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is one with the Father, and that unless he honours the Son in all the fulness of honour which he ascribes to the Father, he is disobeying His express command. It may serve as a very faint illustration of the offence given him, to consider the manner in which he would receive any question concerning the love which he feels respectively for two intimate friends, or for a brother and sister, or for his parents : though in such cases the impropriety of the inquiry, arises from the incommensurableness, not the coincidence, of the respective feelings. But false doctrine forces us to analyze our own notions, in order to exclude it. Arius argued that, since our Lord was a Son, therefore He was not God: and from that time we have been obliged to determine how much we grant and what we deny, lest, while praying without watching, we lose all. Accordingly, orthodox theology has since his time worn a different aspect; first, inasmuch as divines have measured what they said themselves; secondly, inasmuch as they have measured the Ante-Nicene language, which by its authors was spoken from the heart, by the necessities of controversies of a later date. And thus those early teachers have been made appear technical, when in fact they have only been reduced to system; just as in literature what is composed freely, is afterwards subjected to the rules of grammarians and critics. This must be taken as an apology for whatever there is that sounds harsh in the observations which I have now to make, and for the injustice which I may seem incidentally to do in the course of them to the ancient writers whose words are in question.
“The Catholic doctors,” says Bishop Bull, “both before and after the Nicene Council, are unanimous in declaring that the Father is greater than the Son, even as to divinity; i. e. not in nature or any essential perfection, which is in the Father and not in the Son, but alone in what may be called authority, that is in point of origin, since the Son is from the Father, not the Father from the Son?.” Justin, for instance, speaks of the Son as “having the second place after the unchangeable and everlasting God and Father of all.” Origen says that “the Son is not more powerful than the Father, but subordinate (úrodećotepov); according to His own words, “The Father that sent Me, is greater than I.” This text is cited in proof of the same doctrine by the Nicene, and Post-Nicene Fathers, Alexander, Athanasius, Basil, Gregory Nazianzen, Chry
7 Bull, Defens. iv. 2, § 1. Or, again, to take the words of Petavius : [“ Filius eandem numero cum Patre divinitatem habet, sed proprietate differt. Proinde Filietas ipsa Paternitat equodammodo minor est, vel Filius, qua Filius, Patre, ut Pater est, minor dicitur, quoniam origine est posterior, non autem ut Deus,” ii. 2, § 15.] Cudworth, too, observes : “ Petavius himself, expounding the Athanasian creed, writeth in this manner: The Father is in a right Catholic manner affirmed by most of the ancients, to be greater than the Son, and He is commonly said also, without reprehension, to be before Him in respect of original.' Whereupon he concludeth the true meaning of that Creed to be this, that no Person of the Trinity is greater or less than other in respect of the essence of the Godhead common to them all .... but that notwithstanding there may be some inequality in them, as they are Hic Deus et Hæc Persona. Wherefore when Athanasius, and the other orthodox Fathers, writing against Arius, do so frequently assert the equality of all the Three Persons, this is to be understood in way of opposition to Arius only, who made the Son to be unequal to the Father, as étepoowotos .... one being God, and the other a creature; they affirming on the contrary, that He was equal to the Father, as duoouo los .... that is, as God and not a creature.” Cudw. Intell. Syst. 4, § 36.
sostom, Cyril, and others, of whom we may content ourselves with the words of Basil : “My Father is greater than I, that is, so far forth as Father, since what else does ‘Father? signify, than that He is cause and origin of Him who was begotten by Him?" and in another place, “ The Son is second in order to the Father, since He is from Him; and in dignity, inasmuch as the Father is the origin and cause of His existence®.”
Accordingly, the primitive writers, with an unsuspicious yet reverent explicitness, take for granted the ministrative character of the relation of both Son and Spirit towards the Father ; still of course speaking of Them as included in the Divine Unity, not as external to it. Thus Irenæus, clear and undeniable as is his orthodoxy, still declares, that the Father “is ministered to in all things by His own Offspring and Likeness, the Son and Holy Ghost, the Word and Wisdom, of whom all angels are servants and subjects." In like manner, a ministry is commonly ascribed to the Son and Spirit, and a bidding and willing to the Father, by Justin, Irenæus, Clement, Origen, and Methodius', altogether in the spirit of the Post-Nicene authorities already cited : and without any risk of misleading the reader, as soon as the second and third Persons are understood to be internal to the Divine Mind, connaturalia instrumenta, concurrent (at the utmost) in no stronger sense, than when the human will is said to concur with the reason. Gregory Nazianzen lays down the same doctrine with an explanation, in the following sentence: “It is plain," he says, “that the things, of which the Father designs in Him the forms, these the Word executes; not as a servant, nor unskilfully, but with full knowledge and a master's power, and, to speak more suitably, as if He were the Father.”
8 Justin, Apol. i. 13. 60. Bull, Defens. iv. 2, § 6, § 9. Petav. ii. 2, § 2, &c.
9 Petav. i. 3, § 7.
Such is the Scriptural and Catholic sense of the word Son ; on the other hand, it is easy to see what was the defect of this image, and the consequent danger in the use of it. First, there was an appearance of materiality, the more suspiciously to be viewed because there were heresies at the time which denied or neglected the spiritual nature of Almighty God. Next, too marked a distinction seemed to be drawn between the Father and Son, tending to give a separate individuality to each, and so to introduce a kind of ditheism ; and here too heresy and philosophy had prepared the way for the introduction of the error. The Valentinians and Manichees are chargeable with both misconceptions. The Eclectics, with the latter; being Emanatists, they seem to have considered the Son to be both individually distinct from the Father, and of an inferior nature.Against these errors we have the following among other protests.
Tertullian says, “We declare that two are revealed as God in Scripture, two as Lord; but we explain ourselves, lest offence should be taken. They are not called two,
2 Bull, Defens. ii. 13, § 10. [Greg. Orat. xxx. 11. For the subordination of mediatorship, vid. Athan. Orat. iv. 6.]
in respect of their both being God, or Lord, but in respect of their being Father and Son; and this moreover, not from any division of substance, but from mutual relation, since we pronounce the Son to be individual with and inseparable from the Father 3." Origen also, commenting upon the word “ brightness"," in the first chapter of the Hebrews, says, “Holy Scripture endeavours to give to men a refined perception of its teaching, by introducing the illustration of breath“. It has selected this material image, in order to our understanding even in some degree, how Christ, who is Wisdom, issues, as though Breath, from the perfection of God Himself. . . . . In like manner from the analogy of material objects, He is called a pure and perfect Emanation of the Almighty glory. Both these resemblances most clearly show the fellowship of nature between the Son and Father. For an emanation seems to be of one substance with that body of which it is the emanation or breath?.” And to guard still more strongly against any misconception of the real drift of the illustration, he cautions his readers against “those absurd fictions which give the notion
3 Bull, Defens. ii. 4, $ 3.7, § 5. Petav. i. 4, § 1.
7 In like manner Justin, after saying that the Divine Power called the Word is born from the Father, adds, “but not by separation from Him (kat' Ånotou nv) as if the Father lost part of Himself, as corporeal substances are not the same before and after separation.” [Tryph. 128.] “ The Son of God,” says Clement, “never relinquishes His place of watch, not parted or separated off, not passing from place to place, but always every where, illimitable, all intellect, all the light of the Father, all eye, all-seeing, all-hearing, all-kuowing, searching the powers with His power.” [Strom. vii. 2 ]