§ 137. Catholic Orthodoxy.


I. Sources: The doctrinal and polemical writings of the ante-Nicene fathers, especially Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Hippolytus, Tertullian, Cyprian, Clement Of Alex., and Origen.

II. Literature: The relevant sections in the works on Doctrine History by Petravius, Münscher, Neander, Giesler, Baur, Hagenbach, Shedd, Nitzsch, Harnack (first vol. 1886; 2d ed. 1888).

Jos. Schwane (R.C.): Dogmengeschichte der vornicänischen Zeit. Münster, 1862.

Edm. De Pressensé: Heresy and Christian Doctrine, transl. by Annie Harwood. Lond. 1873.

The special literature see below. Comp. also the Lit. in Ch. XIII.


By the wide-spread errors described in the preceding chapter, the church was challenged to a mighty intellectual combat, from which she came forth victorious, according to the promise of her Lord, that the Holy Spirit should guide her into the whole truth. To the subjective, baseless, and ever-changing speculations, dreams, and fictions of the heretics, she opposed the substantial, solid realities of the divine revelation. Christian theology grew, indeed, as by inward necessity, from the demand of faith for knowledge. But heresy, Gnosticism in particular, gave it a powerful impulse from without, and came as a fertilizing thunder-storm upon the field. The church possessed the truth from the beginning, in the experience of faith, and in the Holy Scriptures, which she handed down with scrupulous fidelity from generation to generation. But now came the task of developing the substance of the Christian truth in theoretical form 934fortifying it on all sides, and presenting it in clear light before the understanding. Thus the Christian polemic and dogmatic theology, or the church’s logical apprehension of the doctrines of salvation, unfolded itself in this conflict with heresy; as the apologetic literature and martyrdom had arisen through Jewish and heathen persecution.

From this time forth the distinction between catholic and heretical, orthodoxy and heterodoxy, the faith of the church and dissenting private opinion, became steadily more prominent. Every doctrine which agreed with the holy scriptures and the faith of the church, was received as catholic; that is, universal, and exclusive.935  Whatever deviated materially from this standard, every arbitrary notion, framed by this or that individual, every distortion or corruption of the revealed doctrines of Christianity, every departure from the public sentiment of the church, was considered heresy..936

Almost all the church fathers came out against the contemporary heresies, with arguments from scripture, with the tradition of the church, and with rational demonstration, proving them inwardly inconsistent and absurd.

But in doing this, while they are one in spirit and purpose, they pursue two very different courses, determined by the differences between the Greek and Roman nationality, and by peculiarities of mental organization and the appointment of Providence. The Greek theology, above all the Alexandrian, represented by Clement and Origen, is predominantly idealistic and speculative, dealing with the objective doctrines of God, the incarnation, the trinity, and christology; endeavoring to supplant the false gnosis by a true knowledge, an orthodox philosophy, resting on the Christian pistis. It was strongly influenced by Platonic speculation in the Logos doctrine. The Latin theology, particularly the North African, whose most distinguished representatives are Tertullian and Cyprian, is more realistic and practical, concerned with the doctrines of human nature and of salvation, and more directly hostile to Gnosticism and philosophy. With this is connected the fact, that the Greek fathers were first philosophers; the Latin were mostly lawyers and statesmen; the former reached the Christian faith in the way of speculation, the latter in the spirit of practical morality. Characteristically, too, the Greek church built mainly upon the apostle John, pre-eminently the contemplative "divine;" the Latin upon Peter, the practical leader of the church. While Clement of Alexandria and Origen often wander away into cloudy, almost Gnostic speculation, and threaten to resolve the real substance of the Christian ideas into thin spiritualism, Tertullian sets himself implacably against Gnosticism and the heathen philosophy upon which it rests. "What fellowship," he asks, "is there between Athens and Jerusalem, the academy and the church, heretics and Christians?"  But this difference was only relative. With all their spiritualism, the Alexandrians still committed themselves to a striking literalism; while, in spite of his aversion to philosophy, Tertullian labored with profound speculative ideas which came to their full birth in Augustin.

Irenaeus, who sprang from the Eastern church, and used the Greek language, but labored in the West, holds a kind of mediating position between the two branches of the church, and may be taken as, on the whole, the most moderate and sound representative of ecclesiastical orthodoxy in the ante-Nicene period. He is as decided against Gnosticism as Tertullian, without overlooking the speculative want betrayed in that system. His refutation of the Gnosis, 937written between 177 and 192, is the leading polemic work of the second century. In the first book of this work Irenaeus gives a full account of the Valentinian system of Gnosis; in the second book be begins his refutation in philosophical and logical style; in the third, he brings against the system the catholic tradition and the holy, scriptures, and vindicates the orthodox doctrine of the unity of God, the creation of the world, the incarnation of the Logos, against the docetic denial of the true humanity of Christ and the Ebionitic denial of his true divinity; in the fourth book he further fortifies the same doctrines, and, against the antinomianism of the school of Marcion, demonstrates the unity of the Old and New Testaments; in the fifth and last book he presents his views on eschatology, particularly on the resurrection of the body—so offensive to the Gnostic spiritualism—and at the close treats of Antichrist, the end of the world, the intermediate state, and the millennium.

His disciple Hippolytus gives us, in the "Philosophumena," a still fuller account, in many respects, of the early heresies, and traces them up to, their sources in the heathen systems of philosophy, but does not go so deep into the exposition of the catholic doctrines of the church.

The leading effort in this polemic literature was, of course, to develop and establish positively the Christian truth; which is, at the same time, to refute most effectually the opposite error. The object was, particularly, to settle the doctrines of the rule of faith, the incarnation of God, and the true divinity and true humanity of Christ. In this effort the mind of the church, under the constant guidance of the divine word and the apostolic tradition, steered with unerring instinct between the threatening cliffs. Yet no little indefiniteness and obscurity still prevailed in the scientific apprehension and statement of these points. In this stormy time, too, there were as yet no general councils to, settle doctrinal controversy by the voice of the whole church. The dogmas of the trinity and the person of Christ, did not reach maturity and final symbolical definition until the following period, or the Nicene age.


Notes on Heresy.


The term heresy is derived from ai{resi" which means originally either capture (from aiJrevw), or election, choice (from aiJrevomai), and assumed the additional idea of arbitrary opposition to public opinion and authority. In the N. Test. it designates a chosen way of life, a school or sect or party, not necessarily in a bad sense, and is applied to the Pharisees, the Sadducees, and even the Christians as a Jewish sect (Acts 5:17; 15:5; 24:5, 14; 26:5; 28:22); then it signifies discord, arising from difference of opinion (Gal. 5:20; 1 Cor. 11:19); and lastly error (2 Pet. 2:1, aiJrevsei" ajpwleiva" destructive heresies, or sects of perdition). This passage comes nearest to the ecclesiastical definition. The term heretic (aiJretiko;" a[nqrwpo") occurs only once, Tit 3:10, and means a factious man, a sectary, a partisan, rather than an errorist.

Constantine the Great still speaks of the Christian church as a sect, hJ ai{resi" hJ kaqolikhv, hJ aJgiwtavth ai{resi" (in a letter to Chrestus, bishop of Syracuse, in Euseb, H. E. X. c. 5, § 21 and 22, in Heinichen’s ed. I, 491). But after him church and sect became opposites, the former term being confined to the one ruling body, the latter to dissenting minorities.

The fathers commonly use heresy of false teaching, in opposition to Catholic doctrine, and schism of a breach of discipline, in opposition to Catholic government. The ancient heresiologists—mostly uncritical, credulous, and bigoted, though honest and pious, zealots for a narrow orthodoxy—unreasonably multiplied the heresies by extending them beyond the limits of Christianity, and counting all modifications and variations separately. Philastrius or Philastrus, bishop. of Brescia or Brixia (d. 387), in his Liber de Haeresibus, numbered 28 Jewish and 128 Christian heresies; Epiphanius of Cyprus (d. 403), in his Panavrion. 80 heresies in all, 20 before and 60 after Christ; Augustin (d. 430), 88 Christian heresies, including Pelagianism; Proedestinatus, 90, including Pelagianism and Nestorianism. (Pope Pius IX. condemned 80 modern heresies, in his Syllabus of Errors, 1864.)  Augustin says that it is "altogether impossible, or at any rate most difficult" to define heresy, and wisely adds that the spirit in which error is held, rather than error itself, constitutes heresy. There are innocent as well as guilty errors. Moreover, a great many people are better than their creed or no-creed, and a great many are worse than their creed, however orthodox it may be. The severest words of our Lord were directed against the hypocritical orthodoxy of the Pharisees. In the course of time heresy was defined to be a religious error held in wilful and persistent opposition to the truth after it has been defined and declared by the church in an authoritative manner, or "pertinax defensio dogmatis ecclesiae universalis judicio condemnati." Speculations on open questions of theology are no heresies Origen was no heretic in his age, but was condemned long after his death.

In the present divided state of Christendom there are different kinds of orthodoxy and heresy. Orthodoxy is conformity to a recognized creed or standard of public doctrine; heresy is a wilful departure from it. The Greek church rejects the Roman dogmas of the papacy, of the double procession of the Holy Ghost, the immaculate conception of the Virgin Mary, and the infallibility of the Pope, as heretical, because contrary to the teaching of the first seven oecumenical councils. The Roman church anathematized, in the Council of Trent, all the distinctive doctrines of the Protestant Reformation. Evangelical Protestants on the other hand regard the unscriptural traditions of the Greek and Roman churches as heretical. Among Protestant churches again there are minor doctrinal differences, which are held with various degrees of exclusiveness or liberality according to the degree of departure from the Roman Catholic church. Luther, for instance, would not tolerate Zwingli’s view on the Lord’s Supper, while Zwingli was willing to fraternize with him notwithstanding this difference. The Lutheran Formula of Concord, and the Calvinistic Synod of Dort rejected and condemned doctrines which are now held with impunity in orthodox evangelical churches. The danger of orthodoxy lies in the direction of exclusive and uncharitable bigotry, which contracts the truth; the danger of liberalism lies in the direction of laxity and indifferentism, which obliterates the eternal distinction between truth and error.

The apostles, guided by more than human wisdom, and endowed with more than ecclesiastical authority, judged severely of every essential departure from the revealed truth of salvation. Paul pronounced the anathema on the Judaizing teachers, who made circumcision a term of true church membership (Gal. 1:8), and calls them sarcastically "dogs" of the "concision" (Phil. 3:2, blevpete tou;" kuvna" ... th'" katatomh'"). He warned the elders of Ephesus against "grievous wolves" (luvkoi barei'") who would after his departure enter among them (Acts 20:29); and he characterizes the speculations of the rising gnosis falsely so called (yeudwvnumo" gnw'si") as "doctrines of demons" (didaskalivai daimonivwn, 1 Tim. 4:1; Comp. 6:3–20; 2 Tim. 3:1 sqq.; 4:3 sqq.). John warns with equal earnestness and severity against all false teachers who deny the fact of the incarnation, and calls them antichrists (1 John 4:3; 2 John 7); and the second Epistle of Peter and the Epistle of Jude describe the heretics in the darkest colors.

We need not wonder, then, that the ante-Nicene fathers held the gnostic heretics of their days in the greatest abhorrence, and called them servants of Satan, beasts in human shape, dealers in deadly poison, robbers, and pirates. Polycarp (Ad Phil.c. 7), Ignatius (Ad Smyrn. c. 4), Justin M. (Apol. I. c. 26), Irenaeus (Adv. Haer. III. 3, 4), Hippolytus, Tertullian, even Clement of Alexandria, and Origen occupy essentially the same position of uncompromising hostility towards heresy is the fathers of the Nicene and post-Nicene ages. They regard it as the tares sown by the devil in the Lord’s field (Matt. 13:3–6 sqq). Hence Tertullian infers, "That which was first delivered is of the Lord and is true; whilst that is strange and false which was afterwards introduced" (Praescr. c. 31:  "Ex ipso ordine manifestatur, id esse dominicum et verum quod sit prius traditum, id autem extraneum et falsum quod sit posterius inmissum"). There is indeed a necessity for heresies and sects (1 Cor. 11:19), but "woe to that man through whom the offence cometh" (Matt. 18:7). "It was necessary," says Tertullian (ib. 30), "that the Lord should be betrayed; but woe to the traitor."

Another characteristic feature of patristic polemics is to trace heresy, to mean motives, such as pride, disappointed ambition, sensual lust, and avarice. No allowance is made for different mental constitutions, educational influences, and other causes. There are, however, a few noble exceptions. Origen and Augustin admit the honesty and earnestness at least of some teachers of error.

We must notice two important points of difference between the ante-Nicene and later heresies, and the mode of punishing heresy.

1. The chief ante-Nicene heresies were undoubtedly radical perversions of Christian truth and admitted of no kind of compromise. Ebionism, Gnosticism, and Manichaeism were essentially anti-Christian. The church could not tolerate that medley of pagan sense and nonsense without endangering its very existence. But Montanists, Novatians, Donatists, Quartodecimanians, and other sects who differed on minor points of doctrine or discipline, were judged more mildly, and their baptism was acknowledged.

2. The punishment of heresy in the ante-Nicene church was purely ecclesiastical, and consisted in reproof, deposition, and excommunication. It had no effect on the civil status.

But as soon as church and state began to be united, temporal punishments, such as confiscation of property, exile, and death, were added by the civil magistrate with the approval of the church, in imitation of the Mosaic code, but in violation of the spirit and example of Christ and the apostles. Constantine opened the way in some edicts against the Donatists, a.d. 316. Valentinian I. forbade the public worship of Manichaeans (371). After the defeat of the Arians by the second Œcumenical Council, Theodosius the Great enforced uniformity of belief by legal penalties in fifteen edicts between 381 and 394. Honorius (408), Arcadius, the younger Theodosius, and Justinian (529) followed in the same path. By these imperial enactments heretics, i.e. open dissenters from the imperial state-religion, were deprived of all public offices, of the right of public worship, of receiving or bequeathing properly, of making binding contracts; they were subjected to fines, banishment, corporeal punishment, and even death. See the Theos. Code, Book XVI. tit. V. De Haereticis. The first sentence of death by the sword for heresy was executed on Priscillian and six of his followers who held Manichaean opinions (385). The better feeling of Ambrose of Milan and Martin of Tours protested against this act, but in vain. Even the great and good St. Augustin, although he had himself been a heretic for nine years, defended the principle of religious persecution, on a false exegesis of Cogite eos intrare, Luke 14:23 (Ep. 93 ad Vinc.; Ep. 185 ad Bonif., Retract. II. 5.). Had he foreseen the crusade against the Albigenses and the horrors of the Spanish Inquisition, he would have retracted his dangerous opinion. A theocratic or Erastian state-church theory—whether Greek Catholic or Roman Catholic or Protestant—makes all offences against the church offences against the state, and requires their punishment with more or less severity according to the prevailing degree of zeal for orthodoxy and hatred of heresy. But in the overruling Providence of God which brings good out of every evil, the bloody persecution of heretics—one of the darkest chapters in church history—has produced the sweet fruit of religious liberty. See vol. III. 138–146.


 § 138. The Holy Scriptures and the Canon.


The works on the Canon by Reuss, Westcott, (6th ed., 1889), Zahn, (1888). Holtzmann: Kanon u. Tradition, 1859. Schaff: Companion to the Greek Testament and the English Version. N. York and London, 1883; third ed. 1888. Gregory: Prolegomena to Tischendorf’s 8th ed. of the Greek Test. Lips., 1884. A. Harnack: Das N. Test. um das jahr 200. Leipz., 1889.


The question of the source and rule of Christian knowledge lies at the foundation of all theology. We therefore notice it here before passing to the several doctrines of faith.

1. This source and this rule of knowledge are the holy scriptures of the Old and New Covenants.938  Here at once arises the inquiry as to the number and arrangement of the sacred writings, or the canon, in distinction both from the productions of enlightened but not inspired church teachers, and from the very numerous and in some cases still extant apocryphal works (Gospels, Acts, Epistles, and Apocalypses), which were composed in the first four centuries, in the interest of heresies or for the satisfaction of idle curiosity, and sent forth under the name of an apostle or other eminent person. These apocrypha, however, did not all originate with Ebionites and Gnostics; some were merely designed either to fill chasms in the history of Jesus and the apostles by fictitious stories, or to glorify Christianity by vaticinia post eventum, in the way of pious fraud at that time freely allowed.

The canon of the Old Testament descended to the church from the Jews, with the sanction of Christ and the apostles. The Jewish Apocrypha were included in the Septuagint and passed from it into Christian versions. The, New Testament canon was gradually formed, on the model of the Old, in the course of the first four centuries, under the guidance of the same Spirit, through whose suggestion the several apostolic books had been prepared. The first trace of it appears in 2 Peter 3:15, where a collection of Paul’s epistles939 is presumed to exist, and is placed by the side of "the other scriptures."940  The apostolic fathers and the earlier apologists commonly appeal, indeed, for the divinity of Christianity to the Old Testament, to the oral preaching of the apostles, to the living faith of the Christian churches, the triumphant death of the martyrs, and the continued miracles. Yet their works contain quotations, generally without the name of the author, from the most important writings of the apostles, or at least allusions to those writings, enough to place their high antiquity and ecclesiastical authority beyond all reasonable doubt.941  The heretical canon of the Gnostic Marcion, of the middle of the second century, consisting of a mutilated Gospel of Luke and ten of Paul’s epistles, certainly implies the existence of an orthodox canon at that time, as heresy always presupposes truth, of which it is a caricature.

The principal books of the New Testament, the four Gospels, the Acts, the thirteen Epistles of Paul, the first Epistle of Peter, and the first of John, which are designated by Eusebius as "Homologumena," were in general use in the church after the middle of the second century, and acknowledged to be apostolic, inspired by the Spirit of Christ, and therefore authoritative and canonical. This is established by the testimonies of Justin Martyr, Tatian, Theophilus of Antioch, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, and Origen, of the Syriac Peshito (which omits only Jude, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John, and the Revelation), the old Latin Versions (which include all books but 2 Peter, Hebrews, and perhaps James and the Fragment of Muratori;942 also by the heretics, and the heathen opponent Celsus—persons and documents which represent in this matter the churches in Asia Minor, Italy, Gaul, North Africa, Egypt, Palestine, and Syria. We may therefore call these books the original canon.

Concerning the other seven books, the "Antilegomena" of Eusebius, viz. the Epistle to the Hebrews,943 the Apocalypse,944 the second Epistle of Peter, the second and third Epistles of John, the Epistle of James, and the Epistle of Jude,—the tradition of the church in the time of Eusebius, the beginning of the fourth century, still wavered between acceptance and rejection. But of the two oldest manuscripts of the Greek Testament which date from the age of Eusebius and Constantine, one—the Sinaitic—contains all the twenty-seven books, and the other—the Vatican—was probably likewise complete, although the last chapters of Hebrews (from Heb.11:14), the Pastoral Epistles, Philemon, and Revelation are lost. There was a second class of Antilegomena, called by Eusebius "spurious" (novqa), consisting of several post-apostolic writings, viz. the catholic Epistle of Barnabas, the first Epistle of Clement of Rome to the Corinthians, the Epistle of Polycarp to the Philippians, the Shepherd of Hermas, the lost Apocalypse of Peter, and the Gospel of the Hebrews; which were read at least in some churches but were afterwards generally separated from the canon. Some of them are even incorporated in the oldest manuscripts of the Bible, as the Epistle of Barnabas and a part of the Shepherd of Hermas (both in the original Greek) in the Codex Sinaiticus, and the first Epistle of Clement of Rome in the Codex Alexandrinus.

The first express definition of the New Testament canon, in the form in which it has since been universally retained, comes from two African synods, held in 393 at Hippo, and 397 at Carthage, in the presence of Augustin, who exerted a commanding influence on all the theological questions of his age. By that time, at least, the whole church must have already become nearly unanimous as to the number of the canonical books; so that there seemed to be no need even of the sanction of a general council. The Eastern church, at all events, was entirely independent of the North African in the matter. The Council of Laodicea (363) gives a list of the books of our New Testament with the exception of the Apocalypse. The last canon which contains this list, is probably a later addition, yet the long-established ecclesiastical use of all the books, with some doubts as to the Apocalypse, is confirmed by the scattered testimonies of all the great Nicene and post Nicene fathers, as Athanasius (d. 373), Cyril of Jerusalem (d. 386), Gregory of Nazianzum (d. 389), Epiphanius of Salamis (d. 403), Chrysostom (d. 407), etc.945  The name Novum Testamentum,946 also Novum Instrumentum (a juridical term conveying the idea of legal validity), occurs first in Tertullian, and came into general use instead of the more correct term New Covenant. The books were currently divided into two parts, "the Gospel"947 and "the Apostle," and the Epistles, in the second part, into Catholic or General, and Pauline. The Catholic canon thus settled remained untouched till the time of the Reformation when the question of the Apocrypha and of the Antilegomena was reopened and the science of biblical criticism was born. But the most thorough investigations of modern times have not been able to unsettle the faith of the church in the New Testament, nor ever will.

2. As to the origin and character of the apostolic writings, the church fathers adopted for the New Testament the somewhat mechanical and magical theory of inspiration applied by the Jews to the Old; regarding the several books as composed with such extraordinary aid from the Holy Spirit as secured their freedom from errors (according to Origen, even from faults of memory). Yet this was not regarded as excluding the writer’s own activity and individuality. Irenaeus, for example, sees in Paul a peculiar style, which he attributes to the mighty flow of thought in his ardent mind. The Alexandrians, however, enlarged the idea of inspiration to a doubtful breadth. Clement of Alexandria calls the works of Plato inspired, because they contain truth; and he considers all that is beautiful and good in history, a breath of the infinite, a tone, which the divine Logos draws forth from the lyre of the human soul.

As a production of the inspired organs, of divine revelation, the sacred scriptures, without critical distinction between the Old and New Covenants, were acknowledged and employed against heretics as an infallible source of knowledge and an unerring rule of Christian faith and practice. Irenaeus calls the Gospel a pillar and ground of the truth. Tertullian demands scripture proof for every doctrine, and declares, that heretics cannot stand on pure scriptural ground. In Origen’s view nothing deserves credit which cannot be confirmed by the testimony of scripture.

3. The exposition of the Bible was at first purely practical, and designed for direct edification. The controversy with the Gnostics called for a more scientific method. Both the orthodox and heretics, after the fashion of the rabbinical and Alexandrian Judaism, made large use of allegorical and mystical interpretation, and not rarely lost themselves amid the merest fancies and wildest vagaries. The fathers generally, with a few exceptions, (Chrysostom and Jerome) had scarcely an idea of grammatical and historical exegesis.

Origen was the first to lay down, in connection with the allegorical method of the Jewish Platonist, Philo, a formal theory of interpretation, which he carried out in a long series of exegetical works remarkable for industry and ingenuity, but meagre in solid results. He considered the Bible a living organism, consisting of three elements which answer to the body, soul, and spirit of man, after the Platonic psychology. Accordingly, he attributed to the scriptures a threefold sense; (1) a somatic, literal, or historical sense, furnished immediately by the meaning of the words, but only serving as a veil for a higher idea; (2) a psychic or moral sense, animating the first, and serving for general edification; (3) a pneumatic or mystic, and ideal sense, for those who stand on the high ground of philosophical knowledge. In the application of this theory he shows the same tendency as Philo, to spiritualize away the letter of scripture, especially where the plain historical sense seems unworthy, as in the history of David’s crimes; and instead of simply bringing out the sense of the Bible, be puts into it all sorts of foreign ideas and irrelevant fancies. But this allegorizing suited the taste of the age, and, with his fertile mind and imposing learning, Origen was the exegetical oracle of the early church, till his orthodoxy fell into disrepute. He is the pioneer, also, in the criticism of the sacred text, and his "Hexapla" was the first attempt at a Polyglot Bible.

In spite of the numberless exegetical vagaries and differences in detail, which confute the Tridentine fiction of a "unanimis consensus patrum," there is still a certain unanimity among the fathers in their way of drawing the most important articles of faith from the Scriptures. In their expositions they all follow one dogmatical principle, a kind of analogia fidei. This brings us to tradition.


Notes on the Canon.


I. The Statements of Eusebius,

The accounts of Eusebius (d. 340) on the apostolic writings in several passages of his Church History (especially III. 25; comp. II. 22, 23; III. 3, 24; V. 8; VI. 14, 25) are somewhat vague and inconsistent, yet upon the whole they give us the best idea of the state of the canon in the first quarter of the fourth century just before the Council of Nicaea (325).

He distinguishes four classes of sacred books of the Christians (H. E. III. 25, in Heinichen’s ed. vol. I. 130 sqq.; comp. his note in vol. III. 87 sqq.).

1. Homologumena, i.e. such as were universally acknowledged (oJmologouvmena): 22 Books of the 27 of the N. T., viz.: 4 Gospels, Acts, 14 Pauline Epistles (including Hebrews), 1 Peter, 1 John, Revelation. He says: "Having arrived at this point, it is proper that we should give a summary catalogue of the afore-mentioned (III. 24) writings of the N. T. ( jAnakefalaiwvsasqai ta;" dhlwqeivsa" th'" kainh'" diaqhvkh" grafav"). First, then, we must place the sacred quaternion (or quartette, tetraktuvn) of the Gospels, which are followed by the book of the Acts of the Apostles (hJ tw'n pravxewn tw''n ajpostovlwn grafhv). After this we must reckon the Epistles of Paul, and next to them we must maintain as genuine (kurwtevon, the verb. adj. from kurovw, to ratify), the Epistle circulated as the former of John (th;n feromevnhn  jIwavnnou protevran), and in like manner that of Peter (kai; oJmoivw" th;n Pevtrou ejpistolhvn). In addition to these books, if it seem proper (ei[ge faneivh), we must place the Revelation of John (th;n ajpokavluyin  jIwavnnou), concerning which we shall set forth the different opinions in due course. And these are reckoned among those which are generally received (ejn oJmologoumevnoi")."

In bk. III. ch. 3, Eusebius speaks of "fourteen Epp." of Paul (tou' de; Pauvlou provdhloi kai; safei'" aiJ dekatevssare",) as commonly received, but adds that "some have rejected the Ep. to the Hebrews, saying that it was disputed as not being one of Paul’s epistles."

On the Apocalypse, Eusebius vacillates according as he gives the public belief of the church or his private opinion. He first counts it among the Homologumena, and then, in the same passage (III. 25), among the spurious books, but in each case with a qualifying statement (eij faneivh), leaving the matter to the judgment of the reader. He rarely quotes the book, and usually as the "Apocalypse of John," but in one place (III. 39) he intimates that it was probably written by "the second John," which must mean the "Presbyter John," so called, as distinct from the Apostle—an opinion which has found much favor in the Schleiermacher school of critics. Owing to its mysterious character, the Apocalypse is, even to this day, the most popular book of the N. T. with a few, and the most unpopular with the many. It is as well attested as any other book, and the most radical modern critics (Baur, Renan) admit its apostolic authorship and composition before the destruction of Jerusalem.

2. Antilegomena, or controverted books, yet "familiar to most people of the church" (ajntilegovmena, gnwvrima d j o{mw" toi'" polloi'",  III. 25). These are five (or seven), viz., one Epistle of James, one of Jude, 2 Peter, 2 and 3 John ("whether they really belong to the Evangelist or to another John").

To these we may add (although Eusebius does not do it expressly) the Hebrews and the Apocalypse, the former as not being generally acknowledged as Pauline, the latter on account of its supposed chiliasm, which was offensive to Eusebius and the Alexandrian school.

3. Spurious Books (novqa), such as the Acts of Paul, the Revelation of Peter, the Shepherd (Hermas), the Ep. of Barnabas, the so-called "Doctrines of the Apostles, " and the Gospel according to the Hebrews." in which those Hebrews who have accepted Christ take special delight."

To these he adds inconsistently, as already remarked, the Apocalypse of John." which some, as I said, reject (h{n tine" ajqetou'sin), while others reckon it among the books generally received (toi'" oJmologoumevnoi")." He ought to have numbered it with the Antilegomena.

These novqa, we may say, correspond to the Apocrypha of the O. T., pious and useful, but not canonical.

4. Heretical Books. These, Eusebius says, are worse than spurious books, and must be "set aside as altogether worthless and impious." Among these be mentions the Gospels of Peter, and Thomas, and Matthias, the Acts of Andrew, and John, and of the other Apostles.


II. Ecclesiastical Definitions of the Canon.

Soon after the middle of the fourth century, when the church became firmly settled in the Empire, all doubts as to the Apocrypha of the Old Testament and the Antilegomena of the New ceased, and the acceptance of the Canon in its Catholic shape, which includes both, became an article of faith. The first Œcumenical Council of Nicaea did not settle the canon, as one might expect, but the scriptures were regarded without controversy as the sure and immovable foundation of the orthodox faith. In the last (20th or 21st) Canon of the Synod of Gangra, in Asia Minor (about the middle of the fourth century), it is said: "To speak briefly, we desire that what has been handed down to us by the divine scriptures and the Apostolic traditions should be observed in the church." Comp. Hefele, Conciliengesch. I. 789.

The first Council which expressly legislated on the number of canonical books is that of Laodicea in Phrygia, in Asia Minor (held between a.d. 343 and 381, probably about 363). In its last canon (60 or 59), it enumerates the canonical books of the Old Testament, and then all of the New, with the exception of the Apocalypse, in the following order:

"And these are the Books of the New Testament: Four Gospels, according to Matthew, according to Mark, according to Luke, according to John; Acts of the Apostles; Seven Catholic Epistles, One of James, Two of Peter, Three of John, One of Jude; Fourteen Epistles of Paul, One to the Romans, Two to the Corinthians, One to the Galatians, One to the Ephesians, One to the Philippians, One to the Colossians, Two to the Thessalonians, One to the Hebrews, Two to Timothy, One to Titus, and One to Philemon."

This catalogue is omitted in several manuscripts and versions, and probably is a later insertion from the writings of Cyril of Jerusalem. Spittler, Herbst, and Westcott deny, Schrökh and Hefele defend, the Laodicean origin of this catalogue. It resembles that of the 85th of the Apostolical Canons which likewise omits the Apocalypse, but inserts two Epistles of Clement and the pseudo-Apostolical Constitutions.

On the Laodicean Council and its uncertain date see Hefele, Conciliengeschichte, revised ed. vol. I. p. 746 sqq., and Westcott, on the Canon of the N. T., second ed., p. 382 sqq.

In the Western church, the third provincial Council of Carthage (held a.d. 397) gave a full list of the canonical books of both Testaments, which should be read as divine Scriptures to the exclusion of all others in the churches. The N. T. books are enumerated in the following order: "Four Books of the Gospels, One Book of the Acts of the Apostles, Thirteen Epp. of the Apostle Paul, One Ep. of the same [Apostle] to the Hebrews, Two Epistles of the Apostle Peter, Three of John, One of James, One of Jude, One Book of the Apocalypse of John." This canon bad been previously adopted by the African Synod of Hippo regius, a.d. 393, at which Augustin, then presbyter, delivered his discourse De Fide et Symbolo. The acts of that Council are lost, but they were readopted by the third council of Carthage, which consisted only of forty-three African bishops, and can claim no general authority. (See Westcott, p. 391, Charteris, p. 20, and Hefele, II. 53 and 68, revised ed.)

Augustin, (who was present at both Councils), and Jerome (who translated the Latin Bible at the request of Pope Damasus of Rome) exerted a decisive influence in settling the Canon for the Latin church.

The Council of Trent (1546) confirmed the traditional view with an anathema on those who dissent. "This fatal decree," says Dr. Westcott (p. 426 sq.), "was ratified by fifty-three prelates, among whom was not one German, not one scholar distinguished for historical learning, not one who was fitted by special study for the examination of a subject in which the truth could only be determined by the voice of antiquity."

For the Greek and Roman churches the question of the Canon is closed, although no strictly oecumenical council representing the entire church has pronounced on it. But Protestantism claims the liberty of the ante-Nicene age and the right of renewed investigation into the origin and history of every book of the Bible. Without this liberty there can be no real progress in exegetical theology.


 § 139. Catholic Tradition.


Irenaeus: Adv. Haer. Lib. I. c. 9, § 5; I. 10, 1; III. 3, 1, 2; III. 4, 2; IV. 33, 7. Tertull.: De Praescriptionibus Haereticorum; especially c. 13, 14, 17–19, 21, 35, 36, 40, 41; De Virgin. veland. c. 1; Adv. Prax. c. 2; on the other hand, Adv. Hermog. c. 22; De Carne Christi, c. 7; De Resurr. Carnis, c. 3. Novatian: De Trinitate 3; De Regula Fidei.Cyprian: De Unitate Eccl.; and on the other hand, Epist. 74. Origen: De Princip. lib. I. Praef. § 4–6. Cyril of Jerus.: Kathchvsei" (written 348).

J. A. Daniel: Theol. Controversen (the doctrine of the Scriptures as the source of knowledge). Halle, 1843.

J. J. Jacobi: Die Kirchl. Lehre von d. Tradition u. heil. Schrift in ihrer Entwicketung dargestellt. Berl. I. 1847.

Ph. Schaff: Creeds of Christendom, vol. I. p. 12 sqq.; II. 11–44. Comp. Lit. in the next section.


Besides appealing to the Scriptures, the fathers, particularly Irenaeus and Tertullian, refer with equal confidence to the "rule of faith;"948 that is, the common faith of the church, as orally handed down in the unbroken succession of bishops from Christ and his apostles to their day, and above all as still living in the original apostolic churches, like those of Jerusalem, Antioch, Ephesus, and Rome. Tradition is thus intimately connected with the primitive episcopate. The latter was the vehicle of the former, and both were looked upon as bulwarks against heresy.

Irenaeus confronts the secret tradition of the Gnostics with the open and unadulterated tradition of the catholic church, and points to all churches, but particularly to Rome, as the visible centre of the unity of doctrine. All who would know the truth, says he, can see in the whole church the tradition of the apostles; and we can count the bishops ordained by the apostles, and their successors down to our time, who neither taught nor knew any such heresies. Then, by way of example, he cites the first twelve bishops of the Roman church from Linus to Eleutherus, as witnesses of the pure apostolic doctrine. He might conceive of a Christianity without scripture, but he could not imagine a Christianity without living tradition; and for this opinion he refers to barbarian tribes, who have the gospel, "sine charta et atramento," written in their hearts.

Tertullian finds a universal antidote for all heresy in his celebrated prescription argument, which cuts off heretics, at the outset, from every right of appeal to the holy scriptures, on the ground, that the holy scriptures arose in the church of Christ, were given to her, and only in her and by her can be rightly understood. He calls attention also here to the tangible succession, which distinguishes the catholic church from the arbitrary and ever-changing sects of heretics, and which in all the principal congregations, especially in the original sects of the apostles, reaches back without a break from bishop to bishop, to the apostles themselves, from the apostles to Christ, and from Christ to God. "Come, now," says he, in his tract on Prescription, "if you would practise inquiry to more advantage in the matter of your salvation, go through the apostolic churches, in which the very chairs of the apostles still preside, in which their own authentic letters are publicly read, uttering the voice and representing the face of every one. If Achaia is nearest, you have Corinth. If you are not far from Macedonia, you have Philippi, you have Thessalonica. If you can go to Asia, you have Ephesus. But if you live near Italy, you have Rome, whence also we [of the African church] derive our origin. How happy is the church, to which the apostles poured out their whole doctrine with their blood," etc.

To estimate the weight of this argument, we must remember that these fathers still stood comparatively very near the apostolic age, and that the succession of bishops in the oldest churches could be demonstrated by the living memory of two or three generations. Irenaeus in fact, had been acquainted in his youth with Polycarp, a disciple of St. John. But for this very reason we must guard against overrating this testimony, and employing it in behalf of traditions of later origin, not grounded in the scriptures.

Nor can we suppose that those fathers ever thought of a blind and slavish subjection of private judgment to ecclesiastical authority, and to the decision of the bishops of the apostolic mother churches. The same Irenaeus frankly opposed the Roman bishop Victor. Tertullian, though he continued essentially orthodox, contested various points with the catholic church from his later Montanistic position, and laid down, though at first only in respect to a conventional custom—the veiling of virgins—the genuine Protestant principle, that the thing to be regarded, especially in matters of religion, is not custom but truth.949  His pupil, Cyprian, with whom biblical and catholic were almost interchangeable terms, protested earnestly against the Roman theory of the validity of heretical baptism, and in this controversy declared, in exact accordance with Tertullian, that custom without truth was only time-honored error.950  The Alexandrians freely fostered all sorts of peculiar views, which were afterwards rejected as heretical; and though the paravdosi" ajpostolikhv plays a prominent part with them, yet this and similar expressions have in their language a different sense, sometimes meaning simply the holy scriptures. So, for example, in the well-known passage of Clement: "As if one should be changed from a man to a beast after the manner of one charmed by Circe; so a man ceases to be God’s and to continue faithful to the Lord, when he sets himself up against the church tradition, and flies off to positions of human caprice."

In the substance of its doctrine this apostolic tradition agrees with the holy scriptures, and though derived, as to its form, from the oral preaching of the apostles, is really, as to its contents, one and the same with there apostolic writings. In this view the apparent contradictions of the earlier fathers, in ascribing the highest authority to both scripture and tradition in matters of faith, resolve themselves. It is one and the same gospel which the apostles preached with their lips, and then laid down in their writings, and which the church faithfully hands down by word and writing from one generation to another..951


 § 140. The Rule of Faith and the Apostles’ Creed.


Rufinus (d. 410): Expos. in Symbolum Apostolorum. In the Append. to Fell’s ed. of Cyprian, 1682; and in Rufini Opera, Migne’s "Patrologia," Tom. XXI. fol. 335–386.

James Ussher (Prot. archbishop of Armagh, d. 1655): De Romanae Ecclesiae Symbolo Apostolico vetere, aliisque fidei formulis. London, 1647. In his Works, Dublin 1847, vol. VII. p. 297 sqq. Ussher broke the path for a critical history of the creed on the basis of the oldest MSS. which he discovered.

John Pearson (Bp. of Chester, d. 1686): Exposition of the Creed, 1659, in many editions (revised ed. by Dr. E. Burton, Oxf. 1847; New York 1851). A standard work of Anglican theology.

Peter King (Lord Chancellor of England, d. 1733): History of the Apostles’ Creed. Lond. 1702.

Herm. Witsius (Calvinist, d. at Leyden, 1708): Exercitationes sacrae in Symbolum quod Apostolorum dicitur. Amstel. 1700. Basil. 1739. 4°. English translation by Fraser. Edinb. 1823, in 2 vols.

Ed. Köllner (Luth.): Symbolik aller christl. Confessionen. Part I. Hamb. 1837, p. 6–28.

*Aug. Hahn: Bibliothek der Symbole und Glaubensregeln der apostolischkatholischen [in the new ed. der alten] Kirche. Breslau, 1842 (pp. 222). Second ed. revised and enlarged by his son, G. Ludwig Hahn. Breslau, 1877 (pp. 300).

J. W. Nevin: The Apostles’ Creed, in the "Mercersburg Review," 1849. Purely doctrinal.

Pet. Meyers (R.C.): De Symboli Apostolici Titulo, Origine ei antiquissimis ecclesiae temporibus Auctoritate. Treviris 1849 (pp. 210). A learned defense of the Apostolic origin of the Creed.

W. W. Harvey: The History and Theology of the three Creeds (the Apostles’, the Nicene, and the Athanasian). Lond. 1854. 2 vols.

*Charles A. Heurtley: Harmonia Symbolica. Oxford, 1858.

Michel Nicolas: Le Symbole des apôtres. Essai historie. Paris, 1867. (Sceptical).

*J. Rawson Lumby: The History of the Creeds (ante-Nicene, Nicene and Athanasian). London, 1873, 2d ed. 1880.

*C. A. Swainson: The Nicene and the Apostles’ Creed. London, 1875.

*C. P. Caspari: (Prof. in Christiania): Quellen zur Gesch. des Tauf, symbols und der Glaubensregel. Christiania, 1866–1879. 4 vols, Contains new researches and discoveries of MSS.

*F. J. A. Hort: Two Dissertations on monogenh;" qeov" and on the "Constantinopolitan Creed and other Eastern Creeds of the Fourth Century. Cambr. and Lond. 1876. Of great critical value.

F. B. Westcott: The Historic Faith. London, 1883.

Ph. Schaff: Creeds of Christendom, vol. I. 3–42, and II. 10–73. (4th ed. 1884.


In the narrower sense, by apostolic tradition or the rule of faith (kanw;n th'" pivstew", regula fidei) was understood a doctrinal summary of Christianity, or a compend of the faith of the church. Such a summary grew out of the necessity of catechetical instruction and a public confession of candidates for baptism. It became equivalent to a symbolum, that is, a sign of recognition among catholic Christians in distinction from unbelievers and heretics. The confession of Peter (Matt. 16:16 gave the key-note, and the baptismal formula (Matt. 28:19) furnished the trinitarian frame-work of the earliest creeds or baptismal confessions of Christendom.

There was at first no prescribed formula of faith binding upon all believers. Each of the leading churches framed its creed (in a sort of independent congregational way), according to its wants, though on the same basis of the baptismal formula, and possibly after the model of a brief archetype which may have come down from apostolic days. Hence we have a variety of such rules of faith, or rather fragmentary accounts of them, longer or shorter, declarative or interrogative, in the ante-Nicene writers, as Irenaeus of Lyons (180), Tertullian of Carthage (200), Cyprian of Carthage (250), Novatian of Rome (250), Origen of Alexandria (250), Gregory Thaumaturgus (270), Lucian of Antioch (300), Eusebius of Caesarea (325), Marcellus of Ancyra (340), Cyril of Jerusalem (350), Epiphanius of Cyprus (374), Rufinus of Aquileja (390), and in the Apostolic Constitutions).952  Yet with all the differences in form and extent there is a substantial agreement, so that Tertullian could say that the regula fidei was "una omnino, sola immobilis et irreformabilis." They are variations of the same theme. We may refer for illustration of the variety and unity to the numerous orthodox and congregational creeds of the Puritan churches in New England, which are based upon the Westminster standards.

The Oriental forms are generally longer, more variable and metaphysical, than the Western, and include a number of dogmatic terms against heretical doctrines which abounded in the East. They were all replaced at last by the Nicene Creed (325, 381, and 451), which was clothed with the authority of oecumenical councils and remains to this day the fundamental Creed of the Greek Church. Strictly speaking it is the only oecumenical Creed of Christendom, having been adopted also in the West, though with a clause (Filioque) which has become a wall of division. We shall return to it in the next volume.

The Western forms—North African, Gallican, Italian—are shorter and simpler, have less variety, and show a more uniform type. They were all merged into the Roman Symbol, which became and remains to this day the fundamental creed of the Latin Church and her daughters.

This Roman symbol is known more particularly under the honored name of the Apostles’ Creed. For a long time it was believed (and is still believed by many in the Roman church) to be the product of the Apostles who prepared it as a summary of their teaching before parting from Jerusalem (each contributing one of the twelve articles by higher inspiration).953  This tradition which took its rise in the fourth century, 954is set aside by the variations of the ante-Nicene creeds and of the Apostles’ Creed itself. Had the Apostles composed such a document, it would have been scrupulously handed down without alteration. The creed which bears this name is undoubtedly a gradual growth. We have it in two forms.

The earlier form as found in old manuscripts, 955is much shorter and may possibly go back to the third or even the second century. It was probably imported from the East, or grew in Rome, and is substantially identical with the Greek creed of Marcellus of Ancyra (about 340), inserted in his letter to Pope Julius I. to prove his orthodoxy, 956and with that contained in the Psalter of King Aethelstan..957  Greek was the ruling language of the Roman Church and literature down to the third century..958

The longer form of the Roman symbol, or the present received text, does not appear before the sixth or seventh century. It has several important clauses which were wanting in the former, as "he descended into hades,"959 the predicate "catholic" after ecclesiam,960  "the communion of saints,"961 and "the life everlasting."962  These additions were gathered from the provincial versions (Gallican and North African) and incorporated into the older form.

The Apostles’ Creed then, in its present shape, is post-apostolic; but, in its contents and spirit, truly apostolic. It embodies the faith of the ante-Nicene church, and is the product of a secondary inspiration, like the Gloria in Excelsis and the Te deum, which embody the devotions of the same age, and which likewise cannot be traced to an individual author or authors. It follows the historical order of revelation of the triune God, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, beginning with the creation and ending with the resurrection and life eternal. It clusters around Christ as the central article of our faith. It sets forth living facts, not abstract dogmas and speaks in the language of the people, not of the theological school. It confines itself to the fundamental truths, is simple, brief, and yet comprehensive, and admirably adapted for catechetical and liturgical use. It still forms a living bond of union between the different ages and branches of orthodox Christendom, however widely they differ from each other, and can never be superseded by longer and fuller creeds, however necessary these are in their place. It has the authority of antiquity and the dew of perennial youth, beyond any other document of post-apostolic times. It is the only strictly œcumenical Creed of the West, as the Nicene Creed is the only œcumenical Creed of the East.963  It is the Creed of creeds, as the Lord’s Prayer is the Prayer of prayers.




The legendary formulas of the Apostles’ Creed which appear after the sixth century, distribute the articles to the several apostles arbitrarily and with some variations. The following is from one of the pseudo-Augustinian sermons (see Hahn, p. 47 sq.):


"Decimo die post ascensionem discipulis prae timore Judaeorum congregatis Dominus promissum Paracletum misit: quo veniente ut candens ferrum inflammati omniumque linguarum peritia repleti Symbolum composuerunt.

Petrus dixit: Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem—creatorem coeli et terrae.

Andreas dixit: Et in Jesum Christum, Filium ejus—unicum Dominum nostrum.

Jacobus dixit: Qui conceptus est de Spiritu Sancto—natus ex Maria Virgine.

Joannes dixit: Passus sub Pontio Pilato—crucifixus, mortuus et sepultus.

Thomas dixit: Descendit ad inferna—tertia die resurrexit a mortuis.

Jacobus dixit: Adscendit ad coelos—sedet ad dexteram Dei Patris omnipotentis.

Philippus dixit: Inde venturus est judicare vivos et mortuos.

Bartholomaeus dixit: Credo in Spiritum Sanctum.

Matthaeus dixit: Sanctam Ecclesiam catholicam—Sanctorum communionem.

Simon dixit: Remissionem peccatorum.

Thaddeus dixit: Carnis resurrectionem.

Matthias dixit: Vitam aeternam."


 § 141. Variations of the Apostles’ Creed.


We present two tables which show the gradual growth of the Apostles’ Creed, and its relation to the Ante-Nicene rules of faith and the Nicene Creed in its final form.964



Showing The Different Stages Of Its Growth To Its Present Form. The Additions Are Shown In Brackets.



Formula Marcelli Ancryani
About a.d. 340

Formula Roma
From the 3rd or 4th Century

Formula Aquileiensis
From Rufinus (400)

Formula Recepta
Since the 6th or 7th Century
Later additions in brackets)

The Received Text


Pisteuvw eij" qeo;n pantakravtora

Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem.

Credo in Deo Patre omnipotente,
[invisibili et impassibili],

Credo in Deum Patrem omnipotentem,
[Creatorem coeli et terrae],

I believe in God the Father Almighty,
[Maker of heaven and earth].


Kai; eij" Cristo;n  jIhsou'n, to;n uiJo;n aujtou' to;n monogenh', to;n kuvrion hJmw'n,

Et in Christum Jesum, Filium ejus unicum, Dominum nostrum;

Et in Christo Jesu, unico filio ejus, Domino nostro;

Et in Jesum Christum, Filium ejus unicum, Dominum nostrum;

And in Jesus Christ, his only begotten Son, our Lord;


to;n gennhqevnta ejk Pneuvmato" aJgivou kai; Mariva" th' " parqevnou,

qui natus est de Spiritu Sancto et Maria Virgine;

qui natus est de Spiritu Sancto ex Maria Virgine;

qui [conceptus] est de Spiritu Sancto, natus ex Maria Virgine;

who was [conceived] by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary;


to;n ejpi; Pontivou Pilavtou staurwqevnta kai; tafevnta

cruicifixus est sub Pontio Pilato, et sepultus;

cruicifixus sub Pontio Pilato, et sepultus;

[passus] sub Pontio Pilato, cruicifixus, [mortuus], et seupultus;

[suffered] under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, [dead], and buried.




[descendit ad inferna];

[descendit ad inferna];

[He descended into Hades];


kai; th'/ trivth/ hJmevra/ ajnastavnta ejk tw'n nekrw'n,

tertia die resurrexit a mortuis;

tertia die resurrexit a mortuis;

tertia die resurrexit a mortuis;

the third day He rose from the dead;


ajnabavnta eij" tou;" oujranou;"

ascendit in cœlus;

ascendit in cœlus;

ascendit in coelos;

He ascended into heaven;


kai; kaqhvmenon ejn dexia'/ tou' patro;",

sedet ad dexteran Patris;

sedet ad dexteram Patris;

sedet ad dexteram Patris [omnipotentis];

and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father [Almighty];


o{qen er[cetai krivnein zw'nta" kai; nekrouv"

inde venturus judicare vivos et mortuos.

inde venturus est judicare vivos et mortuos.

inde venturus judicare vivos et mortuos.

from thence He shall come to judge the quick and the dead.


Kai; eij"  {Agion Pneu'ma

Et in Spiritum Sanctum;

Et in Spiritu Sancto.

[Credo] in Spiritum Sanctum;

[I believe] in the Holy Ghost;


aJgivan ejkklhsivan

Sanctam Ecclesiam;

Sanctam Ecclesiam;

Sanctam Ecclesiam [catholicam], [Sanctorum communionem];

the holy [catholic] church, [the communion of saints];


ajfesin aJmartiw'n

remissionem peccatorum;

remissionem peccatorum;

remissionem peccatorum;

the forgiveness of sins;


sarko;" ajnavstasin [zwh;n aijwvnion]

carnis resurrectionem.

[hujus] carnis resurrectionem.

carnis resurrectionem; [vitam aeternam. Amen].

the resurrection of the body; [and the life everlasting Amen].



Comparative Table of the Ante-Nicent Rules of Faith,
as related to the apostles’ creed and the nicene creed.


The Apostles' Creed. (Rome.) About a.d. 340.
Later additions are in italics.

Irenaeus (Gaul.) a.d. 170.

Tertullian (North Africa.) a.d. 200.

Cyprian (Carthage) a.d. 250.

Novatian (Rome.) a.d. 250.

Origen (Alexandria.) a.d. 230.


I believe

We believe

We believe

I believe

We believe

[We believe in]


1. In God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth;

1. ... in one God the Father Almighty, who made heaven and earth, and the sea, and all that in them is;

1 ... in one God, the Creator of the world, who produced all out of nothing ...

1. in God the Father;

1. in God the Father and Almighty Lord;

1. One God, who created and framed every thing…
Who in the last days sent

2. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord;

2. And in one Christ Jesus, the Son of God [our Lord];

2. And in the Word, his Son, Jesus Christ;

2. in his Son Christ;

2. in the son of God, Christ Jesus, our Lord God;

2. Our Lord, Jesus Christ…born of the Father before all creation…


3. Who was conceived by the Holy Ghost born of the Virgin Mary;

3. Who became flesh [of the Virgin] for our salvation;

3. Who through the Spirit and power of God the Father descended into the Virgin Mary, was made flesh in her womb, and born of her;



3. born of the Virgin and the Holy Ghost…


4. suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried;

4. and his suffering [under Pontius Pilate];

4. Was fixed on the cross [under Pontius Pilate], was dead and buried;



4. suffered in truth, died;


5. He, descended into Hades; the third day he rose from the dead;

5. and his rising from the dead;

5. rose again the third day;



5. rose from the dead;


6. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father Almighty;

6. and his bodily assumption into heaven;

6. was taken into heaven and sitteth at the right hand of God the Father;



6. was taken up…


7. from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.

7. and his coming from heaven in the glory of the Father to comprehend all things under one head, ... and to execute righteous judgment over all.

7. He will come to judge the quick and the dead.





8. And I believe in the Holy Ghost;

8. And in the Holy Ghost ...

8. And in the Holy Ghost the Paraclete, the Sanctifier, sent by Christ from the Father.

8. in the Holy Ghost;

8. in the Holy Ghost (promised of old to the Church, and granted in the appointed and fitting time).

8. the Holy Ghost, united in honor and dignity with the Father and the Son.


9. the holy Catholic Church; the communion of saints;







10. the forgiveness of sins;



10. I believe in the forgiveness of sins,




11. the resurrection of the body;

11. And that Christ shall come from heaven to raise all flesh … and to adjudge the impious and unjust ... to eternal fire,

11. And that Christ will, after the restoration of the flesh, receive his saints





12. and the life everlasting.965

12. and to give to the just and holy immortality and eternal glory.

12. into the enjoyment of eternal life and the promises of heaven, and judge the wicked with eternal fire.

12. and eternal life through the holy Church


The Apostles' Creed.

Gregory (Neo-Caesarean.) a.d. 270.

Lucian (Antioch.) a.d. 300.

Eusebius (Caesarea, Pal.) a.d. 325.

Cyril (Jerusalem.) a.d. 350.

Nicæno-Constantinoplitan Creed. a.d. 325 and 381.


I believe

[We believe in]

[We believe in]

We believe

We believe

We [I] believe


1. in God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth;

1. One God the Father;

1. one God the Father Almighty;

1. in one God the Father Almighty;

1. in one God the Father Almighty;

1.      in one God the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, and of all things visible and invisible;


2. And in Jesus Christ, His only Son, our Lord;

2. One Lord…God of God, the image and likeness of the Godhead,…the Wisdom and Power which produces all creation, the true Son of the true Father…

2. And in one Lord Jesus Christ his Son, begotten of the Father before all ages, God of God, Wisdom, Life, Light …

2. And in one Lord Jesus Christ his Son, begotten of the Father before all ages, God of God, Light of Light, Life of Life, the only-begotten Son, the first-born of every creature, begotten of God the Father before all ages; by whom all things were made;

2. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all ages, veru God, by whom all things were made;

2. And in one Lord Jesus Christ, the only-begotten Son of God, begotten of the Father before all worlds; [God of God], Light of Light, very God of very God, begotten, not made, being of one substance with the Father (oJmoouvsion tw'/ Patriv), by whom all things were made;


3. who was conceived by the Holy Ghost, born of the Virgin Mary;


3. who was born of a Virgin, according to the Scriptures, and became man…

3. who for our salvation was made flesh and lived among men;

3. who was made flesh and became man;

3. who, for us men, and for our salvation, came down from heaven, and was incarnate by the Holy Ghost and [of, ex] the Virgin Mary, and was made man;


4. suffered under Pontius Pilate, was crucified, dead, and buried;


4. who suffered for us;

4. who suffered;

4. was crucified and was buried;

4. He was crucified for us under Pontius Pilate, and  suffered, and was buried;


5. He descended into Hades; the third day be rose from the dead;


5. and rose for us on the third day;

5. and rose on the third day

5. rose on the third day;

5. and on the third day he rose again, according to the Scriptures;


6. He ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father, Almighty;


6. And ascended into heaven and sitteth on the right hand of God the Father;

6. and ascended to the Father;

6. and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father

6. and ascended into heaven, and sitteth on the right hand of the Father;


7. from thence he shall come to judge the quick and the dead.


7. and again is coming with glory and power , to judge the quick and the dead;

7. and will come again with glory, to judge the quick and the dead.

7. and will come again in glory to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end;

7. and he shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end;


8. And I believe in the Holy Ghost.

8. One Holy Ghost,…the minister of sancitifcation, in whom is revealed God the Father, who is over all things and through all things, and God the Son who is through all things — a perfect Trinity, not divided nor differing in glory, eternity, and sovereignty…

8. And in the Holy Ghost, given for consolation and sanctification and perfection to those who believe …

8. We believe also in the Holy Ghost

8. and in one Holy Ghost, the Advocate, who spake in the Prophets.

8. And [I believe] in the Holy Ghost, the Lord and Giver of life, Who proceedeth from the Father [and the Son, Filioque], who with the Father and the Son together is worshiped and glorified, who spake by the Prophets


9. the holy Catholic Church; the communion of saints;




9. and in one baptism of repentance for the remission on sins;

9. And  [I believe]  in one holy Catholic and Apostolic Church;


10. the forgiveness of sins;




10. and in one holy Catholic Church;

10. we [I] acknowledge one baptism for the remission of sins;


11. the resurrection of the body;




11. and in the resurrection of the flesh;

11. and we [I] look for the resurrection of the dead;


12. and the life everlasting.




12. and in life everlasting (zwh;n aijwvnion).

12. and the life of the world to come (zwh;n tou' mevllonto" aijw'no").


The words in italics in the last column are additions of the second œcumenical Council (381); words in brackets are Western changes.



 § 142. God and the Creation.


E. Wilh. Möller: Geschichte der Kosmologie in der griechischen Kirche bis auf Origenes. Halle, 1860. p. 112–188; 474–560. The greater part of this learned work is devoted to the cosmological theories of the Gnostics.


In exhibiting the several doctrines of the church, we must ever bear in mind that Christianity entered the world, not as a logical system but as a divine-hurnan fact; and that the New Testament is not only a theological text-book for scholars but first and last a book of life for all believers. The doctrines of salvation, of course, lie in these facts of salvation, but in a concrete, living, ever fresh, and popular form. The logical, scientific development of those doctrines from the word of God and Christian experience is left to the theologians. Hence we must not be surprised to find in the period before us, even in the most eminent teachers, a very indefinite and defective knowledge, as yet, of important articles of faith, whose practical force those teachers felt in their own hearts and impressed on others, as earnestly as their most orthodox successors. The centre of Christianity is the divine-human person and the divine-human work of Christ. From that centre a change passed through the whole circle of existing religious ideas, in its first principles and its last results, confirming what was true in the earlier religion, and rejecting the false.

Almost all the creeds of the first centuries, especially the Apostles’ and the Nicene, begin with confession of faith in God, the Father Almighty, Maker of heaven and earth, of the visible and the invisible. With the defence of this fundamental doctrine laid down in the very first chapter of the Bible, Irenaeus opens his refutation of the Gnostic heresies. He would not have believed the Lord himself, if he had announced any other God than the Creator. He repudiates everything like an a priori construction of the idea of God, and bases his knowledge wholly on revelation and Christian experience.

We begin with the general idea of God, which lies at the bottom of all religion. This is refined, spiritualized, and invigorated by the manifestation in Christ. We perceive the advance particularly in Tertullian’s view of the irresistible leaning of the human soul towards God, and towards the only true God. "God will never be hidden", says he, "God will never fail mankind; he will always be recognized, always perceived, and seen, when man wishes. God has made all that we are, and all in which we are, a witness of himself. Thus he proves himself God, and the one God, by his being known to all; since another must first be proved. The sense of God is the original dowry of the soul; the same, and no other, in Egypt, in Syria, and in Pontus; for the God of the Jews all souls call their God." But nature also testifies of God. It is the work of his hand, and in itself good; not as the Gnostics taught, a product of matter, or of the devil, and intrinsically bad. Except as he reveals himself, God is, according to Irenaeus, absolutely hidden and incomprehensible. But in creation and redemption he has communicated himself, and can, therefore, not remain entirely concealed from any man.

Of the various arguments for the existence of God, we find in this period the beginnings of the cosmological and physico-theological methods. In the mode of conceiving the divine nature we observe this difference; while the Alexandrians try to avoid all anthropomorphic and anthropopathic notions, and insist on the immateriality and spirituality of God almost to abstraction, Tertullian ascribes to him even corporeality; though probably, as he considers the non-existent alone absolutely incorporeal, he intends by corporeality only to denote the substantiality and concrete personality of the Supreme Being..966

The doctrine of the unity of God, as the eternal, almighty, omnipresent, just, and holy creator and upholder of all things, the Christian church inherited from Judaism, and vindicated against the absurd polytheism of the pagans, and particularly against the dualism of tile Gnostics, which supposed matter co-eternal with God, and attributed the creation of the world to the intermediate Demiurge. This dualism was only another form of polytheism, which excludes absoluteness, and with it all proper idea of God.

As to creation: Irenaeus and Tertullian most firmly rejected the hylozoic and demiurgic views of paganism and Gnosticism, and taught, according to the book of Genesis, that God made the world, including matter, not, of course, out of any material, but out of nothing or, to express it positively, out of his free, almighty will, by his word.967  This free will of God, a will of love, is the supreme, absolutely unconditioned, and all-conditioning cause and final reason of all existence, precluding every idea of physical force or of emanation. Every creature, since it proceeds from the good and holy God, is in itself, as to its essence, good..968  Evil, therefore, is not an original and substantial. entity, but a corruption of nature, and hence can be destroyed by the power of redemption. Without a correct doctrine of creation there can be no true doctrine of redemption, as all the Gnostic systems show.

Origen’s view of an eternal creation is peculiar. His thought is not so much that of all endless succession of new worlds, as that of ever new metamorphoses of the original world, revealing from the beginning the almighty power, wisdom and goodness of God. With this is connected his Platonic view of the pre-existence of the soul. He starts from the idea of an intimate relationship between God and the world and represents the latter as a necessary revelation of the former. It would be impious and absurd to maintain that there was a time when God did not show forth his essential attributes which make up his very being. He was never idle or quiescent. God’s being is identical with his goodness and love, and his will is identical with his nature. He must create according to his nature, and he will create. Hence what is a necessity is at the same time a free act. Each world has a beginning, and an end which are comprehended in the divine Providence. But what was before the first world?  Origen connects the idea of time with that of the world, but cannot get beyond the idea of an endless succession of time. God’s eternity is above time, and yet fills all time. Origen mediates the transition from God to the world by the eternal generation of the Logos who is the express image of the Father and through whom God creates first the spiritual and then the material world. And his generation is itself a continued process; God always (ajeiv) begets his Son, and never was without his Son as little as the Son is without the Father.969


 § 143. Man and the Fall.


It was the universal faith of the church that man was made in the image of God, pure and holy, and fell by his own guilt and the temptation of Satan who himself fell from his original state. But the extent of sin and the consequences of the fall were not fully discussed before the Pelagian controversy in the fifth century. The same is true of the metaphysical problem concerning the origin of the human soul. Yet three theories appear already in germ.

Tertullian is the author of traducianism,970 which derives soul and body from the parents through the process of generation..971  It assumes that God’s creation de nihilo was finished on the sixth day, and that Adam’s soul was endowed with the power of reproducing itself in individual souls, just as the first created seed in the vegetable world has the power of reproduction in its own kind. Most Western divines followed Tertullian in this theory because it most easily explains the propagation of original sin by generation,972 but it materializes sin which originates in the mind. Adam had fallen inwardly by doubt and disobedience before he ate of the forbidden fruit.

The Aristotelian theory of creationism traces the origin of each individual soul to a direct agency of God and assumes a subsequent corruption of the soul by its contact with the body, but destroys the organic unity of soul and body, and derives sin from the material part. It was advocated by Eastern divines, and by Jerome in the West. Augustin wavered between the two theories, and the church has never decided the question.

The third theory, that of pre-existence, was taught by Origen, as before by Plato and Philo. It assumes the pre-historic existence and fall of every human being, and thus accounts for original sin and individual guilt; but as it has no support in scripture or human consciousness—except in an ideal sense—it was condemned under Justinian, as one of the Origenistic heresies. Nevertheless it has been revived from time to time as an isolated speculative opinion.973

The cause of the Christian faith demanded the assertion both of man’s need of redemption, against Epicurean levity and Stoical self-sufficiency, and man’s capacity for redemption, against the Gnostic and Manichaean idea of the intrinsic evil of nature, and against every form of fatalism.

The Greek fathers, especially the Alexandrian, are very strenuous for the freedom of the will, as the ground of the accountability and the whole moral nature of man, and as indispensable to the distinction of virtue and vice. It was impaired and weakened by the fall, but not destroyed. In the case of Origen freedom of choice is the main pillar of his theological system. Irenaeus and Hippolytus cannot conceive of man without the two inseparable predicates of intelligence and freedom. And Tertullian asserts expressly, against Marcion and Hermogenes, free will as one of the innate properties of the soul,974 like its derivation from God, immortality, instinct of dominion, and power of divination.975  On the other side, however, Irenaeus, by his Pauline doctrine of the casual connection of the original sin of Adam with the sinfulness of the whole race, and especially Tertullian, by his view of hereditary sin and its propagation by generation, looked towards the Augustinian system which the greatest of the Latin fathers developed in his controversy with the Pelagian heresy, and which exerted such a powerful influence upon the Reformers, but had no effect whatever on the Oriental church and was practically disowned in part by the church of Rome.976


 §144. Christ and the Incarnation.




*Dionys. Petavius (or Denis Petau, Prof. of Theol. in Paris, d. 1652): Opus de theologicis dogmatibus, etc. Par. 1644–50, in 5 vols. fol. Later ed. of Antw. 1700; by Fr. Ant. Zacharia, Venice, 1737 (in 7 vols. fol); with additions by C. Passaglia, and C. Schrader, Rome, 1857 (incomplete); find a still later one by J. B. Thomas, Bar le Due, 1863, in 8 vols. Petau was a thoroughly learned Jesuit and the father of Doctrine History (Dogmengeschichte). In the section De Trinitate (vol. II.), he has collected most of the passages of the ante-Nicene and Nicene father, and admits a progressive development of the doctrine of the divinity of Christ, and of the trinity, for which the Anglican, G. Bull, severely censures him.

*George Bull (Bishop of St. David’s, d. 1710): Defensio Fidei Nicaenae de aeterna Divinitate Filii Dei, ex scriptis catholic. doctorum qui intra tria ecclesiae Christianae secula floruerunt. Oxf. 1685. (Lond. 1703; again 1721; also in Bp. Bull’s complete Works, ed. by Edw. Burton, Oxf. 1827, and again in 1846 (vol. V., Part I. and II.) English translation in the "Library of Anglo-Catholic Theology," (Oxford 1851, 2 vols.). Bishop Bull is still one of the most learned and valuable writers on the early doctrine of the Trinity, but he reads the ante-Nicene fathers too much through the glass of the Nicene Creed, and has to explain and to defend the language of more than one half of his long list of witnesses.

Martini: Gesch. des Dogmas von der Gottheit Christi in den ersten vier Jahrh. Rost. 1809 (rationalistic).

Ad. Möller (R.C.): Athanasius der Gr. Mainz. 1827, second ed. 1844 (Bk 1. Der Glaube der Kirche der drei ersten Jahrh. in Betreff der Trinitaet, etc., p. 1–116).

Edw. Burton: Testimonies of the ante-Nicene Fathers to the Divinity of Christ. Second ed. Oxf. 1829.

*F. C. Baur ((I. 1860): Die christl. Lehre von der Dreieinigkeit u. Menschwerdung Gottes in ihrer geschichtlichen Entwicklung. Tüb. 1841–43. 3 vols. (I. p. 129–341). Thoroughly independent, learned, critical, and philosophical.

G. A. Meier: Die Lehre von der Trinitaet in ihrer Hist. Entwicklung. Hamb. 1844. 2 Vols. (I. p. 48-l34).

*Isaac A. Dorner: Entwicklungsgeschichte der Lehre von der Person Christi (1839), 2d ed. Stuttg. u. Berl. 1845–56. 2 vols. (I. pp. 122–747). A masterpiece of exhaustive and conscientious learning, and penetrating and fair criticism. Engl. translation by W. I. Alexander and D. W. Simon. Edinb. 1864, 5 vols.

Robr. Is. Wilberforce (first Anglican, then, since 1854, R.C.): The Doctrine of the Incarnation of our Lord Jesus Christ, in its relation to Mankind and to the Church (more doctrinal than historical). 4th ed. Lond. 1852. (Ch. V. pp. 93–147.) Republ. from an earlier ed., Philad. 1849.

Ph. Schaff: The Conflict of Trinitarianism and Unitarianism in the ante-Nicene age, in the "Bibl. Sacra." Andover, 1858, Oct.

M. F. Sadler: Emmanuel, or, The Incarnation of the Son of God the Foundation of immutable Truth. London 1867 (Doctrinal).

Henry Parry Liddon (Anglican, Canon of St. Paul’s Cathedral): The Divinity of our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ. (The Bampton Lectures for 1866). London 1867, 9th ed. 1882. Devout, able, and eloquent.

Ph. Schaff: Christ and Christianity. N. Y. 1885, p. 45–123. A sketch of the history of Christology to the present time.

Comp. the relevant sections in the doctrine-histories of Hagenback, Thomasius, Harnack, etc.


The Messiahship and Divine Sonship of Jesus of Nazareth, first confessed by Peter in the name of all the apostles and the eye-witnesses of the divine glory of his person and his work, as the most sacred and precious fact of their experience, and after the resurrection adoringly acknowledged by the sceptical Thomas in that exclamation, "My Lord and my God!"—is the foundation stone of the Christian church;977 and the denial of the mystery of the incarnation is the mark of antichristian heresy.978

The whole theological energy of the ante-Nicene period concentrated itself, therefore, upon the doctrine of Christ as the God-man and Redeemer of the world. This doctrine was the kernel of all the baptismal creeds, and was stamped upon the entire life, constitution and worship of the early church. It was not only expressly asserted by the fathers against heretics, but also professed in the daily and weekly worship, in the celebration of baptism, the eucharist and the annual festivals, especially Easter. It was embodied in prayers, doxologies and hymns of praise. From the earliest record Christ was the object not of admiration which is given to finite persons and things, and presupposes equality, but of prayer, praise and adoration which is due only to an infinite, uncreated, divine being. This is evident from several passages of the New Testament,979 from the favorite symbol of the early Christians, the Ichthys,980 from the Tersanctus, the Gloria in Excelsis, the hymn of Clement of Alexandria in praise of the Logos,981 from the testimony of Origen, who says: "We sing hymns to the Most High alone, and His Only Begotten, who is the Word and God; and we praise God and His Only Begotten;"982 and from the heathen testimony of the younger Pliny who reports to the Emperor Trajan that the Christians in Asia were in the habit of singing "hymns to Christ as their God."983   Eusebius, quoting from an earlier writer (probably Hippolytus) against the heresy of Artemon, refers to the testimonies of Justin, Miltiades, Tatian, Clement, and "many others" for the divinity of Christ, and asks: "Who knows not the works of Irenaeus and Melito, and the rest, in which Christ is announced as God and man?  Whatever psalms and hymns of the brethren were written by the faithful from the beginning, celebrate Christ as the Word of God, by asserting his divinity."984  The same faith was sealed by the sufferings and death of "the noble army" of confessors and martyrs, who confessed Christ to be God, and died for Christ as God.985

Life and worship anticipated theology, and Christian experience contained more than divines could in clear words express. So a child may worship the Saviour and pray to Him long before he can give a rational account of his faith. The instinct of the Christian people was always in the right direction, and it is unfair to make them responsible for the speculative crudities, the experimental and tentative statements of some of the ante-Nicene teachers. The divinity of Christ then, and with this the divinity of the Holy Spirit, were from the first immovably fixed in the mind and heart of the Christian Church as a central article of faith.

But the logical definition of this divinity, and of its relation to the Old Testament fundamental doctrine of the unity of the divine essence in a word, the church dogma of the trinity was the work of three centuries, and was fairly accomplished only in the Nicene age. In the first efforts of reason to grapple with these unfathomable mysteries, we must expect mistakes, crudities, and inaccuracies of every kind.

In the Apostolic Fathers we find for the most part only the simple biblical statements of the deity and humanity of Christ, in the practical form needed for general edification. Of those fathers Ignatius is most deeply imbued with the conviction, that the crucified Jesus is God incarnate, and indeed frequently calls him, without qualification, God.986

The scientific development of Christology begins with Justin and culminates in Origen. From Origen then proceed two opposite modes of conception, the Athanasian and the Arian; the former at last triumphs in the council of Nicaea a.d. 325, and confirms its victory in the council of Constantinople, 381. In the Arian controversy the ante-Nicene conflicts on this vital doctrine came to a head and final settlement.

The doctrine of the Incarnation involves three elements: the divine nature of Christ; his human nature; and the relation of the two to his undivided personality.


 § 145. The Divinity of Christ.


The dogma of the Divinity of Christ is the centre of interest. It comes into the foreground, not only against rationalistic Monarchianism and Ebionism, which degrade Christ to a second Moses, but also against Gnosticism, which, though it holds him to be superhuman, still puts him on a level with other aeons of the ideal world, and thus, by endlessly multiplying sons of God, after the manner of the heathen mythology, pantheistically dilutes and destroys all idea of a specific sonship. The development of this dogma started from the Old Testament idea of the word and the wisdom of God; from the Jewish Platonism of Alexandria; above all, from the Christology of Paul, and from the Logos-doctrine of John. This view of John gave a mighty impulse to Christian speculation, and furnished it ever fresh material. It was the form under which all the Greek fathers conceived the divine nature and divine dignity of Christ before his incarnation. The term Logos was peculiarly serviceable here, from its well-known double meaning of "reason" and "word," ratio and oratio; though in John it is evidently used in the latter sense alone.987

Justin Martyr developed the first Christology, though not as a novelty, but in the consciousness of its being generally held by Christians.988  Following the suggestion of the double meaning of Logos and the precedent of a similar distinction by Philo, be distinguishes in the Logos, that is, the divine being of Christ, two elements: the immanent, or that which determines the revelation of God to himself within himself;989 and the transitive, in virtue of which God reveals himself outwardly.990  The act of the procession of the Logos from God991 he illustrates by the figure of generation,992 without division or diminution of the divine substance; and in this view the Logos is the only and absolute Son of God, the only-begotten. The generation, however, is not with him an eternal act, grounded in metaphysical necessity, as with Athanasius in the later church doctrine. It took place before the creation of the world, and proceeded from the free will of God.993  This begotten ante-mundane (though it would seem not strictly eternal) Logos he conceives as a hypostatical being, a person numerically distinct from the Father; and to the agency of this person before his incarnation994 Justin attributes the creation and support of the universe all the theophanies (Christophanies) of the Old Testament, and all that is true and rational in the world. Christ is the Reason of reasons, the incarnation of the absolute and eternal reason. He is a true object of worship. In his efforts to reconcile this view with monotheism, he at one time asserts the moral unity of the two divine persons, and at another decidedly subordinates the Son to the Father. Justin thus combines hypostasianism, or the theory of the independent, personal (hypostatical) divinity of Christ, with subordinationism; he is, therefore, neither Arian nor Athanasian; but his whole theological tendency, in opposition to the heresies, was evidently towards the orthodox system, and had he lived later, he would have subscribed the Nicene creed.995  The same may be said of Tertullian and of Origen.

In this connection we must also mention Justin’s remarkable doctrine of the "Logos spermatikos," or the Divine Word disseminated among men. He recognized in every rational soul something Christian, a germ (spevrma) of the Logos, or a spark of the absolute reason. He therefore traced all the elements of truth and beauty which are scattered like seeds not only among the Jews but also among the heathen to the influence of Christ before his incarnation. He regarded the heathen sages, Socrates, (whom he compares to Abraham), Plato, the Stoics, and some of the poets and historians as unconscious disciples of the Logos, as Christians before Christ.996

Justin derived this idea no doubt from the Gospel of John 1:4, 5, 9, 10, though he only quotes one passage from it (3:3–5). His pupil Tatian used it in his Diatessaron.997

The further development of the doctrine of the Logos we find in the other apologists, in Tatian, Athenagoras, Theophilus of Antioch, and especially in the Alexandrian school.

Clement of Alexandria speaks in the very highest terms of the Logos, but leaves his independent personality obscure. He makes the Logos the ultimate principle of all existence, without beginning, and timeless; the revealer of the Father, the sum of all intelligence and wisdom, the personal truth, the speaking as well as the spoken word of creative power, the proper author of the world, the source of light and life, the great educator of the human race, at last becoming man, to draw us into fellowship with him and make us partakers of his divine nature.

Origen felt the whole weight of the Christological and trinitarian problem and manfully grappled with it, but obscured it by foreign speculations. He wavered between the homo-ousian, or orthodox, and the homoi-ousian or subordinatian theories, which afterwards came into sharp conflict with each other in the Arian controversy.998  On the one hand he brings the Son as near as possible to the essence of the Father; not only making him the absolute personal wisdom, truth, righteousness, reason,999 but also expressly predicating eternity of him, and propounding the church dogma of the eternal generation of the Son. This generation he usually represents as proceeding from the will of the Father; but he also conceives it as proceeding from his essence and hence, at least in one passage, he already applies the term homo-ousios to the Son, thus declaring him coëqual in essence or nature with the Father.1000  This idea of eternal generation, however, has a peculiar form with him, from its close connection with his doctrine of an eternal creation. He can no more think of the Father without the Son, than of an almighty God without creation, or of light without radiance.1001  Hence he describes this generation not as a single, instantaneous act, but, like creation, ever going on.1002  But on the other hand he distinguishes the essence of the Son from that of the Father; speaks of a difference of substance;1003 and makes the Son decidedly inferior to the Father, calling him, with reference to John 1:1, merely qeov" without the article, that is, God in a relative or secondary sense (Deus de Deo) also deuvtero" qeov", but the Father God in the absolute sense, oJ qeov" (Deus per se), or aujtovqeo" , also the fountain and root of the divinity.1004  Hence, he also taught, that the Son should not be directly addressed in prayer, but the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit.1005  This must be limited, no doubt, to absolute worship, for he elsewhere recognizes prayer to the Son and to the Holy Spirit.1006  Yet this subordination of the Son formed a stepping-stone to Arianism, and some disciples of Origen, particularly Dionysius of Alexandria, decidedly approached that heresy. Against this, however, the deeper Christian sentiment, even before the Arian controversy, put forth firm protest, especially in the person of the Roman Dionysius, to whom his Alexandrian namesake and colleague magnanimously yielded.

In a simpler way the western fathers, including here Irenaeus and Hippolytus, who labored in the West, though they were of Greek training, reached the position, that Christ must be one with the Father, yet personally distinct from him. It is commonly supposed that they came nearer the homo-ousion than the Greeks. This can be said of Irenaeus, but not of Tertullian. And as to Cyprian, whose sphere was exclusively that of church government and discipline, he had nothing peculiar in his speculative doctrines.

Irenaeus after Polycarp, the most faithful representative of the Johannean school, keeps more within the limits of the simple biblical statements, and ventures no such bold speculations as the Alexandrians, but is more sound and much nearer the Nicene standard. He likewise uses the terms "Logos"and "Son of God" interchangeably, and concedes the distinction, made also by the Valentinians, between the inward and the uttered word,1007 in reference to man, but contests the application of it to God, who is above all antitheses, absolutely simple and unchangeable, and in whom before and after, thinking and speaking, coincide. He repudiates also every speculative or a priori attempt to explain the derivation of the Son from the Father; this be holds to be an incomprehensible mystery.1008  He is content to define the actual distinction between Father and Son, by saying that the former is God revealing himself, the latter, God revealed; the one is the ground of revelation, the other is the actual, appearing revelation itself. Hence he calls the Father the invisible of the Son, and the Son the visible of the Father. He discriminates most rigidly the conceptions of generation and of creation. The Son, though begotten of the Father, is still like him, distinguished from the created world, as increate, without beginning, and eternal. All this plainly shows that Irenaeus is much nearer the Nicene dogma of the substantial identity of the Son with the Father, than Justin and the Alexandrians. If, as he does in several passages, he still subordinates the Son to the Father, be is certainly inconsistent; and that for want of an accurate distinction between the eternal Logos and the actual Christ.1009  Expressions like "my Father is greater than I," which apply only to the Christ of history, he refers also, like Justin and Origen, to the eternal Word. On the other hand, he has been charged with leaning in the opposite direction towards the Sabellian and Patripassian views, but unjustly.1010  Apart from his frequent want of precision in expression, he steers in general, with sure biblical and churchly tact, equally clear of both extremes, and asserts alike the essential unity and the eternal personal distinction of the Father and the Son.

The incarnation of the Logos Irenaeus represents both as a restoration and redemption from sin and death, and as the completion of the revelation of God and of the creation of man. In the latter view, as finisher, Christ is the perfect Son of Man, in whom the likeness of man to God, the similitudo Dei, regarded as moral duty, in distinction from the imago Dei, as an essential property, becomes for the first time fully real. According to this the incarnation would be grounded in the original plan of God for the education of mankind, and independent of the fall; it would have taken place even without the fall, though in some other form. Yet Irenaeus does not expressly say this; speculation on abstract possibilities was foreign to his realistic cast of mind.

Tertullian cannot escape the charge of subordinationism. He bluntly calls the Father the whole divine substance, and the Son a part of it;1011 illustrating their relation by the figures of the fountain and the stream, the sun and the beam. He would not have two suns, he says, but he might call Christ God, as Paul does in Rom 9:5. The sunbeam, too, in itself considered, may be called sun, but not the sun a beam. Sun and beam are two distinct things (species) in one essence (substantia), as God and the Word, as the Father and the Son. But we should not take figurative language too strictly, and must remember that Tertullian was specially interested to distinguish the Son from the Father in opposition to the Patripassian Praxeas. In other respects he did the church Christology material service. He propounds a threefold hypostatical existence of the Son (filiatio): (1) The pre-existent, eternal immanence of the Son in the Father; they being as inseparable as reason and word in man, who was created in the image of God, and hence in a measure reflects his being;1012 (2) the coming forth of the Son with the Father for the purpose of the creation; (3) the manifestation of the Son in the world by the incarnation.1013

With equal energy Hippolytus combated Patripassianism, and insisted on the recognition of different hypostases with equal claim to divine worship. Yet he, too, is somewhat trammelled with the subordination view.1014

On the other hand, according to his representation in the Philosophumena, the Roman bishops Zephyrinus and especially Callistus favored Patripassianism. The later popes, however, were firm defenders of hypostasianism. One of them, Dionysius, a.d. 262, as we shall see more fully when speaking of the trinity, maintained at once the homo-ousion and eternal generation against Dionysius of Alexandria, and the hypostatical distinction against Sabellianism, and sketched in bold and clear outlines the Nicene standard view.


 § 146. The Humanity of Christ.


Passing now to the doctrine of the Saviour’s Humanity, we find this asserted by IGNATIUS as clearly and forcibly as his divinity. Of the Gnostic Docetists of his day, who made Christ a spectre, he says, they are bodiless spectres themselves, whom we should fear as wild beasts in human shape, because they tear away the foundation of our hope.1015  He attaches great importance to the flesh, that is, the full reality of the human nature of Christ, his true birth from the virgin, and his crucifixion under Pontius Pilate; he calls him God incarnate;1016 therefore is his death the fountain of life.

Irenaeus refutes Docetism at length. Christ, he contends against the Gnostics, must be a man, like us, if he would redeem us from corruption and make us perfect. As sin and death came into the world by a man, so they could be blotted out legitimately and to our advantage only by a man; though of course not by one who should be a mere descendant of Adam, and thus himself in need of redemption, but by a second Adam, supernaturally begotten, a new progenitor of our race, as divine as he is human. A new birth unto life must take the place of the old birth unto death. As the completer, also, Christ must enter into fellowship with us, to be our teacher and pattern. He made himself equal with man, that man, by his likeness to the Son, might become precious in the Father’s sight. Irenaeus conceived the humanity of Christ not as a mere corporeality, though he often contends for this alone against the Gnostics, but as true humanity, embracing body, soul, and spirit. He places Christ in the same relation to the regenerate race, which Adam bears to the natural, and regards him as the absolute, universal man, the prototype and summing up1017 of the whole race. Connected with this is his beautiful thought, found also in Hippolytus in the tenth book of the Philosophumena, that Christ made the circuit of all the stages of human life, to redeem and sanctify all. To apply this to advanced age, he singularly extended the life of Jesus to fifty years, and endeavored to prove this view from the Gospels, against the Valentinians.1018  The full communion of Christ with men involved his participation in all their evils and sufferings, his death, and his descent into the abode of the dead.

Tertullian advocates the entire yet sinless humanity of Christ against both the Docetistic Gnostics1019 and the Patripassians.1020  He accuses the former of making Christ who is all truth, a half lie, and by the denial of his flesh resolving all his work in the flesh, his sufferings and his death, into an empty show, and subverting the whole scheme of redemption. Against the Patripassians be argues, that God the Father is incapable of suffering, and is beyond the sphere of finiteness and change. In the humanity, he expressly includes the soul; and this, in his view, comprises the reason also; for he adopts not the trichotomic, but the dychotomic division. The body of Christ, before the exaltation, he conceived to have been even homely, on a misapprehension of Isa. 53:2, where the suffering Messiah is figuratively said to have "no form nor comeliness." This unnatural view agreed with his aversion to art and earthly splendor, but was not commonly held by the Christian people if we are to judge from the oldest representations of Christ under the figure of a beautiful Shepherd carrying the lamb in his arms or on his shoulders.

Clement of Alexandria likewise adopted the notion of the uncomely personal appearance of Jesus, but compensated it with the thought of the moral beauty of his soul. In his effort, however, to idealize the body of the Lord, and raise it above all sensual desires and wants, he almost reaches Gnostic Docetism.

The Christology of Origen is more fully developed in this part, as well as in the article of the divine nature, and peculiarly modified by his Platonizing view of the pre-existence and pre-Adamic fall of souls and their confinement in the prison of corporeity; but he is likewise too idealistic, and inclined to substitute the superhuman for the purely human. He conceives the incarnation as a gradual process, and distinguishes two stages in it—the assumption of the soul, and the assumption of the body. The Logos, before the creation of the world, nay, from the beginning, took to himself a human soul, which had no part in the ante-mundane apostasy, but clave to the Logos in perfect love, and was warmed through by him, as iron by fire. Then this fair soul, married to the Logos, took from the Virgin Mary a true body, yet without sin; not by way of punishment, like the fallen souls, but from love to men, to effect their redemption. Again, Origen distinguishes various forms of the manifestation of this human nature, in which the Lord became all things to all men, to gain all. To the great mass he appeared in the form of a servant; to his confidential disciples and persons of culture, in a radiance of the highest beauty and glory, such as, even before the resurrection, broke forth from his miracles and in the transfiguration on the Mount. In connection with this comes Origen’s view of a gradual spiritualization and deification of the body of Christ, even to the ubiquity which he ascribes to it in its exalted state.1021

On this insufficient ground his opponents charged him with teaching a double Christ (answering to the lower Jesus and the higher Soter of the Gnostics), and a merely temporary validity in the corporeity of the Redeemer.

Origen is the first to apply to Christ the term God-man,1022 which leads to the true view of the relation of the two natures.


 § 147. The Relation of the Divine and the Human in Christ.


The doctrine of the Mutual Relation of the divine and the human in Christ did not come into special discussion nor reach a definite settlement until the Christological (Nestorian and Eutychian) controversies of the fifth century.

Yet Irenaeus, in several passages, throws out important hints. He teaches unequivocally a true and indissoluble union of divinity and humanity in Christ, and repels the Gnostic idea of a mere external and transient connection of the divine Soter with the human Jesus. The foundation for that union he perceives in the creation of the world by the Logos, and in man’s original likeness to God and destination for permanent fellowship with Him. In the act of union, that is, in the supernatural generation and birth, the divine is the active principle, and the seat of personality; the human, the passive or receptive; as, in general, man is absolutely dependent on God, and is the vessel to receive the revelations of his wisdom and love. The medium and bond of the union is the Holy Spirit, who took the place of the masculine agent in the generation, and overshadowed the virgin womb of Mary with the power of the highest. In this connection he calls Mary the counterpart of Eve the "mother of all living" in a higher sense; who, by her believing obedience, became the cause of salvation both to herself and the whole human race,1023 as Eve by her disobedience induced the apostasy and death of mankind;—a fruitful but questionable parallel, suggested but not warranted by Paul’s parallel between Adam and Christ, afterwards frequently pushed too far, and turned, no doubt, contrary to its original sense, to favor the idolatrous worship of the blessed Virgin. Irenaeus seems1024 to conceive the incarnation as progressive, the two factors reaching absolute communion (but neither absorbing the other) in the ascension; though before this, at every stage of life, Christ was a perfect man, presenting the model of every age.

Origen, the author of the term "God-man," was also the first to employ the figure, since become so classical, of an iron warmed through by fire, to illustrate the pervasion of the human nature (primarily the soul) by the divine in the presence of Christ.


 § 148. The Holy Spirit.


Ed. Burton: Testimonies of the Ante-Nicene Fathers to the Divinity of the Holy Ghost. Oxf. 1831 (Works, vol. II).

K. F. A. Kahnis. Die Lehre vom heil. Geiste. Halle, 1847. (Pt. I. p. 149–356. Incomplete).

Neander: Dogmengeschichte, ed. by Jacobi, I. 181–186.

The doctrine of Justin Mart. is treated with exhaustive thoroughness by Semisch in his monograph (Breslau, 1840), II. 305–332. Comp. also Al. v. Engelhardt: Das Christenthum Justins (Erlangen, 1878), P. 143–147.


The doctrine of the Holy Spirit was far less developed, and until the middle of the fourth century was never a subject of special controversy. So in the Apostles; Creed, only one article1025 is devoted to the third person of the holy Trinity, while the confession of the Son of God, in six or seven articles, forms the body of the symbol. Even the original Nicene Creed breaks off abruptly with the words: "And in the Holy Spirit;" the other clauses being later additions. Logical knowledge appears to be here still further removed than in Christology from the living substance of faith. This period was still in immediate contact with the fresh spiritual life of the apostolic, still witnessed the lingering operations of the extraordinary gifts, and experienced in full measure the regenerating, sanctifying, and comforting influences of the divine Spirit in life, suffering, and death; but, as to the theological definition of the nature and work of the Spirit, it remained in many respects confused and wavering down to the Nicene age.

Yet rationalistic historians go quite too far when, among other accusations, they charge the early church with making the Holy Spirit identical with the Logos. To confound the functions, as in attributing the inspiration of the prophets, for example, now to the Holy Spirit, now to the Logos, is by no means to confound the persons. On the contrary, the thorough investigations of recent times show plainly that the ante-Nicene fathers, with the exception of the Monarchians and perhaps Lactantius, agreed in the two fundamental points, that the Holy Spirit, the sole agent in the application of redemption, is a supernatural divine being, and that he is an independent person; thus closely allied to the Father and the Son yet hypostatically different from them both. This was the practical conception, as demanded even by the formula of baptism. But instead of making the Holy Spirit strictly coordinate with the other divine persons, as the Nicene doctrine does, it commonly left him subordinate to the Father and the Son.

So in Justin, the pioneer of scientific discovery in Pneumatology as well as in Christology. He refutes the heathen charge of atheism with the explanation, that the Christians worship the Creator of the universe, in the second place the Son,1026 in the third rank1027 the prophetic Spirit; placing the three divine hypostases in a descending gradation as objects of worship. In another passage, quite similar, he interposes the host of good angels between the Son and the Spirit, and thus favors the inference that he regarded the Holy Ghost himself as akin to the angels and therefore a created being.1028  But aside from the obscurity and ambiguity of the words relating to the angelic host, the coordination of the Holy Ghost with the angels is utterly precluded by many other expressions of Justin, in which he exalts the Spirit far above the sphere of all created being, and challenges for the members of the divine trinity a worship forbidden to angels. The leading function of the Holy Spirit, with him, as with other apologists, is the inspiration of the Old Testament prophets.1029  In general the Spirit conducted the Jewish theocracy, and qualified the theocratic officers. All his gifts concentrated themselves finally in Christ; and thence they pass to the faithful in the church. It is a striking fact, however, that Justin in only two passages refers the new moral life of the Christian to the Spirit, he commonly represents the Logos as its fountain. He lacks all insight into the distinction of the Old Testament Spirit and the New, and urges their identity in opposition to the Gnostics.

In Clement of Alexandria we find very little progress beyond this point. Yet he calls the Holy Spirit the third member of the sacred triad, and requires thanksgiving to be addressed to him as to the Son and the Father.1030

Origen vacillates in his Pneumatology still more than in his Christology between orthodox and heterodox views. He ascribes to the Holy Spirit eternal existence, exalts him, as he does the Son, far above all creatures and considers him the source of all charisms,1031 especially as the principle of all the illumination and holiness of believers under the Old Covenant and the New. But he places the Spirit in essence, dignity, and efficiency below the Son, as far as he places the Son below the Father; and though he grants in one passage1032 that the Bible nowhere calls the Holy Spirit a creature, yet, according to another somewhat obscure sentence, he himself inclines towards the view, which, however he does not avow that the Holy Spirit had a beginning (though, according to his system, not in time but from eternity), and is the first and most excellent of all the beings produced by the Logos.1033  In the same connection he adduces three opinions concerning the Holy Spirit; one regarding him as not having an origin; another, ascribing to him no separate personality; and a third, making him a being originated by the Logos. The first of these opinions he rejects because the Father alone is without origin (ajgevnnhto"); the second he rejects because in Matt. 12:32 the Spirit is plainly distinguished from the Father and the Son; the third he takes for the true and scriptural view, because everything was made by the Logos.1034  Indeed, according to Matt. 12:32, the Holy Spirit would seem to stand above the Son; but the sin against the Holy Ghost is more heinous than that against the Son of Man, only because he who has received the Holy Spirit stands higher than he who has merely the reason from the Logos.

Here again Irenaeus comes nearer than the Alexandrians to the dogma of the perfect substantial identity of the Spirit with the Father and the Son; though his repeated figurative (but for this reason not so definite) designation of the Son and Spirit as the "hands" of the Father, by which he made all things, implies a certain subordination. He differs from most of the Fathers in referring the Wisdom of the book of Proverbs not to the Logos but to the Spirit; and hence must regard him as eternal. Yet he was far from conceiving the Spirit a mere power or attribute; he considered him an independent personality, like the Logos. "With God" says he,1035 "are ever the Word and the Wisdom, the Son and the Spirit, through whom and in whom he freely made all things, to whom he said, ’Let us make man in our image, after our likeness.’ "  But he speaks more of the operations than of the nature of the Holy Ghost. The Spirit predicted in the prophets the coming of Christ; has been near to man in all divine ordinances; communicates the knowledge of the Father and the Son; gives believers the consciousness of sonship; is fellowship with Christ, the pledge of imperishable life, and the ladder on which we ascend to God.

In the Montanistic system the Paraclete occupies a peculiarly important place. He appears there as the principle of the highest stage of revelation, or of the church of the consummation. Tertullian made the Holy Spirit the proper essence of the church, but subordinated him to the Son, as he did the Son to the Father, though elsewhere he asserts the "unitas substantiae." In his view the Spirit proceeds "a Patre per Filium," as the fruit from the root through the stem. The view of the Trinity presented by Sabellius contributed to the suppression of these subordinatian ideas.


 § 149. The Holy Trinity.


Comp. the works quoted in §144, especially Petravius, Bull, Baur, and Dorner.


Here now we have the elements of the dogma of the Trinity, that is, the doctrine of the living, only true God, Father, Son, and Spirit, of whom, through whom, and to whom are all things. This dogma has a peculiar, comprehensive, and definitive import in the Christian system, as a brief summary of all the truths and blessings of revealed religion. Hence the baptismal formula (Matt. 28:19), which forms the basis of all the ancient creeds, is trinitarian; as is the apostolic benediction also (2 Cor. 13:14). This doctrine meets us in the Scriptures, however, not so much in direct statements and single expressions, of which the two just mentioned are the clearest, as in great living facts; in the history of a threefold revelation of the living God in the creation and government, the reconciliation and redemption, and the sanctification and consummation of the world—a history continued in the experience of Christendom. In the article of the Trinity the Christian conception of God completely defines itself, in distinction alike from the abstract monotheism of the Jewish religion, and from the polytheism and dualism of the heathen. It has accordingly been looked upon in all ages as the sacred symbol and the fundamental doctrine of the Christian church, with the denial of which the divinity of Christ and the Holy Spirit, and the divine character of the work of redemption and sanctification, fall to the ground.

On this scriptural basis and the Christian consciousness of a threefold relation we sustain to God as our Maker, Redeemer, and Sanctifier, the church dogma of the Trinity arose; and it directly or indirectly ruled even the ante-Nicene theology though it did not attain its fixed definition till in the Nicene age. It is primarily of a practical religious nature, and speculative only in a secondary sense. It arose not from the field of metaphysics, but from that of experience and worship; and not as an abstract, isolated dogma, but in inseparable connection with the study of Christ and of the Holy Spirit; especially in connection with Christology, since all theology proceeds from "God in Christ reconciling the world unto himself." Under the condition of monotheism, this doctrine followed of necessity from the doctrine of the divinity of Christ and of the Holy Spirit. The unity of God was already immovably fixed by the Old Testament as a fundamental article of revealed religion in opposition to all forms of idolatry. But the New Testament and the Christian consciousness as firmly demanded faith in the divinity of the Son, who effected redemption, and of the Holy Spirit, who founded the church and dwells in believers; and these apparently contradictory interests could be reconciled only in the form of the Trinity;1036 that is, by distinguishing in the one and indivisible essence of God1037 three hypostases or persons;1038 at the same time allowing for the insufficiency of all human conceptions and words to describe such an unfathomable mystery.

The Socinian and rationalistic opinion, that the church doctrine of the Trinity sprang from Platonism1039 and Neo-Platonism1040 is therefore radically false. The Indian Trimurti, altogether pantheistic in spirit, is still further from the Christian Trinity. Only thus much is true, that the Hellenic philosophy operated from without, as a stimulating force, upon the form of the whole patristic theology, the doctrines of the Logos and the Trinity among the rest; and that the deeper minds of heathen antiquity showed a presentiment of a threefold distinction in the divine essence: but only a remote and vague presentiment which, like all the deeper instincts of the heathen mind, serves to strengthen the Christian truth. Far clearer and more fruitful suggestions presented themselves in the Old Testament, particularly in the doctrines of the Messiah, of the Spirit, of the Word, and of the Wisdom of God, and even in the system of symbolical numbers, which rests on the sacredness of the numbers three (God), four (the world), seven and twelve (the union of God and the world, hence the covenant numbers. But the mystery of the Trinity could be fully revealed only in the New Testament after the completion of the work of redemption and the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. The historical manifestation of the Trinity is the condition of the knowledge of the Trinity.

Again, it was primarily the œconomic or transitive trinity, which the church had in mind; that is, the trinity of the revelation of God in the threefold work of creation, redemption, and sanctification; the trinity presented in the apostolic writings as a living fact. But from this, in agreement with both reason and Scripture, the immanent or ontologic trinity was inferred; that is, an eternal distinction in the essence of God itself, which reflects itself in his revelation, and can be understood only so far as it manifests itself in his works and words. The divine nature thus came to be conceived, not as an abstract, blank unity, but as an infinite fulness of life; and the Christian idea of God (as John of Damascus has remarked) in this respect combined Jewish monotheism with the truth which lay at the bottom of even the heathen polytheism, though distorted and defaced there beyond recognition.

Then for the more definite illustration of this trinity of essence, speculative church teachers of subsequent times appealed to all sorts of analogies in nature, particularly in the sphere of the finite mind, which was made after the image of the divine, and thus to a certain extent authorizes such a parallel. They found a sort of triad in the universal law of thesis, antithesis, and synthesis; in the elements of the syllogism; in the three persons of grammar; in the combination of body, soul, and spirit in man; in the three leading faculties of the soul; in the nature of intelligence and knowledge as involving a union of the thinking subject and the thought object; and in the nature of love, as likewise a union between the loving and the loved.1041  These speculations began with Origen and Tertullian; they were pursued by Athanasius and Augustin; by the scholastics and mystics of the Middle Ages; by Melanchthon, and the speculative Protestant divines down to Schleiermacher, Rothe and Dorner, as well as by philosophers from Böhme to Hegel; and they are not yet exhausted, nor will be till we reach the beatific vision. For the holy Trinity, though the most evident, is yet the deepest of mysteries, and can be adequately explained by no analogies from finite and earthly things.

As the doctrines of the divinity of Christ and of the Holy Spirit were but imperfectly developed in logical precision in the ante-Nicene period, the doctrine of the Trinity, founded on them, cannot be expected to be more clear. We find it first in the most simple biblical and practical shape in all the creeds of the first three centuries: which, like the Apostles’ and the Nicene, are based on the baptismal formula, and hence arranged in trinitarian order. Then it appears in the trinitarian doxologies used in the church from the first; such as occur even in the epistle of the church at Smyrna on the martyrdom of Polycarp.1042  Clement of Rome calls "God, the Lord Jesus Christ, and the Holy Spirit" the object of "the faith and hope of the elect."1043  The sentiment, that we rise through the Holy Spirit to the Son, through the Son to the Father, belongs likewise to the age of the immediate disciples of the apostles.1044

Justin Martyr repeatedly places Father, Son, and Spirit together as objects of divine worship among the Christians (though not as being altogether equal in dignity), and imputes to Plato a presentiment of the doctrine of the Trinity. Athenagoras confesses his faith in Father, Son, and Spirit, who are one as to power (kata; duvnamin), but whom he distinguishes as to order or dignity (tavxi") in subordinatian style. Theophilus of Antioch (180) is the first to denote the relation of the three divine persons1045 by the term Triad.

Origen conceives the Trinity as three concentric circles, of which each succeeding one circumscribes a smaller area. God the Father acts upon all created being; the Logos only upon the rational creation; the Holy Ghost only upon the saints in the church. But the sanctifying work of the Spirit leads back to the Son, and the Son to the Father, who is consequently the ground and end of all being, and stands highest in dignity as the compass of his operation is the largest.

Irenaeus goes no further than the baptismal formula and the trinity of revelation; proceeding on the hypothesis of three successive stages in the development of the kingdom of God on earth, and of a progressive communication of God to the world. He also represents the relation of the persons according to Eph. 4:6; the Father as above all, and the head of Christ; the Son as through all, and the head of the church; the Spirit as in all, and the fountain of the water of life.1046  Of a supramundane trinity of essence he betrays but faint indications.

Tertullian advances a step. He supposes a distinction in God himself; and on the principle that the created image affords a key to the uncreated original, he illustrates the distinction in the divine nature by the analogy of human thought; the necessity of a self-projection, or of making one’s self objective in word, for which he borrows from the Valentinians the term probolhv, or prolatio rei alterius ex altera,1047 but without connecting with it the sensuous emanation theory of the Gnostics. Otherwise he stands, as already observed, on subordinatian ground, if his comparisons of the trinitarian relation to that of root, stem, and fruit; or fountain, flow, and brook; or sun, ray, and raypoint, be dogmatically pressed.1048  Yet he directly asserts also the essential unity of the three persons..1049

Tertullian was followed by the schismatic but orthodox Novatian, the author of a special treatise De Trinitate, drawn from the Creed, and fortified with Scripture proofs against the two classes of Monarchians.

The Roman bishop Dionysius (A. D. 262), a Greek by birth,1050 stood nearest the Nicene doctrine. He maintained distinctly, in the controversy with Dionysius of Alexandria, at once the unity of essence and the real personal distinction of the three members of the divine triad, and avoided tritheism, Sabellianism, and subordinatianism with the instinct of orthodoxy, and also with the art of anathematizing already familiar to the popes. His view has come down to us in a fragment in Athanasius, where it is said: "Then I must declare against those who annihilate the most sacred doctrine of the church by dividing and dissolving the unity of God into three powers, separate hypostases, and three deities. This notion [some tritheistic view, not further known to us] is just the opposite of the opinion of Sabellius. For while the latter would introduce the impious doctrine, that the Son is the same as the Father, and the converse, the former teach in some sense three Gods, by dividing the sacred unity into three fully separate hypostases. But the divine Logos must be inseparably united with the God of all, and in God also the Holy Ghost must dwell so that the divine triad must be comprehended in one, viz. the all-ruling God, as in a head."1051  Then Dionysius condemns the doctrine, that the Son is a creature, as "the height of blasphemy," and concludes: "The divine adorable unity must not be thus cut up into three deities; no more may the transcendant dignity and greatness of the Lord be lowered by saying, the Son is created; but we must believe in God the almighty Father, and in Jesus Christ his Son, and in the Holy Ghost, and must consider the Logos inseparably united with the God of all; for he says, ’I and my Father are one’; and ’I am in the Father and the Father in me.’ In this way are both the divine triad and the sacred doctrine of the unity of the Godhead preserved inviolate."


 § 150. Antitrinitarians. First Class: The Alogi, Theodotus, Artemon, Paul of Samosata.


The works cited at § 144, p. 543.

Schleiermacher: Ueber den Gegensatz der sabellianischen u. athanasianischen Vorstellung von der Trinitaet (Werke zur Theol. Vol. II.). A rare specimen of constructive criticism (in the interest of Sabellianism).

Lobeg. Lange: Geschichte u. Lehrbegriff der Unitarier vor der nicaenischen Synode. Leipz. 1831.

Jos. Schwane (R.C.): Dogmengesch. der vornicaen. Zeit (Münster, 1862), pp. 142–156; 199–203. Comp. his art. Antitrinitarier in "Wetzer und Welte, " new ed. I. 971–976.

Friedr. Nitzsch: Dogmengeschichte, Part I. (Berlin, 1870), 194–210.

Ad. Harnack: Monarchianismus. In Herzog2, vol. X. (1882), 178–213. A very elaborate article. Abridged in Schaff’s Herzog, II. 1548 sqq.

Ad. Hilgenfeld: Ketzergeschichte des Urchristenthums (1884) p. 608-(628.


That this goal was at last happily reached, was in great part due again to those controversies with the opponents of the church doctrine of the Trinity, which filled the whole third century. These Antitrinitarians are commonly called Monarchians from (monarciva)1052 or Unitarians, on account of the stress they laid upon the numerical. personal unity of the Godhead.

But we must carefully distinguish among them two opposite classes: the rationalistic or dynamic Monarchians, who denied the divinity of Christ, or explained it as a mere "power" (duvnami") and the patripassian or modalistic Monarchians, who identified the Son with the Father, and admitted at most only a modal trinity, that is a threefold mode of revelation, but not a tripersonality.

The first form of this heresy, involved in the abstract Jewish monotheism, deistically sundered the divine and the human, and rose little above Ebionism. After being defeated in the church this heresy arose outside of it on a grander scale, as a pretended revelation, and with marvellous success, in Mohammedanism which may be called the pseudo-Jewish and pseudo-Christian Unitarianism of the East.

The second form proceeded from the highest conception of the deity of Christ, but in part also from pantheistic notions which approached the ground of Gnostic docetism.

The one prejudiced the dignity of the Son, the other the dignity of the Father; yet the latter was by far the more profound and Christian, and accordingly met with the greater acceptance.

The Monarchians of the first class saw in Christ a mere man, filled with divine power; but conceived this divine power as operative in him, not from the baptism only, according to the Ebionite view, but from the beginning; and admitted his supernatural generation by the Holy Spirit. To this class belong:

1. The Alogians or Alogi,1053 a heretical sect in Asia Minor about a.d. 170, of which very little is known. Epiphanius gave them this name because they rejected the Logos doctrine and the Logos Gospel, together with the Apocalypse. "What good," they said, "is the Apocalypse to me, with its seven angels and seven seals?  What have I to do with the four angels at Euphrates, whom another angel must loose, and the host of horsemen with breastplates of fire and brimstone?"  They seem to have been jejune rationalists opposed to chiliasm and all mysterious doctrines. They absurdly attributed the writings of John to the Gnostic, Cerinthus, whom the aged apostle opposed.1054  This is the first specimen of negative biblical criticism, next to Marcion’s mutilation of the canon.10552. The Theodotians; so called from their founder, the tanner Theodotus. He sprang from Byzantium; denied Christ in a persecution, with the apology that he denied only a man; but still held him to be the supernaturally begotten Messiah. He gained followers in Rome, but was excommunicated by the bishop Victor (192–202). After his death his sect chose the confessor Natalis bishop, who is said to have afterwards penitently returned into the bosom of the Catholic church. A younger Theodotus, the "money-changer," put Melchizedek as mediator between God and the angels, above Christ, the mediator between God and men; and his followers were called Melchizedekians.1056

3. The Artemonites, or adherents of Artemon or Artemos, who came out somewhat later at Rome with a similar opinion, declared the doctrine of the divinity of Christ an innovation and a relapse to heathen polytheism; and was excommunicated by Zephyrinus (202–217) or afterwards. The Artemonites were charged with placing Euclid and Aristotle above Christ, and esteeming mathematics and dialectics higher than the gospel. This indicates a critical intellectual turn, averse to mystery, and shows that Aristotle was employed by some against the divinity of Christ, as Plato was engaged for it.

Their assertion, that the true doctrine was obscured in the Roman church only from the time of Zephyrinus,1057 is explained by the fact brought to light recently through the Philosophumena of Hippolytus, that Zephyrinus (and perhaps his predecessor Victor), against the vehement opposition of a portion of the Roman church, favored Patripassianism, and probably in behalf of this doctrine condemned the Artemonites.1058

4. Paul Of Samosata, from 260 bishop of Antioch, and at the same time a high civil officer,1059 is the most famous of these rationalistic Unitarians, and contaminated one of the first apostolic churches with his heresy. He denied the personality of the Logos and of the Holy Spirit, and considered them merely powers of God, like reason and mind in man; but granted that the Logos dwelt in Christ in larger measure than in any former messenger of God, and taught, like the Socinians in later times, a gradual elevation of Christ, determined by his own moral development, to divine dignity.1060  He admitted that Christ remained free from sin, conquered the sin of our forefathers, and then became the Saviour of the race. To introduce his Christology into the mind of the people, he undertook to alter the church hymns, but was shrewd enough to accommodate himself to the orthodox formulas, calling Christ, for example, "God from the Virgin,"1061 and ascribing to him even homo-ousia with the Father, but of course in his own sense.1062

The bishops under him in Syria accused him not only of heresy but also of extreme vanity, arrogance, pompousness, avarice, and undue concern with secular business; and at a third synod held in Antioch a.d. 269 or 268, they pronounced his deposition. The number of bishops present is variously reported (70, 80, 180). Dominus was appointed successor. The result was communicated to the bishops of Rome, Alexandria, and to all the churches. But as Paul was favored by the queen Zenobia of Palmyra, the deposition could not be executed till after her subjection by the emperor Aurelian in 272, and after consultation with the Italian bishops.1063

His overthrow decided the fall of the Monarchians; though they still appear at the end of the fourth century as condemned heretics, under the name of Samosatians, Paulianists, and Sabellians.


 § 151. Second Class of Antitrinitarians: Praxeas, Noëtus, Callistus, Berryllus.


The second class of Monarchians, called by Tertullian "Patripassians" (as afterwards a branch of the Monophysites was called "Theopaschites"),1064 together with their unitarian zeal felt the deeper Christian impulse to hold fast the divinity of Christ; but they sacrificed to it his independent personality, which they merged in the essence of the Father. They taught that the one supreme God by his own free will, and by an act of self-limitation became man, so that the Son is the Father veiled in the flesh. They knew no other God but the one manifested in Christ, and charged their opponents with ditheism. They were more dangerous than the rationalistic Unitarians, and for a number of years had even the sympathy and support of the papal chair. They had a succession of teachers in Rome, and were numerous there even at the time of Epiphanius towards the close of the fourth century.

1. The first prominent advocate of the Patripassian heresy was Praxeas of Asia Minor. He came to Rome under Marcus Aurelius with the renown of a confessor; procured there the condemnation of Montanism; and propounded his Patripassianism, to which he gained even the bishop Victor.1065  But Tertullian met him in vindication at once of Montanism and of hypostasianism with crushing logic, and sarcastically charged him with having executed at Rome two commissions of the devil: having driven away the Holy Ghost, and having crucified the Father. Praxeas, constantly appealing to Is. 45:5; Jno. 10:30 ("I and my Father are one"), and 14:9 ("He that hath seen me hath seen the Father "), as if the whole Bible consisted of these three passages, taught that the Father himself became man, hungered, thirsted, suffered, and died in Christ. True, he would not be understood as speaking directly of a suffering (pati) of the Father, but only of a sympathy (copati) of the Father with the Son; but in any case he lost the independent personality of the Son. He conceived the relation of the Father to the Son as like that of the spirit to the flesh. The same subject, as spirit, is the Father; as flesh, the Son. He thought the Catholic doctrine tritheistic.1066

2. Noëtus of Smyrna published the same view about a.d. 200, appealing also to Rom. 9:5, where Christ is called "the one God over all." When censured by a council he argued in vindication of himself, that his doctrine enhanced the glory of Christ.1067  The author of the Philosophumena places him in connection with the pantheistic philosophy of Heraclitus, who, as we here for the first time learn, viewed nature as the harmony of all antitheses, and called the universe at once dissoluble and indissoluble, originated and unoriginated, mortal and immortal; and thus Noëtus supposed that the same divine subject must be able to combine opposite attributes in itself.1068

Two of his disciples, Epigonus and Cleomenes,1069 propagated this doctrine in Rome under favor of Pope Zephyrinus.

3. Callistus (pope Calixtus I.) adopted and advocated the doctrine of Noëtus. He declared the Son merely the manifestation of the Father in human form; the Father animating the Son, as the spirit animates the body,1070 and suffering with him on the cross. "The Father," said he, "who was in the Son, took flesh and made it God, uniting it with himself and made it one. Father and Son were therefore the name of the one God, and this one person1071 cannot be two; thus the Father suffered with the Son." He considered his opponents "ditheists,"1072 and they in return called his followers "Callistians."

These and other disclosures respecting the church at Rome during the first quarter of the third century, we owe, as already observed, to the ninth book of the Philosophumena of Hippolytus, who was, however, it must be remembered, the leading opponent and rival of Callistus, and in his own doctrine of the Trinity inclined to the opposite subordinatian extreme. He calls Callistus, evidently with passion, an "unreasonable and treacherous man, who brought together blasphemies from above and below only to speak against the truth, and was not ashamed to fall now into the error of Sabellius, now into that of Theodotius" (of which latter, however, he shows no trace, but the very opposite).1073  Callistus differed from the ditheistic separation of the Logos from God, but also from the Sabellian confusion of the Father and the Son, and insisted on the mutual indwelling (pericwvrhsi") of the divine Persons; in other words, he sought the way from modalistic unitarianism to the Nicene trinitarianism; but he was not explicit and consistent in his statements. He excommunicated both Sabellius and Hippolytus; the Roman church sided with him, and made his name one of the most prominent among the ancient popes.1074

After the death of Callistus, who occupied the papal chair between 218 and 223 or 224, Patripassianism disappeared from the Roman church.

4. Beryllus of Bostra (now Bosra and Bosseret), in Arabia Petraea. From him we have only a somewhat obscure and very variously interpreted passage preserved in Eusebius.1075  He denied the personal pre-existence1076 and in general the independent divinity1077 of Christ, but at the same time asserted the indwelling of the divinity of the Father1078 in him during his earthly life. He forms, in some sense, the stepping-stone from simple Patripassianism to Sabellian modalism. At an Arabian synod in 244, where the presbyter Origen, then himself accused of heresy, was called into consultation, Beryllus was convinced of his error by that great teacher, and was persuaded particularly of the existence of a human soul in Christ, in place of which he had probably put his patrikh; qeovto", as Apollinaris in a later period put the lovgo".  He is said to have thanked Origen afterwards for his instruction. Here we have one of the very few theological disputations which have resulted in unity instead of greater division.1079


 § 152. Sabellianism.


Sources: Hippolytyus: Philos. IX. 11 (D. and Schn. p. 450, 456, 458). Rather meagre, but important. Epiphan.: Haer: 62. The fragments of letters of Dionysius of Alex. in Athanasius, De Sentent. Dion., and later writers, collected in Routh, Reliqu. sacr. Novatian: De Trinit. Euseb.: Contra Marcellum. The references in the writiings of Athanasius (De Syn.; De Decr. Nic. Syn.; Contra Arian.). Basil M.: Ep. 207, 210, 214, 235. Gregory of Naz.: lovgo" kata;  jAreivou k. Sabellivou.

Comp. Schleiermacher, Neander, Baur, Dorner, Harnack, l. c., and Zahn, Marcellus von. Ancyra (Gotha, 1867); Nitzsch, Dogmengesch. I. 206–209, 223–225.


5. Sabellius is by far the most original, profound, and ingenious of the ante-Nicene Unitarians, and his system the most plausible rival of orthodox trinitarianism. It revives from time to time in various modifications.1080  We know very little of his life. He was probably a Lybian from the Pentapolis. He spent some time in Rome in the beginning of the third century, and was first gained by Callistus to Patripassianism, but when the latter became bishop be was excommunicated.1081  The former fact is doubtful. His doctrine spread in Rome, and especially also in the Pentapolis in Egypt. Dionysius, bishop of Alexandria, excommunicated him in 260 or 2611082 at a council in that city, and, in vehement opposition to him declared in almost Arian terms for the hypostatical independence and subordination of the Son in relation to the Father. This led the Sabellians to complain of that bishop to Dionysius of Rome, who held a council in 262, and in a special treatise controverted Sabellianism, as well as subordinatianism and tritheism, with nice orthodox tact.1083  The bishop of Alexandria very cheerfully yielded, and retracted his assertion of the creaturely inferiority of the Son in favor of the orthodox homo-ousios. Thus the strife was for a while allayed, to be renewed with still greater violence by Arius half a century later.

The system of Sabellius is known to us only from a few fragments, and some of these not altogether consistent, in Athanasius and other fathers.

While the other Monarchians confine their inquiry to the relation of Father and Son, Sabellius embraces the Holy Spirit in his speculation, and reaches a trinity, not a simultaneous trinity of essence, however, but only a successive trinity of revelation. He starts from a distinction of the monad and the triad in the divine nature. His fundamental thought is, that the unity of God, without distinction in itself, unfolds or extends itself1084 in the course of the world’s development in three different forms and periods of revelation1085 and, after the completion of redemption, returns into unity. The Father reveals himself in the giving of the law or the Old Testament economy (not in the creation also, which in his view precedes the trinitarian revelation); the Son, in the incarnation; the Holy Ghost, in inspiration. The revelation of the Son ends with the ascension; the revelation of the Spirit goes on in regeneration and sanctification. He illustrates the trinitarian relation by comparing the Father to the disc of the sun, the Son to its enlightening power, the Spirit to its warming influence. He is said also to have likened the Father to the body, the Son to the soul, the Holy Ghost to the spirit of man; but this is unworthy of his evident speculative discrimination. His view of the Logos,1086 too, is peculiar. The, Logos is not identical with the Son, but is the monad itself in its transition to triad; that is, God conceived as vital motion and creating principle, the speaking God,1087 in distinction from the silent God.1088  Each provswpon is another dialevgesqai and the three provswpa together are only successive evolutions of the Logos or the worldward aspect of the divine nature. As the Logos proceeded from God, so he returns at last into him, and the process of trinitarian development1089 closes.

Athanasius traced the doctrine of Sabellius to the Stoic philosophy. The common element is the pantheistic leading view of an expansion and contraction1090 of the divine nature immanent in the world. In the Pythagorean system also, in the Gospel of the Egyptians, and in the pseudo-Clementine Homilies, there are kindred ideas. But the originality of Sabellius cannot be brought into question by these. His theory broke the way for the Nicene church doctrine, by its full coordination of the three persons. He differs from the orthodox standard mainly in denying the trinity of essence and the permanence of the trinity of manifestation; making Father, Son, and Holy Ghost only temporary phenomena, which fulfil their mission and return into the abstract monad.


 § 153. Redemption.


Cotta: Histor. doctrinae de redemptione sanguine J. Chr. facta, in Gerhard: Loci theol., vol. IV. p. 105–134.

Ziegler: Hist. dogmatis de redemptione. Gott. 1791. Rationalistic.

K. Baehr.: Die Lehre der Kirche vom Tode Jesu in den drei ersten Jahrh.,  Sulz b. 1832. Against the orthodox doctrine of the satisfactio vicaria.

F. C. Baur: Die christl. Lehre von der Versöhnung in ihrer geschichtl. Entw. von der aeltesten Zeit bis auf die neueste. Tüb. 1838. 764 pages, (See pp. 23–67). Very learned, critical, and philosophical, but resulting in Hegelian pantheism.

L. Duncker: Des heil. Irenaeus Christologie. Gött. 1843 (p. 217 sqq.; purely objective).

Baumgarten Crusius: Compendium der christl. Dogmengeschichte. Leipz. 2d Part 1846, § 95 sqq. (p. 257 sqq.)

Albrecht Ritschl (Prof. in Göttingen): Die christl. Lehre von der Rechtfertigung und Versöhnung, Bonn, 1870, second revised ed. 1882, sqq., 3 vols. The first vol. (pages 656) contains the history the doctrine, but devotes only a few introductory pages to our period (p. 4), being occupied chiefly with the Anselmic, the orthodox Lutheran and Calvinistic, and the modern German theories of redemption. Ritschl belonged originally to the Tübingen school, but pursues now an independent path, and lays greater stress on the ethical forces in history.


The work of the triune God, in his self-revelation, is the salvation, or redemption and reconciliation of the world: negatively, the emancipation of humanity from the guilt and power of sin and death; positively, the communication of the righteousness and life of fellowship with God. First, the discord between the Creator and the creature must be adjusted; and then man can be carried onward to his destined perfection. Reconciliation with God is the ultimate aim of every religion. In heathenism it was only darkly guessed and felt after, or anticipated in perverted, fleshly forms. In Judaism it was divinely promised, typically foreshadowed, and historically prepared. In Christianity it is revealed in objective reality, according to the eternal counsel of the love and wisdom of God, through the life, death, and resurrection of Christ, and is being continually applied subjectively to individuals in the church by the Holy Spirit, through the means of grace, on condition of repentance and faith. Christ is, exclusively and absolutely, the Saviour of the world, and the Mediator between God and man.

The apostolic scriptures, in the fulness of their inspiration, everywhere bear witness of this salvation wrought through Christ, as a living fact of experience. But it required time for the profound ideas of a Paul and a John to come up clearly to the view of the church; indeed, to this day they remain unfathomed. Here again experience anticipated theology. The church lived from the first on the atoning sacrifice of Christ. The cross ruled all Christian thought and conduct, and fed the spirit of martyrdom. But the primitive church teachers lived more in the thankful enjoyment of redemption than in logical reflection upon it. We perceive in their exhibitions of this blessed mystery the language rather of enthusiastic feeling than of careful definition and acute analysis. Moreover, this doctrine was never, like Christology and the doctrine of the Trinity, a subject of special controversy within the ancient church. The oecumenical symbols touch it only in general terms. The Apostles’ Creed presents it in the article on the forgiveness of sins on the ground of the divine-human life, death, and resurrection of Christ. The Nicene Creed says, a little more definitely, that Christ became man for our salvation,1091 and died for us, and rose again.

Nevertheless, all the essential elements of the later church doctrine of redemption may be found, either expressed or implied, before the close of the second century. The negative part of the doctrine, the subjection of the devil, the prince of the kingdom of sin and death, was naturally most dwelt on in the patristic period, on account of the existing conflict of Christianity with heathenism, which was regarded as wholly ruled by Satan and demons. Even in the New Testament, particularly in Col. 2:15, Heb. 2:14, and 1 John 3:8, the victory over the devil is made an integral part of the work of Christ. But this view was carried out in the early church in a very peculiar and, to some extent, mythical way; and in this form continued current, until the satisfaction theory of Anselm gave a new turn to the development of the dogma. Satan is supposed to have acquired, by the disobedience of our first parents, a legal claim (whether just or unjust) upon mankind, and held them bound in the chains of sin and death (Comp. Hebr. 2:14, 15). Christ came to our release. The victory over Satan was conceived now as a legal ransom by the payment of a stipulated price, to wit, the death of Christ; now as a cheat upon him,1092 either intentional and deserved, or due to his own infatuation.1093

The theological development of the doctrine of the work of Christ began with the struggle against Jewish and heathen influences, and at the same time with the development of the doctrine of the person of Christ, which is inseparable from that of his work, and indeed fundamental to it. Ebionism, with its deistic and legal spirit, could not raise its view above the prophetic office of Christ to the priestly and the kingly, but saw in him only a new teacher and legislator. Gnosticism, from the naturalistic and pantheistic position of heathendom, looked upon redemption as a physical and intellectual process, liberating the spirit from the bonds of matter, the supposed principle of evil; reduced the human life and passion of Christ to a vain show; and could ascribe at best only a symbolical virtue to his death. For this reason even Ignatius, Irenaeus, and Tertullian, in their opposition to docetism, insist most earnestly on the reality of the humanity and death of Jesus, as the source of our reconciliation with God.1094

In Justin Martyr appear traces of the doctrine of satisfaction, though in very indefinite terms. He often refers to the Messianic fifty-third chapter of Isaiah..1095

The anonymous author of the Epistle to an unknown heathen, Diognetus, which has sometimes been ascribed to Justin, but is probably of much earlier date, has a beautiful and forcible passage on the mystery of redemption, which shows that the root of the matter was apprehended by faith long before a logical analysis was attempted. "When our wickedness" he says,1096 "had reached its height, and it had been clearly shown that its reward—punishment and death—was impending over us .... God himself took on Him the burden of our iniquities. He gave His own Son as a ransom for us, the holy One for transgressors, the blameless One for the wicked, the righteous One for the unrighteous, the incorruptible One for the corruptible, the immortal One for them that are mortal. For what other thing was capable of covering our sins than His righteousness?  By what other one was it possible that we, the wicked and ungodly, could be justified, than by the only Son of God?  O sweet exchange!  O unsearchable operation!  O benefits surpassing all expectation!  that the wickedness of many should be hid in a single righteous One, and that the righteousness of One should justify many transgressors!"

Irenaeus is the first of all the church teachers to give a careful analysis of the work of redemption, and his view is by far the deepest and soundest we find in the first three centuries. Christ, he teaches, as the second Adam, repeated in himself the entire life of man, from childhood to manhood, from birth to death and hades, and as it were summed up that life and brought it under one head,1097 with the double purpose of restoring humanity from its fall and carrying it to perfection. Redemption comprises the taking away of sin by the perfect obedience of Christ; the destruction of death by victory over the devil; and the communication of a new divine life to man. To accomplish this work, the Redeemer must unite in himself the divine and human natures; for only as God could he do what man could not, and only as man could he do in a legitimate way, what man should. By the voluntary disobedience of Adam the devil gained a power over man, but in an unfair way, by fraud.1098  By the voluntary obedience of Christ that power was wrested from him by lawful means.1099  This took place first in the temptation, in which Christ renewed or recapitulated the struggle of Adam with Satan, but defeated the seducer, and thereby liberated man from his thraldom. But then the whole life of Christ was a continuous victorious conflict with Satan, and a constant obedience to God. This obedience completed itself in the suffering and death on the tree of the cross, and thus blotted out the disobedience which the first Adam had committed on the tree of knowledge. This, however, is only the negative side. To this is added, as already remarked, the communication of a new divine principle of life, and the perfecting of the idea of humanity first effected by Christ.

Origen differs from Irenaeus in considering man, in consequence of sin, the lawful property of Satan, and in representing the victory over Satan as an outwitting of the enemy, who had no claim to the sinless soul of Jesus, and therefore could not keep it in death. The ransom was paid, not to God, but to Satan, who thereby lost his right to man. Here Origen touches on mythical Gnosticism. He contemplates the death of Christ, however, from other points of view also, as an atoning sacrifice of love offered to God for the sins of the world; as the highest proof of perfect obedience to God; and as an example of patience. He singularly extends the virtue of this redemption to the whole spirit world, to fallen angels as well as men, in connection with his hypothesis of a final restoration. The only one of the fathers who accompanies him in this is Gregory of Nyssa.

Athanasius, in his early youth, at the beginning of the next period, wrote the first systematic treatise on redemption and answer to the question "Cur Deus homo?"1100  But it was left for the Latin church, after the epoch-making treatise of Anselm, to develop this important doctrine in its various aspects.


 § 154. Other Doctrines.


The doctrine of the subjective appropriation of salvation, including faith, justification, and sanctification, was as yet far less perfectly formed than the objective dogmas; and in the nature of the case, must follow the latter. If any one expects to find in this period, or in any of the church fathers, Augustin himself not excepted, the Protestant doctrine of justification by faith alone, as the "articulus stantis aut cadentis ecclesiae" be will be greatly disappointed. The incarnation of the Logos, his true divinity and true humanity, stand almost unmistakably in the foreground, as the fundamental truths. Paul’s doctrine of justification, except perhaps in Clement of Rome, who joins it with the doctrine of James, is left very much out of view, and awaits the age of the Reformation to be more thoroughly established and understood. The fathers lay chief stress on sanctification and good works, and show the already existing germs of the Roman Catholic doctrine of the meritoriousness and even the supererogatory meritoriousness of Christian virtue. It was left to modern evangelical theology to develop more fully the doctrines of soteriology and subjective Christianity.

The doctrine of the church, as the communion of grace , we have already considered in the chapter on the constitution of the church,1101 and the doctrine of the sacraments, as the objective means of appropriating grace, in the chapter on worship.1102


 § 155. Eschatology. Immortality and Resurrection.


I. General Eschatology:

Chr. W Flugge: Geschichte des Glaubens an Unsterblichkeit, Auferstchung, Gericht und Vergeltung. 3 Theile, Leipz. 1794–1800. Part III. in 2 vols. gives a history of the Christian doctriNe. Not completed.

William Rounseville Alger (Unitarian): A Critical History of the Doctrine of a Future Life. With a Complete Literature on the Subject. Philad. 1864, tenth ed. with six new chs. Boston, 1878. He treats of the patristic doctrine in Part Fourth, ch. 1. p. 394–407. The Bibliographical Index by Prof. Ezra Abbot, of Cambridge, contains a classified list of over 5000 books on the subject, and is unequalled in bibliographical literature for completeness and accuracy.

Edm. Spiess: Entwicklungsgeschichte der Vorstellungen vom Zustand nach dem Tode. Jena, 1877. This book of 616 pages omits the Christian eschatology.


II. Greek and Roman Eschatology:

C. Fr. Nägelsbach: Die homerische Theologie in ihrem Zusammenhang dargestellt. Nürnberg, 1840.

The same: Die nachhomerische Theologie des griechischen Volksglaubens bis auf Alexander. Nürnberg, 1857.

Aug Arndt: Die Ansichten der Alten über Leben, Tod und Unsterblichkeit. Frankfurt a. M. 1874.

Lehrs: Vorstellungen der Griechen über das Fortleben nach dem Tode. Second ed. 1875.

Ludwig Friedlaender: Sittengeschichte Roms, fifth ed. Leipz. 1881, vol. III. p. 681–717 (Der Unsterblichkeitsglaube).


III. Jewish Eschatology;

A. Kahle: Biblische Eschatologie des Alten Testaments. Gotha, 1870.

A. Wahl: Unsterblichkeits-und Vergeltungslehre des alttestamentlichen Hebraismus. Jena, 1871.

Dr. Ferdinand Weber (d. 1879): System der Altsynagogalen Palaestinischen Theologie aus Targum, Midrasch und Talmud. Ed. by Franz Delitzsch and Georg Schnedermann. Leipzig, 1880. See chs. XXI. 322–332; XXIV. 371–386.

Aug Wünsche: Die Vorstellungen vom Zustande nach dem Tode nach apokryphen, Talmud, und Kirchenvätern  In the "Jahrbücher für Prot. Theol."  Leipz. 1880

Bissel: The Eschatology of the Apocrypha. In the " Bibliotheca Sacra,"  1879.


IV. Christian Eschatology:

See the relevant chapters in Flügge, and Alger, as above.

Dr. Edward Beecher: History of Opinions on the Scriptural Doctrine of Retribution. New York, 1878 (334 pages).

The relevant sections in the Doctrine Histories of Münscher, Neander, Gieseler, Baur, Hagenbach (H. B. Smith’s ed. vol. I. 213 sqq. and 368 sqq.), Shedd, Friedrich Nitzsch (I. 397 sqq.)

A large number of monographs on Death, Hades, Purgatory, Resurrection, Future Punishment. See the next sections.


Christianity—and human life itself, with its countless problems and mysteries—has no meaning without the certainty of a future world of rewards and punishments, for which the present life serves as a preparatory school. Christ represents himself as "the Resurrection and the Life," and promises "eternal life" to all who believe in Him. On his resurrection the church is built, and without it the church could never have come into existence. The resurrection of the body and the life everlasting are among the fundamental articles of the early baptismal creeds. The doctrine of the future life, though last in the logical order of systematic theology, was among the first in the consciousness of the Christians, and an unfailing source of comfort and strength in times of trial and persecution. It stood in close connection with the expectation of the Lord’s glorious reappearance. It is the subject of Paul’s first Epistles, those to the Thessalonians, and is prominently discussed in the fifteenth chapter of First Corinthians. He declares the Christians "the most pitiable," because the most deluded and uselessly self-sacrificing, "of all men," if their hope in Christ were confined to this life.

The ante-Nicene church was a stranger in the midst of a hostile world, and longed for the unfading crown which awaited the faithful confessor and martyr beyond the grave. Such a mighty revolution as the conversion of the heathen emperor was not dreamed of even as a remote possibility, except perhaps by the far-sighted Origen. Among the five causes to which Gibbon traces the rapid progress of the Christian religion he assigns the second place to the doctrine of the immortality of the soul. We know nothing whatever of a future world which lies beyond the boundaries of our observation and experience, except what God has chosen to reveal to us. Left to the instincts and aspirations of nature, which strongly crave after immortality and glory, we can reach at best only probabilities; while the gospel gives us absolute certainty, sealed by the resurrection of Christ.

1. The heathen notions of the future life were vague and confused. The Hindoos, Babylonians, and Egyptians had a lively sense of immortality, but mixed with the idea of endless migrations and transformations. The Buddhists, starting from the idea that existence is want, and want is suffering, make it the chief end of man to escape such migrations, and by various mortifications to prepare for final absorption in Nirwana. The popular belief among the ancient Greeks and Romans was that man passes after death into the Underworld, the Greek Hades, the Roman Orcus. According to Homer, Hades is a dark abode in the interior of the earth, with an entrance at the Western extremity of the Ocean, where the rays of the sun do not penetrate. Charon carries the dead over the stream Acheron, and the three-headed dog Cerberus watches the entrance and allows none to pass out. There the spirits exist in a disembodied state and lead a shadowy dream-life. A vague distinction was made between two regions in Hades, an Elysium (also "the Islands of the Blessed") for the good, and Tartarus for the bad. "Poets and painters," says Gibbon, peopled the infernal regions with so many phantoms and monsters, who dispensed their rewards and punishments with so little equity, that a solemn truth, the most congenial to the human heart, was oppressed and disgraced by the absurd mixture of the wildest fictions. The eleventh book of the Odyssey gives a very dreary and incoherent account of the infernal shades. Pindar and Virgil have embellished the picture; but even those poets, though more correct than their great model, are guilty of very strange inconsistencies."1103

Socrates, Plato, Cicero, Seneca, and Plutarch rose highest among the ancient philosophers in their views of the future life, but they reached only to belief in its probability—not in its certainty. Socrates, after be was condemned to death, said to his judges: "Death is either an eternal sleep, or the transition to a new life; but in neither case is it an evil;"1104 and he drank with playful irony the fatal hemlock. Plato, viewing the human soul as a portion of the eternal, infinite, all-pervading deity, believed in its pre-existence before this present life, and thus had a strong ground of hope for its continuance after death. All the souls (according to his Phaedon and Gorgias, pass into the spirit-world, the righteous into the abodes of bliss, where they live forever in a disembodied state, the wicked into Tartarus for punishment and purification (which notion prepared the way for purgatory). Plutarch, the purest and noblest among the Platonists, thought that immortality was inseparably connected with belief in an all-ruling Providence, and looked with Plato to the life beyond as promising a higher knowledge of, and closer conformity to God, but only for those few who are here purified by virtue and piety. In such rare cases, departure might be called an ascent to the stars, to heaven, to the gods, rather than a descent to Hades. He also, at the death of his daughter, expresses his faith in the blissful state of infants who die in infancy. Cicero, in his Tusculan Questions and treatise De Senectute, reflects in classical language "the ignorance, the errors, and the uncertainty of the ancient philosophers with regard to the immortality of the soul." Though strongly leaning to a positive view, he yet found it no superfluous task to quiet the fear of death in case the soul should perish with the body. The Stoics believed only in a limited immortality, or denied it altogether, and justified suicide when life became unendurable. The great men of Greece and Rome were not influenced by the idea of a future world as a motive of action. During the debate on the punishment of Catiline and his fellow-conspirators, Julius Caesar openly declared in the Roman Senate that death dissolves all the ills of mortality, and is the boundary of existence beyond which there is no more care nor joy, no more punishment for sin, nor any reward for virtue. The younger Cato, the model Stoic, agreed with Caesar; yet before he made an end to his life at Utica, he read Plato’s Phaedon. Seneca once dreamed of immortality, and almost approached the Christian hope of the birth-day of eternity, if we are to trust his rhetoric, but afterwards he awoke from the beautiful dream and committed suicide. The elder Pliny, who found a tragic death under the lava of Vesuvius, speaks of the future life as an invention of man’s vanity and selfishness, and thinks that body and soul have no more sensation after death than before birth; death becomes doubly painful if it is only the beginning of another indefinite existence. Tacitus speaks but once of immortality, and then conditionally; and he believed only in the immortality of fame. Marcus Aurelius, in sad resignation, bids nature, "Give what thou wilt, and take back again what and when thou wilt."

These were noble and earnest, Romans. What can be expected from the crown of frivolous men of the world who moved within the limits of matter and sense and made present pleasure and enjoyment the chief end of life?  The surviving wife of an Epicurean philosopher erected a monument to him, with the inscription "to the eternal sleep."1105  Not a few heathen epitaphs openly profess the doctrine that death ends all; while, in striking contrast with them, the humble Christian inscriptions in the catacombs express the confident hope of future bliss and glory in the uninterrupted communion of the believer with Christ and God.

Yet the scepticism of the educated and half-educated could not extinguish the popular belief in the imperial age. The number of cheerless and hopeless materialistic epitaphs is, after all, very small as compared with the many thousands which reveal no such doubt, or express a belief in some kind of existence beyond the grave.1106

Of a resurrection of the body the Greeks and Romans had no conception, except in the form of shades and spectral outlines, which were supposed to surround the disembodied spirits, and to make them to some degree recognizable. Heathen philosophers, like Celsus, ridiculed the resurrection of the body as useless, absurd, and impossible.

2. The Jewish doctrine is far in advance of heathen notions and conjectures, but presents different phases of development.

(a) The Mosaic writings are remarkably silent about the future life, and emphasize the present rather than future consequences of the observance or non-observance of the law (because it had a civil or political as well as spiritual import); and hence the Sadducees accepted them, although they denied the resurrection (perhaps also the immortality of the soul). The Pentateuch contains, however, some remote and significant hints of immortality, as in the tree of life with its symbolic import;1107 in the mysterious translation of Enoch as a reward for his piety;1108 in the prohibition of necromancy;1109 in the patriarchal phrase for dying: "to be gathered to his fathers," or "to his people;"1110 and last, though not least, in the self-designation of Jehovah as "the God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob," which implies their immortality, since "God is not the God of the dead, but of the living."1111  What has an eternal meaning for God must itself be eternal.

(b) In the later writings of the Old Testament, especially during and after the exile, the doctrine of immortality and resurrection comes out plainly.1112  Daniel’s vision reaches out even to the final resurrection of "many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth to everlasting life," and of "some to shame and everlasting contempt," and prophesies that "they that are wise shall shine as the brightness of the firmament, and they that turn many to righteousness as the stars forever and ever."1113

But before Christ, who first revealed true life, the Hebrew Sheol, the general receptacle of departing souls, remained, like the Greek Hades, a dark and dreary abode, and is so described in the Old Testament.1114  Cases like Enoch’s translation and Elijah’s ascent are altogether unique and exceptional, and imply the meaning that death is contrary to man’s original destination, and may be overcome by the power of holiness.

(c) The Jewish Apocrypha (the Book of Wisdom, and the Second Book of Maccabees), and later Jewish writings (the Book of Enoch, the Apocalypse of Ezra) show some progress: they distinguish between two regions in Sheol—Paradise or Abraham’s Bosom for the righteous, and Gehinnom or Gehenna for the wicked; they emphasize the resurrection of the body, and the future rewards and punishments.

(d) The Talmud adds various fanciful embellishments. It puts Paradise and Gehenna in close proximity, measures their extent, and distinguishes different departments in both corresponding to the degrees of merit and guilt. Paradise is sixty times as large as the world, and Hell sixty times as large as Paradise, for the bad preponderate here and hereafter. According to other rabbinical testimonies, both are well nigh boundless. The Talmudic descriptions of Paradise (as those of the Koran) mix sensual and spiritual delights. The righteous enjoy the vision of the Shechina and feast with the patriarchs, and with Moses and David of the flesh of leviathan, and drink wine from the cup of salvation. Each inhabitant has a house according to his merit. Among the punishments of hell the chief place is assigned to fire, which is renewed every week after the Sabbath. The wicked are boiled like the flesh in the pot, but the bad Israelites are not touched by fire, and are otherwise tormented. The severest punishment is reserved for idolaters, hypocrites, traitors, and apostates. As to the duration of future punishment the school of Shammai held that it was everlasting; while the school of Hillel inclined to the milder view of a possible redemption after repentance and purification. Some Rabbis taught that hell will cease, and that the sun will burn up and annihilate the wicked.1115

3. The Christian doctrine of the future life differs from the heathen, and to a less extent also from the Jewish, in the following important points:

(a) It gives to the belief in a future state the absolute certainty of divine revelation, sealed by the fact of Christ’s resurrection, and thereby imparts to the present life an immeasurable importance, involving endless issues.

(b) It connects the resurrection of the body with the immortality of the soul, and thus gives concrete completion to the latter, and saves the whole individuality of man from destruction.

(c) It views death as the punishment of sin, and therefore as something terrible, from which nature shrinks. But its terror has been broken, and its sting extracted by Christ.

(d) It qualifies the idea of a future state by the doctrine of sin and redemption, and thus makes it to the believer a state of absolute holiness and happiness, to the impenitent sinner a state of absolute misery. Death and immortality are a blessing to the one, but a terror to the other; the former can hail them with joy; the latter has reason to tremble.

(e) It gives great prominence to the general judgment, after the resurrection, which determines the ultimate fate of all men according to their works done in this earthly life.

But we must distinguish, in this mysterious article, what is of faith, and what is private opinion and speculation.

The return of Christ to judgment with its eternal rewards and punishment is the centre of the eschatological faith of the church. The judgment is preceded by the general resurrection, and followed by life everlasting.

This faith is expressed in the oecumenical creeds.


The Apostles’ Creed:

"He shall come to judge the quick and the dead," and "I believe in the resurrection of the body and life everlasting."


The Nicene Creed:

"He shall come again, with glory, to judge the quick and the dead; whose kingdom shall have no end." "And we look for the resurrection of the dead, and the life of the world to come."


The Athanasian Creed, so called, adds to these simple statements a damnatory clause at the beginning, middle, and end, and makes salvation depend on belief in the orthodox catholic doctrine of the Trinity and the Incarnation, as therein stated. But that document is of much later origin, and cannot be traced beyond the sixth century.

The liturgies which claim apostolic or post-apostolic origin, give devotional expression to the same essential points in the eucharistic sacrifice.


The Clementine liturgy:

"Being mindful, therefore, of His passion and death, and resurrection from the dead, and return into the heavens, and His future second appearing, wherein He is to come with glory and power to judge the quick and the dead, and to recompense to every one according to his works."


The liturgy of James:

"His second glorious and awful appearing, when He shall come with glory to judge the quick and the dead, and render to every one according to his works."


The liturgy of Mark:

"His second terrible and dreadful coming, in which He will come to judge righteously the quick and the dead, and to render to each man according to his works."


All that is beyond these revealed and generally received articles must be left free. The time of the Second Advent, the preceding revelation of Antichrist, the millennium before or after the general judgment, the nature of the disembodied state between death and resurrection, the mode and degree of future punishment, the proportion of the saved and lost, the fate of the heathen and all who die ignorant of Christianity, the locality of heaven and hell, are open questions in eschatology about which wise and good men in the church have always differed, and will differ to the end. The Bible speaks indeed of ascending to heaven and descending to hell, but this is simply the unavoidable popular language, as when it speaks of the rising and setting sun. We do the same, although we know that in the universe of God there is neither above nor below, and that the sun does not move around the earth. The supernatural world may be very far from us, beyond the stars and beyond the boundaries of the visible created world (if it has any boundaries), or very near and round about us. At all events there is an abundance of room for all God’s children. "In my Father’s house are many mansions. I go to prepare a place for you" (John 14:2). This suffices for faith.


 § 156. Between Death and Resurrection.


Dav. Blondel: Traité de la créance des Pères touchnt l’état des ames après cette vie. Charenton, 1651.

J. A. Baumgarten: Historia doctrinae de Statu Animarum separatarum. Hal. 1754.

Höpfner: De Origine dogm. de Purgatorio. Hal. 1792.

J. A. Ernesti: De veterum Patrum opinione de Statu Animarum a corpore sejunctar. LiPs. 1794.

Herbert Mortimer Luckock (Canon of Ely, high-Anglican): After Death. An Examination of the Testimony of Primitive Times respecting the State of the Faithful Dead, and their Relationship to the Living. London, third ed. 1881. Defends prayers for the dead.


Among the darkest points in eschatology is the middle state, or the condition of the soul between death and resurrection. It is difficult to conceive of a disembodied state of happiness or woe without physical organs for enjoyment and suffering. Justin Martyr held that the souls retain their sensibility after death, otherwise the bad would have the advantage over the good. Origen seems to have assumed some refined, spiritual corporeity which accompanies the soul on its lonely journey, and is the germ of the resurrection body; but the speculative opinions of that profound thinker were looked upon with suspicion, and some of them were ultimately condemned. The idea of the sleep of the soul (psychopannychia) had some advocates, but was expressly rejected by Tertullian.1116  Others held that the soul died with the body, and was created anew at the resurrection.1117  The prevailing view was that the soul continued in a conscious, though disembodied state, by virtue either of inherent or of communicated immortality. The nature of that state depends upon the moral character formed in this life either for weal or woe, without the possibility of a change except in the same direction.

The catholic doctrine of the status intermedius was chiefly derived from the Jewish tradition of the Sheol, from the parable of Dives and Lazarus (Luke 16:19 sqq.), and from the passages of Christ’s descent into Hades.1118  The utterances of the ante-Nicene fathers are somewhat vague and confused, but receive light from the more mature statements of the Nicene and post-Nicene fathers, and may be reduced to the following points:1119

1. The pious who died before Christ from Abel or Adam down to John the Baptist (with rare exceptions, as Enoch, Moses, and Elijah) were detained in a part of Sheol,1120 waiting for the first Advent, and were released by Christ after the crucifixion and transferred to Paradise. This was the chief aim and result of the descensus ad inferos, as understood in the church long before it became an article of the Apostles’ Creed, first in Aquileja (where, however, Rufinus explained it wrongly, as being equivalent to burial), and then in Rome. Hermas of Rome and Clement of Alexandria supposed that the patriarchs and Old Testament saints, before their translation, were baptized by Christ and the apostles. Irenaeus repeatedly refers to the descent of Christ to the spirit-world as the only means by which the benefits of the redemption could be made known and applied to the pious dead of former ages.1121

2. Christian martyrs and confessors, to whom were afterwards added other eminent saints, pass immediately after death into heaven to the blessed vision of God.1122

3. The majority of Christian believers, being imperfect, enter for an indefinite period into a preparatory state of rest and happiness, usually called Paradise (comp. Luke 23:41) or Abraham’s Bosom (Luke 16:23). There they are gradually purged of remaining infirmities until they are ripe for heaven, into which nothing is admitted but absolute purity. Origen assumed a constant progression to higher and higher regions of knowledge and bliss. (After the fifth or sixth century, certainly since Pope Gregory I., Purgatory was substituted for Paradise).

4. The locality of Paradise is uncertain: some imagined it to be a higher region of Hades beneath the earth, yet "afar off" from Gehenna, and separated from it by "a great gulf" (comp. Luke 16:23, 26);1123 others transferred it to the lower regions of heaven above the earth, yet clearly distinct from the final home of the blessed.1124

5. Impenitent Christians and unbelievers go down to the lower regions of Hades (Gehenna, Tartarus, Hell) into a preparatory state of misery and dreadful expectation of the final judgment. From the fourth century Hades came to be identified with Hell, and this confusion passed into many versions of the Bible, including that of King James.

6. The future fate of the heathen and of unbaptized children was left in hopeless darkness, except by Justin and the Alexandrian fathers, who extended the operations of divine grace beyond the limits of the visible church. Justin Martyr must have believed, from his premises, in the salvation of all those heathen who had in this life followed the light of the Divine Logos and died in a state of unconscious Christianity, or preparedness for Christianity. For, he says, "those who lived with the Logos were Christians, although they were esteemed atheists, as Socrates and Heraclitus, and others like them."1125

7. There are, in the other world, different degrees of happiness and misery according to the degrees of merit and guilt. This is reasonable in itself, and supported by scripture.

8. With the idea of the imperfection of the middle state and the possibility of progressive amelioration, is connected the commemoration of the departed, and prayer in their behalf. No trace of the custom is found in the New Testament nor in the canonical books of the Old, but an isolated example, which seems to imply habit, occurs in the age of the Maccabees, when Judas Maccabaeus and his company offered prayer and sacrifice for those slain in battle," that they might be delivered from sin."1126  In old Jewish service-books there are prayers for the blessedness of the dead.1127  The strong sense of the communion of saints unbroken by death easily accounts for the rise of a similar custom among the early Christians. Tertullian bears clear testimony to its existence at his time. "We offer," he says "oblations for the dead on the anniversary of their birth," i.e. their celestial birthday.1128  He gives it as a mark of a Christian widow, that she prays for the soul of her husband, and requests for him refreshment and fellowship in the first resurrection; and that she offers sacrifice on the anniversaries of his falling asleep.1129  Eusebius narrates that at the tomb of Constantine a vast crowd of people, in company with the priests of God, with tears and great lamentation offered their prayers to God for the emperor’s soul.1130  Augustin calls prayer for the pious dead in the eucharistic sacrifice an observance of the universal church, handed down from the fathers.1131  He himself remembered in prayer his godly mother at her dying request.

This is confirmed by the ancient liturgies, which express in substance the devotions of the ante-Nicene age, although they were not committed to writing before the fourth century. The commemoration of the pious dead is an important part in the eucharistic prayers. Take the following from the Liturgy of St. James: "Remember, O Lord God, the spirits of whom we have made mention, and of whom we have not made mention, who are of the true faith,1132 from righteous Abel unto this day; do Thou Thyself give them rest there in the land of the living, in Thy kingdom, in the delight of Paradise,1133in the Bosom of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob, our holy fathers; whence pain and grief and lamentation have fled away: there the light of Thy countenance looks upon them, and gives them light for evermore." The Clementine Liturgy in the eighth book of the "Apostolical Constitutions" has likewise a prayer "for those who rest in faith," in these words: "We make an offering to Thee for all Thy saints who have pleased Thee from the beginning of the world, patriarchs, prophets, just men, apostles, martyrs, confessors, bishops, elders, deacons, subdeacons, singers, virgins, widows, laymen, and all whose names Thou Thyself knowest."

9. These views of the middle state in connection with prayers for the dead show a strong tendency to the Roman Catholic doctrine of Purgatory, which afterwards came to prevail in the West through the great weight of St. Augustin and Pope Gregory I. But there is, after all, a considerable difference. The ante-Nicene idea of the middle state of the pious excludes, or at all events ignores, the idea of penal suffering, which is an essential part of the Catholic conception of purgatory. It represents the condition of the pious as one of comparative happiness, inferior only to the perfect happiness after the resurrection. Whatever and wherever Paradise may be, it belongs to the heavenly world; while purgatory is supposed to be a middle region between heaven and hell, and to border rather on the latter. The sepulchral inscriptions in the catacombs have a prevailingly cheerful tone, and represent the departed souls as being "in peace" and "living in Christ," or "in God."1134  The same view is substantially preserved in the Oriental church, which holds that the souls of the departed believers may be aided by the prayers of the living, but are nevertheless "in light and rest, with a foretaste of eternal happiness."1135

Yet alongside with this prevailing belief, there are traces of the purgatorial idea of suffering the temporal consequences of sin, and a painful struggle after holiness. Origen, following in the path of Plato, used the term "purgatorial fire,"1136 by which the remaining stains of the soul shall be burned away; but he understood it figuratively, and connected it with the consuming fire at the final judgment, while Augustin and Gregory I. transferred it to the middle state. The common people and most of the fathers understood it of a material fire; but this is not a matter of faith, and there are Roman divines1137 who confine the purgatorial sufferings to the mind and the conscience. A material fire would be very harmless without a material body. A still nearer approach to the Roman purgatory was made by Tertullian and Cyprian, who taught that a special satisfaction and penance was required for sins committed after baptism, and that the last farthing must be paid (Matt. 5:20) before the soul can be released from prison and enter into heaven.


 § 157. After Judgment. Future Punishment.


The doctrine of the Fathers on future punishment is discussed by Dr. Edward Beecher, l.c., and in the controversial works called forth by Canon Farrar’s Eternal Hope (Five Sermons preached in Westminster Abbey, Nov. 1877. Lond., 1879.) See especially

Dr. Pusey: "What is of Faith as to Everlasting Punishment?"  A Reply to Dr. Farrar’s Challenge. Oxf. and Lond., second ed. 1880 (284 pages).

Canon F. W. Farrar: Mercy and Judgment: A few last words on Christian Eschatology with reference to Dr. Pusey’s "What is of Faith?" London and N. York, 1881 (485 pages). See chs. II., III., IX.-XII. Farrar opposes with much fervor "the current opinions about Hell," and reduces it to the smallest possible dimensions of time and space, but expressly rejects Universalism. He accepts with Pusey the Romanizing view of "future purification" (instead of "probation"), and thus increases the number of the saved by withdrawing vast multitudes of imperfect Christians from the awful doom.


After the general judgment we have nothing revealed but the boundless prospect of aeonian life and aeonian death. This is the ultimate boundary of our knowledge.

There never was in the Christian church any difference of opinion concerning the righteous, who shall inherit eternal life and enjoy the blessed communion of God forever and ever. But the final fate of the impenitent who reject the offer of salvation admits of three answers to the reasoning mind: everlasting punishment, annihilation, restoration (after remedial punishment and repentance).

I. Everlasting Punishment of the wicked always was, and always will be the orthodox theory. It was held by the Jews at the time of Christ, with the exception of the Sadducces, who denied the resurrection.1138  It is endorsed by the highest authority of the most merciful Being, who sacrificed his own life for the salvation of sinners.1139

Consequently the majority of the fathers who speak plainly on this terrible subject, favor this view.

Ignatius speaks of "the unquenchable fire;"1140 Hermas, of some "who will not be saved," but "shall utterly perish," because they will not repent.1141

Justin Martyr teaches that the wicked or hopelessly impenitent will be raised at the judgment to receive eternal punishment. He speaks of it in twelve passages. "Briefly," he says, "what we look for, and have learned from Christ, and what we teach, is as follows. Plato said to the same effect, that Rhadamanthus and Minos would punish the wicked when they came to them; we say that the same thing will take place; but that the judge will be Christ, and that their souls will be united to the same bodies, and will undergo an eternal punishment (aivwnivan kovlasin) and not, as Plato said, a period of only a thousand years (ciliontaeth' perivodon)"1142  In another place: "We believe that all who live wickedly and do not repent, will be punished in eternal fire" (ejn aijwnivw/ puriv).1143 Such language is inconsistent with the annihilation theory for which Justin M. has been claimed.1144  He does, indeed, reject with several other ante-Nicene writers, the Platonic idea that the soul is in itself and independently immortal1145 and hints at the possibility of the final destruction of the wicked,1146 but he puts that possibility countless ages beyond the final judgment, certainly beyond the Platonic millennium of punishment, so that it loses all practical significance and ceases to give relief.

Irenaeus has been represented as holding inconsistently all three theories, or at least as hesitating between the orthodox view and the annihilation scheme. He denies, like Justin Martyr, the necessary and intrinsic immortality of the soul, and makes it dependent on God for the continuance in life as well as for life itself.1147  But in paraphrasing the apostolic rule of faith he mentions eternal punishment, and in another place he accepts as certain truth that "eternal fire is prepared for sinners," because "the Lord openly affirms, and the other Scriptures prove" it.1148  Hippolytus approves the eschatology of the Pharisees as regards the resurrection, the immortality of the soul, the judgment and conflagration, everlasting life and "everlasting punishment;" and in another place be speaks of "the rayless scenery of gloomy Tartarus, where never shines a beam from the radiating voice of the Word."1149  According to Tertullian the future punishment "will continue, not for a long time, but forever."1150  It does credit to his feelings when he says that no innocent man can rejoice in the punishment of the guilty, however just, but will grieve rather. Cyprian thinks that the fear of hell is the only ground of the fear of death to any one, and that we should have before our eyes the fear of God and eternal punishment much more than the fear of men and brief suffering.1151  The generality of this belief among Christians is testified by Celsus, who tells them that the heathen priests threaten the same "eternal punishment" as they, and that the only question was which was right, since both claimed the truth with equal confidence.1152

II. The final Annihilation of the wicked removes all discord from the universe of God at the expense of the natural immortality of the soul, and on the ground that sin will ultimately destroy the sinner, and thus destroy itself.

This theory is attributed to Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, and others, who believed only in a conditional immortality which may be forfeited; but, as we have just seen, their utterances in favor of eternal punishment are too clear and strong to justify the inference which they might have drawn from their psychology.

Arnobius, however, seems to have believed in actual annihilation; for he speaks of certain souls that "are engulfed and burned up," or "hurled down and having been reduced to nothing, vanish in the frustration of a perpetual destruction."1153

III. The Apokatastasis or final restoration of all rational beings to holiness and happiness. This seems to be the most satisfactory speculative solution of the problem of sin, and secures perfect harmony in the creation, but does violence to freedom with its power to perpetuate resistance, and Ignores the hardening nature of sin and the ever increasing difficulty of repentance. If conversion and salvation are an ultimate necessity, they lose their moral character, and moral aim.

Origen was the first Christian Universalist. He taught a final restoration, but with modesty as a speculation rather than a dogma, in his youthful work De Principiis (written before 231), which was made known in the West by the loose version of Rufinus (398).1154  In his later writings there are only faint traces of it; he seems at least to have modified it, and exempted Satan from final repentance and salvation, but this defeats the end of the theory.1155  He also obscured it by his other theory of the necessary mutability of free will, and the constant succession of fall and redemption.1156

Universal salvation (including Satan) was clearly taught by Gregory of Nyssa, a profound thinker of the school of Origen (d. 395), and, from an exegetical standpoint, by the eminent Antiochian divines Diodorus of Tarsus (d. 394) and Theodore of Mopsuestia (d. 429), and many Nestorian bishops.1157  In the West also at the time of Augustin (d. 430) there were, as he says, "multitudes who did not believe in eternal punishment." But the view of Origen was rejected by Epiphanius, Jerome, and Augustin, and at last condemned as one of the Origenistic errors under the Emperor Justinian (543).1158

Since that time universalism was regarded as a heresy, but is tolerated in Protestant churches as a private speculative opinion or charitable hope.1159


 § 158. Chiliasm.


Corrodi: Kritische Geschichte des Chiliasmus. 1781. Second ed. Zürich, 1794. 4 vols. Very unsatisfactory.

Münscher.: Lehre vom tausendjährigen Reich in den 3 ersten Jahrh. (in Henke’s "Magazin." VI. 2, p. 233 sqq.)

D. T. Taylor: The Voice of the Church on the Coming and Kingdom of the Redeemer; a History of the Doctrine of the Reign of Christ on Earth. Revised by Hastings. Second ed. Peace Dale, R. I. 1855. Pre-millennial.

W. Volck: Der Chiliasmus. Eine historisch exeget. Studie. Dorpat, 1869 Millennarian.

A. Koch: Das tausendjährige Reich. Basel, 1872. Millennarian against Hengstenberg.

C. A. Briggs: Origin and History of Premillennarianism. In the "Lutheran Quarterly Review." Gettysburg, Pa., for April, 1879. 38 pages. Anti-millennial, occasioned by the "Prophetic Conference" of Pre-millennarians, held in New York, Nov. 1878. Discusses the ante-Nicene doctrine.

Geo. N. H. Peters: The Theocratic Kingdom of our Lord Jesus, the Christ. N. York, announced for publ. in 3 vols. 1884. Pre-millennarian.

A complete critical history is wanting, but the controversial and devotional literature on the subject is very large, especially in the English language. We mention 1) on the millennial side (embracing widely different shades of opinion). (a) English and American divines: Jos. Mede (1627), Twisse, Abbadie, Beverly T. Burnet, Bishop Newton, Edward Irving, Birks, Bickersteth, Horatio and Andrew Bonar (two brothers), E. B. Elliott (Horae Apoc.), John Cumming, Dean Alford, Nathan Lord, John Lillie, James H. Brooks, E. R. Craven, Nath. West, J. A. Seiss, S. H. Kellogg, Peters, and the writings of the Second Adventists, the Irvingites, and the Plymouth Brethren. (b) German divines: Spener (Hoffnung besserer Zeiten), Peterson, Bengel (Erklärte Offenbarung Johannis, 1740), Oetinger, Stilling, Lavater, Auberlen (on Dan. and Revel.), Martensen, Rothe, von Hofmann, Löhe, Delitzsch, Volck, Luthardt. 2) On the anti-millennial side—(a) English and American: Bishop Hall, R. Baxter, David Brown (Christ’s Second Advent), Fairbairn, Urwick, G. Bush, Mos. Stuart (on Revel.), Cowles (on Dan. ind Revel.), Briggs, etc. (b) German: Gerhard, Maresius, Hengstenberg, Keil, Kliefoth, Philippi, and many others. See the articles "Millennarianism" by Semisch, and "Pre-Millennarianism" by Kellog, in Schaff-Herzog, vols. II. and III., and the literature there given.


The most striking point in the eschatology of the ante-Nicene age is the prominent chiliasm, or millennarianism, that is the belief of a visible reign of Christ in glory on earth with the risen saints for a thousand years, before the general resurrection and judgment.1160  It was indeed not the doctrine of the church embodied in any creed or form of devotion, but a widely current opinion of distinguished teachers, such as Barnabas, Papias, Justin Martyr, Irenaeus, Tertullian, Methodius, and Lactantius; while Caius, Origen, Dionysius the Great, Eusebius (as afterwards Jerome and Augustin) opposed it.

The Jewish chiliasm rested on a carnal misapprehension of the Messianic kingdom, a literal interpretation of prophetic figures, and an overestimate of the importance of the Jewish people and the holy city as the centre of that kingdom. It was developed shortly before and after Christ in the apocalyptic literature, as the Book of Enoch, the Apocalypse of Baruch, 4th Esdras, the Testaments of the Twelve Patriarchs, and the Sibylline Books. It was adopted by the heretical sect of the Ebionites, and the Gnostic Cerinthus.1161

The Christian chiliasm is the Jewish chiliasm spiritualized and fixed upon the second, instead of the first, coming of Christ. It distinguishes, moreover, two resurrections, one before and another after the millennium, and makes the millennial reign of Christ only a prelude to his eternal reign in heaven, from which it is separated by a short interregnum of Satan. The millennium is expected to come not as the legitimate result of a historical process but as a sudden supernatural revelation.

The advocates of this theory appeal to the certain promises of the Lord,1162 but particularly to the hieroglyphic passage of the Apocalypse, which teaches a millennial reign of Christ upon this earth after the first resurrection and before the creation of the new heavens and the new earth.1163

In connection with this the general expectation prevailed that the return of the Lord was near, though uncertain and unascertainable as to its day and hour, so that believers may be always ready for it.1164  This hope, through the whole age of persecution, was a copious fountain of encouragement and comfort under the pains of that martyrdom which sowed in blood the seed of a bountiful harvest for the church.

Among the Apostolic Fathers Barnabas is the first and the only one who expressly teaches a pre-millennial reign of Christ on earth. He considers the Mosaic history of the creation a type of six ages of labor for the world, each lasting a thousand years, and of a millennium of rest; since with God "one day is as a thousand years." The millennial Sabbath on earth will be followed by an eighth and eternal day in a new world, of which the Lord’s Day (called by Barnabas "the eighth day") is the type.1165

Papias of Hierapolis, a pious but credulous contemporary of Polycarp, entertained quaint and extravagant notions of the happiness of the millennial reign, for which he appealed to apostolic tradition. He put into the mouth of Christ himself a highly figurative description of the more than tropical fertility of that period, which is preserved and approved by Irenaeus, but sounds very apocryphal.1166

Justin Martyr represents the transition from the Jewish Christian to the Gentile Christian chiliasm. He speaks repeatedly of the second parousia of Christ in the clouds of heaven, surrounded by the holy angels. It will be preceded by the near manifestation of the man of sin (a[nqrwpo" th'" ajnomiva") who speaks blasphemies against the most high God, and will rule three and a half years. He is preceded by heresies and false prophets.1167  Christ will then raise the patriarchs, prophets, and pious Jews, establish the millennium, restore Jerusalem, and reign there in the midst of his saints; after which the second and general resurrection and judgment of the world will take place. He regarded this expectation of the earthly perfection of Christ’s kingdom as the key-stone of pure doctrine, but adds that many pure and devout Christians of his day did not share this opinion.1168  After the millennium the world will be annihilated, or transformed.1169  In his two Apologies, Justin teaches the usual view of the general resurrection and judgment, and makes no mention of the millennium, but does not exclude it.1170  The other Greek Apologists are silent on the subject, and cannot be quoted either for or against chiliasm.

Irenaeus, on the strength of tradition from St. John and his disciples, taught that after the destruction of the Roman empire, and the brief raging of antichrist (lasting three and a half years or 1260 days), Christ will visibly appear, will bind Satan, will reign at the rebuilt city of Jerusalem with the little band of faithful confessors and the host of risen martyrs over the nations of the earth, and will celebrate the millennial sabbath of preparation for the eternal glory of heaven; then, after a temporary liberation of Satan, follows the final victory, the general resurrection, the judgment of the world, and the consummation in the new heavens and the new earth.1171

Tertullian was an enthusiastic Chiliast, and pointed not only to the Apocalypse, but also to the predictions of the Montanist prophets.1172  But the Montanists substituted Pepuza in Phrygia for Jerusalem, as the centre of Christ’s reign, and ran into fanatical excesses, which brought chiliasm into discredit, and resulted in its condemnation by several synods in Asia Minor.1173

After Tertullian, and independently of Montanism, chiliasm was taught by Commodian towards the close of the third century,1174 Lactantius,1175 and Victorinus of Petau,1176 at the beginning of the fourth. Its last distinguished advocates in the East were Methodius (d., a martyr, 311), the opponent of Origen,1177 and Apollinaris of Laodicea in Syria.

We now turn to the anti-Chiliasts. The opposition began during the Montanist movement in Asia Minor. Caius of Rome attacked both Chiliasm and Montanism, and traced the former to the hated heretic Cerinthus.1178  The Roman church seems never to have sympathized with either, and prepared itself for a comfortable settlement and normal development in this world. In Alexandria, Origen opposed chiliasm as a Jewish dream, and spiritualized the symbolical language of the prophets.1179  His distinguished pupil, Dionysius the Great (d. about 264), checked the chiliastic movement when it was revived by Nepos in Egypt, and wrote an elaborate work against it, which is lost. He denied the Apocalypse to the apostle John, and ascribed it to a presbyter of that name.1180  Eusebius inclined to the same view.

But the crushing blow came from the great change in the social condition and prospects of the church in the Nicene age. After Christianity, contrary to all expectation, triumphed in the Roman empire, and was embraced by the Caesars themselves, the millennial reign, instead of being anxiously waited and prayed for, began to be dated either from the first appearance of Christ, or from the conversion of Constantine and the downfall of paganism, and to be regarded as realized in the glory of the dominant imperial state-church. Augustin, who himself had formerly entertained chiliastic hopes, framed the new theory which reflected the social change, and was generally accepted. The apocalyptic millennium he understood to be the present reign of Christ in the Catholic church, and the first resurrection, the translation of the martyrs and saints to heaven, where they participate in Christ’s reign.1181  It was consistent with this theory that towards the close of the first millennium of the Christian era there was a wide-spread expectation in Western Europe that the final judgment was at hand.

From the time of Constantine and Augustin chiliasm took its place among the heresies, and was rejected subsequently even by the Protestant reformers as a Jewish dream.1182  But it was revived from time to time as an article of faith and hope by pious individuals and whole sects, often in connection with historic pessimism, with distrust in mission work, as carried on by human agencies, with literal interpretations of prophecy, and with peculiar notions about Antichrist, the conversion and restoration of the Jews, their return to the Holy Land, and also with abortive attempts to calculate "the times and seasons" of the Second Advent, which "the Father hath put in his own power" (Acts 1:7), and did not choose to reveal to his own Son in the days of his flesh. In a free spiritual sense, however, millennarianism will always survive as the hope of a golden age of the church on earth, and of a great sabbath of history after its many centuries of labor and strife. The church militant ever longs after the church triumphant, and looks "for new heavens and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness" (2 Pet. 3:13). "There remaineth a sabbath rest for the people of God." (Heb. 4:9).



* 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.

934  logikwvteron, as Eusebius has it.

935  The term catholic is first used in its ecclesiastical sense by Ignatius, the zealous advocate of episcopacy. Ad Smyrn. c. 8: o{pou a]n h\/ Cristo;s jIhsou" , evkei' hJ kaqolikh; ejkklhsivaubi est Christus Jesus, illic Catholica Ecclesia. So also in the Letter of the Church of Smyrna on the martyrdom of Polycarp (155), in Eusebius, H. E. IV. 15.

936  From ai{resi". See notes below.

937  ] [Elegco" kai; ajnatroph; th'" yeudwnuvmou gnwvsew"

938  Called simply hJ grafhv, aiJ grafaivscriptura, scripturae.

939  ejn pavsai" tai'" ejpistolai'".

940  ta;" loipa;" (notta;" a[lla")grafav"

941  Comp. Clement of Rome, Ad Cor. c. 47; Polycarp, Ad Phil. 3; Ignatius, Ad Eph. 12; Ad Philad. 5; Barnabas, Ep. c. 1; Papias, testimonies on Matthew and Mark, preserved in Euseb. III. 39; Justin Martyr, Apol. I. 61 Dial.c. Tryph. 63, 81, 103, 106, and his frequent quotations from the so called "Memoir, by the Apostles;" Tatian, Diatessaron, etc. To these must be added the testimonies of the early heretics as Basilides (125), Valentine (140), Heracleon, etc. See on this subject the works on the Canon, and the critical Introductions to the N.T. The Didache quotes often from Matthew, and shows acquaintance with other books; Chs. 1, 3, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 13, 14, 16. See Schaff, Did., p. 81 sqq.

942  The Muratorian Canon (so called from its discoverer and first publisher, Muratori, 1740) is a fragment of Roman origin, though translated from the Greek, between a.d. 170 and 180, begins with Mark, passes to Luke as the third Gospel, then to John, Acts, thirteen Epistles of Paul, mentions two Epp. of John, one of Jude, and the Apocalypses of John and Peter; thus omitting James, Hebrews, third John, first and second Peter, and mentioning instead an apocryphal Apocalypse of Peter, but adding that "some of our body will not have it read in the church." The interesting fragment has been much discussed by Credner, Kirchhofer, Reuss, Tregelles, Hilgenfeld, Westcott, Hesse, Harnack, Overbeck, Salmon, and Zahn.

943  Which was regarded as canonical indeed, but not as genuine or Pauline in the West.

944  Which has the strongest external testimony, that of Justin, Irenaeus etc., in its favor, and came into question only in the third century through some antichiliasts on dogmatical grounds.

945  See lists of patristic canons in Charteris, Canonicity, p. 12 sqq.

946  diaqhvkh, covenant, comp. Matt. 26:28, where the Vulgate translates "testamentum," instead of faedus

947  ta; eujaggelika; kai; ta; ajpostolikav, or to; eujaggevlion kai; oJ ajpovstolo"_ instrumentum evangelicum, apostolicum, or evangelium, apostolus. Hence the Scripture lessons in the liturgical churches are divided into " Gospels" and " Epistles."

948  kanwn th'" pivstew",or th'" ajlhqeiva" , paravdosi" tw'n ajpostovlwn, or par. ajpostolikhv, kanw;n ejkklhsiastikov" , to; ajrcai'on th'" ejkklhsiva" , suvsthma, regula fidei, regula veritatis, traditio apostolica, lex fidei, fides catholica. Sometimes these terms are used in a wider sense, and embrace the whole course of catechetical instruction.

949  "Christus veritatem se, non consuetudinem cognominavit .... Haereses non tam novitas quam veritas revincit. Quodcunque adversus veritatem sapit hoc erit haeresis, etiam vetus consuetudo."De Virg. vel. c. 1.

950  "Cosuetudo sine veritate vetustas erroris est."Ep. 74 (contra Stephanum), c. 9.

951  So Paul uses the word paravdosi", 2 Thess. 2:15: " hold the tradition, which ye were taught, whether by word (dia; lovgou), or by epistle of ours (di j ejpistolh'" hJmwn) Comp. 3: 6 (kata; th;n paravdosin h}n parelavbete par j hJmwn); 1 Cor. 11:2. In all other passages, however, where the word paravdosi", traditio, occurs, it is used in an unfavorable sense of extra-scriptural teaching, especially that of the Pharisees. Comp. Matt. 15:2, 6; Mark 7:3, 5, 9, 13; Gal. 1:14; Col. 2:8. The Reformers attached the same censure to the mediaeval tradition of the Roman church, which obscured and virtually set aside the written word of God.

952  See a collection of these ante-Nicene rules of faith in Hahn, Denzinger, Heurtley, Caspari, and Schaff (II.11-41).

953  This obsolete opinion, first mentioned by Ambrose and Rufinus is still defended by Pet. Meyers, l.c. and by Abbé Martigny in his French Dictionary of Christ. Antiquities (sub Symbole des apôtres. Longfellow, in his Divine Tragedy (1871) makes poetic use of it, and arranges the Creed in twelve articles, with the names of the supposed apostolic authors. The apostolic origin was first called in question by Laurentius Valla, Erasmus, and Calvin. See particulars in Schaff’s Creeds I. 22-23.

954  Rufinus speaks of it as an ancestral tradition (tradunt majores nostri) and supports it by a false explanation of symbolum, as "collatio, hoc est quod plures in unum conferunt." See Migne, XXI. fol. 337.

955  In the Graeco-Latin Codex Laudianus (Cod. E of the Acts) in the Bodleian Library at Oxford, from the sixth century, and known to the Venerable Bede (731). The Creed is attached at the end, is written in uncial letters, and was first made known by Archbishop Ussher. Heurtley (p. 61 sq.) gives a facsimile. It is reprinted in Caspari, Hahn (second ed. p. 16), and Schaff (II. 47). Another copy is found in a MS. of the eighth century in the British Museum, published by Swainson, The Nic. and Ap. Creeds, p. 161, and by Hahn in a Nachtrag to the Preface, p. xvi. This document, however, inserts catholicam after ecclesiam. Comp. also the form in the Explanatio Symboli ad initiandos, by Ambrose in Caspari, II. 48 and 128, and Schaff, II. 50. The Creed of Aquileja, as given by Rufinus, has a few additions, but marks them as such so that we can infer from it the words of the Roman Creed. With these Latin documents agree the Greek in the Psalterium of King Aethelstan, and of Marcellus (see next note).

956  In Epiphanius, Haer. LXXII. it is assigned to a.d. 341, by others to 337. It is printed in Schaff (II. 47), Hahn, and in the first table below. It contains, according to Caspari, the original form of the Roman creed as current at the time in the Greek portion of the Roman congregation. It differs from the oldest Latin form only by the omission of patevra, and the addition of zwh;n aijwvnion

957  The Psalterium Aethelstani, in the Cotton Library of the British Museum, written in Anglo-Saxon letters, first published by Ussher, then by Heurtley, Caspari, and Hahn (p. 15). It differs from the text of Marcellus by the insertion of patevra and the omission of zwh;n aijwvnion, in both points agreeing with the Latin text.

958  On the Greek original of the Roman symbol Caspari’s researches (III. 267-466) are conclusive. Harnack (in Herzog 2, vol. I. 567) agrees: "Der griechische Text ist als das Original zu betrachten; griechisch wurde das Symbol zu Rom eine lange Zeit hindurch ausschliesslich tradirt. Dann trat der lateinisch übersetzte Text als Parallelform hinzu." Both are disposed to trace the symbol to Johannean circles in Asia Minor on account of the term "only begotten, (monogenhv"), which is used of Christ only by John.

959  Descendit ad inferna, first found in Arian Creeds (eij" a{/dou or eij" a{/dhn) about a.d. 360; then in the Creed of Aquileja, about a.d. 390; then in the Creed of Venantius Fortunatus, 590, in the Sacramentarium Gallicanum, 650, and in the ultimate text of the Apostles’ Creed in Pirminius, 750. See the table in Schaff’s Creeds, II. 54, and critical note on p. 46. Rufinus says expressly that this clause was not contained in the Roman creed and explains it wrongly as being identical with "buried." Com. c. 18 (in Migne, f. 356): "Sciendum sane est, quod in Ecclesiae Romanae Symbolo non habetur additum, ’descendit ad inferna:’ sed neque in Orientis Ecclesiis habetur hic sermo: via tamen verbi eadem videtur esse in eo, quod ’sepultis dicitur.’" The article of the descent is based upon Peter’s teaching, Acts 2: 31 ("he was not left in Hades, " eij" a{dou, consequently he was there); 1 Pet. 3:19; 4:6; and the promise of Christ to the, dying robber, Luke 23:34 (" to day thou shalt be with Me in paradise," ejn tw'/ paradeivsw/), and undoubtedly means a self exhibition of Christ to the spirits of the departed. The translation " descended into hell" is unfortunate and misleading. We do not know whether Christ was in hell; but we do know from his own lips that he was in paradise between his death and resurrection. The term Hades is much more comprehensive than Hell (Gehenna), which is confined to the state and place of the lost.

960  It is found first in the Sacramentarium Gallicanum, 650. The older creeds of Cyprian, Rufinus, Augustin, read simply sanctam ecclesiam, Marcellus ajgivan ejkklhsivan

961  Sanctorum communionem. After 650.

962  Contained in Marcellus and Augustin, but wanting in Rufinus and in the Psalter of Aethelstan. See on all these additions and their probable date the tables in my Creeds of Christendom, II. 54 and 55.

963  We usually speak of three œcumenical creeds; but the Greek church has never adopted the Apostles’ Creed and the Athanasian Creed, although she holds the doctrines therein contained. The Nicene Creed was adopted in the West, and so far is universal, but the insertion of the formula Filioque created and perpetuates the split between the Greek and Latin churches.

964  The second table is transferred from the author’s Creeds of Christendom, vol. II. 40 and 41 (by permission of the publishers, Messrs. Harpers). In the same work will be found other comparative illustrative and chronological tables of the oldest symbols. See vol. I. 21 and 28 sq.; and vol. II. 54, 55.

965  The Roman Creed, according to Rufinus (390), ends with carnis resurrctionem; but the Greek version of the Roman Creed by Marcellus (341) with zwh;n aijwvnion

966  "Omne quod est corpus est sui generis. Nihil est incorporale, nisi quod non est. Habente igitur anima invisible corpus, " etc. (De Carne Christi, c. 11)."Quis enim negabit, Deum corpus esse, etsi Deus spiritus est? Spiritus enim corpus sui generis in sua effigie." (Adv. Prax. c. 7).

967  Comp. Gen. c. 1 and 2; Psalm 33:9; 148:5; John 1:3; Col. 1:15; Heb. 1:2; 11:3; Rev. 4:11.

968  Gen. 1:31; Comp. Ps. 104:24; 1 Tim. 4:4.

969  For a full exposition of Origen’s cosmology see Möller, l. c. p. 536-560. He justly calls it a "kirchlich-wissenschaftliches Gegenbild der gnostischen Weltanschauung." Comp. also Huetius (Origeniana), Neander, Dorner, Redepenning.

970  From tradux, a branch for preparation, frequently used by Tertullian, Adv. Valent. c. 25, etc.

971  Tertullian, De Anima, c. 27: "Ex uno homine toti haec animarum redundantia." Cap. 36: "Anima in utero seminata pariter cum carne pariter cum ipsa sortitur et sexum, " i.e."the soul, being sown in the womb at the same time with the body, receives likewise along with it its sex;" and this takes place so simultaneously "that neither of the two substances can be alone regarded as the cause of the sex (ita pariter, ut in causa sexus neutra substantia teneatur)." In Tertullian this theory was connected with a somewhat materialistic or strongly realistic tendency of thought.

972  "Tradux aninae tradux peccati."

973  Notably in our century by one of the profoundest and soundest evangelical divines, Dr. Julius Mailer, in his masterly work on The Christian Doctrine of Sin. (Urwick’s translation, Edinb. 1868, vol. II. pp. 357 sqq, , Comp. pp. 73, 147, 397). He assumes that man in a transcendental, pre-temporal or extratemporal existence, by an act of free self-decision, fixed his moral character and fate for his present life. This conclusion, he thinks, reconciles the fact of the universalness of sin with that of individual guilt, and accords with the unfathomable depth of our consciousness of guilt and the mystery of that inextinguishable melancholy and sadness which is most profound in the noblest natures. But Müller found no response, and was opposed by Rothe, Dorner, and others. In America, the theory of pre-existence was independently advocated by Dr. Edward Beecher in his book: The Conflict of Ages. Boston, 1853.

974  Inesse nobis to; aujtexouvsionnaturaliter, jam et Marcioni ostendimus et Hermogeni"De Anima, c. 21. Comp. Adv. Marc. II. 5 sqq.

975  Definimus animam Dei flatu natam, immortalem, corporalem, effigiatam, sub stantia simplicem, de suo sapientem, varie procedentem, liberam arbitrii, accidentiis obnoxiam, per ingenia mutabilem, rationalem, dominatricem, divinatricem, ex una redundantem."De Anima, c. 22.

976  See vol. III. p. 783 sqq.

977  Matt. 16:16-19 sqq

978  . 1 John 4:1-3.

979  Comp. Matt. 2:11; 9:18; 17:14, 15; 28:9, 17; Luke 17:15, 16; 23:42; John 20:28; Acts 7:59, 60; 9:14, 21; 1 Cor. 1:2; Phil. 2:10; Hebr. 1:6; 1 John 5:13-15; Rev. 5:6-13, etc.

980  See p. 279.

981  See p. 230.

982  Contra Cels. 1. VIII.c. 67.

983   "Carnem Christo quasi Deo dicere," Epp. X. 97. A heathen mock-crucifix which was discovered in 1857 in Rome, represents a Christian as worshipping a crucified ass as "his God." See above, p. 272.

984  to;n lovgon tou' qeou' to;n Cristo;n uJmnou'si qeologou'nte". Hist. Eccl. V. 28.

985  Comp. Ruinart, Acta Mart.; Prudentius, Peristeph., Liddon, l.c. pp. 400 sqq. "If there be one doctrine of our faith" (says Canon Liddon, p. 406) "which the martyrs especially confessed at death, it is the doctrine of our Lord’s Divinity. The learned and the illiterate, the young and the old, the noble and the lowly, the slave and his master united in this confession. Sometimes it is wrung from the martyr reluctantly by cross-examination, sometimes it is proclaimed as a truth with which the Christian heart is full to bursting, and which, out of the heart’s abundance, the Christian mouth cannot but speak. Sometimes Christ’s Divinity is professed as belonging to the great Christian contradiction of the polytheism of the heathen world around. Sometimes it is explained as involving Christ’s unity with the Father, against the pagan imputation of ditheism; sometimes it is proclaimed as justifying the worship which, as the heathens knew, Christians paid to Christ." Many illustrations are given.

986  Ad. Eph. c. 18: oJ ga;r Qeo;" hJmw'n Ihsou'" oJ Cristo;" ejkuoforhvqh uJpo; Mariva" (Deus noster Jesus Christus conceptus est ex Maria); c.7: ejn sapki; genovmeno" Qeov". Ignatius calls the blood of Jesus the "blood of God" (ejn ai{mati qeou), Ad. Eph. 1.He desires to imitate the sufferings of "his God,"mimhth;" ei\vnai tou' pavqo" tou' QeouÀ mou, Ad Rom. 6. Polycarp calls Christ the eternal Son of God, to whom all things in heaven and earth are subject (Ad Phil. c. 2,8 and his last prayer in Martyr. Polyc. c. 14). The anonymous author of the Epistle to Diognetus (c. 7,8) teaches that the Father sent to men, not one of his servants, whether man or angel, but the very architect and author of all things, by whom all has been ordered, and on whom all depends; he sent him as God, and because he is God, his advent is a revelation of God. On the Christology of the Apost. Fathers comp., besides Dorner, Schwane’s Ante-Nicene Doctrine History, pp. 60ff., and Liddon’s Lectures on the Divinity of Christ, pp. 379 and 411 sqq.

987  On the Logos doctrine of Philo, which probably was known to John much has been written by Gfrörer (1831), Dähne (1834), Grossmann (1829 and 1841), Dorner (1845), Langen, (1867), Heinze (1872), Schürer (1874), Siegfried (1875), Soulier, Pahud, Klasen, and others.

988  For thorough discussions of Justin’s Logos doctrine see Semisch. Justin der Märtyrer, 11. 289 sqq.; Dorner, Entwicklungsgesch. etc. I. 415-435; Weizsäcker. Die Theologie des Märt. Justinus, in Dorner’s "Jahrbücher für deutsche Theol." Bd XII. 1867, p. 60 sqq.; and M. von Engelbardt, Das Christenthum Justins des Märt. (1878), p. 107-120, and his art. in the revised ed. of Herzog, vol. VII. (1880), p. 326.

989  Lovgo" ejndiavqeto".

990  Lovgo" proforikov" .

991  proevrcesqai.

992  genna'n, genna'sqai.

993  He calls Christ "the first begotten of God,"prwtovtoko" tou' qeou' and the prw'ton gevnnhma (but not ktivsma or poivhma tou' qeou'). See Apol. I. 21, 23, 33, 46, 63; and Engelhardt, l.c. p. 116-120: "Der Logos ist vorweltlich, aber nicht ewig."

994  Lovgo" a[sarko" .

995  See the proof in the monograph of Semisch.

996  Comp. Apol. II. 8, 10, 13. He says that the moral teaching of the Stoics and some of the Greek poets was admirable on account of the seed of the Logos implanted in every race of men (dia; to; e[mfuton panti; gevnei ajnqrwvpwn spevrma tou' lovgou), and mentions as examples Heraclitus, Musonius, and others, who for this reason were hated and put to death.

997  On the relation of Justin to John’s Gospel, see especially the very careful examination of Ezra Abbot, The Authorship of the Fourth Gospel (Boston, 1880), pp. 29-56. He says (p. 41) While Justin’s conceptions in regard to the Logos were undoubtedly greatly affected by Philo and the Alexandrian philosophy, the doctrine of the incarnation of the Logos was utterly foreign to that philosophy, and could only have been derived, it would seem, from the Gospel of John. He accordingly speaks very often in language similar to that of John (1:14) of the Logos as ’ made flesh,’ or as ’having become man.’That in the last phrase he should prefer the term ’man’ to the Hebraistic ’flesh’ can excite no surprise. With reference to the deity of the Logos and his instrumental agency in creation, compare also especially Apol. II. 6, ’through him God created all things’ (di j aujtou' pavnta e[ktise) Dial. c. 56, and Apol. I. 63, with John 1:1-3. Since the Fathers who immediately followed Justin, as Theophilus, Irenaeus Clement, Tertullian, unquestionably founded their doctrine of the incarnation of the Logos on the Gospel of John, the presumption is that Justin did the same. He professes to hold his view, in which he owns that some Christians do not agree with him ’because we have been comminded by Christ himself not to follow the doctrines of men, but those which were proclaimed by the blessed prophets and taught by Him.’(Dial. c. 48). Now, as Canon Westcott observes, ’the Synoptists do not anywhere declare Christ’s pre-existence.’ And where could Justin suppose himself to have found this doctrine taught by Christ except in the Fourth Gospel? Compare Apol. I. 46: ’That Christ is the first-born of God, being the Logos [the divine Reason] of which every race of men have been partakers [Comp. John 1:4, 5, 9], we have been taught and have declared before. And those who have lived according to Reason are Christians, even though they were deemed atheists; as for example, Socrates and Heraclitus and those like them among the Greeks.’’

998  Comp. here Neander, Baur, Dorner (I. 635-695), the monographs on Origen by Redepenning (II. 295-307), and Thomasius, H. Schultz, Die Christologie des Origenes, in the "Jahrb. f. Protest. Theol." 1875, No. II. and III, and the art. of Möller in Herzog2 XI. 105 sqq.

999  aujtosofiva, aujtoalhvqeia, aujtodikaiosuvnh, aujtoduvnami", aujtovlogo", etc. Contra Cels. III. 41; V. 39. Origen repeatedly uses the term "God Jesus, " qeo;s jIhsou'", without the article, ibid. V. 51; VI. 66.

1000  In a fragment on the Ep. to the Hebrews (IV. 697, de la Rue): ajpovrroia oJmoouvsio".

1001  De Princip. IV. 28: "Sicut lux numquam sine splendore esse potuit, ita nec Filius quidem sine Patre intelligi potest "

1002  De Princ. I. 2, 4: "Est aeterna et sempiterna generatio, sicut splendor generatur a luce."Horn. in Jerem. IX. 4. ajeiv genna' oJ Path;r to;n UiJovn

1003  eJtirovth" th'" oujsiva" ortou' uJpokeimevnou, which the advocates of his orthodoxy, probably without reason, take is merely opposing the Patripassian conception of the oJmoousiva. Redepenning, II. 300-306, gives the principal passages for the homo-ousia and the hetero-ousia.

1004  phghv, rJivza th'" qeovthto".

1005  De Orat. c. 15.

1006  For example, Ad Rom. I. p. 472: "Adorare alium quempiam praeter Patrem et Filium et Spiritum sanctum, impietatis est crimen."Contra Cels. VIII. 67. He closes his homilies with a doxology to Christ.

1007  The lovgo" ejndiavqeto" and lovgo" proforikov" .

1008  Adv. Haer. II. 28, 6 "Si quis nobis dixerit: quomodo ergo Filius prolatus a Patre est? dicimus ei—nemo novit nisi solus, qui generavit Pater et qui natus est Filius."

1009  The lovgo" a[sarko" and the lovgo" e[nsarko" .

1010  As Duncker in his monograph: Die Christologie des heil. Irenaeus, p. 50 sqq., has unanswerably shown

1011  Adv. Prax. c. 9 "Pater tota subsiantia est, Filius vero derivatio totius et portio, sicut ipse profitetur Quia Pater major Me est " (John 14:28).

1012  Hence he says (Adv. Prax. c. 5), by way of illustration: "Quodcunque cogitaveris, sermo est; quodcunque senseris ratio est. Loquaris illud in animo necesse est, et dum loqueris, conlocutorem pateris sermonem, in quo inest haec ipsa ratio qua cum eo cogitans loquaris, per quem loquens cogitas."

1013  In German terminology this progress in the filiation (Hypostasirung) may, be expressed: die werdende Persönlichkeit, die gewordene Persönlichkeit, die erscheinende Persönlichkeit.

1014  See the exposition of Döllinger, Hippol. p. 195 sqq.

1015  Ep. ad Smyrn. c. 2-5.

1016  ejn sarki; genovmeno" qeov" (ad Ephes. c. 7); also e[nwsi" sarko;" kai; pneuvmato". Comp. Rom. 1:3, 4; 9:5; 1 John 4:1-3

1017  ajnakefalaivwsi", recapitulatio, a term frequently used by Irenaeus. Comp. Rom. 13:9; Eph. 1:10.

1018  Adv. Haer. II. 22, § 4-6. He appeals to tradition and to the loose conjecture of the Jews that Christ was near fifty years, John 8:57. The Valentinian Gnostics allowed only thirty years to Christ, corresponding to the number of their aeons.

1019  Adv. Marcionem, and De Carne Christi.

1020  Adv. Praxean.

1021  The view of the ubiquity of Christ’s body was adopted by Gregory of Nyssa, revived by Scotus Erigena, but in a pantheistic sense, and by Luther, who made it a support to his doctrine of the Lord’s Supper. See Creeds of Christendom, vol. I. p. 286 sqq.

1022  qeavnqrwpo".

1023  "Et sibi et universo generi humano causa facta est salutis."Adv. Haer. III. 22, § 4.

1024  At least according to Dorner, I. 495.

1025  Credo in Spiritum Sanctum.

1026  ejn deutevra/ cwvra/.

1027  ejn trivth/ tavxei, Apol. I. 13.

1028  Apol. I. 6: Ekei'novn te(i.e. qeo;n), kai; to;n par j aujtou' UiJo;n ejlqovnta kai; didavxanta hJma'" tau'ta kai; to;n tw'n a[llwn eJpomevnwn kai; ejxomoioumevnwn ajgaqw'n ajggevlwn strato;n, Pneu'mav te to; profhtiko;n sebovmeqa kai; proskunou'men. This passage has been variously explained. The questions arise, whether a[ggelo" here is not to be taken in the wider sense, in which Justin often uses it, and even applies it to Christ; whether stratovndepends on sebovmeqa, and not rather on didavxanta, so as to be co-ordinate with hJma'", or with tau'ta, and not with YiJovn andPneu'ma. Still others suspect that stratovn is a false reading for strathgovn, which would characterize Christ as the leader of the angelic host. It is impossible to co-ordinate the host of angels with the Father, Son, and Spirit, as objects of worship, without involving Justin in gross self-contradiction (Apol I. 17: qeo;n movnon proskunou'men, etc.). We must either join stratovn with hJma'" , in the sense that Christ is the teacher, not of men only, but also of the host of angels; or with tau'ta in the sense that the Son of God taught us (didavxanta hJma'") about these things (tau'ta, i.e. evil spirits, compare the preceding chapter I. 5), but also concerning the good angels—to;n ajggevlwn strato;n being in this case elliptically put for ta; peri; tou'... ajggevlwn stratou'. The former is more natural, although a more careful writer than Justin would in this case have said tau'ta hJma'" instead of hJma'" tau'ta. For a summary of the different interpretations see Otto’s notes in the third ed. of Justin’s Opera, I. 20-23.

1029  Hence the frequent designation, to; Pneu'ma profhtikovn, together with the other, Pneu’ma a!gion; and hence also even in the Symb. Nic. Constantin. the definition: Pneu'ma ... to; lalh'san dia; tw'n profhtw'n, "who spoke through the prophets."

1030  Paed. III. p. 311: jEucaristou'nta" aijnei'n tw'/ movnw/ Patri; kai; UiJw'/ su;n kai; tw'/ aJgivw/ Pneu'mati.

1031  Not as u{lh tw'n carismavtwn, as Neander and others represent it, but as th;n u{lhn tw'n carism. parevcon, as offering the substance and fairness of the spiritual gifts; therefore as the ajrchv and phghv of them. In Joh. II. § 6.

1032  De Princip. I. 3, 3.

1033  In Joh. tom. II. § 6: timiwvteron—this comparative, by the way, should be noticed as possibly saying more than the superlative, and perhaps designed to distinguish the Spirit from all creatures—pavntwn tw'n uJpo; tou' Patro;" dia; Cristou' gegennhmevnwn.

1034  According to John 1:3

1035  Adv. Haer. IV. 20, §1.

1036  triav", first in Theophilus; trinitas, first in Tertullian; from the fourth century more distinctly monotriav" , mona;" ejn travdi, triunitas.

1037  oujsiva, fuvsi", substantia; sometimes also, inaccurately, uJpovstasi" .

1038  trei'" uJpostavsei" , triva provswpa, personae.

1039  Comp. Plato, Ep. 2 and 6, which, however, are spurious or doubtful. Legg. IV. p. 185: JO qeo;" ajrchvn te kai; teleuth;n kai; mesa; tw'n o[ntwn aJpavntwn e[cwn.

1040  Plotinus (in Enn. V. 1) and Porphyry (in Cyril. Alex. c. Jul.) who, however, were already unconsciously affected by Christian ideas, speak of trei'" uJpostavsei" but in a sense altogether different from that of the church.

1041  "Ubi amor, ibi trinitas," says St. Augustin.

1042  C. 14, where Polycarp concludes his prayer at the stake with the words, di ou|(i.e. Christ) soiv (i.e. the Father), sun aujtw'/ (Christ) kai; Pneuvmati aJgivw/ dovxa kai; nu'n kai; eiv" tou;'" mevllonta" aijw'na"Comp. at the end of c. 22: oJ kuvrios jIh". Cristov"... w|/ hJ dovxa, su;n Patri; kai; aJgivw/ Pneuvmati, eij" tou;'" aijw'na" tw'n aijw'nwn.. "Dominus Jesus Christus, cui sit gloria cum Patre et Spiritu Sancto in sœcula sœcutorum. Amen."I quote the text from Funk, Patr. Apost. I. 298 and 308.

1043  In the Const. MS. Ad Cor. 58: zh'/ oJ qeo;" kai; zh'/ oJ kuvrios jIhsou'" Cristo;" kai; to; pneu'ma a{gion, h{ te pivsti" kai; hJ ejlpi;" tw'n eklektw'n."As surely as God liveth ... so surely, " etc.

1044  In Irenaeus: Adv. Haer. V. 36, 2.

1045  qeov", Lovgo" and Sofiva. By Sofiva, like Irenaeus, he means the Holy Spirit.

1046  Adv. Haer. V. 18, 2.

1047  Adv. Praxean, c. 8.

1048  "Tertius"—says he, Adv. Prax. c. 8—"est Spiritus a Deo et Filio, sicut tertius a radice fructus ex frutice, et tertius a fonte rivus ex flumine, et tertius a sole apex ex radio. Nihil tamen a matrice alienatur, a qua proprietates suas ducit. Ita trinitas [here this word appears for the first time, comp. c. 2: oijkonomivaquae unitatem in trinitatem disponit] per consertos [al. consortes] et connexos gradus a Patre decurrens et monarchioe nihil obstrepit et oijkonomiva"statum protegit."

1049  C. 2: "Tres autem non statu, sed gradu, nec substantia, sed forma, nec potestate, sed specie, unius autem substantiae, et unius status, et unius potestatis, quia unus Deus, ex quo et gradus isti et formae et species, in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus Sancti deputantur."

1050  Nothing is known of him except his effective effort against the Sabellian heresy. He was consecrated after the death of Xystus, July 22, 259, during the persecution of Valerian. He acted with Dionysius of Alexandria in condemning and degrading Paul of Samosata, in 264. He died Dec. 26, 269.

1051  Th;n qeivan triavda eij" e{na w{sper eij" korufhvn tina (to;n qeo;n tw'n o{lwn, to;n pantokravtora levgw)sunkefalaiou'sqaiv te kai; sunavgesqai pa'sa ajnavgkh. Athanasius, De Sent. Dionysii, c. 4 sqq. (Opera, I. 252); De Decr. Syn. Nic. 26 (Routh, Reliqu. Sacrae, iii. p. 384, ed. alt.).

1052  The designation Monarchiani as a sectarian name is first used by Tertullian, Adv. Prox. c. 10 ("vanissimi isti Monarchiani"); but the Monarchians themselves used monarciva in the good sense (Adv. Prax. 3."Monarchiam, inquiunt, tenemus"), in which it was employed by the orthodox fathers in opposition to dualism and polytheism. Irenaeus wrote (according to Jerome) a book "De Monarchia, sive quod Deus non sit auctor malorum." In a somewhat different sense, the Greek fathers in opposition to the Latin Filioque insist on the monarcivaof the Father, i.e. the sovereign dignity of the first Person of the Trinity, as the root and fountain of the Deity.

1053  From aj privative and lovgo", which may mean both irrational, and opponents of the Logos doctrine. The designation occurs first in Epiphanius, who invented the term (Haer. 51, c. 3) to characterize sarcastically their unreasonable rejection of the Divine Reason preached by John.

1054  Hence Epiphanius asks (Haer. 51, 3): pw'" e[stai Khrivnqou ta; kata; Khrivnqou levgonta?

1055  Comp. on the Alogi, Iren. Adv. Haer. III. 11. 9 (alii ... simul evangelium [Joannis] et propheticum repellunt spiritum;"but the application of this passage is doubtful); Epiphanius, Haer. 51 and 54. M. Merkel, Historish-kritische Aufklärung der Streitigkeiten der Aloger über die Apokalypsis, Frankf. and Leipz. 1782; by the same: Umständlicher Beweis dass die Apok. ein untergeschobenes Buch sei, Leipz. 1785; F. A. Heinichen, De Alogis, Theodotianis atque Artemonites, Leipzig, 1829; Neander, Kirchengesch. l. II. 906, 1003; Dorner, l. c. Bd. II. 500-503; Schaff, Alogians in " Smith and Wace," I. 87; Lipsius, Quellen der ältesten Ketzergeschichte, 93 and 214; Schwane, l. c. 145-148; Döllinger, Hippolytus and Callistus, 273-288 (in Plummer’s transl.); Zahn, in the " Zeitschrift für Hist. Theol."1875, p. 72 sq.; Harnack, in Herzog2, 183-186. Harnack infers from Irenaeus that the Alogi were churchly or catholic opponents of the Montanistic prophecy as well as the millennarian Gnosticism of Cerinth at a time before the canon was fixed; but it is doubtful whether Irenaeus; refers to them at all, and in the year 170 the fourth Gospel was undoubtedly recognized throughout the Catholic church.

1056  On the older Theodotus see Hippol. Philos., VII. 35; X. 23 (in D. and Schu. p. 406 and 526); Epiph., Haer. 54; Philastr., Haer. 50; Pseudo Tert., Haer. 28; Euseb., H. E. V. 28, On the younger Theodotus, see Hippol., VII. 36; Euseb., V. 28; Pseudo-Tert., 29; Epiph., Haer. 55 (Contra Melchisedecianos).

1057  Euseb. V. 28. Eusebius derived his information from an anonymous book which Nicephorus (IV. 21) calls mikro;n labuvrinqon, "the little labyrinth," and which Photius (Bibl. c. 48) ascribes to Caius, but which was probably written b v Hippolytus of Rome. See the note of Heinichen in Tom. III. 243 sq., and Döllinger, Hippolytus, p. 3 (Engl. transl.).

1058  The sources of our fragmentary information about Artemon are Epiphanius, Haer. 65, c. 1-4; Euseb., H. E. V. 28; VII. 30; Theodoret, Haer. Fab. II. 8. Comp. Kapp, Historia Artemonis, 1737, Schleiermacher, Dorner, and Harnack.

1059  "Ducenarius procurator." He was viceroy of the queen of Palmyra, to which Antioch belonged at that time.

1060  Aqeopoivhsi" ejk prokoph'" or agegonevnai qeo;n ejx ajnqrwvpou. He anticipated the doctrine of the Socinians who were at first frequently called Samosaterians (e.g. in the Second Helvetic Confession). They teach that Christ began as a man and ended as a God, being elevated after the resurrection to a quasi-divinity, so as to become an object of adoration and worship. But the logical tendency of Socinianism is towards mere humanitarianism. The idea of divinity necessarily includes aseity and eternity. A divinity communicated in time is only a finite being.

1061  qeo;" ejk th'" parqevnou.

1062  Probably he meant the impersonal, pre-existent Logos. But the Synod of Antioch declined the term oJmoouvsio"impersonal (Sabellian) sense.

1063  Sources: The fragmentary acts of the Synod of Antioch in Eusebius, VII. 27-30; Jerome, De Viris ill. 71; Epiphanius, Haer 65 (or 45 kata; tou' Pauvlou tou' Samosatevw", In Oehler’s ed. II. 2, P. 380-397); five fragments of sermons of Paul of doubtful genuineness, in Ang. Mai’s Vet. Script. Nova Coll. VII. 68 sq.; scattered notices in Athanasius, Hilary, and other Nicene fathers; Theodoret Fab. Haer. II. 8. Comp. Dorner and Harnack.

1064  The Orientals usually call them "Sabellians" from their most prominent representative.

1065  Pseudo-Tert.: "Praxeas hoeresim introduxit quam Victorinus [probably = Victor] corroborare curavit." It is certain from Hippolytus, that Victor’s successors, Zephyrinus and Callistus sympathized with Patripassianism.

1066  The chief source: Tertullian, Adv. Praxean (39 chs., written about 210). Comp. Pseudo-Tertull. 20. Hippolytus strangely never mentions Praxeas. Hence some have conjectured that he was identical with Noëtus, who came likewise from Asia Minor; others identify him with Epigonus, or with Callistus, and regard Praxeas as a nickname. The proper view is that Praxeas appeared in Rome before Epigonus, probably under Eleutherus, and remained but a short time. On the other hand Tertullian nowhere mentions the names of Noëtus, Epigonus, Cleomenes, and Callistus.

1067  tiv ou\n kako;n poiw', he asked, doxavzwn to;n Cristovn.

1068  On Noëtus see Hippol., Philos. IX. 7-9 (p. 410-442), and his tract against Noëtus (JOmiliva eij" th;n ai{resin Nohvtou tino", perhaps the last chapter of his lost work against the 32 heresies). Epiphanius, Haer. 57, used both these books, but falsely put Noëtus back from the close of the second century to about 130.

1069  Not his teachers, as was supposed by former historians, including Neander. See Hippolytus, IX. 7.

1070  John 14:11.

1071  provswpon, Callistus, however, rectified this statement, which seems to be merely an inference of Hippolytus.

1072  divqeoi.

1073  Döllinger here dissents from, Harnack agrees with, the charge of Hippolytus.

1074  On Callistus see Hippol. IX. 11, 12 (p. 450-462) and c. 27 (p. 528-530). Comp. Döllinger, Hippol. und Callistus, ch. IV. (Engl. transl. p. 183 sqq., especially p. 215), and other works on Hippolytus; also Langen, Gesch. der röm. Kirche, p. 192-216. Döllinger charges Hippolytus with misrepresenting the views of Callistus; while Bishop Wordsworth (St. Hippolytus and the Church of Rome, ch. XIV. p. 214 sqq.), charges Callistus with the Sabellian heresy, and defends the orthodoxy of Hippolytus by such easy reasoning as this (p. 254): "Callistus is asserted by Hippolytus to have been a heretic. No church historian affirms Callistus to have been orthodox. All church history that has spoken of Hippolytus,—and his name is one of the most celebrated in its annals,—has concurred in bearing witness to the soundness of his faith." Harnack (in Herzog X. 202) considers the formula of Callistus as the bridge from the original monarchianism of the Roman church to the hypostasis-christology (Die Bücke, auf welcher di ursprünglich monarchianisch gesinnten römischen Crhisten, dem Zuge der Zeit und der kirchtichen,WIssenschaft folgend, zur Anerkennung der Hypostasen- Christologie übergegangen sind.")

1075  H. E. VI. 33.

1076  ijdiva oujsiva" perigrafhvi.e. a circumscribed, limited, separate existence.

1077  ijdiva qeovth".

1078  hJ patrikh; qeovth".

1079  The Acts of the Synod of Bostra, known to Eusebius and Jerome, are lost. Our scanty information on Beryllus is derived from Eusebius, already quoted, from Jerome, De Vir. ill. c. 60, and from a fragment of Origen in the Apology of Pamphilus, Orig. Opera, IV. 22 (ed. Bened.) Comp. Ullmann, De Beryllo Bostr., Hamb. 1835. Fock, Dissert. de Christologia Berylli, 1843; Kober, Beryll v. B. in the Tüb."Theol. Quartalschrift," for 1848. Also Baur, Dorner (I. 545 sqq.), Harnack, and Hefele (Conc. Gesch. I. 109).

1080  We will only mention Marcellus of Ancyra., Schleiermacher, and Bushnell. Schleiermacher’s doctrine of the trinity is a very ingenious improvement of Sabellianism.

1081  This we learn from Hippolytus, who introduces him rather incidentally (in his account of Callistus) as a man well known at his time in the Roman church.

1082  Sabellius must have been an old man at that time.

1083  Comp. the close of § 149 (this vol.).

1084  hJ mona;" platunqei'sa gevgone triva".

1085  ojnovmata, provswpa,—not in the orthodox sense of hypostasis, however, but in the primary sense of mask, or part (in a play)—, also morfaiv, schvmata.

1086  Which was for the first time duly brought out by Dr. Baur.

1087  qeo;" lalw'n.

1088  qeo;" siwpw'n.

1089  diavlexi"

1090  e{ktasi", orplatutmov" andsustolhv.

1091  dia; th;n hJmetevran swthrivan.

1092  1 Cor. 2:8, misapprehended.

1093  This strange theory is variously held by Irenaeus, Origen, Gregory of Nyssa, Gregory Nazianzen, Ambrose, Augustin, Leo the Great and Gregory the Great. See Baur, ch. I. and II. p. 30-118.

1094  Comp. § 146.

1095  Apol. I. 50, etc. See von Engelhardt, p. 182.

1096  Ep. ad Diognetum, c. 9.

1097  This as already intimated in a former connection, is the sense of his frequent expression: ajnakefalaiou'n, ajnakefalaivwsi" recapitulare, recapitulatio.

1098  Dissuasio.

1099  By suadela, persuasion, announcement of truth, not overreaching or deception.

1100  lovgo" peri; th'" ejnanqrwphvsew" tou' lovgou.. It was written before the outbreak of the Arian controversy. The Athanasian authorship has been contested without good reason; but another work with the similar Peri; th'" sarkwvsew" tou' qeou' lovgou, pseudo-Athanasian, and belongs to the younger Apollinaris of Laodicea. See Ritschl, I. 8 sq.

1101  See especially § 53, (this vol.).

1102  See §§ 66 to 74, (this vol.).

1103  Decline and Fall of the R. Emp. ch. XV

1104  Plato, Apol. 40.

1105  See Friedlaender, l.c. 682 sq.

1106  See Friedlaender, p. 685. So in our age, too, the number of sceptics, materialists, and atheists, though by no means inconsiderable, is a very small minority compared with the mass of believers in a future life.

1107  Gen. 2:9; 3:22, 24.

1108  Gen. 5:24.

1109  Deut. 18:11; comp. 1 Sam. 28:7.

1110  Gen. 25:8; 35:29; 49:29, 33.

1111  Ex. 3:6, 16; comp. Matt. 22:32.

1112  Comp. the famous Goël-passage, Job 19:25–27, which strongly teaches the immortality of the soul and the future rectification of the wrongs of this life; Eccles. 12:7 ("the spirit shall return to God who gave it"), and 12:14 ("God shall bring every work into judgment, with every secret thing, whether it be good or whether it be evil").

1113  Dan. 12:2, 3; Comp. Isa. 65:17; 66:22-24.

1114  See the passages sub Sheol in the Hebrew Concordance. The very name Sheol l/av] expresses either the inexorable demand and insatiability of death (if derived from  la'v;, to ask pressingly, to urge), or the subterranean character of the region, an abyss (if derived from  l['v:, to be hollow, comp. hell, hollow, Höhle), and is essentially the same as the Greek Hades and the Roman Orcus. The distinction of two regions in the spirit-world (Abraham’s Bosom or Paradise, and Gehenna, comp. Luke 16:22, 23) does not appear clearly in the canonical books, and is of later origin. Oehler (Theol. des A. Test., I. 264) says: "Von einem Unterschied des Looses der im Todtenreich Befindlichen ist im Alten Test. nirgends deutlich geredet. Wie vielmehr dort Alles gleich werde, schildert Hiob. 3:17-19. Nur in Jes. 14:15; Ez. 32:23, wo den gestürzten Eroberern die äusserste Tiefe (r/b-teB]dy") angewiesen wird, kann mann die Andeutung verschiedener Abstufungen des Todtenreichs finden, etwa in dem Sinn, wie Josephus (Bell. Jud. III. 8, 5) den Selbstmördern einen, a{/dh" skotiwvtero" in Aussicht stellt. Sonst ist nur von einer Sonderung nach Völkern und Geschlechtern die Rede, nicht von einer Sonderung der Gerechten und Ungerechten."

1115  See these and other curious particulars, with references in Wünsche, l. c. p. 361 sqq., and 494 sqq. He confesses, however, that it is exceedingly difficult to present a coherent system from the various sayings of the Rabbis. The views of the Essenes differed from the common Jewish notions; they believed only in the immortality of the soul, and greeted death as a deliverance from the prison of the body.

1116  De Anima, c. 58. The doctrine of the psychopannychia was renewed by the Anabaptists, and refuted by Calvin in one of his earliest books. (Paris, 1534.)

1117  Eusebius, VI. 37, mentions this view as held by some in Arabia.

1118  Luke 23:43; Acts 2:31; 1 Pet. 3:19; 4:6.

1119  Comp. among other passages Justin M. Dial. c. 5, 72, 80, 99, 105 (Engelhardt, l.c. p 308); Irenaeus, IV. 27, 2; V. 31; Tertullian, De Anima, c. 7, 31, 50, 55, 58; Adv. Marc. IV. 34; Cyprian, Ep. 52; Clemens Alex., Strom. VI. 762 sq.; Origen, Contra Cels. V. 15; Hom. in Luc. XIV. (Tom. III. 948) Hom. in Ez I. (III. 360); Ambrose, De Bono Mortis and Ep. 20.

1120  The mediaeval scholastics called that part of Sheol the Limbus Patrum, and assumed that it was emptied by Christ at his descent, and replaced by Purgatory, which in turn will be emptied it the second Advent, so that after the judgment there will be only heaven and hell. The evangelical confessions agree with the Roman Catholic in the twofold state after the judgment, but deny the preceding state of Purgatory between heaven and hell. They allow, however, different degrees of holiness and happiness as well as guilt and punishment before and after the judgment.

1121  Adv. Haer. IV. 27, § 2: "It was for this reason that the Lord descended into the regions beneath the earth, preaching His advent to them also, and [declaring] the remission of sins to those who believe in Him. Now all those believed in Him who had hope towards him, that is, those who proclaimed His advent, and submitted to His dispensations, the righteous men, the prophets, and the patriarchs, to whom He remitted sins in the same way, as He did to us, which sins we should not lay to their charge, if we would not despise the grace of God." This passage exists only in the Latin version

1122  The Gnostics taught that all souls return immediately to God, but this was rejected as heretical. Justin, Dial. 80.

1123  So apparently Tertullian, who calls Gehenna "a reservoir of secret fire under the earth," and Paradise "the place of divine bliss appointed to receive the spirits of the saints, separated from the knowledge of this world by that fiery zone [i.e. the river Pyriphlegeton as by a sort of enclosure." ] Apol. c. 47.

1124  So Irenaeus, Adv. Haer. V. 5, § 1: "Wherefore also the elders who were disciples of the apostles tell us that those who were translated were transferred to that place (for paradise has been prepared for righteous men, such as have the Spirit; in which place also Paul the apostle, when he was caught up, heard words which are unspeakable as regards us in our present condition), and that there shall they who have been translated remain until the consummation [of all things], as a prelude to immortality."

1125  Apol. I. 46: oiJ meta; Lovgou biwvsante" Cristianoiv eijsi, ka]n a[qeoi ejnomivsqhsan, oi\on ejn {Ellhsi Swkravth" kai; JHravkleito" kai; oiJ o{moioi aujtoi'". . Comp. Apol. I. 20, 44; Apol. II. 8, 13. He does not say anywhere expressly that the nobler heathen are saved; but it follows from his view of the Logos spermaticos (see p. 550). It was renewed in the sixteenth century by Zwingli, and may be consistently held by all who make salvation depend on eternal election rather than on water-baptism. God is not bound by his own ordinances, and may save whom and when and how he pleases.

1126  2 Macc. 12:39 sqq. Roman Catholic divines use this passage (besides Matt. 5:26; 12:32 and 1 Cor. 1:13-15) as an argument for the doctrine of purgatory. But it would prove too much for them; for the sin here spoken of was not venial, but the deadly sin of idolatry, which is excluded from purgatory and from the reach of efficacious; intercession.

1127  See specimens in Luckock, l. c. p. 58 sqq.

1128  De Cor. Mil. c. 3: "Oblationes pro defunctis, pro natalitiis annua dei facimus." Comp. the notes in Oehler’s ed. Tom. I. 422.

1129  De Monog. c. 10: "Pro anima ejus orat et refrigerium interim adpostulat ei et in prima resurrectione consortium."

1130  Vita Const. IV. 71: su;n klauqmw'/ pleivoni ta;" euca;" uJpe;r th'" basilevw" yuch'" ajpedivdosan tw'/ qew'/.

1131  Sermo 172. He also inferred from the passage on the unpardonable sin (Matt. 12:32) that other sins may be forgiven in the future world. De Civit. Dei, XXI. 24. In the Council of Chalcedon (452), Dioscurus was charged with a breach of trust for not having executed the will of a saintly woman who had left large sums of money to monasteries, hospitals, and alms-houses, in the hope of being benefited by the prayers of the faithful recipients.

1132  tw'n pneumavtwn ... ojrqodovxwn. The Greek church lays great stress on orthodoxy; but it has here evidently a very wide meaning, as it includes the faith of Abel and all Old Testament saints.

1133  Not Purgatory. This shows the difference between the ante-Nicene and post-Nicene faith. See below.

1134  Sometimes, however, this is expressed in the form of a wish or prayer: Mayest thou live in God" (Vivas in Deo, or in Christo); " May God refresh thy spirit"(Deus refrigeret spiritum tuum); " Mayest thou have eternal light in Christ," etc. Comp. § 86, (this vol.).

1135  Longer Russian Catechism, in Schaff’s Creeds, vol. II. p. 503.

1136  pu'r kaqavrsion. It is mentioned also before Origen in the Clementine Homilies, IX. 13. The Scripture passage on which the term ignis purgatorius was based, is 1 Cor. 3:13, 15, ’the fire shall prove each man’s work he himself shall be saved; yet so as through fire. (wJ" dia; purov").

1137  As Möhler, Klee, and others.

1138  The point is disputed, but the 4th Maccabees, the 4th Esdras, the Book of Enoch, the Apocalypse of Baruch, and the Psalms of Solomon, contain very strong passages, which Dr. Pusey has collected, l.c. 48-100, and are not invalidated by the reply of Farrar, ch. VIII. 180-221. Josephus (whose testimony Farrar arbitrarily sets aside as worthless) attests the belief of the Pharisees and Essenes in eternal punishment, Ant. XVIII. 1, 3; Bell. Jud. II. 8, 11, Rabbi Akiba (about 120) limited the punishment of Gehenna to twelve months; but only for the Jews. The Talmud assigns certain classes to everlasting punishment, especially apostates and those who despise the wisdom of the Rabbis. The chief passage is Rosh Hoshanah, f. 16 and 17: "There will be three divisions on the day of judgment, the perfectly righteous, the perfectly wicked, and the intermediate class. The first will be at once inscribed and sealed to life eternal; the second at once to Gehenna (Dan. 12:2); the third will descend into Gehenna and keep rising and sinking" (Zech. 12:10). This opinion was endorsed by the two great schools of Shammai and Hillel, but Hillel inclined to a liberal and charitable construction (see p. 596). Farrar maintains that Gehenna does not necessarily and usually mean hell in our sense, but 1) for Jews, or the majority of Jews, a short punishment, followed by forgiveness and escape; 2) for worse offenders a long but still terminable punishment; 3) for the worst offenders, especially Gentiles—punishment followed by annihilation. He quotes several modern Jewish authorities of the rationalistic type, eg. Dr. Deutsch, who says: "There is not a word in the Talmud that lends any support to the damnable dogma of endless torment." But Dr. Ferd. Weber who is as good authority, says, that some passages in the Talmud teach total annihilation of the wicked, others teach everlasting punishment, e.g. Pesachim 54a: "The fire of Gehenna is never extinguished." Syst. der altsynag. Poläst. Theologie, p. 375. The Mohammedans share the Jewish belief, but change the inhabitants: the Koran assigns Paradise to the orthodox Moslems, and Hell to all unbelievers (Jews, Gentiles, and Christians), and to apostates from Islam.

1139  Matt. 12:32 (the unpardonable sin); 26:24 (Judas had better never been born); 25:46 ("eternal punishment" contrasted with "eternal life"); Mark 9:48 ("Gehenna, where their worm dieth not, and the fire is not quenched"). In the light of these solemn declarations we must interpret the passages of Paul (Rom. 5:12 sqq.; 14:9; 1 Cor. 15:22, 28), which look towards universal restoration. The exegetical discussion lies outside of our scope, but is the meaning of aijwvnio"has been drawn into the patristic discussion, it is necessary to remark that the argumentative force lies not in the etymological and independent meaning of the word, which is limited to aeon, but in its connection with future punishment as contrasted with future reward, which no man doubts to be everlasting (Matt. 25:46). On the exegetical question see M. Stuart, l.c., and especially the excursus of Taylor Lewis on Olamic and Aeonian words in Scripture, in Lange’s Com. on Ecclesiastes (Am. ed. p. 44-51).

1140  Ep. ad Eph. C. 16: oJ toiou'to", rJuparo;" genovmeno", eij" to; pu'r to; ajsbeston cwrhvsei..

1141  Vis. III. 2, 7; Simil. VIII. 9 (ed. Funk, 1. p. 256, 488 sq.). Dr. Pusey claims also Polycarp (?), Barrnabas, and the spurious second Ep. of Clement, and many martyrs (from their Acts) on his side, p. 151-166.

1142  Apol. I. 8. (Comp. Plato, Phaedr. I). 249 A; De Republ.p. 615 A.)

1143  Apol. I. 21: Comp. C. 28, 45, 52; II. 2, 7, 8, 9; Dial. 45, 130. Also v. Engelhardt, p. 206, and Donaldson, II. 321.

1144  By Petavius, Beecher (p. 206), Farrar (p. 236), and others.

1145  Dial.c. Tr. 4. 5; Comp. Apol. I. 21. Tatian, his disciple, says; against the Platonists) Adv. Graec. c. 13) "The soul is not immortal in itself, O Greeks, but mortal (oujk ejstin ajqavnato" hJ yuch; kaq j eJauthvn, qnhth; dev). Yet it is possible for it not to die."Irenaeus, Theophilus of Antioch, Arnobius, and Lactantius held the same view. See Nitzsch, I. 35l-353.

1146  In Dial.c. 5, he puts into the mouth of the aged man by whom he was converted, the sentence: "Such as are worthy to see God die no more, but others shall undergo punishment as long as it shall please Him that they shall exist and be punished." But just before he had said: "I do not say that all souls die: for that would be a godsend to the wicked. What then? the souls of the pious remain in a better place, while those of the unjust and wicked are in a worse, waiting for the time of judgment." Comp. the note of Otto on the passage, Op. II. 26.

1147  Adv. Haer. 11. 34, § 3: "omnia quae facta sunt ... perseverant quoadusque ea Deus et esse et perseverare voluerit." Irenaeus reasons that whatever is created had a beginning, and therefore may have an end. Whether it will continue or not, depends upon man’s gratitude or ingratitude. He who preserves the gift of life and is grateful to the Giver, shall receive length of days forever and ever )accipiet et in saeculum saeculi longitudinem dierum); but he who casts it away and becomes ungrateful to his Maker, "deprives himself of perseverance forever "(ipse se privat in saeculum saeculi perseverantia). From this passage, which exists only in the imperfect Latin version, Dodwell, Beecher (p. 260), and Farrar (241) infer that Irenaeus taught annihilation, and interpret perseverantia to mean continued existence; while Massuet (see his note in Stieren 1. 415), and Pusey (p. 183) explain perseverantia of continuance in real life in God, or eternal happiness. The passage, it must be admitted, is not clear, for longitudo dierum and perseverantia are not identical, nor is perseverantia equivalent to existentia or vita. In Bk. IV. 20, 7, Irenaeus says that Christ "became the dispenser of the paternal grace for the benefit of man ... lest man, failing away from God altogether, should cease to exist " (cessaret esse); but he adds, "the life of man consists in beholding God " (vita autem hominus visio Dei). In the fourth Pfaffian Fragment ascribed to him (Stieren I. 889), he says that Christ "will come at the end of time to destroy all evil (eij" to; katargh'sai pa'n to; kako;n) and to reconcile all things (eij" to; ajpokatallavxai to; pavnta, from Col. 1:20) that there may be an end of all impurity." This passage, like 1 Cor. 15:28 and Col. 1:20, looks towards universal restoration rather than annihilation, but admits, like the Pauline passages, of an interpretation consistent with eternal punishment. See the long note in Stieren.

1148  Adv. Haer. III. 4, 1; If. 28, 7. See Pusey, p. 177-181. Ziegler (Irenäus, p. 312) says that Irenaeus teaches the eternity of punishment in several passages, or presupposes it, and quotes III. 23, 3; IV. 27, 4; 28, 1; IV. 33, 11; 39, 4; 40, 1 and 2.

1149  Philos. IX. 23, 30.

1150  Apol. c. 45. Comp. De Test. An. 4; De Spect. 19, 30. Pusey 184 sq.

1151  De Mortal. 10; Ep. VIII. 2. Pusey, 190. he quotes also the Rocognitions of Clement, and the Clementine Homilies, (XI. 11) on this side.

1152  Orig. C. Cels. VIII. 48. Origen in his answer does not deny the fact, but aims to prove that the truth is with the Christians.

1153  Adv. Gent. 11. 14. The theory of conditional immortality and the annihilation of the wicked has been recently renewed by a devout English author, Rev. Edward White, Life in Christ. Dr. R. Rothe also advocates annihilation, but not till after the conversion of the wicked has become a moral impossibility. See his posthumous Dogmatik, ed. by Schenkel, II. 335.

1154  De Princ. I. 6, 3. Comp. In Jer. Hom. 19; C. Cels. VI. 26.

1155  It is usually asserted from Augustin down to Nitzsch (I. 402), that Origen included Satan in the ajpokatavstasi" tw'n pavntwn, but In Ep. ad Rom. l. VIII. 9 (Opera IV. 634) he says that Satan will not be converted, not even at the end of the world, and in a letter Ad quosdam amicos Alex. (Opera I. 5, quoted by Pusey, p. 125) " Although they say that the father of malice and of the perdition of those who shall be cast out of the kingdom of God, can be saved which no one can say, even if bereft of reason."

1156  After the apokatastasis has been completed in certain aeons, he speaks of pavlin a[llh ajrch;. See the judicious remarks of Neander, I. 656 (Am. ed.)

1157  Nitzsch (I. 403 sq.) includes also Gregory Nazianzen, and possibly Chrysostom among universalists. So does Farrar more confidently (249 sqq., 271 sqq.). But the passages on the other side are stronger, see Pusey, 209 sqq., 244 sqq., and cannot be explained from mere "accommodation to the popular view." It is true, however, that Chrysostom honored the memory of Origen, and eulogized his teacher Diodorus, of Tarsus, and his comments on 1 Cor. 15:28 look towards an apokatatasIs. Pusey speaks too disparagingly of Diodor and Theodore of Mopsuestia, as the fathers of Nestorianism, and unjustly asserts that they denied the incarnation (223-226). They and Chrysostom were the fathers of a sound grammatical exegesis against the allegorizing extravagances of the Origenistic school.

1158  Posey contends (125-137), that Origen was condemned by the fifth Œcumenical Council, 553, but Hefele conclusively proves that the fifteen anathematisms against Origen were passed by a local Synod of Constantinople in 543 under Mennas. See his Conciliengesch., second ed., II. 859 sqq. The same view was before advocated by Dupin, Walch, and Döllinger.

1159  At least in the Lutheran church of Germany and in the church of England. Bengel very cautiously intimates the apokatastasis, and the Pietists in Würtemberg generally hold it. Among recent divines Schleiermacher, the Origen of Germany, is the most distinguished Universalist. He started not, like Origen, from freedom, but from the opposite Calvinistic theory of a particular election of individuals and nations, which necessarily involves a particular reprobation or praetermission rather, but only for time, until the election shall reach at last the fulness of the Gentiles and the whole of Israel. Satan was no obstacle with him, as he denied his personal existence. A denomination of recent American origin, the Universalists, have a creed of three articles called the Winchester Confession (1803), and one article teaches the ultimate restoration of "the whole family of mankind to holiness and happiness."

1160  Chiliasm (from civlia e[th, a thousand years, Rev. 20:2, 3) is the Greek, millennarianism or millennialism (from mille anni), the Latin term for the same theory. The adherents are called Chiliasts, or Millennarians, also Pre-millennarians, or Pre-millennialists (to indicate the belief that Christ will appear again before the millennium), but among them many are counted who simply believe in a golden age of Christianity which is yet to come. Post-millennarians or Anti-millennarians are those who put the Second Advent after the millennium.

1161  See Euseb. H. E. III. 27 and 28.

1162  Matt. 5:4; 19:28; Luke 14:12 sqq.

1163  Rev. 20:1-6. This is the only strictly millennarian passage in the whole Bible. Commentators are still divided as to the literal or symbolical meaning of the millennium, and as to its beginning in the past or in the future. But a number of other passages are drawn into the service of the millennarian theory, as affording indirect support, especially Isa. 11:4-9; Acts 3:21; Rom. 11:15. Modern Pre-millennarians also appeal to what they call the unfulfilled prophecies of the Old Testament regarding the restoration of the Jews in the holy land. But the ancient Chiliasts applied those prophecies to the Christian church as the true Israel.

1164  Comp. Matt. 24:33, 36; Mark 13:32; Acts 1:7; 1 Thess. 5:1, 2; 2 Pet. 3:10; Rev. 1:3; 3:3.

1165  Barn. Epist. ch. 15. He seems to have drawn his views from Ps. 90:4, 2 Pet. 3:8, but chiefly from Jewish tradition. He does not quote the Apocalypse. See Otto in Hilgenfeld’s "Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Theologie." 1877, p. 525-529, and Funk’s note in Patr. Apost. I. 46.

1166  Adv. Haer. V. 33, § 3 (ed. Stieren I. 809), quoted from the fourth book of The Oracles of the Lord:" " The days will come when vines shall grow, each having ten thousand branches, and in each branch ten thousand twigs, and in each true twig ten thousand shoots, and in every one of the shoots ten thousand clusters, and on every one of the clusters ten thousand grapes, and every grape when pressed will give five-and-twenty measures of wine. And when any one of the saints shall lay hold of a cluster, another shall cry out, ’I am a better cluster, take me; bless the Lord through me.’ In like manner [He said], ’that a grain of wheat shall produce ten thousand ears, and that every ear shall have ten thousand grains, and every grain shall yield ten pounds of pure, fine flour; and that apples, and seeds, and grass shall produce in similar proportions; and that all animals, feeding on the productions of the earth, shall then live in peace and harmony, and be in perfect subjection to man."’ These words were communicated to Papias by " the presbyters, who saw John the disciple of the Lord." and who remembered having beard them from John as coming from the Lord. There is a similar description of the Messianic times in the twenty-ninth chapter of the Apocalypse of Baruch, from the close of the first or beginning of the second century, as follows: " The earth shall yield its fruits, one producing ten thousand, and in one vine shall be a thousand bunches, and one bunch shall produce one thousand grapes, and one grape shall produce one thousand berries, and one berry shall yield a measure of wine. And those who have been hungry shall rejoice, and they shall again see prodigies every day. For spirits shall go forth from my sight to bring every morning the fragrance of spices, and at the end of the day clouds dropping the dew of health. And it shall come to pass, at that time, that the treasure of manna shall again descend from above, and they shall eat of it in these years." See the Latin in Fritzsche’s ed. of the Libri Apoc. V. T., p. 666.

1167  Dial.c. Tryph. c. 32, 51, 110. Comp. Dan. 7:25 and 2 Thess. 2:8.

1168  Dial.c. 80 and 81. He appeals to the prophecies of Isaiah (65:17 sqq.), Ezekiel, Ps. 90:4, and the Apocalypse of "a man named John, one of the apostles of Christ." In another passage, Dial. c. 113, Justin says that as Joshua led Israel into the holy land and distributed it among the tribes, so Christ will convert the diaspora and distribute the goodly land, yet not as an earthly possession, but give us (hJmi'n) an eternal inheritance. He will shine in Jerusalem as the eternal light, for he is the King of Salem after the order of Melchisedek, and the eternal priest of the Most High. But be makes no mention of the loosing of Satan after the millennium. Comp. the discussion of Justin’s eschatology by M. von Engelhardt, Das Christenthum Justins des Märt. )1878), p. 302-307, and by Donaldson, Crit. Hist. of Christ. Lit. II 316-322.

1169  This point is disputed. Semisch contends for annihilation, Weizsäcker for transformation. von Engelhardt (p. 309) leaves the matter undecided. In the Dial. c. 113 Justin says that God through Christ will renew (kainourgei'n ) the heaven and the earth; in the Apologies, that the world will be burnt up.

1170  Apol. I. 50, 51, 52. For this reason Donaldson (11. 263), and Dr. Briggs (l.c. p. 21) suspect that the chiliastic passages in the Dialogue (at least ch. 81) are an interpolation, or corrupted, but without any warrant. The omission of Justin in Jerome’s lists of Chiliasts can prove nothing against the testimony of all the manuscripts.

1171  Adv. Haer. V. 23-36. On the eschatology of Irenaeus see Ziegler, Iren.der B. v. Lyon (Berl. 1871), 298-320; and Kirchner, Die Eschatol. d. Iren. in the "Studien und Kritiken" for 1863, p. 315-358.

1172  De Res. Carn. 25; Adv. Marc. III. 24; IV. 29, etc. He discussed the subject in a special work, De Spe Fidelium, which is lost.

1173  See § 111, p. 424 sq.

1174  Instruct. adv. Gentium Deos, 43, 44, with the Jewish notion of fruitful millennial marriages.

1175  Instit. VII. 24; Epit. 71, 72. He quotes from the Sibylline books, and expects the speedy end of the world, but not while the city of Rome remains.

1176  In his Commentary on Revelation, and the fragment De Fabrica Mundi (part of a Com. on Genesis). Jerome classes him among the Chiliasts.

1177  In his Banquet of the Ten Virgins, I X. 5, and Discourse on Resurrection

1178  Euseb. H. E. II. 25 (against the Montanist Proclus), and III. 28 (against chiliasm).

1179  De Princ. II. 11. He had, however, in view a very sensuous idea of the millennium with marriages and luxuriant feasts.

1180  Euseb. VII. 24, 25.

1181  De Civit. Dei, XX. 6-10.

1182  The Augsburg Confession, Art. XVII., condemns the Anabaptists and others "who now scatter Jewish opinions that, before the resurrection of the dead, the godly shall occupy the kingdom of the world, the wicked being everywhere suppressed." The 41st of the Anglican Articles, drawn up by Cranmer (1553), but omitted afterwards in the revision under Elizabeth (1563), describes the millennium as "a fable of Jewish dotage."