An Exposition of the Thirty-Nine Articles

Historical and Doctrinal.

By Edward Harold Browne

Edited, With Notes, by J. Williams

E. P. Dutton, 1887

{Footnotes have been moved near to or in the place of their citation in curved brackets.  Bible citations have been converted to all Arabic numerals.  Spelling has been selectively and slightly modernized.}


Prefatory Note to the American Edition

      The Bishop of Ely having kindly given his assent to the proposal for a reprint of his admirable Lectures on the Articles, it has fallen to the lot of the American Editor to add a few notes, which, it is hoped, may prove useful.  These are all placed in [square] brackets, with the Editor’s initials; not because they are deemed to possess any special value, but, simply, to relieve the Author from any responsibility for them.

      The volume thus presented to American Students of Theology needs no words of commendation.  The Editor has employed it, in instruction, for many years, with an ever-growing sense of its value.

J. W.

Berkeley Divinity School, February, 1864.


Articles 1-5 below on this page.    Articles 6-8.    Articles 9-13.    Articles 14-19Articles 20-26.    Articles 27-31.    Articles 32-39.    Home.

                            1.    2.    3.    4.    5.



      The Reformation was not the work, either of a year, or of a generation.  Its foundation was laid both in the good and in the evil qualities of our nature.  Love of truth, reverence for sacred things, a sense of personal responsibility, a desire for the possession of full spiritual privileges, cooperated with the pride of human reason, the natural impatience of restraint, and the envy and hatred inspired among the nobles by a rich and powerful hierarchy, to make the world weary of the Papal domination, and desirous of reform in things spiritual and ecclesiastical.

      Wickliffe in England, and Huss and Jerome of Prague in Germany, had long ago given utterance to a feeling which lay deep in the hearts and spread wide among the ranks of thinking men.  It was said of Wickliffe, that half of the secular priests in England agreed with him; and his followers long gave serious trouble both to Church and State.  On the Continent, the Bohemian Church was rent by faction; and even open war was the result of an obstinate denial of the Cup in the Lord’s Supper to the lay-members of Christ’s Church.  The two great Councils of Constance (A. D. 1415) and Basle (A. D. 1431) were the results of the general call for a reformation of abuses; and they left them where they were, or aggravated and strengthened them.

      But there was a leaven which could not be prevented from working.  The revival of letters and the art of printing taught men how to think, and how to communicate their thoughts.  Men, whose character was almost purely literary, contributed not a little to pull down the system which threatened to stifle learning by confounding it with heresy.  Amongst these, on every account, the most important and influential was Erasmus.  It is thought by many that his Biblical criticism and his learned wit did more to rouse men to reform, than the honest but headlong zeal of Luther.  At least, if there had been no Erasmus to precede him, Luther’s voice, if it could not have been stilled, might soon have been stifled.  He might not have found both learning and power zealous to protect him, so that he could defy and prove superior to the allied forces of the Emperor and the Pope.  But Erasmus was himself alarmed at the spirit he had raised.  He had been zealous for reformation; but he dreaded destruction.  And he was the type of many, more in earnest than himself.  On both sides of the great controversy, which soon divided Europe into two hostile communities, were many who wished to have abuses eradicated, but who feared to see the fabric of ages shaken to its centre.  Some, like Erasmus, remained in communion with Rome; others, like Melancthon, joined the Reformation.  The distance in point of sentiment between the more moderate men, thus by force of circumstances arrayed in opposition to each other, was probably but very small.  But in the ranks of both parties there were many of a more impetuous and less compromising spirit; and, as the voice of a community is generally expressed in the tones of its loudest speakers, we are apt to look on all the reformers as actuated by a violent animosity to all that was Roman, and on the adherents of Rome as unrelentingly bent to destroy and exterminate all that was Protestant.

      While this state of things was pending, and whilst the spirit of inquiry was at least as much alive in England as on the Continent, Henry VIII was drawn into a difference with the Papal see on the subject of his divorce with Catharine of Aragon.  The merits of the question may be debated elsewhere.  This much alone we may observe, that Henry, if he acted from principle, not from passion, might have suffered his scruples to weigh with him when his wife was young and well-favoured, not when she had grown old and care-worn; when she brought him a rich dowry, not when he had absorbed and spent it; when he had hopes of a male heir to his throne, not when those hopes had been disappointed, the lady Mary being the sole issue of his alliance.  But, whatever the moving cause, he was in hostility to the see of Rome; and his only chance of making head against it was to call up and give strength to the spirit of reformation.

      Cranmer had been introduced to him by some casual observations on the best way of settling the question of the divorce; and Cranmer from that time forth Henry steadily favoured and protected.  In 1533, the king threw off the supremacy of the Bishop of Rome, and declared the independence of his kingdom and of its Church.  But it has been said that he rejected the Pope, not the Papacy.  The Church was to be independent of Rome, but not independent absolutely.  For a spiritual, he substituted a temporal head, and wished to confer on that temporal head – himself – all the ecclesiastical authority which had been enjoyed by the spiritual.  Cranmer was now Archbishop of Canterbury.  His character has been differently described by those who have taken their views of it from different sides of the question.  His greatest enemies can scarcely deny him the virtues of mildness, moderation, and patience, nor the praise of learning and candor.*  His greatest admirers can hardly affirm that he was free from weakness and timidity, and a too ready compliance with the whims and wishes of those in power.  But he had a hard post to fill.  Henry had thrown off the power of the Pope, and so had thrown himself into the party of the reformers; but he had no mind to throw off all the errors of Popery, and to go all lengths with the Reformation.  Cranmer had often to steer his course warily, lest his bark should make shipwreck altogether; and over-zeal for his cause might provoke the hostility of one whose word was law, and whose will would brook no restraint from an archbishop, when it had dethroned a Pope.

            {*His first Protestant successor in the archiepiscopal see has thus described him: Ut theologiam a barbaric vindicaret, adjecit literas Graecas et Hebraicas; quarum sane post susceptum doctoratus gradum constat eum perstudiosum fuisse.  Quibus perceptis antiquissimos tam Graecos quam Latinos patres evolvit: concilia omnia et antiquitatem ad ipsa Apostolorum tempora investigavit; theologiam totam, detracta ilia quam sophistae obduxerant vitiata cute, ad vivum resecavit: quam tamen non doctrina magis quam moribus et vita expressit.  Mira enim temperantia, mira animi lenitate atque placabilitate fuit; ut nulla injuria aut contumelia ad iram aut vindictam provocari possit; inimicissimosque, quorum vim ac potentiam etsi despexit ac leviter tulit, ab offensione tamen ad inimicitias deponendas atque gratiam ineundam saepe humanitate duxit.  Eam praeterea constantiam, gravitatem ac moderationem prae se tulit, ut in omni varietate rebusque, sive secundis, sive adversis, nunquam turbari animum ex fronte vultuque colligeres. – Matt. Prarker, De Antiq. Britann. Eccles. p. 495.  Lond. 1729.}

      During Henry’s reign, several documents were put forth, varying in their complexion, according as Cranmer had more or less influence with him.  The Six Articles nearly swamped the Reformation, and endangered even the archbishop.  The Bishops’ Book, or the Institution of a Christian Man, was a confession of faith set forth when Cranmer and Ridley were in the ascendant.  But it was succeeded by the King’s Book, the Necessary Doctrine, which was the king’s modification of the Bishops’ Book, in which Gardiner had greater influence, and which restored some of those doctrines of the Roman communion which the Bishops’ Book had discarded. {See Cardwell’s Synodalia, p. 34, note.}

      Cranmer was himself not as yet fully settled in his views.  He had early split with the Papacy, and convinced himself of the need of reformation, and of the general defection from the faith of the Scriptures and the primitive Church.  But he was some time before he gave up the doctrine of Transubstantiation, and other opinions in which he had been educated. {Ridley was converted from a belief in Transubstantiation to believe in the Spiritual Presence by reading Ratramn’s book, and he was the means of bringing over Cranmer, who in time brought Latimer to the same conviction.  See Ridley’s Life of Ridley, p. 162.  The date assigned to Ridley’s conviction is 1545.  See also Soames’s Hist. of Reformation, III. ch. II. p. 177.}  The bishops and clergy in general were far less disposed to reformation than the king or the archbishop.  It was rather by an exercise of regal prerogative than by the force of persuasion, that changes were effected, even to the extent which took place in Henry’s reign.  It was also not much to the taste of the clergy, that they should be forced to pay the same obedience to a temporal which they had hitherto paid to a spiritual head: especially when Henry seemed to claim, and Cranmer, at least for a time, to sanction, spiritual obedience to such a temporal authority; and most of all when Henry had given marked indications, that, instead of making lighter the yoke which the Pope had put upon them, his little finger would be thicker than the Pope’s loins.  But neither clergy nor people were allowed to speak louder than the king chose to suffer.  Convocation, both in this reign and the next, had little weight, and was not often consulted.

      However, in Henry’s reign many important steps were taken.  The Church was declared independent of Rome.  The Bible was translated into English.  So also were many portions of the Church service.  Negotiations were opened with the German Reformers, especially with Melanethon, whom Henry and Cranmer besought in vain to come over and help them. {Melancthon seems to have known Henry’s character too well to wish to become his counsellor.  See Laurence, Bampton Lectures, p. 198, third edition, London, 1838; and Dr. Cardwell’s Preface to the two Liturgies of King Edward VI.  Oxf. 1838, p. iv. note 6.}  And in 1538, in consequence of conferences between Cranmer and the German divines, a body of thirteen articles was drawn up, in great measure agreeing with the Confession of Augsburg. {See Cranmer’s Works, by Jenkyns, iv. p. 273.}

      On the accession of Edward VI, who was himself a zealous partisan of the Reformation, greater changes were speedily made.  In 1547 the first book of Homilies was put forth.  In 1548 “The Archbishop of Canterbury with other learned and discreet bishops and divines” were appointed “by the king to draw an order of divine worship, having respect to the pure religion of Christ taught in the Scripture, and to the practice of the primitive Church.”  This commission is said to have consisted of Cranmer, Archbishop of Canterbury; Day, Bishop of Chichester; Goodrich, Bishop of Ely; Skip, Bishop of Hereford; Holbeach, of Lincoln; Ridley, of Rochester; Thirlby, of Westminster; May, Dean of St. Paul’s; Taylor, Dean of Lincoln; Haynes, Dean of Exeter; Robertson, Archdeacon of Leicester; Redmayne, Master of Trinity College, Cambridge; Cox, almoner to the king and Dean of Westminster and Christ Church. {See Strype’s Cranmer, p. 193.  Ridley’s Life of Ridley, p. 221.  Collier’s Eccl. Hist. II. p. 252, &c.  Downes’s Lives of the Compilers of the Liturgy, prefixed to Sparrow’s Rationale.  Soames’s Hist. Ref. III. p. 352.  The first Service Book was attributed by his contemporary Bale to Cranmer.  On Cranmer’s approbation of it, see Jenkyns’s Cranmer, I. pp. liii. liv.}  These commissioners, or a portion of them, {Soames seems satisfied that the parties actually engaged were Cranmer, Ridley, Goodrich, Holbeach, May, Taylor, Haynes, and Cox.  “If,” he says, “it be true that Dr. Redmayn did not cordially approve the new Liturgy, that circumstance is to be regretted, for his age could boast of few men more erudite and honest.” – III. p. 256.  This witness is true.} drew up the first Service Book of Edward VI., which was approved by Convocation, and confirmed by both Houses of Parliament.  The principal sources from which it was derived were the ancient offices of the Church of England, and with them very probably the Liturgy drawn up by Melancthon and Bracer, at the request of Herman, Archbishop of Cologne, for the use of his diocese, which had been principally derived from the ancient liturgy of Nuremberg. {See Cardwell’s Preface to the two Liturgies of Edward VI, p. xiii., and the authorities there referred to.}

      The same year, Cranmer translated a Catechism written by Justus Jonas, which he put forth with his own authority, and which is commonly called Cranmer’s Catechism.  The Calvinistic reformers of the Continent made many objections to the Liturgy as drawn up in 1548; and many English divines entertained similar scruples.  It is probable that the clergy at large were not desirous of farther reformation.  But the king and the archbishop were both anxious for a revision, which should do away with any appearance of giving sanction to Roman superstitions.  Accordingly an order was given to prepare a new Service Book.  The king and his council were most zealous in favor of the change, and it is even said that the king declared, in a spirit like his father’s, that, if the bishops would make the desired change, he would interpose his own supreme authority to enforce its acceptance.

      The new Service Book was put forth in 1552, and, with few exceptions, although these few are very important, it is the same as that we now possess under the name of the Book of Common Prayer.

      The Convocation was not permitted to pass its judgment on it, because it would, in all probability, have thrown all possible difficulties in the way of its publication.  It came forth with the authority of Parliament; though the act which enjoined its acceptance declared that the objections to the former book were rather curious than reasonable.*

            {*Strype’s Cranmer, pp. 210, 266, 289.  Ridley’s Life of Ridley, p. 333.  Collier’s Eccl. Hist. II. 309.  Soames, III. ch. VI. p. 592. “The prelates themselves appear to have considered the existing Liturgy as sufficiently unexceptionable, for in the act authorizing the new one it was declared that the former book contained nothing but what was agreeable to the word of God, and the primitive Church; and that such doubts as had been raised in the use and exercise thereof proceeded rather from the curiosity of the ministers and mistakers, than of any other worthy cause.” – Soames, III. p. 595.}

      The same year saw the publication of the forty-two “Articles of Religion.”  They were framed by the archbishop at the king’s command, and committed to certain bishops to be inspected and approved by them.  They were then returned to the archbishop and amended by him; he then sent them to Sir William Cecil and Sir John Choke, who agreed that the archbishop should offer them to the king, which accordingly he did.  They were then communicated to some other divines, and returned once more to the archbishop.  The archbishop made his last remarks upon them, and so returned them again in three days to the council, beseeching them to prevail with the king to give authority to the bishops to cause their respective clergy to subscribe them.*

            {*Wake’s State of the Church, &c., p. 599.  quoted by Cardwell, Synodalia, I. p. 3.  See also Jenkyns’s Cranmer, I. p. 357.  It is asserted by Strype, in his Life of Cranmer, and repeated by Gloucester Ridley, that of these Articles “the archbishop was the penner, or at least the great director, with the assistance, as is very probable, of Bishop Ridley.”  Ridley’s Life, p. 343.

            Mr. Soames says, “Of the Articles now framed Abp. Cranmer must be considered as the sole compiler. ...  It seems likely that he consulted his friend Ridley, and that he obtained from him many notes.  It is however certain, that the Bishop of London was not actually concerned in preparing the Articles, as Cranmer, when examined at Oxford, took upon himself the whole responsibility of that work:” for which he quotes Foxe, 1704.  Soames’s Hist. Ref. III. p. 648.}

      It has been doubted whether these articles, thus drawn up, were ever sanctioned by Convocation.  Dr. Cardwell, in his Synodalia, has given good reason to think that they received full synodical authority.

      It has been shown by Archbishop Laurence {Bampton Lectures, passim, especially p. 230.} and others, that the Lutheran Confessions of Faith, especially the Confession of Augsburg, were the chief sources to which Cranmer was indebted for the Articles of 1552.  He did not servilely follow, but yet made copious use of them.

      The chief assistant to Cranmer, both in this labor and in the translations and revisions of the Liturgy, was unquestionably his great friend and counsellor, Ridley.  It is well known that he had material influence in inducing the archbishop to renounce the doctrine of Transubstantiation and to embrace that of the Spiritual Presence; {Ridley’s Life of Ridley, p. 162, referred to above.} and the Romanist party of the day asserted that Cranmer derived all his learning from Ridley.  However untrue this may be, it is pretty certain that they always acted in concert.  In the drawing up of the first Service Book, Ridley was one of the commissioners; and no doubt, next to Cranmer, had a principal hand in compiling and afterwards revising it.  Some of the commissioners protested against the passing the act for authorizing the first book, inasmuch as it went beyond their views of liturgical reform.  But Ridley showed the greatest zeal to induce conformity both to it, and to the Second Service Book, which was far more extensively reformed.  And indeed throughout, Cranmer and he appear to have walked in the same course, and acted on the same principles.

      It is of consequence to remember these facts.  For, if Cranmer and Ridley were the chief compilers both of the Prayer Book and of the Articles, although the Church is in no degree bound by their private opinions, yet, when there is a difficulty in understanding a clause either in the Articles or the Liturgy, which are the two standards of authority as regards the doctrine of the English Church, it cannot but be desirable to elucidate such difficulties by appealing to the writings and otherwise expressed opinions of these two reformers.  It is true, both Liturgy and Articles have been altered since their time.  Yet by far the larger portion of both remains just as they left them.  The Convocation appears to have made little alteration in the Articles, and none in the Liturgy in Edward’s reign; for the Second Service Book was not submitted to it, and it has been even doubted whether the Articles were passed by it.

      The event which seemed to crush the Reformation in the bud, in fact gave it life.  Neither clergy nor people appear to have been very hearty in its cause, when it came commended to them by the tyranny of Henry, or even by the somewhat arbitrary authority of Edward and the Protector Somerset.  But when its martyrs bled at the stake, and when the royal prerogative was arrayed against it, it then became doubly endeared to the people, as the cause of liberty as well as of religion.

      Elizabeth, though not less a Tudor than her predecessors, was wiser, if not better than they.  She at once disclaimed the title of Supreme Head of the Church in such a sense as might make it appear that her authority was spiritual, or trenching on the prerogative and rights of the clergy. {In her Injunctions set forth in the year 1559, referred to and confirmed in the XXXVIIth Article of the Church.}  She allowed the Convocation to be consulted, both on the Liturgy and the Articles.

      And now both clergy and laity were more prepared to adopt the tenets and the worship of the Reformers.  Men who did not wish to change their creed at the will of Henry, had learned to dread the despotism of Rome, as exhibited in the reign of Mary.  There were yet many different sets of opinion in the country.  A large number of clergy and laity were still for communion with Rome and for retaining the mass; others had imbibed a love of the doctrine and discipline of Geneva, and viewed a surplice with horror and aversion; others again leant to what were called Lutheran sentiments, and were viewed by one extreme as papists, by the other as heretics.  Happily the leading divines in the Church, and especially Parker, the new archbishop, were imbued with moderate sentiments, and succeeded for a time in steering the Ark of the Church skilfully amid the fury of the contending elements.  Their wise conduct and the gradual progress of opinions in the course of time appeased the vehemence of the Romanist party; though it is painful to add, that measures of a most cruel character were too often adopted by the friends of the Reformation, against the leading propagators of Romish doctrine: measures which stain the memory of Elizabeth’s reign almost as deeply, and not so excusably, as the fires of Smithfield do that of Mary’s. {See Soames’s Elizathethan Religious History, ch. v.}  But, though Romanism was then decaying, the opposite extreme party was gradually advancing; and it advanced, till in the end it overthrew the altar and the throne.  Its influence, however, was not great on the formularies of the Church.  The Second Service Book of Edward VI was restored in the beginning of the reign of Elizabeth, with some alterations, principally the insertion of a few rubrics and passages from the First Service Book, and partly the omission of one or two sentences, which were thought needlessly offensive, or doubtful in their orthodoxy.  The Prayer Book underwent subsequent revisions in the reigns of James I and Charles II, which reduced it to its present form.

      The alterations in the Articles have been fewer, and perhaps less important.  Soon after his appointment to the primacy, which took place in 1559, Archbishop Parker set on foot various measures for the regulation and government of the Church, now again under the care of a reforming sovereign, and with a reforming archbishop at its head.  It appears that one of Parker’s earliest labors was directed towards a recasting of the “Articles of Religion.”  He expunged some parts of the original Articles, and added some others.  In this work he was guided, like Cranmer, in a great degree by Lutheran formularies.  As Cranmer had derived much from the Confession of Augsburg, so he took several clauses from the Confession of Wurtemberg. {Laurence’s Bampton Lectures, p. 233.}  Both Houses of Convocation considered the draught of the Articles thus made by the archbishop, and by him committed to their inspection and revision.  The Convocation, as appears from an original document in the Library of Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, made several farther alterations, besides those which the archbishop had made.  Especially, they erased the latter part of the original 3d Article, concerning the preaching to the spirits in prison, the whole of the 39th, 40th, and 42d, the archbishop having previously erased the 41st, thus reducing the whole number to 38.  There was some little difference between the copy of the Articles thus submitted to and approved by the Convocation in 1562 and the copy afterwards published by the queen’s command, and with her royal approbation.  The latter omitted the 29th Article, whose title was “Impii non manducant Corpus Christi in usu coenae,” and added the famous clause in the 20th Article, “Habet Ecclesia ritus statuendi jus et in fidei controversiis auctoritatem.”  Both alterations are believed to be due to the queen herself, in the exercise of what she considered her undoubted right.

      An English translation of these Articles was put forth soon after by the authority of Convocation, not apparently of the queen.  This translation does not contain the famous clause on Church authority, which the queen or her council had inserted, nor yet the Article “Impii non manducant,” which the Convocation had authorized, but which the council had expunged. {See Cardwell’s Synodalia, p. 34.}

      In the year 1571 the Articles were again subscribed by both Houses of Convocation, and committed to the editorship of Bishop Jewell.  They were then put forth in their present form, both in Latin and English ; and received, not only the sanction of Convocation, but also of Parliament.  The Latin Articles, as published at this period, omitted the famous clause concerning Church authority; the English retained it.  Both contained the 29th Article, concerning the wicked not eating the Body of Christ.

      The Articles, which were now 39 in number, making, with the Confirmation, 40, were thus set forth with the authority of the Queen, of the Convocation, and of the Parliament.  The clause concerning Church authority was still, however, in a measure doubtful; it being even to this day uncertain whether it received fully the sanction of Convocation.  The bishops of both provinces soon after enacted canons, by which all members were bound to subscribe the Articles approved in the synod. {Cardwell’s Synodalia, I. p. 127.}

      The mode in which the Articles, thus reduced to their present form, were drawn up and imposed upon the Church is a subject which may well admit of question and debate.  The exercise of State authority, in the whole course of the Reformation, corresponds more with the notions of prerogative suited to those days, than with the feelings of modern times.*  But whatever may be said on this head, one fact is plain, namely, that the Articles thus drawn up, subscribed, and authorized, have ever since been signed and assented to by all the clergy of the Church, and by every graduate of both Universities; and have hence an authority far beyond that of any single Convocation or Parliament, namely, the unanimous and solemn assent of all the bishops and clergy of the Church, and of the two Universities for well-nigh three hundred years.

            {*It will be remembered, that in the reigns of Henry VIII and Edward VI the whole nation, and therefore, of course, the king and the Parliament, considered themselves as members of the national Church.  Hence their interference in the reformation of the Church was a very different thing from the interference of a Parliament not consisting exclusively of churchmen.  The question, as to how far the laity ought to be consulted in drawing up formularies or services, may be considered as open to discussion.}

      In the interpretation of them, our best guides must be, first, their own natural, literal, grammatical meaning; next to this, a knowledge of the controversies which had prevailed in the Church, and made such Articles necessary; then, the other authorized formularies of the Church; after them, the writings and known opinions of such men as Cranmer, Ridley, and Parker, who drew them up; then, the doctrines of the primitive Church, which they professed to follow; and, lastly, the general sentiments of the distinguished English divines, who have been content to subscribe the Articles, and have professed their agreement with them for now three hundred years.  These are our best guides for their interpretation.  Their authority is derivable from Scripture alone.

      On the subject of subscription, of late so painfully agitated, very few words may be sufficient.  To sign any document in a non-natural sense seems hardly consistent with Christian integrity or common manliness.  But, on the other hand, a national Church should never be needlessly exclusive.  It should, we can hardly doubt, be ready to embrace, if possible, all who truly believe in God, and in Jesus Christ whom He hath sent.  Accordingly, our own Church requires of its lay members no confession of their faith, except that contained in the Apostles’ Creed.*

            {*See the Baptismal Service and the Visitation of the Sick.

            [The Articles were not adopted in the United States of America till September 12th, 1801, although a body of twenty Articles appears in the Proposed Book.  Bishop White states that the subject had been seriously considered and discussed by the bishops, both in 1789 and 1792.  In 1789, Bishop Seabury, the only bishop present besides Bishop White, “doubted of the need of Articles.”  In 1792, Bishops White and Claggett were in favour of adopting them, while Bishops Provoost and Madison were “directly against” them.  Bishop Seabury still doubted, but was disposed to consider their adoption more fitvourably than in 1789.  The latitudinarian objections of Bishops Provoost and Madison might well startle any man who found himself, even though on very different grounds, occupying the same position with them.

            In the General Convention of 1799, the subject was taken up “at the pressing instance of the deputies from Connecticut,” and in consequence of instructions to them “from the Convention of their Diocese.”  The only action, however, was that of the House of Clerical and Lay Deputies.  They appear to have appointed a committee who reported “a proposed body of Articles wholly new in form,” which were printed in the Journal.  These articles were never voted on in the House in which they were reported, were never acted on by the bishops, and, indeed, were never seen by them till they appeared in print.  The measure was, in every aspect of it, injudicious, and even absurd.  But, after all, it worked towards a good result, by “showing the impossibility of agreement in a new form,” and exhibiting the inherent folly of the proposal.  The feeling of opposition against any such attempt was a continually growing one; and at last – with some alterations, which will be specified in their proper places – the English Articles were adopted, in 1801.

            See Bishop White’s Memoirs, &c., notes K and N. —J. W]}

      In the following pages an attempt is made to interpret and explain the Articles of the Church, which bind the consciences of her clergy, according to their natural and genuine meaning; and to prove that meaning to be both Scriptural and Catholic.  None can feel so satisfied, nor act so straightforwardly, as those who subscribe them in such a sense.  But, if we consider, how much variety of sentiment may prevail amongst persons, who are, in the main, sound in the faith; we can never wish that a national Church, which ought to have all the marks of catholicity, should enforce too rigid and uniform an interpretation of its formularies and terms of union.  The Church should be not only Holy and Apostolic, but as well, One and Catholic.  Unity and universality are scarcely attainable, where a greater rigor of subscription is required, than such as shall insure an adherence and conformity to those great catholic truths, which the primitive Christians lived by, and died for.


Article  I


Of Faith in the Holy Trinity.

      There is but one living and true God, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness; the Maker and Preserver of all things, both visible and invisible.  And in the unity of this Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity: the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.


De fide in Sacrosanctam Trinitatem

      Unus est vivus et verus Deus, aeternus, incorporeus, impartibilis, impassibilis; immensse potentiae, sapientae, ac bonitatis; Creator et Conservator omnium, tum visibilium, tum invisibilium.  Et in unitate hujus divinae naturae; tres sunt Personae, ejusdem essentiae, potentiae, ac aeternitatis: Pater, Filius, et Spiritus Sanctus.


Section  I. – History

      This Article is evidently concerned with two somewhat distinct subjects.

      First.  The Nature and Essential Attributes of God in the general.

      Secondly.  The Doctrine of the Trinity in Unity.

      The First part is common to natural and revealed religion, and requires less either of illustration from history or demonstration from Scripture; it having been the universal creed, both of Jews and Christians, “God is one, living and true, everlasting, without body, parts, or passions; of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, the Maker and Preserver of all things, both visible and invisible.”

      There have, however, been two classes of speculators, against whom we may suppose these words to be directed.

      1.  The obscure sect of the Anthropomorphites is reckoned as a heresy of the fourth century, and is said to have reappeared in the tenth, in the district of Vicenza in Italy.*  Their opinion, as expressed by their name, was that God was in form as a man, material, and with body and members like our own.

            {*See Suicer, s. v. ανθρωπομορφιται, and Mosheim, Ecclesiast. Hist. Cent. X. pt. II. ch. v. § 4.

            [This error has been revived by the Mormons.  In the Latter-Day Saints’ Catechism, or Child’s Ladder, by Elder David Moffat, God is described as an “intelligent, material personage, possessing both body and parts,” possessing “ passions,” and unable to “occupy two distinct places at once.”  The same statement occurs in the Millennial Star.  On the Divine attributes, the profound work of Dean Jackson, and the fourth chapter of Mr. Owen’s Introduction to the Study of Dogmatic Theology, should be studied. —J. W.]}

      2.  The more important and dangerous error of the Pantheists may not be directly alluded to in the Article, but is plainly opposed by it.

      Pantheism has been the prevailing Esoteric doctrine of all Paganism, and, with various modifications, the source of a great part of ancient philosophy. {Cudworth, Int. Syst. ch. IV. passim, especially §§ 29, 32, 33, 34.}  The Orphic Hymns have evident traces of it.  Thales and the Eleatic School expressed it distinctly, and in the definite language of philosophy. {Cudworth, B. I. ch. IV. §§ 30, 31.  Tennemann’s Manual of Philosophy, pp. 59, 70. (Oxf. 1832.)}  There can be little doubt, that it was the great doctrine revealed in the mysteries.  The Egyptian theology was plainly based upon it.*  It was at the root of the Polytheism of the Greeks and Romans; and their gross idolatry was probably but an outward expression of its more mystic refinements. {See Faber, Pagan Idolatry, B. I. ch, III.}  The Brahmins and Buddhists, whose religious systems still prevail amongst nearly half the human race, though also, exoterically, gross Polytheists, are yet, in their philosophy, undisguised Pantheists. {See Sir W. Jones’s Works, I. p. 252; Maurice’s History of Hindostan and Indian Antiquities, passim; Faber, as above, Mill’s Pantheistic Theory.}  The Jewish Cabala is thought to have drunk deep of the same fountain. {Burton’s Bampton Lectures, note 16.}

            {*Εγώ ειμι παν το γεγονος, και ον, και εσόμενον·  και τον εμον πέπλον ουδείς πω θνητος απεκάλυψεν: “I am all that hath been, is, and shall be, and my veil hath no mortal ever uncovered.”  Inscription on the Temple of Saïs, ap. Plutarch.  De Iside.  Again, τον πρωτον Θεον τω παντι τον αυτον νομίζουσιν.  Plutarch, from Hecataeus, De Iside et Osiri.  See Cudworth, II. ch. IV. pp. 170, 175.  All that Cudworth adduces, and it is well worth reading, shows that the Egyptians were genuine Pantheists.}

      When the Christian faith came in contact with Eastern philosophy, it is probable that Pantheistic notions found their way into its corruptions.  Gnostics and Manichees, and possibly some of the later heretics, such as the Paulicians, had some admixture of Pantheism in their creeds.  Simon Magus himself may possibly have used its language, when he gave himself out as “the great power of God.”

      Its leading idea is that God is everything, and everything is God. {“Jupiter est quodcumque vides, quocumque moveris.”  Lucan. IX. 580.  See also Virg. Eclog. III. 60, Georg. IV. 219, AEn. VI. 724; Lucret. II. 61.}  Though all mind, whether of men or animals, is God, yet no individual mind is God; and so all distinct personality of the Godhead is lost.  The supreme being of the Hindoos is therefore neither male nor female, but neuter. {Sir W. Jones’s Works, I. p. 249.}  All the numberless forms of matter are but different appearances of God; and though he is invisible, yet everything you see is God. {Sir W. Jones’s Works, I. p. 252.  Ward’s Religion of the Hindoos, IV. 274.}  Accordingly, the Deity himself becomes identified with the worshipper.  “He, who knows that Deity, is the Deity itself.” {Mill’s Pantheistic Theory, p. 159.}  Hence, as all living beings are manifestations of, and emanations from the Deity, the devout Brahmin or Buddhist, while he believes that by piety man may become more and more truly God, looks forward, as his final consummation and bliss, to Nirwana, or absorption in the Deity.

      This system of religion or philosophy, which has prevailed so extensively in heathendom, and found favour with the early philosophic heretics, and probably with the brethren of the free spirit in the twelfth century, {Mosheim, Cent. XII. pt. II. ch. V. § 10.} was taught in the seventeenth century by Benedict de Spinoza, a Portuguese Jew, {Mosheim, Cent. XVII. §§ 1, 24; Tennemann, p. 324.  Giordano Bruno, in the sixteenth century, a Dominican, was burnt at Rome as a heretic, A. D. 1600, for holding opinions very similar to Pantheism.  See Tennemann, p. 283.} and has been called from him Spinozism.  Some of the philosophic divines of Germany have revived it of late, and have taught it as the solution of all the Christian mysteries; so that with them the Christ or God-man is not the individual personal Jesus: but mankind is God made man, the miracle worker, the sinless one; who dies and rises, and ascends into heaven, and through faith in whom man is justified.

      The history of the Second part of this Article, that is, of the doctrine of the Trinity, may be considered as almost equivalent to the history of Christianity.

      I.  What degree of knowledge of it there may have been previously to the coming of Christ, is a question of great interest, but of great difficulty.  This question, as regards Scripture, must be deferred to the next section; here it is considered by the light of history alone.

      It has been thought, with considerable reason, that there are distinct intimations of it (1) in the Jewish writings, (2) in the mythology of most ancient nations, (3) in the works of Plato and other philosophers.

      1.  The Jewish Targums and Philo-Judaeus both speak frequently of the Word of the Lord.  The latter may possibly have been indebted to philosophic sources.  This can hardly be conjectured with probability of the former; and, although none of them are much earlier than the Christian era, there is no doubt that they speak the language and contain the tradition of former ages.  Passages, such as that in the Targum, in Psalm 110., where “the Lord said unto my Lord” is rendered “the Lord said unto His Word,” and many like it, seem, at first sight at least, very clearly to indicate a notion of Pesonal plurality in the Divine Unity. {See Allix’s Testimony of the Ancient Jewish Church against the Unitarians; Bryant’s Opinions of Philo-Judaeus; Bull, Fid. Nic. Def. I. I. 16–19.  [See also Oxlee, On the Trinity, &c., a laborious, curious, and valuable work. – J. W.]}  Yet, of late, a different opinion has prevailed concerning the signification of the term Memra or Word (מימרא דיי) used in the Targums; it being contended, that the phrase means not a distinct and separate Person, but is, in fact, only another form of the pronoun “Himself.” {Burton’s Bampton Lectures, Lect. VII. p. 221, and note 93.}  Both views have found able advocates, and may be supported by considerable arguments; and therefore the question concerning the Jewish opinions on the Trinity must be considered as one which is not fully decided.

      2.  In the mythology of almost all nations, it is plain that the number three has been a sacred number.  The triads of classical mythology (e. g. Zeus, Poseidon, and Hades; or again, Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva in the Capitol) are well known. {Cudworth, B. I. ch. IV. § 27, p. 319, § 32, p. 470.  The Jupiter, Juno, and Minerva of the Capitol were the same as the three great Gods, Tinia, Cupra, and Menrva, who had temples in every Etruscan city.}  More remarkable by far is the Trimourti of Hindostan.  Christians have frequently believed that the Trimourti originated in some patriarchal tradition, whilst unbelievers have found in it an argument against the Christian Faith, as being merely one development of the many speculations concerning God which have prevailed in India and elsewhere.  In answer to the latter, it may be enough to say, that the whole significance of the Trimourti is utterly unlike that of the Trinity, the likeness being in number only.  Brahma, Vishnu, and Siva, were no tripersonal unity, but three distinct, created divinities, embodiments of the various powers of nature; though subsequently both Vishnu and Siva were, by their respective votaries, identified with the Great Supreme.  And, on the other hand, it is now well ascertained that the gods of the Trimourti were unknown to the Vedas and more ancient books of the Hindoos* so that the origin of a belief in them cannot be traced to primitive tradition, but must more probably be ascribed to the speculations of later Indian Theosophists.**

            {*See especially Professor Wilson’s translation of the Rig Veda.  The legend of Crishna, which seemed peculiarly to resemble some portions of Christian history, occurs first in the Bhagavat Gita, a work of about the third century A. D.  Some part of it has probably been directly borrowed from the Gospels, or Apocryphal Gospels.  The student may consult Rev. C. Hardwick’s Christ and other Masters, Part II.}

            {**On the Trinity of Zoroaster and the Magi, see Cudworth, Intell. Syst. B. I. ch. IV. § 16, &c.  On the appearance of a Trinity in the Egyptian Pantheism, see § 18, II. p. 194.}

      3.  Plato and some other Greek Philosophers are generally considered as having expounded a doctrine which bears some resemblance to the doctrine of the Gospels. {On Plato’s Trinity, see Cudworth, B. I. ch. IV. § 24.  II. p. 300. § 34.  III. pp. 54, 82, &c.}  If it be so, we may, probably enough, trace his sentiments to some like source of patriarchal tradition or Jewish creed.  Some think Plato had it of Pherecydes of Syros, who may perhaps have learned it from some Eastern source.  Others, that, according to the testimony of Numenius, Plato gained a knowledge of Hebrew doctrine during his thirteen years’ residence in Egypt. {On the statement of Numenius, who asks, “What is Plato, but Moses in Attic?” see Lardner’s Test. of Anc. Heathens, ch. XXXV.  Allix’s Judgment of the Jewish Church, ch. XXIII. p. 286.}  But, on the other hand, it has been argued, that Plato’s view of the Logos was utterly unlike the Christian belief in the Trinity.  It is said, he never spoke of the Word or “Reason of God as a distinctly existing person; it was only a mode or relation in which the operations of the Deity might be contemplated.” {See Burton, Bampton Lect. p. 213.}  After the Christian Revelation, indeed, philosophic Christians, and still more philosophic heretics, early used Platonic terms to express Christian doctrine.  Hence the language of philosophy became tinged with the language of Christianity: hence, too, at a very early period, the heretics, using the language of Platonism, corrupted Christianity with Platonic philosophy.  Hence, again, St. John, who wrote after the rise of such heretics, uses language which they had introduced; yet not in their sense of such language, but with the very object of correcting their errors. {Burton’s Bampton Lect.  Lect. VII and note 90.}  It is clear then, that, in more ways than one, we may account for the fact that St. John used terms which had been used before the Christian Revelation; and the sneer of the infidel, which hints that he learned his doctrine from Plato, becomes harmless and unmeaning. {Gibbon’s Decline and Fall, ch. XV.}

      II.  When once the mystery of the Trinity had been revealed in the Gospel, it became the fundamental doctrine of the Christian faith.  Yet we must not expect to find the first Christian writers using the same technical language to express their belief in it, which afterwards became necessary, when heresy sprang up, and controversy gave rise to definite controversial terms.  Unitarian writers have charged Justin Martyr (A. D. 150) with being the first to introduce “the Platonic doctrine of a second God” into Christianity; that is to say, they have admitted that Justin Martyr speaks of Christ as God, but deny that the Apostolic fathers held the doctrines of Trinitarianism.  Such assertions, however unfounded, render the doctrines of the Apostolical fathers not a little important; as it could hardly fail to puzzle us, if we found the earliest Christians and their most famous pastors ignorant of what we have learned to esteem the groundwork of the faith.

      There is certainly nothing in the subjects treated of by any of the Apostolical fathers, to lead them naturally to set forth a distinct acknowledgment of the doctrine of the Trinity, or of the Divinity of Jesus Christ; and many expressions might occur of love to Christ and reverence for Him without a distinct enunciation of the doctrine of His Godhead.  It is therefore the more remarkable and satisfactory when we find, as we do, in all the works ascribed to those fathers commonly called Apostolical, passages which seem distinctly to assert the Deity of Jesus Christ, and so, at least by implication, the doctrine of the Trinity.  Ignatius especially is so clear on this point, that the only possible way of evading the force of his testimony is to deny the genuineness of his epistles.  A majority of learned men are of opinion that this question has been well nigh set at rest by Bp. Pearson in his Vindiciae Ignatianae.*

            {*The following passages exhibit some of the testimonies of the Apostolic fathers to the Divinity of Christ, and, by implication, to the doctrine of the Trinity: –

            Clemens Romanus.  “The Sceptre of the Majesty of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, came not in the show of pride and arrogance, though he might have done so.”  (1 Cor. 16.)  “Being content with the portion God had dispensed to you; and hearkening diligently to His word, ye were enlarged in your bowels, having His Sufferings always before your eyes.”  (1 Cor. 2.  See also chapters xxxii. xxxvi. xlv. &c.)

            Ignatius calls our Saviour “Jesus Christ our God,” (in the Inscription to the Epistles to the Ephesians and Romans, also in Trall. 7, Rom. 3) speaks of “the blood of God,” (Eph. 1) “the passion of my God,” (Rom. 6) says, “ I glorify God, even Jesus Christ.” (Smyrn. 1) “When God was manifested in human form (ανθρωπίνως) for newness of eternal life.” (Eph. 19)  “There is one Physician, both fleshly and spiritual, made and not made, God incarnate: true life in death; both of Mary and of God; first passible, then impassible even Jesus Christ our Lord.” (Eph. 7)  “Expect Him, who is above all time, eternal, invisible, though for our sakes made visible, who was intangible, impassible; yet for our sakes became subject to suffering, enduring all manner of ways for us.” (Ign. to Polyc. iii.)  “God, who was manifested by His Son Jesus Christ, who is the Eternal Word, not coming forth from silence.” (Magn. viii.)

            The Trinity of Persons in the Godhead is plainly referred to in such passages as these: –

            “Study that so ... ye may prosper in body and spirit, in faith and charity – in the Son, and in the Father, and in the Spirit – in the beginning and in the end”; and again, “Be subject to your bishop and to one another, as Jesus Christ to the Father, according to the flesh, and as the Apostles both to Christ and the Father, and the Holy Ghost.” (Magn. xiii.)

            Polycarp speaks most clearly in the doxology ascribed to him, as some of his last words, in the Circular Epistle of the Church of Smyrna on the Martyrdom of Polycarp.

            “For this, and for all things else, I praise Thee, I bless Thee, I glorify Thee, by the eternal and heavenly High Priest, Jesus Christ, Thy beloved Son, with whom, to Thee and the Holy Ghost, be glory both now and to all succeeding ages, Amen.”  Martyrdom of Polyc. XIV.  On this passage see Waterland, II. p. 232.

            A vindication of Clement of Rome and Polycarp from the imputation of Arianism may be found in Bull, F. D. II. 3, 2.

            Barnabas, whose Epistle, though perhaps not the work of the Apostle of that name, is doubtless the work of one who lived nearly contemporaneously with the other Apostolical fathers, writes: “For this cause the Lord was content to suffer for our souls, although He be the Lord of the whole earth; to whom God said before the beginning of the world, ‘Let us make man in our image.’”  (Barnab. C. V.)  Again, “You have in this, also, the glory of Jesus, that by Him and for Him are all things.”  ότι εν Αυτω πάντα, και εις Αυτόν (C. XII.  See Bull, F. D. I. 2, 2.)

            Hermas, who is reckoned an Apostolical father, and was certainly a writer not later than the middle of the second century, has the following: “The Son is indeed more ancient than any creature, inasmuch as He was in counsel with the Father at the creation of all things.” (Simil. IX. 12 )  “The Name of the Son of God is great, and without bounds, and the whole world is supported by it.” (Simil. IX. 14.)

            Concerning the genuineness of the seven shorter Epistles of Ignatius, see Pearson’s Vindiciae Ignat. in the second volume of Cotelerii Patres Apostolici.  A Synopsis of his Arguments is given in Dupin’s Eccles. Hist., in the Life of Ignatius.  See also Bp. Horsley’s Works, IV. p. 133.  Dr. Burton (Testimonies of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, p. 14) enumerates the following, as great names to be ranked on the same side with Bp. Pearson in holding that the genuineness of these Epistles has been fully proved.  I. Vossius, Ussher, Hammond, Petavius, Grotius, Bull, Cave, Wake, Cotelerius, Grabe. Dupin, Tillemont, Le Clerc, Lardner, Horsley, &c.  On the opposite side he reckons Salmasius, Blondel, Dallaeus, Priestley.

            Since the discovery of the Syriac Version of the Epistles of Ignatius, and their publication by Mr. Cureton, a new controversy has arisen; namely, whether the three Epistles in the Syriac be the only genuine, and the seven shorter Greek Epistles deserving of acceptance only so far as they agree with the Syriac.  Whatever may be the ultimate fate of this controversy, it is most satisfactory to know that even the three Syriac Epistles contain some of the strongest of those passages, in the Seven Greek Epistles, which prove the writer’s belief in the true Deity of Christ.}

      Justin Martyr, A. D. 150, is the first early Christian writer of whom we have any considerable remains.  If he does not state the doctrine of the Trinity in the form of the Nicene or Athanasian Creeds, he yet clearly and constantly asserts that the Son is God, of one substance and nature with the Father, and yet numerically distinct from Him.*  The word Trinity occurs in a treatise attributed to Justin Martyr (De Expositione Fidei); but this work is generally allowed to be spurious.  The first use of this term is therefore commonly ascribed to Theophilus, Bishop of Antioch, A. D. 181, who speaks of the three days of creation, which preceded the creation of the sun and moon, as “types of the Trinity, namely, of God, His Word, and His Wisdom.” {Ad Autolycum, Lib. II. p 106.  τύποι της Τριάδος, του Θεου, και του Λόγου αυτου, και της Σοφίας, αυτου.  On his doctrine, consult Bull, F. D. II. 4, 10.}

            {*An example of his mode of speaking may be seen in the following short pas- sage from Apol. s. c. 63 : “ They, who say that the Son is the Father, are con victed of neither knowing the Father, nor of understanding, that the God of the universe has a Son, who, being the First-born Word of God, is also God.” Of Justin’s sentiments on the Logos and the Trinity, see Bull, F. D. it. 4 ; Water- land, in. pp. 157, 246 ; Burton’s Testimonies of Ante-Nicene Fathers, p. 30 ; Bp. Kaye’s Just. Mart. ch. IL where also, in the Appendix, is an account of the opinions of Milian, Athenagoras, and Theophilus of Antioch.}

      Irenaeus, A. D. 185, gives something like regular forms of creeds, greatly resembling the Apostles’ Creed (see I. 9, IV. 33).  His statements of the Deity of Christ are singularly clear, and he expressly tells us that the Scriptures would never have given to any one absolutely the name of God, unless he were truly God. {Iren. III. C. VI. § 1; Burton, Ante-Nicene Fathers, p. 68, where see the testimony of Irenaeus at length ; also in Bull, F. D. II, and Beaven’s Account of Irenaeus, ch. IV.}

      There is a well-known passage in a heathen author, somewhat earlier than Irenaeus, (the Philopatris of Lucian,) which shows the received doctrine of the Church, at which he sneers, more plainly perhaps than if the words had been those of a Christian.  There is a doubt whether the work is Lucian’s or not; but its genuineness is not of much consequence, if, as is generally admitted, it was either his writing or that of some contemporary of his. {The passage is – Kpt.  Και τίνα επομόσωμαί γε; Τοι.  Υψιμέδοντα Θεον, μέγαν, αμβροτον, ουρανίωνα, υιον πατρος, πνευμα εκ πατρος εκπορευόμενον εν εκ τριων, και εξ ενος τρία.}

      Tertullian, A. D. 200, both distinctly propounds the doctrine of the Trinity, and is the first Latin who uses the term Trinitas.*

            {*E. g. Adv. Praxeam, C. III.  “Itaque duos et tres jam jactitant a nobis praedicari, se vero unius Dei cultores praesumunt, quasi non et unitas inrationaliter collecta haeresim faciat, et Trinitas rationaliter expensa veritatem constituat.”

            Dr. Hey, in his lectures on the First Article, observes that the charge, which the heretics made against the Catholics, of holding three Gods, is to him the strongest evidence that the Catholics held the doctrine of the Trinity.

            Tertullian distinctly illustrates the consubstantiality of the Persons in the Godhead, by introducing the comparison of the sun, and a ray from the sun, or light kindled from light.  As the substance of the light remains the same, though a ray has been sent forth, or another light kindled, “so what proceeds from God is both God and the Son of God, and both are one.”  Apol. C. XXI.  See Bull, F. D. II. 7; Burton, p. 162; and Bp. Kaye’s Tertullian, p. 553, where the ambiguity of some of Tertullian’s language is fully considered.

            The use of the word Trinity, first to be found in Greek in Theophilus, and in Latin in Tertullian, received synodical authority in the Council of Alexandria, A. D. 317.}

      We might trace the chain onwards through Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Hippolytus, Cyprian, Dionysius, and so down to the Council of Nice.  Some may see in the bold speculations of Origen the germ of heresy even on the important doctrine of the Trinity; and Dionysius of Alexandria, in his zeal against Sabellius, appears to have been led into some heedless expressions.  There is, however, little doubt that Origen was a firm believer in the Trinity; and the expressions of Dionysius, which called forth the censure of his brethren, were afterwards fully and satisfactorily explained.  Thus all the early fathers who continued in the communion of the Catholic Church, are unanimous in their testimony to the faith of that Church in one God and three Persons in the Godhead.

      Some, even, who were charged with schism or heresy, as Montanus and Novatian, were yet clear and decided in their language on this head.  Bingham {Eccl. Antiq. Book XIII. ch. II.} has collected abundant proof, that the devotions of the ancient Church were paid to every Person of the Blessed Trinity.

      Bishop Bull, in his Fidei Nicaenae Defensio, and Dr. Burton, in his Testimonies of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, have given fully the testimonies of the fathers to the Godhead of Christ before the Council of Nice.  To their works the student may refer for farther evidence that the doctrine of the Trinity was firmly and fully maintained by the early Christian writers from the first. {See also Bull’s Primitiva Traditio; Waterland, On the Trinity; Faber’s Apostolicity of Trinitarianism.}

      But, though the Church was thus sound at heart, it had been declared by the Apostle that “there must needs be heresies, that the approved might be made manifest;” and we find, that, even during the lifetimes and labours of the Apostles themselves, “the mystery of iniquity did already work,” which soon after was revealed in the monstrous forms of Gnosticism and other Antichristian heresies.

      It is plain from St. Paul’s Epistles, that there were two evil elements even then at work to corrupt the faith and divide the Church.  Those elements were Judaism and Eastern Philosophy.  The Epistles to the Galatians, Ephesians, Colossians, and Timothy, and the writings of St. John abound with allusions to these dangers.  The “Philosophy falsely so called” (γνωσις ψευδώνυμος), and the seeking justification by the Jewish Law, are the constant topics of the Apostle’s warning.  There are also two points deserving of particular notice: first, that these warnings are especially given to the Churches of Proconsular Asia; {St. John lived latterly at Ephesus, and especially addresses the Churches of Asia.  Timothy was Bishop of Ephesus,, and St. Paul’s most marked allusions to philosophical heresy are in the Epistles to Timothy, the Ephesians, and the Colossians.} secondly, that St. Paul evidently connects with his warnings against both these errors earnest enforcement of the doctrine of Christ’s Divinity. {This may be especially seen in such passages as Eph. 1:23; Col. 1:15, 19; 2:9; 1 Tim. 3:16, compared with 4:1, 2, 3.}

      Accordingly in the early history of the Church we find two classes of false opinions, the one derived from a mixture of the Gospel with Judaism, the other from a like mixture with Oriental or Platonic philosophy, and both tending to a denial of the mystery of the Trinity, and of the supreme Godhead of Jesus Christ.  As was most probable, the Eastern rather than the Western Church, and especially, in the first instance, the Churches of Asia Minor, and afterwards the Church of Antioch, were the birthplaces of the heresiarchs and of their heresies.  These Churches exhibited, independently of distinct heresy, a considerable tendency to Judaism.  The celebrated controversy about Easter first arose from the Churches of Proconsular Asia adopting the Jewish computation, in which they were followed by the Church of Antioch. {See Newman’s Arians, ch. I. § 1.}  Again, in the East it was that the Judaical observance of the Sabbath, or seventh day of the week, prevailed; which is first condemned by St. Paul, {Col. 2:16.} then by Ignatius, {Ignat. Ad Magnes. XVIII.} and afterwards by the Council of Laodicea. {Can. XXIX.  See Suicer, II. p. 922.}

      The earliest heretics of whom we read are Simon Magus and the Nicolaitans, both mentioned in Scripture; who adopted, according to Ecclesiastical history, the Gnostic philosophy, and endeavoured to combine it with the Gospel.  Gnosticism, in its more developed form, seems to have taught, that the one Supreme Intelligence, dwelling in darkness unapproachable, gave existence to a line of AEons, or heavenly spirits, who were all, more or less, partakers of His nature, (i. e. of a nature specifically the same,) and included in His glory (πλήρωμα), though individually separate from the Sovereign Deity. {Newman’s Arians, ch. II. § 4, p. 206.}  Of these AEons, Christ or the Logos was the chief, – an emanation from God, therefore, but not God Himself, although dwelling in the Pleroma, the special habitation, and probably the Bosom of God.  Here then we see, that the philosophic sects were likely to make our Lord but an emanation from God, not one with Him.

      Cerinthus, {See Mosheim, Cent. I. pt. II. ch. V. § 16.} a heretic of the first century, is by some considered more as a Judaizer, by others more as a Gnostic or philosophic heretic.  It is probable that he combined both errors in one.  But early in the second century we meet with the Nazarenes and Ebionites, who undoubtedly owed their origin to Judaism, although, like others, they may have introduced some admixture of philosophy into their creed. {Mosheim, Cent. II. pt. II. ch. V. §§ 2, 3.  See also Burton’s Bampton Lectures, p. 247.}  All these held low opinions of the Person and nature of Christ.  The Cerinthians are said to have held the common Gnostic doctrine, that Jesus was a mere man, with whom the AEon Christ was united at baptism.  The Nazarenes are supposed to have held the birth of a Virgin, and to have admitted that Jesus was in a certain manner united to the Divine Nature.  The Ebionites, on the other hand, are accused of esteeming Christ the son of Joseph and Mary, though with a heavenly mission and some portion of Divinity. {Mosheim, Cent. II. pt. II. ch. V. § 21.}

      Here we have almost, if not quite, in Apostolic times the germ at least of all false doctrine on the subject of the Trinity.  Such heretics, indeed, as have been mentioned were at once looked on as enemies to, not professors of, the Gospel; and were esteemed, according to the strong language of St. John, not Christians but Antichrists.

      In the latter part of the second century, the Church of Rome, which had been peculiarly free from heresy, was troubled by the errors of Theodotus and Artemon.  They are generally looked on as mere humanitarians; but they probably held that Christ was a man endued with a certain Divine energy, or some portion of the Divine nature. {Theodotus, having denied his faith in persecution, excused himself by saying, that he had not denied God, but man; he, according to Eusebius, being the first who asserted that Jesus Christ was a mere man; for all former heretics had admitted at least some Divinity in Jesus.  (See Burton’s Bampton Lectures, p. 247.)  This should seem to show that Theodotus was a mere humanitarian.}

      The end of the same century witnessed the rise of another heresy of no small consequence.  Praxeas, of whose opinions we can form a more definite notion from Tertullian’s treatise against him, asserted the doctrine that there was but one Person in the Godhead.  That one Person he considered to be both Father and Son; and was therefore charged with holding that the Father suffered, whence his followers were called Patripassians. {See Tertullian, Adv. Praxeam; also Bp. Kaye’s Tertullian, p. 526; Mosheim, Cent. II. pt. II. ch. V. § 20.  Praxeas is placed A.D. 200.  He propagated his opinions at Rome.}

      Noetus (A. D. 220) of Smyrna, and after him Sabellius of Pentapolis in Africa (A. D. 255), held a similar doctrine; which has since acquired the name of Sabellianism.  Its characteristic peculiarity is a denial of the three Persons in the Trinity, and the belief that the Person of the Father, who is one with the Son, was incarnate in Christ.  But a more heretical and dangerous form of the doctrine made, not the Godhead, but an emanation only from the Godhead, to have dwelt in Jesus; and thus what we may call the low Sabellians bordered on mere humanitarians, and also nearly symbolized on this important subject with Valentinus and other Gnostics, who looked on the supreme AEon, Christ or the Logos, as an emanation from God, which dwelt in Jesus, and returned from Jesus to the Pleroma of God.

      Beryllus, Bishop of Bozrah, seems to have taken up this form of Sabellianism.  He was converted by the arguments of Origen.  But, not long after, Paul of Samosata, Bishop of Antioch, the most important see in Asia, a man supported by the influence of the famous Zenobia, professed a creed which some have considered pure humanitarianism; but which was evidently, more or less, what has been called the Emanative, in contradistinction to the Patripassian, form of Sabellianism.  He held, “that the Son and the Holy Ghost exist in God, in the same manner as the faculties of reason and activity do in man; {He spoke of the Son of God, as being an unsubsisting knowledge or energy, επιστήμη ανυπόστατος.  In opposition to which, the fathers of the Council of Antioch speak of Him as ζωσανενέργειανκαιενυπόστατον, a living and subsisting energy.  Routh, Reliq. Sac. Tom. II. pp. 468, 469.  Bull, Fid. Nic. Def. Lib. III. C. IV.} that Christ was a mere man; but that the Reason or Wisdom of the Father descended into him, and by him wrought miracles upon earth, and instructed the nations; and finally, that, on account of this union of the Divine Word with the man Jesus, Christ might, though improperly, be called God.”  Several councils were called in consequence of this spiritual wickedness in high places; and although the rhetoric and sophistry of Paulus for a time baffled his opponents, he was finally condemned by the Council of Antioch (A.D. 264), and dispossessed of his bishopric by Aurelian (A.D. 272), after having held it in spite of condemnation by the aid of Zenobia. {See Mosheim, Cent. III. pt. II. ch. V. § 15; Newman’s Arians; Burton’s Bampton Lectures, note 103.}

      The controversies which these various errors gave rise to, naturally tended to unsettle men’s minds, and to introduce strife about words; and so paved the way for the most formidable heresy that has probably ever disturbed the Christian Church.  Arius, a native of Antioch but a presbyter of Alexandria, began by charging his bishop Alexander with Sabellianism.  It is most probable, that, as his predecessor Dionysius in his zeal against Sabellianism had been betrayed into incautious expressions, seeming to derogate from the dignity of Christ’s Divine nature; so Alexander in his zeal to maintain that dignity may have used language not unlike the language of the Patripassians.  There is no doubt, however, that he was a sound believer in the Trinity.  Arius was from this beginning led on to propound and mould into shape his own dangerous heresy.

      It was unlike the heresy of any of his predecessors.  For, though some of them may have been mere humanitarians, those who held that the Logos dwelt in Christ, held that Logos to be either God, or an emanation from God, and so in some sense co-eternal and consubstantial.  Arius and his followers, on the contrary, held that there was a period {He avoided saying “time” (χρόνος); because he appears to have admitted that the production of the Logos was before all time.  See Neander, Church History, IV. p. 4.  London, Bohn, 1851.} when the Son of God was not (ην πότε ότε ουκ ην), and that He was created by God, of a substance which once was not (εξ ουκ όντων).  They called Him by the name of God, and allowed to Him, in terms, all the attributes of God, but denied that He was homo-ousios, of one Substance with the Father, {Pearson, On the Creed, Art. I. p.135. (fol. Lond. 1723.)} or in any sense one with Him.  The true Logos they esteemed to be merely the Wisdom, an attribute of God; but the Son they held to have been created before all worlds, and so far enlightened by the Wisdom of God, that He might, though improperly, be called the Logos, and that by Him God made the world.  They said of Him, that, before He was created or begotten, He did not exist (πριν γεννηθη ουκ ην), and they explained the title of μονογενής, Only-Begotten, as though it meant Begotten by God alone, γεννηθεις παρα μόνου. {This was the fallacy of Eunomius.  See Pearson, On the Creed, Art. II. p. 138.}

      Here we see a second and created God introduced into the Christian Theology.  The Patripassians, on the one hand, had denied the Trinity of Persons; the Valentinians and Manichees, on the contrary, are accused of saying that there were three unconnected, independent Beings in the Godhead. {The Apostolical Canons mention and condemn certain persons, who baptized in the name of three unoriginated principles, τρειςανάρχους.  Can. Apost. C. 49.  And the first Council of Bracara says that the Gnostics and Priscillianists introduced a Trinity of Trinities.  See Bingham, B. XI. ch. II. § 4.}  But Arianism taught distinctly the existence of one or two beings who were to be worshipped as God, and yet were neither one nor of the same nature with the Father.  The inevitable tendency of this was either to direct Polytheism or more probably and naturally to Humanitarianism. {See Newman’s Arians, ch. II. § 5.}

      The Council of Nice, consisting of 318 bishops, was summoned in 325 by Constantine the Great; which condemned Arianism, established the doctrine of the homo-ousion (i. e. that the Son was consubstantial with the Father), and drew up the Creed which now bears the name of Nicene, with the exception of the clauses which follow the words “I believe in the Holy Ghost.”  Arianism, thus checked for a time, soon revived again.  Constantine was convinced that Arius had been unjustly banished, and recalled him.  His son Constantius, who ruled first in the East, and then over the whole empire, and afterwards Valens, who ruled also in the East, favoured the Arians.  Partly by this powerful patronage, partly by subtilty of argument, and partly in consequence of the prevalence of Judaizing or philosophic doctrine, this dangerous heresy, or some modification of it, spread extensively, especially in the Eastern Churches.  The famous Athanasius, Bishop of Alexandria, exhibited unbounded zeal and courage in defending the Catholic faith, and suffered greatly from the persecution of the Arians.  There then arose a variety of sects, with more or less of the Arian tenets; such as the Eusebians, Anomoeans, Semi-Arians.  The latter adopted as their symbol the term homoi-ousios, of like substance, instead of homo-ousios, of one substance.  From among the latter sprang Macedonius.  The pure Arians, and those who symbolized with them, – the Anomoeans, and Eunomians, and Semi-Arians, – appear to have held that the Holy Ghost, like the Son, was a created being.  Macedonius, Bishop of Constantinople, whose followers were called Macedonians, or Pneumatomachi, seems to have been more orthodox on the Person of the Son, but to have esteemed, like the Arians, that the Holy Ghost was a creature.*  This heresy was condemned at the second General Council at Constantinople, A. D. 381; which added to the Nicene Creed the clauses which follow “I believe in the Holy Ghost.” {With the exception of course of the famous “Filioque.”}  With this Council the struggles between the Catholics and the Arians ended.  Arianism thenceforth became a heresy excommunicated and detached from the Church. {Much information on the terms of the controversy may be found by turning to the words Τριάς, υπόστασις, ουσία, ομοούσιος, Άρειος, Ημιάρειοι, Πνευμα (c), πνευματομάχος, &c., in Suicer’s Thesaurus.  See also Bp. Kaye’s History of the Council of Nicaea.}  It found refuge for some time with the Gothic invaders of the Empire, who persecuted the Catholics; but at length declined and became extinct.

            {*“Macedoniani sunt a Macedonio Constantinopolitanae ecclesiae episcopo, quos et Πνευματομάχους Graeci dicunt, eo quod de Spiritu Sancto litigent.  Nam de Patre et Filio recte sentiunt, quod unius sint ejusdemque substantiae, vel essentiae: sed de Spiritu Sancto hoc nolunt credere, creaturam Eum esse dicentes.” – S. August. Haeres. 52.  See Pearson, On the Creed, p. 316, note, Art. VIII.}

      After this, we hear of a sect of Tritheists in the sixth century, the principal defender of whose doctrine was Philoponus of Alexandria. {See Suicer, s. v. Τριθειται, and Mosheim, Cent. VI. pt. II ch. V. § 10.}

      The discussions between the Nominalists and Realists of the Middle Ages often led to something like erroneous statements of the Trinitarian question. The Nominalists were charged with teaching Tritheism, and their. founder, Roscellinus, was condemned by the Council of Soissons, A. D. 1092. A subsequent synod at the same place, A. D. 1121, condemned Abelard, another famous reasoner of the same school, for errors on the subject of the Trinity ; though what his errors were is a question of some difficulty. His great opponent, St. Bernard, charged him with nothing short of Arianism. {“Cum de Trinitate loquitur, sapit Arium; cum de Gratia, sapit Pelagium; cum de Persona Christi, sapit Nestorium.” – Bernard. Ad GuidonCardin. Epist. 192; apud Cave, Hist. Lit. p. 652.}

      After the Reformation, when freedom of opinion was introduced, and an unsettled state of mind naturally sprang from violent changes, several heretics arose, who denied the doctrine of the Trinity.  Servetus, a Spaniard, in 1531, taught a doctrine like that of the low or emanative Sabellians; that Christ, who was born of the Virgin, was united to one of the two personal representations or modes of existence, which God before the world had produced within Himself.  He was apprehended by Calvin, on his way through Geneva, and put to death. {Mosheim, Cent. XVI. pt. II. ch. IV. § 3.}

      Several other sects of Arians and Anti-Trinitarians arose about this time; some of which took refuge in Poland, as the country of most religious liberty.  They called themselves Unitarians.  In the Cracow Catechism, which they published as their confession of faith, they plainly deny the Divinity of the Son and or the Spirit, making Jesus Christ but a prophet of God.

      In the mean time, Laelius and Faustus Socinus constructed the system which bears their name.  They were natives of Tuscany, which they left from hatred to Romanism; and Faustus after his uncle’s death joined the Unitarians of Poland, and there taught his doctrines, which soon spread into Hungary, Holland, and England.  He professed that Luther had begun, but that he would perfect the Reformation; which was incomplete whilst any doctrine which Rome had held remained to be believed.  His fundamental error was that Scripture should be received as truth but be made to bend to reason.  He taught, that Jesus was born of a virgin, and, having been translated to heaven, was instructed in God’s will, and endued with that portion of the Divine power called the Holy Ghost.  He then came down as a teacher of righteousness.  Those who obey him shall be saved.  The disobedient shall be tormented for a time, and then annihilated.  In a certain sense, Socinus allowed Christ to be called God and worshipped.  But his followers have generally looked on Him as a mere man; following herein that sect of Socinians whose first leader was Budnzeus. {Mosheim, Cent. XVI. pt. II. ch. IV. § 3; also Cent. XVII. pt. II. ch. VI. § 2.}

      In the Reformed Church of England, in the beginning of the eighteenth century, Mr. Whiston, Professor of Mathematics at Cambridge, adopted and maintained the Arian doctrine, or a slight modification of it. {[See Johnson Grant’s History of the Church of England, III. C. XVII. – J. W.]}  And Dr. Samuel Clarke, a man of learning and unblemished character, maintained the subordination of the Persons in the Godhead in so objectionable a form as to lay himself open to the charge of Arianism, or semi-Arianism.  The masterly works of Waterland on the Trinity were many of them called forth by the unsound views of Dr. Clarke.

      Later in the century, Priestley advocated with learning and skill, though without accuracy or caution, the far more heretical doctrines of the Socinians, or rather of the pure humanitarians.  Those writings of Bishop Horsley are considered as of most value which are directed against Priestley.

      It has been observed, that the various bodies of Presbyterian Christians, both in Great Britain and on the Continent, have had a considerable tendency to lapse into Socinianism, with the exception of the Kirk of Scotland which has maintained a most honourable superiority to all other Presbyterians, partly no doubt because – unlike the generality of them – she strictly guards the Creeds of the Church, and other formularies of the faith.

      In Germany and Switzerland the rationalism which so generally prevails among foreign Protestants has been favourable to Unitarian views of the Godhead and humanitarian doctrines concerning Christ.


Section  II. – Scriptural Proof

      Having thus far given a history of the doctrine contained in this Article, I proceed to the proof from Scripture.

      So much of the subject may seem to belong to natural religion that we might easily be tempted to begin with proofs from reason alone.  It appears to me, however, that, as a Christian Church presupposes acceptance of the Christian revelation, the proper way of treating the symbols and articles of a church is to prove them from the authentic records of that revelation.  The proofs from reason belong rather to the department of Christian evidences.  Yet thus much perhaps it may be necessary to premise: that the mystery of the doctrines contained in this Article should be considered as no argument against their truth.  For, as with all our study we can scarce attain to any clear understanding of the mode in which we exist ourselves, reason alone should teach us to look upon it as hardly likely that with any searching we could find out God.  The mode of His subsistence who is infinitely above us may probably enough be infinitely above our powers to comprehend.

      According, then, to the division of the subject proposed above, we have to show, –

      First, in opposition to Anthropomorphites, that “God is a Spirit, without body, parts, or passions.”

      Secondly, in opposition to Pantheists, that God is a personal, living Being, – “living and true, of infinite power, wisdom, and goodness, Maker and Preserver of all things, visible and invisible,” “everlasting.”

      Thirdly, in opposition to Tritheists, Arians, and every kind of Polytheists, that God is One.

      Fourthly, in opposition to Arians, Sabellians, Macedonians, Socinians, &c., that, “in the Unity of the Godhead there are three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity, – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”

      I shall consider it sufficient to establish the doctrines contained in the first three of the foregoing propositions by simply referring to some of the many texts of Scripture by which they may be proved ; reserving for the fourth and last any more extended arguments.

      First, then, “God is a Spirit, without body, parts, or passions.”  Joh. 4:24.  Comp. Isai. 40:18, 25.  Deut. 4:15.  Luk. 24:39.  Joh. 1:18; 5:37.  Acts 17:24, 28, 29.  Rom. 1:20, 21.  1 Tim. 1:17, 6:16.

      “Without passions” may be inferred from Num. 23:19.  Mal. 3:6.  Heb. 6:17, 18.  James 1:13, 17.

      It is perhaps hardly necessary to add, that, whereas God is often spoken of in terms which express bodily relations, it is that the Infinite may in some degree be made intelligible to the finite; the Almighty having been pleased to condescend to our infirmities, and to deal with us, as parents do with their children, teaching them by such figures and modes of instruction as their tender minds will bear.

      Secondly.  God is

      1.  “Living and true.” Exod. 3:6, 14, 15; 6:2, 3.  Num. 27:16.  Deut. 5:26.  Josh. 3:10.  1 Sam. 17:26.  Ps. 42:2, 84:2.  Isai. 42:8.  Jer. 10:10. Dan. 6:26.  Matt. 16:16.  Joh. 17:3.  Acts 14:15.  Rom. 9:26.  2 Cor. 6:16.  1 Thess. 1:9.  1 Tim. 4:10; 6:17.  Heb. 10:31.  Rev. 4:8, 10:5, 6.

      2.  “Of infinite power.”  Gen. 17:1, 18:14.  Job 42:2.  Jer. 32:17, 27.  Matt. 19:26.  Eph. 3:20.  Rev. 4:11, 19:6.

      3.  “Wisdom.”  Gen. 16:13.  1 Sam. 2:3.  1 Kings 8:39.  Job 26:6, 28:10, 23, 24, 34:21.  Psal. 44:21, 94:9, 139:4.  Prov. 15:3.  Jer. 23:23, 24.  Dan. 2:22, 28.  Acts 15:18.  Rom. 11:33, 16:27.  Heb. 4:13.  1 Joh. 1:5. Jude 25.

      4.  “Goodness.”  Ex. 15:11, 34:6.  Lev. 11:44.  Deut. 4:31.  1 Sam. 2:2.  Psal. 86:15, 118:1, 145:8.  Isai. 6:3.  Dan. 9:9.  Joel 2:13.  Jonah 4:2.  Mic. 7:18.  Luke 1:77, 78.  Rom. 2:4.  2 Cor. 1:3.  Eph. 2:4.  Heb. 6:10.  2 Pet. 3:15.  1 Joh. 4:8.  Rev. 15:3.

      5.  “Maker of all things, visible and invisible.”  Gen. 1 & 2.  2 Kings 19:15.  Neh. 9:6.  Psal. 33:6, 103:3, 135:6.  Acts 17:24.  Eph. 3:9.  Col. 1:16.  Heb. 3:4.  Rev. 4:11; 10:6.

      6.  “Preserver of all things.”  Deut. 32:39, &c.  1 Sam. 2:6.  1 Chron. 29:11, 12.  Job 12:9.  Psal. 22:28, 75:6, 7, 90:3, 95:3, 4, 5, 7.  Isai. 14:27, 40:11, 12, 13, 15, 22.  Jer. 5:24, 18:6–9.  Dan. 5:23.  Matt. 6:25–30, 10:29, 30.  Rom. 11:36.

      7.  “Everlasting.”  Gen. 21:33.  Deut. 33:27.  Psal. 9:7, 90:2, 4, 102:12, 26, 27.  Isai. 44:6, 57:15.  Lam. 5:19.  Rom. 1:20, 16:26.  1 Tim. 1:17.  Rev. 1:8, 5:14, 10:6.

      Thirdly.  We have to show, in opposition to Tritheists, Arians, and every kind of Polytheists, that “God is One.”  “Hear, O Israel, the Lord our God is one Lord” (Deut. 6:4).  “The Lord, He is God, there is none else beside Him” (Deut. 4:35).  “Thus saith the Lord ... Beside Me there is no God” (Is. 44:6; comp. 5:8).  “There is one God, and there is none other but He” (Mark 12:32).  “The only true God” (Job. 17:3).  “We know that there is none other God but One” (1 Cor. 7:4).  “God is One” (Gal. 3:20).  “There is One God, and one Mediator between God and man, the Man Christ Jesus” (1 Tim. 2:5).  “Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well” (Jam. 2:19).  “Denying the only Lord God” (Jude 4).  “The only wise God, our Saviour” (Jude 25).

      See also Ex. 20:3.  2 Sam. 22:32.  Psal. 86:10.  Isai. 37:16, 42:8.  Mark 12:29.  1 Cor. 8:6.  Eph. 4:6.

      Fourthly.  We have to show, in opposition to Sabellians, Arians, Macedonians, Socinians, &c., that “In the Unity of the Godhead there be three Persons, of one substance, power, and eternity, – the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”

      As regards this doctrine of the Trinity in Unity, we must not expect to find the same express declarations in Scripture that we find, for instance, of the facts, that “God is a Spirit,” “God is a righteous God,” or the like.  But it by no means therefore follows, that the one is less true than the other.  It appears to have been far from the design of the Author of Holy Scripture to set down every article of Christian truth in the form of a distinct enunciation.  Scripture is not a system of catechetical instruction, designed to lead us, step by step, to the knowledge of religious verities, and to place everything so clearly before us, that, if we will, we cannot mistake it.  On the contrary, it is plainly intended, that, if we do not fear the Lord, we shall not be able to penetrate His secret, and that, unless our hearts are set to do His will, we shall not be able to know of His doctrine.  If there were no other reason than this, we might see why many things in Scripture require to be sought out.

      But, again, God has appointed various instruments for instruction in His Church; all, of course, in subordination to the teaching of His Holy Spirit.  He has bestowed upon us, first, reason; secondly, Scripture ; thirdly, the ministry of His word and Sacraments.  If Scripture were a regular course of catechetical teaching, so plain that it could not be mistaken, the prophetic or didactic office of the Church and the ministry would be altogether superseded.  Again, it is evidently desirable that our reason, enlightened by God’s Spirit, should be exercised to the understanding of His word; and one great blessing derived from this appointment is, that so, whilst the ignorant may find enough to guide them safe, the most profound and acutest intellect may find abundance to employ its meditations, and exercise its thoughts.  Else, what was suited for the one might pall upon the taste of the other.

      Believing, then, that we are not only permitted, but called upon, in humble dependence on the Divine guidance, to use our reason, dispassionately but reverently, in order to understand what God has delivered to us, I shall endeavour to class together the various facts which Scripture has recorded concerning the nature of God, so far as they bear on this part of our subject; and then, by the common process of induction, shall hope to arrive at a just conclusion from a general view of them all.

      Now these different facts of Scripture may be classed under four heads.

      I.  Scripture teaches, that there is One God.

      II.  There is, nevertheless, clear intimation of some kind of plurality in the Godhead, even in the old Testament; but in the new Testament there is a clear declaration that

            The Father is God, – the Son is God, – the Holy Ghost is God.

      III.  This fact of the plurality is not in express terms a contradiction of the Unity; such as would be the case, if in one passage it were said, “There is one God,” and in another passage, “There are three Gods”; for it appears from Scripture, that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are but one and the same God.

      IV.  Still, though Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are but one God, there is plain evidence from Scripture, that the Father is not the Son, nor is either of them the Holy Ghost; but that they are clearly distinguished from one another, and distinguished, too, as Personal Agents, not merely as modes, operations, or attributes.

      If I find these four propositions clearly established in Scripture, I do not know what more can be required to prove the doctrine of this Article, that “in the Unity of the Godhead there be three Persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost”; and that these three Persons are “of one substance, power, and eternity”.

      I.  In the first place, then, Scripture teaches us, that there is but one God.  This has been already shown in the Third principal division of the subject.  It is revealed as the fundamental truth of all religion.  Whatever contradicts this truth is evident falsehood.  Therefore Tritheism, which speaks of the Father, Son, and Spirit as three Gods, is false.  Therefore Arianism, which speaks of the Father as the supreme God, and of the Son as another inferior, subordinate God, is false.  Therefore every kind of Polytheism is false; for “there is one God, and there is none other but He.”  Mark 12:32.

      II.  But next, plain as is this doctrine of the Unity of the Godhead, there are (1) in the old Testament decided intimations of a plurality in the Godhead, and (2) in the new Testament express declarations, that

            The Father is God, – the Son is God, – and the Holy Ghost is God.

      (1)  In the old Testament there are decided intimations of a plurality in the Godhead.

      The Jews indeed were placed in the midst of idolaters, themselves easily tempted to idolatry; and, being subjects of a carnal dispensation, were but little capable of embracing spiritual truth.  It may therefore probably have been in mercy, to prevent the danger of Tritheism, that the doctrine of the Unity was so strongly insisted on, and so little said of a Trinity or plurality of Persons.  Yet intimations are not wanting.

      I do not insist on the plural form of the name of God, because the Hebrews used plurals at times to express greatness or intensity; and such may have been the force of the plural in the name Elohim.

      But, in the history of the Creation (Gen. 1:26, 27), it is certainly remarkable, that God said, “Let us make man in our image”; and then it is added, “So God created man in His own image.”  This is the more remarkable, if we compare with it what is said by St. Paul (Col. 1:16; Heb. 1:2, &c.), namely, that God made all things by His Son.  The same plural expression occurs after the fall, when God says, “The man is become as one of us”; and at the confusion of Babel, “Let us go down and confound their language.”  We cannot conceive the infinite Creator of all things thus coupling any finite creature with Himself.

      Again, in the old Testament there are various manifestations of God, which at one time are spoken of as manifestations of God Himself, at another as manifestations of a Messenger or Angel sent by God: as though God were at once the Sender and the Sent, – the God of Angels and the Angel of God.

      This may be observed of the wrestling of Jacob with the Angel (Gen. 32:24).  In Genesis it is said Jacob wrestled with a man; but he called the place, “Peniel, because he had seen God face to face” – (ver. 30); and where the same is referred to by Hosea (12:3, 4), it is first said, “He had power with God,” and then in the next verse, “He had power over the Angel, and prevailed.”

      In Joshua (5:14), one appears to Joshua, who calls Himself “the Captain of the Lord’s host.”  Yet three verses further (ch. 6:2), when the Captain of the Lord’s host speaks to Joshua, the name by which He is called is the LORD (i. e. JEHOVAH).  From this we infer, that He, who came as the Captain of JEHOVAH’S host, was also Himself JEHOVAH. {Compare Ex. 23:20, 21, where Israelites, seems plainly by ver. 21, to be the Angel, whom God sends before the God.}

      In the second chapter of Judges, the Angel of the LORD appears to speak with full authority, as if He were the Lord Himself. “I made you go out of Egypt.”  “I said, I will never break lily covenant with you.”  Ver. 1.

      The history of Manoah and the Angel (Judg. 13, comp. vv 20, 21, 22, 23) seems to teach the same thing.

      But not only is One, who is sent by the Lord as His Angel, called by the highest name of God, namely, JEHOVAH; but also there is indication of the clearest kind in the old Testament, that One, who should be sent on earth by God, as a man, to suffer, and to deliver, is also the Fellow of God, and God Himself.  Thus, in Jeremiah (23:6) the Messiah’s name is called “JEHOVAH our Righteousness.”  In Isaiah (7:14), it is called “God with us.”  In Malachi (3:1), we are told, “The LORD whom ye seek, shall suddenly come to His temple, even the Messenger of the Covenant whom ye delight in,” – language clearly used of the Messiah, but as clearly most suitable to God.  In Isaiah (9:6), the Child, who is to be born as a Redeemer, is expressly called “The Mighty God.”  In Zechariah (13:7), in a prophecy of salvation by the Christ, we read, “Awake, O sword, against My Shepherd, and against the Man that is My Fellow (or Companionon עֲמִיתִי), saith the Lord of hosts.”

      I forbear to adduce such passages as those where the Wisdom, or the Word of God are spoken of with personal attributes (e. g. Prov. 8, ver. 22, 23, 24, 30, 31.  Psal. 33:6.  Isai. 48:16), because we cannot be certain that in these cases personal attributes are not ascribed by the figure called Prosopopoeia.  But it is hard to explain how God in creation can use the plural number, speaking as to another, with whom He was, as it were, acting in concert, – how the same Person can be both JEHOVAH, and sent as JEHOVAH’S Angel, Captain, or Messenger, – how the same person can be sent on earth as Messiah, and yet be the mighty God, – how God can speak of the Man, that is His Fellow, – without supposing, that some sort of plurality in the Godhead is implied.

      I conclude, therefore, that in the old Testament there are distinct intimations of a plurality in the Godhead.

      (2)  But next, in the new Testament, there are not only intimations of a plurality (such as the very use of the names, Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, and their conjunction in numerous passages plainly imply), but farther, it is distinctly taught us

1. That the FATHER is GOD, – 2. That the SON is GOD, – 3. That the HOLY GHOST is GOD.

      1.  That we are taught the FATHER is GOD, no one can doubt.  So strong indeed are the expressions concerning the Father as God, that, if they stood alone, we should naturally conclude, that the Father alone was God, and that, as there is but One God, so there was but one Person in the Godhead.  Thus our Lord says (John 8:54), “My Father, of whom ye say that He is your God.”  Again, addressing the Father, He says, “This is Life eternal, to know Thee, the only true God” (John 17:3).  St. Paul speaks (Eph. 4:6) of “One God and Father of all.”  And again, “To us there is one God, the Father, and one Lord Jesus Christ.” (1 Cor. 8:6.) {The apparently exclusive appropriation of the name of God to God the Father must be accounted for by the consideration that the Father is ever represented to us as the Fountain and Source of Life, the Αρχή, or Πηγη θεότητος, from whom eternally both the Son and Spirit derive the same Life and Godhead.  See below near Article  II.}

      2.  We learn also from the teaching of the new Testament that the SON is God.  And this fact we deduce both from reasonable inference, and from direct statement.

      Our reasonable inference is of the following kind.

      We often meet with passages in the old Testament, which speak plainly of the Most High God, applied as plainly in the new Testament to Jesus Christ, the Son of God.  For example, in Isaiah 40:3, it is said, that “the voice of one crying in the wilderness shall prepare the way of JEHOVAH, and make straight in the desert a highway for our God.”  But in each one of the Evangelists this passage is quoted.  The “Voice” is said to be John the Baptist; and He for whom he prepares the way is said to be Christ. {Matt. 3:3; Mark 1:3; Luke 3:4; John 1:23.}  Is not the natural and necessary inference, that Christ is as much “our God” and “JEHOVAH”, as John was the voice in the wilderness?

      Again, in Zech. 12:4, 10, if we compare the one verse with the other, we shall see that it is written, “In that day, saith JEHOVAH ... they shall look on Me whom they have pierced.”  But St. John (19:37) tells us, that this prophecy was concerning the piercing of Christ.  Therefore we must conclude, that Christ is JEHOVAH.

      Once more, in Isaiah 6 the prophet sees the Lord sitting upon His throne, even “the King, JEHOVAH of hosts” (ver. 5).  But St. John (compare 12:37–41) says, that the LORD, whose glory Isaiah then saw, was Jesus Christ.

      Another reason why we infer that the Son is God, is that the worship due to God is offered to Him, the peculiar attributes of God are ascribed to Him, and the power of God is exerted by Him.

      (1)  He receives worship as God, and is prayed to.

      See Matt. 2:11, 8:2, 9:18, 14:33, 15:25, 20:20, 28:9.  Mark 5:6, 9:24.  Luke 23:42.  John 9:38.  Acts 7:59.  2 Cor. 8:8, 9.  1 Thess. 3:11.  Heb. 1:6.  Rev. 5:8, 12, 13.

      Whereas saints and angels universally refuse worship offered to them, and bid us worship none but God.  Acts 10:26, 14:14, 15.  Rev. 19:10, 22:9.

      (2)  The peculiar attributes of God are ascribed to Him.

      α.  He is eternal, existing from everlasting to everlasting.  Micah 5:2.  John 1:1, 3, 8:58.  Col. 1:16, 17.  Heb. 1:8, 10, 11, 12; 7:3, 8:8.  Rev. 1. comp. vv. 8, 11, 12, 13, 18 (which comparison will show that the language is all used of Jesus Christ), 22:13.

      It may be added that several of the above passages show that He is not only eternal, but unchangeable, e. g. Heb. 1:10, 11; 13:8.

      β.  He knows the thoughts, yea, all things.  Matt. 9:4, 12:25.  Luke 6:8, 9:47, 11:17.  John 1:48, 16:30, 21:17.  Col. 2:3.  Rev. 2:23.

      Those of the above passages which show that Jesus Christ knew the thoughts of the heart, should be compared with such as the following: Jer. 17:10, “I the Lord search the heart.”  Acts 15:8, “God, which knoweth the hearts: (ο καρδιογνώστης Θεός), and 1 Kings 8:39, “Thou, even THOU ONLY knowest the hearts of all the children of men.” {The objections to Christ’s omniscience, taken from John 8:28; Rev.1:1; Mark 13:32; are answered by Waterland, Moyer’s Lecture, Serm. VII, Works, II. p. 160.  See the latter passage considered below, under Art. IV.}

      γ.  He is everywhere present.  Matt. 18:20, 28:20.  John 1:48, 3:13.

      The last passage especially shows that, whilst He was on earth, He was still in Heaven.

      δ.  He is self-existent, like the Father, having derived from the Father the same eternal nature with Himself.  John 5:26.  Compare John 11:25, 14:6.  See also John 1:4, 10:30, 14:10.  Phil. 2:6. {On Phil. 2:6, see Pearson, On the Creed, fol. p. 121.}

      (3)  The power of God is exerted by Him.

      α.  He is Lord of the Sabbath, which God ordained, and none but God can change.  Comp. Gen. 2:2, 3, with Mark 2:28.  Luke 6:5.

      β.  He sends His Angels, as God.  Matt. 13:41.  Rev. 1:1, 22:6.

      γ.  He has power to forgive sins as God.  Matt. 9:2–6.  Mark 2:5, 7, 10.  Luke 5:20–24, 7:48.

      Whereas, when forgiveness is merely ministerial or ecclesiastical, the power is conferred by Him and exercised in His name.  Comp. John 20:23 with 2 Cor. 2:10.

      δ.  He shall judge the world.  Job 19:25.  Matt. 13:41, 16:27, 25:31.  John 5:22, 23.  Acts 10:42.  2 Cor. 5:10.

      ε.  He created and preserves all things. {On the proof of Christ’s proper Deity from creation, see Pearson, On the Creed, p. 113; Waterland, Works (Oxf. 1823), II. 2d and 3d Sermons at Lady Moyer’s Lecture.}  John 1:3, 10.  Eph. 3:9.  Col. 1:16.  Heb. 1:2, 3, 10, 11, 12.

      With these passages compare Isaiah 44:24, “Thus saith the LORD (i. e. JEHOVAH), I am the LORD that maketh all things ; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by MYSELF.”

      ζ.  He has all power in Heaven and earth.  Matt. 28:18.  Mark 1:27.  John 3:31, 35; 5:19, 21; 16:15.  Acts 10:36.  Rom. 14:9.  Eph. 1:20–23.  Phil. 2:10, 3:21.  Heb. 7:25.  1 Pet. 3:21, 22.  Rev. 1:5, 8.

      Thus far, then, we have seen, that passages in the old Testament, spoken of God, are in the new Testament applied to Christ, the Son of God: that the worship due to God is offered to the Son: that the peculiar attributes of God are ascribed to the Son: that the Power of God is exerted by the Son.  If we had nothing more than this, surely our natural and necessary inference must be, that the Son is God.

      But we are not left to the inference of our reason only on this momentous subject.  We have also direct statement, and that many times repeated, that Christ, the Son of God, is God.

      And here we may recur, for a moment, to what was said concerning intimations of a plurality in the Godhead in the old Testament.  Some of the passages there referred to, when seen in the light cast upon them by the new Testament, become direct assertions of the Godhead of Christ.

      The prophecy in the seventh chapter of Isaiah, that a Virgin should bear a Son, whose name should be called Immanuel, i. e. God with us, is, in the first chapter of St. Matthew, distinctly interpreted of the birth of Jesus Christ.  Therefore St. Matthew distinctly declares to us, that Jesus Christ is Emmanuel, God with us.  Again, in the ninth chapter of Isaiah, which is a continuation of the prophecy in the seventh chapter, the child that was to be born is called “Wonderful, Counsellor, the Mighty God, the Everlasting Father.”  This prophecy, too, is by St. Matthew expressly interpreted of the Lord Jesus.  (See Matt. 4:16, which compare with Isai. 9:1, 2.)  We have then the express assurance of the Evangelist, that Jesus Christ was called in the old Testament, Immanuel, and the Mighty God.

      We might add to these examples the language of Zechariah (13:7), where the Lord’s “Shepherd” is called his “Fellow:; and that of Jeremiah (23:6), where the “Branch” that should be raised to David is called “JEHOVAH our Righteousness”; {On this passage see Pearson, On the Creed, fol. p 148, note.} because both these passages are unquestionable prophecies of Christ, though not so distinctly referred to by the Evangelists.

      The first chapter of St. John begins with a declaration of the Divinity of the Son of God.  From whatever source St. John derived the use of the term “the Word of God”, whether he used language already familiar to the Jews or, as is perhaps more probable, adopted the phrase of Platonizing heretics, {See Sect. I. Historical View.} it is quite plain that by the “Word” he means the Son of God, who was incarnate in Jesus Christ.  That is proved by Rev. 19:13, where it is said of Jesus Christ that “His name is called the Word of God”, and again, by the 14th verse of the first chapter of St. John’s Gospel, where we read, “The Word was made flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of the Only-begotten of the Father.”  Of this Word of God then, who was the Only-begotten of the Father, and, when made flesh, was called Jesus Christ, we are told (John 1:1), “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.”  Language cannot more strongly express the Deity of the Son of God, the Word of God.  Yet, lest mistake should occur, the Evangelist adds a sentence which at once declares that the Word was uncreated, and was Himself the Creator of all things, exercising that, the highest act of Almighty power.  “All things were made by Him, and without Him was not anything made that was made.”  If no created thing was made but by Him, then was He Himself uncreated; and so He must be the eternal, uncreated Maker of the universe.

      In the eighth chapter of the same Gospel we find our Lord taking to Himself one of the most special names of God.  God had first revealed Hiniself to Moses by the name “I AM.”  Here, then, Christ having declared Himself the Son of God, having assured the Jews that Abraham had seen His day and rejoiced, when they doubted the possibility of His having seen Abraham, He adds, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, before Abraham was, I AM.”  Had He merely spoken of His preexistence, the past tense would have seemed more natural.  But He uses that tense which expresses the existence of none but God, – an unchanging present, which has no future nor past, – and so adopts as His own the name of the self-existent JEHOVAH.  That the Jews so understood Him is apparent from the fact that, though they bore with Him whilst He called Himself God’s Son, as soon as he had uttered the words “Before Abraham was, I am,” they took up stones to cast at Him.

      Again (John 20:28) when Thomas is convinced of Christ’s resurrection, he is therewith, though not till then, convinced of Christ’s Divinity, for he immediately “said unto Him, My Lord and My God.” {The objections which have been made to the plain sense of this passage may be seen fully replied to, Pearson, On the Creed, p. 131; and Middleton, On the Article, in loc.}

      Another important passage is that in the ninth chapter of Romans, ver. 5, where St. Paul, speaking of the Jews, says that of them, “as concerning the flesh Christ came, who is over all, God, blessed forever.”  In this verse there is, as it were, proof upon proof, that Christ is God.  First, the expression “as concerning the flesh,” indicates that, according to something higher than the flesh, He had His Being elsewhere.  Next He is said to be επι πάντων, “over all”; as John the Baptist said of Him (John 3:31), “He that cometh from above is above all.”  The very same epithet επι πάντων is applied, Eph. 4:6, to God the Father; nor can we conceive it to be of less significance than that similar title of God (עֶלְיוֹן, ύψιστος) “the Most High.”  Next comes the name (Θεός) God,which is in every manuscript and every version.  Lastly, the whole is concluded by the words “Blessed forever”, a phrase which is a translation or paraphrase of a well-known Jewish form used only in speaking of the Almighty: (בָּרוּךְ חוּא חַקָּדוֹש).*

            {*All MSS. all VSS. have the verse entire.  All the Fathers have it, except that in Cyprian, Hilary, and Leo it is referred to without Θεός.  Such an exception will be very far from invalidating the reading; but Erasmus observes that without Θεός, the verse would still prove the Divinity.  See the passage fully considered, Pearson, p. 132; Waterland, II. p. 133; Middleton, On the Article, in loc.; Magee, On Atonement, III. p. 91.  The Arian interpretation, which would make the latter part of the verse a doxology to the Father, is considered and refuted very fully by Bp. Middleton.  See also Tholuck and Alford on this passage.}

      Again, in the second chapter of the Epistle to the Colossians, ver. 9, St. Paul says of Christ, that “in Him dwelt all the fulness of the Godhead bodily.”  The Gnostics made a fulness (pleroma) of numerous AEons, or emanations from God, and one of these emanations they believed to dwell in Jesus.  The Apostle says, however, that it was no single AEon, no mere emanation from God: but that the whole Pleroma, the fulness of God, dwelt in Him bodily. {See Whitby on this passage.  His Notes on the Colossians are very good.}

      The first chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, besides ascribing Creation and Providence to the Son of God, besides saying that all the Angels should worship Him, distinctly applies to Him the name of God.  It is thus the Apostle quotes the Psalms: “To the Son He saith, Thy Throne, O God, is for ever and ever.”  And again, “Thou, Lord, in the beginning, hast laid the foundation of the earth.”

      Let us next take the important passage in the Epistle to the Philippians (2:5–9).  The Apostle exhorts the Philippians to humility by the example of the incarnate Son of God.  “Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus, who being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God, but made Himself of no reputation, and took upon Him the form of a servant, and was made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself, and became obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”  There are two ways in which this passage, or at least one phrase of it (ουχ αρπαγμον ηγήσατο), may be translated: one, as in our version; the other (as Origen, Novatian, and many after them have interpreted it), “did not pique Himself on this His dignity,” or, “did not covet and earnestly desire to be so honoured.”*  It does not appear that one of these renderings is more calculated to weaken the force of the passage than the other.  Both of them are intelligible, if we admit that St. Paul is speaking of Christ as God: both unintelligible on every other hypothesis.

            {*Ος εν μορφη Θεου υπάρχων, ουχ αρπαγμον ηγήσατο το ειναι ισα Θεω, αλλ εαυτον εκένωσε, μορφην δούλου λαβων, εν ομοιώματι ανθρώπων γενόμενος, και σχήματι ευρεθεις ως άνθρωπος, εταπείνωσεν εαυτον, γενόμενος υπήκοος μέχρι θανάτου, θανάτου δε σταυρου.  “Who, being in the form of God, thought it not robbery to be equal with God (or, did not parade, covet, or pique Himself on the being equal with God); but emptied Himself (of his glory ) by taking the form of a servant, (and that) by being made in the likeness of men; and being found in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself by becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”  The participles express the manner in which the actions of the verbs were effected.  He, being in the form of God, emptied Himself of His divine glory.  How?  Why, by taking the form of a servant.  And how did He take the form of a servant?  By being made in the likeness of men.  And then, being no longer in the glory of God, but in fashion as a man, He humbled Himself.  How?  By becoming obedient unto death.

            Hence it appears, that, as He humbled Himself by becoming obedient to death, so He emptied Himself by taking the form of a servant, and He took the form of a servant by being made man.  The taking the form of a servant, then, was the becoming man, the assuming human nature: “the form of a servant” was the nature of man.  It follows that the “form of God” was the nature of God.

            It must be admitted that ουχ αρπαγμον ηγήσατο is an unusual expression; but to the interpretation “did not make a parade of, or pique Himself on the being equal with God,” the few parallel expressions which are to be found seem most favourable.

            On the whole passage see Grotius, Hammond, Whitby, Macknight, Rosenmüller, Middleton, in loc., Suicer, s. v. αρπαγμός; Pearson, On the Creed, p. 122, fol.; Waterland, II. Serm. V. p. 89.}

      The Arians indeed interpret the “being in the form of God,” not as though it meant being in the “nature of God,” but as though it were intended to signify, that Christ, before His incarnation, acted under the old Testament as God’s Angel and Messenger, represented and personated God; and so might be said to be in the form of God.  They would therefore explain it, “that Christ, having been sent as God’s messenger, and permitted to personate and represent God, yet did not arrogate to Himself to be equal with God.”  But it must be observed, that, if this were the right sense of the passage, then also the phrase “taking the form of a servant” should mean, not the becoming really man, but merely personating or appearing in the semblance of a man; which sense of the passage might be correct, if the writer had been a Gnostic; not, as it was St. Paul.  But as the “taking on Him the form of a servant” must mean that He was truly man; so the “being in the form of God” must mean that He was truly God.  It must be observed again, that, as the Apostle distinctly tells us that Christ took the form of a servant by being made in the likeness of men, it is therefore quite plain that, before He was made in the likeness of men, He was not in the form of a servant.  But who of all created beings is not in the form of a servant?  Who, but the untreated God, is not a servant of God?  If therefore Christ was, before His incarnation, not a servant, nor in the form of a servant, then, before His incarnation, He must have been God.

      The passage then requires us to interpret it as follows: “Take, for your example of humility, Jesus Christ.  He, being in the form and nature of God, thought it not robbery to be (or, piqued not Himself on being) equal with God; but emptied Himself of His Divine glory, inasmuch, as He, being Lord of all, yet assumed the form of a servant, by being made in likeness of men; and when He was thus found in fashion no longer as God, but as man, He humbled Himself yet further, by becoming obedient unto death, even the death of the cross.”

      In the famous passage in 1 Tim. 3:16, we read, “God was manifest in the flesh, justified in the Spirit, seen of angels, preached unto the Gentiles, believed on in the world, received up into glory.”  It is indeed true that there are three readings of the first word, which is in our version God.  Yet whichever reading may be the true, the whole drift of the passage and its context clearly express the Deity of Him of whom the Apostle writes, that is of Jesus Christ.*

            {*The state of the question is nearly this: –

ός is the reading of C*F.G. 17. 73. 181.—ό of D*.—Θεός of D*** J. K. and of nearly all cursive MSS.

            B. E. H. are defective in this place, and supply no evidence at all.

            The reading of A has been very much disputed.  At present A reads Θεός, but the lines which distinguish ΘC from OC are in a newer and coarser ink than the original.  The MS. is greatly defaced in this passage: and it is now extremely difficult to decide what the reading originally was.  There is no trace now of a line either in or over the O written in the original ink; and from close inspection I am satisfied, that the tongue of the E in the page on the other side of the leaf might have been seen through, and have appeared like the stroke of the middle of Θ.  But it is difficult to say how far this settles the question concerning the reading of A.

            The reading of VSS. is in favour of a relative, the Latin reading quod, the other ός, except the Arabic (Polygl.) and Slavonic, which have Θεός.

            The Latin fathers followed the Vulgate in reading quod, except Hieron. In Esai liii. 2, who reads ός.

            Of the Greek fathers, some are doubtful.  Ignat. Ad Eph. 19, Chrysost. Theodoret, Damasc.,OEcum.,Theophyl. read Θεός.  Cyril. Alex., Theodor. Mopsuest., Epiphan., Gelas. (Cyzic.). read ός.}

      There is another passage, in Acts 20:28, which I couple with the last, because here too the reading is in doubt.  St. Paul exhorts the elders of Ephesus “to feed the Church of God, which He hath purchased with His own blood.”*  So strongly does this speak, and so plainly assert the Deity of Christ, that the fathers, as early as Ignatius, who was a contemporary of the Apostles, considered themselves sanctioned by these words to use the remarkable expressions, “the Blood of God,” any “the passion of God.” {Ignat. Ad Ephes. 1.  μιμηται όντες Θεου, αναζωπυρήσαντες εν αίματι Θεου.  This passage is in Syriac.}

            {*Θεου is the reading of Cod. Vat. and seventeen other MSS., two of the Peshito, Vulg., AEthiop., Athanasius, Tertullian, &c.  Κυρίου is the reading of Cod. Alex., Bezae, and fourteen others; Copt., Sahid., Armen., Eusebius, &c.  The fathers’ authority is greatly for the first.  The three readings Θεου, Κυρίου, and Κυρίου και Θεου are nearly equally supported by MSS.  The VSS. in number are nearly equal for Θεου, and Κυρίου; those of greater authority favour Θεου.

            The phrase Εκκλησία του Θεου occurs eleven times in St. Paul’s writings; Εκκλησία του Κυρίου, never.  See also Bp. Middleton in loc.; Burton’s Testimonies of the Ante-Nicene Fathers, p. 15.

      St. Peter (2 Pet. 1:1) speaks of “our God and Saviour Jesus Christ”; St. Jude, of “our only Lord God, even our Lord Jesus Christ,” Jude 4.  Compare Eph. 5:5; 2 Thess. 1:12; Tit. 2:13. {This is, of course, assuming Mr. Granville Sharp’s Canon on the Article to be established.  See Middleton, pt. I. ch. III. Sect. IV. § 2; and upon the five passages quoted and referred to in the text; also Waterland, II. p. 128.}

      Lastly, St. John (1 John 5:20) distinctly calls Jesus Christ “the true God.”  “We are in Him that is true, even in His Son Jesus Christ.  This (ουτος) is the true God, and eternal life.”  The pronoun “this” (ουτος); in all propriety of speech, should refer to the last antecedent, Jesus Christ.  Hence, literally and grammatically, the passage teaches, that Christ is the true God.  But also the context shows that it is of Him, and not of the Father, that St. John makes this statement.  Our Lord is called by Himself, and by His Apostle St. John, “the Life,” “the Life of men.”  Throughout the chapter, the Apostle has been urging, that eternal life is in the Son of God.  Hence, when he has said all he has to say on the subject, he concludes with once more assuring us, that Jesus Christ is both “the true God and eternal Life.”  So cogent has this argument appeared, that some Arians have admitted that eternal life was meant of the Son, whilst the true God was meant of the Father.  But it can never be denied that ουτος, this, is equally the subject of both the predicates, true God, and eternal life.  Therefore, if it be said, that Christ is eternal life, it is equally said, Christ is the true God.  Lastly, there is no instance of the contrary interpretation in all antiquity, the objections being all modern, and of no weight in themselves. {See Waterland, II. p. 123.}

      We may now then fairly conclude, that Scripture furnishes us, both by reasonable inference and by direct statement, with proof that the SON is GOD.

      3.  In the third place we learn also from Scripture that the HOLY GHOST is GOD.

      Having found from the Scriptures that the Father is God, and that the Son is God, we shall need the less proof that He whose name is constantly joined with them is also God.  Indeed, but few will deny the Divinity, though they may doubt the Personality of the Holy Ghost.  Yet, since in old times Arians, Macedonians, and others appear to have held the strange notion that the Holy Spirit was a creature, it may be well to show briefly that Scripture does speak of Him as God.

      As is the case as regards the Son, so to the Spirit are ascribed the power and the attributes of God.

      (1)  He is the great Worker of Miracles.  Matt. 1:20, 12:28.  Luke 4:1, 14.  Acts 2:4, 10:45.  Rom. 15:19.  1 Cor. 12:4, 8.  Heb. 2:4.

      (2)  He is the Inspirer of Prophets, and can teach all things.  Mark 12:36, 13:11.  Luke 1:15–41, 12:12.  John 14:26, 16:13.  Acts 1:8, 8:29, 10:19, 20; 13:2, 28:25.  1 Cor. 2:13, 12:11.  Eph. 3:5.  Heb. 3:7.  1 Pet. 1:11, 12.  2 Pet. 1:21.

      (3)  He dwells in temples as God.  1 Cor. 3:16, 6:19.

      (4)  He is the Source of all holiness.  John 3:5.  Rom. 1:4, 5, 8:9, 14.  1 Cor. 6:11.  Gal. 5:16, &c.  Compare Matt. 19:17.

      (5)  He is Omnipresent and Omniscient.  Ps. 139:7.  1 Cor. 2:10.

      (6)  He is represented as the Creator.  Gen. 1:2.  Job 26:13; 33:4.  Ps. 104:30, with which compare Is. 44:24.  Mal. 2:10.

      (7)  He is everlasting.  Heb. 9:14.

      (8)  Sin against Him is so great, that, though blasphemy of all other kinds is pardonable, blasphemy against the Holy Ghost is unpardonable.  Matt. 12:31.  Mark 3:29.  Luke 12:10.

      Thus are attributes and powers ascribed to the Holy Ghost which can only be ascribed to God.

      But, moreover, He is expressly called God.

      In 2 Sam. 23:2, 3, we read,

“The Spirit of the Lord spake by me,

And His Word was in my tongue,

The God of Israel said,

The Rock of Israel spake to me.”

      According to the usage of Hebrew poetry, it is unquestionable that “the Spirit of the Lord” in the first verse is the same as “the God of Israel” in the third.

      In Matt. 12:28, our Lord says, “If I with the Spirit of God cast out devils.”  The parallel passage, Luke 11:20, has, “If I with the finger of God cast out devils”; where the word “finger,” like “hand” in the old Testament, simply signifies by or by means of. {Thus בְּיַד משֶה, “By the hand of Moses,” means merely “by Moses”.}  So that here God and the Spirit of God are synonymous.

      In Acts 28:25, St. Paul quotes a passage thus, “Well spake the Holy Ghost by the prophet Esaias.”  The passage is from Isaiah 6:9 which, if we refer to it in Isaiah, we shall find to have been unquestionably spoken by God.

      In 1 Cor. 3:16, we read, “Ye are the temple of God.”  In 1 Cor. 6:19, the parallel passage, we find, “Your body is the temple of the Holy Ghost.”

      In Exod. 34 it is related that, when Moses had gone up to talk with the Lord on Mount Sinai, the skin of his face shone so brightly, that, when he had spoken to the people, he put a veil over his face, so that they were not able to look upon him; but, “when he went in before the Lord,” (i. e. JEHOVAH,) “to speak with Him, he took the veil off until he came out,” ver. 34.  Now in 2 Cor. 3:16, 17, St. Paul alludes to this history, and plainly referring to this very verse, he says, When the heart of the Israelites “shall turn to the Lord, the veil shall be taken away.”  He then adds, “Now the Lord” (i. e. the Lord, before whom Moses stood, and to whom the Israelites were to turn, i. e. JEHOVAH) “is that Spirit.”

      In Acts v. 3, 4, when Ananias had denied the truth before the Apostles, Peter said to Ananias, “Why hath Satan filled thine heart to lie to the Holy Ghost?”  And immediately after he adds, “Thou hast not lied unto men, but unto God.”  Plainly, therefore, the Holy Ghost is God.

      Such are some of the passages of Scripture from which we may infallibly conclude, that,

As the FATHER is GOD, – And the SON is GOD, – SO the HOLY GHOST is GOD.

      III.  Having shown that God is One, and yet, that, as regards the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, it is said of each that He is God, I propose next to show that these two truths are not direct contradictions to each other, as though it were said in one place, “there is One God,” and in another, “there are three Gods”; for it appears from Scripture that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are but one and the same God.

      1.  It appears from Scripture, that the Father is One with the Son.  This is expressly declared by our Lord (John 10:30), “and My Father are One.”  Again, He addresses the Father as being One with Him; and prays that His Church may be one Church in God, as He and His Father are One: “that they all may be One, as Thou, Father, art in Me, and I in Thee, that they also may be one in us.”  Again, that “they may be one, even as we are one” (John 17:21, 22).  Therefore it is that the Lord Jesus says of Himself, “He that seeth Me, seeth Him that sent Me,” and in like manner He reproves His Apostle for asking to be shown the Father, saying, “Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known Me, Philip? he that hath seen Me, hath seen the Father: and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” {John 14:9; see also Matt. 10:40, Mark 9:37.}

      2.  That the Spirit of God is one with God the Father is shown by St. Paul, who compares the Spirit of God in God to the spirit of man in man (1 Cor. 2:10, 11): “What man knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of man which is in him?  Even so the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”

      The passage in 2 Sam. 23:2, 3, quoted above, where “the Spirit of God spake by me” is synonymous with “the God of Israel said,” is to the same effect.

      3.  That the Son and the Spirit are One may appear from the fact that St. John says (12:37, 41), that the Lord, whose glory Isaiah saw in the vision recorded in the sixth chapter, was the Son, Jesus Christ; but St. Paul says (Acts 28:25), that the Lord, who then spoke to Isaiah, was the Holy Ghost.

      Again (in Matt. 11:27) we read, “No one knoweth the Father, but the Son.”  Whereas, in 1 Cor. 2:11, we are told that “the things of God knoweth no man, but the Spirit of God.”

      4.  Accordingly we find that what the Father does, that the Son does, and that the Holy Ghost does; where the Father is, there the Son is, and there the Holy Ghost is, e.g.

      The Father made the world. Heb. 1:2.  1 Cor. 8:6.  The Son made the world.  John 1:3.  Col. 1:16.  Heb. 1:2.  The Spirit made the world.  Job 26:13, 33:4.


            The Father quickeneth.  John 5:21.

            The Son quickeneth whom he will.  John 5:21.

            It is the Spirit that quickeneth.  John 6:63.


            God the Father spake by the prophets.  Heb. 1:1.

            God the Son spake by the prophets.  2 Cor. 13:3.  1 Pet. 1:11.

            God the Holy Ghost spake by the prophets.  Mark 13:11.  2 Pet. 1:21.

      Again, sanctification is ascribed

            To the Father.  Jude 1.

            To the Son.  Heb. ii. 11.

            To the Holy Ghost.  Rom. 15:16. {See Jones’s Catholic Doctrine of the Trinity.}

      Ordination is ascribed

            To the Father.  2 Cor. 3:5, 6.

            To the Son.  1 Tim. 1:12.

            To the Holy Ghost.  Acts 20:28.

      Indwelling and presence in every Christian are ascribed

            To the Father.  John 14:23.  1 Cor. 14:25.

            To the Son.  John 14:23.  2 Cor. 13:5.

            To the Holy Ghost.  John 14:17.

      From these considerations, and others like them, we naturally conclude that, though the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God, yet are they not three different Gods, but one and the same God.

      Those, indeed, who take the Arian view of the Scriptures maintain that there is but one God, even the Father; but they add, that the Son also is God, yet not the same God, but an inferior God to the Father, and so not of the same nature and substance with the Father.  This is both self-contradictory and contradictory to Holy Scripture.  First, it is self-contradictory, for it teaches that there is but one God, and yet that there are two Gods.  Secondly, it is contradictory to Scripture; for it is opposed to the passages, which, as we have just seen, prove the Son to be one with the Father; and it is opposed most distinctly to such passages as teach that there is no God but the One Supreme Creator of the Universe.  For example, we read, Isai. 44:8, “Is there a God beside Me?  Yea, there is no God, I know not any”; and, Isai. 45:5, “I am the Lord, there is none else; there is no God beside me.”  (So Deut. 4:35, 39, 32:39.  2 Sam. 22:32.)  Now, if the Arian hypothesis be true, there is another God, besides God the Father, even His Son Jesus Christ, who is not only another, but an inferior God to the Father.  The only way, then, in which we can reconcile the two apparently contradictory truths, (1) that God is one, and (2) that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are each said to be God, is by admitting, as the Scriptures also teach us, that “they are not three Gods, but One God.” {It may he observed, that, if this is true, then the doctrine of the homo-ousion, the consubstantiality of the Son and the Spirit is proved; for if the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost be but one God, the Son and the Spirit must be of one nature and substance with the Father.}

      Thus far, then, we have proved, – I. The Unity of the Godhead, – II. That the Father is God, the Son is God, and the Holy Ghost is God, – III. That these two truths are not direct contradictions to each other; for that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are but One God, not three Gods.

      But if this were all that we could learn from Scripture, we might naturally conclude that the Sabellian was the correct hypothesis, and that the names of Father, Son, and Spirit were the names but of different modes, operations, or characters of the Deity: so that, perhaps, God might be called Father when viewed as Creator and Governor; Son when viewed as Redeemer and Saviour; Spirit when considered as Sanctifier and Teacher.  Or perhaps we might suppose, that the Son and the Spirit were mere attributes of, or influences from God; as, for instance, the Son, the Logos might be esteemed but as the Reason of God; the Spirit as that Divine Influence by which He teaches the minds and sanctifies the hearts of His servants.

      IV.  It is therefore necessary to show that there is plain evidence from Scripture that the Father is not the Son, and that neither of them is the Holy Ghost; but that they are plainly distinguished from one another, and distinguished, too, as Personal Agents, not merely as modes, operations, or attributes.

      That there is some kind of distinction must appear from the fact that the three, Father, Son, and Spirit, are so frequently mentioned together in the same sentence; especially in the forms of blessing and of baptism.  (2 Cor. 13:14.  Matt. 28:19.)  This alone might be sufficient to prove that these three sacred names were not names merely of different characters assumed by God at various times; for it seems scarcely reasonable to suppose that the Apostles prayed for blessing from three characters assumed by God, instead of praying for blessing from the One God to whom all such characters belonged; nor yet can we well believe that they should invoke blessing from the attributes of God, or baptize converts into a form of faith not in God alone, but in God, His attributes, and His influences.

      But, in order to establish more clearly the fact that the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are distinguished as personal Agents, it will be necessary to bring passages from Scripture, in which they are represented to us as acting personal parts, and even in which all three are represented as acting three distinct parts.

      1.  The Father and the Son act distinct personal parts, and are therefore distinct Personal Agents.

      (1)  The Father sends the Son; whereas no one can be said to send himself.  John 5:36, 37; 6:38, 39.  Acts 3:20.  Gal. 4:4.  1 John 4:9, &c.

      (2)  The Son leaves the Father and returns to Him again.  John 8:42, 9:4, 12:49, 16:5, 28; 17:3.  1 John 4:14.

      (3)  The Son offers Himself to the Father.  Heb. 9:14.

      (4)  The Father loves the Son, and the Son loves the Father.  John 3:35, 5:20, 14:31, 15:9, 17:24, 26.

      (5)  The Son is said to make intercession with the Father.  Heb. 7:25.  1 John 2:1.  Comp. Heb. 9:24.

      (6)  The Son in His human nature prays to the Father.  Luke 22:42, 23:34.  John 17.

      (7)  The Father hears and speaks to the Son.  John 11:42.  Heb. 5:7.  Matt. 3:17, 17:5.  Luke 9:35.  John 12:28.

      2.  The Spirit acts distinct parts from either the Father or the Son.

      (1)  The Father and the Son both send the Spirit.  John 14:16, 26; 15:26, 20:22.  Acts 2:33.  Gal. 4:6.

      (2)  The Spirit makes intercession with the Father, whereas no one can intercede with Himself.  Rom. 8:26.

      (3)  The Son offers Himself to the Father through the Eternal Spirit.  Heb. 9:14.

      (4)  Christ tells His disciples, that He must go away from them, and that then the Holy Spirit should come in His place; that He would go to the Father; and from the Father send the Comforter.  John 14:16, 26; 16:7.

      (5)  Christ says, that the Holy Spirit should not speak of Himself, but should receive of Christ’s, and show to the Church.  John 16:13, 14, 15.

      3.  We not only have the names of the Father, the Son, and the Spirit joined in blessing, and in the form of baptism, but we are told of a scene in which they all three acted jointly, yet separate parts.  At the baptism of Christ, the Son was in the Man Christ Jesus baptized; the Spirit in the shape of a dove descended on Him; the Father, out of Heaven, pronounced Him His beloved Son.

      All these facts, put together, sufficiently demonstrate that there is a distinction between the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost, and that a distinction of Personal Agents.  Yet still, that we may leave no room for objection, it may, perhaps, appear necessary to consider separately, and more at length, the Personality (i) of the Son, (ii) of the Spirit.

      (i) The general tone of Scripture so clearly indicates that God the Son is a Person, that, at first, it might appear that the Arian hypothesis, which makes the Son an inferior God to the Father, was the only one which could be at all maintained on Scriptural groimds; except, of course, the Catholic doctrine of the Trinity.  But as the Sabellian hypothesis is not without its advocates and its arguments, it deserves and requires to be considered.

      The view which Sabellianism takes of the Son of God, is, as has been said before, twofold.  Some Sabellians considered God the Son as altogether the same as God the Father, and as having no proper distinction from Him.  These were, in the early ages, called Patripassians.  Others, again, looked on God the Son as but an Emanation from the Father, not as a Person distinct, in any sense, from Him.  These have been called Emanative Sabellians.  Both forms have found advocates in some degree in later times.  Patripassianism has been virtually held by some divines, who, in the main orthodox, have endeavoured too boldly to make the doctrine of the Trinity square exactly with human reason and philosophy.  The emanative theory has been adopted, more or less, by some, who are in fact Socinians, to elude the force or explain the difficulty of such passages as John 1:1.

      Now, against both these hypotheses, the marked distinction which our Lord makes between Himself and the Father must be carefully noted.  For example (John 8:17, 18): “It is written in your Law that the testimony of two men is true.  I am one that bear witness of Myself, and the Father that sent Me beareth witness of Me.”  Here is a distinct appeal to two distinct witnesses.  As the Jewish Law required the evidence of two men; so here the Lord Jesus appeals to the evidence first of Himself, secondly of His Father.  Would this be much unlike equivocation, if the Father and the Son had no personal distinction?  Again (John 5:17), our Lord says: “My Father worketh hitherto, and I work.”  And when the Jews accused Him of blasphemy, for making God His Father, and so claiming equality with God, He does not deny the charge of making Himself equal with God, but still goes on to declare to them, that, notwithstanding His unity of nature with the Father, He, the Son, had a personal subordination to Him.  “The Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He seeth the Father do: for what things soever He doeth, these also doeth the Son likewise.  For the Father loveth the Son, and showeth Him all things that Himself doeth.”  In this passage surely, where the Son claims, as the Jews rightly interpreted Him, to be the true Son of God, and so equal with God, He yet plainly sets forth the doctrine, that in His Person, though not in His Nature, He was subordinate to the Father, receiving of the Father, and doing the same things as the Father doeth.  And so He goes on, “As the Father raiseth up the dead and quickeneth them, even so the Son quickeneth whom He will.  For the Father judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment to the Son.”  Again, “As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself”: that is, “the Father,” unlike any creature, is self-existent, having “life in Himself,” and so He hath given to the Son to be self-existent, and to “have life in Himself,” – (language clearly spoken of the eternal Son, not merely of the Man Christ Jesus,) – “And hath given Him authority to execute judgment also; because He is the Son of Man,” i. e. because He is not only Son of God, but Son of man also, incarnate, and so the fitter agent to execute the wrath, as well as to show the mercy of God.  But again, our Lord goes on, “I can of Mine own Self do nothing: as I hear I judge: and My judgment is just: because I seek not Mine own will, but the will of the Father, which hath sent Me.” {See John 5:17–30.}  Again, in the forty-third verse, “I am come in My Father’s name, and ye receive Me not: if another shall come in his own name, him ye will receive.”

      The whole of this passage is one in which our Lord clearly spoke of Himself in His Divine nature, and of His relation to His Father in that nature, which He had in common with Him; yet no language can more expressly mark a distinction of personal action, and personal attribute.

      Again, some of the passages which seem to have as their special object to set forth the glory of the Divine Being of the Son, are so worded as specially to show His distinction of Person from the Father.  Thus in Coloss. 1:15, 16, where creation and providence are ascribed to Him in terms of peculiar grandeur, He is called “the Image of the Invisible God, the First Born of,” or “Begotten before, every creature.”  Here He is both represented as the Image of the Father, and as having before all creation been begotten as His Son; both expressions markedly denoting personal difference.

      The same thing is even more remarkable in the beginning of the Epistle to the Hebrews.  It is plain, from the language of the whole of the first chapter, that the subject is the Divine nature of the Son.  Yet nothing can be more clear than the distinction which is made between the Father and the Son.  First of all, God is said to have spoken in old times by the prophets, but in the latter days by His Son, “whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also He made the worlds.  Who being the brightness (the shining forth) of His glory, and the express Image of His Person, and upholding all things by the word of His power, when He had by Himself purged our sins, sat down on the right Hand of the Majesty on High” (vv. 1, 2, 3).  Now here God is said to have spoken by His Son, as He did by the prophets; He is said to have appointed Him heir of all things; (both marking distinctions of Person); then the Son is said to be “the express Image of the Person” of the Father.  It may be a question, what is meant by the word υπόστασις, translated Person; but there can be no question that the word χαρακτήρ, translated express Image, means that the υπόστασις of the Son answers to that of the Father, as the impression on wax answers to the seal which made the impression.  Whether then υπόστασις means “Person,” or whether it means “Mode of existence,” we learn that, as the Son is the shining forth of the Father’s glory, so His Person, or His mode of being, corresponds to that of the Father, (not only as a Son’s to a Father’s, but) as an impression on wax to the engraving on a seal.  This indeed teaches us clearly, that the Son is of one glory, and so of one eternal essence with the Father; but as the image on the wax is distinct from that upon the seal, so must there be a distinction between the Father and the Son, of which the distinction of the seal and the wax is a figure and similitude.

      The prayer of our Lord to His Father, in the seventeenth chapter of St. John, is another striking proof that the Son is indeed of one nature and substance, but not of one Person with the Father.  No one can attentively peruse that prayer without seeing that our Lord speaks of Himself and His glory, as the Eternal Son, not merely as the Man Christ Jesus; so that whatever diversity we observe is not merely incident to our Lord’s incarnation, but is also characteristic of Him in His untreated nature.  When, therefore, He says (ver. 1), “Father, glorify Thy Son, that Thy Son also may glorify Thee,” we may inquire, what sense the passage could bear, if the Father and the Son were personally identical?  Again, the same question is suggested by the following: “And now, O Father, glorify Thou Me with Thine own self with the glory that I had with Thee before the world was” (ver. 5).  And “I have given unto them the words which Thou gavest Me, and they have received them, and have known surely that I came out from Thee, and they have believed that Thou didst send Me” (ver. 8).  And again, “Thou lovedst Me before the foundation of the world” (ver. 24).  Does not all this necessarily prove that, before the world was created, the Person of the Son was different from the Person of the Father?

      Perhaps the passage which most favours the Sabellian notions concerning the Person of the Son, is the important first chapter of St. John.  That passage indeed distinctly asserts the Divinity of the Son; but language is used which may be supposed to mean that He is, as regards His Divine nature, not to be distinguished from the Father, or at least to be distinguished only as an emanation or attribute.  Plato had used the term Λόγος; but he did not probably intend to distinguish, by any personal distinction, the Λόγος from God.  The early heretics had mixed up the philosophy of Plato with the religion of Christ; and they used of the Son of God the language which the Platonists had used of the Λόγος.  When, therefore, St. John came to use the same expression (adopted, as some think, on purpose to refute heretical teachers whilst using their own terms), it might be supposed that by the Λόγος he meant no more than the Thought or Reason of God, which, whilst it remained in the bosom of God, was the Λόγος ενδιάθετος, the inward Reason or Thought; when it was exerted to create the world or reveal the will of God, it became the Λόγος προφορικός, or, as it were, the outward Speech of God.

      This view of the passage may seem supported by the eighth chapter of Proverbs; where the Wisdom of God is spoken of in terms so like St. John’s language concerning the Logos, that the fathers, and many after them, have considered that Solomon must there have been writing of Christ.  If this be the meaning of the Logos in St. John, we may paraphrase his words somewhat as follows: In the beginning was the Reason or Wisdom of God.  That Wisdom was in God, nay, it was God (for as God is Love, so God is Wisdom). All things were made by the Reason or Wisdom of God, and without it was nothing made that was made. .... It was the true light, that lighteth every man that cometh into the world .... And this wisdom was incarnate, or manifested in Christ, and so dwelt among us.

      I have endeavoured to put this argument in its strongest form, that I may give it all the weight which it deserves.  I proceed to show wherein it is defective and unsound.

      In the first place, the later Platonists, and still more, the Platonizing and Gnostic heretics, had a notion of the Logos very different from Plato’s, and far more personal.  Again, the Gnostics, against whose opinions in all probability St. John directs many of his statements, considered the Pleroma or fulness of God to be made up of many AEons or Emanations from God, to which they gave the various names of Nus, Sophia, Dynamis, &c.  The chief of these was the Logos, whom they believed to have descended on the man Jesus.  It is probable that in the first chapter of his Gospel St. John uses the names of other Eons besides the Logos.  For example, whereas he first calls the Son of God the Logos, he also tells us, that in Him was Zoe (life), and the Zoe was the Phos (light); by which he has been supposed to mean, that the Logos, the Zoe, the Phos, were not different AEons, but that, as St. Paul informed the Colossians (2:9), the whole Pleroma of Godhead dwelt in Christ, bodily.  Again, St. John tells us that by the Logos, who is also the Phos and the Zoe, the world was created.  The Gnostics taught that the world was created by a fallen AEon, who was an enemy to God, and that the Logos came down to destroy his dominion among men.  But St. John teaches that the Logos was Himself the Creator of the Universe, and that without Him nothing was made that was made.  Once more, he explains (ver. 14), that the Logos was really made flesh and dwelt among us.  The Gnostics did not believe the Logos to be really made flesh; but they supposed, either that He only assumed the appearance of humanity, or that He descended, for a time, on the man Jesus, and then left him at his crucifixion.  Therefore St. John uses the strong expression ο Λόγος σαρξ εγένετο, “The Word was made flesh.”  Lastly, he says that “we beheld His glory, the glory of the Monogenes (the Only-begotten) of the Father; full of grace and truth.”  Monogenes (only-begotten) was the name of another AEon in the Gnostic Pleroma.  St. John therefore adds to the other titles of the Son this title of Monogenes, to show still farther, that the Lord Jesus, the Son of the Father, combined in His own Person all the attributes which the Gnostics assigned to these various AEons, and was therefore not simply a single emanation from God, but, as St. Paul says, had in Him a fulness of Deity, and was moreover the Creator of the universe, and not, as the Gnostics had it, one who was sent to overthrow the power of the Creator.

      Now, if this be the true explanation of St. John’s language, it is vastly unlike the language assigned to him by the Sabellian hypothesis.  For whilst St. John is ascribing to the Son supreme Divinity, he does so in a manner which essentially implies Personality too.

      But there are many other reasons why the word Logos in the first chapter of St. John must be interpreted of a Person, not of an attribute or quality, like Reason, or Wisdom.

      (1)  The Word is said to be God.  It is not said that tho Word is θειος, divine, but Θεός, God.  Now it may be possible improperly to say “God is wisdom,” as the Apostle says, “God is love.”  But we cannot say, “God’s wisdom is God,” any more than “Man’s wisdom or reason is man.”

      (2)  The Word is said to be “with God,” not in God; which implies personality.  God’s wisdom is in Him, not, properly speaking, with Him.

      (3)  In ver. 11, the Word is said to have “come to His own”; meaning, no doubt, His own creatures; which again is personal.

      (4)  In verse 14, He is called the Μονογενής, the Only-begotten.  But the idea of Sonship is personal.  We cannot conceive of the Son of God, but as one in some personal sense distinct from him: just as the term son amongst men indicates one distinct from his father.  And no doubt, as the term Logos is used to indicate that the Son from all eternity dwelt in the bosom of the Father, as the reason or wisdom dwells in the bosom of one endowed with such faculties; so the word Son is used to indicate to our finite understandings, that, notwithstanding such an intimate union, yet there is a distinction, such, in some degree, as the distinction of father and son.

      (5)  He is said to have been “made flesh, and to have dwelt among us”; and that, in opposition to the fancy of the Gnostics or Docetae, that the Christ or Logos only took a phantastic body.  Accordingly, in Rev. 19:13, St. John sees a vision of a Person, who is evidently Jesus Christ, and whose name, written on His thigh, is King of kings, and Lord of lords; and he tells us that this Person is called “The Word of God.”

      (6)  In the eighth verse, John the Baptist is contrasted with Him, and declared not to be the Light or the Logos.  Now, John the Baptist was undoubtedly a person.  We must therefore conclude that He, with whom he is contrasted, and of whom the Evangelist had been speaking before, was a Person also.

      Thus, I trust, we may conclude that the testimony borne by St. John, in the first chapter of his Gospel, is a testimony to the doctrine of the distinct personality of the Son, not to Sabellianism. {On this subject see Waterland’s first Sermon at Lady Moyer’s Lecture, on John 1:1, II. p. 1.}  And with this we may venture to leave the question of the Personality of God the Son.

      (ii) We have next to show the Personality of the Spirit of God.

      Now, as we are baptized “in the Name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost”: as the Apostles bless in the name of Jesus Christ, God the Father, and the Holy Ghost: and as on many occasions the Holy Spirit is joined with the Father and the Son; we cannot but think it probable, at least, that as the Father is a Person, and the Son has just been shown to be a Person distinct from the Father, so the Holy Ghost is a Person also distinct from either of them.

      But beyond this, we find distinctly that, in Holy Scripture, personal actions are ascribed to the Holy Ghost.

      (1)  He makes intercession with God the Father, Rom. 8:26.  Now to make intercession is a personal act.

      (2)  He testifies.  John 15:26.

      (3)  He teaches.  John 14:26.

      (4)  He hears and speaks.  John 16:13.

      (5)  He gives spiritual gifts, dividing them according to His will.  1 Cor. 12:8, 11.

      (6)  He inhabits a temple, 1 Cor. 3:16, 6:19.  This is the act of a Person, not of an attribute or influence.

      (7)  He not only is represented as speaking generally, but we have speeches set down in Scripture, which the Holy Spirit is said to have uttered to peculiar persons, e. g. Acts 10:28: “The Spirit said unto Peter, Behold, three men seek thee .... I have sent them.” Acts 13:2: “The Holy Spirit said, Separate me Barnabas and Saul, for the work whereunto I have called them.”

      (8)  He is put in direct opposition to evil spirits, who are doubtless persons.  1 Sam. 16:14.  2 Chron. 18:20, 21.

      It has, however, been argued that these and, similar personal actions, when ascribed to the Spirit, are the actions of the Father, who, when He does them Himself, is said to do them by His Spirit. In answer to this, it can plainly be shown that there are many personal actions ascribed to the Spirit which cannot be ascribed to the Father.  For instance, in Rom. 8:26, as we have just seen, the Spirit intercedes with the Father for the saints.  But it cannot be said that the Father intercedes with Himself.  Here then we.have an instance of the performance of a personal action by the Spirit, which cannot be performed by the Father.  Again, Christ is said to send the Spirit (John 16:7).  But it is never said of God the Father, that He is sent.  He sends both the Son and the Spirit, but is never sent Himself.  Moreover (in John 4:26), our Lord promises “to send the Spirit from the Father.”  If the Spirit means here the Father, then Christ must send the Father from the Father. {See Hey, II. p. 443.}  Again (in chapter 16:13, 14), when our Lord promises to send the Paraclete, He says, that “He,” the Paraclete, “shall not speak of Himself, but whatsoever He shall hear, that shall He speak.”  “He shall glorify Me; for He shall receive of Mine, and shall show it unto you.”  Now, it certainly cannot be said of God the Father (from whom eternally both Son and Spirit are derived), that He should not speak of Himself, but should speak what He heard only.  Nothing which implies subordination is ever spoken of God the Father.  We conclude, therefore, that the Spirit (who is here represented as acting personal parts, and parts which cannot belong to the Person of the Father) is both a Person, and a Person distinct from the Father.

      The fact that the Spirit is called Paraclete, which means either Comforter or, more probably, Advocate, {See Pearson, On the Creed, Art. VIII. p. 329, note, fol.; and Suicer, s. v. Παράκητος.} seems to imply distinct personality.

      The use of the masculine pronoun He, εκεινος designate the Holy Ghost, surely indicates, that reference is made to a personal Agent, not to an influence or attribute.  This is observable especially in John 16:13, where we have in immediate connection, “When He the Spirit of truth is come,” εκεινος, το Πνευμα της αληθείας, a masculine pronoun, whilst το Πνευμα is neuter. {The Personality of the Holy Ghost is fully and admirably treated by Bp. Pearson, Art. VIII. p. 308, fol.}

      From these, then, and similar reasons, we conclude that the Spirit is a distinct Person from the Father and the Son.

      Thus we have reached the conclusion of our reasoning on the subject of Personality, and so we believe our Fourth Proposition to be established: that although the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost are but one God, yet are they clearly distinguished from One another, and distinguished as Personal Agents.

      Now this is the doctrine of the Trinity in Unity, as held by the Catholic fathers, expressed in the Creeds of the Church, and exhibited in this first Article of the Reformed Church of England, namely, that “There is but one God,” yet that “in the Unity of that Godhead there be three Persons, of one substances power, and eternity, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.”

      This conclusion we deduce from the statements of Scripture.  We do not pretend to explain the mystery, for it is, of course, above the reach of finite understanding.  Yet we cannot doubt that, in the substance of it at least, our conclusions are legitimate.  To explain the subject philosophically would be inconsistent with the purpose in hand, inconsistent with the assertion that it is a mystery (that is, a thing which human reason cannot fathom), and therefore impossible.  It may not even be altogether possible to mark out accurately the exact distinctions between Tritheism and Trinitarianism on the one hand, between Trinitarianism and Sabellianism on the other.  This, by the way, should make us not the less earnest to maintain the truth, nay! the more earnest, because of the greater danger of error; but yet the more tender, the more ready in meekness to instruct those who from the difficulty of apprehending have been led to doubt this great article of the faith.  But, though all this is true, yet, thoughtfully considered, this doctrine of the Trinity, though above our understanding, does not necessarily appear contrary to our reason.  That reason may well teach us that it is likely God should subsist in a manner above what we can apprehend.  That reason may teach us, that, though God’s nature is infinite, and therefore cannot be multiplied; yet, seeing that he has shown himself to be essentially loving, and loving to have partakers of His love, it is not impossible that there might exist, even in the divine Essence, something like a Personal diversity, that so He, who, as regards the creature, dwells in light which is unapproachable, might have within Himself that which would be capable of receiving and imparting the love which can be perfect in God alone.  Yet such a diversity existing in the Godhead, which from its very perfection can admit neither multiplication nor division, could not constitute a distinction of Deity, though it would constitute what, in the language of Theology, has been called a distinct Personality.

      The Fathers, who used the language which has been inserted in the Creeds and generally adopted in the Church, never thought, when they used to speak of three Persons in one God, of speaking of such three Persons as they would speak of persons and personality among created beings.  They did not consider, for example, the persons of the Father and the Son as they would have done the persons of Abraham and Isaac, – the Persons of the Holy Trinity as they would have done the persons of Peter, Paul, and John, which are separate from one another, and do not in any way depend on each other for their essence.  They held, that the Father is the Head and Fountain of Deity (Πηγη Θεότητος), from whom the Son and Holy Spirit are from all eternity derived, but so derived as not to be divided from the Father; but they are in the Father and the Father in them, by a certain περιχώρησις or inhabitation.  So then, though they acknowledged the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost to be really three Persons, yet they held “them to have no divided or separate existence, as three different men have, but to be intimately united and conjoined one to another, and to exist in each other, and by the said ineffable περιχώρησις or inhabitation to pervade or permeate one another.”*

            {*Bull, Posth. Works, p. 1004, quoted by Waterland, Works, II. p. 211. “Patrem, Filium, et Spiritum Sanctum, cum revera tres sint Personae, nequaquam tamen ut tres homines seorsum et separatim existere, sed intime sibi invicem cohaerere et conjunctos esse; adeoque alterum in altero existere, atque, ut ita loquar, immeare invicem et penetrare per ineffabilem quandam περιχώρησιν; quam circuminsessionem Scholastici vocant.” – Bull, Def. Fid. Nic. II. 9, 23; Works, IV. p. 363; see also Lib. IV. § 4; also Pearson, On the Creed; Art. II. p. 138, fol.

            On the meaning of the word Person, see Waterland, Works, III. p. 338.

            The term by which to designate what we call person, was early a subject of dispute.  The Greeks mostly used the word υπόστασις, the Latins Persona.  Yet among the Greeks it was not uniformly agreed to speak of τρεις Ύποστάσεις and μία Ουσία.  Some, on the contrary. identified υπόστασις with ουσία. and spoke of μία Ύποστάσεις.  These differences in language led to the Council of Alexandria, A. D. 362, at which Athanasius was present, and at which this λογομαχία was condemned.

            See Athanasius, Dial. II. Tom. II. p. 159; Suicer, s. v. υπόστασις; and Newman’s Hist. of Arians, ch. v. § 2.

      [NOTE. It may not be useless to the student in Theology, to become familiar with the following analysis of the Scriptural argument for the Doctrine of the Holy Trinity in Unity.  I. God is one.  II. The Old Testament contains intimations of a plurality in this One Godhead.  III. The New Testament affords proof by (a) necessary inferences, and (b) express declarations: (1) that the Father is God; (2) that the Son is God; (3) that the Holy Ghost is God.  IV. How are these phenomena to be reconciled?  There are but three modes: (1) Tritheism; (2) Sabellianism; (3) the Catholic Doctrine of the Trinity.  The first of these modes destroys the Divine Unity.  The second ignores all the personal characteristics and agencies attributed to the Father, the Son, and the Holy Ghost.  Logically, then, the third remains.

      By bringing together the Scripture passages which belong to each of the above heads, and then, by studying out the exact way in which the Catholic Doctrine of the Trinity harmonizes what the other two schemes reject, the student may thoroughly appropriate and make his own the very valuable collections and arguments of the preceding pages.

      The fifth, sixth, and seventh chapters of Owen’s Introduction, may be profitably read. – J. W.]


Article  II


Of the Word or Son of God which was made very Man.

      The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal GOD, and of one substance with the Father, took man’s nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, of her substance: so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and Manhood, were joined together in one Person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God and very man; who truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile His Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of men.


Verbum Dei verum hominem esse factum.

      Filius, qui est Verbum Patris, ab aeterno a Patre genitus, verus et aeternus Deus, ac Patri consubstantialis, in utero beatae Virginis, ex illius substantia naturam humanam assumpsit: ita ut duae naturae, divina et humana, integre atque perfecte in unitate personae fuerint inseparabiliter conjunctae: ex quibus est unus Christus, verus Deus, et verus homo, qui vere passus est, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, ut Patrem nobis reconciliaret, essetque hostia, non tantum pro culpa originis, verum etiam pro omnibus actualibus hominum peccatis.


Section  I. – History

      This Article evidently treats of three distinct points.  I. The Divine nature of the Son of God; II. His incarnation; III. His sufferings, sacrifice, and propitiation.

      I.  First, as regards the Divine nature of the Son of God: as it was shown under the first Article that He was of one substance and coeternal with the Father, so the history of the different opinions concerning His consubstantiality and co-eternity formed part of the history of that Article.  It is not necessary to repeat either those arguments or that history here.

      I shall consider that I have said enough concerning the Divine nature of our blessed Lord, when, in addition to His consubstantiality and co-eternity before treated of, I have spoken concerning His generation from the Father, whereby He is the Begotten or Only-begotten Son of God.

      It has already been shown that the Arians and Eunomians held that the Son might be called μονογενής, not as being the only-begotten of the Father, by a true and proper generation, but as having been begotten or created by the Father alone; {Οι Αρειανοι λέγουσιν, ότι μονογενης λέγεται, διότι αυτος μόνος γέγονε και εκτίσθη υπο Θεου, τα δ αλλα πάντα υπ αυτου. – Theophyl. in Joh. cap. iii.  See Pearson, On the Creed, p. 138; Suicer, II. p. 375.} and the Socinians have endeavoured to explain the word as though it meant no more than beloved, as Isaac was called the only son of Abraham, though Ishmael was his son also.

      It is hardly necessary to observe that the orthodox fathers held that the Son was begotten of the Father from all eternity, so before all time deriving His Divine Essence from His Father (μόνος εκ μόνου γεγέννηται του Πατρός.  Cyril. Alexandr. in Ad. Concil. Ephes.)  This eternal generation they held to be a proof that He was of one substance and eternity with the Father; but the relation of Father to Son they held to constitute a priority of order, though not of nature or power.  They held, that is, not that the Son was, in His nature as God, in any degree different from, or inferior to the Father; but that, as the Father alone was the source and fountain (πηγή, αρχή, αιτία) of Deity, the Son having been begotten, and the Spirit proceeding, so there was a subordination, without diversity, of the Son to the Father, and of the Spirit to the Father and the Son. {The statements of the Ante-Nicene fathers on this subject are fully investigated by Bp. Bull, F. D. Sect. IV. De Subordinatione Filii.  See also Suicer, s. vv. αιτία, αρχή, πηγή.}  It may be difficult to conceive of priority of order, without being led to believe in superiority of nature.  This seems to have been the cause why Dr. Clarke and other high Arians, perceiving the truth of the doctrine that there was a certain priority of order among the Persons of the undivided Trinity, and unable to distinguish between priority of order and superiority of nature, were led into an assertion of the heretical doctrine of the inferiority of the nature of the Son.

      II.  The second part of the Article contains the doctrine of the Incarnation.

      Errors upon this doctrine were held by the Gnostics, or Docetae, and the Manichees, who taught that our Lord’s Body was but a phantom, and that He came not in the flesh, but in appearance only (ουκ εν σαρκι, αλλα δοκήσει); by those heretics, who denied the Divinity of our Lord, and therefore, of course, the union of the two natures in one Person; and in short by all the Oriental and Judaizing sects.  But the most important controversies on this mystery arose from the errors of, 1, the Arians and Apollinarians; 2, the Nestorians; 3, the Eutychians; 4, the Monothelites.

      1.  Arius taught that the Son of God did not take human nature, but a human body only, and that the Divine Word was in the place of the soul. {See Pearson, On the Creed, p. 160.  “In eo autem quod Christum sine anima solam carnem suscepisse arbitrantur minus noti sunt: ... sed hoc verum esse et Epiphanius non tacuit, et ego ex eorum quibusdam scriptis et collocutionibus certissime comperi.” – Augustin. Haeres. 49, Tom. VIII. p. 18.}

      Apollinaris, who maintained against Arius the consubstantiality of the Son, agreed with him in a great measure concerning the mode of His incarnation, teaching that our Lord took a human body, and a sensitive or animal soul, but that the place of the rational soul was supplied by God the Word, thus distinguishing, according to a common notion of those times, between the νους, or mens, and the ψυχή, or anima. {Pearson, as above.  Mosheim, Cent. IV. pt. II ch. V. § 17.  Neander, C. H. IV. pp. 98–106.  “Apollinaristas Apollinaris instituit, qui de anima Christi a Catholica dissenserunt, dicentes, sicut Ariani, Deum Christum carnem sine anima suscepisse.  In qua quaestione testimoniis Evangelicis victi, mentem, qua rationalis est anima hominis, defuisse animae Christi, sed pro hac ipsum Verbum in eo fuisse dixerunt.” – Augustin. Haeres. 55, Tom. VIII. p. 19.}

      2.  The Nestorian controversy arose as follows: The Greek fathers, justly esteeming that our Lord, from the moment that He was conceived in the womb of His mother, was not only man but God also, and maintaining that the union between His two natures was so perfect that it was right, for example, to say “God suffered,” went so far as to call the Virgin Mary by the title Θεοτόκος, or Deipara.  Nestorius declaimed strongly against this title, as indicating, according to his view of the subject, that God was liable to change, whereas God can neither be born nor die.  He held that the Man Christ Jesus only could derive His birth from His earthly parent; and that therefore the Virgin might be called Χριστοτόκος, but not Θεοτόκος.  These statements were considered to involve a denial of the union of the two natures of God and man in the one Person of Christ. {The technical term for this union was the ένωσις καθ υποστασιν – hypostatic union.}  Nestorius was accused of teaching that there were not only two natures, but two persons in Christ, namely, the Person of God the Son, and the person of the man Christ Jesus.  For this doctrine (though he appears to have denied the inferences drawn from his statements) he was condemned in the Council of Ephesus, A. D. 431, summoned by Theodosius the younger, and at which Cyril of Alexandria presided.  This council determined that the true doctrine was that “Christ was but one Person, in whom two natures are intimately united, but not confounded.” {Neander, IV. pp. 123–162.}

      The tenets of the Nestorians, however, spread rapidly and widely in the East.  They were embraced by the school of Edessa, were eagerly propagated by Barsumas, who became Bishop of Nisibis in 435, and by his influence took such root in Persia that a Nestorian Patriarch was established at Seleucia, to whose authority, even to modern times, the Nestorian churches have been subjected.  Nestorianism took deep root in many soils; and the Nestorians proved themselves zealous missionaries.  Their opinions spread rapidly into Armenia, Chaldma, Syria, Arabia, and India. {Suicer, s. vv. Θεοτόκος and Χριστοτόκος.  Pearson, On the Creed, pp. 178, 163.  Mosheim, Cent. V. pt. II. ch. V.  Neander, C. H. IV. pp. 269–271.}  They afterwards extended the Christian faith among the Tartar tribes of Scythia; and in the thirteenth century established their bishops and clergy even among the Chinese.  In the eighth century, the sect called Adoptionists revived unconsciously a form of Nestorianism in Spain. {Neander, V. pp. 216, seq.}  And, in the twelfth century, the Nominalists were accused of Nestorianism, as well as Tritheism, by their adversaries. {See above, Art. I, § 1, note Bernard.}

      3.  Eutyches, an abbot at Constantinople, from opposition to Nestorianism, was led into the other extreme.  He asserted that the Divine and human natures of Christ were originally distinct, but that, after their union, they became but one nature, the human nature being transubstantiated into the Divine.  Before the hypostatic union, he acknowledged two natures; but after. that union he acknowledged but one.  The Council of Chalcedon, which was summoned by Marcian in 451, and is reckoned the fourth general Council, condemned Eutyches, and declared the Catholic doctrine to be, that “in Christ two distinct natures are united in one Person, without any change, mixture, or confusion.” {Suicer. s. v. ακέφαλοι.  Pearson, p. 162.  Mosheim, Cent. V. pt. II. ch. V.  Neander, IV. pp. 203–231.}

      The Eutychian, or Monophysite doctrine, notwithstanding this condemnation, rapidly gained ground, principally through the zeal of Jacob Baradmus, Bishop of Edessa, from whom the sect of the Eutychians are called Jacobites.  It was established in Syria; Mesopotamia, Armenia, Egypt, Abyssinia.  The Eutychians became united under the patriarchs of Antioch and Alexandria, and so continue to this day.  They are now divided into three principal societies: the Oriental Monophysites, subject to the patriarch of Antioch; the African Monophysites, subject to the patriarch of Alexandria, embracing the Copts and Abyssinians; and thirdly, the Armenians, who, though agreeing with the other Monophysites concerning the natures of Christ, are not united with them in other points of faith and discipline, and are subject to patriarchs of their own. {Mosheim, Cent. IV. pt. II. ch. V.  Cent. XVI. pt. I. § 3.  Neander, IV. pp, 271–278.}

      4.  In the seventh century a new controversy on this important subject arose; and a more subtle question was mooted.  This question was, whether in Christ there were two distinct wills, the Divine and the human, or but one, the Divine.  Those who adopted the opinion that there was but one will in Christ, among whom was Honorius, Bishop of Rome, were called Monothelites, Μονοθεληται, and were condemned in 680 by the sixth general Council, the third Constantinopolitan.  Their doctrine was supposed to border too closely on that of the Moriophysites.  It appears, however, that they entirely disclaimed Monophysite errors; and from the ambiguous manner in which their views were expressed, it has been questioned whether they held that the human will in Christ was wholly swallowed up in the Divine will, or only that it was so completely subservient to the Divine will as always to move in unison with it. {Mosheim, Cent. VI. pt. II. ch. V.}

      III.  As to the third division of this Article, the terms of it probably had reference to the error of the Docetae, who denied that our Lord “truly” suffered, teaching either that He suffered only in appearance, or, as Basilides would have it, that Simon the Cyrenian was crucified in His place.

      Of course it may be added, that the propitiatory sacrifice of Christ is necessarily denied by all humanitarian heretics, and others, who nearly symbolize with them.  The Swedenborgians also of late times, though in some sense admitting the Atonement, appear to deny anything of the nature of a vicarious sacrifice, maintaining that redemption consists in the subduing of the powers of evil within the Christian, by virtue of union with the Redeemer in His human nature.


Section  II – Scriptural Proof

      I.  The division of the subjects treated of in this Article, which has been suggested above, leads us to consider in the first place the eternal generation of the Son of God.

      That the nature and being of the Son were from all eternity, and that He was of one substance with the Father, having been shown in the First Article, it is only necessary to prove here that that nature, though eternal, is yet derived from the Father in such a manner that the relationship of the Father to the Son is best expressed to our understandings by the term and under the notion of generation.

      In order to represent to us the mode of existence of the Second Person in the Trinity, and His relation to the First, Holy Scripture has used various terms, drawn from human relations.  The most common and important are the terms “Word” and “Son”.  The term “Word,” or “Logos,” is probably used to exhibit the intimate connection of the one Person with the other; that, as reason dwells in man, so the Logos dwells in God, and that, as the word goeth forth from the heart and lips of man, so the Word is sent forth from God the Father.

      In like manner, we must conceive the term “Son” to indicate something definite concerning the relation of the Son to the Father; the variety of terms being adopted, probably because no one term could sufficiently convey to our understanding just notions of the nature and of the connection of the Persons in the Godhead.

      That God the Son is not the same Person with God the Father has already been shown.  That He is called the “Word” and the “Son” of the Father, seems sufficiently to declare that He derives in some manner His Being from the Father, even as the word springs from him who thinks and speaks, as the son is derived from him who begets him.  This is farther evident from express statements in Holy Scripture.  For example, our Lord is distinctly said to be begotten of the Father.  He is called the Begotten and “Only-begotten of the Father,” John 1:14.  The Psalmist, as explained by St. Paul, tells us that God said to our Saviour, “Thou art My Son, this day have I begotten Thee,” Ps. 2:7.  Acts 13:33.  Heb. 1:5.  And so He is spoken of as having been “begotten before every creature.” (Πρωτότοκος πάσης κτίσεως, Col. 1:15.)

      In correspondence with this notion of Sonship, our Lord is constantly called “Heir of all things,” and said to be Possessor of all things, by right of Sonship. (See Heb. 1:2, 3, 4; 3:6.  John 16:15.)  Again, our Lord speaks of Himself as deriving His own eternal Being from God the Father. {In John 5:18, our Lord speaks of God as His true and proper Father, αλλα και πατέρα ί δ ι ο ν έλεγε του Θεόν.  Compare John 6:46, ο ων παρα του Θεου, He that hath His being from God.}  “As the living Father hath sent Me, and I live by the Father” (John 6:57), and again, “As the Father hath life in Himself, so hath He given to the Son to have life in Himself” (John 5:26).  From which we learn that the mode of existence which the Father possessed from all eternity, He communicated to the Son.  All created beings have their existence from, and their life in, God.  But the Son, who is uncreated, derives indeed His Being from the Father, but it is a Being of the same kind as the Father’s, and therefore not dependent, like a creature’s, but independent, self-existent, having life in itself.

      Acordingly the Son is farther called “the Brightness of His Father’s glory, the express Image of His Person,” Heb. 1:3; words which in the Greek indicate a relation of the Son to His Father, like that of brightness to light, like that of the impression of a seal on wax to the seal, to which it answers. {Origen, commenting on these words of the Apostle, Splendor est gloriae Dei, says: “Deus lux est, secundum Joannem.  Splendor ergo hujus Lucis est Unigenitus Filius, ex ipso inseparabiliter velut splendor ex luce procedens, et illuminans universam creaturam.” – De Principiis, Lib. I. ch. II. n. 7.}

      Now the communication of the nature of God, thus made by the Father to the Son, may be called a proper generation.  Nay! it is more proper than any earthly generation.  For, in human generation, the son indeed derives his nature from his father, but it is in a manner according with the imperfection of humanity.  Man’s generation is in time, and, as connected with that which is material, results, in part at least, from that property of matter called divisibility.  The son too, in human beings, when derived from the father, becomes separate from him.

      But this is not so with God.  God’s eternal perfections He, from all eternity, communicated to His Son.  “So also the Divine Essence, being by reason of its simplicity not subject to division, and in respect of its infinity incapable of multiplication, is so communicated as not to be multiplied, insomuch that He, which proceedeth by that communication, hath not only the same nature, but is also the same God.  The Father God, and the Word God; Abraham man, and Isaac man: but Abraham one man, Isaac another man; not so the Father one God, and the Word another; but the Father and the Word both the same God.  Being then the propriety of generation is founded in the essential similitude of the son unto the father, by reason of the same which he receiveth from him; being the full, perfect nature of God is communicated unto the Word, and that more intimately, and with a greater unity or identity than can be found in human generation; it followeth, that this communication of the Divine nature is the proper generation, by which Christ is, and is called the true and proper Son of God.”*

            {*Pearson, On the Creed, Art. II. p.188, fol.  So Hooker, Eccl. Pol. Bk. V. ch. LIV. 2.  “By the gift of eternal generation, Christ hath received of the Father one and in number the selfsame substance, which the Father hath of Himself unreceived from any other.  For every ‘beginning’ (Eph. 3:15) is a father unto that which cometh of it, and every ‘offspring’ is a son to that out of which it groweth.  Seeing therefore that the Father alone is originally that Deity, which Christ originally is not, (for Christ is God by being of God; light by issuing out of light); it followeth hereupon, that whatsoever Christ hath common unto Him with His heavenly Father, the same of necessity must be given Him, but naturally and eternally given; not bestowed by way of benevolence and favour, as the other gifts” (i.e. those of union and of unction) “both are”.}

      This peculiar relation of the Father to the Son is that which has authorized the Church, while she confesses an equality of nature, to admit also a priority of order in the Persons of the Trinity.  The Father hath this preeminence, that He is not only uncreated, but unbegotten, too.  He derives His essence from none, being Himself the Fountain of life and the Source of being.  The Son, too, is uncreated, deriving His being, not by creation but by generation, from the Father.  Yet in this He is subordinate to the Father; not that His attributes are lower, or His nature inferior, but that both are derived.  The Father begat; the Son is begotten.  The Father is Life, Christ too is Life; but He confesses that He has life from the Father (John 7:29), and that “He liveth by the Father” (John 6:57).  “The Father hath life in Himself”: so too has the Son.  But the Father not only in Himself but from Himself.  The Son in Himself, but from the Father (John v. 26). {“Pater vita in Semetipso, non a Filio: Filius vita in Semetipso, sed a Patre.” – Augustin. In Johan. Tract. XIX. Tom. III. par. II. p. 443.}  On this account, therefore, and in this sense, “the Father is greater than the Son” (John 14:28); greater as regards priority of order, not greater as regards infinity of nature. {See Pearson, On the Creed, Art. I. p. 34; Bull, F. D. § 4.}

      II.  The second part of the Article concerns the true doctrine of the Incarnation of the Son of God.  It is thus expressed: “The Son ... took man’s nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, of her substance, so that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead and manhood, were joined together in one Person, never to be divided, whereof is one Christ, very God, and very man.”

      1.  The wording of this is very important.  “The Son of God took man’s nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin.”  It appears directly from Holy Scripture, that the Being conceived by the Virgin was from the moment of His conception the Son of God (Luke 1:35, 43.  Matt. 1:20, 23).  Had the human nature of our Lord been conceived in the womb of the Virgin, and then united to the Divine nature; it is clear that Christ would have consisted of two distinct persons: one person, the Son of God, the other person, that human being who had been conceived of the Virgin Mary.  For if a human being had been first conceived of the Virgin, and then united to God, it is clear that that human being must have been a human person, previously to the union with the Divine Person; and so the incarnation would have been the union of two persons, not the union of two natures. {“Primo illud nos oportet scire, quod aliud est in Christo Deitatis ejus natura, quod est Unigenitus Filius Patris; et alia humana natura quam in novissimis temporibus pro dispensatione suscepit.” – Origen. De Principiis, Lib. I. ch. II. n. 1.}  It was from want of attention to this, that Nestorius was led into error.  He denied that the Person, who was born of the Virgin, was God; and said that He was only man.  Hence he was obliged to divide Christ into two persons.  “If,” says Hooker, “the Son of God had taken to himself a man now made and already perfected, it would of necessity follow that there are in Christ two persons, the one assuming, the other assumed; whereas the Son of God did not assume a man’s person to His own, but a man’s nature to His own Person; and therefore took semen, the seed of Abraham, the very first original element of our nature, before it was come to have any personal human subsistence.  The flesh, and the conjunction of the flesh with God, began both at one instant; His making and taking to Him our flesh was but one act; so that in Christ there is no personal subsistence but one, and that from everlasting.  By taking only the nature of man, He still continueth one Person, and changeth but the manner of His subsisting, which was before in the mere glory of the Son of God, and is now in the habit of our flesh.” {Hooker, Eccl. Pol. Bk. V. LII.}

      Thus it is said by St. John, “The Word was made flesh” (John 1:14); by St. Paul, “Forasmuch as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, He also took part of the same” (Heb. 2:14).  “He took not the nature of angels, but He took the seed of Abraham” (Heb. 2:16).  It was “Emmanuel, God with us,” who was born of the Virgin (Isai. 7:14.  Matt. 1:23); yea, “the Son of God” (Luke i. 32, 35). {The Scriptures clearly indicate this to have been the case.  See Luke 1:39–44, 2:11.  The former passage is especially clear, showing that Elisabeth by the Holy Ghost, and even the yet unborn “prophet of the Highest,” acknowledged the presence of their “Lord,” when He was yet in the womb of His mother.  The earliest fathers speak as plainly on the subject as if they had foreseen the heresy of Nestorius: e. g. ο γαρ Θεος ημων Ιησους ο Χριστος εκυοφορήθη υπο Μαρίας κατ οικονομίαν Θεου, εκ σπέρματος μεν Δαβιδ, Πνεύματος δε αγίου. – Ignat. Ad Ephes. 18.}

      The fact, thus exhibited, that the Son of God took in the womb of the Virgin the nature of man, explains some of the most remarkable passages in the new Testament. As there is but one Person in Christ, and that the Person of the Son of God, it naturally follows, that even the actions proper to man will at times be attributed to God, and the actions proper to God will be attributed to the man Jesus.*  Thus we understand the Scripture, when it says that men “crucified the Lord of glory” (1 Cor. 2:8); when it says that “God purchased the Church with His own Blood” (Acts 20:28); because, though God in His Divine Nature cannot be crucified, and has no blood to shed; yet the Son of God, the Lord of Glory, took into His Person the nature of man, in which nature he could suffer, could shed his Blood, could be crucified, could die.  Thus again, we understand the Scripture, when it attributes to a man powers and attributes which belong only to God.  Our Lord (John 3:13) speaks of none having gone up to Heaven “but the Son of man, which is in Heaven”: yet the Son of man was then on earth.  Omnipresence is an attribute of none but God.  But the Son of man here spoken of was God, God having taken into His own Person man’s nature. {Compare John 1:48.}  And so “as oft as we attribute to God what the manhood of Christ claimeth, or to man what his Deity hath right unto, we understand by the name of God and the name of Man, neither the one nor the other nature, but the whole Person of Christ, in which both natures are.” {Hooker, Eccl. Pol. V. LIII. 4.}  Of that Person, then, we may say, that He reigns as God, that He was subject as man.  Of that Person we may say, that He liveth forever, and yet that He suffered and died.  Of that Person we may say, that He “was crucified through weakness,” and yet that He hath “the Power of God.”  Of that Person we may say, that whilst He was bound down to live on earth, He yet filled Heaven with His presence and glory.**

            {*“Cum ergo in eo quaedam ita videamus humana ut nihil a communi mortalium fragilitate distare videantur, quaedam ita divina ut nulli alii nisi illi primae et ineffabili naturae conveniant Deitatis, haeret humani intellectus angustia, et tantae admirationis stupore percussa quid declinet, quid teneat, quo se convertat, ignorat.  Si Deum sentiat, mortalem videt: si hominem putet, devicto mortis imperio cum spoliis redeuntem a mortuis cernit. ... Nam et Filius Dei mortuus esse dicitur, pro ea scilicet natura quae mortem utique recipere poterat: et filius hominis appellatur, qui venturus in Dei Patris gloria cum sanetis angelis praedicatur.” — Origen. De Principiis, Lib. II. ch. VI. n. 2, 3.}

            {**Επι γης μεν γαρ ο Υιδς και ο Θεος Λόγος βεβήκει, ουρανου δε ήπτετο, και πάντες εχθροι επληρουντο της αυτου δόξης· και εν Μαρία έτυγχανε, και άνθρωπος εγένετο, αλλα τη δυνάμει αυτου επλήρου τα συμπαντα. – Epiphan. Haeres. LXIX. Tom. I. p. 788.  Colon.

            Hooker does not scruple to say: “The union of the flesh with Deity is to that flesh a gift of principal grace and favour: for by virtue of this grace, man is really made God, a creature is exalted above the dignity of all creatures, and hath all creatures else under it.”  And again, “Since God hath deified our nature, though not by turning it into Himself, yet by making it His own inseparable habitation, we cannot now conceive, how God should without man either exercise Divine power, or receive the glory of Divine praise, for man is in both the associate of Deity. – Eccl. Pol. Bk. V. LIV.}

      2.  The Article, having expressed the truth that the Son of God took man’s nature in the womb of the blessed Virgin, of her substance, adds, “So that two whole and perfect natures, that is to say, the Godhead, and Manhood, were joined together in one Person.”  Having already shown that there was but one Person with two natures, it is necessary farther to observe, that those two natures continued perfect and entire; for though the Person was but one, the Person of the eternal Son of God, yet we must not suppose that the verity of either of His natures was lost or absorbed.

      (1)  That He was perfect God appears by what was proved under the first Article; and indeed His Divine nature could not cease to be Divine by his taking to Him the nature of man; for God is not liable to change or to diminution.  And though, by taking human nature, the Son of God was enabled to suffer, which to God simply would have been impossible, yet by taking human nature He did not change the nature of God.  And this appears from plain passages of Scripture; for where the Son of God is spoken of as God, it is constantly in those very passages where He is called by the name of Christ or of Jesus or of the Son of Man, or is spoken of as incarnate, e. g. John 1:14, 3:13, 8:58, 10:30.  Acts 20:28.  Rom. 9:5.  Phil. 2:5, 6.  Col. 1:14, 15, &c.

      (2)  That He was perfect Man will appear, if we can show that He had a human Body and a human Soul, both subject to human infirmities and invested with human attributes.

      That he had a human Body appears from His birth of the Virgin (Matt. 1:25.  Luke 1:35, 2:7); from His growth like other children (Luke 2:52); from His liability to hunger (Luke 4:2); to weariness (John 4:6); to pain (Luke 22:44); to bleeding and bloody sweat (John 19:34.  Luke 22:44); to wounds and laceration (John 20:27); from His possessing flesh and bones (Luke 24:39, 40); from His crucifixion, death, burial, and resurrection.

      That he had a perfect human Soul appears from His “increasing in wisdom” (Luke 2:52); from the possibility of His being ignorant (Mark 13:32), (which could not be true of Him considered only in His Divine nature); from His being liable to temptation (Matt. 4:1.  Heb. 4:15); from His feeling sorrow and sympathy (Luke 19:41.  John 11:35.  Matt. 23:37, 38, &c.); from the separation of His Soul from His Body at death, the Soul descending to Hades, whilst the Body was laid in the grave (Acts 2:27, 31).

      And as the nature of His Godhead was not changed (God not being capable of change) by union with His manhood; so also the nature of His manhood was not changed by being taken into His Godhead, farther than that it was thereby exalted, ennobled, glorified.  For the object of God’s taking flesh was that He might take to Himself a nature like our own, in which He might be tempted with our temptations, liable to our sorrows and infirmities, and subject to our sufferings and death.  The properties therefore of His human nature were not sunk nor absorbed in His Divine nature, any more than His Divine nature was altered or corrupted by His human nature.

      3.  That these two natures, thus united in the one Person of Christ, shall “never be divided,” appears from the nature of the union, the object of that union, and the declaration of Scripture.*  The nature of the union being that the Person of the Eternal Son took to Himself human nature, not a human person, it follows, that, if the two natures were divided at any time, either a new person would be brought into being, or else the human nature of Christ would utterly cease to exist.  According to the latter supposition, instead of being highly exalted and set above all His fellows, Christ’s human Body and Soul would be annihilated and perish.  Surely neither of these hypotheses is tenable.  Again, the end and purpose of the union, whereby the Son of God took the nature of man, being that He might join together God and men, Himself both God and man, and the necessity of such conjunction never ceasing, it follows that the union of the natures shall never cease.  It is through the instrumentality of Christ’s humanity that man is united to God.  When the union has been effected, we cannot suppose that the bond will be destroyed, the link annihilated.  It is by virtue of incorporation into Christ’s Body, that the saints shall rise and reign; and we cannot suppose that Christ’s Body shall cease to be one with the Son of God, when the saints, incorporated into It, reign because of It.

            {*One of the errors of the Photinians was that they believed the kingdom of Christ would wholly cease at the end of the world, and that the Word would be wholly resolved into the Father, and as a separate Person cease to exist.  See Pearson. Art. VI. p. 284, note.  The only text which can appear even for a moment to favour the notion that Christ shall ever cease to be both perfect God and perfect Man, is the remarkable passage 1 Cor. 15:24, 28, where it is said that Christ shall deliver up the kingdom to the Father, and “the Son Himself shall be subject to Him that did put all things under Him, that God may be all in all.”  We cannot, however, from this infer that the Son of God shall leave His human nature and be absorbed into the Person of the Father, and that then the human nature of Christ divested of the Divine shall be subject to God; for, if no other passage in Scripture opposed that notion, this very passage would of itself refute it.  It is the Son who is to be subject to the Father; but the human nature of Christ, separated (if that were possible) from His Divine nature, would not be the Son of God.  The true interpretation of the passage is that the Son, who in His human nature and touching His manhood is inferior to the Father, yet now seated on the throne of His mediatorial kingdom, reigns supreme over men, angels, and devils.  But at the end, when the need of that mediatorial reign has passed away, then the mediatorial sceptre shall be laid down, Christ shall reign with God, upon His right hand; but as κατ οικονομίαν, and in His human nature, He is inferior to the Father, so then He shall be subject to the Father; God shall be all in all. – See Pearson, On the Creed, Art. VI. p. 283.}

      And this farther appears from Scripture; where we read, that “Christ ever liveth to make intercession for us” (Heb. 7:25); that “He is a Priest forever “(Heb. 6:20, 7:21, 24), “consecrated for evermore” (Heb. 7:28); that “He is set down at the right hand of God forever” (Heb. 10:12); that “His kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and that He shall reign for ever and ever” (Dan. 2:44, 7:14, 18, 27.  Luke 1:32, 33.  Rev. 11:15).

      III.  The Article, thirdly, asserts that the Son of God, having thus taken man’s nature, “truly suffered, was crucified, dead, and buried, to reconcile His Father to us, and to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of men.”

      To enter at full length into each portion of this clause of the Article, would necessarily exceed our present limits.  The student may be referred to the Fourth Article of Pearson, On the Creed, for a most able exposition of the doctrine of Scripture concerning our Lord’s sufferings, crucifixion, death, and burial.

      1.  To show the reality of our Lord’s sufferings and death, it is only necessary to read the last chapters of the four Gospels, which require no comment.  If they did, such comment would be found in the prophecies of Christ’s sufferings (e. g. Ps. 22.  Isai. 53.), and in the letters and discourses of the Apostles on them (e. g. Acts 2:22, 23, 3:15, 10:39, 13:29.  Rom. 5:10, 6:8.  1 Cor. 15:16.  2 Cor. 1:5, 4:10.  Phil. 2:8.  Heb. 2:9, 10; 5:7, 8; 9:17–28, 10:10, 12:2, 13:12.  1 Pet. 2:21, 3:18).  The reality of the death, indeed, is a subject immediately connected with the reality of the human nature of Christ.  The Docetae, who denied the one, naturally and necessarily denied the other.  It was against them that St. John appears to have written many passages both in his Gospel and Epistles, as for example, John 19:34, 35.  1 John 4:3, 5:6.  2 John 7.  Errors, against which the words of Scripture are specially directed, cannot lightly be disregarded by the Church.  But as such errors are not likely to prevail extensively now, it may be unnecessary to dwell at length upon their refutation.

      2.  One subject connected with the death and sufferings of our Saviour requires to be a little further considered.  The Son of God by taking on Him human nature became truly man; and one of the chief ends of His thus becoming man was that He might die.  But it may be asked still, Wherein did His death consist, and how did He suffer?  Man dies, when His soul leaves his body.  Man suffers, because his whole nature is passible.  But Jesus Christ was man; yet not mere man.  His Person consisted of the Eternal Son united to a human Body and a human Soul.  How then did He suffer, and how die?

      He suffered in His human nature, which, being a perfect human nature, was capable of suffering both in Soul and Body.  We may not imagine, as has already been shown, that His human nature ceased to be human nature when it was taken by His Godhead; “that the properties of the weaker nature have vanished with the presence of the more glorious, and have been therein swallowed up as in a gulf.”  It is true, then, that the Son of God suffered; but not in the Godhead.  His Godhead could no more suffer than the Godhead of the Father.  But He took human nature, that He might suffer, and in His manhood the Son of God was crucified, and suffered and died.

      And His death consisted not in the separation of His Divine Being from either Body or Soul.  Then would not the Son of God have died at all.  Then Christ would have been divided into two separate Persons, by the Godhead leaving the manhood; and the mystery and the blessing of the Incarnation would have been lost.  The soul does not die by leaving the body, neither would the Son of God have died by leaving either Body or Soul.  It was the Person of Christ that suffered death; and as that Person was invested with the nature of man, death was to Him what death is to other men, namely, the separation of the human soul from the human body.  The union of the Godhead with the manhood was not disturbed; but the human Soul of Christ left His human Body.  But even when the Soul forsook the Body, the Godhead forsook neither Body, nor Soul.*  “If it had, then could we not truly hold either that the Person of Christ was buried, or that the Person of Christ did raise up itself from the dead.  For the Body separated from the Word can in no true sense be termed the Person of Christ, nor is it true to say that the Son of God, in raising up that Body, did raise up Himself, if the Body were not both with Him and of Him, even during the time it lay in the sepulchre.  The like is also to be said of the Soul; otherwise we are plainly and inevitably Nestorians.  The very Person of Christ therefore, forever one and the self-same, was, only touching bodily substance, concluded within the grave; His soul only from thence severed, but by personal union His Deity still inseparably joined with both.” {Hooker, V. LII. 4.  The whole subject is admirably treated by Hooker; and by Pearson, Art. IV. “Suffered,” “Dead.”}

            {*Ώστε ουκ άνθρωπος Θεου εχωρίζετο, σότε Θεος προς άνθρωπον εγκατάλειψιν διηγειτο·  ούτε η νεκρωσις αποχώρησις, Θεου, η απο σώματος ην μετάστασις, αλλα ψυχης απο σώματος χωρισμός. – Athanasius, De Salut. Advent. Jesu Christ. Tom. I. pp. 645, 646.

            Compare the passage from Fulgentius quoted in the exposition of the next Article: “Secundum Divinitatem suam, quae nec loco tenetur, nec fine concluditur, totus fuit in sepulchro cum carne, totus in inferno cum anima.” – Fulgent. Ad Trasimund. Lib. III. ch. 34.

            This is well expressed in some of the Calvinistic Confessions: e. g. Confessio Belgica, Art. XIX: “Caeterum duae istae naturae ita sunt simul unitae et conjunctae in unam Personam, ut ne morte quidem ipsius separari potuerint.  Quod igitur Patri suo moriendo commendavit, id vere erat spiritus humanus a corpore ipsius egrediens; at interim divina natura semper humanae (etiam in sepulchro jacenti) conjuncta remansit: adeo ut Deitas ipsa non minus in ipso tunc fuerit, quam cum adhuc infans esset, etsi exiguum ad tempus non sese exerceret.” – Sylloge, p. 338.}

      3.  The conclusion of the Article concerns the end and object of our blessed Saviour’s sufferings.

      The Socinians deny that there was any necessity for a propitiatory sacrifice, or that God had need to be reconciled to man.  Man, say they, was at enmity with God, not God with man.  Man therefore needed to be reconciled, and so Christ came to call men to repentance and to move them to it by His precept and example, and so committed to his disciples the ministry of reconciliation.  But to say that God needed to have blood shed, and that the blood of an innocent and holy Victim, in order to appease His wrath, is to make God a vindictive and implacable Being, not a God of love.

      The answer to this is twofold.

      (1)  “A God all mercy is a God unjust”: Justice is an attribute of God as well as mercy.  Justice therefore calling for wrath on man, and the love of God calling for mercy, it was necessary, in order to reconcile both these attributes of God, that some means should be devised for satisfying both.  We do not say that God was tied to the means which He ordained; but we learn that His wisdom ordained the sacrifice of His Son, and in that sacrifice we perceive a manifestation of infinite justice and infinite love.

      (2)  But the same thing appears, too, from many passages in Scripture.  There is some ambiguity in the words used in the new Testament for “reconciliation”.  The most learned critics have observed that those words are used in a somewhat different sense from that in which the classical authors use them.  But it is quite clear from the contexts that in some passages God is spoken of as needing to be reconciled to man.  For example, in 2 Cor. 5:19, where it is said that “God was in Christ reconciling the world unto Himself,” there might be some ambiguity, if it were not added, “not imputing their trespasses unto them”; but these words clear up the doubt.  Indeed the whole context speaks as of two offended parties, God and man.  God is represented as giving up His wrath and being reconciled through Christ, and then as sending to man, to invite him to give up his enmity and be reconciled to God. {See, at length, Magee, On Atonement, n. p. 202, fifth edition, and the authors referred to there; especially Hammond and Whitby on Rom. 5:10, 11:15; 2 Cor. 5:18, 19, 20; Ephes. 2:16; and Col. 1:20, 21.}

      That the wrath of God is revealed from Heaven against sinful man seems hardly necessary to be proved.  The Article on Original Sin is the more proper place for proving it.  It may be sufficient now to refer to such passages as the following: Rom. 5:9.  Eph. 2:3.  1 Thess. 1:10.  Heb. 10:26, 27.  Rev. 6:16, 17.

      The Jewish sacrifices were expressly appointed to deliver from the wrath of God. {It is quite unnecessary to consider the question whether sacrifice was a rite in the first instance divinely instituted, or devised by man.  If the latter be, as some learned and pious authors have believed, the truth, still it sprang from a natural feeling of guilt, and the need of atonement, and was sanctioned by Almighty God and made a type of Christ, and rules were given for its observance, that the type might be more clear and express.  The argument in the text therefore would not be invalidated, even if the divine institution of sacrifice be denied.}  The Passover was appointed, that the wrath of God might be averted, when the firstborn of Egypt were slain.  In the 4th and 5th chapters of Leviticus, directions are given for the mode in which those who have sinned shall make atonement for their transgression.  Whether it were priest, prince, or people, they were to bring a victim, to confess the sin upon the head of the victim, and then slay it as a sin offering.  The same is observable of the offerings on the day of expiation; when the high priest made atonement, first for himself, and then for the people; and also of the scapegoat, which was offered at the same time, the sins of the people being confessed on his head (Lev. 16.)  The Jews looked on these sacrifices as strictly propitiatory. {Magee, as above, Illustrations, No. XXXIII.}  The Gentiles, who imitated them, evidently had a similar notion of their offerings; and those especially, who, in times of peculiar danger, had recourse to human sacrifice, appear to have entertained a strong feeling of the necessity of propitiating the gods with the noblest victims.  That the legal sacrifices were types of the death of Christ, and therefore that Christ’s death was a propitiatory sacrifice for the sins of men, appears plainly from the fact that the terms taken from the Jewish sacrifices are applied in Scripture to describe the death of Christ.  Thus He is said to have been “led as a lamb to the slaughter” (see Isai. 53:5–8).  He is called “the Lamb slain” (Rev. 5:6, 12; 13:8).  “A Lamb without blemish and spot” (1 Pet. 1:19); “the Lamb of God which taketh away the sins of the world” (John 1:29).  St. Paul expressly compares the priesthood of Aaron with the priesthood of Christ; explaining to us that whereas the priest of old offered the blood of bulls and goats which could not take away sin, but availed only to a carnal purifying (Heb. 9:13), so Christ offered, not the blood of others, but His own Blood – offered Himself to bear the sins of many; and so put away sin by the sacrifice of Himself.  As under the Law, without shedding of blood was no remission, and as the patterns of heavenly things were purified with the blood of sacrificed victims, so the heavenly things themselves were purified with better sacrifices, even Christ.  (See Heb. 9. 10.) {On the whole subject consult Magee, On Atonement and Sacrifice; especially the Illustrations at the end of Vol. I, and the authors there referred to.}

      4.  It may be well to observe one more expression, which occurs at the very end of the Article, namely, “to be a sacrifice, not only for original guilt, but also for all actual sins of men.”  It seems as if the reformers were anxious to meet a possible, perhaps an actual error, which, admitting the sacrifice of Christ for original sin, either denied remission to actual sins, or looked for pardon of them to something beside the propitiation offered on the cross.  That actual, and not only original sin is pardoned for the sake of Christ, is taught repeatedly in the old Testament as well as the new.

      Isaiah, besides saying that Christ “was wounded for our transgressions, and bruised for our iniquities,” adds a passage expressly indicating actual sin: “All we like sheep have gone astray, we have turned every one to his own way, and the Lord hath laid on Him the iniquity of us all” (Isai. 53:6).  It is from “all iniquity” that “He gave Himself to redeem us” (Tit. 2:14).  It was when we were not only “alienated” by original guilt, but “enemies through wicked works,” too, that Christ reconciled us (Col. 1:21).  The persons whom the Apostle speaks of as not capable of being saved by the law, but “justified freely by God’s grace through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus,” are described in the strongest terms as actual sinners (see Rom. 3:12–26).  And again (in 1 Cor. 6:9, 10, 11) he paints the characters of some who had been “justified in the name of the Lord Jesus,” as having been stained with the foulest vices and the deadliest sins.  St. John (1 John 2:1, 2) distinctly assures us that “if any man sin we have an Advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous; and He is the propitiation for our sins.”  And that he meant actual sins is most apparent, because he begins the sentence with “My little children, these things I write unto you that ye sin not.”

      We conclude, therefore, that the sacrifice of Christ, the Son of God, offered by Him upon the cross, whereon in His human nature He suffered and died, is a propitiation, not only for original guilt, but also for actual sins of men.

      [The following passage is worthy of consideration in more aspects than one.  It is from the pen of the Abbé Guettée.  “The existing Roman Church attacks [the doctrine of the Incarnation] indirectly, by the worship which it renders to the sacred heart of Jesus.  In truth, worship is due only to the divine person of Jesus Christ; the human nature in Him shares in it only because of its hypostatical union with the divine nature.  It is not permissible to offer worship to the human nature of Jesus Christ, in itself and separately considered, much less to a single organ of His body.  The Roman Church excuses this worship by saying that it has relation to the person of Jesus Christ.  But the greater part of its writers at this day teach, authoritatively, that the heart of Jesus is adorable by itself.”  Exp. de la Doctrine, p. 64. – J. W.]


Article  III


Of the going down of Christ into Hell.

      As Christ died for us, and was buried; so also it is to be believed that He went down into Hell.


De descensu Christus ad Inferos.

      Quemadmodum Christus pro nobis mortuus est, et sepultus, ita est etiam credendus ad inferos descendisse.


      To the understanding of this Article it seems desirable to investigate, historically and from Scripture, First, What is meant by “Hell”; Secondly, What is meant by Christ’s descending into hell; Thirdly, What was the purpose or object of that descent.

      I propose, therefore, to depart from the arrangement adopted in the two former Articles, and to examine the meaning of the word “Hell,” first historically, and then scripturally, – and next to proceed in the same manner with the doctrine of our Lord’s descent into hell; and thirdly, with the reason or object of his going thither.

      First. The word “Hell,” as used in the Article, is plainly borrowed from the Apostles’ Creed; for it appears that the first five Articles of the Church are little more than an amplification of the Articles of the Creed, intended to set forth, that the Church of England continued truly Catholic in its doctrines, whilst it was constrained to protest against the corruptions of some branches of the Church.  In the Latin, the word used is either “inferi” or “inferna”.  The Greek corresponding to this was either τα κατώτατα or άδης; the former referring to Eph. 4:9, the latter to Acts 2:27.  It has, however, generally been admitted, and may fairly be assumed, that the Greek word άδης is the word of Scripture, which both the Creed and the Article render inferi and hell; and it has been observed, that, according to their derivations, these words answer to one another.  Άδης is something unseen, from α and ειδον.  Inferi is the Latin from the Greek word ένεροι or έν Fεροι, i. e. those beneath the earth, the Manes or Spirits of the dead.*  Hell is from the same root as hole and hellier (i. e. a roofer, a coverer), and signifies the covered or hidden place, the Saxon root being helan, to cover.

            {*This seems a doubtful derivation.  Infer, Infra, Inferus, Inferior, are obviously all connected.  Though this connection does not make the derivation given in the text impossible.  The Greek έρα is the same as the Hebrew אֶרֶצ, in Chaldee and Syriac אַרְעָא, in Arabic {[letters uncertain]}.  The latter is the same as the German Erde, English earth.  The Chaldee and Syriac אַרְעָא is, in sound as well as in its radical letters, the same as the Greek έρα.  And it is remarkable that it is used as a preposition to designate below, אֲרַע, Infra.  So מִכָּך׃ אֲרַע, Infra te.  This may account for the force of the preposition infra, on the hypothesis that the derivation given in the text is correct.}

      There is indeed another word in the new Testament often rendered in the English by hell.  That word is γέενα; and some confusion arises from this indiscriminate translation.  As, however, neither the Creeds nor the Church have been wont to use γέενα, to express the place to which our Lord went after His death, We may lay aside the consideration of the word at present; merely observing that it is the proper term in the new Testament for the state or place of damned souls and apostate spirits.

      As regards, then, the signification of the word Hades, it will be well to consider the subject: – I.  Historically.  II.  Scripturally.

      I.  The history may be divided into

      (1) The use of the word among the Greeks ; (2) among the Jews ; (3) among the Christians.

      1.  It may be true that the Greeks sometimes used Hades to signify no more than the Grave; but if so, it was by an improper and less common use of the word.  According to them, Hades, or the abode of Hades, was that place to which the Ghosts or Manes of the dead went after their burial.  The unburied were detained on this side the Styx; the buried passed over, and mingled with the souls of men, which were there detained apart from the bodies they had left (είδωλα καμόντων).  Hades himself was the deity who presided over these lower realms.  In the abode of these disembodied souls were placed, on the one hand the happy fields of Elysium, on the other the gloomy realms of Tartarus.  In the former, the souls of the virtuous enjoyed themselves, not however without regret for the loss of the body and the light of day.  In the latter, the wicked, such as Ixion, Tantalus, the Danaids, and others, were tormented with various sorrows.  This is known to every one who has read the Odyssey and the AEneid.*

            {*See Hom. Od. at. Virg. AEn. VI.  The latter describes the two sides of Hades thus: –

            Hic locus est partes ubi se via findit in ambas:

            Dextera, quae Ditis magni sub moenia tendit;

            Hac iter Elysium nobis: at laeva malorum

            Exercet poenas, et ad impia Tartara mittit.

AEn. VI. 540–543.


      2.  The Jews in like manner believed in a state of being after death, in which the soul existed previously to the final Resurrection, apart from the body, yet in a state of consciousness, either of happiness or of misery.  This state or place they called in Hebrew, Sheol (שְׁאוֹל), in Greek, Hades (άδης).  Its position, according to their notions and language, was underground.  Thus Josephus says that the soul of Samuel, when he appeared to Saul, came up (εξ άδου) from Hades. {Joseph. Ant. Lib. VI. C. XV.  See Pearson, On the Creed, Art. V. p. 239.}  He tells us that the Sadducees “took away the rewards and punishments of the Soul in Hades.” {De Bell. Jud. Lib. II. C. vii.  Ψυχης τε την διαμονην και τας καθ άδου τιμωρίας και τιμας αναιρουσι. – Pearson, as above; King, On the Creed, p. 189.}  Whereas he says of the Pharisees, that “they held the immortality of the Soul, and that men were punished or rewarded under the earth, according to their practice of virtue or wickedness in life.” {Ant. Lib. XVIII. C. ii.  Αθάνατόν τε ισχυν ταις ψυχαις πίστις αυτοις εναι, και υπο χθονος δικαιώσεις τε και τιμας οις αρετης η κακίας επιτήδευσις εν τω βίω γέγονε. – See Pearson and King, as above.}  Lightfoot has shown that the Jewish schools dispose of the souls of the righteous till the Resurrection, under the threefold phrase: (1) “the Garden of Eden,” answering to the “Paradise” of the new Testament (Luke 23:43).  (2) “Under the throne of glory,” being nearly parallel with the expression (in Rev. 6:9) of souls crying “under the altar”; for the Jews conceived the altar to be the throne of the Divine Majesty.  (3) “In Abraham’s bosom,” which is the expression adopted by our Lord in the parable of Dives and Lazarus (Luke 16:22). {See Lightfoot. Horae Hebraicae on Luke 16:22; and Luke 23:43.}  He shows that the abode of the wicked before the Judgment is placed by the same Rabbins within sight of the abode of the just, and so that the one can converse with the other, as Dives is by our Lord represented as conversing with Abraham. {Horae Hebr. on Luke 16:23, 26.  See also Bp. Bull, Works, I. Disc. III. p. 59.  Bp. Bull, p. 61, quotes from the Chaldee Paraphrast on Cant. iv. 12. who, speaking of the Garden of Eden (that is Paradise), says that “thereinto no man hath the power of entering but the just, whose souls are carried thither by the hands of angels.”  “If this,” adds the learned writer, “had been an erroneous opinion of the Jews, doubtless our Saviour would never have given any the least countenance to it, much less would He have plainly confirmed it, by teaching the same thing in the parable of Dives and Lazarus.”}  From these, and similar authorities, we may conclude that the Jews, like the heathens, looked for a state immediately after death, which in their popular language was said to be under ground, and in their ordinary phraseology was called Sheol, Hades, Hell; that in this state were both the just and the unjust: the latter in a state of misery, the former in blissful enjoyment, called sometimes “Paradise, the Garden of Eden,” sometimes “beneath the throne of glory,” sometimes “in Abraham’s bosom.”

      3.  It is well known that the early Christians believed in an intermediate state of the soul between death and Judgment; and this intermediate state they, too, like the Jews, called “Hades”.  Justin Martyr, speaking against some of the Gnostics who denied the Resurrection, and by consequence the intermediate state of the soul, says, “those who say that there is no Resurrection, but that immediately after death their souls are taken up to Heaven, these are not to be accounted either Christians or Jews.”*  He himself distinctly asserts that “no souls die (that would be a Godsend to the wicked); but the souls of good men remain in a better, of bad men in a worse place, awaiting the time of the Judgment.”**  Tertullian distinctly states his belief, that the souls of all men go to Hades (inferi) until the Resurrection, the souls of the just being in that part of Hades called the bosom of Abraham, or Paradise.***  Irenaeus says that the souls of Christ’s disciples “go into the invisible place prepared for them, and there remain awaiting the Resurrection; after which they shall receive their bodies again, and rise complete, that is, in the body, as the Lord arose, and so shall come to the vision of God.”****

            {*Οι και λέγουσι μη ειναι νεκρων ανάστασιν, αλλα άμα τω αποθνήσκειν τας ψυχας αυτων αναλαμβάνεσθαι εις του ουρανον, μη υπολάβητε αυτους Χριστιανούς·  ώσπερ ουδε Ιουδαίους. – Dial. p. 307.  Paris, 1615.  That the still earlier apostolical fathers held the same sentiments concerning an intermediate state may be seen from Clem. 1 Corinth. c. 50. Herm. III. Simil. IX. 16.  On the former passage see Bull, Works, I. Serm. III. p. 63.  Both his Sermons on this subject are deserving of all attention.}

            {**Αλλα μην ουδε αποθνήσκειν φημι πάσας τας ψυχας εγώ·  έρμαιον γαρ ην ως αληθως τοις κακοις.  Αλλα τί; τας μεν των ευσεβων εν κρειττονί ποι χώρω μένειν, τας δε αδίκους και πονηρας εν χέιρονι, τον της κρίσεως εκδεχομένας χρόνον τότε. – Dialog. p. 222.}

            {***“Nobis inferi non nuda cavositas, nec subdivalis aliqua mundi sentina creduntur; sed in fossa terrae,et in alto vastitas, et in ipsis visceribus ejus abstrusa profunditas.”  He then says, Christ went there, and his servants must not expect to be above their Lord, but will have to wait in Abraham’s bosom for the resurrection.  “Nulli patet coelum, terra adhuc salva, ne dixerim clausa.  Cum transactione enim mundi reserabuntur regna coelorum. ... Habes etiam de Paradiso a nobis libellum, quo constituimus omnem animam apud inferos sequestrari in diem Domini.” – Tertull. De Anima, cap. 55.}

            {****Αι ψυχαι απέρχονται εις τον [αόρατον] τόπον τον ωρισμένον αυταις απο του Θεου, κακει μέχρι της αναστάεως φοιτωσι, περιμένουσαι την ανάστασιν·επειτα απολαβουσαι τα σώματα, και ολοκλήρυς αναστασαι, τουτέστι συματικυς, καθως και ο Κύριος ανέστη, ούτως ελεύσονται εις την όψιν του Θεου. – Irenae. V. 31.  See also Beaven’s Account of Irenaus, ch. XVIII.}

      Origen declares his belief, that “not even the Apostles have received their perfect bliss; for the saints at their departure out of this life do not attain the full rewards of their labors; but are awaiting us, who still remain on earth, loitering though we be, and slack.” {“Nondum receperunt laetitiam suam ne Apostoli quidem, sed et ipsi exspectant, ut et ego laetitim eorum particeps fiam.  Neque enim decedentes hinc sancti continuo integra meritorum suorurn praemia consequuntur, sed exspectant etiam nos, licet morantes, licet desides.” – Origen. Hom. VII. in Lev. num. ii.; Usher’s Answer to a Jesuit, ch. VII.}

      Lactantius is very express upon the same point.  “Let no one,” says he, “think that souls are judged immediately after death; for they are all detained in the same common place of keeping, until the time come when the Supreme Judge shall inquire into their good or evil deeds.” {“Nec tamen quisquam putet animas post mortem protinus judicari: omnes in una communique custodia detinentur, donec tempus adveniat quo maximus Judex meritorum faciat examen.” – Lactant. Institut. Divin. Lib. VII. C. 21; Usher, as above; King, p. 202.}

      Hilary says, that it is the “law of human necessity, that bodies should be buried, and souls descend to hell or Hades.”  And again, that “the faithful, who depart out of the body, are reserved in the safe keeping of the Lord for an entrance to the kingdom of Heaven, being in the mean time placed in Abraham’s bosom, whither the wicked cannot enter on account of the great gulf fixed between them, until the time comes when they shall enter into the kingdom of Heaven.” {“Humanae ista lex necessitatis est, ut consepultis corporibus ad inferos animae descendant.” – Hilar. In Ps. 138.  Edit. Benedict. col. 514.  “Futuri boni exspectatio est, cum exeuntes de corpore ad introitum illum regni coelestis per custodiam, Domini fideles omnes reservabuntur, in sinu scilicet interim Abrahae collocati, qub adire impios interjectum chaos inhibet, qub usque introeundi rursum in regnum coelorum tempus adveniat.” – Hilar. In Ps. 120.  Edit. Benedict. col. 383.  See Usher, and King, as above.}

      Ambrose still more fully says, that, “while the fulness of time is expected, the souls await the reward which is in store for them.  Some pain awaits, others glory.  But in the mean time the former are not without trouble, nor are the latter without enjoyment.” {“Ergo dum exspectatur plenitudo temporis, exspectant animae remunerationem debitam.  Alias manet poena, alias gloria et tamen net illae; interim sine injuria, net istae sine fructu sunt.” – Ambros. De Bono Mortis, C. X. Usher, as above.}

      Augustine writes, “The time between death and final resurrection holds the souls in hidden receptacles, according as each soul is meet for rest or punishment.” {“Tempus, quod inter hominis mortem et ultimam resurrectionem interpositum est, animas abditis receptaculis continet, sicut unaquaeque digna est vel requie vel aerumna.” – Augustin. Enchirid. ad Laurent. C. CIX. Tom VI. p. 236.}

      II.  We have now to consider what we learn from Scripture of the state of the departed, and of the meaning of Hades.

      1.  The soul, after it has left the body, is not represented as passing directly to its final reward.  This will appear from the following considerations: –

      Our Lord distinctly assures us, that “no one hath ascended up to Heaven but He that came down from Heaven, even the Son of Man which is in Heaven” (John 3:13).  If then no one had then ascended up to Heaven, except the Lord Jesus, the saints departed could not have gone to their place of final and eternal bliss, which is always called Heaven.

      Again, our Lord promised the thief on the cross “that he should be with Him that day in Paradise” (Luke 23:43).  Now Christ did not go from the cross to Heaven, but, as will appeal hereafter, He went to hell or Hades, and did not go to Heaven till after His resurrection.  Therefore Paradise, to which the thief went with Him that very day, was not Heaven. {“Si ergo secundum hominem quem Verbum Deus suscepit, putamus dictum esse, Hodie mecum eris in panuliso, non ex his verbis in coelo existimandus est esse paradisus: neque enim ipso die in coelo futurus erat homo Christus Jesus; sed in inferno secundum animam, in sepulchro autem secundum carnem.” – August. Epist. LVII. ad Dardanum.  Edit. Benedict.  Ep. CLXXXVII. Tom. II. p. 679.}

      Again, in the Revelation (6:9), “the souls of them that were slain for the word of God” are not represented as in Heaven, but they cry from under the altar; and, though white robes are given them, they are bid “to rest for a little season, till their fellow servants and their brethren should be fulfilled.”

      Again, our Lord and His Apostles never comfort the Church concerning those who are asleep with the assurance that their souls are in Heaven, nor do they alarm the wicked with the fear that at the instant of death their souls will pass into a state of final punishment.  It is ever to the Resurrection of the dead and the Judgment of the great day that the hopes of the pious and the fears of the ungodly are directed.  This may be seen most plainly by referring to such passages as the following: Matt. 13:40, 16:27, 25:31–33.  Mark 8:38.  Luke 14:14.  John 5:28, 29.  Acts 17:31.  1 Cor. 15 passim.  2 Cor. 4:14, 5:10, 11.  Phil. 3:20, 21.  Col. 3:4.  1 Thess. 4:13–17, 5:2, 3, 23.  2 Thess. 1:6–10.  2 Tim. 4:1, 8.  Heb. 9:27, 28.  Jas. 5:7, 8.  1 Pet. 4:5, 5:4.  2 Pet. 3:10–12.  Rev. 20:13–15.

      2.  But though the soul does not receive its final reward until the Resurrection and the Judgment, when it shall be united to the body, and receive the sentence of the Judge, yet the soul does not die with the body, nor sleep in unconsciousness between death and Judgment.*  This appears from the following.

            {*The reformers of the Church of England were so strongly of this opinion that they put forth the following in the reign of Edward VI, as one of the Articles of the Church: it is the 40th of the 42 Articles of 1552: –

            “The souls of them that depart this life do neither die with the bodies nor sliep idly.

            “They which say that the souls of such as depart hence do sleep, being without all sense, feeling, or perceiving, until the day of Judgment, or affirm that the souls die with the bodies, and at the last day shall be raised up with the same, do utterly dissent from the right belief declared to us in Holy Scripture.”}

      The soul of Samuel returned to earth after his body was in the grave (1 Sam. 28:11, 14).  This took place four years after Samuel’s death.  In the parable or history in Luke 16, both Lazarus and Dives are represented as alive, one in torments and the other in Abraham’s bosom; and that all this took place before the Resurrection and the Judgment appears from this, that in vv. 27, 28, the brothers of the rich man were then alive on earth and in their state of probation, and Dives wished that Lazarus should be sent to them to bring them to repent.  It is therefore quite clear that the present world was still in existence, and therefore Judgment yet future.  The same observations apply in all particulars to the account given of the souls beneath the altar, so often referred to in Rev. 6:9–11.  The promise also to the thief upon the cross, that he should be that day with Christ in Paradise (Luke 23:43), must show that his soul would not be in a state of insensibility, but of bliss.

      The same may be inferred from the words of our Lord, “Fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul “ (Matt. 10:28).  If death be, not only corruption of the body, but insensibility of the soul, then men can kill the soul, as much as they can kill the body; for they cannot kill the body eternally, nor prevent its rising again.  They can kill the body and reduce it to corruption now; but the soul they cannot kill, neither now, nor ever.

      Again, the language used by our Lord and St. Stephen at the instant of death shows that the spirit would live: “Father, into Thy hands I commend My Spirit,” said Christ (23:40.  “Lord Jesus, receive my spirit,” said Stephen (Acts 7:59).

      St. Paul speaks of the Church as, among other companies, having in it “the spirits of just men made perfect” (Heb. 12:23); where the whole context shows that he refers to the present, not to the future state of Christian privilege and blessing.  He declares of himself that he is in a strait between two, “having a desire to depart and to be with Christ, which is far better.”  But if death be annihilation, until the Resurrection wakes both body and soul, he could hardly have called death better than life, nor have spoken of it as “being with Christ” (Phil. 1:23).  And again, the same Apostle, speaking of death, and calling the body a tabernacle of the soul (2 Cor. 5:1, 2), says, “Whilst we are at home in the body, we are absent from the Lord”; and then adds, “we are willing rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord” (vv. 6–8).

      From all this we must conclude that the spirit still lives, when it has left the body, and that, though it loses the benefit of having a bodily tabernacle, yet, in the case of pious men, it is very vastly a gainer by death, inasmuch as, though absent from the body, it enjoys the presence of Christ.

      3.  Having thus seen that the disembodied soul neither sleeps nor enters into its final reward, we have only farther to show that the soul is in an intermediate state, called Sheol or Hades; and that that state is a state of partial and expectant bliss to the righteous, of partial and expectant misery to the wicked, preparatory to the final consummation of bliss or misery, to be assigned to each at the resurrection of the last day.

      It has been seen that this was the opinion of the Jews, and also that our Lord and the Apostles use the very expressions which Lightfoot has shown that the Jews used concerning the state of the departed, namely, “Paradise”, “Abraham’s bosom”, and “beneath the altar”, answering to “beneath the throne of glory.”  This would of itself imply that our Lord and His Apostles sanctioned the sentiments of the Jews upon the subject.  The same has appeared concerning the Jewish use of the term Hades, which is a term frequently adopted by the writers of the new Testament.

      The various passages of Scripture already referred to fully confirm this view of the case.  For example, the souls beneath the altar (in Rev. 6) are clothed in white robes, and comforted with hope, but plainly not in perfect consummation and bliss.  St. Paul (in 2 Cor. 5:1–8), when looking forward to the hope of resurrection, distinctly describes the state of the disembodied soul as imperfect; and though he says, it is “better to be absent from the body, and present with the Lord” (ver. 8), he still says, that our earnest desire is for the resurrection of the body, which he calls being “clothed upon” (ver. 4).  Again (Rom. 8:19–23) he represents the whole creation as longing to be delivered from bondage, and waiting for the redemption of the body.  In Heb. 11:40 he represents the saints departed as not “made perfect,” until those who should succeed them were added to the number of the redeemed.

      To these passages we must add the promise to the thief upon the cross, that he should be in Paradise, a place evidently of bliss, yet, as .has already been seen, not the same as Heaven.  Lazarus is spoken of as comforted in Abraham’s bosom; an expression by no means answering to the glowing descriptions of the eternal Kingdom of God, though corresponding with the Jewish and early Christian ideas of the state of intermediate bliss.  Dives, too, is represented as being in the same place with Lazarus, though separated by a great gulf from him, and, unlike him, suffering torment; and that place is expressly called Hades (Luke 16:23).  In correspondence with all this, we find, in the old Testament, that Jacob expected “to go down to Sheol (i. e. Hades) unto his son “(Gen. 37:35).  Korah, Dathan, and Abiram are said to go down “quick into Sheol” (Num. 16:30); and when the king of Babylon’s fate is foretold by Isaiah, it is said that “Hades (or Sheol) from beneath shall be moved to meet him”; which is explained by what follows, that the “mighty dead shall be stirred up” at his approach (Isai. 14).  I think it hardly necessary to add more to show that on this point the opinion of the ancients is more correct than that of the modern popular creeds; and that the Roman Catholic notions of purgatory, the common opinion that the soul at once passes to its final reward, and the belief that the soul sleeps from death to Judgment, are all without support from the Scriptures of God.  Those Scriptures plainly speak of the final reward to be attained only at the Resurrection; yet they show, too, that the soul is in a state of consciousness between death and Judgment.  That state of consciousness is evidently a happy, though not a perfect state to the good, a suffering, though not a fully miserable state to the wicked.  This state also is called at times by various names; but its general designation, whether as regards the just or the unjust, is in the Hebrew Sheol, in the Greek Hades, and both these words (as well as others of a different signification) are generally rendered by our English translators hell.

      Our SECOND consideration is, What is meant by our Lord’s descent to hell, — and what authority there is for the doctrine.

      I.  Historically.

      The article, “He descended into hell,” was not very anciently in the Creeds.  The first place we find it used in, was the church of Aquileia, {Pearson, p. 225.} about A. D. 400.  Yet it is contained in a sort of exposition of the Christian faith given by Ensebius, which he translated from the Syriac, and which he states to have been given by Thaddaeus, the brother of the Apostle Thomas, to the people of Edessa. {Euseb. I. 13; Bingham. X. 4, 18; Hey, Bk. IV. Art. III. § 1; Hammond’s Pract. Catech. Bk. V. § 2.}  It is not, however, in the Creeds of Irenmus, Origen, Tertullian, Cyprian, in the Creed of the Council of Nice, nor in the more ancient draughts of the Roman or Apostles’ Creed.  Still there can be no question of its very general acceptance, as an article of faith, by all the earlier fathers of the Church.  Ignatius, Hermas, Justin M., Irenzeus, Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Origen, Cyprian, have all spoken clearly on this subject; besides later fathers, such as Cyril, Ambrose, Jerome, Augustine, Chrysostom.  It will be necessary to refer more particularly to the sentiments of some of these fathers, when we come to our THIRD division, concerning the object of Christ’s descent.  At present let it suffice to quote a few of the more striking, as well as the best known passages, from some of the earliest Christian writers.  Irenaeus says, that “our Lord was in the middle of the shadow of death, where are the souls of the dead, and after that rose again with His body.” {Irenae. v. 31.  “Cum enim Dominus in medio umbrae mortis abierit, ubi animae mortuorum erant, post deinde corporaliter resurrexit.” – See Pearson, p. 237; and Beaven’s Account of Irenaeus, ch. XVIII.}  Tertullian, in a chapter before quoted, says that “Christ, who is God, yet being man too, died according to the Scriptures, was buried, and went through the form of human death in Hades; nor did He ascend into Heaven till He had gone down to the lower parts of the earth.” {De. Anima, C. LV. “Quod si Christus Deus, quia et homo, mortuus secundum Scripturas, et sepultus secundum easdem, hic quoque legi satisfecit, forma humanae mortis apud inferos functus, nec ante ascendit in sublimiora coelorum, quam descendit in inferiora terrarum,” &c.}  Cyprian shows that our Lord “was not to be overcome by death, nor to remain in hell.” {“Quod a morte non vinceretur, nec apud inferos remansurus esset.” – Cp. Test. adv. Judae. lib. 2. c. 24.}  Lord King says that in sundry places Athanasius shows,* “that, whilst Christ’s Body lay buried in the grave, His Soul went into hell, to perform in that place those several actions, and operations, which were necessary for the complete redemption and salvation of mankind; that He performed after His death different actions by His two essential parts: by His Body He lay in the grave, by His Soul He went into hell and vanquished death.”

            {*King, p. 179.  The words are Lord King’s, not Athanasius’s.  Nevertheless, Athanasius’s language may justify Lord King’s statement: ... μήτε της θεότητος του σώματος εν τω τάφω απολιμπανομένης, μήτε της ψυχης εν τω άδη χωριζομένης.  Τουτο γαρ ετι το ρηθεν δια των προφητν·  Ουκ εγκαταλείψεις την ψυχήν μου εις άδην, ουδε δώσεις τον οσιόν σου ιδειν διαφθοράν.  ... Δια τουτο εν μεν ψυχη Θεου η κράτσις του θανάτου ελύετο, και εξ άδου ανάστασις εγίνετο, και ταις ψυχαις ευηγγελίζετο·  εν δε σώματι Χριστου η φθορα κατηργειτο, κ. τ. λ.  Athanas. De Salut. Advent. Jes. Christ. et adv. Apollinarium. Tom. I. p. 645.}

      One principal reason why the fathers laid great stress on the belief in Christ’s descent to Hades was this.  The Arians and Apollinarians denied the existence of a natural human soul in Jesus Christ. {See an account of their doctrines under Art. II. § I.}  Now the true doctrine of our Lord’s humanity, namely, that “He was perfect man, of a reasonable soul and human flesh subsisting,” was most strongly maintained by asserting the Article of His descent to Hades.  For whereas His Body was laid in the grave, and His Soul went down to Hades, He must have had both Body and Soul.*  Accordingly, the fathers with one consent maintain the descent of Christ’s Soul to Hell.

            {*Most pertinent is the passage of Fulgentius, Ad Trasimund. Lib. III. C. 34, quoted by Pearson, p. 238: “Humanitas vera Filii Dei nec tota in sepulchro fuit, nec tota in inferno; sed in sepulchro secundum veram carnem Christus mortuus jacuit, et secundum animam ad infernum Christus descendit: ... secundum divinitatem vero suam, quae nec loco tenetur, nec fine concluditur, totus fuit in sepulchro cum carne, totus in inferno cum anima; ac per hoc plenus fuit ubique Christus, quia non est Deus ab humanitate quam susceperat separatus,” &c.  So Hilary, In Ps. 138.  “Quam descensionem Dominus ad consummationem veri hominis non recusavit.”}

      II.  The Scriptural proof of our Lord’s descent to Hades rests chiefly on three passages.  One is the difficult verse, 1 Pet. 3:19, which was generally esteemed by the fathers to apply to this subject, and was thought conclusive by the reformers of the reign of Edward VI.  Yet, as many of our most learned divines have denied its application, I shall defer the consideration of the question till we come to speak of the object of Christ’s descent.

      Another passage is Eph. 4:9: “Now that He ascended, what is it but that He also descended first into the lower parts of the earth?”  It is undoubted, that both Jews and Greeks placed Hades, according to their popular notions, beneath the earth, or in the lower parts of the earth; and it is not improbable that the Apostle may have used this popular language to express our Lord’s descent or passage to the place of disembodied souls.  It is undoubted, too, that some of the fathers and creeds adopted these words, or words similar to them (τα κατώτερα), {See Pearson, pp. 226, 228.  Irenaeus. Origen, Athanasius, Jerome, all quote this passage to prove or express the descent into hell.} to express the doctrine of the descent to Hades.  And Bishop Pearson has truly observed, that this exposition of the passage “must be confessed so probable that there can be no argument to disprove it.”  Yet there is also no question, that the Apostle’s language might be used to express merely the fact of the incarnation, or of the burial of Christ.  The “lower parts of the earth” may mean only the place beneath, i. e. the earth itself, in contradistinction to the heights of Heaven.

      Although, then, both these passages may, and we may not be far wrong in saying that they both very probably do, refer to our Lord’s descent to the place or state of departed souls; yet, seeing this application is open to doubt, it may be well to rest the doctrine on a passage the force of which can hardly be evaded.  The passage is Acts 2:27–31.  St. Peter there quotes the sixteenth Psalm, “Thou wilt not leave my soul in Hades (εις άδου), neither wilt Thou suffer Thine Holy One to see corruption”; and he explains it, that the Psalmist “spake of the resurrection of Christ, that His Soul was not left in Hades, neither His Flesh did see corruption.”*  In which explanation by the Apostle it is plain that the soul is in antithesis to the flesh, and Hades to corruption; so that the miracle of our Lord’s resurrection was the consequence of His Flesh not being suffered to be corrupted in the grave, and His Soul not being suffered to remain in Hades.  That is to say, our Lord had a human nature like our own.  When human beings die, the soul leaves the body; the latter is laid in the grave, the former passes to the intermediate state of souls.  With ordinary men, the body sees corruption, the soul is left in Hades till the Judgment.  But with Christ, though He fully passed into the state of death, yet death did not retain dominion over Him.  Although, therefore, His Body was laid in the sepulchre, it saw not corruption; although His Soul went to Hades, where other souls go, yet God did not leave it there, but it was on the third day reunited to the Body, and so the Body was raised from the grave.

            {*“Et Dominum quidem carne mortifcatum venisse in infernum satis constat.  Neque enim contradici potest vel prophetiae quae dixit, Quoniam non derelinques animam meam in inferno; quod ne aliter quisquam sapere auderet, in Actibus Apostolorum idem Petrus exponit.” – Augustin. Epist. CLXIV. Tom. II. p. 574.}

      If it be necessary to add anything to this passage, we may further remark, that, as it has already been shown that Paradise is the state of the departed souls of the redeemed, so our Lord’s promise to the thief upon the cross, that he should be with Him that day in Paradise, proves clearly that our Lord, and with Him the repentant thief, passed from the cross into the state of the souls of the dead, which, as has been shown, is called Hades or hell.  It was, indeed, into the happy division of Hades called Paradise, or Abraham’s bosom; but still it was to part of Hades. {So the author of the Homily on Dives and Lazarus, attributed to Chrysostom: “Dicat mihi aliquis, in inferno est Paradisus?  Ego hoc dico, quia sinus Abrahae Paradisi veritas est; sed et sanctissimum Paradisum fateor.” – Homil. in Luc. xvi.  De Divite. Tom. II.  Oper. Chrysost.Latin.  Usher, Answer to a Jesuit, ch. VIII.}

      We now come to the THIRD division of our subject, to consider what was the object of our Lord’s descent to Hades.

      I.  Historically, we must consider this subject as briefly as we can.

      1.  It has already been seen that many of the fathers looked on the belief in our Lord’s passage to Hades as necessary for the acknowledgment of the verity of His manhood and of His death.  This indeed appears to have been the universal sentiment of the primitive Church; and, accordingly, the descent to Hades was urged by the fathers against the Apollinarian heresy. {See under the second division of this Article passages from Irenwus, Tertutlian, Athanasius, Fulgentius.  See also Pearson, p. 238.}

      2.  But, though this may be said to have been the universal sentiment of the early Christians, there were also various opinions current among them, as to what our Lord did during His stay among the souls of the dead.

      Almost universal appears to have been the belief that the Spirit or Soul of Christ preached the Gospel to the souls of the dead. {Καθικόμενος εν τοις κατωτάτοις του άδου μυχοις, και διακηρύξας τοις εκεισε πνεύμασιν. – Cyril. Alex. Hom. Paschal. XX.  Usher, Answer to a Jesuit, ch. VIII.}  Hermas, who is reckoned apostolical, has set forth the doctrine that not only Christ preached to the spirits in Hades, but that the Apostles too preached to those who had died before them the name of the Son of God. {Lib. III. Simil. IX. C. XVI. Coteler. I. p. 117.}  In this he is followed and quoted by Clement of Alexandria. {Stromat. VI.  Potter, pp. 763, 764.  See Bp. Kaye’s Clement of Alexandria, p. 189.}

      Irenaeus, again, says that he heard from a certain presbyter, who heard it from those who had seen the Apostles, that our Lord descended to the places beneath the earth and preached His Gospel to those who were there; and all believed in Him who had foretold His advent, – the just, the prophets, the patriarchs; whose sins He forgave, as He does ours. {Iren. Lib. IV. C. 45.}

      The passage of Scripture on which this general belief of the early Christians was founded is 1 Pet. 3:19.  Justin Martyr and Irenaus also quote a passage from Isaiah or Jeremiah, which is not extant in any copies of the Bible.  The passage is this, “The Lord God remembered His dead, who slept in the sepulchral earth, and descended to them to preach His salvation.” {Justin. M. Dial. § 72, p. 398.  Iren. III. 23.  IV. 39.  V. 31.}  Justin charges the Jews with having erased it from the LXX.  Of the spuriousness of the text there can be no doubt; but it sufficiently shows the judgment of those fathers who quoted it, concerning the doctrine which it was adduced to prove.

      Thus far then the early Christians appear almost unanimous.  On the purpose or end of Christ’s preaching, however, there existed no small difference.

      (1) The earlier fathers seem generally to have held that no change took place in the condition of souls after our Lord’s descent among them, and in consequence of His preaching to them.  Justin Martyr held, that all souls still remain in Hades: the just in a happy, the unjust in a wretched place, and so shall remain to the Judgment. {See the passages quoted in the note under the FIRST head, I. 3, note.}  Irenaeus and Tertullian are clearly of the same opinion.  The former says,* that “no disciple is above his master,” and thence infers that, as our Lord went to Hades, so all His servants shall go thither.  Tertullian asserts that “Heaven is not open until the end of the world,” {De Anima, C. LV., quoted above.} and that all men are in Hades, either comforted or tormented. {De Anima, C. LVIII.}  Accordingly, he says that our Lord’s descent to Hades was that the patriarchs might be made partakers of Him. {“Descendit in inferiora terrarum, ut illic patriarchas et prophetas compotes sui faceret.” – De Anima, C. LV.  See also Adv. Marcion.  Lib. IV. C. XXXIV.  Also Bp. Kaye’s Tertullian, p. 262.}

            {*“Nunc autem [Dominus] tribus diebus conversatus est ubi erant mortui. ... Cum enim Dominus in medio umbrae mortis abierit, ubi animae mortuorum erant, ... manifestum est quia et discipulorum ejus, propter quos et haec operatus est Dominus, αι ψυχαι απέρχονται εις του [αόρατον] τόπον τον ωρισμένον αυταις. ... Nemo enim est discipulus super magistrum: perfectus autem omnis erit sicut magister ejus.  Quomodo ergo magister noster non statim evolans abiit, sed sustinens definitum a Patre resurrectionis suae tempus, ... post triduum resurgens assumptus est; sic et nos sustinere debemus definitum a Deo resurrectionis nostrae tempos, praenuntiatum a prophetis, et sic resurgentes assumi.” – Irenae. V. 31.}

      (2)  But, on the other hand, many of the early Christians were of opinion that our Lord, when He descended to Hades, delivered some who were there, and carried them thence to some better place.

      Some thought that the prophets and patriarchs were in Hades till the coming of Christ, and that after that they were translated to a better place called Paradise; whilst others again believed that our Lord preached His Gospel to the souls of the dead, and that those who believed in Him were saved and delivered from Hades, those who rejected Him were condemned.

      There seem traces of this opinion in the above-noticed passage of Hermas, commonly called an apostolical father, and in Clement of Alexandria, who followed him.  Origen, however, appears to be the first who distinctly propounded the opinion that, after the coming of Christ, the souls of the just, instead of going to Hades, pass at once to some better place, called Paradise.*

            {*This is apparent, as the opinion of Origen, in the whole of the 2d. Homily on the 1st Book of Kings, known as the Homily De Engastrimytho.  There he argues that the soul of Samuel, which was called up by the witch of Endor, was in Hades; so were the souls of Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, and the prophets; none of them could pass the flaming sword, till Christ came to set them free.  Therefore it was that Lazarus, though in Abraham’s bosom, could see Dives, who was in torments.  But after Christ is come, Christians can pass the flaming sword into Paradise without harm.  Paradise, however, was not in Heaven, according to Origen, but still an intermediate state, though better than Hades.  This appears from the following, if Rufinus has rightly translated him: “Puto enim quod sancti quique discedentes de hac vita permanebunt in loco aliquo in terra posito, quem Paradisum dicit Scriptura divina, velut in quodam eruditionis loco, et, ut ita dixerim, auditorio vel schola animarum, in quo de omnibus his quae in terris viderant doceantur, indicia quoque quaedam accipiant etiam de consequentibus et futuris,” &c. – De Principiis, Lib. II. cap. XI. num. 6.

            Bp. Beveridge, on this Article, quotes a passage from Ignatius, which should show that that ancient father took the same view as Origen and others after him.  The passage, however, is from an interpolated Epistle, and therefore proves nothing.  Ad Trall. IX. Coteler. II. p. 64.}

      Accordingly, the later fathers generally adopted the notion, that, till Christ’s death, the patriarchs and prophets were in Hades, but afterwards (from the time that Christ promised to the thief on the cross that he should be with Him in Paradise) they passed into Paradise, which therefore they distinguished from Hades.*  Hades indeed they looked on as a place of rest to the just, but Paradise as far better.**

            {*“Dominus resurrectionis suae pignore vincula solvit inferni, et piorum animas elevavit.” – Ambros. De Fide ad Gratian.  Lib. IV. C. 1.

            “Ante adventum Christi omnia ad inferos pariter ducerentur.  Unde et Jacob ad inferos descensurum se dicit.  Et Job pios et impios in inferno queritur retentari.  Et Evangelium, chaos magnum interpositum apud inferos, et Abraham cum Lazaro, et divitem in suppliciis, esse testatur.  Et revera antequam flammeam illam rotam, et igneam romphream, et Paradisi fores Christus cum latrone reseraret, clause erant coelestia.”—Hieron. Com. in Eccles. C. III. Tom. II. col. 736.  Edit. Bened.  Quoted in part by King, p. 209.  See also Pearson, p. 250.}

            {**“Si enim non absurde credi videtur, antiquos etiam sanctos, qui venturi Christi tenuerunt fidem, locis quidem a tormentis impiorum remotissimis, sed apud inferos fuisse, donec eos inde sanguis Christi et ad ea loca descensus erueret, profecto deinceps boni fideles effuso illo pretio jam redempti, prorsus inferos nesciunt, donec etiam receptis corporibus, bona recipiant quae merentur.” – August. De Civit. Dei, Lib. XX. C. XV.  Tom. VII. p. 593.  Quoted in part by King, p. 212.  See also Epist. CLXIV.  Tom. II. p. 575; Epist. CLXXXVII. p. 679.}

      Here, of course, we begin to perceive the germ of the doctrine of the Limbus Patrum.  Yet that the notion entertained by the fathers was vastly different from that of the medieval Church will be sufficiently apparent to any one who will read the passages which have been thrown into the notes.

      Another opinion, however, grew up also in the early ages, namely, that Christ not only translated the pious from Hades to more joyous abodes, but that even some of those who in old times had been disobedient, yet, on hearing Christ’s preaching, believed, and so were saved and delivered from torment and hell. *  This appears to have been the opinion of Augustine.  He was evidently puzzled as to the meaning of the word Hades, and doubted whether it ever meant a place of rest and happiness (although at times he appears to have admitted that it did); and thinking it a place of torment, he thought Christ went thither to save some souls, which were in torment, from thence. {See Augustin. Epist. CLXIV. Tom. II. p. 573.  Pearson, p. 241, refers to it as Epist. XCIX.  Concerning Augustine’s doubts on the nature of Hades, see Pearson, p. 239; King, p. 210; and the places referred to supra note 3, pp. 124, 5.}  Some indeed went so far as to think that hell was cleared of all the souls that were there in torment, and that all were taken up with Christ, when He arose from the dead, and ascended into Heaven.  But this was reckoned as a heresy. {Augustine, in his book De Haeresibus, reckons this as the seventy-ninth heresy.  “Alia, descendente ad inferos Christo, credidisse incredulos, et omnes exinde existimat liberatos.” – Tom. VIII. p. 23.  See Pearson, p. 241, note.}

            {*“Expers peccati Christus, cum ad Tartari ima descenderet, seras inferni januasque confringens, vinctas peccato animas, mortis dominatione destrueta, e diaboli faucibus revocavit ad vitam.”  Ambros. De Mysterio Paschae, C. 4.

            “Dominum nostrum Jesum Christurn, qui ad fornacem descendit inferni, in quo clausae et peccatorum et justorum animae tenebantur, ut absque exustione et noxa sui eos, qui tenebantur inclusi, mortis vinculis liberaret.” — Hieron.  In Daniel. c. iii.  Tom. III. col. 1086.

            “Invocavit ergo redemptor noster nomen Domini de lacu novissimo, cum in virtute divinitatis descendit ad inferos, et destructis claustris Tartari, suos quos ibi reperit eruens, victor ad superos ascendit.” – Id. Lib. II. In Lamentat. c. iii.  Tom. V. col. 829.  The genuineness of this commentary is doubtful.

            “Nec ipsam tamen rerum partem noster salvator mortuus pro nobis visitare contempsit, ut inde solveret quos esse solvendos secundum divinam secretamque justitiam ignorare non potuit.” – Augustin.  De Genesi ad literam.  Lib. XII. C. 66.  Tom. III. p. 322.

            Κατελθων γαρ εις άδου, και τοις εκεισε διακηρύξας πνεύμασιν, ανείς τε τοις κάτω τας κεκλεισμένας πύλας, και τον άπληστον του θανάτου κενώσας μυχον, ανεβίω τριήμερος. – Cyril. Alex. Hom. Paschal. XI.

            σεσύλητο των πνευμάτων ο άδης. – Id. Hom. VI.

            See most of these and some other passages referred to in Usher’s Answer to a Jesuit, ch. VIII.}

      Such were the principal varieties of opinion in early ages touching the end of Christ’s descent to hell. {Tertullian mentions, but does not approve of, an opinion in his day, that Christ went to Hades that we should not go thither: “Sed in hoc, inquiunt, Christus inferos adiit, ne nos adiremus.” – De Anima, C. 55.}

      In more modern times, many other sentiments have been adopted. Among the rest, the opinion held by Calvin {See Calvin. Institut.  Lib. II. C. 16, § 10: quoted by Pearson, p. 230, where see Pearson’s own observations on this notion.} appears to have been, that our Lord’s descent to hell means not His going to the place of spirits, but His suffering upon earth, in Gethsemane and on the cross, all the torments of hell, and the sufferings of damned souls. Dr. Hey thinks that the growing popularity of Calvin’s views induced the reformers of Elizabeth’s reign to omit the latter part of the Third Article as put forth in Edward’s reign, because it was not acceptable to those who followed Calvin on this head.

      Others again have supposed that our Lord went down to hell, (taking hell in the sense of Gehenna, the place of the damned,) and that He went there in order to meet and confront Satan in his own abode, and as He had conquered him on earth, so finally to subdue him in hell. {On the other hand, Mede (Disc. IV. Works, p. 23, Lond. 1677) has made it most probable, if not certain, that Satan is not yet cast into hell, but that evil spirits are allowed to walk to and fro on the earth.  So Satan is called the prince of the powers of the air, and it is not till the Judgment that he is to be cast into hell.  This, like most of J. Mede’s learned discourses, is well worth reading.  See also this view of the end and character of our Lord’s descent into hell considered and disproved by Bp. Pearson, p. 248.}

      II.  To pass from the Historical to the Scriptural consideration of the end of Christ’s descent to Hades, we may observe: –

      1.  That it is plain He went thither that He might fulfil the conditions of death proper to human nature.  When man dies, the spirit leaves the body, the body is buried, the spirit goes to the abode of the departed, where the souls of men await the Resurrection of the dead.  Christ fulfilled this twofold condition.  His Body was buried, and His Soul passed into Hades or Paradise.  This it is unnecessary to dwell upon, as it seems evident, that, as our Lord was perfect man, so it was His will, and the will of His Father, that He should undergo all the conditions of human nature, and especially that He should truly suffer death.  Now death cannot be truly suffered, unless the soul leaves the body, and goes to the abode of departed spirits.

      2.  But it becomes necessary here to consider, whether the text 1 Pet. 3:18, 19 (which was so applied by all the fathers, and by the English reformers of the reign of Edward the Sixth) gives us any farther account of the end and object of Christ’s descent to Hades.  Many divines of the English Church deny altogether its applicability to this question.  Writers of no less name than Hammond, Pearson, Barrow, &c. contend that the only meaning of St. Peter’s words is, that our Lord by His Holy Spirit, inspiring Noah, preached to the disobedient antediluvians, who are now for their disobedience imprisoned in hell. {A question as to whether this might be the meaning of the passage had been proposed by St. Jerome and St. Augustine.  Hieron. Lib. XV.  In Esai. cap. liv.  August. Epist. CLXIV.  See Usher’s Answer to a Jesuit, ch. VIII.}

      This interpretation of the passage depends on the accuracy of the English version.  That version reads in the eighteenth verse “quickened by the Spirit.”  It is to be noted, however, that all the ancient versions except one (the Ethiopic) seem to have understood it “quickened in spirit”; and it is scarcely possible, upon any correct principles of interpretation, to give any other translation to the words.*  If, therefore, we follow the original, in preference to the English version, we must read the passage thus: “Christ suffered for us, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring us to God; being put to death in the flesh, but quick in His Spirit; by which (or in which) He went and preached (or proclaimed) to the spirits in safe keeping,” &c.  There is, it will be observed, a marked antithesis between “flesh” and “spirit”.  In Christ’s Flesh or Body He was put to death.  Men were “able to kill the body,” but they could not kill His soul.  He was therefore alive in His Soul, { ζωοποιηθείς corresponds with the Hiphil of {[Hebrew letters not clear in source]}, which means “to keep alive,” as much as “to make alive.”} and in or by that He went to the souls who were in safe custody (εν φυλακη); His Body was dead, but His Spirit, or Soul, went to their spirits or souls.  This is the natural interpretation of the passage; and if it ended here, it would contain no difficulty, and its sense would never have been doubted.  It would have contained a simple assertion of our Lord’s descent to the spirits of the dead.**

            {*The words in the Greek are θανατωθεις μεν σαρκι, ζωοποιηθεις δε τω πνεύματι.  The article τω before πνεύματι is of so little authority, that Wetstein, Griesbach, and Mattläi have rejected it from the text.  Bishop Middleton has observed, that in order to admit of the rendering of the English version, or to allow us to understand by “spirit” here the Holy Spirit of God, it would be absolutely necessary that there should be not only an article, but a preposition also before πνεύματι.  If the article be not authentic, we must render “dead carnally, but alive spiritually.”  If we admit the article, we must then translate, “dead in body, but alive in His Spirit,” i e. in His soul.  The ancient versions support this rendering, and Michaelis and Rosenmüller give a similar interpretation.  Bp. Middleton refers with full approbation to Bp. Horsley’s Sermon mentioned below.  See Middleton, On the Article, in loc.

            {**The expression εν φυλακη by no means necessarily signifies a place of punishment.  It may mean a place of protection.  It is simply in ward, in guardianship.  The rendering of the Syriac, which from its antiquity is so important, is {[letters uncertain]}, in Hades.  The following is its rendering of the whole passage: “He was dead in body, but alive in spirit: and he preached to those souls which were kept in Hades.”}

      But it is added, that He not only went to the spirits in safe keeping, but that He went and preached to them.  Hence it has been inferred, that, if He preached, they had need of, and He offered to them, repentance.  Hence the passage has appeared to savour of false doctrine, and hence its force has been explained away.  But the word “preached,” or “proclaimed,” by no means necessarily infers that He preached either faith or repentance.  Christ had just finished the work of salvation, had made an end of sin, and conquered hell.  Even the angels seem not to be fully enlightened as to all the work of grace which God performs for man.  It is not likely, then, that the souls of the departed patriarchs should have fully understood or known all that Christ had just accomplished for them.  They indeed may have known, and no doubt did know, the great truth, that redemption was to be wrought for all men by the sufferings and death of the Messiah.  But before the accomplishment of this great work, neither angels nor devils seem fully to have understood the mystery of it.  If this be true, when the blessed Soul of our crucified Redeemer went among the souls of those whom He had just redeemed, what can be more probable than that He should have “proclaimed” (εκήρυξεν) to them, that their redemption had been fully effected, that Satan had been conquered, that the great sacrifice had been offered up?  If angels joy over one sinner that repenteth, may we not suppose Paradise filled with rapture when the Soul of Jesus came among the souls of His redeemed, Himself the herald (κήρυξ) of His own victory?

      This is the view propounded by Bp. Horsley in his admirable sermon on this text. {Vol. I. Serm. XX.}  It is perfectly unnecessary to suppose that the consequence of Christ’s preaching in Hades, or Paradise, was similar to His or His Apostles’ preaching on earth. Both indeed were preachings of glad tidings. But in this was the difference. Preaching on earth is to men, who need repentance, and whose repentance is acceptable. Preaching to the souls of the departed was a mere proclaiming of blessedness to men who had• already. repented when on earth, and had no need of repentance after death, when it never comes, and could not avail, even if it come.

      The only difficulty in this interpretation of this difficult passage is in the fact that the preaching is specially said to have been addressed to those “who had once been disobedient in the days of Noah.”  That many who died in the flood may yet have been saved from final damnation seems highly probable, and has been the opinion of many learned divines.  The flood was a great temporal judgment, and it follows not that “all who perished in the flood are to perish everlastingly in the lake of fire.”  But the real difficulty consists in the fact that the proclamation of the finishing of the great work of salvation is represented by St. Peter as having been addressed to these antediluvian penitents, and no mention is made of the penitents of later ages, who are equally interested in the tidings.

      It must be confessed that this is a knot which cannot easily be untied.  Yet should not this induce us to reject the literal and grammatical interpretation of the passage, and to fall back upon those forced glosses which have been devised in order to avoid, instead of fairly meeting and endeavouring to solve, an acknowledged difficulty.  Bishop Horsley says that he thinks he has “observed, in some parts of Scripture, an anxiety, if the expression may be allowed, of the sacred writers, to convey distinct intimations that the antediluvian race is not uninterested in the redemption and the final retribution.”  It may be conceived, too, he thinks that those who perished in the most awful of God’s temporal judgments would, more than any, need and look for the comfort of Christ’s presence, and that consolation which His preaching in the regions of the departed would afford “to those prisoners of hope”.  Whether or not such ideas give any clue to the solution of this difficulty it may be hard to say.  But in the same author’s words, “Is any difficulty that may present itself to the human mind, upon the circumstances of that preaching, of sufficient weight to make the thing unfit to be believed upon the word of the Apostle? – or are we justified, if, for such difficulties, we abandon the plain sense of the Apostle’s words, and impose upon them another meaning, not easily adapted to the words, though more proportioned to the capacity of our own understanding, especially when it is confirmed by other Scriptures that He went to that place?  In that place He could not but find the souls that are in it in safe keeping; and in some way or other, it cannot but be supposed, He would hold conference with them; and a particular conference with one class might be the means, and certainly could be no obstruction to a general communication with all.  If the clear assertions of Holy Writ are to be discredited, on account of difficulties which may seem to the human mind to arise out of them, little will remain to be believed in revealed or even in what is called natural religion: we must immediately part with the doctrine of atonement, – of gratuitous redemption, – of justification by faith without the works of the law, – of sanctification by the influence of the Holy Spirit; and we must part at once with the hope of the Resurrection.” {P. 436.  The whole Sermon deserves careful attention, and should be compared with Bishop Middleton, on 1 Pet. 3:18.  It is to be lamented that Bishop Pearson, in his most learned and elaborate article on the Descent into Hell, should have written less lucidly than is his wont.  In more passages than one, unless I greatly misunderstand him, he has contradicted himself.  At one time he defines hell as the place of departed spirits, and makes our Lord’s descent thither no more than a passing into the state of the dead.  At another time he argues as if hell meant the place of torment, and says that Christ went there to save us from going thither, for which he quotes Tertullian, who, however, mentions the opinion only to condemn it.  See especially p. 251.  [See also Bishop Hobart, On the State of the Departed; and Bishop Seabury’s Sermon, The Descent of Christ into Hell.  J. W.]}


Article  IV


Of the Resurrection of Christ.

      Christ did truly rise again from death, and took again His body, with flesh, bones, and all things appertaining to the perfection of man’s nature, wherewith He ascended into Heaven, and there sitteth, until He return to judge all men at the last day.


De Resurrectione Christi.

      Christus vere a mortuis resurrexit, suumque corpus cum carne, ossibus, omnibusque ad integritatem humanae naturae pertinentibus recepit: cum quibus in coelum ascendit, ibique residet, quoad extremo die ad judicandos homines reversurus sit.


Section  I. – History

      The subjects treated of in this Article may be divided as  follows: –

      First, We must consider Christ’s Resurrection with His human Body; Secondly, His Ascension, and Session at God’s Right Hand; Thirdly, His Return to Judgment.

      I—II.  The first and second of these divisions may historically be considered together.

      Christ’s Resurrection forms a part of all the ancient Creeds, and is followed by the Ascension, Session, and Judgment, as in this Article.

      The Sadducees, who denied all resurrection, of course would deny the resurrection of Christ.  The Essenes also, though they believed the immortality of the soul, yet did not believe that the body would rise.  We find, as early as Apostolic times, that some heretics had crept into the Christian Church, who said that “there was no resurrection of the dead” (1 Cor. 15:12), and that “the resurrection was past already” (2 Tim. 2:18).  Whoever these heretics may have been, not long after them the Docetae, denying the reality of Christ’s flesh, and holding the doctrine of the general malignity of matter, of necessity disbelieved the truth of the resurrection and ascension of Christ.  Augustine tells us that the Cerinthians held that Jesus, whom they took to be a mere man, had not risen, but was yet to rise. {“Jesum hominem tantummodo fuisse, nec resurrexisse, sed resurrecturum asseverantes.” – August.  Haeres. VIII. Tom. VIII. p. 7.}  Apelles, a disciple of Marcion’s, held that, when Christ came down from Heaven, He formed for Himself as He descended an airy and sidereal flesh, but when He arose and ascended into Heaven, He restored this body to its pristine elements, which being thus dispersed, His Spirit alone returned to Heaven. {Tertullian.  De Praescript. adv. Haer. c. 33.  De Resurr. Carnis, c. 5.  Epiphan. Haer. XLIV.  August. Haeres. XXIII.  Pearson, On the Creed, p. 272.  Lardner, Hist. of Heretics, Book II. chap. XII. sect. X.  King, On Creed, p. 261.}

      Some of the earlier heretics, though otherwise connected with the Gnostics, did not absolutely deny either a body or a resurrection to Christ, but invented strange fables concerning it.  Thus, according to Theodoret, Hermogenes believed our Lord’s Body to be placed in the Sun. {Theodoret.  Haeret. Fab. Lib. I. C. 19.  Pearson, On the Creed, p. 273.  King, p. 263.  Philaster and Augustine ascribe the same opinion to the followers of Seleucus and Hermias.  See Lardner, Hist. of Heretics, Book II. ch. XVIII. sect. VIII.}  And Tertullian mentions certain heretics who taught, “that the flesh of Christ was in the heavens devoid of sense, as a scabbard or sheath, Christ being withdrawn from it.” {Μέχρι σημερον Μανιχαιοι λέγουσι φαντασιώδη και ουκ άληθη του Σωτηρος την ανάστασιν γεγονέναι. – Cyril. Hierosol.  Catech. XVI.  Suicer, I. col. 311.}  The Manichees, like the Gnostics or Docetae, denying the reality of Christ’s flesh, and believing matter to be evil, denied Christ’s resurrection; but as they seem to have identified Christ with Mithras (aethereal Light, the Sun), there may have been some connection between their belief and that of Hermogenes mentioned above. {“Adfirmant carnem in coelis vacuarn sensu, ut vaginam, exempto Christo, sedere.” – De Carne Christi, C. 24.  Pearson, p. 272.  King, p. 269.}  The doctrine of Eutyches concerning the Person of Christ, as it was opposed to the verity of His Manhood, so it by implication opposed the verity of His resurrection; and so Theodoret accuses him of considering that the Godhead only rose from the grave. {Theodoret (Haeret. Fab. Lib. IV. cap. XIII.) says he asserted την θεότητα τω τάφω παραδοθεισαν τετυχηκέναι της αναστά σεως. – See Suicer, I. col. 311.}

      In later ages, when the controversies arose concerning the presence of Christ in the Eucharist, it has been thought that divines of the Roman and Lutheran communions were led to use language concerning the glorified Body of our blessed Lord, and its ubiquity, which almost savoured of Eutychianism; as though, after His ascension, His human nature had become so deified as to have lost the attributes of humanity, and have been transubstantiated into His Divinity.  There is little doubt that the strong language of this Article was designed to oppose so exaggerated an opinion, if such really existed; which may be the better seen by comparing the words of the Article with the rubric at the end of the Communion Service.*

            {*The rubric, after explaining that by kneeling at the Communion no adoration is intended either to the “Sacramental Bread and Wine, or unto any Corporal Presence of Christ’s natural Flesh and Blood,” adds, “The natural Body and Blood of our Saviour Christ are in Heaven, and not here; it being against the truth of Christ’s natural Body to be at one time in more places than one.”  This rubric was first inserted in the Second Service-Book of Edward VI.  It was omitted in the Prayer-Book in Elizabeth’s reign, probably from a wish not to offend the many persons of Lutheran sentiments then in communion with the Church.  It was restored in the last revision in the reign of Charles II at the request of the Puritan Divines.}

      It is not to be concealed, that in later times some persons, of very sound opinions in the main, have been offended by the statement that our Lord took into Heaven “flesh, bones, and all things pertaining to man’s nature”; whereas they contend that our Lord’s Body at His ascension, if not before, became a spiritual body, and a spiritual body cannot be said to have “flesh and bones” which pertain only to a natural body.  This objection must be considered hereafter; and in the mean time we have only to add, that the language of the Article corresponds with that of the early fathers.  Ignatius says that “he knew and believed Him to be in the flesh after His resurrection.” {Εγω γαρ και μετα την ανάστασιν εν σαρκι αυτον οιδα, και πιστεύω όντα – Epist. ad Smyrn. c. 3. Pearson, p. 255. Suicer, 1. col. 307.}  Ireaeus, in one of his creeds, confesses his belief in “the reception of Jesus Christ into Heaven in the flesh.” {την ένσαρκον εις τους ουρανους ανάληψιν του ηγαπημένου Χριστου Ιησου. – Lib. I. C. 2.}  In the Epistle of Damasus to Paulinus, the following anathema occurs amongst others, “If any one shall not acknowledge that Christ is set down at the right hand of the Father, in the same flesh which He took here, let him be anathema.” {Theodoret.  Eccl. Hist.  Lib. V. C. XI.  King, On Creed, p. 268.}  Augustine meets the objection which may be made to this doctrine: “It offends some,” he says, “that we believe an earthly Body to have been taken into Heaven; they understand not how it is said in Scripture, It is sown a natural, it is raised a spiritual body.” {“Solet autem quosdam offendere, vel impios Gentiles vel haereticos, quod credamus assumptum terrenum corpus in coelum.  Sed Gentiles plerumque philosophorum argumentis nobiscum agere student, ut dicant terrenum aliquid in coelo esse non posse.  Nostras enim Scripturas non noverunt, nec sciunt quomodo dictum sit, Seminatur corpus animale, surgit corpus spirituale.” — August.  De Fide et Symbolo, C. VI. Tom. VI. p. 157.}  To the like purpose writes Epiphanius: “He ascended into Heaven, not divesting Himself of His holy Body, but uniting it to a spiritual one.” {Ανελθων εις ουρανους, εκάθισεν εν δεξια του Πατρος εν δόξη, ουκ αποθέμενος το άγιον συμα, αλλα συνενώσας εις πνευμτικόν. – Anaceph. Tom. II. p. 156.  Colon. King, p. 262.}

      The fathers indeed held that Christ’s Body, after His resurrection, remained truly a human Body, and was not changed into a spirit, or absorbed into God.*  Yet they held, that it was divested of all that was mortal, carnal, and corruptible, and became a spiritual Body, incorruptible, unchangeable, impassible.  So Theophylact, “Did He lay aside His flesh?  God forbid; for as He was taken up, so shall He come.  But He was taken up in the flesh, and with a Body.  Now Christ is said to have lived after the flesh, when He lived subject to natural and blameless affections and feelings, – hungering, thirsting, sleeping, working.  But now He is no longer after the flesh, that is, He is freed from all such natural and blameless affections, having a body impassible and incorruptible.”**

            {*Ουκουν ουκ εις θεότητος μετεβλήθη φύσιν, αλλα και μετα την ανάστασιν αθάνατον μένει και άφθαρον, και θείας δόξης μεστόν·  συμα δε όμως, την οικείαν έχον περιγραφήν. – Theodoret.  Demonstr. per Syllog.  Ότι ασύγχυτος η ένωσις, Syl. IX.  Again:  Ου μεταβλήθη εις πνευμα το σωμα·  σαρξ γαρ ην, και οστέα, και χειρες, και πόδες·  τοιγαρουν και μετα την ανάστασιν σωμα το σωμα μεμένηκεν. – Ibid. Syl. X.  See Suicer, I. coll. 307, 308.}

            {**Theophyl. ad 2 Cor. v. 16.  Την σάρκα απέθετο; μη γένοιτο·  ως γαρ ανελήφθη, ούτω και ελεύσεται·  ανελήφθη δε εν σαρκι και μετα του σώματος. ... Ο δε Χριστος κατα σάρκα λέγεται ζησαι, ότε κατα τα φυσικα και αδιάβλητα πάθη έζη, πεινυν, νιψων, κοπιων·  νυν δε, συκέτι κατα σάρκα·  τουτέστι, τούτων τυν φυσικων και αδιαβλήτων απηλλάγη, απαθες και ακήρατον σωμα έχων.  So Theodoret on the same passage:  Ει γαρ και αυτος ο δεοπότης Χριστος παθητον ειχε το συμα, αλλα μετα το πάθος άφθαρτον τουτο πεποίηκε και αθάνατον. – See Suicer as above.}

      III.  The third head concerns our Lord’s return to Judgment.

      The Marcionites and other Gnostics are supposed to have denied a future Judgment.  Their creed was, that God was of infinite grace and mercy; that the Creator, whom they distinguished from God, was just; not so God, or His Son Jesus Christ.  They were also accused of holding that the actions of men in the body were indifferent; and this tenet, by implication, is a denial of the Judgment. {See King, On the Creed, p. 274.}  The Manichees are charged, in like manner, with denying a Judgment, as they, no doubt, did deny a resurrection of the body. {Hey’s Lectures, II. p. 390; and Lardner as referred to there.}

      One of the peculiar views of Emmanuel Swedenborg in modern times, and of his followers, who call themselves the Church of the New Jerusalem, was that the passages of Scripture concerning the Judgment are not to be literally interpreted.  Swedenborg taught that all men are subject to two opposite influences, one from God and good spirits, the other from evil angels; that according as they yield to one or the other influence, the soul rises or falls.  Heaven and hell then are not the result of a Divine appointment, or of a future Judgment, but the necessary conditions of a man, according as he is good or evil.  The passages of Scripture concerning the last Judgment are to be understood of the end and consummation of the Church which now is, and the establishment of a purer and better Church, which is called the descent “of the New Jerusalem from God out of Heaven.”


Section  II. – Scriptural Proof

      I  As regards the resurrection of the Lord Jesus, it requires very little argument to prove that Scripture teaches the fact.  The truth of such teaching must be here, as usual, assumed; all argument on such subjects being referred to the head of evidence.

      The concluding chapters of the four Gospels, and the fifteenth chapter of the first Epistle to the Corinthians, contain the fullest account of that miraculous event.  They should be studied together, and with such aids as have been furnished by writers on the harmony of the Gospels. {Those most approved of in our own language are Lightfoot, Macknight, Greswell, &c.  Greswell’s Harmonia Evangelica, and his five volumes of Dissertations on the subject, should be in every student’s library.}

      It is to be observed, however, that the Resurrection is in many respects the keystone of the Christian Faith.  On the truth of it depends the truth of the Gospel; for it was to this great fact especially that the Apostles bore witness, and on its veracity they rested their claims to be heard and believed.  Our Lord Himself continually foretold it, and so its occurrence became essential to the establishment of His truth.  Accordingly we find, both before and after the event, most numerous allusions to it in the writings of the new Testament.  For example, Matt. 17:9, 23.  Mark 8:31, 9:31.  John 2:19, 10:17, 18.  Acts 1:22, 2:24, 36; 13:30–37.  Rom. 4:25, 6:4.  Eph. 1:20.  Col. 2:12, 3:1, &c. &c.

      Yet the historical is scarcely greater than the doctrinal importance of the Resurrection.  In Scripture the life of the Christian and of the Christian Church is represented as connected with and depending on the life of Christ, who is the Head of the Church and the Saviour of the Body. {John 15:1–7, 17:23.  Rom. 12:5.  1 Cor. 6:15, 12:27.  Eph. 1:22, 23; 4:15, 16; 5:23.  Col. 1:18, &c.}  The Christian therefore is said to die with Christ, and to rise again with Him. {Rom. 6:8.  Eph. 2:5, 6.  Col. 2:12, 3:1.  1 Pet. 1:3.  2 Cor. 4:10, 11, 14.  Rom. 8:11.  1 Cor. 6:14, &c.}  And this connection of the Redeemer and His redeemed is spiritual here, and bodily and spiritual both hereafter.  For here the union of the Christian with Christ is the cause of spiritual life; hereafter the same union shall be the cause of resurrection to life eternal.  The Apostle speaks of the power of Christ’s resurrection as having been shown already, thus: “God who is rich in mercy ... when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, and hath raised us up together, and made us to sit together in heavenly places in Christ Jesus,” Eph. 2:4, 5, 6; and again: “If ye be risen with Christ, seek those things which are above,” Col. 3:1.  But he also speaks of the power of the same resurrection as to be shown hereafter, not only in raising the soul from sin, but the body also from corruption.  “If the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit which dwelleth in you,” Rom. 8:11.  And again, “He which raised up the Lord Jesus shall raise up us also by Jesus,” 2 Cor. 4:14.  And thus it is that by virtue of His own resurrection, or, as St. Paul calls it, “the power of His resurrection” (Phil. 3:10), the Lord Jesus is to His disciples “the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25).

      II.  The second head of this article concerns the Ascension, and Session at God’s Right Hand.

      1.  The Ascension into Heaven is related in Mark 16:19.  Luke 24:51.  Acts 1:1–12.

      It had been predicted in the old Testament (especially Ps. 68:8, which is explained by the Apostle, Eph. 4:8); it had been foretold by our Lord Himself (John 6:62, 20:17); and it finally took place in the presence of His chosen disciples.

      The importance of it to us was typified on the great day of atonement, when the High Priest entered into the Holy of Holies once every year.  The tabernacle, as is familiarly known, consisted of two principal parts.  The first was called the Sanctuary or holy place, which typified the world, or more properly the Church on earth; where daily the priesthood ministered, offering sacrifices for the people, and sending up incense, the symbol of prayer and praise.  But within the veil, whither no common priest had access, was the Holy of Holies, or the Holiest of all.  Into this, once every year, on the tenth day of Tisri, the Fast, or day of atonement, the High Priest alone entered.  He had made atonement for himself, for the sanctuary, and for the people, by sacrificing a bullock, a ram, and a goat; and dressed in the white robes common to the priesthood, he went with blood of the victims into the most holy place, and sprinkled seven times before the mercy seat the blood of the bullock and the goat (Levit. 16.)  That this all prefigured the entrance of Christ “into Heaven itself, now to appear in the presence of God for us,” we have the word of the Apostle in the ninth chapter of the Hebrews.  As the High Priest was in the common white garments, not in the gorgeous robe of his high priesthood, so Christ went up in the likeness of sinful humanity, carrying our nature with Him, though pure from the sin of humanity, as the garment of the priest was holy and white (Lev. 16:4).  As the priest took with him the blood of the sacrifice, so Christ offered His own Blood, and before the mercy seat of God pleaded, and forever pleads, the merits of His Sacrifice, “seeing that He ever liveth to make intercession for us.” {Heb. 8, 9, 10 passim.}

      2.  The Session at the Right Hand of God, foretold Ps. 110:1 (comp. Luke 20:42), and by our Lord, Matt. 26:64, Mark 14:62, Luke 22:69, is recorded, Mark 16:19, Acts 2:34, Rom. 8:34, Eph. 1:20, Col. 3:1, Heb. 1:3, 13; 1 Pet. 3:22.  It is hardly necessary to observe that, when the Scriptures speak of the Right Hand of God, they mean thereby, not that God has hands like a man, but that as the right hand among men is the place of honour, of power, and of joy, {1 Kings 2:19.  Matt. 26:64.  Ps. 16:11.} so to be by the Right Hand of God is to have the place of highest glory, power, and pleasure in the presence of God in Heaven; and to sit has no reference to posture, but implies dignity, sovereignty, and judgment.

      Christ has ascended into Heaven, and there He abides.  He now occupies that Mediatorial throne, where He is to sit, till all enemies be made His footstool (Ps. 110:1. 1 Cor. 15:25).  He had been anointed to His kingly office, when the Holy Ghost descended on Him at His baptism (Matt. 3:16.  Acts 10:38).  He vindicated His title to the throne, when by “death He overcame him who had the power of death, even the devil.”  He made a farther advance to the assumption of His dominion, when He rose victorious from the grave, and thereupon declared to His disciples, that “all power was given Him in Heaven and earth” (Matt. 28:18).  But it was not until His final exaltation, when God, having “raised Him from the dead, set Him at His own right hand in heavenly places, far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come,” that “all things having been put under His feet,” He was “given to be Head over all things to the Church” (Eph. 1:20, 21, 22); “set upon the throne of His father David” (Luke 1:32); and “there was given to Him dominion and glory and a kingdom,” “an everlasting dominion which shall not pass away, and a kingdom which shall not be destroyed” (Dan. 7:14).

      3.  The next point for our consideration is, that Christ is said “to have taken again His Body, with flesh, bones, and all things belonging to the perfection of man’s nature, wherewith He ascended into Heaven.”

      It has been seen in the former Section what the fathers appear to have taught on this subject.  That our Lord arose from the grave in the same Body in which He was buried, that the same Body, with flesh and bones, which was laid in the sepulchre a lifeless corpse, was reanimated and rose again to life on the third day, is plainly and unquestionably the statement of the Evangelists.  It was on this fact that their preaching and their faith rested.  It was the assurance of this fact that convinced St. Thomas of the Divinity of Christ.  He had declared that he would not believe the resurrection until he had seen in our Lord’s hands the print of the nails, and had thrust his hand into His side (John 20:25).  That is to say, he required proof that our Lord’s Body, which had risen, was the same Body which had been crucified; and when our Lord vouchsafed him this proof, then, and not till then, he exclaimed, “My Lord and my God!” (John 20:25–28).

      But farther, when on one occasion the disciples were assembled, and our Lord suddenly appeared among them, “they were terrified and affrighted, and supposed that they had seen a spirit; but He said unto them, Why are ye troubled? and why do thoughts arise in your hearts?  Behold my hands and my feet, that it is I myself: handle Me and see; for a spirit hath not flesh and bones, as ye see Me have.  And when He had thus spoken, He showed them His hands and His feet” (Luke 24:36–40).  Thus it is clear that our Lord’s Body, after He rose from the grave, was that Body in which He was buried, having hands and feet, and flesh and bones, capable of being handled, and in which He spoke and ate and drank (Luke 24:42, 43).  Moreover, it appears that our Lord thus showed His hands and feet to His disciples at that very interview with them in which He was parted from them and received up into Heaven.  This will be seen by reading the last chapter of St. Luke, from verse 36 to the end, and comparing it with the first chapter of the Acts, ver. 4–9; especially comparing Luke 24:49, 50, with Acts 1:4, 8, 9.  In that Body, then, which the disciples felt and handled, and which was proved to them to have flesh and bones, these disciples saw our Lord ascend into Heaven; and immediately after His ascent, angels came and declared to them, that that “same Jesus whom they had seen taken up into Heaven, should so come in like manner as they had seen Him go into Heaven” (Acts 1:11).  All this connected together seems to prove the identity of our Lord’s Body after His resurrection, at His ascension, and so on, even till His coming to Judgment, with the Body in which He suffered, and in which He was buried; and so fully justifies the language used in the Article of our Church.

      But because we maintain that the Body of Christ, even after His resurrection and ascension, is a true human Body, with all things pertaining to the perfection of man’s nature (to deny which would be to deny the important truth that Christ is still perfect Man as well as perfect God); it by no means therefore follows that we should deny that His risen Body is now a glorified, and as St. Paul calls it, a spiritual Body.  Nay! we have the strongest proofs that so it is.

      Even before His ascension, He is said to have come and stood in the midst of His disciples, where the doors were shut for fear of the Jews (John 20:19).  On another occasion He is said to have vanished out of their sight (Luke 24:31).  Again, His appearing to them “in another form” (Mark 16:12), and the disciples going to Emmaus not at once knowing Him (Luke 24:16), seem to show that there was some change in the appearance, as well as in the properties of His Body.  Though His Body had not ceased to be the same Body which it was before His death, it yet appears to have received some degree of glorification, and to have been invested with some supernatural qualities.

      But after His ascension We have St. Paul’s distinct assurance that the Body of Christ is a glorious, is a spiritual Body.  In 1 Cor. 15 we have St. Paul’s assertion, that, in the resurrection of all men, the body shall rise again, but that it shall no longer be a natural body, but a spiritual body; no longer a corruptible and vile, but an incorruptible and glorious body.  “It is sown in corruption; it is raised in incorruption: it is sown in weakness; it is raised in power: it is sown a natural body; it is raised a spiritual body.  There is a natural body, and there is a spiritual body.”  “Flesh and blood cannot inherit the kingdom of God, neither doth corruption inherit incorruption.  Behold, I shew you a mystery; we shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed.”  “For this corruptible must put on incorruption, and this mortal must put on immortality” (1 Cor. 15:42–53).  And this change of our bodies, from natural to spiritual, is expressly stated to be bearing the image of our glorified Lord, – the image of that heavenly man, the Lord from Heaven (vv. 47–49).

      So again, the glorified state of the saints’ bodies after the Resurrection, which in 1 Cor. 15 had been called the receiving a spiritual body, is in Phil. 3:21 said to be a fashioning of their bodies to the likeness of Christ’s glorious Body; “who shall change our vile body, that it may be fashioned like unto His glorious Body.” {“Non ita dictum est, quasi corpus vertatur in spiritum, et spiritus fiat; quia et nunc corpus nostrum, quod animale dicitur, non in animam versum est et anima factum.  Sed spirituale corpus intelligitur, quod ita spiritui subditum est, ut coelesti babitationi conveniat, omni fragilitate ac labe terrena in coelestem puritatem et stabilitatem mutata atque conversa.” – August.  De Fide et Symbolo, C. VI.  Tom. VI.  p. 157.}

      We must therefore conclude, that, though Christ rose with the same Body in which He died, and that Body neither did, nor shall cease to be a Ituman Body, still it acquired, either at His Resurrection or at His Ascension, the qualities and attributes of a spiritual, as distinguished by the Apostle from a natural body, of an incorruptible as distinguished from a corruptible body.

      It is not perhaps given us to know the exact meaning of the term “a spiritual body.”  “We know not yet what we shall be; “and so we do not exactly know what He is, whom we shall be like.  It may be better to leave in the obscurity in which Scripture has left it, this great and glorious mystery.  And we shall err on neither side, if we maintain that our blessed Saviour still continues our Mediator in Heaven, perfect in His nature of God, and perfect in His nature of Man; but with His human nature, which on earth, though sinless, was mortal and corruptible, now raised to glory and immortality and incorruptibility; His natural having become a spiritual, His corruptible an incorruptible body.*

            {*There may he a difficulty in reconciling this doctrine, which is the plain doctrine of Scripture and the primitive Christians, with the language of the rubric at the end of the Communion Service quoted above.  If they be at variance, the language of a not very carefully worded rubric, adopted not without some hesitation by the reformers, ought not to be pressed; but it is plain, that the writers of the rubric did not mean by the words “natural body” to convey the same idea as St. Paul attaches to the term in 1 Cor. 15.  The doctrine which they meant to teach was only, that we must not consider the manhood of Christ changed into His Godhead.  So St.Augustine: “Noli itaque dubitare ibi nunc esse hominem Christum Jesum, unde ventures est; ... in eadem carnis forma atque substantia; cui profecto immortalitatem dedit, naturam non abstulit.  Secundum hanc formam non est putandus ubique diffusus.  Cavendum est enim, ne ita divinitatem astruamus hominis, ut veritatem corporis auferamus.” – Ad Dard Epist. 187.  Tom. II. p. 681.}

      III.  The third head of the Article is on the Judgment; in which we may consider, –

            1.  The Agent or Person who shall judge, Christ.

            2. The object to be judged, namely, all men.

            3. The action, judgment.

            4. The time, the last day.

      1.  As regards the Agent; it is, in the first place, clear that God shall be “the Judge of all the earth” (Gen. 18:25.  Ps. 58:11).  Hence the day of Judgment is called “the day of God” (2 Peter 3:12), – “the great day of Almighty God” (Rev. 16:14).  Daniel saw “the thrones cast down, and the Ancient of days did sit” (Dan. 7:9); and St. John saw “the dead great and small stand before God,” for judgment (Rev. 20:12).

      Now, when God is thus generally spoken of, we must either understand God the Father, or the whole blessed Trinity.  And in the general, it is true to say that God shall judge the earth, or, that God the Father shall judge the earth.  But then, as God made the worlds, but it was by God the Son; as God hath purchased the Church, but it was by the death of His Son; so the Father Himself “judgeth no man, but hath committed all judgment unto the Son” (John 5:22).  “He hath given Him authority to execute judgment, because He is the Son of Man” (John 5:27); “He hath appointed a day, in the which He will judge the world in righteousness by that man whom He hath ordained” (Acts 17:31); “He will judge the secrets of all men by Jesus Christ” (Rom. 2:16).

      Accordingly, the Judgment, when fully described, is ever represented as the coining of the Lord Jesus.  It is called the “day of Christ” (2 Thess. 2:2).  “We must all appear before the judgment-seat of Christ” (2 Cor. 5:10).  “The Son of Man shall come in the glory of His Father, with His angels” (Matt. 16:27, 24:37, 25:31, 26:64).  The “same Jesus which was taken up into Heaven, shall come again in like manner as he went into Heaven” (Acts 1:11).  “He has been ordained of God to be Judge of quick and dead” (Acts 10:42).  He says of Himself, “Behold! I come quickly, and my reward is with me” (Rev. 22:12).

      2.  The objects of the Judgment are all men, whether those living at the time of Christ’s coming, or those already fallen asleep, – “the quick and the dead.”

      In the first Epistle to the Thessalonians (4:15–17), the Apostle describes the awful scene of our Lord’s coming to save His people: “The Lord Himself shall descend from Heaven with a shout, with the voice of the Archangel and the trump of God, and the dead in Christ shall rise first.  Then we which are alive and remain” (i. e., whoever of Christ’s servants may then remain alive on the earth) “shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air.”  In the like manner, he says (1 Cor. 15:51, 52), “We shall not all sleep, but we shall all be changed, in a moment, in the twinkling of an eye, at the last trump.  For the trumpet shall sound, and the dead shall be raised incorruptible, and we shall be changed.”  Accordingly it is said (2 Tim. 4:1) that “the Lord Jesus Christ shall judge the quick and the dead at His appearing”; that He “was ordained of God to be the Judge of quick and dead” (Acts 10:42.  Compare Matt. 25 throughout, John 5:25, 28, &c.)

      3.  The Judgment itself, which is the action the great Judge is to perform, is fully described in several of the passages already quoted or referred to.  The twenty-fifth chapter of St. Matthew especially, under a variety of images, sets forth the terrors of the great day of the Lord: the ten virgins that meet the Bridegroom – the servants with their various talents – the Lord with all nations brought before Him, dividing them as a Shepherd the sheep from the goats.

      In all these passages, and many besides, it is expressly said that the Judgment itself shall be “according to works.”  On this subject the following references may be consulted, and will be found full and express. Job 34:11.  Ps. 62:12.  Prov. 24:12.  Jer. 17:10, 32:19.  Matt. 16:27, 25:31–46.  John 5:29.  Rom. 2:6.  2 Cor. 5:10.  Col. 3:24, 25.  Rev. 20:12, 22:12.

      It need only be added, that Judgment according to works is a doctrine of Scripture not opposed to justification by faith.  That we cannot be justified by the merits of our own works is a plain statement of St. Paul (Rom. 3:20; 8:3.  Gal. 2:16.  Eph. 2:9, &c.)  But if we be renewed by the Spirit of God, and transformed in the spirit of our minds; if Christ be in us, and the Spirit of God dwell in our hearts; then, being dead to sin, we can no longer live therein (Rom. 6:2).  Sin will not reign in our mortal bodies (Rom. 6:12); but “the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus will have made us free from that law of sin” (Rom. 8:2) which would naturally reign in us; and so “the righteousness of the law will be fulfilled in all who walk not after the flesh, but after the Spirit” (Rom. 8:4).  We are specially warned not to be deceived on this head; for “he that doeth righteousness is righteous”; and “he who committeth sin is of the devil.”  “He that doeth not righteousness is not of God” (1 John 3:7–10).  Thus, then, the mark of distinction between the children of God and the children of the devil is this, – that righteousness is practised by the one party, sin by the other.  And hence it is but likely that Judgment, which is to distinguish Christ’s servants from His enemies, should be conducted according to the works of every man, which shall “be brought to light, whether they be good or evil.”  The just indeed shall be rewarded, not because of the merit of their works, but because of the atonement and righteousness of Christ.  Yet still their own good works will be the test of their sanctification, and the proof before men and angels that they are living members of Christ and regenerated by His Spirit; whereas the wicked works of wicked men will justly consign them to death and damnation.

      4.  It remains but to speak of the time of Christ’s coming to Judgment, – the last day.

      The general descriptions of the Judgment already referred to (e. g. Matt. 25.  Rev. 20:11–13, &c.) sufficiently show that it will not take place until the time when all present things shall pass away.  All mankind, quick and dead, are represented as brought before the judgment seat, and the just are sent to an everlasting reward, the wicked to an everlasting punishment.  Accordingly, St. Paul says it shall be “at the last trump” (1 Cor. 15:52), and St. Peter represents “the heavens and the earth which are now” as “reserved unto fire against the day of Judgment.”  The heavens shall be dissolved, and the elements shall “melt with fervent heat”; yet there shall be for the redeemed “a new heaven and a new earth, wherein dwelleth righteousness” (2 Pet. 3:7–13).

      But though the time is thus accurately marked, as “the last day”, the close and consummation of the present state of things, yet we are continually told that it is utterly impossible for us to know how soon that day may come or how long it may tarry.  It was not for our Lord’s most favoured disciples “to know the times or the seasons which the Father hath put in His own power” (Acts 1:7).  They and we are bid to “watch, for we know not what hour our Lord cometh” (Matt. 24:42: compare also Matt. 25:13.  Mark 13:33.  Luke 12:40.  2 Pet. 3:9–10).  The disciples were taught to be constantly expecting our Lord, and accordingly they spoke and wrote as though they thought that He might come at any time.  (See Rom. 13:11.  Phil. 4:5.  1 Thess. 4:15, 17.  Heb. 10:25.  James 5:7, 8, &c.)  Yet still they were fully aware that He might delay His coming, they knew not how long; and the importance of this uncertainty St. Paul earnestly impresses on the Thessalonians (2 Thess. 2:1–3); and St. Peter still more fully inculcates on all men (2 Pet. 3:4, 8–10).

      There is one passage, however, especially remarkable on this subject.  After our Lord had foretold the destruction of Jerusalem and assured His disciples that the generation then alive should not pass away till that His prediction was accomplished (Matt. 24:34.  Mark 13:30), He goes on to tell them that, though He thus gave them to know the time when He would execute His judgment on Jerusalem, yet the day of His final judgment (which they had confounded with the destruction of Jerusalem, Matt. 24:36) was unknown to men and angels.  Nay, according to the record of St. Mark, our Lord said, “Of that day and that hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels which are in Heaven, neither the Son, but the Father” (Mark 13:32).

      It has been seen that in His human nature our Lord was capable of knowledge and of ignorance.  He was perfect Man, as well as perfect God, and He grew in wisdom, as well as in stature (Luke 2:52).  In that nature, then in which He was capable of ignorance, He, when He was on earth, knew not the coming of the day of God.  Though He is Himself to come, yet as Man He knew not the day of His own coming.  This is indeed a great mystery, that that Manhood, which is taken into one Person with the Godhead of the Son, should be capable of not knowing everything, seeing that God the Son is omniscient.  But it is scarcely more inexplicable than that God the Son in His Manhood should be weak, passible, and mortal, who in His Godhead is omnipotent, impassible, and immortal.*  If we believe the one, we can admit the other.

            {*The explanation of Mark 13:32, given in the text, is both consonant with sound principles of interpretation and with sound theology, and has been the explanation of the most ancient Christian fathers.  Ανθρωπίνως είρηκε·  και το αίτιον του ούτως ειοηκέναι έχει το εύλογον·  επειδαν γαρ ανθρωπος γέγονεν, ως γέγραπται, ανθρώπων δε ίδιον το αγνοειν, ώσπερ και το πειναν, και τα αλλα·  δια τουτο και την άγνοιαν των ανθρώπων, ως άνθρωπος γεγονως, επιδείκνυται·  πρωτον μεν, ίνα δείξη, ότι αληθως ανθρώπινον έχει σωμα, κ. τ. λ. – Athanas.  Epist. II. ad Serapion.  Tom. I. p. 172.  See Suicer, s. v. κρίσις. v. 4, f.}

      [It seems desirable to add a few words concerning the difficulty spoken of in a note under III above.  The word used by St. Paul, in 1 Cor. 15 is ψυχικόν (soul-ish), and this can hardy be supposed to be the meaning of “natural” in the rubric at the end of the Communion Service.  Had this latter word been written in Greek, it would have been φυσικόν.

      It does so read in a Greek translation of the Book of Common Prayer, printed at Cambridge in 1665, and published with the Apocrypha and New Testament.  The concluding words of the rubric are και το φυσκον του Σωτηρος ημων Χριστου σωμα και αιμα εν τω ουρανω και ουκ ενθάδε εισι·  τη του φυσικου Χριστου σώματος αληθεία ενάντιον όν, εν ενι χρόνω εν πλειόσι τόποις πλην ενός υπάρχον.

      There can, therefore, be no contradiction between St. Paul’s words and the rubric, unless it can be proved that ψυχή and φυσίς are synonymes.  I am indebted for the above extract to the Rev. Mr. Hart, of Trinity College. – J. W.]

      [It seems impossible to understand St. Luke 24:36–49 of any other time than the evening after the Resurrection, consequently not immediately before the Ascension.  The argument above, though becoming in consequence less striking, is not materially weakened. – J. W.]


Article  V


Of the Holy Ghost.

      The Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, is of one substance, majesty, and glory with the Father and the Son, very and eternal God.


De Spiritu Sancto.

Spiritus Sanctus, a Patre et Filio procedens, ejusdem est cum Patre et Filio essentiae, majestatis et gloriai, verus et aeternus Deus.


Section  I – History

      The subjects of this Article to be treated on are – I.  The Divinity; II.  The Personality; III.  The Procession, of the Holy Ghost.

      Those early heretics who denied the Divinity of the Son of God seem generally to have disbelieved the Personality of the Holy Spirit, and to have looked on Him not as a Person, but as an efficacy, power, or emanation from God.

      This heresy appears to have been as early as Simon Magus himself, and his immediate followers, the Gnostics.  The like opinion would, of course, naturally prevail among those speculators who afterwards acquired the name of Sabellians, such as Praxeas, Noetus, Sabellius, Beryllus, Paulus Samosatenus. {See the account of these heretics, Art. I. § I.; and the authorities referred to in the notes.  See also Pearson, On the Creed, Art. VIII. p. 322, note.  Suicer, p. 774.}

      The Arians, on the contrary, appear to have taught that the Spirit was a separate Person from the Father and the Son, but that He was, as they held the Son to be, but a creature.  Nay, as they held the Son to be a creature created by the Father, so they are said to have taught that the Spirit was created by the Son, and hence called Him κτίσμα κτίσματος, the creature of a creature. {Το άγιον Πνευμακ τίσμα κτίσματος φάσιν ειναι.  Epiphan. Haer. LXIX. 56, p. 778, Colon.; Suicer, II. p. 775.  A synod held under Damasus at Rome decreed ει τις ειποι το Πνευμα το άγιον ποιήμα η δια του Υιου γεγενησθαι ανάθεμα έστω.  Apud Theodor. I. V. C. 11.  See Pearson, On the Creed, p. 816, note.  Suicer, as above; and the account given, Art. I. § I.  See also Lardner’s Works, IV. pp 113, 114.}  Macedonius especially was considered the head of the Pneumatomachi, or impugners of the Divinity of the Spirit, being reckoned among the semi-Arians, orthodox about the person of the Son, but a believer in the creation of the Holy Ghost.  He is said to have called the Holy Spirit the servant or minister of God. {Suicer, II. p. 774.}  This heresy of Macedonius was condemned by the second general council held at Constantinople, A. D. 381, which added to the Nicene Creed after the words, “And in the Holy Ghost,” the following, viz.: “The Lord, and Giver of life, who proceedeth from the Father, who with the Father and the Son together is worshipped and glorified, who spake by the prophets.”

      Of the fathers, Origen and Lactantius have been charged with unsound doctrines concerning the Holy Ghost.

      It is not easy to arrive at a just conclusion concerning the statements of Origen, owing to the fierce disputes which arose concerning them, the obscurity, and the mutilated condition of his writings.  He has been accused of questioning whether, as “all things were made by” the Son, so the Holy Spirit may have been included in “all things” and therefore created by the Son.  The accusation, however, appears to be unjust, and to have been grounded on some inaccuracy of language and obscurity of reasoning, not on really heretical statements.*

            {*The book in which Origen is especially accused of having spoken blasphemy concerning the Spirit of God is the first book of the Περι Αρχων (De Principiis), εν ω πλειστα βλασφημει, τον μεν Υιον υπο του Πατρος πεποιησθαι λέγων, το δε Πνευμα υπο του Υιου. Photius, Biblioth. cod. viij.  We have this book only in the translation of Rufinus, who in his prologue to it says that he has omitted parts of the book, which had been foisted into it by heretics, and supplied the omissions from other portions of the genuine works of Origen.  Jerome (Lib. I. Adv. Rufinum) accuses Rufinus of having mistranslated Origen, and he himself undertook to give a new translation.  All but fragments of the latter are lost.  If Rufinus has given at all a fair representation of his author, the following would show that Origen cannot have been very heretical concerning the Holy Ghost: “Ne quis sane existimet nos ex eo quod diximus Spiritum Sanctum solis sanctis praestari, Patris vero et Filii beneficia vel inoperationes pervenire ad bonos et malos, justos et injustos, praetulisse per hoc Patri et Filio Spiritum Sanctum, vel majorem ejus per hoc asserere dignitatem: quod utique valde inconsequens est.  Proprietatem namque gratiae ejus operisque descripsimus.  Porro autem nihil in Trinitate majus minusve dicendum est, quum unius Divinitatis Fons Verbo ac Ratione sua teneat universa, Spiritu vero oris sui quae digna sunt sanctificatione sanctificet, sicut in Psalmo Scriptum est Verbo Domini coeli firmati sunt et Spiritu Oris Ejus omnis vines eorum.” – Origen. De Principiis, Lib. I. cap. 3, num. 7.  Comp. num. 2.}

      Jerome more than once charges Lactantius with virtually denying the Personality of the Holy Spirit by referring His operation, through a Jewish error, to the Person of the Father or of the Son;* an heretical belief, which, he says, prevailed among many.

            {*“Hoc ideo quia multi per imperitiam Scripturarum, quod et Firmilianus in octavo ad Demetrianum epistolarum libro facit, asserunt Spiritum Sanctum saepe Patrem saepe Filium nominari; et cum perspicue in Trinitate credamus, tertiam Personam auferentes non substantiam Ejus esse volunt, sed nomen.” – Hieron. In Epist. ad Galatas, cap. IV. Tom. IV. part I. p. 268.  See also Lardner, IV. p. 60.}

      One of the strange forms which heresy is said to have assumed was that which is attributed to Montanus, namely, that he gave himself out to be the Paraclete, i. e. the Spirit of God.  Nay, it is even said that he had his disciples baptized in his own name, as the third Person of the blessed Trinity; {See Bingham, E. A. Book XI. ch. III. § 7.} though it appears to be doubtful whether Montanus really meant that he was an incarnation of the Spirit, or only that the Spirit dwelt more fully in him than in any former man.*  Indeed, to some it appears that the Montanists were in their creed Sabellians, and that they thought that the Spirit which animated Montanus was but an emanation from God. {See Bingham, as above.}

            {*Mosheim, Cent. II. pt. IX. ch. V. § 23; also, De Rebus ante Constantinum M.  Sec. II. § 67; Bp. Kaye’s Tertullian, 2d Edit. p. 22; Lardner’s Heretics, Book II. ch. 19.  Manes, Mohammed, and others beside them, have professed to be the Paraclete promised by Christ to His disciples.  Whether by the Paraclete they meant the Holy Ghost is questionable.}

      A denial of the Personality of the Holy Ghost, and a belief that He was but an influence or energy, seem to have been general in later times with the Socinians, and may be considered as a necessary consequence of a denial of the doctrine of the Trinity in general.

      But the most celebrated controversy which has ever arisen concerning the Holy Ghost was that which had reference to His Procession, and which led to the famous schism between the Eastern and Western churches.

      The Council of Constantinople (A. D. 381) had inserted in the Creed of the Council of Nice (A. D. 325) the words “proceeding from the Father” (το εκ του Πατρος εκπορευόμενον); and the Council of Ephesus (A. D. 431) had decreed that no addition should be made to that creed thenceforth.  Accordingly, the Greek fathers uniformly declared their belief in the procession of the Holy Ghost from the Father.

      The Latin Fathers, on the other hand, having regard to those passages of Scripture which speak of the Spirit of Christ, and of the Spirit as sent by the Son, continually spoke of the Holy Ghost as proceeding from the Father and the Son.*  The Greek fathers, indeed, were willing to use language approximating to the words of the Latin Fathers, but shrank from directly asserting the procession from the Son.  Thus they spoke of the Holy Ghost as “the Spirit of Christ, proceeding from the Father, and receiving of the Son.”**  And it has been inferred that many of the earlier Greek writers held, as did the Latins, a real procession from both the Father and the Son, although they were not willing to express themselves otherwise than in the words of the Creed.

            {*“Spiritus quoque Sanctus cum procedit a Patre et Filio, non separatur a Patre, non separatur a Filio.” – Ambros. De Sp. S.  C. X.  “Non possumus dicere quod Spiritus Sanctus et a Filio non procedat, neque enim frustra Spiritus et Patris at Filii Spiritus dicitur.” – August.  De Trin.  Lib. IV. cap. 20.  See Pearson, p. 324, note.  St. Augustine, more clearly and fully than any before him, asserted the procession from the Son.  Hence the modern Greeks charge him with having invented it.  See Waterland, Works, IV. p. 246.  Oxf. 1823.

            {**Πνευμα Χριστου, Πνευμα Πατρος εκπορευόμενον.  και του Υιου λάμβανον.  Epiphan. Haeres. LXIX. Torn. I. p. 788. Colon. 1682.  See Suicer, I. 1070; Pearson, p. 324, note.  Similar or stronger language used on this subject may he seen in the following: Ει τοίνυν παρα του Πατρος εκπορεύεται και εκ του εμον, φησι ο Κύριος, λήψεται, όν τρόπον ουδεις έγνω τον Πατέρα ει μη ο Υιος, ουδε τον Υιον ει μη ο Πατηρ·  ούτως τολμωσι λέγειν (f. τολμω συλλέγειν) ουδε το Πνευμα ει μη ο Υιος εξ ου λαμβάνει, και ο Πατηρ εξ ου εκπορεύεται.  Epiph. Haeres. LXXIV. 10, Tom. I. p. 898. Colon. – . Haeres. LXXIV. 7, Tom. I. p. 895.}

      Theodoret, in the fifth century, appears to have been the first of the Greeks who brought the question out into bold relief; for, taking offence at some expressions of Cyril, who speaking of the Spirit had used the words ίδιον το Πνευμα του Χριστου, he declares, that, if by such an expression he meant “that the Spirit derived His Being either from or through the Son, then the saying was to be rejected as blasphemous and profane; for we believe the Lord when He saith, ‘the Spirit which proceedeth from the Father,’ and we believe St. Paul in like manner saying, we have not received the Spirit of the world, but the Spirit which is of God.’” {Pearson, On the Creed, p. 325, note.  Suicer, I. 1070.}  St. Cyril, not directly replying to Theodoret, at least not entering fully upon the doctrine of the Procession, there appears to have been little controversy about it in the East, until attention was roused to the subject by the conduct of some portions of the Western Church.  The question having been for some time discussed, whether or not the Spirit proceeded from the Son as well as from the Father, the Churches of France and Spain not only asserted such to be the case, but actually added to the Creed of Constantinople the words Filioque (“and the Son”), and so chanted the Creed in their Liturgies with the clause Credimus et in Spiritum Sanctum Dominum et vivificatorem, ex Patre Filioque procedentem.*  In the early part of the ninth century Pope Leo III was appealed to, and decreed in a Synod held at Aquisgranum, that no such addition ought to be made to the creeds of the Church.  Nay, so important did he deem a strict adherence to the symbols in their original form, that he caused the Constantinopolitan Creed, in the very words in which it had been penned at the council, to be graven on silver plates, both in Latin and Greek, and so to be publicly set forth in the Church. {Pearson, On the Creed, p. 325; Mosheim, Cent. IX. pt. II. ch. III. § 18.}

            {*In very early Latin Councils this addition of the Filioque is made: as in the first Council of Bracara, A. D. 411, and in the third Council of Toledo, A. D. 589, where the Constantinopolitan Creed is recited.  (Bingham, Bk. X. ch. IV. § 16.)  The Council of Toledo was that which first ordered the Constantinopolitan Creed to be used in the Liturgy of the Spanish Church.  (Bingham, ibid. § 7.)  With regard to the insertion of the words Filioque in the Confession of the Council of Bracara, it now appears that they are not genuine, but foisted into it in later times.  See Waterland, Hist. of Athan. Creed, Works, IV. p. 133, note.}

      Afterwards, however, Pope Nicolas the First had a violent controversy with Photius, patriarch of Constantinople.  Ignatius, who had been deposed from that see, and succeeded by Photius, appealed to Pope Nicolas, who took the part of Ignatius, and excommunicated Photius; who in his turn assembled a council at Constantinople, in 866, and excommunicated Nicolas.  Subsequently Ignatius having been recalled by Basilius the Macedonian, and Photius degraded, a council was held at Constantinople (A. D. 869), which is called by the Latins the eighth ecumenical Council, in which the controversies between the Eastern and Western Churches were hushed for the time.  Among the subjects which had been introduced into this unhappy discussion, the most prominent was the question concerning the Procession of the Holy Ghost; Photius charging the Latins with having adulterated the Creed of Constantinople by the addition of Filioque, and the Latins vigorously defending themselves concerning this and other charges. {The famous Ratramn, whose book on the Eucharist exercised so important an influence on the English Reformation, was a principal champion of the Latins in this dispute.}

      On the death of Ignatius, A. D. 878, Photius was again restored to the patriarchal see, when John the Eighth was Bishop of Rome.  On his accession he again renewed the controversies with the West; and in a council held at Constantinople, A. D. 879 (owned by the Greeks as the eighth OEcumenical), it was declared that the addition of Filioque should be taken away.  Leo the Philosopher afterwards again deposed Photius, and confined him in an Armenian convent, where he died in the year 891. {Mosheim, Cent. IX. pt. II. ch. III. §§ 27–32; Pearson, as above.}

      The contest between the Churches, now suspended for a time, was revived in the year 1053, by Michael Cerularius, patriarch of Constantinople.  Between him and Leo IX., Bishop of Rome, a violent contest arose, both on the subject of their respective jurisdictions and concerning the doctrines in dispute between the two great branches of the Church.  Cerularius wrote, in his own name and that of Leo Bishop of Achrida, a strong letter to John Bishop of Trani in Apulia, charging the Latins with various errors.  Leo therefore summoned a Council at Rome, and excommunicated the Greek Churches.  Constantine Monomachus, the emperor, in vain strove to quench the flame of discord; and though legates were sent from Rome to Constantinople, instead of endeavouring to allay the strife, they solemnly excommunicated Cerularius, Leo of Achrida, and their adherents, who, in their turn, in a public council excommunicated them. {Mosheim, Cent. XI. pt. II. ch. III. §§ 9–11.}  Thus arose the schism between the Eastern and Western Churches, which has never since been healed.


Section  II. – Scriptural Proof

      The first I. and second II. heads of this Article concern the  Divinity and the Personality of the Holy Ghost.

      Both these were treated under the First Article, and it is not necessary to repeat the arguments here.  It may be enough to add that among the strongest passages of Scripture in proof of these doctrines will be found the following: –

Divinity.  Matt. 12:32.  Acts 5:3, 4.  1 Cor. 3:16; compare 1 Cor. 6:19.

Personality.  Matt. 12:32; 28:19.  John 14:16, 26; 16:8, 13.  Acts 5:3, 4.  Rom. 8:26.  1 Cor. 12:11.  Eph. 4:30.  1 John 5:7.

      III.  The third division of the subject is concerning the Procession of the Holy Ghost; the Article, after the Latin versions of the Constantinopolitan Creed, and the Creed of St. Athanasius, asserting that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son.

      The distinction between the three Persons in the Godhead was set forth in treating on the First Article.  The relation of God the Son to God the Father, how that from all eternity God the Son derived His being from God the Father, by a proper but ineffable generation, was set forth in the FIRST part of the Second Article.

      Now, whereas it is certain that the Scriptures ever speak of the Second Person of the Trinity as the Son of God, and as begotten of the Father, so it is equally certain that they speak of the Spirit as coming forth or proceeding from the Father, but never as begotten of Him.  The early Christians, observing this distinction, cautiously adhering to the language of inspiration, and striving to imbibe the notions conveyed by it, ever taught that it was peculiar to the Father to be underived and unbegotten; to the Son, to be begotten; to the Holy Ghost, to be proceeding.{Ίδιον Πατρος μεν η αγεννησία, Υιου δε γέννησις, Πνεύματος δε η έκπεμψις. – Greg. Naz. Orat. XXIII. Tom. I. p. 422 Colon.  Suicer. I. p. 1069.}

      1.  That the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Father scarcely needs to be proved.

      In Matt. 10:20, He is called “the Spirit of the Father”.  In Rom. 8:11, He is called “the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead.”  In John 14:26, “the Comforter, which is the Holy Ghost,” is promised, as to be sent “by the Father in Christ’s name”.  In John 15:26, we read of the “Comforter ... even the Spirit of truth which proceedeth from the Father”.  Compare also Matt. 3:16.  Acts 5:9.  1 Cor. 2:10, 11, 14; 3:16, 6:19, &c.  Accordingly, there never has been any doubt, among those who admit the doctrine of the Trinity, that as the Son is begotten of the Father, so the Spirit proceeds from the Father.

      2. But though the doctrine of the procession of the Spirit from the Father is thus unquestionable, it has been seen, that the Greeks doubted the propriety of saying that the Holy Spirit proceedeth from the Son as well as from the Father.  They doubted it, as it seems, merely because in John 15:26, it is said “that the Spirit of truth proceedeth from the Father,” and there is no passage of Scripture, which, in the same express terms, says that the Spirit proceedeth from the Son.

      Yet if we except this one expression of John 15:26, every other expression whatsoever, from which we infer that the Spirit proceedeth from the Father, is used in like manner concerning His relation to the Son. For example: –

      (1) Is He called “the Spirit of God”, “the Spirit of the Father”, “the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus”?  In like manner He is called “the Spirit of Christ”, “the Spirit of the Son”, “the Spirit of Jesus Christ”.  Thus we read, Rom. 8:9, “If any man have not the Spirit of Christ”; where it is evident the Apostle means the Holy Spirit of God spoken of in the preceding sentence.  Gal. 4:6, “God hath sent forth the Spirit of His Son.”  Phil. 1:19, “The supply of the Spirit of Jesus Christ.”  1 Pet. 1:11, “The Spirit of Christ” which was in the prophets.

      And so surely is this the case, that the Greeks themselves were even willing to call the Holy Ghost the Spirit of the Son; confessing that “He proceedeth from the Father, and is the Spirit of the Son.”  And hence many of our divines and even divines of the Church of Rome have concluded that their difference on this point from the Western Church was but in modo loquendi, in manner of speech, not in fundamental truth. {Laud, Conference with Fisher, p. 19 (Oxf. 1839), Sect. 9, who quotes Damascene (Lib. I. Fid. Orth. c. 11) as saying, “Non ex Filio, sed Spiritum Filii esse dicimus.”}

      (2) But, again, do we infer that the Spirit proceedeth from the Father, because He is sent by the Father, and is breathed forth into the prophets by the Father?  Still, in like manner, we read that the same Spirit is sent by the Son, and was by Him breathed upon His Apostles.  Thus He says Himself, John 15:26, “The Comforter, whom I will send unto you from the Father.”  John 16:7, “If I go not away, the Comforter will not come unto you; but if I depart, I will send Him unto you.”  And in John 20:22, after He had risen from the dead, “He breathed on them, and saith unto them, Receive ye the Holy Ghost.”

      Now, our principal reasons for concluding that the Spirit of God proceeds from God the Father are these: namely, that He is called the Spirit of the Father; that as the Father sends the Son, who is begotten of Him, so He sends the Spirit; and that He sends Him especially in that manner which in Scripture is called inspiring or breathing forth.  From all this we conclude that, like as the Son is begotten, so the Spirit proceedeth of the Father.  Yet the Scriptures set forth the relation of the Spirit to the Son, in all these respects, in the very same language in which they set forth the relation of the Spirit to the Father.  Hence we conclude, that, as the Spirit proceedeth from the Father, so He proceeds from the Son.*  And though we may question the wisdom of adding the words Filioque to a Creed drawn up by a General Council, without the authority of a General Council, we yet do not question the truth of the doctrine conveyed by these words and which, we believe, was implicitly held by the divines of the Eastern Church, though they shrank from explicit exposition of it in terms.**

            {*“Nec possumus dicere quod Spiritus Sanctus et a Filio non procedat: neque enim frustra idem Spiritus et Patris et Filii Spiritus dicitur.  Nec video quid aliud significare voluerit, cum suffians in faciem discipulorum ait, Accipite Spiritum Sanctum.  Neque enim flatus ille corporeus, cum sensu corporaliter tangendi procedens ex corpore, substantia Spiritus Sancti fuit, sed demonstratio per congruam significationem, non tantum a l’atre sed et a Filio procedere Spiritum Sanctum,” &c. – August. De Trinitat. Lib. IV. cap. XX. Tom. VIII. p. 829.  “De utroque autem procedere sic docetur, quia ipse Filius ait, De Patre procedit.  Et cum resurrexit a mortuis et apparuisset discipulis suis, insufflavit et ait, Accipite Spiritum Sanctum, ut Eum etiam de Se procedere ostenderet.  Et ipsa est Virtus quae de Illo exibat, sicut legitur in Evangelio, et sanabat omnes.” – Ibid. Lib. XV. cap. XXVI. p. 998.  See also, De Civitate Dei, Lib. XI. C. XXIV.  Tom. VII. p. 290; where S. Augustine, showing that the Holy Spirit is a Person, doubts if He can be called the goodness of the Father and the Son; but observing that the Father is a Spirit and holy, and the Son is a Spirit and holy, and yet the Third Person of the Trinity is called the Holy Spirit of the Father and of the Son, he supposes that that Third Person may be called the Spirit both of the Father and of the Son, and the Holiness both of the Father and of the Son, but yet a substantial Holiness, consubstantial with both.}

            {**The great objection which the Eastern Church makes to the Filioque, is, that it implies the existence of two αρχαι in the Godhead: and, if we believe in δύο άναρχοι, we, in effect, believe in two Gods.  The unity of the Godhead can only be maintained by acknowledging the Father to be the sole Αρχη or Πηγη θεοτήτος, who from all eternity has communicated His own Godhead to His co-eternal and consubstantial Son and Spirit.  This reasoning is generally true.  But, as the doctrine of the Procession of the Spirit from the Father and the Son presupposes the eternal Generation of the Son from the Father, it does not follow that that doctrine impugns the Catholic belief in the Μία Αρχή.}