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quominus trium hypostasum defensores hypostasim interdum pro substantiâ sumerent, præsertim ubi hypostasis opponitur rei non subsistenti ac efficientiæ.” I should wish to complete the admission by adding, “Since an intellectual usia naturally implies an hypostasis, there was nothing to hinder usia being used, when hypostasis had to be expressed.”
6. After what I have said of usia and hypostasis, it will not surprise the reader if I consider that púois (nature) also, in the Alexandrian theology, was equally capable of being applied to the Divine Being viewed as One, or viewed as Three or each of the Three separately. Thus Athanasius says, One is the Divine Nature, (contr. Apoll. ii. 13 fin. de Incarn. 1'. fin.) Alexander, on the other hand, calls the Father and Son the “two hypostatic natures,” and speaks of the “ony begotten nature,” (Theod. Hist. i. 4,) and Clement of “the Son's nature most intimately near the sole Almighty," (Strom. vii. 2,) and Cyril of a "generating nature" and a “generated' (Thes. xi. p. 85) and, in words celebrated in theological history, of "the Word's One Nature incarnate."
7. Eldos is a word of a similar character. As it is found in John v.37, it may be indifferently interpreted of essence or of person; the Vulgate translates it“ neque speciem ejus vidistis." In Athan. Orat. iii. 3, it is synonymous with deity or usia ; as ibid. 6 also ; and apparently in ibid. 16, where the Son is said to have the species of the Father. And so in de Syn. 52. Athanasius says that there is only one “species deitatis.” Yet, as taken from Gen. xxxii. 31, it is considered to denote the Son ; e.g. Athan. Orat. i. 20, where it is used as synonymous with Image, eikóv. In like manner the Son is called “the very species deitatis.” Ep. Æg.17. But again in Athan. Orat. iii. 6, it is first said that the species of the Father and Son are one and the same, then that the Son is the species of the Father's (deity), and then that the Son is the species of the Father.
The outcome of this investigation is this :—that we need not by an officious piety arbitrarily force the language separate Fathers into a sense which it cannot bear; nor by
an unjust and narrow criticism accuse them of error; nor impose upon an early age a distinction of terms belonging to a later. The words usia and hypostasis were, naturally and intelligibly, for three or four centuries, practically synonymous, and were used indiscriminately for two ideas, which were afterwards respectively denoted by the one and the other.
THE ORTHODOXY OF THE BODY OF THE
THE SUPREMACY OF ARIANISM.
(Vide supra, p. 369.) The episcopate, whose action was so prompt and concordant at Nicæa on the rise of Arianism, did not, as a class or order of men, play a good part in the troubles consequent upon the Council; and the laity did. The Catholic people, in the length and breadth of Christendom, were the obstinate champions of Catholic truth, and the bishops were not.
Of course there were great and illustrious exceptions; first, Athanasius, Hilary, the Latin Eusebius, and Phæbadius; and after them, Basil, the two Gregories, and Ambrose; there are others, too, who suffered, if they did nothing else, as Eustathius, Paulus, Paulinus, and Dionysius; and the Egyptian bishops, whose weight was small in the Church in proportion to the great power of their Patriarch. And, on the other hand, as I shall say presently, there were exceptions to the Christian heroism of the laity, especially in some of the great towns. And again, in speaking of the laity, I speak inclusively of their parish-priests (so to call them), at least in many places; but on the whole, taking a wide view of the history, we are obliged to say that the governing body of the Church came short, and the governed were pre-eminent in faith, zeal, courage, and constancy.
This is a very remarkable fact; but there is a moral in it. Perhaps it was permitted, in order to impress upon the Church at that very time passing out of her state of persecution to her long temporal ascendancy, the great evangelical lesson, that, not the wise and powerful, but the obscure, the unlearned, and the weak constitute her real strength. It was mainly by the faithful people that Paganism was overthrown ; it was by the faithful people, under the lead of Athanasius and the Egyptian bishops, and in some places supported by their Bishops or priests, that the worst of heresies was withstood and stamped out of the sacred territory.
1 From the Rambler, July, 1859.
The contrast stands as follows:
1. 1. A.D. 325. The great Council of Nicæa of 318 Bishops, chiefly from the eastern provinces of Christendom, under the presidency of Hosius of Cordova. It was convoked against Arianism, which it once for all anathematized; and it inserted the formula of the“ Consubstantial” into the Creed, with the view of establishing the fundamental dogma which Arianism impugned. It is the first Ecumenical Council, and recognized at the time its own authority as the voice of the infallible Church. It is so received by the orbis terrarum at
2. A.D. 326. St. Athanasius, the great champion of the Homoüsion, was elected Bishop of Alexandria.
3. A.D. 334, 335. The Synods of Cæsarea and Tyre (sixty Bishops) against Athanasius, who was therein accused and formally condemned of rebellion, sedition, and ecclesiastical tyranny; of murder, sacrilege, and magic; deposed from his See, forbidden to set foot in Alexandria for life, and banished to Gaul. Also, they received Arius into communion.
4. A.D. 341. Council of Rome of fifty Bishops, attended by the exiles from Thrace, Syria, &c., by Athanasius, &c., in which Athanasius was pronounced innocent.
5. A.D. 341. Great Council of the Dedication at Antioch, attended by ninety or a hundred Bishops. The council ratified the proceedings of the Councils of Cæsarea and Tyre, and placed an Arian in the See of Athanasius. ceeded to pass a dogmatic decree in reversal of the formula
Then it proof the “ Consubstantial.” Four or five creeds, instead of the Nicene, were successively adopted by the assembled Fathers.
Three of these were circulated in the neighbourhood; but as they wished to send one to Rome, they directed a fourth to be drawn up. This, too, apparently failed.
6. A.D. 345. Council of the creed called Macrostich. This Creed suppressed, as did the third, the word "substance." The eastern Bishops sent this to the Bishops of France, who rejected it.
7. A.D. 347. The great Council of Sardica, attended by more than 300 Bishops, Before it commenced, a division between its members broke out on the question whether or not Athanasius should have a seat in it. In consequence, seventy-six retired to Philippopolis, on the Thracian side of Mount Hæmus, and there excommunicated the Pope and the Sardican fathers. These seceders published a sixth confession of faith. The Synod of Sardica, including Bishops from Italy, Gaul, Africa, Egypt, Cyprus, and Palestine, confirmed the act of the Roman Council, and restored Athanasius and the other exiles to their Sees. The Synod of Philippopolis, on the contrary, sent letters to the civil magistrates of those cities, forbidding them to admit the exiles into them. The Imperial power took part with the Sardican Fathers, and Athanasius went back to Alexandria.
8. A.D. 351. The Bishops of the East met at Sirmium. The semi-Arian Bishops began to detach themselves from the Arians, and to form a separate party, Under pretence of putting down a kind of Sabellianism, they drew up a new creed, into which they introduced the language of some of the ante-Nicene writers on the subject of our Lord's divinity, and dropped the word "substance."
9. A.D. 353. The Council of Arles. The Pope sent to it several Bishops as legates. The Fathers of the Council, including the Pope's legate, Vincent, subscribed the condemnation of Athanasius. Paulinus, Bishop of Treves, was nearly the only one who stood up for the Nicene faith and