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anathematized those who said that the Father, exclusive of the Son and Spirit, was the one God. *
SECTION I. The Doctrine of the perfect Equality of all the Persons in the
Trinity. To shew how far the sentiments and language of the orthodox fathers changed after the Council of Nice, I shall produce passages from the most celebrated of them, in which they express their opinion with respect to the perfect equality of the Son to the Father, or that of all the three persons to each other.
Whereas it had been the universal language, from which no person thought himself at liberty to depart, to say that the Father was the one true God, it was now the custom to say, that the Trinity was the one God. This is the constant language of Austin. Speaking of the immensity of the divine nature, he says, “ So is the Father, so is the Son, so is the Holy Spirit, so is the Trinity, one God.”Accordingly, in explaining the saying of our Saviour, (Matt
. xix. 17,] There is none good but one, that is God,” he says,
" It is not said, that there is none good but the Father, but there is none good but God. By the term Father is meant the Father, but by the term God is meant the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit; for the Trinity is the one God.”
6 The Trinity is the one only God, good, great, eternal, omnipotent, who is to himself unity, deity, magnitude, goodness, omnipotence.”§ Leo the Great says, “ The wliole Trinity together is one God."|| This doctrine is also asserted in the large creed ascribed, but very unjustly, to Gregory Thaumaturgus.
Also, whereas the Son had formerly been said to be infe
* Η παλιν υπεξελoμενος τον υιον και το πνεύμα το άγιον ως μονον υπονοησαι τον πατερα Θεον λεγεσθαι, η μη πιςεύεσθαι ενα Θεον, αναθεμα εςω. Τheodoreti, Hist. L. ν. p. 211. (P.)
+ “ Ita Pater, ita Filius, ita Spiritus Sanctus, ita Trinitas unus Deus." Epist. Jvii. Opera, II. p. 274. (P.)
1 “Non ait nemo honus nisi solus Pater, sed nemo bonus nisi solus Deus, in Patris enim
nomine, ipse per se Pater, pronunciatur, in Dei vero et ipse, et Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus, quia Trinitas unus Deus." De Trinitate, L. v. C. viii. Opera, III. p. 320. (P.)
g“ Et hæc Trinitas unus Deus, Deus solus, bonus, magnus, æternus, omnipotens; ipse sibi unitas, deitas, magnitudo, bonitas, omnipotentia." Ibid. L. v. Sect. v. C. xi. Opera, III. p. 322. (P.)
ll « Tota simul Trinitas est unus Deus." Ser. Ixxv. Opera, p. 160. (P.) 1 Opera, p. 19. (P.)
rior to the Father in his highest or divine nature, as having been derived from him, the language now was, that, with respect to his divine nature, he was perfectly equal to the Father, and inferior only with respect to his human nature; and this is the language that continues to be held to this day. “The Father,” says a writer whose work has been ascribed to Athanasius, is said in the Scriptures to be greater than the Son ; but it is neither in magnitude, in time, nor in nature; but as the father of a son made man; and on account of his being made man, he is less than the angels.” * “ Whatever mean things,” says Athanasius bimself, “ are said of Christ, they respect that state of poverty which he assumed, that we might be made rich, and must not give occasion to blaspheme the Son of God.”+ “ The Father," says Ambrose, 16
gave the revelation to Christ as a man.” He adds, that “the Son likewise gave it to himself, viz. his divinity to his humanity.” “ The Father," says Theophylact, “is the God of Christ, according to his humanity, and his father according to his divinity.”S
This new doctrine furnished the orthodox with a short and easy answer to every objection that could be made to the divinity of Christ, from his being represented as a mere man in the Scriptures. “All the low phrases," says Theodoret, “we apply to Christ as a man, and the lofty ones as God; and this demonstration of the truth is very convenient to us."|| This language is frequent with Chrysostom. But the convenience which these writers so much boast of was unknown to their ancestors in orthodoxy, who always supposed, as truth and common sense require, that whenever Christ is spoken of, his whole nature, and not a part of it only, was intended. On this principle Irenæus argued with the Gnostics.
When the doctrine of Christ being the creator of the world was first advanced, he was represented as having
Μειζων και πατηρ το υιου γεγραπται, ουτε δε ογκω, ουτε χρονω, ουτε φυσει, αλλ' ως πατηρ υιου ενανθρωπήσαντος δια δε την ενανθρωπησιν και των αγΓελων ηλατίωσθαι αυτον heyai & atosodos. De Trinitate, Dial. ii. Opera, Il. p. 188. (P.)
* Οσα ουν ευτελη ρηματα υπο του κυριο ειρηται, τη πτωχεια αυτα διαφερει, ένα ημεις εν αυτοις πλατησωμεν, εχ ένα ημεις εν αυτοις βλασφημήσωμεν κατα τη δια τα Θεου. De Humana Natura, Opera, I. p. 599. (P.)
I“ Apocalypsis, revelatio vel manifestatio interpretatur. Quod revelationis donum et Pater Filio dedit, secundum quod homo erat, et Filius sibimet ipse, divinitas scilicet homiui quem assumpsit." In Apoc. C. i. Opera, V. p. 365. (P.)
και Θεος μεν γαρ τα Χριςου, κατα το ανθρωπινον πατηρ δε κατα την θεοτητα. In Rom. C. xv. Opera, Il. p. 144. (P.)
Η Νυν γαρ τους μεν ταπεινους των λογων ως ανθρωπο προσαπίομεν, τους δε υψηλους και θεοπρεπεις ως Θεω, και ευπρεπης αγαν ήμιν εςιν ή της αληθειας αποδειξις. Εpist. xxi. Opera, 111. p. 916. (P.)
created all things by the order of the Father. But now this was not thought to be sufficient. Idacius, writing against Varimadus, the Arian, does not admit that the Son made the world by the Father's order, but says, that he did it “ by his own power and will, and that he governs them by his provi. dence;" proving this from Isaiah, “ Thus saith the Lord,
I have made the earth by my word, and created man upon it.
Also, whereas it had been said that the Son was the servant of the Father, and ministered to him, it was now observed that this service was reciprocal. “ The Father," says Cyril of Alexandria, “ ministers to the Son, as the Psalmist says, Sit thou at my right hand, till I make thine enemies thy footstool.”+
On this idea of the perfect equality of the Son to the Father, Chrysostom observes, that sometimes the name of Christ is placed before that of the Father.” I
It had been thought to be peculiar to the Father to be invisible; but Cerealis says, “ The Son is invisible, because none can know him but the Father.”S
The principles of the later and more rigid doctrine of the Trinity are most clearly expressed in what is called the Athanasian Creed, whoever was the author of it.
We are there told, “ There is one hypostasis of the Father, another of the Son, and another of the Holy Spirit; but there is one deity of the Father, Son, and Spirit, their glory equal, their majesty co-eternal. Such as the Father is, such is the Son, and such the Holy Spirit." || The importance of holding this absurd faith was deemed to be so great, that the same creed, having pronounced this to be the Catholic faith, denounces, that " if any person does not hold it wholly and
• « Si tibi dixerint: Quia Filius jussione Patris fecit, quæ facta sunt. Resp. Non ut ipse adstruis Filium jussione Patris fecisse, quæ facta sunt, sed suo imperio et voluntate universa creavit, quæ creanda fore providentia sua perspexit, Esaia propheta dicente: Hæc dicit Dominus: Ego feci sermone meo terram, et hominem super eam, ego solidavi cælum manu, ego omnibus sideribus mandavi, ut luceant in cælo." Bib. Pat. V. p. 380. (P.)
t“ Pater vero ministrat Filio, ut canit Psalmista : Sede à dextris meis, donec ponem inimicos tuos scabellum pedum tuorum. Si ergo Pater, quamvis ministret Filio, minor tamen ipso propterea non est : nec Filius quia Patri subjicitur, minor Patre putandus est." Thesaurus, C. viii. Opera, ll. p. 304. (P.)
t Ει γαρ καλαδεεςερος ο υιος δια το μετα πατερα κεισθαι, επειδη ενταυθα απο τα Χριςου αρξαμενος και απος ολος επι τον πατερα έρχεται, τι αν ειπoιεν. in Gal. i. Opera, X. p. 964. (P.)
« Quia invisibilis est Filius sic docetur: Nemo novit Filium nisi Pater, neque Patrem quis novit nisi Filius." Bib. Pat. V. p. 451. (P.)
Η Αλλη γαρ εςιν ή το σατρος υποςασις, αλλη τα υιο, και αλλη το άγιο πνευματος". αλλα πατρος και νιου και αγιου πνευματος μια εςι θεολης, ιση δοξα, συνδιαιωνιζουσα η μεγαλειοθης διος ο παθηρ, τοιουλος και ο υιος, τοιουτον και το πνευμα το άγιον.-Αντη εςιν η καθολικη πισις, ήν ει μη τις πιςως τε και βεβαιως πιςευση, σωληναι ου δυνησείαι, Athanasii, Opera, Il. p. 32. (P.)
undefiled, he must, without doubt, perish everlastingly.” The style of this Athanasian Creed occurs in Austin on the Trinity, where he says, that “ each of the three persons is God, yet there are not three Gods. Each of them is great and good, and yet there are not three that are great or good, but only one.”+
I shall now proceed with my extracts from the orthodox fathers, in which their agreement with the principles of this creed, and their disagreement with those of the Antenicene fathers, will be still more apparent.
“ The Trinity,” says Austin, “ is of one and the same nature and substance, not less in each than in all, nor greater in all than in each ; as great in the Father only, or in the Son only, as in the Father and the Son together; and as great in the Holy Spirit alone, as in the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. Nor did the Father demean himself that he might generate a Son out of himself; but he so generated another self out of himself, that he remained wholly in himself, and was in the Son as much as when he was alone.” I
“ The Son,” says Basil, “ is all that the Father is. “ There is,” says Gregory Nyssen, “a whole Father in a whole Son, and a whole Son in a whole Father.”|| This writer expresses his idea of the importance of this mysterious doctrine in the following manner: “ If the confession of the Holy Trinity be useless, all the institutions of the church are absurd; baptism, confession of sin, obedience to the commands, good morals, temperance, justice, moderation, fortitude. ”
• Ην ει μη τις υγιη και αμωμον τηρησειεν, πασης αμφιβολιας εκτος, εις τον αιωνα atoheila.. Athanasii, Opera, 11. p. 32. (P.) + “
“ Ut quicquid de singulis ad seipsos dicit, non pluraliter in summa sed singulariter accipiatur. Quemadmodum enim Paler Deus est, et Filius Deus est, et Spiritus Sanctus Deus est, quod secundum substantiam dici nemo dubitat, non tameu tres Deos, sed unum Deum dicimus eandem ipsam præstantissimam Trinitatem : ita magnus Pater, maguus Filius, magnus Spiritus Sanctus, non tamen tres magni, sed unus magnus. Non enim de Patre solo, sicut illi perversi sentiunt, sed de Patre et Filio et Spiritu Sancto scriptum est, Tu es Deus solus magnus; et bonus Pater, bonus Filius, bonus Spiritus Sanctus, nec tres boui, sed unus est bonus, de quo dictum est : Nemo bonus nisi solus Deus." L. 4. C. viii. Opera, III. p. 320. (P.)
1 " Hæc Trinitas una est ejusdemque naturæ atque substantiæ, non minor in singulis, quam in omnibus: nec major in omnibus, quam in singulis, sed tanta in solo Patre vel in solo Filio, quanta in Patre simul et Filio ; et tanta in solo Spiritu Sancto, quanta simul in Patre et Filio et Spiritu Sancto. Neque enim Pater ut haberet Filium de seipso, minuit seipsum, sed ita genuit de se alterum se, ut totus maneret in se, et esset in Filio tantus quantus et solus." Epist. Ixvi., Opera, Il. p. 319. (P.)
§ Tarta w óra 1519 ó watap. De Fide, Opera, I. p. 430. (P.)
Η Ει δε όλος ο πατηρ εν όλο το υιω, και όλος ο γιος εν όλω το πατρι. Opera, II. p. 901. (P.)
Η Ει γαρ αχρησος μεν ή των σεμνων τε και τιμιων της αγιας τριαδος ονομαλων ομολογια, M. Caleca, " is a whole God, the Son a whole God, and the Spirit a whole God.”** According to this language, it would certainly have been most natural to say, that there were three Gods; and this, indeed, is sometimes tacitly acknowledged ; but the Scriptures having expressly asserted the contrary, these writers could not do it in words. “ To say that there are more Gods than one,” says Hilary, " is irreligious.” tt ανονηλα δε τα εθη εκκλησιας εν δε τοις εθεσι τετοις εςιν η σφραγις, η προσευχη, το βαπτισμα, η των αμαρίιων εξαγορευσις, η περι τας ενθολας προθυμια, η περι το ηθος καιορθωσις, το κατα σωφροσυνην βιον, το προς το δικαιον βλεπεις, το μη ταις επιθυμίαις εθιζεσθαι, μηίε ηδονης ητίασθαι, μηδε αρελης απολειπεσθαι. Contra Eunomium, Or. x. Opera, II. p. 277. (P.)
“ Whoever,” says Gregory Nazianzen, “ maintains any of the three persons to be inferior to the other, overturns the whole Trinity.”* Jerome says, that “since Christ is the power of God, and the wisdom of God, he has all the Father's perfections.”+ Chrysostom gives the preference to the Father only in name.
" ( name the Father first,” says he, “ not on account of his rank, but because he is the Father of the onlybegotten ;” and at the same time, he says, that “ there is nothing improper in naming the Son before the Father.” † “There is no difference," says Theodoret, “ between the Father and the Son, but in generating and being generated, in emitting and proceeding.” “ If any one," says Pope Damasus, “ does not say that the Father, Son, and Spirit, have one godhead, power, dominion, glory, and authority, one kingdom, one will, and one truth, let him be anathema.”l)
“ The Son," says Ambrose, “ knows the will of the Father, and the Father that of the Son; and the Son hears the Father always, and the Father the Son, by an union of nature, will, and substance." "4
- The Father,” says
• Και ό, τι αν των τριων καλωθωμεν, το σαν καθαιρειν νομιζομεν. Οr. xx. Opera, p. 338. (P.)
+ “ Cùm enim Christus Dei virtus sit, deique sapientia, omnes in se virtutes continet Patris." In Esaiam, L. xii. Opera, IV. p. 140. (P.)
1 Λεγω πατερα πρωίον, ου τη ταξει πρωτον, αλλα τη εννοια, επειδη γεννηθωρ του μονογενες, επειδη η ριζα τα άγια καρπε. Αρα ει τις ειολμησεν ειπειν εν εκκλησια, ο Χριςος υμας ευλογησει, και ο πατηρ αυλα, εχ ως αλακτος ενομιζείο. Ser. iv. Opera, VI, p. 34. (Ρ.)
6 Α. Ουκ εςιν ουν διαφορα πατρος, και υιο, και αγια πνευμαίος και Ο. Εν τη φυσει ου" εν τω θελημαίι ου εν τω γενναν και γεννασθαι, και εκπεμπειν και εκπορεύεσθαι, ναι. Dial. Adv. Ånomæos, Opera, V. p. 275. (P.)
| Ει τις μη ειπη του πατρος, και του υιο, και του άγιο πνευματο, μιαν θεοληλα, εξεσιαν, δυναρειαν μιαν, δοξαν, κυριοληλα μιαν, βασιλειαν μιαν, θελησιν, και αληθειαν, αναθημα
Theodoreti, Hist. L. v. C. x. p. 211. (P.) I “Scit autem semper Filius voluntatem Patris, et Pater Filii, et audit Patrem Filius semper, et Pater Filium per unitatem naturæ, voluntatis atque substantiæ." Hex. L. ii. Opera, I. p. 22. (P.)
* * Και γαρ ο πατηρ Θεος ολος, και ο υιος Θεος ολος, και το πνευμα το άγιον Θεος όλος. Combefis Auctuarium, Il. p. 203. (P.)
tt “ Quia et Deos dici irreligiosum est." L. X. p. 271. (P.)