Sivut kuvina

13. If any one shall affirm that this saying, 'Let us make man,' was not spoken by the Father to the Son, but that God spake with himself, let him be anathema.

14. If any one shall affirm that Abraham saw not the Son, but the unbegotten God, the Father-let him be anathema.

15. If any one shall say that Jacob wrestled not with the Son, but with the unbegotten God, the Father, let him be anathema.


16. If any one shall receive the saying The Lord rained fire from the Lord,' not as referring to the Father and the Son, but as if the Father rained fire from himself, let him be anathema. For the Lord, the Son, rained fire from the Lord, the Father.

18. If any one shall say that the Father, the Son and the Holy Ghost are one person, let him be anathema.

22. If any one shall call the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost three Gods, let him be anathema.

25. If any one declares that the Son is without beginning, in such a sense that he would establish the doctrine of two unbegotten and unoriginated Gods, let him be anathema.

13. Si quis hoc dictum Faciamus hominem, non Patrem ad Filium, sed Deum secum loqui affirmet, anathema esto.

14. Si quis Abraham non Filium, sed ingenitum Deum aut Patrem ejus vidisse asseveret, anathema esto.

15. Si quis cum Jacob non Filium colluctatam fuisse dicat, sed ingenitum Deum aut Patrem ejus, anathema esto.

16. Si quis hoc dictum, Pluit dominus ignem a domino, non de Patre et Filio accipiat, sed ipsum a seipso pluisse dicat, anathema esto. Pluit enim Filius deminus a domino Patre.

18. Si quis Patrem et Filium et Spiritum sanctum, unam personam esse dicat, anathema esto.

22. Si quis Patrem et Filium et Spiritum sanctum tres Deos appellat, anathema esto.

25. Si quis ingenitum,, et sine origine Filium nominat eo animo, ut duo

For the Son is the head and the beginning of all things, but the head and the beginning of Christ is God. For thus we piously reduce all things, through the Son, to one First Cause of all.'

[ocr errors]

22. The second Sirmian confession of faith by the Arians, for subscribing which, Hosius and Potamon were severely censured, was drawn up before the emperor Constantius, not indeed by a regular council, but still by a company of distinguished bishops. See Mansi. Sacr. Conc. tom. 3. p. 293.) It condemns the use of the word homoousios i. e. consubstantial, in the Nicene Creed, (c) on the simple ground that it is not Scriptural language, and is above human comprehension, but it declares plainly that (d) The Father is immortal, invisible, impassible, and without beginning; and that the Son was begotten of the Father, God of God, light of light, of whose generation no one knoweth but his Father.' It concludes moreover, by saying that (e)' The TRINITY IS ALWAYS TO BE PRESERVED, as we read in the Gospel,


ingenita et inoriginata, et duos Deos statuere velit, anathema esto. Caput enim et principium omnium Filius est. Caput vero et principium Christi Deus: ita enim ad unum principium universitatis nullo initio inchoatum, per Filium pie omnia reducimus.

[ocr errors]
[ocr errors]

(c) Quod vero quosdam aut multos movebat de substantia, quæ Graece usia appellatum, id est, ut expressius intelligatur, Homousion, aut quod dicitur Homoeusion, nullam omnino fieri oportere mentionem : nec quenquam predicare; ea de causa et ratione, quod nec in divinis Scripturis contineatur, et quod super hominis scientiam sit, nec quisquam possit nativitatem Filii enarrare, de quo Scriptum est Generationem ejus quis enarrabit? Scire autem manifestum est solum Patrem, quomodo genuerit Filium suum, et Filium quomodo genitus sit a Patre.'

(d) 'Patrem initium non habere, invisibilem esse, immortalem esse, impassibilem esse. Filium autem natum esse ex Patre, Deum ex Deo, lumen ex lumine, cujus Filii generationem, ut ante dictum est, neminem scire, nisi Patrem suum.'

(e) 'Trinitas semper servanda est, sicut legimus in Evangelio. Ite

Go baptize all nations, in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost.' So that we might have reason to rejoice if there were no worse specimens of orthodoxy than this in our own day, although it was styled, by the Catholics of the fourth century, an example of blasphemy,' because it did not distinctly pronounce upon the Divine essence of the Son and the Holy Spirit. (Mansi Sacr. Concil. Tom. 3. p. 263.)


We see then, and it is worthy of great observation, that the creeds even of the Arians afford no countenance to that perilous system which some are so fond of regarding as rational Christianity. It is indeed true that there is no novelty in this system. It appeared very early, and took a distinct shape under several ancient heretics, such as Theodotus, Artemon, and especially Photinus, in the fourth century, but it was always opposed by the Church, and its open adherents were marked with reprobation.

In the unbounded license of opinion which followed the Reformation, it was revived by Socinus, it was propagated in England by Priestly and others, in Germany by a host of learned cavillers, and in this country by many who would fain persuade themselves that primitive Christianity gives testimony in their favor:—an opinion which Dr. Priestly's book on the Corruptions of Christianity never could have established in any sober mind, if it were not for the ignorance and contempt of antiquity which is so unhappily characteristic of our age.

To settle this question as a mere matter of historical fact, we know of no method so satisfactory as an honest examin

et baptizate omnes gentes, in nomine Patris et Filii et Spiritus sancti. Integer, perfectus numerus Trinitatis est. Paracletus autem Spiritus per Filium est, qui missus venit juxta promissum, ut apostolos et omnes credentes instrueret, doceret. sanctificaret.'

[ocr errors]

ation of the ancient Creeds and Councils. An occasional line, an unguarded expression, or even a few garbled extracts from the fathers, can give no fair representation of their opinions on so momentous a subject of controversy.. The strongest evidence of the opinions of the early Christians must, from the very nature of the case, be found in their councils and their creeds. Large bodies of the most distinguished men, conferring with care and drawing up their confession of faith with the most jealous and scrupulous caution, must be presumed to give a far better portrait of the general-the CATHOLIC Sentiment, than any other testimony can furnish. But when, as in the present case, all the most eminent writers concur with the Councils-when we see that ALL their most public, most solemn, most unquestionable declarations of faith are plainly and unquestionably TRINITARIAN,-that the very Arians themselves were obliged by the force of universal concurrence to put on the semblance of truth, and in their Creeds profess allegiance to the same TRINITY,-we are equally grieved and astonished by the delusion which affects to discover the anti-trinitarian doctrine in the records of Christian antiquity.

§ 23. But we hasten to conclude this portion of our labor, by referring to the famous Council of Rimini, held by order of Constantius, himself an Arian, A. D. 359, where four hundred Bishops assembled, and notwithstanding the utmost exertion was made by the Arians to establish their Trinity, by omitting the decisive terms of the Nicene Creed, notwithstanding the influence of the emperor, and the apprehension of banishment and persecution, they determined to adhere to the Nicene Confession, and solemnly re-published it as the symbol of the Catholic faith.

The zealous Athanasius, who had distinguished himself

at the Council of Nice thirty five years before, speaks of his feelings on this occasion as follows. (f)'I revolved in my mind,' says.he, 'not without grief, along with my sincere brethren, what might be the result of this movement. What motive impelled men, that the whole world should be thrown into confusion? Or why should those, who hitherto were called clergymen, run hither and thither, and wait so long in order to discover how they should believe in our Lord Jesus Christ? For if they had believed, they surely would not be searching for faith as if they had not found it. This thing must give great scandal to the Catechumens, and yield abundant derision to the heathen. If Christians, as if awaking out of sleep, now seek how they ought to believe in Christ, certainly their clergy, although they have hitherto had the authority almost of masters with the people, must declare themselves unbelievers, since that which they seek, they must acknowledge that they have not.' Again, speaking of the vast influence which the emperor seemed to exercise, he says, 'The beginning of their doctrine (viz. the Arian leaders) they do not date from former times, but from the time of Constantius. They have written all things with respect to his heresy, and al-` though they pretend to write of the Lord, they have created another Lord to themselves, namely, Constantius, for he gives them the faculty of writing impiously, and they who deny that the Son of God is eternal, apply the term eternal to their emperor.' The zealous bishop here alludes to the title given by the Arians to the emperor in the superscription of the Creed which they offered to the Coun

(f) ̓́Επειτα κἀκεῖνο διενύεμεν μετὰ τῶν ἐνταῦθα γνησίων αδελφων, και καθ ̓ ἑαυτούς ἠχαλλομεν, θεωροῦντες το απρεπὲς τῆς τοσαύτης συνδρομῆς. τί γὰρ τοσουτον ὑπειξεν, ωστε την οἰκουμένην διαταραχθῆναι ; κ. τ. λ. De Synod. Epist. Op. St. Athan. Tom. 1. p. 870,

« EdellinenJatka »