene and the Apostles’, or at all events agree, in their symbolical books, with its doctrine of the trinity and the person of Christ.1533

The Athanasian Creed presents, in short, sententious articles, and in bold antitheses, the church doctrine of the Trinity in opposition to Unitarianism and tritheism, and the doctrine of the incarnation and the divine-human person of Christ in opposition to Nestorianism and Eutychianism, and thus clearly and concisely sums up the results of the trinitarian and Christological controversies of the ancient church. It teaches the numerical unity of substance and the triad of persons in the Father and the Son and the Holy Ghost, with the perfect deity and perfect humanity of Christ in one indivisible person. In the former case we have one substance or nature in three persons; in the latter, two natures in one divine-human person.

On this faith eternal salvation is made to depend. By the damnatory clauses in its prologue and epilogue the Athanasianum has given offence even to those who agree with its contents. But the original Nicene Creed contained likewise an anathema, which afterwards dropped out of it; the anathema is to be referred to the heresies, and may not be applied to particular persons, whose judge is God alone; and finally, the whole intention is, not that salvation and perdition depend on the acceptance and rejection of any theological formulary or human conception and exhibition of the truth, but that faith in the revealed truth itself, in the living God, Father, Son, and Spirit, and in Jesus Christ the God-Man and the Saviour of the world, is the thing which saves, even where the understanding may be very defective, and that unbelief is the thing which condemns; according to the declaration of the Lord: "He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned."  In particular actual cases Christian humility and charity of course require the greatest caution, and leave the judgment to the all-knowing and just God.

The Athanasian Creed closes the succession of ecumenical symbols; symbols which are acknowledged by the entire orthodox Christian world, except that Evangelical Protestantism ascribes to them not an absolute, but only a relative authority, and reserves the right of freely investigating and further developing all church doctrines from the inexhaustible fountain of the infallible word of God.


II. The Origenistic Controversies.


I. Epiphanius: Haeres. 64. Several Epistles of Epiphanius, Theophilus of Alex., and Jerome (in Jerome’s Epp. 51 and 87–100, ed. Vallarsi). The controversial works of Jerome and Rufinus on the orthodoxy of Origen (Rufini Praefatio ad Orig. peri; ajrcw'n; and Apologia s. invectivarum in Hieron.; Hieronymi Ep. 84 ad Pammachium et Oceanum de erroribus Origenis; Apologia Adv. Rufinum libri iii, written 402–403, etc.). Palladius: Vita Johannis Chrysostomi (in Chrysost. Opera, vol. xiii. ed. Montfaucon). Socrates: H. E. vi. 3–18. Sozomenus: H. E. viii. 2–20. Theodoret: H. E. v. 27 sqq. Photius: Biblioth. Cod. 59. Mansi:


II. Huetius: Origeniana (Opera Orig. vol. iv. ed. De la Rue). Doucin: Histoire des mouvements arrivés dans l’église au sujet d’Origène. Par. 1700. Walch: Historie der Ketzereien. Th. vii. p. 427 sqq. Schröckh: Kirchengeschichte, vol. x. 108 sqq. Comp. the monographs Of Redepenning and Thomasius on Origen; and Neander: Der heil. Joh. Chrysostomus. Berl. 1848, 3d ed. vol. ii. p. 121 sqq. Hefele (R.C.): Origenistenstreit, in the Kirchenlexicon of Wetzer and Welte, vol. vii. p. 847 sqq., and Conciliengeschichte, vol. ii. p. 76 sqq. O. Zöckler: Hieronymus. Gotha, 1865, p. 238 ff; 391 ff.


 §133. The Orgenistic Controversy in Palestine. Epiphanius, Rufinus, and Jerome,  a.d. 394–399.


Between the Arian and the Nestorian controversies and in indirect connection with the former, come the vehement and petty personal quarrels over the orthodoxy of Origen, which brought no gain, indeed, to the development of the church doctrine, yet which have a bearing upon the history of theology, as showing the progress of orthodoxy under the twofold aspect of earnest zeal for the pure faith, and a narrow-minded intolerance towards all free speculation. The condemnation of Origen was a death blow to theological science in the Greek church, and left it to stiffen gradually into a mechanical traditionalism and formalism. We shall confine ourselves, if possible, to the points of general interest, and omit the extremely insipid and humiliating details of personal invective and calumny.

It is the privilege of great pioneering minds to set a mass of other minds in motion, to awaken passionate sympathy and antipathy, and to act with stimulating and moulding power even upon after generations. Their very errors are often more useful than the merely traditional orthodoxy of unthinking men, because they come from an honest search after truth, and provoke new investigation. One of these minds was Origen, the most learned and able divine of the ante-Nicene period, the Plato or the Schleiermacher of the Greek church. During his life-time his peculiar, and for the most part Platonizing, views already aroused contradiction, and to the advanced orthodoxy of a later time they could not but appear as dangerous heresies. Methodius of Tyre († 311) first attacked his doctrines of the creation and the resurrection; while Paulphilus († 309), from his prison, wrote an apology for Origen, which Eusebius afterwards completed. His name was drawn into the Arian controversies, and used and abused by both parties for their own ends. The question of the orthodoxy of the great departed became in this way a vital issue of the day, and rose in interest with the growing zeal for pure doctrine and the growing horror of all heresy.

Upon this question three parties arose: free, progressive disciples, blind adherents, and blind opponents.1534

1. The true, independent followers of Origen drew from his writings much instruction and quickening, without committing themselves to his words, and, advancing with the demands of the time, attained a clearer knowledge of the specific doctrines of Christianity than Origen himself, without thereby losing esteem for his memory and his eminent services. Such men were Pamphilus, Eusebius of Caesarea, Didymus of Alexandria, and in a wider sense Athanasius, Basil the Great, Gregory of Nazianzum, and Gregory of Nyssa; and among the Latin fathers, Hilary, and at first Jerome, who afterwards joined the opponents. Gregory of Nyssa, and perhaps also Didymus, even adhered to Origen’s doctrine of the final salvation of all created intelligences.

2. The blind and slavish followers, incapable of comprehending the free spirit of Origen, clave to the letter, held all his immature and erratic views, laid greater stress on them than Origen himself, and pressed them to extremes. Such mechanical fidelity to a master is always apostasy to his spirit, which tends towards continual growth in knowledge. To this class belonged the Egyptian monks in the Nitrian mountains; four in particular: Dioscurus, Ammonius, Eusebius, and Enthymius, who are known by the name of the "tall brethren,"1535 and were very learned.

3. The opponents of Origen, some from ignorance, others from narrowness and want of discrimination, shunned his speculations as a source of the most dangerous heresies, and in him condemned at the same time all free theological discussion, without which no progress in knowledge is possible, and without which even the Nicene dogma would never have come into existence. To these belonged a class of Egyptian monks in the Scetic desert, with Pachomius at their head, who, in opposition to the mysticism and spiritualism of the Origenistic monks of Nitria, urged grossly sensuous views of divine things, so as to receive the name of Anthropomorphites. The Roman church, in which Origen was scarcely known by name before the Arian disputes, shared in a general way the strong prejudice against him as an unsound and dangerous writer.

The leader in the crusade against the bones of Origen was the bishop Epiphanius of Salamis (Constantia) in Cyprus († 403), an honest, well-meaning, and by his contemporaries highly respected, but violent, coarse, contracted, and bigoted monastic saint and heresy hunter. He had inherited from the monks in the deserts of Egypt an ardent hatred of Origen as an arch-heretic, and for this hatred he gave documentary justification from the numerous writings of Origen in his Panarion, or chest of antidotes for eighty heresies, in which he branded him as the father of Arianism and many other errors.1536  Not content with this, he also endeavored by journeying and oral discourse to destroy everywhere the influence of the long departed teacher of Alexandria, and considered himself as doing God and the church the greatest service thereby.

With this object the aged bishop journeyed in 394 to Palestine, where Origen was still held in the highest consideration, especially with John, bishop of Jerusalem, and with the learned monks Rufinus and Jerome, the former of whom was at that time in Jerusalem and the latter in Bethlehem. He delivered a blustering sermon in Jerusalem, excited laughter, and vehemently demanded the condemnation of Origen. John and Rufinus resisted; but Jerome, who had previously considered Origen the greatest church teacher after the apostles, and had learned much from his exegetical writings, without adopting his doctrinal errors, yielded to a solicitude for the fame of his own orthodoxy, passed over to the opposition, broke off church fellowship with John, and involved himself in a most violent literary contest with his former friend Rufinus; which belongs to the chronique scandaleuse of theology. The schism was terminated indeed by the mediation of the patriarch Theophilus in 397, but the dispute broke out afresh. Jerome condemned in Origen particularly his doctrine of pre-existence, of the final conversion of the devils, and of demons, and his spiritualistic sublimation of the resurrection of the body; while Rufinus, having returned to the West (398), translated several works of Origen into Latin, and accommodated them to orthodox taste. Both were in fact equally zealous to defend themselves against the charge of Origenism, and to fasten it upon each other, and this not by a critical analysis and calm investigation of the teachings of Origen, but by personal denunciations and miserable invectives.1537

Rufinus was cited before pope Anastasius (398–402), who condemned Origen in a Roman synod; but he sent a satisfactory defense and found an asylum in Aquileia. He enjoyed the esteem of such men as Paulinus of Nola and Augustine, and died in Sicily (410).


 § 134. The Origenistic Controversy in Egypt and Constantinople. Theophilus and Chrysostom  a.d. 399–407.


Meanwhile a second act of this controversy was opened in Egypt, in which the unprincipled, ambitious, and intriguing bishop Theophilus of Alexandria plays the leading part. This bishop was at first an admirer of Origen, and despised the anthropomorphite monks, but afterwards, through a personal quarrel with Isidore and the "four tall brethren," who refused to deliver the church funds into his hands, he became an opponent of Origen, attacked his errors in several documents (399–403),1538 and pronounced an anathema on his memory, in which he was supported by Epiphanius, Jerome, and the Roman bishop Anastasius. At the same time he indulged in the most violent measures against the Origenistic, monks, and banished them from Egypt. Most of these monks fled to Palestine; but some: fifty, among whom were the four tall brethren, went to Constantinople, and found there a cordial welcome with the bishop John Chrysostom in 401.

In this way that noble man became involved in the dispute. As an adherent of the Antiochian school, and as a practical theologian, he had no sympathy with the philosophical speculation of Origen, but he knew how to appreciate his merits in the exposition of the Scriptures, and was impelled by Christian love and justice to intercede with Theophilus in behalf of the persecuted monks, though he did not admit them to the holy communion till they proved their innocence.

Theophilus now set every instrument in motion to overthrow the long envied Chrysostom, and employed even Epiphanius, then almost an octogenarian, as a tool of his hierarchical plans. This old man journeyed in mid-winter in 402 to Constantinople, in the imagination that by his very presence he would be able to destroy the thousand-headed hydra of heresy, and he would neither hold church fellowship with Chrysostom, who assembled the whole clergy of the city to greet him, nor pray for the dying son of the emperor, until all Origenistic heretics should be banished from the capital, and he might publish the anathema from the altar. But he found that injustice was done to the Nitrian monks, and soon took ship again to Cyprus, saying to the bishops who accompanied him to the sea shore: "I leave to you the city, the palace, and hypocrisy; but I go, for I must make great haste."  He died on the ship in the summer of 403.

What the honest coarseness of Epiphanius failed to effect, was accomplished by the cunning of Theophilus, who now himself travelled to Constantinople, and immediately appeared as accuser and judge. He well knew how to use the dissatisfaction of the clergy, of the empress Eudoxia, and of the court with Chrysostom on account of his moral severity and his bold denunciations.1539  In Chrysostom’s own diocese, on an estate "at the oak"1540 in Chalcedon, he held a secret council of thirty-six bishops against Chrysostom, and there procured, upon false charges of immorality, unchurchly conduct, and high treason, his deposition and banishment in 403.1541  Chrysostom was recalled indeed in three days in consequence of an earthquake and the dissatisfaction of the people, but was again condemned by a council in 404, and banished from the court, because, incensed by the erection of a silver statue of Eudoxia close to the church of St. Sophia, and by the theatrical performances connected with it, he had with unwise and unjust exaggeration opened a sermon on Mark vi. 17 ff., in commemoration of John the Baptist with the personal allusion: "Again Herodias rages, again she raves, again she dances, and again she demands the head of John [this was Chrysostom’s own name] upon a charger."1542  From his exile in Cucusus and Arabissus he corresponded with all parts of the Christian world, took lively interest in the missions in Persia and Scythia, and appealed to a general council. His opponents procured from Arcadius an order for his transportation to the remote desert of Pityus. On the way thither he died at Comana in Pontus, a.d. 407, in the sixtieth year of his age, praising God for everything, even for his unmerited persecutions.1543

Chrysostom was venerated by the people as a saint, and thirty years after his death, by order of Theodosius II. (438), his bones were brought back in triumph to Constantinople, and deposited in the imperial tomb. The emperor himself met the remains at Chalcedon, fell down before the coffin, and in the name of his guilty parents, Arcadius and Eudoxia, implored the forgiveness of the holy man. The age could not indeed understand and appreciate the bold spirit of Origen, but was still accessible to the narrow piety of Epiphanius and the noble virtues of Chrysostom.

In spite of this prevailing aversion of the time to free speculation, Origen always retained many readers and admirers, especially among the monks in Palestine, two of whom, Domitian and Theodorus Askidas, came to favor and influence at the court of Justinian I. But under this emperor the dispute on the orthodoxy of Origen was renewed about the middle of the sixth century in connection with the controversy on the Three Chapters, and ended with the condemnation of fifteen propositions of Origen at a council in 544.1544  Since then no one has ventured until recent times to raise his voice for Origen, and many of his works have perished.

With Cyril of Alexandria the theological productivity of the Greek church, and with Theodoret the exegetical, became almost extinct. The Greeks thenceforth contented themselves for the most part with revisions and collections of the older treasures. A church which no longer advances, goes backwards, or falls in stagnation.


III. The Christological Controversies.


Among the works on the whole field of the Christological controversies should be compared especially the already cited works of Petavius (tom. iv. De incarnatione Verbi), Walch (Ketzerhistorie, vol. v.-ix.), Baur, and Dorner. The special literature will be given at the heads of the several sections.


 § 135. General View. Alexandrian and Antiochian Schools.


The Trinity and Christology, the two hardest problems and most comprehensive dogmas of theology, are intimately connected. Hence the settlement of the one was immediately followed by the agitation and study of the other. The speculations on the Trinity had their very origin in the study of the person of Christ, and led back to it again. The point of union is the idea of the incarnation of God. But in the Arian controversy the Son of God was viewed mainly in his essential, pre-mundane relation to the Father; while in the Christological contest the incarnate historical Christ and the constitution of his divine-human person was the subject of dispute.

The notion of redemption, which forms the centre of Christian thinking, demands a Redeemer who unites in his person the nature of God and the nature of man, yet without confusion. In order to be a true Redeemer, the person must possess all divine attributes, and at the same time enter into all relations and conditions of mankind, to raise them to God. Four elements thus enter into the orthodox doctrine concerning Christ:  He is true God; be is true man; he is one person; and the divine and human in him, with all the personal union and harmony, remain distinct.

The result of the Arian controversies was the general acknowledgment of the essential and eternal deity of Christ. Before the close of that controversy the true humanity of Christ at the same time came in again for treatment; the church having indeed always maintained it against the Gnostic Docetism, but now, against a partial denial by Apollinarianism, having to express it still more distinctly and lay stress on the reasonable soul. And now came into question, further, the relation between the divine and the human natures in Christ. Origen, who gave the impulse to the Arian controversy, had been also the first to provoke deeper speculation on the mystery of the person of Christ. But great obscurity and uncertainty had long prevailed in opinions on this great matter. The orthodox Christology is the result of powerful and passionate conflicts. It is remarkable that the notorious rabies theologorum has never in any doctrinal controversy so long and violently raged as in the controversies on the person of the Reconciler, and in later times on the love-feast of reconciliation.

The Alexandrian school of theology, with its characteristic speculative and mystical turn, favored a connection of the divine and human in the act of the incarnation so close, that it was in danger of losing the human in the divine, or at least of mixing it with the divine;1545 while, conversely, the Antiochian or Syrian school, in which the sober intellect and reflection prevailed, inclined to the opposite extreme of an abstract separation of the two natures.1546  In both cases the mystery of the incarnation, the veritable and permanent union of the divine and human in the one person of Christ, which is essential to the idea of a Redeemer and Mediator, is more or less weakened or altered. In the former case the incarnation becomes a transmutation or mixture (suvgkrasi") of the divine and human; in the latter, a mere indwelling (ejnoivkhsi") of the Logos in the man, or a moral union (sunavfeia) of the two natures, or rather of the two persons.

It was now the problem of the church, in opposition to both these extremes, to assert the personal unity and the distinction of the two natures in Christ with equal solicitude and precision. This she did through the Christological controversies which agitated the Greek church for more than two hundred years with extraordinary violence. The Roman church, though in general much more calm, took an equally deep interest in this work by some of its more eminent leaders, and twice decided the victory of orthodoxy, at the fourth general council and at the sixth, by the powerful influence of the bishop of Rome.

We must distinguish in this long drama five acts:

1. The Apollinarian controversy, which comes in the close of the Nicene age, and is concerned with the full humanity of Christ, that is, the question whether Christ, with his human body and human soul (anima animans), assumed also a human spirit (nou'", pneu'ma, anima rationalis).

2. The Nestorian controversy, down to the rejection of the doctrine of the double personality of Christ by the third ecumenical council of Ephesus, a.d. 431.

3. The Eutychian controversy, to the condemnation of the doctrine of one nature, or more exactly of the absorption of the human in the divine nature of Christ; to the fourth ecumenical council at Chalcedon, a.d. 451.

4. The Monophysite dispute; the partial reaction towards the Eutychian theory; down to the fifth general council at Constantinople a.d. 553.

5. The Monothelite controversy, a.d. 633–680, which terminated with the rejection of the doctrine of one will in Christ by the sixth general council at Constantinople in 680, and lies this side of our period.


 § 136. The Apollinarian Heresy,  a.d. 362–381.




I. Apollinaris: Peri; sarkwvsew"PeriPivstew" Peri; ajnastavsew"Kata; kefaleion,—and controversial works against Porphyry, and Eunomius, biblical commentaries, and epistles. Only fragments of these remain in the answers of Gregory of Nyassa and Theodoret, and in Angelo Mai: Nov. Biblioth. Patrum, tom. vii. (Rom. 1854), Pars secunda, pp. 82–91 (commentary on Ezekiel), in Leontinus Byzantinus, and in the Catenae, especially the Catena in Evang. Joh., ed. Corderius, 1630.

II. Against Apollinaris: Athanasius: Contra Apollinarium, libri ii. (Peri; sarkwvsewstou' Kurivou hJmw'n  jI. C. kata;  jApollinarivou,   in Opera, tom. i. pars secunda, pp. 921–955, ed. Bened., and in Thilo’s Bibl. Patr. Gr. dogm., vol. i. pp. 862–937). This work was written about the year 372 against Apollinarianism in the wider sense, without naming, Apollinaris or his followers; so that the title above given is wanting in the oldest codices. Similar errors, though in like manner without direct reference to Apollinaris, and evading his most important tenet, were combated by Athanasius in the Epist. ad Epictetum episcopum Corinthi contra haereticos (Opp. i. ii. 900 sqq., and in Thilo, i. p. 820 sqq.), which is quoted even by Epiphanius. Gregory Of Nyssa: Lovgo" ajntirjrJhtiko;" pro;" ta;  jApollinarivou, first edited by L. A. Zacagni from the treasures of the Vatican library in the unfortunately incomplete Collectanea monumentorum veterum ecclesiae Graecae et Latinae, Romae, 1698, pp. 123–287, and then by Gallandi, Bibliotheca Vet. Patrum, tom. vi. pp. 517–577. Gregory Naz.: Epist. ad Nectarium, and Ep. i. and ii. ad Cledonium (or Orat. 46 and 51–52; comp. Ullmann’s Gregor v. Naz. p. 401 sqq.). Basilius M.: Epist. 265 (a.d. 377), in the new Bened. ed. of his Opera, Par. 1839, tom. iii. Pars ii. p. 591 sqq. Epiphanius: Haer. 77. Theodoret: Fabul. haer. iv. 8; v. 9; and Diolog. i.-Iii.


Dion. Petavius: De incarnatione Verbi, lib. i. cap. 6 (in the fourth vol. of the Theologicorum dogmatum, pp. 24–34, ed. Par. 1650). Jac. Basnage: Dissert. de Hist. haer. Apollinar. Ultraj. 1687. C. W. F. Walch: l.c. iii. 119–229. Baur: l.c. vol. i. pp. 585–647. Dorner: l.c. i. pp. 974–1080. H. Voigt: Die Lehre des Athanasius, &c. Bremen, 1861. Pp. 306–345.


Apollinaris,1547 bishop of Laodicea in Syria, was the first to apply the results of the trinitarian discussions of the Nicene age to Christology, and to introduce the long Christological controversies. He was the first to call the attention of the Church to the psychical and pneumatic side of the humanity of Christ, and by contradiction brought out the doctrine of a reasonable human soul in him more clearly and definitely than it had before been conceived.

Apollinaris, like his father (Apollinaris the Elder, who was a native of Alexandria, and a presbyter in Laodicea), was distinguished for piety, classical culture, a scholarly vindication of Christianity against Porphyry and the emperor Julian, and adhesion to the Nicene faith. He was highly esteemed, too, by Athanasius, who, perhaps through personal forbearance, never mentions him by name in his writings against his error.

But in his zeal for the true deity of Christ, and his fear of a double personality, he fell into the error of denying his integral humanity. Adopting the psychological trichotomy, he attributed to Christ a human body, and a human (animal) soul,1548 but not a human spirit or reason;1549 putting the divine Logos in the place of the human spirit. In opposition to the idea of a mere connection of the Logos with the man Jesus, he wished to secure an organic unity of the two, and so a true incarnation; but he sought this at the expense of the most important constituent of man. He reaches only a qeo;" sarkofovro", as Nestorianism only an a[nqrwpo" qeofovro", instead of the proper qeavnqrwpo". He appealed to the fact that the Scripture says, the word was made flesh—not spirit;1550 God was manifest in the flesh, &c.; to which Gregory Nazianzen justly replied that in these passages the term savrx was used by synecdoche for the whole human nature. In this way Apollinaris established so close a connection of the Logos with human flesh, that all the divine attributes were transferred to the human nature, and all the human attributes to the divine, and the two were merged in one nature in Christ. Hence he could speak of a crucifixion of the Logos, and a worship of his flesh. He made Christ a middle being between God and man, in whom, as it were, one part divine and two parts human were fused in the unity of a new nature.1551

Epiphanius expresses himself concerning the beginning of the controversy in these unusually lenient and respectful terms: "Some of our brethren, who are in high position, and who are held in great esteem with us and all the orthodox, have thought that the spirit (oJ nou'") should be excluded from the manifestation of Christ in the flesh, and have preferred to hold that our Lord Christ assumed flesh and soul, but not our spirit, and therefore not a perfect man. The aged and venerable Apollinaris of Laodicea, dear even to the blessed father Athanasius, and in fact to all the orthodox has been the first to frame and promulgate this doctrine. At first, when some of his disciples communicated it to us, we were unwilling to believe that such a man would put this doctrine in circulation. We supposed that the disciples had not understood the deep thoughts of so learned and so discerning a man, and had themselves fabricated things which he did not teach," &c.

So early as 362, a council at Alexandria rejected this doctrine (though without naming the author), and asserted that Christ possessed a reasonable soul. But Apollinaris did not secede from the communion of the Church, and begin to form a sect of his own, till 375. He died in 390. His writings, except numerous fragments in the works of his opponents, are lost.

Apollinaris, therefore, taught the deity of Christ, but denied the completeness (teleiovth") of his humanity, and, taking his departure from the Nicene postulate of the homoousion ran into the Arian heresy, which likewise put the divine Logos in the place of the human spirit in Christ, but which asserted besides this the changeableness (treptovth") of Christ; while Apollinaris, on the contrary, aimed to establish more firmly the unchangeableness of Christ, to beat the Arians with their own weapons, and provide a better vindication of the Nicene dogma. He held the union of full divinity with full humanity in one person, therefore, of two wholes in one whole, to be impossible.1552  He supposed the unity of the person of Christ, and at the same time his sinlessness, could be saved only by the excision of the human spirit; since sin has its seat, not in the will-less soul, nor in the body, but in the intelligent, free, and therefore changeable will or spirit of man. He also charged the Church doctrine of the full humanity of Christ with limiting the atoning suffering of Christ to the human nature, and so detracting from the atoning virtue of the work of Christ; for the death of a man could not destroy death. The divine nature must participate in the suffering throughout. His opponents, for this reason, charged him with making deity suffer and die. He made, however, a distinction between two sides of the Logos, the one allied to man and capable of suffering, and the other allied to God and exalted above all suffering. The relation of the divine pneumatic nature in Christ to the human psychical and bodily nature Apollinaris illustrated by the mingling of wine and water, the glowing fire in the iron, and the union of soul and body in man, which, though distinct, interpenetrate and form one thing.

His doctrine, however, in particulars, is variously represented, and there arose among his disciples a complex mass of opinions, some of them differing strongly from one another. According to one statement Apollinaris asserted that Christ brought even his human nature from heaven, and was from eternity e[nsarko"; according to another this was merely an opinion of his disciples, or an unwarranted inference of opponents from his assertion of an eternal determination to incarnation, and from his strong emphasizing of the union of the Logos with the flesh of Christ, which allowed that even the flesh might be worshipped without idolatry.1553

The Church could not possibly accept such a half Docetistic incarnation, such a mutilated and stunted humanity of Christ, despoiled of its royal head, and such a merely partial redemption as this inevitably involved. The incarnation of the Logos is his becoming completely man.1554  It involves, therefore, his assumption of the entire undivided nature of man, spiritual and bodily, with the sole exception of sin, which in fact belongs not to the original nature of man, but has entered from without, as a foreign poison, through the deceit of the devil. Many things in the life of Jesus imply a reasonable soul: sadness, anguish, and prayer. The spirit is just the most essential and most noble constituent of man, the controlling principle,1555 and it stands in the same need of redemption as the soul and the body. Had the Logos not assumed the human spirit, he would not have been true man at all, and could not have been our example. Nor could he have redeemed the spirit; and a half-redemption is no redemption at all. To be a full Redeemer, Christ must also be fully man, tevleio" a[nqrwpo". This was the weighty doctrinal result of the Apollinarian controversy.

Athanasius, the two Gregories, Basil, and Epiphanius combated the Apollinarian error, but with a certain embarrassment, attacking it rather from behind and from the flank, than in front, and unprepared to answer duly its main point, that two integral persons cannot form one person. The later orthodox doctrine surmounted this difficulty by teaching the impersonality of the human nature of Christ, and by making the personality of Christ to reside wholly in the Logos.

The councils at Rome under Damasus, in 377 and 378, and likewise the second ecumenical council, in 381, condemned the Apollinarians.1556  Imperial decrees pursued them, in 388, 397, and 428. Some of them returned into the catholic church; others mingled with the Monophysites, for whose doctrine Apollinaris had, in some measure, prepared the way.

With the rejection of this error, however, the question of the proper relation of the divine and human natures in Christ was not yet solved, but rather for the first time fairly raised. Those church teachers proved the necessity of a reasonable human soul in Christ. But respecting the mode of the union of the two natures their views were confused and their expressions in some cases absolutely incorrect and misleading.1557  It was through the succeeding stages of the Christological controversies that the church first reached a clear insight into this great mystery:  God manifest in the flesh.


 § 137. The Nestorian Controversy,  a.d. 428–431.




I. Nestorius:  JOmilivai, Sermones; Anathematismi. Extracts from the Greek original in the Acts of the council of Ephesus; in a Latin translation in Marius Mercator, a North African layman who just then resided in Constantinople, Opera, ed. Garnerius, Par. 1673. Pars ii, and better ed. Baluzius, Par. 1684; also in Gallandi, Bibl. vet. P. P. viii. pp. 615–735, and in Migne’s Patrol. tom. 48. Nestorius’ own account (Evagr. H. E. i. 7) was used by his friend Irenaeus (comes, then bishop of Tyre till 448) in his Tragödia s. comm. de rebus in synodo Ephesina ac in Oriente toto gestis, which, however, is lost; the documents attached to it were revised in the 6th century in the Synodicon adversus tragödiam Irenaei, in Mansi, tom. v. fol. 731 sqq. In favor of Nestorius, or at least of his doctrine, Theodoret († 457) in his works against Cyril, and in three dialogues entitled JEranisthv" (Beggar). Comp. also the fragments of Theodore of Mopsuestia, († 429).

II. Against Nestorius: Cyril of Alex.:  jAnaqematismoi;, Five Books kata; Nestorivou, and several Epistles against Nest., and Theod., in vol. vi. of Aubert’s ed. of his Opera, Par. 1638 (in Migne’s ed. t. ix.). Socrates: vii. c. 29–35 (written after 431, but still before the death of Nestorius; comp. c. 84). Evagrius: H. E. i. 2–7. Liberatus (deacon of Carthage about 553): Breviarium causes Nestorianorum et Eutychianorum (ed. Gartnier, Par. 1675, and printed in Gallandi, Bibl. vet. Patr. tom. xii. pp. 121–161). Leontinus Byzant. (monachus): De sectis; and contra Nestorium et Eutychen (in Gallandi, Bibl. tom. xii. p. 625 sqq., and 658–700). A complete collection of all the acts of the Nestorian controversy in Mansi, tom. iv. fol. 567 sqq., and tom. v. vii. ix.


Later Literature.


Petavius: Theolog. dogmatum tom. iv. (de incarnations), lib. i. c. 7 sqq. Jo. Garnier: De haeresi et libris Nestorii (in his edition of the Opera Marii Mercator. Par. 1673, newly edited by Migne, Par. 1846). Gibbon: Decline and Fall of the R. E. ch. 41. P. E. Jablonski: De Nestorianismo. Berol. 1724. Gengler (R.C.): Ueber die Verdammung des Nestorius (Tübinger Quartalschrift, 1835, No. 2). Schröckh: K. Geschichte, vol. xviii. pp. 176–312. Walch: Ketzerhist. v. 289–936. Neander: K. Gesch. vol. iv. pp. 856–992. Gieseler, vol. i. Div. ii. pp. 131 ff. (4th ed.). Baur: Dreieinigkeit, vol. i. 693–777. Dorner: Christologie, vol. ii. pp. 60–98. Hefele (R.C.): Conciliengesch., vol. ii. pp. 134:ff. H. H. Milman: History of Latin Christianity, vol. i. ch. iii. pp. 195–252. (Stanley, in his History of the Eastern Church, has seen fit to ignore the Nestorian, and the other Christological controversies—the most important in the history of the Greek church!)  Comp. also W. Möller: Article Nestorius, in Herzog’s Theol. Encykl. vol. x. (1858) pp. 288–296, and the relevant sections in the works on Doctrine History.


Apollinarianism, which sacrificed to the unity of the person the integrity of the natures, at least of the human nature, anticipated the Monophysite heresy, though in a peculiar way, and formed the precise counterpart to the Antiochian doctrine, which was developed about the same time, and somewhat later by Diodorus, bishop of Tarsus (died 394), and Theodore, bishop of Mopsuestia (393–428), and which held the divine and human in Christ so rigidly apart as to make Christ, though not professedly, yet virtually a double person.

From this school proceeded Nestorius, the head and martyr of the Christological heresy which bears his name. His doctrine differs from that of Theodore of Mopsuestia only in being less speculative and more practical, and still less solicitous for the unity of the person of Christ.1558  He was originally a monk, then presbyter in Antioch, and after 428 patriarch of Constantinople. In Constantinople a second Chrysostom was expected in him, and a restorer of the honor of his great predecessor against the detraction of his Alexandrian rival. He was an honest man, of great eloquence, monastic piety, and the spirit of a zealot for orthodoxy, but impetuous, vain, imprudent, and wanting in sound, practical judgment. In his inaugural sermon he addressed Theodosius II. with these words: "Give me, O emperor, the earth purified of heretics, and I will give thee heaven for it; help me to fight the heretics, and I will help thee to fight the Persians."1559

He immediately instituted violent measures against Arians, Novatians, Quartodecimanians, and Macedonians, and incited the emperor to enact more stringent laws against heretics. The Pelagians alone, with whose doctrine of free will (but not of original sin) he sympathized, he treated indulgently, receiving to himself Julian of Eclanum, Coelestius, and other banished leaders of that party, interceding for them in 429 with the emperor and with the pope Celestine, though, on account of the very unfavorable reports concerning Pelagianism which were spread by the layman Marius Mercator, then living in Constantinople, his intercessions were of no avail. By reason of this partial contact of the two, Pelagianism was condemned by the council of Ephesus together with Nestorianism.

But now Nestorius himself fell out with the prevailing faith of the church in Constantinople. The occasion was his opposition to the certainly very bold and equivocal expression mother of God, which had been already sometimes applied to the virgin Mary by Origen, Alexander of Alexandria, Athanasius, Basil, and others, and which, after the Arian controversy, and with the growth of the worship of Mary, passed into the devotional language of the people.1560

It was of course not the sense, or monstrous nonsense, of this term, that the creature bore the Creator, or that the eternal Deity took its beginning from Mary; which would be the most absurd and the most wicked of all heresies, and a shocking blasphemy; but the expression was intended only to denote the indissoluble union of the divine and human natures in Christ, and the veritable incarnation of the Logos, who took the human nature from the body, of Mary, came forth God-Man from her womb, and as God-Man suffered on the cross. For Christ was borne as a person, and suffered as a person; and the personality in Christ resided in his divinity, not in his humanity. So, in fact, the reasonable soul of man, which is the centre of the human personality, participates in the suffering and the death-struggle of the body, though the soul itself does not and cannot die.

The Antiochian theology, however, could not conceive a human nature without a human personality, and this it strictly separated from the divine Logos. Therefore Theodore of Mopsuestia had already disputed the term theotokos with all earnestness. "Mary," says he, "bore Jesus, not the Logos, for the Logos was, and continues to be, omnipresent, though he dwelt in Jesus in a special manner from the beginning. Therefore Mary is strictly the mother of Christ, not the mother of God. Only in a figure, per anaphoram, can she be called also the mother of God, because God was in a peculiar sense in Christ. Properly speaking, she gave birth to a man in whom the union with the Logos had begun, but was still so incomplete that he could not yet (till after his baptism) be called the Son of God."  He even declared it "insane" to say that God was born of the Virgin; "not God, but the temple in which God dwelt, was born of Mary."

In a similar strain Nestorius, and his friend Anastasius, a priest whom he had brought with him from Antioch, argued from the pulpit against the theotokon. Nestorius claimed that he found the controversy already existing in Constantinople, because some were calling Mary mother of God (qeotovko"), others, mother of Man (ajnqrwpotovko"). He proposed the middle expression, mother of Christ (Cristotovko"), because Christ was at the same time God and man. He delivered several discourses on this disputed point. "You ask," says he in his first sermon, "whether Mary may be called mother of God. Has God then a mother?  If so, heathenism itself is excusable in assigning mothers to its gods; but then Paul is a liar, for he said of the deity of Christ that it was without father, without mother, and without descent.1561  No, my dear sir, Mary did not bear God; ... the creature bore not the uncreated Creator, but the man who is the instrument of the Godhead; the Holy Ghost conceived not the Logos, but formed for him, out of the virgin, a temple which he might inhabit (John ii. 21). The incarnate God did not die, but quickened him in whom he was made flesh .... This garment, which he used, I honor on account of the God which was covered therein and inseparable therefrom; ... I separate the natures, but I unite the worship. Consider what this must mean. He who was formed in the womb of Mary, was not himself God, but God assumed him [assumsit, i.e., clothed himself with humanity], and on account of Him who assumed, he who was assumed is also called God."1562

From this word the Nestorian controversy took its rise; but this word represented, at the same time, a theological idea and a mighty religious sentiment; it was intimately connected with the growing veneration of Mary; it therefore struck into the field of devotion, which lies much nearer the people than that of speculative theology; and thus it touched the most vehement passions. The word theotokos was the watchword of the orthodox party in the Nestorian controversy, as the term homoousios had been in the Arian; and opposition to this word meant denial of the mystery of the incarnation, or of the true union of the divine and human natures in Christ.

And unquestionably the Antiochian Christology, which was represented by Nestorius, did not make the Logos truly become man. It asserted indeed, rightly, the duality of the natures, and the continued distinction between them; it denied, with equal correctness, that God, as such, could either be born, or suffer and die; but it pressed the distinction of the two natures to double personality. It substituted for the idea of the incarnation the idea of an assumption of human nature, or rather of an entire man, into fellowship with the Logos,1563 and an indwelling of Godhead in Christ.1564  Instead of God-Man,1565 we have here the idea of a mere God-bearing man;1566 and the person of Jesus of Nazareth is only the instrument or the temple,1567 in which the divine Logos dwells. The two natures form not a personal unity,1568 but only a moral unity, an intimate friendship or conjunction.1569  They hold an outward, mechanical relation to each other,1570 in which each retains its peculiar attributes,1571 forbidding any sort of communicatio idiomatum. This union is, in the first place, a gracious condescension on the part of God,1572 whereby the Logos makes the man an object of the divine pleasure; and in the second place, an elevation of the man to higher dignity and to sonship with God.1573  By virtue of the condescension there arises, in the third place, a practical fellowship of operation,1574 in which the humanity becomes the instrument and temple of the deity and the e{nwsi" scetikhv cuIminates. Theodore of Mopsuestia, the able founder of the Antiochian Christology, set forth the elevation of the man to sonship with God (starting from Luke ii. 53) under the aspect of a gradual moral process, and made it dependent on the progressive virtue and meritoriousness of Jesus, which were completed in the resurrection, and earned for him the unchangeableness of the divine life as a reward for his voluntary victory of virtue.

The Antiochian and Nestorian theory amounts therefore, at bottom, to a duality of person in Christ, though without clearly avowing it. It cannot conceive the reality of the two natures without a personal independence for each. With the theanthropic unity of the person of Christ it denies also the theanthropic unity of his work, especially of his sufferings and death; and in the same measure it enfeebles the reality of redemption.1575

From this point of view Mary, of course, could be nothing more than mother of the man Jesus, and the predicate theotokos, strictly understood, must appear absurd or blasphemous. Nestorius would admit no more than that God passed through (transiit) the womb of Mary.

This very war upon the favorite shibboleth of orthodoxy provoked the bitterest opposition of the people and of the monks, whose sympathies were with the Alexandrian theology. They contradicted Nestorius in the pulpit, and insulted him on the street; while he, returning evil for evil, procured corporal punishments and imprisonment for the monks, and condemned the view of his antagonists at a local council in 429.1576

His chief antagonist in Constantinople was Proclus, bishop of Cyzicum, perhaps an unsuccessful rival of Nestorius for the patriarchate, and a man who carried the worship of Mary to an excess only surpassed by a modern Roman enthusiast for the dogma of the immaculate conception. In a bombastic sermon in honor of the Virgin1577 he praised her as "the spotless treasure-house of virginity; the spiritual paradise of the second Adam; the workshop, in which the two natures were annealed together; the bridal chamber in which the Word wedded the flesh; the living bush of nature, which was unharmed by the fire of the divine birth; the light cloud which bore him who sat between the Cherubim; the stainless fleece, bathed in the dews of Heaven, with which the Shepherd clothed his sheep; the handmaid and the mother, the Virgin and Heaven."

Soon another antagonist, far more powerful, arose in the person of the patriarch Cyril of Alexandria, a learned, acute, energetic, but extremely passionate, haughty, ambitious, and disputatious prelate. Moved by interests both personal and doctrinal, he entered the field, and used every means to overthrow his rival in Constantinople, as his like-minded uncle and predecessor, Theophilus, had overthrown the noble Chrysostom in the Origenistic strife. The theological controversy was at the same time a contest of the two patriarchates. In personal character Cyril stands far below Nestorius, but he excelled him in knowledge of the world, shrewdness, theological learning and acuteness, and had the show of greater veneration for Christ and for Mary on his side; and in his opposition to the abstract separation of the divine and human he was in the right, though he himself pressed to the verge of the opposite error of mixing or confusing the two natures in Christ.1578  In him we have a striking proof that the value of a doctrine cannot always be judged by the personal worth of its representatives. God uses for his purposes all sorts of instruments, good, bad, and indifferent.

Cyril first wrote to Nestorius; then to the emperor, the empress Eudokia, and the emperor’s sister Pulcheria, who took lively interest in church affairs; finally to the Roman bishop Celestine; and he warned bishops and churches east and west against the dangerous heresies of his rival. Celestine, moved by orthodox instinct, flattered by the appeal to his authority, and indignant at Nestorius for his friendly reception of the exiled Pelagians, condemned his doctrine at a Roman council, and deposed him from the patriarchal chair, unless he should retract within ten days (430).

As Nestorius persisted in his view, Cyril, despising the friendly mediation of the patriarch John of Antioch, hurled twelve anathemas, or formulas of condemnation, at the patriarch of Constantinople from a council at Alexandria by order of the pope (430).1579

Nestorius replied with twelve counter-anathemas, in which he accused his opponents of the heresy of Apollinaris.1580  Theodoret of Cyros, the learned expositor and church historian, also wrote against Cyril at the instance of John of Antioch.

The controversy had now become so general and critical, that it could be settled only by an ecumenical council.


 § 138. The Ecumenical Council of Ephesus,  a.d. 431. The Compromise.


For the Acts of the Council, see Mansi (tom. iv. fol. 567–1482, and a part of tom. v.), Harduin, and Fuchs, and an extended history of the council and the transactions connected with it in Walch, Schröckh, and Hefele (ii. pp. 162–271). We confine ourselves to the decisive points.


Theodosius II., in connection with his Western colleague, Valentinian III., summoned a universal council on Pentecost, a.d. 431, at Ephesus, where the worship of the Virgin mother of God had taken the place of the worship of the light and life dispensing virgin Diana. This is the third of the ecumenical councils, and is held, therefore, by all churches, in high regard. But in moral character this council stands far beneath that of Nicaea or of the first council of Constantinople. An uncharitable, violent, and passionate Spirit ruled the transactions. The doctrinal result, also, was mainly only negative; that is to say, condemnation of Nestorianism. The positive and ecumenical character of the council was really secured only by the subsequent transactions, and the union of the dominant party of the council with the protesting minority of Oriental bishops.1581

Nestorius came first to Ephesus with sixteen bishops, and with an armed escort, as if he were going into battle. He had the imperial influence on his side, but the majority of the bishops and the prevailing voice of the people in Ephesus, and also in Constantinople, were against him. The emperor himself could not be present in person, but sent the captain of his body-guard, the comes Candidian. Cyril appeared with a numerous retinue of fifty Egyptian bishops, besides monks, parabolani, slaves, and seamen, under the banner of St. Mark and of the holy Mother of God. On his side was the archbishop Memnon of Ephesus, with forty of his Asiatic suffragans and twelve bishops from Pamphilia; and the clergy, the monks, and the people of Asia Minor were of the same sentiment. The pope of Rome—for the first time at an ecumenical council—was represented by two bishops and a priest, who held with Cyril, but did not mix in the debates, as they affected to judge between the contending parties, and thus maintain the papal authority. This deputation, however, did not come in at the beginning.1582  The patriarch John of Antioch, a friend of Nestorius, was detained on the long journey with his bishops.

Cyril refused to wait, and opened the council in the church of St. Mary with a hundred and sixty bishops1583 sixteen days after Pentecost, on the 22d of June, in spite of the protest of the imperial commissioner. Nestorius was thrice cited to appear, but refused to come until all the bishops should be assembled. The council then proceeded without him to the examination of the point in dispute, and to the condemnation of Nestorius. The bishops unanimously cried: "Whosoever does not anathematize Nestorius, let himself be anathema; the true faith anathematizes him; the holy council anathematizes him. Whosoever holds fellowship with Nestorius, let him be anathema. We all anathematize the letter and the doctrines of Nestorius. We all anathematize Nestorius and his followers, and his ungodly faith, and his ungodly doctrine. We all anathematize Nestorius," &c.1584  Then a multitude of Christological expressions of the earlier fathers and several passages from the writings of Nestorius were read, and at the close of the first session, which lasted till late in the night, the following sentence of deposition was adopted and subscribed by about two hundred bishops: "The Lord Jesus Christ, who is blasphemed by him [Nestorius], determines through this holy council that Nestorius be excluded from the episcopal office, and from all sacerdotal fellowship."1585

The people of Ephesus hailed this result with universal jubilee, illuminated the city, and accompanied Cyril with torches and censers in state to his house.1586

On the following day Nestorius was informed of the sentence of deposition in a laconic edict, in which he was called a new Judas. But he indignantly protested against the decree, and made complaint in an epistle to the emperor. The imperial commissioner declared the decrees invalid, because they were made by only a portion of the council, and he prevented as far as possible the publication of them.

A few days after, on the 26th or 27th of June, John of Antioch at last reached Ephesus, and immediately, with forty-two bishops of like sentiment, among whom was the celebrated Theodoret, held in his dwelling, under the protection of the imperial commissioner and a body-guard, a counter council or conciliabulum, yielding nothing to the haste and violence of the other, deposed Cyril of Alexandria and Memnon of Ephesus from all priestly functions, as heretics and authors of the whole disorder and declared the other bishops who voted with them excommunicate until they should anathematize the heretical propositions of Cyril.1587

Now followed a succession of mutual criminations, invectives, arts of church diplomacy and politics, intrigues, and violence, which give the saddest picture of the uncharitable and unspiritual Christianity of that time. But the true genius of Christianity is, of course, far elevated above its unworthy organs, and overrules even the worst human passions for the cause of truth and righteousness.

On the 10th of July, after the arrival of the papal legates, who bore themselves as judges, Cyril held a second session, and then five more sessions (making seven in all), now in the house of Memnon, now in St. Mary’s church, issuing a number of circular letters and six canons against the Nestorians and Pelagians.

Both parties applied to the weak emperor, who, without understanding the question, had hitherto leaned to the side of Nestorius, but by public demonstrations and solemn processions of the people and monks of Constantinople under the direction of the aged and venerated Dalmatius, was awed into the worship of the mother of God. He finally resolved to confirm both the deposition of Nestorius and that of Cyril and Memnon, and sent one of the highest civil officers, John, to Ephesus, to publish this sentence, and if possible to reconcile the contending parties. The deposed bishops were arrested. The council, that is the majority, applied again to the emperor and his colleague, deplored their lamentable condition, and desired the release of Cyril and Memnon, who had never been deposed by them, but on the contrary had always been held in high esteem as leaders of the orthodox doctrine. The Antiochians likewise took all pains to gain the emperor to their side, and transmitted to him a creed which sharply distinguished, indeed, the two natures in Christ, yet, for the sake of the unconfused union of the two (ajsuvgcuto" e{vwsi"), conceded to Mary the disputed predicate theotokos.

The emperor now summoned eight spokesmen from each of the two parties to himself to Chalcedon. Among them were, on the one side, the papal deputies, on the other John of Antioch and Theodoret of Cyros, while Cyril and Memnon were obliged to remain at Ephesus in prison, and Nestorius at his own wish was assigned to his former cloister at Antioch, and on the 25th of October, 431, Maximian was nominated as his successor in Constantinople. After fruitless deliberations, the council of Ephesus was dissolved in October, 431, Cyril and Memnon set free, and the bishops of both parties commanded to go home.

The division lasted two years longer, till at last a sort of compromise was effected. John of Antioch sent the aged bishop Paul of Emisa a messenger to Alexandria with a creed which he had already, in a shorter form, laid before the emperor, and which broke the doctrinal antagonism by asserting the duality of the natures against Cyril, and the predicate mother of God against Nestorius.1588  "We confess," says this symbol, which was composed by Theodoret, "that our Lord Jesus Christ, the only begotten Son of God, is perfect God and perfect man, of a reasonable soul and body subsisting;1589 as to his Godhead begotten of the Father before all time, but as to his manhood, born of the Virgin Mary in the end of the days for us and for our salvation; of the same essence with the Father as to his Godhead, and of the same substance with us as to his manhood;1590 for two natures are united with one another.1591  Therefore we confess one Christ, one Lord, and one Son. By reason of this union, which yet is without confusion,1592 we also confess that the holy Virgin is mother of God, because God the Logos was made flesh and man, and united with himself the temple [humanity] even from the conception; which temple he took from the Virgin. But concerning the words of the Gospel and Epistles respecting Christ, we know that theologians apply some which refer to the one person to the two natures in common, but separate others as referring to the two natures, and assign the expressions which become God to the Godhead of Christ, but the expressions of humiliation to his manhood."1593 Cyril assented to this confession, and repeated it verbally, with some further doctrinal explanations, in his answer to the irenical letter of the patriarch of Antioch, but insisted on the condemnation and deposition of Nestorius as the indispensable condition of church fellowship. At the same time he knew how to gain the imperial court to the orthodox side by all kinds of presents, which, according to the Oriental custom of testifying submission to princes by presents, were not necessarily regarded as bribes. The Antiochians, satisfied with saving the doctrine of two natures, thought it best to sacrifice the person of Nestorius to the unity of the church, and to anathematize his "wicked and unholy innovations."1594  Thus in 433 union was effected, though not without much contradiction on both sides, nor without acts of imperial force.

The unhappy Nestorius was dragged from the stillness of his former cloister, the cloister of Euprepius before the gates of Antioch, in which he had enjoyed four years of repose, from one place of exile to another, first to Arabia, then to Egypt, and was compelled to drink to the dregs the bitter cup of persecution which he himself, in the days of his power, had forced upon the heretics. He endured his suffering with resignation and independence, wrote his life under the significant title of Tragedy,1595 and died after 439, no one knows where nor when. Characteristic of the fanaticism of the times is the statement quoted by Evagrius, 1596 that Nestorius, after having his tongue gnawed by worms in punishment for his blasphemy, passed to the harder torments of eternity. The Monophysite Jacobites are accustomed from year to year to cast stones upon his supposed grave in Upper Egypt and have spread the tradition that it has never been moistened by the rain of heaven, which yet falls upon the evil and the good. The emperor, who had formerly favored him, but was now turned entirely against him, caused all his writings to be burned, and his followers to be named after Simon Magus, and stigmatized as Simonians.1597

The same orthodox zeal turned also upon the writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia, the long deceased teacher of Nestorius and father of his error. Bishop Rabulas of Edessa († 435) pronounced the anathema upon him and interdicted his writings; and though his successor Ibas (436–457) again interested himself in Theodore, and translated several of his writings into Syriac (the ecclesiastical tongue of the Persian church), yet the persecution soon broke out afresh, and the theological school of Edessa where the Antiochian theology had longest maintained its life, and whence the Persian clergy had proceeded, was dissolved by the emperor Zeno in 489. This was the end of Nestorianism in the Roman empire.


 § 139. The Nestorians.


Jos. Sim. Assemani: De Syris Nestorianis, in his Bibliotheca Orientalis. Rom. 1719–1728, fol. tom. iii. P. ii. Ebedjesu (Nestorian metropolitan of Nisibis, † 1318): Liber Margaritae de veritate fidei (a defence of Nestorianism), in Ang. Mai’s Scrip. vet. nova collect. x. ii. 317. Gibbon: Chap. xlvii., near the end. E. Smith and H. G. O. Dwight: Researches in Armenia; with a visit to the Nestorian and Chaldean Christians of Oormiah and Salmas. 2 vols. Bost. 1833. Justin Perkins: A Residence of eight years in Persia. Andover, 1843. Wiltsch: Kirchliche Geographie u. Statistik. Berl. 1846, i. 214 ff. Geo. Percy Badger: The Nestorians and their Rituals. Illustrated (with colored plates), 2 vols. Lond. 1852. H. Newcomb: A Cyclopaedia of Missions. New York, 1856, p. 553 ff. Petermann: Article Nestorianer, in Herzog’s Theol. Encykl. vol. x. (1858), pp. 279–288.


While most of the heresies of antiquity, Arianism not excepted, have been utterly obliterated from history, and only raise their heads from time to time as individual opinions under peculiar modifications, the Christological heresies of the fifth century, Nestorianism and Monophysitism, continue in organized sects to this day. These schismatic churches of the East are the petrified remains or ruins of important chapters in the history of the ancient church. They are sunk in ignorance and superstition; but they are more accessible to Western Christianity than the orthodox Greek church, and offer to the Roman and Protestant churches an interesting field of missions, especially among the Nestorians and the Armenians.

The Nestorians differ from the orthodox Greek church in their repudiation of the council of Ephesus and of the worship of Mary as mother of God, of the use of images (though they retain the sign of the cross), of the doctrine of purgatory (though they have prayers for the dead), and of transubstantiation (though they hold the real presence of Christ in the eucharist), as well as in greater simplicity of worship. They are subject to a peculiar hierarchical organization with eight orders, from the catholicus or patriarch to the sub-deacon and reader. The five lower orders, up to the priests, may marry; in former times even the bishops, archbishops, and patriarchs had this privilege. Their fasts are numerous and strict. The feast-days begin with sunset, as among the Jews. The patriarch eats no flesh; he is chosen always from the same family; he is ordained by three metropolitans. Most of the ecclesiastical books are written in the Syriac language.

After Nestorianism was exterminated from the Roman empire, it found an asylum in the kingdom of Persia, whither several teachers of the theological school of Edessa fled. One of them, Barsumas, became bishop of Nisibis (435–489),1598 founded a new theological seminary there, and confirmed the Persian Christians in their aversion to the Cyrillian council of Ephesus, and in their adhesion to the Antiochian and Nestorian theology. They were favored by the Persian kings, from Pherozes, or Firuz, onward (461–488), out of political opposition to Constantinople. At the council of Seleucia (498) they renounced all connection with the orthodox church of the empire. They called themselves, after their liturgical language, Chaldaean or Assyrian Christians, while they were called by their opponents Nestorians. They had a patriarch, who after the year 496 resided in the double city of Seleucia-Ctesiphon, and after 762 in Bagdad (the capital of the Saracenic empire), under the name of Yazelich (catholicus), and who, in the thirteenth century, had no less than twenty-five metropolitans under his supervision.

The Nestorian church flourished for several centuries, spread from Persia, with great missionary zeal, to India, Arabia, and even to China and Tartary, and did good service in scholarship and in the founding of schools and hospitals. Mohammed is supposed to owe his imperfect knowledge of Christianity to a Nestorian monk, Sergius; and from him the sect received many privileges, so that it obtained great consideration among the Arabians, and exerted an influence upon their culture, and thus upon the development of philosophy and science in general.1599 Among the Tartars, in the eleventh century, it succeeded in converting to Christianity a king, the priest-king Presbyter John (Prester John) of the Kerait, and his successor of the same name.1600  But of this we have only uncertain accounts, and at all events Nestorian Christianity has since left but slight traces in Tartary and in China.

Under the Mongol dynasty the Nestorians were cruelly persecuted. The terrible Tamerlane, the scourge and the destroyer of Asia, towards the end of the fourteenth century almost exterminated them. Yet they have maintained themselves on the wild mountains and in the valleys of Kurdistan and in Armenia under the Turkish dominion to this day, with a separate patriarch, who from 1559 till the seventeenth century resided at Mosul, but has since dwelt in an almost inaccessible valley on the borders of Turkey and Persia. They are very ignorant and poor, and have been much reduced by war, pestilence, and cholera.

A portion of the Nestorians, especially those in cities, united from time to time, under the name of Chaldaeans, with the Roman church, and have a patriarch of their own at Bagdad.

And on the other side, Protestant missionaries from America have made vigorous and successful efforts, since 1833, to evangelize and civilize the Nestorians by preaching, schools, translations of the Bible, and good books.1601

The Thomas-Christians in East India are a branch of the Nestorians, named from the apostle Thomas, who is supposed to have preached the gospel on the coast of Malabar. They honor the memory of Theodore and Nestorius in their Syriac liturgy, and adhere to the Nestorian patriarchs. In the sixteenth century they were, with reluctance, connected with the Roman church for sixty years (1599–1663) through the agency of Jesuit missionaries. But when the Portuguese power in India was shaken by the Dutch, they returned to their independent position, and since the expulsion of the Portuguese they have enjoyed the free exercise of their religion on the coast of Malabar. The number of the Thomas-Christians is said still to amount to seventy thousand souls, who form a province by themselves under the British empire, governed by priests and elders.


 § 140. The Eutychian Controversy. The Council of Robbers,  a.d. 449.


Comp. the Works at § 137.




Acts of the council of Chalcedon, of the local council of Constantinople, and of the Robber Synod of Ephesus. The correspondence between Leo and Flavian, etc. For these acts, letters, and other documents, see Mansi, Conc. tom. v. vi. and vii. (Gelasius?): Breviculus historiae Eutychianistarum a. gesta de nomine Acacii (extending to 486, in Mansi, vii. 1060 sqq.). Liberatus: Breviarium causae Nest. et Eutych. Leontinus Byzant.: Contra Nest. et Eutych. The last part of the Synodicon adv. tragödiam Irenaei (in Mansi, v. 731 sqq.). Evagrius: H. E. i. 9 sqq. TheodoretjEranisthv" (the Beggar) or Poluvmorfo" (the Multiformed),—a refutation of the Egyptian Eutychian system of doctrines (which begged together so much from various old heresies, as to form a now one), in three dialogues, written in 447 (Opera, ed. Schulze, vol. iv.).




Petavius: De incarnatione Verbi, lib. i. c. 14–18, and the succeeding books, particularly iii., iv., and v. (Theolog. dogmatum, tom. iv. p. 65 sqq. ed. Par. 1650). Tillemont: Mémoires, tom. xv. pp. 479–719. C. A. Salig: De Eutychianismo ante Eutychen. Wolfenb. 1723. Walch: Ketzerhist. vol. vi. 3–640. Schröckh: vol. xviii. 433–492. Neander: Kirchengesch. iv. pp. 942–992. Baur: Gesch. der Lehre von d. Dreieinigkeit, etc. i. 800–825. Dorner: Gesch. d. Lehre v. d. Pers. Chr. ii. 99–149. Hefele (R.C.): Conciliengesch. ii. pp. 295–545. W. Cunningham: Historical Theology, i. pp. 311–’15. Comp. also the Monographs of Arendt (1835) and Perthel (1848) on Leo I.


The result of the third universal council was rather negative than positive. The council condemned the Nestorian error, without fixing the true doctrine. The subsequent union of the Alexandrians and the Antiochians was only a superficial peace, to which each party had sacrificed somewhat of its convictions. Compromises are generally of short duration; principles and systems must develope themselves to their utmost consequences; heresies must ripen, and must be opened to the core. As the Antiochian theology begot Nestorianism, which stretched the distinction of the human and divine natures in Christ to double personality; so the Alexandrian theology begot the opposite error of Eutychianism or Monophysitism, which urged the personal unity of Christ at the expense of the distinction of natures, and made the divine Logos absorb the human nature. The latter error is as dangerous as the former. For if Christ is not true man, he cannot be our example, and his passion and death dissolve at last into mere figurative representations or docetistic show.

A large portion of the party of Cyril was dissatisfied with the union creed, and he was obliged to purge himself of inconsistency. He referred the duality of natures spoken of in the symbol to the abstract distinction of deity and humanity, while the two are so made one in the one Christ, that after the union all separation ceases, and only one nature is to be recognized in the incarnate Son. The Logos, as the proper subject of the one nature, has indeed all human, or rather divine-human, attributes, but without a human nature. Cyril’s theory of the incarnation approaches Patripassianism, but differs from It in making the Son a distinct hypostasis from the Father. It mixes the divine and human; but It mixes them only in Christ, and so is Christo-theistic, but not pantheistic.1602

On the other side, the Orientals or Antiochians, under the lead of John, Ibas, and especially Theodoret, interpreted the union symbol in their sense of a distinction of the two natures continuing in the one Christ even after the incarnation, and actually obtained the victory for this moderate Nestorianism, by the help of the bishop of Rome, at the council of Chalcedon.

The new controversy was opened by the party of monophysite sentiment.

Cyril died in 444. His arch-deacon, Dioscurus (Diovskoro"), who had accompanied him to the council at Ephesus, succeeded him in the patriarchal chair of Alexandria (444–451), and surpassed him in all his had qualities, while he fell far behind him in intellect and in theological capacity.1603  He was a man of unbounded ambition and stormy passion, and shrank from no measures to accomplish his designs and to advance the Alexandrian see to the supremacy of the entire East; in which he soon succeeded at the Council of Robbers. He put himself at the head of the monophysite party, and everywhere stirred the fire of a war against the Antiochian Christology.

The theological representative, but by no means the author, of the monophysite heresy which bears his name, was Eutyches,1604 an aged and respected, but not otherwise important presbyter and archimandrite (head of a cloister of three hundred monks) in Constantinople, who had lived many years in monastic seclusion, and had only once appeared in public, to raise his voice, in that procession, for the Cyrillian council of Ephesus and against Nestorius. His relation to the Alexandrian Christology is like that of Nestorius to the Antiochian; that is, he drew it to a head, brought it to popular expression, and adhered obstinately to it; but he is considerably inferior to Nestorius in talent and learning. His connection with this controversy is in a great measure accidental.

Eutyches, like Cyril, laid chief stress on the divine in Christ, and denied that two natures could be spoken of after the incarnation. In our Lord, after his birth, he worshipped only one nature, the nature of God become flesh and man.1605  The impersonal human nature is assimilated and, as It were, deified by the personal Logos, so that his body is by no means of the same substance (oJmoouvsion) with ours, but a divine body.1606  All human attributes are transferred to the one subject, the humanized Logos. Hence it may and must be said: God is born, God suffered, God was crucified and died. He asserted, therefore, on the one hand, the capability of suffering and death in the Logos-personality, and on the other hand, the deification of the human in Christ.

Theodoret, in three dialogues composed in 447, attacked this Egyptian Eutychian type of doctrine as a beggar’s basket of Docetistic, Gnostic, Apollinarian, and other heresies,1607 and advocated the qualified Antiochian Christology, i.e., the doctrine of the unfused union of two natures in one person. Dioscurus accused him to the patriarch Domnus in Antioch of dividing the one Lord Christ into two Sons of God; and Theodoret replied to this with moderation. Dioscurus, on his part, endeavored to stir up the court in Constantinople against the whole church of Eastern Asia. Domnus and Theodoret likewise betook themselves to the capital, to justify their doctrine. The controversy now broke forth with greater violence, and concentrated on the person of Eutyches in Constantinople.

At a local synod of the patriarch Flavian at Constantinople in 4481608 Eutyches was charged with his error by Eusebius, bishop of Dorylaeum in Phrygia, and upon his wilful refusal, after repeated challenges, to admit the dyophysitism after the incarnation, and the consubstantiality of Christ’s body with our own, he was deposed and put under the ban of the church. On his way home, he was publicly insulted by the populace. The council confessed its faith that "Christ, after the incarnation, consisted of two natures1609 in one hypostasis and in one person, one Christ, one Son, one Lord."

Both parties endeavored to gain the public opinion, and addressed themselves to distant bishops, especially to Leo I. of Rome. Leo, in 449, confirmed the decision of the council in several epistles, especially in a letter to Flavian, which forms an epoch in the history, of Christology, and in which he gave a masterly, profound, and clear analysis of the orthodox doctrine of two natures in one person.1610  But Eutyches had powerful friends among the monks and at the court, and a special patron in Dioscurus of Alexandria, who induced the emperor Theodosius II. to convoke a general council.

This synod met at Ephesus, in August, 449, and consisted of one hundred and thirty-five bishops. It occupies a notorious place in the chronique scandaleuse of church history. Dioscurus presided, with brutal violence, protected by monks and an armed soldiery; while Flavian and his friends hardly dared open their lips, and Theodoret was entirely excluded. When an explanation from Eusebius of Dorylaeum, who had been the accuser of Eutyches at the council of Constantinople, was presented, many voices exclaimed: "Let Eusebius be burnt; let him be burnt alive. As he has cut Christ in two, so let him be cut in two."1611  The council affirmed the orthodoxy and sanctity of Eutyches, who defended himself in person; adopted the twelve anathematisms of Cyril; condemned dyophysitism as a heresy, and deposed and excommunicated its advocates, including Theodoret, Flavian, and Leo. The three Roman delegates (the bishops Julius and Renatus, and the deacon Hilarus) dared not even read before the council the epistle addressed to it by Leo,1612 and departed secretly, that they might not be compelled to subscribe its decisions.1613  Flavian was so grossly maltreated by furious monks that he died of his wounds a few days later, in banishment, having first appealed to a new council. In his stead the deacon Anatolius, a friend and agent of Dioscurus, was chosen patriarch of Constantinople. He, however, afterwards went over to the orthodox party, and effaced the infamy of his elevation by his exquisite Greek hymns.

The conduct of these unpriestly priests was throughout so arbitrary and tyrannical, that the second council of Ephesus has ever since been branded with the name of the "Council of Robbers."1614  "Nothing," Neander justly observes,1615 "could be more contradictory to the spirit of the gospel than the fanatical zeal of the dominant party in this council for dogmatical formulas, in which they fancied they had Christ, who is spirit and life, although in temper and act they denied Him."  Dioscurus, for example, dismissed a charge of unchastity and other vices against a bishop, with the remark: "If you have an accusation against his orthodoxy, we will receive it; but we have not come together to pass judgment concerning unchastity."1616  Thus fanatical zeal for doctrinal formulas outweighed all interests of morality, as if, as Theodoret remarks, Christ had merely prescribed a system of doctrine, and had not given also rules of life.


 § 141. The Ecumenical Council of Chalcedon,  A.D. 451.


Comp. the Acta Concilii, together with the previous and subsequent epistolary correspondence, in Mansi (tom. vii.), Harduin (tom. ii.), and Fuchs, and the sketches of Evagrius: H. E. l. ii. c. 4; among later historians: Walch; Schröckh; Neander; Hefele, l.c.  The latter, ii. 392, gives the literature in detail.


Thus the party of Dioscurus, by means of the court of the weak Theodosius II., succeeded in subjugating the Eastern church, which now-looked to the Western for help.

Leo, who occupied the papal chair from 440 to 461, with an ability, a boldness, and an unction displayed by none of his predecessors, and by few of his successors, and who, moreover, on this occasion represented the whole Occidental church, protested in various letters against the Robber Synod, which had presumed to depose him; and he wisely improved the perplexed state of affairs to enhance the authority of the papal see. He wrote and acted with imposing dignity, energy, circumspection, and skill, and with a perfect mastery of the question in controversy;—manifestly the greatest mind and character of his age, and by far the most distinguished among the popes of the ancient Church. He urged the calling of a new council in free and orthodox Italy, but afterwards advised a postponement, ostensibly on account of the disquiet caused in the West by Attila’s ravages, but probably in the hope of reaching a satisfactory result, even without a council, by inducing the bishops to subscribe his Epistola Dogmatica. 1617

At the same time a political change occurred, which, as was often the case in the East, brought with it a doctrinal revolution. Theodosius died, in July, 450, in consequence of a fall from his horse; he left no male heirs, and the distinguished general and senator Marcian became his successor, by marriage with his sister Pulcheria, 1618 who favored Pope Leo and the dyophysite doctrine. The remains of Flavian were honorably interred, and several of the deposed bishops were reinstated.

To restore the peace of the empire, the new monarch, in May, 451, in his own name and that of his Western colleague, convoked a general council; not, however, to meet in Italy, but at Nicaea, partly that he might the better control it partly that he might add to its authority by the memories of the first ecumenical council. The edict was addressed to the metropolitans, and reads as follows:

"That which concerns the true faith and the orthodox religion must be preferred to all other things. For the favor of God to us insures also the prosperity of our empire. Inasmuch, now, as doubts have arisen concerning the true faith, as appears from the letters of Leo, the most holy archbishop of Rome, we have determined that a holy council be convened at Nicaea in Bithynia, in order that by the consent of all the truth may be tested, and the true faith dispassionately and more explicitly declared, that in time to come no doubt nor division may have place concerning it. Therefore let your holiness, with a convenient number of wise and orthodox bishops from among your suffragans, repair to Nicaea, on the first of September ensuing. We ourselves also, unless hindered by wars will attend in person the venerable synod."1619

Leo, though dissatisfied with the time and place of the council, yielded, sent the bishops Paschasinus and Lucentius, and the priest Boniface, as legates, who, in conjunction with the legates already in Constantinople, were to represent him at the synod, over which Paschasinus was to preside in his name.1620

The bishops assembled at Nicaea, in September, 451, but, on account of their turbulent conduct, were soon summoned to Chalcedon, opposite Constantinople, that the imperial court and senate might attend in person, and repress, as far as possible, the violent outbreaks of the religious fanaticism of the two parties. Here, in the church of St. Euphemia, on a hill commanding a magnificent prospect, and only two stadia or twelve hundred paces from the Bosphorus, the fourth ecumenical council was opened on the 8th of October, and sat till the lst of November. In number of bishops it far exceeded all other councils of the ancient Church,1621 and in doctrinal importance is second only to the council of Nicaea. But all the five or six hundred bishops, except the papal delegates and two Africans, were Greeks and Orientals. The papal delegates had, therefore, to represent the whole of Latin Christendom. The imperial commissioners,1622 who conducted the external course of the proceedings, in the name of the emperor, with the senators present, sat in the middle of the church, before the screen of the sanctuary. On the left sat the Roman delegates, who, for the first time at an ecumenical council, conducted the internal proceedings, as spiritual presidents; next them sat Anatolius, of Constantinople, Maximus, of Antioch, and most of the bishops of the East;—all opponents of Eutychianism. On the right sat Dioscurus, of Alexandria (who, however, soon had to give up his place and sit in the middle), Juvenal, of Jerusalem, and the other bishops of Egypt, Illyricum, and Palestine;—the Eutychians.

The proceedings were, from the outset, very tumultuous, and the theological fanaticism of the two parties broke out at times in full blaze, till the laymen present were compelled to remind the bishops of their clerical dignity.1623  When Theodoret, of Cyrus, was introduced, the Orientals greeted him with enthusiasm, while the Egyptians cried: "Cast out the Jew, the enemy of God, the blasphemer of Christ!"  The others retorted, with equal passion: "Cast out the murderer Dioscurus!  Who is there that knows not his crimes?"  The feeling against Nestorius was so strong, that Theodoret could only quiet the council by resolving (in the eighth session) to utter the anathema against his old friend, and against all who did not call Mary "mother of God," and who divided the one Christ into two sons. But the abhorrence of Eutyches and the Council of Robbers was still stronger, and was favored by the court. Under these influences most of the Egyptians soon went over to the left, and confessed their error, some excusing themselves by the violent measures brought to bear upon them at the Robber Synod. The records of that Synod, and of the previous one at Constantinople (in 448), with other official documents, were read by the secretaries, but were continually interrupted by incidental debates, acclamations, and imprecations, in utter opposition to all our modern conceptions of parliamentary decorum, though experience is continually presenting us with fresh examples of the uncontrollable vehemence of human passions in excited assemblies.

So early as the close of the first session the decisions of the Robber Synod had been annulled, the martyr Flavian declared orthodox, and Dioscurus of Alexandria, Juvenal of Jerusalem, and other chiefs of Eutychianism, deposed. The Orientals exclaimed: "Many years to the Senate!  Holy God, holy mighty, holy immortal God, have mercy upon us. Many years to the emperors!  The impious must always be overthrown!  Dioscurus, the murderer [of Flavian], Christ has deposed!  This is a righteous judgment, a righteous senate, a righteous council!"

Dioscurus was in a subsequent session three times cited in vain to defend himself against various charges of avarice, injustice, adultery, and other vices, and divested of all spiritual functions; while the five other deposed bishops acknowledged their error, and were readmitted into the council.

At the second session, on the 10th of October, Dioscurus having already departed, the Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan symbol, two letters of Cyril (but not his anathemas), and the famous Epistola Dogmatica of Leo to Flavian, were read before the council amid loud applause—the bishops exclaiming: "That is the faith of the fathers!  That is the faith of the apostles!  So we all believe!  So the orthodox believe  Anathema to him who believes otherwise!  Through Leo, Peter has thus spoken. Even so did Cyril teach!  That is the true faith."1624

At the fifth and most important session, on the 22d of October, the positive confession of faith was adopted, which embraces the Nicaeno-Constantinopolitan symbol, and then, passing on to the point in controversy, expresses itself as follows, almost in the words of Leo’s classical epistle:1625

"Following the holy fathers, we unanimously teach one and the same Son, our Lord Jesus Christ, complete as to his Godhead, and complete as to his manhood; truly God, and truly man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting; consubstantial with the Father as to his Godhead, and consubstantial also with us as to his manhood;1626 like unto us in all things, yet without sin;1627 as to his Godhead begotten of the Father before all worlds, but as to his manhood, in these last days born, for us men and for our salvation, of the Virgin Mary, the mother of God;1628 one and the same Christ, Son, Lord, Only-begotten, known in (of) two natures, 1629 without confusion, without conversion, without severance, and without division;1630 the distinction of the natures being in no wise abolished by their union, but the peculiarity of each nature being maintained, and both concurring in one person and hypostasis.1631  We confess not a Son divided and sundered into two persons, but one and the same Son, and Only-begotten, and God-Logos, our Lord Jesus Christ, even as the prophets had before proclaimed concerning him, and he himself hath taught us, and the symbol of the fathers hath handed down to us.

"Since now we have drawn up this decision with the most comprehensive exactness and circumspection, the holy and ecumenical synod 1632 hath ordained, that no one shall presume to propose, orally, or in writing, another faith, or to entertain or teach it to others; and that those who shall dare to give another symbol or to teach another faith to converts from heathenism or Judaism, or any heresy, shall, if they be bishops or clergymen, be deposed from their bishopric and spiritual function, or if they be monks or laymen, shall be excommunicated."

After the public reading of this confession, all the bishops exclaimed: "This is the faith of the fathers; this is the faith of the apostles; to this we all agree; thus we all think.

The symbol was solemnly ratified at the sixth session (Oct. 25th), in the presence of the emperor and the empress. The emperor thanked Christ for the restoration of the unity of faith, and threatened all with heavy punishment, who should thereafter stir up new controversies; whereupon the synod exclaimed: "Thou art both priest and king, victor in war, and teacher of the faith."

At its subsequent sessions the synod was occupied with the appeal of Ibas, bishop of Edessa, who had been deposed by the Robber Synod, and was now restored; with other cases of discipline; with some personal matters; and with the enactment of twenty-eight canons, which do not concern us here.1633

The emperor, by several edicts, gave the force of law to the decisions of the council, and commanded that all Eutychians should be banished from the empire, and their writings burned.1634  Pope Leo confirmed the doctrinal confession of the council, but protested against the twenty-eighth canon, which placed the patriarch of Constantinople on an equality with him. Notwithstanding these ratifications and rejoicings, the peace of the Church was only apparent, and the long Monophysite troubles were at hand.1635

But before we proceed to these, we must enter into a more careful exposition of the Chalcedonian Christology, which has become the orthodox doctrine of Christendom.


 § 142. The Orthodox Christology—Analysis and Criticism.


The first council of Nicaea had established the eternal preexistent Godhead of Christ. The symbol of the fourth ecumenical council relates to the incarnate Logos, as he walked upon earth and sits on the right hand of the Father, and it is directed against errors which agree with the Nicene Creed as opposed to Arianism, but put the Godhead of Christ in a false relation to his humanity. It substantially completes the orthodox Christology of the ancient Church; for the definitions added by the Monophysite and Monothelite controversies are few and comparatively unessential.

The same doctrine, in its main features, and almost in its very words (though with less definite reference to Nestorianism and Eutychianism), was adopted in the second part of the pseudo-Athanasian Creed,1636 and in the sixteenth century passed into all the confessions of the Protestant churches.1637  Like the Nicene doctrine of the Trinity, it is the common inheritance of Greek, Latin, and Evangelical Christendom; except that Protestantism, here as elsewhere, reserves the right of searching, to ever new depths, the inexhaustible stores of this mystery in the living Christ of the Gospels and the apostolic writings.1638

The person of Jesus Christ in the fulness of its theanthropic life cannot be exhaustively set forth by any formulas of human logic. Even the imperfect, finite personality of man has a mysterious background, that escapes the speculative comprehension; how much more then the perfect personality of Christ, in which the tremendous antitheses of Creator and creature, Infinite and finite, immutable, eternal Being and changing, temporal becoming, are harmoniously conjoined!  The formulas of orthodoxy can neither beget the true faith, nor nourish it; they are not the bread and the water of life, but a standard for theological investigation and a rule of public teaching.1639

Such considerations suggest the true position and the just value of the Creed of Chalcedon, against both exaggeration and disparagement. That symbol does not aspire to comprehend the Christological mystery, but contents itself with setting forth the facts and establishing the boundaries of orthodox doctrine. It does not mean to preclude further theological discussion, but to guard against such erroneous conceptions as would mutilate either the divine or the human in Christ, or would place the two in a false relation. It is a light-house, to point out to the ship of Christological speculation the channel between Scylla and Charybdis, and to save it from stranding upon the reefs of Nestorian dyophysitism or of Eutychian monophysitism. It contents itself with settling, in clear outlines, the eternal result of the theanthropic process of incarnation, leaving the study of the process itself to scientific theology. The dogmatic letter of Leo, it is true, takes a step beyond this, towards a theological interpretation of the doctrine; but for this very reason it cannot have the same binding and normative force as the symbol itself.

As the Nicene doctrine of the Trinity stands midway between tritheism and Sabellianism, so the Chalcedonian formula strikes the true mean between Nestorianism and Eutychianism.

It accepts dyophysitism; and so far it unquestionably favored and satisfied the moderate Antiochian party rather than the Egyptian.1640  But at the same time it teaches with equal distinctness, in opposition to consistent Nestorianism, the inseparable unity of the person of Christ.

The following are the leading ideas of this symbol:

1. A true incarnation of the Logos, or of the second person in the Godhead.1641  The motive is the unfathomable love of God; the end, the redemption of the fallen race, and its reconciliation with God. This incarnation is neither a conversion of God into a man, nor a conversion of a man into God; neither a humanizing of the divine, nor a deification or apotheosis of the human; nor on the other hand is it a mere outward, transitory connection of the two factors; but an actual and abiding union of the two in one personal life.

It is primarily and pre-eminently a condescension and self-humiliation of the divine Logos to human nature, and at the same time a consequent assumption and exaltation of the human nature to inseparable and eternal communion with the divine person. The Logos assumes the body, soul, and spirit of man, and enters into all the circumstances and infirmities of human life on earth, with the single exception of sin, which indeed is not an essential or necessary element of humanity, but accidental to it. "The Lord of the universe," as Leo puts the matter in his epistle, "took the form of a servant; the impassible God became a suffering man; the Immortal One submitted himself to the dominion of death; Majesty assumed into itself lowliness; Strength, weakness; Eternity, mortality."  The same, who is true God, is also true man, without either element being altered or annihilated by the other, or being degraded to a mere accident.

This mysterious union came to pass, in an incomprehensible way, through the power of the Holy Ghost, in the virgin womb of Mary. But whether the miraculous conception was only the beginning, or whether it at the same time completed the union, is not decided in the Creed of Chalcedon. According to his human nature at least Christ submitted himself to the laws of gradual development and moral conflict, without which, indeed, he could be no example at all for us.

2. The precise distinction between nature and person. Nature or substance is the totality of powers and qualities which constitute a being; person is the Ego, the self-conscious, self-asserting, and acting subject. There is no person without nature, but there may be nature without person (as in irrational beings).1642  The Church doctrine distinguishes in the Holy Trinity three persons (though not in the ordinary human sense of the word) in one divine nature or substance which they have in common; in its Christology it teaches, conversely, two natures in one person (in the usual sense of person) which pervades both. Therefore it cannot be said: The Logos assumed a human person,1643 or united himself with a definite human individual: for then the God-Man would consist of two persons; but he took upon himself the human nature, which is common to all men; and therefore he redeemed not a particular man, but all men, as partakers of the same nature or substance.1644  The personal Logos did not become an individual a[nqrwpo", but savrx, flesh, which includes the whole of human nature, body, soul, and spirit. The personal self-conscious Ego resides in the Logos. But into this point we shall enter more fully below.

3. The result of the incarnation, that infinite act of divine love, is the God-Man. Not a (Nestorian) double being, with two persons; nor a compound (Apollinarian or Monophysite) middle being a tertium quid, neither divine nor human; but one person, who is both divine and human. Christ has a rational human soul, and—according to a definition afterwards added—a human will,1645 and is therefore in the full sense of the word the Son of man; while yet at the same time he is the eternal Son of God in one person, with one undivided self-consciousness.

4. The duality of the natures. This was the element of truth in Nestorianism, and on this the council of Chalcedon laid chief stress, because this council was principally concerned with the condemnation of Eutychianism or monophysitism, as that of Ephesus (431) had been with the condemnation of Nestorianism, or abstract dyophysitism. Both views, indeed, admitted the distinction of the natures, but Eutychianism denied it after the act of the incarnation, and (like Apollinarianism) made Christ a middle being, an amalgam, as it were, of the two natures, or, more accurately, one nature in which the human element is absorbed and deified.

Against this it is affirmed by the Creed of Chalcedon, that even after the incarnation, and to all eternity, the distinction of the natures continues, without confusion or conversion,1646 yet, on the other hand, without separation or division,1647 so that the divine will remain ever divine, and the human, ever human,1648 and yet the two have continually one common life, and interpenetrate each other, like the persons of the Trinity.1649

The continuance of the divine nature unaltered is involved in its unchangeableness, and was substantially conceded by all parties. The controversy, therefore, had reference only to the human nature.

And here the Scriptures are plainly not on the Eutychian side. The Christ of the Gospels by no means makes the impression of a person in whom the human nature had been absorbed, or extinguished, or even weakened by the divine; on the contrary, he appears from the nativity to the sepulchre as genuinely and truly human in the highest and fairest sense of the word. The body which he had of the substance of Mary, was born, grew, hungered and thirsted, slept and woke, suffered and died, and was buried, like any other human body. His rational soul felt joy and sorrow, thought, spoke, and acted after the manner of men. The only change which his human nature underwent, was its development to full manhood, mental and physical, in common with other men, according to the laws of growth, yet normally, without sin or inward schism; and its ennoblement and completion by its union with the divine.

5. The unity of the person.1650  This was the element of truth in Eutychianism and the later monophysitism, which, however, they urged at the expense of the human factor. There is only one and the self-same Christ, one Lord, one Redeemer. There is an unity in the distinction, as well as a distinction in the unity. "The same who is true God," says Leo, "is also true man, and in this unity there is no deceit; for in it the lowliness of man and the majesty of God perfectly pervade one another .... Because the two natures make only one person, we read on the one hand: ’The Son of man came down from heaven’ (John iii. 13), while yet the Son of God took flesh from the Virgin; and on the other: ’The Son of God was crucified and buried’ (1 Cor. ii. 8), while yet he suffered not in his Godhead as co-eternal and consubstantial with the Father, but in the weakness of human nature."

Here again the Chalcedonian formula has a firm and clear basis in Scripture. In the gospel history this personal unity everywhere unmistakably appears. The self-consciousness of Christ is not divided. It is one and the self-same theanthropic subject that speaks, acts, and suffers, that rises from the dead, ascends to heaven, sits at the right hand of God, and shall come again in glory to judge the quick and the dead.

The divine and the human are as far from forming a double personality in Christ, as the soul and the body in man, or as the regenerate and the natural life in the believer. As the human personality consists of such a union of the material and the spiritual natures that the spirit is the ruling principle and personal centre: so does the person of Christ consist in such a union of the human and the divine natures that the divine nature is the seat of self-consciousness, and pervades and animates the human.1651

I may refer also to the familiar ancient analogy of the fire and the iron.

6. The whole work of Christ is to be referred to his person, and not to be attributed to the one or the other nature exclusively. It is the one divine-human Christ, who wrought miracles of almighty power,—by virtue of the divine nature dwelling in him,—and who suffered and was buried,—according to his passible, human nature. The person was the subject, the human nature the seat and the sensorium, of the passion. It is by this hypostatical union of the divine and the human natures in all the stages of the humiliation and exaltation of Christ, that his work and his merits acquire an infinite and at the same time a genuinely human and exemplary significance for us. Because the God-Man suffered, his death is the reconciliation of the world with God; and because he suffered as Man, he has left us an example, that we should follow his steps.1652

7. The anhypostasia, impersonality, or, to speak more accurately, the enhypostasia, of the human nature of Christ. This is a difficult point, but a necessary link in the orthodox doctrine of the one God-Man; for otherwise we must have two persons in Christ, and, after the incarnation, a fourth person, and that a human, in the divine Trinity. The impersonality of Christ’s human nature, however, is not to be taken as absolute, but relative, as the following considerations will show.

The centre of personal life in the God-Man resides unquestionably in the Logos, who was from eternity the second person in the Godhead, and could not lose his personality. He united himself, as has been already observed, not with a human person, but with human nature. The divine nature is therefore the root and basis of the personality of Christ. Christ himself, moreover, always speaks and acts in the full consciousness of his divine origin and character; as having come from the Father, having been sent by him, and, even during his earthly life, living in heaven and in unbroken communion with the Father.1653  And the human nature of Christ had no independent personality of its own, besides the divine; it had no existence at all before the incarnation, but began with this act, and was so incorporated with the preexistent Logos-personality as to find in this alone its own full self-consciousness, and to be permeated and controlled by it in every stage of its development. But the human nature forms a necessary element in the divine personality, and in this sense we may say with the older Protestant theologians, that Christ is a persona suvnqeto", which was divine and human at once.1654

Thus interpreted, the church doctrine of the enhypostasia presents no very great metaphysical or psychological difficulty. It is true we cannot, according to our modern way of thinking, conceive a complete human nature without personality. We make personality itself consist in intelligence and free will, so that without it the nature sinks to a mere abstraction of powers, qualities, and functions.1655  But the human nature of Jesus never was, in fact, alone; it was from the beginning inseparably united with another nature, which is personal, and which assumed the human into a unity of life with itself. The Logos-personality is in this case the light of self-consciousness, and the impelling power of will, and pervades as well the human nature as the divine.1656

8. Criticism and development. This Chalcedonian Christology has latterly been subjected to a rigorous criticism, and has been charged now with dualism, now with docetism, according as its distinction of two natures or its doctrine of the impersonality of the human nature has most struck the eye.1657

But these imputations neutralize each other, like the imputations of tritheism and modalism which may be made against the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity when either the tripersonality or the consubstantiality is taken alone. This, indeed, is the peculiar excellence of the creed of Chalcedon, that it exhibits so sure a tact and so wise a circumspection in uniting the colossal antitheses in Christ, and seeks to do justice alike to the distinction of the natures and to the unity of the person.1658  In Christ all contradictions are reconciled.

Within these limits there remains indeed ample scope for further Christological speculations on the possibility, reality, and mode of the incarnation; on its relation to the revelation of God and the development of man; on its relation to the immutability of God and the trinity of essence and the trinity of revelation:—questions which, in recent times especially, have been earnestly and profoundly discussed by the Protestant theologians of Germany.1659

The great want, in the present state of the Christological controversy, is, on the one hand, a closer discussion of the Pauline idea of the kenosis, the self-limitation, self-renunciation of the Logos, and on the other hand, a truly human portrait of Jesus in his earthly development from childhood to the fall maturity of manhood, without prejudice to his deity, but rather showing forth his absolute uniqueness and sinless perfection as a proof of his Godhead. Both these tasks can and should be so performed, that the enormous labor of deep and earnest thought in the ancient church be not condemned as a sheer waste of strength, but in substance confirmed, expanded, and perfected.

And even among believing Protestant scholars, who agree in the main views of the theanthropic glory of the person of Christ, opinions still diverge. Some restrict the kenosis to the laying aside of the divine form of existence, or divine dignity and glory;1660 others strain it in different degrees, even to a partial or entire emptying of the divine essence out of himself, so that the inner trinitarian process between Father and Son, and the government of the world through the Son, were partially or wholly suspended during his earthly life.1661  Some, again, view the incarnation as an instantaneous act, consummated in the miraculous conception and nativity; others as a gradual process, an ethical unification of the eternal Logos and the man Jesus in continuous development, so that the complete God-Man would be not so much the beginning as the consummation of the earthly life of Jesus.

But all these more recent inquiries, earnest, profound, and valuable as they are, have not as yet led to any important or generally accepted results, and cannot supersede the Chalcedonian Christology. The theology of the church will ever return anew to deeper and still deeper contemplation and adoration of the theanthropic person of Jesus Christ, which is, and ever will be, the sun of history, the miracle of miracles, the central mystery of godliness, and the inexhaustible fountain of salvation and life for the lost race of man.


 § 143. The Monophysite Controversies.


I. The Acta in Mansi, tom. vii.-ix. The writings already cited of Liberatus and Leontinus Byzant. Evagrius: H. E. ii. v. Nicephorus: H. E. xvi. 25. Procopius († about 552):  jAnevkdota, Hist. arcana (ed. Orelli, Lips. 1827). Facundus (bishop of Hermiane in Africa, but residing mostly in Constantinople): Pro defensione trium capitulorum, in 12 books (written a.d. 547, ed. Sirmond, Paris, 1629, and in Galland. xi. 665). Fulgentius Ferrandus (deacon in Carthage, † 551): Pro tribus capitulis (in Gall. tom. xi.). Anastasius Sinaita (bishop of Antioch, 564): JOdhgov" adv. Acephalos. Angelo Mai: Script vet. Bova collectio, tom. vii. A late, though unimportant, contribution to the history of Monophysitism (from 581 to 583) is the Church History of the Monophysite bishop John of Ephesus (of the sixth century): The Third Part of the Eccles. History of John, bishop of Ephesus, Oxford, 1853 (edited by W. Cureton from the Syrian literature of the Nitrian convent).

II. Petavius: De Incarnatione, lib. i. c. 16–18 (tom. iv. p. 74 sqq.). Walch: Bd, vi.-viii. Schröckh: Th. xviii. pp. 493–636. Neander: Kirchengeschichte, !v. 993–1038. Gieseler: i. ii. pp. 347–376 (4th ed.), and his Commentatio qua Monophysitarum veterum variae de Christi persona opiniones ... illustrantur (1835 and 1838). Baur: Geschichte der Trinitätslehre, Bd. ii. pp. 37–96. Dorner: Geschichte der Christologie, ii. pp. 150–193. Hefele (R.C.): Conciliengeschichte, ii. 545 ff. F. Rud. Hasse: Kirchengeschichte (1864), Bd. i. p. 177 ff. A. Ebrard: Handbuch der Kirchen- und Dogmengeschichte (1865), Bd. i. pp. 263–279.


The council of Chalcedon did not accomplish the intended pacification of the church, and in Palestine and Egypt it met with passionate opposition. Like the council of Nicaea, it must pass a fiery trial of conflict before it could be universally acknowledged in the church. "The metaphysical difficulty," says Niedner, "and the religious importance of the problem, were obstacles to the acceptance of the ecumenical authority of the council."  Its opponents, it is true, rejected the Eutychian theory of an absorption of the human nature into the divine, but nevertheless held firmly to the doctrine of one nature in Christ; and on this account, from the time of the Chalcedonian council they were called Monophysites,1662 while they in return stigmatized the adherents of the council as Dyophysites and Nestorians. They conceded, indeed, a composite nature (miva fuvsi" suvnqeto" or miva fuvsi" ditthv), but not two natures. They assumed a diversity of qualities without corresponding substances, and made the humanity in Christ a mere accident of the immutable divine substance.

Their main argument against Chalcedon was, that the doctrine of two natures necessarily led to that of two persons, or subjects, and thereby severed the one Christ into two Sons of God. They were entirely at one with the Nestorians in their use of the terms "nature" and "person," and in rejecting the orthodox distinction between the two. They could not conceive of human nature without personality. From this the Nestorians reasoned that, because in Christ there are two natures, there must be also two independent hypostases; the Monophysites, that, because there is but one person in Christ, there can be only one nature. They regarded the nature as something common to all individuals of a species (koivnon), yet as never existing simply as such, but only in individuals. According to them, therefore, over, fuvsi" or oujsiva is in fact always an individual existence.1663

The liturgical shibboleth of the Monophysites was: God has been crucified. This they introduced into their public worship as an addition to the Trisagion: "Holy, God, holy Mighty, holy Immortal, who hast been crucified for us, have mercy upon us."1664  From this they were also called Theopaschites.1665  This formula is in itself orthodox, and forms the requisite counterpart to qeotovko"1666, provided we understand by God the Logos, and in thought supply: "according to the flesh" or "according to the human nature."  In this qualified sense it was afterwards in fact not only sanctioned by Justinian in a dogmatical decree, but also by the fifth ecumenical council, though not as an addition to the Trisagion. For the theanthropic person of Christ is the subject, as of the nativity, so also of the passion; his human nature is the seat and the organ (sensorium) of the passion. But as an addition to the Trisagion, which refers to the Godhead generally, and therefore to the Father, and the Holy Ghost, as well as the Son, the formula is at all events incongruous and equivocal. Theopaschitism is akin to the earlier Patripassianism, in subjecting the impassible divine essence, common to the Father and the Son, to the passion of the God-Man on the cross; yet not, like that, by confounding the Son with the Father, but by confounding person with nature in the Son.

Thus from the council of Chalcedon started those violent and complicated Monophysite controversies which convulsed the Oriental church, from patriarchs and emperors down to monks and peasants, for more than a hundred years, and which have left their mark even to our day. They brought theology little appreciable gain, and piety much harm; and they present a gloomy picture of the corruption of the church. The intense concern for practical religion, which animated Athanasius and the Nicene fathers, abated or went astray; theological speculation sank towards barren metaphysical refinements; and party watchwords and empty formulas were valued more than real truth. We content ourselves with but a summary of this wearisome, though not unimportant chapter of the history of doctrines, which has recently received new light from the researches of Gieseler, Baur, and Dorner.1667

The external history of the controversy is a history of outrages and intrigues, depositions and banishments, commotions, divisions, and attempted reunions. Immediately after the council of Chalcedon bloody fights of the monks and the rabble broke out, and Monophysite factions went off in schismatic churches. In Palestine Theodosius (451–453) thus set up in opposition to the patriarch Juvenal of Jerusalem; in Alexandria, Timotheus Aelurus1668 and Peter Mongus1669 (454–460), in opposition to the newly-elected patriarch Protarius, who was murdered in a riot in Antioch; Peter the Fuller1670 (463–470). After thirty years’ confusion the Monophysites gained a temporary victory under the protection of the rude pretender to the empire, Basiliscus (475–477), who in an encyclical letter,1671 enjoined on all bishops to condemn the council of Chalcedon (476). After his fall, Zeno (474–475 and 477–491), by advice of the patriarch Acacius of Constantinople, issued the famous formula of concord, the Henoticon, which proposed, by avoiding disputed expressions, and condemning both Eutychianism and Nestorianism alike, to reconcile the Monophysite and dyophysite views, and tacitly set aside the Chalcedonian formula (482). But this was soon followed by two more schisms, one among the Monophysites themselves, and one between the East and the West. Felix II., bishop of Rome, immediately rejected the Henoticon, and renounced communion with the East (484–519). The strict Monophysites were as ill content with the Henoticon, as the adherents of the council of Chalcedon; and while the former revolted from their patriarchs, and became Acephali,1672 the latter attached themselves to Rome. It was not till the reign of the emperor Justin I. (518–527), that the authority of the council of Chalcedon was established under stress of a popular tumult, and peace with Rome was restored. The Monophysite bishops were now deposed, and fled for the most part to Alexandria, where their party was too powerful to be attacked.

The internal divisions of the Monophysites turned especially on the degree of essential difference between the humanity of Christ and ordinary human nature, and the degree, therefore, of their deviation from the orthodox doctrine of the full consubstantiality of the humanity of Christ with ours.1673  The most important of these parties were the Severians (from Severus, the patriarch of Antioch) or Phthartolaters (adorers of the corruptible),1674 who taught that the body of Christ before the resurrection was mortal and corruptible; and the Julianists (from bishop Julian of Halicarnassus, and his contemporary Xenajas of Hierapolis) or Aphthartodocetae,1675 who affirmed the body of Christ to have been originally incorruptible, and who bordered on docetism. The former conceded to the Catholics, that Christ as to the flesh was consubstantial with us (kata; savrka oJmoouvsio" hJmi'n). The latter argued from the commingling (suvgcusi") of the two natures, that the corporeality of Christ became from the very beginning partaker of the incorruptibleness of the Logos, and was subject to corruptibleness merely kat j oijkonomivan. They appealed in particular to Jesus’ walking on the sea. Both parties were agreed as to the incorruptibleness of the body of Christ after the resurrection. The word fqorav, it may be remarked, was sometimes used in the sense of frailty, sometimes in that of corruptibleness.

The solution of this not wholly idle question would seem to be, that the body of Christ before the resurrection was similar to that of Adam before the fall; that is, it contained the germ of immortality and incorruptibleness; but before its glorification it was subject to the influence of the elements, was destructible, and was actually put to death by external violence, but, through the indwelling power of the sinless spirit, was preserved from corruption, and raised again to imperishable life. A relative immortality thus became absolute.1676  So far we may without self-contradiction affirm both the identity of the body of Christ before and after his resurrection, and its glorification after resurrection.1677

The Severians were subdivided again, in respect to the question of Christ’s omniscience, into Theodosians, and Themistians, or Agnoetae.1678  The Julianists were subdivided into Ktistolatae,1679 and Aktistetae1680 according as they asserted or denied that the body of Christ was a created body. The most consistent Monophysite was the rhetorician Stephanus Niobes (about 550), who declared every attempt to distinguish between the divine and the human in Christ inadmissible, since they had become absolutely one in him.1681  An abbot of Edessa, Bar Sudaili, extended this principle even to the creation, which be maintained would at last be wholly absorbed in God. John Philoponus (about 530) increased the confusion; starting with Monophysite principles, taking fuvsi" in a concrete instead of an abstract sense, and identifying it with uJpovstasi", he distinguished in God three individuals, and so became involved in tritheism. This view he sought to justify by the Aristotelian categories of genus, species, and individuum.1682


 § 144. The Three, Chapters, and the Fifth Ecumenical Council,  A.D. 553.


Comp., besides the literature already cited, H. Noris (R.C.): Historia Pelagiana et dissertatio de Synodo Quinta oecumen. in qua Origenis et Th. Mopsuesteni Pelagiani erroris auctorum justa damnatio, et Aquilejense schisma describitur, etc. Padua, 1673, fol., and Verona, 1729. John Garnier (R.C.): Dissert. de V. Synodo. Paris, 1675 (against Card. Noris). Hefele (R.C.): vol. ii. 775–899.—The Greek Acta of the 5th council, with the exception of the 14 anathemas and some fragments, have been lost; but there is extant an apparently contemporary Latin translation (in Mansi, tom. ix. 163 sqq.), respecting whose genuineness and completeness there has been much controversy (comp. Hefele, ii. p. 831 ff.).


The further fortunes of Monophysitism are connected with the emperor Justinian I. (527–565). This learned and unweariedly active ruler, ecclesiastically devout, but vain and ostentatious, aspired, during his long and in some respects brilliant reign of nearly thirty years, to the united renown of a lawgiver and theologian, a conqueror and a champion of the true faith. He used to spend whole nights in prayer and fasting, and in theological studies and discussions; he placed his throne under the special protection of the Blessed Virgin and the archangel Michael; in his famous Code, and especially in the Novelles, he confirmed and enlarged the privileges of the clergy; he adorned the capital and the provinces with costly temples and institutions of charity; and he regarded it as his especial mission to reconcile heretics, to unite all parties of the church, and to establish the genuine orthodoxy for all time to come. In all these undertakings he fancied himself the chief actor, though very commonly he was but the instrument of the empress, or of the court theologians and eunuchs; and his efforts to compel a general uniformity only increased the divisions in church and state.

Justinian was a great admirer of the decrees of Chalcedon, and ratified the four ecumenical councils in his Code of Roman law. But his famous wife Theodora, a beautiful, crafty, and unscrupulous woman, whom he—if we are to believe the report of Procopius1683—raised from low rank, and even from a dissolute life, to the partnership of his throne, and who, as empress, displayed the greatest zeal for the church and for ascetic piety, was secretly devoted to the Monophysite view, and frustrated all his plans. She brought him to favor the liturgical formula of the Monophysites: "God was crucified for us, so that he sanctioned it in an ecclesiastical decree (533).1684

Through her influence the Monophysite Anthimus was made patriarch of Constantinople (535), and the characterless Vigilius bishop of Rome (538), under the secret stipulation that he should favor the Monophysite doctrine. The former, however, was soon deposed as a Monophysite (536), and the latter did not keep his promise.1685  Meanwhile the Origenistic controversies were renewed. The emperor was persuaded, on the one hand, to condemn the Origenistic errors in a letter to Mennas of Constantinople; on the other hand, to condemn by an edict the Antiochian teachers most odious to the Monophysites: Theodore of Mopsuestia (the teacher of Nestorius), Theodoret of Cyros, and Ibas of Edessa (friends of Nestorius); though the last two had been expressly declared orthodox by the council of Chalcedon. Theodore he condemned absolutely, but Theodoret only as respected his writings against Cyril and the third ecumenical council at Ephesus, and Ibas as respected his letter to the Persian bishop Maris, in which he complains of the outrages of Cyril’s party in Edessa, and denies the communicatio idiomatum. These are the so-called Three Chapters, or formulas of condemnation, or rather the persons and writings designated and condemned therein.1686

Thus was kindled the violent controversy of the Three Chapters, of which it has been said that it has filled more volumes than it was worth lines. The East yielded easily to craft and force; the West resisted.1687  Pontianus of Carthage declared that neither the emperor nor any other man had a right to sit in judgment upon the dead. Vigilius of Rome, however, favored either party according to circumstances, and was excommunicated for awhile by the dyophysite Africans, under the lead of Facundus of Hermiane. He subscribed the condemnation of the Three Chapters in Constantinople, a.d. 548, but refused to subscribe the second edict of the, emperor against the Three Chapters (551), and afterwards defended them.

To put an end to this controversy, Justinian, without the concurrence of the pope, convoked at Constantinople, a.d. 553, the Fifth Ecumenical Council, which consisted of a hundred and sixty-four bishops, and held eight sessions, from the 5th of May to the 2d of June, under the presidency of the patriarch Eutychius of Constantinople. It anathematized the Three Chapters; that is, the person of Theodore of Mopsuestia, the anti-Cyrillian writings of Theodoret, and the letter of Ibas,1688 and sanctioned the formula "God was crucified," or "One of the Trinity has suffered," yet not as an addition to the Trisagion.1689  The dogmatic decrees of Justinian were thus sanctioned by the church. But no further mention appears to have been made of Origenism; and in truth none was necessary, since a local synod of 544 had already condemned it. Perhaps also Theodore Askidas, a friend of the Origenists, and one of the leaders of the council, prevented the ecumenical condemnation of Origen. But this is a disputed point, and is connected with the difficult question of the genuineness and completeness of the Acts of the council.1690

Vigilius at first protested against the Council, which, in spite of repeated invitations, he had not attended, and by which he was suspended; but he afterwards signified his adherence, and was permitted, after seven years’ absence, to return to Rome, but died on the journey, at Syracuse, in 555. His fourfold change of opinion does poor service to the claim of papal infallibility. His successor, Pelagius I., immediately acknowledged the council. But upon this the churches in Northern Italy, Africa, and Illyria separated themselves from the Roman see, and remained in schism till Pope Gregory I. induced most of the Italian bishops to acknowledge the council.

The result of this controversy, therefore, was the condemnation of the Antiochian theology, and the partial victory of the Alexandrian monophysite doctrine, so far as it could be reconciled with the definitions of Chalcedon. But the Chalcedonian dyophysitism afterwards reacted, in the form of dyothelitism, and at the sixth ecumenical council, at Constantinople, a.d. 680 (called also Concilium Trullanum I.), under the influence of a letter of pope Agatho, which reminds us of the Epistola Dogmatica of Leo, it gained the victory over the Monothelite view, which so far involves the Monophysite, as the ethical conception of one will depends upon the physical conception of one nature.

But notwithstanding the concessions of the fifth ecumenical council, the Monophysites remained separated from the orthodox church, refusing to acknowledge in any manner the dyophysite council of Chalcedon. Another effort of Justinian to gain them, by sanctioning the Aphthartodocetic doctrine of the incorruptibleness of Christ’s body (564), threatened to involve the church in fresh troubles; but his death soon afterwards, in 565, put an end to these fruitless and despotic plans of union. His successor Justin II. in 565 issued an edict of toleration, which exhorted all Christians to glorify the Lord, without contending about persons and syllables. Since that time the history of the Monophysites has been distinct from that of the catholic church.


 § 145. The Monophysite Sects: Jacobites, Copts, Abyssinians, Armenians, Maronites.


Euseb. Renaudot (R.C., † 1720): Historia patriarcharum Alexandrinorum Jacobitarum a D. Marco usque ad finem saec. xiii. Par. 1713. Also by the same: Liturgiarum orientalium collectio. Par. 1716, 2 vols. 4to. Jos. Sim. Assemani (R.C., † 1768): Bibliotheca orientalis. Rom. 1719 sqq., 4 vols. folio (vol. ii. treats De scriptoribus Syria Monophysitis). Michael le Quien (R.C., † 1733): Oriens Christianus. Par. 1740, 3 vols. folio (vols. 2 and 3). Veyssière De La Croze: Histoire du Christianisme d’Ethiope et d’Armenie. La Haye, 1739. Gibbon: Chapter xlvii. towards the end. Makrîzi (Mohammedan, an historian and jurist at Cairo, died 1441): Historia Coptorum Christianorum (Arabic and Latin), ed. H. T. Wetzer, Sulzbach, 1828; a better edition by F. Wüstenfeld, with translation and annotations, Göttingen, 1845. J. E. T. Wiltsch Kirchliche Statistik. Berlin, 1846, Bd. i. p. 225 ff. John Mason Neale (Anglican): The Patriarchate of Alexandria. London, 1847, 2 vols. Also: A History of the Holy Eastern Church. Lond. 1850, 2 vols. (vol. ii. contains among other things the Armenian and Copto-Jacobite Liturgy). E. Dulaurier: Histoire, dogmes, traditions, et liturgie de l’Eglise Armeniane. Par. 1859. Arthur Penrhyn Stanley: Lectures on the History of the Eastern Church. New York, 1862, Lect. i. p. 92 ff. Respecting the present condition of the Jacobites, Copts, Armenians, and Maronites, consult also works of Eastern travel, and the numerous accounts in missionary magazines and other religious periodicals.


The Monophysites, like their antagonists, the Nestorians, have maintained themselves in the East as separate sects under their own bishops and patriarchs, even to the present day; thus proving the tenacity of those Christological errors, which acknowledge the full Godhead and manhood of Christ, while those errors of the ancient church, which deny the Godhead, or the manhood (Ebionism, Gnosticism, Manichaeism, Arianism, etc.), as sects, have long since vanished. These Christological schismatics stand, as if enchanted, upon the same position which they assumed in the fifth century. The Nestorians reject the third ecumenical council, the Monophysites the fourth; the former hold the distinction of two natures in Christ even to abstract separation, the latter the fusion of the two natures in one with a stubbornness which has defied centuries, and forbids their return to the bosom of the orthodox Greek church. They are properly the ancient national churches of Egypt, Syria, and Armenia, in distinction from the orthodox Greek church, and the united or Roman church of the East.

The Monophysites are scattered upon the mountains and in the valleys and deserts of Syria, Armenia, Assyria, Egypt, and Abyssinia, and, like the orthodox Greeks of those countries, live mostly under Mohammedan, partly under Russian, rule. They supported the Arabs and Turks in weakening and at last conquering the Byzantine empire, and thus furthered the ultimate victory of Islam. In return, they were variously favored by the conquerors, and upheld in their separation from the Greek church. They have long since fallen into stagnation, ignorance, and superstition, and are to Christendom as a praying corpse to a living man. They are isolated fragments of the ancient church history, and curious petrifactions from the Christological battle-fields of the fifth and sixth centuries, coming to view amidst Mohammedan scenes. But Providence has preserved them, like the Jews, and doubtless not without design, through storms of war and persecution, unchanged until the present time. Their very hatred of the orthodox Greek church makes them more accessible both to Protestant and Roman missions, and to the influences of Western Christianity and Western civilization.

On the other hand, they are a door for Protestantism to the Arabs and the Turks; to the former through the Jacobites, to the latter through the Armenians. There is the more reason to hope for their conversion, because the Mohammedans despise the old Oriental churches, and must be won, if at all, by a purer type of Christianity. In this respect the American missions among the Armenians in the Turkish empire, are, like those among the Nestorians in Persia, of great prospective importance, as outposts of a religion which is destined sooner or later to regenerate the East.

With the exception of the Chalcedonian Christology, which they reject as Nestorian heresy, most of the doctrines, institutions, and rites of the Monophysite sects are common to them with the orthodox Greek church. They reject, or at least do not recognize, the filioque; they hold to the mass, or the Eucharistic sacrifice, with a kind of transubstantiation; leavened bread in the Lord’s Supper; baptismal regeneration by trine immersion; seven sacraments (yet not explicitly, since they either have no definite term for sacrament, or no settled conception of it); the patriarchal polity; monasticism; pilgrimages, and fasting; the requisition of a single marriage for priests and deacons (bishops are not allowed to marry);1691 the prohibition of the eating of blood or of things strangled.1692  On the other hand, they know nothing of purgatory and indulgences, and have a simpler worship than the Greeks and Romans. According to their doctrine, all men after death go into Hades, a place alike without sorrow or joy; after the general judgment they enter into heaven or are cast into hell; and meanwhile the intercessions and pious works of the living have an influence on the final destiny of the departed. Like the orthodox Greeks, they honor pictures and relics of the saints, but not in the same degree. Scripture and tradition are with them coordinate sources of revelation and rules of faith. The reading of the Bible is not forbidden, but is limited by the ignorance of the people themselves. They use in worship the ancient vernacular tongues, which, however, are now dead languages to them.

There are four branches of the Monophysites: the Syrian Jacobites; the Copts, including the Abyssinians; the Armemians; and the less ancient Maronites.

I. The Jacobites in Syria, Mesopotamia, and Babylonia. Their name comes down from their ecumenical1693 metropolitan Jacob, surnamed Baradai, or Zanzalus.1694  This remarkable man, in the middle of the sixth century, devoted himself for seven and thirty years (511–578), with unwearied zeal to the interests of the persecuted Monophysites. "Light-footed as Asahel,"1695 and in the garb of a beggar, he journeyed hither and thither amid the greatest dangers and privations; revived the patriarchate of Antioch; ordained bishops, priests, and deacons; organized churches; healed divisions; and thus saved the Monophysite body from impending extinction.

The patriarch bears the title of patriarch of Antioch, because the succession is traced back to Severus of Antioch; but he commonly resides in Diarbekir, or other towns or monasteries. Since the fourteenth century, the patriarch has always borne the name Ignatius, after the famous martyr and bishop of Antioch. The Jacobite monks are noted for gross superstition and rigorous asceticism. A part of the Jacobites have united with the church of Rome. Lately some Protestant missionaries from America have also found entrance among them.

II. The Copts,1696 in Egypt, are in nationality the genuine descendants of the ancient Egyptians, though with an admixture of Greek and Arab blood. Soon after the council of Chalcedon, they chose Timotheus Aelurus in opposition to the patriarch Proterius. After varying fortunes, they have, since 536, had their own patriarch of Alexandria, who, like most of the Egyptian dignitaries, commonly resides at Cairo. He accounts himself the true successor of the evangelist Mark, St. Athanasius, and Cyril. He is always chosen from among the monks, and, in rigid adherence to the traditionary nolo episcopari, he is elected against his will; he is obliged to lead a strict ascetic life, and at night is waked every quarter of an hour for a short prayer. He alone has the power to ordain, and he performs this function not by imposition of hands, but by breathing on and anointing the candidate. His jurisdiction extends over the churches of Egypt, Nubia, and Abyssinia, or Ethiopia. He chooses and anoints the Abuna (i.e., Our Father), or patriarch for Abyssinia. Under him are twelve bishops, some with real jurisdiction, some titular; and under these again other clergy, down to readers and exorcists. There are still extant two incomplete Coptic versions of the Scriptures, the Upper Egyptian or Thebaic, called also, after the Arabic name of the province, the Sahidic, i.e., Highland version; and the Lower Egyptian or Memphitic.1697

The Copts were much more numerous than the Catholics, whom they scoffingly nicknamed Melchites,1698 or Caesar-Christians. They lived with them on terms of deadly enmity, and facilitated the conquest of Egypt by the Saracens (641). But they were afterwards cruelly persecuted by these very Saracens,1699 and dwindled from some two millions of souls to a hundred and fifty or two hundred thousand, of whom about ten thousand, or according to others from thirty to sixty thousand, live in Cairo, and the rest mostly in Upper Egypt. They now, in common with all other religious sects, enjoy toleration. They and the Abyssinians are distinguished from the other Monophysites by the Jewish and Mohammedan practice of circumcision, which is performed by lay persons (on both sexes), and in Egypt is grounded upon sanitary considerations. They still observe the Jewish law of meats. They are sunk in poverty, ignorance, and semi-barbarism. Even the clergy, who indeed are taken from the lowest class of the people, are a beggarly set, and understand nothing but how to read mass, and perform the various ceremonies. They do not even know the Coptic or old Egyptian, their own ancient ecclesiastical language. They live by farming, and their official fees. The literary treasures of their convents in the Coptic, Syriac, and Arabic languages, have been of late secured for the most part to the British Museum, by Tattam and other travellers.

Missions have lately been undertaken among them, especially by the Church Missionary Society of England (commencing in 1825), and the United Presbyterians of America, but with little success so far.1700

The Abyssinian church is a daughter of the Coptic, and was founded in the fourth century, by two missionaries from Alexandria, Frumentius and Aedesius. It presents a strange mixture of barbarism, ignorance, superstition, and Christianity. Its Ethiopic Bible, which dates perhaps from the first missionaries, includes in the Old Testament the apocryphal book of Enoch. The Chronicles of Axuma (the former capital of the country), dating from the fourth century, receive almost the same honor as the Bible. The council of Chalcedon is accounted an assembly of fools and heretics. The Abyssinian church has retained even more Jewish elements than the Coptic. It observes the Jewish Sabbath together with the Christian Sunday; it forbids the use of the flesh of swine and other unclean beasts; it celebrates a yearly feast of general lustration or rebaptizing of the whole nation; it retains the model of a sacred ark, called the ark of Zion, to which gifts and prayers are offered, and which forms the central point of public worship. It believes in the magical virtue of outward ceremonies, especially immersion, as the true regeneration. Singularly enough it honors Pontius Pilate as a saint, because be washed his hands of innocent blood. The endless controversies respecting the natures of Christ, which have died out elsewhere still rage there. The Abyssinians honor saints and pictures, but not images; crosses, but not the crucifix. Every priest carries a cross in his hand, and presents it to every one whom he meets, to be kissed. The numerous churches are small and dome-shaped above, and covered with reeds and straw. On the floor lie a number of staves and crutches, on which the people support themselves during the long service, as, like all the Orientals, they are without benches. Slight as are its remains of Christianity, Abyssinia still stands, in agriculture, arts, laws, and social condition, far above the heathen countries of Africa—a proof that even a barbaric Christianity is better than none.

The influences of the West have penetrated even to Abyssinia. The missions of the Jesuits in the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, and of the Protestants in the nineteenth, have been prosecuted amidst many dangers and much self-denial, yet hitherto with but little success.1701

III. The Armenians. These are the most numerous, interesting, and hopeful of the Monophysite sects, and now the most accessible to evangelical Protestantism. Their nationality reaches back into hoary antiquity, like Mount Ararat, at whose base lies their original home. They were converted to Christianity in the beginning of the fourth century, under King Tiridates, by Gregory the Enlightener, the first patriarch and ecclesiastical writer and the greatest saint of the Armenians.1702  They were provided by him with monasteries and seminaries, and afterwards by Mesrob1703 with a version of the Scriptures, made from the Greek with the help of the Syriac Peschito; which at the same time marks the beginning of the Armenian literature, since Mesrob had first to invent his alphabet. The Armenian canon has four books found in no other Bible; in the Old Testament, the History of Joseph and Asenath, and the Testament of the twelve Patriarchs, and in the New, the Epistle of the Corinthians to Paul and a Third, but spurious, Epistle of Paul to the Corinthians. The next oldest work in the Armenian language is the history of their land and people, by Moses Chorenensis, a half century later.

The Armenians fell away from the church of the Greek Empire in 552, from which year they date their era. The Persians favored the separation on political grounds, but were themselves thoroughly hostile to Christianity, and endeavored to introduce the Zoroastrian religion into Armenia. The Armenian church, being left unrepresented at the council of Chalcedon through the accidental absence of its bishops, accepted in 491 the Henoticon of the emperor Zeno, and at the synod of Twin (Tevin or Tovin, the capital at that time), held a.d. 595, declared decidedly for the Monophysite doctrine. The Confessio Armenica, which in other respects closely resembles the Nicene Creed, is recited by the priest at every morning service. The Armenian church had for a long time only one patriarch or Catholicus, who at first resided in Sebaste, and afterwards in the monastery of Etschmiezin (Edschmiadsin), their holy city, at the foot of Mount Ararat, near Erivan (now belonging to Russia), and had forty-two archbishops under him. At his consecration the dead hand of Gregory the Enlightener is even yet always used, as the medium of tactual succession. Afterwards other patriarchal sees were established, at Jerusalem (in 1311), at Sis, in Cilicia (in 1440), and after the fall of the Greek empire in Constantinople (1461).1704   In 637 Armenia fell under Mohammedan dominion, and belongs now partly to Turkey and partly to Russia. But the varying fortunes and frequent oppressions of their country have driven many thousands of the Armenians abroad, and they are now scattered in other parts of Russia and Turkey, as well as in Persia, India, and Austria.

The Armenians of the diaspora are mostly successful traders and brokers, and have become a nation and a church of merchant princes, holding great influence in Turkey. Their dispersion, and love of trade, their lack of political independence, their tenacious adherence to ancient national customs and rites, the oppressions to which they are exposed in foreign countries, and the influence which they nevertheless exercise upon these countries, make their position in the Orient, especially in Turkey, similar to that of the Jews in the Christian world.

The whole number of the Armenians is very variously estimated, from two and a half up to fifteen millions.1705

The Armenian church, it may be remarked, has long been divided into two parts, which, although internally very similar, are inflexibly opposed to each other. The united Armenians, since the council of Florence, a.d. 1439, have been connected with the church of Rome. To them belongs the congregation of the Mechitarists, which was founded by the Abbot Mechitar († 1749), and possesses a famous monastery on the island of San Lazzaro near Venice, from which centre it has successfully labored since 1702 for Armenian literature and education in the interest of the Roman Catholic church.1706  The schismatical Armenians hold firmly to their peculiar ancient doctrines and polity. They regard themselves as the orthodox, and call the united or Roman Armenians schismatics.

Since 1830, the Protestant Missionary, Tract, and Bible societies of England, Basle, and the United States, have labored among the Armenians especially among the Monophysite portion, with great success, The American Board of Commissioners for Foreign Missions,1707 in particular, has distributed Bibles and religious books in the Armenian and Armeno-Turkish1708 language, and founded flourishing churches and schools in Constantinople, Broosa, Nicomedia, Trebizond, Erzroom, Aintab, Kharpoot, Diarbekir, and elsewhere. Several of these churches have already endured the crucial test of persecution, and justify bright hopes for the future. As the Jewish Synagogues of the diaspora were witnesses for monotheism among idolaters, and preparatory schools of Christianity, so are these Protestant Armenian churches, as well as the Protestant Nestorian, outposts of evangelical civilization in the East, and perhaps the beginning of a resurrection of primitive Christianity in the lands of the Bible and harbingers of the future conversion of the Mohammedans.1709

IV. The youngest sect of the Monophysites, and the solitary memorial of the Monothelite controversy, are the Maronites, so called from St. Maron, and the eminent monastery founded by him in Syria (400).1710  They inhabit the range of Lebanon, with its declivities and valleys, from Tripolis on the North to the neighborhood of Tyre and the lake of Gennesaret on the South, and amount at most to half a million. They have also small churches in Aleppo, Damascus, and other places. They are pure Syrians, and still use the Syriac language in their liturgy, but speak Arabic. They are subject to a patriarch, who commonly resides in the monastery of Kanobin on Mt. Lebanon. They were originally Monothelites, even after the doctrine of one will of Christ, which is the ethical complement of the doctrine of one nature, had been rejected at the sixth ecumenical Council (a.d. 680). But after the Crusades (1182), and especially after 1596, they began to go over to the Roman church, although retaining the communion under both kinds, their Syriac missal, the marriage of priests, and their traditional fast-days, with some saints of their own, especially St: Maron.

From these came, in the eighteenth century, the three celebrated Oriental scholars, the Assemani, Joseph Simon († 1768), his brother Joseph Aloysius, and their cousin Stephen Evodius. These were born on Mt. Lebanon, and educated at the Maronite college at Rome.

There are also Maronites in Syria, who abhor the Roman church.1711


IV. The Anthropological Controversies.






I. Pelagius: Expositiones in epistolas Paulinas (composed before 410); Epistola ad Demetriadem, in 30 chapters (written a.d. 413); Libellus fidei ad Innocentium I. (417, also falsely called Explanatio Symboli ad Damasum). These three works have been preserved complete, as supposed works of Jerome, and have been incorporated in the Opera of this father (tom. xi. ed. of Vallarsius). Of the other writings of Pelagius (De natura; De libero arbitrio; Capitula; Epist. ad Innocent. I., which accompanied the Libellus fidei), we have only fragments in the works of his opponents, especially Augustine. In like manner we have only fragments of the writings of Coelestius: Definitiones; Symbolum ad Zosimum; and of Julianus of Eclanum: Libri iv. ad Turbantium episcopum contra Augustini primum de nuptiis; Libri viii. ad Florum contra Augustini secundum de nuptiis. Large and literal extracts in the extended replies of Augustine to Julian

II. Augustinus: De peccatorum meritis et remissione (412); De spiritu et litera (418); De natura et gratia (415); De gestis Pelagii (417); De gratia Christi et de peccato originali (418); De nuptiis et concupiscentia (419); Contra duas Epistolas Pelagianorum (420); Contra Julianum, libri vi. (421); Opus imperfectum contra Julianum (429); De gratia et libero arbitrio (426 or 427); De correptione et gratia (427) De praedestinatione sanctorum (428 or 429); De dono perseverantivae (429); and other anti-Pelagian writings, which are collected in the 10th volume of his Opera, in two divisions, ed. Bened. Par. 1690, and again Venet. 1733. (it is the Venice Bened. edition from which I have quoted throughout in this section. In Migne’s edition of Aug., Par. 1841, the anti-Pelagian writings form likewise the tenth tomus of 1912 pages.)  Hieronymus: Ep. 133 (in Vallarsi’s, and in Migne’s ed.; or, Ep. 43 in the Bened. ed.) ad Ctesiphontem (315); Dialogi contra Pelagianos, libri iii. (Opera, ed. Vallars. vol. ii. f. 693–806, and ed. Migne, ii. 495–590). P. Orosius: Apologeticus c. Pelag. libri iii. (Opera, ed. Haverkamp). Marius Mercator, a learned Latin monk in Constantinople (428–451): Commonitoria, 429, 431 (ed. Baluz. Paris, 1684, and Migne, Par. 1846). Collection of the Acta in Mansi, tom. iv.




Gerh. Joh. Vossius: Hist. de controversiis, quas Pelagius ejusque reliquiae moverunt, libri vii. Lugd. Batav. 1618 (auct. ed. Amstel. 1655). Cardinal Henr. Norisius: Historia Pelagiana et dissert. de Synodo Quinta Oecumen. Batavii, 1673, fol. (and in Opera, Veron. 1729, i.). Garnier (Jesuit): Dissert. vii. quibus integra continentur Pelagianorum hist. (in his ed. of the Opera of Marius Mercator, i. 113). The Praefatio to the 10th vol. of the Benedictine edition of Augustine’s Opera. Corn. Jansenius († 1638): Augustinus, sive doctrina S. Augustini de humanae naturae sanitate, aegritudine, medicina, adv. Pelagianos et Massilienses. Lovan. 1640, fol. (He read Augustine twenty times, and revived his system in the Catholic church.)  Tillemont: Mémoires, etc. Tom. xiii. pp. 1–1075, which is entirely devoted to the life of Augustine. Ch. Wilh. Fr. Walch: Ketzerhistorie. Leipz. 1770. Bd. iv. and v. Schröckh: Kirchengeschichte. Parts xiv. and xv. (1790). G. F. Wiggers (sen.): Versuch einer pragmatischen Darstellung des Augustinismus und Pelagianismus, in zwei Theilen. Hamburg, 1833. (The first part appeared 1821 in Berlin; the second, which treats of Semi-Pelagianism, in 1833 at Hamburg. The common title-page bears date 1833. The first part has also been translated into English by Prof. Emerson, Andover, 1840). J. L. Jacobi: Die Lehre des Pelagius. Leipzig, 1842. F. Böhringer: Die Kirche Christi in Biographien. Bd. i. Th. 3, pp. 444–626, Zürich, 1845. Gieseler: Kirchengeschichte. Bd. i. Abth. 2 pp. 106–131 (4th ed. 1845, entirely favorable to Pelagianism). Neander: Kirchengeschichte. Bd. iv. (2d ed. 1847, more Augustinian). Schaff: The Pelagian Controversy, in the Bibliotheca Sacra, Andover, May, 1848 (No. xviii.). Theod. Gangauf: Metaphysische Psychologie des heiligen Augustinus. Augsb. 1852. Thorough, but not completed. H. Hart Milman: History of Latin Christianity. New York, 1860, vol. i. ch. ii. pp. 164–194. Jul. Müller: Die christliche Lehre von der Sünde. Bresl. 1838, 5th ed. 1866, 2 vols. (An English translation by Pulsford, Edinburgh.)  The same: Der Pelagianismus. Berlin, 1854. (A brief, but admirable essay.)  Hefele: Conciliengeschichte. Bd. ii. 1856, p. 91 ff. W. Cunningham: Historical Theology. Edinburgh, 1863, vol. i, pp. 321–358. Fr. Wörter (R.C.): Der Pelagianismus nach seinem Ursprung und seiner Lehre. Freiburg, 1866. Nourrisson: La philosophie de S. Augustin. Par. 1866, 2 vols. (vol. i. 452 ff.; ii. 352 ff.). Comp. also the literature in § 178, and the relevant chapters in the Doctrine-Histories of Münscher, Baumgarten-Crusius, Hagenbach, Neander, Baur, Beck, Shedd.


 § 146. Character of the Pelagian Controversy.


While the Oriental Church was exhausting her energies in the Christological controversies, and, with the help of the West, was developing the ecumenical doctrine of the person of Christ, the Latin church was occupied with the great anthropological and soteriological questions of sin and grace, and was bringing to light great treasures of truth, without either help from the Eastern church or influence upon her. The third ecumenical council, it is true, condemned Pelagianism, but without careful investigation, and merely on account of its casual connection with Nestorianism. The Greek historians, Socrates, Sozomen, Theodoret, and Evagrius, although they treat of that period, take not the slightest notice of the Pelagian controversies. In this fact we see the predominantly practical character of the West, in contradistinction to the contemplative and speculative East. Yet the Christological and anthropologico-soteriological controversies are vitally connected, since Christ became man for the redemption of man. The person and the work of the Redeemer presuppose on the one hand man’s capability of redemption, and on the other his need of redemption. Manichaeism denies the former, Pelagianism the latter. In opposition to these two fundamental anthropological heresies, the church was called to develope the whole truth.

Before Augustine the anthropology of the church was exceedingly crude and indefinite. There was a general agreement as to the apostasy and the moral accountability of man, the terrible curse of sin, and the necessity of redeeming grace; but not as to the extent of native corruption, and the relation of human freedom to divine grace in the work of regeneration and conversion. The Greek, and particularly the Alexandrian fathers, in opposition to the dualism and fatalism of the Gnostic systems, which made evil a necessity of nature, laid great stress upon human freedom, and upon the indispensable cooperation of this freedom with divine grace; while the Latin fathers, especially Tertullian and Cyprian, Hilary and Ambrose, guided rather by their practical experience than by speculative principles, emphasized the hereditary sin and hereditary guilt of man, and the sovereignty of God’s grace, without, however, denying freedom and individual accountability.1712  The Greek church adhered to her undeveloped synergism,1713 which coordinates the human will and divine grace as factors in the work of conversion; the Latin church, under the influence of Augustine, advanced to the system of a divine, monergism,1714 which gives God all the glory, and makes freedom itself a result of grace; while Pelagianism, on the contrary, represented the principle of a human monergism, which ascribes the chief merit of conversion to man, and reduces grace to a mere external auxiliary. After Augustine’s death, however the intermediate system of Semi-Pelagianism, akin to the Greek synergism, became prevalent in the West.

Pelagius and Augustine, in whom these opposite forms of monergism were embodied, are representative men, even more strictly than Arius and Athanasius before them, or Nestorius and Cyril after them. The one, a Briton, more than once convulsed the world by his errors; the other, an African, more than once by his truths. They represented principles and tendencies, which, in various modifications, extend through the whole history of the church, and reappear in its successive epochs. The Gottschalk controversy in the ninth century, the Reformation, the synergistic controversy in the Lutheran church, the Arminian in the Reformed, and the Jansenistic in the Roman Catholic, only reproduce the same great contest in new and specific aspects. Each system reflects the personal character and experience of its author. Pelagius was an upright monk, who without inward conflicts won for himself, in the way of tranquil development, a legal piety which knew neither the depths of sin nor the heights of grace. Augustine, on the other hand, passed through sharp convulsions and bitter conflicts, till he was overtaken by the unmerited grace of God, and created anew to a life of faith and love. Pelagius had a singularly clear, though contracted mind, and an earnest moral purpose, but no enthusiasm for lofty ideals; and hence he found it not hard to realize his lower standard of holiness. Augustine had a bold and soaring intellect, and glowing heart, and only found peace after he had long been tossed by the waves of passion; he had tasted all the misery of sin, and then all the glory of redemption, and this experience qualified him to understand and set forth these antagonistic powers far better than his opponent, and with a strength and fulness surpassed only by the inspired apostle Paul. Indeed, Augustine, of all the fathers, most resembles, in experience and doctrine, this very apostle, and stands next to him in his influence upon the Reformers.

The Pelagian controversy turns upon the mighty antithesis of sin and grace. It embraces the whole cycle of doctrine respecting the ethical and religious relation of man to God, and includes, therefore, the doctrines of human freedom, of the primitive state, of the fall, of regeneration and conversion, of the eternal purpose of redemption, and of the nature and operation of the grace of God. It comes at last to the question, whether redemption is chiefly a work of God or of man; whether man needs to be born anew, or merely improved. The soul of the Pelagian system is human freedom; the soul of the Augustinian is divine grace. Pelagius starts from the natural man, and works up, by his own exertions, to righteousness and holiness. Augustine despairs of the moral sufficiency of man, and derives the now life and all power for good from the creative grace of God. The one system proceeds from the liberty of choice to legalistic piety; the other from the bondage of sin to the evangelical liberty of the children of God. To the former Christ is merely a teacher and example, and grace an external auxiliary to the development of the native powers of man; to the latter he is also Priest and King, and grace a creative principle, which begets, nourishes, and consummates a new life. The former makes regeneration and conversion a gradual process of the strengthening and perfecting of human virtue; the latter makes it a complete transformation, in which the old disappears and all becomes new. The one loves to admire the dignity and strength of man; the other loses itself in adoration of the glory and omnipotence of God. The one flatters natural pride, the other is a gospel for penitent publicans and sinners. Pelagianism begins with self-exaltation and ends with the sense of self-deception and impotency. Augustinianism casts man first into the dust of humiliation and despair, in order to lift him on the wings of grace to supernatural strength, and leads him through the hell of self-knowledge up to the heaven of the knowledge of God. The Pelagian system is clear, sober, and intelligible, but superficial; the Augustinian sounds the depths of knowledge and experience, and renders reverential homage to mystery. The former is grounded upon the philosophy of common sense, which is indispensable for ordinary life, but has no perception of divine things; the latter is grounded upon the philosophy of the regenerate reason, which breaks through the limits of nature, and penetrates the depths of divine revelation. The former starts with the proposition: Intellectus praecedit fidem; the latter with the opposite maxim: Fides praecedit intellectum. Both make use of the Scriptures; the one, however, conforming them to reason, the other subjecting reason to them. Pelagianism has an unmistakable affinity with rationalism, and supplies its practical side. To the natural will of the former system corresponds the natural reason of the latter; and as the natural will, according to Pelagianism, is competent to good, so is the natural reason, according to rationalism, competent to the knowledge of the truth. All rationalists are Pelagian in their anthropology; but Pelagius and Coelestius were not consistent, and declared their agreement with the traditional orthodoxy in all other doctrines, though without entering into their deeper meaning and connection. Even divine mysteries may be believed in a purely external, mechanical way, by inheritance from the past, as the history of theology, especially in the East, abundantly proves.

The true solution of the difficult question respecting the relation of divine grace to human freedom in the work of conversion, is not found in the denial of either factor; for this would either elevate man to the dignity of a self-redeemer, or degrade him to an irrational machine, and would ultimately issue either in fatalistic pantheism or in atheism; but it must be sought in such a reconciliation of the two factors as gives full weight both to the sovereignty of God and to the responsibility of man, yet assigns a preëminence to the divine agency corresponding to the infinite exaltation of the Creator and Redeemer above the sinful creature. And although Angustine’s solution of the problem is not altogether satisfactory, and although in his zeal against the Pelagian error he has inclined to the opposite extreme; yet in all essential points, he has the Scriptures, especially the Epistles of Paul, as well as Christian experience, and the profoundest speculation, on his side. Whoever reads the tenth volume of his works, which contains his Anti-Pelagian writings in more than fourteen hundred folio columns (in the Benedictine edition), will be moved to wonder at the extraordinary wealth of thought and experience treasured in them for all time; especially if he considers that Augustine, at the breaking out of the Pelagian controversy, was already fifty-seven years old, and had passed through the Manichaen and Donatist controversies. Such giants in theology could only arise in an age when this queen of the sciences drew into her service the whole mental activity of the time.

The Pelagian controversy was conducted with as great an expenditure of mental energy, and as much of moral and religious earnestness, but with less passion and fewer intrigues, than the Trinitarian and Christological conflicts in the East. In the foreground stood the mighty genius and pure zeal of Augustine, who never violated theological dignity, and, though of thoroughly energetic convictions, had a heart full of love. Yet even he yielded so far to the intolerant spirit of his time as to justify the repression of the Donatist and Pelagian errors by civil penalties.


 § 147. External History of the Pelagian Controversy,  A.D. 411–431.


Pelagius1715 was a simple monk, born about the middle of the fourth century in Britain, the extremity of the then civilized world. He was a man of clear intellect, mild disposition, learned culture, and spotless character; even Augustine. with all his abhorrence of his doctrines, repeatedly speaks respectfully of the man.1716  He studied the Greek theology, especially that of the Antiochian school, and early showed great zeal for the improvement of himself and of the world. But his morality was not so much the rich, deep life of faith, as it was the external legalism, the ascetic self-discipline and self-righteousness of monkery. It was characteristic, that, even before the controversy, he took great offence at the well-known saying of Augustine: "Give what thou commandest, and command what thou wilt."1717  He could not conceive, that the power to obey the commandment must come from the same source as the commandment itself. Faith, with him, was hardly more than a theoretical belief; the main thing in religion was moral action, the keeping of the commandments of God by one’s own strength. This is also shown in the introductory remarks of his letter to Demetrias, a noble Roman nun, of the gens Anicia, in which he describes a model virgin as a proof of the excellency of human nature: "As often as I have to speak concerning moral improvement and the leading of a holy life, I am accustomed first to set forth the power and quality of human nature, and to show what it can accomplish.1718  For never are we able to enter upon the path of the virtues, unless hope, as companion, draws us to them. For every longing after anything dies within us, so soon as we despair of attaining that thing."

In the year 409, Pelagius, already advanced in life, was in Rome, and composed a brief commentary on the Epistles of Paul. This commentary, which has been preserved among the works of Jerome, displays a clear and sober exegetical talent.1719  He labored quietly and peacefully for the improvement of the corrupt morals of Rome, and converted the advocate Coelestius, of distinguished, but otherwise unknown birth, to his monastic life, and to his views. It was from this man, younger, more skilful in argument, more ready for controversy, and more rigorously consistent than his teacher, that the controversy took its rise. Pelagius was the moral author, Coelestius the intellectual author, of the system represented by them.1720  They did not mean actually to found a new system, but believed themselves in accordance with Scripture and established doctrine. They were more concerned with the ethical side of Christianity than with the dogmatic; but their endeavor after moral perfection was based upon certain views of the natural power of the will, and these views proved to be in conflict with anthropological principles which had been developed in the African church for the previous ten years under the influence of Augustine.

In the year 411, the two friends, thus united in sentiment, left Rome, to escape the dreaded Gothic King Alaric, and went to Africa. They passed through Hippo, intending to visit Augustine, but found that he was just then at Carthage, occupied with the Donatists. Pelagius wrote him a very courteous letter, which Augustine answered in a similar tone; intimating, however, the importance of holding the true doctrine concerning sin. "Pray for me," he said, "that God may really make me that which you already take me to be."  Pelagius soon proceeded to Palestine. Coelestius applied for presbyters’ orders in Carthage, the very place where he had most reason to expect opposition. This inconsiderate step brought on the crisis. He gained many friends, it is true, by his talents and his ascetic zeal, but at the same time awakened suspicion by his novel opinions.

The deacon Paulinus of Milan, who was just then in Carthage, and who shortly afterwards at the request of Augustine wrote the life of Ambrose, warned the bishop Aurelius against Coelestius, and at a council held by Aurelius at Carthage in 412,1721 appeared as his accuser. Six or seven errors, he asserted he had found in the writings of Coelestius:

1. Adam was created mortal, and would have died, even if he had not sinned.

2. Adam’s fall injured himself alone, not the human race.

3. Children come into the world in the same condition in which Adam was before the fall.

4. The human race neither dies in consequence of Adam’s fall, nor rises again in consequence of Christ’s resurrection.

5. Unbaptized children, as well as others, are saved.1722

6. The law, as well as the gospel, leads to the kingdom of heaven.

7. Even before Christ there were sinless men.

The principal propositions were the second and third, which are intimately connected, and which afterwards became the especial subject of controversy.

Coelestius returned evasive answers. He declared the propositions to be speculative questions of the schools, which did not concern the substance of the faith, and respecting which different opinions existed in the church. He refused to recant the errors charged upon him, and the synod excluded him from the communion of the church. He immediately went to Ephesus, and was there ordained presbyter.

Augustine had taken no part personally in these transactions. But as the Pelagian doctrines found many adherents even in Africa and in Sicily, he wrote several treatises in refutation of them so early as 412 and 415, expressing himself, however, with respect and forbearance.1723


 § 148. The Pelagian Controversy in Palestine.


Meanwhile, in 414, the controversy broke out in Palestine, where Pelagius was residing, and where he had aroused attention by a letter to the nun Demetrias. His opinions gained much wider currency there, especially among the Origenists; for the Oriental church had not been at all affected by the Augustinian views, and accepted the two ideas of freedom and grace, without attempting to define their precise relation to each other. But just then there happened to be in Palestine two Western theologians, Jerome and Orosius; and they instituted opposition to Pelagius.

Jerome, who lived a monk at Bethlehem, was at first decidedly favorable to the synergistic theory of the Greek fathers, but at the same time agreed with Ambrose and Augustine in the doctrine of the absolutely universal corruption of sin.1724  But from an enthusiastic admirer of Origen he had been changed to a bitter enemy. The doctrine of Pelagius concerning free will and the moral ability of human nature he attributed to the influence of Origen and Rufinus; and he took as a personal insult an attack of Pelagius on some of his writings.1725  He therefore wrote against him, though from wounded pride and contempt he did not even mention his name; first in a letter answering inquiries of a certain Ctesiphon at Rome (415);1726 then more at length in a dialogue of three books against the Pelagians, written towards the end of the year 415, and soon after the acquittal of Pelagius by the synod of Jerusalem.1727  Yet in this treatise and elsewhere Jerome himself teaches the freedom of the will, and only a conditional predestination of divine foreknowledge, and thus, with all his personal bitterness against the Pelagians, stands on Semi-Pelagian ground, though Augustine eulogizes the dialogue.1728

A young Spanish ecclesiastic, Paul Orosius, was at that time living with Jerome for the sake of more extended study, and had been sent to him by Augustine with letters relating to the Origenistic and Pelagian controversy.

At a diocesan synod, convoked by the bishop John of Jerusalem in June, 415,1729 this Orosius appeared against Pelagius, and gave information that a council at Carthage had condemned Coelestius, and that Augustine had written against his errors. Pelagius answered with evasion and disparagement: "What matters Augustine to me?"  Orosius gave his opinion, that a man who presumed to speak contumeliously of the bishop to whom the whole North African church owed her restoration (alluding apparently to the settlement of the Donatist controversies), deserved to be excluded from the communion of the whole church. John, who was a great admirer of the condemned Origen, and made little account of the authority of Augustine, declared: "I am Augustine,"1730 and undertook the defence of the accused. He permitted Pelagius, although only a monk and layman, to take his seat among the presbyters.1731  Nor did he find fault with Pelagius’ assertion, that man can easily keep the commandments of God, and become free from sin, after the latter had conceded, in a very indefinite manner, that for this the help of God is necessary. Pelagius had the advantage of understanding both languages, while John spoke only Greek, Orosius only Latin, and the interpreter often translated inaccurately. After much discussion it was resolved, that the matter should be laid before the Roman bishop, Innocent, since both parties in the controversy belonged to the Western church. Meanwhile these should refrain from all further attacks on each other.

A second Palestinian council resulted still more favorably to Pelagius. This consisted of fourteen bishops, and was held at Diospolis or Lydda, in December of the same year, under the presidency of Eulogius, bishop of Caesarea, to judge of an accusation preferred by two banished bishops of Gaul, Heros and Lazarus, acting in concert with Jerome.1732  The charges were unskilfully drawn up, and Pelagius was able to avail himself of equivocations, and to condemn as folly, though not as heresy, the teachings of Coelestius, which were also his own. The synod, of which John of Jerusalem was a member, did not go below the surface of the question, nor in fact understand it, but acquitted the accused of all heresy. Jerome is justified in calling this a "miserable synod;"1733 although Augustine is also warranted in saying: "it was not heresy, that was there acquitted, but the man who denied the heresy."1734

Jerome’s polemical zeal against the Pelagians cost him dear. In the beginning of the year 416, a mob of Pelagianizing monks, ecclesiastics, and vagabonds broke into his monastery at Bethlehem, maltreated the inmates, set the building on fire, and compelled the aged scholar to take to flight. Bishop John of Jerusalem let this pass unpunished. No wonder that Jerome, even during the last years of his life, in several epistles indulges in occasional sallies of anger against Pelagius, whom he calls a second Catiline.


 § 149. Position of the Roman Church. Condemnation of Pelagianism.


The question took another turn when it was brought before the Roman see. Two North African synods, in 416, one at Carthage and one at Mileve (now Mela), again condemned the Pelagian error, and communicated their sentence to pope Innocent.1735  A third and more confidential letter was addressed to him by five North African bishops, of whom Augustine was one.1736  Pelagius also sent him a letter and a confession of faith, which, however, were not received in due time.

Innocent understood both the controversy and the interests of the Roman see. He commended the Africans for having addressed themselves to the church of St. Peter, before which it was seemly that all the affairs of Christendom should be brought; he expressed his full agreement with the condemnation of Pelagius, Coelestius, and their adherents; but he refrained from giving judgment respecting the synod of Diospolis.1737

But soon afterwards (in 417) Innocent died, and was succeeded by Zosimus, who was apparently of Oriental extraction (417–418).1738  At this juncture, a letter from Pelagius to Innocent was received, in which he complained of having suffered wrong, and gave assurance of his orthodoxy. Coelestius appeared personally in Rome, and succeeded by his written and oral explanations in satisfying Zosimus. He, like Pelagius, demonstrated with great fulness his orthodoxy on points not at all in question, represented the actually controverted points as unimportant questions of the schools, and professed himself ready, if in error, to be corrected by the judgment of the Roman bishop.

Zosimus, who evidently had no independent theological opinion whatever, now issued (417) to the North African bishops an encyclical letter accompanied by the documentary evidence, censuring them for not having investigated the matter more thoroughly, and for having aspired, in foolish, overcurious controversies, to know more than the Holy Scriptures. At the same time he bore emphatic testimony to the orthodoxy of Pelagius and Coelestius, and described their chief opponents, Heros and Lazarus, as worthless characters, whom he had visited with excommunication and deposition. They in Rome, he says, could hardly refrain from tears, that such men, who so often mentioned the gratia Dei and the adjutorium divinum, should have been condemned as heretics. Finally he entreated the bishops to submit themselves to the authority of the Roman see.1739

This temporary favor of the bishop of Rome towards the Pelagian heresy is a significant presage of the indulgence of later popes for Pelagianizing tendencies, and of the papal condemnation of Jansenism.

The Africans were too sure of their cause, to yield submission to so weak a judgment, which, moreover, was in manifest conflict with that of Innocent. In a council at Carthage, in 417 or 418, they protested, respectfully but decidedly, against the decision of Zosimus, and gave him to understand that he was allowing himself to be greatly deceived by the indefinite explanations of Coelestius. In a general African council held at Carthage in 418, the bishops, over two hundred in number, defined their opposition to the Pelagian errors, in eight (or nine) Canons, which are entirely conformable to the Augustinian view.1740  They are in the following tenor:

1. Whosoever says, that Adam was created mortal, and would, even without sin, have died by natural necessity, let him be anathema.

2. Whoever rejects infant baptism, or denies original sin in children, so that the baptismal formula, "for the remission of sins," would have to be taken not in a strict, but in a loose sense, let him be anathema.

3. Whoever says, that in the kingdom of heaven, or elsewhere, there is a certain middle place, where children dying without baptism live happy (beate vivant), while yet without baptism they cannot enter into the kingdom of heaven, i.e., into eternal life, let him be anathema.1741

The fourth canon condemns the doctrine that the justifying grace of God merely effects the forgiveness of sins already committed; and the remaining canons condemn other superficial views of the grace of God and the sinfulness of man.

At the same time the Africans succeeded in procuring from the emperor Honorius edicts against the Pelagians.

These things produced a change in the opinions of Zosimus, and about the middle of the year 418, he issued an encyclical letter to all the bishops of both East and West, pronouncing the anathema upon Pelagius and Coelestius (who had meanwhile left Rome), and declaring his concurrence with the decisions of the council of Carthage in the doctrines of the corruption of human nature, of baptism, and of grace. Whoever refused to subscribe the encyclical, was to be deposed, banished from his church, and deprived of his property.1742

Eighteen bishops of Italy refused to subscribe, and were deposed. Several of these afterwards recanted, and were restored.

The most distinguished one of them, however, the bishop Julian, of Eclanum, a small place near Capua in Campania, remained steadfast till his death, and in banishment vindicated his principles with great ability and zeal against Augustine, to whom he attributed all the misfortunes of his party, and who elaborately confuted him.1743  Julian was the most learned, the most acute, and the most systematic of the Pelagians, and the most formidable opponent of Augustine; deserving respect for his talents, his uprightness of life, and his immovable fidelity to his convictions, but unquestionably censurable for excessive passion and overbearing pride.1744

Julian, Coelestius, and other leaders of the exiled Pelagians, were hospitably received in Constantinople, in 429, by the patriarch Nestorius, who sympathized with their doctrine of the moral competency of the will, though not with their denial of original sin, and who interceded for them with the emperor and with pope Celestine, but in vain. Theodosius, instructed by Marius Mercator in the merits of the case, commanded the heretics to leave the capital (429). Nestorius, in a still extant letter to Coelestius,1745 accords to him the highest titles of honor, and comforts him with the examples of John the Baptist and the persecuted apostles. Theodore of Mopsuestia († 428), the author of the Nestorian Christology, wrote in 419 a book against the Augustinian anthropology, of which fragments only are left.1746

Of the subsequent life of Pelagius and Coelestius we have no account. The time and place of their death are entirely unknown. Julian is said to have ended his life a schoolmaster in Sicily, a.d. 450, after having sacrificed all his property for the poor during a famine.

Pelagianism was thus, as early as about the year 430, externally vanquished. It never formed an ecclesiastical sect, but simply a theological school. It continued to have individual adherents in Italy till towards the middle of the fifth century, so that the Roman bishop, Leo the Great, found himself obliged to enjoin on the bishops by no means to receive any Pelagian to the communion of the church without an express recantation.

At the third ecumenical council in Ephesus, a.d. 431 (the year after Augustine’s death), Pelagius (or more properly Coelestius) was put in the same category with Nestorius. And indeed there is a certain affinity between them: both favor an abstract separation of the divine and the human, the one in the person of Christ, the other in the work of conversion, forbidding all organic unity of life. According to the epistle of the council to pope Celestine, the Western Acta against the Pelagians were read at Ephesus and approved, but we do not know in which session. We are also ignorant of the discussions attending this act. In the canons, Coelestius, it is true, is twice condemned together with Nestorius, but without statement of his teachings.1747

The position of the Greek church upon this question is only negative; she has in name condemned Pelagianism, but has never received the positive doctrines of Augustine. She continued to teach synergistic or Semi-Pelagian views, without, however, entering into a deeper investigation of the relation of human freedom to divine grace.1748


 § 150. The Pelagian System: Primitive State and Freedom of Man; the Fall.


The peculiar anthropological doctrines, which Pelagius clearly apprehended and put in actual practice, which Coelestius dialectically developed, and bishop Julian most acutely defended, stand in close logical connection with each other, although they were not propounded in systematic form. They commend themselves at first sight by their simplicity, clearness, and plausibility, and faithfully express the superficial, self-satisfied morality of the natural man. They proceed from a merely empirical view of human nature, which, instead of going to the source of moral life, stops with its manifestations, and regards every person, and every act of the will, as standing by itself, in no organic connection with a great whole.

We may arrange the several doctrines of this system according to the great stages of the moral history of mankind.

I. The Primitive State of mankind, and the doctrine of Freedom.

The doctrine of the primitive state of man holds a subordinate position in the system of Pelagius, but the doctrine of freedom is central; because in his view the primitive state substantially coincides with the present, while freedom is the characteristic prerogative of man, as a moral being, in all stages of his development.

Adam, he taught, was created by God sinless, and entirely competent to all good, with an immortal spirit and a mortal body. He was endowed with reason and free will. With his reason he was to have dominion over irrational creatures; with his free will he was to serve God. Freedom is the supreme good, the honor and glory of man, the bonum naturae, that cannot be lost. It is the sole basis of the ethical relation of man to God, who would have no unwilling service. It consists according to Pelagius, essentially in the liberum arbitrium, or the possibilitas boni et mali; the freedom of choice, and the absolutely equal ability at every moment to do good or evil.1749  The ability to do evil belongs necessarily to freedom, because we cannot will good without at the same time being able to will evil. Without this power of contrary choice, the choice of good itself would lose its freedom, and therefore its moral value. Man is not a free, self-determining moral subject, until good and evil, life and death, have been given into his hand.1750

This is the only conception of freedom which Pelagius has, and to this he and his followers continually revert. He views freedom in its form alone, and in its first stage, and there fixes and leaves it, in perpetual equipoise between good and evil, ready at any moment to turn either way. It is without past or future; absolutely independent of everything without or within; a vacuum, which may make itself a plenum, and then becomes a vacuum again; a perpetual tabula rasa, upon which man can write whatsoever he pleases; a restless choice, which, after every decision, reverts to indecision and oscillation. The human will is, as it were, the eternal Hercules at the cross-road, who takes first a step to the right, then a step to the left, and ever returns to his former position. Pelagius knows only the antithesis of free choice and constraint; no stages of development, no transitions. He isolates the will from its acts, and the acts from each other, and overlooks the organic connection between habit and act. Human liberty, like every other spiritual power, has its development; it must advance beyond its equilibrium, beyond the mere ability to sin or not to sin, and decide for the one or the other. When the will decides, it so far loses its indifference, and the oftener it acts, the more does it become fixed; good or evil becomes its habit, its second nature; and the will either becomes truly free by deciding for virtue, and by practising virtue, or it becomes the slave of vice.1751  "Whosoever committeth sin, is the servant of sin."  Goodness is its own reward, and wickedness is its own punishment. Liberty of choice is not a power, but a weakness, or rather a crude energy, waiting to assume some positive form, to reject evil and commit itself to good, and to become a moral self-control, in which the choice of evil, as in Christ, is a moral, though not a physical, impossibility. Its impulse towards exercise is also an impulse towards self-annihilation, or at least towards self-limitation. The right use of the freedom of choice leads to a state of holiness; the abuse of it, to a state of bondage under sin. The state of the will is affected by its acts, and settles towards a permanent character of good or evil. Every act goes to form a moral state or habit; and habit is in turn the parent of new acts. Perfect freedom is one with moral necessity, in which man no longer can do evil because he will not do it, and must do good because he wills to do it; in which the finite will is united with the divine in joyful obedience, and raised above the possibility of apostasy. This is the blessed freedom of the children of God in the state of glory. There is, indeed, a subordinate sphere of natural virtue and civil justice, in which even fallen man retains a certain freedom of choice, and is the artificer of his own character. But as respects his relation to God, he is in a state of alienation from God, and of bondage under sin; and from this he cannot rise by his own strength, by a bare resolution of his will, but only by a regenerating act of grace. received in humility and faith, and setting him free to practise Christian virtue. Then, when born again from above, the will of the new man co-operates with the grace of God, in the growth of the Christian life.1752

Physical death Pelagius regarded as a law of nature, which would have prevailed even without sin.1753  The passages of Scripture which represent death as the consequence of sin, he referred to moral corruption or eternal damnation.1754  Yet be conceded that Adam, if he had not sinned, might by a special privilege have been exempted from death.

II. The Fall of Adam and its Consequences.

Pelagius, destitute of all idea of the organic wholeness of the race or of human nature, viewed Adam merely as an isolated individual; he gave him no representative place, and therefore his acts no bearing beyond himself.

In his view, the sin of the first man consisted in a single, isolated act of disobedience to the divine command. Julian compares it to the insignificant offence of a child, which allows itself to be misled by some sensual bait, but afterwards repents its fault. "Rude, inexperienced, thoughtless, having not yet learned to fear, nor seen an example of virtue,"1755  Adam allowed himself to be enticed by the pleasant look of the forbidden fruit, and to be determined by the persuasion of the woman. This single and excusable act of transgression brought no consequences, either to the soul or the body of Adam, still less to his posterity who all stand or fall for themselves.

There is, therefore, according to this system, no original sin, and no hereditary guilt. Pelagius merely conceded, that Adam, by his disobedience, set a bad example, which exerts a more or less injurious influence upon his posterity. In this view he condemned at the synod of Diospolis (415) the assertion of Coelestius, that Adam’s sin injured himself alone, not the human race.1756  He was also inclined to admit an increasing corruption of mankind, though he ascribed it solely to the habit of evil, which grows in power the longer it works and the farther it spreads.1757  Sin, however, is not born with man; it is not a product of nature, but of the will.1758  Man is born both without virtue and without vice, but with the capacity for either.1759  The universality of sin must be ascribed to the power of evil example and evil custom.

And there are exceptions to it. The "all" in Rom. v. 12 is to be taken relatively for the majority. Even before Christ there were men who lived free from sin, such as righteous Abel, Abraham, Isaac, the Virgin Mary, and many others.1760  From the silence of the Scriptures respecting the sins of many righteous men, he inferred that such men were without sin.1761  In reference to Mary, Pelagius is nearer the present Roman Catholic view than Augustine, who exempts her only from actual sin, not from original.1762  Jerome, with all his reverence for the blessed Virgin, does not even make this exception but says, without qualification, that every creature is under the power of sin and in need of the mercy of God.1763

With original sin, of course, hereditary guilt also disappears; and even apart from this connection, Pelagius views it as irreconcilable with the justice of God. From this position a necessary deduction is the salvation of unbaptized infants. Pelagius, however, made a distinction between vita aeterna or a lower degree of salvation, and the regnum coelorum of the baptized saints; and he affirmed the necessity of baptism for entrance into the kingdom of heaven.1764

In this doctrine of the fall we meet with the same disintegrating view of humanity as before. Adam is isolated from his posterity; his disobedience is disjoined from other sins. He is simply an individual, like any other man, not the representative of the whole race. There are no creative starting-points; every man begins history anew. In this system Paul’s exhibitions of Adam and Christ as the representative ancestors of mankind have no meaning. If the act of the former has merely an individual significance, so also has that of the latter. If the sin of Adam cannot be imputed, neither can the merit of Christ. In both cases there is nothing left but the idea of example, the influence of which depends solely upon our own free will. But there is an undeniable solidarity between the sin of the first man and that of his posterity.

In like manner sin is here regarded almost exclusively as an isolated act of the will, while yet there is also such a thing as sinfulness; there are sinful states and sinful habits, which are consummated and strengthened by sins of act, and which in turn give birth to other sins of act.

There is a deep truth in the couplet of Schiller, which can easily be divested of its fatalistic intent:


"This is the very curse of evil deed,

That of new evil it becomes the seed."1765


Finally, the essence and root of sin is not sensuality, as Pelagius was inclined to assume (though he did not express himself very definitely on this point), but self-seeking, including pride and sensuality as the two main forms of sin. The sin of Satan was a pride that aimed at equality with God, rebellion against God; and in this the fall of Adam began, and was inwardly consummated before he ate of the forbidden fruit.


 § 151. The Pelagian System Continued: Doctrine, of Human Ability and Divine Grace.


III. The Present Moral Condition of man is, according to the Pelagian system, in all respects the same as that of Adam before the fall. Every child is born with the same moral powers and capabilities with which the first man was created by God. For the freedom of choice, as we have already seen, is not lost by abuse, and is altogether the same in heathens, Jews, and Christians, except that in Christians it is aided by grace.1766  Pelagius was a creationist, holding that the body alone is derived from the parents, and that every soul is created directly by God, and is therefore sinless. The sin of the father, inasmuch as it consists in isolated acts of will, and does not inhere in the nature, has no influence upon the child. The only difference is, that, in the first place, Adam’s posterity are born children, and not, like him, created full-grown; and secondly, they have before them the bad example of his disobedience, which tempts them more or less to imitation, and to the influence of which by far the most—but not all—succumb.

Julian often appeals to the virtues of the heathen, such as valor, chastity, and temperance, in proof of the natural goodness of human nature.

He looked at the matter of moral action as such, and judged it accordingly. "If the chastity of the heathen," he objects to Augustine’s view of the corrupt nature of heathen virtue, "were no chastity, then it might be said with the same propriety that the bodies of unbelievers are no bodies; that the eyes of the heathen could not see; that grain which grew in their fields was no grain."

Augustine justly ascribed the value of a moral act to the inward disposition or the direction of the will, and judged it from the unity of the whole life and according to the standard of love to God, which is the soul of all true virtue, and is bestowed upon us only through grace. He did not deny altogether the existence of natural virtues, such as moderation, lenity, benevolence, generosity, which proceed from the Creator, and also constitute a certain merit among men; but he drew a broad line of distinction between them and the specific Christian graces, which alone are good in the proper sense of the word, and alone have value before God.

The Holy Scriptures, history, and Christian experience, by no means warrant such a favorable view of the natural moral condition of man as the Pelagian system teaches. On the contrary, they draw a most gloomy picture of fearful corruption and universal inclination to all evil, which can only be overcome by the intervention of divine grace. Yet Augustine also touches an extreme, when, on a false application of the passage of St. Paul: "Whatsoever is not of faith, is sin" (Rom. xiv. 23), he ascribes all the virtues of the heathen to ambition and love of honor, and so stigmatizes them as vices.1767  And in fact he is in this inconsistent with himself. For, according to his view, the nature which God created, remains, as to its substance, good; the divine image is not wholly lost, but only defaced; and even man’s sorrow in his loss reveals a remaining trace of good.1768

Pelagius distinguishes three elements in the idea of good: . Power, will, and act (posse, velle, and esse). The first appertains to man’s nature, the second to his free will, the third to his conduct. The power or ability to do good, the ethical constitution, is grace, and comes therefore from God, as an original endowment of the nature of man. It is the condition of volition and action, though it does not necessarily produce them. Willing and acting belong exclusively to man himself.1769  The power of speech, of thought, of sight, is God’s, gift; but whether we shall really think, speak, or see, and whether we shall think, speak, or see well or ill, depends upon ourselves.1770

Here the nature of man is mechanically sundered from his will and act; and the one is referred exclusively to God, the others to man. Moral ability does not exist over and above the will and its acts, but in them, and is increased by exercise; and thus its growth depends upon man himself. On the other hand, the divine help is indispensable even to the willing and doing of good; for God works in us both to will and to do.1771  The Pelagian system is founded unconsciously upon the deistic conception of the world as a clock, made and wound up by God, and then running of itself, and needing at most some subsequent repairs. God, in this system, is not the omnipresent and everywhere working Upholder and Governor of the world, in whom the creation lives and moves and has its being, but a more or less passive spectator of the operation of the universe.1772  Jerome therefore fairly accuses the Pelagians (without naming them) of denying the absolute dependence of man on God, and cites against them the declaration of Christ, John v. 17, concerning the uninterrupted activity of God.1773

IV. The doctrine of the Grace of God.

The sufficiency of the natural reason and will of man would seem to make supernatural revelation and grace superfluous. But this Pelagius does not admit. Besides the natural grace, as we may call his concreated ability, he assumes also a supernatural grace, which through revelation enlightens the understanding, and assists man to will and to do what is good.1774  This grace confers the negative benefit of the forgiveness of past sins, or justification, which Pelagius understands in the Protestant sense of declaring righteous, and not (like Augustine) in the Catholic sense of making righteous;1775


Ihm ziemt’s, die Welt im Innern zu bewegen,

Natur in sich, sich in Natur zu hegen,

So dass, was in ihm lebt und webt und ist,

Nie seine Kraft, nie seinen Geist vermisst."


"What were a God who only from without

Upon his finger whirled the universe about?

’Tis his within itself to move the creature;

Nature in him to warm, himself in nature;

So that what in him lives and moves and is,

Shall ever feel some living breath of his."


and the positive benefit of a strengthening of the will by the power of instruction and example. As we have been followers of Adam in sin, so should we become imitators of Christ in virtue. "In those not Christians," says Pelagius, "good exists in a condition of nakedness and helplessness; but in Christians it acquires vigor through the assistance of Christ."1776  He distinguishes different stages of development in grace corresponding to the increasing corruption of mankind. At first, he says, men lived righteous by nature (justitia per naturam), then righteous under the law (justitia sub lege), and finally righteous under grace (justitia gratiae), or the gospel.1777  When the inner law, or the conscience, no longer sufficed, the outward or Mosaic law came in; and when this failed, through the overmastering habit of sinning, it had to be assisted by the view and imitation of the virtue of Christ, as set forth in his example.1778  Julian of Eclanum also makes kinds and degrees of the grace of God. The first gift of grace is our creation out of nothing; the second, our rational soul; the third, the written law; the fourth, the gospel, with all its benefits. In the gift of the Son of God grace is completed.1779

Grace is therefore a useful external help (adjutorium) to the development of the powers of nature, but is not absolutely necessary. Coelestius laid down the proposition, that grace is not given for single acts.1780  Pelagius, it is true, condemned those who deny that the grace of God in Christ is necessary for every moment and every act; but this point was a concession wrung from him in the controversy, and does not follow logically from his premises.1781

Grace moreover, according to Pelagius, is intended for all men (not, as Augustine taught, for the elect few only), but it must first be deserved. This, however, really destroys its freedom.1782  "The heathen," he says, "are liable to judgment and damnation, because they, notwithstanding their free will, by which they are able to attain unto faith and to deserve God’s grace, make an evil use of the freedom bestowed upon them; Christians, on the other hand, are worthy of reward, because they through good use of freedom deserve the grace of God, and keep his commandments."1783

Pelagianism, therefore, extends the idea of grace too far, making it include human nature itself and the Mosaic law; while, on the other hand, it unduly restricts the specifically Christian grace to the force of instruction and example. Christ is indeed the Supreme Teacher, and the Perfect Example, but He is also High-priest and King, and the Author of a new spiritual creation. Had He been merely a teacher, He would not have been specifically distinct from Moses and Socrates, and could not have redeemed mankind from the guilt and bondage of sin. Moreover, He does not merely influence believers from without, but lives and works in them through the Holy Ghost, as the principle of their spiritual life. Hence Augustine’s wish for his opponent: "Would that Pelagius might confess that grace which not merely promises us the excellence of future glory, but also brings forth in us the faith and hope of it; a grace, which not merely admonishes to all good, but also from within inclines us thereto; not merely reveals wisdom, but also inspires us with the love of wisdom."1784  This superficial conception of grace is inevitable, with the Pelagian conception of sin. If human nature is uncorrupted, and the natural will competent to all good, we need no Redeemer to create in us a new will and a new life, but merely an improver and ennobler; and salvation is essentially the work of man. The Pelagian system has really no place for the ideas of redemption, atonement, regeneration, and new creation. It substitutes for them our own moral effort to perfect our natural powers, and the mere addition of the grace of God as a valuable aid and support. It was only by a happy inconsistency, that Pelagius and his adherents traditionally held to the church doctrines of the Trinity and the person of Christ. Logically their system led to a rationalistic Christology.1785

Pelagianism is a fundamental anthropological heresy, denying man’s need of redemption, and answering to the Ebionistic Christology, which rejects the divinity of Christ. It is the opposite of Manichaeism, which denies man’s capability of redemption, and which corresponds to the Gnostic denial of the true humanity of Christ.1786


 § 152. The Augustinian System: The Primitive State of Man, and Free Will.


Augustine (354–430) had already in his Confessions, in the year 400, ten years before the commencement of the Pelagian controversy, set forth his, deep and rich experiences of human sin and divine grace. This classical autobiography, which every theological student should read, is of universal application, and in it every Christian may bewail his own wanderings, despair of himself, throw himself unconditionally into the arms of God, and lay hold upon unmerited grace.1787  Augustine had in his own life passed through all the earlier stages of the history of the church, and had overcome in theory and in practice the heresy of Manichaeism, before its opposite, Pelagianism, appeared. By his theological refutation of this latter heresy, and by his clear development of the Biblical anthropology, he has won the noblest and most lasting renown. As in the events recorded in his Confessions he gives views of the evangelical doctrines of sin and of grace, so in the doctrines of his anti-Pelagian writings he sets forth his personal experience. He teaches nothing which he has not felt. In him the philosopher and the living Christian are everywhere fused. His loftiest metaphysical speculation passes unconsciously into adoration. The living aroma of personal experience imparts to his views a double interest, and an irresistible attraction for all earnest minds.1788

Yet his system was not always precisely the same; it became perfect only through personal conflict and practical tests. Many of his earlier views—e.g., respecting the freedom of choice, and respecting faith as a work of man—he himself abandoned in his Retractations;1789 and hence he is by no means to be taken as an infallible guide. He holds, moreover, the evangelical doctrines of sin and grace not in the Protestant sense, but, like his faithful disciples, the Jansenists, in connection with the sacramental and strict churchly system of Catholicism; he taught the necessity of baptismal regeneration and the damnation of all unbaptized children, and identified justification in substance with sanctification, though he made sanctification throughout a work of free grace, and not of human merit. It remains the exclusive prerogative of the inspired apostles to stand above the circumstances of their time, and never, in combating one error, to fall into its opposite. Nevertheless, Augustine is the brightest star in the constellation of the church fathers, and diffuses his light through the darkest periods of the middle ages, and among Catholics and Protestants alike, even to this day.1790

His anthropology may be exhibited under the three stages of the religious development of mankind, the status integritatis, the status corruptionis, and the status redemtionis.

I. The Primitive State of man, or the State of Innocence.

Augustine’s conception of paradise is vastly higher than the Pelagian, and involves a far deeper fall and a far more glorious manifestation of redeeming grace. The first state of man resembles the state of the blessed in heaven, though it differs from that final state as the undeveloped germ from the perfect fruit. According to Augustine man came from the hand of his Maker, his genuine masterpiece, without the slightest fault. He possessed freedom, to do good; reason, to know God; and the grace of God. But by this grace Augustine (not happy in the choice of his term) means only the general supernatural assistance indispensable to a creature, that he may persevere in good.1791  The relation of man to God was that of joyful and perfect obedience. The relation of the body to the soul was the same. The flesh did not yet lust against the spirit; both were in perfect harmony, and the flesh was wholly subject to the spirit. "Tempted and assailed by no strife of himself against himself, Adam enjoyed in that place the blessedness of peace with himself."  To this inward state, the outward corresponded. The paradise was not only spiritual, but also visible and material, without heat or cold, without weariness or excitement, without sickness, pains, or defects of any kind. The Augustinian, like the old Protestant, delineations, of the perfection of Adam and the blissfulness of paradise often exceed the sober standard of Holy Scripture, and borrow their colors in part from the heavenly paradise of the future, which can never be lost.1792

Yet Augustine admits that the original state of man was only relatively perfect, perfect in its kind; as a child may be a perfect child, while he is destined to become a man; or as the seed fulfils its idea as seed, though it has yet to become a tree. God alone is immutable and absolutely good; man is subject to development in time, and therefore to change. The primal gifts were bestowed on man simply as powers, to be developed in either one of two ways. Adam could go straight forward, develop himself harmoniously in untroubled unity with God, and thus gradually attain his final perfection; or he could fall away, engender evil ex nihilo by abuse of his free will, and develop himself through discords and contradictions. It was graciously made possible that his mind should become incapable of error, his will, of sin, his body, of death; and by a normal growth this possibility would have become actual. But this was mere possibility, involving, in the nature of the case, the opposite possibility of error, sin, and death.

Augustine makes the important distinction between the possibility of not sinning1793 and the impossibility of sinning.1794  The former is conditional or potential freedom from sin, which may turn into its opposite, the bondage of sin. This belonged to man before the fall. The latter is the absolute freedom from sin or the perfected holiness, which belongs to God, to the holy angels who have acceptably passed their probation, and to the redeemed saints in heaven.

In like manner he distinguishes between absolute and relative immortality.1795  The former is the impossibility of dying, founded upon the impossibility of sinning; an attribute of God and of the saints after the resurrection. The latter is the bare pre-conformation for immortality, and implies the opposite possibility of death. This was the immortality of Adam before the fall, and if he had persevered, it would have passed into the impossibility of dying; but it was lost by sin.1796

Freedom, also, Augustine holds to be an original endowment of man; but he distinguishes different kinds of it, and different degrees of its development, which we must observe, or we should charge him with self-contradiction.1797

By freedom Augustine understands, in the first place, simply spontaneity or self-activity, as opposed to action under external constraint or from animal instinct. Both sin and holiness are voluntary, that is, acts of the will, not motions of natural necessity.1798  This freedom belongs at all times and essentially to the human will, even in the sinful state (in which the will is, strictly speaking, self-willed); it is the necessary condition of guilt and punishment, of merit and reward. In this view no thinking man can deny freedom, without destroying the responsibility and the moral nature of man. An involuntary, will is as bald a self-contradiction as an unintelligent intelligence.1799

A second form of freedom is the liberum arbitrium, or freedom of choice. Here Augustine goes half-way with Pelagius; especially in his earlier writings, in opposition to Manichaeism, which denied all freedom, and made evil a natural necessity and an original substance. Like Pelagius he ascribes freedom of choice to the first man before the fall. God created man with the double capacity of sinning or not sinning, forbidding the former and commanding the latter. But Augustine differs from Pelagius in viewing Adam not as poised in entire indifference between good and evil, obedience and disobedience but as having a positive constitutional tendency to the good, yet involving, at the same time, a possibility of sinning.1800  Besides, Augustine, in the interest of grace and of true freedom, disparages the freedom of choice, and limits it to the beginning, the transient state of probation. This relative indecision cannot be at all predicated of God or the angels, of the saints or of sinners. It is an imperfection of the will, which the actual choosing of the good or the evil more or less surmounts. Adam, with the help of divine grace, without which be might will the good, indeed, but could not persevere in it, should have raised himself to the true freedom, the moral necessity of good; but by choosing the evil, he fell into the bondage of sin.1801  Augustine, however, incidentally concedes, that the liberum arbitrium still so far exists even in fallen man, that he can choose, not indeed between sin and holiness, but between individual actions within the sphere of sinfulness and of justitia civilis.1802

Finally, Augustine speaks most frequently and most fondly of the highest freedom, the free self-decision or self-determination of the will towards the good and holy, the blessed freedom of the children of God; which still includes, it is true, in this earthly life, the possibility of sinning, but becomes in heaven the image of the divine freedom, a felix necessitas boni, and cannot, because it will not, sin.1803  it is the exact opposite of the dura necessitas mali in the state of sin. It is not a faculty possessed in common by all rational minds, but the highest stage of moral development, confined to true Christians. This freedom Augustine finds expressed in that word of our Lord: "If the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free indeed."  It does not dispense with grace, but is generated by it; the more grace, the more freedom. The will is free in proportion as it is healthy, and healthy in proportion as it moves in the element of its true life, in God, and obeys Him of its own spontaneous impulse. To serve God is the true freedom.1804


 § 153. The Augustinian System: The Fall and its Consequences.


To understand Augustine’s doctrine of the fall of man, we must remember, first of all, that he starts with the idea of the organic unity of the human race, and with the profound parallel of Paul between the first and the second Adam;1805 that he views the first man not merely as an individual, but at the same time as the progenitor and representative of the whole race, standing to natural mankind in the same relation as that of Christ to redeemed and regenerate mankind. The history of the fall, recorded in a manner at once profound and childlike in the third chapter of Genesis, has, therefore, universal significance. In Adam human nature fell, and therefore all, who have inherited that nature from him, who were in him as the fruit in the germ, and who have grown up, as it were, one person with him.1806

But Augustine did not stop with the very just idea of an organic connection of the human race, and of the sin of Adam with original sin; he also supposed a sort of pre-existence of all the posterity of Adam in himself, so that they actually and personally sinned in him, though not, indeed, with individual consciousness. Since we were, at the time of the fall, "in lumbis Adami," the sin of Adam is "jure seminationis et germinationis," our sin and guilt, and physical death is a penalty even upon infant children, as it was a penalty upon Adam. The posterity of Adam therefore suffer punishment not for the sin of another, but for the sin which they themselves committed in Adam. This view, as we shall see farther on, Augustine founds upon a false interpretation of Rom. v. 12.


I. The Fall. The original state of man included the possibility of sinning, and this was the imperfection of that state. This possibility became reality. Why it should have been realized, is incomprehensible; since evil never has, like good, a sufficient reason. It is irrationality itself. Augustine fixes an immense gulf between the primitive state and the state of sin. But when thought has accomplished this adventurous leap, it finds his system coherent throughout.

Adam did not fall without temptation from another. That angel, who, in his pride, had turned away from God to himself, tempted man, who, standing yet in his integrity, provoked his envy. He first approached the woman, the weaker and the more credulous. The essence of the sin of Adam consisted not in the eating of the fruit; for this was in itself neither wrong nor harmful; but in disobedience to the command of God. "Obedience was enjoined by that commandment, as the virtue which, in the rational creature, is, as it were, the mother and guardian of all virtues."  The principle, the root of sin, was pride, self-seeking, the craving of the will to forsake its author, and become its own. This pride preceded the outward act. Our first parents were sinful in heart, before they had yet fallen into open disobedience. "For man never yet proceeded to an evil work, unless incited to it by an evil will."  This pride even preceded the temptation of the serpent. "If man had not previously begun to take pleasure in himself, the serpent could have had no hold upon him."

The fall of Adam appears the greater, and the more worthy of punishment, if we consider, first, the height he occupied, the divine image in which he was created; then, the simplicity of the commandment, and ease of obeying it, in the abundance of all manner of fruits in paradise; and finally, the sanction of the most terrible punishment from his Creator and greatest Benefactor.

Thus Augustine goes behind the appearance to the substance; below the surface to the deeper truth. He does not stop with the outward act, but looks chiefly at the disposition which lies at its root.


II. The Consequences of the primal sin, both for Adam and for his posterity, are, in Augustine’s view, comprehensive and terrible in proportion to the heinousness of the sin itself. And all these consequences are at the same time punishments from the righteous God, who has, by one and the same law, joined reward with obedience and penalty with sin. They are all comprehended under death, in its widest sense; as Paul says: "The wages of sin is death;" and in Gen. ii. 17 we are to understand by the threatened death, all evil both to body and to soul.

Augustine particularizes the consequences of sin under seven heads; the first four being negative, the others positive:

1. Loss of the freedom of choice,1807 which consisted in a positive inclination and love to the good, with the implied possibility of sin. In place of this freedom has come the hard necessity of sinning, bondage to evil. "The will, which, aided by grace, would have become a source of good, became to Adam, in his apostasy from God, a source of evil."

2. Obstruction of knowledge. Man was originally able to learn everything easily, without labor, and to understand everything aright. But now the mind is beclouded, and knowledge can be acquired and imparted only in the sweat of the face.

3. Loss of the grace of God, which enabled man to perform the good which his freedom willed, and to persevere therein. By not willing, man forfeited his ability, and now, though he would do good, he cannot.

4. Loss of paradise. The earth now lies under the curse of God: it brings forth thorns and thistles, and in the sweat of his face man must eat his bread.

5. Concupiscence, i.e., not sensuousness in itself, but the preponderance of the sensuous, the lusting of the flesh against the spirit. Thus God punishes sin with sin—a proposition which Julian considered blasphemy. Originally the body was as joyfully obedient to the spirit, as man to God. There was but one will in exercise. By the fall this beautiful harmony has been broken, and that antagonism has arisen which Paul describes in the seventh chapter of the Epistle to the Romans. (Augustine referred this passage to the regenerate state.)  The rebellion of the spirit against God involved, as its natural punishment, the rebellion of the flesh against the spirit. Concupiscentia, therefore, is substantially the same as what Paul calls in the bad sense "flesh."  It is not the sensual constitution in itself, but its predominance over the higher, rational nature of man.1808  It is true, however, that Augustine, in his longing after an unimpeded life in the spirit, was inclined to treat even lawful appetites, such as hunger and thirst, so far as they assume the form of craving desire, as at least remotely connected with the fall.1809  Julian attributed the strength of animal desire to the animal element in the original nature of man. Augustine answered, that the superiority of man to the brute consists in the complete dominion of reason over the sensual nature, and that therefore his approach to the brute in this respect is a punishment from God. Concupiscence then is no more a merely corporeal thing than the biblical savrx, but has its seat in the soul, without which no lust arises. We must, therefore, suppose a conflict in the soul itself, a lower, earthly, self-seeking instinct, and a higher, god-like impulse.

This is the generic sense of concupiscentia: the struggle of the collective sensual and psychical desires against the god-like spirit. But Augustine frequently employs the word, as other corresponding terms are used, in the narrower sense of unlawful sexual desire. This appeared immediately after the fall, in the shame of our first parents, which was not for their nakedness itself, since this was nothing new to them, but for the lusting of the body; for something, therefore, in and of itself good (the body’s, own enjoyment, as it were), but now unlawfully rising, through the discord between body and soul. But would there then have been propagation without the fall?  Unquestionably; but it would have left the dominion of reason over the sensual desire undisturbed. Propagation would have been the act of a pure will and chaste love, and would have had no more shame about it than the scattering of seed upon the maternal bosom of the earth. But now lust rules the spirit; and Augustine in his earlier years had had bitter experience of its tyranny. To this element of sin in the act of procreation he ascribes the pains of childbirth, which in fact appear in Genesis as a consequence of the fall, and as a curse from God. Had man remained pure, "the ripe fruit would have descended from the maternal womb without labor or pain of the woman, as the fruit descends from the tree."1810

6.Physical death, with its retinue of diseases and bodily pains. Adam was indeed created mortal, that is, capable of death, but not subject to death. By a natural development the possibility of dying would have been overcome by the power of immortality; the body would have been gradually spiritualized and clothed with glory, without a violent transition or even the weakness of old age. But now man is fallen under the bitter necessity of death. Because the spirit forsook God willingly, it must now forsake the body unwillingly. With profound discernment Augustine shows that not only the actual severance of soul and body, but the whole life of sinful man is a continual dying. Even with the pains of birth and the first cry of the child does death begin. The threatening of the Lord, therefore: "In the day ye eat thereof, ye shall die," began at once to be fulfilled. For though our first parents lived many years afterwards, they immediately began to grow old and to die. Life is an unceasing march towards death, and "to no one is it granted, even for a little, to stand still, or to go more slowly, but all are constrained to go with equal pace, and no one is impelled differently from others. For he whose life has been shorter, saw therefore no shorter day than he whose life was longer. And he who uses more time to reach death, does not therefore go slower, but only makes a longer journey."

7. The most important consequence of the fall of Adam is original sin and hereditary guilt in his whole posterity; and as this was also one of the chief points of controversy, it must be exhibited at length.


 § 154. The Augustinian System: Original Sin, and the Origin of the Human Soul.


Original sin,1811 according to Augustine, is the native bent of the soul towards evil, with which all the posterity of Adam—excepting Christ, who was conceived by the Holy Ghost and born of a pure Virgin—come into the world, and out of which all actual sins of necessity proceed. It appears principally in concupiscence, or the war of the flesh against the spirit. Sin is not merely an individual act, but also a condition, a status and habitus, which continues, by procreation, from generation to generation. Original sin results necessarily, as has been already remarked, from the generic and representative character of Adam, in whom human nature itself, and so, potentially, all who should inherit that nature, fell.1812  The corruption of the root communicates itself to the trunk and the branches. But where sin is, there is always guilt and ill-desert in the eyes of a righteous God. The whole race, through the fall of its progenitor, has become a massa perditionis. This, of course, still admits different degrees both of sinfulness and of guilt.

Original sin and guilt are propagated by natural generation. The generic character planted in Adam unfolds itself in a succession of individuals, who organically grow one out of another. As sin, however, is not merely a thing of the body, but primarily and essentially of the spirit, the question arises, on which of the current theories as to the origin and propagagation of souls Augustine based his view.

This metaphysical problem enters theology in connection with the doctrine of original sin; this, therefore, is the place to say what is needful upon it.1813  The Gnostic and pantheistic emanation-theory had long since been universally rejected as heretical. But three other views had found advocates in the church:

1. The Traducian1814 or Generation-theory teaches that the soul originates with the body from the act of procreation, and therefore through human agency. It is countenanced by several passages of Scripture, such as Gen. v. 3; Ps. li. 5; Rom. v. 12; 1 Cor. xv. 22; Eph. ii. 3; it is decidedly suitable to the doctrine of original sin; and hence, since Tertullian, it has been adopted by most Western theologians in support and explanation of that doctrine.1815

2. The Creation-theory ascribes each individual soul to a direct creative act of God, and supposes it to be united with the body either at the moment of its generation, or afterwards. This view is held by several Eastern theologians and by Jerome, who appeals to the unceasing creative activity of God (John v. 17). It required the assumption that the Soul, which must proceed pure from the hand of the Creator, becomes sinful by its connection with the naturally generated body. Pelagius and his followers were creationists.1816

3. The theory of Pre-existence, which was originated by Plato and more fully developed by Origen, supposes that the soul, even before the origin of the body, existed and sinned in another world, and has been banished in the body as in a prison,1817 to expiate that personal Adamic guilt, and by an ascetic process to be restored to its original state. This is one of the Origenistic heresies, which were condemned under Justinian. Even Gregory of Nyssa, although, like Nemesius and Cyril of Alexandria, he supposed the soul to be created before the body, compares Origen’s theory to the heathen myths and fables. Origen himself allowed that the Bible does not directly teach the pre-existence of the soul, but maintained that several passages, such as the strife between Esau and Jacob in the womb, and the leaping of John the Baptist in the womb of Elizabeth at the salutation of Mary, imply it. The only truth in this theory is that every human soul has from eternity existed in the thought and purpose of God.1818

Augustine emphatically rejects the doctrine of pre-existence,1819 without considering that his own theory of a generic pre-existence and apostasy of all men in Adam is really liable to similar objections. For he also hangs the whole fate of the human race on a transcendental act of freedom, lying beyond our temporal consciousness though, it is true, he places this act in the beginning of earthly history, and ascribes it to the one general ancestor, while Origen transfers it into a previous world, and views it as an act of each individual soul.1820

But between creationism and traducianism Augustine wavers, because the Scriptures do not expressly decide. He wishes to keep both the continuous creative activity of God and the organic union of body and soul.

Augustine regards this whole question as belonging to science and the schools, not to faith and the church, and makes a confession of ignorance which, in a man of his speculative genius, involves great self-denial. "Where the Scripture," he says, "renders no certain testimony, human inquiry must beware of deciding one way or the other. If it were necessary to salvation to know anything concerning it, Scripture would have said more."1821

The three theories of the origin of the soul, we may remark by way of concluding criticism, admit of a reconciliation. Each of them contains an element of truth, and is wrong only when exclusively held. Every human soul has an ideal pre-existence in the divine mind, the divine will, and we may add, in the divine life; and every human soul as well as every human body is the product of the united agency of God and the parents. Pre-existentianism errs in confounding an ideal with a concrete, self-conscious, individual pre-existence; traducianism, in ignoring the creative divine agency without which no being, least of all an immortal mind, can come into existence, and in favoring a materialistic conception of the soul; creationism, in denying the human agency, and thus placing the soul in a merely accidental relation to the body.


 § 155. Arguments for the Doctrine of Original Sin and Hereditary Guilt.


We now pass to the proofs by which Augustine established his doctrine of original sin and guilt, and to the objections urged by his opponents.

1. For Scriptural authority he appealed chiefly and repeatedly to the words in Rom. v. 12, ejf j w|/ pavnte" h{marton, which are erroneously translated by the Vulgate: in quo1822 omnes peccaverunt. As Augustine had but slight knowledge of Greek, he commonly confined himself to the Latin Bible, and here he referred the in quo to Adam (the "one man" in the beginning of the verse, which is far too remote); but the Greek ejf j w|/  must be taken as neuter and as a conjunction in the sense: on the ground that, or because, all have sinned.1823  The exegesis of Augustine, and his doctrine of a personal fall, as it were, of all men in Adam, are therefore doubtless untenable. On the other hand, Paul unquestionably teaches in this passage a causal connection between sin and death, and also a causal connection between the sin of Adam and the sinfulness of his posterity, therefore original sin. The proof of this is found in the whole parallel between Adam and Christ, and their representative relation to mankind (Comp. 1 Cor. xv. 45 ff.), and especially in the pavnte" h]marton, but not in the ejf j w| as translated by the Vulgate and Augustine. Other passages of Scripture to which Augustine appealed, as teaching original sin, were such as Gen. viii. 21; Ps. li. 7; John iii. 6; 1 Cor. ii. 14; Eph. ii. 3.

2. The practice of infant baptism in the church, with the customary formula, "for remission of sins," and such accompanying ceremonies as exorcism, presupposes the dominion of sin and of demoniacal powers even in infancy. Since the child, before the awakening of self-consciousness, has committed. no actual sin, the effect of baptism must relate to the forgiveness of original sin and guilt.1824  This was a very important point from the beginning of the controversy, and one to which Augustine frequently reverted.

Here he had unquestionably a logical advantage over the Pelagians, who retained the traditional usage of infant baptism, but divested it of its proper import, made it signify a mere ennobling of a nature already good, and, to be consistent, should have limited baptism to adults for the forgiveness of actual sins.

The Pelagians, however, were justly offended by the revolting inference of the damnation of unbaptized infants, which is nowhere taught in the Holy Scriptures, and is repugnant to every unperverted religious instinct. Pelagius inclined to assign to unbaptized infants a middle state of half-blessedness, between the kingdom of heaven appointed to the baptized and the hell of the ungodly; though on this point he is not positive.1825  He evidently makes salvation depend, not so much upon the Christian redemption, as upon the natural moral character of individuals. Hence also baptism had no such importance in his view as in that of his antagonist.

Augustine, on the authority of Matt. xxv. 34, 46, and other Scriptures, justly denies a neutral middle state, and meets the difficulty by supposing different degrees of blessedness and damnation (which, in fact, must be admitted), corresponding to the different degrees of holiness and wickedness. But, constrained by the idea of original sin, and by the supposed necessity of baptism to salvation, he does not shrink from consigning unbaptized children to damnation itself,1826 though he softens to the utmost this frightful dogma, and reduces the damnation to the minimum of punishment or the privation of blessedness.1827  He might have avoided the difficulty, without prejudice to his premises, by his doctrine of the election of grace, or by assuming an extraordinary application of the merits of Christ in death or in Hades. But the Catholic doctrine of the necessity of outward baptism to regeneration and entrance into the kingdom of God, forbade him a more liberal view respecting the endless destiny of that half of the human race which die in childhood.

We may recall, however, the noteworthy fact, that the third canon of the North-African council at Carthage in 418, which condemns the opinion that unbaptized children are saved, is in many manuscripts wanting, and is therefore of doubtful authenticity. The sternness of the Augustinian system here gave way before the greater power of Christian love. Even Augustine, De civitate Dei, speaking of the example of Melchisedec, ventures the conjecture, that God may have also among the heathen an elect people, true Israelites according to the spirit, whom He draws to Himself through the secret power of His spirit. Why, we may ask, is not this thought applicable above all to children, to whom we know the Saviour Himself, in a very special sense (and without reference to baptism) ascribes a right to the kingdom of heaven?

3. The testimony of Scripture and of the church is confirmed by experience. The inclination to evil awakes with the awaking of consciousness and voluntary activity. Even the suckling gives signs of self-will, spite, and disobedience. As moral development advances, the man feels this disposition to be really bad, and worthy of punishment, not a mere limitation or defect. Thus we find even the child subject to suffering, to sickness, and to death. It is contrary to the pure idea of God, that this condition should have been the original one. God must have created man faultless and inclined towards good. The conviction that human nature is not as it should be, in fact pervades all mankind. Augustine, in one place, cites a passage of the third book of Cicero’s Republic: "Nature has dealt with man not as a real mother, but as a step-mother, sending him into the world with a naked, frail, and feeble body, and with a soul anxious to avoid burdens, bowed down under all manner of apprehensions, averse to effort, and inclined to sensuality. Yet can we not mistake a certain divine fire of the spirit, which glimmers on in the heart as it were under ashes."  Cicero laid the blame of this on creative nature. "He thus saw clearly the fact, but not the cause, for he had no conception of original sin, because he had no knowledge of the Holy Scriptures."


 § 156. Answers to Pelagian Objections.


To these positive arguments must be added the direct answers to the objections brought against the Augustinian theory, sometimes with great acuteness, by the Pelagians, and especially by Julian of Eclanum, in the dialectic course of the controversy.

Julian sums up his argument against Augustine in five points, intended to disprove original sin from premises conceded by Augustine himself:  If man is the creature of God, he must come from the hands of God good; if marriage is in itself good, it cannot generate evil; if baptism remits all sins and regenerates, the children of the baptized cannot inherit sin; if God is righteous, he cannot condemn children for the sins of others; if human nature is capable of perfect righteousness, it cannot be inherently defective.1828

We notice particularly the first four of these points; the fifth is substantially included in the first.

1. If original sin propagates itself in generation, if there is a tradux peccati and a malum naturale, then sin is substantial, and we are found in the Manichaean error, except that we make God, who is the Father of children, the author of sin, while Manichaeism refers sin to the devil, as the father of human nature.1829

This imputation was urged repeatedly and emphatically by the sharp and clear-sighted Julian. But according to Augustine all nature is, and ever remains, in itself good, so far as it is nature (in the sense of creature); evil is only corruption of nature, vice cleaving to it. Manichaeus makes evil a substance, Augustine, only an accident; the former views it as a positive and eternal principle, the latter derives it from the creature, and attributes to it a merely negative or privative existence; the one affirms it to be a necessity of nature, the other, a free act; the former locates it in matter, in the body, the latter, in the will.1830  Augustine retorted on the Pelagians the charge of Manichaeism, for their locating the carnal lust of man in his original nature itself, and so precluding its cure. But in their view the concupiscentia carnis was not what it was to Augustine, but an innocent natural impulse, which becomes sin only when indulged to excess.

2. If evil is nothing substantial, we should expect that the baptized and regenerate, in whom its power is broken, would beget sinless children. If sin is propagated, righteousness should be propagated also.

But baptism, according to Augustine, removes only the guilt (reatus) of original sin, not the sin itself (concupiscentia). In procreation it is not the regenerate spirit that is the agent, but the nature which is still under the dominion of the concupiscentia. "Regenerate parents produce not as sons of God, but as children of the world."   All that are born need therefore regeneration through the same baptism, which washes away the curse of original sin. Augustine appeals to analogies; especially to the fact that from the seed of the good olive a wild olive grows, although the good and the wild greatly differ.1831

3. But if the production of children is not possible without fleshly lust, must not marriage be condemned?1832

No; marriage, and the consequent production of children, are, like nature, in themselves good. They belong to the mutual polarity of the sexes. The blessing: "Be fruitful and multiply," and the declaration: "Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife, and they shall be one flesh," come down from paradise itself, and generation would have taken place even without sin, yet "sine ulla libidine," as a "tranquilla motio et conjunctio vel commixtio membrorum."   Carnal concupiscence is subsequent and adventitious, existing now as an accident in the act of generation, and concealed by nature herself with shame; but it does not annul the blessing of marriage. It is only through sin that the sexual parts have become pudenda; in themselves they are honorable. Undoubtedly the regenerate are called to reduce concupiscence to the mere service of generation, that they may produce children, who shall be children of God, and therefore born again in Christ. Such desire Augustine, with reference to 1 Cor. vii. 3 ff., calls "a pardonable guilt."   But since, in the present state, the concupiscentia carnis is inseparable from marriage, it would have been really more consistent to give up the "bonum nuptiarum," and to regard marriage as a necessary evil; as the monastic asceticism, favored by the spirit of the age, was strongly inclined to do. And in this respect there was no material difference between Augustine and Pelagius. The latter went fully as far, and even farther, in his praise of virginity, as the highest form of Christian virtue; his letter to the nun Demetrias is a picture of a perfect virgin who in her moral purity proves the excellency of human nature.

4. It contradicts the righteousness of God, to suppose one man punished for the sin of another. We are accountable only, for sins which are the acts of our own will. Julian appealed to the oft-quoted passage, Ezek. xviii. 2–4, where God forbids the use of the proverb in Israel: "The fathers have eaten sour grapes, and the children’s teeth are set on edge," and where the principle is laid down: "The soul that sinneth, it shall die."1833

On the individualizing principle of Pelagius this objection is very, natural, and is irrefragable; but in the system of Augustine, where mankind appears as an organic whole, and Adam as the representative of human nature and as including all his posterity, it partially loses its force. Augustine thus makes all men sharers in the fall, so that they are, in fact, punished for what they themselves did in Adam. But this by no means fully solves the difficulty. He should have applied his organic view differently, and should have carried it farther. For if Adam must not be isolated from his descendants, neither must original sin be taken apart from actual sin. God does not punish the one without the other. He always looks upon the life of man as a whole; upon original sin as the fruitful mother of actual sins; and he condemns a man not for the guilt of another, but for making the deed of Adam his own, and repeating the fall by his own voluntary transgression. This every one does who lives beyond unconscious infancy. But Augustine, as we have already, seen, makes even infancy subject to punishment for original sin alone, and thus unquestionably trenches not only upon the righteousness of God, but also upon his love, which is the beginning and end of his ways, and the key to all his works.

To sum up the Augustinian doctrine of sin: This fearful power is universal; it rules the species, as well as individuals; it has its seat in the moral character of the will, reaches thence to the particular actions, and from them reacts again upon the will; and it subjects every man, without exception, to the punitive justice of God. Yet the corruption is not so great as to alter the substance of man, and make him incapable of redemption. The denial of man’s capacity for redemption is the Manichaean error, and the opposite extreme to the Pelagian denial of the need of redemption. "That is still good," says Augustine, "which bewails lost good; for had not something good remained in our nature, there would be no grief over lost good for punishment."1834  Even in the hearts of the heathen the law of God is not wholly obliterated,1835 and even in the life of the most abandoned men there are some good works. But these avail nothing to salvation. They are not truly good, because they proceed from the turbid source of selfishness. Faith is the root, and love the motive, of all truly good actions, and this love is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost. "Whatsoever is not of faith, is sin."  Before the time of Christ, therefore, all virtues were either, like the virtues of the Old Testament saints, who hoped in the same Christ in whom we believe, consciously or unconsciously Christian; or else they prove, on closer inspection, to be comparative vices or seeming virtues, destitute of the pure motive and the right aim. Lust of renown and lust of dominion were the fundamental traits of the old Romans, which first gave birth to those virtues of self-devotion to freedom and country, so glorious in the eyes of men; but which afterwards, when with the destruction of Carthage all manner of moral corruption poured in, begot the Roman vices.1836

This view of heathen or natural morality as a specious form of vice, though true to a large extent, is nevertheless an unjust extreme, which Augustine himself cannot consistently sustain. Even he was forced to admit important moral differences among the heathen: between, for example, a Fabricius, of incorruptible integrity, and the traitor Catiline; and though he merely defines this difference negatively, as a greater and less degree of sin and guilt, yet this itself involves the positive concession, that Fabricius stands nearer the position of Christian morality, and that there exists at least relative goodness among the heathen. Moreover, he cannot deny, that there were before Christ, not only among the Israelites, but also among the Gentiles, God-fearing souls, such as Melchisedec and Job, true Israelites, not according to the flesh, but according to the spirit, whom God by the secret workings of His Spirit drew to Himself even without baptism and the external means of grace.1837  So the Alexandrian fathers saw scattered rays of the Logos in the dark night of heathenism; only they were far from discriminating so sharply between what was Christian and what was not Christian.

All human boasting is therefore excluded, man is sick, sick unto death out of Christ, but he is capable of health; and the worse the sickness, the greater is the physician, the more powerful is the remedy—redeeming grace.


 § 157. Augustine’s Doctrine of Redeeming Grace.


Augustine reaches his peculiar doctrine of redeeming grace in two ways. First he reasons upwards from below, by the law of contrast; that is, from his view of the utter incompetency of the unregenerated man to do good. The greater the corruption, the mightier must be the remedial principle. The doctrine of grace is thus only the positive counterpart of the doctrine of sin. In the second place he reasons downwards from above; that is, from his conception of the all-working, all-penetrating presence of God in natural life, and much more in the spiritual. While Pelagius deistically severs God and the world after the creation, and places man on an independent footing, Augustine, even before this controversy, was, through his speculative genius and the earnest experience of his life, deeply penetrated with a sense of the absolute dependence of the creature on the Creator, in whom we live, and move, and have our being. But Augustine’s impression of the immanence of God in the world has nothing pantheistic; it does not tempt him to deny the transcendence of God and his absolute independence of the world. Guided by the Holy Scriptures, he maintains the true mean between deism and pantheism. In the very beginning of his Confessions1838 he says very beautifully: ’How shall I call on my God, on my God and Lord?  Into myself must I call Him, if I call on Him; and what place is there in me, where my God may enter into me, the God, who created heaven and earth?  O Lord my God, is there anything in me, that contains Thee?  Do heaven and earth contain Thee, which Thou hast created, in which Thou didst create me?  Or does all that is, contain Thee, because without Thee there had existed nothing that is?  Because then I also am, do I supplicate Thee, that Thou wouldst come into me, I, who had not in any wise been, if Thou wert not in me?  I yet live, I do not yet sink into the lower world, and yet Thou art there. If I made my bed in hell, behold, Thou art there. I were not, then, O my God, I utterly were not, if Thou wert not in me. Yea, still more, I were not, O my God, if I were not in Thee, from whom all, in whom all, through whom all is. Even so, Lord, even so."  In short, man is nothing without God, and everything in and through God. The undercurrent of this sentiment could not but carry this father onward to all the views he developed in opposition to the Pelagian heresy.

While Pelagius widened the idea of grace to indefiniteness, and reduced it to a medley of natural gifts, law, gospel, forgiveness of sins, enlightenment, and example, Augustine restricted grace to the specifically Christian sphere (and, therefore, called it gratia Christi), though admitting its operation previous to Christ among the saints of the Jewish dispensation; but within this sphere he gave it incomparably greater depth. With him grace is, first of all, a creative power of God in Christ transforming men from within. It produces first the negative effect of forgiveness of sins, removing the hindrance to communion with God; then the positive communication of a new principle of life. The two are combined in the idea of justification, which, as we have already remarked, Augustine holds, not in the Protestant sense of declaring righteous once for all, but in the Catholic sense of gradually making righteous; thus substantially identifying it with sanctification.1839  Yet, as he refers this whole process to divine grace, to the exclusion of all human merit, he stands on essentially Evangelical ground.1840  As we inherit from the first Adam our sinful and mortal life, so the second Adam implants in us, from God, and in God, the germ of a sinless and immortal life. Positive grace operates, therefore, not merely from without upon our intelligence by instruction and admonition, as Pelagius taught, but also in the centre of our personality, imparting to the will the power to do the good which the instruction teaches, and to imitate the example of Christ.1841  Hence he frequently calls it the inspiration of a good will, or of love, which is the fulfilling of the law.1842  "Him that wills not, grace comes to meet, that he may will; him that wills, she follows up, that he may not will in vain."1843  Faith itself is an effect of grace; indeed, its first and fundamental effect, which provides for all others, and manifests itself in love. He had formerly held faith to be a work of man (as, in fact, though not exclusively, the capacity of faith, or receptivity for the divine, may be said to be); but he was afterwards led, particularly by the words of Paul in 1 Cor. iv. 7: "What hast thou, that thou hast not received?" to change his view.1844  In a word, grace is the breath and blood of the new man; from it proceeds all that is truly good and divine, and without it we can do nothing acceptable to God.

From this fundamental conception of grace arise the several properties which Augustine ascribes to it in opposition to Pelagius:

First, it is absolutely necessary to Christian virtue; not merely auxiliary, but indispensable, to its existence. It is necessary "for every good act, for every good thought, for every good word of man at every moment."  Without it the Christian life can neither begin, proceed, nor be consummated. It was necessary even under the old dispensation, which contained the gospel in the form of promise. The saints before Christ lived of His grace by anticipation. "They stood," says Augustine, "not under the terrifying, convicting, punishing law, but under that grace which fills the heart with joy in what is good, which heals it, and makes it free."1845

It is, moreover, unmerited. Gratia would be no gratia if it were not gratuita, gratis data.1846  As man without grace can do nothing good, he is, of course, incapable of deserving grace; for, to deserve grace, he must do something good. "What merits could we have, while as yet we did not love God?  That the love with which we should love might be created, we have been loved, while as yet we had not that love. Never should we have found strength to love God, except as we received such a love from Him who had loved us before, and because He had loved us before. And, without such a love, what good could we do?  Or, how could we not do good, with such a love?"  "The Holy Spirit breathes where He will, and does not follow merits, but Himself produces the merits!1847  Grace, therefore, is not bestowed on man because he already believes, but that he may believe; not because he has deserved it by good works, but that he may deserve good works."  Pelagius reverses the natural relation by making the cause the effect, and the effect the cause. The ground of our salvation can only be found in God Himself, if He is to remain immutable. Augustine appeals to examples of pardoned sinners, "where not only no good deserts, but even evil deserts, had preceded."  Thus the apostle Paul, "averse to the faith, which he wasted, and vehemently inflamed against it, was suddenly converted to that faith by the prevailing power of grace, and that in such wise that he was changed not only from an enemy to a friend, but from a persecutor to a sufferer of persecution for the sake of the faith he had once destroyed. For to him it was given by Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake."  He also points to children, who without will, and therefore without voluntary merit preceding, are through holy baptism incorporated in the kingdom of grace.1848  His own experience, finally, afforded him an argument, to him irrefutable, for the free, undeserved compassion of God. And if in other passages he speaks of merits, he means good works which the Holy Ghost effects in man, and which God graciously rewards, so that eternal life is grace for grace. "If all thy merits are gifts of God, God crowns thy merits not as thy merits, but as the gifts of his grace."1849

Grace is irresistible in its effect; not, indeed, in the way of physical constraint imposed on the will, but as a moral power, which makes man willing, and which infallibly attains its end, the conversion and final perfection of its subject.1850  This point is closely connected with Augustine’s whole doctrine of predestination, and consistently leads to it or follows from it. Hence the Pelagians repeatedly raised the charge that Augustine, under the name of grace, introduced a certain fatalism. But the irresistibility must manifestly not be extended to all the influences of grace; for the Bible often speaks of grieving, quenching, lying to, and blaspheming the Holy Ghost, and so implies that grace may be resisted; and it presents many living examples of such resistance. It cannot be denied, that Saul, Solomon, Ananias, and Sapphira, and even the traitor Judas, were under the influence of divine grace, and repelled it. Augustine, therefore, must make irresistible grace identical with the specific grace of regeneration in the elect, which at the same time imparts the donum perseverantiae.1851

Grace, finally, works progressively or by degrees. It removes all the consequences of the fall; but it removes them in an order agreeable to the finite, gradually unfolding nature of the believer. Grace is a foster-mother, who for the greatest good of her charge, wisely and lovingly accommodates herself to his necessities as they change from time to time. Augustine gives different names to grace in these different steps of its development. In overcoming the resisting will, and imparting a living knowledge of sin and longing for redemption, grace is gratia praeveniens or praeparans. In creating faith and the free will to do good, and uniting the soul to Christ, it is gratia operans. Joining with the emancipated will to combat the remains of evil, and bringing forth good works as fruits of faith, it is gratia cooperans. Finally, in enabling the believer to persevere in faith to the end, and leading him at length, though not in this life, to the perfect state, in which he can no longer sin nor die, it is gratia perficiens.1852  This includes the donum perseverantiae, which is the only certain token of election.1853  "We call ourselves elect, or children of God, because we so call all those whom we see regenerate, visibly leading a holy life. But he alone is in truth what he is called, who perseveres in that from which he receives the name."  Therefore so long as a man yet lives, we can form no certain judgment of him in this respect. Perseverance till death, i.e., to the point where the danger of apostasy ceases, is emphatically a grace, "since it is much harder to possess this gift of grace than any other; though for him to whom nothing is hard, it is as easy to bestow the one as the other."

And as to the relation of grace to freedom: Neither excludes the other, though they might appear to conflict. In Augustine’s system freedom, or self-determination to good, is the correlative in man of grace on the part of God. The more grace, the more freedom to do good, and the more joy in the good. The two are one in the idea of love, which is objective and subjective, passive and active, an apprehending and a being apprehended.1854

We may sum up the Augustinian anthropology under these three heads:

1. The Primitive State: Immediate, undeveloped unity of man with God; child-like innocence; germ and condition of everything subsequent; possibility of a sinless and a sinful development.

2. The State of Sin: Alienation from God; bondage; dominion of death; with longing after redemption.

3. The State of Redemption or of Grace: Higher, mediated unity with God; virtue approved through conflict; the blessed freedom of the children of God; here, indeed, yet clogged with the remains of sin and death, but hereafter absolutely perfect, without the possibility of apostasy.


 § 158. The Doctrine of Predestination.


I. Augustinus: De praedestinatione sanctorum ad Prosperum et Hilarium (written a.d. 428 or 429 against the Semi-Pelagians); De dono perseverantiae (written in the same year and against the same opponents); De gratia et libero arbitrio (written a.d. 426 or 427 ad Valentinum et Monachos Adrumetinos); De correptione et gratia (written to the same persons and in the same year).

II  Corn. Jansenius: Augustinus. Lovan. 1640, tom. iii. Jac. Sirmond (Jesuit): Historia praedestinatiana. Par. 1648 (and in his Opera, tom. iv. p. 271). Carl Beck: Die Augustinische, Calvinistische und Lutherische Lehre von der Praedestination aus den Quellen dargestellt und mit besonderer Rücksicht auf Schleiermacher’s Erwählungslehre comparativ beurtheilt. "Studien und Kritiken," 1847. J. B. Mozley: Augustinian Doctrine of Predestination. Lond. 1855.


Augustine did not stop with this doctrine of sin and grace. He pursued his anthropology and soteriology to their source in theology. His personal experience of the wonderful and undeserved grace of God, various passages of the Scriptures, especially the Epistle to the Romans, and the logical connection of thought, led him to the doctrine of the unconditional and eternal purpose of the omniscient and omnipotent God. In this he found the programme of the history of the fall and redemption of the human race. He ventured boldly, but reverentially, upon the brink of that abyss of speculation, where all human knowledge is lost in mystery and in adoration.

Predestination, in general, is a necessary attribute of the divine will, as foreknowledge is an attribute of the divine intelligence; though, strictly speaking, we cannot predicate of God either a before or an after, and with him all is eternal present. It is absolutely inconceivable that God created the world or man blindly, without a fixed plan, or that this plan can be disturbed or hindered in any way by his creatures. Besides, there prevails everywhere, even in the natural life of man, in the distribution of mental gifts and earthly blessings, and yet much more in the realm of grace, a higher guidance, which is wholly independent of our will or act. Who is not obliged, in his birth in this or that place, at this or that time, under these or those circumstances, in all the epochs of his existence, in all his opportunities of education, and above all in his regeneration and sanctification, to recognize and adore the providence and the free grace of God?  The further we are advanced in the Christian life, the less are we inclined to attribute any merit to ourselves, and the more to thank God for all. The believer not only looks forward into eternal life, but also backward into the ante-mundane eternity, and finds in the eternal purpose of divine love the beginning and the firm anchorage of his salvation.1855

So far we may say every reflecting Christian must believe in some sort of election by free grace; and, in fact, the Holy Scriptures are full of it. But up to the time of Augustine the doctrine had never been an object of any very profound inquiry, and had therefore never been accurately defined, but only very superficially and casually touched. The Greek fathers, and Tertullian, Ambrose, Jerome, and Pelagius, had only taught a conditional predestination, which they made dependent on the foreknowledge of the free acts of men. In this, as in his views of sin and grace, Augustine went far beyond the earlier divines, taught an unconditional election of grace, and restricted the purpose of redemption to a definite circle of the elect, who constitute the minority of the race.1856

In Augustine’s system the doctrine of predestination is not, as in Calvin’s, the starting-point, but the consummation. It is a deduction from his views of sin and grace. It is therefore more practical than speculative. It is held in check by his sacramental views. If we may anticipate a much later terminology, it moves within the limits of infralapsarianism, but philosophically is less consistent than supralapsarianism. While the infralapsarian theory, starting with the consciousness of sin, excludes the fall—the most momentous event, except redemption, in the history of the world—from the divine purpose, and places it under the category of divine permission, making it dependent on the free will of the first man; the supralapsarian theory, starting with the conception of the absolute sovereignty of God, includes the fall of Adam in the eternal and unchangeable plan of God, though, of course, not as an end, or for its own sake (which would be blasphemy), but as a temporary means to an opposite end, or as the negative condition of a revelation of the divine justice in the reprobate, and of the divine grace in the elect. Augustine, therefore, strictly speaking, knows nothing of a double decree of election and reprobation, but recognizes simply a decree of election to salvation; though logical instinct does sometimes carry him to the verge of supralapsarianism. In both systems, however, the decree is eternal, unconditioned, and immutable; the difference is in the subject, which, according to one system, is man fallen, according to the other, man as such. It was a noble, inconsistency which kept Augustine from the more stringent and speculative system of supralapsarianism; his deep moral convictions revolted against making any allowance for sin by tracing its origin to the divine will; and by his peculiar view of the inseparable connection between Adam and the race, he could make every man as it were individually responsible for the fall of Adam. But the Pelagians, who denied this connection, charged him with teaching a kind of fatalism.

The first sin, according to Augustine’s theory, was an act of freedom, which could and should have been avoided. But once committed, it subjected the whole race, which was germinally in the loins of Adam, to the punitive justice of God. All men are only a mass of perdition,1857 and deserve, both for their innate and their actual sin, temporal and eternal death. God is but just, if He leave a great portion, nay (if all heathen and unbaptized children are lost), the greatest portion, of mankind to their deserved fate. But He has resolved from eternity to reveal in some His grace, by rescuing them from the mass of perdition, and without their merit saving them.

This is the election of grace, or predestination. It is related to grace itself, as cause to effect, as preparation to execution.1858  It is the ultimate, unfathomable ground of salvation. It is distinguished from foreknowledge, as will from intelligence; it always implies intelligence, but is not always implied in it.1859  God determines and knows beforehand what He will do; the fall of man, and the individual sins of men, He knows perfectly even from eternity, but He does not determine or will them, He only permits them. There is thus a point, where prescience is independent of predestination, and where human freedom, as it were, is interposed. (Here lies the philosophical weakness, but, on the other hand, the ethical strength of the infralapsarian system, as compared with the supralapsarian). The predetermination has reference only to good, not to evil. It is equivalent to election, while predestination, in the supralapsarian scheme, includes the decretum electionis and the decretum reprobationis. Augustine, it is true, speaks also in some places of a predestination to perdition (in consequence of sin), but never of a predestination to sin.1860  The election of grace is conditioned by no foreseen merit, but is absolutely free. God does not predestinate His children on account of their faith, for their faith is itself a gift of grace; but He predestinates them to faith and to holiness.1861

Thus also the imputation of teaching that a man may be elect, and yet live a godless life, is precluded.1862  Sanctification is the infallible effect of election. Those who are thus predestinated as vessels of mercy, may fall for a while, like David and Peter, but cannot finally fall from grace. They must at last be saved by, the successive steps of vocation, justification, and glorification, as certainly as God is almighty and His promises Yea and Amen;1863 while the vessels of wrath are lost through their own fault. To election necessarily belongs the gift of perseverance, the donum perseverantiae, which is attested by a happy death. Those who fall away, even though they have been baptized and regenerated, show thereby, that they never belonged to the number of the elect.1864  Hence we cannot certainly know in this life who are of the elect, and we must call all to repentance and offer to all salvation, though the vocation of grace only proves effectual to some.

Augustine, as, already remarked, deduced this doctrine from his view of sin. If all men are by nature utterly incompetent to good, if it is grace that works in us to will and to do good, if faith itself is an undeserved gift of grace: the ultimate ground of salvation can then be found only in the inscrutable counsel of God. He appealed to the wonderful leadings in the lives of individuals and of nations, some being called to the gospel and to baptism, while others die in darkness. Why precisely this or that one attains to faith and others do not, is, indeed, a mystery. We cannot, says he, in this life explain the readings of Providence; if we only believe that God is righteous, we shall hereafter attain to perfect knowledge.

He could cite many Scripture texts, especially the ninth chapter of the Epistle to the Romans, for his doctrine. But other texts, which teach the universal vocation to salvation, and make man responsible for his reception or rejection of the gospel, he could only explain by forced interpretations. Thus, for instance, be understands in 1 Tim. ii. 4 by the all men, whom God will have to be saved, all manner of men, rich and poor, learned and unlearned, or he wrests the sense into: All who are saved, are saved only by the will of God.1865  When he finds no other way of meeting objections, be appeals to the inscrutable wisdom of God.

Augustine’s doctrine of predestination was the immediate occasion of a theological controversy which lasted almost a hundred years, developed almost every argument for and against the doctrine, and called forth a system holding middle ground, to which we now turn.


 § 159. Semi-Pelagianism.


Comp. the Works at § 146.




I. Joh. Cassianus († 432): Collationes Patrum xxiv, especially the xiii. In the Opera omnia, cum commentaries D. Alardi Gazaei (Gazet), Atrebati (Atrecht or Arras in France), 1628 and 1733; reprinted, with additions, in Migne’s Patrologia, tom. xlix. and l. (tom. i. pp. 478–1328), and also published several times separately. Vincentius Lirinsis († 450), Faustus Rhegiensis († 490–500), and other Semi-Pelagian writers, see Gallandi, Biblioth. tom. x., and Migne, Patrol. tom. l. and liii.

II. Augustinus: De gratia et libero arbitrio; De correptione et gratia; De praedestinatione Sanctorum; De dono perseverantiae (all in the 10th vol. of the Benedict. ed.). Prosper Aquitanus (a disciple and admirer of Augustine, † 460): Epistola ad Augustinum de reliquiis Pelagianae haereseos in Gallia (Aug. Ep. 225, and in Opera Aug. tom. x. 780), and De gratia et libero arbitrio (contra Collatorem). Hilarius: Ad Augustinum de eodem argumento (Ep. 226 among the Epp. Aug., and in tom. x. 783). Also the Augustinian writings of Avitus of Vienne, Caesarius of Arles, Fulgentius of Ruspe, and others. (Comp. Gallandi, Bibl. tom. xi.; Migne, Patrol. vol. li.)

The Acta of the Synod of Orange, a.d. 529, in Mansi, tom. viii. 711 sqq.




Jac. Sirmond: Historia praedestinatiana. Par. 1648. Johann Geffken: Historia Semipelagianismi antiquissima (more properly antiquissimi). Gott. 1826 (only goes to the year 434). G. Fr. Wiggers: Versuch einer pragmatischen Darstellung des Semipelagianismus in seinem Kampfe gegen den Augustinismus his zur zweiten Synode zu Orange. Hamburg, 1833 (the second part of his already cited work upon Augustinianism and Pelagianism). A very thorough work, but unfortunately without index. Comp, also Walch, Schröckh, and the appropriate portions of the later works upon the history of the church and of doctrines.


Semi-Pelagianism is a somewhat vague and indefinite attempt at reconciliation, hovering midway between the sharply marked systems of Pelagius and Augustine, taking off the edge of each, and inclining now to the one, now to the other. The name was introduced during the scholastic age, but the system of doctrine, in all essential points, was formed in Southern France in the fifth century, during the latter years of Augustine’s life and soon after his death. It proceeded from the combined influence of the pre-Augustinian synergism and monastic legalism. Its leading idea is, that divine grace and the human will jointly accomplish the work of conversion and sanctification, and that ordinarily man must take the first step. It rejects the Pelagian doctrine of the moral roundness of man, but rejects also the Augustinian doctrine of the entire corruption and bondage of the natural man, and substitutes the idea of a diseased or crippled state of the voluntary power. It disowns the Pelagian conception of grace as a mere external auxiliary; but also, quite as decidedly, the Augustinian doctrines of the sovereignty, irresistibleness, and limitation of grace; and affirms the necessity and the internal operation of grace with and through human agency, a general atonement through Christ, and a predestination to salvation conditioned by the foreknowledge of faith. The union of the Pelagian and Augustinian elements thus attempted is not, however, an inward organic coalescence, but rather a mechanical and arbitrary combination, which really satisfies neither the one interest nor the other, but commonly leans to the Pelagian side.1866

For this reason it admirably suited the legalistic and ascetic piety of the middle age, and indeed always remained within the pale of the Catholic church, and never produced a separate sect.

We glance now at the main features of the origin and progress of this school.

The Pelagian system had been vanquished by Augustine, and rejected and condemned as heresy by the church. This result, however, did not in itself necessarily imply the complete approval of the Augustinian system. Many, even opponents of Pelagius, recoiled from a position so wide of the older fathers as Augustine’s doctrines of the bondage of man and the absolute election of grace, and preferred a middle ground.

First the monks of the convent of Adrumetum in North Africa differed among themselves over the doctrine of predestination; some perverting it to carnal security, others plunging from it into anguish and desperation, and yet others feeling compelled to lay more stress than Augustine upon human freedom and responsibility. Augustine endeavored to allay the scruples of these monks by his two treatises, De gratia et libero arbitrio, and De correptione et gratia. The abbot Valentinus answered these in the name of the monks in a reverent and submissive tone.1867

But simultaneously a more dangerous opposition to the doctrine of predestination arose in Southern Gaul, in the form of a regular theological school within the Catholic church. The members of this school were first called "remnants of the Pelagians,"1868 but commonly Massilians, from Massilia (Marseilles), their chief centre, and afterwards Semi-Pelagians. Augustine received an account of this from two learned and pious lay friends, Prosper, and Hilarius,1869 who begged that he himself would take the pen against it. This was the occasion of his two works, De praedestinatione sanctorum, and De dono perseverentiae, with which he worthily closed his labors as an author. He deals with these disputants more gently than with the Pelagians, and addresses them as brethren. After his death (430) the discussion was continued principally in Gaul; for then North Africa was disquieted by the victorious invasion of the Vandals, which for several decades shut it out from the circle of theological and ecclesiastical activity.

At the head of the Semi-Pelagian party stood John Cassian, the founder and abbot of the monastery at Massilia, a man of thorough cultivation, rich experience, and unquestioned orthodoxy.1870  He was a grateful disciple of Chrysostom, who ordained him deacon, and apparently also presbyter. His Greek training and his predilection for monasticism were a favorable soil for his Semi-Pelagian theory. He labored awhile in Rome with Pelagius, and afterwards in Southern France, in the cause of monastic piety, which he efficiently promoted by exhortation and example. Monasticism sought in cloistered retreats a protection against the allurements of sin, the desolating incursions of the barbarians, and the wretchedness of an age of tumult and confusion. But the enthusiasm for the monastic life tended strongly to over-value external acts and ascetic discipline, and resisted the free evangelical bent of the Augustinian theology. Cassian wrote twelve books De coenobiorum institutis, in which be first describes the outward life of the monks, and then their inward conflicts and victories over the eight capital vices: intemperance, unchastity, avarice, anger, sadness, dulness, ambition, and pride. More important are his fourteen Collationes Patrum, conversations which Cassian and his friend Germanus had had with the most experienced ascetics in Egypt, during a seven years’ sojourn there.

In this work, especially in the thirteenth Colloquy,1871 he rejects decidedly the errors of Pelagius,1872 and affirms the universal sinfulness of men, the introduction of it by the fall of Adam, and the necessity, of divine grace to every individual act. But, with evident reference to Augustine, though without naming him, he combats the doctrines of election and of the irresistible and particular operation of grace, which were in conflict with the church tradition, especially, with the Oriental theology, and with his own earnest ascetic legalism.

In opposition to both systems he taught that the divine image and human freedom were not annihilated, but only weakened, by the fall; in other words, that man is sick, but not dead, that he cannot indeed help himself, but that he can desire the help of a physician, and either accept or refuse it when offered, and that he must cooperate with the grace of God in his salvation. The question, which of the two factors has the initiative, he answers, altogether empirically, to this effect: that sometimes, and indeed usually, the human will, as in the cases of the Prodigal Son, Zacchaeus, the Penitent Thief, and Cornelius, determines itself to conversion; sometimes grace anticipates it, and, as with Matthew and Paul, draws the resisting will—yet, even in this case, without constraint—to God.1873  Here, therefore, the gratia praeveniens is manifestly overlooked.

These are essentially Semi-Pelagian principles, though capable of various modifications and applications. The church, even the Roman church, has rightly emphasized the necessity of prevenient grace, but has not impeached Cassian, who is properly the father of the Semi-Pelagian theory. Leo the Great even commissioned him to write a work against Nestorianism,1874 in which he found an excellent opportunity to establish his orthodoxy, and to clear himself of all connection with the kindred heresies of Pelagianism and Nestorianism, which were condemned together at Ephesus in 431. He died after 432, at an advanced age, and though not formally canonized, is honored as a saint by some dioceses. His works are very extensively read for practical edification.

Against the thirteenth Colloquy of Cassian, Prosper Aquitanus, an Augustinian divine and poet, who, probably on account of the desolations of the Vandals, had left his native Aquitania for the South of Gaul, and found comfort and repose in the doctrines of election amid the wars of his age, wrote a book upon grace and freedom,1875 about 432, in which he criticises twelve propositions of Cassian, and declares them all heretical, except the first. He also composed a long poem in defence of Augustine and his system,1876 and refuted the "Gallic slanders and Vincentian imputations," which placed the doctrine of predestination in the most odious light.1877

But the Semi-Pelagian doctrine was the more popular, and made great progress in France. Its principal advocates after Cassian are the following: the presbyter-monk Vicentius of Lerinum, author of the Commonitorium, in which he developed the true catholic test of doctrine, the threefold consensus, in covert antagonism to the novel doctrines of Augustinianism (about 434);1878 Faustus, bishop of Rhegium (Riez), who at the council of Arles (475) refuted the hyper-Augustinian presbyter Lucidus, and was commissioned by the council to write a work upon the grace of God and human freedom;1879 Gennadius, presbyter at Marseilles (died after 495), who continued the biographical work of Jerome, De viris illustribus, down to 495, and attributed Augustine’s doctrine of predestination to his itch for writing;1880 Arnobius the younger;1881 and the much discussed anonymous tract Praedestinatus (about 460), which, by gross exaggeration, and by an unwarranted imputation of logical results which Augustine had expressly forestalled, placed the doctrine of predestination in an odious light, and then refuted it.1882

The author of the Praedestinatus says, that a treatise had fallen into his hands, which fraudulently bore upon its face the name of the Orthodox teacher Augustine, in order to smuggle in, under a Catholic name, a blasphemous dogma, pernicious to the faith. On this account he had undertaken to transcribe and to refute this work. The treatise itself consists of three books; the first, following Augustine’s book, De haeresibus, gives a description of ninety heresies from Simon Magus down to the time of the author, and brings up, as the last of them, the doctrine of a double predestination, as a doctrine which makes God the author of evil, and renders all the moral endeavors of men fruitless;1883 the second book is the pseudo-Augustinian treatise upon this ninetieth heresy, but is apparently merely a Semi-Pelagian caricature by the same author;1884 the third book contains the refutation of the thus travestied pseudo-Augustinian doctrine of predestination, employing the usual Semi-Pelagian arguments.

A counterpart to this treatise is found in the also anonymous work, De vocatione omnium gentium, which endeavors to commend Augustinianism by mitigation, in the same degree that the Praedestinatus endeavors to stultify it by exaggeration.1885  It has been ascribed to pope Leo I. († 461), of whom it would not be unworthy; but it cannot be supposed that the work of so distinguished a man could have remained anonymous. The author avoids even the term praedestinatio, and teaches expressly, that Christ died for all men and would have all to be saved; thus rejecting the Augustinian particularism. But, on the other hand, he also rejects the Semi-Pelagian principles, and asserts the utter inability of the natural man to do good. He unhesitatingly sets grace above the human will, and represents the whole life of faith, from beginning to end, as a work of unmerited grace. He develops the three thoughts, that God desires the salvation of all men; that no one is saved by his own merits, but by grace; and that the human understanding cannot fathom the depths of divine wisdom. We must trust in the righteousness of God. Every one of the damned suffers only the righteous punishment of his sins; while no saint can boast himself in his merits, since it is only of pure grace that he is saved. But how is it with the great multitude of infants that die every year without baptism, and without opportunity of coming to the knowledge of salvation?  The author feels this difficulty, without, however, being able to solve it. He calls to his help the representative character of parents, and dilutes the Augustinian doctrine of original sin to the negative conception of a mere defect of good, which, of course, also reduces the idea of hereditary guilt and the damnation of unbaptized children. He distinguishes between a general grace which comes to man through the external revelation in nature, law, and gospel, and a special grace, which effects conversion and regeneration by an inward impartation of saving power, and which is only bestowed on those that are saved.

Semi-Pelagianism prevailed in Gaul for several decades. Under the lead of Faustus of Rhegium it gained the victory in two synods, at Arles in 472 and at Lyons in 475, where Augustine’s doctrine of predestination was condemned, though without mention of his name.


 § 160. Victory of Semi-Augustinianism. Council of Orange,  A.D. 529.


But these synods were only provincial, and were the cause of a schism. In North Africa and in Rome the Augustinian system of doctrine, though in a somewhat softened form, attained the ascendency. In the decree issued by pope Gelasius in 496 de libris recipiendis et non recipiendis (the beginning of an Index librorum prohibitorum), the writings of Augustine and Prosper Aquitanus are placed among books ecclesiastically sanctioned, those of Cassian and Faustus of Rhegium among the apocryphal or forbidden. Even in Gaul it found in the beginning of the sixth century very capable and distinguished advocates, especially in Avitus, archbishop of Vienne (490523), and Caesarius, archbishop of Arles (502–542). Associated with these was Fulgentius of Ruspe († 533), in the name of the sixty African bishops banished by the Vandals and then living in Sardinia.1886

The controversy was stirred up anew by the Scythian monks, who in their zeal for the Monophysite theopaschitism, abhorred everything connected with Nestorianism, and urged first pope Hormisdas, and then with better success the exiled African bishops, to procure the condemnation of Semi-Pelagianism.

These transactions terminated at length in the triumph of a moderate Augustinianism, or of what might be called Semi-Augustinianism, in distinction from Semi-Pelagianism. At the synod of Orange (Arausio) in the year 529, at which Caesarius of Arles was leader, the Semi-Pelagian system, yet without mention of its adherents, was condemned in twenty-five chapters or canons, and the Augustinian doctrine of sin and grace was approved, without the doctrine of absolute or particularistic predestination.1887  A similar result was reached at a synod of Valence (Valencia), held the same year, but otherwise unknown.1888

The synod of Orange, for its Augustinian decisions in anthropology and soteriology, is of great importance. But as the chapters contain many repetitions (mostly from the Bible and the works of Augustine and his followers), it will suffice to give extracts containing in a positive form the most important propositions.

Chap. 1. The sin of Adam has not injured the body only, but also the soul of man.

2. The sin of Adam has brought sin and death upon all mankind.

3. Grace is not merely bestowed when we pray for it, but grace itself causes us to pray for it.

5. Even the beginning of faith, the disposition to believe, is effected by grace.

9. All good thoughts and works are God’s gift.

10. Even the regenerate and the saints need continually the divine help.

12. What God loves in us, is not our merit, but his own gift.

13. The free will weakened1889 in Adam, can only be restored through the grace of baptism.

16. All good that we possess is God’s gift, and therefore no one should boast.

18. Unmerited grace precedes meritorious works.1890

19. Even had man not fallen, he would have needed divine grace for salvation.

23. When man sins, he does his own will; when he does good, he executes the will of God, yet voluntarily.

25. The love of God is itself a gift of God.


To these chapters the synod added a Creed of anthropology and soteriology, which, in opposition to Semi-Pelagianism, contains the following five propositions:1891

1. Through the fall free will has been so weakened, that without prevenient grace no one can love God, believe on Him, or do good for God’s sake, as he ought (sicut oportuit, implying that he may in a certain measure).

2. Through the grace of God all may, by the co-operation of God, perform what is necessary for their soul’s salvation.

3. It is by no means our faith, that any have been predestinated by God to sin (ad malum), but rather: if there are people who believe so vile a thing, we condemn them with utter abhorrence (cum omni detestatione).1892

4. In every good work the beginning proceeds not, from us, but God inspires in us faith and love to Him without merit precedent on our part, so that we desire baptism, and after baptism can, with His help, fulfil His will.

5. Because this doctrine of the fathers and the synod is also salutary for the laity, the distinguished men of the laity also, who have been present at this solemn assembly, shall subscribe these acts.

In pursuance of this requisition, besides the bishops, the Praefectus praetorio Liberius, and seven other viri illustres, signed the Acts. This recognition of the lay element, in view of the hierarchical bent of the age, is significant, and indicates an inward connection of evangelical doctrine with the idea of the universal priesthood. And they were two laymen, we must remember, Prosper and Hilarius, who first came forward in Gaul in energetic opposition to Semi-Pelagianism and in advocacy of the sovereignty of divine grace.

The decisions of the council were sent by Caesarius to Rome, and were confirmed by pope Boniface II. in 530. Boniface, in giving his approval, emphasized the declaration, that even the beginning of a good will and of faith is a gift of prevenient grace, while Semi-Pelagianism left open a way to Christ without grace from God. And beyond question, the church was fully warranted in affirming the pre-eminence of grace over freedom, and the necessity and importance of the gratia praeveniens.

Notwithstanding this rejection of the Semi-Pelagian teachings (not teachers), they made their way into the church again, and while Augustine was universally honored as a canonized saint and standard teacher, Cassian and Faustus of Rhegium remained in grateful remembrance as saints in France.1893

At the close of this period Gregory the Great represents the moderated Augustinian system, with the gratia praeveniens, but without the gratia irresistibilis and without a particularistic decretum absolutum. Through him this milder Augustinianism exerted great influence upon the mediaeeval theology. Yet the strict Augustinianism always had its adherents, in such men as Bede, Alcuin, and Isidore of Seville, who taught a gemina praedestinatio, sive electorum ad salutem, sive reproborum ad mortem; it became prominent again in the Gottschalk controversy in the ninth century, was repressed by scholasticism and the prevailing legalism; was advocated by the precursors of the Reformation, especially by Wiclif and Huss; and in the Reformation of the sixteenth century, it gained a massive acknowledgment and an independent development in Calvinism, which, in fact, partially recast it, and gave it its most consistent form.



* Schaff, Philip, History of the Christian Church, (Oak Harbor, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc.) 1997. This material has been carefully compared, corrected¸ and emended (according to the 1910 edition of Charles Scribner's Sons) by The Electronic Bible Society, Dallas, TX, 1998.

1283  Or, as Gregory Nazianzen says of the true theologian, contemplation was a prelude to action, and action a prelude to contemplation, pra'xi" (a religious walk) ejpivbasi" qewriva" (actio gradus est ad contemplationem), Oratio xx. 12 (ed. Bened. Paris. tom. i. p. 383).

1284  So Gregory of Nyssa (not Nazianzen, as J. H. Kurtz, wrongly quoting from Neander, has it in his large K. Gesch. i. ii. p. 99) relates from his own observation: Orat. de Deitate Filii et Spiritus S. (Opera ii. p. 898, ed. Paris. of 1615). He compares his contemporaries in this respect with the Athenians, who are always wishing to hear some new thing.

1285  Orat. xxvii. 2 (Opera, tom. i. p. 488). Comp. Orat. xxxii. (tom. i. p. 581); Carmen de vita sua, vers. 1210 sqq. (tom. ii. p. 737 sq.).

1286  Comp. Engelhardt: Die angeblichen Schriften des Areop. Dionysius übersetzt und erklärt, 1823, 2 Parts; Ritter: Geschichte der christl. Philosophie, Bd. ii. p. 515; Baur: Geschichte der Lehre von der Dreieinigkeit, ii. 207 f., and his Geschichte der Kirche, from the fourth to the sixth century, p. 59 ff.; Joh. Huber: Die Philosophie der Kirchenväter, pp. 327-341; and an article of K. Vogt, in Herzog’s Encycl. iii. p. 412 ff.

1287  Comp. Clausen: De Synesio philosopho, Hafn. 1831; Huber: Philos. der Kirchenväter, pp. 315-321; Baur: Church Hist. from the fourth to the sixth century, p. 52 ff., and W. Möller in Herzog’s Encycl. vol. xv. p. 335 ff.

1288  Concerning the influence of philosophy on the church fathers, comp. Ritter’s Geschichte der christl. Philosophie; Ackermann, and Baur: Ueber das Christliche im Platonismus; Huber’s Philosophie der Kirchenväter (Munich, 1859); NEANDER’S Dogmengeschichte, i p. 59 sqq.; Archer Butler’s Lectures on Ancient Philosophy; Shedd’s History of Christian Doctrine, vol. i. ch. 1 (Philosophical Influences in the Ancient Church); Alb. Stöckl: Geschichte der Philosophie des Mittelalters, Mainz, 1865, 2 Bde.

1289  Comp. vol. i. § 75 and 76.

1290  Ad Serap. Ep. i. cap. 28 (Opera, tom. i. pars ii. p. 676): [Idwmen ... th;n th'" ajrch'" paravdosin kai; didaskalivan kai; pivstin th'" kaqolikh'" ejkklhsiva" h{n oJ mevn kuvrio" e[dwken, oiJ de; ajpovstoloi ejkhvruxan, kai; oiJ patevre" ejfuvlaxan.  Voigt (Die Lehre des Athanasius, &c. p. 13 ff.) makes Athanasius even the representative of the formal principle of Protestantism, the supreme authority, sufficiency, and self-interpreting character of the Scriptures; while Möhler endeavors to place him on the Roman side. Both are biassed, and violate history by their preconceptions.

1291  On this point compare the relevant sections in the works on Symbolic and Polemic Theology, and Schaff’s Principle of Protestantism, 1845.

1292  Bibliva ajnaginwskovmena (libri ecclesiastici), in distinction from kanonikav or kanonizovmena on the one hand, and ajpovkrufa on the other. So Athanasius.

1293  Heb. xi. 35 ff. probably alludes, indeed, to 2 Macc. vi. ff.; but between a historical allusion and a corroborative citation with the solemn hJ grafh; levgei there is a wide difference.

1294  Hence called oJmologouvmena.

1295  Hence called ajntilegovmena, which, however, is by no means to be confounded with ajpovkrufa and novqa. There are no apocrypha, properly speaking, in the New Testament. The apocryphal Gospels, Acts, and Apocalypses in every case differ greatly from the apostolic, and were never received into the canon. The idea of apocrypha in the Old Testament is innocent, and is applied to later Jewish writings, the origin of which is not accurately known, but the contents of which are useful and edifying.

1296  De doctr. Christ. l. ii. c. 8.

1297  The well-known doubts of Luther respecting some of the antilegomena, especially the Epistle of James, the Epistle to the Hebrews, and the Revelation, are mere private opinions, which have latterly been reasserted by individual Lutheran divines, like Philippi and Kahnis, but have had no influence upon the church doctrine.

1298  The more particular history of the canon belongs to historical and critical Introduction to the Bible. Besides the relevant sections in works of this sort, and in Lardner’s Credibility of the Gospel History, and Kirchhofer’s Quellensammlung (1844), comp. the following special treatises: Thiersch: Herstellung des historischen Standpunkts für die Kritik der N. T’tlichen Schriften, 1845; Credner. Zur Geschichte des Kanons, 1847; Oehler: Kanon des A. Ts. in Herzog’s Encyklopädie, vol. vii. pp. 243-270; Landerer: Kanon des Neuen Testaments, ibid. pp. 270-303; also an extended article: Canon of Scripture, in W. Smith’s Dictionary of the Bible (London and Boston, 1860), vol. i. pp. 250-268.

1299  Full information on this subject may be found in the Introductions to the New Testament, and in the Prolegomena of the critical editions of the New Testament, among which the editions of Lachmann, Tischendorf, Tregelles, and Alford are the most important. Comp. particularly the eighth large edition of Tischendorf, begun in 1865, and diligently employing all existing critical helps.

1300  "Ego vero evangelio non crederem, nisi me Catholicae ecclesiae commoveret autoritas .... Sed absit ut ego Evangelio non credam. Illi enim credens, non invenio quomodo possim etiam tibi [Manichaeus] credere. Apostolorum enim nomina, quae ibi leguntur, non inter se continent nomen Manichaei." Contra Epist. Manichaei, quam vocant fundamenti, cap. 6 (ed. Bened. tom. viii. p. 154). His object in this argument is to show that the Manichaeans have no right in the Scriptures, that the Catholic church is the legitimate owner and interpreter of the Bible. But it is an abuse to press this argument at once into the service of Rome as is so often done. Between the controversy of the old Catholic church with Manichaeism, and the controversy of Romanism with Protestantism, there is an immense difference.

1301  Lerinum or Lirinum (now St. Honorat) is one of the group of small islands in the Mediterranean which formerly belonged to Roman Gaul, afterwards to France. In the fifth century it was a seminary of learned monks and priests for France, as Faustus Regiensis, Hilarius Arelatensis, Salvianus, and others.

1302  Commonit. cap. 2 (in Migne’s Patrolog. vol. 50, p. 640): "In ipsa item Catholica Ecclesia magnopere curandum est, ut id teneamus quod ubique, quod semper, quod ab omnibus creditum est." The Commonitorium was composed, as we learn from the preface and from ch. 42, about three years after the ecumenical council of Ephesus, therefore about 434, under the false name of Peregrinus, as a help to the memory of the author that he might have the main points of ecclesiastical tradition constantly at hand against the heretics. Baronius calls it "opus certe aureum," and Bellarmin "parvum mole et virtute maximum." It consisted originally of two books, but the manuscript of the second book was stolen from the author, who then added a brief summary of both books at the close of the first (c. 41-43). Vossius, Cardinal Norisius (Historia Pelagiana, I. ii. c. 11), Natalis Alexander, Hefele, and Schmidt give this work a polemic aim against strict Augustinism, for which certainly the Greek church cannot be claimed, so that the three criteria of catholicity are wanting. There is pretty strong evidence in the book itself that Vincentius belonged to the semi-Pelagian school which arose in Marseille and Lirinum. He was probably also the author of the Vincentianae objectiones against Augustine’s doctrine of predestination. Comp. on Vincentius, Tillemont’s Mémoires, tom. xv. pp. 143-147; the art. Vincentius v. L. by H. Schmidt in Herzog’s Encykl. vol. xvii. pp. 211-217; and an essay of C. J. Hefele (R.C.), in his Beiträge zur Kirchengeschichte, Archäologie und Liturgik, vol. i. p. 146 ff. (Tüb. 1864).

1303  As Vincentius expresses himself in the succeeding sentence: Universitas, antiquitas, consensio. Comp. c. 27.

1304  "Consensio omnium vel certe paene omnium sacerdotum pariter et magistrorum," etc. Common. c. 2 (in Migne, p. 640).

1305  Cap 23 (in Migne, vol 50, p. 667 sqq.).

1306  Cap. 2: "Quum sit perfectus Scripturarum Canon et sibi ad omnia satis superque sufficiat," etc. Cap. 29.

1307  "Hoc facere curabant ... ut divinum canonem secundum universalis ecclesiae traditiones et juxta catholici dogmatis regulas interpretentur, in qua item catholica et apostolica ecclesia sequantur necesse est universitatem, antiquitatem, consensionem." Commonit. cap. 27 (in Migne, vol. 50, p. 674). Comp. c. 2-4.

1308  Cap. 29 (in Migne, vol. 50, p. 677): "Non quia canon solus non sibi ad universa sufficiat, sed quia verba divina, pro suo plerique arbitratu interpretantes, varias opiniones erroresque concipiant," etc.

1309  Epist. 82 ad Episc. Marcianum Aug. (Opera, tom. i. p. 1044, ed. Ballerini, and in Migne, liv. p. 918): "Quum ab evangelica apostolicaque doctrina ne uno quidem verbo liceat dissidere, aut aliter de Scripturis divinis sapere quam beati apostoli et patres nostri didicerunt atque docuerunt," etc.

1310  JEterovth" th'" oujsiva", or tou' uJpokeimevnou. De Orat. c. 15.

1311  Hence be termed the Logos deuvtero" Qeov", or Qeov" (without the article, comp. John i. 1), in distinction from the Father, who is absolute God, oJ Qeov", or aujtovqeo", Deus per se. He calls the Father also the root (rJiza) and fountain (phghv) of the whole Godhead. Comp. vol. i. § 78. Redepenning: Origenes, ii. 304 sq., and Thomasius: Origenes, p. 118 sq.

1312  [Areio".

1313  This, however, is manifestly contrary to Origen’s view, which made Christ an intermediate being between the uncreated Father and the creature, Contra Cels. iii. 34.

1314  OiJ ejx oujk o[vntwn . So he named the Arians, for their assertion that the Son of God was made ejx oujk o[ntwn out of nothing.

1315  At least Rufinus says, H. E. i. 1: "Ex sacerdotum sententia." Probably Hosius and Eusebius of Caesarea had most influence with the emperor in this matter, as in others. But of any coöperation of the pope in the summoning of the council of Nicaea the earliest documents know nothing.

1316  I.e., Eij" Nivkaian, like Stambul, Is-tam-bul, from eij" th;n povlin. Isnik now contains only some fifteen hundred inhabitants.

1317  The imperial letter of convocation is not extant. Eusebius says, Vita Const. iii. 6, the emperor by very respectful letters invited the bishops of all countries to come with all speed to Nicaea (speuvdein aJpantacovqen tou;" ejpiskovpou" :gravmmasi timhtikoi'" prokalouvmeno"). Arius also was invited (Rufinus, H. E. i. 1). In an invitation of Constantine to the bishop of Syracuse to attend the council of Arles (as given by Eusebius, H. E. x. c. 5), the emperor directs him to bring with him two priests and three servants, and promises to defray the travelling expenses. The same was no doubt done at the council of Nice. Comp. Eus. V. Const. iii. 6 and 9.

1318  According to Athanasius (Ad Afros, c. 2, and elsewhere), Socrates (H. E. l. 8), Theodoret (H. E. i. 7), and the usual opinion. The spirit of mystic interpretation gave to the number 318, denoted in Greek by the letters TIH, a reference to the cross (T), and to the holy name Jesus (jIHsou'"). It was also (Ambrose, De fide, i. 18) put in connection with the three hundred and eighteen servants of Abraham, the father of the faithful (Gen. xiv. 14). Eusebius, however, gives only two hundred and fifty bishops (penthvkonta kai; diakosivwn ajriqmovn), or a few over; but with an indefinite number of attendant priests, deacons, and acolyths (Vit. Const. iii. 8). The later Arabic accounts of more than two thousand bishops probably arose from confounding bishops and clergy in general. Perhaps the number of members increased towards the close, so that Eusebius with his 260, and Athanasius with his318, may both be right. The extant Latin lists of the subscribers contain the names of no more than two hundred and twenty-four bishops and chorepiscopi, and many of these are mutilated and distorted by the mistakes of transcribers, and varied in the different copies. Comp. the list from an ancient Coptic cloister in Pitra’s Spicilegium Solesmense (Par. 1852.), tom. i. p. 516 sqq.; and Hefele, Conciliengesch. i. 284.

1319  On the various dates, comp. Hefele, l. c. i. p. 261 sqq. Broglie, ii. 26, puts the arrival of the emperor earlier, on the 4th or 5th of June.

1320  Vita Const. iii. 10. The above translation is somewhat abridged.

1321  Oi|a Qeou' ti" oujravnio" : a[ggelo".

1322  According to Eusebius, l. c. iii. c. 12. Sozomen, Socrates, and Rufinus also give the emperor’s speech, somewhat differently, but in substantial agreement with this.

1323  tw'/ uJmetevrw'/ sunqeravponti.

1324  Paredivdou to;nlovgon toi'" th'" sunovdou proevdroi", says Euseb. iii. 13. The question of the presidency in the ecumenical councils has already been spoken of in § 65.

1325  Athanasius always calls him the Great, oJ mevga".

1326  The ancient and the Roman Catholic historians (and A. de Broglie, l.c. vol. ii. p. 21) generally assume only two parties, an orthodox majority and a heretical minority. But the position of Eusebius of Caesarea, the character of his confession, and the subsequent history of the controversy, prove the existence of a middle, semi-Arian party. Athanasius, too, who usually puts all shades of opponents together, accuses Eusebius of Caesarea and others repeatedly of insincerity in their subscription of the Nicene creed, and yet these were not proper Arians, but semi-Arians.

1327  Rufinus, i. 5: "Evocabatur frequenter Arius in concilium."

1328  Athanasius himself, however, laid little stress on the term, and rarely used it in his theological expositions; he cared more for the thing than the name. The word oJmoouvsio", from oJmo" and oujsiva was not an invention of the council of Nice, still less of Constantine, but had previously arisen in theological language, and occurs even in Origen and among the Gnostics, though of course it is no more to be found in the Bible than the word trinity.

1329  Dr. Shedd, therefore, is plainly incorrect in saying, Hist. of Chr. Doctrine, vol. i. p. 308: "The problem to be solved by the Nicene council was to exhibit the doctrine of the trinity in its completeness; to bring into the creed statement the total data of Scripture upon both the side of unity and trinity." This was not done till the council of Constantinople in 381, and strictly not till the still later Symbolum Athanasianum.

1330  Even Gibbon (ch. xxi.) places very little dependence on this historian: "The credibility of Philostorgius is lessened, in the eyes of the orthodox, by his Arianism; and in those of rational critics [as if the orthodox were necessarily irrational and uncritical!] by his passion, his prejudice, and his ignorance."

1331  Jerome (Adv. Lucifer, c. 20; Opera, ed. Vallars. tom. ii. p. 192 sqq.) asserts, on the authority of aged witnesses then still living, that Arius and his adherents were pardoned even before the close of the council. Socrates also says (H. E. i. c. 14) that Arius was recalled from banishment before Eusebius and Theognis, but under prohibition of return to Alexandria. This isolated statement, however, cannot well be harmonized with the subsequent recalling, and probably arose from some confusion.

1332  Stanly (sic) interweaves several of these miraculous legends with graphical minuteness into the text of his narrative, thus giving it the interest of romance, at the expense of the dignity of historical statement. The simple Spyridion performed, on his journey to the Council, the amazing feat of restoring in the dark his two mules to life by annexing the white head to the chestnut mule, and the chestnut head to its white companion, and overtook the rival bishops who had cut off the heads of the mules with the intention to prevent the rustic bishop from reaching Nicaea and hurting the cause of orthodoxy by his ignorance! According to another version of this silly legend the decapitation of the mules is ascribed to malicious Arians.

1333  According to the Syriac preface to the Syriac Festival Letters of Athanasius, first edited by Cureton in 1848. It was previously supposed that Alexander died two years earlier. Comp. Hefele, i. p. 429.

1334  Comp. Athanasius, De morte Arii Epist. ad Serapionem (Opera, tom. i. p. 340). He got his information from his priest Macarius, who was in Constantinople at the time.

1335  So says Gregory Nazianzen. The date of his return, according to the Festival Letters of Athanasius, was the 23d November, 338.

1336  OiJ peri; Eujsevbion.

1337  Hence called the council in encoeniis (ejgkainivoi") or in dedicatione.

1338  This apparent contradiction between orthodox canons and semi-Arian confessions has occasioned all kinds of hypotheses in reference to this Antiochian synod. Comp. on them, Hefele, i. p. 486 sqq.

1339  Not a.d. 347, as formerly supposed. Comp. Hefele, i. 515 sqq.

1340  About a hundred and seventy bishops in all (according to Athanasius) were present at Sardica, ninety-four occidentals and seventy-six orientals or Eusebians. Sozomen and Socrates, on the contrary, estimate the number at three hundred. The signatures of the acts of the council are lost, excepting a defective list of fifty-nine names of bishops in Hilary.

1341  Comp. above, § 72, p. 371.

1342  The apostasy of Liberius comes to us upon the clear testimony of the most orthodox fathers, Athanasius, Hilary, Jerome, Sozomen, &c., and of three letters of Liberius himself, which Hilary admitted into his sixth fragment, and accompanied with some remarks. Jerome says in his Chronicle: "Liberius, taedio victus exilii, in haereticam pravitatem subscribens Romam quasi victor intravit." Comp. his Catal. script. eccl c. 97. He probably subscribed what is called the third Sirmian formula, that is, the collection of Semi-Arian decrees adopted at the third council of Sirmium in 358. Hefele (i. 673), from his Roman point of view, knows no way of saving him but by the hypothesis that he renounced the Nicene word (oJmoouvsio"), but not the Nicene faith. But this, in the case of so current a party term as oJmoouvsio", which Liberius himself afterwards declared "the bulwark against all Arian heresy" (Socr. H. E. iv. 12), is entirely untenable.

1343  He was hated among the orthodox and Semi-Arians, and called a[qeo". He was an accomplished dialectician, a physician and theological author in Antioch, and died about 370 in Constantinople.

1344  He was a pupil and friend of Aëtius, and popularized his doctrine. He died in 392. Concerning him, comp. Klose, Geschichte u. Lehre des Eunomius, Kiel, 1833, and Dorner, l.c. vol. i. p. 853 sqq. cDorner calls him a deacon; but through the mediation of the bishop Eudoxius of Constantinople (formerly of Antioch) he received the bishopric of Cyzicus or Cyzicum as early as 360, before he became the head of the Arian party. Theodoret, H. E. l. ii. c. 29.

1345  In the earliest Latin translation of the canons of this council, indeed, three Roman legates, Paschasinus, Lucentius, and Bonifacius, are recorded among the signers (in Mansi, t. vi. p. 1176), but from an evident confusion of this council with the fourth ecumenical of 451, which these delegates attended. Comp. Hefele, ii. p. 3 and 393. The assertion of Baronius that in reality pope Damasus summoned the council, rests likewise on a mistake of the first council of Constantinople for the second in 382.

1346  This modification and enlargement of the Nicene Creed seems not to have originated with the second ecumenical council, but to have been current in substance about ten years earlier. For Epiphanius, in his Ancoratus, which was composed in 374, gives two similar creeds, which were then already in use in the East; the shorter one literally agrees with that of Constantinople (c. 119, ed. Migne, tom. iii. p. 231); the longer one (c. 120) is more lengthy on the Holy Ghost; both have the anathema. Hefele, ii. 10, overlooks the shorter and more important form.

1347  John Milton and Isaac Newton cannot properly be termed Arians. Their view of the relation of the Son to the Father was akin to that of Arius, but their spirit and their system of ideas were totally different. Bishop Bull’s great work, Defensio fidei Nicaenae, first published 1685, was directed against Socinian and Arian views which obtained in England, but purely with historical arguments drawn from the ante-Nicene fathers. Shortly afterwards the high Arian view was revived and ably defended with exegetical, patristic, and philosophical arguments by Whiston, Whitby, and especially by Dr. Samuel Clarke (died 1729), in his treatise on the "Scripture Doctrine of the Trinity" (1712), which gave rise to a protracted controversy, and to the strongest dialectical defence (though broken and irregular in method) of the Nicene doctrine in the English language by Dr. Waterland. This trinitarian controversy, one of the ablest and most important in the history of English theology, is very briefly and superficially touched in the great works of Dr. Baur (vol. iii. p. 685 ff.) and Dorner (vol. ii. p. 903 ff.); but the defect has been supplied by Prof. Patrick Fairbairn in an Appendix to the English translation of Dorner’s History of Christology, Divis. Secd. vol. iii. p. 337 ff.

1348  Die christliche Kirche vom 4-6ten Jahrhundert, 1859, p. 97 sq.

1349  Baur, Newman (The Arians, p. 17), and others put Arianism into connection with the Aristotelian philosophy, Athanasianism with the Platonic; while Petavius, Ritter, to some extent also Voigt (I. c. p. 194), and others exactly reverse the relation, and derive the Arian idea of God from Platonism and Neo-Platonism. This contrariety of opinion itself proves that such a comparison is rather confusing than helpful. The empirical, rational, logical tendency of Arianism is, to be sure, more Aristotelian than Platonic; and so far Baur is right. But the Aristotelian logic and dialectics may be used equally well in the service of Catholic orthodoxy, as they were in fact in the mediaeval scholasticism; while, on the other hand, the Platonic idealism, which was to Justin, Origen, and Augustine, a bridge to faith, may lead into all kinds of Gnostic and mystic error. All depends on making revelation and faith, or philosophy and reason, the starting-point and the ruling power of the theological system. Comp. also the observations of Dr. Dorner against Dr. Baur, in his Entwicklungsgesch. der Christologie, vol. i. p. 859, note.

1350  I cannot refrain from quoting the striking judgment of George Bancroft, once a Unitarian preacher, on the import of the Arian controversy and the vast influence of the Athanasian doctrine on the onward march of true Christian civilization. "In vain," says he in his address on the Progress of the Human Race, delivered before the New York Historical Society in 1854, p. 25 f., "did restless pride, as that of Arius, seek to paganize Christianity and make it the ally of imperial despotism; to prefer a belief resting on authority and unsupported by an inward witness, over the clear revelation of which the millions might see and feel and know the divine glory; to substitute the conception, framed after the pattern of heathenism, of an agent, superhuman yet finite, for faith in the ever continuing presence of God with man; to wrong the greatness and sanctity of the Spirit of God by representing it as a birth of time. Against these attempts to subordinate the enfranchising virtue of truth to false worship and to arbitrary power reason asserted its supremacy, and the party of superstition was driven from the field. Then mooned Ashtaroth was eclipsed and Osiris was seen no more in Memphian grove; then might have been heard the crash of the falling temples of Polytheism; and instead of them, came that harmony which holds Heaven and Earth in happiest union. Amid the deep sorrows of humanity during the sad conflict which was protracted through centuries for the overthrow of the past and the reconstruction of society, the consciousness of an incarnate God carried peace into the bosom of mankind. That faith emancipated the slave, broke the bondage of woman, redeemed the captive, elevated the low, lifted up the oppressed, consoled the wretched, inspired alike the heroes of thought and the countless masses. The down-trodden nations clung to it as to the certainty of their future emancipation; and it so filled the heart of the greatest poet of the Middle Ages—perhaps the greatest poet of all time—that he had no prayer so earnest as to behold in the profound and clear substance of the eternal light, that circling of reflected glory which showed the image of man."

1351  Pro; crovnwn kai; aijwvnwn.

1352  Qeov", lovgo" , sofiva.

1353  Poivhma, ktivsma ejx oujk o[ntwn.  Hence the name Exukontians

1354  jArch;n e[cei oujk h\n pri;n gennhqh'/, h[toi ktisqh'/ h\n pote o{te oujjk h\n.

1355  jAnalloivwto", a[trepto" oJ uiJov".

1356  Trepto;" fuvsei wJ" ta; krivsmata.

1357  oujsiva

1358  JEteroouvsio" tw'/ patriv.

1359  jAnovmoio" kata; oujsivan. Hence the name jAnovmoioi, Anomoeans.

1360  jAnovmoio" kata; pavnta/..

1361  Such as Prov. viii. 22-25 (Comp. Sir. i. 4; xxiv. 8f.), where personified Wisdom, i.e., the Logos, says (according to the Septuagint): Kuvrio" e[ktisevn me [Heb.  q;n:nIy

 Vulg. possedit me] ajrch;n oJdw'n aujtou' eij" e[rga aujtou': pro; tou' aijw'no" ejqemelivwsevn me, k.t.l. This passage seemed clearly to prove the two propositions of Arius, that the Father created the Son, and that he created him for the purpose of creating the world through him (eij" e[rga aujtou'). Acts ii. 36: {Oti kai; kuvrion aujto;n kai; Cristo;n ejpoivhsen oJ qeov". Heb. i. 4: Kreivttwn genovmeno" tw'n ajggevlwn. Heb. iii. 2: Pisto;n o[nta tw'/ poihvsanti aujtovn.  John i 14: JO lovgo" savrx ejgevneto.  Phil. ii. 7-9. The last two passages are of course wholly inapposite, as they treat of the incarnation of the Son of God, not of his pre-temporal existence and essence. Heb. i. 4 refers to the exaltation of the God-Man. Most plausible of all is the famous passage: prwtovtoko" pavsh" ktivsew", Col. i. 15, from which the Arians inferred that Christ himself is a ktivsi" of God, to wit, the first creature of all. But prwtovtoko" is not equivalent to prwtovktisto" or prwtovplasto": on the contrary, Christ is by this very term distinguished from the creation, and described as the Author, Upholder, and End of the creation. A creature cannot possibly be the source of life for all creatures. The meaning of the expression, therefore, is: born before every creature, i.e., before anything was made. The text indicates the distinction between the eternal generation of the Son from the essence of the Father, and the temporal creation of the world out of nothing by the Son. Yet there is a difference between monogenhv" and prwtovtoko" , which Athanasius himself makes: the former referring to the relation of the Son to the Father, the latter, to his relation to the world.

1362  Such as Luke ii. 52; Heb. v. 8, 9; John xii. 27, 28; Matt. xxvi. 39; Mark xii. 52; &c.

1363  E.g., John xiv. 28: JO pathvr meivzwn mouv ejstin.. This passage also refers not to the pre-existent state of Christ, but to the state of humiliation of the God-Man.

1364  The e[ktise and ejqemelivwse in Prov. viii. 22 ff., on which the Arians laid special stress, and of which Athanasius treats quite at large in his second oration against the Arians, he refers not to the essence of the Logos (with whom the sofiva was by both parties identified), but to the incarnation of the Logos and to the renovation of our race through him: appealing to Eph. ii. 10: "We are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works." As to the far more important passage in Col. i. 15, Athanasius gives substantially the correct interpretation in his Expositio fidei, cap. 3 (ed. Bened. tom. i. 101), where he says: prwtovtokon eijpw;n [Pau'lo"] dhloi' mh; ei\nai aujto;n ktivsma, ajlla; gevnnhma tou' patrov" : xevnon gavr ejpi; th'" qeovthto" aujtou' to; levgesqai ktivsma. Ta; ga;r pavnta ejktivsqhsan uJpo; tou' patro;" dia; tou' uiJou', oJ de; uiJo;" movno" ejk tou' patro;" aji>divw" ejgennhvqh: dio; prwtovtokov" ejsti pavsh" ktivsew" oJ Qeo;" lovgo" :, a[trepto" ejx ajtrevptou.

1365  Comp. on Marcellus of Ancyra below, § 126.

1366  Mundus non factus est in tempore, sed cum tempore, says Augustine, although I cannot just now lay my hand on the passage. Time is the successional form of existence of all created things. Now Arius might indeed have said: Time arose with the Son as the first creature. This, however, he did not say, but put a time before the Son.

1367  Of less weight is the objection, which was raised by Alexander of Alexandria: Since the Son is the Logos, the Arian God must have been, until the creation of the Son, a[logo", a being without reason.

1368  Comp. the second Oration against the Arians, cap. 69 ff.

1369  JHmiavreioi.

1370  JOmoiousiastoiv. The name Eusebians is used of the Arians and Semi-Arians, who both for a time made common cause, as a political party under the lead of Eusebius of Nicomedia (not of Caesarea), against the Athanasians and Nicenes.

1371  Bull judges Semi-Arianisn very contemptuously."Semi-AriAnus," says he (l. iv. 4, 8, vol. v. pars ii p. 779), "et semi-Deus, et semi-creatura perinde monstra et portenta sunt quae sani et pii omnes merito exhorrent. Filius Dei aut verus omnino Deus, aut mera creatura statuatur necesse est; aeternae veritatis axioma est inter Deum et creaturam, inter non factum et factum, medium esse nihil." Quite similarly Waterland: A Defence of some Queries relating to Dr. Clarke’s Scheme of the Holy Trinity, Works, vol. i p. 404.

1372  In his work peri; uJpotagh'", De subjectione Domini Christi, founded on 1 Cor. xv. 28.

1373  Hilary, Fragm. ii. n. 21 (p. 1299, ed. Bened.), states that Athanasius as early as 349 renounced church fellowship with Marcellus.

1374  These are meant by the oiJ ajpo; th'" Galatw'n cwvra" ejrcovmenoi in the 7th canon of the second ecumenical council. Marcellus and Photinus were both of Ancyra in Galatia. Comp. Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, vol. ii. p. 26.

1375  Dorner (l.c. 880 sq.) asserts of Marcellus, that his Sabellianism ran out to a sort of Ebionitism.

1376  He called God logopavthr, because, in his view, God is both Father and Logos. Sabellius had used the expression uiJopavthr, to deny the personal distinction between the Father and the Son. Photinus had to say instead of this, logopavthr, because, in his view, the lovgo", not the uiJov", is eternally in God.

1377  Comp. on Photinus, Athanas., De syn. 26; Epiph., Haer. 71; Hilary, De trinit. vii. 3-7, etc.; Baur, l.c. vol. i. p. 542 sqq.; Dorner, l.c. i. p. 881 sq.; and Hefele, l.c, i. p. 610 sqq.

1378  Particularly distinguished are his four Orations against the Arians, written in 356.

1379  Kai; eij" e{na Kuvrion jIhsou'n Cristo;n, to;n uiJo;n tou' Qeou': gennhqevnta ejk tou' Patro;" monogenh': tou't j ejstin ejk th'" oujsiva" tou' Patro;", Qeo;n ejk Qeou' kai; fw'" ejk fwto;", Qeo;n ajlhqinon ejk Qeou' ajlhqinou': gennhqevnta, ouj poihqevnta, oJmoouvsion tw'/ Patriv, k.t.l.

1380  Though John’s Qeo;" h|n oJ lovgo" (John i. 1), and Paul’s to; ei|nai i[sa Qew'/ (Phil. ii. 6), are akin to it. The latter passage, indeed, since i1sa is adverbial, denotes rather divine existence, than divine being or essence, which would be more correctly expressed by to; ei|nai i[son Qew'/?, or by ijsovqeo". But the latter would be equally in harmony with Paul’s theology. The Jews used the masc. i[so", though in a polemical sense, when they drew from the way in which he called himself preeminently and exclusively the Son of God the logical inference, that he made himself equal with God, John v. 18: {Oti ... patevra i[dion e[lege to;n Qeo;n, i[son eJauto;n poiw'n tw'/ Qew'/. The Vulgate translates: aequalem se faciens Deo.

1381  The word tria;" and trinitas, in this application to the Godhead, appears first in Theophilus of Antioch and Athenagoras in the second century, and in Tertullian in the third. Confessions of faith must be drawn up in language different from the Scriptures—else they mean nothing or everything—since they are an interpretation of the Scriptures and intended to exclude false doctrines.

1382  Bull, Def. fidei Nic., Works, vol. v. P. i. p. 70: " JOmoouvsion a probatis Graecis scriptoribus id dicitur, quod ejusdem cum altero substantiae, essentiae, sive naturae est." He then cites some passages from profane writers. Thus Porphyry says, De abstinentia ab esu animalium, lib. i. n. 19: Ei[ge oJmoouvsioi oiJ tw'n zwvwn yuvcai; hJmetevrai", i.e., siquidem animae animalium sunt ejusdem cum nostris essentiae. Aristotle (in a quotation in Origen) speaks of the consubstantiality of all stars, oJmoouvsia pavnta a[stra, omnia astra sunt ejusdem essentiae sive naturae.

1383  First by the Gnostic Valentine, in Irenaeus, Adv. haer. l. i. cap. 1, § 1 and § 5(ed. Stieren, vol. i. 67 and 66). In the last passage it is said of man that he is uJlikov", and as such very like God, indeed, but not consubstantial, paraplhvsion me;n, ajll j oujc oJmoouvsion tw'/ Qew'/. The Manichaeans called the human soul, in the sense of their emanation system, oJmoouvsion tw'/. Qew'/. Agapius, in Photius (Bibl. Cod. 179), calls even the sun and the moon, in a pantheistic sense, oJmoouvsia Qew'/. The Sabellinas used the word of the trinity, but in opposition to the distinction of persons.

1384  Origen deduces from the figurative description ajpauvgasma, Heb. i. 3, the oJmoouvsion of the Son. His disciples rejected the term, indeed, at the council at Antioch in 264, because the heretical Paul of Samosata gave it a perverted meaning, taking oujsiva for the common source from which the three divine persons first derived their being. But towards the end of the third century the word was introduced again into church use by Theognostus and Dionysius of Alexandria, as Athanasius, De Decr. Syn. Nic. c. 25 (ed. Bened. i. p. 230), demonstrates. Eusebius, Ep. ad Caesarienses c. 7 (in Socr. H. E. i. 8, and in Athan. Opera i. 241), says that some early bishops and authors, learned and celebrated (tw'n palaiw'n tina;" logivou" kai; ejpifanei'" ejpistovpou" kai; suggrafei'" ), used oJmoouvsion of the Godhead of the Father and Son. Tertullian (Adv. Prax.) applied the corresponding Latin phrase unius substantiae to the persons of the holy Trinity.

1385  Cunningham (Hist. Theology, i. p. 291) says of oJmoouvsio": " The number of these individuals who held the substance of the Nicene doctrine, but objected to the phraseology in which it was expressed, was very small [?]—and the evil thereof, was very inconsiderable; while the advantage was invaluable that resulted from the possession and the use of a definite phraseology, which shut out all supporters of error, combined nearly all the maintainers of truth, and formed a rallying-point around which the whole orthodox church ultimately gathered, after the confusion and distinction occasioned by Arian cunning and Arian persecution had passed away."

1386  Athanas. Epist. de Decretis Syn. Nicaenae, cap. 20 (i. p. 226); c. 26 (p. 231); and elsewhere.

1387  Basil. M. Epist. lii. 3 (tom. iii. 146): Au[th de; hJ fwnh; kai; to; tou' Sabellivou kako;n ejpanorqou'tai: ajnairei' ga;r th;n tautovthta th'" uJpostavsew" kai; eijsavgei taleivan tw'n proswvpwn th;n e[nnoian: (tollit enim hypostaseos identitatem perfectamque personarum notionem inducit) ouj ga;r aujto; tiv ejstin eJautw'/ oJmoouvsion, ajll j e{teron eJtevrw/ (non enim idem sibi ipsi consubstantiale est, sed alterun alteri).

1388  Orat. iv. contra Arianos, c. 1 (tom. i. p. 617): {Wste duvo me;n ei|nai patevra kai; uiJo;n, monavda de; qeovthto" ajdiaivreton kai; a[sciston ... miva ajrch; qeovthto" kai; ouj duvo ajrcaiv, o{qen kurivw" kai; monarciva ejstivn.

1389  E.g., Orat. iv. c. Arianos, c. 10 (p. 624): [Estw de; paravdeigma ajnqrwvpinon to; pu'r kai; to; ejx auvtou' ajpauvgasma (ignes et splendor ex eo ortus), Duvo me;n tw'/ ei\nai [this is not accurate, and strictly taken would lead to two oujsivai] kai; oJra'sqai, e{n de; tw'/ ejx aujtou' kai; ajdiaivreton ei\nai to; ajpauvgasma aujtou'.

1390  0rat. iii. c. Arian. c. 1 (p. 551): Plhvrh" kai; tevleiov" ejstin oJ path;r, kai; plhvrwma qeovthtov" ejstin oJ UiJov" .

1391  Trei'" uJpostavsei" [here, as often in the Nicene age, synonymous with oujsivai] memerismevna" kaq j eJautav". Athan. Expos. Fidei or [Ekqesi" pivstew",cap. 2 (Opera, ed. Bened. i. p. 100).

1392  Expositio Fidei, cap. 2: JW" ga;r oujk e[stin hJ phgh; potamo;" , oujde oJ potamo;" phgh;, ajmfovtera de; e}n kai; taujtovn ejstin u{dwr to; ejk th" phgh'" meteceuovmenon, ou{tw" hJ ejk tou' patro;" eij" to;n uiJo;n qeovth" ajrjrJeuvstw" kai; ajdiairevtw" tugcavnei, k.t.l.

1393  Path;r, uiJo;", monogenh" uiJov" (frequent in John), prwtovtoko" pavsh" ktivsew" (Col. i. 15). Waterland (Works, i. p. 368) says of this point of the Nicene doctrine, "that an explicit profession of eternal generation might have been dispensed with: provided only that the eternal existence of the lovgo". as a real subsisting person, in and of the Father, which comes to the same thing, might be secured. This was the point; and this was all."

1394  Genhtov" (not to be confounded with gennhtov"), poihtov", factus. Comp. John i. 14: JO lovgo" sa;rx ejgevneto.

1395  jAgevnhto", ouj poihqeiv", non-factus, increatus; not to be confounded with ajgevnnhto", non-genitus, which belongs to the Father alone.

1396  Gennhtov", or, as in the Symb. Nic. gennhqeiv", genitus.

1397  jAgevnnhto", non-genitus. This terminology is very frequent in the writings of Athanasius, especially in the Orat. i. contra Arianos, and in his Epist. de decretis Syn. Nic.

1398  John i. 18: JO monogenh;" uiJo;" , oJ w]n (a perpetual or eternal relation, not h|n) eij" (motion, in distinction from ejn) to;n kvolpon tou' patrov". Comp. Athanas. Epist. de decr. S. N. c. 22 (tom. i. p. 227): Tiv ga;r a[llo to; ejn kovlpoi" shmaivnei, h} th;n gnhsivan ejk tou' patro;" tou' uiJou' gevnnhsin_

1399  Bishop John Pearson, in his well-known work: An Exposition of the Creed (Art. ii. p. 209, ed. W. S. Dobson, New York, 1851), thus clearly and rightly exhibits the Nicene doctrine in this point: "In human generations the son is of the same nature with the father, and yet is not the same man; because though he has an essence of the same kind, yet he has not the same essence; the power of generation depending on the first prolifical benediction, increase and multiply, it must be made by way of multiplication, and thus every son becomes another man. But the divine essence, being by reason of its simplicity not subject to division, and in respect of its infinity incapable of multiplication, is so communicated as not to be multiplied; insomuch that he who proceeds by that communication, has not only the same nature, but is also the same God. The Father God, and the Word God; Abraham man and Isaac man: but Abraham one man, Isaac another man; not so the Father one God and the Word another, but the Father and the Word both the same God."

1400  Mh; ejk boulhvsew".

1401  Fuvsei.

1402  jAboulhvtw" and ajqelhvtw".

1403  Voluntas de voluntate. De trinit. xv. 20.

1404  Comp. particularly the second oration contra Arianos, c. 69 sqq.

1405  Orat. i. contra Arianos, c. 28 (p. 433): Dia; tou'to ajei; path;r kai; oujk ejpigevgone (accidit) tw'/ Qew'/ to; path;r, i}na mh; kai; trepto;" ei\nai nomisqh'/. Eij ga;r kalo;n to; ei\nai aujto;n patevra, oujk ajei; de; h\n path;r, oujk ajei; a[ra to; kalo;n h\n aujtw'/. Though to this it might be objected that by the incarnation of the Logos and the permanent reception of human nature into fellowship with the divine, a certain change has passed, after all, upon the deity.

1406  Orat. ii. c. Arianos, c. 1 sqq. (p. 469 sqq.); Orat. iii. c. 66 (p. 615), and elsewhere.

1407  This last argument, in the formally logical point of view, may not be perfectly valid; for there may as well be a distinction between an ideal and real fatherhood, as between an ideal and real creatorship; and, on the other hand, one might reason with as good right backwards from the notion of essential omnipotence to an eternal creation, and say with Hegel: Without the world God is not God. But from the speculative and ethical point of view a difference must unquestionably be admitted, and an element of truth be acknowledged in the argument of Athanasius. The Father needed the Son for his own self-consciousness, which is inconceivable without an object. God is essentially love, and this realizes itself in the relation of Father and Son, and in the fellowship of the Spirit: Ubi amor ibi trinitas.

1408  Orat. i. c. 29 (p. 433): To; poivhma e[xwqen tou' poiou'ntov" ejstin ... oJ de; uiJo;" i[dion th'" oujsiva" gevnnhmav ejsti: dio; kai; to; me;n poivhma oujk ajnavgkh ajei; ei\nai, o{te ga;r bouvletai oJ dhmiourgo;" ejrgavzetai, to; de; gevnnhma ouj boulhvsei uJpovkeitai, ajlla; th~v" oujsiva" ejsti;n ijdiovth" .

1409  Comp. the 4th Oration against the Arians, cap. 1 sqq. (p. 617 sqq.)

1410  The Qeov" in the well-known passage, Rom. ix. 6, is thus repeatedly by Athanasus, e.g., Orat. i. contra Arianos, c. 11; Orat. iv. c. 1, and by other fathers (Irenaeus, Tertullian, Cyprian, Origen, Chrysostom), as well as by the Reformers and most of the orthodox expositors, referred to Christ. This interpretation, too, is most suitable to the connection, and in perfect harmony with the Christology of Paul, who sets forth Christ as the image of God, the possessor of the fulness of the divine life and glory, the object of worship (Phil. ii. 6; Col. i. 15 ff.; ii. 9; 2 Cor. iv. 4; Eph. v. 5; 1 Tim. iii. 16; Tit. ii. 13); and who therefore, as well as John, i. 1, could call him in the predicative sense Qeov", i.e., of divine essence, in distinction from oJ Qeov" with the article.

1411  We say the prevailing faith; not denying that the theological knowledge and statement of the doctrine of the trinity had hitherto been in many respects indefinite and wavering. The learned bishop Bull, indeed, endeavored to prove, in opposition to the Jesuit Petavius, that the ante-Nicene fathers taught concerning the deity of the Son the very same things as the Nicene. Comp. the Preface to his Defensio fidei Nicaenae, ed. Burton, Oxf. 1827, vol. v. Pars. 1, p. ix.: "De summa rei, quam aliis persuadere volo, plane ipse, neque id temere, persuasus sum, nempe, quod de Filii divinitate contra Arium, idem re ipsa (quanquam aliis fortasse nonnunquam verbis, alioque loquendi modo) docuisse Patres ac doctores ecclesiae probatos ad unum omnes, qui ante tempora synodi Nicaenae, ab ipsa usque apostolorum aetate, floruerunt." But this assertion can be maintained only by an artificial and forced interpretation of many passages, and goes upon a mechanical and lifeless view of history. Comp. also the observations of W. Cunningham, Historical Theology, vol. i. p. 269 ff.

1412  Dorner, l.c. i. p. 883, justly says: "Not only to the mind of our time, but to all sound reason, does it seem absurd, nay, superstitious, that an under-god, a finite, created being, should be the creator."

1413  Makedonianoiv.

1414  Pneumatovmacoi.

1415  Tropikoiv. This name comes probably from their explaining as mere tropes (figurative expressions) or metaphors the passages of Scripture from which the orthodox derived the deity of the Holy Spirit. Comp. Athanas., Ad Serap. Ep. i. c. 2 (tom. i. Pars ii. p. 649).

1416  Orat. xxxi. De Spiritu sancto, cap. 5 (Op. tom. i. p. 559, and in Thilo’s Bibliotheca P. Gr. dogm. vol. ii. p. 503).

1417  tw'n kaq j hJma'" sofw'n oiJ me;n ejnevrgeian tou'to [to; pneu'ma a{gion] uJpevlabon, oiJ de; ktivsma, oiJ de; Qeovn.

1418  Ou[te sevbousin, ou[te ajtimavzousi.

1419  De trinitate, ii. 29; and xii. 55.

1420  In the four Epistles to Serapion, bishop of Tmuis, written in 362 (Ep. ad Serapionem Thmuitanum episcopum contra illos qui blasphemant et dicunt Spiritum S. rem creatam esse), in his Opera, ed. Bened. tom. i. Pars ii. pp. 647-714; also in Thilo’s Biblioth. Patr. Graec. dogmatica, vol. i. pp. 666-819.

1421  De Spiritu Sancto ad S. Amphilochium Iconii episcopum (Opera, ed. Bened. tom. iii. and in Thilo’s Bibl. vol. ii. pp. 182-343).

1422  Orat. xxxi. De Spiritu Sancto (Opera, tom. i. p. 556 sqq. and in Thilo’s Bibl. vol. ii. pp. 497-537).

1423  Orat. catech. c. 2. Comp. Rupp, Gregor v. Nyasa, p. 169 sq.

1424  De Spiritu S., translated by Jerome.

1425  De Spiritu S. libri 3.

1426  Similar additions had already been previously made to the Nicene Creed. Thus Epiphanius in his Ancoratus, c. 120, which was written in 374, gives the Nicene Creed as then already in general use with the following passage on the Holy Spirit: Kai; eij" to; a{gion pneu'ma pisteuvomen, to; lalh'san ejn novmw/, kai; khruvxan ejn toi'" profhvtai" kai; kataba;n ejpi; to;n jIordavnhn, lalou'n ejn ajpostovloi" , oijkou'n ejn aJgivoi": ou{tw" de; pisteuvomen ejn aujtw'/, o{ti ejsti; pneu'ma a{gion, pneu'ma Qeou', pneu'ma tevleion, pneu'ma paravklhton, a[ktiston, ejk tou' patro;" ejkporeuovmenon, kai; ejk tou' uiJou' lambanovmenon kai; pisteuovmenon. His shorter Creed, Anc. c. 119 (in Migne’s ed. tom. iii. 231), even literally agrees with that of Constantinople, but in both he adds the anathema of the original Nicene Creed.

1427  The well-known passage concerning the three witnesses in heaven, I John v. 7, is not cited by the Nicene fathers: a strong evidence that it was wanting in the manuscripts of the Bible at that time.

1428  "Ego distinguere nescio, non valeo, non sufficio, propterea quia sicut generatio ita processio inenarrabilis est."

1429  It is found, together with the similar Eusebian (Palestinian) confession, in the well-known Epistle of Eusebius of Caesarea to his diocese (Epist. ad suae parochiae homines), which is given by Athanasius at the close of his Epist. de decretis Nicaenae Synodi (Opera, tom. i. p. 239, and in Thilo’s Bibl. vol. i. p. 84 sq.); also, though with some variation by Theodoret, H. E. i. 12, and Socrates, H. E. i. 8. Sozomen omitted it (H. E. i. 10) from respect to the disciplina arcani. The Symbolum Nicaenum is given also, with unessential variations, by Athanasius in his letter to the emperor Jovian c. 3, and by Gelasius Cyzic., Lib. Synod. de Concil. Nicaeno, ii. 36. On the unimportant variations in the text, Comp. Walch, Bibl. symbol. p. 75 sqq., and A. Rahn, Bibliothek der Symbole, 1842. Comp. also the parallel Creeds of the Nicene age in the Appendix to Pearson’s Exposition of the Creed.

1430  Found in the Acts of the second ecumenical council in all the collections (Mansi, tom. iii. 566; Harduin, i. 814). It probably does not come directly from this council still less from the individual authorship of Gregory of Nyssa or Gregory of Nazianzum to whom it has sometimes been ascribed, but the additions by which it is distinguished from the Nicene, were already extant in substance under different forms (in the Symbolum Epiphanii, for example, and the Sym b. Basilii Magni), and took shape gradually in the course of the controversy. It is striking that it is not mentioned as distinct from the Nicene by Gregory Nazianzen in his Epist. 102 to Cledonius (tom. ii. 93 ed. Paris 1842), nor by the third ecumenical council at Ephesus. On the other hand, it was twice recited at the council of Chalcedon, twice adopted in the acts, and thus solemnly sanctioned. Comp. Hefele, ii. 11, 12.

1431  Kai; is wanting in Athanasius (De decretis, etc,).

1432  Kai; is wanting in Athanasius; Socrates and Galerius have it.

1433  Gelasius adds tafevnta, buried.

1434  Without the article in Athanasius.

1435  Al. kaiv.

1436  Athanasius omits o{ti.

1437  Here hypostasis and essence are still used interchangeably; though Basil and Bull endeavor to prove a distinction. Comp. on the contrary, Petavius, De trinit. l. iv. c. 1 (p. 314 sqq.). Rufinus, i. 6, translates: "Ex alia subsistentia aut substantia."

1438  Athanasius omits aJgiva and ajpostolikhv. Theodoret has both predicates, Socrates has ajpostolikhv, all read kaqolikhv.

1439  This addition appears as early as the creeds of the council of Antioch in 341.

1440  This addition likewise is found substantially in the Antiochian creeds of 341, and is directed against Marcellus of Ancyra, Sabellius, and Paul of Samosata, who taught that the union of the power of God (ejnevrgeia drastikhv) with the man Jesus will cease at the end of the world, so that the Son and His kingdom are not eternal Comp. Hefele, i. 438 and 507 sq.

1441  Similar additions concerning the Holy Ghost, the catholic church, baptism and life everlasting are found in the older symbols of Cyril of Jerusalem, Basil, and the two Creeds of Epiphanius. See § 128 above, and Appendix to Pearson on the Creed, p. 594 ff.

1442  Ep. ad Monachos (Opera tom. i. p. 343).

1443  Ps. cxxxix 6.

1444  Enarrat. in PS. xxvi. 8. John Damascenus (Expos. fidei) almost reaches the Socratic confession, when he says: All we can know concerning the divine nature is, that it cannot be conceived. Of course, such concessions are to be understood cum grano salis.

1445  Oujsiva, substantia, essentia, fuvsi", natura, to; o[n, to; uJpokeivmenon. Comp. Petavius, De Trinitate lib. iv. c. 1 (ed. Par. tom. ii. p. 311): "Christiani scriptores ... oujsivan appellant non singularem individuamque, sed communem individuis substantiam." The word uJpokeivmenon, however, is sometimes taken as equivalent to provswpon.

1446  JOmoouvsioi. On the import of this, comp. § 127, and in the text above.

1447  "We men," says Athanasius, "consisting of body and soul are all miva" fuvsew" kai; oujsiva" , but many persons."

1448  Cudworth (in his great work on the Intellectual System of the Universe, vol. ii p. 437 ff.) elaborately endeavors to show that Athanasius and the Nicene fathers actually taught three divine substances in the order of subordination. But he makes no account of the fact that the terminology and the distinction of oujsiva and uJpostasi" were at that time not yet clearly settled.

1449  Comp. the passages from Athanasius and other fathers cited at § 126. "The Persons of the Trinity," says R. Hooker (Eccles. Polity, B. v. ch. 56, voL ii. p. 315 in Keble’s edition), quite in the spirit of the Nicene orthodoxy, "are not three particular substances to whom one general nature is common, but three that subsist by one substance which itself is particular: yet they all three have it and their several ways of having it are that which makes their personal distinction. The Father therefore is in the Son, and the Son in Him, they both in the Spirit and the Spirit in both them. So that the Father’s offspring, which is the Son, remaineth eternally in the Father; the Father eternally also in the Son, no way severed or divided by reason of the sole and single unity of their substance. The Son in the Father as light in that light out of which it floweth without separation; the Father in the Son as light in that light which it causeth and leaveth not. And because in this respect his eternal being is of the Father, which eternal being is his life, therefore he by the Father liveth." In a similar strain, Cunningham says in his exposition of the Nicene doctrine of the Trinity (Hist. Theology, i. p. 285): "The unity of the divine nature as distinguished from the nature of a creature, might be only a specific and not a numerical unity, and this nature might be possessed by more than one divine being; but the Scriptures plainly ascribe a numerical unity to the Supreme Being, and, of course, preclude the idea that there are several different beings who are possessed of the one divine nature. This is virtually the same thing as teaching us that the one divine nature is possessed only by one essence or substance, from which the conclusion is clear, that if the Father be possessed of the divine nature, and if the Son, with a distinct personality, be also possessed of the divine nature, the Father and the Son must be of one and the same substance; or rather—for it can scarcely with propriety be called a conclusion or consequence—the doctrine of the consubstantiality of the Son with the Father is just an expression or embodiment of the one great truth, the different component parts of which are each established by scriptural authority, viz.: that the Father and the Son, having distinct personality in the unity of the Godhead, are both equally possessed of the divine, as distinguished from the created, nature. Before any creature existed, or had been produced by God out of nothing, the Son existed in the possession of the divine nature. If this be true, and if it be also true that God is in any sense one, then it is likewise true—for this is just according to the established meaning of words, the current mode of expressing it—that the Father and the Son are the same in substance as well as equal in power and glory."

1450  On tritheism, and the doctrine of John Philoponus and John Ascusnages, which is known to us only in fragments, comp. especially Baur, Lehre von der Dreieinigkeit, etc., vol. ii. pp. 13-32. In the English Church the error of tritheism was revived by Dean Sherlock in his "Vindication of the Doctrine of the Holy and ever Blessed Trinity," 1690. He maintained that, with the exception of a mutual consciousness of each other, which no created spirits can have, the three divine persons are "three distinct infinite minds" or "three intelligent beings." He was opposed by South, Wallis, and others. See Patrick Fairbairn’s Appendix to the English translation of Dorner’s History of Christology, vol. iii. p. 354 ff. (Edinburgh, 1863).

1451  Provswpa, personae. This term occurs very often in the New Testament, now in the sense of person, now of face or countenance, again of form or external appearance. Etymologically (from prov":and hJ w[y , the eye, face), it means strictly face; then in general, front; also mask, visor, character (of a drama); and finally, person, in the grammatical sense. In like manner the Latin word persona (from sonus, sound) signifies the mask of the Roman actor, through which he made himself audible (personuit); then the actor himself; then any assumed or real character; and finally an individual a reasonable being. Sabellianism used the word in the sense of face or character; tritheism in the grammatical sense. Owing to this ambiguity of the word, the term hypostasis is to be preferred, though this too is somewhat inadequate. Comp. the Lexicons, and especially Petavius, De trinit., lib. iv. Dr. Shedd also prefers hypostasis, and observes, vol. i. p. 371: " This term (persona), it is obvious to remark, though the more common one in English, and perhaps in Protestant trinitarianism generally, is not so well adapted to express the conception intended, as the Greek ujpovstasi". It has a Sabellian leaning, because it does not with sufficient plainness indicate the subsistence in the Essence. The Father, Son, and Spirit are more than mere aspects or appearances of the Essence. The Latin persona was the mask worn by the actor in the play, and was representative of his particular character for the particular time. Now, although those who employed these terms undoubtedly gave them as full and solid a meaning as they could, and were undoubtedly true trinitarians, yet the representation of the eternal and necessary hypostatical distinctions in the Godhead, by terms derived from transitory scenical exhibitions, was not the best for purposes of science, even though the poverty of human language should justify their employment for popular and illustrative statements."

1452  JUpostavsei" subsistentiae. Comp. Heb. i 3. (The other passages of the New Testament where the word is used, Heb. iii. 14; xi. 1; 2 Cor. ix. 4; xi. 17, do not belong here.) JUpovstasi", and the corresponding Latin sub-stantia, strictly foundation, then essence, substance, is originally pretty much synonymous with oujsiva, essentia, and is in fact as we have already said, frequently interchanged with it, even by Athanasius, and in the anathema at the close of the original Nicene Creed. But gradually (according to Petavius, after the council at Alexandria in 862) a distinction established itself in the church terminology, in which Gregory of Nyasa, particularly in his work: De differentia essentiae et hypostaseos (tom. iii. p. 32 sqq.) had an important influece. Comp. Petavius, l.c. p. 314 sqq.

1453  Trovpoi uJpavrxew", an expression, however, capable of a Sabellian sense.

1454  This question of the tri-personality of God must not be confounded with the modern question of the personality of God in general. The tri-personality was asserted by the Nicene fathers in opposition to abstract monarchianism and Sabellianism; the personality is asserted by Christian theism against pantheism, which makes a personal relation of the spirit of man to God impossible. Schleiermacher, who as a philosopher leaned decidedly to pantheism, admitted (in a note to his Reden über die Religion) that devotion and prayer always presume and require the personality of God. The philosophical objection, that personality necessarily includes limitation by other personalities, and so contradicts the notion of the absoluteness of God, is untenable; for we can as well conceive an absolute personality, as an absolute intelligence and an absolute will, to which, however, the power of self-limitation must be ascribed, not as a weakness, but as a perfection. The orthodox tri-personality does not conflict with this total personality, but gives it full organic life.

1455  John xiv. 16: [Allon paravklhton, comp. v. 26; c. xv. 26: JO paravklhto":, o{n ejgw; pemyw uJmi'n para; patrov" , —a clear distinction of Spirit, Son, and Father.

1456  Comp. Petavius, l.c., who discusses very fully the trinitarian terminology of the Nicene fathers. Also J. H. Newman, The Arians, etc. p. 208: "The word person, which we venture to use in speaking of those three distinct manifestations of Himself, which it has pleased Almighty God to give us, is in its philosophical sense too wide for our meaning. Its essential signification, as applied to ourselves, is that of an individual intelligent agent, answering to the Greek uJpovstasi", or reality. On the other hand, if we restrict it to its etymological sense of persona or provswpon, i.e., character, it evidently means less than Scripture doctrine, which we wish to ascertain by it; denoting merely certain outward expressions of the Supreme Being relatively to ourselves, which are of an accidental and variable nature. The statements of Revelation then lie between this internal and external view of the Divine Essence, between Tritheism, and what is popularly called Unitarianism." Dr. Shedd, History of Christian Doctrine, vol. i. p. 365: " The doctrine of a subsistence in the substance of the Godhead brings to view a species of existence that is so anomalous and unique, that the human mind derives little or no aid from those analogies which assist it in all other cases. The hypostasis is a real subsistence,—a solid essential form of existence, and not a mere emanation, or energy, or manifestation,—but it is intermediate between substance and attributes. It is not identical with the substance, for there are not three substances. It is not identical with attributes, for the three Persons each and equally possess all the divine attributes .... Hence the human mind is called upon to grasp the notion of a species of existence that is totally sui generis, and not capable of illustration by any of the ordinary comparisons and analogies."

1457  As Augustine says, De trinitate, lib. vii. cap. 4 (§ 7, ed. Bened. Venet. tom. viii. foL 858): "Verius cogitatur Deus quam dicitur, et verius est quam cogitatur."

1458  Used by Basil and Gregory of Nyasa.

1459  Yuch;, ejnquvmhsi", pneu'ma, in Gregory Nazianzen.

1460  Augustine, De trinit. x. c. 11 (§ 18), tom. viii. fol. 898: "Haec tria, memoria, intelligentia, voluntas, quoniam non sunt tres vitae, sed una vita, nec tres mentes, sed una mens: consequenter utique non tres substantiae sunt, sed una substantia."

1461  Augustine, ib. viii. 8 (f. 875): "Immo vero vides trinitatem, si caritatem vides; " ix. 2 (f. 879): "Tria sunt, amans, et quod amatur, et amor." And in another place: "Tres sunt, amans, amatus, et mutuus amor."

1462  This was clearly felt and confessed by the fathers themselves, who used these illustrations merely as helps to their understanding. Joh. Damascenus (De fide orthod. l. i. c. 8; Opera, tom. i. p. 137) says: "It is impossible for any image to be found in created things, representing in itself the nature of the Holy Trinity without any point of dissimilitude. For can a thing created, and compound, and changeable, and circumscribed, and corruptible, clearly express the superessential divine essence, which is exempt from all these defects?" Comp. Mosheim’s notes to Cudworth, vol. ii. 422 f. (Lond. ed. of 1845).

1463  The trinity of self-consciousness consists in a process of becoming objective to one’s self, and knowing one’s self in this objectivity, according to the logical law of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis, or in the unity of the subject thinking and the subject thought. This speculative argument has been developed by Leibnitz, Hegel, and other German philosophers, and is adopted also by Dr. Shedd, Hist. of Christian Doct. i. p. 366 ff., note. But this analogy properly leads at best only to a Sabellian tri-personality, not to the orthodox.

1464  The ethical induction of the Trinity from the idea of love was first attempted by Augustine, and has more recently been pursued by Sartorius, J. Müller, J. P. Lange, Martensen, Liebner, Schöberlein, and others. It is suggested by the moral essence of God, which is love, the relation of the Father to the Son, and the "fellowship" of the Holy Ghost, and it undoubtedly contains a deep element of truth; but, strictly taken, it yields only two different personalities and an impersonal relation, thus proving too much for the Father and the Son, and too little for the Holy Spirit.

1465  Also i[dion. Gregory of Nyssa calls these characteristic distinctions gnwristikai; ijfiovthte", peculiar marks of recognition. The terms ijdiovth" , and uJpovstasi" were sometimes used synonymously. The word ijdiovth", fem. (from i[dio"), peculiarity, is of course not to be confounded with ijdiwvth", masc., which likewise comes from i[dio", but means a private man, then layman, then an imbecile, idiot,

1466  Proprietas personalis; also character hypostaticus.

1467  jAgennhsiva, paternitas.

1468  gennhsiva, gevnnhsi", generatio filiatio.

1469  Ekpovreusi", procesio; also e[kpemyi", missio; both from John xv. 15 (pevmyw ejkporeuvetai) and similar passages, which relate, however, not to the eternal trinity of constitution, but to the historical trinity of manifestation. Gregory Nazianzen says: [Idion patro;" me;n hJ ajgennhsiva, uiJou' dev hJ gevnnhsi" , pneuvmato" de; hJ e[kpemyi" .

1470  John xiv. 10: JO de; pathvr oJ ejn ejmoi; mevnwn, aujto;" poiei' ta; e[rga_ v.11: jEgw ejn tw'/ patri;, kai; oJ pathvr ejn ejmoiv. This also refers, strictly, not to the eternal relation, but to the indwelling of the Father in the historical, incarnate Christ.

1471  From pericwrevw (with eij"), to circulate, go about, progredi, ambulare. Comp. Petavius, De trinit., lib. iv. c. 16 (tom. ii. p. 453 sqq.), and De incarnatione, lib. iv. c. 14 (tom. iv. p. 473 sqq.). The thing itself is clearly taught even by the Nicene fathers, especially by Athanasius in his third Oration against the Arians, c. 3 sqq., and elsewhere, with reference to the relation of the Son to the Father, although he never, so far as I know, used the word pericwvrhsi". Gregory Nazianzen uses the verb pericwrei'n (not the noun) of the vital interpenetration of the two natures in Christ. Gibbon, in his contemptuous account of the Nicene controversy (chapter xxi.) calls the pericwvrhsi" or circumincessio " the deepest and darkest corner of the whole theological abyss," but takes no pains even to explain this idea. The old Protestant theologians defined the pericwvrhsi" as "immanentia, h. e. inexistentia mutua et singularissima, intima et perfectissima inhabitatio unius personae in alia." Comp. Joh. Gerhard, Loci theologici, tom. i. p. 197 (ed. Cotta).

1472  From incedo, denoting the perpetual internal motion of the Trinity, the circumfusio or mutua commeatio, et communicatio personarum inter se. Petavius (in the 2d and 4th vol. l. c.), Cudworth (Intellectual System of the Universe, vol. ii. p. 454, ed. of Harrison, Lond. 1845), and others use instead of this, circuminsessio, from sedeo, which rather expresses the repose of the persons in one another, the inexistentia or mutua existentia personarum. This would correspond to the Greek ejnuvparxi" rather than to pericwvrhsi".

1473  Ad intra, trovpo" uJpavrxew" .

1474  Ad extra, trovpo":ajpokaluvyew"

1475  JUpotagh; tavxew" kai; ajxiwvmato".

1476  JO Qeov", and aujtovqeo", in distinction from Qeov". Waterland (Works, vol. i. p. 315) remarks on this: " The title of oJ Qeov", being understood in the same sense with aujtovqeo" , was, as it ought to be, generally reserved to the Father, as the distinguishing personal character of the first Person of the Holy Trinity. And this amounts to no more than the acknowledgment of the Father’s prerogative, as Father. But as it might also signify any Person who is truly and essentially God, it might properly be applied to the Son too: and it is so applied sometimes, though not so often as it is to the Father."

1477  JH phgh;, hJ aijtiva, hJ rJivza th'" qeovthto": fons, origo, principium.

1478  De trinit. iii. 12: "Et quis non Patrem potiorem confitebitur, ut ingenitum a genito, ut Patrem a Filio, ut eum qui miserit ab eo qui missus sit, ut volentem ab eo qui obediat? Et ipse nobis erit testis: Pater major me est. Haec ita ut sunt intelligenda sunt, sed cavendum est, ne apud imperitos gloriam Filii honor Patris infirmet." In the same way Hilary derives all the attributes of the Son from the Father. Comp. also Hilary, De Synodis, seu de fide Orientalium, pp. 1178 and 1182 (Opera, ed. Bened.), and the third and eighteenth canons of the Sirmian council of 357.

1479  Comp. the relevant passages from Athanasius, Basil, and the Gregories, in Bull, Defensio, sect. iv. (Pars ii. p. 688 sqq.). Even John of Damascus, with whom the productive period of the Greek theology closes, still teaches the same subordination, De orthod. fide, i. 10: Pavnta o{sa e[cei oJ uiJo;" kai; to; pneu'ma, ejk tou' patro;" e[cei, kai; aujto; to; ei\nai.

1480  John v. 26, 27.

1481  Matt. xi. 27; Comp. xxviii. 18.

1482  John xiv. 28. Cudworth (I. c. ii. 422) agrees with several of the Nicene fathers in referring this passage to the divinity of Christ, for the reason that the superiority of the eternal God over mortal man was no news at all. Mosheim in a learned note to Cudworth in loco, protests against both interpretations, and correctly so. For Christ speaks here of his entire divine-human person, but in the state of humiliation.

1483  John xvii. 5; Pbil. ii. 9-11.

1484  All important scholars since Petavius admit the subordinatism in the Nicene doctrine of the trinity; e.g., Bull, who in the fourth (not third, as Gibbon says) section of his famous Defensio fidei Nic. (Works, vol. v. Pars ii. pp. 685-796) treats quite at large of the subordination of the Son to the Father, and in behalf of the identity of the Nicene and ante-Nicene doctrine proves that all the orthodox fathers, before and after the council of Nice, "uno ore docuerunt naturam perfectionesque divinas Patri Filioque competere non callateraliter aut coördinate, sed subordinate; hoc est, Filium eandem quidem naturam divinam cum Patre communem habere, sed a Patre communicatam; ita scilicet ut Pater solus naturam illam divinam a se habeat, sive a nullo alio, Filius autem a Patre; proinde Pater divinitatis, quae in Filio est, origo se principium sit," etc. So Waterland, who, in his vindication of the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity against Samuel Clarke, asserts such a supremacy of the Father as is consistent with the eternal and necessary existence, the consubstantiality, and the infinite perfection of the Son. Among modem historians Neander, Gieseler, Baur (Lehre von der Dreieinigkeit, etc. i. p. 468 ff.), and Dorner (Lehre von der Person Christi, i p. 929 ff.) arrive at the same result. But while Baur and Dorner (though from different points of view) recognize in this a defect of the Nicene doctrine, to be overcome by the subsequent development of the church dogma, the great Anglican divines, Cudworth (Intellectual System, vol. ii. p. 421 ff.), Pearson, Bull, Waterland (and among American divines Dr. Shedd) regard the Nicene subordinationism as the true, Scriptural, and final form of the trinitarian doctrine, and make no account of Augustine, who went beyond it. Kahnis (Der Kirchenglaube, ii. p. 66 ff.) thinks that the Scriptures go still further than the Nicene fathers in subordinating the Son and the Spirit to the Father.

1485  The Augustinian doctrine of the trinity is discussed at length by Baur, Die christl. Lehre von der Dreieinigkeit, etc. vol. i. pp. 826-888. Augustine had but an imperfect knowledge of the Greek language, and was therefore not accurately acquainted with the writings of the Nicene fathers, but was thrown the more upon his own thinking. Comp. his confession, De trinit. l. iii. cap. 1 (tom. viii. f. 793, ed. Bened. Venet., from which in this section I always quote, though giving the varying chapter-division of other editions).

1486  De trinit. l. vii. cap. 6 (§ 11), tom. viii. f. 863: "Non major essentia est Pater et Filius et Spiritus Sanctus simul, quam solus Pater, aut solus Filius; sed tres simul illae substantiae [here equivalent to uJpostavsei" ] sive personae, si ita dicendae sunt, aequales sunt singulis: quod animalis homo non percipit." Ibid. (f. 863): "Ita dicat unam essentiam, ut non existimet aliud alio vel majus, vel melius, vel aliqua ex parte divisum." Ibid. lib. viii. c. 1 (fol. 865): "Quod vero ad se dicuntur singuli, non dici pluraliter tres, sed unam ipsam trinitatem: sicut Deus Pater, Deus Filius, Deus Spiritus Sanctus; et bonus Pater, bonus Filius, bonus Spiritus Sanctus; et omnipotens Pater, omnipotens Filius, omnipotens Spiritus Sanctus; nec tamen tres Dii, aut tres boni, aut tres omnipotentes, sed unus Deus, bonus, omnipotens ipsa Trinitas." Lib. xv. 17 (fol. 988): "Pater Deus, et Filius Deus, et Spiritus S. Deus, et simul unus Deus." De Civit. Dei, xi. cap. 24: "Non tres Dii vel tres omnipotentes, sed unus Deus omnipotens." So the Athanasian Creed, vers. 11.

1487  De trinit. l. xv. c. 26 (§ 47, fol. 1000): "Pater solus non est de alio, ideo solus appellatur ingenitus, non quidem in Scripturis, sed in consuetudine disputantium ... Filius autem de Patre natus est: et Spiritus Sanctus de Patre principaliter, et ipso sine ullo temporis intervallo dante, communiter de utroque procedit."

1488  Confess. xiii. 11: "Dico haec tria: esse, nosse, velle. Sum enim, et novi, et volo; sum sciens, et volens; et scio esse me, et velle; et volo esse, et scire. In his igitur tribus quam sit inseparabilis vita, et una vita, et una mens, et una essentia, quam denique inseparabilis distinctio, et tamen distinctio, videat qui potest." This comparison he repeats in a somewhat different form, De Civit. Dei, xi. 26.

1489  Mens, verbum, amor;—memoria, intelligentia, voluntas or caritas; for voluntas and caritas are with him essentially the same: "Quid enim est aliud caritas quam voluntas?" Again: amans, amatus, mutuus amor. On these, and similar analogies which we have already mentioned in § 130, comp. Augustine, De Civit. Dei, l. xi. c. 24; De trinit. xiv. and xv., and the criticism of Baur, l.c. i. p. 844 sqq.

1490  John xv. 26: JO paravklhto", o}n ejgw pevmyw uJmi'n para; tou' patrov" ,and xvi. 7: Pemyw aujto;n pro;" uJma'"; compared with John xiv. 26: To; pneu'ma to; a{gion, o} pevmyei oJ pathvr ejn tw'/ ojnomativ mou. Augustine appeals also to John xx. 22, where Christ breathes the Holy Ghost on his disciples, De trinit. iv. c. 20 (§ 29), fol. 829: "Nec possumus dicere quod Spiritus S. et a Filio non procedat, neque enim frusta idem Spiritus et Patris et Filii Spiritus dicitur. Nec video quid aliud significare voluerit, cum sufflans in faciem discipulorum ait: ’Accipite Spiritum S.’ " Tract. 99 in Evang. Joh. § 9: "Spiritus S. non de Patre procedit in Filium, et de Filio procedit ad sanctificandam creatuam, sed simul de utroque procedit." But after all, he makes the Spirit proceed mainly from the Father: de patre principaliter. De trinit. xv. c. 26 (§ 47). Augustine moreover regards the procession of the Spirit from the Son as the gift of the Father which is implied in the communication of life to the Son. Comp. Tract 99 in Evang. Joh. § 8: "A quo habet Filius ut sit Deus (est enim de Deo Deus), ab illo habet utique ut etiam de illo procedat Spiritus Sanctus: ac per hoc Spiritus Sanctus ut etiam de Filio procedat sicut procedit de Patre, ab ipso habet Patre."

1491  De trinit. xv. c. 17 (§ 27) fol. 987: "Spiritus S. secundum Scriptams sacras nec Patris solius est, nec Filii solius, sed amborum, et ideo communem, qua invicem se diligunt Pater et Filius, nobis insinuat caritatem." Undoubtedly God is love; but this may be said in a special sense of the Holy Ghost. De trinit. xv. c. 17 (§ 29), fol. 988: "Ut scillicet in illa simplici summaque natura non sit aliud substantia et aliud caritas, sed substantia ipsa sit caritas et caritas ipsa sit substantia, sive in Patre, sive in Filio, sive in Spiritu S., et tamen proprie Spiritus S. caritas nuncupetur."

1492  Ancor. § 9: [Ara Qeo;" ejk patro;" kai; uiJou' to; pneu'ma. Yet he says not expressly: ejkporeuvetai ejk tou' uiJou.'''

1493  Though in a Sabellian sense.

1494  Who in his anathemas against Nestorius condemns also those who do not derive the Holy Ghost from Christ. Theodoret replied: If it be meant that the Spirit is of the same essence with Christ, and proceeds from the Father, we agree; but if it be intended that the Spirit has his existence through the Son, this is impious. Comp. Neander, Dogmengesch. i. p. 822.

1495  Comp. the passages in Hagenbach’s Dogmengeschichte, vol. i. p. 267 (in the Engl. ed. by H. B. Smith, New York, 1861), and in Perthel, Leo der G. p. 138 ff Leo says, e.g., Serm. lxxv. 2: "Huius enim beata trinitatis incommutabilis deitas una est in substantia indivisa in opere, concors in voluntate, par in potential aequalis in gloria."

1496  Comp. on this Controversy J. G. Walch: Historia Controversiae Graecorum Latinorumque de Processione Spir. S., Jen. 1751. Also John Mason Neale; A History of the Holy Eastern Church, Lond. 1850, vol. i. 1093. A. P. Stanley (Eastern Church, p. 142) calls this dispute which once raged so long and so violently, "an excellent specimen of the race of extinct controversies."

1497  Works, vol. iii. p. 237 f.

1498  In striking contrast with this unquestionable historical eminence of this Creed is Baur’s slighting treatment of it in his work of three volumes on the history of the doctrine of the Trinity, where he disposes of it in a brief note, vol. ii. p. 33, as a vain attempt to vindicate by logical categories the harsh and irreconcilable antagonism of unity and triad.

1499  In the Latin text we follow chiefly the careful revision of Waterland, ch. ix. (Works, vol. iii. p. 221 ff.), who also adds the various readings of the best manuscripts, and several parallel passages from the church fathers previous to 430, as he pushes the composition back before the third ecumenical council (431). We have also compared the text of Montfaucon (in his edition of Athanasius) and of Walch (Christl. Concordienbuch, 1750). The numbering of verses differs after ver. 19. Waterland puts vers. 19 and 20 in one, also vers. 25 and 26, 89 and 40, 41 and 42, making only forty verses in all. So Montfaucon, p. 735 ff. Walch makes forty-four verses.

1500  Comp. Augustine, Contra Maximin. Arian. l. ii. c. 3 (Opera, tom. viii. f. 729, ed. Venet.): "Haec est fides nostra, quoniam haec est fides recta, quae etiam catholica nuncupatur."

1501  Some manuscripts: "inviolabilemque."

1502  "Absque dubio is wanting in the Cod. reg. Paris., according to Waterland.

1503  Gregory Naz. Orat. xxiii. p. 422: ... monavda ejn triavdi, kai; triavda ejn monavdi proskuvnoumevnhn.

1504  A similar sentence occurs in two places in the Commonitorium of Vincentius of Lerinum († 450): "Ecclesia vero catholica unam divinitatem in trinitatis plenitudine et trinitatis aequalitatem, in una atque eadem majestate veneratur, ut neque singularitas substantiae personarum confundat proprietatem, neque item trinitatis distinctio unitatem separet deitatis " (cap. 18 and 22). See the comparative tables in Montfaucon in Opera Athan. tom. ii. p. 725 sq. From this and two other parallels Anthelmi (Disquisitio de Symb. Athan., Par. 1698) has inferred that Vincentius of Lerinum was the author of the Athanasian Creed. But such arguments point much more strongly to Augustine, who affords many more parallels, and from whom Vincentius drew.

1505  Vincentius Lirl.c. cap. 19: "Alia est persona Patris, alia Patris, alia Spiritus Sancti. Sed Patris et Filii et Spiritus S. non alia et alia, sed una eademque natura." A similar passage is quoted by Waterland from the Symbolum Pelagii.

1506  Augustine, tom. viii. p. 744 (ed. Venet.): "Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti unam virtutem, unam substantiam, unam deitatem, unam majestatem, unam gloriam."

1507  Faustini Fid. (cited by Waterland): "Qualis est Pater secundum substantiam, talem genuit Filium," etc.

1508  So Augustine, except that he has magnus for immensus. Comp. below. lmmensus is differently translated in the different Greek copies: (ajkatavlhpto". a[peiro" , and a[metro",—a proof that the original is Latin. Venantius Fortunatus, in his Expositio fidei Catholicae, asserts: "Non est mensurabuis in sua natura, quia illocaus est, incircumscriptus, ubique totus, ubique praesens, ubique potens." The word is thus quite equivalent to omnipresent. The translation " incomprehensible" in the Anglican Book of Common Prayer is inaccurate, and probably came from the Greek translation ajkatavlhpto".

1509  Augustine, Op. tom. v. p. 543: "Aeternus Pater, coaeternus Filius, coaeternus Spiritus Sanctus."

1510  In quite parallel terms Augustine, De trinit, lib. v. cap. 8 (tom. viii. 837 sq.); At "Magnus Pater, magnus Filius, magnus Spiritus S., non tamen tres magni, sed unus magnus ... Et bonus Pater, bonus Filius, bonus Spiritus S.; nec tres boni, sed unus bonus; de quo dictum est, ’Nemo bonus nisi unus Deus.’ ... Itaque omnipotens Pater, omnipotens Filius, omnipotens Spiritus S.; nec tamen tres omnipotentes, sed unus omnipotens, ’ex quo omnia, per quem omnia, in quo omnia, ipsi gloria’ (Rom. ix. 36)."

1511  Comp. Augustine, De trinit. lib. viii. in Prooem. to cap. 1 "Sicut Deus Pater, Deus Filius, Deus Spiritus S.; et bonus P., bonus F., bonus Sp. S.; et omnipotens P., omnipotens F., omnipotens Sp. S.; nec tamen tres Dii, aut tres boni, aut tree omnipotentes; sed unus Deus, bonus, omnipotens, ipse Trinitas."—Serm. 215 (Opera, tom. v. p. 948): "Unus Pater Deus, unus Filius Deus, unus Spiritus S. Deus: nec tamen Pater et F. et Sp. S. tres Dii, sed unus Deus." De trinit. x. c. 11 (§18); "Haec igitur tria, memoria, intelligentia, voluntas, quoniam non sunt tres vitae, sed una vita; nec tres mentes, sed una mens; consequenter utique nec tres substantiae sunt, sed una substantia." Comp. also Ambrosius, De Spiritu S. iii. 111: "Ergo sanctus Pater, sanctus Filius, santus et Spiritus; sed non tres sancti; quia unus est Deus sanctus, unus est Dominus;" and similar places.

1512  Comp. the above passage from Augustine, and De trinit l.c. 5 (al. 8): "Et tamen hanc trinitatem non tres Deos, sed unum Deum." A similar passage in Vigilius of Tapsus, De trinitate, and in a sermon of Caesarius of Arles, which is ascribed to Augustine (v. 399).

1513  Augustine: "Non tamen sunt duo Dii et duo Domini secundum formam Dei, sed ambo cum Spiritu suo unus est Dominus ... sed simul omnes non tres Dominos esse Deos, sed unum Dominum Deum dico." Contra Maximin. Arian. 1. ii. c. 2 and 8 (Opera, viii. f. 729).

1514  1 Others read: "Deum ac Dominum."

1515  Waterland omits tres, Walch has it.

1516  Solo is intended to distinguish the Son from the Holy Ghost, who is of the Father and of the Son; thus containing already the Latin doctrine of the double procession. Hence some Greek copies strike out alone, while others inconsistently retain it.

1517  This is manifestly the Latin doctrine of the processio, which would be still more plainly expressed if it were said: "sed ab utroque procedens." Comp. Augustine, De trinit. lib. xv. cap. 26 (§ 47): "Non igitur ab utroque est genitus, sed procedit ab utroque amborum Spiritus." Most Greek copies (comp. in Moutfaucon in Athan. Opera, tom. ii. p. 728 sqq.) omit et Filio, and read only ajpo; tou' patrov".

1518  Augustine, Contra Maxim. ii. 3 (tom. viii. f. 729): "In Trinitate quae Deus est, unus est Pater, non duo vel tres; et unus Filius, non duo vel tres; et unus amborum Spiritus, non duo vel tres."

1519  August. Serm. 215, tom. v. f. 948: "In hac trinitate non est aliud alio majus aut minus, nulla operum separatio, nulla dissimilitude substantiae." Waterland quotes also a kindred passage from the Symb. Pelagii.

1520  So Waterland and the Anglican Liturgy. The Lutheran Book of Concord reverses the order, and reads: trinitas in unitate, et unitas in trinitate.

1530  Ger. Vossius first demonstrated the spuriousness of the tradition in his decisive treatise of 1642. Even Roman divines, like Quesnel, Dupin, Pagi, Tillemont, Montfaucon, and Muratori, admit the spuriousness. Köllner adduces nineteen proofs against the Athanasian origin of the Creed, two or three of which are perfectly sufficient without the rest. Comp. the most important in my treatise, l.c. p. 592 ff.

1531  Wherever the creed has come into use in the Greek churches, this verse has been omitted as a Latin interpolation.

1532  Comp. the catalogue of opinions in Waterland, vol. iii. p. 117; in Köllner; and in my own treatise. The majority of voices have spoken in favor of Vigilius of Tapsus in Africa, a.d. 484; others for Vincentius of Lerinum, 434; Waterland for Hilary of Arles, about 430; while others ascribe it indefinitely to the North African, or Gallic, or Spanish church in the sixth or seventh century. Harvey recently, but quite groundlessly, has dated the composition back to the year 401, and claims it for the bishop Victricius of Rouen (Hist. and Theol. of the Three Creeds, vol. ii. p. 583 f.). He thinks that Augustine quotes from it, but this father nowhere alludes to such a symbol; the author of the Creed, on the contrary, has taken several passages from Augustine, De Trinitate, as well as from Vincentius of Lerinum and other source. Comp. the notes to the Creed above, and my treatise, p. 596 ff.

1533  On this agreement of the symbolical books of the Evangelical churches with the Athanasianum, comp. my treatise, l.c. p. 610 ff. Luther considers this Creed the weightiest and grandest production of the church since the time of the Apostles. In the Church of England it is still sung or chanted in the cathedrals. The Protestant Episcopal church in the United States, on the contrary, has excluded it from the Book of Common Prayer.

1534  Similar parties have arisen with reference to Luther, Schleiermacher, and other great theologians and philosophers.

1535  jAdelfoi; makroiv, on account of their bodily size.

1536  Haeer. 64. Compare also his Epistle to bishop John of Jerusalem, written 394 and translated by Jerome into Latin (Ep. 51, ed. Vallarsi), where he enumerates eight heresies of Origen relating to the trinity, the doctrine of man, of angels, of the world, and the last things.

1537  2 Comp. the description of their conduct by Zöckler, Hieronymus, p. 396 ff.

1538  In his Epistola Synodica ad episcopos Palaestinos et ad Cyprios, 400, and in three successive Epistolae Paschales, from 401-403, all translated by Jerome and forming Epp. 92, 96, 98, and l00 of his Epistles, according to the order of Vallarsi. They enter more deeply into the topics of the controversy than Jerome’s own writings against Origen. Jerome (Ep. 99 ad Theophilum) pays him the compliment: "Rhetoricae eloquentiae jungis philosophos, et Demosthenem atque Platonem nobis consocias."

1539  According to Socrates (H.E. vi. 4) another special reason for the disaffection was, that Chrysostom always ate alone, and never accepted an invitation to a banquet, either on account of dyspepsia or habitual abstemiousness. But by the people he was greatly esteemed and loved as a man and as a preacher.

1540  Pro;" th;n dru'n, Synodus ad Quercum. The estate belonged to the imperial prefect Rufinus, and had a palace, a large church, and a monastery. Sozomen, viii. 17.

1541  Among the twenty-nine charges were these: that Chrysostom called the Saint Epiphanius a fool and demon; that he wrote a book full of abuse of the clergy; that he received visits from females without witnesses; that he bathed alone and ate alone! See Hefele, ii. p. 78 sqq.

1542  Pavlin JHrwdiva" maivnetai, pavlin taravssetai, pavlin ojrcei'tai, pavlin ejpi; pivnaki th;n kefalh;n tou' jIwavnnou zhtei' labei'n. Comp. Socr. H. E. vi. 18. Eudoxia was a young and beautiful woman, who despised her husband, and indulged her passions. She died four years after the birth of her son Theodosius the Younger, whose true father is said to have been the comes John. Comp, Gibbon, ch. xxxii.

1543  Dovxa tw'/ Qew'/ pavntwn e{neken, were his last words, the motto of his life and work.

1544  It was only a suvnodo" ejndhmou'sa, i.e., a council of the bishops just then in Constantinople, and is not to be confounded with the fifth ecumenical council at Constantinople in 553, which decided only the controversy of the Three Chapters. Comp. Mansi, Conc. tom. ix. fol. 395-399 (where the fifteen canons are given); Walch, Ketzerhistorie, vii. 660; and Gieseler, K. Gesch. i. ii. p. 368.

1545  Even Athanasius is not wholly free from this leaning to the monophysite view, and speaks of an e{vnwsi" fusikhv of the Logos with his flesh, and of one incarnate nature of the divine Logos, miva fuvsi" tou' Qeou' lovgou sesarkwmevnh, which with his flesh is to be worshipped; see his little tract De incarnatione Dei Verbi (peri; th'" sarkwvsew" tou' Qeou' lovgou) in the 3d tom. of the Bened. ed. p. 1. But in the first place it must be considered that this tract (which is not to be confounded with his large work De incarnatione Verbi Dei, peri; th'" ejnanqrwphvsew" tou' lovgou, in the first tom. P. i. of the Bened. ed. pp. 47-97), is by many scholars (Montfaucon, Möhler, Hefele) denied to Athanasius, though on insufficient grounds; and further, that at that time fuvsi",oujsiva and uJpovstasi" were often interchanged, and did not become sharply distinguished till towards the end of the Nicene age. "In the indefiniteness of the notions of fuvsi" and uJpovstasi"," says Neander (Dogmengeschichte, i. p. 340), "the Alexandrians were the more easily moved, for the sake of the one uJpovstasi", to concede also only one fuvsi" in Christ, and set the e{nwsi" fusikhv against those who talked of two natures." Comp. Petavius, De incarn. Verbi, lib. ii. c. 3 (tom. iv. p. 120, de vocabulis fuvsew" et uJpostavsew"); also the observations of Dorner, l. c. i. p. 1072, and of Hefele, Conciliengesch. ii. p. 128 f. The two Gregories speak, indeed, of duvo fuvsei" in Christ, yet at the same time of a suvgkrasi", and ajnavkrasi", i.e., mingling of the two.

1546  Theodore, bishop of Mopsuestia in Cilicia, the head of the Antiochian school, compares the union of the divine and human in Christ with the marriage union of man and woman, and says that one cannot conceive a complete nature without a complete person (uJpovstasi"). Comp. Neander, l.c. i. p. 343; Dorner, ii. p. 39 ff.; Fritzsche: De Theodori Mopsvest. vita et scriptis, Halae, 1837, and an article by W. Möller in Herzog’s Encycl. vol. xv. P. 715 ff. Of the works of Theodore of Mopsuestia we have only fragments, chiefly in the acts of the fifth ecumenical council (in Mansi, Conc. tom. ii. fol. 203 sqq.), and a commentary on the twelve Prophets, which cardinal Angelo Mai discovered, and edited in 1854 at Rome in his Nova Bibliotheca SS. Patrum, tom. vii. Pars i. pp. 1-408, together with some fragments of commentaries on New Testament books, edited by Fritzsche, jun., Turici, 1847; and by Pitra in Spicileg. Solesm. tom. i. Par. 1852.

1547  The name is usually written Apollinaris, even by Petavius, Baur, and Dorner, and by all English writers. We have no disposition to disturb the established usage in a matter of so little moment. But the Greek fathers always write jApollinavrio", and hence Apollinarius (as in Jerome, De viris illustr., c. 104) is more strictly correct.

1548  Sw'ma.

1549  Yuch; a[logo", the inward vitality which man has in common with animals.

1550  Nou'", pneu'ma, or the yuch; logikhv, anima rationalis, the motive, self-active, free element, the aujtokivnhton, the thinking and willing, immortal spirit, which distinguishes man from animals. Apollinaris followed the psychological trichotomy of Plato. JO a[nqrwpo", says he in Gregory of Nyssa, ei|" ejstin ejk pneuvmato" kai; fuch'" kaiv swvmato" , for which he quotes 1 Thess. v. 23, and Gal. v. 17. But in another fragment he designates the whole spiritual principle in man by yuch', and makes the place of it in Christ to be supplied by the Logos. Comp. the passages in Gieseler, vol. i. Div. ii. p. 73 (4th ed.). From this time the triple division of human nature was unjustly accounted heterodox.

1551  He even ventured to adduce created analogies, such as the mule, midway between the horse and the ass; the grey color, a mixture of white and black; and spring in distinction from winter and summer. Christ says he, is ou[te a[vnqrwpo" o{lo" , ou[te qeo;", ajlla; qeou' kai; ajnqrwvpou mivxi".

1552  The result of this construction he called ajnqrwpovqeo", a sort of monstrosity, which he put in the same category with the mythological figures of the minotaur, the well-known Cretan monster with human body and bull’s head, or the body of a bull and the head of a man. But the Apollinarian idea of the union of the Logos with a truncated human nature might be itself more justly compared with this monster.

1553  Dorner, who has treated this section of the history of Christology, as well as others, with great thoroughness, says, i. 977: "That the school of Apollinaris did not remain in all points consistent with itself, nor true to its founder, is certain; but it is less certain whether Apollinaris himself always taught the same thing." Theodoret charges him with a change of opinion, which Dorner attributes to different stages of the development of his system.

1554  jEsavrkwsi" is at the same time ejnanqrwvphsi". Christ was really a[nqrwpo", not merely wJ" a[nqrwpo", as Apollinaris taught on the strength of Phil. ii. 7.

1555  To; kuriwvtaton.

1556  Conc. Constant. i. can. 1, where, with the Arians, semi-Arians, Pneumatomachi, Sabellians, and Marcellians or Photinians, the Apollinarians also are anathematized.

1557  This is true even of Athanasius. Comp. the note on him in § 136, p. 706 f.

1558  So Dorner also states the difference, vol. ii. p. 62 f.

1559  Socrates, H. E., vii. 29.

1560  Qeotovko" Deipara, genitrix Dei, mater Dei. On the earlier use of this word comp. Petavius: De incarnatione, lib. v. c. 15 (tom. iv. p. 47 1 sqq., Paris ed. of 1650). In the Bible the expression does not occur and only the approximate mhvthr tou' kurivou, in Luke i. 43; mhvthr jIhsou', on the contrary, is frequent. Cyril appeals to Gal. iv. 4: " God sent forth his Son, made of a woman." To the Protestant mind qeotovko" is offensive on account of its undeniable connection with the Roman Catholic worship of Mary, which certainly reminds us of the pagan mothers of gods. Comp. §§ 82 and 83.

1561  Heb. vii. 3: ajpavtwr, ajmhvtwp, a[neu genealogiva".

1562  In the original in Mansi, iv. 1197; in a Latin translation in Marius Mercator, ed. Garnier, Migne, p. 757 ff. Comp. this and similar passages also in Hefele, ii. p. 137, and Gieseler, i. 2, 139.

1563  Provslhyi". Theodore of Mopsuestia says (Act. Conc. Ephes. in Mansi, iv. fol. 1349): JO despovth" qeo;" lovgo" a[nqrwpon ei[lhfe tevleion (hominem perfectum assumpsit), instead of fuvsin ajnqrwvpou ei[lhfe, or savrx ejgevneto.

1564  jEnoivkhsi", in distinction from ejnsavrkwsi".

1565  Qeavnqrwpo".

1566  qeofovro", also qeodovco", from devcesqai, God-assuming.

1567  Instrumentum, templum, nao;", a favorite term with the Nestorians.

1568  {Enwsi" kaq j uJpovstasin.

1569  Sunavfeia, connection, affinity, intercourse, attachment in distinction from e[nwsi", true interior union. Cyril of Alexandria charges Nestorius, in his Epist. ad Coelestinum: -Feuvgei pantacou' to; levgein, th;n e[nwsin, ajll j ojnomavzei th;n sunavfeian, w{sper ejstin o} e[xwqen.

1570  {Enwsi" scetikhv,  a unity of relation (from scevsi", condition, relation) in distinction from a e{nwsi" fusikhv, or suvgkrasi", physical unity or commixture.

1571  jIdiwvmata.

1572  {Enwsi" kata; cavrin, or kat j eujdokivan.

1573  {Enwsi" kat j axivan, kaq j uiJoqesivan..

1574  {Enwsi" kat j ejnevrgeian

1575  Cyril charges upon Nestorius (Epist. ad Coelest.), that he does not say the Son of God died and rose again, but always only the man Jesus died and rose. Nestorius himself says, in his second homily (in Mar. Merc. 763 sq.): It may be said that the Son of God, in the wider sense, died, but not that God died. Moreover, the Scriptures, in speaking of the birth, passion, and death, never say God, but Christ, or Jesus, or the Lord,—all of them names which suit both natures. A born, dead, and buried God, cannot be worshipped. Pilate, says he in another sermon, did not crucify the Godhead, but the clothing of the Godhead, and Joseph of Arimathea did not shroud and bury the Logos (in Marius Merc. 789 sqq.).

1576  According to a partisan report of Basilius to the emperor Theodosius, Nestorius struck, with his own hand, a presumptuous monk who forbade the bishop, as an obstinate heretic, to approach the altar, and then made him over to the officers, who flogged him through the streets and then cast him out of the city.

1577  See Mansi, tom iv. 578; and the remarks of Walch, vol. v. 373 ff.

1578  Comp. in particular his assertion of a e{nwsi" fusikhv in the third of his Anathematismi against Nestorius; Hefele (ii. 155), however, understands by this not a e[nwsi" eij" mivan fuvsin, but only a real union in one being, one existence.

1579  Cyrilli Opera, tom. iii. 67; in Mansi, iv. fol. 1067 sqq.; in Gieseler, i. ii. p. 143 ff. (§ 88, not. 20); in Hefele, ii. 155 ff.

1580  In Marius Mercator, p. 909; Gieseler, i. ii. 145 f.; Hefele, ii. 158 ff.

1581  It is with reference to this council mainly that Dean Milman (Latin Christianity, i. 227) passes the following harsh and sweeping judgment on the ecumenical councils of the ancient church: "Nowhere is Christianity less attractive, and, if we look to the ordinary tone and character of the proceedings, less authoritative, than in the councils of the church. It is in general a fierce collision of two rival factions, neither of which will yield, each of which is solemnly pledged against conviction. Intrigue, injustice, violence, decisions on authority alone, and that the authority of a turbulent majority, decisions by wild acclamation rather than after sober inquiry, detract from the reverence, and impugn the judgments, at least of the later councils. The close is almost invariably a terrible anathema, in which it is impossible not to discern the tones of human hatred, of arrogant triumph, of rejoicing at the damnation imprecated against the humiliated adversary. Even the venerable council of Nicaea commenced with mutual accusals and recriminations, which were suppressed by the moderation of the emperor; and throughout the account of Eusebius there is an adulation of the imperial convert with something of the intoxication, it might be of pardonable vanity, at finding themselves the objects of royal favor, and partaking in royal banquets. But the more fatal error of that council was the solicitation, at least the acquiescence in the infliction, of a civil penalty, that of exile, against the recusant prelates. The degeneracy is rapid from the council of Nicaea to that of Ephesus, where each party came determined to use every means of haste, manoeuvre, court influence, bribery, to crush his adversary; where there was an encouragement of, if not an appeal to, the violence of the populace, to anticipate the decrees of the council; where each had his own tumultuous foreign rabble to back his quarrel; and neither would scruple at any means to obtain the ratification of their anathemas through persecution by the civil government." This is but the dark side of the picture. In spite of all human passions and imperfections truth triumphed at last, and this alone accounts for the extraordinary effect of these ecumenical councils, and the authority they still enjoy in the whole Christian world.

1582  St Augustine also was one of the Western bishops who were summoned, the emperor having sent a special officer to him; but he had died shortly before, on the 28th of August, 430.

1583  Before the sentence of deposition came to be subscribed, the number had increased to a hundred and ninety-eight. According to the Roman accounts Cyril presided in the name and under the commission of the pope; but in this case he should have yielded the presidency in the second and subsequent sessions, at which the papal legates were present; which he did not do.

1584  In Mansi, tom. iv. p. 1170 sq.; Hefele, ii. 169.

1585  JO blasfhmhqei;" toivnun par j aujtou' kuvrio" :hJmw'n jIhsou'" Cristo;" w{rise dia; th'" parouvsh" aJgiwtavth" sunovdou, ajllovtrion ei\nai to;n aujto;n Nestovrion tou' ejpiskopikou' ajxiwvmato" kai; panto;" sullovgou iJeratikou'. Mansi, iv. fol. 1211; Hefele, ii. 172.

1586  So Cyril himself complacently relates in a letter to his friends in Egypt. See Mansi, tom. iv. 1241 sq.

1587  The Acts of this counter council in Mansi, tom. iv. 1259 sqq. (Acta Conciliabuli). Comp. also Hefele, ii. 178 ff.

1588  In Mansi, tom. v. fol. 305; Hefele, ii. 246; and Gieseler, i. ii. p. 150

1589  . Qeo;n tevleion kai; a[nqrwpon tevleion ejk yuch'" logikh'" (against Apollinaris), kai; swvmato".

1590  JOmoouvsion tw'/ patri; kata; th;n qeovthta, kai; oJmoouvsion hJmi'n kata; th;n ajnqrwpovthta. Here homoousios, at least in the second clause, evidently does not imply numerical unity, but only generic unity.

1591  Duvo ga;r fuvsewn e{nwsi":gevgone, in opposition to the miva fuvsi" of Cyril.

1592  . Kata; tauvthn th;n th'" ajsugcuvtou (against Cyril) eJnwvsew" e[nnoian.

1593  Kai; ta;" me;n qeoprepei'" kata; th;n qeovthta tou' Cristou', ta;" de; tapeina;" kata; th;n ajnqrwpovthta aujtou' paradidovnta". Gieseler says (i. ii. p. 152), Nestorius never asserted anything but what agrees with this confession which Cyril subscribed. But he pressed the distinction of the natures in Christ so far that it amounted, in substance, though not in expression, to two persons; he taught not a true becoming man, but the union of the Logos with a tevleio" a[vnqrwpo", a human person therefore not nature; and he constantly denied the theotokos, except in an improper sense. His doctrine was unquestionably much distorted by his cotemporaries; but so also was the doctrine of Cyril.

1594  Ta;" fauvla" aujtou' kai; bebhvlou" kainofwniva" .

1595  Fragments in Evagrius, H. E. i. 7, and in the Synodicon adversus Tragoediam Irenaei, c. 6. That the book bore the name of Tragedy, is stated by Ebedjesu, a Nestorian metropolitan. The imperial commissioner, Irenaeus, afterwards bishop of Tyre, a friend of Nestorius, composed a book concerning him and the ecclesiastical history of his time, likewise under the title of Tragedy, fragments of which, in a Latin translation, are preserved in the so-called Synodicon, in Mansi, v. 731 sqq.

1596  Hist. Eccl. i. 6.

1597  For his sad fate and his upright character Nestorius, after having been long abhorred, has in modem times, since Luther, found much sympathy; while Cyril by his violent conduct has incurred much censure. Walch, l.c. v. p. 817 ff., has collected the earlier opinions. Gieseler and Neander take the part of Nestorius against Cyril, and think that he was unjustly condemned. So also Milman, who would rather meet the judgment of the Divine Redeemer loaded with the errors of Nestorius than with the barbarities of Cyril, but does not enter into the theological merits of the controversy. (History of Latin Christianity, i. 210.) Petavius, Baur, Hefele, and Ebrard, on the contrary, vindicate Cyril against Nestorius, not as to his personal conduct, which was anything but Christian, but in regard to the particular matter in question, viz., the defence of the unity of Christ against the division of his personality. Dorner (ii. 81 ff.) justly distributes right and wrong, truth and error, on both sides, and considers Nestorius and Cyril representatives of two equally one-sided conceptions, which complement each other. Cyril’s strength lay on the religious and speculative side of Christology, that of Nestorius on the ethical and practical. Kahnis gives a similar judgment, Dogmatik, ii. p. 8 6.

1598  Not to be confounded with the contemporary Monophysite abbot Barsumas, a saint of the Jacobites.

1599  The observations of Alex. von Humboldt, in the 2d vol. of his Kosmos (Stuttg. and Tüb. 1847, p. 247 E), on the connection of Nestorianism with the culture and physical science of the Arabians, are worthy of note: "It was one of the wondrous arrangements in the system of things, that the Christian sect of the Nestorians, which has exerted a very important influence on the geographical extension of knowledge, was of service even to the Arabians before the latter found their way to learned and disputatious Alexandria; that Christian Nestorianism, in fact, under the protection of the arms of Islam, was able to penetrate far into Eastern Asia. The Arabians, in other words, gained their first acquaintance with Grecian literature through the Syrians, a kindred Semitic race; while the Syrians themselves, scarcely a century and a half before, had first received the knowledge of Grecian literature through the anathematized Nestorians. Physicians who had been educated in the institutions of the Greeks, and at the celebrated medical school founded by the Nestorian Christians at Edessa in Mesopotamia, were, so early as the times of Mohammed, living, befriended by him and by Abu-Bekr, in Mecca.

" The school of Edessa, a model of the Benedictine schools of Monte Casino and Salerno, awakened the scientific search for materia medica in the mineral and vegetable kingdoms. When it was dissolved by Christian fanaticism under Zeno the Isaurian, the Nestorians scattered towards Persia, where they soon attained political importance, and established a new and thronged medical institute at Dschondisapur in Khuzistan. They succeeded in spreading their science and their faith to China towards the middle of the seventh century under the dynasty of Thang, five hundred and seventy-two years after Buddhism had penetrated thither from India.

"The seed of Western culture, scattered in Persia by educated monks, and by the philosophers of the last Platonic school of Athens who were persecuted by Justinian, took beneficent root among the Arabians during their first Asiatic campaign. Feeble as the science of the Nestorian priests may have been, it could still, with its peculiar medical and pharmaceutic turn, act genially upon a race which had long lived in free converse with nature, and had preserved a more fresh sensibility to every sort of study of nature, than the people of Greek and Italian cities. What gives the Arabian epoch the universal importance which we must here insist upon, is in great part connected with the trait of national character just indicated. The Arabians, we repeat, are to be regarded as the proper founders of the physical sciences, in the sense which we are now accustomed to attach to the word."

1600  On this fabulous priest-kingdom, which the popes endeavored by unsuccessful embassies to unite to the Roman church, and whose light was quenched by the tide of the conquests of Zengis Khan, comp. Mosheim: Historia Tartarorum Eccles. Helmst. 1741; Neander: Kirchengesch. vol. v. p. 84 ff. (9th part of the whole work, 2d. 1841); and Ritter: Erdkunde, part ii. vol. i. pp. 256, 283 (2d ed. 1832).

1601  Dr. Justin Perkins, Asahel Grant, Rhea, Stoddard, Wright, and other missionaries of the American Board of Commisioners for Foreign Missions. The centre of their labors is Oormiah, a city of 25,000 inhabitants, of whom 1,000 are Nestorians. Comp. on this subject Newcomb, l.c. 556 ff., especially the letter of Dr. Perkins of 1854, p. 564 ff., on the present condition of this mission; also Joseph P. Thompson: Memoir of the Rev. David Tappan Stoddard, missionary to the Nestorians, Boston, 1858; and a pamphlet issued by the American B.C. F. M.: Historical Sketch of the Mission to the Nestorians by Justin Perkins, and of the Assyrian Mission by Rev. Thomas Laurie, New York, 1862. The American Board of Foreign Missions look upon the Nestorian and Armenian missions as a means and encouraging pledge of the conversion of the millions of Mohammedans among whom Providence has placed and preserved those ancient sects, as it would seem, for such an end.

1602  Cyril’s true view is most clearly expressed in the following propositions (comp. Mansi, v. 320, and Niedner, p. 364): Theejnsavrkwsi"wasfusikh; e{nwsi"or becoming man, on the part of God, so that there is onlymiva sesarkwmevnh fuvsi" tou' lovgou. JO Weo;" lovgo", eJnwqei;" sarki; kaq j uJpovstasin, ejgenveto a[nqrwpo":, sunhvfqh ajnqrwvpw/. Miva h[dh noei'tai fuvsi" meta; th;n e{nwsin, hJ aujtou' tou' lovgou sesarkwmevnh. JH tou' kurivou savrx ejstin ijdiva tou' Qeou' lovgou, oujc eJtevrou tino;" par j aujtovn. Thee{nwsi" tw'n fuvsewn is not,indeed, exactly a suvgcusi" tw'n fuvsewn, but at all events excludes all diaivresi", and demands an absolute co-existence and interpenetration of the lovgo" and thesavrx. The consequence of this incarnation is the existence of a new entity, a divine-human subject, which is in nothing only God or only man, but in everything is both in one, and whose attributes (proprietates, idiomata) are not, some divine and others human, but all divine-human.

1603   Towards the memory of Cyril he behaved very recklessly. He confiscated his considerable estate (Cyril was of wealthy family), accused him of squandering the church funds in his war against Nestorius, and unseated several of his relatives. He was himself charged, at the council of Chalcedon, with embezzlement of the moneys of the church and of the poor.

1604   That is, the Fortunate. His opponents said he should rather have been named Atyches, the Unfortunate. He must not be confounded with the deacon Eutyches, who attended Cyril to the council of Ephesus. Leo the Great in his renowned letter to Flavian, calls him "very ignorant and unskilled," multum imprudens et nimis imperious, and justly attributes his error rather to imperitia than to versutia. So also Petavius and Hefele (ii. p. 800).

1605   Mivan fuvsin proskunei'n, kai; tauvthn Qeou' sarkwqevnto" kai; ejnanqrwphvsanto", or as he declared before the synod at Constantinople: JOmologw' ejk duvo fuvsewn gegennh'sqai to;n kuvrionhJmw'n pro; th'" eJnhvsew" : meta; de; th;n e{nwsin mivan fusin oJmologw'. Mansi, tom. vi. fol. 744. In behalf of his view he appealed to the Scriptures, to Athanasius and Cyril, and to the council of Ephesus in 431.

1606   The other side imputed to Eutychianism the doctrine of a heavenly body, or of an apparent body, or of the transformation of the Logos into flesh. So Theodoret, Fab. haer. iv. 13. Eutyches said, Christ had a sw'ma ajnqrwvpou, but not a sw'ma ajnqrwvpinon, and he denied the consubstantiality of his savrx with ours. Yet he expressly guarded himself against Docetism, and against all speculation: Fusiologei'n ejmautw'/ oujk ejpitrevpw. He was really neither a philosopher nor a theologian, but only insisted on some theological opinions and points of doctrine with great tenacity and obstinacy.

1607   Hence the title of the dialogues: jEranisthv", Beggar, and Poluvmorfo", the Multiform. Under this name the Eutychian speaker is introduced. Theodoret also wrote an ajpologiva uJpe;r Diodwvrou kai; Qeodwvrou which is lost.

1608   Suvnodo" ejdhmou'sa. Its acts are incorporated in the acts of the council of Chalcedon, in Mansi, vi. 649 sqq.

1609   jEk duvo fuvsewn, or, as others more accurately said, ejn duvo fuvsesi,—an unessential difference, which reappears in the Creed of the council of Chalcedon. Comp. Mansi, tom. vi. fol. 685, and Neander, iv. p. 988. The first form may be taken also in a monophysite sense.

1610   This Epistola Dogmatica ad Flavianum (Ep. 28 in Ballerini, 24 in Quesnel), which Leo transmitted, with letters to the emperor and the emperor’s sister, Pulcheria, and the Robber Synod, by his legates, was afterwards formally approved at the council of Chalcedon in 451, and invested with almost symbolical authority. It may be found in the Opera Leonis, ed. Baller. tom. i. pp. 801-838; in Mansi, tom. v. fol. 1359; and in Hefele (Latin and German), ii. 335-346. Comp. on It also Walch, vi. p. 182 ff., and Baur, i. 809 ff.

1611   Conc. Chalced. Actio i. in Harduin, tom. ii. fol. 161.

1612   This, moreover, made reference to the famous Epistola Dogmatica, addressed to Flavian, which was also intended to be read before the council. Comp. Hefele, ii. 352.

1613   Leo at least asserts this in reference to the deacon Hilarus. The two other delegates appear to have returned home before the council broke up. Renatus does not appear at all in the Acta, but Theodoret praises him for his courage at the Synod of Robbers. With the three delegates Leo sent also a notary, Dulcitius.

1614   Suvnodo" lh/strikhv, latrocinium Ephesinum; first so called by pope Leo in a letter to Pulcheria, dated July 20th, 451 (Ep. 95, ed. Ballerini, alias Ep. 75). The official Acta of the Robber Synod were read before the council of Chalcedon, and included in its records. These of themselves show dark enough. But with them must be compared the testimony of the defeated party, which was also rendered at the council of Chalcedon; the contemporaneous correspondence of Leo; and the accounts of the old historians. Comp. the details in Tillemont, Walch, Schröckh, Neander, and Hefele.

1615   Kirchengesch. iv. p. 969 (2d Germ. ed. 1847).

1616   At the third session of the council of Chalcedon, Dioscurus himself was accused of gross intemperance and other evil habits. Comp. Hefele, ii. p. 429.

1617   Respecting this apparent inconsistency of Leo, see Hefele, who considers it at length, ii. 387 ff.

1618   Who, however, stipulated as a condition of the marriage, that she still be allowed to keep her vow of perpetual virginity. Marcian was a widower, sixty years of age, and had the reputation of great ability and piety. Some authors place him, as emperor, by the side of Constantine and Theodosius, or even above them. Comp. Leo’s Letters, Baronius (Annales), Tillemont (Emper. iii. 284), and Gibbon (at the end of ch. xxxiv.). The last-named author says of Marcian: "The zeal which he displayed for the orthodox creed, as it was established by the council of Chalcedon, would alone have inspired the grateful eloquence of the Catholics. But the behavior of Marcian, in a private life, and afterwards on the throne, may support a more rational belief, that he was qualified to restore and invigorate an empire, which had been almost dissolved by the successive weakness of two hereditary monarchs .... His own example gave weight to the laws which he promulgated for the reformation of manners."

1619   This promise was in fact fulfilled, although only at one session, the sixth.

1620   Evagrius, H. E. ii. c. 4: "The bishops Paschasinus and Lucentius, and the presbyter Boniface, were the representatives of Leo, archpriest of the elder Rome." Besides them bishop Julian of Cos, Leo’s legate at Constantinople, also frequently appears in the council, but he had his seat among the bishops, not the papal delegates.

1621   There are only imperfect registers of the subscriptions yet extant, and the statements respecting the number of members vary from 520 to 630.

1622   [Arconte", judices. There were six of them.

1623   Such tumultuous outcries (ejkbohvsei" dhmotikaiv), said the commissioners and senators, ill-beseemed bishops, and were of no advantage to either side.

1624   Mansi, tom. vi. 971: au{th hJ pivsti" tw'n patevrwn, au{th hJ pivsti" tw'n ajpostovlwn, panvte" ou{tw pisteuvomen, oiJ ojrqovdoxoi ou{tw pisteuvousin, ajnavqema tw'/ mh; ou{tw pisteuvonti, k.t.l.

1625   Complete in Mansi, tom. vii. f. 111-118, The Creed is also given by Evagrius, ii. 4.

1626   JOmoouvsio" is used in both clauses, though with a shade of difference: Christ’s homoousia with the Father implies numerical unity or identity of substance (God being one in essence, monoousios); Christ’s homoousia with men means only generic unity or equality of nature. Compare the remarks in § 130, p. 672 f.

1627   { vvEna kai; aujto;n uiJo;n to;n kuvrion hJmw'n jI. Cristo;n to;n aujto;n ejn qeovthti kai; tevleion to;n aujto;n ejn ajnqrwpovthti, qeo;n ajlhqw'" kai; a[vqrwpon ajlhqw'" to;n aujto;n, ejk yuch'" logikh'" [against Apollinaris] kai; swvmato", oJmoiouvsion tw/' Patri; kata; th;n qeovthta, kai; ojmoouvsion to;n aujto;n hjmi'n kata;th;n ajnqrwpovthta, kata; pavnta o{moion hjmi'n cwri;" aJmartiva".

1628   Th'" qeotovkou, against Nestorius. This, however, is immediately after modified by the phrase kata; th;n ajnqrwpovthta (in distinction from kata; th;n qeovthta). Mary was the mother not merely of the human nature of Jesus, but of the theanthropic person Jesus Christ; not, however, according to his eternal Godhead, but according to his humanity. In like manner, the subject of the passion was the theanthropic person, yet not according to his divine impassible nature, but according to his human nature.

1629  jEn duvo fuvsesin and the Latin translation, in duabus naturis, is directed against Eutyches. The present Greek text reads, it is true, ejk duvo fuvsewn, which, however, signifies, and according to the connection, can only signify, essentially the same thing, but is also capable of being understood in an Eutychian and Monophysite sense, namely, that Christ has arisen from the confluence of two natures, and since the incarnation has only one nature. Understood in this sense, Dioscurus at the council was very willing to accept the formula ejk duvo fuvsewn. But for this very reason the Orientals, and also the Roman legates, protested with one voice against ejk and insisted upon another formula with ejn which was adopted. Baur (l.c. i. p. 820 f.) and Dorner (ii. p. 129) assert that ejk is the accurate and original expression, and is a concession to Monophysitism, that It also agrees better (?) with the verb gnwrivzomen (to recognize by certain tokens) but that it was from the very beginning changed by the Occidentals into ejn. But we prefer the view of Gieseler, Neander (iv. 988), Hefele (ii. 451 f), and Beck (Dogmengeschichte, p. 251), that ejn duvo fuvsesin was the original reading of the symbol, and that It was afterwards altered in the interest of Monophysitism. This is proved by the whole course of the proceedings at the fifth session of the council of Chalcedon, where the expression ejk duvo fuvsewn was protested against, and is proved by the testimony of the abbot Euthymius, a cotemporary, and by that of Severus, Evagrius, and Leontius of Byzantium. Severus, the Monophysite patriarch of Antioch since 513, charges the fathers of Chalcedon with the inexcusable crime of having taught: ejn duvo fuvsesin ajdiairevtoi" gnwrivzesqai to;n Qeovn (see Mansi, vii. 839). Evagrius (H. E. ii. 5) maintains that both formulas amount to essentially the same thing, and reciprocally condition each other. Dorner also affirms the same. His words are: " The Latin formula has ’to acknowledge Christ as Son in two natures,’ the Greek has ’to recognize Christ as Son from two natures,’ which is plainly the same thought. The Latin formula is only a free, but essentially faithful translation, only that its coloring expresses somewhat more definitely still Christ’s subsisting in two natures, and is therefore more literally conformable to the Roman type of doctrine" (l.c. ii. p. 129 f.).

1630   jAsuvgcuvtw", ajtrevptw" [against Eutyches], ajdiarevtw", ajcwrivstw" [against Nestorius]—gnwrizovmenon.

1631   Eij" e}n provswpon kai; mivan uJpovstasin.

1632   JH aJgiva kai; oijkoumenikh; suvnodo".

1633   Respecting the famous 28th canon of the council, which gives the bishop of Constantinople equal rights with the bishop of Rome, and places him next after him in rank, Comp. above § 56 (p. 279 ff.).

1634   Eutyches, who, in the very beginning of the controversy, said of himself, that he had lived seventy years a monk died probably soon after the meeting of the council. Dioscurus was banished to Gangra, in Paphlagonia, and lived tin 454. Comp. Schröckh, Th. xviii. p. 492.

1635   Dorner judges very unfavorably of the council of Chalcedon (ii. p. 83), and denies it all vocation, inward or outward, to render a positive decision of the great question in controversy; forgetting that the third ecumenical council, which condemned Nestorius, was, in Christian spirit and moral dignity, decidedly inferior to the fourth. "Notwithstanding its 630 bishops," says he (ii. 130), "it is very far from being able to claim canonical authority. The fathers of this council exhibIt neither the harmony of an assembly animated by the Holy Ghost, nor that certainty of judgment, past wavering and inconsistency, nor that manly courage in maintaining a well-gained conviction, which is possible where, out of antitheses long striving for unity, a bright and clear persuasion, shared by the general body, has arisen." Kahnis (Der Kirchenglaube, Bd. ii. 1864, p. 89) judges as follows: "The significance of the Chalcedonian symbol does not lie in the ecumenical character of this council, for ecumenical is an exceedingly elastic idea; nor in its results being a development of those of the council of Ephesus (431), for, while at Ephesus the doctrine of the unity, here that of the distinction, in Christ’s person, was the victorious side; nor in the spirit with which all the proceedings were conducted, for passions, intrigues, political views, tumultuous disorder, &c., prevailed in it in abundant measure: but it lies rather in the unity of acknowledgment which it has received in the Church, even to our day, and in the inner unity of its definitions."

1636   Comp. above § 132.

1637   Comp. my article cited in § 132 upon the Symbolum Quicunque. One of the briefest and clearest Protestant definitions of the person of Christ in the sense of the Chalcedonian formula, is the one in the Westminster (Presbyterian) Shorter Catechism: "Dominus Jesus Christus est electorum Dei Redemptor unicus, qui eternus Dei filius cum esset factus est homo; adeoque fuit, est eritque qeavnqrwpo" e [in] naturis duabus distinctis persona unica in sempiternum or, as it is in English: "The only Redeemer of God’s elect is the Lord Jesus Christ, who, being the eternal Son of God, became man, and so was, and continueth to be, God and Man, in two distinct natures, and one person forever." The Westminster Confession formulates this doctrine (ch. viii. sec 21) in very nearly the words of the Chalcedonian symbol: "The Son of God, the second person in the Trinity, being very and eternal God, of one substance and equal with the Father, did, when the fulness of time was come, take upon Him man’s nature, with all the essential properties and common infirmities thereof, yet without sin; being conceived by the power of the Holy Ghost, in the womb of the Virgin Mary, of her substance. So that two whole, perfect, and distinct natures,—the Godhead and the manhood,—were inseparably joined together in one person, without conversion, composition, or confusion. Which person is very God and very man, yet one Christ, the only Mediator between God and man."

1638   The Lutheran Church has framed the doctrine of a threefold communicatio idiomatum, and included It in the Formula Concordiae. The controversy between the Lutheran theologians of Giessen and Tübingen, in the seventeenth century, concerning the kth'si" (the possession), the xrh'si" (the use), the kruvyi"(the secret use), and the kevnwsi" (the entire abdication) of the divine attributes by the incarnate Logos, led to no definite results, and was swallowed up in the thirty years’ war. It has been resumed in modified form by modern German divines.

1639   Comp. Cunningham (Historical Theology, vol. i. p. 319): "The chief use now to be made of an examination of these controversies [the Eutychian and Nestorian] is not so much to guard us against errors [?] which may be pressed upon us, and into which we may be tempted to fall, but rather to aid us in forming clear and definite conceptions of the truths regarding the person of Christ, which all profess to believe; in securing precision and accuracy of language in explaining them, and especially to assist us in realizing them; in habitually regarding as great and actual realities the leading features of the constitution of Christ’s person, which the word of God unfolds to us."

1640   Accordingly in Leo’s Epistola Dogmatica also, which was the basis of the Creed, Nestorius is not even mentioned, while Eutyches, on the other hand, is refuted at length. But in a later letter of Leo, addressed to the emperor, a.d. 457 (Ep. 156, ed. Ballerini), he classes Nestorius and Eutyches together, as equally dangerous heretics. The Creed of Chalcedon is also regarded by Baur, Niedner, and Dorner as exhibiting a certain degree of preference for the Nestorian dyophysitism.

1641   jEnanqrwvphsi" Qeou', ejnsavrkwsi", incarnatio,—in distinction from a mere sunavfeia, conjunctio, or scetikhv e{nwsi", of the divine and human, by provslhyi" (from, proslambavnw), assumptio, of the human, and ejnoivkhsi"the divine; and on the other hand, from a fusikh; e{nwsi" or kra'si", suvgcusi" , or savrkwsi" in the sense of transmutation. The diametrical opposite of the ejnanqrwvphsi" Qeou' is the heathen ajpoqevwsi" ajnqrwvpou.

1642   Compare the weighty dissertation of Boethius: De duabus naturis et una persona Christi, adversus Eutychen et Nestorium (Opera, ed. Basil., 1546, pp. 948-957), in which he defines natura (fuvsi" or oujsiva), substantia (uJpovstasi"), and persona (provswpon)."Natura," he says, "est cujuslibet substantia specificata proprietas; persona vero rationabilis naturae individua subsistentia."

1643   Tevleion a[nqrwpon ei[lhfe, as Theodore of Mopsuestia and the strict Nestorians expressed themselves.

1644   As Augustine says: Deus Verbum non accepit personam hominis, sed naturam, et in eternam personam divinitatis accepit temporalem substantiam carnis. And again: "Deus naturam nostram, id est, animam rationalem carnemque hominis Christi suscepit." (De corrept. et grat. §30, tom. x. f. 766.) Comp. Johannes Damascenus De fide orthod. iii. c. 6, II. The Anglican theologian, Richard Hooker, styled on account of his sober equipoise of intellect "the judicious Hooker," sets forth this point of the Church doctrine as follows: "He took not angels but the seed of Abraham. It pleased not the Word or Wisdom of God to take to itself some one person amongst men, for then should that one have been advanced which was assumed, and no more, but Wisdom to the end she might save many built her house of that Nature which is common unto all, she made not this or that man her habitation, but dwelt in us. If the Son of God had taken to himself a man now made and already perfected, it would of necessity follow, that there are in Christ two persons, the one assuming, and the other assumed; whereas the Son of God did not assume a man’s person into his own, but a man’s nature to his own person; and therefore took semen, the seed of Abraham, the very first original and element of our nature, before it was come to have any personal human subsistence. The flesh and the conjunction of the flesh with God began both at one instant; his making and taking to himself our flesh was but one act, so that in Christ there is no personal subsistence but one, and that from everlasting. By taking only the nature of man he still continueth one person, and changeth but the manner of his subsisting, which was before in the glory of the Son of God, and is now in the habIt of our flesh." (Ecclesiastical Polity, book v. ch. 52, in Keble’s edition of Hooker’s works, vol. ii. p. 286 f.) In just the same manner Anastasius Sinaita and John of Damascus express themselves. Comp. Dorner, ii. p. 183 ff. Hooker’s allusion to Heb. ii. 16 (ouj ga;r dhvpou ajggevlwn ejpilambavnetai, ajlla; spevrmatos JAbraa;m ejpilambavnetai), it may be remarked, rests upon a false interpretation, since ejpilambavnesqai does not refer to the incarnation, but signifies: to take hold of in order to help or redeem (as in Sirach, iv. 11). Comp. bohqh'sai, Heb. ii. 18.

1645   The sixth ecumenical council, held at Constantinople, a.d. 680, condemned monothelitism, and decided in favor of dyothelitism, or the doctrine of two wills (or volitions) in Christ, which are necessary to the ethical conflict and victory of his own life and to his office as an example for us. This council teaches (Mansi, tom xi. 637): Duvo fusika;" qelhvsei" h[toi qelhvmata ejn aujtw'/ kai; duvo fusika;" ejnergeiva" ajdiairevtw", ajtrevptw" , ajmerivstw", ajsugcuvtw" khruvttomen. These wills are not opposite to one another, but the human will is ever in harmony with the divine, and in all things obedient to it. "Not my will, but thine be done:" therein is found the distinction and the unity.

1646   jAsugcuvtw" and ajtreptw" .

1647   jAdiairevtw" and ajcwrivstw".

1648   "Tenet," says Leo, in his epistle to Flavian, "sine defectu proprietatem suam utraque natura, et sicut formam servi Dei formam non adimit, ita formam Dei servi forma non minuit .... Agit utraque cum alterius communione quod Proprium est; Verbo scilicet operante quod Verbi est, et came exsequente quod carnis est. Unum horum coruscat miraculis, aliud succumbIt injuriis."

1649   Here belongs John of Damascus’ doctrine of the pericwvrhsi", Permeatio, circummeatio, circulatio, circumincessio, intercommunio, or reciprocal indwelling and pervasion, which has relation not merely to the Trinity but also to Christology. The verb pericwrei'n, is, so far as I know, first applied by Gregory of Nyasa (Contra Apollinarium) to the interpenetration and reciprocal pervasion of the two natures in Christ. On this rested also the doctrine of the exchange or communication of attributes, ajntivdosi" , ajntimetavstasi", koinwniva ijdiwmavtwn, communicatio idiomatum. The ajntimetavstasi" tw'n ojnomavtwn, also ajntimeqivstasi", transmutatio proprietalum, transmutation of attributes, is, strictly speaking, not identical with ajntivdosi", but a deduction from it, and the rhetorical expression for it. The doctrine of the communicatio idiomatum, however, awaited a full development much later, in the Lutheran church, where great subtlety was employed in perfecting it. This Lutheran doctrine has never found access into the Reformed church, and least of all the ubiquitarian hypothesis invented as a prop to consubstantiation; although a certain measure of truth lies at the basis of this, if it is apprehended dynamically, and not materially.

1650   The e{nwsi" kaq j uJpovstasin, or e{nwsi" uJpostatikhv, unio hypostatica or personalis, unitas personae. The unio personalis is the status unionis, the result of the unitio or incarnatio.

1651   Comp. the Athanasian Creed: "Sicut anima rationalis et caro unus est homo, ita Deus et homo unus est Christus." In the same does Augustine express himself, and indeed this passage in the Creed, as well as several others, appears to be taken from him. Dr. Shedd (History of Christian Doctrine, i. p. 402) carries out vividly this analogy of the human personality with that of Christ, as follows: "This union of the two natures in one self-conscious Ego may be illustrated by reference to man’s personal constitution. An individual man is one person. But this one person consists of two natures,—a material nature and a mental nature. The personality, the self-consciousness, is the resultant of the union of the two. Neither one of itself makes the person." [This is not quite exact. Personality lies in the reasonable soul, which can maintain its self-conscious existence without the body, even as in Christ His personality resides in the divine nature, as Dr. Shedd himself clearly states on p. 406.] "Both body and soul are requisite in order to a complete individuality. The two natures do not make two individuals. The material nature, taken by itself, is not the man; and the mental part, taken by itself, is not the man. But only the union of the two is. Yet in this intimate union of two such diverse substances as matter and mind, body and soul, there is not the slightest alteration of the properties of each substance or nature. The body of a man is as truly and purely material as a piece of granite; and the immortal mind of a man is as truly and purely spiritual and immaterial as the Godhead itself. Neither the material part nor the mental part, taken by itself, and in separation, constitutes the personality; otherwise every human individual would be two persons in juxtaposition. There is therefore a material ’nature,’ but no material ’person,’ and there is a mental ’nature,’ but no mental ’person.’ The person is the union of these two natures, and is not to be denominated either material or mental, but human. In like manner the person of Christ takes its denomination of theanthropic, or divine-human, neither from the divine nature alone, nor the hurnan nature alone, but from the union of both natures."

1652   Here also the orthodox Protestant theology is quite in agreement with the old Catholic. We cite two examples from the two opposite wings of English Protestantism. The Episcopalian theologian, Richard Hooker, says, with evident reference to the above-quoted passage from the letter of Leo: "To Christ we ascribe both working of wonders and suffering of pains, we use concerning Him speeches as well of humility as of divine glory, but the one we apply unto that nature which He took of the Virgin Mary, the other to that which was in the beginning" (Eccles. Polity, book v. ch. 52, vol. ii. p, 291, Keble’s edition). The great Puritan theologian of the seventeenth century, John Owen, says, yet more explicitly: "In all that Christ did as the King, Priest, and Prophet of the church,—in all that He did and suffered, in all that He continueth to do for us, in or by virtue of whether nature soever it be done or wrought,—it is not to be considered as the act and work of this or that nature in Him alone, but it is the act and work of the whole person,—of Him that is both God and man in one person." (Declaration of the Glorious mystery of the Person of Christ; chap. xviii., in Owen’s Works, vol. i. p. 234). Comp. also the admirable exposition of the article Passus est in Bishop Pearson’s Exposition of the Creed (ed. Dobson, p. 283 ff.).

1653   The Logos is, according to the scholastic terminology of the later Greek theologians, especially John of Damascus, ijdiosuvstato", or ijdioupovstato", i.e., per se subsistens, and ijdioperiovristo", proprio termino circumscriptus."Haec et similia vocabula," says the learned Petavius (Theol. Dogm. tom. iv. p. 430), "demonstrant hypostasin non aliena ope fultam ac sustentatam existere, sed per semet ipsam, ac proprio termino definitam." Schleiermacher’s Christology therefore, on this point, forms the direct opposite, of the Chalcedonian; it makes the man Jesus the bearer of the personality, that is, transfers the proper centre of gravity in the personality to the human individuality of Christ, and views the divine nature as the supreme revelation of God in Him, as an impersonal principle, as a vital power. In this view the proper idea of the incarnation is lost. The same thing is true of the Christology of Hase, Keim, Beyschlag (and R. Rothe).

1654   The correct Greek expression is, therefore, not ajnupostasiva but ejnupostasiva. The human nature of Christ was ajnupovstato", impersonalis, before the incarnation, but became ajnupovstato" by the incarnation, that is, ejn aujth'/ th'/ tou' Qeou' lovgou uJpostavsei uJposta'sa, and also eJteroupovstato", and sunupovstato" (compersonata), i.e., quod per se et proprie modo non subsistit, sed inest in alio per se subsistente et substantia cum eo copulatur. Christ did not assume a human person, but a humana natura, in qua ipse Deus homo nasceretur. The doctrine of the anhypostasia, impersonalitas, or rather enhypostasia, of the human nature of Christ, is already observed, in incipient form, in Cyril of Alexandria, and was afterwards more fully developed by John of Damascus (De orthodoxa fide, lib. iii.), who, however, did not, for all this, conceive Christ as a mere generic being typifying mankind, but as a concrete human individual. Comp. Petavius, De incarnatione, l. v. c. 5-8 (tom. iv. p. 421 sqq.); Dorner, l. c. ii. p. 262 ff.; and J. P. Lange, Christliche Dogmatik, Part ii. p. 713.

1655   Even in the scholastic era this difficulty was felt. Peter the Lombard says (Sentent. iii. d. 5 d.): Non accepit Verbum Dei personam hominis, sed naturam, quia non erat ex carne illa una composita persona, quam Verbum accepit, sed accipiendo univIt et uniendo accepit. E: A quibusdam opponitur, quod persona assumpsit personam. Persona enim est substantia naturalis individuae naturae, hoc autem est anima. Ergo si animam assumpsit et personam. Quod ideo non sequitur, quia anima non est persona, quando alii rei unita est personaliter, sed quando per se est. IIla autem anima nunquam fuIt quin esset alii rei conjuncta.

1656   The Puritan theologian, John Owen (Works, vol. i. p. 223), says of the human nature of Christ quite correctly, and in agreement with the Chalcedonian Christology: "In itself it is ajnupovstato"—that which hath not a subsistence of its own, which should give it individuation and distinction from the same nature in any other person. But it hath its subsistence in the person of the Son, which thereby is its own. The divine nature, as in that person, is its suppositum."

1657   Dr. Baur (Geschichte der Trinitätslehre, Bd. i. p. 823 f.) imputes to the Creed of Chalcedon "untenable inconsistency, equivocal indefiniteness, and discordant incompleteness," but ascribes to it the merit of insisting upon the human in Christ as having equal claims with the divine, and of thus leaving the possibility of two equally legitimate points of view. Dr. Dorner, who regards the Chalcedonian statement as premature and inadequate (Geschichte der Christologie, Bd. ii. pp. 83, 130), raises against it the double objection of leaning to docetism on the one hand and to dualism on the other. He sums up his judgment of the labors of the ancient church down to John of Damascus in the sphere of Christology in the following words (ii. 273): "If we review the result of the Christological speculation of the ancient church, it is undeniable that the satisfying and final result cannot be found in it, great as its traditional influence even to this day is. It mutilates the human nature, inasmuch as, in an Apollinarian way, it joins to the trunk of a human nature the head of the divine hypostasis, and thus sacrifices the integrity of the humanity to the unity of the person. Yet after all—and this is only the converse of the same fault—in its whole doctrine of the natures and the will, it gives the divine and the human only an outward connection, and only, as it were, pushes the two natures into each other, without modification even of their properties. We discover, it is true, endeavors after something better, which indicate that the Christological image hovering before the mind, has not yet, with all the apparent completeness of the theory, found its adequate expression. But these endeavors are unfruitful." Dr. W. Beyschlag, in his essay before the German Evangelische Kirchentag at Altenburg, hold in 1864, concurs with these remarks, and says of the Chalcedonian dogma: "Instead of starting from the living intuition of the God-filled humanity of Christ, it proceeded from the defective and abstract conception of two separate natures, to be, as it were, added together in Christ; introduced thereby an irremediable dualism into his personal life; and at the same time, by transferring the personality wholly to the divine nature, depressed the humanity which in thesi it recognized, to a mere unsubstantial accident of the Godhead, at bottom only apparent and docetistic." But Beyschlag denies the real personal pre-existence of Christ and consequently a proper incarnation, and has by this denial caused no small scandal among the believing party in Germany. Dorner holds firmly to the pre-existence and incarnation, but makes the latter a gradual ethical unification of the Logos and the human nature, consummated in the baptism and the exaltation of Christ.

1658   F. R. Hasse (Kirchengeschichte, i. p. 177): "By the Creed of Chalcedon justice has been done to both the Alexandrian and the Antiochian Christology; the antagonism of the two is adjusted, and in the dogma of the one qeavnqrwpo" done away."

1659   Witness the Christological investigations of Schleiermacher, R. Rothe, Göschel, Dorner, Liebner, Lange, Thomasius, Martensen, Gess, Ebrard, Schöberlein, Plitt, Beyschlag, and others. A thorough criticism of the latest theories is given by Dorner, in his large work on Christology, Bd. ii. p. 1260 ff. (Eng. transl. Div. 2d, vol. iii. p. l00 ff.), and in several dissertations upon the immutability of God, found in his Jabrbücher für Deutsche Theologie, 1856 and 1858; also by Philippi, Kirchliche Glaubenslehre, iv. i. pp. 344-382; Plitt, Evangelische Glaubenslehre (1863), i. p. 360 ff.; and Woldemar Schmidt, Das Dogma vom Gottmenschen, mit Beziehung auf die neusten Lösungsversuche der Gegensätze, Leipzig, 1865. The English theology has contented itself with the traditional acceptance and vindication of the old Catholic doctrine of Christ’s person, without instituting any special investigations of its own, while the doctrine of the Trinity has been thoroughly reproduced and vindicated by Cudworth, Bull, and Waterland, without, however, being developed further. Dr. Shedd also considers the Chalcedonian symbol as the ne plus ultra of Christological knowledge, "beyond which it is probable the human mind is unable to go, in the endeavor to unfold the mystery of Christ’s complex person, which in some of its aspects is even more baffling than the mystery of the Trinity" (History of Christian Doctrine, i. p. 408). This is probably also the reason why this work, in surprising contrast with every other History of Doctrine, makes no mention whatever of the Monophysite, Monothelite, Adoptian, Scholastic, Lutheran, Socinian, Rationalistic, and later Evangelical controversies and theories respecting this central dogma of Christianity.

1660   Of the dovxa qeou', John xvii. 5; the morfh; Qeou', Phil. ii. 6 ff.

1661   Among these modem Kenotics, W. F. Gess goes the farthest in his Lehre von der Person Christi (Basel, 1856). Dorner opposes the theory of the Kenotics and calls them Theopaschites and Patripassians (ii. 126 ff.). There is, however, an essential distinction, inasmuch as the ancient Monophysite Theopaschitism reduces the human nature of Christ to a mere accident of his Godhead, while Thomasius, Gess, and the other German Kenotics or Kenosists acknowledge the full humanity of Christ, and lay great stress on it.

1662   Monofusivtai, from movnh or miva, fuvsi". They conceded the ejk duvo fuv"esin (as even Eutyches and Dioscurus had done), but denied the ejn duvo fuvsesin, after the e{nwsi" /.

1663   jIdikovn.

1664   {Agio" oJ Qeo;" , a[gio" i[scuro" , a{gio" ajqavnato" , oJ staurwqei;" di j hJma'" , ejlevhson hJma'". An extension of the seraphic ascription, Isa. vi. 3.

1665   Qeopasci'tai.


1667   The external history of Monophysitism is related with wearisome minuteness by Walch in three large volumes (vi.-viii.) of his Entwurf einer vollständigen Historie der Ketzereien, etc., his auf die Zeiten der Reformation.

1668   Ai[louro", Cat.

1669   Movggo", the Stammerer; literally, the Hoarse.

1670   Fullo, gnafeuv". He introduced the formula: Qeo;" ejstaurwvqh di j hJma'" into the liturgy. He was in 485 again raised to the patriarchate.

1671   jEgkuklion. This, however, excited so much opposition, that the usurper in 477 revoked it in an ajntegkuvklion.

1672   jAkevfaloi, without head.

1673   Petavius, l.c. lib. i. c. 17, enumerates twelve factions of the Monophysites.

1674   Fqartolavtrai (from fqartov" corruptible, and lavtrh", servant, worshipper), corrupticolae.

1675   jAfqartodokh'tai, also called Phantasiastae, because they appeared to acknowledge only a seeming body of Christ. Gieseler, however, in the second part of the above-mentioned dissertation, has shown that the Julianist view was not strictly docetistic, but kindred with the view of Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Hilary, Gregory of Nyssa, and Apollinaris.

1676   Comp. the Augustinian distinction of immortalitas minor and immortalitas major.

1677   As was done by Augustine and Leo the Great. The latter affirms, Sermo 69, De resurrectione Domini, c. 4: "Resurrectio Domini non finis carnis, sed commutatio fuit, nec virtutis augmento consumpta substantia est. Qualitas transiit, non natura defecit; et factum est corpus impassibile, immortale, incorruptibile ... nihil remansit in carne Christi infirmum, ut et ipsa sit per essentiam et non sit ipsa per gloriam." Comp. moreover, respecting the Aphthartodocetic controversy of the Monophysites, the remarks of Dorner, ii. 159 ff. and of Ebrard, Kirchen- und Dogmengeschichte, i. 268 f.

1678   After their leader Themistius, deacon of Alexandria; also called by their opponents, Agnoetae, jAgnohtaiv, because they taught that Christ in his condition of humiliation was not omniscient, but shared our ignorance of many things (Comp. Luke ii. 52; Mark xiii. 32). This view leads necessarily to dyophysitism, and accordingly was rejected by the strict Monophysites.

1679   Ktistolavtrai, or, from their founder, Gajanitae. These viewed the body of Christ as created, ktistovn.

1680   jAktisthtaiv. These said that the body of Christ in itself was created, but that by its union with the Logos it became increate, and therefore also incorruptible.

1681   His adherents were condemned by the other Monophysites as Niobitae.

1682   His followers were called Philoponiaci, Tritheistae. Philoponus, it may be remarked, was not the first promulgator of this error; but (as appears from Assem. Bibl. orient. tom. ii. p. 327; comp. Hefele, ii. 655) the Monophysite John Askusnages, who ascribed to Christ only one nature, but to each person in the Godhead a separate nature, and on this account was banished by the emperor and excommunicated by the patriarch of Constantinople. Among the more famous Tritheists we have also Stephen Gobarus, about 600.

1683   Historia Arcana. c. 9.

1684   This addition remained in use among the Catholics in Syria till it was thrown out by the Concilium Quinisextum (can. 81). Thenceforth it was confined to the Monophysites and Monothelites. The opinion gained ground among the Catholics, that the formula taught a quaternity, instead of a trinity. Gieseler, i. P. ii. p. 366 ff.

1685   Hefele (ii. p. 552) thinks that Vigilius was never a Monophysite at heart, and that he only gave the promise in the interest of "his craving ambition." The motive, however, of course cannot alter the fact, nor weaken the argument, furnished by his repeated recantations, against the claims of the papal see to infallibility.

1686   Triva kefavlaia, tria capitula. "Chapters" are properly articles, or brief propositions, under which certain errors are summed up in the form of anathemas. The twelve anathemas of Cyril against Nestorius were also called icEI)dAaia. By the Three Chapters, however, are to be understood in this case: 1. The person and writings of Theodore of Mopsuestia; 2. the anti-Cyrillian writings of Theodoret; 3. the letter of Ibas to Maris. Hence the appellation impia capitula, aO’CGi Ke4paAaia. This deviation from ordinary usage has occasioned much confusion.

1687   Especially the African Fulgentius Ferrandus, Liberatus, and Facundus of Hermiane, who wrote in defence of the Three Chapters; also the Roman deacon Rusticus.

1688   These anathemas are found in the concluding sentence of the council (Mansi, tom. ix. 376): "Praedicta igitur tria capitula anathematizamus, id est Theodorum impium Mopsuestenum, cum nefandis ejus conscriptis, et quae impie Theodoretus conscripsit, et impiam epistolam, quae dicitur Ibae."

1689   Collect viii. can. 10: #Ei ti§ ojuk oJmologei' to;n ejstauwmenon savrki kuvrion @hmw'n !Ihsou'n Cridto;n ei\nai Qeo;n ajlhqinw'n kai; kuvrion th'§ dovxh§, kai; $ena th'§ @agiva§ triavdo§, oJtoitu'to§ ajnavqema #estwn. "Whoever does not acknowledge that our Lord Jesus Christ, who was crucified in the flesh, is true God and Lord of glory, and one of the Holy Trinity, let him be anathema."

1690   In the 11th anathema, it is true, the name of Origen is condemned along with other heretics (Arius, Eunomius, Macedonius, Apollinaris, Nestorius, Eutyches), but the connection is incongruous, and the name is regarded by Halloix, Garnier, Jacob Basnage, Walch, and others, as all interpolation. Noris and Hefele (ii. p. 874) maintain its genuineness. At all events the fifteen anathemas against Origen do not belong to it, but to an earlier Constantinopolitan synod, held in 544. Comp. Hefele, ii. p. 768 ff.

1691   Laymen are allowed to marry twice, but a third marriage is regarded as fornication.

1692   Comp. Acts xv. 20. The Latin church saw in this ordinance of the apostolic council merely a temporary measure during the existence of Jewish Christianity.

1693   Ecumenical, i.e., not restricted to any particular province.

1694   From his beggarly clothing. Barâdai signifies in Arabic and Syriac horse blanket, of coarse cloth, and tzavnzalon is vile aliquid et tritum (see Rödiger in Herzog’s Encycl. vi. 401).

1695   2 Sam. ii. 18.

1696   From ai[gupto", Guptos, and not, as some suppose, from the town Koptos, nor from an abbreviation of Jacobite. They are the most ancient, but Christian Egyptians, in distinction from the Pharaonic (Chem), those of the Old Testament (Mizrim), the Macedonian or Greek (ai[g.) and the modem Arab Egyptians (Misr).

1697   Of this latter H. Tattam and P. Bötticher (1852) have lately published considerable fragments.

1698   From the Hebrew melech, king.

1699   So that even their Arabic historian Makr<zi was moved to compassion for them.

1700   A detailed, but very unfavorable description of the Copts is given by Edward W. Lane in his "Manners and Customs of the Modern Egyptians," 1833. Notwithstanding this they stand higher than the other Egyptians. A. P. Stanley (Hist. of the Eastern Church, p. 95) says of them: "The Copts are still, even in their degraded state, the most civilized of the natives: the intelligence of Egypt still lingers in the Coptic scribes, who are on this account used as clerks in the offices of their conquerors, or as registrars of the water-marks of the Nile." Comp. also the occasional notices of the Copts in the Egyptological writings of Wilkinson, Bunsen, Lepsius, Brugsch, and others.

1701   Especially worthy of note are the labors of the Basle missionaries, Samuel Gobat (now Anglican bishop in Jerusalem), Kugler, Isenberg, Blumhardt, and Krapf since 1830. Comp. Gobat in the Basler Missionsmagazin for 1834, Part 1 and 2. Isenberg: Abyssinien und die evangelische Mission, Bonn, 1844, 2 Bde. and Isenberg and Krapf: Journals, 1843. Also Harris: Highlands of Ethiopia 1844. The imported fragments of an Abyssinian translation of the Bible, dating from the fourth or fifth century, have drawn the attention of Westem scholars. Prof. A. Dillmann (now in Giessen) has since 1854 published the Aethiopic Old Testament, a grammar, and a lexicon of the Aethiopic language. Of the older works on Abyssinia the principal are Ludolphus: Historia Aethiopica, Frankf. 1681; Geddes: Church History of Aethiopia, Lond. 1696, and La Croze: Histoire du Christianisme d’Ethiopie et d’Armenie, La Haye, 1739. They have all drawn their principal materials from the Jesuits, especially from the general history of Tellez, published 1660.

1702   Fwtisthv", Illuminator. He was married and had several sons. He was urgently invited to the Nicene council, but sent his son Aristax in his stead, to whom he resigned his office, and then withdrew himself for the rest of his life into a mountain-cave. There are homilies of his still extant, which were first printed in 1737 in Constantinople.

1703   Called Mesrop, Mjesrob, Mjesrop, and Marchtoz. Comp. respecting this man and the origin of the Armenian version of the Bible, the chronicle of his pupil, Moses Chorenensis, and the article by Petermann in Herzog’s Encycl. Bd. ix. p. 370 ff.

1704   Respecting the patriarchal and metropolitan sees and the bishoprics of the Armenians, comp. Le Quien, tom. i., and Wiltsch, Kirchliche Geographie und Statistik, ii. p. 375 ff.

1705   Stanley (History of the Eastern Church, p. 92), supported by Neale and Haxthausen (Transcaucasia), estimates the number of the Armenians at over eight millions. But Dr. G. W. Wood, of New York, formerly a missionary among them, informs me that their total number probably does not exceed six millions, of whom about two and a half millions are probably in Turkey.

1706   Comp. C. F. Neumann: Geschichte der armenischen Literatur nach den Werken der Mechitaristen, Leipzig, 1836. The chief work of the Mechitarists is the history of Armenia, by P. Michael Tschamtschean († 1823), in three vols., Venice, 1784.

1707   This oldest and most extensive of American missionary societies was founded a.d. 1810, and is principally supported by the Congregationalists and New School Presbyterians.

1708   The Armeno-Turkish is the Turkish language written in Armenian characters.

1709   Compare, respecting the Armenian mission of the American Board, the publications of this Society; Eli Smith and H. G. O. Dwight: Missionary Researches in Armenia, Boston, 1833; Dr. H. G. O. Dwight: Christianity revived in the East, New York, 1850; H. Newcomb: Cyclopaedia of Missions, pp. 124-154. The principal missionaries among the Armenians are H. G. O. Dwight, W. Goodell, C. Hamlin, G. W. Wood, F. Riggs, D. Ladd, P. O. Powers, W. G. Schauffler (a Würtemberger, but educated at the Theol. Seminary of Andover, Mass.), and Benj. Schneider (a German from Pennsylvania, but likewise a graduate of Andover).

1710   He is probably the same Maron whose life Theodoret wrote, and to whom Chrysostom addressed a letter when in exile. He is not to be confounded with the later John Maron, of the seventh century, who, according to the legendary traditions of the catholic Maronites, acting as papal legate at Antioch, converted the whole of Lebanon to the Roman church, and became their first patriarch. T he name "Maronites" occurs first in the eighth century, and that as a name of heretics, in John of Damascus.

1711   Respecting the present condition of the Maronites, comp. also Robinson’s Palestine, Ritter’s Erdkunde, Bd. xvii. Abtheil. 1, and Rödiger’s article in Herzog’s Encycl. Bd. x. p. 176 ff. A few years ago (1860), the Maronites drew upon themselves the sympathies of Christendom by the cruelties which their old hereditary enemies, the Druses, perpetrated upon them.

1712   On the anthropology of the ante-Nicene and Nicene fathers, comp. the relevant sections in the larger works on Doctrine History, and Wiggers, l.c. vol. l. p. 407 ff.

1713   From su;n, and e[rgon.  There are, it may be remarked, different forms of synergism. The synergism of Melanchthon subordinates the human activity to the divine, and assigns to grace the initiative in the work of conversion.

1714   From movnon and e[rgon.

1715   His British name is said to have been Morgan, that is, Of the sea, Marigena, in Greek Pelavgio".

1716   Comp. the passages where Augustine speaks of Pelagius, in Wiggers, l. c. i. p. 35 f. Yet Augustine, not without reason, accuses him of duplicity, on account of his conduct at the synod of Diospolis in Palestine. Wiggers (i. p. 40) says of him: "it must be admitted that Pelagius was not always sufficiently straightforward; that he did not always express his views without ambiguity; that, in fact, he sometimes in synods condemned opinions which were manifestly his own. This may have arisen, it is true, in great part from his love of peace and the slight value which he attached to theoretical opinions."

1717   "Da quod jubes, et jube quod vis," Confess. l. x. c. 29, et passim. Augustine himself relates the above-mentioned fact, De dono persev. c. 20 (or § 53, tom. x. f. 851): "Quae mea verba, Pelagius Romae, cum a quodam fratre et coëpiscopo meo fuissent eo praesente commemorata, ferre non potuit, et contradicens aliquanto commotius pene cum eo, qui illa commemoraverat, litigavit."

1718   "Soleo prius humanae naturae vim qualitatemque monstrare, et quid efficere possit, ostendere." Ep. ad Demetr. c. 2.

1719   It found its way among the works of Jerome (tom. xi. ed. Vallars., and in Migne’s edition, tom. xi. f. 643-902) before the breaking out of the controversy, but has received doctrinal emendations from Cassiodorus, at least in the Epistle to the Romans. The confounding of Pelagius with Jerome arose partly from his accommodation to the ecclesiastical terminology, partly from his actual agreement with the prevailing tendency of monasticism. It is remarkable that both wrote an ascetic letter to the nun Demetrias. Comp. Jerome, Ep. 130 (ed. Vallarsi, and Migne, or 97 in the Bened. ed.) ad Demetriadem de servanda Virginitate (written in 414). She had also correspondence with Augustine. Semler has published the letters of Augustine, Jerome, and Pelagius to Demetrias in a separate form (Halle, 1775). Some have also ascribed to Pelagius the ascetic Epistola ad Celantiam matronam de ratione pie vivendi, which, like his Ep. ad Demetriadem, has found its way into the Epistles of Jerome (Ep. 148 in Vallarsi’s ed. tom. i. 1095, and in Migne’s ed. tom. i. 1204). The monasticism of Pelagius, however, was much cooler, more sober, and more philosophical than that of the enthusiastic Jerome, inclined as he was to all manner of extravagances.

1720   To this extent Pelagius and Coelestius appear to sustain a relation to Pelagianism similar to that which Dr. Pusey and John Henry Newman did to Puseyism. Jerome (in his letter to Ctesiphon) says of Coelestius, that he was, although the disciple of Pelagius, yet teacher and leader of the whole array (magister et totius ductor exercitus). Augustine calls Pelagius more dissembling and crafty, Coelestius more frank and open (De peccato orig. c. 12). Marius Mercator ascribes to Coelestius an incredibilis loquacitas. But Augustine and Julian of Eclanum also mutually reproach each other with a vagabunda loquacitas.

1721   According to Mansi and the common view. The brothers Ballerini and Hefele (ii. 91) decide in favor of the year 411. The incomplete Acta of the council are found in Mansi, tom. iv. fol. 289 sqq., and in the Commonitorium Marii Mercatoris ibidem, f. 293.

1722   Marius Mercator, it is true, does not cite this proposition among the others, f. 292, but he brings it up subsequently, f. 296: "In ipsa autem accusatione capitulorum, quae eidem Pelagio tum objecta sunt, etiam haec continentur, cum aliis execrandis, quae Coelestius ejus discipulus sentiebat, id est, infantes etiamsi non baptizentur, habere vitam aeternam."

1723   De peccatorum meritis et remissione; De spiritu et liters; De natura et gratia; De perfectione justitiae hominis.

1724   Compare, respecting his relation to Pelagianism, O. Zöckler: Hieronymus (1865), p. 310 ff. and p. 420 ff.

1725   Comp. Jerome: Praefat. libri i. in Jeremiam (Opera, ed. Vallarsi, tom. iv. 834 sq.), where he speaks very contemptuously of Pelagius: "Nuper indoctus calumniator erupit, qui commentarios meos in epistolam Pauli ad Ephesios reprehendendos putat." Soon afterwards he designates Grunnius, i.e., Rufinus, as his praecursor, and thus connects him with the Origenistic heresies. Pelagius had also expressed himself unfavorably respecting his translation of the Old Testament from the Hebrew.

1726   Epist. 133 ad Ctesiphont. Adv. Pelag. (Opera, i. 1025-1042).

1727   Dialogus c. Pelag. (Opera, tom. ii. 693-806).

1728   Op. imperf. contra Jul. iv. 88, where he says of it: Mira et ut talem fidem decebat, venustate composuit. The judgment is just as to the form, but too favorable as to the contents of this dialogue. Comp. Zöckler, Hieronymus, p. 428.

1729   The Acta of the Conventus Hierosolymitanus, according to a report of Orosius, in his Apologia pro libertate arbitrii, cap. 3 and 4, are found in Mansi, iv. 301 sqq.

1730   "Augustinus ego sum." To this Orosius replied not infelicitously: "Si Angustini personam sumis, Augustini sententiam sequere." Mansi, iv. 308.

1731   Orosius was much scandalized by the fact that a bishop should order "laicum in consessu presbyterorum, reum haereseos manifestae in medio catholicorum sedere."

1732   The scattered accounts of the Concilium Diospolitanum are collected in Mansi, tom. iv. 311 sqq. Comp. Hefele, ii. p. 95 ff.

1733   "Quidquid in illa miserabili synodo Diospolitana dixisse se denegat, in hoc opere confitetur," he wrote, a.d. 419, in a letter to Augustine (Ep. 143, ed. Vallars. tom. i. 1067). Comp. Mansi, iv. 315.

1734   Comp. Augustine, De gestis Pelagii, c. 1 sqq. (tom. x. fol. 192 sqq.). Pope innocent I. (402-417) wrote a consoling letter to Jerome, and a letter of reproof to John of Jerusalem for his inaction. Epp. 136 and 137 in Jerome’s Epistles.

1735   See the proceedings of the Concilium Carthaginense in Mansi, iv. 321 sqq., and of the Concilium Milevitanurn, ibid. f. 326 sqq.

1736   Mansi, iv. 337 sqq.

1737   The answers of Innocent are found in Mansi, tom. iii. f. 1071 sqq.

1738   The notices of his life, as well as the Epistolae and Decreta Zosimi papae, are collected in Mansi, iv. 345 sqq.

1739   See the two epistles of Zosimus ad Africanos episcopos, in Mansi, iv. 350 and 353.

1740   It is the 16th Carthaginian synod. Mansi gives the canons in full, tom. iii. 810-823 (Comp. iv. 377). So also Wiggers, i. 214 ff. Hefele, ii. pp. 102-106, gives only extracts of them.

1741   It is significant, that the third canon, which denies the salvation of unbaptized children, is of doubtful authenticity, and is wanting in Isidore and Dionysius. Hence the difference in the number of the canons against the Pelagians, as to whether there are 8 or 9.

1742   Epistola tractoria, or tractatoria, of which only some fragments are extant. Comp. Mansi, iv. 370. This letter was written after and not before the African council of 418 and the promulgation of the sacrum rescriptum of Honorius against the Pelagians, as Tillemont (xiii. 738) and the Benedictines (in the Preface to the 10th volume of the Opera August. § 18) have proved, in opposition to Baronius, Noris, and Garnier.

1743   In two large works: Contra Julianum, libri vi. (Opera, tom. x. f. 497-711), and in the Opus imperfectum contra secundam Juliani responsionem, in six books (tom. x. P. ii. f. 874-1386), before completing which he died (a.d. 430).

1744   Gennadius, in his Liber de scriptoribus ecclesiastics, calls Julian of Eclanum "vir acer ingenio, in divinis scripturis doctus, Graeca et Latina lingua scholasticus." By Augustine, however, in the Opus imperf. contra Jul. l. iv. 50 (Opera, x. P. ii. fol. 1163), he is called "in disputatione loquacissimus, in contentione calumniosissimus, in professions fallacissimus," because he maligned the Catholics, while giving himself out for a Catholic. He was married.

1745   In Marius Mercator, in a Latin translation, ed. Garnier-Migne, p. 182.

1746   In Photius, Bibl. Cod. 177, and in the Latin translation of Marius Mercator, also in the works of Jerome, tom. ii. 807-814 (ed. Vall.). The book was written contra Hiramum, i.e., Hieronymum, and was entitled: Pro;" tou;" levgonta" fuvsei kai; ouj gnwvmh/ ptaivein tou;" ajnqrwvpou" lovgoi pevnte, against those who say that men sin by nature, and not by free will.

1747   Can. i. and Can. iv. The latter reads: "If clergymen fall away and either secretly or publicly hold with Nestorius or Coelestius, the synod decrees that they also be deposed." Dr. Shedd (ii. 191) observes with justice: "The condemnation of Pelagianism which was finally passed by the council of Ephesus, seems to have been owing more to a supposed connection of the views of Pelagius with those of Nestorius, than to a clear and conscientious conviction that his system was contrary to Scripture and the Christian experience."

1748   Comp. Münscher, Dogmengeschichte, vol. iv. 238, and Neander, Dogmengeschichte, vol. i. p. 412.

1749   De gratia Christi et de pecc. origin. c. 18 (§ 19, tom. x. fol. 238) where Augustine cites the following passage from the treatise of Pelagius, De libero arbitrio: "Habemus possibilitatem utriusque partis a Deo insitam, velut quamdam, ut ita dicam, radicem fructiferam et fecundam, quae ex voluntate hominis diversa gignat et pariat, et quae possit ad proprii cultoris arbitrium, vel nitere flore virtutum, vel sentibus horrere vitiorum." Against this Augustine cites the declaration of our Lord, Matt. vii. 18, that "a good tree cannot bear evil fruit, nor a corrupt tree good fruit," that therefore there cannot be "una eademque radix bonortim et malorum."

1750   Ep. ad Demet. cap. 3: "In hoc enim gemini itineris ne, in hoc utriusque libertate partis, rationabilis animae decus positum est. Hinc, inquam, totus naturae nostrae honor consistit, hinc dignitas, hinc denique optimi quique laudem merentur, hinc praemium. Nec esset omnino virtus ulla in bono perseverantis, si is ad malum transire non potuisset. Volens namque Deus rationabilem creaturam voluntarii boni munere [al. munire] et liberi arbitrii potestate donare, utriusque partis possibilitatem homini inserendo, proprium ejus fecit esse quod velit, ut boni ac mali capax, naturaliter utrumque posset, et ad alterutrum voluntatem deflecteret. Neque enim aliter spontaneum habere poterat bonum, nisi aeque etiam ea creatura malum habere potusit. Utrumque nos posse voluit optimus Creator, sed unum facere, bonum scilicet, quod et imperavit; malique facultatem ad hoc tantum dedit, ut voluntatem ejus ex nostra voluntate faceremus. Quod ut ita sit, hoc quoque ipsum, quia etiam mala facere possumus, bonum est. Donum, inquam, quia boni partem meliorem facit. Facit enim ipsam voluntariam sui juris, non necessitate devinctam, sed judicio liberam."

1751   Pelagius himself, it must be admitted, recognized to some extent the power of habit and its effect upon the will (Ep. ad Demetr. c. 8); but Coelestius and Julian carried out his idea of the freedom of choice more consistently to the conception of a purely qualitative or formal power which admits of no growth or change by actual exercise, but remains always the same. Comp. Niedner (in the posthumous edition of his Lehrbuch der Kirchengeschichte, Berlin, 1866, p. 345 f.), who justly remarks, in opposition to Baur’s defense of the Pelagian conception of freedom: "Freedom in its first stage, as the power of choice, is a moral (as well as a natural) faculty, and hence capable of development either by way of deterioration into a sinful inclination, or by rising to a higher form of freedom. This is the point which Coelestius and Julian ignored: they attached too little weight to the use of freedom."

1752   Comp. the thorough and acute criticism of the Pelagian conception of freedom by Julius Müller, Die christliche Lehre von der Sünde, Bd. ii. p. 49 ff. (3d ed. 1849).

1753   Coelestius in Marius Mercator. Common. ii. p. 133: "Adam mortalem factum, qui sive peccaret, sive non peccaret, moriturus fuisset."

1754   The words of God to Adam, Gen. iii. 19: "Dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return," Julian interpreted not as a curse, but as a consolation, and as an argument for the natural mortality of Adam, by straining the "Dust thou art." See August. Opus imperfectum contra Julian. l. vi. cap. 27 (x. fol. 1346 sqq.).

1755   "Rudis, imperitus, incautus, sine experimento timoris, sine exemplo justitiae."

1756   "Adae peccatum ipsi soli obfuisse, et non generi humano; et infantes qui nascuntur, in eo statu esse, in quo fuit Adam ante praevaricationem." In Angustine’s De pecc. orig. c. 13 (f. 258).

1757   Ep. ad Demet. cap. 8: "Longa consuetudo vitiorum, quae nos infecit a parvo paulatimque per multos corrupit annos, et ita postea obligatos sibi et addictos tenet, ut vim quodammodo videatur habere natura." He also says of consuetudo, that it "aut vitia aut virtutes alit."

1758   Coelestius, Symb. fragm. i.: In remissionem autem peccatorum baptizandos infantes non idcireo diximus, ut peccatum ex traduce [or, peccatum naturm, pecca. tum naturale] firmare videamur, quod longe a catholico sensu alienum est; quia peccatum non cum homine nascitur, quod postmodum exercetur ab homine quia non naturm delictum, sed voluntatis ease demonstrator.

1759   Pelagius, in the first book of the Pro libero arbitrio, cited in Augustine’s De pecc. orig. cap. 13 (§ 14, tom. x. f. 258): "Omne bonum ac malum, quo vel laudabiles vel vituperabiles sumus, non nobiscum oritur, sed agitur a nobis: capaces enim utriusque rei, non pleni nascimur, et ut sine virtute, ita et sine vitio procreamur; atque ante actionem propriae voluntatis id solum in homine eat, quod Deus condidit." It is not, however, very congruous with this, that in another place he speaks of a natural or inborn holiness. Ad Demet. c. 4: "Est in animis nostris naturalis quaedam, ut its dixerim, sanctitas."

1760   Comp. Pelagius, Com. in Rom. v. 12, and in August. De natum et gratia, cap. 36 (§ 42, Opera, tom. x. fol. 144): "Deinde commemorat [Pelagius] eos, qui non modo non peccasse, verum etiam juste vixisse referuntur, Abel, Enoch, Melchisedech, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, Jesu Nove, Phineas, Samuel, Nathan, Elias, Joseph, Elizaeus, Micheas, Daniel, Ananias, Agarias, Meisael, Ezechiel, Mardochaeus, Simeon, Joseph, cui despondata erat virgo Maria, Johannes. Adjungit etiam feminas, Debboram, Annam, Samuelis matrem, Judith, Esther, alteram Annam faliam Phanuel, Elizabeth, ipsam etiam Domini ac Salvatoris nostri matrem, quam dicit sine peccato confiteri necesse ease pietati."

1761   "De illis, quorum justitiae meminit [Scriptura sacra] et peccatorum sine dubio meminisset, si qua eos peccasse sensisset." In Aug. De Nat. et grat. c. 37 (§ 43; tom. x. fol. 145).

1762   In the passage cited, Augustine agrees with Pelagius in reference to Mary ’propter honorem Domini,’ but only as respects actual sin, of which the connection shows him to be speaking; for in other passages he affirms the conception of Mary in sin. Comp. Enarratio in Psalmum xxxiv. vs. 13 (ed. Migne, tom. iv. 335): "Maria ex Adam mortua propter peccatum, Adam mortuus propter peccatum, et caro Domini ex Maria mortua est propter delenda peccata." De Genesi ad literam, lib. x. c. 18 (§ 32), where he discusses the origin of Christ’s soul, and says: "Quid incoinquinatius illo utero Virginia, cujus caro etiamsi de peccati propagine venit, non tamen de peccati propagine concepit ...? " See above, § 80, p. 418.

1763   Adv. Pelag. l. ii. c. 4 (tom. ii. 744, ed. Vallarsi): "jAnamavrthton, id est sine peccato esse [hominem posse] nego, id enim soli Deo competit, omnisque creatura peccato subjacet, et indiget misericordia Dei, dicente Scriptura: Misericordia Domini plena est terra."

1764   August. De peccatorum meritis et remissione, lib. i. c. 21 (§ 30, tom. x. f. 17); De haeresibus, cap. 88.

1765   "Das eben ist der Fluch der bösen That,
Dass sie, fortzeugend, immer Böses muss gebären

1766   Pelagius, in Aug. De gratia Christi, c. 31 (x. 244): "Liberi arbitrii potestatem dicimus in omnibus esse generaliter, in Christianis, Judaeis atque gentilibus. In omnibus est liberum arbitrium aequaliter per natumam, sed in solis Christianis juvatur gratia."

1767   De Civit. Dei, v. 13-20 and xix. 25. In the latter place he calls the virtues, which do not come from true religion, vices. "Virtutes ... nisi ad Deum retulerit, etiam ipsa vitia sunt potius quam virtutes." From this is doubtless derived the sentence so often attributed to Augustine: "The virtues of the heathen are splendid vices," which, however, in this form and generality, does not, to my knowledge, occur in his writings. More on this point, see below, § 156.

1768   De Genesi ad Lit. viii. 14; ReTract. ii. 24. Comp. Wiggers, i. p. 120 ff.

1769   Pelagius, Pro libero arbitrio, cited in Augustine’s De gratia Christi, c. 4 (§ 5, tom. x. fol. 232): "Posse in natura, velle in arbitrio, esse in effectu locamus. Primum illud, id est posse, ad Deum proprie pertinet, qui illud creatrrae suae contulit, duo vero reliqua, hoc est velle et esse, ad hominem referenda sunt quia de arbitrii fonte descendunt. Ergo in voluntate et opera bono laus hominis est: immo et hominis et Dei, qui ipsius voluntatis et operis possibilitatem dedit, quique ipsam possibilitatem gratiae suae adjuvat semper auxilio."

1770   "Quod possumus videre oculis, nostrum non est: quod vero bene aut male videmus, hoc nostrum est .... Quod loqui possumus, Dei est: quod vero bene vel male loquimur, nostrum est." Quoted in Augustine’s De gratia Christi, c. 15 and 16 (fol. 237 and 238). Augustine cites against these examples Ps. cxix. 37: "Averte oculos meos, ne videant vanitatem."

1771   Phil. ii. 13. Augustine appeals to this passage, De gratia Christi, c. 5 (f. 232 sq.) with great emphasis, as if Paul with prophetic eye had had in view the error of Pelagius.

1772   It is against this deistic view that the pregnant lines of Goethe are directed:
Was wär’ ein Gott der nur von aussen stiesse,
Im Kreis das All am Finger laufen liesse

1773   Epistola ad Ctesiphontem. Dr. Neander (Church History, vol. ii. p. 604 ff. Torrey’s transl.) regards this difference of view concerning the relation of the Creator to the creature as the most original and fundamental difference between the Augustinian and Pelagian system, although it did not clearly come to view in the progress of the controversy.

1774   Pelagius, in Aug. De gratia Christi, c. 7 (§ 8, x. f. 233): " ... Deus ... gratiae suae auxilium subministrat, ut quod per liberum homines facere jubentur arbitrium, facilius possent implere per gratiam."

1775   Pelag. Com. in Rom. iv. 6: "Ad hoc fides prima ad justitiam reputatur, ut de praeterito absolvatur et de paesenti justificatur, et ad futura fidei opera praeparatur." Similarly Julian of Eclanum. Augustine, on the contrary, has the evangelical conception of faith and of grace, but not of justification, which he interprets subjectively as a progressive making righteous, like the Roman church. Comp. De gratia Christi, c. 47 (§ 52, x. f. 251): "... gratiam Dei ... in qua nos sua, non nostrae justitiae justos facit, ut ea sit vera nostra justitia quae nobis ab illo est." In another passage, however, he seems to express the Protestant view. De spir. et Lit. c. 26 (§ 45, tom. x. 109): "Certe ita dictum est: justificabuntur, se si diceretur: justi habebuntur, justi deputabuntur, sicut dictum est de quodam: Ille autem volens se justificare (Luc. x. 29), i.e., ut justus haberetur et deputaretur."

1776   In Aug. De gratia Chr. c. 31 (tom. x. fol. 244): "In illis nudum et inerme est conditionis bonum; in his vero qui ad Christum pertinent, Christi munitur auxilio."

1777   Aug. De pecc. orig. c. 26 (§ 30, tom. x. f. 266): "Non, sicut Pelagius et ejus discipuli, tempora dividamus dicentes: primum vixisse justos homines ex natura, deinde sub lege, tertio sub gratia."

1778   Cited from Pelagius, l. c.: "Postquam nimia, sicut disputant, peccandi consuetudo praevaluit cui sanandae lex parum valeret, Christus advenit et tanquam morbo desperatissimo non per discipulos, sed per se ipsum medicus ipse subvenit."

1779   In Angustine’s Opus imperf. i. 94 (tom. x. f. 928)

1780  · "Gratiam Dei et adjutorium non ad singulos actus dari."

1781   Comp., respecting this, Augustine, De gratia Christi, cap. 2 (tom. x fol. 229 sq.).

1782   Comp. Rom. iv. 4, 5; Eph. ii. 8, 9. Shakespeare has far better understood the nature of grace than Pelagius, in the famous speech of Portia in the Merchant of Venice (Act IV. Sc, 1):
The quality of mercy is not strained:
It droppeth as the gentle rain from heaven
Upon the place beneath; it is twice blessed,
It blesseth him that gives and him that takes."

1783   Pelagius in Aug. De gratis Chr. c. 31 (x. f. 245). The illi, according to the connection, must refer to those not Christians, the hi to Christians. Yet according to his principles we might in turn fairly subdivide each class since according to him there are good heathens and bad Christians. Against this Augustine urges: "Ubi est illud apostoli: Justificati gratis per gratiam ipsius (Rom. iii. 24)? Ubi est illud: Gratis salvi facti estis (Eph. ii. 8)?" He concludes with the just proposition: "Non est gratia, nisi gratuita."

1784   De gratia Christi, c. 10 (tom. x. f. 235).

1785   Wiggers, l.c. vol. i. p. 467, judges similarly. Also Neander, in his Dogmengeschichte, Bd. i. p. 884: "The Pelagian principles would logically have led to rationalistic views, to an entire rejection of the supernatural element, and to the belief that mankind needs only to develop itself from within itself, without the revelation and self-impartation of God, in order to attain the good. But they do not develop their first principles so consistently as this, and what Biblical elements they incorporate with their system are unquestionably not taken in merely by way of accommodation, but through the persuasion that a supernatural revelation is necessary, in order to realize the destiny of mankind." Comp. Cunningham, Hist. Theology, i. p. 829: "Modern Socinians and Rationalists are the only consistent Pelagians. When men reject what Pelagius rejected, they are bound in consistency to reject everything that is peculiar and distinctive in the Christian system as a remedial scheme."

1786   Comp. Augustine, Contra duas Epist. Pelagianorum l. ii. c. 2, where he describes Manichaeism and Pelagianism at length as the two opposite extremes, and opposes to them the Catholic doctrine.

1787   An ingenious but somewhat far-fetched parallel is drawn by Dr. Kleinert between Augustine and Faust, as two antipodal representatives of mankind, in a brochure: Augustin und Goethe’s Faust, Berlin, 1866. A more obvious comparison is that of the Confessions of Augustine with the Confessions of Rousseau, and with Goethe’s Wahrheit und Dichtung.

1788   Dr. Baur, in his posthumous Vorlesungen über the Dogmengeschichte, published by his son (1866, Bd. i. p. ii. p. 26), makes the fine remark respecting him: "With Augustine himself everything lies in the individuality of his nature, as it was shaped by the course of his life, by his experiences and circumstances." He should have added, however, that in so magnificent a personality as Augustine’s, that which is most individual is also the most universal, and the most subjective is the most objective.

1789   Retract. l. i. c. 9.

1790   Baur, l.c. p. 32 f.: "From the time that Augustine directed the development of the Christian system to the two doctrines of sin and grace, this tendency always remained in the Occidental dogmatics the prevailing one, and so great and increasingly predominant in the course of time did the authority of Augustine become in the church, that even those who had departed from his genuine teachings, which many were unwilling to follow out with rigid consistency, yet believed themselves bound to appeal to his authority, which his writings easily gave them opportunity to do, since his system, as the result of periods of development so various, and antitheses so manifold, offers very different sides, from which it can be interpreted."

1791   Grace, in this wider sense, as source of all good, Augustine makes independent of sin, and ascribes the possession of it even to the good angels. Comp. De corrupt. et grat. § 32 (tom. x. 767, 768): "Dederat [Deus homini] adjutorium sine quo in ea [bona voluntate] non posset permanere si vellet; ut autem vellet, in ejus libero reliquit arbitrio. Posset ergo permanere si vellet: quia non deerat adjutorium per quod posset et sine quo non posset perseveranter bonum tenere quod vellet .... Si autem hoc adjutorium vel angelo vel homini, cum primum facti sunt, defuisset, quoniam non talis natura facta erat, ut sine divino adjutorio posset manere si vellet, non utique sua culpa cecidissent: adjutorium quippe defuisset, sine quo manere non possent." We see here plainly the germ of the scholastic and Roman Catholic doctrine of the justitia originalis, which was ascribed to the first man as a special endowment of divine grace or a supernatural accident, on the ground of the familiar distinction between the imago Dei (which belongs to the essence of man and consists in reason and free will) and the similitude Dei (the actual conformity to the divine will).

1792   Comp. several passages in the Opus imperf. i. 71; iii. 147; vi. 9, 17; Contra Jul. v. 5; De civitate Dei, xiii. 1, 13, 14, 21; xiv. 10, where he depicts the beatitudo and deliciae of Eden in poetic colors, and extends the perfection even to the animal and vegetable realms. Yet he is not everywhere consistent. His views became more exaggerated from his opposition to Pelagianism. In the treatise, De libero arbitrio, iii. c. 24, §§ 71, 72, which he completed a.d. 395, he says, that the first human beings were neither wise nor foolish, but had at first only the capability to become one or the other. "Infans nec stultus nec sapiens dici potest, quamvis jam homo sit; ex quo apparet natumm hominis recipere aliquid medium, quod neque stultitiam neque sapientiam recte vocaris." ..."Ita factus est homo, ut quamvis sapiens nondum esset, praeceptum tamen posset accipere." On the other hand, in his much later Opus imperf. c. Julianum, l. v. c. 1 (tom. x. f. 1222) he ascribes to the first men excellentissima sapientia, appealing to Pythagoras, who is said to have declared him the wisest who first gave names to things.

1793   Posse non peccare, which at the same time implies the possibilitas peccandi Comp. Opus imperf. v. 60 (fol. 1278): "Prorsus ita factus est, ut peccandi possibilitatem haberet a necessario, peccatum vero a possibili," i.e., the possibility of sinning was necessary, but the sinning itself merely possible. The peccare posse, says Augustine, in the same connection, is natura, the peccare is culpa.

1794   Non posse peccare, or impossibilitas peccandi.

1795   Between the non posse mori and the posse non mori, or between the immortalitas major and the immortalitas minor.

1796   Comp. Opus imperf. l. vi. cap. 30 (tom. x. fol 1360): "Illa vero immortalitas in qua sancti angeli vivunt, et in qua nos quoque victuri sumus, procul dubio major est. Non enim talis, in qua homo habeat quidem in potestate non mori, sicut non peccare, sed etiam possit et mori, quia potest peccare: sed talis est illa immortalitas, in qua omnis qui ibi est, vel erit, mori non poterit, quia nec peccare jam poterit." De corrept. et grat. § 33 (x. f. 168): "Prima libertas voluntatis erat, posse non peccare, novissima erit multo major, non posse peccare: Prima immortalitas erat, posse non mori, novissima erit multo major, non posse mori: prima erat perseverantiae potestas, bonum posse non deserere; novissima erit felicitas perseverantiae, bonum non posse deserere."

1797   The distinctions in the Augustinian idea of freedom have been overlooked by Wiggers and most of the old historians, but, on the other hand, brought out with more or less clearness by Neander (in the Kirchengeschichte and in the Dogmengeschichte), by Ritter (Gesch. der christl. Philosophic, ii. p. 341 ff.), Jul. Müller (Die christl. Lehre von der Sünde, ii. 45 ff.), Joh. Huber (Philosophic der Kirchenväter, p. 296 ff.). Baur bases his acute criticism of the Augustinian system in part upon the false assumption that Augustine’s view of the liberum arbitrium was precisely the same as that of Pelagius. See below.

1798   Retract. i. c. 9, § 4: "Voluntas est qua et peccatur, et recte vivitur."

1799   Here belong especially the first chapters of the treatises, De gratia et libero arbitrio (tom. x. fol. 717-721), of the Opus imperf. contra Julianum, and Contra duas epistolas Pelagianorum. In this sense even the strictest adherents of the Augustinian and Calvinistic system have always more or less explicitly conceded human freedom. Thus Cunningham, a Calvinist of the Free Church of Scotland, in his presentation of the Pelagian controversy (Hist. Theol. i. p. 325): "Augustine certainly did not deny man’s free will altogether, and in every sense of the word; and the most zealous defenders of the doctrines of grace and of Calvinistic principles have admitted that there is a free will or free agency, in some sense, which man has, and which is necessary to his being responsible for his transgressions of God’s law. It is laid down in our own [the Westminster) Confession, that ’God hath endued the will of man with that natural liberty, that it is neither forced, nor by any absolute necessity of nature determined to good or evil.’ " Dr. Shedd, an American Presbyterian of the Old School, in his History of Christian Doctrine, ii. p. 66, where he, in Augustine’s view, expresses his own, says: "The guilt of sin consists in its unforced wilfulness; and this guilt is not in the least diminished by the fact that the will cannot overcome its own wilfulness. For this wicked wilfulness was not created in the will, but is the product of the will’s act of apostasy. The present impotence to holiness is not an original and primitive impotence. By creation Adam had plenary power, not indeed to originate holiness, for no creature has this, but to preserve and perpetuate it. The present destitution of holiness, and impossibility of originating it, is due therefore to the creature’s apostatizing agency, and is a part of his condemnation." Also, p. 80: "There is no author in the whole theological catalogue, who is more careful and earnest than Augustine, to assert that sin is self-activity, and that its source is in the voluntary nature of man. Sin, according to him, is not a substance, but an agency; it is not the essence of any faculty in man, but only the action of a faculty." Neither Dr. Cunningham nor Dr. Shedd, however, takes any account of the different forms and degrees of freedom in the Augustinian system.

1800   This important distinction is overlooked by Baur, in his Kirchengeschichte vom 4-6ten Jahrhundert, p. 143. It takes off the edge from his sharp criticism of the Augustinian system, in which he charges it with inconsistency in starting from the same idea of freedom as Pelagius and yet opposing it.

1801   Comp. respecting this conception of freedom, the treatise, De libero arbitrio (in Opera, tom. i. f. 569 sqq.), which was begun a.d. 388, and finished a.d. 395, and belongs therefore to his earliest writings; also, De correptione et gratia (especially cap. 9-11), and the sixth book of the Opus imperf. c. Julianum. Also Contra duas epistolas Pelag. l. ii. c. 2 (tom. x. f. 432), where he opposes both the Manichaean denial of the liberum arbitrium and the Pelagian assertion of its continuance after the fall. "Manichaei negant, homini bono ex libero arbitrio fuisse initium mali; Pelagiani dicunt, etiam hominem malum sufficienter habere liberum arbitrium ad faciendum praeceptum bonum; catholica [fides] utrosque redarguit, et illis dicens: Fecit Deus hominem rectum, et istis dicens: Si vos Filius liberaverit, vere liberi eritis."

1802   Contra duas Epist. Pelag. ii. c. 5 (or § 9, tom. x. f. 436): "Peccato Adae arbitrium liberum de hominum natura periisse non dicimus, sed ad peccandum valere in hominibus subditis diabolo, ad bene autem pieque vivendum non valere, nisi ipsa voluntas hominis Dei gratia fuerit liberata, et ad omne bonum actionis, sermonis, cogitationis adjuta." Also, De gratia et libero arbitrio, c. 15 (x. f. 184): "Semper est autem in nobis voluntas libera, sed non semper est bona. Aut enim a justitia libera est, quando servit peccato, et tunc est mala; aut a peceato libera est, quando servit justitiae, et tunc est bona. Gratia vero Dei semper est bona." Dr. Baur, it is true (Die christl Kirche vom Anfang des 4ten bis Ende des 6ten Jahrhunderts, p. 140), is not wholly wrong when he, with reference to this passage, charges Augustine with an equivocal play upon words, in retaining the term freedom, but changing its sense into its direct opposite. "Meaningless as it is," says Baur, "to talk in this equivocal sense of freedom, we however see even from this what interest the idea of freedom still had for him, even after he had sacrificed it to the determinism of his system." The Lutheran theolgians likewise restricted the liberum arbitrium of fallen man to the justitia civilis, in distinction from the justitia Dei, or spiritualis. Comp. Melanchthon, in the Confessio Augustana, art. xviii. The Formula Concordiae goes even beyond Augustine, and compares the natural man in spiritualibus et divinis rebus with a "status salis," "truncus," and "lapis" nay, makes him out yet worse off, inasmuch as he is not merely passive, but "voluntati divinae rebellis est et inimicus " (pp. 661 and 662).

1803   De corrept. et gratia, § 32 (x. 768): "Quid erit liberius libero arbitrio, quando non poterit servire peccato? ... § 33: Prima libertas voluntatis erat, posse non peccare, novissima erit multo major, non posse peccare."

1804   "Deo servire vera libertas est;" a profound and noble saying. This higher conception of freedom Augustine had substantially expressed long before the Pelagian controversy, e.g., in the Confessions. Comp. also De civit. Dei l. xiv. c. 11: "Arbitriam igitur voluntatis tunc est vere liberum, quum vitiis peccatisque non servit. Tale datum est a Deo: quod amissum proprio vitio, nisi a quo dari potuit, reddi non potest. Unde veritas dicit: Si vos filisliberaverit, tunc vere liberi eritis, Id ipsum est autem, ac si diceret: Si vos Filius salvos fecerit, tunc vere salvi eritis. inde quippe liberatur, unde salvatur."

1805   Rom. v. 12 ff.; 1 Cor. xv. 22.

1806   De civit. Dei, l. xiii. c. 14: "Omnes enim fuimus in illo uno, quando omnes fuimus ille unus, qui per feminam lapsus est in peccatum, quae de illo facta est ante peccatum." Compare other passages below.

1807   Of course not in indifferent things of ordinary life, in which the greatest sinner is free to choose, but in reference to the great religous decision for or against God and divine things.

1808   Not the "sentiendi vivacitas," but the "ribido sentiendi, quae nos ad sentiendum, sive consentientes mente, sive repugnantes, appetitu voluptatis impellit." C. Julianum, l. iv. c. 14 (§ 65, tom. x. f. 615). He illustrates the difference by a reference to Matt. v. 28. "Non ait Dominus: qui viderit mulierem, sed: quividerit ad conpiscendum, jam maechatus est eam in corde suo. ... Illud [videre] Deus condidit, instruendo corpus humanum; illud [videre ad concupiscendum] diabolus seminavit, persuadendo peccatum."

1809   "Quis autem mente sobrius non mallet, si fieri posset, sine ulla mordaci voluptate carnali vel arida sumere alimenta, vel humida, sicut suminus haec aëria, quae de circumfusis auris respirando et spirando sorbemus et fundimus?" Contra Jul. iv. c. 14, § 68, f. 616.

1810   De civitate Dei, xiv. 26.

1811   Peccatum originals, vitium hereditarium.

1812   De peccatorum meritis et remissione, l. iii. c. 7 (§ 14, tom. x. f. 78): "In Adam omnes tunc peccaverunt, quando in ejus natura illa insita vi, qua eos gignere poterat, adhuc omnes ille unus fuerunt." De corrept. et gratia, § 28 (x. f 765): "Quia vero [Adam] per liberum arbitrium Deum deseruit, justum judicium Dei expertus est, ut cum tota sua stirpe, quae in illo adhuc posita tota cum illo peccaverat, damnaretur." This view easily fell in with Augustine’s Platonico-Aristotelian realism, which regarded the general conceptions as the original types of individual things. But the root of it lay deeper in his Christian consciousness and profound conviction of the all-pervading power of sin.

1813   "La première difficulté est," says Leibnitz in the Theodicée, Partie i. 86, comment l’âme a pu être infectée du péché originel, qui est la racine des péchés actuels, sans qu’il y sit en de l’injustice en Dieu à l’y exposer."

1814   From tradux, propagator. The author of this theory is Tertullian, De anima, c. 27 (Opera, ed. Fr. Oehler, tom. ii. p. 599 sqq.): "Immo simul ambas [animam et corpus] et concipi et confici et perfici dicimus, sicut et promi, nec ullum intervenire momentum in concepta quo locus ordinetur. ... Igitur ex uno homine tota haec animarum redundantia." Cap. 86 (p. 617): "Anima in utero seminata pariter cum came pariter cum ipsa sortitur." Comp. c. 19 (anima velut surculus quidam ex matrice Adam in propaginem deducta); De resurr. carnis, c. 45; Adv. Valentin. c. 26 (tradux animae). With Tertullian this theory was connected with a materializing view of the soul.

1815   Jerome says of the maxima pars occidentalium, that they teach: "Ut quomodo corpus ex corpore, sic anima nascatur ex anima, et simili cum brutis animalibus conditione subsistat." Ep. 78 ad Marcell. Leo the Great declared it even to be catholica fides, that every man "in corporis et animae subetantiam fomari intra materna viscera." Ep. 15 ad Turrib. Similarly among the Oriental fathers, Theodoret, Fab. haer. v. 9: hJ ejkklhsiva toi'" qeivoi" peivqomevnh lovgoi", levgei th;n yuch;n sundhmiourgei'sqaitw'/ swvmati.

1816   Jerome says, appealing to John v. 17; Zech. xii. 1; Ps. xxxiii. 15: "Quotidie Deus fabricatur animas, cujus velle fecisse est, et conditor esse non cessat." Pelagius, in his Confession of Faith, declares for the view that souls are made and given by God Himself.

1817   The sw'ma interpreted as sh'ma (sepulchre). Origen appeals to the groaning of the creation, Rom. viii. 19.

1818   Lately the theory of pre-existence has found in America an advocate in Dr. Edward Beecher, in his book: The Conflict of Ages, Boston, 1853. Wordsworth has given it a poetic garb in his Ode on Immortality:
"Our birth is but a sleep and a forgetting:
The soul that rises with us, our life’s star,
Hath had elsewhere its setting,
And cometh from afar."

1819   De civit. Dei, xi. 23. Ad Oros. c. Priscill. et Orig. c. 8. In his earlier work, De libero arbitrio (about 395), he spoke more favorably of Pre-existentianism.

1820   Comp. Baur, Vorlesungen über die Dogmengeschichte, Bd. i. Th. ii. p. 31: "What essentially distinguishes the Augustinian system from that of Origen, consists only [?] in this, that in place of the pretemporal fall of souls we have the Adamic apostasy, and that what in Origen bears yet a heathen impress, has in Augustine assumed a purely Old Testament [certainly, however, also a Pauline] form."

1821   De peccatorum mer. et remiss. l. ii. c. 36, § 59. He still remained thus undecided in his Retractations, lib. i. cap. 1, § 3 (Opera, tom. i. f. 4), where he honestly acknowledges: "Quod attinet ad ejus [animi] originem ... nec tunc sciebam, nec adhuc scio." He frequently treats of this question, e.g., De anima et ejus origine De Genesi ad literam, x. 23; Epist. 190 ad Optatum; and Opus imperf. iv. 104. Comp. also Gangauf, l.c. p. 248 ff. and John Huber, Philosophie der Kirchenväter, p. 291ff. Huber gives the following terse presentation of the Augustinian doctrine: "In the problem of the origin of the soul Augustine arrived at no definite view. In his earlier writings he is as yet even unsettled as to the doctrine of pre-existence (De lib. arbitr. i. 12, 24; iii. 20 and 21), but afterwards he rejects it most decidedly, especially as presented by Origen, and at the same time criticizes his whole theory of the origin of the world (De civit. Dei, xi. 23). In like manner he declares against the theory of emanation, according to which the soul has flowed out of God (De Genes. ad. lit. vii. 2, 3), is of one nature (Epist. 166 ad Hieron. § 3) and coeternal (De civ. Dei, x. 31). Between creationism and generationism, however, he can come to no decision, being kept in suspense not so much by scientific as by theological considerations. As to generationism, he remembers Tertullian, and fears being compelled, like him, to affirm the corporeality of the soul. He perceives, however, that this theory explains the transmission of original sin, and propounds the inquiry, whether perchance one soul may not spring from another, as one light is kindled from another without diminution of its flame (Ep. 190 ad Optatum, 4, 14-15). But for creationism the chief difficulty lies in this very doctrine of original sin. If the soul is created directly by God, it is pure and sinless, and the question arises, how it has deserved to be clothed with corrupt flesh and brought into the succession of original sin. God Himself appears there to be the cause of its sinfulness, inasmuch as he caused it to become guilty by uniting it with the body (De an. et ejus orig. i. 8, 9; ii. 9, 13). All the passages of Scripture relevant to this point agree only in this, that God is the Giver, Author, and Former of souls; but how he forms them—whether he creates them out of nothing or derives them from the parents, they do not declare (lb. iv. 11, 15).—His doctrine, that God created everything together as to the germ, might naturally have inclined him rather to generationism, yet he does not get over his indecision, and declares even in his Retractations (i. 1, 3), that he neither know previously nor knows now, whether succeeding souls were descended from the first one or newly created as individuals.

1822   Which presupposes ejn w|/. The whole verse reads in the Vulgate: "Propterea, sicut per unum hominem peccatum in hunc mundum intravit et per peccatum more, et ita in omnes homines mors pertransiit, in quo omnes peccaverunt." Comp. Augustine, De peccat. merit. et remissione, i. 8, 10; Op. imperf. ii. 63; Contra duas Ep. Pel. iv. 4; De nupt. et concup. ii. 5. Pelagius explained the passage (ad Rom. v. 12): "In eo, quod omnes peccaverunt, exemplo Adae peccant," or per imitationem in contrast with per propagationem. Julian translated ejf j w|/  propter quod. Comp. Contra Jul. vi. 75; Op. imperf. ii. 66.

1823   jEf j w|/  (= ejf j oi|" ) is equivalent to ejpi; touvtw/ o{ti, on the ground that, presupposing that, propterea quod. So Meyer, in loco, and others. R. Rothe (in an extremely acute exegetical monograph upon Rom. v. 12-21, Wittenberg, 1836) and Chr. Fr. Schmid (Bibl. Theol. ii. p. 126) explain ejf j w|/ byejpi; touvtw' w{ste, i.e., under the more particular specification that, inasmuch as. Comp. the Commentaries.

1824   Comp. De nuptiis et concup. i. c. 26 (tom. x. f. 291 sq.); De peccat. mer. et remiss. i. c. 26 (§ 39, tom. x. fol. 22); De gratia Christi, c. 82, 33 (x. 245 sq.), and other passages. The relation of the doctrine of original sin to the practice of infant baptism came very distinctly into view from the beginning of the controversy. Some have even concluded from a passage of Augustine (De pecc. mer. iii. 6), that the controversy began with infant baptism and not with original sin. Comp. Wiggers, i. p. 59.

1825   "Quo non eant scio, quo eant nescio," says he of unbaptized children. He ascribed to them, it is true, salus or vita aeterna, but not the reguum coelorum. Aug. De pecc. mer. et remissione, i. 18; iii. 3. In the latter place Augustine says, that it is absurd to affirm a "vita aeterna extra regnum Dei." In his book, De haeresibus, cap. 88, Augustine says of the Pelagians that they assign to unbaptized children "aeternam et beatam quandam vitam extra regnum Dei," and teach that children being born without original sin, are baptized for the purpose of being admitted "ad regnum Dei," and transferred "de bono in melius."

1826   De pecc. orig. c. 31 (§ 36, tom. x. f. 269): "Unde ergo recte infans illa perditione punitur, nisi quia pertinet ad massam perditionis?" De nupt et concup. c. 22 (x. 292): "Remanet originale peccatum, per quod [parvuli] sub diaboli potestate captivi sunt, nisi inde lavacro regenerationis et Christi sanguine redimantur et transeant in regnum redemtoris sui." De peccat. merit. et remissione, iii. cap. 4 (x. 74): "Manifestum est, eos [parvulos] ad damnationem, nisi hoc [incorporation with Christ through baptism] eis collatum fuerit, pertinere. Non autem damnari possent, si peccatum utique non haberent."

1827   Contra Julianum, l v. c. 11 (§ 44, tom. x. f. 651): "Si enim quod de Sodomis sit [Matt. x. 15; xi. 24] et utique non solis intelligi voluit, alius alio tolerabilius in die judicii punietur quis dubitaverit parvulos non baptizatos, qui solum habent originale peccatum, nec ullis propriis aggravantur, in damnatione omnium levissima futuros? " Comp. De pecc. meritis et remissione, l. i. c. 16 (or § 21, tom. x. 12): "Potest proinde recte dici, parvulos sine baptismo de corpore exeuntes in damnatione omnium mitissima futuros."

1828   Contra Julianum Pelagianum, l. ii. c. 9 (§ 31, tom. x. f. 545 sq.).

1829   Comp. as against this the 2d book De nuptiis et concup.; Contra Jul. l. i. and ii., and the Opus imperf., in the introduction, and lib. iv. cap. 38.

1830   "Non est ulla substantia vel natura, sed vitium." De nupt. et concup. l. ii. c. 34 (§ 57, x. f. 332)."Non ortum est malum nisi in bono; nec tamen summo et immutabli, quod est natura Dei, sed facto de nihilo per sapientiam Dei." Ibid. lib. ii. c. 29 (or § 50, tom. x. f 327). Comp. particularly also Contra duas Epist. Pelag.ii. c. 2, where he sharply discriminates his doctrine alike from Manichaeism and Pelagianism. These passages were overlooked by Baur and Milman, who think that there is good foundation for the charge of Manichaeism against Augustine’s doctrine of sin. Gibbon; (ch. xxxiii.) derived the orthodoxy of Augustine from the Manichaean school!

1831   De peccat. mer. et remiss. ii. cap. 9 and c. 25; De nuptiis et concup. i. c. 18; Contra Julian. vi. c. 5.

1832   Comp. against this especially the first book De nuptiis et concupiscentia (tom. x. f. 279 sqq.), written 418 or 419, in order to refute this objection. Julian answered this in a work of four books, which gave Augustine occasion to compose the second book De nuptiis et concup., and the six books Contra Julianum, a.d. 421. Julian published an answer to this again, which Augustine in turn refuted in his Opus imperf., a.d. 429, during the writing of which he died, a.d. 430.

1833   Aug. Opus imperf. iii. 18, 19 (tom. x. 1067, 1069). Augustine’s answer is unsatisfactory.

1834   De Genesi ad literam, viii. 14.

1835   Rom. ii. 14.

1836   The sentence often ascribed to Augustine, that "all pagan virtues are but splendid vices," is not Augustinian in form, but in substance. Comp. the quotation and remarks above, §151. Dr. Baur states his view correctly and clearly when he says (Vorlesungen über die Dogmengeschichte, Bd. i. Part 2, p. 342): "If, as Augustine taught, faith in Christ is the highest principle of willing and acting, nothing can be truly good, which has not its root in faith, which principle Augustine thus expressed, using the words of the apostle Paul, Rom. xiv. 23: ’Omne, quod non ex fide, peccatum.’ Augustine judged therefore all good in the will and act of man after the absolute standard of Christian good, and accordingly could only regard the virtues of the heathen as seeming virtues, and ascribe to anything pre-Christian an inner value only so far as it had an inner reference to faith in Christ." Comp. also Baur’s Geschichte der christl. Kirche vom 4-6ten Jahrhundert, p. 153 ff. Neander represents Augustine’s doctrine on heathen virtue thus (Church History, vol. iv. 1161, 2d Germ. ed., or vol. ii. p. 620, in Torrey’s translation): "Augustine very justly distinguishes the patriotism of the ancients from that which is to be called ’virtue,’ in the genuinely Christian sense, and which depends on the disposition towards God (virtus from virtus vera); but then he goes so far as to overlook altogether what bears some relationship to the divine life in such occasional coruscations of the moral element of human nature, and to see in them nothing but a service done for evil spirits and for man’s glory. He contributed greatly, on this particular side, to promote in the Western church the partial and contracted way of judging the ancient pagan times, as opposed to the more liberal Alexandrian views of which we still find traces in many of the Orientals in this period, and to which Augustine himself, in the earlier part of his life, as a Platonist, had been inclined. Still the vestiges of his earlier and loftier mode of thinking are to be discerned in his later writings, where he searches after and recognizes the scattered fragments of truth and goodness in the pagan literature, which he uniformly traces to the revelation of the Spirit, who is the original source of all that is true and good, to created minds; though this is inconsistent with his own theory respecting the total corruption of human nature, and with the particularism of his doctrine of predestination."

1837   Comp. De peccat. orig. c. 24 (§ 28, tom. x. f. 265), where he asserts that the grace and faith of Christ operated even unconsciously "sive in eis justis quos sancta Scriptura commemorat, sive in eis justis quos quidem illa non commemorat, sed tamen fuisse credendi sunt, vel ante diluvium, vel inde usque ad legem datam, vel ipsius legis tempore, non solum in filiis Israel, sicut fuerant prophetae, sed etiamextra eundem sicut, fuit Job. Et ipsorum enim corda eadem mundabantur mediators fide, et diffundebatur in eis caritas per Spiritum Sanctum, qui ubi vult spirat, non merita sequens, sed etiam ipsa merita faciens."

1838   Liber i. c. 2.

1839   De spiritu et litera, c. 26 (tom. x. f. 109): "Quid est enim aliud, justificati, quam justi facti, ab illo scilicet qui justificat impium, ut ex impio fiat justus?" Retract. ii. 33: "Justificamur gratia Dei, hoc est justi efficimur."

1840   Comp. De gratia et libero arbitrio, c. 8 (§ 19), and many other places, where he ascribes fides, caritas, omnia bona opera, and vita aeterna to the free, unmerited grace of God.

1841   "Non lege atque doctrina insonante forinsecus, sed interna et occulta, mirabili ac ineffabili potestate operatur Deus in cordibus hominum non solum veras revelationes, sed bonas etiam voluntates." De grat. Christi, cap. 24 (x. f. 24).

1842   De corrept. et grat. cap. 2 (x. 751): "Inspiratio bonae voluntatis atque operis." Without this grace men can "nullum prorsus sive cogitando, sive volendo et amando, sive agendo facere bonum." Elsewhere he calls it also, "inspiratio dilectionis" and "caritatis." C. duas Epist. Pel. iv., and De gratia Christi, 39.

1843   "Nolentem praevenit, ut velit; volentem subsequitur, ne frustra velit." Enchir. c. 82.

1844   Comp. Retract i. c. 23; De dono perseverantiae, c. 20, and De praedest. c. 2.

1845   "Erant tamen et legis tempore homines Dei, non sub lege terrente, convincente, puniente, sed sub gratia delectante, sanante, liberante." De grat. Christi et de peccato origin. l. ii. c. 25 (§ 29).

1846   Comp. De gestis Pelagii, § 33 (x. 210); De pecc. orig. § 28 (x. 265): "Non Dei gratia erit ullo modo, nisi gratuita fuerit omni modo." In many other passages he says: gratia gratis datur; gratia praecedit bona opera; gratia praecedit merita; gratia indignis datur.

1847   De pecc. orig. § 28 (x. 265): "Et ipsorum [prophetarum] corda eadem mundabantur mediatoris fide, et diffundebatur in eis caritas per Spiritum Sanctum, qui ubi vult spirat, non merita sequens, sed etiam ipsa merita faciens."

1848   De gratia et libero arbitrio, cap. 22 (§ 44, tom. x. f. 742). Parvuli, he says, have no will to receive grace, nay, often struggle with tears against being baptized, "quod eis ad magnum impietatis peccatum imputaretur, si jam libero uterentur arbitrio: et tamen haeret etiam in reluctantibus gratia, apertissime nullo bono merito praecedente, alioquin gratia jam non esset gratia." He then calls attention to the fact that grace is sometimes bestowed on children of unbelievers, and is withheld from many children of believers.

1849   De grat. et lib. arbitrio, c. 6 (f. 726), where Augustine, from passages like James i. 17; John iii. 27; Eph. ii. 8, draws the conclusion: "Si ergo Dei dona sunt bona merita tua, non Deus coronat merita tua tamquam merita tua, sed tamquam dona sua."

1850   "Subventum est infirmitati voluntatis humanae, ut divina gratia indeclinabiliter et insuperabiliter [not inseparabiliter, as the Jesuit edition of Louvain, 1577, reads] ageretur; et ideo, quamvis infirma, non tamen deficeret, neque adversitate aliqua vinceretur." De corrept. et grat. § 38 (tom. x. p. 771).

1851   It is in this sense that the Calvinistic theologians have always understood the Augustinian system, especially the Presbyterians. So, e.g., Dr. Cunningham (l.c. vol. ii. p. 352): "Augustine, in asserting the invincibility or irresistibility of grace, did not mean—and those who in subsequent times have embraced this general system of doctrine as scriptural, did not intend to convey the idea—that man was compelled to do that which was good, or that he was forced to repent and believe against his will, whether he would or not, as the doctrine is commonly misrepresented, but merely that he was certainly and effectually made willing, by the renovation of his will through the power of God, whenever that power was put forth in a measure Sufficient and Adequate to produce the result. Augustine, and those who have adopted his system, did not mean to deny that men may, in some sense and to some extent, resist the Spirit, the possibility of which is clearly indicated in Scripture; inasmuch as they have most commonly held that, to use the language of our [the Westminster] Confession, ’persons who are not elected and who finally perish, may have some common operations of the Spirit,’ which, of course, they resist and throw off." Similarly Dr. Shedd (Hist. of Doct. vol. ii. 73), who, however, extends irresistible grace to all the regenerate. "Not all grace," he says, "but the grace which actually regenerates, Augustine denominates irresistible. By this he meant, not that the human will is converted unwillingly or by compulsion, but that divine grace is able to overcome the utmost obstinacy of the human spirit. ... Divine grace is irresistible, not in the sense that no form of grace is resisted by the sinner; but when grace reaches that special degree which constitutes it regenerating, it then overcomes the sinner’s opposition, and makes him willing in the day of God’s power." This is Calvinistic, but not Augustinian, although given as Augustine’s view. For according to Augustine all the baptized are regenerate, and yet many are eternally lost. (Comp. Ep. 98, 2; De pecc. mer. et rem. i. 39, and the passages in Hagenbach’s Doctrine History, vol. i. p. 358 ff. in the Anglo-American edition.) The gratia irresistiblis must therefore be restricted to the narrower circle of the electi. Augustine’s doctrine of baptism is far more Lutheran and Catholic than Calvinistic. According to Calvin, the regenerating effect of baptism is dependent on the decretum divinum, and the truly regenerate is also elect, and therefore can never finally fall from grace. Augustine, for the honor of the sacrament, assumes the possibility of a fruitless regeneration; Calvin, in the interest of election and regeneration, assumes the possibility of an ineffectual baptism.

1852   Summing all the stages together, Augustine says: "Et quis istam etsi parvam dare coeperat caritatem, nisi ille qui praeparat voluntatem, et coöperando perficit, quod operando incipit? Quoniam ipse ut velimus operatur incipiens qui volentibus coöperatur perficiens. Propter quod ait Apostolus: Certus sum, quoniam qui operatur in vobis opus bonum, perficiet usque in diem Christi Jesu" (Phil. i. 6)). De grat. et lib. arbitr. c. 27, § 33 (tom. x. 735).

1853   Augustine treats of this in the Liber de dono persevemntiae, one of his latest writings, composed in 428 or 429 (tom. x. f. 821 sqq.).

1854   Comp. upon this especially the book De gratia et libero arbitrio, which Augustine wrote a.d. 426, addressed to Valentinus and other monks of Adrumetum, to refute the false reasoning of those, "qui sic gratiam Dei defendunt, ut negent hominis liberum arbitrium" (c. 1, tom. x. f. 717).

1855   Rom. viii. 29; Eph. i. 4.

1856   Comp. the opinions of the pre-Augustinian fathers respecting grace, predestination, and the extent of redemption, as given in detail in Wiggers, i. p. 440 ff. He says, p. 448: "In reference to predestination, the fathers before Augustine were entirely at variance with him, and in agreement with Pelagius. They, like Pelagius, founded predestination upon prescience, upon the fore-knowledge of God, as to who would make themselves worthy or unworthy of salvation. They assume, therefore, not the unconditional predestination of Augustine, but the conditional predestination of the Pelagians. The Massilians had, therefore, a full right to affirm (Aug. Ep. 225), that Augustine’s doctrine of predestination was opposed to the opinions of the fathers and the sense of the church (ecclesiastico sensui), and that no ecclesiastical author had ever yet explained the Epistle to the Romans as Augustine did, or in such a way as to derive from it a grace that had no respect to the merits of the elect. And it was only by a doubtful inference (De dono pers. 19) that Augustine endeavored to prove that Cyprian, Ambrose, and Gregory Nazianzen had known and received his view of predestination, by appealing to the agreement between this doctrine and their theory of grace." Pelagius says of predestination in his Commentary on Rom. viii. 29 and ix. 80: "Quos praevidit conformes esse in vita, voluit ut fierent conformes in gloria. .... Quos praescivit credituros, hos vocavit, vocatio autem volentes colligit, non invitos."

1857   Massa perditionis, a favorite expression of Augustine.

1858   De praedest. Sanct. c. 10 (or § 19, tom. x f. 803): "Inter gratiam et praedestinationem hoc tantum interest, quod praedestinatio eat gratiae praeparatio, gratia vero jam ipsa donatio. Quod itaque ait apostolus: Non ex operibus ne forte quis extollatur, ipsius enim sumus figmentum, creati in Christo Jesu in operibus bonis (Eph. ii. 9), gratia est; quod autem sequitur: Quae praeparavit Deus, ut in illis ambulamus, praedestinatio est, quae sine praescientia non potest esse." Further on in the same chapter: "Gratia est ipsius praedestinationis effectus."

1859   De praed. sanctorum, cap. 10: "Praedestinatio ... sine praescientia non potest esse; potest autem esse sine praedestinatione praescientia. Praedestinatione quippe Deus ea praescivit, quod fuerat ipse facturus ... praescire autem potens est etiam quae ipse non facit, sicut quaecumque peccata." Comp. De dono perseverantiae, c. 18 (f847 sq.).

1860   De anima et ejus origine (written a.d. 419), l. iv. c. 11 (or § 16, tom. x. f 395): "Ex uno homine omnes homines ire in condemnationem qui nascuntur ex Adam, nisi ita renascantur in Christo ... quos praedestinavit ad aeternam vitam misericordissimus gratiae largitor: qui eat et illis quos praedestinavit ad aeternam mortem, justissimus supplicii retributor." Comp. Tract. in Joann. xlviii. 4: "ad sempiternum interitum praedestinatos," and similar passages.

1861   De praed. sanct. c. 18 (§ 37, x. f. 815): "Elegit ergo nos Deus in Christo ante mundi constitutionem, praedestinans nos in adoptionem filiorum: non quia per nos sancti et immaculati futuri eramus, sed elegit praedestinavitque ut essemus." Augustine then goes on to attack the Pelagian and Semi-Pelagian theory of a predestination conditioned upon the foreseen holiness of the creature. Cap. 19 (§ 38): "Nec quia credidimus, sed ut credamus, vocamur."

1862   This imputation of some monks of Adrumetum in Tunis is met by Augustine particularly in his treatise De correptione et gratia (a.d. 427), in which he shows that as gratia and the liberum arbitrium, so also correptio and gratia, admonition and grace, are by no means mutually exclusive, but rather mutually condition each other.

1863   De corrept. et grat. c. 7 (§ 14): "Nemo eorum [electorum] perit, quia non fallitur Deus. Horum si quisquam perit, vitio humano vincitur Deus; sed nemo eorum perit, quia nulla re vincitur Deus." Ibid. c. 9 (§ 23, f. 763): "Quicunque ergo in Dei providentissima dispositione praesciti, praedestinati, vocati, justificati, glorificati sunt, non dico etiam nondum renati, sed etiam nondum nati, jam filii Dei sunt, et omnino perire non possunt." For this he appeals to Rom. viii. 31 ff.; John vi. 37, 39, etc.

1864   De corrept. et gratia, c. 9 (§ 23, x. f. 763): "Ab illo [Deo] datur etiam perseverantia in bono usque in finem; neque enim datur nisi eis qui non peribunt: quoniam qui non perseverant peribunt." Ibid. c. 11 (§ 36, f. 770): "Qui autem cadunt et pereunt, in praedestinatorum numero non fuerunt."

1865   Opus imperf. iv. 124; De corrept. et gratia, i. 28; De praed. sanct. 8; Enchir. c. 103; Epist. 217, c. 6. Comp. Wiggers, l.c. pp. 365 and 463 ff.

1866   Wiggers (ii. pp. 359-364) gives a comparative view of the three systems in parallel columns. Comp. also the criticism of Baur, Die christliche Kirche vom vierten bis zum sechsten Jahrhundert, p. 181 ff. The latter, with his wonted sharpness of criticism, judges very unfavorably of Semi-Pelagianism as a whole. "This halving and neutralizing," he says, p. 199 ff., "this attempt at equal distribution of the two complementary elements, not only setting them apart, but also balancing them with one another, so that sometimes the one, sometimes the other, is predominant, and thus within this whole sphere everything is casual and arbitrary, varying and indefinite according to the diversity of circumstances and individuals, this is characteristic of Semi-Pelagianism throughout. If the two opposing theories cannot be inwardly reconciled, at least they must be combined in such a way as that a specific element must be taken from each; the Pelagian freedom and the Augustinian grace must be advanced to equal rank. But this method only gains an external juxtaposition of the two."

1867   His answer is found in the Epistles of Augustine, Ep. 216, and in Opera, tom. x. f. 746 (ed. Bened.).

1868   "Reliquiae Pelagianorum." So Prosper calls them in his letter to Augustine. He saw in them disguised, and therefore only so much the more dangerous, Pelagians.

1869   Not to be confounded with Hilarius, bishop of Arles, in distinction from whom he is called Hilarius Prosperi. Hilary calls himself a layman (Aug. Ep. 226, § 9). Comp. the Benedictines in tom. x. f. 785; Wiggers, ii. 187).

1870   Wiggers treats thoroughly and at length of him, in the above cited monograph, vol. ii. pp. 7-136. He has been mistakenly supposed a Scythian. His name and his fluent Latinity indicate an occidental origin. Yet he was in part educated at Bethlehem and in Constantinople, and spent seven years among the anchorites in Egypt. He mentioned John Chrysostom even in the evening of his life with grateful veneration. (De incarn. vii. 30 sq.) "What I have written," he says, "John has taught me, and therefore account it not so much mine as his. For a brook rises from a spring, and what is ascribed to the pupil, must be reckoned wholly to the honor of the teacher." On the life and writings of Cassian compare also Schönemann, Bibliotheca, vol. ii. (reprinted in Migne’s ed. vol. i.).

1871   De protectione Dei. In Migne’s edition of Cass. Opera, vol. i. pp. 397-964

1872   He calls the Pelagian doctrine of the native ability of man "profanam opinionem " (Coll. xiii. 16, in Migne’s ed. tom. i. p. 942), and even says: "Pelagium paene omnes impietate [probably here equivalent to " contempt of grace," as Wiggers, ii. 20, explains it] et amentia vicisse " (De incarn. Dom. v. 2, tom. ii. 101).

1873   "Nonnumquam," says he, De institut. coeno b. xii. 18 (Opera, vol. ii. p. 456, ed. Migne), "etiam inviti trahimur ad salutem." This is, however, according to Cassian, a rare exception. The general distinction between Semi-Pelagianism and the Melanchthonian synergism may be thus defined, that the former ascribes the initiative in the work of conversion to the human will, the latter to divine grace, which involves also a different estimate of the importance of the gratia praeveniens or praeparans.

1874   De incarnations Christi, libri vii. in Migne’s ed. tom. ii. 9-272.

1875   Found in the works of Prosper, Paris, 1711 (tom. li. in Migne’s Patrol.), and also in the Appendix to the Opera Augustini (tom. x. 171-198, ed. Bened.), under the title Pro Augustino, liber contra Collatorem. Comp. Wiggers, ii. p. 138 ff.

1876   Carmen de ingratis. He charges the Semi-Pelagians with ingratitude to Augustine and his great merits to the cause of religion.

1877   These Responsiones Prosperi Aquitani ad capitula calumniantium Gallorum and Ad capitula objectionum Vincentianorum (of Vincentius Lirinensis) are also found in the Appendix to the 10th vol. of the Benedictine edition of the Opera Augustini, f. 198 sqq. and f. 207 sqq. Among the objections of Vincentius are, e.g., the following:
3. Quia Deus majorem partem generis humani ad hoc creet, ut illam perdat in
4. Quia major pars generis humani ad hoc creetur a Deo, ut non Dei, sed diaboli
faciat voluntatem.
10. Quia adulteria et corruptelae virginum sacrarum ideo contingant, quia illas
Deus ad hoc praedestinavit ut caderent.

1878   Comp. above, § 118; also Wiggers, ii. p. 208 ff., and Baur, l.c. p. 185 ff, who likewise impute to the Commonitorium a Semi-Pelagian tendency. This is beyond doubt, if Vincentius was the author of the above-mentioned Objectiones Vincentisanae. Perhaps the second part of the Commonitorium, which, except the last chapters, has been lost, was specially directed against the Augustinian doctrine of predestination, and was on this account destroyed, while the first part acquired almost canonical authority in the Catholic church.

1879   De gratia Dei et humanae mentis libero arbitrio (in the Biblioth. maxima Patrum, tom. viii.). This work is regarded as the ablest defence of Semi-Pelagianism written in that age. Comp. upon it Wiggers, ii. p. 224 ff.

1880   De viris illustr. c. 38, where he speaks in other respects eulogistically of Augustine. He refers to the passage in Prov. x. 19: "In multiloquio non fugies peccatum." Comp. respecting him Wiggers, ii. 350 ff. and Neander, Dogmengeschichte, i. p. 406. His works are found in Migne’s Patrol. vol. 58.

1881   In his Commentarius in Psalmos, written about 460, especially upon Ps. cxxvii.: "Nisi Dominus aedificaverit domum." Some, following Sirmond, consider him as the author of the next-mentioned treatise Praedestinatus, but without good ground. Comp. Wiggers, ii. p. 348 f.

1882   "Praedestinatus, seu Praedestinatorum haeresis, et libri S. Augustino temere adscripti refutatio." The haeresis Praedestinatorum is the last of ninety heresies, and consists in the assertion: "Dei praedestinatione peccata committi." This work was first discovered by J. Sirmond and published at Paris in 1643 (also in Gallandi, Biblioth. tom. x. p. 359 sqq., and in Migne’s Patrol. tom. liii. p. 587 sqq., together with Sirmond’s Historia Praedestinatiana). It occasioned in the seventeenth century a lively controversy between the Jesuits and the Jansenists, as to whether there had existed a distinct sect of Praedestinarians. The author, however, merely feigned such a sect to exist, in order to avoid the appearance of attacking Augustine’s authority. See details in Wiggers, ii. p. 329 ff.; Neander, Dogmengeschichte, i. 399 ff.; and Baur, p. 190 ff. The latter says: "The treatise [more accurately the second book of it; the whole consists of three books] is ascribed to Augustine, but as the ascription is immediately after declared false, both assertions are evidently made with the purpose of condemning Augustine’s doctrine with its consequences (only not directly in his name), as one morally most worthy of reprobation." Neander ascribes only the first and the third book, Baur also the second book, to a Semi-Pelagian.

1883   The first book has also been reprinted in the Corpus haereseolog. ed. F. Oehler, tom. i. Berol. 1856, pp. 233-268.

1884   Just as the Capitula Gallorum and the Objectiones Vincentianae exaggerate Angustinianism, in order the more easily to refute it.

1885   It is found among the works of Leo I. and also of Prosper Aquitanus, but deviates from the views of the latter. Comp. Quesnel’s learned Dissertationes de auctore libri de vocatione gentium, in the second part of his edition of Leo’s works, and also Wiggers, ii. p. 218 ff.

1886   He wrote De veritate praedestinationis et gratiae Dei, three libb. against Faustus. He uses in these the expression praedestinatio duplex, but understands by the second praedestinatio the praedestination to damnation, not to sin, and censures those who affirmed a predestination to sin. Yet he expressly consigned to damnation all unbaptized children, even such as die in their mother’s womb. Comp. Wiggers, ii. p. 378.

1887   Comp. the transactions of the Concilium Arausicanum, the twenty-five Capitula, and the Symbolum in the Opera Aug. ed. Bened. Appendix to tom. x. 157 sqq.; in Mansi, tom. viii. p. 712 sqq.; and in Hefele, ii. p. 704 ff. The Benedictine editors trace back the several Capitula to their sources in the works of Augustine, Prosper, and others.

1888   The Acts of the synod of Valence, in the metropolitan province of Vienne, held in the same year or in 530, have been lost. Pagi, and the common view, place this synod after the synod of Orange, Hefele, on the contrary (ii. 718), before it. But we have no decisive data.

1889   "Arbitrium voluntatis in primo homine in infirmatum" (not "amissum").

1890   There are then meritorious works. "Debetur merces bonis operibus, si fiant, sed gratia quae non debetur praecedit, ut fiant" Chap. 18 taken from Augustine’s Opus imperf. c. Jul. i. c. 133 and from the Sentences of Prosper Aquitanus, n. 297. But, on the other hand, Augustine also says: "Merita nostra sunt Dei munera."

1891   In the Latin original, the Epilogus reads as follows (Aug. Opera, tom. x. Appendix, f. 159 sq.):

"Ac sic secundum suprascriptas sanctarum scripturarum Bententias vel antiquerum patrum definitiones hoc, Deo propitiante, et praedicare debemus et credere, quod per peccatum primi hominis its inclinatum et attenuatum fuerit liberum arbitrium, ut nullus postea aut diligere Deum sicut oportuit, aut credere in Deum, aut operari propter Deum quod bonum eat, possit, nisi gratia cum et misericordia divina praevenerit. Unde Abel justo et Noe, et Abrahae, et Isaac, et Jacob, et omni antiquorum sanctorum multitudini illam praeclaram fidem, quam in ipsorum laude praedicat apostolus Paulus, non per bonum naturae, quod prius in Adam datum fuerat, sed per gratiam Dei credimus fuisse collatam. Quam gratiam etiam post adventum Domini omnibus qui baptizari desiderant, non in libero arbitrio haberi, sed Christi novimus simul et credimus largitate conferri, secundum illud quod jam supra dictum est, et quod praedicat Paulus apostolus: Vobis donatum est pro Christo non solum ut in eum credatis, sed etiam ut pro illopatiamini (Phil. i. 29); et illud: Deus qui caepit in vobis bonum opus, perficiet usque in diem Domini nostri Jesu Christi (Phil. i. 6); et illud: Gratia salvi facti estis per fidem, et hoc non ex vobis, Dei enim donum est (Ephes. ii. 8); et quod de se ipso ait apostolus: Misericordiam consecutus sum ut fidelis essem (1 Cor. vii. 29); non dixit quia eram, sed ut essem; et illud: Quid habes quod non accepisti? (1 Cor. iv. 7); et illud: Omne datum bonum et omne donum perfectum de sursum est, descendens a Patre luminum (Jac. i. 17); et illud: Nemo habet quidquam boni, nisi illi datum fuerit de super (Joann. iii. 23). Innumerabilia sunt sanctarum scripturarum testimonia quae possunt ad probandam gratiam proferri, sed brevitatis studio praetermissa sunt, quia et revera cui pauca non sufficiunt plura non proderunt.

" Hoc etiam secundum fidem catholicam credimus, quod accepta per baptismum gratia, omnes baptizati, Christo auxilante et coöperante, quae ad salutem animae pertinent, possint et debeant, si fideliter laborare voluerint, adimplere.

"Aliquos vero ad malum divina potestate praedestinatos esse non serum non credimus, sed etiam si sunt, qui tantum malum credere velint cum omni detestatione illis anathema dicimus.

Hoc etiam salubriter profitemur et credimus, quod in omni opere bono non nos incipimus et postea per Dei misericordiam adjuvamur, sed ipse nobis, nullis praecedentibus bonis meritis, et fidem et amorem sui prius inspirat, ut et baptismi sacramenta fideliter requiramus, et post baptismum cum ipsius adjutorio ea quae sibi sunt placita implere possimus. Unde manifestissime credendum est, quod et illius latronis, quem Dominus ad paradisi patriam revocavit, et Cornelii centurionis, ad quem angelus Domini missus est, et Zachaei, qui ipsum Dominum suscipere meruit, illa tam admirabilis fides non fuit de natum, sed divinae largitatis donum.

" Et quia definitionem antiquoram patrum nostamque, quae suprascripta est, non solum religiosis, sed etiam laicis medicamentum esse, et desideramus et cupimus: placuit ut eam etiam illustres ac magnifici viri, qui nobiscum ad praefatam festivitatem convenerunt, propria manu subscriberent."

Then follow the names of fourteen bishops (headed by Caesarius) and eight laymen (headed by Petrus Marcellinus Felix Liberius, vir clarissimus et illustris Praefectus Praetorii Galliarum atque Patricius).

1892   This undoubtedly takes for granted, that Augustine did not teach this; and in fact he taught only a predestination of the wicked to perdition, not a predestination to sin.

1893   Comp. respecting the further history of anthropology Wiggers: Schicksale der augustinischen Anthropologie von der Verdammung des Semipelagianismus auf den Synoden zu Orange und Valence, 529, bis zur Reaction des Mönchs Gottschalk für den Augustinimus, in Niedner’s "Zeitschrift für Hist. Theologie," 1854, p. 1 ff.