« PreviousContinue »
love to the Holy Ghost. So, too, it is said of God, without special designation of the persons, that of (from) him, through him and to him (eis wróv) are all things (Rom. 11:36); and even of the Fatherl (Eph. 4: 6), that he is above all, through all, and in all; but, per appropriationem, the from is ascribed to the Father, the through to the Son, the in to the Holy Spirit.2 That this is not arbitrary, will be apparent to every one who has a clear view of the distinction of the persons, in accordance with the declarations of the Scriptures, and the doctrinal development of this distinction; although it is not easy to carry out the proof of it, since we have here to do with attributes of the divine nature which are common to all the persons; and it is especially difficult if, with the majority of the evangelical theologians, we have doubts about taking our point of departure from any speculative views of the Trinity. The most important point here is the appropriation of the particulae diacriticae éx, diá and iv, which may be directly and sufficiently justified from the Holy Scriptures themselves (conf. 1 Cor. 8: 6. Eph. 2: 18. John 1:3); for this appropriation is made in view of the relation of the Persons to the divine works, and points, on the one hand, to the difference in the order and mode of action,3 and, on the other hand, to the unity which still exists in the action itself; for, when the Father works through the Son
? Some theologians do indeed assume that the name tarnp in this passage is not to be understood ÚTOOTAT LKW but ovouwdüs (as designating not the First Per. son but the divine nature); e. g. Quenstedt, de Trin. Sect. I. thes. 22. not. 2; yet there is here no ground for this assumption, although it cannot be denied that elsewhere “ Father" is used as a predicate of the divine nature ; e. g. Matt. 6.9.
• Aquinas Summ. I. qu. 39. art. 8, treats expressly of the appropriatio in this sense, and adduces the following chief species thereof: In consideratione Dei, qua Deus absolute secundum esse suum consideratur, Patri aeternitas, Filio species, usus vero Spiritui sancto: in consideratione vero Dei, qua unus consideratur, Patri unitas, Filio aequalitas, Spiritui S. concordia vel connexio: in consideratione vero Dei secundum rationem causalitatis Patri potentia, Filio sapientia, Spiritui S. bonitas attribuitur; in consideratione vero Dei, ut suos respicit effectus, appropriatur Patri a quo, Filio per quem, Spiritui S. in quo.
: Quenstedt de Trin. S. I. th. 19: The order of operations is insinuated in the Scripture by the diacritical particles from, through and in, Rom. 11: 3; according to the holy Fathers, the particle én is attributed to the Father, dià to the Son, eis to the Holy Spirit.—But as the natural order of the divine persons is not always employed in the Scriptures,--so these particles are changed ;-by which very permutation the doovoia and loórns of the divine persons is preserved, and inequality in dignity is excluded.
in the Holy Spirit, the action is one, and yet it is defined in a three-fold way in reference to the three Persons."
From the attributio and appropriatio, we distinguish the cases in which something is ascribed terminative to a divine person. This occurs, when anything which proceeds from a common efficiency of all the three Persons ends in a manifestation, which we cannot avoid viewing as a revelation of one distinct Person. The theophany at the baptism of Jesus may serve as an example (Matt. 3: 16, 17). In the voice: This is my Son, we must manifestly recognize the Father; in Jesus who received the baptism, the Son; in the descending dove, the Holy Spirit. Although, then, the bringing about this manifestation is to be referred back to the invisible efficiency of the triune God, yet, in that which proceeded from it, in its terminus, there is so definite a reference to the three persons, that we (and without being able to exchange the subjects as in appropriation), must say of the Father, that he declared Jesus to be his beloved Son, of the Holy Spirit, that he descended upon him, and of the Son, that, coming out of the water, he saw the heavens opened, and the Holy Spirit descending 3 In applying this, now, to the individual opera ad extra, we must distinguish those works which express the general dependence of the world upon God, from those which have reference to the Christian life. The former are comprised under the rubrics of creation, preservation, coöperation, providence and government, of which we may take creation as the most proininent, in place of the others; the latter, the opera oeconomica, we will not attempt to enumerate completely, but will comprise them all under the head of redemption and sanctification as the most essential.
The former would not lead us of themselves to distinguish three persons in the one divine nature; on this account, after this distinction of persons has been made known to us from other sources, we cannot look upon them as three coordinate causes
? Athanasius ep. ad. Serap. “The efficiency is like in itself and indivisible as to the nature, and one ; for the Father does all things through the Son in the Holy Ghost; and thus the unity of the holy Triad is preserved; and thus in the church is preached one God, who is over all and through all and in all."
? Our older theologians lay great weight upon this as being a kind of visible manifestation of the Trinity. Gerhard devoles to it a whole chapter: Exeges. loc. III. cap. IV. § 75–81. Quenstedt, too, gives an extended interpretationde Trin. thes, 14 of Sect. 1, and Vindication, in VII. of the trdiknous to quaest. I. of Sect. II.
Augustin. de Trin. Il. 10; and in more general terms in the work de trinitate et unitate Dei, cp. 9.
16471 Creation attributed to the Father. (causae sociae), of creation, preservation, etc.; these acts are to be ascribed to them, not so far as they are three different persons, but so far as they are of one essence; they are opera essentialia, and therefore communissima, since the distinction of persons recedes the most in these acts. Yet they can be referred to the individual persons attributive (whence, in Baumgarten and others, the name, opera attributiva); and so, in accordance with the canon adduced in respect to the ordo et modus operandi, we may say, that all things are created, preserved and governed by the Father, through the Son, in the Holy Ghost. But creation is attributed to the Father in an especial manner per appropriationem. Creation, as opus ad extra, manifestly corresponds with generation as opus ad intra; as in the latter the Father is seen as the original and fountain of divinity (aozn xai anyn ons geórntos), so in the former, he is recognized as the ground and source of all created existence. And, in the strictest sense, we cannot so well consider that person as the creator, through whom or in whom all things are, as that one from and out of whom all things are, or, who by absolute omnipotence is the first cause of their existence; the eg ov, however, and the omnipotence belong, as we know, to the attributes appropriated to the Father.3 Yet the Son and the Spirit
Quenstedt de creatione Sect. II. qu. III, tois: “One is the creator of the heaven and the earth, Father, Son and Spirit; and these three persons of the Godhead are not rightly called coördinate causes (causae sociae) of creation." -32301wOis, 2: “ That which acts is the one Deity common to the three persons, says Nazianzen, Orat. II. de theol. As there is therefore one divine essence and one power, there is also one creative energy equally common to these three persons, and consequently, only one creator; but where there is only one creator, there distinct causes of creation cannot be established."
? It is of course understood that these particles he also do not declare any separable efficiency of the three persons. “Gregory of Nazianzen says correctly that these particles do not divide the nature, nor lead to an inequality of the persons; but only express peculiar personal properties in the one and unconfounded nature; Quenstedt I. c. drálvors, I. Aquinas holds still more strictly to the unity of the act of creation ; Summ. I. qu. 45. art. 6: “ To create is commnoni to the whole Trinity, and is ascribable to the divine persons only as they include essential attributes." (That is, Deus est causa rerum per suum intellectum et voluntatem, sicut artifex rerum artificataruin; artifex autem per verbum in intellectu conceptum et per amorem suae voluntatis ad aliquid relatum operatur ; unde et Deus Pater operatus est creaturam per suum verbum, quod est Filius, et per suum amorem, qui est Spiritus S.; et secundum hoc processiones personarum sunt relationes productionis creaturarum, inquantum includunt essentialia attributa, quae sunt scientia et voluntas).
* The mode in which this appropriation is exhibited by our older divines is not wholly satisfactory; probably because it appeared to them more important
should not only not be excluded from the work of creation, but their relation to it should not even be considered as subordinate; they should not, for example, be regarded as mere instruments or organs of the Father, since this would conflict with the consubstantiality and the essential unity of their įvégyelo.1
In the opera oeconomica the distinction of the persons is much more apparent. The restitution of the human race is indeed a work of the whole Trinity, which is achieved by the Father through the Son in the Holy Spirit_according to the principle of the order and mode of the operation of the Persons, which is here, too, of valid application. But since, to the execution of this work through the Son, that is, to our redemption, the incarnation of God is necessary, which can be attributed terminative only to the Son; and, to the completion of this work in the Holy Spirit, that is, to our sanctification, the indwelling of God in believers is necessary, which can be attributed terminative only to the Spirit; to which elements, then, as a third, the eternal purpose of the Father from which the whole work of redemption proceeds, is to be coördinated;2 it is clear from this, that the participation of the three per
to maintain the equal participation of the Son and the Spirit in the work of creation, than to prove that it is to be attributed to the Father. Conf. Quenst. I. c, dián. VI.
I Quenst. de Trin. Sect. I. thes. 32: “The work of creation is attributed to the Father, not exclusively, nor éšoxer@s, nor as proper to him alone, much less as to one originating cause, so that the Son can only be an instrument; but on account of the order in the persons of the Trinity.” He considers it as an ikvpoloyia, or a popular mode of speech, when some of the Fathers of the church designate the Father as causam creationis apokatapktikiv, the Son as causam δημιουργικήν, the Holy Ghost as causam τελειωτικήν; Οr when Luther, in the interpretation of Genesis, calls the Son the instrument of the Father in creation; at least, he thinks, he is to be considered only as a conjoint or integral instrument, somewhat as the hand may be called an instrument of the man; but, properly speaking, the Father created all things by the Son, not as by an instrument, "sed tanquam per suam sapientiam et virtutem iTootatikhv, Prov. 8: 30." Quenst, de creat. s. II. qu. III. dúh. 2–5.
These constitute the three principia salutis according to which, in the analytical method of treating theology, the first half of the doctrine respecting salvation was divided. This division shows a correct feeling of the importance of these principles for the Christian consciousness, and of the right connection of Christian doctrines. Conf. Hollaz, P. III. cp. I. qu. 2: “ The principles of salvation are three; first, there is the benevolence of God the Father in his purpose to restore and bless a fallen world ; secondly, there is the paternal redemption of us by Christ from sin and its penalty; thirdly, there is the gracious and, through certain media, efficacious operation of the Holy Spirit, by which the salvation obtained by Christ is offered and conferred.”
The Relation of the Persons to Redemption.
sons in this work of restitution, which is designated by the prepositions from, through and in, expresses a wholly different relation from that of their participation in the work of creation, which is also designated by the same prepositions. On this account, the opera oeconomica are called personalia and minus communia; but yet only minus communia, (not as the internal works, divisa,) and personalia only secundum quid, (not absolutely personal, as are generation and procession); for it is not so much the efficiency it. self as its result, its terminus, in which the separation of the persons is revealed. And even terminative we cannot make this separation valid, without taking precautions for again holding fast the union of the persons in some other manner; this is done, as we shall see, by means of the conception of the sending (the missio) of the Son.
In the application of these principles we find no entire agree. ment, even among our older divines; the ideas of redemption and sanctification are too general; and all depends upon this, what elements of them are made prominent, or especially regarded; and also in distinguishing the points which are to be referred to the whole Trinity or to some one person, there may be a difference in the degree of acuteness and precision; but these differences are of no detriment to the validity of the principles themselves.
For illustration let us take the opus oeconomicum of the second person, that is, the redemption of the human race. One who has no occasion or call to enter into more exact investigation will simply hold to this, that the Son has redeemed the world from sin and death; and, as to the relation of this to the Trinity, will say that it was brought about according to a divine purpose, and that for this end the Son was sent by the Father into the world. Another, who feels himself compelled to discuss with more precision the leading elements of redemption, and its relation to the divine nature, or to the individual persons, will perhaps say with Quenstedt: “ That redemption is a work of the whole Trinity, partly in view of the divine ordering of it, partly in view of the acceptance of the ransom paid by Christ; but that it is a work of
According to a role which Calovius gives: Communia sunt ratione efficientiae s. principii et inchoative, personalia vero s. propria uni alicui personae ratione termini s. terminative, quia in certa persona terminantur,
* The most exact and complete division is to be found in Baumgarten, Th. 1. 8. 477 sq. S. 491 sq. S. 499 sq. Vol. IV. No. 13.