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Though it be not expressly spoken,' he says, “in the Scripture, that the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Son, yet the substance of the same truth is virtually contained there; because those very expressions which are spoken of the Holy Ghost in relation to the Father, for that reason, because He proceedeth from the Father, are also spoken of the same Spirit in relation to the Son; and therefore there must be the same reason presupposed in reference to the Son, which is expressed in reference to the Father. Because the Spirit proceedeth from the Father, therefore is it called the Spirit of God, and the Spirit of the Father (Matt. x, 20); now the same Spirit is also called the Spirit of the Son. If, then, the Holy Spirit be called the Spirit of God, and the Father, because He proceedeth from the Father; it followeth, that being also called the Spirit of the Son, He proceedeth from the Son.
• Again, because the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Father, He is therefore sent by the Father, as from Him who hath, by the original communication, the rigbt of mission : but the same Spirit which is sent by the Father, is also sent by the Son. ... Therefore the Son hath the same right of mission with the Father; and, consequently, must be acknowledged to have communicated the same essence. l'he Father is never sent by the Son, because He received not the Godhead from Him: but the Father seudeth the Son, because He communicated the Godhead to Him. In the same manner, neither the Father, nor the Son, is ever sent by the Holy Ghost; because neither of them received the Divine nature from the Spirit; but both the Father, and Son, sendeth the Holy Ghost, because the Divine nature, common to both the Father and the Son, was communicated by tbem both to the Holy Ghost. As, therefore, the Scriptures declare expressly that the Spirit proceedeth from the Father, so do they virtually teach that He proceedeth from the Son
From whence it came to pass in the primitive times, that the Latin Fathers taught expressly the procession of the Spirit from the Father and the Son, because, by good consequence, they did collect so much from those passages of the Scripture which we have used to prove that truth. And the Greek Fathers, though they stuck more closely to the phrase and language of the Scripture, saying, that the Spirit proceedeth from the Father, and not saying, that He proceedeth from the Son ; yet they acknowledged under another Scripture expression the same thing which the Latins understand by procession, viz. that the Spirit is of or from the Son, as He is of and from the Father; and, therefore, usually when they said, He proceedeth from the Father, they also added, He received of the Son. The interpretation of which words, according to the Latins, inferred a procession; and that which the Greeks did understand thereby, was the same which the Latins meant by the Procession from the Son, that is the receiving of His Essence from Him. That, as the Son is God of God by being of the Father, So the Holy Ghost is God of God by being of the Father and the Son, as receiving that infinite and Eternal Essence from them both.'?
Lastly, the subject, as might be expected, came under discussion at the Council held at Florence, at which the Easterns and Westerns met, in the year 1439, in the hope of putting an end to their differences. In this Council, the whole controversy was put on more definite grounds, was narrowed, and made more
· Peter Lombard uses a like argument: Cum non sit aliud Spiritum Sanctum esse Patris vel Filii, quam esse a Patre et Filio, etiam in hoc in eandem nobis fidei sententiam convenire videntur, licet in verbis dissentiant.'-Lib. i. distinct. xi.
2 Oxford 1833. Vol. i. pp. 5464548.
exact. Having admitted that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son quoad Essentiam, the Easterns proceeded to inquire of the Latins whether, when they said they believed the Holy Ghost to be from the Father, they meant from the Person of the Father; and when they said that they believed Him to be from the Son, they meant from the Person of the Son; and when they said they believed Him to be from both Father and Son, they believed Him to be from the Persons of both ? To which the Westerns replied that they did.
To this the Easterns subsequently objected; saying, that when the Fathers of the Church say the Holy Ghost is a Patre et Filio, we are not to understand that he is from the Person of the Father, or the Son, or both, but from their substance :-adding, that when He is spoken of as of the Father, the words must be understood to refer to the Person of the Father; when He is spoken of as of the Father, and the Son, it must be taken to mean that He is of their One Essence, and not of the Two Persons. The Westerns then received those words,— The Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son,' in a simple and consistent sense, as meaning that He is of the Essence and Person of both; but the Easterns, to support their doctrine, were compelled to raise the arbitrary distinction, that the word 'of' is to be taken in a different sense when used of the Father to that which it bears when applied to the Son, including the Person of the former but excluding it of the latter.
The question, then, at this last great formal meeting of the members of the Church of the East and West, was so far narrowed to this:—Was the procession ab æterno of the Holy Ghost from One Person of the Holy Trinity only, the Father, or from Two Persons, the Father and Son, and that from one Principle and Spiration only, or from two ? There was no longer any question as to whether there was any division or diversity of Essence : as if proceeding from the Essence of the Father, the Holy Ghost did not also proceed from the Essence of the Son; whereby the consequence must inevitably be, that the Essence of the Son, and the Holy Ghost, must necessarily be inferior to that of the Father; and so room be gained for the admission of the heresies of Arius and Macedonius:--but, simply, was the virtus spirativa,' by which the Holy Ghost was breathed, common to, and exercised by, both Father and Son as Persons ? This we maintain to be a question which no (Ecumenical Council can rule, because the very fact of there being division of opinion in the Church upon it, shows that there is no uniform Apostolical tradition, which such a Council can declare; and whether it be affirmed with the West, or be denied with the East, there will equally be a difficulty. In the former case, Mr. Palmer says, 'If one numerical act' (the Procession of the Holy Ghost) be ascribed to two Persons as such, ‘it seems that either two Persons are confounded together into
one, or they act as two distinct principles' (p. 161). In the latter, the Westerns would maintain, as was said at Florence, that the Holy Ghost being that by which the Son forms us to His own image, He must have His esse from the Son; and that, whereas He receives from the Son, He could receive nothing as wanting it, and therefore what he does receive, He receives ab æterno, i. e. His Procession: that the virtus spirativa a quo spiratur Spiritus Sanctus' is given to the Son by the Father ab æterno, that the Son works by the Holy Ghost by whom He offered Himself (Heb. ix. 14), and that when one works by another, the latter has his virtus operativa' from the former : this virtus operativa’ is allowed by the Fathers to be the Godhead; and when the Greeks say that the Holy Ghost is from the Father through the Son, or that the Father breathes the Holy Ghost through the Son, it must be that the Holy Ghost has His esse from the Son.
Moreover, it might be urged, against the Eastern method of explaining from the Son' to mean from his Essence alone, that, as they cannot, in fact, separate the Son's Person from His Essence, they must, in the Procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son, either include the one or exclude the other; but, that, since the Holy Ghost, being the third in order, confessedly proceeds from the Son's Essence (for this the Easterns confessed in the 15th Session of Florence), He must also proceed from His Person; for the Son having been begotten second in order to the Father, and existing a perfect Son with an Essence and a Person, the Holy Ghost proceeding from the Essence of the Son must also proceed from His Person. If not, how can He, in any true sense, be termed the Spirit of the Son? The Spirit of the Son's Essence He might indeed be, but not the Spirit of the Son : that which makes the Son to be the Son being His Personality as having been begotten by the Father, added to his Essence.
This, indeed, seems to have struck Petavius, who thus speaks on the subject :
- The Holy Ghost does not proceed from two Persons, as They are two, and different, but as they agree in one and the same “ proprietas,” and so neither does the Father, qua the Father, produce the Holy Ghost, nor the Son qua the Son .... but as both have the same substance and the same “ virtus spirandi” and “ proprietas," They, as One Principle, produce the Holy Ghost. Thus, there is neither any confusion of Persons, since each consists “suâ proprietate," which distinguishes Him from another, nor a multiplicity of principles, since in that way They are a Principle and produce the Holy Ghost, in which 'They are one, and in no manner different
clude that this Essence and the discussion at maiority of the
“ invicem." :... It is ridiculous for one who confesses the Holy Ghost to be of the Son, and the Son's Essence, to deny that He is of the Son's Person, for the Son is nothing else but the Person of the Son; as he who says that Seth was born of Adam, means nothing but of the person of Adam, for Adam is the person of Adam.''
It would appear, too, that the cause is not so wholly closed against the Latins as to deprive them of all grounds for their doctrine even from the pages of the Easterns. Thus, when we find S. Athanasius saying, as we have done, that “the Son is the Fountain of the Holy Ghost,' and S. Cyril and S. Epiphanius, that 'the Holy Ghost is the Son,' we perceive, even at that early period, an indication of something like an approach to the doctrine of the West. And as they do not separate, in a thing done, the Essence of the Son from His Person, but that is a distinction laid down subsequently, and confined, as it appears, to this particular question, we have no right to conclude that they meant anything contrary to a Procession of the Holy Ghost in Essence and Person, from the Son in Essence and Person. The result of the discussion at Florence of this great question is said to have been, that a majority of the Greeks, who had, as yet, given no opinion on the subject, repaired to the Emperor and the Patriarch of Constantinople, expressing their desire to follow the truth, now that God had revealed it to them; to which the Patriarch, who was most earnestly bent on the Union, willingly assented. They, then, with the consent also of the Emperor, united with the Latins in the following formula :
Since in this holy Ecumenical Synod, by the Grace of Almighty God, we, both Latins and Greeks, have met together for the purpose of bringing about a holy Union among ourselves, and have carefully, and mutually, taken pains that the Article on the Procession of the Holy Ghost should be discussed with great diligence and careful investigation, and testimonies have been produced from the Holy Scriptures, and many authorities of the Holy Doctors of East and West, some of whom say, that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son, and others from the Father through the Son; we Greeks, perceiving the same meaning to be contained in these different expressions, affirm that, in saying that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father, we do not so say with any intention of excluding the Son; but it was because we supposed the Latins to assert that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son, as if from two Principles and two Spirations, tbat we avoided saying that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son.
* And we Latins declare, that when we say that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son, we do not so say with the intention of excluding the Father, as if He were not the Principle of the whole Divinity, that is, of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, or of asserting that the Son has it not from the Father that the Holy Ghost proceeds from Him, or that there are two Principles or two Spirations; but we declare, as we have done hitherto, that there is one Principle and one Spiration only.'
| De Trinitate, lib. xvii. c. xy. SS. 9, 14.
They then agreed to the following Confession, in which, if they have not succeeded in laying down a full and perfect bond of unity at once, they may at least be found, at some future period, to have done a good deal towards the formation of one:
“In the name, therefore, of the Holy Trinity, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, we, Latins and Greeks, agree and assent to this Union, boly and beloved of God, with the same soul and the same mind, that all Christians may agree in and receive this true faith. And we thus profess that the Holy Ghost is of the Father and of the Son from eternity, and proceeds from eternity from both, as if from one Principle and one Spiration; declaring that the saying of the Holy Doctors and Fathers, that “the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father, through the Son," tends to this meaning and signification, that the Son is also, according to the Greeks, the cause, but, according to the Latins, the Principle of the subsistence of the Holy Ghost, as is also the Father; and, since all things which are the Father's, the Father Himself gives to His only-begotten Son in begetting Him, except only that He should be the Father, the Son Himself also has from eternity of the Father, by wbom also He was begotten from eternity, this same thing that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son.'
This confession the Patriarch of Constantinople, then very near his end, signed with his own hand, soon after which he died, and was buried in the Church of S. Mary of Novella, where the apostolical palace stands.
Thus, the narrowness of the real question at issue, and the dignity of the two Councils which framed the Creed, increases the guilt of Pope Nicholas, who first sanctioned the interpolation of it; and, of course, whilst that interpolation remains, and the onus of the division with it so greatly rests with the West, we cannot hope or expect that the East will abandon her present position towards her overbearing sister. We conclude this branch of our subject with Mr. Palmer's masterly summary of the theological merits of the question, and his conclusion drawn from them. As to the Latin doctrine:
"1. That when the expression of the Holy Ghost proceeding “ also from the Son" was first noticed and objected against by the Greeks, the Latins explained it away or dissembled it, instead of openly insisting on it as truth. Again, II. That when, at length, they had all received it themselves, the Latins attempted to force it into the Creed, and to impose it on the Church at large, by overbearing violence, not by an @cumenical Council. Again, III. That in seeking to impose it upon the Easterns, the Latins, generally, hare rested it upon manifestly false grounds, as upon the ground of unbroken and explicit tradition. Again, IV. That a vast multitude of passages, formerly alleged by the Latins, both from Greek and Latin Fathers, have been proved either to be interpolations altogether, or to have been corrupted. Lastly, V. That some of the texts most insisted on by the Latins at the Council of Florence, and shown afterwards, by Zoernikaff, to have been corrupted, have, since Zoernikaff wrote, been surrendered, even by Latin editors; so that the Greek cause, as respects the critical examination of passages, 'has gained materially in strength since the
1 Harduin, vol. ix. p. 953.