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centuries which closed with the public recognition of the social rights of the church; it was now renewed in the very bosom of the church, and imperilled her doctrinal life. It was in reality the whole spirit or character of the oriental people, who had been only partially converted to Christianity, that rose up in opposition to the fundamental truths of the Christian revelation, and which merely assumed the form of Arianism. The party which adhered to the views of Arius long after his death, had not been created by him; he had only been the first who gave a distinctly defined form and body to prevailing hostile sentiments respecting the doctrine and the authority of the church.
The intellectual and spiritual atmosphere of the East contained at that time two opposite elements: the one was from above — from the Spirit of God; the other was from below -- from the spirit of the natural man; the former was the Christian revelation; the latter, pagan philosophy. The two bad, during three centuries, been compared by many thoughtful minds, and their respective value had been determined with different degrees of success. At the present era, when other theories had been either modified or discarded, two opposite systems divided the interest and zeal of men between them. The one held that philosophy constituted the substance, and that the Christian revelation was simply an accident — a non-essential quality; the other, which was fully developed and sustained by clear and satisfactory reasons, held that the truths of revelation constituted the substance, and that philosophy was a mere accident, by no means essentially necessary to the existence of the substance. The former was embodied in Arianism; the latter, in the Athanasian creed. That these were the relations which the two parties sustained to each other, is dernonstrated alike by the difference in the sources from which they respectively deduced their arguments, and by the difference in the essential character of their respective doctrines.
Arius adopted philosophy as his teacher and guide, in so far as he declared that reason was the original source of our
knowledge of divine truth, and he noticed the scriptures in those cases alone in which they appear to confirm the results which the processes of his understanding had already furnished. He and his associates believed that the chief element of success consisted in the attempt to represent the doctrines of their opponents as contrary to reason. Athanasius, on the other hand, and with him the church, recog. nized, unalterably and unconditionally, the scriptures as the true source of all our knowledge of divine things; the question whether the latter could always be comprehended by the human mind, he regarded as of no essential importance, inasmuch as the answer could not essentially affect the convictions of a believer, or the doctrine of the church. The difference in the essential character of the doctrines of the two men respectively is still more striking. Arius viewed God as the absolute Simplicity, as opposed to that which is composite or complex; as a Being sustaining relations to no others, tolerating no distinctions in himself, and immeasurably exalted above the world, or the kingdom of manifold life. · Consequently, as God is absolute Existence and can admit of no internal distinctions, he cannot be both Father and Son, and therefore the Son cannot be true God. But he gladly welcomes the Son as an intermediate being, since the latter now occupies the vast chasm between God and the world, and thus brings these two into a certain relation to each other. Nevertheless, he distinctly admitted the reality of God, while he maintained that no distinctions or relations could be predicated of him.
The church, on the other hand, guided by the testimonies of the scriptures, and enlightened by the progressive revelations of the latter, viewed God as the fulness of life, on whom the world with all its manifold life depends, and with whom it is already intimately connected, without the intervention of any third existence. While it, accordingly, received the doctrine of the unity of God, the cliurch found no difficulty in distinguishing, in accordance with the plain doctrine of the scriptures, the three persons, Father, Son,
and Holy Spirit, although the limits of human thought did not perunit it to solve the mystery of revelation — the unity and the tri-unity of God. These appear to be the fundamental diferences in the Arian and Athanasian systems.
$ 2. ORIGINAL SOURCES OF INFORMATION. We proceed, after these introductory remarks, to present the Arian doctrinal system in detail, and the mode in which it was controverted by Athanasius. The direct sources from which our knowledge of the former is derived, are, first, an epistle addressed by Arius to Eusebius of Nicomedia ; it has been preserved by Epiphanius (Haeres. 69. 6) and by Theodoret (Hist. I. 5); secondly, an epistle of Alexander, bishop of Alexandria, which has been preserved by Athanasius (De Synod. 16), Epiphanius (69. 7. 8), and Socrates (Hist. I. 6); thirdly, the treatise written by Arius, and entitled Thalia, undoubtedly the latest of his writings, and preserved in substance by Athanasius (c. Ar. I. 5, 6, 9; de Synod. 15); fourthly, an epistle addressed by Arius to Alexander, and preserved by Athanasius (de Synod.) and Epiphanius (69.7). The writings of the former contain, besides, numerous quotations from Arius, without special mention of the precise source (contra Arianos, Orat. ; Synodi Nic. Decr. contra Haeres. Arian.; de Synod. Arim. et Sel.). The writings of Arius himself primarily claim our attention.
The epistle to Eusebius has not descended to us without various readings. Voigt, to whom we are indebted for our materials, adopts, for instance, immediately below, a reading which differs from the usual text. The translation of the Greek ecclesiastical historians (Eusebius, Socrates, Sozo. men, Theodoret, and Evagrius) published by Bagster in 6 vols. London, 1814, presents this letter in Vol. V. p. 23 sqq. The translation, when compared with the portion furnished by Lardner (Credibility, etc. Vol. III. p. 576. London : 1833) shows that the respective texts varied, or that the translator of Theodoret performed this part of his work in a somewhat slovenly manner. Wc furnish the original, after the model
of Voigt, where the ipsissima verba of Arius are technical and important. Arius says:
“ Inasmuch as Ammonius intends to visit Nicomedia, I considered it my duty to inform you, through this opportunity, of the severe sufferings and persecutions which the bishop [Alexander) causes us to endure; he has even expelled us from the city, as if we were impious men. The cause lies in our refusal to concur with him in the following propositions, which he publicly maintains: 'Αεί ο θεός, αει ο υιός: άμα πατήρ, άμα υιός· συνυπάρχει αγεννήτως ο υιός το θεό, αειγεννής έστιν, αγεννητογενής έστιν· ούτε επινοία, ούτε ατόμω τινι προάγει ο θεός του υιού· αει θεός, αεί υιός • εξ αυτού TTL TOŮ Jeoù ở viós. And as thy brother [bishop] Eusebius of Caesarea, Theodotus (of Laodicca), Paulinus [of Tyre), Athanasius (of Anazarbus, Gregory (of Berea), and Aetius (of Lydda, afterwards called Diospolis), and, in general, the bishops of the East maintain that God had an existence without beginning prior to that of the Son (ότι προϋπάρχει ο θεός του υιού ανάρχως), they, too, have been condemned, with the exception of Philogonius, Hellanicus, and Macarius, who are uplearned, heretical men, of whom some say that the Son is an effusion, others, that he is an emission, and others, again, that he is (like the Father) unbegotten (των τον υιόν λεγόντων, οι μεν έρυγήν, οι δε προβολήν, οι δε avayévvntov). But we teach that the Son is not unbegotten, nor a part of the unbegotten in any manner. Nor is he made out of any pre-existent (lit. subjacent) thing; but by the will and counsel (of God] he subsisted before times and before ages, fully God,
1 αγεννήτως = in an unbegotten manner, åyeventoyevhs beginning to exist withodt having been begotten. Voigt lolos that these forms constitute the correct reading, and neither åyevhtws nor åyerntoyevńs, since Arius afterwards introduces the antithesis: “But we teach that the Son is not begotten, åyéventos. Arius, as Voig: adds, regarded the terms “not come into existence” and “un. begotten” as equivalent, and hence ascribed both 10 Alexander, who adopted only one of them. The verb clul, as in the Arian formula iv te o'k iv, admits of both translations, to be and 10 exist; the verb giyvouai, to which the German werden corrisponds, if translated with strict.precision, in this controversy,should, for want of an English verb that exactly corresponds, be rendered to become, according to the style of the translators of the English Bible, e... Matth. xxi. 42; Mark i. 17; Rev. xi. 15, that is, to begin to be, to come into existence (Robinson's Lex. ad verb.). In such a New Testament sense, as illustrated, for instance, in John i. 3, rather than in a classical sense, the word was employed in the Aran controversy,
only begotten and unchangeable; and, before he was begotten or created, or designed or founded, he was not (did not exist), for he was not unbegotten. We are persecuted because we say that the Son has a beginning, but that God is without a beginning. For this we are persecuted, and because we say that he is from nothing (out of non-existent things). We thus teach, inasmuch as he is neither a part of God, nor of any pre-existent (subjacent) thing. (ότι ο υιός ουκ έστιν αγέννητος, ουδέ μέρος αγεννήτου κατ' ουδένα τρόπον, ουδε εξ υποκειμένου τινός· αλλ' ότι θελήματι και βουλη υπέστη. προ χρόνων και πρό αιώνων πλήρης θεός, μονογενής, αναλλοίωτος, και πριν γεννηθή, ήτοι κτισθη, ή ορισθή, ή θεμελιωθή, ουκ ήν αγέννητος γαρ ουκ ήν • διωκόμεθα, ότι είπαμεν• αρχήν έχει ο υιός, ο δε θεός άναρχός εστι· διά τούτο διωκόμεθα, και ότι είπαμεν, ότι εξ ουκ όντων εστίν, ούτως δε είπαμεν, καθότι ουδέ μέρος θεού έστιν, ουδε εξ υποκειμένου τινός).
The Epistle to Alexander, which is fuller and more important, is preserved by Athanasius and Epiphanius (1. c.) in the following form:
“Η πίστις ημών ή εκ προγόνων, ήν και από σου μεμαθήκαμεν, μακάριε πάπα, έστιν αύτη: οίδαμεν ένα θεόν μόνον αγέννητον, μόνον αΐδιον, μόνον άναρχον, μόνον αληθινόν, μόνον αθανασίαν έχοντα, μόνον σοφόν, μόνον αγαθόν, μόνον δυνάστης, πάντων κριτών, διοικητήν, άτρεπτων και ανάλ. λοίωτον, δίκαιον και αγαθόν, νόμου και προφητών και καινής διαθήκης τούτον θεόν. γεννήσαντα υιον μονογενή προ χρόνων (begat an onlybegotten son before eternal times) δι' ου και τους αιώνας και τα όλα πεποίηκε • γεννήσαντα δε ου δοκήσει, αλλά αληθεία (not in appearance but in truth), υποστήσαντα (setting him forth) ιδίω θελήματι ατρεπτoν και αναλλοίωτον κτίσμα του θεού τέλειον (a perfect creature of God), αλλ' ουκ ως έν των κτισμάτων (but not as one of the other creatures); γέννημα, άλλ' ουχ ώς έν των γεννημάτων (γέννημα = that which is begotten) ; ουδ' ως Ουαλεντίνος προβολήν το γέννημα του πατρός έδογμάτισεν, ουδ' ώς ο Μανιχαϊος μέρος ομοούσιον του πατρος το γέννημα εισηγήσατο (a part of the Father, that is, of the Sanie essence), ουδ' ώς Σαβέλλιος την μονάδα διαιρών υλοπάτορα είπεν (dividing that which is unity, oneness, speaks of a Sou-Father), ουδ' ως Ιέρακας λύχνον από λύχνου, ή ως λαμπάδα εις δύο, ουδε τον όντα πρότερον, ύστερον γεννηθέντα (nor that he who already existed, was afterwards begotten), ή επικτισθέντα εις υιόν, ως και συ αυτός, μακάριε πάπα, κατά μέσην την εκκλησίας και εν συνεδρίω πλειστάκις τους