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their encyclical letter with fifteen distinct arguments against ihe procession of the Holy Spirit from the Son.
In regard to the decrees of God, the Greek theologians, both ancient and modern, lean strongly toward the Arminian, rather than the Calvinistic view. It has been said that many of the Russian clergy are ardent admirers of Calvin ; but all the leading theologians, and indeed the ecclesiastical acts that are read in their churches, denounce Calvinism as a dangerous heresy.
OF THE DOCTRINE OF MAN.
Holding the common doctrine of all Christians, that man was originally created in the image of God, the Greek church understands that image of God to consist mainly in the spiritual endowments of reason, freedom of choice, and immortality, but partly also in the dominion with which man is invested over this lower world, — a faint image of the universal dominiou of the Supreme Ruler.
By the transgression of our first parents, sin was not only introduced into the world by one example of disobedience, but it became common, and the whole race of Adam was corrupted at the fountain of its being. This corruption instead of being mitigated by transmission, and diminished in intensity by extension and subdivision, became, on the contrary, more virulent with the lapse of time and the increase of the human race. For the rays of that original divine light, which could not be wholly darkened in our first parents, grew continually fainter and dimmer in their posterity, the further these were removed from their primitive source. The form in which this doctrine of inherited corruption is stated by the Greek theologians, Platon and Stourdza, though not very explicit, leans rather towards the theory of Traducianism than of Creationism. The reverse of this is true of the ancient teachers of the Oriental church.
The Greek church teaches that the Son of God, who was
truly and perfecily God, begotten of the Father from all eternity, became truly and perfectly man, in order to effect the salvation of sinners. By this union, the God-man was qualified to become the mediator between God and man. The doctrine of two natures and two wills in this one Christ, as defined long ago by the Councils of Ephesus, Chalcedon, and Constantinople, is still the declared doctrine of the Greek church, though these subjects have almost entirely. ceased, for many centuries, to occupy the attention of the Greek theologians. As to the work of Christ, his death is represented as a true sacrifice for sin, by which satisfaction was made to divine justice. The sufferings and death of Christ were regarded by the Father as if the sinner himself had suffered them, and the punishment of the innocent Saviour was, according to the inscrutable decree of God, reckoned to us instead of the punishment which we deserved. By faith in this divine Mediator, we are justified and saved. Good works, though they do not contribute anything towards the sinner's justification, are indispensable as evidences of his conversion and proofs of the genuineness of his faith.
OF THE Church,
On this topic, we find the statements of the Greek theologians more explicit and full. Their doctrine is compendiously stated in the words of the ancient creed, — the church is one, holy, catholic, and apostolic. They find these attributes of the true church nowhere but in their own communion ; hence no other churches are regarded as entitled to the name. In speaking of the unity of the church, Platon says: “From this unity of the church all those have separated who either do not receive the divine word at all, or mix with it their own absurd opinions. Hence, such communities are not churches, but rather assemblies of errorists, who are governed, not by the Spirit of God, but by the spirit of enmity and hatred. We see in these days, to
1 Toivh is the word which Platon uses.
the great scandal of the Christian religion, three principal heresies, those of the Papists, the Lutherans, and the Calvinists. The Papal communion is full of deadly superstitions, and is blindly subject, in defiance of the divine word, to the decisions of the pope. The Papists pervert the doctrine of the procession of the Holy Spirit, in opposition to plain testimonies of holy scripture; they deprive the laity of the cup of the divine eucharist, and do not allow them to read the holy scriptures. They believe in a purgatorial fire, the offspring of their own fancy; and, arrogating to themselves a sovereignity unknown to the Gospel, they persecute with fire and sword all those who will not agree with them. The Lutherans and the Calvinists separated from the Papists a few centuries ago; but in their desire to cast off the papal superstitions, they have rejected also the apostolical traditions. They both hold the erroneous doctrine of the Western church in regard to the procession of the Holy Spirit. The Lutherans attribute to the body of Christ a universal presence, which is the attribute of the divine Being only; and the Calvinists subject human actions to a certain and inevitable fore-ordination. The correctness of our Russo-Grecian church is founded on indubitable proofs; for from the times of the apostles to the present it has preserved, entire and uncorrupt, not only the faith preached by them, but also the traditions of the ancient church. Greece was taught the Christian religion by the apostle Paul; and it has kept the truth taught by him through all subsequent ages, and has rooted out, by nieans of general and local councils, all the delusive heresies, which have tried to gain a foothold in it. God was pleased afterwards to enlighten Russia also with the same pure and faultless doctrine. Neither in Greece nor in Russia has this doctrine ever undergone any change, as we see that papal doctrine did in the time of Luther; and, although ainong some of our co-religionists superstitions and malpractices have found place, yet the church does not sanction such corruptions; but she pities, reproves, and corrects those
who fall into them. Besides, particular erroneous views and practices of some who are ignorant of the truth, cannot bring any just reproach upon the whole church. Hence we conclude, that our Orthodox church is not only the true church, but the only one, and the same from the foundation of the world." In explaining the term “ holy," as applied to the church, the same author says: “ Although there are sinners in the church, yet only those who confess their sing before God with true repentance, and receive his gracious pardon, are really members of it; the impenitent and hardhearted are not members of the church." There seems to be no clear conception here of the distinction between the visible church and the invisible.
The Greeks are strenuous advocates of three orders in the ministry. Some of the more strict and zealous among them were much disturbed, or at least professed to be so, soon after the first Protestant missionaries were sent to Greece, lest their hierarchy should be supplanted by Pres. byterianism, or some other form of church government founded on the purity of the ministry. Some of the Greek priests were accused of conspiring with these foreigners to bring about this result. The learned Economos wrote a treatise in defense of the three orders. He was answered by Pharmakides and Bambas, whom he had accused of being partners in this plot. They both indignantly denied the charge; but the former, in a subsequent work, published in 1852, did not hesitate to affirm that the constitution of the primitive church was democratic in its character.
The vow of celibacy is not required of deacons or pres. byters, but only of the bishops. These, therefore, are always selected from the monastic order. The parochial clergy are required to be married before their ordination ; but they may not marry a second time after ordination. This rule, which was adopted at the council called Quinsextum, held in Constantinople A.D. 692, has remained in force to the present day. In defending the usage of the Greek church · Orthodox Doctrine, Part II. Ø 28.
on this point, de Stourdza says: “ The Orthodox church regards the bishops as holocausts, smoking upon her high places, and having for their vocation to diffuse afar the vivi. fying light and the sweet odor of their perpetual sacrifice. In prescribing the celibacy of bishops, our church has thought she ought to honor and realize the doctrine of the Saviour, who teaches us that there are some men who are capable of devoting themselves to perpetual chastity. And at the same time, in restricting this institution to the episcopate, the Orthodox church reconciles the laws of revelation with those of nature, and does not impose on human weakness burdens which it is not able to bear.”
The monastic life has only a very limited development in the modern Greek church, as compared with its extent in the Papal. In the kingdom of Greece most of the monasteries were abolished soon after the revolution. In the vi. cinity of Mount Athos the monks are still counted by tbou. sands. But the countries where the Greek church predominates are not, like most Roman Catholic countries, burdened with swarms of lazy monks, of numerous varieties of garb and order. The Greek monks nearly all follow the rule of Basil.
In respect to ecclesiastical government, the Greek church lacks that unity which makes the Papal church so formidable. It has no single universally acknowledged head, the fountain of priestly authority, the ultimate arbiter of spiritual discipline, the centre of ecclesiastical unity. The different geographical divisions of the church are governed in a different manner. The churches of Russia, Greece, and Austria, are national establishments, the two former being governed by a synod, and the latter by the Archbishop of Carlowitz, with the title of patriarch. Most of the remaining portions of the Oriental church are under the ecclesiastical jurisdiction of the four patriarchs of Constantinople, of Alexandria, of Antioch, and of Jerusalem. Of these, the patriarch of Constantinople enjoys the pre-eminence, and is virtually the primate of all who profess the oriental faith in