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power and authority of Bishops over all Ecclesiastical appointments, and the importance of united prayer. To these might be added his implied praise of virginity, and his implied countenance of resolves for that purpose; apparently too his recognition of what has since been called the Disciplina Arcani, of what has been called the Limbus Patrum, of the Lord's day, of the acceptableness of good works, of grace as inherent, not external, of Ecclesiastial Councils, of departed Saints remembering, or at least benefitting us, and of communion with them in life and death; and, not least important as throwing a light on all that has been said by the contrast, his hatred and condemnation of Judaism.”
The writer continues, “ Are these Epistles genuine? Are they but genuine on the whole? Are they genuine all but certain incidental corruptions which cannot now be detected? Let it be granted only as far as this, that the substance of them is what Ignatius wrote,—and those who deny this may wrestle, as they best can, with the greater difficulties in which they will find themselves, and is any further witness wanting to prove that the Catholic system, not in an inchoate state, not in doubtful dawnings, not in tendencies, or in implicit teaching, or in temper, or in surmises, but in a definite, complete, and dogmatic form, was the religion of St. Ignatius; and if so, where in the world did he come by it? How came he to lose, to blot out from his mind, the true Gospel, if this was not it? How came he to possess this, except it be apostolic? One does not know which of the two most to be struck with, his precise unhesitating tone, or the compass of doctrine he goes through; the latter, however, has this particular force, which the former has not, that it quite cuts off the suspicion, if any lingers on the mind, that the conciseness with which his sentiments are conveyed has given opportunity for their being practised on by theologians, and tortured into Church meanings which they really have not. Granting that, by a mere coincidence, some one form of words in his Epistles might have been misinterpreted into an apparent countenance of some later doctrine, or that some one word like Avolaothριον or ευχαριστία might be laden with a sense which came in later, it is quite impossible surely that so great a number of coincidences should have occurred, that so many distinct doctrines afterwards existing in the Church should accidently find a place, find form of words capable of denoting them, and used afterwards to denote them, in so short a document. Either the Epistles of St. Ignatius have been the document from which the Church system had been historically developed, which no one maintains, or the Church system is the basis on which St. Ignatius wrote his Epistles.”
It is only necessary to add, on a sentence near the commencement of this last extract, that though certain Catholic doctrines are found in St. Ignatius, “not in an inchoate state, not in doubtful dawnings, not in tendencies, or in implicit teaching, or in temper, or in surmises, but in a definite, complete, and dogmatic form,” yet certain other doctrines are found in his Epistles, at most only in their rudiments; as, for instance, the doctrine of the Holy Trinity, of Original Sin, or of Baptismal Regeneration, as indeed is expressly stated in one of the above passages.
The capabilities, so to speak, of the text of St. Ignatius for the process of subsequent development, which are most striking in the writings of other Fathers also, as in St. Athanasius and St. Augustine, might have been mentioned under the next Test; but it seems more natural to refer to them here. So much then in proof of the existence from the first, whether in individual minds or popular belief, of those doctrinal developments which afterwards became recognised portions of the Church's Creed.
SECTION I. APPLICATION OF THE FIFTH TEST OF FIDELITY IN
LOGICAL Sequence was set down in the first Chapter of this Essay as a fifth test of fidelity in development, and shall now be briefly illustrated in the history of Christian doctrine. That is, I mean to give instances of one doctrine leading to another; so that, if the former be admitted, the latter can hardly be denied, and the latter can hardly be called a corruption without reflecting on the former. And I use “ logical sequence,” in contrast to that process of incorporation and assimilation which has lately been under review, to denote an internal growth of doctrine and usage in the way of reasoning. Accordingly it will include any progress of the mind from one judgment to another, as, for instance, by way of moral fitness, which may not admit of analysis into premiss and · conclusion. Thus St. Peter argued in the case of Cornelius and his friends, “ Can any man forbid water that these should not be baptized, which have received the Holy Ghost as well as we?”
§ 1. Developments growing out of the Question of our
Lords Divinity. No one who has looked ever so little into the theological works of the ancient Church, but is aware that the language of the Ante-nicene Fathers, on the subject of our Lord's Divinity, may be far more easily accomodated to the Arian hypothesis than the language of the Post-nicene. Thus St. Justin speaks of the Son as subservient to the Father in the creation of the world, as seen by Abraham, as speaking to Moses from the bush, as appearing to Joshua before the fall of Jericho,' as Minister and Angel, and as numerically distinct from the Father. Clement, again, speaks of the Word? as the “Instrument of God," “ close to the Sole Almighty;” “ministering to the Omnipotent Father's will;"3 “an energy, so to say, or operation of the Father,” 4 and “constituted as the causer of all good by the Almighty Father's will.” The Council of Antioch, which condemned Paul of Samosata, says that He “appears to the Patriarchs and converses with them, being testified sometimes to be an Angel, at other times Lord, at others God;" that, while “it is impious to think that the God of all is called an Angel, the Son is the Angel of the Father."'5 Formal proof, however, is unnecessary; had not the fact been as I have stated it, neither Sandius would have attacked the Post-nicene Fathers, nor would Bull have had to defend the Ante-nicene.
One principal change which took place, as time went on, was the following: the Ante-nicene Fathers, as in some of the foregoing extracts, speak of the Angelic visions in the Old Testament as if they were appearances of the Son; but St. Augustine introduced the explicit doctrine, which has been received since his date, that they were simply Angels, through whom the Omnipresent Son mani. fested Himself. This indeed is the only interpretation which could be put on the Ante-nicene statements, as soon as reason began to examine what they meant. They could not mean that the Eternal 1 Kaye's Justin, p. 59, &c. ? Kaye's Clement, p. 335. 3 p. 341. God could really be seen by bodily eyes; if any. thing was seen, that must have been some created glory or other symbol, by which it pleased the Almighty to signify His Presence. What was heard was a sound, as external to His Essence, and as distinct from His Nature, as the thunder, or the voice of the trumpet, which pealed along Mount Sinai; what it was had not come under discussion till St. Augustine; both question and answer were alike undeveloped. The earlier Fathers spoke as if there were no medium interposed between the Creator and the creature, and so they seemed to make the Eternal Son the medium; what it really was, they had not determined. St. Augustine ruled, and his ruling has been accepted in later times, that it was not a mére atmospheric phenomenon, or an impression on the senses, but the material form proper to an Angelic presence, or the presence of an Angel in that material garb in which blessed Spirits do ordinarily appear to men. Henceforth the Angel in the bush, the voice which spoke with Abraham, and the man who wrestled with Jacob, were not regarded as the Son of God, but as Angelic ministers, whom He employed, and through whom He signified His presence and His will. Thus the tendency of the controversy with the Arians was to raise our view of our Lord's Mediatorial acts, to impress them on us in their divine rather than their human aspect, and to associate them more intimately with the ineffable glories which surround the Throne of God. The Mediatorship was no longer regarded in itself in that prominently subordinate place which it had once occupied in the thoughts of Christians, but as an office assumed by One, who, though having become man in order to bear it, was still God. Works and attributes, which had hitherto been assigned to the Economy or to the Sonship, were now simply assigned to the Manhood. A tendency was also elicited, as the controversy
4 lb. 342. 5 Reliqu. Sacr. t. ii. p. 469, 470.