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Title: History of Dogma, Volume 2 (of 7)
Author: Harnack, Adolph, 1851-1930
Language: English
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Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

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CHAPTER I.--Historical Survey

The Old and New Elements in the formation of the Catholic Church; The
fixing of that which is Apostolic (Rule of Faith, Collection of
Writings, Organization, Cultus); The Stages in the Genesis of the
Catholic Rule of Faith, the Apologists; Irenæus, Tertullian, Hippolytus;
Clement and Origen; Obscurities in reference to the origin of the most
important Institutions; Difficulties in determining the importance of
individual Personalities; Differences of development in the Churches of
different countries.


CHAPTER II.--The setting up of the Apostolic Standards for
Ecclesiastical Christianity. The Catholic Church

A. The transformation of the Baptismal Confession into the Apostolic
Rule of Faith

Necessities for setting up the Apostolic Rule of Faith; The Rule of
Faith is the Baptismal Confession definitely interpreted; Estimate of
this transformation; Irenæus; Tertullian; Results of the transformation;
Slower development in Alexandria: Clement and Origen.

B. The designation of selected writings read in the Churches as New
Testament Scriptures or, in other words, as a collection of Apostolic

Plausible arguments against the statement that up to the year 150 there
was no New Testament in the Church; Sudden emergence of the New
Testament in the Muratorian Fragment, in (Melito) Irenæus and
Tertullian; Conditions under which the New Testament originated;
Relation of the New Testament to the earlier writings that were read in
the Churches; Causes and motives for the formation of the Canon, manner
of using and results of the New Testament; The Apostolic collection of
writings can be proved at first only in those Churches in which we find
the Apostolic Rule of Faith; probably there was no New Testament in
Antioch about the year 200, nor in Alexandria (Clement); Probable
history of the genesis of the New Testament in Alexandria up to the time
of Origen; ADDENDUM. The results which the creation of the New Testament
produced in the following period.

C. The transformation of the Episcopal Office in the Church into an
Apostolic Office. The History of the remodelling of the conception of
the Church

The legitimising of the Rule of Faith by the Communities which were
founded by the Apostles; By the "Elders"; By the Bishops of Apostolic
Churches (disciples of Apostles); By the Bishops as such, who have
received the Apostolic _Charisma veritatis_; Excursus on the conceptions
of the Alexandrians; The Bishops as successors of the Apostles; Original
idea of the Church as the Holy Community that comes from Heaven and is
destined for it; The Church as the empiric Catholic Communion resting on
the Law of Faith; Obscurities in the idea of the Church as held by
Irenæus and Tertullian; By Clement and Origen; Transition to the
Hierarchical idea of the Church; The Hierarchical idea of the Church:
Calixtus and Cyprian; Appendix I. Cyprian's idea of the Church and the
actual circumstances; Appendix II. Church and Heresy; Appendix III.
Uncertainties regarding the consequences of the new idea of the Church.

CHAPTER III.--Continuation.--The Old Christianity and the New Church

Introduction; The Original Montanism; The later Montanism as the dregs
of the movement and as the product of a compromise; The opposition to
the demands of the Montanists by the Catholic Bishops: importance of the
victory for the Church; History of penance: the old practice; The laxer
practice in the days of Tertullian and Hippolytus; The abolition of the
old practice in the days of Cyprian; Significance of the new kind of
penance for the idea of the Church; the Church no longer a Communion of
Salvation and of Saints, but a condition of Salvation and a Holy
Institution and thereby a _corpus permixtum_; After effect of the old
idea of the Church in Cyprian; Origen's idea of the Church; Novatian's
idea of the Church and of penance, the Church of the Catharists;
Conclusion: the Catholic Church as capable of being a support to society
and the state; Addenda I. The Priesthood; Addenda II. Sacrifice; Addenda
III. Means of Grace. Baptism and the Eucharist; Excursus to Chapters II.
and III.--Catholic and Roman.


CHAPTER IV.--Ecclesiastical Christianity and Philosophy; The Apologists

1. Introduction

The historical position of the Apologists; Apologists and Gnostics;
Nature and importance of the Apologists' theology.

2. Christianity as Philosophy and as Revelation

Aristides; Justin; Athenagoras; Miltiades, Melito; Tatian;
Pseudo-Justin, Orat. ad Gr.; Theophilus; Pseudo-Justin, de Resurr.;
Tertullian and Minucius; Pseudo-Justin, de Monarch.; Results.

3. The doctrines of Christianity as the revealed and rational religion

Arrangement; The Monotheistic Cosmology; Theology; Doctrine of the
Logos; Doctrine of the World and of Man; Doctrine of Freedom and
Morality; Doctrine of Revelation (Proofs from Prophecy); Significance of
the History of Jesus; Christology of Justin; Interpretation and
Criticism, especially of Justin's doctrines.

CHAPTER V.--The Beginnings of an Ecclesiastico-theological
interpretation and revision of the Rule of Faith in opposition to
Gnosticism, on the basis of the New Testament and the Christian
Philosophy of the Apologists, Melito, Irenæus, Tertullian, Hippolytus,

1. The theological position of Irenæus and of the later contemporary
Church teachers

Characteristics of the theology of the Old Catholic Fathers, their
wavering between Reason and Tradition; Loose structure of their Dogmas;
Irenæus' attempt to construct a systematic theology and his fundamental
theological convictions; Gnostic and anti-Gnostic features of his
theology; Christianity conceived as a real redemption by Christ
(recapitulatio); His conception of a history of salvation; His
historical significance: conserving of tradition and gradual hellenising
of the Rule of Faith.

2. The Old Catholic Fathers' doctrine of the Church

The Antithesis to Gnosticism; The "Scripture theology" as a sign of the
dependence on "Gnosticism" and as a means of conserving tradition; The
Doctrine of God; The Logos Doctrine of Tertullian and Hippolytus;
(Conceptions regarding the Holy Spirit); Irenæus' doctrine of the Logos;
(Conceptions regarding the Holy Spirit); The views of Irenæus regarding
the destination of man, the original state, the fall and the doom of
death (the disparate series of ideas in Irenæus; rudiments of the
doctrine of original sin in Tertullian); The doctrine of Jesus Christ as
the incarnate son of God; Assertion of the complete mixture and unity of
the divine and human elements; Significance of Mary; Tertullian's
doctrine of the two natures and its origin; Rudiments of this doctrine
in Irenæus; The Gnostic character of this doctrine; Christology of
Hippolytus; Views as to Christ's work; Redemption, Perfection;
Reconciliation; Categories for the fruit of Christ's work; Things
peculiar to Tertullian; Satisfacere Deo; The Soul as the Bride of
Christ; The Eschatology; Its archaic nature, its incompatibility with
speculation and the advantage of connection with that; Conflict with
Chiliasm in the East; The doctrine of the two Testaments; The influence
of Gnosticism on the estimate of the two Testaments, the _complexus
oppositorum_; the Old Testament a uniform Christian Book as in the
Apologists; The Old Testament a preliminary stage of the New Testament
and a compound Book; The stages in the history of salvation; The law of
freedom the climax of the revelation in Christ.

3. Results to Ecclesiastical Christianity, chiefly in the West,
(Cyprian, Novation)

CHAPTER VI.--The Transformation of the Ecclesiastical Tradition into a
Philosophy of Religion, or the Origin of the Scientific Theology and
Dogmatic of the Church: Clement and Origen

(1) The Alexandrian Catechetical School and Clement of Alexandria

Schools and Teachers in the Church at the end of the second and the
beginning of the third century; scientific efforts (Alogi in Asia Minor,
Cappadocian Scholars, Bardesanes of Edessa, Julius Africanus, Scholars
in Palestine, Rome and Carthage); The Alexandrian Catechetical School.
Clement; The temper of Clement and his importance in the History of
Dogma; his relation to Irenæus, to the Gnostics and to primitive
Christianity; his philosophy of Religion; Clement and Origen

(2) The system of Origen

Introductory: The personality and importance of Origen; The Elements of
Origen's theology; its Gnostic features; The relative view of Origen;
His temper and final aim: relation to Greek Philosophy; Theology as a
Philosophy of Revelation, and a cosmological speculation; Porphyry on
Origen; The neutralising of History, esoteric and exoteric Christianity;
Fundamental ideas and arrangement of his system; Sources of truth,
doctrine of Scripture.

I. The Doctrine of God and its unfolding

Doctrine of God; Doctrine of the Logos; Clement's doctrine of the Logos;
Doctrine of the Holy Spirit; Doctrine of Spirits.

II. Doctrine of the Fall and its consequences

Doctrine of Man

III. Doctrine of Redemption and Restoration

The notions necessary to the Psychical; The Christology; The
Appropriation of Salvation; The Eschatology; Concluding Remarks: The
importance of this system to the following period.






The second century of the existence of Gentile-Christian communities was
characterised by the victorious conflict with Gnosticism and the
Marcionite Church, by the gradual development of an ecclesiastical
doctrine, and by the decay of the early Christian enthusiasm. The
general result was the establishment of a great ecclesiastical
association, which, forming at one and the same time a political
commonwealth, school and union for worship, was based on the firm
foundation of an "apostolic" law of faith, a collection of "apostolic"
writings, and finally, an "apostolic" organisation. This institution was
_the Catholic Church_.[1] In opposition to Gnosticism and Marcionitism,
the main articles forming the estate and possession of orthodox
Christianity were raised to the rank of apostolic regulations and laws,
and thereby placed beyond all discussion and assault. At first the
innovations introduced by this were not of a material, but of a formal,
character. Hence they were not noticed by any of those who had never, or
only in a vague fashion, been elevated to the feeling and idea of
freedom and independence in religion. How great the innovations actually
were, however, may be measured by the fact that they signified a
scholastic tutelage of the faith of the individual Christian, and
restricted the immediateness of religious feelings and ideas to the
narrowest limits. But the conflict with the so-called Montanism showed
that there were still a considerable number of Christians who valued
that immediateness and freedom; these were, however, defeated. The
fixing of the tradition under the title of apostolic necessarily led to
the assumption that whoever held the apostolic doctrine was also
essentially a Christian in the apostolic sense. This assumption, quite
apart from the innovations which were legitimised by tracing them to the
Apostles, meant the separation of doctrine and conduct, the preference
of the former to the latter, and the transformation of a fellowship of
faith, hope, and discipline into a communion "eiusdem sacramenti," that
is, into a union which, like the philosophical schools, rested on a
doctrinal law, and which was subject to a legal code of divine

The movement which resulted in the Catholic Church owes its right to a
place in the history of Christianity to the victory over Gnosticism and
to the preservation of an important part of early Christian tradition.
If Gnosticism in all its phases was the violent attempt to drag
Christianity down to the level of the Greek world, and to rob it of its
dearest possession, belief in the Almighty God of creation and
redemption, then Catholicism, inasmuch as it secured this belief for the
Greeks, preserved the Old Testament, and supplemented it with early
Christian writings, thereby saving--as far as documents, at least, were
concerned--and proclaiming the authority of an important part of
primitive Christianity, must in one respect be acknowledged as a
conservative force born from the vigour of Christianity. If we put aside
abstract considerations and merely look at the facts of the given
situation, we cannot but admire a creation which first broke up the
various outside forces assailing Christianity, and in which the highest
blessings of this faith have always continued to be accessible. If the
founder of the Christian religion had deemed belief in the Gospel and a
life in accordance with it to be compatible with membership of the
Synagogue and observance of the Jewish law, there could at least be no
impossibility of adhering to the Gospel within the Catholic Church.

Still, that is only one side of the case. The older Catholicism never
clearly put the question, "What is Christian?" Instead of answering that
question it rather laid down rules, the recognition of which was to be
the guarantee of Christianism. This solution of the problem seems to be
on the one hand too narrow and on the other too broad. Too narrow,
because it bound Christianity to rules under which it necessarily
languished; too broad, because it did not in any way exclude the
introduction of new and foreign conceptions. In throwing a protective
covering round the Gospel, Catholicism also obscured it. It preserved
Christianity from being hellenised to the most extreme extent, but, as
time went on, it was forced to admit into this religion an ever greater
measure of secularisation. In the interests of its world-wide mission it
did not indeed directly disguise the terrible seriousness of religion,
but, by tolerating a less strict ideal of life, it made it possible for
those less in earnest to be considered Christians, and to regard
themselves as such. It permitted the genesis of a Church, which was no
longer a communion of faith, hope, and discipline, but a political
commonwealth in which the Gospel merely had a place beside other
things.[3] In ever increasing measure it invested all the forms which
this secular commonwealth required with apostolic, that is, indirectly,
with divine authority. This course disfigured Christianity and made a
knowledge of what is Christian an obscure and difficult matter. But, in
Catholicism, religion for the first time obtained a formal dogmatic
system. Catholic Christianity discovered the formula which reconciled
faith and knowledge. This formula satisfied humanity for centuries, and
the blessed effects which it accomplished continued to operate even
after it had itself already become a fetter.

Catholic Christianity grew out of two converging series of developments.
In the one were set up fixed outer standards for determining what is
Christian, and these standards were proclaimed to be apostolic
institutions. The baptismal confession was exalted to an apostolic rule
of faith, that is, to an apostolic law of faith. A collection of
apostolic writings was formed from those read in the Churches, and this
compilation was placed on an equal footing with the Old Testament. The
episcopal and monarchical constitution was declared to be apostolic, and
the attribute of successor of the Apostles was conferred on the bishop.
Finally, the religious ceremonial developed into a celebration of
mysteries, which was in like manner traced back to the Apostles. The
result of these institutions was a strictly exclusive Church in the form
of a communion of doctrine, ceremonial, and law, a confederation which
more and more gathered the various communities within its pale, and
brought about the decline of all nonconforming sects. The confederation
was primarily based on a common confession, which, however, was not only
conceived as "law," but was also very soon supplemented by new
standards. One of the most important problems to be investigated in the
history of dogma, and one which unfortunately cannot be completely
solved, is to show what necessities led to the setting up of a new canon
of Scripture, what circumstances required the appearance of living
authorities in the communities, and what relation was established
between the apostolic rule of faith, the apostolic canon of Scripture,
and the apostolic office. The development ended with the formation of a
clerical class, at whose head stood the bishop, who united in himself
all conceivable powers, as teacher, priest, and judge. He disposed of
the powers of Christianity, guaranteed its purity, and therefore in
every respect held the Christian laity in tutelage.

But even apart from the content which Christianity here received, this
process in itself represents a progressive secularising of the Church,
This would be self-evident enough, even if it were not confirmed by
noting the fact that the process had already been to some extent
anticipated in the so-called Gnosticism (See vol. I. p. 253 and
Tertullian, de præscr. 35). But the element which the latter lacked,
namely, a firmly welded, suitably regulated constitution, must by no
means be regarded as one originally belonging and essential to
Christianity. The depotentiation to which Christianity was here
subjected appears still more plainly in the facts, that the Christian
hopes were deadened, that the secularising of the Christian life was
tolerated and even legitimised, and that the manifestations of an
unconditional devotion to the heavenly excited suspicion or were
compelled to confine themselves to very narrow limits.

But these considerations are scarcely needed as soon as we turn our
attention to the second series of developments that make up the history
of this period. The Church did not merely set up dykes and walls against
Gnosticism in order to ward it off externally, nor was she satisfied
with defending against it the facts which were the objects of her belief
and hope; but, taking the creed for granted, she began to follow this
heresy into its own special territory and to combat it with a scientific
theology. That was a necessity which did not first spring from
Christianity's own internal struggles. It was already involved in the
fact that the Christian Church had been joined by cultured Greeks, who
felt the need of justifying their Christianity to themselves and the
world, and of presenting it as the desired and certain answer to all the
pressing questions which then occupied men's minds.

The beginning of a development which a century later reached its
provisional completion in the theology of Origen, that is, in the
transformation of the Gospel into a scientific system of ecclesiastical
doctrine, appears in the Christian Apologetic, as we already find it
before the middle of the second century. As regards its content, this
system of doctrine meant the legitimising of Greek philosophy within the
sphere of the rule of faith. The theology of Origen bears the same
relation to the New Testament as that of Philo does to the Old. What is
here presented as Christianity is in fact the idealistic religious
philosophy of the age, attested by divine revelation, made accessible to
all by the incarnation of the Logos, and purified from any connection
with Greek mythology and gross polytheism.[4] A motley multitude of
primitive Christian ideas and hopes, derived from both Testaments, and
too brittle to be completely recast, as yet enclosed the kernel. But the
majority of these were successfully manipulated by theological art, and
the traditional rule of faith was transformed into a system of doctrine,
in which, to some extent, the old articles found only a nominal

This hellenising of ecclesiastical Christianity, by which we do not mean
the Gospel, was not a gradual process; for the truth rather is that it
was already accomplished the moment that the reflective Greek confronted
the new religion which he had accepted. The Christianity of men like
Justin, Athenagoras, and Minucius is not a whit less Hellenistic than
that of Origen. But yet an important distinction obtains here. It is
twofold. In the first place, those Apologists did not yet find
themselves face to face with a fixed collection of writings having a
title to be reverenced as Christian; they have to do with the Old
Testament and the "Teachings of Christ" ([Greek: didagmata Christou]).
In the second place, they do not yet regard the scientific presentation
of Christianity as the main task and as one which this religion itself
demands. As they really never enquired what was meant by "Christian," or
at least never put the question clearly to themselves, they never
claimed that their scientific presentation of Christianity was the first
proper expression of it that had been given. Justin and his
contemporaries make it perfectly clear that they consider the
traditional faith existing in the churches to be complete and pure and
in itself requiring no scientific revision. In a word, the gulf which
existed between the religious thought of philosophers and the sum of
Christian tradition is still altogether unperceived, because that
tradition was not yet fixed in rigid forms, because no religious
utterance testifying to monotheism, virtue, and reward was as yet
threatened by any control, and finally, because the speech of philosophy
was only understood by a small minority in the Church, though its
interests and aims were not unknown to most. Christian thinkers were
therefore still free to divest of their direct religious value all
realistic and historical elements of the tradition, while still
retaining them as parts of a huge apparatus of proof, which accomplished
what was really the only thing that many sought in Christianity, viz.,
the assurance that the theory of the world obtained from other sources
was the truth. The danger which here threatened Christianity as a
religion was scarcely less serious than that which had been caused to it
by the Gnostics. These remodelled tradition, the Apologists made it to
some extent inoperative without attacking it. The latter were not
disowned, but rather laid the foundation of Church theology, and
determined the circle of interests within which it was to move in the

But the problem which the Apologists solved almost offhand, namely, the
task of showing that Christianity was the perfect and certain
philosophy, because it rested on revelation, and that it was the highest
scientific knowledge of God and the world, was to be rendered more
difficult. To these difficulties all that primitive Christianity has up
to the present transmitted to the Church of succeeding times contributes
its share. The conflict with Gnosticism made it necessary to find some
sort of solution to the question, "What is Christian?" and to fix this
answer. But indeed the Fathers were not able to answer the question
confidently and definitely. They therefore made a selection from
tradition and contented themselves with making it binding on Christians.
Whatever was to lay claim to authority in the Church had henceforth to
be in harmony with the rule of faith and the canon of New Testament
Scriptures. That created an entirely new situation for Christian
thinkers, that is, for those trying to solve the problem of
subordinating Christianity to the Hellenic spirit. That spirit never
became quite master of the situation; it was obliged to accommodate
itself to it.[7] The work first began with the scientific treatment of
individual articles contained in the rule of faith, partly with the view
of disproving Gnostic conceptions, partly for the purpose of satisfying
the Church's own needs. The framework in which these articles were
placed virtually continued to be the apologetic theology, for this
maintained a doctrine of God and the world, which seemed to correspond
to the earliest tradition as much as it ran counter to the Gnostic
theses. (Melito), Irenæus, Tertullian and Hippolytus, aided more or less
by tradition on the one hand and by philosophy on the other, opposed to
the Gnostic dogmas about Christianity the articles of the baptismal
confession interpreted as a rule of faith, these articles being
developed into doctrines. Here they undoubtedly learned very much from
the Gnostics and Marcion. If we define ecclesiastical dogmas as
propositions handed down in the creed of the Church, shown to exist in
the Holy Scriptures of both Testaments, and rationally reproduced and
formulated, then the men we have just mentioned were the first to set up
dogmas[8]--dogmas but no system of dogmatics. As yet the difficulty of
the problem was by no means perceived by these men either. Their
peculiar capacity for sympathising with and understanding the
traditional and the old still left them in a happy blindness. So far as
they had a theology they supposed it to be nothing more than the
explanation of the faith of the Christian multitude (yet Tertullian
already noted the difference in one point, certainly a very
characteristic one, viz., the Logos doctrine). They still lived in the
belief that the Christianity which filled their minds required no
scientific remodelling in order to be an expression of the highest
knowledge, and that it was in all respects identical with the
Christianity which even the most uncultivated could grasp. That this was
an illusion is proved by many considerations, but most convincingly by
the fact that Tertullian and Hippolytus had the main share in
introducing into the doctrine of faith a philosophically formulated
dogma, viz., that the Son of God is the Logos, and in having it made the
_articulus constitutivus ecclesiæ_. The effects of this undertaking can
never be too highly estimated, for the Logos doctrine is Greek
philosophy _in nuce_, though primitive Christian views may have been
subsequently incorporated with it. Its introduction into the creed of
Christendom, which was, strictly speaking, the setting up _of the first
dogma in the Church_, meant the future conversion of the rule of faith
into a philosophic system. But in yet another respect Irenæus and
Hippolytus denote an immense advance beyond the Apologists, which,
paradoxically enough, results both from the progress of Christian
Hellenism and from a deeper study of the Pauline theology, that is,
emanates from the controversy with Gnosticism. In them a religious and
realistic idea takes the place of the moralism of the Apologists,
namely, the deifying of the human race through the incarnation of the
Son of God. The apotheosis of mortal man through his acquisition of
immortality (divine life) is the idea of salvation which was taught in
the ancient mysteries. It is here adopted as a Christian one, supported
by the Pauline theology (especially as contained in the Epistle to the
Ephesians), and brought into the closest connection with the historical
Christ, the Son of God and Son of man (filius dei et filius hominis).
What the heathen faintly hoped for as a possibility was here announced
as certain, and indeed as having already taken place. What a message!
This conception was to become the central Christian idea of the future.
A long time, however, elapsed before it made its way into the dogmatic
system of the Church.[9]

But meanwhile the huge gulf which existed between both Testaments and
the rule of faith on the one hand, and the current ideas of the time on
the other, had been recognized in Alexandria. It was not indeed felt as
a gulf, for then either the one or the other would have had to be given
up, but as a _problem_. If the Church tradition contained the assurance,
not to be obtained elsewhere, of all that Greek culture knew, hoped for,
and prized, and if for that very reason it was regarded as in every
respect inviolable, then the absolutely indissoluble union of Christian
tradition with the Greek philosophy of religion was placed beyond all
doubt. But an immense number of problems were at the same time raised,
especially when, as in the case of the Alexandrians, heathen syncretism
in the entire breadth of its development was united with the doctrine of
the Church. The task, which had been begun by Philo and carried on by
Valentinus and his school, was now undertaken in the Church. Clement led
the way in attempting a solution of the problem, but the huge task
proved too much for him. Origen took it up under more difficult
circumstances, and in a certain fashion brought it to a conclusion. He,
the rival of the Neoplatonic philosophers, the Christian Philo, wrote
the first Christian dogmatic, which competed with the philosophic
systems of the time, and which, founded on the Scriptures of both
Testaments, presents a peculiar union of the apologetic theology of a
Justin and the Gnostic theology of a Valentinus, while keeping steadily
in view a simple and highly practical aim. In this dogmatic the rule of
faith is recast and that quite consciously. Origen did not conceal his
conviction that Christianity finds its correct expression only in
scientific knowledge, and that every form of Christianity that lacks
theology is but a meagre kind with no clear consciousness of its own
content. This conviction plainly shows that Origen was dealing with a
different kind of Christianity, though his view that a mere relative
distinction existed here may have its justification in the fact, that
the untheological Christianity of the age with which he compared his own
was already permeated by Hellenic elements and in a very great measure
secularised.[10] But Origen, as well as Clement before him, had really a
right to the conviction that the true essence of Christianity, or, in
other words, the Gospel, is only arrived at by the aid of critical
speculation; for was not the Gospel veiled and hidden in the canon of
both Testaments, was it not displaced by the rule of faith, was it not
crushed down, depotentiated, and disfigured in the Church which
identified itself with the people of Christ? Clement and Origen found
freedom and independence in what they recognized to be the essence of
the matter and what they contrived with masterly skill to determine as
its proper aim, after an examination of the huge apparatus of tradition.
But was not that the ideal of Greek sages and philosophers? This
question can by no means be flatly answered in the negative, and still
less decidedly in the affirmative, for a new significance was here given
to the ideal by representing it _as assured beyond all doubt, already
realised_ in the person of Christ and incompatible with polytheism. If,
as is manifestly the case, they found joy and peace in their faith and
in the theory of the universe connected with it, if they prepared
themselves for an eternal life and expected it with certainty, if they
felt themselves to be perfect only through dependence on God, then, in
spite of their Hellenism, they unquestionably came nearer to the Gospel
than Irenæus with his slavish dependence on authority.

The setting up of a scientific system of Christian dogmatics, which was
still something different from the rule of faith, interpreted in an
Antignostic sense, philosophically wrought out, and in some parts proved
from the Bible, was a private undertaking of Origen, and at first only
approved in limited circles. As yet, not only were certain bold changes
of interpretation disputed in the Church, but the undertaking itself, as
a whole, was disapproved.[11] The circumstances of the several
provincial churches in the first half of the third century were still
very diverse. Many communities had yet to adopt the basis that made them
into Catholic ones; and in most, if not in all, the education of the
clergy--not to speak of the laity--was not high enough to enable them to
appreciate systematic theology. But the schools in which Origen taught
carried on his work, similar ones were established, and these produced a
number of the bishops and presbyters of the East in the last half of the
third century. They had in their hands the means of culture afforded by
the age, and this was all the more a guarantee of victory because the
laity no longer took any part in deciding the form of religion. Wherever
the Logos Christology had been adopted the future of Christian Hellenism
was certain. At the beginning of the fourth century there was no
community in Christendom which, apart from the Logos doctrine, possessed
a purely philosophical theory that was regarded as an ecclesiastical
dogma, to say nothing of an official scientific theology. But the system
of Origen was a prophecy of the future. The Logos doctrine started the
crystallising process which resulted in further deposits. Symbols of
faith were already drawn up which contained a peculiar mixture of
Origen's theology with the inflexible Antignostic _regula fidei_. One
celebrated theologian, Methodius, endeavoured to unite the theology of
Irenæus and Origen, ecclesiastical realism and philosophic spiritualism,
under the badge of monastic mysticism. The developments of the following
period therefore no longer appear surprising in any respect.

As Catholicism, from every point of view, is the result of the blending
of Christianity with the ideas of antiquity,[12] so the Catholic
dogmatic, as it was developed after the second or third century on the
basis of the Logos doctrine, is Christianity conceived and formulated
from the standpoint of the Greek philosophy of religion.[13] This
Christianity conquered the old world, and became the foundation of a new
phase of history in the Middle Ages. The union of the Christian religion
with a definite historical phase of human knowledge and culture may be
lamented in the interest of the Christian religion, which was thereby
secularised, and in the interest of the development of culture which was
thereby retarded(?). But lamentations become here ill-founded
assumptions, as absolutely everything that we have and value is due to
the alliance that Christianity and antiquity concluded in such a way
that neither was able to prevail over the other. Our inward and
spiritual life, which owes the least part of its content to the empiric
knowledge which we have acquired, is based up to the present moment on
the discords resulting from that union.

These hints are meant among other things to explain and justify[14] the
arrangement chosen for the following presentation, which embraces the
fundamental section of the history of Christian dogma.[15] A few more
remarks are, however, necessary.

1. One special difficulty in ascertaining the genesis of the Catholic
rules is that the churches, though on terms of close connection and
mutual intercourse, had no real _forum publicum_, though indeed, in a
certain sense, each bishop was _in foro publico_. As a rule, therefore,
we can only see the advance in the establishment of fixed forms in the
shape of results, without being able to state precisely the ways and
means which led to them. We do indeed know the factors, and can
therefore theoretically construct the development; but the real course
of things is frequently hidden from us. The genesis of a harmonious
Church, firmly welded together in doctrine and constitution, can no more
have been the natural unpremeditated product of the conditions of the
time than were the genesis and adoption of the New Testament canon of
Scripture. But we have no direct evidence as to what communities had a
special share in the development, although we know that the Roman Church
played a leading part. Moreover, we can only conjecture that
conferences, common measures, and synodical decisions were not wanting.
It is certain that, beginning with the last quarter of the second
century, there were held in the different provinces, mostly in the East,
but later also in the West, Synods in which an understanding was arrived
at on all questions of importance to Christianity, including, e.g., the
extent of the canon.[16]

2. The degree of influence exercised by particular ecclesiastics on the
development of the Church and its doctrines is also obscure and
difficult to determine. As they were compelled to claim the sanction of
tradition for every innovation they introduced, and did in fact do so,
and as every fresh step they took appeared to themselves necessary only
as an explanation, it is in many cases quite impossible to distinguish
between what they received from tradition and what they added to it of
their own. Yet an investigation from the point of view of the historian
of literature shows that Tertullian and Hippolytus were to a great
extent dependent on Irenæus. What amount of innovation these men
independently contributed can therefore still be ascertained. Both are
men of the second generation. Tertullian is related to Irenæus pretty
much as Calvin to Luther. This parallel holds good in more than one
respect. First, Tertullian drew up a series of plain dogmatic formulæ
which are not found in Irenæus and which proved of the greatest
importance in succeeding times. Secondly, he did not attain the power,
vividness, and unity of religious intuition which distinguish Irenæus.
The truth rather is that, just because of his forms, he partly destroyed
the unity of the matter and partly led it into a false path of
development. Thirdly, he everywhere endeavoured to give a conception of
Christianity which represented it as the divine law, whereas in Irenæus
this idea is overshadowed by the conception of the Gospel as real
redemption. The main problem therefore resolves itself into the question
as to the position of Irenæus in the history of the Church. To what
extent were his expositions new, to what extent were the standards he
formulated already employed in the Churches, and in which of them? We
cannot form to ourselves a sufficiently vivid picture of the interchange
of Christian writings in the Church after the last quarter of the second
century.[17] Every important work speedily found its way into the
churches of the chief cities in the Empire. The diffusion was not merely
from East to West, though this was the general rule. At the beginning of
the fourth century there was in Cæsarea a Greek translation of
Tertullian's Apology and a collection of Cyprian's epistles.[18] The
influence of the Roman Church extended over the greater part of
Christendom. Up till about the year 260 the Churches in East and West
had still in some degree a common history.

3. The developments in the history of dogma within the period extending
from about 150 to about 300 were by no means brought about in the
different communities at the same time and in a completely analogous
fashion. This fact is in great measure concealed from us, because our
authorities are almost completely derived from those leading Churches
that were connected with each other by constant intercourse. Yet the
difference can still be clearly proved by the ratio of development in
Rome, Lyons, and Carthage on the one hand, and in Alexandria on the
other. Besides, we have several valuable accounts showing that in more
remote provinces and communities the development was slower, and a
primitive and freer condition of things much longer preserved.[19]

4. From the time that the clergy acquired complete sway over the
Churches, that is, from the beginning of the second third of the third
century, the development of the history of dogma practically took place
within the ranks of that class, and was carried on by its learned men.
Every mystery they set up therefore became doubly mysterious to the
laity, for these did not even understand the terms, and hence it formed
another new fetter.


[Footnote 1: Aubé (Histoire des Persécutions de l'Eglise, Vol. II. 1878,
pp. 1-68) has given a survey of the genesis of ecclesiastical dogma. The
disquisitions of Renan in the last volumes of his great historical work
are excellent, though not seldom exaggerated in particular points. See
especially the concluding observations in Vol. VII. cc. 28-34. Since the
appearance of Ritschl's monograph on the genesis of the old Catholic
Church, a treatise which, however, forms too narrow a conception of the
problem, German science can point to no work of equal rank with the
French. Cf. Sohm's Kirchenrecht, Vol. I. which, however, in a very
one-sided manner, makes the adoption of the legal and constitutional
arrangements responsible for all the evil in the Church.]

[Footnote 2: Sohm (p. 160) declares: "The foundation of Catholicism is
the divine Church law to which it lays claim." In many other passages he
even seems to express the opinion that the Church law of itself, even
when not represented as divine, is the hereditary enemy of the true
Church and at the same time denotes the essence of Catholicism. See,
e.g., p. 2: "The whole essence of Catholicism consists in its declaring
legal institutions to be necessary to the Church." Page 700: "The
essence of Church law is incompatible with the essence of the Church."
This thesis really characterises Catholicism well and contains a great
truth, if expressed in more careful terms, somewhat as follows: "The
assertion that there is a divine Church law (emanating from Christ, or,
in other words, from the Apostles), which is necessary to the spiritual
character of the Church and which in fact is a token of this very
attribute, is incompatible with the essence of the Gospel and is the
mark of a pseudo-Catholicism." But the thesis contains too narrow a view
of the case. For the divine Church law is only one feature of the
essence of the Catholic Church, though a very important element, which
Sohm, as a jurist, was peculiarly capable of recognising. The whole
essence of Catholicism, however, consists in the deification of
tradition generally. The declaration that the empirical institutions of
the Church, created for and necessary to this purpose, are apostolic, a
declaration which amalgamates them with the essence and content of the
Gospel and places them beyond all criticism, is the peculiarly
"Catholic" feature. Now, as a great part of these institutions cannot be
inwardly appropriated and cannot really amalgamate with faith and piety,
it is self-evident that such portions become continued: legal
ordinances, to which obedience must be rendered. For no other relation
to these ordinances can be conceived. Hence the legal regulations and
the corresponding slavish devotion come to have such immense scope in
Catholicism, and well-nigh express its essence. But behind this is found
the more general conviction that the empirical Church, as it actually
exists, is the authentic, pure, and infallible creation: its doctrine,
its regulations, its religious ceremonial are apostolic. Whoever doubts
that renounces Christ. Now, if, as in the case of the Reformers, this
conception be recognised as erroneous and unevangelical, the result must
certainly be a strong detestation of "the divine Church law." Indeed,
the inclination to sweep away all Church law is quite intelligible, for
when you give the devil your little finger he takes the whole hand. But,
on the other hand, it cannot be imagined how communities are to exist on
earth, propagate themselves, and train men without regulations; and how
regulations are to exist without resulting in the formation of a code of
laws. In truth, such regulations have at no time been wanting in
Christian communities, and have always possessed the character of a
legal code. Sohm's distinction, that in the oldest period there was no
"law," but only a "regulation," is artificial, though possessed of a
certain degree of truth; for the regulation has one aspect in a circle
of like-minded enthusiasts, and a different one in a community where all
stages of moral and religious culture are represented, and which has
therefore to train its members. Or should it not do so? And, on the
other hand, had the oldest Churches not the Old Testament and the
[Greek: diataxeis] of the Apostles? Were these no code of laws? Sohm's
proposition: "The essence of Church law is incompatible with the essence
of the Church," does not rise to evangelical clearness and freedom, but
has been formed under the shadow and ban of Catholicism. I am inclined
to call it an Anabaptist thesis. The Anabaptists were also in the shadow
and ban of Catholicism; hence their only course was either the attempt
to wreck the Church and Church history and found a new empire, or a
return to Catholicism. Hermann Bockelson or the Pope! But the Gospel is
above the question of Jew or Greek, and therefore also above the
question of a legal code. It is reconcilable with everything that is not
sin, even with the philosophy of the Greeks. Why should it not be also
compatible with the monarchical bishop, with the legal code of the
Romans, and even with the Pope, provided these are not made part of the

[Footnote 3: In the formation of the Marcionite Church we have, on the
other hand, the attempt to create a rigid oecumenical community, held
together solely by religion. The Marcionite Church therefore had a
founder, the Catholic has none.]

[Footnote 4: The historian who wishes to determine the advance made by
Græco-Roman humanity in the third and fourth centuries, under the
influence of Catholicism and its theology, must above all keep in view
the fact that gross polytheism and immoral mythology were swept away,
spiritual monotheism brought near to all, and the ideal of a divine life
and the hope of an eternal one made certain. Philosophy also aimed at
that, but it was not able to establish a community of men on these

[Footnote 5: Luther, as is well known, had a very profound impression of
the distinction between Biblical Christianity and the theology of the
Fathers, who followed the theories of Origen. See, for example, Werke,
Vol. LXII. p. 49, quoting Proles: "When the word of God comes to the
Fathers, me thinks it is as if milk were filtered through a coal sack,
where the milk must become black and spoiled."]

[Footnote 6: They were not the first to determine this circle of
interests. So far as we can demonstrate traces of independent religious
knowledge among the so-called Apostolic Fathers of the post-apostolic
age, they are in thorough harmony with the theories of the Apologists,
which are merely expressed with precision and divested of Old Testament

[Footnote 7: It was only after the apostolic tradition, fixed in the
form of a comprehensive collection, seemed to guarantee the
admissibility of every form of Christianity that reverenced that
collection, that the hellenising of Christianity within the Church began
in serious fashion. The fixing of tradition had had a twofold result. On
the one hand, it opened the way more than ever before for a free and
unhesitating introduction of foreign ideas into Christianity, and, on
the other hand, so far as it really also included the documents and
convictions of primitive Christianity, it preserved this religion to the
future and led to a return to it, either from scientific or religious
considerations. That we know anything at all of original Christianity is
entirely due to the fixing of the tradition, as found at the basis of
Catholicism. On the supposition--which is indeed an academic
consideration--that this fixing had not taken place because of the
non-appearance of the Gnosticism which occasioned it, and on the further
supposition that the original enthusiasm had continued, we would in all
probability know next to nothing of original Christianity today. How
much we would have known may be seen from the Shepherd of Hermas.]

[Footnote 8: So far as the Catholic Church is concerned, the idea of
dogmas, as individual theorems characteristic of Christianity, and
capable of being scholastically proved, originated with the Apologists.
Even as early as Justin we find tendencies to amalgamate historical
material and natural theology.]

[Footnote 9: It is almost completely wanting in Tertullian. That is
explained by the fact that this remarkable man was in his inmost soul an
old-fashioned Christian, to whom the Gospel was _conscientia religionis,
disciplina vitæ_ and _spes fidei_, and who found no sort of edification
in Neoplatonic notions, but rather dwelt on the ideas "command,"
"performance," "error," "forgiveness." In Irenæus also, moreover, the
ancient idea of salvation, supplemented by elements derived from the
Pauline theology, is united with the primitive Christian eschatology.]

[Footnote 10: On the significance of Clement and Origen see Overbeck,
"Über die Anfänge der patristischen Litteratur" in d. Hist. Ztschr, N.
F., Vol, XII. p. 417 ff.]

[Footnote 11: Information on this point may be got not only from the
writings of Origen (see especially his work against Celsus), but also
and above all from his history. The controversy between Dionysius of
Alexandria and the Chiliasts is also instructive on the matter.]

[Footnote 12: The three or (reckoning Methodius) four steps of the
development of church doctrine (Apologists, Old Catholic Fathers,
Alexandrians) correspond to the progressive religious and philosophical
development of heathendom at that period: philosophic moralism, ideas of
salvation (theology and practice of mysteries), Neoplatonic philosophy,
and complete syncretism.]

[Footnote 13: "Virtus omnis ex his causam accipit, a quibus provocatur"
(Tertull., de bapt. 2.)]

[Footnote 14: The plan of placing the apologetic theology before
everything else would have much to recommend it, but I adhere to the
arrangement here chosen, because the advantage of being able to
represent and survey the outer ecclesiastical development and the inner
theological one, each being viewed as a unity, seems to me to be very
great. We must then of course understand the two developments as
proceeding on parallel lines. But the placing of the former parallel
before the latter in my presentation is justified by the fact that what
was gained in the former passed over much more directly and swiftly into
the general life of the Church, than what was reached in the latter.
Decades elapsed, for instance, before the apologetic theology came to be
generally known and accepted in the Church, as is shown by the long
continued conflict against Monarchianism.]

[Footnote 15: The origin of Catholicism can only be very imperfectly
described within the framework of the history of dogma, for the
political situation of the Christian communities in the Roman Empire had
quite as important an influence on the development of the Catholic
Church as its internal conflicts. But inasmuch as that situation and
these struggles are ultimately connected in the closest way, the history
of dogma cannot even furnish a complete picture of this development
within definite limits.]

[Footnote 16: See Tertullian, de pudic. 10: "Sed cederem tibi, si
scriptura Pastoris, quæ sola moechos amat, divino instrumento meruisset
incidi, si non ab omni concilio ecclesiarum etiam vestrarum inter
aprocrypha et falsa iudicaretur;" de ieiun. 13: "Aguntur præsterea per
Græcias illa certis in locis concilia ex universis ecclesiis, per quæ et
altiora quæque in commune tractantur, et ipsa repræsentatio totius
nominis Christiani magna veneratione celebratur." We must also take into
account here the intercourse by letter, in which connection I may
specially remind the reader of the correspondence between Dionysius,
Bishop of Corinth, Euseb., H. E. IV. 23, and journeys such as those of
Polycarp and Abercius to Rome. Cf. generally Zahn, Weltverkehr und
Kirche währeud der drei ersten Jahrhunderte, 1877.]

[Footnote 17: See my studies respecting the tradition of the Greek
Apologists of the second century in the early Church in the Texte und
Unters. z. Gesch. der alt christl. Litteratur, Vol. I. Part I. 2.]

[Footnote 18: See Euseb., H. E. II. 2; VI. 43.]

[Footnote 19: See the accounts of Christianity in Edessa and the far
East generally. The Acta Archelai and the Homilies of Aphraates should
also be specially examined. Cf. further Euseb., H. E. VI. 12, and
finally the remains of the Latin-Christian literature of the third
century--apart from Tertullian, Cyprian and Novatian--as found partly
under the name of Cyprian, partly under other titles. Commodian,
Arnobius, and Lactantius are also instructive here. This literature has
been but little utilised with respect to the history of dogma and of the




We may take as preface to this chapter three celebrated passages from
Tertullian's "de præscriptione hæreticorum." In chap. 21 we find: "It is
plain that all teaching that agrees with those apostolic Churches which
are the wombs and origins of the faith must be set down as truth, it
being certain that such doctrine contains that which the Church received
from the Apostles, the Apostles from Christ, and Christ from God." In
chap. 36 we read: "Let us see what it (the Roman Church) has learned,
what it has taught, and what fellowship it has likewise had with the
African Churches. It acknowledges one God the Lord, the creator of the
universe, and Jesus Christ, the Son of God the creator, born of the
Virgin Mary, as well as the resurrection of the flesh. It unites the Law
and the Prophets with the writings of the Evangelists and Apostles. From
these it draws its faith, and by their authority it seals this faith
with water, clothes it with the Holy Spirit, feeds it with the
eucharist, and encourages martyrdom. Hence it receives no one who
rejects this institution." In chap. 32 the following challenge is
addressed to the heretics: "Let them unfold a series of their bishops
proceeding by succession from the beginning in such a way that this
first bishop of theirs had as his authority and predecessor some one of
the Apostles or one of the apostolic men, who, however, associated with
the Apostles."[21] From the consideration of these three passages it
directly follows that three standards are to be kept in view, viz., the
apostolic doctrine, the apostolic canon of Scripture, and the guarantee
of apostolic authority, afforded by the organisation of the Church, that
is, by the episcopate, and traced back to apostolic institution. It will
be seen that the Church always adopted these three standards together,
that is simultaneously.[22] As a matter of fact they originated in Rome
and gradually made their way in the other Churches. That Asia Minor had
a share in this is probable, though the question is involved in
obscurity. The three Catholic standards had their preparatory stages,
(1) in short kerygmatic creeds; (2) in the authority of the Lord and the
formless apostolic tradition as well as in the writings read in the
Churches; (3) in the veneration paid to apostles, prophets, and
teachers, or the "elders" and leaders of the individual communities.

A. _The Transformation of the Baptismal Confession into the Apostolic
Rule of Faith._

It has been explained (vol. I. p. 157) that the idea of the complete
identity of what the Churches possessed as Christian communities with
the doctrine or regulations of the twelve Apostles can already be shown
in the earliest Gentile-Christian literature. In the widest sense the
expression, [Greek: kanôn tês paradoseôs] (canon of tradition),
originally included all that was traced back to Christ himself through
the medium of the Apostles and was of value for the faith and life of
the Church, together with everything that was or seemed her inalienable
possession, as, for instance, the Christian interpretation of the Old
Testament. In the narrower sense that canon consisted of the history and
words of Jesus. In so far as they formed the content of faith they were
the faith itself, that is, the Christian truth; in so far as this faith
was to determine the essence of everything Christian, it might be termed
[Greek: kanôn tês pisteôs, kanôn tês alêtheias] (canon of the faith,
canon of the truth).[23] But the very fact that the extent of what was
regarded as tradition of the Apostles was quite undetermined ensured the
possibility of the highest degree of freedom; it was also still
allowable to give expression to Christian inspiration and to the
intuition of enthusiasm without any regard to tradition.

We now know that before the violent conflict with Gnosticism short
formulated summaries of the faith had already grown out of the
missionary practice of the Church (catechising). The shortest formula
was that which defined the Christian faith as belief in the Father, Son,
and Spirit.[24] It appears to have been universally current in
Christendom about the year 150. In the solemn transactions of the
Church, therefore especially in baptism, in the great prayer of the
Lord's Supper, as well as in the exorcism of demons,[25] fixed formulæ
were used. They embraced also such articles as contained the most
important facts in the history of Jesus.[26] We know definitely that not
later than about the middle of the second century (about 140 A.D.) the
Roman Church possessed a fixed creed, which every candidate for baptism
had to profess;[27] and something similar must also have existed in
Smyrna and other Churches of Asia Minor about the year 150, in some
cases, even rather earlier. We may suppose that formulæ of similar plan
and extent were also found in other provincial Churches about this
time.[28] Still it is neither probable that all the then existing
communities possessed such creeds, nor that those who used them had
formulated them in such a rigid way as the Roman Church had done. The
proclamation of the history of Christ predicted in the Old Testament,
the [Greek: kerygma tês alêtheias], also accompanied the short baptismal
formula without being expressed in set terms.[29]

Words of Jesus and, in general, directions for the Christian life were
not, as a rule, admitted into the short formulated creed. In the
recently discovered "Teaching of the Apostles" ([Greek: Didachê tôn
apostolôn]) we have no doubt a notable attempt to fix the rules of
Christian life as traced back to Jesus through the medium of the
Apostles, and to elevate them into the foundation of the confederation
of Christian Churches; but this undertaking, which could not but have
led the development of Christianity into other paths, did not succeed.
That the formulated creeds did not express the principles of conduct,
but the facts on which Christians based their faith, was an unavoidable
necessity. Besides, the universal agreement of all earnest and
thoughtful minds on the question of Christian morals was practically
assured.[30] Objection was not taken to the principles of morality--at
least this was not a primary consideration--for there were many Greeks
to whom they did not seem foolishness, but to the adoration of Christ as
he was represented in tradition and to the Church's worship of a God,
who, as creator of the world and as a speaking and visible being,
appeared to the Greeks, with their ideas of a purely spiritual deity, to
be interwoven with the world, and who, as the God worshipped by the Jews
also, seemed clearly distinct from the Supreme Being. This gave rise to
the mockery of the heathen, the theological art of the Gnostics, and the
radical reconstruction of tradition as attempted by Marcion. With the
freedom that still prevailed Christianity was in danger of being
resolved into a motley mass of philosophic speculations or of being
completely detached from its original conditions. "It was admitted on
all sides that Christianity had its starting-point in certain facts and
sayings; but if any and every interpretation of those facts and sayings
was possible, if any system of philosophy might be taught into which the
words that expressed them might be woven, it is clear that there could
be but little cohesion between the members of the Christian communities.
The problem arose and pressed for an answer: What should be the basis of
Christian union? But the problem was for a time insoluble. For there was
no standard and no court of appeal." From the very beginning, when the
differences in the various Churches began to threaten their unity,
appeal was probably made to the Apostles' doctrine, the words of the
Lord, tradition, "sound doctrine", definite facts, such as the reality
of the human nature (flesh) of Christ, and the reality of his death and
resurrection.[31] In instruction, in exhortations, and above all in
opposing erroneous doctrines and moral aberrations, this precept was
inculcated from the beginning: [Greek: apolipômen tas kenas kai mataias
phrontidas, kai elthômen epi ton eukleê kai semnon tês paradoseôs hêmôn
kanona] ("Let us leave off vain and foolish thoughts and betake
ourselves to the glorious and august canon of our tradition"). But the
very question was: What is sound doctrine? What is the content of
tradition? Was the flesh of Christ a reality? etc. There is no doubt
that Justin, in opposition to those whom he viewed as pseudo-Christians,
insisted on the absolute necessity of acknowledging certain definite
traditional facts and made this recognition the standard of orthodoxy.
To all appearance it was he who began the great literary struggle for
the expulsion of heterodoxy (see his [Greek: syntagma kata pasôn tôn
gegenêmenôn haireseôn]); but, judging from those writings of his that
have been preserved to us, it seems very unlikely that he was already
successful in finding a fixed standard for determining orthodox

The permanence of the communities, however, depended on the discovery of
such a standard. They were no longer held together by the _conscientia
religionis_, the _unitas disciplinæ_, and the _foedus spei_. The
Gnostics were not solely to blame for that. They rather show us merely
the excess of a continuous transformation which no community could
escape. The gnosis which subjected religion to a critical examination
awoke in proportion as religious life from generation to generation lost
its warmth and spontaneity. There was a time when the majority of
Christians knew themselves to be such, (1) because they had the "Spirit"
and found in that an indestructible guarantee of their Christian
position, (2) because they observed all the commandments of Jesus
([Greek: entolai Iêsou]). But when these guarantees died away, and when
at the same time the most diverse doctrines that were threatening to
break up the Church were preached in the name of Christianity, the
fixing of tradition necessarily became the supreme task. Here, as in
every other case, the tradition was not fixed till after it had been to
some extent departed from. It was just the Gnostics themselves who took
the lead in a fixing process, a plain proof that the setting up of
dogmatic formulæ has always been the support of new formations. But the
example set by the Gnostics was the very thing that rendered the problem
difficult. Where was a beginning to be made? "There is a kind of
unconscious logic in the minds of masses of men when great questions are
abroad, which some one thinker throws into suitable form."[33] There
could be no doubt that the needful thing was to fix what was
"apostolic," for the one certain thing was that Christianity was based
on a divine revelation which had been transmitted through the medium of
the Apostles to the Churches of the whole earth. It certainly was not a
single individual who hit on the expedient of affirming the fixed forms
employed by the Churches in their solemn transactions to be apostolic in
the strict sense. It must have come about by a natural process. But the
confession of the Father, Son, and Spirit and the _kerygma_ of Jesus
Christ had the most prominent place among these forms. The special
emphasising of these articles, in opposition to the Gnostic and
Marcionite undertakings, may also be viewed as the result of the "common
sense" of all those who clung to the belief that the Father of Jesus
Christ was the creator of the world, and that the Son of God really
appeared in the flesh. But that was not everywhere sufficient, for, even
admitting that about the period between 150 and 180 A.D. all the
Churches had a fixed creed which they regarded as apostolic in the
strict sense--and this cannot be proved,--the most dangerous of all
Gnostic schools, viz., those of Valentinus, could recognise this creed,
since they already possessed the art of explaining a given text in
whatever way they chose. What was needed was an apostolic creed
_definitely interpreted_; for it was only by the aid of a definite
interpretation that the creed could be used to repel the Gnostic
speculations and the Marcionite conception of Christianity.

In this state of matters the Church of Rome, the proceedings of which
are known to us through Irenæus and Tertullian, took, with regard to the
fixed Roman baptismal confession ascribed to the Apostles, the following
step: The Antignostic interpretation required by the necessities of the
times was proclaimed as its self-evident content; the confession, thus
explained, was designated as the "Catholic faith" ("fides catholica"),
that is the rule of truth for the faith; and its acceptance was made the
test of adherence to the Roman Church as well as to the general
confederation of Christendom. Irenæus was not the author of this
proceeding. How far Rome acted with the coöperation or under the
influence of the Church of Asia Minor is a matter that is still
obscure,[34] and will probably never be determined with certainty. What
the Roman community accomplished practically was theoretically
established by Irenæus[35] and Tertullian. The former proclaimed the
baptismal confession, definitely interpreted and expressed in an
Antignostic form, to be the apostolic rule of truth (regula veritatis),
and tried to prove it so. He based his demonstration on the theory that
this series of doctrines embodied the faith of the churches founded by
the Apostles, and that these communities had always preserved the
apostolic teaching unchanged (see under C).

Viewed historically, this thesis, which preserved Christianity from
complete dissolution, is based on two unproved assumptions and on a
confusion of ideas. It is not demonstrated that any creed emanated from
the Apostles, nor that the Churches they founded always preserved their
teaching in its original form; the creed itself, moreover, is confused
with its interpretation. Finally, the existence of a _fides catholica_,
in the strict sense of the word, cannot be justly inferred from the
essential agreement found in the doctrine of a series of
communities.[36] But, on the other hand, the course taken by Irenæus was
the only one capable of saving what yet remained of primitive
Christianity, and that is its historical justification. A _fides
apostolica_ had to be set up and declared identical with the already
existing _fides catholica_. It had to be made the standard for judging
all particular doctrinal opinions, that it might be determined whether
they were admissible or not.

The persuasive power with which Irenæus set up the principle of the
apostolic "rule of truth," or of "tradition" or simply of "faith," was
undoubtedly, as far as he himself was concerned, based on the facts that
he had already a rigidly formulated creed before him and that he had no
doubt as to its interpretation.[37] The rule of truth (also [Greek: hê
hypo tês ekklêsias kêryssomenê alêtheia] "the truth proclaimed by the
Church;" and [Greek: to tês alêtheias sômation], "the body of the
truth") is the old baptismal confession well known to the communities
for which he immediately writes. (See I. 9. 4; [Greek: houtô de kai ho
ton kanona tês alêtheias aklinê en heautô katechôn hon dia tou
baptismatos eilêphe], "in like manner he also who retains immovably in
his heart the rule of truth which he received through baptism"); because
it is this, it is apostolic, firm and immovable.[38]

By the fixing of the rule of truth, the formulation of which in the case
of Irenæus (I. 10. 1, 2) naturally follows the arrangement of the
(Roman) baptismal confession, the most important Gnostic theses were at
once set aside and their antitheses established as apostolic. In his
apostolic rule of truth Irenæus himself already gave prominence to the
following doctrines:[39] the unity of God, the identity of the supreme
God with the Creator; the identity of the supreme God with the God of
the Old Testament; the unity of Jesus Christ as the Son of the God who
created the world; the essential divinity of Christ; the incarnation of
the Son of God; the prediction of the entire history of Jesus through
the Holy Spirit in the Old Testament; the reality of that history; the
bodily reception ([Greek: ensarkos analêpsis]) of Christ into heaven;
the visible return of Christ; the resurrection of all flesh ([Greek:
anastasis pasês sarkos, pasês anthropôtêtos]), the universal judgment.
These dogmas, the antitheses of the Gnostic regulæ,[40] were
consequently, as apostolic and therefore also as Catholic, removed
beyond all discussion.

Tertullian followed Irenæus in every particular. He also interpreted the
(Romish) baptismal confession, represented it, thus explained, as the
_regula fidei_,[41] and transferred to the latter the attributes of the
confession, viz., its apostolic origin (or origin from Christ), as well
as its fixedness and completeness.[42] Like Irenæus, though still more
stringently, he also endeavoured to prove that the formula had descended
from Christ, that is, from the Apostles, and was incorrupt. He based his
demonstration on the alleged incontestable facts that it contained the
faith of those Churches founded by the Apostles, that in these
communities a corruption of doctrine was inconceivable, because in them,
as could be proved, the Apostles had always had successors, and that the
other Churches were in communion with them (see under C). In a more
definite way than Irenæus, Tertullian conceives the rule of faith as a
rule for the faith,[43] as the law given to faith,[44] also as a "regula
doctrinæ" or "doctrina regulæ" (here the creed itself is quite plainly
the regula), and even simply as "doctrina" or "institutio."[45] As to
the content of the _regula_, it was set forth by Tertullian in three
passages.[46] It is essentially the same as in Irenæus. But Tertullian
already gives prominence within the _regula_ to the creation of the
universe out of nothing,[47] the creative instrumentality of the
Logos,[48] his origin before all creatures,[49] a definite theory of the
Incarnation,[50] the preaching by Christ of a _nova lex_ and a _nova
promissio regni coelorum_,[51] and finally also the Trinitarian economy
of God.[52] Materially, therefore, the advance beyond Irenæus is already
very significant. Tertullian's _regula_ is in point of fact a
_doctrina_. In attempting to bind the communities to this he represents
them as schools.[53] The apostolic "lex et doctrina" is to be regarded
as inviolable by every Christian. Assent to it decides the Christian
character of the individual. Thus the Christian _disposition and life_
come to be a matter which is separate from this and subject to
particular conditions. In this way the essence of religion was split
up--the most fatal turning-point in the history of Christianity.

But we are not of course to suppose that at the beginning of the third
century the actual bond of union between all the Churches was a fixed
confession developed into a doctrine, that is, definitely interpreted.
This much was gained, as is clear from the treatise _de præscriptione_
and from other evidence, that in the communities with which Tertullian
was acquainted, mutual recognition and brotherly intercourse were made
to depend on assent to formulæ which virtually coincided with the Roman
baptismal confession. Whoever assented to such a formula was regarded as
a Christian brother, and was entitled to the salutation of peace, the
name of brother, and hospitality.[54] In so far as Christians confined
themselves to a doctrinal formula which they, however, strictly applied,
the adoption of this practice betokened an advance. The scattered
communities now possessed a "lex" to bind them together, quite as
certainly as the philosophic schools possessed a bond of union of a real
and practical character[55] in the shape of certain briefly formulated
doctrines. In virtue of the common apostolic _lex_ of Christians the
Catholic Church became a reality, and was at the same time clearly
marked off from the heretic sects. But more than this was gained, in so
far as the Antignostic interpretation of the formula, and consequently a
"doctrine," was indeed in some measure involved in the _lex_. The extent
to which this was the case depended, of course, on the individual
community or its leaders. All Gnostics could not be excluded by the
wording of the confession; and, on the other hand, every formulated
faith leads to a formulated doctrine, as soon as it is set up as a
critical canon. What we observe in Irenæus and Tertullian must have
everywhere taken place in a greater or less degree; that is to say, the
authority of the confessional formula must have been extended to
statements not found in the formula itself.

We can still prove from the works of Clement of Alexandria that a
confession claiming to be an apostolic law of faith,[56] ostensibly
comprehending the whole essence of Christianity, was not set up in the
different provincial Churches at one and the same time. From this it is
clearly manifest that at this period the Alexandrian Church neither
possessed a baptismal confession similar to that of Rome,[57] nor
understood by "regula fidei" and synonymous expressions a collection of
beliefs fixed in some fashion and derived from the apostles.[58] Clement
of Alexandria in his Stromateis appeals to the holy (divine) Scriptures,
to the teaching of the Lord,[59] and to the standard tradition which he
designates by a great variety of names, though he never gives its
content, because he regards the whole of Christianity in its present
condition as needing to be reconstructed by gnosis, and therefore as
coming under the head of tradition.[60] In one respect therefore, as
compared with Irenæus and Tertullian, he to some extent represents an
earlier standpoint; he stands midway between them and Justin. From this
author he is chiefly distinguished by the fact that he employs sacred
Christian writings as well as the Old Testament, makes the true Gnostic
quite as dependent on the former as on the latter and has lost that
naive view of tradition, that is, the complete content of Christianity,
which Irenæus and Tertullian still had. As is to be expected, Clement
too assigns the ultimate authorship of the tradition to the Apostles;
but it is characteristic that he neither does this of such set purpose
as Irenæus and Tertullian, nor thinks it necessary to prove that the
Church had presented the apostolic tradition intact. But as he did not
extract from the tradition a fixed complex of fundamental propositions,
so also he failed to recognise the importance of its publicity and
catholicity, and rather placed an esoteric alongside of an exoteric
tradition. Although, like Irenæus and Tertullian, his attitude is
throughout determined by opposition to the Gnostics and Marcion, he
supposes it possible to refute them by giving to the Holy Scriptures a
scientific exposition which must not oppose the [Greek: kanôn tês
ekklêsias], that is, the Christian common sense, but receives from it
only certain guiding rules. But this attitude of Clement would be simply
inconceivable if the Alexandrian Church of his time had already employed
the fixed standard applied in those of Rome, Carthage and Lyons.[61]
Such a standard did not exist; but Clement made no distinction in the
yet unsystematised tradition, even between faith and discipline, because
as a theologian he was not able to identify himself with any single
article of it without hesitation, and because he ascribed to the true
Gnostic the ability to fix and guarantee the truth of Christian

Origen, although he also attempted to refute the heretics chiefly by a
scientific exegesis of the Holy Scriptures, exhibits an attitude which
is already more akin to that of Irenæus and Tertullian than to that of
Clement. In the preface to his great work, "De principiis," he prefixed
the Church doctrine as a detailed apostolic rule of faith, and in other
instances also he appealed to the apostolic teaching.[62] It may be
assumed that in the time of Caracalla and Heliogabalus the Alexandrian
Christians had also begun to adopt the principles acted upon in Rome and
other communities.[63] The Syrian Churches, or at least a part of them,
followed still later.[64] There can be no doubt that, from the last
decades of the third century onward, one and the same confession,
identical not in its wording, but in its main features, prevailed in the
great confederation of Churches extending from Spain to the Euphrates
and from Egypt to beyond the Alps.[65] It was the basis of the
confederation, and therefore also a passport, mark of recognition, etc.,
for the orthodox Christians. The interpretation of this confession was
fixed in certain ground features, that is, in an Antignostic sense. But
a definite theological interpretation was also more and more enforced.
By the end of the third century there can no longer have been any
considerable number of outlying communities where the doctrines of the
pre-existence of Christ and the identity of this pre-existent One with
the divine Logos were not recognised as the orthodox belief.[66] They
may have first become an "apostolic confession of faith" through the
Nicene Creed. But even this creed was not adopted all at once.

B. _The designation of selected writings read in the churches as New
Testament Scriptures or, in other words, as a collection of apostolic

Every word and every writing which testified of the [Greek: kurios]
(Lord) was originally regarded as emanating from him, that is, from his
spirit: [Greek: Hothen hê kuriotês laleitai ekei Kurios estin]. (Didache
IV. 1; see also 1 Cor. XII. 3). Hence the contents were holy.[68] In
this sense the New Testament is a "residuary product," just as the idea
of its inspiration is a remnant of a much broader view. But on the other
hand, the New Testament is a new creation of the Church,[69] inasmuch as
it takes its place alongside of the Old--which through it has become a
complicated book for Christendom,--as a Catholic and apostolic
collection of Scriptures containing and attesting the truth.

Marcion had founded his conception of Christianity on a new canon of
Scripture,[70] which seems to have enjoyed the same authority among his
followers as was ascribed to the Old Testament in orthodox Christendom.
In the Gnostic schools, which likewise rejected the Old Testament
altogether or in part, Evangelic and Pauline writings were, by the
middle of the second century, treated as sacred texts and made use of to
confirm their theological speculations.[71] On the other hand, about the
year 150 the main body of Christendom had still no collection of Gospels
and Epistles possessing equal authority with the Old Testament, and,
apart from Apocalypses, no new writings at all, which as such, that is,
as sacred texts, were regarded as inspired and authoritative.[72] Here
we leave out of consideration that their content is a testimony of the
Spirit. From the works of Justin it is to be inferred that the ultimate
authorities were the Old Testament, the words of the Lord, and the
communications of Christian prophets.[73] The memoirs of the Apostles
([Greek: apomnêmoneumata ton apostolôn] = [Greek: ta euangelia]) owed
their significance solely to the fact that they recorded the words and
history of the Lord and bore witness to the fulfilment of Old Testament
predictions. There is no mention whatever of apostolic epistles as holy
writings of standard authority.[74] But we learn further from Justin
that the Gospels as well as the Old Testament were read in public
worship (Apol. I. 67) and that our first three Gospels were already in
use. We can, moreover, gather from other sources that other Christian
writings, early and late, were more or less regularly read in Christian
meetings.[75] Such writings naturally possessed a high degree of
authority. As the Holy Spirit and the Church are inseparable, everything
that edifies the Church originates with the Holy Spirit,[76] which in
this, as well as every other respect, is inexhaustibly rich. Here,
however, two interests were predominant from the beginning, that of
immediate spiritual edification and that of attesting and certifying the
Christian _Kerygma_ ([Greek: hê asphaleia tôn logôn]). _The
ecclesiastical canon was the result of the latter interest_, not indeed
in consequence of a process of collection, for individual communities
had already made a far larger compilation,[77] but, in the first
instance, through selection, and afterwards, but not till then, through

We must not think that the four Gospels now found in the canon had
attained full canonical authority by the middle of the second century,
for the fact--easily demonstrable--that the texts were still very freely
dealt with about this period is in itself a proof of this.[78] Our first
three Gospels contain passages and corrections that could hardly have
been fixed before about the year 150. Moreover, Tatian's attempt to
create a new Gospel from the four shews that the text of these was not
yet fixed.[79] We may remark that he was the first in whom we find the
Gospel of John[80] alongside of the Synoptists, and these four the only
ones recognised. From the assault of the "Alogi" on the Johannine Gospel
we learn that about 160 the whole of our four Gospels had not been
definitely recognised even in Asia Minor. Finally, we must refer to the
Gospel of the Egyptians, the use of which was not confined to circles
outside the Church.[81]

From the middle of the second century the Encratites stood midway
between the larger Christendom and the Marcionite Church as well as the
Gnostic schools. We hear of some of these using the Gospels as canonical
writings side by side with the Old Testament, though they would have
nothing to do with the Epistles of Paul and the Acts of the
Apostles.[82] But Tatian, the prominent Apologist, who joined them, gave
this sect a more complete canon, an important fact about which was its
inclusion of Epistles of Paul. Even this period, however, still supplies
us with no testimony as to the existence of a New Testament canon in
orthodox Christendom, in fact the rise of the so-called "Montanism" and
its extreme antithesis, the "Alogi," in Asia Minor soon after the middle
of the second century proves that there was still no New Testament canon
there; for, if such an authoritative compilation had existed, these
movements could not have arisen. If we gather together all the
indications and evidence bearing on the subject, we shall indeed be
ready to expect the speedy appearance in the Church of a kind of Gospel
canon comprising the four Gospels;[83] but we are prepared neither for
this being formally placed on an equality with the Old Testament, nor
for its containing apostolic writings, which as yet are only found in
Marcion and the Gnostics. The canon emerges quite suddenly in an
allusion of Melito of Sardis preserved by Eusebius,[84] the meaning of
which is, however, still dubious; in the works of Irenæus and
Tertullian; and in the so-called Muratorian Fragment. There is no direct
account of its origin and scarcely any indirect; yet it already appears
as something to all intents and purposes finished and complete.[85]
Moreover, it emerges in the same ecclesiastical district where we were
first able to show the existence of the apostolic _regula fidei_. We
hear nothing of any authority belonging to the compilers, because we
learn nothing at all of such persons.[86] And yet the collection is
regarded by Irenæus and Tertullian as completed. A refusal on the part
of the heretics to recognise this or that book is already made a severe
reproach against them. Their Bibles are tested by the Church compilation
as the older one, and the latter itself is already used exactly like the
Old Testament. The assumption of the inspiration of the books; the
harmonistic interpretation of them; the idea of their absolute
sufficiency with regard to every question which can arise and every
event which they record; the right of unlimited combination of passages;
the assumption that nothing in the Scriptures is without importance;
and, finally, the allegorical interpretation: are the immediately
observable result of the creation of the canon.[87]

The probable conditions which brought about the formation of the New
Testament canon in the Church, for in this case we are only dealing with
probabilities, and the interests which led to and remained associated
with it can only be briefly indicated here.[88]

The compilation and formation of a canon of Christian writings by a
process of selection[89] was, so to speak, a kind of involuntary
undertaking of the Church in her conflict with Marcion and the Gnostics,
as is most plainly proved by the warnings of the Fathers not to dispute
with the heretics about the Holy Scriptures,[90] although the New
Testament was already in existence. That conflict necessitated the
formation of a new Bible. The exclusion of particular persons on the
strength of some apostolic standards, and by reference to the Old
Testament, could not be justified by the Church in her own eyes and
those of her opponents, so long as she herself recognised that there
were apostolic writings, and so long as these heretics appealed to such.
She was compelled to claim exclusive possession of _everything_ that had
a right to the name "apostolic," to deny it to the heretics, and to shew
that she held it in the highest honour. Hitherto she had "contented"
herself with proving her legal title from the Old Testament, and,
passing over her actual origin, had dated herself back to the beginning
of all things. Marcion and the Gnostics were the first who energetically
pointed out that Christianity began with Christ, and that all
Christianity was really to be _tested_ by the apostolic preaching, that
the assumed identity of Christian common sense with apostolic
Christianity did not exist, and (so Marcion said) that the Apostles
contradicted themselves. This opposition made it necessary to enter into
the questions raised by their opponents. But, in point of content, the
problem of proving the contested identity was simply insoluble, because
it was endless and subject to question on every particular point. The
"unconscious logic," that is the logic of self-preservation, could only
prescribe an expedient. The Church had to collect everything apostolic
and declare herself to be its only legal possessor. She was obliged,
moreover, to amalgamate the apostolic with the canon of the Old
Testament in such a way as to fix the exposition from the very first.
But what writings were apostolic? From the middle of the second century
great numbers of writings named after the Apostles had already been in
circulation, and there were often different recensions of one and the
same writing.[91] Versions which contained docetic elements and
exhortations to the most pronounced asceticism had even made their way
into the public worship of the Church. Above all, therefore, it was
necessary to determine (1) what writings were really apostolic, (2) what
form or recension should be regarded as apostolic. The selection was
made by the Church, that is, primarily, by the churches of Rome and Asia
Minor, which had still an unbroken history up to the days of Marcus
Aurelius and Commodus. In making this choice, the Church limited herself
to the writings that were used in public worship, and only admitted what
the tradition of the elders justified her in regarding as genuinely
apostolic. The principle on which she proceeded was to reject as
spurious all writings, bearing the names of Apostles, that contained
anything contradictory to Christian common sense, that is, to the rule
of faith--hence admission was refused to all books in which the God of
the Old Testament, his creation, etc., appeared to be depreciated,--and
to exclude all recensions of apostolic writings that seemed to endanger
the Old Testament and the monarchy of God. She retained, therefore, only
those writings which bore the names of Apostles, or anonymous writings
to which she considered herself justified in attaching such names,[92]
and whose contents were not at variance with the orthodox creed or
attested it. This selection resulted in the awkward fact that besides
the four Gospels there was almost nothing but Pauline epistles to
dispose of, and therefore no writings or almost none which, as emanating
from the twelve Apostles, could immediately confirm the truth of the
ecclesiastical _Kerygma_. _This perplexity was removed by the
introduction of the Acts of the Apostles_[93] _and in some cases also
the Epistles of Peter and John_, though that of Peter was not recognised
at Rome at first. As a collection this group is the most interesting in
the new compilation. It gives it the stamp of Catholicity, unites the
Gospels with the Apostle (Paul), and, by subordinating his Epistles to
the "Acta omnium apostolorum," makes them witnesses to the particular
tradition that was required and divests them of every thing suspicious
and insufficient.[94] The Church, however, found the selection
facilitated by the fact that the content of the early Christian writings
was for the most part unintelligible to the Christendom of the time,
whereas the late and spurious additions were betrayed not only by
heretical theologoumena, but also and above all by their profane
lucidity. Thus arose a collection of apostolic writings, which in extent
may not have been strikingly distinguished from the list of writings
that for more than a generation had formed the chief and favourite
reading in the communities.[95] The new collection was already exalted
to a high place by the use of other writings being prohibited either for
purposes of general edification or for theological ends.[96] But the
causes and motives which led to its being formed into a canon, that is,
being placed on a footing of complete equality with the Old Testament,
may be gathered partly from the earlier history, partly from the mode of
using the new Bible and partly from the results attending its
compilation. First, Words of the Lord and prophetic utterances,
including the written records of these, had always possessed standard
authority in the Church; there were therefore parts of the collection
the absolute authority of which was undoubted from the first.[97]
Secondly, what was called "Preaching of the Apostles," "Teaching of the
Apostles," etc., was likewise regarded from the earliest times as
completely harmonious as well as authoritative. There had, however, been
absolutely no motive for fixing this in documents, because Christians
supposed they possessed it in a state of purity and reproduced it
freely. The moment the Church was called upon to fix this teaching
authentically, and this denotes a decisive revolution, she was forced to
have recourse to _writings_, whether she would or not. The attributes
formerly applied to the testimony of the Apostles, so long as it was not
collected and committed to writing, had now to be transferred to the
written records they had left. Thirdly, Marcion had already taken the
lead in forming Christian writings into a canon in the strict sense of
the word. Fourthly, the interpretation was at once fixed by forming the
apostolic writings into a canon, and placing them on an equality with
the Old Testament, as well as by subordinating troublesome writings to
the Acts of the Apostles. Considered by themselves these writings,
especially the Pauline Epistles, presented the greatest difficulties. We
can see even yet from Irenæus and Tertullian that the duty of
accommodating herself to these Epistles was _forced_ upon the Church by
Marcion and the heretics, and that, but for this constraint, her method
of satisfying herself as to her relationship to them would hardly have
taken the shape of incorporating them with the canon.[98] This shows
most clearly that the collection of writings must not be traced to the
Church's effort to create for herself a powerful controversial weapon.
But the difficulties which the compilation presented so long as it was a
mere collection vanished as soon as it was viewed as a _sacred_
collection. For now the principle: "as the teaching of the Apostles was
one, so also is the tradition" ([Greek: mia hê pantôn gegone tôn
apostolôn hôsper didaskalia houtôs de kai hê paradosis]) was to be
applied to all contradictory and objectionable details.[99] It was now
imperative to explain one writing by another; the Pauline Epistles, for
example, were to be interpreted by the Pastoral Epistles and the Acts of
the Apostles.[100] Now was required what Tertullian calls the "mixture"
of the Old and New Testaments,[101] in consequence of which the full
recognition of the knowledge got from the old Bible was regarded as the
first law for the interpretation of the new. The formation of the new
collection into a canon was therefore an immediate and unavoidable
necessity if doubts of all kinds were to be averted. These were
abundantly excited by the exegesis of the heretics; they were got rid of
by making the writings into a canon. Fifthly, the early Christian
enthusiasm more and more decreased in the course of the second century;
not only did Apostles, prophets, and teachers die out, but the religious
mood of the majority of Christians was changed. A reflective piety took
the place of the instinctive religious enthusiasm which made those who
felt it believe that they themselves possessed the Spirit.[102] Such a
piety requires rules; at the same time, however, it is characterised by
the perception that it has not the active and spontaneous character
which it ought to have, but has to prove its legitimacy in an indirect
and "objective" way. The breach with tradition, the deviation from the
original state of things is felt and recognised. Men, however, conceal
from themselves their own defects, by placing the representatives of the
past on an unattainable height, and forming such an estimate of their
qualities as makes it unlawful and impossible for those of the present
generation, in the interests of their own comfort, to compare themselves
with them. When matters reach this point, great suspicion attaches to
those who hold fast their religious independence and wish to apply the
old standards. Not only do they seem arrogant and proud, but they also
appear disturbers of the necessary new arrangement which has its
justification in the fact of its being unavoidable. This development of
the matter was, moreover, of the greatest significance for the history
of the canon. Its creation very speedily resulted in the opinion that
the time of divine revelation had gone past and was exhausted in the
Apostles, that is, in the records left by them. We cannot prove with
certainty that the canon was formed to confirm this opinion, but we can
show that it was very soon used to oppose those Christians who professed
to be prophets or appealed to the continuance of prophecy. The influence
which the canon exercised in this respect is the most decisive and
important. That which Tertullian, as a Montanist, asserts of one of his
opponents: "Prophetiam expulit, paracletum fugavit" ("he expelled
prophecy, he drove away the Paraclete"), can be far more truly said of
the New Testament which the same Tertullian as a Catholic recognised.
The New Testament, though not all at once, put an end to a situation
where it was possible for any Christian under the inspiration of the
Spirit to give authoritative disclosures and instructions. It likewise
prevented belief in the fanciful creations with which such men enriched
the history of the past, and destroyed their pretensions to read the
future. As the creation of the canon, though not in a hard and fast way,
fixed the period of the production of sacred facts, so it put down all
claims of Christian prophecy to public credence. Through the canon it
came to be acknowledged that all post-apostolic Christianity is only of
a mediate and particular kind, and can therefore never be itself a
standard. The Apostles alone possessed the Spirit of God completely and
without measure. They only, therefore, are the media of revelation, and
by their word alone, which, as emanating from the Spirit, is of equal
authority with the word of Christ, all that is Christian must be

The Holy Spirit and the Apostles became correlative conceptions
(Tertull., de pudic. 21). The Apostles, however, were more and more
overshadowed by the New Testament Scriptures; and this was in fact an
advance beyond the earlier state of things, for what was known of the
Apostles? Accordingly, _as authors of these writings_, they and the Holy
Spirit became correlative conceptions. This led to the assumption that
the apostolic writings were inspired, that is, in the full and only
intelligible sense attached to the word by the ancients.[104] By this
assumption the Apostles, viewed as _prophets_, received a significance
quite equal to that of Old Testament writers.[105] But, though Irenæus
and Tertullian placed both parties on a level, they preserved a
distinction between them by basing the whole authority of the New
Testament on its apostolic origin, the concept "apostolic" being much
more comprehensive than that of "prophet." These men, being Apostles,
that is men chosen by Christ himself and entrusted with the proclamation
of the Gospel, have for that reason received the Spirit, and their
writings are filled with the Spirit. To the minds of Western Christians
the primary feature in the collection is its apostolic authorship.[106]
This implies inspiration also, because the Apostles cannot be inferior
to the writers of the Old Testament. For that very reason they could, in
a much more radical way, rid the new collection of everything that was
not apostolic. They even rejected writings which, in their form, plainly
claimed the character of inspiration; and this was evidently done
because they did not attribute to them the degree of authority which, in
their view, only belonged to that which was apostolic.[107] The new
canon of Scripture set up by Irenæus and Tertullian primarily professes
to be nothing else than a collection of _apostolic_ writings, which, as
such, claim absolute authority.[108] It takes its place beside the
apostolic rule of faith; and by this faithfully preserved possession,
the Church scattered over the world proves herself to be that of the

But we are very far from being able to show that such a rigidly fixed
collection of apostolic writings existed everywhere in the Church about
the year 200. It is indeed continually asserted that the Antiochian and
Alexandrian Churches had at that date a New Testament which, in extent
and authority, essentially coincided with that of the Roman Church; but
this opinion is not well founded. As far as the Church of Antioch is
immediately concerned, the letter of Bishop Serapion (whose episcopate
lasted from about 190 to about 209), given in Eusebius (VI. 12), clearly
shows that Cilicia and probably also Antioch itself as yet possessed no
such thing as a completed New Testament. It is evident that Serapion
already holds the Catholic principle that all words of Apostles possess
the same value to the Church as words of the Lord; but a completed
collection of apostolic writings was not yet at his disposal.[109] Hence
it is very improbable that Theophilus, bishop of Antioch, who died as
early as the reign of Commodus, presupposed such a collection. Nor, in
point of fact, do the statements in the treatise "ad Autolycum" point to
a completed New Testament.[110] Theophilus makes diligent use of the
Epistles of Paul and mentions the evangelist John (C. I. 1.) as one of
the bearers of the Spirit. But with him the one canonical court of
appeal is the Scriptures of the Old Testament, that is, the writings of
the Prophets (bearers of the Spirit). These Old Testament Prophets,
however, are continued in a further group of "bearers of the Spirit,"
which we cannot definitely determine, but which at any rate included the
authors of the four Gospels and the writer of the Apocalypse. It is
remarkable that Theophilus has never mentioned the Apostles. Though he
perhaps regards them all, including Paul, as "bearers of the Spirit,"
yet we have no indication that he looked on their _Epistles_ as
canonical. The different way he uses the Old Testament and the Gospels
on the one hand and the Pauline Epistles on the other is rather evidence
of the contrary. Theophilus was acquainted with the four Gospels (but we
have no reference to Mark), the thirteen Epistles of Paul (though he
does not mention Thessalonians), most probably also with the Epistle to
the Hebrews, as well as 1st Peter and the Revelation of John. It is
significant that no single passage of his betrays an acquaintance with
the Acts of the Apostles.[111]

It might certainly seem venturesome, on the basis of the material found
in Theophilus and the original document of the first six books of the
Apostolic Constitutions, to conclude that the formation of a New
Testament canon was not everywhere determined by the same interest and
therefore did not everywhere take a similar course. It might seem
hazardous to assume that the Churches of Asia Minor and Rome began by
creating a fixed canon of _apostolic_ writings, which was thus
necessarily declared to be inspired, whereas other communities applied
or did not deny the notion of inspiration to a great number of venerable
and ancient writings not rigidly defined, and did not make a selection
from a stricter historical point of view, till a later date. But the
latter development not only corresponds to the indication found in
Justin, but in my opinion may be verified from the copious accounts of
Clement of Alexandria.[112] In the entire literature of Greeks and
barbarians Clement distinguishes between profane and sacred, i.e.,
inspired writings. As he is conscious that all knowledge of truth is
based on inspiration, so all writings, that is all parts, paragraphs, or
sentences of writings which contain moral and religious truth are in his
view inspired.[113] This opinion, however, does not exclude a
distinction between these writings, but rather requires it. (2) The Old
Testament, a fixed collection of books, is regarded by Clement, as a
whole and in all its parts, as the divine, that is, inspired book _par
excellence_. (3) As Clement in theory distinguishes a new covenant from
the old, so also he distinguishes the books of the new covenant from
those of the old. (4) These books to which he applies the formula
"Gospel" ([Greek: to euangelion]) and "Apostles" ([Greek: hoi
apostoloi]) are likewise viewed by him as inspired, but he does not
consider them as forming a fixed collection. (5) Unless all appearances
are deceptive, it was, strictly speaking, only the four Gospels that he
considered and treated as completely on a level with the Old Testament.
The formula: [Greek: ho nomos kai hoi prophêtai kai to euangelion] ("the
Law and the Prophets and the Gospel") is frequently found, and
everything else, even the apostolic writings, is judged by this
group.[114] He does not consider even the Pauline Epistles to be a court
of appeal of equal value with the Gospels, though he occasionally
describes them as [Greek: graphai].[115] A further class of writings
stands a stage lower than the Pauline Epistles, viz., the Epistles of
Clement and Barnabas, the Shepherd of Hermas, etc. It would be wrong to
say that Clement views this group as an appendix to the New Testament,
or as in any sense Antilegomena. This would imply that he assumed the
existence of a fixed collection whose parts he considered of equal
value, an assumption which cannot be proved.[116] (6) As to certain
books, such as the "Teaching of the Apostles," the "Kerygma of Peter,"
etc., it remains quite doubtful what authority Clement attributed to
them.[117] He quotes the [Greek: Didachê] as [Greek: graphê]. (7) In
determining and estimating the sacred books of the New Testament Clement
is manifestly influenced by an ecclesiastical tradition, for he
recognises four Gospels and no more because that was the exact number
handed down. This tradition had already applied the name "apostolic" to
most Christian writings which were to be considered as [Greek: graphai],
but it had given the concept "apostolic" a far wider content than
Irenæus and Tertullian,[118] although it had not been able to include
all the new writings which were regarded as sacred under this idea.
(Hermas). At the time Clement wrote, the Alexandrian _Church_ can
neither have held the principle that all writings of the Apostles must
be read in the Church and form a decisive court of appeal like the Old
Testament, nor have believed that nothing but the Apostolic--using this
word also in its wider sense--has any claim to authority among
Christians. We willingly admit the great degree of freedom and
peculiarity characteristic of Clement, and freely acknowledge the
serious difficulties inseparable from the attempt to ascertain from his
writings what was regarded as possessing standard authority in the
_Church_. Nevertheless it may be assumed with certainty that, at the
time this author wrote, the content of the New Testament canon, or, to
speak more correctly, its reception in the Church and exact attributes
had not yet been finally settled in Alexandria.

The condition of the Alexandrian Church of the time may perhaps be
described as follows: Ecclesiastical custom had attributed an authority
to a great number of early Christian writings without strictly defining
the nature of this authority or making it equal to that of the Old
Testament. Whatever professed to be inspired, or apostolic, or ancient,
or edifying was regarded as the work of the Spirit and therefore as the
Word of God. The prestige of these writings increased in proportion as
Christians became more incapable of producing the like themselves. Not
long before Clement wrote, however, a systematic arrangement of writings
embodying the early Christian tradition had been made in Alexandria
also. But, while in the regions represented by Irenæus and Tertullian
the canon must have arisen and been adopted all at once, so to speak, it
was a slow process that led to this result in Alexandria. Here also the
principle of apostolicity seems to have been of great importance for the
collectors and editors, but it was otherwise applied than at Rome. A
conservative proceeding was adopted, as they wished to insure as far as
possible the permanence of ancient Christian writings regarded as
inspired. In other words, they sought, wherever practicable, to proclaim
all these writings to be apostolic by giving a wider meaning to the
designation and ascribing an imaginary apostolic origin to many of them.
This explains their judgment as to the Epistle to the Hebrews, and how
Barnabas and Clement were described by them as Apostles.[119] Had this
undertaking succeeded in the Church, a much more extensive canon would
have resulted than in the West. But it is more than questionable whether
it was really the intention of those first Alexandrian collectors to
place the great compilation thus produced, as a New Testament, side by
side with the Old, or, whether their undertaking was immediately
approved in this sense by the Church. In view of the difference of
Clement's attitude to the various groups within this collection of
[Greek: graphai], we may assert that in the Alexandrian _Church_ of that
time Gospels and Apostles were indeed ranked with the Law and the
Prophets, but that this position of equality with the Old Testament was
not assigned to all the writings that were prized either on the score of
inspiration or of apostolic authority. The reason of this was that the
great collection of early Christian literature that was inspired and
declared to be apostolic could hardly have been used so much in public
worship as the Old Testament and the Gospels.

Be this as it may, if we understand by the New Testament a fixed
collection, equally authoritative throughout, of all the writings that
were regarded as genuinely apostolic, that is, those of the original
Apostles and Paul, then the Alexandrian Church at the time of Clement
did not yet possess such a book; but the process which led to it had
begun. She had come much nearer this goal by the time of Origen. At that
period the writings included in the New Testament of the West were all
regarded in Alexandria as equally authoritative, and also stood in every
respect on a level with the Old Testament. The principle of apostolicity
was more strictly conceived and more surely applied. Accordingly the
extent of "Holy Scripture" was already limited in the days of Origen.
Yet we have to thank the Alexandrian Church for giving us the seven
Catholic Epistles. But, measured by the canon of the Western Church,
which must have had a share in the matter, this sifting process was by
no means complete. The inventive minds of scholars designated a group of
writings in the Alexandrian canon as "Antilegomena." The historian of
dogma can take no great interest in the succeeding development, which
first led to the canon being everywhere finally fixed, so far as we can
say that this was ever the case. For the still unsettled dispute as to
the extent of the canon did not essentially affect its use and
authority, and in the following period the continuous efforts to
establish a harmonious and strictly fixed canon were solely determined
by a regard to tradition. The results are no doubt of great importance
to Church history, because they show us the varying influence exerted on
Christendom at different periods by the great Churches of the East and
West and by their learned men.

_Addendum._--The results arising from the formation of a part of early
Christian writings into a canon, which was a great and meritorious act
of the Church[120], notwithstanding the fact that it was forced on her
by a combination of circumstances, may be summed up in a series of
antitheses. (1) The New Testament, or group of "apostolic" writings
formed by selection, preserved from destruction one part, and
undoubtedly the most valuable one, of primitive Church literature; but
it caused all the rest of these writings, as being intrusive, or
spurious, or superfluous, to be more and more neglected, so that they
ultimately perished.[121] (2) The New Testament, though not all at once,
put an end to the composition of works which claimed an authority
binding on Christendom (inspiration); but it first made possible the
production of secular Church literature and neutralised the extreme
dangers attendant on writings of this kind. By making room for all kinds
of writings that did not oppose it, it enabled the Church to utilise all
the elements of Greek culture. At the same time, however, it required an
ecclesiastical stamp to be placed on all the new Christian productions
due to this cause.[122] (3) The New Testament obscured the historical
meaning and the historical origin of the writing contained in it,
especially the Pauline Epistles, though at the same time it created the
conditions for a thorough study of all those documents. Although
primarily the new science of theological exegesis in the Church did more
than anything else to neutralise the historical value of the New
Testament writings, yet, on the other hand, it immediately commenced a
critical restoration of their original sense. But, even apart from
theological science, the New Testament enabled original Christianity to
exercise here and there a quiet and gradual effect on the doctrinal
development of the Church, without indeed being able to exert a dominant
influence on the natural development of the traditional system. As the
standard of interpretation for the Holy Scriptures was the apostolic
_regula fidei_, always more and more precisely explained, and as that
_regula_, in its Antignostic and philosophico-theological
interpretation, was regarded as apostolic, the New Testament was
explained in accordance with the conception of Christianity that had
become prevalent in the Church. At first therefore the spirit of the New
Testament could only assert itself in certain undercurrents and in the
recognition of particular truths. But the book did not in the least ward
off the danger of a total secularising of Christianity. (4) The New
Testament opposed a barrier to the enthusiastic manufacture of "facts."
But at the same time its claim to be a collection of _inspired_
writings[123] naturally resulted in principles of interpretation (such
as the principle of unanimity, of unlimited combination, of absolute
clearness and sufficiency, and of allegorism) which were necessarily
followed by the manufacture of new facts on the part of theological
experts. (5) The New Testament fixed a time within which divine
revelation ceased, and prevented any Christian from putting himself into
comparison with the disciples of Jesus. By doing so it directly promoted
the lowering of Christian ideals and requirements, and in a certain
fashion legitimised this weakening of religious power. At the same time,
however, it maintained the knowledge of these ideals and requirements,
became a spur to the conscience of believers, and averted the danger of
Christianity being corrupted by the excesses of enthusiasm. (6) The fact
of the New Testament being placed on a level with the Old proved the
most effective means of preserving to the latter its canonical
authority, which had been so often assailed in the second century. But
at the same time it brought about an examination of the relation between
the Old and New Testaments, which, however, also involved an enquiry
into the connection between Christianity and pre-christian revelation.
The immediate result of this investigation was not only a theological
exposition of the Old Testament, but also a theory which ceased to view
the two Testaments as of equal authority and _subordinated_ the Old to
the New. This result, which can be plainly seen in Irenæus, Tertullian,
and Origen, led to exceedingly important consequences.[124] It gave some
degree of insight into statements, hitherto completely unintelligible,
in certain New Testament writings, and it caused the Church to reflect
upon a question that had as yet been raised only by heretics, viz., what
are the marks which distinguish Christianity from the Old Testament
religion? An historical examination imperceptibly arose; but the old
notion of the inspiration of the Old Testament confined it to the
narrowest limits, and in fact always continued to forbid it; for, as
before, appeal was constantly made to the Old Testament as a Christian
book which contained all the truths of religion in a perfect form.
Nevertheless the conception of the Old Testament was here and there full
of contradictions.[125] (7) The fatal identification of words of the
Lord and words of the Apostles (apostolical tradition) had existed
before the creation of the New Testament, though this proceeding gave it
a new range and content and a new significance. But, with the Epistles
of Paul included, the New Testament elevated the highest expression of
the consciousness of redemption into a guiding principle, and by
admitting Paulinism into the canon it introduced a wholesome ferment
into the history of the Church. (8) By creating the New Testament and
claiming exclusive possession of it the Church deprived the non-Catholic
communions of every apostolic foundation, just as she had divested
Judaism of every legal title by taking possession of the Old Testament;
but, by raising the New Testament to standard authority, she created the
armoury which supplied the succeeding period with the keenest weapons
against herself.[126] The place of the Gospel was taken by a book with
exceedingly varied contents, which theoretically acquired the same
authority as the Gospel. Still, the Catholic Church never became a
religion "of the book," because every inconvenient text could be
explained away by the allegoric method, and because the book was not
made use of as the immediate authority for the guidance of Christians,
this latter function being directly discharged by the rule of
faith.[127] In practice it continued to be the rule for the New
Testament to take a secondary place in apologetic writings and disputes
with heretics.[128] On the other hand it was regarded (1) as the
directly authoritative document for the direction of the Christian
life,[129] and (2) as the final court of appeal in all the conflicts
that arose within the sphere of the rule of faith. It was freely applied
in the second stage of the Montanist struggle, but still more in the
controversies about Christology, that is, in the conflict with the
Monarchians. The apostolic writings belong solely to the Church, because
she alone has preserved the apostolic doctrine (regula). This was
declared to the heretics and therewith all controversy about Scripture,
or the sense of Scripture passages, was in principle declined. But
within the Church herself the Holy Scripture was regarded as the supreme
and completely independent tribunal against which not even an old
tradition could be appealed to; and the rule [Greek: politeuesthai kata
to euangelion] ("live according to the Gospel") held good in every
respect. Moreover, this formula, which is rarely replaced by the other
one, viz., [Greek: kata tên kainên diathêkên] ("according to the New
Testament"), shows that the words of the Lord, as in the earlier period,
continued to be the chief standard of _life and conduct_.

C. _The transformation of the episcopal office in the Church into an
apostolic office. The history of the remodelling of the conception of
the Church._[130]

1. It was not sufficient to prove that the rule of faith was of
apostolic origin, i.e., that the Apostles had set up a rule of faith. It
had further to be shown that, up to the present, the Church had always
maintained it unchanged. This demonstration was all the more necessary
because the heretics also claimed an apostolic origin for their
_regulæ_, and in different ways tried to adduce proof that they alone
possessed a guarantee of inheriting the Apostles' doctrine in all its
purity.[131] An historical demonstration was first attempted by the
earliest of the old Catholic Fathers. They pointed to communities of
whose apostolic origin there could be no doubt, and thought it could not
reasonably be denied that those Churches must have preserved apostolic
Christianity in a pure and incorrupt form. The proof that the Church had
always held fast by apostolic Christianity depended on the agreement in
doctrine between the other communities and these.[132] But Irenæus as
well as Tertullian felt that a special demonstration was needed to show
that the Churches founded by the Apostles had really at all times
faithfully preserved their genuine teaching. General considerations, as,
for instance, the notion that Christianity would otherwise have
temporarily perished, or "that one event among many is as good as none;
but when one and the same feature is found among many, it is not an
aberration but a tradition" ("Nullus inter multos eventus unus est ...
quod apud multos unum invenitur, non est erratum sed traditum") and
similar ones which Tertullian does not fail to mention, were not
sufficient. But the dogmatic conception that the _ecclesiæ_ (or
_ecclesia_) are the abode of the Holy Spirit,[133] was incapable of
making any impression on the heretics, as the correct application of
this theory was the very point in question. To make their proof more
precise Tertullian and Irenæus therefore asserted that the Churches
guaranteed the incorruptness of the apostolic inheritance, inasmuch as
they could point to a chain of "elders," or, in other words, an "ordo
episcoporum per successionem ab initio decurrens," which was a pledge
that nothing false had been mixed up with it.[134] This thesis has quite
as many aspects as the conception of the "Elders," e.g., disciples of
the Apostles, disciples of the disciples of the Apostles, bishops. It
partly preserves a historic and partly assumes a dogmatic character. The
former aspect appears in the appeal made to the foundation of Churches
by Apostles, and in the argument that each series of successors were
faithful disciples of those before them and therefore ultimately of the
Apostles themselves. But no historical consideration, no appeal to the
"Elders" was capable of affording the assurance sought for. Hence even
in Irenæus the historical view of the case had clearly changed into a
dogmatic one. This, however, by no means resulted merely from the
controversy with the heretics, but was quite as much produced by the
altered constitution of the Church and the authoritative position that
the bishops had actually attained. The idea was that the Elders, i.e.,
the bishops, had received "cum episcopatus successione certum veritatis
charisma," that is, their office conferred on them the apostolic
heritage of truth, which was therefore objectively attached to this
dignity as a _charism_. This notion of the transmissibility of the
charism of truth became associated with the episcopal office after it
had become a monarchical one, exercising authority over the Church in
all its relations;[135] and after the bishops had proved themselves the
strongest supports of the communities against the attacks of the secular
power and of heresy.[136] In Irenæus and Tertullian, however, we only
find the first traces of this new theory. The old notion, which regarded
the _Churches_ as possessing the heritage of the Apostles in so far as
they possess the Holy Spirit, continued to exercise a powerful influence
on these writers, who still united the new dogmatic view with a
historical one, at least in controversies with the heretics. Neither
Irenæus, nor Tertullian in his earlier writings,[137] asserted that the
transmission of the _charisma veritatis_ to the bishops had really
invested them with the apostolic office in its full sense. They had
indeed, according to Irenæus, received the "locum magisterii
apostolorum" ("place of government of the Apostles"), but nothing more.
It is only the later writings of Tertullian, dating from the reigns of
Caracalla and Heliogabalus, which show that the bishop of Rome, who must
have had imitators in this respect, claimed for his office the full
authority of the apostolic office. Both Calixtus and his rival
Hippolytus described themselves as successors of the Apostles in the
full sense of the word, and claimed for themselves in that capacity much
more than a mere guaranteeing of the purity of Christianity. Even
Tertullian did not question this last mentioned attribute of the
bishops.[138] Cyprian found the theory already in existence, but was the
first to develop it definitely and to eradicate every remnant of the
historical argument in its favour. The conception of the Church was
thereby subjected to a further transformation.

2. The transformation of the idea of the Church by Cyprian completed the
radical changes that had been gradually taking place from the last half
of the second century.[139] In order to understand them it is necessary
to go back. It was only with slowness and hesitation that the theories
of the Church followed the actual changes in her history. It may be said
that the idea of the Church always remained a stage behind the condition
reached in practice. That may be seen in the whole course of the history
of dogma up to the present day.

The essential character of Christendom in its first period was a new
holy life and a sure hope, both based on repentance towards God and
faith in Jesus Christ and brought about by the Holy Spirit. Christ and
the Church, that is, the Holy Spirit and the holy Church, were
inseparably connected. The Church, or, in other words, the community of
all believers, attains her unity through the Holy Spirit. This unity
manifested itself in brotherly love and in the common relation to a
common ideal and a common hope.[140] The assembly of all Christians is
realised in the Kingdom of God, viz., in heaven; on earth Christians and
the Church are dispersed and in a foreign land. Hence, properly
speaking, the Church herself is a heavenly community inseparable from
the heavenly Christ. Christians believe that they belong to a real
super-terrestrial commonwealth, which, from its very nature, cannot be
realised on earth. The heavenly goal is not yet separated from the idea
of the Church; there is a holy Church on earth in so far as heaven is
her destination.[141] Every individual congregation is to be an image of
the heavenly Church.[142] Reflections were no doubt made on the contrast
between the empirical community and the heavenly Church whose earthly
likeness it was to be (Hermas); but these did not affect the theory of
the subject. Only the saints of God, whose salvation is certain, belong
to her, for the essential thing is not to be called, but to be, a
Christian. There was as yet no empirical universal Church possessing an
outward legal title that could, so to speak, be detached from the
personal Christianity of the individual Christian.[143] All the lofty
designations which Paul, the so-called Apostolic Fathers, and Justin
gathered from the Old Testament and applied to the Church, relate to the
holy community which originates in heaven and returns thither.[144]

But, in consequence of the naturalising of Christianity in the world and
the repelling of heresy, a formulated creed was made the basis of the
Church. This confession was also recognised as a foundation of her unity
and guarantee of her truth, and in certain respects as the main one.
Christendom protected itself by this conception, though no doubt at a
heavy price. To Irenæus and Tertullian the Church rests entirely on the
apostolic, traditional faith which legitimises her.[145] But this faith
itself appeared as a _law_ and aggregate of doctrines, all of which are
of equally fundamental importance, so that their practical aim became
uncertain and threatened to vanish ("fides in regula posita est, habet
legem et salutem de observatione legis").

The Church herself, however, became a union based on the true doctrine
and visible in it; and this confederation was at the same time enabled
to realise an actual outward unity by means of the apostolic
inheritance, the doctrinal confession, and the apostolic writings. The
narrower and more external character assumed by the idea of the Church
was concealed by the fact that, since the latter half of the second
century, Christians in all parts of the world had really united in
opposition to the state and "heresy," and had found compensation for the
incipient decline of the original lofty thoughts and practical
obligations in the consciousness of forming an ecumenical and
international alliance. The designation "Catholic Church" gave
expression to the claim of this world-wide union of the same faith to
represent the true Church.[146] This expression corresponds to the
powerful position which the "great Church" (Celsus), or the "old" Church
(Clemens Alex.) had attained by the end of the second century, as
compared with the Marcionite Church, the school sects, the Christian
associations of all kinds, and the independent Christians. This Church,
however, was declared to be apostolic, i.e., founded in its present form
by Christ through the Apostles. Through this idea, which was supported
by the old enthusiastic notion that the Apostles had already proclaimed
the Gospel to all the world, it came to be completely forgotten how
Christ and his Apostles had exercised their ministry, and an empirical
conception of the Church was created in which the idea of a holy life in
the Spirit could no longer be the ruling one. It was taught that Christ
received from God a law of faith, which, as a new lawgiver, he imparted
to the Apostles, and that they, by transmitting the truth of which they
were the depositaries, founded the one Catholic Church (Iren. III. 4.
I). The latter, being guardian of the apostolic heritage, has the
assurance of possessing the Spirit; whereas all communities other than
herself, inasmuch as they have not received that deposit, necessarily
lack the Spirit and are therefore separated from Christ and
salvation.[147] Hence one must be a member of this Church in order to be
a partaker of salvation, because in her alone one can find the creed
which must be recognised as the condition of redemption.[148]
Consequently, in proportion as the faith became a doctrine of faith, the
Catholic Church interposed herself as an empiric power between the
individual and salvation. She became a condition of salvation; but the
result was that she ceased to be a sure communion of the saved and of
saints (see on this point the following chapter). It was quite a logical
proceeding when about the year 220 Calixtus, a Roman bishop, started the
theory that there _must_ be wheat and tares in the Catholic Church and
that the Ark of Noah with its clean and unclean beasts was her
type.[149] The departure from the old idea of the Church appears
completed in this statement. But the following facts must not be
overlooked:--First, the new conception of the Church was not yet a
hierarchical one. Secondly, the idea of the union and unity of all
believers found here magnificent expression. Thirdly, the development of
the communities into one solid Church also represents the creative power
of the Christian spirit. Fourthly, through the consolidation effected in
the Church by the rule of faith the Christian religion was in some
measure preserved from enthusiastic extravagancies and arbitrary
misinterpretation. Fifthly, in consequence of the regard for a Church
founded on the doctrine of faith the specific significance of redemption
by Christ, as distinguished from natural religion and that of the Old
Testament, could no longer be lost to believers. Sixthly, the
independence of each individual community had a wide scope not only at
the end of the second but also in the third century.[150] Consequently,
though the revolution which led to the Catholic Church was a result of
the situation of the communities in the world in general and of the
struggle with the Gnostics and Marcion in particular, and though it was
a fatal error to identify the Catholic and apostolic Churches, this
change did not take place without an exalting of the Christian spirit
and an awakening of its self-consciousness.

But there was never a time in history when the conception of the Church,
as nothing else than the visible communion of those holding the correct
apostolic doctrine, was clearly grasped or exclusively emphasised. In
Irenæus and Tertullian we rather find, on the one hand, that the old
theory of the Church was still to a great extent preserved and, on the
other, that the hierarchical notion was already making its appearance.
As to the first point, Irenæus frequently asserts that the Spirit and
the Church, that is, the Christian people, are inseparable; that the
Spirit in divers ways continually effects whatever she needs; that she
is the totality of all true believers, that all the faithful have the
rank of priests; that outside the holy Church there is no salvation,
etc.; in fact these doctrines form the very essence of his teaching.
But, since she was also regarded as the visible institution for
objectively preserving and communicating the truth, and since the idea
of the Church in contradistinction to heresy was necessarily exhausted
in this as far as Irenæus was concerned, the old theories of the matter
could not operate correctively, but in the end only served to glorify
the earthly Catholic Church.[151] The proposition that truth is only to
be found in the Church and that she and the Holy Spirit are inseparable
must be understood in Irenæus as already referring to the Catholic
Church in contradistinction to every other calling itself
Christian.[152] As to the second point, it cannot be denied that, though
Irenæus desires to maintain that the only essential part of the idea of
the Church is the fact of her being the depository of the truth, he was
no longer able to confine himself to this (see above). The episcopal
succession and the transmission to the bishops of the _magisterium_ of
the Apostles were not indeed of any direct importance to his idea of the
Church, but they were of consequence for the preservation of truth and
therefore indirectly for the idea of the Church also. To Irenæus,
however, that theory was still nothing more than an artificial line; but
artificial lines are really supports and must therefore soon attain the
value of foundations.[153] Tertullian's conception of the Church was
essentially the same as that of Irenæus; but with the former the idea
that she is the outward manifestation of the Spirit, and therefore a
communion of those who are spiritual, at all times continued to operate
more powerfully than with the latter. In the last period of his life
Tertullian emphasised this theory so vigorously that the Antignostic
idea of the Church being based on the "traditio unius sacramenti" fell
into the background. Consequently we find nothing more than traces of
the hierarchical conception of the Church in Tertullian. But towards the
end of his life he found himself face to face with a _fully developed_
theory of this kind. This he most decidedly rejected, and, in doing so,
advanced to such a conception of ecclesiastical orders, and therefore
also of the episcopate, as clearly involved him in a contradiction of
the other theory--which he also never gave up--viz., that the bishops,
as the class which transmits the rule of faith, are an apostolic
institution and therefore necessary to the Church[154].

From the disquisitions of Clement of Alexandria we see how vigorous the
old conception of the Church, as the heavenly communion of the elect and
believing, still continued to be about the year 200. This will not
appear strange after what we have already said as to Clement's views
about the rule of faith, the New Testament, and the episcopate. It is
evident that his philosophy of religion led him to give a new
interpretation to the original ideas. Yet the old form of these notions
can be more easily made out from his works than from those of
Irenæus.[155] Up to the 15th Chapter of the 7th Book of his great work,
the Stromateis, and in the Pædagogus, Clement simply speaks of the
Church in the sense of the Epistle to the Ephesians and the Shepherd of
Hermas. She is a heavenly formation, continued in that which appears on
earth as her image. Instead of distinguishing two Churches Clement sees
one, the product of God's will aiming at the salvation of man--a Church
which is to be on earth as it is in heaven, and of which faith forms the
subjective and the Logos the objective bond of union. But, beginning
with Strom. VII. 15 (see especially 17), where he is influenced by
opposition to the heretics, he suddenly identifies this Church with the
single old Catholic one, that is, with the visible "Church" in
opposition to the heretic sects. Thus the empirical interpretation of
the Church, which makes her the institution in possession of the true
doctrine, was also completely adopted by Clement; but as yet he employed
it simply in polemics and not in positive teachings. He neither
reconciled nor seemingly felt the contradiction in the statement that
the Church is to be at one and the same time the assembly of the elect
and the empiric universal Church. At any rate he made as yet no
unconditional acknowledgment of the Catholic Church, because he was
still able to attribute independent value to Gnosis, that is, to
independent piety as he understood it.[156] Consequently, as regards the
conception of the Church, the mystic Gnosis exercised the same effect as
the old religious enthusiasm from which in other respects it differs so
much.[157] The hierarchy has still no significance as far as Clement's
idea of the Church is concerned.[158] At first Origen entirely agrees
with Clement in regard to this conception. He also starts with the
theory that the Church is essentially a heavenly communion and a holy
communion of believers, and keeps this idea constantly before him.[159]
When opposing heretics, he also, like Clement, cannot help identifying
her with the Catholic Church, because the latter contains the true
doctrine, though he likewise refrains from acknowledging any
hierarchy.[160] But Origen is influenced by two further considerations,
which are scarcely hinted at in Clement, but which were called forth by
the actual course of events and signified a further development in the
idea of the Church. For, in the first place, Origen saw himself already
compelled to examine closely the distinction between the essence and the
outward appearance of the Church, and, in this process, reached results
which again called in question the identification of the Holy Church
with the empiric Catholic one (see on this point the following chapter).
Secondly, in consequence of the extraordinary extension and powerful
position attained by the Catholic Church by the time of Philip the
Arabian, Origen, giving a new interpretation to a very old Christian
notion and making use of a Platonic conception,[161] arrived at the idea
that she was the earthly Kingdom of God, destined to enter the world, to
absorb the Roman Empire and indeed all mankind, and to unite and take
the place of the various secular states.[162] This magnificent idea,
which regards the Church as [Greek: kosmos tou kosmou][163], denoted
indeed a complete departure from the original theory of the subject,
determined by eschatological considerations; though we must not forget
that Origen still demanded a really holy Church and a new polity. Hence,
as he also distinguishes the various degrees of connection with the
Church,[164] we already find in his theory a combination of all the
features that became essential parts of the conception of the Church in
subsequent times, with the exception of the clerical element.[165]

3. The contradictory notions of the Church, for so they appear to us, in
Irenæus and Clement and still more in Tertullian and Origen, need not
astonish any one who bears in mind that none of these Fathers made the
Church the subject of a theological theory.[166] Hence no one as yet
thought of questioning the old article: "I believe in a holy Church."
But, at the same time, actual circumstances, though they did not at
first succeed in altering the Church's belief, forced her to _realise_
her changed position, for she had in point of fact become an association
which was founded on a definite law of doctrine and rejected everything
that did not conform to it. The identifying of this association with the
ideal Church was a matter of course,[167] but it was quite as natural to
take no immediate _theoretical_ notice of the identification except in
cases where it was absolutely necessary, that is, in polemics. In the
latter case the unity of faith and hope became the unity of the doctrine
of faith, and the Church was, in this instance, legitimised by the
possession of the apostolic tradition instead of by the realising of
that tradition in heart and life. From the principle that had been set
up it necessarily followed that the apostolic inheritance on which the
truth and legitimacy of the Church was based, could not but remain an
imperfect court of appeal until _living_ authorities could be pointed to
in this court, and until _every_ possible cause of strife and separation
was settled by reference to it. An empirical community cannot be ruled
by a traditional written word, but only by persons; for the written law
will always separate and split. If it has such persons, however, it can
tolerate within it a great amount of individual differences, provided
that the leaders subordinate the interests of the whole to their own
ambition. We have seen how Irenæus and Tertullian, though they in all
earnestness represented the _fides catholica_ and _ecclesia catholica_
as inseparably connected,[168] were already compelled to have recourse
to bishops in order to ensure the apostolic doctrine. The conflicts
within the sphere of the rule of faith, the struggles with the so-called
Montanism, but finally and above all, the existing situation of the
Church in the third century with regard to the world within her pale,
made the question of organisation the vital one for her. Tertullian and
Origen already found themselves face to face with episcopal claims of
which they highly disapproved and which, in their own way, they
endeavoured to oppose. It was again the Roman bishop[169] who first
converted the proposition that the bishops are direct successors of the
Apostles and have the same "locus magisterii" ("place of government")
into a theory which declares that _all_ apostolic powers have devolved
on the bishops and that these have therefore peculiar rights and duties
in virtue of their office.[170] Cyprian added to this the corresponding
theory of the Church. In one decisive point, however, he did not assist
the secularising process which had been completed by the Roman bishop,
in the interest of Catholicity as well as in that of the Church's
existence (see the following chapter). In the second half of the third
century there were no longer any Churches, except remote communities,
where the only requirement was to preserve the Catholic faith; the
bishops had to be obeyed. The idea of the one episcopally organised
Church became the main one and overshadowed the significance of the
doctrine of faith as a bond of unity. _The Church based on the bishops,
the successors of the Apostles, the vicegerents of God, is herself the
legacy of the Apostles in virtue of this her foundation._ This idea was
never converted into a rigid theory in the East, though the reality to
which it corresponded was not the less certain on that account. The
fancy that the earthly hierarchy was the image of the heavenly was the
only part that began to be taken in real earnest. In the West, on the
other hand, circumstances compelled the Carthaginian bishop to set up a
finished theory.[171] According to Cyprian, the Catholic Church, to
which all the lofty predictions and predicates in the Bible apply (see
Hartel's index under "ecclesia"), is the one institution of salvation
outside of which there is no redemption (ep. 73. 21). She is this,
moreover, not only as the community possessing the true apostolic faith,
for this definition does not exhaust her conception, but as a
harmoniously organised federation.[172] This Church therefore rests
entirely on the episcopate, which sustains her,[173] because it is the
continuance of the apostolic office and is equipped with all the power
of the Apostles.[174] Accordingly, the union of individuals with the
Church, and therefore with Christ, is effected only by obedient
dependence on the bishop, i.e., such a connection alone makes one a
member of the Church. But the unity of the Church, which is an attribute
of equal importance with her truth, because this union is only brought
about by love,[175] primarily appears in the unity of the episcopate.
For, according to Cyprian, the episcopate has been from its beginning
undivided and has continued to be so in the Church, in so far as the
bishops are appointed and guided by God, are on terms of brotherly
intercourse and exchange, and each bishop represents the whole
significance of the episcopate.[176] Hence the individual bishops are no
longer to be considered primarily as leaders of their special
communities, but as the foundation of the one Church. Each of these
prelates, however, provided he keeps within the association of the
bishops, preserves the independent right of regulating the circumstances
of his own diocese.[177] But it also follows that the bishops of those
communities founded by the Apostles themselves can raise no claim to any
special dignity, since the unity of the episcopate as a continuation of
the apostolic office involves the equality of all bishops.[178] However,
a special importance attaches to the Roman see, because it is the seat
of the Apostle to whom Christ first granted apostolic authority in order
to show with unmistakable plainness the unity of these powers and the
corresponding unity of the Church that rests on them; and further
because, from her historical origin, the Church of this see had become
the mother and root of the Catholic Church spread over the earth. In a
severe crisis which Cyprian had to pass through in his own diocese he
appealed to the Roman Church (the Roman bishop) in a manner which made
it appear as if communion with that Church was in itself the guarantee
of truth. But in the controversy about heretical baptism with the Roman
bishop Stephen, he emphatically denied the latter's pretensions to
exercise special rights over the Church in consequence of the Petrine
succession.[179] Finally, although Cyprian exalted the unity of the
organisation of the Church above the unity of the doctrine of faith, he
preserved the Christian element so far as to assume in all his
statements that the bishops display a moral and Christian conduct in
keeping with their office, and that otherwise they have _ipso facto_
forfeited it.[180] Thus, according to Cyprian, the episcopal office does
not confer any indelible character, though Calixtus and other bishops of
Rome after him presupposed this attribute. (For more details on this
point, as well as with regard to the contradictions that remain
unreconciled in Cyprian's conception of the Church, see the following
chapter, in which will be shown the ultimate interests that lie at the
basis of the new idea of the Church).

_Addendum I._--The great confederation of Churches which Cyprian
presupposes and which he terms _the_ Church was in truth not complete,
for it cannot be proved that it extended to any regions beyond the
confines of the Roman Empire or that it even embraced all orthodox and
episcopally organised communities within those bounds.[181] But,
further, the conditions of the confederation, which only began to be
realised in the full sense in the days of Constantine, were never
definitely formulated--before the fourth century at least.[182]
Accordingly, the idea of the one exclusive Church, embracing all
Christians and founded on the bishops, was always a mere theory. But, in
so far as it is not the idea, but its realisation to which Cyprian here
attaches sole importance, his dogmatic conception appears to be refuted
by actual circumstances.[183]

_Addendum II._--The idea of heresy is always decided by the idea of the
Church. The designation [Greek: hairesis] implies an adherence to
something self-chosen in opposition to the acknowledgment of something
objectively handed down, and assumes that this is the particular thing
in which the apostasy consists. Hence all those who call themselves
Christians and yet do not adhere to the traditional apostolic creed, but
give themselves up to vain and empty doctrines, are regarded as heretics
by Hegesippus, Irenæus, Tertullian, Clement, and Origen. These doctrines
are as a rule traced to the devil, that is, to the non-Christian
religions and speculations, or to wilful wickedness. Any other
interpretation of their origin would at once have been an acknowledgment
that the opponents of the Church had a right to their opinions,[184] and
such an explanation is not quite foreign to Origen in one of his lines
of argument.[185] Hence the orthodox party were perfectly consistent in
attaching no value to any sacrament[186] or acts esteemed in their own
communion, when these were performed by heretics;[187] and this was a
practical application of the saying that the devil could transform
himself into an angel of light.[188]

But the Fathers we have named did not yet completely identify the Church
with a harmoniously organised institution. For that very reason they do
not absolutely deny the Christianity of such as take their stand on the
rule of faith, even when these for various reasons occupy a position
peculiar to themselves. Though we are by no means entitled to say that
they acknowledged orthodox schismatics, they did not yet venture to
reckon them simply as heretics.[189] If it was desired to get rid of
these, an effort was made to impute to them some deviation from the rule
of faith; and under this pretext the Church freed herself from the
Montanists and the Monarchians.[190] Cyprian was the first to proclaim
the identity of heretics and schismatics, by making a man's Christianity
depend on his belonging to the great episcopal Church
confederation.[191] But, both in East and West, this theory of his
became established only by very imperceptible degrees, and indeed,
strictly speaking, the process was never completed at all. The
distinction between heretics and schismatics was preserved, because it
prevented a public denial of the old principles, because it was
advisable on political grounds to treat certain schismatic communities
with indulgence, and because it was always possible in case of need to
prove heresy against the schismatics.[192]

_Addendum III._--As soon as the empiric Church ruled by the bishops was
proclaimed to be the foundation of the Christian religion, we have the
fundamental premises for the conception that everything progressively
adopted by the Church, all her functions, institutions, and liturgy, in
short, all her continuously changing arrangements were holy and
apostolic. But the courage to draw all the conclusions here was
restrained by the fact that certain portions of tradition, such as the
New Testament canon of Scripture and the apostolic doctrine, had been
once for all exalted to an unapproachable height. Hence it was only with
slowness and hesitation that Christians accepted the inferences from the
idea of the Church in the remaining directions, and these conclusions
always continued to be hampered with some degree of uncertainty. The
idea of the [Greek: paradosis agraphos]; (unwritten tradition); i.e.,
that every custom, however recent, within the sphere of outward
regulations, of public worship, discipline, etc., is as holy and
apostolic as the Bible and the "faith", never succeeded in gaining
complete acceptance. In this case, complicated, uncertain, and
indistinct assumptions were the result.


[Footnote 20: In itself the predicate "Catholic" contains no element
that signifies a secularising of the Church. "Catholic" originally means
Christianity in its totality as contrasted with single congregations.
Hence the concepts "all communities" and the "universal Church" are
identical. But from the beginning there was a dogmatic element in the
concept of the universal Church, in so far as the latter was conceived
to have been spread over the whole earth by the Apostles; an idea which
involved the conviction that only that could be true which was found
_everywhere_ in Christendom. Consequently, "entire or universal
Christendom," "the Church spread over the whole earth," and "the true
Church" were regarded as identical conceptions. In this way the concept
"Catholic" became a pregnant one, and finally received a dogmatic and
political content. As this result actually took place, it is not
inappropriate to speak of pre-Catholic and Catholic Christianity.]

[Footnote 21: _Translator's note._ The following is Tertullian's Latin
as given by Professor Harnack: Cap. 21: "Constat omnem doctrinam quæ cum
ecclesiis apostolicis matricibus et originalibus fidei conspiret
veritati deputandam, id sine dubio tenentem quod ecclesiæ ab apostolis,
apostoli a Christo, Christus a deo accepit." Cap. 36: "Videamus quid
(ecclesia Romanensis) didicerit, quid docuerit, cum Africanis quoque
ecclesiis contesserarit. Unum deum dominum novit, creatorem
universitatis, et Christum Iesum ex virgine Maria filium dei creatoris,
et carnis resurrectionem; legem et prophetas cum evangelicis et
apostolicis litteris miscet; inde potat fidem, eam aqua signat, sancto
spiritu vestit, eucharistia pascit, martyrium exhortatur, et ita
adversus hanc institutionem neminem recipit." Chap. 32: "Evolvant
ordinem episcoporum suorum, ita per successionem ab initio decurrentem,
ut primus ille episcopus aliquem ex apostolis vel apostolicis viris, qui
tamen cum apostolis perseveravit, habuerit auctorem et antecessorem."]

[Footnote 22: None of the three standards, for instance, were in the
original of the first six books of the Apostolic Constitutions, which
belong to the third century and are of Syrian origin; but instead of
them the Old Testament and Gospel on the one hand, and the bishop, as
the God of the community, on the other, are taken as authorities.]

[Footnote 23: See Zahn, Glaubensregel und Taufbekenntniss in der alten
Kirche in the Zeitschrift f. Kirchl. Wissensch. u. Kirchl. Leben, 1881,
Part 6, p. 302 ff., especially p. 314 ff. In the Epistle of Jude, v. 3,
mention is made of the [Greek: hapax paradotheisa tois hagiois pistis],
and in v. 20 of "building yourselves up in your most holy faith." See
Polycarp, ep. III. 2 (also VII. 2; II. 1). In either case the
expressions [Greek: kanôn tês pisteôs, kanôn tês alêtheias], or the
like, might stand for [Greek: pistis], for the faith itself is primarily
the canon; but it is the canon only in so far as it is comprehensible
and plainly defined. Here lies the transition to a new interpretation of
the conception of a standard in its relation to the faith. Voigt has
published an excellent investigation of the concept [Greek: ho kanôn tês
alêtheias] cum synonymis (Eine verschollene Urkunde des antimont.
Kampfes, 1891, pp. 184-205).]

[Footnote 24: In Hermas, Mand. I., we find a still shorter formula which
only contains the Confession of the monarchy of God, who created the
world, that is the formula [Greek: pisteôu eis hena theon pantakratora],
which did not originate with the baptismal ceremony. But though at first
the monarchy may have been the only dogma in the strict sense, the
mission of Jesus Christ beyond doubt occupied a place alongside of it
from the beginning; and the new religion was inconceivable without

[Footnote 25: See on this point Justin, index to Otto's edition. It is
not surprising that formulæ similar to those used at baptism were
employed in the exorcism of demons. However, we cannot immediately infer
from the latter what was the wording of the baptismal confession.
Though, for example, it is an established fact that in Justin's time
demons were exorcised with the words: "In the name of Jesus Christ who
was crucified under Pontius Pilate," it does not necessarily follow from
this that these words were also found in the baptismal confession. The
sign of the cross was made over those possessed by demons; hence nothing
was more natural than that these words should be spoken. Hence they are
not necessarily borrowed from a baptismal confession.]

[Footnote 26: These facts were known to every Christian. They are
probably also alluded to in Luke I. 4.]

[Footnote 27: The most important result of Caspari's extensive and exact
studies is the establishment of this fact and the fixing of the wording
of the Romish Confession. (Ungedruckte, unbeachtete und wenig beachtete
Quellen z. Gesch. des Taufsymbols u d. Glaubensregels. 3 Vols.
1866-1875. Alte u. neue Quellen zur Gesch. des Taufsymbols u. d.
Glaubensregel, 1879). After this Hahn, Bibliothek d. Symbole u.
Glaubensregeln der alten Kirche. 2 Aufl. 1877; see also my article
"Apostol. Symbol" in Herzog's R.E.. 2nd. ed., as well as Book I. of the
present work, Chap. III. § 2.]

[Footnote 28: This supposition is based on observation of the fact that
particular statements of the Roman Symbol, in exactly the same form or
nearly so, are found in many early Christian writings. See Patr. App.
Opp. I. 2, ed. 2, pp. 115-42.]

[Footnote 29: The investigations which lead to this result are of a very
complicated nature and cannot therefore be given here. We must content
ourselves with remarking that all Western baptismal formulæ (creeds) may
be traced back to the Roman, and that there was no universal Eastern
creed on parallel lines with the latter. There is no mistaking the
importance which, in these circumstances, is to be attributed to the
Roman symbol and Church as regards the development of Catholicism.]

[Footnote 30: This caused the pronounced tendency of the Church to the
formation of dogma, a movement for which Paul had already paved the way.
The development of Christianity, as attested, for example, by the
[Greek: Didachê], received an additional factor in the dogmatic
tradition, which soon gained the upper hand. The great reaction is then
found in monasticism. Here again the rules of morality become the
prevailing feature, and therefore the old Christian gnomic literature
attains in this movement a second period of vigour. In it again
dogmatics only form the background for the strict regulation of life. In
the instruction given as a preparation for baptism the Christian moral
commandments were of course always inculcated, and the obligation to
observe these was expressed in the renunciation of Satan and all his
works. In consequence of this, there were also fixed formulæ in these

[Footnote 31: See the Pastoral Epistles, those of John and of Ignatius;
also the epistle of Jude, 1 Clem. VII., Polycarp, ad Philipp. VII., II.
1, VI. 3, Justin.]

[Footnote 32: In the apologetic writings of Justin the courts of appeal
invariably continue to be the Old Testament, the words of the Lord, and
the communications of prophets; hence he has hardly insisted on any
other in his anti-heretical work. On the other hand we cannot appeal to
the observed fact that Tertullian also, in his apologetic writings, did
not reveal his standpoint as a churchman and opponent of heresy; for,
with one exception, he did not discuss heretics in these tractates at
all. On the contrary Justin discussed their position even in his
apologetic writings; but nowhere, for instance, wrote anything similar
to Theophilus' remarks in "ad Autol.," II. 14. Justin was acquainted
with and frequently alluded to fixed formulæ and perhaps a baptismal
symbol related to the Roman, if not essentially identical with it. (See
Bornemann. Das Taufsymbol Justins in the Ztschr. f. K. G. Vol. III. p. 1
ff.), but we cannot prove that he utilised these formulæ in the sense of
Irenæus and Tertullian. We find him using the expression [Greek:
orthognômones] in Dial. 80. The resurrection of the flesh and the
thousand years' kingdom (at Jerusalem) are there reckoned among the
beliefs held by the [Greek: orthognômones kata panta Christianoi]. But
it is very characteristic of the standpoint taken up by Justin that he
places between the heretics inspired by demons and the orthodox a class
of Christians to whom he gives the general testimony that they are
[Greek: tês katharas kai eusebous gnômês], though they are not fully
orthodox in so far as they reject one important doctrine. Such an
estimate would have been impossible to Irenæus and Tertullian. They have
advanced to the principle that he who violates the law of faith in one
point is guilty of breaking it all.]

[Footnote 33: Hatch, "Organisation of the Church," p. 96.]

[Footnote 34: We can only conjecture that some teachers in Asia Minor
contemporary with Irenæus, or even of older date, and especially Melito,
proceeded in like manner, adhering to Polycarp's exclusive attitude.
Dionysius of Corinth (Eusebius, H. E. IV. 23. 2, 4) may perhaps be also

[Footnote 35: Irenæus set forth his theory in a great work, adv. hæres.,
especially in the third book. Unfortunately his treatise, "[Greek: logos
eis epideixin tou apostolikou kêrygmatos]", probably the oldest treatise
on the rule of faith, has not been preserved (Euseb., H. E. V. 26.)]

[Footnote 36: Irenæus indeed asserts in several passages that all
Churches--those in Germany, Iberia, among the Celts, in the East, in
Egypt, in Lybia and Italy; see I. 10. 2; III. 3. 1; III. 4. 1
sq.--possess the same apostolic _kerygma_; but "qui nimis probat nihil
probat." The extravagance of the expressions shows that a dogmatic
theory is here at work. Nevertheless this is based on the correct view
that the Gnostic speculations are foreign to Christianity and of later

[Footnote 37: We must further point out here that Irenæus not only knew
the tradition of the Churches of Asia Minor and Rome, but that he had
sat at the feet of Polycarp and associated in his youth with many of the
"elders" in Asia. Of these he knew for certain that they in part did not
approve of the Gnostic doctrines and in part would not have done so. The
confidence with which he represented his antignostic interpretation of
the creed as that of the Church of the Apostles was no doubt owing to
this sure historical recollection. See his epistle to Florinus in
Euseb., H. E. V. 20 and his numerous references to the "elders" in his
great work. (A collection of these may be found in Patr. App. Opp. I. 3,
p. 105 sq.)]

[Footnote 38: Caspari's investigations leave no room for doubt as to the
relation of the rule of faith to the baptismal confession. The baptismal
confession was not a deposit resulting from fluctuating anti-heretical
rules of faith; but the latter were the explanations of the baptismal
confession. The full authority of the confession itself was transferred
to every elucidation that appeared necessary, in so far as the needful
explanation was regarded as given with authority. Each momentary formula
employed to defend the Church against heresy has therefore the full
value of the creed. This explains the fact that, beginning with Irenæus'
time, we meet with differently formulated rules of faith, partly in the
same writer, and yet each is declared to be _the_ rule of faith. Zahn is
virtually right when he says, in his essay quoted above, that the rule
of faith is the baptismal confession. But, so far as I can judge, he has
not discerned the dilemma in which the Old Catholic Fathers were placed,
and which they were not able to conceal. This dilemma arose from the
fact that the Church needed an apostolic creed, expressed in fixed
formulæ and at the same time definitely interpreted in an anti-heretical
sense; whereas she only possessed, and this not in all churches, a
baptismal confession, contained in fixed formulæ but not interpreted,
along with an ecclesiastical tradition which was not formulated,
although it no doubt excluded the most offensive Gnostic doctrines. It
was not yet possible for the Old Catholic Fathers to frame and formulate
that doctrinal confession, and they did not attempt it. The only course
therefore was to assert that an elastic collection of doctrines which
were ever being formulated anew, was a fixed standard in so far as it
was based on a fixed creed. But this dilemma--we do not know how it was
viewed by opponents--proved an advantage in the end, for it enabled
churchmen to make continual additions to the rule of faith, whilst at
the same time continuing to assert its identity with the baptismal
confession. We must make the reservation, however, that not only the
baptismal confession, but other fixed propositions as well, formed the
basis on which particular rules of faith were formulated.]

[Footnote 39: Besides Irenæus I. 10. 1, 2, cf. 9. 1-5; 22. 1; II. 1. 1;
9. 1; 28. 1; 32. 3, 4; III. 1-4; 11. 1; 12. 9; 15. 1; 16. 5 sq.; 18. 3;
24. 1; IV. 1. 2; 9. 2; 20. 6; 33. 7 sq.; V. Præf. 12. 5; 20. 1.]

[Footnote 40: See Iren. I. 31. 3; II. Præf. 19. 8.]

[Footnote 41: This expression is not found in Irenæus, but is very
common in Tertullian.]

[Footnote 42: See de præscr. 13: "Hæc regula a Christo instituta nullas
habet apud nos quæstiones."]

[Footnote 43: See I. c. 14: "Ceterum manente forma regulæ in suo ordine
quantumlibet quæras et tractes." See de virg. vol. 1.]

[Footnote 44: See 1. c. 14: "Fides in regula posita est, habet legem et
salutem de observatione legis," and de vir. vol. 1.]

[Footnote 45: See de præscr. 21: "Si hæc ita sunt, constat perinde omnem
doctrinam, quæ cum illis ecclesiis apostolicis matricibus et
originalibus fidei conspiret, veritati deputandum ... Superest ergo ut
demonstremus an hæc nostra doctrina, cujus regulam supra edidimus, de
apostolorum traditione censeatur ... Communicamus cum ecclesiis
catholicis, quod nulla doctrina diversa." De præscr. 32: "Ecclesiæ, quæ
licet nullum ex apostolis auctorem suum proferant, ut multo posteriores,
tamen in eadem fide conspirantes non minus apostolicæ deputantur pro
consanguinitate doctrinæ." That Tertullian regards the baptismal
confession as identical with the _regula fidei_, just as Irenæus does,
is shown by the fact that in de spectac. 4 ("Cum aquam ingressi
Christianam fidem in legis suæ verba profitemur, renuntiasse nos diabolo
et pompæ et angelis eius ore nostro contestamur.") the baptismal
confession is the _lex_. He also calls it "sacramentum" (military oath)
in ad mart. 3; de idolol. 6; de corona 11; Scorp. 4. But he likewise
gives the same designation to the interpreted baptismal confession (de
præscr. 20, 32; adv. Marc. IV. 5); for we must regard the passages cited
as referring to this. Adv. Marc. I. 21: "regula sacramenti;" likewise V.
20, a passage specially instructive as to the fact that there can be
only one regula. The baptismal confession itself had a fixed and short
form (see de spectac. 4; de corona, 3: "amplius aliquid respondentes
quam dominus in evangelio determinavit;" de bapt. 2: "homo in aqua
demissus et inter pauca verba tinctus;" de bapt. 6, 11; de orat. 2
etc.). We can still prove that, apart from a subsequent alteration, it
was the Roman confession that was used in Carthage in the days of
Tertullian. In de præscr. 26 Tertullian admits that the Apostles may
have spoken some things "inter domesticos," but declares that they could
not be communications "quæ aliam regulam fidei superducerent."]

[Footnote 46: De præscr. 13; de virg. vol. 1; adv. Prax. 2. The latter
passage is thus worded: "Unicum quidem deum credimus, sub hac tamen
dispensatione quam [Greek: oikonomian] dicimus, ut unici del sit et
filius sermo ipsius, qui ex ipso processerit, per quern omnia facta sunt
et sine quo factum est nihil, hunc missum a patre in virginem et ex ea
natum, hominem et deum, filium hominis et filium dei et cognominatum
Iesum Christum, hunc passum, hunc mortuum et sepultum secundum
scripturas et resuscitatum a patre et in coelo resumptum sedere ad
dextram patris, venturum judicare vivos et mortuos; qui exinde miserit
secundum promissionem suam a patre spiritum s. paracletum
sanctificatorem fidei eorum qui credunt in patrem et filium et spiritum
s. Hanc regulam ab initio evangelii decucurrisse."]

[Footnote 47: De præscr. 13.]

[Footnote 48: L.c.]

[Footnote 49: L.c.]

[Footnote 50: L.c.: "id verbum filium eius appellatum, in nomine dei
varie visum a patriarchis, in prophetis semper auditum, postremo delatum
ex spiritu patris dei et virtute in virginem Mariam, carnem factum,"

[Footnote 51: L.c.]

[Footnote 52: Adv. Prax. 2: "Unicum quidem deum credimus, sub hac tamen
dispensatione quam [Greek: oikonomian] dicimus, ut unici dei sit et
filius sermo ipsius," etc.]

[Footnote 53: But Tertullian also knows of a "regula disciplinæ"
(according to the New Testament) on which he puts great value, and
thereby shows that he has by no means forgotten that Christianity is a
matter of conduct. We cannot enter more particularly into this rule

[Footnote 54: Note here the use of "contesserare" in Tertullian. See de
præscr. 20: "Itaque tot ac tantæ ecclesiæ una est illa ab apostolis
prima, ex qua omnes. Sic omnes prima et omnes apostolicæ, dum una omnes.
Probant unitatem communicatio pacis et appellatio fraternitatis et
_contesseratio_ hospitalitatis, quæ iura non alia ratio regit quam
eiusdem sacramenti una traditio." De præscr. 36: "Videamus, quid
ecclesia Romanensis cum Africanis ecclesiis contesserarit."]

[Footnote 55: We need not here discuss whether and in what way the model
of the philosophic schools was taken as a standard. But we may refer to
the fact that from the middle of the second century the Apologists, that
is the Christian philosophers, had exercised a very great influence on
the Old Catholic Fathers. But we cannot say that 2. John 7-11 and
Didache XI. 1 f. attest the practice to be a very old one. These
passages only show that it had preparatory stages; the main element,
namely, the formulated summary of the faith, is there sought for in

[Footnote 56: Herein lay the defect, even if the content of the law of
faith had coincided completely with the earliest tradition. A man like
Tertullian knew how to protect himself in his own way from this defect,
but his attitude is not typical.]

[Footnote 57: Hegesippus, who wrote about the time of Eleutherus, and
was in Rome about the middle of the second century (probably somewhat
earlier than Irenæus), already set up the apostolic rule of faith as a
standard. This is clear from the description of his work in Euseb., H.
E. IV. 8. 2 ([Greek: en pente sungrammasin tên aplanê paradosin tou
apostolikou kêrygmatos hypomnêmatisamenos]) as well as from the
fragments of this work (l.c. IV. 22. 2, 3: [Greek: ho orthos logos] and
§ 5 [Greek: emerisan tên henôsin tês ekklêsias phthorimaiois logois kata
tou theou]; see also § 4). Hegesippus already regarded the unity of the
Church as dependent on the correct doctrine. Polycrates (Euseb., H. E.
V. 24. 6) used the expression [Greek: ho kanôn tês pisteôs] in a very
wide sense. But we may beyond doubt attribute to him the same conception
with regard to the significance of the rule of faith as was held by his
opponent Victor. The Antimontanist (in Euseb. H. E. V. 16. 22.) will
only allow that the martyrs who went to death for the [Greek: kata
alêtheian pistis] were those belonging to the Church. The _regula fidei_
is not here meant, as in this case it was not a subject of dispute. On
the other hand, the anonymous writer in Eusebius, H. E. V. 28. 6, 13
understood by [Greek: to ekklêsiastikon phronêma] or [Greek: ho kanôn
tês archaias pisteôs] the interpreted baptismal confession, just as
Irenæus and Tertullian did. Hippolytus entirely agrees with these (see
Philosoph. Præf., p. 4. v. 50 sq. and X. 32-34). Whether we are to
ascribe the theory of Irenæus to Theophilus is uncertain. His idea of
the Church is that of Irenæus (ad Autol. II. 14): [Greek: dedôken ho
Theos tô kosmô kumainomenô kai cheimazomenô hypo tôn hamartêmatôn tas
synagôgas, legomenas de ekklêsias hagias, en ais kathaper limesin
euormois en nêsois hai didaskaliai tês alêtheias eisin ... Kai hôsper au
nêsoi eisin heterai petrôdeis kai anudroi kai akarpoi kai thêriôdeis kai
aoikêtoi epi blabê tôn pleontôn ... houtôs eisin hai didaskaliai tês
planês, legô de tôn haireseôn, hai exapolluousin tous prosiontas

[Footnote 58: This has been contested by Caspari (Ztschr. f. Kirchl.
Wissensch. 1886, Part. 7, p. 352 ff.: "Did the Alexandrian Church in
Clement's time possess a baptismal confession or not?"); but his
arguments have not convinced me. Caspari correctly shows that in Clement
the expression "ecclesiastical canon" denotes the summary of the
Catholic faith and of the Catholic rule of conduct; but he goes on to
trace the baptismal confession, and that in a fixed form, in the
expression [Greek: hê peri tôn megistôn homologia], Strom. VII. 15. 90
(see remarks on this passage below), and is supported in this view by
Voigt, l.c. p. 196 ff. I also regard this as a baptismal confession; but
it is questionable if it was definitely formulated, and the passage is
not conclusive on the point. But, supposing it to be definitely
formulated, who can prove that it went further than the formula in
Hermas, Mand. I. with the addition of a mere mention of the Son and Holy
Spirit. That a free _kerygma_ of Christ and some other matter were added
to Hermas, Mand. I. may still be proved by a reference to Orig. Comm. in
Joh. XXXII. 9 (see the passage in vol. I. p. 155.).]

[Footnote 59: [Greek: Hê kyriakê didaskalia], e.g., VI. 15. 124; VI. 18.
165; VII. 10. 57; VII. 15. 90; VII. 18. 165, etc.]

[Footnote 60: We do not find in Clement the slightest traces of a
baptismal confession related to the Roman, unless we reckon the [Greek:
Theos pantokratôr] or [Greek: eis Th. p.] as such. But this designation
of God is found everywhere and is not characteristic of the baptismal
confession. In the lost treatise on the Passover Clement expounded the
"[Greek: paradoseis tôn archaiôn presbyterôn]" which had been
transmitted to him.]

[Footnote 61: Considering the importance of the matter it is necessary
to quote as copiously as possible from original sources. In Strom. IV.
15. 98, we find the expression [Greek: ho kanôn teê pisteôs]; but the
context shows that it is used here in a quite general sense. With regard
to the statement of Paul: "whatever you do, do it to the glory of God,"
Clement remarks [Greek: hosa hypo ton kanona tês pisteôs poiein
epitetraptai]. In Strom. I. 19. 96; VI. 15. 125; VI. 18. 165; VII. 7.
41; VII. 15. 90; VII. 16. 105 we find [Greek: ho kanôn tês ekklêsias
(ekklêsiastikos)]. In the first passage that canon is the rule for the
right observance of the Lord's Supper. In the other passages it
describes no doubt the correct doctrine, that is, the rule by which the
orthodox Gnostic has to be guided in contrast with the heretics who are
guided by their own desires (it is therefore parallel to the [Greek:
didaskalia tou kyriou]); but Clement feels absolutely no need to mention
wherein this ecclesiastical canon consists. In Strom IV. 1. 3; VI. 15.
124; VI 15. 131; VII. 16. 94, we find the expression [Greek: ho kanôn
tês alêtheias]. In the first passage it is said: [Greek: hê goun kata
ton tês alêtheias kanona gnôstikês paradoseôs physiologia, mallon de
epopteia, ek tou peri kosmogonias êrtêtai logou, enthende anabainousa
epi to theologikon eidos]. Here no one can understand by the rule of
truth what Tertullian understood by it. Very instructive is the second
passage in which Clement is dealing with the right and wrong exposition
of Scripture. He says first: [Greek: parakatathêke apodidomenê Theô hê
kata tên tou kyriou didaskalian dia tôn apostolôn autou tês theosebous
paradoseôs synesis te kai synaskêsis]; then he demands that the
Scriptures be interpreted [Greek: kata ton tês alêtheias kanona], or
[Greek: t. ekklês. kan.]; and continues (125): [Greek: kanôn de
ekklêsiastikos hê synôdia kai hê symphônia nomou te kai prophêtôn tê
kata tên tou kyriou parousian paradidomenê diathêkê]. Here then the
agreement of the Old Testament with the Testament of Christ is described
as the ecclesiastical canon. Apart from the question as to whether
Clement is here already referring to a New Testament canon of Scripture,
his rule agrees with Tertullian's testimony about the Roman Church:
"legem et prophetas cum evangelicis et apostolicis litteris miscet." But
at any rate the passage shows the broad sense in which Clement used the
term "ecclesiastical canon." The following expressions are also found in
Clement: [Greek: hê alêthes tês makarias didaskalias paradosis] (I. 1.
11), [Greek: hai hagiai paradoseis] (VII. 18. 110), [Greek: hê eukleês
kai semnos tês paradoseôs kanôn] (all gnosis is to be guided by this,
see also [Greek: hê kata tên theian paradosin philosophia], I, 1. 15. I:
11. 52., also the expression [Greek: hê theia paradosis] (VII. 16. 103),
[Greek: hê ekklêsiastike paradosis] (VII. 16. 95), [Greek: hai tou
Christou paradoseis] (VII. 16. 99), [Greek: hê tou kyriou paradosis]
(VII. 17. 106: VII. 16. 104), [Greek: hê theosebês paradosis] (VI. 15.
124)). Its content is not more precisely defined, and, as a rule, nothing
more can be gathered from the context than what Clement once calls
[Greek: to koinon tês pisteôs] (VII. 16. 97). Where Clement wishes to
determine the content more accurately he makes use of supplementary
terms. He speaks, e.g., in III. 10. 66 of the [Greek: kata alêtheian
euangelikos kanôn], and means by that the tradition contained in the
Gospels recognised by the Church in contradistinction to that found in
other gospels (IV. 4. 15: [Greek: kata ton kanona tou euangeliou] =
[Greek: kata t. euang.]). In none of these formulæ is any notice taken
of the Apostles. That Clement (like Justin) traced back the public
tradition to the Apostles is a matter of course and manifest from I. 1.
11, where he gives an account of his early teachers ([Greek: hoi men tên
alêthê tês makarias sôzontes didaskalias paradosin euthus apo Petrou te
kai Iakôbou, Iôannou te kai Paulou tôn hagiôn apostolôn, tais para
patros ekdechomenos hêkon dê syn theô kai eis hêmas ta progonika ekeina
kai apostolika katathêsomenoi spermata]). Clement does not yet appeal to
a hierarchical tradition through the bishops, but adheres to the natural
one through the teachers, though he indeed admits an esoteric tradition
alongside of it. On one occasion he also says that the true Gnostic
keeps the [Greek: apostolikê kai ekklêsiastikê orthotomia tôn dogmatôn]
(VII. 16. 104). He has no doubt that: [Greek: mia hê pantôn gegone tôn
apostolôn hôsper didaskalia houtôs de kai hê paradosis] (VII. 17. 108).
But all that might just as well have been written in the first half of
the second century. On the tracing back of the Gnosis, the esoteric
tradition, to the Apostles see Hypotyp. in Euseb., H. E. II. 1. 4,
Strom. VI. 15. 131: [Greek: autika didaxantos tou sôtêros tous
apostolous hê tês engraphou agraphos êdê kai eis hêmas diadidotai
paradosis]. VI. 7. 61: [Greek: hê gnôsis de autê hê kata diadochas]
(this is the only place where I find this expression) [Greek: eis
oligous ek tôn apostolôn agraphôs paradotheisa katelêluthen], ibid
[Greek: hê gnôstikê paradosis]; VII. 10. 55: [Greek: hê gnôsis ek
paradoseôs diadidomenê tois axious sphas autous tês didaskalias
parechomenois oion parakatathêkê egcheirizetai]. In VII. 17. 106 Clement
has briefly recorded the theories of the Gnostic heretics with regard to
the apostolic origin of their teaching, and expressed his doubts. That
the tradition of the "Old Church," for so Clement designates the
orthodox Church as distinguished from the "human congregation" of the
heretics of his day, is throughout derived from the Apostles, he regards
as so certain and self-evident that, as a rule, he never specially
mentions it, or gives prominence to any particular article as apostolic.
But the conclusion that he had no knowledge of any apostolic or fixed
confession might seem to be disproved by one passage. It is said in
Strom. VII. 15. 90: [Greek: Mê ti oun, ei kai parabaiê tis synthêkas kai
tên homologian parelthoi tên pros hêmas, dia ton pseusamenon tên
homologian aphexometha tês alêtheias kai hêmeis, all' hôs apseudein chrê
ton epieikê kai mêden hôn hupeschêtai akuroun kan alloi tines
parabainôsi synthêkas, outôs kai hêmas kata mêdena tropon ton
ekklêsiastikon parabainein prosekei kanona kai malista tên peri tôn
megistôn homologian hêmeis men phylattomen, oi de parabainousi]. But in
the other passages in Clement where [Greek: homologia] appears it
nowhere signifies a fixed formula of confession, but always the
confession in general which receives its content according to the
situation (see Strom. IV. 4. 15; IV. 9. 71; III. 1. 4: [Greek: egkrateia
sômatos hyperopsia kata tên pros theon homologian]). In the passage
quoted it means the confession of the main points of the true doctrine.
It is possible or probable that Clement was here alluding to a
confession at baptism, but that is also not quite certain. At any rate
this one passage cannot prove that Clement identified the ecclesiastical
canon with a formulated confession similar to or identical with the
Roman, or else such identification must have appeared more frequently in
his works.]

[Footnote 62: De princip. l. I. præf. § 4-10., IV. 2. 2. Yet we must
consider the passage already twice quoted, namely, Com. in John. XXXII.
9, in order to determine the practice of the Alexandrian Church at that
time. Was this baptismal confession not perhaps compiled from Herm.,
Mand. I., and Christological and theological teachings, so that the
later confessions of the East with their dogmatic details are already to
be found here?]

[Footnote 63: That may be also shown with regard to the New Testament
canon. Very important is the declaration of Eusebius (H. E. VI. 14) that
Origen, on his own testimony, paid a brief visit to Rome in the time of
Zephyrinus, "because he wished to become acquainted with the ancient
Church of the Romans." We learn from Jerome (de vir. inl. 61) that
Origen there became acquainted with Hippolytus, who even called
attention to his presence in the church in a sermon. That Origen kept up
a connection with Rome still later and followed the conflicts there with
keen interest may be gathered from his works. (See Döllinger,
"Hippolytus und Calixtus" p. 254 ff.) On the other hand, Clement was
quite unacquainted with that city. Bigg therefore l.c. rightly remarks:
"The West is as unknown to Clement as it was to his favourite Homer."
That there was a formulated [Greek: pistis kai homologia] in Alexandria
about 250 A.D. is shown by the epistle of Dionysius (Euseb., H. E. VII.
8). He says of Novatian, [Greek: anatrepei tên pro loutrou pistin kai
homologian]. Dionysius would hardly have reproduced this Roman reproach
in that way, if the Alexandrian Church had not possessed a similar
[Greek: pistis].]

[Footnote 64: The original of the Apostolic Constitutions has as yet no
knowledge of the Apostolic rule of faith in the Western sense.]

[Footnote 65: The close of the first homily of Aphraates shows how
simple, antique, and original this confession still was in outlying
districts at the beginning of the fourth century. On the other hand,
there were oriental communities where it was already heavily weighted
with theology.]

[Footnote 66: Cf. the epistles of Cyprian, especially ep. 69. 70. When
Cyprian speaks (69. 7) of one and the same law which is held by the
whole Catholic Church, and of one _symbol_ with which she administers
baptism (this is the first time we meet with this expression), his words
mean far more than the assertion of Irenæus that the confession
expounded by him is the guiding rule in all Churches; for in Cyprian's
time the intercourse of most Catholic communities with each other was so
regulated that the state of things in each was to some extent really
known. Cf. also Novatian, "de trinitate seu de regula fidei," as well as
the circular letter of the Synod of Antioch referring to the
Metropolitan Paul (Euseb., H. E. VII. 30. 6 ... [Greek: apostas tou
kanonos epi kibdêla kai notha didagmata metelêluthen]), and the homilies
of Aphraates. The closer examination of the last phase in the
development of the confession of faith during this epoch, when the
apostolic confessions received an interpretation in accordance with the
theology of Origen, will be more conveniently left over till the close
of our description (see chap. 7 fin).]

[Footnote 67: See the histories of the canon by Credner, Reuss,
Westcott, Hilgenfeld, Schmiedel, Holtzmann, and Weiss; the latter two,
which to some extent supplement each other, are specially instructive.
To Weiss belongs the merit of having kept Gospels and Apostles clearly
apart in the preliminary history of the canon (see Th. L. Z. 1886. Nr.
24); Zahn, Gesch. des N. Tlichen Kanons, 2 vols, 1888 ff.; Harnack, Das
Neue Test. um d. J. 200, 1889; Voigt, Eine verschollene Urkunde des
antimontan. Kampfes, 1891, p. 236 ff.; Weizsäcker, Rede bei der akad.
Preisvertheilung, 1892. Nov.; Köppel, Stud. u. Krit. 1891, p. 102 ff;
Barth, Neue Jahrbb. f. deutsche Theologie, 1893, p. 56 ff. The following
account gives only a few aspects of the case, not a history of the
genesis of the canon.]

[Footnote 68: "Holy" is not always equivalent to "possessing absolute
authority." There are also various stages and degrees of "holy."]

[Footnote 69: I beg here to lay down the following principles as to
criticism of the New Testament. (1) It is not individual writings, but
the whole book that has been immediately handed down to us. Hence, in
the case of difficulties arising, we must first of all enquire, not
whether the title and historical setting of a book are genuine or not,
but if they are original, or were only given to the work when it became
a component part of the collection. This also gives us the right to
assume interpolations in the text belonging to the time when it was
included in the canon, though this right must be used with caution. (2)
Baur's "tendency-criticism" has fallen into disrepute; hence we must
also free ourselves from the pedantry and hair-splitting which were its
after effects. In consequence of the (erroneous) assumptions of the
Tübingen school of critics a suspicious examination of the texts was
justifiable and obligatory on their part. (3) Individual difficulties
about the date of a document ought not to have the result of casting
suspicion on it, when other good grounds speak in its favour; for, in
dealing with writings which have no, or almost no accompanying
literature, such difficulties cannot fail to arise. (4) The condition of
the oldest Christianity up to the beginning of the second century did
not favour literary forgeries or interpolations in support of a definite
tendency. (5) We must remember that, from the death of Nero till the
time of Trajan, very little is known of the history of the Church except
the fact that, by the end of this time, Christianity had not only spread
to an astonishing extent, but also had become vigorously consolidated.]

[Footnote 70: The novelty lies first in the idea itself, secondly in the
form in which it was worked out, inasmuch as Marcion would only admit
the authority of one Gospel to the exclusion of all the rest, and added
the Pauline epistles which had originally little to do with the
conception of the apostolic doctrinal tradition of the Church.]

[Footnote 71: It is easy to understand that, wherever there was
criticism of the Old Testament, the Pauline epistles circulating in the
Church would be thrust into the foreground. The same thing was done by
the Manichæans in the Byzantine age.]

[Footnote 72: Four passages may be chiefly appealed to in support of the
opposite view, viz., 2 Peter III. 16; Polycarp ep. 12. 1; Barn. IV. 14;
2 Clem. II. 4. But the first is put out of court, as the second Epistle
of Peter is quite a late writing. The second is only known from an
unreliable Latin translation (see Zahn on the passage: "verba 'his
scripturis' suspecta sunt, cum interpres in c. II. 3 ex suis inseruerit
quod dictum est"), and even if the latter were faithful here, the
quotation from the Psalms prefixed to the quotation from the Epistle to
the Ephesians prevents us from treating the passage as certain evidence.
As to the third passage ([Greek: mêpote, hôs gegraptai, polloi klêtoi,
oligoi de eklektoi heurethômen]), it should be noted that the author of
the Epistle of Barnabas, although he makes abundant use of the evangelic
tradition, has nowhere else described evangelic writings as [Greek:
graphê], and must have drawn from more sources than the canonic Gospels.
Here, therefore, we have an enigma which may be solved in a variety of
ways. It seems worth noting that it is a saying of the Lord which is
here in question. But from the very beginning words of the Lord were
equally reverenced with the Old Testament (see the Pauline Epistles).
This may perhaps explain how the author--like 2 Clem. II. 4: [Greek:
hetera de graphê legei hoti ouk êlthon kalesai dikaious alla
hamartôlous]--has introduced a saying of this kind with the same formula
as was used in introducing Old Testament quotations. Passages, such as
Clem. XIII. 4: [Greek: legei ho theos: ou charis humin ei agapate
k.t.l.] would mark the transition to this mode of expression. The
correctness of this explanation is confirmed by observation of the fact
that the same formula as was employed in the case of the Old Testament
was used in making quotations from early Christian apocalypses, or
utterances of early Christian prophets in the earliest period. Thus we
already read in Ephesians V. 14: [Greek: dio legei: egeire ho katheudôn
kai anasta ek tôn nekrôn kai epiphausei soi ho Christos]. That,
certainly, is a saying of a Christian prophet, and yet it is introduced
with the usual "[Greek: legei]". We also find a saying of a Christian
prophet in Clem. XXIII. (the saying is more complete in 2 Clem. XI.)
introduced with the words: [Greek: hê graphê hautê, hopou legei]. These
examples may be multiplied still further. From all this we may perhaps
assume that the trite formulæ of quotation "[Greek: graphê], [Greek:
gegraptai]," etc., were applied wherever reference was made to sayings
of the Lord and of prophets that were fixed in writings, even when the
documents in question had not yet as a whole obtained canonical
authority. Finally, we must also draw attention to the following:--The
Epistle of Barnabas belongs to Egypt; and there probably, contrary to my
former opinion, we must also look for the author of the second Epistle
of Clement. There is much to favour the view that in Egypt _Christian_
writings were treated as sacred texts, without being united into a
collection of equal rank with the Old Testament. (See below on this

[Footnote 73: See on Justin Bousset. Die Evv.-Citate Justins. Gott.,
1891. We may also infer from the expression of Hegesippus (Euseb., H. E.
IV. 22. 3; Stephanus Gobarus in Photius, Bibl. 232. p. 288) that it was
not Christian writings, but the Lord himself, who was placed on an
equality with Law and Prophets. Very instructive is the formula: "Libri
et epistolæ Pauli viri iusti" ([Greek: hai kath' hêmas bibloi kai hai
prosepitoutois epistolai Paulou tou hosiou andros]), which is found in
the Acta Mart. Scillit. anno 180 (ed. Robinson, Texts and Studies, 1891,
I. 2, p. 114 f.), and tempts us to make certain conclusions. In the
later recensions of the Acta the passage, characteristically enough, is
worded: "Libri evangeliorum et epistolæ Pauli viri sanctissimi apostoli"
or "Quattuor evv. dom. nostri J. Chr. et epp. S. Pauli ap. et omnis
divinitus inspirata scriptura."]

[Footnote 74: It is worthy of note that the Gnostics also, though they
quote the words of the Apostles (John and Paul) as authoritative, place
the utterances of the Lord on an unattainable height. See in support of
this the epistle of Ptolemy to Flora.]

[Footnote 75: Rev. I. 3; Herm. Vis. II. 4; Dionys. Cor. in Euseb., IV.
23. 11.]

[Footnote 76: Tertullian, this Christian of the primitive type, still
reveals the old conception of things in one passage where, reversing 2
Tim. III. 16, he says (de cultu fem. I. 3) "Legimus omnem scripturam
ædificationi habilem divinitus inspirari."]

[Footnote 77: The history of the collection of the Pauline Epistles may
be traced back to the first century (1 Clem. XLVII. and like passages).
It follows from the Epistle of Polycarp that this native of Asia Minor
had in his hands all the Pauline Epistles (quotations are made from nine
of the latter; these nine imply the four that are wanting, yet it must
remain an open question whether he did not yet possess the Pastoral
Epistles in their present form), also 1 Peter, 1 John (though he has not
named the authors of these), the first Epistle of Clement and the
Gospels. The extent of the writings read in churches which Polycarp is
thus seen to have had approaches pretty nearly that of the later
recognised canon. Compare, however, the way in which he assumes sayings
from those writings to be well known by introducing them with "[Greek:
eidotes]" (I. 3; IV. 1; V. 1). Ignatius likewise shows himself to be
familiar with the writings which were subsequently united to form the
New Testament. We see from the works of Clement, that, at the end of the
second century, a great mass of Christian writings were collected in
Alexandria and were used and honoured.]

[Footnote 78: It should also be pointed out that Justin most probably
used the Gospel of Peter among the [Greek: apomnêmoneumata]; see Texte
u. Unters. IX. 2.]

[Footnote 79: See my article in the Zeitschr. f. K. Gesch. Vol. IV. p.
471 ff. Zahn (Tatian's Diatessaron, 1881) takes a different view.]

[Footnote 80: Justin also used the Gospel of John, but it is a disputed
matter whether he regarded and used it like the other Gospels.]

[Footnote 81: The Sabellians still used it in the third century, which
is a proof of the great authority possessed by this Gospel in Christian
antiquity. (Epiph., H. 62. 2.)]

[Footnote 82: Euseb. H. E. IV. 29. 5.]

[Footnote 83: In many regions the Gospel canon alone appeared at first,
and in very many others it long occupied a more prominent place than the
other canonical writings. Alexander of Alexandria, for instance, still
calls God the giver of the Law, the Prophets, and the Gospels
(Theodoret, I. 4).]

[Footnote 84: Euseb., H. E. II. 26. 13. As Melito speaks here of the
[Greek: akribeia tôn palaiôn bibliôn], and of [Greek: ta biblia tês
palaias diathêkês], we may assume that he knows [Greek: ta biblia tês
kainês diathêkês].]

[Footnote 85: We may here leave undiscussed the hesitancy with regard to
the admissibility of particular books. That the Pastoral Epistles had a
fixed place in the canon almost from the very first is of itself a proof
that the date of its origin cannot be long before 180. In connection
with this, however, it is an important circumstance that Clement makes
the general statement that the heretics reject the Epistles to Timothy
(Strom. II. 12. 52: [Greek: hoi apo tôn haireseôn tas pros Timotheon
athetousin epistolas]). They did not happen to be at the disposal of the
Church at all till the middle of the second century.]

[Footnote 86: Yet see the passage from Tertullian quoted, p. 15, note 1;
see also the "receptior," de pudic. 20, the cause of the rejection of
Hermas in the Muratorian Fragment and Tertull. de bapt. 17: "Quodsi quæ
Pauli perperam scripta sunt exemplum Theclæ ad licentiam mulierum
docendi tinguendique defendunt, sciant in Asia presbyterum, qui eam
scripturam construxit, quasi titulo Pauli de suo cumulans, convictum
atque confessum id se amore Pauli fecisse, loco decessisse." The
hypothesis that the Apostles themselves (or the apostle John) compiled
the New Testament was definitely set up by no one in antiquity and
therefore need not be discussed. Augustine (c. Faustum XXII. 79) speaks
frankly of "sancti et docti homines" who produced the New Testament. We
can prove by a series of testimonies that the idea of the Church having
compiled the New Testament writings was in no way offensive to the Old
Catholic Fathers. As a rule, indeed, they are silent on the matter.
Irenæus and Tertullian already treat the collection as simply existent.]

[Footnote 87: Numerous examples may be found in proof of all these
points, especially in the writings of Tertullian, though such are
already to be met with in Irenæus also. He is not yet so bold in his
allegorical exposition of the Gospels as Ptolemæus whom he finds fault
with in this respect; but he already gives an exegesis of the books of
the New Testament not essentially different from that of the
Valentinians. One should above all read the treatise of Tertullian "de
idololatria" to perceive how the authority of the New Testament was even
by that time used for solving all questions.]

[Footnote 88: I cannot here enter into the disputed question as to the
position that should be assigned to the Muratorian Fragment in the
history of the formation of the canon, nor into its interpretation, etc.
See my article "Das Muratorische Fragment und die Entstehung einer
Sammlung apostolisch-katholischer Schriften" in the Ztschr. f. K. Gesch.
III. p. 358 ff. See also Overbeck, Zur Geschichte des Kanons, 1880;
Hilgenfeld, in the Zeitschrift f. Wissensch. Theol. 1881, part 2;
Schmiedel, Art. "Kanon" in Ersch. u. Gruber's Encykl., 2 Section, Vol.
XXXII. p. 309 ff.; Zahn, Kanongeschichte, Vol. II. p. 1 ff. I leave the
fragment and the conclusions I have drawn from it almost entirely out of
account here. The following sketch will show that the objections of
Overbeck have not been without influence on me.]

[Footnote 89: The use of the word "canon" as a designation of the
collection is first plainly demonstrable in Athanasius (ep. fest. of the
year 365) and in the 59th canon of the synod of Laodicea. It is doubtful
whether the term was already used by Origen. Besides, the word "canon"
was not applied even to the Old Testament before the fourth century. The
name "New Testament" (books of the New Testament) is first found in
Melito and Tertullian. For other designations of the latter see Ronsch,
Das N. T. Tertullian's p. 47 f. The most common name is "Holy
Scriptures." In accordance with its main components the collection is
designated as [Greek: to euangelion kai ho apostolos] (evangelicæ et
apostolicæ litteræ); see Tertullian, de bapt. 15: "tam ex domini
evangelio quam ex apostoli litteris." The name "writings of the Lord" is
also found very early. It was already used for the Gospels at a time
when there was no such thing as a canon. It was then occasionally
transferred to all writings of the collection. Conversely, the entire
collection was named, after the authors, a collection of apostolic
writings, just as the Old Testament Scriptures were collectively called
the writings of the prophets. Prophets and Apostles (= Old and New
Testament) were now conceived as the media of God's revelation fixed in
writing (see the Muratorian Fragment in its account of Hermas, and the
designation of the Gospels as "Apostolic memoirs" already found in
Justin.) This grouping became exceedingly important. It occasioned new
speculations about the unique dignity of the Apostles and did away with
the old collocation of Apostles and Prophets (that is Christian
prophets). By this alteration we may measure the revolution of the
times. Finally, the new collection was also called "the writings of the
Church" as distinguished from the Old Testament and the writings of the
heretics. This expression and its amplifications shew that it was the
Church which selected these writings.]

[Footnote 90: Here there is a distinction between Irenæus and
Tertullian. The former disputed with heretics about the interpretation
of the Scriptures, the latter, although he has read Irenæus, forbids
such dispute. He cannot therefore have considered Irenæus' efforts as

[Footnote 91: The reader should remember the different recensions of the
Gospels and the complaints made by Dionysius of Corinth (in Euseb., H.
E. IV. 23. 12).]

[Footnote 92: That the text of these writings was at the same time
revised is more than probable, especially in view of the beginnings and
endings of many New Testament writings, as well as, in the case of the
Gospels, from a comparison of the canon text with the quotations dating
from the time when there was no canon. But much more important still is
the perception of the fact that, in the course of the second century, a
series of writings which had originally been circulated anonymously or
under the name of an unknown author were ascribed to an Apostle and were
also slightly altered in accordance with this. In what circumstances or
at what time this happened, whether it took place as early as the
beginning of the second century or only immediately before the formation
of the canon, is in almost every individual case involved in obscurity,
but the fact itself, of which unfortunately the Introductions to the New
Testament still know so little, is, in my opinion, incontestable. I
refer the reader to the following examples, without indeed being able to
enter on the proof here (see my edition of the "Teaching of the
Apostles" p. 106 ff). (1) The Gospel of Luke seems not to have been
known to Marcion under this name, and to have been called so only at a
later date. (2) The canonical Gospels of Matthew and Mark do not claim,
through their content, to originate with these men; they were regarded
as apostolic at a later period. (3) The so-called Epistle of Barnabas
was first attributed to the Apostle Barnabas by tradition. (4) The
Apocalypse of Hermas was first connected with an apostolic Hermas by
tradition (Rom. XVI. 14). (5) The same thing took place with regard to
the first Epistle of Clement (Philipp, IV. 3). (6) The Epistle to the
Hebrews, originally the writing of an unknown author or of Barnabas, was
transformed into a writing of the Apostle Paul (Overbeck zur Gesch. des
Kanons, 1880), or given out to be such. (7) The Epistle of James,
originally the communication of an early Christian prophet, or a
collection of ancient holy addresses, first seems to have received the
name of James in tradition. (8) The first Epistle of Peter, which
originally appears to have been written by an unknown follower of Paul,
first received its present name from tradition. The same thing perhaps
holds good of the Epistle of Jude. Tradition was similarly at work, even
at a later period, as may for example be recognised by the
transformation of the epistle "de virginitate" into two writings by
Clement. The critics of early Christian literature have created for
themselves insoluble problems by misunderstanding the work of tradition.
Instead of asking whether the tradition is reliable, they always wrestle
with the dilemma "genuine or spurious", and can prove neither.]

[Footnote 93: As regards its aim and contents, this book is furthest
removed from the claim to be a portion of a collection of Holy
Scriptures. Accordingly, so far as we know, its reception into the canon
has no preliminary history.]

[Footnote 94: People were compelled by internal and external evidence
(recognition of their apostolicity; example of the Gnostics) to accept
the epistles of Paul. But, from the Catholic point of view, a canon
which comprised only the four Gospels and the Pauline Epistles, would
have been at best an edifice of two wings without the central structure,
and therefore incomplete and uninhabitable. The actual novelty was the
bold insertion into its midst of a book, which, if everything is not
deceptive, had formerly been only in private use, namely, the Acts of
the Apostles, which some associated with an Epistle of Peter and an
Epistle of John, others with an Epistle of Jude, two Epistles of John,
and the like. There were now (1) writings of the Lord which were at the
same time regarded as [Greek: apomnêmoneumata] of definite Apostles; (2)
a book which contained the acts and preaching of all the Apostles, which
historically legitimised Paul, and at the same time gave hints for the
explanation of "difficult" passages in his Epistle; (3) the Pauline
Epistles increased by the compilation of the Pastoral ones, documents
which "in ordinatione ecclesiasticæ disciplinæ sanctificatæ erant." The
Acts of the Apostles is thus the key to the understanding of the
Catholic canon and at the same time shows its novelty. In this book the
new collection had its bond of cohesion, its Catholic element (apostolic
tradition), and the guide for its exposition. That the Acts of the
Apostles found its place in the canon _faute de mieux_ is clear from the
extravagant terms, not at all suited to the book, in which its
appearance there is immediately hailed. It is inserted in place of a
book which should have contained the teaching and missionary acts of all
the 12 Apostles; but, as it happened, such a record was not in
existence. The first evidence regarding it is found in the Muratorian
fragment and in Irenæus and Tertullian. There it is called "acta omnium
apostolorum sub uno libro scripta sunt, etc." Irenæus says (III. 14. 1):
"Lucas non solum prosecutor sed et cooperarius fuit _Apostolorum_,
maxime autem Pauli," and makes use of the book to prove the
subordination of Paul to the twelve. In the celebrated passages, de
præscr. 22, 23: adv. Marc. I. 20; IV. 2-5; V. 1-3, Tertullian made a
still more extensive use of the Acts of the Apostles, as the
Antimarcionite book in the canon. One can see here why it was admitted
into that collection and used against Paul as the Apostle of the
heretics. The fundamental thought of Tertullian is that no one who fails
to recognise the Acts of the Apostles has any right to recognise Paul,
and that to elevate him by himself into a position of authority is
unhistorical and absolutely unfounded fanaticism. If the [Greek: didachê
tôn dôdeka apostolôn] was needed as an authority in the earlier time, a
_book_ which contained that authority was required in the later period;
and nothing else could be found than the work of the so-called Luke.
"Qui Acta Apostolorum non recipiunt, nec spiritus sancti esse possunt,
qui necdum spiritum sanctum possunt agnoscere discentibus missum, sed
nec ecclesiam se dicant defendere qui quando et quibus incunabulis
institutum est hoc corpus probare non habent." But the greater part of
the heretics remained obstinate. Neither Marcionites, Severians, nor the
later Manicheans recognised the Acts of the Apostles. To some extent
they replied by setting up other histories of Apostles in opposition to
it, as was done later by a fraction of the Ebionites and even by the
Marcionites. But the Church also was firm. It is perhaps the most
striking phenomenon in the history of the formation of the canon that
this late book, from the very moment of its appearance, asserts its
right to a place in the collection, just as certainly as the four
Gospels, though its position varied. In Clement of Alexandria indeed the
book is still pretty much in the background, perhaps on a level with the
[Greek: kêrugma Petrou], but Clement has no New Testament at all in the
strict sense of the word; see below. But at the very beginning the book
stood where it is to-day, i.e., immediately after the Gospels (see
Muratorian Fragment, Irenæus, etc.). The parallel creation, the group of
Catholic Epistles, acquired a much more dubious position than the Acts
of the Apostles, and its place was never really settled. Its germ is
probably to be found in two Epistles of John (viz., 1st and 3rd) which
acquired dignity along with the Gospel, as well as in the Epistle of
Jude. These may have given the impulse to create a group of narratives
about the twelve Apostles from anonymous writings of old Apostles,
prophets, and teachers. But the Epistle of Peter is still wanting in the
Muratorian Fragment, nor do we yet find the group there associated with
the Acts of the Apostles. The Epistle of Jude, two Epistles of John, the
Wisdom of Solomon, the Apocalypse of John and that of Peter form the
unsymmetrical conclusion of this oldest catalogue of the canon. But, all
the same writings, by Jude, John, and Peter are here found side by side;
thus we have a preparation for the future arrangement made in different
though similar fashion by Irenæus and again altered by Tertullian. The
genuine Pauline Epistles appear enclosed on the one hand by the Acts of
the Apostles and the Catholic Epistles, and on the other by the Pastoral
ones, which in their way are also "Catholic." That is the character of
the "Catholic" New Testament which is confirmed by the earliest use of
it (in Irenæus and Tertullian). In speaking above of the Acts of the
Apostles as a late book, we meant that it was so relatively to the
canon. In itself the book is old and for the most part reliable.]

[Footnote 95: There is no doubt that this was the reason why to all
appearance the innovation was scarcely felt. Similar causes were at work
here as in the case of the apostolic rule of faith. In the one case the
writings that had long been read in the Church formed the basis, in the
other the baptismal confession. But a great distinction is found in the
fact that the baptismal confession, as already settled, afforded an
elastic standard which was treated as a fixed one and was therefore
extremely practical; whilst, conversely, the undefined group of writings
hitherto read in the Church was reduced to a collection which could
neither be increased nor diminished.]

[Footnote 96: At the beginning, that is about 180, it was only in
practice, and not in theory, that the Gospels and the Pauline Epistles
possessed equal authority. Moreover, the name New Testament is not yet
found in Irenæus, nor do we yet find him giving an exact idea of its
content. See Werner in the Text. u. Unters. z. altchristl. Lit. Gesch.
Bd. VI. 2.]

[Footnote 97: See above, p. 40, note 2.]

[Footnote 98: We have ample evidence in the great work of Irenæus as to
the difficulties he found in many passages of the Pauline Epistles,
which as yet were almost solely utilised as sources of doctrine by such
men as Marcion, Tatian, and theologians of the school of Valentinus. The
difficulties of course still continued to be felt in the period which
followed. (See, e.g., Method, Conviv. Orat. III. 1, 2.)]

[Footnote 99: Apollinaris of Hierapolis already regards any
contradiction between the (4) Gospels as impossible. (See Routh, Reliq.
Sacr. I. p. 150.)]

[Footnote 100: See Overbeck, "Ueber die Auffassung des Streites des
Paulus mit Petrus in Antiochien bei den Kirchenvätern," 1877, p. 8.]

[Footnote 101: See also Clement Strom. IV. 21. 124; VI. 15. 125. The
expression is also frequent in Origen, e.g., de princip. præf. 4.]

[Footnote 102: The Roman Church in her letter to that of Corinth
designates her own words as the words of God (1 Clem. LIX. 1) and
therefore requires obedience "[Greek: tois huph' hêmôn gegrammenois dia
tou hagiou pneumatos]" (LXIII. 2).]

[Footnote 103: Tertull. de exhort. 4: "Spiritum quidem dei etiam fideles
habent, sed non omnes fideles apostoli ... Proprie enim apostoli
spiritum sanctum habent, qui plene habent in operibus prophetiæ et
efficacia virtutum documentisque linguarum, non ex parte, quod ceteri."
Clem. Alex. Strom. IV. 21. 135: [Greek: Hekastos idion echei charisma
apo theou, ho men houtôs, ho de houtôs, hoi apostoloi de en pasi
peplêromenoi]; Serapion in Euseb., H. E. VI. 12. 3: [Greek: hêmeis kai
ton Petron kai tous allous apostolous apodechometha hôs Christon]. The
success of the canon here referred to was an undoubted blessing, for, as
the result of enthusiasm, Christianity was menaced with complete
corruption, and things and ideas, no matter how alien to its spirit,
were able to obtain a lodgment under its protection. The removal of this
danger, which was in some measure averted by the canon, was indeed
coupled with great disadvantages, inasmuch as believers were referred in
legal fashion to a new book, and the writings contained in it were at
first completely obscured by the assumption that they were inspired and
by the requirement of an "expositio legitima."]

[Footnote 104: See Tertull., de virg. vol. 4, de resurr. 24, de ieiun.
15, de pudic. 12. Sufficiency is above all included in the concept
"inspiration" (see for ex. Tertull., de monog. 4: "Negat scriptura quod
non notat"), and the same measure of authority belongs to all parts (see
Iren., IV. 28. 3. "Nihil vacuum neque sine signo apud deum").]

[Footnote 105: The direct designation "prophets" was, however, as a
rule, avoided. The conflict with Montanism made it expedient to refrain
from this name; but see Tertullian, adv. Marc. IV. 24: "Tam apostolus
Moyses, quam et apostoli prophetæ."]

[Footnote 106: Compare also what the author of the Muratorian Fragment
says in the passage about the Shepherd of Hermas.]

[Footnote 107: This caused the most decisive breach with tradition, and
the estimate to be formed of the Apocalypses must at first have remained
an open question. Their fate was long undecided in the West; but it was
very soon settled that they could have no claim to public recognition in
the Church, because their authors had not that fulness of the Spirit
which belongs to the Apostles alone.]

[Footnote 108: The disputed question as to whether all the acknowledged
apostolic writings were regarded as canonical must be answered in the
affirmative in reference to Irenæus and Tertullian, who conversely
regarded no book as canonical unless written by the Apostles. On the
other hand, it appears to me that no certain opinion on this point can
be got from the Muratorian Fragment. In the end the Gospel, Acts,
Kerygma, and Apocalypse of Peter as well as the Acts of Paul were
rejected, a proceeding which was at the same time a declaration that
they were spurious. But these three witnesses agree (see also App.
Constit. VI. 16) that the apostolic _regula fidei_ is practically the
final court of appeal, inasmuch as it decides whether a writing is
really apostolic or not, and inasmuch as, according to Tertullian, the
apostolic writings belong to the Church alone, because she alone
possesses the apostolic _regula_ (de præscr. 37 ff.). The _regula_ of
course does not legitimise those writings, but only proves that they are
authentic and do not belong to the heretics. These witnesses also agree
that a Christian writing has no claim to be received into the canon
merely on account of its prophetic form. On looking at the matter more
closely, we see that the view of the early Church, as opposed to
Montanism, led to the paradox that the Apostles were prophets in the
sense of being inspired by the Spirit, but that they were not so in the
strict sense of the word.]

[Footnote 109: The fragment of Serapion's letter given in Eusebius owes
its interest to the fact that it not only shows the progress made at
this time with the formation of the canon at Antioch, but also what
still remained to be done.]

[Footnote 110: See my essay "Theophilus v. Antiochien und das N. T." in
the Ztschr. f. K. Gesch. XI. p. 1 ff.]

[Footnote 111: The most important passages are Autol. II. 9. 22: [Greek:
hothen didaskousin hêmas hai hagiai graphai kai pantes hoi
pneumatophoroi, ex hôn Iôannaes legei k.t.l.] (follows John I. 1) III.
12: [Greek: kai peri dikaiosunês, hês ho nomos eirêken, akoloutha
heurisketai kai ta tôn prophêtôn kai tôn euangeliôn echein, dia to tous
pantas pneumatophorous heni pneumati theou lelalêkenai]; III. 13:
[Greek: ho hagios logos--hê euangelios phônê].; III. 14: [Greek:
Êsaias--to de euangelion--ho theios logos]. The latter formula is not a
quotation of Epistles of Paul viewed as canonical, but of a divine
command found in the Old Testament and given in Pauline form. It is
specially worthy of note that the original of the six books of the
Apostolic Constitutions, written in Syria and belonging to the second
half of the third century, knows yet of no New Testament. In addition to
the Old Testament it has no authority but the "Gospel."]

[Footnote 112: There has as yet been no sufficient investigation of the
New Testament of Clement. The information given by Volkmar in Credner's
Gesch. d. N. Tlichen Kanon, p. 382 ff., is not sufficient. The space at
the disposal of this manual prevents me from establishing the results of
my studies on this point. Let me at least refer to some important
passages which I have collected. Strom. I. §§ 28, 100; II. §§ 22, 28,
29; III.,§§ 11, 66, 70, 71, 76, 93, 108; IV. §§ 2, 91, 97, 105, 130,
133, 134, 138, 159; V. §§ 3, 17, 27, 28, 30, 31, 38, 80, 85, 86; VI. §§
42,44, 54, 59, 61, 66--68, 88, 91, 106, 107, 119, 124, 125, 127, 128,
133, 161, 164; VII. §§ 1, 14, 34, 76, 82, 84, 88, 94, 95, 97, 100, 101,
103, 104, 106, 107. As to the estimate of the Epistles of Barnabas and
Clement of Rome as well as of the Shepherd, in Clement, see the Prolegg.
to my edition of the Opp. Patr. Apost.]

[Footnote 113: According to Strom. V. 14. 138 even the Epicurean
Metrodorus uttered certain words [Greek: entheôs]; but on the other hand
Homer was a prophet against his will. See Pæd. I. 6. 36, also § 51.]

[Footnote 114: In the Pæd. the Gospels are regularly called [Greek: hê
graphê] but this is seldom the case with the Epistles. The word
"Apostle" is used in quoting these.]

[Footnote 115: It is also very interesting to note that Clement almost
nowhere illustrates the parabolic character of the Holy Scriptures by
quoting the Epistles, but in this connection employs the Old Testament
and the Gospels, just as he almost never allegorises passages from other
writings. 1 Cor. III. 2 is once quoted thus in Pæd. I. 6. 49: [Greek: to
en tô apostolô hagion pneuma tê tou kuriou apochrômenon phônê legei]. We
can hardly conclude from Pæd. I. 7. 61 that Clement called Paul a

[Footnote 116: It is worthy of special note that Clem., Pæd. II. 10.3;
Strom. II. 15. 67 has criticised an interpretation given by the author
of the Epistle of Barnabas, although he calls Barnabas an Apostle.]

[Footnote 117: In this category we may also include the Acts of the
Apostles, which is perhaps used like the [Greek: kêrugma]. It is quoted
in Pæd. II. 16. 56; Strom. I. 50, 89, 91, 92, 153, 154; III. 49; IV. 97;
V. 75, 82; VI. 63, 101, 124, 165.]

[Footnote 118: The "seventy disciples" were also regarded as Apostles,
and the authors of writings the names of which did not otherwise offer a
guarantee of authority were likewise included in this category. That is
to say, writings which were regarded as valuable and which for some
reason or other could not be characterised as apostolic in the narrower
sense were attributed to authors whom there was no reason for denying to
be Apostles in the wider sense. This wider use of the concept
"apostolic" is moreover no innovation. See my edition of the Didache,
pp. 111-118.]

[Footnote 119: The formation of the canon in Alexandria must have had
some connection with the same process in Asia Minor and in Rome. This is
shown not only by each Church recognising four Gospels, but still more
by the admission of thirteen Pauline Epistles. We would see our way more
clearly here, if anything certain could be ascertained from the works of
Clement, including the Hypotyposes, as to the arrangement of the Holy
Scriptures; but the attempt to fix this arrangement is necessarily a
dubious one, because Clement's "canon of the New Testament" was not yet
finally fixed. It may be compared to a half-finished statue whose bust
is already completely chiselled, while the under parts are still
embedded in the stone.]

[Footnote 120: No greater creative act can be mentioned in the whole
history of the Church than the formation of the apostolic collection and
the assigning to it of a position of equal rank with the Old Testament.]

[Footnote 121: The history of early Christian writings in the Church
which were not definitely admitted into the New Testament is instructive
on this point. The fate of some of these may be described as tragical.
Even when they were not branded as downright forgeries, the writings of
the Fathers from the fourth century downwards were far preferred to

[Footnote 122: See on this point Overbeck "Abhandlung über die Anfange
der patristischen Litteratur," l.c., p. 469. Nevertheless, even after
the creation of the New Testament canon, theological authorship was an
undertaking which was at first regarded as highly dangerous. See the
Antimontanist in Euseb., H. E. V. 16. 3: [Greek: dediôs kai
exeulaboumenos, mê pê doxô prin episungraphein ê epidiatassesthai tô tês
tou euangeliou kainês diathêkês logô]. We find similar remarks in other
old Catholic Fathers (see Clemen. Alex.).]

[Footnote 123: But how diverse were the expositions; compare the
exegesis of Origen and Tertullian, Scorp. II.]

[Footnote 124: On the extent to which the Old Testament had become
subordinated to the New and the Prophets to the Apostles, since the end
of the second century, see the following passage from Novatian, de
trinit. 29: "Unus ergo et idem spiritus qui in prophetis et apostolis,
nisi quoniam ibi ad momentum, hic semper. Ceterum ibi non ut semper in
illis inesset, hic ut in illis semper maneret, et ibi mediocriter
distributus, hic totus effusus, ibi parce datus, hic large commodatus."]

[Footnote 125: That may be shown in all the old Catholic Fathers, but
most plainly perhaps in the theology of Origen. Moreover, the
subordination of the Old Testament revelation to the Christian one is
not simply a result of the creation of the New Testament, but may be
explained by other causes; see chap. 5. If the New Testament had not
been formed, the Church would perhaps have obtained a Christian Old
Testament with numerous interpolations--tendencies in this direction
were not wanting: see vol. I, p. 114 f.--and increased in extent by the
admission of apocalypses. The creation of the New Testament preserved
the purity of the Old, for it removed the need of doing violence to the
latter in the interests of Christianity.]

[Footnote 126: The Catholic Church had from the beginning a very clear
consciousness of the dangerousness of many New Testament writings, in
fact she made a virtue of necessity in so far as she set up a theory to
prove the unavoidableness of this danger. See Tertullian, de præscr.
passim, and de resurr. 63.]

[Footnote 127: To a certain extent the New Testament disturbs and
prevents the tendency to summarise the faith and reduce it to its most
essential content. For it not only puts itself in the place of the unity
of a system, but frequently also in the place of a harmonious and
complete creed. Hence the rule of faith is necessary as a guiding
principle, and even an imperfect one is better than a mere haphazard
reliance upon the Bible.]

[Footnote 128: We must not, however, ascribe that to conscious mistrust,
for Irenæus and Tertullian bear very decided testimony against such an
idea, but to the acknowledgment that it was impossible to make any
effective use of the New Testament Scriptures in arguments with educated
non-Christians and heretics. For these writings could carry no weight
with the former, and the latter either did not recognise them or else
interpreted them by different rules. Even the offer of several of the
Fathers to refute the Marcionites from their own canon must by no means
be attributed to an uncertainty on their part with regard to the
authority of the ecclesiastical canon of Scripture. We need merely add
that the extraordinary difficulty originally felt by Christians in
conceiving the Pauline Epistles, for instance, to be analogous and equal
in value to Genesis or the prophets occasionally appears in the
terminology even in the third century, in so far as the term "divine
writings" continues to be more frequently applied to the Old Testament
than to certain parts of the New.]

[Footnote 129: Tertullian, in de corona 3, makes his Catholic opponent
say: "Etiam in traditionis obtentu exigenda est auctoritas scripta."]

[Footnote 130: Hatch, Organisation of the early Christian Church, 1883.
Harnack, Die Lehre der zwölf Apostel, 1884. Sohm, Kirchenrecht, Vol. I.

[Footnote 131: Marcion was the only one who did not claim to prove his
Christianity from traditions inasmuch as he rather put it in opposition
to tradition. This disclaimer of Marcion is in keeping with his
renunciation of apologetic proof, whilst, conversely, in the Church the
apologetic proof, and the proof from tradition adduced against the
heretics, were closely related. In the one case the truth of
Christianity was proved by showing that it is the oldest religion, and
in the other the truth of ecclesiastical Christianity was established
from the thesis that it is the oldest Christianity, viz., that of the

[Footnote 132: See Tertullian, de præscr. 20, 21, 32.]

[Footnote 133: This theory is maintained by Irenæus and Tertullian, and
is as old as the association of the [Greek: hagia ekklêsia] and the
[Greek: pneuma hagion]. Just for that reason the distinction they make
between Churches founded by the Apostles and those of later origin is of
chief value to themselves in their arguments against heretics. This
distinction, it may be remarked, is clearly expressed in Tertullian
alone. Here, for example, it is of importance that the Church of
Carthage derives its "authority" from that of Rome (de præscr. 36).]

[Footnote 134: Tertull., de præscr. 32 (see p. 19). Iren., III. 2. 2:
"Cum autem ad eam iterum traditionem, quæ est ab apostolis, quæ per
successiones presbyterorum in ecclesiis custoditur, provocamus eos,
etc." III. 3. 1: "Traditionem itaque apostolorum in toto mundo
manifestatam in omni ecclesia adest perspicere omnibus qui vera velint
videre, et habemus annumerare eos, qui ab apostolis instituti sunt
episcopi in ecclesiis et successiones eorum usque ad nos ... valde enim
perfectos in omnibus eos volebant esse, quos et successores
relinquebant, suum ipsorum locum magisterii tradentes ... traditio
Romanæ ecclesiæ, quam habet ab apostolis, et annuntiata hominibus fides
per successiones episcoporum perveniens usque ad nos." III. 3. 4, 4. 1:
"Si de aliqua modica qusestione disceptatio esset, nonne oporteret in
antiquissimas recurrere ecclesias, in quibus apostoli conversati sunt
... quid autem si neque apostoli quidem scripturas reliquissent nobis,
nonne oportebat ordinem sequi traditionis, quam tradiderunt iis, quibus
committebant ecclesias?" IV. 33. 8: "Character corporis Christi secundum
successiones episcoporum, quibus apostoli eam quæ in unoquoque loco est
ecclesiam tradiderunt, quæ pervenit usque ad nos, etc." V. 20.1: "Omnes
enim ii valde posteriores sunt quam episcopi, quibus apostoli
tradiderunt ecclesias." IV. 26. 2: "Quapropter eis, qui in ecclesia
sunt, presbyteris obaudire oportet, his qui successionem habent ab
apostolis; qui cum episcopatus successione charisma veritatis certum
secundum placitum patris acceperunt." IV. 26. 5: "Ubi igitur charismata
domini posita sunt, ibi discere oportet veritatem, apud quos est ea quæ
est ab apostolis ecclesiæ successio." The declaration in Luke X. 16 was
already applied by Irenæus (III. præf.) to the successors of the

[Footnote 135: For details on this point see my edition of the Didache,
Proleg., p. 140. As the _regula fidei_ has its preparatory stages in the
baptismal confession, and the New Testament in the collection of
writings read in the Churches, so the theory that the bishops receive
and guarantee the apostolic heritage of truth has its preparatory stage
in the old idea that God has bestowed on the Church Apostles, prophets,
and teachers, who always communicate his word in its full purity. The
functions of these persons devolved by historical development upon the
bishop; but at the same time it became more and more a settled
conviction that no one in this latter period could be compared with the
Apostles. The only true Christianity, however, was that which was
apostolic and which could prove itself to be so. The natural result of
the problem which thus arose was the theory of an objective transference
of the _charisma veritatis_ from the Apostles to the bishops. This
notion preserved the unique personal importance of the Apostles,
guaranteed the apostolicity, that is, the truth of the Church's faith,
and formed a dogmatic justification for the authority already attained
by the bishops. The old idea that God bestows his Spirit on the Church,
which is therefore the holy Church, was ever more and more transformed
into the new notion that the bishops receive this Spirit, and that it
appears in their official authority. The theory of a succession of
prophets, which can be proved to have existed in Asia Minor, never got
beyond a rudimentary form and speedily disappeared.]

[Footnote 136: This theory must have been current in the Roman Church
before the time when Irenæus wrote; for the list of Roman bishops, which
we find in Irenæus and which he obtained from Rome, must itself be
considered as a result of that dogmatic theory. The first half of the
list must have been concocted, as there were no monarchical bishops in
the strict sense in the first century (see my treatise: "Die ältesten
christlichen Datirungen und die Anfänge einer bischoflichen
Chronographie in Rom." in the report of the proceedings of the Royal
Prussian Academy of Science, 1892, p. 617 ff). We do not know whether
such lists were drawn up so early in the other churches of apostolic
origin (Jerusalem?). Not till the beginning of the 3rd century have we
proofs of that being done, whereas the Roman community, as early as
Soter's time, had a list of bishops giving the duration of each
episcopate. Nor is there any evidence before the 3rd century of an
attempt to invent such a list for Churches possessing no claim to have
been founded by Apostles.]

[Footnote 137: We do not yet find this assertion in Tertullian's
treatise "de præscr."]

[Footnote 138: Special importance attaches to Tertullian's treatise "de
pudicitia," which has not been sufficiently utilised to explain the
development of the episcopate and the pretensions at that time set up by
the Roman bishop. It shows clearly that Calixtus claimed for himself as
bishop the powers and rights of the Apostles in their full extent, and
that Tertullian did not deny that the "doctrina apostolorum" was
inherent in his office, but merely questioned the "potestas
apostolorum." It is very significant that Tertullian (c. 21) sneeringly
addressed him as "apostolice" and reminded him that "ecclesia spiritus,
non ecclesia numerus episcoporum." What rights Calixtus had already
claimed as belonging to the apostolic office may be ascertained from
Hippol. Philos. IX. 11. 12. But the introduction to the Philosophoumena
proves that Hippolytus himself was at one with his opponent in supposing
that the bishops, as successors of the Apostles, had received the
attributes of the latter: [Greek: Tas haireseis heteros ouk elegxei, ê
to en ekklêsia paradothen hagion pneuma, ou tuchontes proteroi hoi
apostoloi metedosan tois orthôs pepisteukosin hôn hêmeis diadochoi
tugchanontes tês te autês charitos metechontes archierateias te kai
didaskalias kai phrouroi tês ekklêsias lelogismenoi ouk ophthalmô
nustazomen, oude logon orthon siôpômen, k.t.l.] In these words we have
an immense advance beyond the conception of Irenæus. This advance, of
course, was first made in practice, and the corresponding theory
followed. How greatly the prestige and power of the bishops had
increased in the first 3rd part of the 3rd century may be seen by
comparing the edict of Maximinus Thrax with the earlier ones (Euseb., H.
E. VI. 28; see also the genuine Martyr. Jacobi, Mariani, etc., in
Numidia c. 10 [Ruinart, Acta mart. p. 272 edit. Ratisb.]): "Nam ita
inter se nostræ religionis gradus artifex sævitia diviserat, ut laicos
clericis separatos tentationibus sæculi et terroribus suis putaret esse
cessuros" (that is, the heathen authorities also knew that the clergy
formed the bond of union in the Churches). But the theory that the
bishops were successors of the Apostles, that is, possessed the
apostolic office, must be considered a Western one which was very slowly
and gradually adopted in the East. Even in the original of the first six
books of the Apostolic Constitutions, composed about the end of the 3rd
century, which represents the bishop as mediator, king, and teacher of
the community, the episcopal office is not yet regarded as the apostolic
one. It is rather presbyters, as in Ignatius, who are classed with the
Apostles. It is very important to note that the whole theory of the
significance of the bishop in determining the truth of ecclesiastical
Christianity is completely unknown to Clement of Alexandria. As we have
not the slightest evidence that his conception of the Church was of a
hierarchical and anti-heretical type, so he very rarely mentions the
ecclesiastical officials in his works and rarest of all the bishops.
These do not at all belong to his conception of the Church, or at least
only in so far as they resemble the English orders (cf. Pæd. III. 12.
97, presbyters, bishops, deacons, widows; Strom. VII. 1. 3; III. 12. 90,
presbyters, deacons, laity; VI. 13. 106, presbyters, deacons: VI. 13.
107, bishops, presbyters, deacons: Quis dives 42, bishops and
presbyters). On the other hand, according to Clement, the true Gnostic
has an office like that of the Apostles. See Strom. VI. 13. 106, 107:
[Greek: exestin oun kai nun tais kyriakais enaskêsantas entolais kata to
euangelion teleiôs biôsantas kai gnôstikôs eis tên eklogên tôn apostolôn
engraphênai houtos presbuteros esti tô onti tês ekklêsias kai diakonos
alêthês tês tou theou boulêseôs]. Here we see plainly that the servants
of the earthly Church, as such, have nothing to do with the true Church
and the heavenly hierarchy. Strom VII. 9, 52 says: the true Gnostic is
the mediator with God. In Strom. VI. 14. 108; VII. 12. 77 we find the
words: [Greek: ho gnôstikos houtos sunelonti eipein tên apostolikên
apousian antanaplêroi, k.t.l.] Clement could not have expressed himself
in this way if the office of bishop had at that time been as much
esteemed in the Alexandrian Church, of which he was a presbyter, as it
was at Rome and in other Churches of the West (see Bigg l.c. 101).
According to Clement the Gnostic as a teacher has the same significance
as is possessed by the bishop in the West; and according to him we may
speak of a natural succession of teachers. Origen in the main still held
the same view as his predecessor. But numerous passages in his works and
above all his own history shew that in his day the episcopate had become
stronger in Alexandria also, and had begun to claim the same attributes
and rights as in the West (see besides de princip. præf. 2: "servetur
ecclesiastica prædicatio per successionis ordinem ab apostolis tradita
et usque ad præsens in ecclesiis permanens: illa sola credenda est
veritas, quæ in nullo ab ecclesiastica et apostolica discordat
traditione"--so in Rufinus, and in IV. 2. 2: [Greek: tou kanonos tês
Iêsou Christou kata diadochên t. apostolôn ouraniou ekklêsias]). The
state of things here is therefore exactly the same as in the case of the
apostolic _regula fidei_ and the apostolic canon of scripture. Clement
still represents an earlier stage, whereas by Origen's time the
revolution has been completed. Wherever this was so, the theory that the
monarchical episcopate was based on apostolic institution was the
natural result. This idea led to the assumption--which, however, was not
an immediate consequence in all cases--that the apostolic office, and
therefore the authority of Jesus Christ himself, was continued in the
episcopate: "Manifesta est sententia Iesu Christi apostolos suos
mittentis et ipsis solis potestatem a patre sibi datam permittentis,
quibus nos successimus eadem potestatex ecclesiam domini gubernantes et
credentium fidem baptizantes" (Hartel, Opp. Cypr. I. 459).]

[Footnote 139: See Rothe, Die Anfänge der christlichen Kirche und ihrer
Verfassung, 1837. Köstlin, Die Katholische Auffassung von der Kirche in
ihrer ersten Ausbildung in the Deutsche Zeitschrift für christliche
Wissenschaft und christliches Leben, 1855. Ritschl, Entstehung der
altkatholischen Kirche, 2nd ed., 1857. Ziegler, Des Irenäus Lehre von
der Autorität der Schrift, der Tradition und der Kirche, 1868.
Hackenschmidt, Die Anfänge des katholischen Kirchenbegriffs, 1874.
Hatch-Harnack, Die Gesellschaftsverfassung der christlichen Kirche im
Alterthum, 1883. Seeberg, Zur Geschichte des Begriffs der Kirche,
Dorpat, 1884. Söder, Der Begriff der Katholicität der Kirche und des
Glaubens, 1881. O. Ritschl, Cyprian von Karthago und die Verfassung der
Kirche, 1885. (This contains the special literature treating of
Cyprian's conception of the Church). Sohm, l.c.]

[Footnote 140: See Hatch, l.c. pp. 191, 253.]

[Footnote 141: See vol. I. p. 150 f. Special note should be given to the
teachings in the Shepherd, in the 2nd Epistle of Clement and in the
[Greek: Didachê].]

[Footnote 142: This notion lies at the basis of the exhortations of
Ignatius. He knows nothing of an empirical union of the different
communities into one Church guaranteed by any law or office. The bishop
is of importance only for the individual community, and has nothing to
do with the essence of the Church; nor does Ignatius view the separate
communities as united in any other way than by faith, charity, and hope.
Christ, the invisible Bishop, and the Church are inseparably connected
(ad Ephes. V. 1; as well as 2nd Clem. XIV.), and that is ultimately the
same idea, as is expressed in the associating of [Greek: pneuma] and
[Greek: ekklêsia]. But every individual community is an image of the
heavenly Church, or at least ought to be.]

[Footnote 143: The expression "Catholic Church" appears first in
Ignatius (ad Smyrn. VIII. 2): [Greek: hopou an phanêi ho episkopos, ekei
to plêthos esto; hôsper hopou an ê Christos Iêsous, ekei hê katholikê
ekklêsia]. But in this passage these words do not yet express a new
conception of the Church, which represents her as an empirical
commonwealth. Only the individual earthly communities exist empirically,
and the universal, i.e., the whole Church, occupies the same position
towards these as the bishops of the individual communities do towards
the Lord. The epithet "[Greek: katholikos]" does not of itself imply any
secularisation of the idea of the Church.]

[Footnote 144: The expression "invisible Church" is liable to be
misunderstood here, because it is apt to impress us as a mere idea,
which is certainly not the meaning attached to it in the earliest

[Footnote 145: It was thus regarded by Hegesippus in whom the expression
"[Greek: hê henôsis tês ekklêsias]" is first found. In his view the
[Greek: ekklêsia] is founded on the [Greek: orthos logos] transmitted by
the Apostles. The innovation does not consist in the emphasis laid upon
faith, for the unity of faith was always supposed to be guaranteed by
the possession of the one Spirit and the same hope, but in the setting
up of a formulated creed, which resulted in a loosening of the
connection between faith and conduct. The transition to the new
conception of the Church was therefore a gradual one. The way is very
plainly prepared for it in 1 Tim. III. 15: [Greek: oikos theou ekklêsia,
stulos kai hedraiôma tês alêtheias].]

[Footnote 146: The oldest predicate which was given to the Church and
which was always associated with it, was that of _holiness_. See the New
Testament; Barn. XIV. 6; Hermas, Vis. I. 3, 4; I. 6; the Roman symbol;
Dial. 119; Ignat. ad Trail, inscr.; Theophil. ad Autol., II. 14 (here we
have even the plural, "holy churches"); Apollon. in Euseb, H. E. V. 18.
5; Tertull., adv. Marc. IV. 13; V. 4; de pudicit. 1; Mart. Polyc inscr.;
Alexander Hieros. in Euseb., H. E. VI. 11. 5; Clemens Alex.; Cornelius
in Euseb., VI. 43. 6; Cyprian. But the holiness (purity) of the Church
was already referred by Hegesippus (Euseb., H. E. IV. 22. 4) to its pure
doctrine: [Greek: ekaloun tên ekklêsian parthenon; oupô gar ephtharto
akoais mataiais]. The unity of the Church according to Hegesippus is
specially emphasised in the Muratorian Fragment (line 55): see also
Hermas; Justin; Irenæus; Tertullian, de præscr. 20; Clem. Alex., Strom.
VII. 17. 107. Even before Irenæus and Tertullian the _universality_ of
the Church was emphasised for apologetic purposes. In so far as
universality is a proof of truth, "universal" is equivalent to
"orthodox." This signification is specially clear in expressions like:
[Greek: hê en Smurnê katholikê ekklêsia] (Mart. Polyc. XVI. 2). From
Irenæus, III. 15, 2, we must conclude that the Valentinians called their
ecclesiastical opponents "Catholics." The word itself is not yet found
in Irenæus, but the idea is there (see I. 10. 2; II. 9. 1, etc.,
Serapion in Euseb., H.E. V. 19: [Greek: pasa hê en kosmô adelphotês]).
[Greek: Katholikos] is found as a designation of the orthodox, visible
Church in Mart. Polyc. inscr.: [Greek: hai kata panta topon tês hagias
katholikês ekklêsias paroikiai]; 19. 2; 16. 2 (in all these passages,
however, it is probably an interpolation, as I have shown in the
"Expositor" for Dec. 1885, p. 410 f); in the Muratorian Fragment 61, 66,
69; in the anonymous writer in Euseb., H. E. V. 16. 9. in Tertull.
frequently, e.g., de præscr. 26, 30; adv. Marc. III. 22: IV. 4; in Clem.
Alex., Strom. VII. 17. 106, 107; in Hippol. Philos. IX. 12; in Mart.
Pionii 2, 9, 13, 19; in Cornelius in Cypr., epp. 49. 2; and in Cyprian.
The expression "catholica traditio" occurs in Tertull., de monog. 2,
"fides catholica" in Cyprian ep. 25, "[Greek: kanôn katholikos]" in the
Mart. Polyc. rec. Mosq. fin. and Cypr. ep. 70. 1, "catholica fides et
religio" in the Mart. Pionii 18. In the earlier Christian literature the
word [Greek: katholikos] occurs in various connections in the following
passages: in fragments of the Peratae (Philos. V. 16), and in Herakleon,
e.g. in Clement, Strom. IV. 9. 71; in Justin, Dial., 81, 102; Athenag.,
27; Theophil. I. 13; Pseudojustin, de monarch. 1, ([Greek: kathol.
doxa]); Iren., III. 11, 8; Apollon. in Euseb., H. E. IV. 18 5, Tertull.,
de fuga 3; adv. Marc. II. 17; IV. 9; Clement, Strom, IV. 15. 97; VI. 6.
47; 7. 57; 8. 67. The addition "catholicam" found its way into the
symbols of the West only at a comparatively late period. The earlier
expressions for the whole of Christendom are [Greek: pasai hai
ekklêsiai, ekklêsiai kata pasan polin, ekklêsiai en kosmô, hai huph'
ouranou], etc.]

[Footnote 147: Very significant is Tertullian's expression in adv. Val.
4: "Valentinus de ecclesia authenticæ regulæ abrupit," (but probably
this still refers specially to the Roman Church).]

[Footnote 148: Tertullian called the Church _mother_ (in Gal. IV. 26 the
heavenly Jerusalem is called "mother"); see de oral. 2: "ne mater quidem
ecclesia pixeterhur," de monog. 7; adv. Marc. V. 4 (the author of the
letter in Euseb., H. E. V. 2. 7, 1. 45, had already done this before
him). In the African Church the symbol was thus worded soon after
Tertullian's time: "credis in remissionem peccatorum et vitam æsternam
per sanctam ecclesiam" (see Hahn, Bibliothek der Symbole, 2nd ed. p. 29
ff.) On the other hand Clement of Alexandria (Strom. VI. 16. 146)
rejected the designation of the Church, as "mother": [Greek: mêtêr de
ouch, hôs tines ekdedôkasin, hê ekklêsia, all' hê theia gnôsis kai hê
sophia] (there is a different idea in Pæd. I. 5. 21. and 6. 42: [Greek:
mêtêr parthenos; ekklêsian emoi philon autên kalein]). In the Acta
Justini c. 4 the faith is named "mother."]

[Footnote 149: Hippol. Philos. IX. 12 p. 460.]

[Footnote 150: The phraseology of Irenæus is very instructive here. As a
rule he still speaks of Churches (in the plural) when he means the
empirical Church. It is already otherwise with Tertullian, though even
with him the old custom still lingers.]

[Footnote 151: The most important passages bearing on this are II. 31.
3: III. 24. 1 (see the whole section, but especially: "in ecclesia
posuit deus universam operationem spiritus; cuius non sunt participes
omnes qui non concurrunt ad ecclesiam ... ubi enim ecclesia, ibi et
spiritus dei, et ubi spiritus dei, illic ecclesia et omnis gratia");
III.11. 8: [Greek: stulos kai stêrigma ekklêsias to euangelion kai
pneuma zôês]: IV. 8. 1: "semen Abrahæ ecclesia", IV. 8. 3: "omnes iusti
sacerdotalem habent ordinem;" IV. 36. 2: "ubique præclara est ecclesia;
ubique enim sunt qui suscipiunt spiritum;" IV. 33. 7: [Greek: ekklêsia
mega kai endoxon sôma tou Christou]; IV. 26. 1 sq.: V. 20. 1.: V. 32.:
V. 34. 3., "Levitae et sacerdotes sunt discipuli omnes domini."]

[Footnote 152: Hence the repudiation of all those who separate
themselves from the Catholic Church (III. 11. 9; 24. 1: IV. 26. 2; 33.

[Footnote 153: On IV. 33. 7 see Seeberg, l.c., p. 20, who has correctly
punctuated the passage, but has weakened its force. The fact that
Irenæus was here able to cite the "antiquus ecclesiæ status in universo
mundo et character corporis Christi secundum successiones episcoporum,"
etc., as a second and independent item alongside of the apostolic
doctrine is, however, a proof that the transition from the idea of the
Church, as a community united by a common faith, to that of a
hierarchical institution was already revealing itself in his writings.]

[Footnote 154: The Church as a communion of the same faith, that is of
the same doctrine, is spoken of in de præscr. 20; de virg. vol. 2. On
the other hand we find the ideal spiritual conception in de bapt. 6:
"ubi tres, id est pater et filius et spiritus sanctus, ibi ecclesia, quæ
trium corpus est;" 8: "columba s. spiritus advolat, pacem dei adferens,
emissa de coelis, ubi ecclesia est arca figurata;" 15: "unus deus et
unum baptismum et una ecclesia in coelis;" de pænit. 10: "in uno et
altero ecclesia est, ecclesia vero Christus;" de orat. 28: "nos sumus
veri adoratores et veri sacerdotes, qui spiritu orantes spiritu
sacrificamus;" Apolog. 39; de exhort. 7: "differentiam inter ordinem et
plebem constituit ecclesiæ auctoritas et honor per ordinis consessum
sanctificatus. Adeo ubi ecclesiastici ordinis non est consessus, et
offers et tinguis et sacerdos es tibi solus. Sed ubi tres, ecclesia est,
licet laici" (the same idea, only not so definitely expressed, is
already found in de bapt. 17); de monog. 7: "nos autem Iesus summus
sacerdos sacerdotes deo patri suo fecit ... vivit unicus pater noster
deus et mater ecclesia, ... certe sacerdotes sumus a Christo vocati;"
12; de pudic. 21: "nam et ipsa ecclesia proprie et principaliter ipse
est spiritus, in quo est trinitas unius divinitatis, pater et filius et
spiritus sanctus. Illam ecclesiam congregat quam dominus in tribus
posuit. Atque ita exinde etiam numerus omnis qui in hanc fidem
conspiraverint ecclesia ab auctore et consecratore censetur. Et ideo
ecclesia quidem delicta donabit, sed ecclesia spiritus per spiritalem
hominem, non ecclesia numerus episcoporum;" de anima 11, 21.
Contradictions in detail need not surprise us in Tertullian, since his
whole position as a Catholic and as a Montanist is contradictory.]

[Footnote 155: The notion that the true Gnostic can attain the same
position as the Apostles also preserved Clement from thrusting the ideal
conception of the Church into the background.]

[Footnote 156: Some very significant remarks are found in Clement about
the Church which is the object of faith. See Pæd. I. 5. 18, 21; 6. 27:
[Greek: hôs gar thelêma tou Theou ergon esti kai touto kosmos
onomazetai, houtô kai to boulêma autou anthrôpôn esti sôtêria, kai touto
ekklêsia keklêtai]--here an idea which Hermas had in his mind (see Vol.
I., p. 180. note 4) is pregnantly and excellently expressed. Strom. II.
12. 55; IV. 8. 66: [Greek: eikôn tês ouraniou ekklêsias hê epigeios,
dioper euchometha kai epi gês genesthai to thelêma tou Theou hôs en
ouranô]; IV. 26. 172: [Greek: hê ekklêsia hupo logou apoliorkêtos
aturannêtos polis epi gês, thelêma theion epi gês, hôs en ouranô]; VI.
13. 106, 107; VI. 14. 108: [Greek: hê anôtatô ekklêsia, kath' hên hoi
philosophoi sunagontai tou Theou]; VII. 5. 29: [Greek: pôs ou kurios tên
eis timên tou Theou kat' epignôsin hagian genomenên ekklêsian hieron an
eipoimen Theou to pollou axion ... ou gar nun ton topon, alla to
athroisma tôn eklektôn ekklêsian kalô]; VII. 6. 32; VII. 11. 68: [Greek:
hê pneumatikê ekklêsia]. The empirical conception of the Church is most
clearly formulated in VII. 17. 107; we may draw special attention to the
following sentences: [Greek: phaneron oimai gegenêsthai mian einai tên
alêthê ekklêsian tên tôi onti archaian, eis hên hoi kata prothesin
dikaioi egkatalegontai, henos gar ontos tou Theou kai henos tou kuriou
... tê goun tou henos phusei sunklêrountai ekklêsia hê mia, hên eis
pollas katatemnein biazontai haireseis].]

[Footnote 157: It may, however, be noted that the old eschatological aim
has fallen into the background in Clement's conception of the Church.]

[Footnote 158: A significance of this kind is suggested by the notion
that the orders in the earthly Church correspond to those in the
heavenly one; but this idea, which afterwards became so important in the
East, was turned to no further account by Clement. In his view the
"Gnostics" are the highest stage in the Church. See Bigg, l.c., p. 100.]

[Footnote 159: De princip. IV. 2, 2: [Greek: hê ouranios ekklêsia]; Hom.
IX. in Exod. c. 3: "ecclesia credentium plebs;" Hom. XI. in Lev. c. 5;
Hom. VI. in Lev. c. 5; ibid. Hom. IX.: "omni ecclesiæ dei et credentium
populo sacerdotium datum.": T. XIV. in Mt. c. 17: c. Cels. VI. 48: VI.
79; Hom. VII. in Lk.; and de orat. 31 a twofold Church is distinguished
([Greek: hôste einai epi tôn hagiôn sunathroizomenôn diplên ekklêsian
tên men anthrôpôn, tên de angelôn]). Nevertheless Origen does not assume
two Churches, but, like Clement, holds that there is only one, part of
which is already in a state of perfection and part still on earth. But
it is worthy of note that the ideas of the heavenly hierarchy are
already more developed in Origen (de princip. I. 7). He adopted the old
speculation about the origin of the Church (see Papias, fragm. 6; 2
Clem. XIV.). Socrates (H. E. III. 7) reports that Origen, in the 9th
vol. of his commentary on Genesis, compared Christ with Adam and Eve
with the Church, and remarks that Pamphilus' apology for Origen stated
that this allegory was not new: [Greek: ou prôton Ôrigenên epi tautên
tên pragmateian elthein phasin, alla tên tês ekklêsias mustikên
hermêneusai paradosin]. A great many more of these speculations are to
be found in the 3rd century. See, e.g., _the Acts of Peter and Paul_

[Footnote 160: De princip. IV. 2. 2; Hom. III. in Jesu N. 5: "nemo tibi
persuadeat, nemo semetipsum decipiat: extra ecclesiam nemo salvatur."
The reference is to the Catholic Church which Origen also calls [Greek:
to holon sôma tôn sunagôgôn tês ekklêsias.]]

[Footnote 161: Hermas (Sim. I.) has spoken of the "city of God" (see
also pseudo-Cyprian's tractate "de pascha computus"); but for him it
lies in Heaven and is the complete contrast of the world. The idea of
Plato here referred to is to be found in his _Republic_.]

[Footnote 162: See c. Cels. VIII. 68-75.]

[Footnote 163: Comment. in Joh. VI. 38.]

[Footnote 164: Accordingly he often speaks in a depreciatory way of the
[Greek: ochlos tês ekklêsias] (the ignorant) without accusing them of
being unchristian (this is very frequent in the books c. Cels., but is
also found elsewhere).]

[Footnote 165: Origen, who is Augustine's equal in other respects also,
and who anticipated many of the problems considered by the latter,
anticipated prophetically this Father's view of the City of God--of
course as a hope (c. Cels. viii. 68 f). The Church is also viewed as
[Greek: to kata Theon politeuma] in Euseb., H. E. V. Præf. § 4, and at
an earlier period in Clement.]

[Footnote 166: This was not done even by Origen, for in his great work
"de principiis" we find no section devoted to the Church.]

[Footnote 167: It is frequently represented in Protestant writers that
the mistake consisted in this identification, whereas, if we once admit
this criticism, the defect is rather to be found in the development
itself which took place in the Church, that is, in its secularisation.
No one thought of the desperate idea of an invisible Church; this notion
would probably have brought about a lapse from pure Christianity far
more rapidly than the idea of the Holy Catholic Church.]

[Footnote 168: Both repeatedly and very decidedly declared that the
unity of faith (the rule of faith) is sufficient for the unity of the
Church, and that in other things there must be freedom (see above all
Tertull., de orat., de bapt., and the Montanist writings). It is all the
more worthy of note that, in the case of a question in which indeed the
customs of the different countries were exceedingly productive of
confusion, but which was certainly not a matter of faith, it was again a
bishop of Rome, and that as far back as the 2nd century, who first made
the observance of the Roman practice a condition of the unity of the
Church and treated nonconformists as heterodox (Victor; see Euseb., H.
E. V. 24). On the other hand Irenæus says: [Greek: hê diaphônia tês
nêsteias tên homonoian tês pisteôs sunistêsi].]

[Footnote 169: On Calixtus see Hippolyt., Philos. IX. I2; and Tertull.,
de pudic.]

[Footnote 170: See on the other hand Tertull., de monog., but also
Hippol., l.c.]

[Footnote 171: Cyprian's idea of the Church, an imitation of the
conception of a political empire, viz., one great aristocratically
governed state with an ideal head, is the result of the conflicts
through which he passed. It is therefore first found in a complete form
in the treatise "de unitate ecclesiæ" and, above all, in his later
epistles (Epp. 43 sq. ed. Hartel). The passages in which Cyprian defines
the Church as "constituta in episcopo et in clero et in omnibus
credentibus" date from an earlier period, when he himself essentially
retained the old idea of the subject. Moreover, he never regarded those
elements as similar and of equal value. The limitation of the Church to
the community ruled by bishops was the result of the Novatian crisis.
The unavoidable necessity of excluding orthodox Christians from the
ecclesiastical communion, or, in other words, the fact that such
orthodox Christians had separated themselves from the majority guided by
the bishops, led to the setting up of a new theory of the Church, which
therefore resulted from stress of circumstances just as much as the
antignostic conception of the matter held by Irenæus. Cyprian's notion
of the relation between the whole body of the Church and the episcopate
may, however, be also understood as a generalisation of the old theory
about the connection between the individual community and the bishop.
This already contained an oecumenical element, for, in fact, every
separate community was regarded as a copy of the one Church, and its
bishop therefore as the representative of God (Christ).]

[Footnote 172: We need only quote one passage here--but see also epp.
69. 3, 7 sq.: 70. 2: 73. 8--ep. 55. 24: "Quod vero ad Novatiani personam
pertinet, scias nos primo in loco nec curiosos esse debere quid ille
doceat, cum foris doceat; quisquis ille est et qualiscunque est,
christianus non est, qui in Christi ecclesia non est." In the famous
sentence (ep. 74. 7; de unit. 6): "habere non potest deum patrem qui
ecclesiam non habet matrem," we must understand the Church held together
by the _sacramentum unitatis_, i.e., by her constitution. Cyprian is
fond of referring to Korah's faction, who nevertheless held the same
faith as Moses.]

[Footnote 173: Epp. 4. 4: 33. 1: "ecclesia super episcopos constituta;"
43. 5: 45. 3: "unitatem a domino et per apostolos nobis successoribus
traditam;" 46. 1: 66. 8: "scire debes episcopum in ecclesia esse et
ecclesiam in episcopo et si qui cum episcopo non sit in ecclesia non
esse;" de unit. 4.]

[Footnote 174: According to Cyprian the bishops are the _sacerdotes_
[Greek: kat' eksochên] and the _iudices vice Christi_. See epp. 59. 5:
66. 3 as well as c. 4: "Christus dicit ad apostolos ac per hoc ad omnes
præpositos, qui apostolis vicaria ordinatione succedunt: qui audit vos
me audit." Ep. 3. 3: "dominus apostolos, i.e., episcopos elegit"; ep.
75. 16.]

[Footnote 175: That is a fundamental idea and in fact the outstanding
feature of the treatise "de unitate." The heretics and schismatics lack
love, whereas the unity of the Church is the product of love, this being
the main Christian virtue. That is the _ideal_ thought on which Cyprian
builds his theory (see also epp. 45. 1: 55. 24: 69. 1 and elsewhere),
and not quite wrongly, in so far as his purpose was to gather and
preserve, and not scatter. The reader may also recall the early
Christian notion that Christendom should be a band of brethren ruled by
love. But this love ceases to have any application to the case of those
who are disobedient to the authority of the bishop and to Christians of
the sterner sort. The appeal which Catholicism makes to love, even at
the present day, in order to justify its secularised and tyrannical
Church, turns in the mouth of hierarchical politicians into hypocrisy,
of which one would like to acquit a man of Cyprian's stamp.]

[Footnote 176: Ep. 43. 5: 55. 24: "episcopatus unus episcoporum multorum
concordi numerositate diffusus;" de unit. 5: "episcopatus unus est,
cuius a singulis in solidum pars tenetur." Strictly speaking Cyprian did
not set up a theory that the bishops were directed by the Holy Spirit,
but in identifying Apostles and bishops and asserting the divine
appointment of the latter he took for granted their special endowment
with the Holy Spirit. Moreover, he himself frequently appealed to
special communications he had received from the Spirit as aids in
discharging his official duties.]

[Footnote 177: Cyprian did not yet regard uniformity of Church practice
as a matter of moment--or rather he knew that diversities must be
tolerated. In so far as the _concordia episcoporum_ was consistent with
this diversity, he did not interfere with the differences, provided the
_regula fidei_ was adhered to. Every bishop who adheres to the
confederation has the greatest freedom even in questions of Church
discipline and practice (as for instance in the baptismal ceremonial);
see ep. 59. 14: "Singulis pastoribus portio gregis est adscripta, quam
regit unusquisque et gubernat rationem sui actus domino redditurus;" 55.
21: "Et quidem apud antecessores nostros quidam de episcopis istic in
provincia nostra dandam pacis moechis non putaverunt et in totum
pænitentiæ locum contra adulteria cluserunt, non tamen a co-episcoporum
suorum collegio recesserunt aut catholicæ ecclesiæ unitatem ruperunt, ut
quia apud alios adulteris pax dabatur, qui non dabat de ecclesia
separaretur." According to ep. 57. 5 Catholic bishops, who insist on the
strict practice of penance, but do not separate themselves from the
unity of the Church, are left to the judgment of God. It is different in
the case referred to in ep. 68, for Marcion had formally joined
Novatian. Even in the disputed question of heretical baptism (ep. 72. 3)
Cyprian declares to Stephen (See 69. 17: 73. 26; _Sententiæ episc._,
præfat.): "qua in re nec nos vim cuiquam facimus aut legem damus, quando
habeat in ecclesiæ administratione voluntatis suæ arbitrium liberum
unusquisque præpositus, rationem actus sui domino redditurus." It is
therefore plain wherein the unity of the episcopate and the Church
actually consists; we may say that it is found in the _regula_, in the
fixed purpose not to give up the unity in spite of all differences, and
in the principle of regulating all the affairs of the Church "ad
originem dominicam et ad evangelicam adque apostolicam traditionem" (ep.
74. 10). This refers to the New Testament, which Cyprian emphatically
insisted on making the standard for the Church. It must be taken as the
guide, "si in aliquo in ecclesia nutaverit et vacillaverit veritas;" by
it, moreover, all false customs are to be corrected. In the controversy
about heretical baptism, the alteration of Church practice in Carthage
and Africa, which was the point in question--for whilst in Asia
heretical baptism had for a very long time been declared invalid (see
ep. 75. 19) this had only been the case in Carthage for a few years--was
justified by Cyprian through an appeal to _veritas_ in contrast to
_consuetudo sine veritate_. See epp. 71. 2, 3: 73. 13, 23: 74. 2 sq.: 9
(the formula originates with Tertullian; see de virg. vel. 1-3). The
_veritas_, however, is to be learned from the Gospel and words of the
Apostles: "Lex evangelii," "præcepta dominica," and synonymous
expressions are very frequent in Cyprian, more frequent than reference
to the _regula_ or to the symbol. In fact there was still no Church
dogmatic, there being only principles of Christian faith and life,
which, however, were taken from the Holy Scriptures and the _regula_.]

[Footnote 178: Cyprian no longer makes any distinction between Churches
founded by Apostles, and those which arose later (that is, between their

[Footnote 179: The statement that the Church is "super Petrum fundata"
is very frequently made by Cyprian (we find it already in Tertullian, de
monog.); see de habitu virg. 10; Epp. 59. 7: 66. 8: 71. 3: 74. 11: 73.
7. But on the strength of Matth. XVI. he went still farther; see ep. 43.
5: "deus unus est et Christus unus et una ecclesia et cathedra una super
Petrum domini voce fundata;" ep. 48. 3 (ad Cornel.): "communicatio tua,
id est catholicæ ecclesiæ unitas pariter et caritas;" de unit. 4:
"superunum ædificat ecclesiam, et quamvis apostolis omnibus post
resurrectionem suam parem potestatem tribuat, tamen ut unitatem
manifestaret, unitatis eiusdem originem ab uno incipientem sua
auctoritate disposuit;" ep. 70. 3: "una ecclesia a Christo domino nostro
super Petrum origine unitatis et ratione fundata" ("with regard to the
origin and constitution of the unity" is the translation of this last
passage in the "Stimmen aus Maria Laach," 1877, part 8, p. 355; but
"ratio" cannot mean that); ep. 73. 7; "Petro primum dominus, super quem
ædificavit ecclesiam et unde unitatis originem instituit et ostendit,
potestatem istam dedit." The most emphatic passages are ep. 48. 3, where
the Roman Church is called "matrix et radix ecclesiæ catholicæ" (the
expression "radix et mater" in ep. 45. I no doubt also refers to her),
and ep. 59. 14: "navigare audent et ad Petri cathedram atque ad
ecclesiam principalem, unde unitas sacerdotalis exorta est, ab
schismaticis et profanis litteras ferre nec cogitare eos esse Romanes,
quorum fides apostolo prædicante laudata est (see epp. 30. 2, 3: 60. 2),
ad quos perfidia habere non possit accessum." We can see most clearly
from epp. 67. 5 and 68 what rights were in point of fact exercised by
the bishop of Rome. But the same Cyprian says quite naively, even at the
time when he exalted the Roman cathedra so highly (ep. 52. 2), "quoniam
_pro magnitudine sua_ debeat Carthaginem Roma præcedere." In the
controversy about heretical baptism Stephen like Calixtus (Tertull., de
pudic. 1) designated himself, on the ground of the _successio Petri_ and
by reference to Matth. XVI., in such a way that one might suppose he
wished to be regarded as "episcopus episcoporum" (Sentent. episc. in
Hartel I., p. 436). He expressly claimed a primacy and demanded
obedience from the "ecclesiæ novellæ et posteræ" (ep. 71. 3). Like
Victor he endeavoured to enforce the Roman practice "tyrannico terrore"
and insisted that the _unitas ecclesiæ_ required the observance of this
Church's practice in all communities. But Cyprian opposed him in the
most decided fashion, and maintained the principle that every bishop, as
a member of the episcopal confederation based on the _regula_ and the
Holy Scriptures, is responsible for his practice to God alone. This he
did in a way which left no room for any special and actual authority of
the Roman see alongside of the others. Besides, he expressly rejected
the conclusions drawn by Stephen from the admittedly historical position
of the Roman see (ep. 71. 3): "Petrus non sibi vindicavit aliquid
insolenter aut adroganter adsumpsit, ut diceret se principatum tenere et
obtemperari a novellis et posteris sibi potius oportere." Firmilian, ep.
75, went much farther still, for he indirectly declares the _successio
Petri_ claimed by Stephen to be of no importance (c. 17), and flatly
denies that the Roman Church has preserved the apostolic tradition in a
specially faithful way. See Otto Ritschl, l.c., pp. 92 ff., 110-141. In
his conflict with Stephen Cyprian unmistakably took up a position
inconsistent with his former views as to the significance of the Roman
see for the Church, though no doubt these were ideas he had expressed at
a critical time when he stood shoulder to shoulder with the Roman bishop

[Footnote 180: See specially epp. 65, 67, 68.]

[Footnote 181: Hatch l.c., p. 189 f.]

[Footnote 182: The gradual union of the provincial communities into one
Church may be studied in a very interesting way in the ecclesiastical
Fasti (records, martyrologies, calendars, etc.), though these studies
are as yet only in an incipient stage. See De Rossi, Roma Sotter, the
Bollandists in the 12th vol. for October; Stevenson, Studi in Italia
(1879), pp. 439, 458; the works of Nilles; Egli, Altchristl. Studien
1887 (Theol. Lit. Ztg. 1887, no. 13): Duchesne, Les sources du Martyrol.
Hieron. Rome 1885, but above all the latter's study: Mémoire sur
l'origine des diocèses épiscopaux dans l'ancienne Gaule, 1890. The
history of the unification of liturgies from the 4th century should also
be studied.]

[Footnote 183: There were communities in the latter half of the 3rd
century, which can be proved to have been outside the confederation,
although in perfect harmony with it in point of belief (see the
interesting case in Euseb., H. E. VII. 24. 6). Conversely, there were
Churches in the confederation whose faith did not in all respects
correspond with the Catholic _regula_ as already expounded. But the fact
that it was not the dogmatic system, but the practical constitution and
principles of the Church, as based on a still elastic creed, which
formed the ultimate determining factor, was undoubtedly a great gain;
for a system of dogmatics developed beyond the limits of the Christian
_kerygma_ can only separate. Here, however, all differences of faith had
of couise to be glossed over, for the demand of Apelles: [Greek: mê dein
holôs exetazein ton logon, all' ekaston. hôs pepisteuke, diamenein
sôthêsesthai gar tous epi ton hestaurômenon êlpikotas, k.t.l.], was
naturally regarded as inadmissible.]

[Footnote 184: Hence we need not be surprised to find that the notion of
heresy which arose in the Church was immediately coupled with an
estimate of it, which for injustice and harshness could not possibly be
surpassed in succeeding times. The best definition is in Tertull., de
præscr. 6: "Nobis nihil ex nostro arbitrio indulgere licet, sed nec
eligere quod aliquis de arbitrio suo induxerit. Apostolos domini habemus
auctores, qui nec ipsi quicquam ex suo arbitrio quod inducerent
elegerunt, sed acceptam a Christo disciplinam fideliter nationibus

[Footnote 185: See Vol. I., p. 224, note 1.]

[Footnote 186: We already find this idea in Tertullian; see de bapt. 15:
"Hæretici nullum habent consortium nostra discipline, quos extraneos
utique testatur ipsa ademptio communicationis. Non debeo in illis
cognoscere, quod mihi est præceptum, quia non idem deus est nobis et
illis, nec unus Christus, id est idem, ideoque nec baptismus unus, quia
non idem; quem cum rite non habeant, sine dubio non habent, nec capit
numerari, quod non habetur; ita nec possunt accipere quia non habent."
Cyprian passed the same judgment on all schismatics, even on the
Novatians, and like Tertullian maintained the invalidity of heretical
baptism. This question agitated the Church as early as the end of the
2nd century, when Tertullian already wrote against it in Greek.]

[Footnote 187: As far as possible the Christian virtues of the heretics
were described as hypocrisy and love of ostentation (see e.g., Rhodon in
Euseb., H. E. V. 13. 2 and others in the second century). If this view
was untenable, then all morality and heroism among heretics were simply
declared to be of no value. See the anonymous writer in Eusebius, H. E.
V. 16. 21, 22; Clem, Strom. VII. 16. 95; Orig., Comm. ad Rom. I. X., c.
5; Cypr., de unit. 14, 15; cp. 73. 21 etc.]

[Footnote 188: Tertull., de præscr. 3-6.]

[Footnote 189: Irenæus definitely distinguishes between heretics and
schismatics (III. 11. 9: IV. 26. 2; 33. 7), but also blames the latter
very severely, "qui gloriosum corpus Christi, quantum in ipsis est,
interficiunt, non habentes dei dilectionem suamque utilitatem potius
considerantes quam unitatem ecclesiæ." Note the parallel with Cyprian.
Yet he does not class them with those "qui sunt extra veritatem," i.e.,
"extra ecclesiam," although he declares the severest penalties await
them. Tertullian was completely preserved by his Montanism from
identifying heretics and schismatics, though in the last years of his
life he also appears to have denied the Christianity of the Catholics

[Footnote 190: Read, on the one hand, the Antimontanists in Eusebius and
the later opponents of Montanism; and on the other, Tertull., adv.
Prax.; Hippol., c. Noët; Novatian, de trinitate. Even in the case of the
Novatians heresies were sought and found (see Dionys. Alex., in Euseb.,
H. E. VII. 8, where we find distortions and wicked misinterpretations of
Novatian doctrines, and many later opponents). Nay, even Cyprian himself
did not disdain to join in this proceeding (see epp. 69. 7: 70. 2). The
Montanists at Rome were placed by Hippolylus in the catalogue of
heretics (see the Syntagma and Philosoph.). Origen was uncertain whether
to reckon them among schismatics or heretics (see in Tit. Opp. IV., p.

[Footnote 191: Cyprian plainly asserts (ep. 3. 3): "hæc sunt initia
hæreticorum et ortus adque conatus schismaticorum, ut præpositum superbo
tumore contemnant" (as to the early history of this conception, which
undoubtedly has a basis of truth, see Clem., ep. ad Cor. 1. 44; Ignat.;
Hegesippus in Euseb., H. E. IV. 22. 5; Tertull., adv. Valent. 4; de
bapt. 17; Anonymus in Euseb; H. E. V. 16. 7; Hippolyt. ad. Epiphan. H.
42. 1; Anonymus in Eusebius, H. E. V. 28. 12; according to Cyprian it is
quite the common one); see further ep. 59. 3: "neque enim aliunde
hæreses obortæ sunt aut nata sunt schismata, quam quando sacerdoti dei
non obtemperatur;" epp. 66. 5: 69. 1: "item b. apostolus Johannes nec
ipse ullam hæresin aut schisma discrevit aut aliquos speciatim separes
posuit"; 52. 1: 73. 2: 74. 11. Schism and heresy are always identical.]

[Footnote 192: Neither Optatus nor Augustine take Cyprian's theory as
the starting-point of their disquisitions, but they adhere in principle
to the distinction between heretic and schismatic. Cyprian was compelled
by his special circumstances to identify them, but he united this
identification with the greatest liberality of view as to the conditions
of ecclesiastical unity (as regards individual bishops). Cyprian did not
make a single new article an "articulus stantis et cadentis ecclesiæ."
In fact he ultimately declared--and this may have cost him struggle
enough--that even the question of the validity of heretical baptism was
not a question of faith.]



1. The legal and political forms by which the Church secured herself
against the secular power and heresy, and still more the lower moral
standard exacted from her members in consequence of the naturalisation
of Christianity in the world, called forth a reaction soon after the
middle of the second century. This movement, which first began in Asia
Minor and then spread into other regions of Christendom, aimed at
preserving or restoring the old feelings and conditions, and preventing
Christendom from being secularised. This crisis (the so called Montanist
struggle) and the kindred one which succeeded produced the following
results: The Church merely regarded herself all the more strictly as a
legal community basing the truth of its title on its historic and
objective foundations, and gave a correspondingly new interpretation to
the attribute of holiness she claimed. She expressly recognised two
distinct classes in her midst, a spiritual and a secular, as well as a
double standard of morality. Moreover, she renounced her character as
the communion of those who were sure of salvation, and substituted the
claim to be an educational institution and a necessary condition of
redemption. After a keen struggle, in which the New Testament did
excellent service to the bishops, the Church expelled the Cataphrygian
fanatics and the adherents of the new prophecy (between 180 and 220);
and in the same way, during the course of the third century, she caused
the secession of all those Christians who made the truth of the Church
depend on a stricter administration of moral discipline. Hence, apart
from the heretic and Montanist sects, there existed in the Empire, after
the middle of the second century, two great but numerically unequal
Church confederations, both based on the same rule of faith and claiming
the title "ecclesia catholica," viz., the confederation which
Constantine afterwards chose for his support, and the Novatian Catharist
one. In Rome, however, the beginning of the great disruption goes back
to the time of Hippolytus and Calixtus; yet the schism of Novatian must
not be considered as an immediate continuation of that of Hippolytus.

2. The so-called Montanist reaction[193] was itself subjected to a
similar change, in accordance with the advancing ecclesiastical
development of Christendom. It was originally the violent undertaking of
a Christian prophet, Montanus, who, supported by prophetesses, felt
called upon to realise the promises held forth in the Fourth Gospel. He
explained these by the Apocalypse, and declared that he himself was the
Paraclete whom Christ had promised--that Paraclete in whom Jesus Christ
himself, nay, even God the Father Almighty, comes to his own to guide
them to all truth, to gather those that are dispersed, and to bring them
into one flock. His main effort therefore was to make Christians give up
the local and civil relations in which they lived, to collect them, and
create a new undivided Christian commonwealth, which, separated from the
world, should prepare itself for the descent of the Jerusalem from

The natural resistance offered to the new prophets with this extravagant
message--especially by the leaders of communities, and the persecutions
to which the Church was soon after subjected under Marcus Aurelius, led
to an intensifying of the eschatological expectations that beyond doubt
had been specially keen in Montanist circles from the beginning. For the
New Jerusalem was soon to come down from heaven in visible form, and
establish itself in the spot which, by direction of the Spirit, had been
chosen for Christendom in Phrygia.[195] Whatever amount of peculiarity
the movement lost, in so far as the ideal of an assembly of all
Christians proved incapable of being realised or at least only possible
within narrow limits, was abundantly restored in the last decades of the
second century by the strength and courage that the news of its spread
in Christendom gave to the earnest minded to unite and offer resistance
to the ever increasing tendency of the Church to assume a secular and
political character. Many entire communities in Phrygia and Asia
recognised the divine mission of the prophets. In the Churches of other
provinces religious societies were formed in which the predictions of
these prophets were circulated and viewed as a Gospel, though at the
same time they lost their effect by being so treated. The confessors at
Lyons openly expressed their full sympathy with the movement in Asia.
The bishop of Rome was on the verge of acknowledging the Montanists to
be in full communion with the Church. But among themselves there was no
longer, as at the beginning, any question of a new organisation in the
strict sense of the word, and of a radical remodelling of Christian
society.[196] Whenever Montanism comes before us in the clear light of
history it rather appears as a religious movement already deadened,
though still very powerful. Montanus and his prophetesses had set no
limits to their enthusiasm; nor were there as yet any fixed barriers in
Christendom that could have restrained them.[197] The Spirit, the Son,
nay, the Father himself had appeared in them and spoke through
them.[198] Imagination pictured Christ bodily in female form to the eyes
of Prisca.[199] The most extravagant promises were given.[200] These
prophets spoke in a loftier tone than any Apostle ever did, and they
were even bold enough to overturn apostolic regulations.[201] They set
up new commandments for the Christian life, regardless of any
tradition,[202] and they inveighed against the main body of
Christendom.[203] They not only proclaimed themselves as prophets, but
as the last prophets, as notable prophets in whom was first fulfilled
the promise of the sending of the Paraclete.[204] These Christians as
yet knew nothing of the "absoluteness of a historically complete
revelation of Christ as the fundamental condition of Christian
consciousness;" they only felt a Spirit to which they yielded
unconditionally and without reserve. But, after they had quitted the
scene, their followers sought and found a kind of compromise. The
Montanist congregations that sought for recognition in Rome, whose part
was taken by the Gallic confessors, and whose principles gained a
footing in North Africa, may have stood in the same relation to the
original adherents of the new prophets and to these prophets themselves,
as the Mennonite communities did to the primitive Anabaptists and their
empire in Münster. The "Montanists" outside of Asia Minor acknowledged
to the fullest extent the legal position of the great Church. They
declared their adherence to the apostolic "regula" and the New Testament
canon.[205] The organisation of the Churches, and, above all, the
position of the bishops as successors of the Apostles and guardians of
doctrine were no longer disputed. The distinction between them and the
main body of Christendom, from which they were unwilling to secede, was
their belief in the new prophecy of Montanus, Prisca, and Maximilla,
which was contained, in its final form, in written records and in this
shape may have produced the same impression as is excited by the
fragments of an exploded bomb.[206]

In this new prophecy they recognised a _subsequent revelation_ of God,
which for that very reason assumed the existence of a previous one. This
after-revelation professed to decide the practical questions which, at
the end of the second century, were burning topics throughout all
Christendom, and for which no direct divine law could hitherto be
adduced, in the form of a strict injunction. Herein lay the importance
of the new prophecy for its adherents in the Empire, and for this reason
they believed in it.[207] The belief in the efficacy of the Paraclete,
who, in order to establish a relatively stricter standard of conduct in
Christendom during the latter days, had, a few decades before, for
several years given his revelations in a remote corner of the Empire,
was the dregs of the original enthusiasm, the real aspect of which had
been known only to the fewest. But the diluted form in which this force
remained was still a mighty power, because it was just in the generation
between 190 and 220 that the secularising of the Church had made the
greatest strides. Though the followers of the new prophecy merely
insisted on abstinence from second marriage, on stricter regulations
with regard to fasts, on a stronger manifestation of the Christian
spirit in daily life, in morals and customs, and finally on the full
resolve not to avoid suffering and martyrdom for Christ's name's sake,
but to bear them willingly and joyfully,[208] yet, under the given
circumstances, these requirements, in spite of the express repudiation
of everything "Encratite,"[209] implied a demand that directly
endangered the conquests already made by the Church and impeded the
progress of the new propaganda.[210] The people who put forth these
demands, expressly based them on the injunctions of the Paraclete, and
really lived in accordance with them, were not permanently capable of
maintaining their position in the Church. In fact, the endeavour to
found these demands on the legislation of the Paraclete was an
undertaking quite as strange, in form and content, as the possible
attempt to represent the wild utterances of determined anarchists as the
programme of a constitutional government. It was of no avail that they
appealed to the confirmation of the rule of faith by the Paraclete; that
they demonstrated the harmlessness of the new prophecy, thereby
involving themselves in contradictions;[211] that they showed all honour
to the New Testament; and that they did not insist on the oracles of the
Paraclete being inserted in it.[212] As soon as they proved the
earnestness of their temperate but far-reaching demands, a deep gulf
that neither side could ignore opened up between them and their
opponents. Though here and there an earnest effort was made to avoid a
schism, yet in a short time this became unavoidable; for variations in
rules of conduct make fellowship impossible. The lax Christians, who, on
the strength of their objective possession, viz., the apostolic doctrine
and writings, sought to live comfortably by conforming to the ways of
the world, necessarily sought to rid themselves of inconvenient
societies and inconvenient monitors;[213] and they could only do so by
reproaching the latter with heresy and unchristian assumptions.
Moreover, the followers of the new prophets could not permanently
recognise the Churches of the "Psychical,"[214] which rejected the
"Spirit" and extended their toleration so far as to retain even
whoremongers and adulterers within their pale.

In the East, that is, in Asia Minor, the breach between the Montanists
and the Church had in all probability broken out before the question of
Church discipline and the right of the bishops had yet been clearly
raised. In Rome and Carthage this question completed the rupture that
had already taken place between the conventicles and the Church (de
pudic. 1. 21). Here, by a peremptory edict, the bishop of Rome claimed
the right of forgiving sins as successor of the Apostles; and declared
that he would henceforth exercise this right in favour of repentant
adulterers. Among the Montanists this claim was violently contested both
in an abstract sense and in this application of it. The Spirit the
Apostles had received, they said, could not be transmitted; the Spirit
is given to the Church; he works in the prophets, but lastly and in the
highest measure in the new prophets. The latter, however, expressly
refused to readmit gross sinners, though recommending them to the grace
of God (see the saying of the Paraclete, de pud. 21; "potest ecclesia
donare delictum, sed non faciam"). Thus agreement was no longer
possible. The bishops were determined to assert the existing claims of
the Church, even at the cost of her Christian character, or to represent
the constitution of the Catholic Church as the guarantee of that
character. At the risk of their own claim to be Catholic, the Montanist
sects resisted in order to preserve the minimum legal requirements for a
Christian life. Thus the opposition culminated in an attack on the new
powers claimed by the bishops, and in consequence awakened old memories
as to the original state of things, when the clergy had possessed no
importance.[215] But the ultimate motive was the effort to stop the
continuous secularising of the Christian life and to preserve the
virginity of the Church as a holy community.[216] In his latest writings
Tertullian vigorously defended a position already lost, and carried with
him to the grave the old strictness of conduct insisted on by the

Had victory remained with the stricter party, which, though not
invariably, appealed to the injunctions of the Paraclete,[217] the
Church would have been rent asunder and decimated. The great opportunist
party, however, was in a very difficult position, since their opponents
merely seemed to be acting up to a conception that, in many respects,
could not be theoretically disputed. The problem was how to carry on
with caution the work of naturalising Christianity in the world, and at
the same time avoid all appearance of innovation which, as such, was
opposed to the principle of Catholicism. The bishops therefore assailed
the form of the new prophecy on the ground of innovation;[218] they
sought to throw suspicion on its content; in some cases even Chiliasm,
as represented by the Montanists, was declared to have a Jewish and
fleshly character.[219] They tried to show that the moral demands of
their opponents were extravagant, that they savoured of the ceremonial
law (of the Jews), were opposed to Scripture, and were derived from the
worship of Apis, Isis, and the mother of the Gods.[220] To the claim of
furnishing the Church with authentic oracles of God, set up by their
antagonists, the bishops opposed the newly formed canon; and declared
that everything binding on Christians was contained in the utterances of
the Old Testament prophets and the Apostles. Finally, they began to
distinguish between the standard of morality incumbent on the clergy and
a different one applying to the laity,[221] as, for instance, in the
question of a single marriage; and they dwelt with increased emphasis on
the glory of the heroic Christians, _belonging to the great Church_, who
had distinguished themselves by asceticism and joyful submission to
martyrdom. By these methods they brought into disrepute that which had
once been dear to the whole Church, but was now of no further service.
In repudiating supposed abuses they more and more weakened the regard
felt for the thing itself, as, for example, in the case of the so-called
Chiliasm,[222] congregational prophecy and the spiritual independence of
the laity. But none of these things could be absolutely rejected; hence,
for example, Chiliasm remained virtually unweakened (though subject to
limitations[223]) in the West and certain districts of the East; whereas
prophecy lost its force so much that it appeared harmless and therefore
died away.[224] However, the most effective means of legitimising the
present state of things in the Church was a circumstance closely
connected with the formation of a canon of early Christian writings,
viz., the distinction of an _epoch of revelation_, along with a
corresponding classical period of Christianity unattainable by later
generations. This period was connected with the present by means of the
New Testament and the apostolic office of the bishops. This later time
was to regard the older period as an ideal, but might not dream of
really attaining the same perfection, except at least through the medium
of the Holy Scriptures and the apostolic office, that is, the Church.
The place of the holy Christendom that had the Spirit in its midst was
taken by the ecclesiastic institution possessing the "instrument of
divine literature" ("instrumentum divinæ litteraturæ") and the spiritual
office. Finally, we must mention another factor that hastened the
various changes; this was the theology of the Christian philosophers,
which attained importance in the Church as soon as she based her claim
on and satisfied her conscience with an objective possession.

3. But there was one rule which specially impeded the naturalisation of
the Church in the world and the transformation of a communion of the
saved into an institution for obtaining salvation, viz., the regulation
that excluded gross sinners from Christian membership. Down to the
beginning of the third century, in so far as the backslider did not
atone for his guilt[225] by public confession before the authorities
(see Ep. Lugd. in Euseb., H. E. V. 1 ff.), final exclusion from the
Church was still the penalty of relapse into idolatry, adultery,
whoredom, and murder; though at the same time the forgiveness of God in
the next world was reserved for the fallen provided they remained
penitent to the end. In _theory_ indeed this rule was not very old. For
the oldest period possessed no theories; and in those days Christians
frequently broke through what might have been counted as one by
appealing to the Spirit, who, by special announcements--particularly by
the mouth of martyrs and prophets--commanded or sanctioned the
readmission of lapsed members of the community (see Hermas).[226] Still,
the rule corresponded to the ancient notions that Christendom is a
communion of saints, that there is no ceremony _invariably_ capable of
replacing baptism, that is, possessing the same value, and that God
alone can forgive sins. The practice must on the whole have agreed with
this rule; but in the course of the latter half of the second century it
became an established custom, in the case of a first relapse, to allow
atonement to be made once for most sins and perhaps indeed for all, on
condition of public confession.[227] For this, appeal was probably made
to Hermas, who very likely owed his prestige to the service he here
unwittingly rendered. We say "unwittingly," for he could scarcely have
intended such an application of his precepts, though at bottom it was
not directly opposed to his attitude. In point of fact, however, this
practice introduced something closely approximating to a second baptism.
Tertullian indeed (de pænit. 12) speaks unhesitatingly of _two_ planks
of salvation.[228] Moreover, if we consider that in any particular case
the decision as to the deadly nature of the sin in question was
frequently attended with great difficulty, and certainly, as a rule, was
not arrived at with rigorous exactness, we cannot fail to see that, in
conceding a second expiation, the Church was beginning to abandon the
old idea that Christendom was a community of saints. Nevertheless the
fixed practice of refusing whoremongers, adulterers, murderers, and
idolaters readmission to the Church, in ordinary cases, prevented men
from forgetting that there was a boundary line dividing her from the

This state of matters continued till about 220.[229] In reality the rule
was first infringed by the peremptory edict of bishop Calixtus, who, in
order to avoid breaking up his community, granted readmission to those
who had fallen into sins of the flesh. Moreover, he claimed this power
of readmission as a right appertaining to the bishops as successors of
the Apostles, that is, as possessors of the Spirit and the power of the
keys.[230] At Rome this rescript led to the secession headed by
Hippolytus. But, between 220 and 250, the milder practice with regard to
the sins of the flesh became prevalent, though it was not yet
universally accepted. This, however, resulted in no further schism
(Cyp., ep. 55. 21). But up to the year 250 no concessions were allowed
in the case of relapse into idolatry.[231] These were first occasioned
by the Decian persecution, since in many towns those who had abjured
Christianity were more numerous than those who adhered to it.[232] The
majority of the bishops, part of them with hesitation, agreed on new
principles.[233] To begin with, permission was given to absolve
repentant apostates on their deathbed. Next, a distinction was made
between _sacrificati_ and _libellatici_, the latter being more mildly
treated. Finally, the possibility of readmission was conceded under
certain severe conditions to all the lapsed, a casuistic proceeding was
adopted in regard to the laity, and strict measures--though this was not
the universal rule--were only adopted towards the clergy. In consequence
of this innovation, which logically resulted in the gradual cessation of
the belief that there can be only one repentance after baptism--an
assumption that was untenable in principle--Novatian's schism took place
and speedily rent the Church in twain. But, even in cases where unity
was maintained, many communities observed the stricter practice down to
the fifth century.[234] What made it difficult to introduce this change
by regular legislation was the authority to forgive sins in God's stead,
ascribed in primitive times to the inspired, and at a later period to
the confessors in virtue of their special relation to Christ or the
Spirit (see Ep. Lugd. in Euseb., H. E. V. 1 ff.; Cypr. epp.; Tertull. de
pudic. 22). The confusion occasioned by the confessors after the Decian
persecution led to the non-recognition of any rights of "spiritual"
persons other than the bishops. These confessors had frequently abetted
laxity of conduct, whereas, if we consider the measure of secularisation
found among the great mass of Christians, the penitential discipline
insisted on by the bishops is remarkable for its comparative severity.
The complete adoption of the episcopal constitution coincided with the
introduction of the unlimited right to forgive sins.[235]

4. The original conception of the relation of the Church to salvation or
eternal bliss was altered by this development. According to the older
notion the Church was the sure communion of salvation and of saints,
which rested on the forgiveness of sins mediated by baptism, and
excluded everything unholy. It is not the Church, but God alone, that
forgives sins, and, as a rule, indeed, this is only done through
baptism, though, in virtue of his unfathomable grace, also now and then
by special proclamations, the pardon coming into effect for repentant
sinners, after death, in heaven. If Christendom readmitted gross
sinners, it would anticipate the judgment of God, as it would thereby
assure them of salvation. Hence it can only take back those who have
been excluded in cases where their offences have not been committed
against God himself, but have consisted in transgressing the
commandments of the Church, that is, in venial sins.[236] But in course
of time it was just in lay circles that faith in God's grace became
weaker and trust in the Church stronger. He whom the Church abandoned
was lost to the world; therefore she must not abandon him. This state of
things was expressed in the new interpretation of the proposition, "no
salvation outside the Church" ("extra ecclesiam nulla salus"), viz.,
_the Church alone saves from damnation which is otherwise certain_. In
this conception the nature of the Church is depotentiated, but her
powers are extended. If she is the institution which, according to
Cyprian, is the indispensable preliminary condition of salvation, she
can no longer be a sure communion of the saved; in other words, she
becomes an institution from which proceeds the communion of saints; she
includes both saved and unsaved. Thus her religious character consists
in her being the indispensable medium, in so far as she alone guarantees
to the individual the _possibility_ of redemption. From this, however,
it immediately follows that the Church would anticipate the judgment of
God if she finally excluded anyone from her membership who did not give
her up of his own accord; whereas she could never prejudge the ultimate
destiny of a man by readmission.[237] But it also follows that the
Church must possess a means of repairing any injury upon earth, a means
of equal value with baptism, namely, a sacrament of the forgiveness of
sins. With this she acts in God's name and stead, but--and herein lies
the inconsistency--she cannot by this means establish any final
condition of salvation. In bestowing forgiveness on the sinner she in
reality only reconciles him with herself, and thereby, in fact, merely
removes the certainty of damnation. In accordance with this theory the
holiness of the Church can merely consist in her possession of the means
of salvation: _the Church is a holy institution in virtue of the gifts
with which she is endowed_. She is the moral seminary that trains for
salvation and the institution that exercises divine powers in Christ's
room. Both of these conceptions presuppose political forms; both
necessarily require priests and more especially an episcopate. (In de
pudic. 21 Tertullian already defines the position of his adversary by
the saying, "ecclesia est numerus episcoporum.") This episcopate by its
unity guarantees the unity of the Church and has received the power to
forgive sins (Cyp., ep. 69. 11).

The new conception of the Church, which was a necessary outcome of
existing circumstances and which, we may remark, was not formulated in
contradictory terms by Cyprian, but by Roman bishops,[238] was the first
thing that gave a fundamental _religious_ significance to the separation
of clergy and laity. The powers exercised by bishops and priests were
thereby fixed and hallowed. No doubt the old order of things, which gave
laymen a share in the administration of moral discipline, still
continued in the third century, but it became more and more a mere form.
The bishop became the practical vicegerent of Christ; he disposed of the
power to bind and to loose. But the recollection of the older form of
Christianity continued to exert an influence on the Catholic Church of
the third century. It is true that, if we can trust Hippolytus' account,
Calixtus had by this time firmly set his face against the older idea,
inasmuch as he not only defined the Church as _essentially a mixed body_
(_corpus permixtum_), but also asserted the unlawfulness of deposing the
bishop even in case of mortal sin.[239] But we do not find that
definition in Cyprian, and, what is of more importance, he still
required a definite degree of active Christianity as a _sine quâ non_ in
the case of bishops; and assumed it as a self-evident necessity. He who
does not give evidence of this forfeits his episcopal office _ipso
facto_.[240] Now if we consider that Cyprian makes the Church, as the
body of believers (_plebs credentium_), so dependent on the bishops,
that the latter are the only Christians not under tutelage, the demand
in question denotes a great deal. It carries out the old idea of the
Church in a certain fashion, as far as the bishops are concerned. But
for this very reason it endangers the new conception in a point of
capital importance; for the spiritual acts of a sinful bishop are
invalid;[241] and if the latter, as a notorious sinner, is no longer
bishop, the whole certainty of the ecclesiastical system ceases.
Moreover, an appeal to the certainty of God's installing the bishops and
always appointing the right ones[242] is of no avail, if false ones
manifestly find their way in. Hence Cyprian's idea of the Church--and
this is no dishonour to him--still involved an inconsistency which, in
the fourth century, was destined to produce a very serious crisis in the
Donatist struggle.[243] The view, however--which Cyprian never openly
expressed, and which was merely the natural inference from his
theory--that the Catholic Church, though the "one dove" ("una columba"),
is in truth not coincident with the number of the elect, was clearly
recognised and frankly expressed by Origen before him. Origen plainly
distinguished between spiritual and fleshly members of the Church; and
spoke of such as only belong to her outwardly, but are not Christians.
As these are finally overpowered by the gates of hell, Origen does not
hesitate to class them as merely seeming members of the Church.
Conversely, he contemplates the possibility of a person being expelled
from her fellowship and yet remaining a member in the eyes of God.[244]
Nevertheless he by no means attained to clearness on the point, in which
case, moreover, he would have been the first to do so; nor did he give
an impulse to further reflection on the problem. Besides, speculations
were of no use here. The Church with her priests, her holy books, and
gifts of grace, that is, the moderate secularisation of Christendom
corrected by the means of grace, was absolutely needed in order to
prevent a complete lapse into immorality.[245]

But a minority struggled against this Church, not with speculations, but
by demanding adherence to the old practice with regard to lapsed
members. Under the leadership of the Roman presbyter, Novatian, this
section formed a coalition in the Empire that opposed the Catholic
confederation.[246] Their adherence to the old system of Church
discipline involved a reaction against the secularising process, which
did not seem to be tempered by the spiritual powers of the bishops.
Novatian's conception of the Church, of ecclesiastical absolution and
the rights of the priests, and in short, his notion of the power of the
keys is different from that of his opponents. This is clear from a
variety of considerations. For he (with his followers) assigned to the
Church the right and duty of expelling gross sinners once for all;[247]
he denied her the authority to absolve idolaters, but left these to the
forgiveness of God who alone has the power of pardoning sins committed
against himself; and he asserted: "non est pax illi ab episcopo
necessaria habituro gloriæ suæ (scil. martyrii) pacem et accepturo
maiorem de domini dignatione mercedem,"--"the absolution of the bishop
is not needed by him who will receive the peace of his glory (i.e.,
martyrdom) and will obtain a greater reward from the approbation of the
Lord" (Cypr. ep. 57. 4), and on the other hand taught: "peccato alterius
inquinari alterum et idololatriam delinquentis ad non delinquentem
transire,"--"the one is defiled by the sin of the other and the idolatry
of the transgressor passes over to him who does not transgress." His
proposition that none but God can forgive sins does not depotentiate the
idea of the Church; but secures both her proper religious significance
and the full sense of her dispensations of grace: it limits her powers
and _extent_ in favour of her _content_. Refusal of her forgiveness
under certain circumstances--though this does not exclude the confident
hope of God's mercy--can only mean that in Novatian's view this
forgiveness is the foundation of salvation and does not merely avert the
certainty of perdition. To the Novatians, then, membership of the Church
is not the _sine quâ non_ of salvation, but it really secures it in some
measure. In certain cases nevertheless the Church may not anticipate the
judgment of God. Now it is never by exclusion, but by readmission, that
she does so. As the assembly of the baptised, who have received God's
forgiveness, the Church must be a real communion of salvation and of
saints; hence she cannot endure unholy persons in her midst without
losing her essence. Each gross sinner that is tolerated within her calls
her legitimacy in question. But, from this point of view, the
constitution of the Church, i.e., the distinction of lay and spiritual
and the authority of the bishops, likewise retained nothing but the
secondary importance it had in earlier times. For, according to those
principles, the primary question as regards Church membership is not
connection with the clergy (the bishop). It is rather connection with
the community, fellowship with which secures the salvation that may
indeed be found outside its pale, but not with certainty. But other
causes contributed to lessen the importance of the bishops: the art of
casuistry, so far-reaching in its results, was unable to find a fruitful
soil here, and the laity were treated in exactly the same way as the
clergy. The ultimate difference between Novatian and Cyprian as to the
idea of the Church and the power to bind and loose did not become clear
to the latter himself. This was because, in regard to the idea of the
Church, he partly overlooked the inferences from his own view and to
some extent even directly repudiated them. An attempt to lay down a
principle for judging the case is found in ep. 69. 7: "We and the
schismatics have neither the same law of the creed nor the same
interrogation, for when they say: 'you believe in the remission of sins
and eternal life through the holy Church,' they speak falsely" ("non est
una nobis et schismaticis symboli lex neque eadem interrogatio; nam cum
dicunt, credis in remissionem peccatorum et vitam æternam per sanctam
ecclesiam, mentiuntur"). Nor did Dionysius of Alexandria, who
endeavoured to accumulate reproaches against Novatian, succeed in
forming any effective accusation (Euseb., H. E. VII. 8). Pseudo-Cyprian
had just as little success (ad Novatianum).

It was not till the subsequent period, when the Catholic Church had
resolutely pursued the path she had entered, that the difference in
principle manifested itself with unmistakable plainness. The historical
estimate of the contrast must vary in proportion as one contemplates the
demands of primitive Christianity or the requirements of the time. The
Novatian confederation undoubtedly preserved a valuable remnant of the
old tradition. The idea that the Church, as a fellowship of salvation,
must also be the fellowship of saints ([Greek: Katharoi]) corresponds to
the ideas of the earliest period. The followers of Novatian did not
entirely identify the political and religious attributes of the Church;
they neither transformed the gifts of salvation into means of education,
nor confused the reality with the possibility of redemption; and they
did not completely lower the requirements for a holy life. But on the
other hand, in view of the minimum insisted upon, the claim _that they
were the really evangelical party and that they fulfilled the law of
Christ_[248] was a presumption. The one step taken to avert the
secularising of the Church, exclusion of the lapsed, was certainly,
considering the actual circumstances immediately following a great
apostasy, a measure of radical importance; but, estimated by the Gospel
and in fact simply by the demands of the Montanists fifty years before,
it was remarkably insignificant. These Catharists did indeed go the
length of expelling _all_ so-called mortal sinners, because it was too
crying an injustice to treat _libellatici_ more severely than unabashed
transgressors;[249] but, even then, it was still a gross self-deception
to style themselves the "pure ones," since the Novatian Churches
speedily ceased to be any stricter than the Catholic in their
renunciation of the world. At least we do not hear that asceticism and
devotion to religious faith were very much more prominent in the
Catharist Church than in the Catholic. On the contrary, judging from the
sources that have come down to us, we may confidently say that the
picture presented by the two Churches in the subsequent period was
practically identical.[250] As Novatian's adherents did not differ from
the opposite party in doctrine and constitution, their discipline of
penance appears an archaic fragment which it was a doubtful advantage to
preserve; and their rejection of the Catholic dispensations of grace
(practice of rebaptism) a revolutionary measure, because it had
insufficient justification. But the distinction between venial and
mortal sins, a theory they held in common with the Catholic Church,
could not but prove especially fatal to them; whereas their opponents,
through their new regulations as to penance, softened this distinction,
and that not to the detriment of morality. For an entirely different
treatment of so-called gross and venial transgressions must in every
case deaden the conscience towards the latter.

5. If we glance at the Catholic Church and leave the melancholy
recriminations out of account, we cannot fail to see the wisdom,
foresight, and comparative strictness[251] with which the bishops
carried out the great revolution that so depotentiated the Church as to
make her capable of becoming a prop of civic society and of the state,
without forcing any great changes upon them.[252] In learning to look
upon the Church as a training school for salvation, provided with
penalties and gifts of grace, and in giving up its religious
independence in deference to her authority, Christendom as it existed in
the latter half of the third century,[253] submitted to an arrangement
that was really best adapted to its own interests. In the great Church
every distinction between her political and religious conditions
necessarily led to fatal disintegrations, to laxities, such as arose in
Carthage owing to the enthusiastic behaviour of the confessors; or to
the breaking up of communities. The last was a danger incurred in all
cases where the attempt was made to exercise unsparing severity. A
casuistic proceeding was necessary as well as a firm union of the
bishops as pillars of the Church. Not the least important result of the
crises produced by the great persecutions was the fact that the bishops
in West and East were thereby forced into closer connection and at the
same time acquired full jurisdiction ("per episcopos solos peccata posse
dimitti"). If we consider that the archiepiscopal constitution had not
only been simultaneously adopted, but had also attained the chief
significance in the ecclesiastical organisation,[254] we may say that
the Empire Church was completed the moment that Diocletian undertook the
great reorganisation of his dominions.[255] No doubt the old
Christianity had found its place in the new Church, but it was covered
over and concealed. In spite of all that, little alteration had been
made in the expression of faith, in religious language; people spoke of
the universal holy Church, just as they did a hundred years before. Here
the development in the history of dogma was in a very special sense a
development in the history of the Church. Catholicism was now complete;
the Church had suppressed all utterances of individual piety, in the
sense of their being binding on Christians, and freed herself from every
feature of exclusiveness. In order to be a Christian a man no longer
required in any sense to be a saint. "What made the Christian a
Christian was no longer the possession of charisms, but obedience to
ecclesiastical authority," share in the gifts of the Church, and the
performance of penance and good works. The Church by her edicts
legitimised average morality, after average morality had created the
authority of the Church. ("La médiocrité fonda l'autorité".) The
dispensations of grace, that is, absolution and the Lord's Supper,
abolished the charismatic gifts. The Holy Scriptures, the apostolic
episcopate, the priests, the sacraments, average morality in accordance
with which the whole world could live, were mutually conditioned. The
consoling words: "Jesus receives sinners," were subjected to an
interpretation that threatened to make them detrimental to
morality.[256] And with all that the self-righteousness of proud
ascetics was not excluded--quite the contrary. Alongside of a code of
morals, to which any one in case of need could adapt himself, the Church
began to legitimise a morality of self-chosen, refined sanctity, which
really required no Redeemer. It was as in possession of this
constitution that the great statesman found and admired her, and
recognised in her the strongest support of the Empire.[257]

A comparison of the aims of primitive Christendom with those of
ecclesiastical society at the end of the third century--a comparison of
the actual state of things at the different periods is hardly
possible--will always lead to a disheartening result; but the parallel
is in itself unjust. The truth rather is that the correct standpoint
from which to judge the matter was already indicated by Origen in the
comparison he drew (c. Cels. III. 29. 30) between the Christian society
of the third century and the non-Christian, between the Church and the
Empire, the clergy and the magistrates.[258] Amidst the general
disorganisation of all relationships, and from amongst the ruins of a
shattered fabric, a new structure, founded on the belief in one God, in
a sure revelation, and in eternal life, was being laboriously raised. It
gathered within it more and more all the elements still capable of
continued existence; it readmitted the old world, cleansed of its
grossest impurities, and raised holy barriers to secure its conquests
against all attacks. Within this edifice justice and civic virtue shone
with no greater brightness than they did upon the earth generally, but
within it burned two mighty flames--the assurance of eternal life,
guaranteed by Christ, and the practice of mercy. He who knows history is
aware that the influence of epoch-making personages is not to be sought
in its direct consequences alone, as these speedily disappear: that
structure which prolonged the life of a dying world, and brought
strength from the Holy One to another struggling into existence, was
also partly founded on the Gospel, and but for this would neither have
arisen nor attained solidity. Moreover, a Church had been created within
which the pious layman could find a holy place of peace and edification.
With priestly strife he had nothing to do, nor had he any concern in the
profound and subtle dogmatic system whose foundation was now being laid.
We may say that the religion of the laity attained freedom in proportion
as it became impossible for them to take part in the establishment and
guardianship of the official Church system. It is the professional
guardians of this ecclesiastical edifice who are the real martyrs of
religion, and it is they who have to bear the consequences of the
worldliness and lack of genuineness pertaining to the system. But to the
layman who seeks from the Church nothing more than aid in raising
himself to God, this worldliness and unveracity do not exist. During the
Greek period, however, laymen were only able to recognise this advantage
to a limited extent. The Church dogmatic and the ecclesiastical system
were still too closely connected with their own interests. It was in the
Middle Ages, that the Church first became a Holy Mother and her house a
house of prayer--for the Germanic peoples; for these races were really
the children of the Church, and they themselves had not helped to rear
the house in which they worshipped.


I. THE PRIESTHOOD. The completion of the old Catholic conception of the
Church, as this idea was developed in the latter half of the third
century, is perhaps most clearly shown in the attribute of priesthood,
with which the clergy were invested and which conferred on them the
greatest importance.[259] The development of this conception, whose
adoption is a proof that the Church had assumed a heathen complexion,
cannot be more particularly treated of here.[260] What meaning it has is
shown by its application in Cyprian and the original of the first six
books of the Apostolic Constitutions (see Book II.). The bishops (and
also the presbyters) are priests, in so far as they alone are empowered
to present the sacrifice as representatives of the congregation before
God[261] and in so far as they dispense or refuse the divine grace as
representatives of God in relation to the congregation. In this sense
they are also judges in God's stead.[262] The position here conceded to
the higher clergy corresponds to that of the mystagogue in heathen
religions, and is acknowledged to be borrowed from the latter.[263]
Divine grace already appears as a sacramental consecration of an
objective nature, the bestowal of which is confined to spiritual
personages chosen by God. This fact is no way affected by the perception
that an ever increasing reference is made to the Old Testament priests
as well as to the whole Jewish ceremonial and ecclesiastical
regulations.[264] It is true that there is no other respect in which Old
Testament commandments were incorporated with Christianity to such an
extent as they were in this.[265] But it can be proved that this formal
adoption everywhere took place at a subsequent date, that is, it had
practically no influence on the development itself, which was not
legitimised by the commandments till a later period, and that often in a
somewhat lame fashion. We may perhaps say that the development which
made the bishops and elders priests altered the inward form of the
Church in a more radical fashion than any other. "Gnosticism," which the
Church had repudiated in the second century, became part of her own
system in the third. As her integrity had been made dependent on
inalienable objective standards, the adoption even of this greatest
innovation, which indeed was in complete harmony with the secular
element within her, was an elementary necessity. In regard to every
sphere of Church life, and hence also in respect to the development of
dogma[266] and the interpretation of the Holy Scriptures, the priesthood
proved of the highest significance. The clerical exposition of the
sacred books, with its frightful ideas, found its earliest advocate in
Cyprian and had thus a most skilful champion at the very first.[267]

II. SACRIFICE. In Book I., chap. III., § 7, we have already shown what a
wide field the idea of sacrifice occupied in primitive Christendom, and
how it was specially connected with the celebration of the Lord's
Supper. The latter was regarded as the pure (i.e., to be presented with
a pure heart), bloodless thank offering of which Malachi had prophesied
in I. 11. Priesthood and sacrifice, however, are mutually conditioned.
The alteration of the concept "priest" necessarily led to a simultaneous
and corresponding change in the idea of sacrifice, just as, conversely,
the latter reacted on the former.[268] In Irenæus and Tertullian the old
conception of sacrifice, viz., that prayers are the Christian sacrifice
and that the disposition of the believer hallows his whole life even as
it does his offering, and forms a well-pleasing sacrifice to God,
remains essentially unchanged. In particular, there is no evidence of
any alteration in the notion of sacrifice connected with the Lord's
Supper.[269] But nevertheless we can already trace a certain degree of
modification in Tertullian. Not only does he give fasting, voluntary
celibacy, martyrdom, etc., special prominence among the sacrificial acts
of a Christian life, and extol their religious value--as had already
been done before; but he also attributes a God-propitiating significance
to these performances, and plainly designates them as "merita"
("promereri deum"). To the best of my belief Tertullian was the first
who definitely regarded ascetic performances as propitiatory offerings
and ascribed to them the "potestas reconciliandi iratum deum."[270] But
he himself was far from using this fatal theory, so often found in his
works, to support a lax Church practice that made Christianity consist
in outward forms. This result did not come about till the eventful
decades, prolific in new developments, that elapsed between the
persecutions of Septimius and Decius; and in the West it is again
Cyprian who is our earliest witness as to the new view and
practice.[271] In the first place, Cyprian was quite familiar with the
idea of ascetic propitiations and utilised it in the interest of the
Catholicity of the Church; secondly, he propounded a new theory of the
offering in the cultus. As far as the first point is concerned,
Cyprian's injunctions with regard to it are everywhere based on the
understanding that even after baptism no one can be without sin (de op.
et cleemos. 3); and also on the firm conviction that this sacrament can
only have a retrospective virtue. Hence he concludes that we must
appease God, whose wrath has been aroused by sin, through performances
of our own, that is, through offerings that bear the character of
"satisfactions." In other words we must blot out transgressions by
specially meritorious deeds in order thus to escape eternal punishment.
These deeds Cyprian terms "merita," which either possess the character
of atonements, or, in case there are no sins to be expiated, entitle the
Christian to a special reward (merces).[272] But, along with
_lamentationes_ and acts of penance, it is principally alms-giving that
forms such means of atonement (see de lapsis, 35, 36). In Cyprian's eyes
this is already the proper satisfaction; mere prayer, that is,
devotional exercises unaccompanied by fasting and alms, being regarded
as "bare and unfruitful." In the work "de opere et eleemosynis" which,
after a fashion highly characteristic of Cyprian, is made dependent on
Sirach and Tobias, he has set forth a detailed theory of what we may
call alms-giving as a _means of grace_ in its relation to baptism and
salvation.[273] However, this practice can only be viewed as a means of
grace in Cyprian's sense in so far as God has accepted it, that is,
pointed it out. In itself it is a free human act. After the Decian
persecution and the rearrangement of ecclesiastical affairs necessitated
by it, works and alms (opera et eleemosynæ) made their way into the
absolution system of the Church, and were assigned a permanent place in
it. Even the Christian who has forfeited his Church membership by
abjuration may ultimately recover it by deeds of sacrifice, of course
under the guidance and intercessory coöperation of the Church. The
dogmatic dilemma we find here cannot be more clearly characterised than
by simply placing the two doctrines professed by Cyprian side by side.
These are:--(1) that the sinfulness common to each individual can only
be once extirpated by the power of baptism derived from the work of
Christ, and (2) that transgressions committed after baptism, inclusive
of mortal sins, can and must be expiated solely by spontaneous acts of
sacrifice under the guidance of kind mother Church.[274] A Church
capable of being permanently satisfied with such doctrines would very
soon have lost the last remains of her Christian character. What was
wanted was a means of grace, similar to baptism and granted by God
through Christ, to which the _opera et eleemosynæ_ are merely to bear
the relation of _accompanying_ acts. But Cyprian was no dogmatist and
was not able to form a doctrine of the means of grace. He never got
beyond his "propitiate God the judge by sacrifices after baptism"
("promereri deum judicem post baptismum sacrificiis"), and merely
hinted, in an obscure way, that the absolution of him who has committed
a deadly sin after baptism emanates from the same readiness of God to
forgive as is expressed in that rite, and that membership in the Church
is a condition of absolution. His whole theory as to the legal nature of
man's (the Christian's) relationship to God, and the practice,
inaugurated by Tertullian, of designating this connection by terms
derived from Roman law continued to prevail in the West down to
Augustine's time.[275] But, during this whole interval, no book was
written by a Western Churchman which made the salvation of the sinful
Christian dependent on ascetic offerings of atonement, with so little
regard to Christ's grace and the divine factor in the case, as Cyprian's
work _de opere et eleemosynis_.

No less significant is Cyprian's advance as regards the idea of the
sacrifice in public worship, and that in three respects. To begin with,
Cyprian was the first to associate the specific offering, i.e., the
Lord's Supper[276] with the specific priesthood. Secondly, he was the
first to designate the _passio dominis_, nay, the _sanguis Christi_ and
the _dominica hostia_ as the object of the eucharistic offering.[277]
Thirdly, he expressly represented the celebration of the Lord's Supper
as an incorporation of the congregation and its individual members with
Christ, and was the first to bear clear testimony as to the special
importance attributed to commemoration of the celebrators ("vivi et
defuncti"), though no other can be ascertained than a specially strong
intercession.[278] But this is really the essential effect of the
sacrifice of the supper as regards the celebrators; for however much the
conceptions about this ceremony might be heightened, and whatever
additions might be made to its ritual, forgiveness of sins in the strict
sense could not be associated with it. Cyprian's statement that every
celebration of the Lord's Supper is a repetition or imitation of
Christ's sacrifice of himself, and that the ceremony has therefore an
expiatory value remains a mere assertion, though the Romish Church still
continues to repeat this doctrine to the present day. For the idea that
partaking of the Lord's Supper cleansed from sin like the mysteries of
the Great Mother (magna mater) and Mithras, though naturally suggested
by the ceremonial practice, was counteracted by the Church principles of
penance and by the doctrine of baptism. As a sacrificial rite the Supper
never became a ceremony equivalent in effect to baptism. But no doubt,
as far as the popular conception was concerned, the solemn ritual copied
from the ancient mysteries could not but attain an indescribably
important significance. It is not possible, within the framework of the
history of dogma, to describe the development of religious ceremonial in
the third century, and to show what a radical alteration took place in
men's conceptions with regard to it (cf. for example, Justin with
Cyprian). But, in dealing with the history of dogma within this period,
we must clearly keep in view the development of the cultus, the new
conceptions of the value of ritual, and the reference of ceremonial
usages to apostolic tradition; for there was plainly a remodelling of
the ritual in imitation of the ancient mysteries and of the heathen
sacrificial system, and this fact is admitted by Protestant scholars of
all parties. Ceremonial and doctrine may indeed be at variance, for the
latter may lag behind the former and vice versa, but they are never
subject to entirely different conditions.

III. MEANS OF GRACE, BAPTISM, and EUCHARIST. That which the Western
Church of post-Augustinian times calls sacrament in the specific sense
of the word (means of grace) was only possessed by the Church of the
third century in the form of baptism.[279] In strict theory she still
held that the grace once bestowed in this rite could be conferred by no
holy ceremony of equal virtue, that is, by no fresh sacrament. The
baptised Christian has no means of grace, conferred by Christ, at his
disposal, but has his law to fulfil (see, e.g., Iren. IV. 27. 2). But,
as soon as the Church began to absolve mortal sinners, she practically
possessed in absolution a real means of grace that was equally effective
with baptism from the moment that this remission became unlimited in its
application.[280] The notions as to this means of grace, however,
continued quite uncertain in so far as the thought of God's absolving
the sinner through the priest was qualified by the other theory (see
above) which asserted that forgiveness was obtained through the
penitential acts of transgressors (especially baptism with blood, and
next in importance _lamentationes, ieiunia, eleemosynæ_). In the third
century there were manifold holy dispensations of grace by the hands of
priests; but there was still no theory which traced the means of grace
to the historical work of Christ in the same way that the grace bestowed
in baptism was derived from it. From Cyprian's epistles and the
anti-Novatian sections in the first six books of the Apostolic
Constitutions we indeed see that appeal was not unfrequently made to the
power of forgiving sins bestowed on the Apostles and to Christ's
declaration that he received sinners; but, as the Church had not made up
her mind to repeat baptism, so also she had yet no theory that expressly
and clearly supplemented this rite by a _sacramentum absolutionis_. In
this respect, as well as in regard to the _sacramentum ordinis_, first
instituted by Augustine, theory remained far behind practice. This was
by no means an advantage, for, as a matter of fact, the whole religious
ceremonial was already regarded as a system of means of grace. The
consciousness of a personal, living connection of the individual with
God through Christ had already disappeared, and the hesitation in
setting up new means of grace had only the doubtful result of increasing
the significance of human acts, such as offerings and satisfactions, to
a dangerous extent.

Since the middle of the second century the notions of baptism[281] in
the Church have not essentially altered (see Vol. I. p. 206 ff.). The
result of baptism was universally considered to be forgiveness of sins,
and this pardon was supposed to effect an actual sinlessness which now
required to be maintained.[282] We frequently find "deliverance from
death," "regeneration of man," "restoration to the image of God," and
"obtaining of the Holy Spirit." ("Absolutio mortes," "regeneratio
hominis," "restitutio ad similitudinem dei" and "consecutio spiritus
sancti") named along with the "remission of sins" and "obtaining of
eternal life" ("remissio delictorum" and "consecutio æternitatis").
Examples are to be found in Tertullian[283] adv. Marc. I. 28 and
elsewhere; and Cyprian speaks of the "bath of regeneration and
sanctification" ("lavacrum regenerationis et sanctificationis").
Moreover, we pretty frequently find rhetorical passages where, on the
strength of New Testament texts, all possible blessings are associated
with baptism.[284] The constant additions to the baptismal ritual, a
process which had begun at a very early period, are partly due to the
intention of symbolising these supposedly manifold virtues of
baptism,[285] and partly owe their origin to the endeavour to provide
the great mystery with fit accompaniments.[286] As yet the separate acts
can hardly be proved to have an independent signification.[287] The
water was regarded both as the symbol of the purification of the soul
and as an efficacious, holy medium of the Spirit (in accordance with
Gen. I. 2; water and Spirit are associated with each other, especially
in Cyprian's epistles on baptism). He who asserted the latter did not
thereby repudiate the former (see Orig. in Joann. Tom. VI. 17, Opp. IV.
p. 133).[288] Complete obscurity prevails as to the Church's adoption of
the practice of child baptism, which, though it owes its origin to the
idea of this ceremony being indispensable to salvation, is nevertheless
a proof that the superstitious view of baptism had increased.[289] In
the time of Irenæus (II. 22. 4) and Tertullian (de bapt. 18) child
baptism had already become very general and was founded on Matt. XIX.
14. We have no testimony regarding it from earlier times; Clement of
Alexandria does not yet assume it. Tertullian argued against it not only
because he regarded conscious faith as a needful preliminary condition,
but also because he thought it advisable to delay baptism (cunctatio
baptismi) on account of the responsibility involved in it (pondus
baptismi). He says: "It is more advantageous to delay baptism,
especially in the case of little children. For why is it necessary for
the sponsors" (this is the first mention of "godparents") "also to be
thrust into danger?... let the little ones therefore come when they are
growing up; let them come when they are learning, when they are taught
where they are coming to; let them become Christians when they are able
to know Christ. Why does an age of innocence hasten to the remission of
sins? People will act more cautiously in worldly affairs, so that one
who is not trusted with earthly things is trusted with divine. Whoever
understands the responsibility of baptism will fear its attainment more
than its delay."[290] To all appearance the practice of immediately
baptising the children of Christian families was universally adopted in
the Church in the course of the third century. (Origen, Comment, in ep.
ad Rom. V. 9, Opp. IV. p. 565, declared child baptism to be a custom
handed down by the Apostles.) Grown up people, on the other hand,
frequently postponed baptism, but this habit was disapproved.[291]

The Lord's Supper was not only regarded as a sacrifice, but also as a
divine gift.[292] The effects of this gift were not theoretically fixed,
because these were excluded by the strict scheme[293] of baptismal grace
and baptismal obligation. But in practice Christians more and more
assumed a real bestowal of heavenly gifts in the holy food, and gave
themselves over to superstitious theories. This bestowal was sometimes
regarded as a spiritual and sometimes as a bodily self-communication of
Christ, that is, as a miraculous implanting of divine life. Here ethical
and physical, and again ethical and theoretical features were intermixed
with each other. The utterances of the Fathers to which we have access
do not allow us to classify these elements here; for to all appearance
not a single one clearly distinguished between spiritual and bodily, or
ethical and intellectual effects unless he was in principle a
spiritualist. But even a writer of this kind had quite as superstitious
an idea of the holy elements as the rest. Thus the holy meal was
extolled as the communication of incorruption, as a pledge of
resurrection, as a medium of the union of the flesh with the Holy
Spirit; and again as food of the soul, as the bearer of the Spirit of
Christ (the Logos), as the means of strengthening faith and knowledge,
as a sanctifying of the whole personality. The thought of the
forgiveness of sins fell quite into the background. This ever changing
conception, as it seems to us, of the effects of partaking of the Lord's
Supper had also a parallel in the notions as to the relation between the
visible elements and the body of Christ. So far as we are able to judge
no one felt that there was a _problem_ here, no one enquired whether
this relation was realistic or symbolical. The symbol is the mystery and
the mystery was not conceivable without a symbol. What we now-a-days
understand by "symbol" is a thing which is not that which it represents;
at that time "symbol" denoted a thing which, in some kind of way, really
is what it signifies; but, on the other hand, according to the ideas of
that period, the really heavenly element lay either in or behind the
visible form without being identical with it. Accordingly the
distinction of a symbolic and realistic conception of the Supper is
altogether to be rejected; we could more rightly distinguish between
materialistic, dyophysite, and docetic conceptions which, however, are
not to be regarded as severally exclusive in the strict sense. In the
popular idea the consecrated elements were heavenly fragments of magical
virtue (see Cypr., de laps. 25; Euseb., H. E. VI. 44). With these the
rank and file of third-century Christians already connected many
superstitious notions which the priests tolerated or shared.[294] The
antignostic Fathers acknowledged that the consecrated food consisted of
two things, an earthly (the elements) and a heavenly (the real body of
Christ). They thus saw in the sacrament a guarantee of the union between
spirit and flesh, which the Gnostics denied; and a pledge of the
resurrection of the flesh nourished by the blood of the Lord (Justin;
Iren. IV. 18. 4, 5; V. 2. 2, 3; likewise Tertullian who is erroneously
credited with a "symbolical" doctrine[295]). Clement and Origen
"spiritualise," because, like Ignatius, they assign a spiritual
significance to the flesh and blood of Christ himself (summary of
wisdom). To judge from the exceedingly confused passage in Pæd. II. 2,
Clement distinguishes a spiritual and a material blood of Christ.
Finally, however, he sees in the Eucharist the union of the divine Logos
with the human spirit, recognises, like Cyprian at a later period, that
the mixture of wine with water in the symbol represents the spiritual
process, and lastly does not fail to attribute to the holy food a
relationship to the body.[296] It is true that Origen, the great
mysteriosophist and theologian of sacrifice, expressed himself in
plainly "spiritualistic" fashion; but in his eyes religious mysteries
and the whole person of Christ lay in the province of the spirit, and
therefore his theory of the Supper is not "symbolical," but conformable
to his doctrine of Christ. Besides, Origen was only able to recognise
spiritual aids in the sphere of the intellect and the disposition, and
in the assistance given to these by man's own free and spontaneous
efforts. Eating and drinking and, in general, participation in a
ceremonial are from Origen's standpoint completely indifferent matters.
The intelligent Christian feeds at all times on the body of Christ, that
is, on the Word of God, and thus celebrates a never ending Supper (c.
Cels. VIII. 22). Origen, however, was not blind to the fact that his
doctrine of the Lord's Supper was just as far removed from the faith of
the simple Christian as his doctrinal system generally. Here also,
therefore, he accommodated himself to that faith in points where it
seemed necessary. This, however, he did not find difficult; for, though
with him everything is at bottom "spiritual," he was unwilling to
dispense with symbols and mysteries, because he knew that one must be
_initiated_ into the spiritual, since one cannot learn it as one learns
the lower sciences.[297] But, whether we consider simple believers, the
antignostic Fathers or Origen, and, moreover, whether we view the Supper
as offering or sacrament, we everywhere observe that the holy ordinance
had been entirely diverted from its original purpose and pressed into
the service of the spirit of antiquity. In no other point perhaps is the
hellenisation of the Gospel so evident as in this. To mention only one
other example, this is also shown in the practice of child communion,
which, though we first hear of it in Cyprian (Testim. III. 25; de laps.
25), can hardly be of later origin than child baptism. Partaking of the
Supper seemed quite as indispensable as baptism, and the child had no
less claim than the adult to a magical food from heaven.[298]

       *       *       *       *       *

In the course of the third century a crass superstition became developed
in respect to the conceptions of the Church and the mysteries connected
with her. According to this notion we must subject ourselves to the
Church and must have ourselves filled with holy consecrations as we are
filled with food. But the following chapters will show that this
superstition and mystery magic were counterbalanced by a most lively
conception of the freedom and responsibility of the individual. Fettered
by the bonds of authority and superstition in the sphere of religion,
free and self-dependent in the province of morality, this Christianity
is characterised by passive submission in the first respect and by
complete activity in the second. It may be that exegetical theology can
never advance beyond an alternation between these two aspects of the
case, and a recognition of their equal claim to consideration; for the
religious phenomenon in which they are combined defies any explanation.
But religion is in danger of being destroyed when the insufficiency of
the understanding is elevated into a convenient principle of theory and
life, and when the real mystery of the faith, viz., how one becomes a
new man, must accordingly give place to the injunction that we must
obediently accept the religious as a consecration, and add to this the
zealous endeavour after ascetic virtue. Such, however, has been the
character of Catholicism since the third century, and even after
Augustine's time it has still remained the same in its practice.



In investigating the development of Christianity up till about the year
270 the following facts must be specially kept in mind: In the regions
subject to Rome, apart from the Judæo-Christian districts and passing
disturbances, Christianity had yet an undivided history in vital
questions;[300] the independence of individual congregations and of the
provincial groups of Churches was very great; and every advance in the
development of the communities at the same time denoted a forward step
in their adaptation to the existing conditions of the Empire. The first
two facts we have mentioned have their limitations. The further apart
the different Churches lay, the more various were the conditions under
which they arose and flourished; the looser the relations between the
towns in which they had their home the looser also was the connection
between them. Still, it is evident that towards the end of the third
century the development in the Church had well-nigh attained the same
point everywhere--except in outlying communities. Catholicism,
essentially as we conceive it now, was what most of the Churches had
arrived at. Now it is an _a priori_ probability that this transformation
of Christianity, which was simply the adaptation of the Gospel to the
then existing Empire, came about under the guidance of the metropolitan
Church,[301] the Church of Rome; and that "Roman" and "Catholic" had
therefore a special relation from the beginning. It might _a limine_ be
objected to this proposition that there is no direct testimony in
support of it, and that, apart from this consideration, it is also
improbable, in so far as, in view of the then existing condition of
society, Catholicism appears as the _natural and only possible_ form in
which Christianity could be adapted to the world. But this is not the
case; for in the first place very strong proofs can be adduced, and
besides, as is shown by the development in the second century, very
different kinds of secularisation were possible. In fact, if all
appearances are not deceptive, the Alexandrian Church, for example, was
up to the time of Septimius Severus pursuing a path of development
which, left to itself, would _not_ have led to Catholicism, but, in the
most favourable circumstances, to a parallel form.[302]

It can, however, be proved that it was in the Roman Church, which up to
about the year 190 was closely connected with that of Asia Minor, that
all the elements on which Catholicism is based first assumed a definite
form.[303] (1) We know that the Roman Church possessed a precisely
formulated baptismal confession, and that as early as the year 180 she
declared this to be the apostolic rule by which everything is to be
measured. It is only in her case that we are really certain of this, for
we can merely guess at it as regards the Church of Smyrna, that is, of
Asia Minor. It was accordingly admitted that the Roman Church was able
to distinguish true from false with special exactness;[304] and Irenæus
and Tertullian appealed to her to decide the practice in Gaul and
Africa. This practice, in its precisely developed form, cannot be shown
to have existed in Alexandria till a later period; but Origen, who
testifies to it, also bears witness to the special reverence for and
connection with the Roman Church. (2) The New Testament canon, with its
claim to be accounted catholic and apostolic and to possess exclusive
authority is first traceable in her; in the other communities it can
only be proved to exist at a later period. In the great Antiochian
diocese there was, for instance, a Church some of whose members wished
the Gospel of Peter read; in the Pentapolis group of congregations the
Gospel of the Egyptians was still used in the 3rd century; Syrian
Churches of the same epoch used Tatian's Diatessaron; and the original
of the first six books of the Apostolic Constitutions still makes no
mention of a New Testament canon. Though Clement of Alexandria no doubt
testifies that, in consequence of the common history of Christianity,
the group of Scriptures read in the Roman congregations was also the
same as that employed in public worship at Alexandria, he had as yet no
New Testament canon before him in the sense of Irenæus and Tertullian.
It was not till Origen's time that Alexandria reached the stage already
attained in Rome about forty years earlier. It must, however, be pointed
out that a series of New Testament books, in the form now found in the
canon and universally recognised, show marks of revision that can be
traced back to the Roman Church.[305] Finally, the later investigations,
which show that after the third century the Western readings, that is,
the Roman text, of the New Testament were adopted in the Oriental MSS.
of the Bible,[306] are of the utmost value here; for the most natural
explanation of these facts is that the Eastern Churches then received
their New Testament from Rome and used it to correct their copies of
books read in public worship.[307] (3) Rome is the first place which we
can prove to have constructed a list of bishops reaching back to the
Apostles (see Irenæus).[308] We know that in the time of Heliogabalus
such lists also existed in other communities; but it cannot be proved
that these had already been drawn up by the time of Marcus Aurelius or
Commodus, as was certainly the case at Rome. (4) The notion of the
apostolic succession of the episcopate[309] was first turned to account
by the Roman bishops, and they were the first who definitely formulated
the political idea of the Church in connection with this. The utterances
and corresponding practical measures of Victor,[310] Calixtus
(Hippolytus), and Stephen are the earliest of their kind; whilst the
precision and assurance with which they substituted the political and
clerical for the ideal conception of the Church, or amalgamated the two
notions, as well as the decided way in which they proclaimed the
sovereignty of the bishops, were not surpassed in the third century by
Cyprian himself. (5) Rome was the first place, and that at a very early
period, to date occurrences according to her bishops; and, even outside
that city, churches reckoned, not according to their own, but according
to the Roman episcopate.[311] (6) The Oriental Churches say that two
bishops of Rome compiled the chief apostolic regulations for the
organisation of the Church; and this is only partially wrong.[312] (7)
The three great theologians of the age, Tertullian, Hippolytus, and
Origen, opposed the pretensions of the Roman bishop Calixtus; and this
very attitude of theirs testified that the advance in the political
organisation of the Church, denoted by the measures of Calixtus, was
still an unheard-of novelty, but immediately exercised a very important
influence on the attitude of other Churches. We know that the other
communities imitated this advance in the succeeding decades. (8) The
institution of lower orders of clergy with the corresponding distinction
of _clerici maiores_ and _minores_ first took place in Rome; but we know
that this momentous arrangement gradually spread from that city to the
rest of Christendom.[313] (9) The different Churches communicated with
one another through the medium of Rome.[314]

From these considerations we can scarcely doubt that the fundamental
apostolic institutions and laws of Catholicism were framed in the same
city that in other respects imposed its authority on the whole earth;
and that it was the centre from which they spread, because the world had
become accustomed to receive law and justice from Rome.[315] But it may
be objected that the parallel development in other provinces and towns
was spontaneous, though it everywhere came about at a somewhat later
date. Nor do we intend to contest the assumption in this general sense;
but, as I think, it can be proved that the Roman community had a direct
and important share in the process and that, even in the second century,
she was reckoned the first and most influential Church.[316] We shall
give a bird's-eye view of the most important facts bearing on the
question, in order to prove this.

No other community made a more brilliant entrance into Church history
than did that of Rome by the so called First Epistle of Clement--Paul
having already testified (Rom. I. 8) that the faith of this Church was
spoken of throughout the whole world. That letter to the Corinthians
proves that, by the end of the first century, the Roman Church had
already drawn up fixed rules for her own guidance, that she watched with
motherly care over outlying communities, and that she then knew how to
use language that was at once an expression of duty, love, and
authority.[317] As yet she pretends to no legal title of any kind, but
she knows the "commandments and ordinances" ([Greek: prostagmata] and
[Greek: dokaiômata]) of God, whereas the conduct of the sister Church
evinces her uncertainty on the matter; she is in an orderly condition,
whereas the sister community is threatened with dissolution; she adheres
to the [Greek: kanôn tês paradoseôs], whilst the other body stands in
need of exhortation;[318] and in these facts her claim to authority
consists. The Shepherd of Hermas also proves that even in the circles of
the laity the Roman Church is impressed with the consciousness that she
must care for the whole of Christendom. The first testimony of an
outsider as to this community is afforded us by Ignatius. Soften as we
may all the extravagant expressions in his Epistle to the Romans, it is
at least clear that Ignatius conceded to them a precedence in the circle
of sister Churches; and that he was well acquainted with the energy and
activity displayed by them in aiding and instructing other
communities.[319] Dionysius of Corinth, in his letter to bishop Soter,
affords us a glimpse of the vast activity manifested by the Christian
Church of the world's metropolis on behalf of all Christendom and of all
brethren far and near; and reveals to us the feelings of filial
affection and veneration with which she was regarded in all Greece as
well as in Antioch. This author has specially emphasised the fact that
the Roman Christians are _Romans_, that is, are conscious of the
particular duties incumbent on them as members of the metropolitan
Church.[320] After this evidence we cannot wonder that Irenæus expressly
assigned to the Church of Rome the highest rank among those founded by
the Apostles.[321] His famous testimony has been quite as often under as
over-estimated. Doubtless his reference to the Roman Church is
introduced in such a way that she is merely mentioned by way of example,
just as he also adds the allusion to Smyrna and Ephesus; but there is
quite as little doubt that this example was no arbitrary selection. The
truth rather is that the Roman community _must_ have been named, because
its decision was already the most authoritative and impressive in
Christendom.[322] Whilst giving a formal scheme of proof that assigned
the same theoretical value to each Church founded by the Apostles,
Irenæus added a reference to particular circumstance, viz., that in his
time many communities turned to Rome in order to testify their
orthodoxy.[323] As soon as we cease to obscure our vision with theories
and keep in view the actual circumstances, we have no cause for
astonishment. Considering the active intercourse between the various
Churches and the metropolis, it was of the utmost importance to all,
especially so long as they required financial aid, to be in connection
with that of Rome, to receive support from her, to know she would
entertain travelling brethren, and to have the power of recommending
prisoners and those pining in the mines to her influential intervention.
The evidence of Ignatius and Dionysius as well as the Marcia-Victor
episode place this beyond doubt (see above). The efforts of Marcion and
Valentinus in Rome have also a bearing on this question, and the
venerable bishop, Polycarp, did not shrink from the toil of a long
journey to secure the valuable fellowship of the Roman Church;[324] it
was not Anicetus who came to Polycarp, but Polycarp to Anicetus. At the
time when the controversy with Gnosticism ensued, the Roman Church
showed all the rest an example of resolution; it was naturally to be
expected that, as a necessary condition of mutual fellowship, she should
require other communities to recognise the law by which she had
regulated her own circumstances. No community in the Empire could regard
with indifference its relationship to the great Roman Church; almost
everyone had connections with her; she contained believers from all the
rest. As early as 180 this Church could point to a series of bishops
reaching in uninterrupted succession from the glorious apostles Paul and
Peter[325] down to the present time; and she alone maintained a brief
but definitely formulated _lex_, which she entitled the summary of
apostolic tradition, and by reference to which she decided all questions
of faith with admirable certainty. Theories were incapable of overcoming
the elementary differences that could not but appear as soon as
Christianity became naturalised in the various provinces and towns of
the Empire. Nor was it theories that created the empiric unity of the
Churches, but the unity which the Empire possessed in Rome; the extent
and composition of the Græco-Latin community there; the security--and
this was not the least powerful element--that accompanied the
development of this great society, well provided as it was with wealth
and possessed of an influence in high quarters already dating from the
first century;[326] as well as the care which it displayed on behalf of
all Christendom. _All these causes combined to convert the Christian
communities into a real confederation under the primacy of the Roman
Church (and subsequently under the leadership of her bishops)._ This
primacy cannot of course be further defined, for it was merely a _de
facto_ one. But, from the nature of the case, it was immediately shaken,
when it was claimed as a _legal_ right associated with the person of the
Roman bishop.

That this theory is more than a hypothesis is shown by several facts
which prove the unique authority as well as the interference of the
Roman Church (that is, of her bishop). First, in the Montanist
controversy--and that too at the stage when it was still almost
exclusively confined to Asia Minor--the already sobered adherents of the
new prophecy petitioned Rome (bishop Eleutherus) to recognise their
Church, and it was at Rome that the Gallic confessors cautiously
interfered in their behalf; after which a native of Asia Minor induced
the Roman bishop to withdraw the letters of toleration already
issued.[327] In view of the facts that it was not Roman Montanists who
were concerned, that Rome was the place where the Asiatic members of
this sect sought for recognition, and that it was in Rome that the Gauls
interfered in their behalf, the significance of this proceeding cannot
be readily minimised. We cannot of course dogmatise on the matter; but
the fact can be proved that the decision of the Roman Church must have
settled the position of that sect of enthusiasts in Christendom.
Secondly, what is reported to us of Victor, the successor of Eleutherus,
is still plainer testimony. He ventured to issue an edict, which we may
already style a peremptory one, proclaiming the Roman practice with
regard to the regulation of ecclesiastical festivals to be the universal
rule in the Church, and declaring that every congregation, that failed
to adopt the Roman arrangement,[328] was excluded from the union of the
one Church on the ground of heresy. How would Victor have ventured on
such an edict--though indeed he had not the power of enforcing it in
every case--unless the special prerogative of Rome to determine the
conditions of the "common unity" ([Greek: koinê henôsis]) in the vital
questions of the faith had been an acknowledged and well-established
fact? How could Victor have addressed such a demand to the independent
Churches, if he had not been recognised, in his capacity of bishop of
Rome, as the special guardian of the [Greek: koinê henôsis]?[329]
Thirdly, it was Victor who formally excluded Theodotus from Church
fellowship. This is the first really well-attested case of a Christian
_taking his stand on the rule of faith_ being excommunicated because a
definite interpretation of it was already insisted on. In this instance
the expression [Greek: huios monogenês] (only begotten Son) was required
to be understood in the sense of [Greek: Phusei Theos] (God by nature).
It was in Rome that this first took place. Fourthly, under Zephyrinus,
Victor's successor, the Roman ecclesiastics interfered in the
Carthaginian veil dispute, making common cause with the local clergy
against Tertullian; and both appealed to the authority of predecessors,
that is, above all, of the Roman bishops.[330] Tertullian, Hippolytus,
Origen, and Cyprian were obliged to resist the pretensions of these
ecclesiastics to authority outside their own Church, the first having to
contend with Calixtus, and the three others with Stephen.[331]

It was the Roman _Church_ that first displayed this activity and care;
the Roman bishop sprang from the community in exactly the same way as
the corresponding official did in other places.[332] In Irenæus' proof
from prescription, however, it is already the Roman _bishops_ that are
specially mentioned.[333] Praxeas reminded the bishop of Rome of the
authority of his predecessors ("auctoritates præcessorum eius") and it
was in the character of _bishop_ that Victor acted. The assumption that
Paul and Peter laboured in Rome, that is, founded the Church of that
city (Dionysius, Irenæus, Tertullian, Caius), must have conferred a high
degree of prestige on her bishops, as soon as the latter officials were
elevated to the position of more or less sovereign lords of the
communities and were regarded as successors of the Apostles. The first
who acted up to this idea was Calixtus. The sarcastic titles of
"pontifex maximus," "episcopus episcoporum," "benedictus papa" and
"apostolicus," applied to him by Tertullian in "de pudicitia" I. 13, are
so many references to the fact that Calixtus already claimed for himself
a position of primacy, in other words, that he associated with his own
personal position as bishop the primacy possessed by the Roman Church,
which pre-eminence, however, must have been gradually vanishing in
proportion to the progress of the Catholic form of organisation among
the other communities. Moreover, that is evident from the form of the
edict he issued (Tert. I. c., I: "I hear that an edict has been issued
and that a decisive one," "audio edictum esse præpositum et quidem
peremptorium"), from the grounds it assigned and from the opposition to
it on the part of Tertullian. From the form, in so far as Calixtus acted
here quite independently and, without previous consultation, issued a
_peremptory_ edict, that is, one settling the matter and immediately
taking effect; from the grounds it assigned, in so far as he appealed in
justification of his action to Matt. XVI. 18 ff.[334]--the first
instance of the kind recorded in history; from Tertullian's opposition
to it, because the latter treats it not as local, Roman, but as pregnant
in consequences for all Christendom. But, as soon as the question took
the form of enquiring whether the Roman _bishop_ was elevated above the
rest, a totally new situation arose. Even in the third century, as
already shown, the Roman community, led by its bishops, still showed the
rest an example in the process of giving a political constitution to the
Church. It can also be proved that even far distant congregations were
still being bound to the Roman Church through financial support,[335]
and that she was appealed to in questions of faith, just as the law of
the city of Rome was invoked as the standard in civil questions.[336] It
is further manifest from Cyprian's epistles that the Roman Church was
regarded as the _ecclesia principalis_, as the guardian _par excellence_
of the _unity_ of the Church. We may explain from Cyprian's own
particular situation all else that he said in praise of the Roman Church
(see above p. 88, note 2) and specially of the _cathedra Petri_; but the
general view that she is the "matrix et radix ecclesiæ catholicæ" is not
peculiar to him, and the statement that the "unitas sacerdotalis"
originated in Rome is merely the modified expression, necessitated by
the altered circumstances of the Church, for the acknowledged fact that
the Roman community was the most distinguished among the sister groups,
and as such had had and still possessed the right and duty of watching
over the unity of the whole. Cyprian himself no doubt took a further
step at the time of his correspondence with Cornelius, and proclaimed
the special reference of Matt. XVI. to the _cathedra Petri_; but he
confined his theory to the abstractions "ecclesia," "cathedra." In him
the importance of this _cathedra_ oscillates between the significance of
a once existent fact that continues to live on as a symbol, and that of
a real and permanent court of appeal. Moreover, he did not go the length
of declaring that any special authority within the collective Church
attached to the temporary occupant of the _cathedra Petri_. If we remove
from Cyprian's abstractions everything to which he himself thinks there
is nothing concrete corresponding, then we must above all eliminate
every prerogative of the Roman bishop for the time being. What remains
behind is the special position of the Roman Church, which indeed is
represented by her bishop. Cyprian can say quite frankly: "owing to her
magnitude Rome ought to have precedence over Carthage" ("pro magnitudine
sua debet Carthaginem Roma præcedere") and his theory: "the episcopate
is one, and a part of it is held by each bishop for the whole"
("episcopatus unus est, cuius a singulis in solidum pars tenetur"),
virtually excludes any special prerogative belonging to a particular
bishop (see also "de unit." 4). Here we have reached the point that has
already been briefly referred to above, viz., that the consolidation of
the Churches in the Empire after the Roman pattern could not but
endanger the prestige and peculiar position of Rome, and did in fact do
so. If we consider that each bishop was the acknowledged sovereign of
his own diocese--now Catholic, that all bishops, as such, were
recognised to be successors of the Apostles, that, moreover, the
attribute of priesthood occupied a prominent position in the conception
of the episcopal office, and that, the metropolitan unions with their
presidents and synods had become completely naturalised--in short, that
the rigid episcopal and provincial constitution of the Church had become
an accomplished fact, so that, ultimately, it was no longer communities,
but merely bishops that had dealings with each other, then we shall see
that a new situation was thereby created for Rome, that is, for her
bishop. In the West it was perhaps chiefly through the coöperation of
Cyprian that Rome found herself face to face with a completely organised
Church system. His behaviour in the controversy about heretical baptism
proves that in cases of dispute he was resolved to elevate his theory of
the sovereign authority of each bishop above his theory of the necessary
connection with the _cathedra Petri_. But, when that levelling of the
episcopate came about, Rome had already acquired rights that could no
longer be cancelled.[337] Besides, there was one thing that could not be
taken from the Roman Church, nor therefore from her bishop, even if she
were denied the special right to Matt. XVI., viz., the possession of
Rome. The site of the world's metropolis might be shifted, but Rome
could not be removed. In the long run, however, the shifting of the
capital proved advantageous to ecclesiastical Rome. At the beginning of
the great epoch when the alienation of East from West became pronounced
and permanent, an emperor, from political grounds, decided in favour of
that party in Antioch "with whom the bishops in Italy and the city of
the Romans held intercourse" ([Greek: hois an hoi kata tên Italian kai
tên Rhômaiôn polin episkopoi tou dogmatos epistelloien][338]). In this
instance the interest of the Roman Church and the interest of the
emperor coincided. But the Churches in the various provinces, being now
completely organised and therefore seldom in need of any more help from
outside, were henceforth in a position to pursue their own interest. So
the bishop of Rome had step by step to fight for the new authority,
which, being now based on a purely dogmatic theory and being forced to
repudiate any empirical foundation, was inconsistent with the Church
system that the Roman community more than any other had helped to build
up. The proposition "the Roman Church always had the primacy" ("ecclesia
Romana semper habuit primatum") and the statement that "Catholic"
virtually means "Roman Catholic" are gross fictions, when devised in
honour of the temporary occupant of the Roman see and detached from the
significance of the Eternal City in profane history; but, applied to the
_Church_ of the imperial capital, they contain a truth the denial of
which is equivalent to renouncing the attempt to explain the process by
which the Church was unified and catholicised.[339]


[Footnote 193: See Ritschl, l.c.; Schwegler. Der Montanismus, 1841;
Gottwald, De Montanismo Tertulliani, 1862; Réville, Tertull. et le
Montanisme, in the Revue des Deux Mondes of 1st Novr. 1864; Stroehlin,
Essai sur le Montanisme, 1870; De Soyres, Montanism and the Primitive
Church, 1878; Cunningham, The Churches of Asia, 1880; Renan, Les Crises
du Catholicisme Naissant in the Revue des Deux Mondes of 15th Febr.
1881; Renan, Marc Aurèle, 1882, p. 208 ff.; Bonwetsch, Geschichte des
Montanismus, 1881; Harnack, Das Monchthum, seine Ideale und seine
Geschichte, 3rd. ed., 1886; Belck, Geschichte des Montanismus, 1883;
Voigt, Eine verschollene Urkunde des antimontanistischen Kampfes, 1891.
Further the articles on Montanism by Moller (Herzog's
Real-Encyklopädie), Salmon (Dictionary of Christian Biography), and
Harnack (Encyclopedia Britannica). Weizsäcker in the Theologische
Litteraturzeitung, 1882, no. 4; Bonwetsch, Die Prophetie im
apostolischen und nachapostolischen Zeitalter in the Zeitschrift fur
kirchliche Wissenschaft und kirchliches Leben, 1884, Parts 8, 9; M. von
Engelhardt, Die ersten Versuche zur Aufrichtung des wahren Christenthums
in einer Gemeinde von Heiligen, Riga, 1881.]

[Footnote 194: In certain vital points the conception of the original
nature and history of Montanism, as sketched in the following account,
does not correspond with that traditionally current. To establish it in
detail would lead us too far. It may be noted that the mistakes in
estimating the original character of this movement arise from a
superficial examination of the oracles preserved to us and from the
unjustifiable practice of interpreting them in accordance with their
later application in the circles of Western Montanists. A completely new
organisation of Christendom, beginning with the Church in Asia, to be
brought about by its being detached from the bonds of the communities
and collected into one region, was the main effort of Montanus. In this
way he expected to restore to the Church a spiritual character and
fulfil the promises contained in John. That is clear from Euseb., V. 16
ff. as well as from the later history of Montanism in its native land
(see Jerome, ep. 41; Epiphan., H. 49. 2 etc.). In itself, however, apart
from its particular explanation in the case of Montanus, the endeavour
to detach Christians from the local Church unions has so little that is
striking about it, that one rather wonders at being unable to point to
any parallel in the earliest history of the Church. Wherever religious
enthusiasm has been strong, it has at all times felt that nothing
hinders its effect more than family ties and home connections. But it is
just from the absence of similar undertakings in the earliest
Christianity that we are justified in concluding that the strength of
enthusiastic exaltation is no standard for the strength of _Christian_
faith. (Since these words were written, we have read in Hippolytus'
Commentary on Daniel [see Georgiades in the journal [Greek: Ekkl.
alêtheia] 1885, p. 52 sq.] very interesting accounts of such
undertakings in the time of Septimius Severus. A Syrian bishop persuaded
many brethren with wives and children to go to meet Christ in the
wilderness; and another in Pontus induced his people to sell all their
possessions, to cease tilling their lands, to conclude no more marriages
etc., because the coming of the Lord was nigh at hand.)]

[Footnote 195: Oracle of Prisca in Epiph. H. 49. 1.]

[Footnote 196: Even in its original home Montanism must have
accommodated itself to circumstances at a comparatively early
date--which is not in the least extraordinary. No doubt the Montanist
Churches in Asia and Phrygia, to which the bishop of Rome had already
issued _literæ pacis_, were now very different from the original
followers of the prophets (Tertull., adv. Prax. 1). When Tertullian
further reports that Praxeas at the last moment prevented them from
being recognised by the bishop of Rome, "falsa de ipsis prophetis et
ecclesiis eorum adseverando," the "falsehood about the Churches" may
simply have consisted in an account of the original tendencies of the
Montanist sect. The whole unique history which, in spite of this,
Montanism undoubtedly passed through in its original home is, however
explained by the circumstance that there were districts there, where all
Christians belonged to that sect (Epiph., H. 51. 33; cf. also the later
history of Novatianism). In their peculiar Church organisation
(patriarchs, stewards, bishops), these sects preserved a record of their

[Footnote 197: Special weight must be laid on this. The fact that whole
communities became followers of the new prophets, who nevertheless
adhered to no old regulation, must above all be taken into account.]

[Footnote 198: See Oracles 1, 3, 4, 5, 10, 12, 17, 18, 21 in Bonwetsch,
l.c., p. 197 f. It can hardly have been customary for Christian prophets
to speak like Montanus (Nos. 3-5): [Greek: egô kyrios ho theos ho
pantokratôr kataginomenos en anthropô], or [Greek: egô kyrios ho theos
patêr êlthon,] or [Greek: egô eimi ho patêr kai ho uios kai ho
paraklêtos], though Old Testament prophecy takes an analogous form.
Maximilla says on one occasion (No. 11); [Greek: apesteile me kyrios
toutou tou ponou kai tês epangelias airetistên]; and a second time (No.
12): [Greek: diôkomai hôs lycos ek probatôn ouk eimi lycos; rhêma eimi
kai pneuma kai dynamis.] The two utterances do not exclude, but include,
one another (cf. also No. 10: [Greek: emou mê akousête alla Christou
akousate]). From James IV. V. and Hermas, and from the Didache, on the
other hand, we can see how the prophets of Christian communities may
have usually spoken.]

[Footnote 199: L.c., no. 9: [Greek: Christos hen idea gynaikos
eschêmatismenos.] How variable must the misbirths of the Christian
imagination have been in this respect also! Unfortunately almost
everything of that kind has been lost to us because it has been
suppressed. The fragments of the once highly esteemed Apocalypse of
Peter are instructive, for they still attest that the existing remains
of early Christian literature are not able to give a correct picture of
the strength of religious imagination in the first and second centuries.
The passages where Christophanies are spoken of in the earliest
literature would require to be collected. It would be shown what naive
enthusiasm existed. Jesus appears to believers as a child, as a boy, as
a youth, as Paul etc. Conversely, glorified men appear in visions with
the features of Christ.]

[Footnote 200: See Euseb., H. E. V. 16. 9. In Oracle No. 2 an
evangelical promise is repeated in a heightened form; but see Papias in
Iren., V. 33. 3 f.]

[Footnote 201: We may unhesitatingly act on the principle that the
Montanist elements, as they appear in Tertullian, are, in all cases,
found not in a strengthened, but a weakened, form. So, when even
Tertullian still asserts that the Paraclete in the new prophets could
overturn or change, and actually did change, regulations of the
Apostles, there is no doubt that the new prophets themselves did not
adhere to apostolic dicta and had no hesitation in deviating from them.
Cf., moreover, the direct declarations on this point in Hippolytus
(Syntagma and Philos. VIII. 19) and in Didymus (de trin. III. 41. 2).]

[Footnote 202: The precepts for a Christian life, if we may so speak,
given by the new prophets, cannot be determined from the compromises on
which the discipline of the later Montanist societies of the Empire were
based. Here they sought for a narrow line between the Marcionite and
Encratite mode of life and the common church practice, and had no longer
the courage and the candour to proclaim the "e sæculo excedere." Sexual
purity and the renunciation of the enjoyments of life were the demands
of the new prophets. But it is hardly likely that they prescribed
precise "laws," for the primary matter was not asceticism, but the
realising of a promise. In later days it was therefore possible to
conceive the most extreme demands as regulations referring to none but
the prophets themselves, and to tone down the oracles in their
application to believers. It is said of Montanus himself (Euseb., H. E.
V. 18. 2): [Greek: ho didaxas lyseis gamôn, ho nêsteias nomothetêsas];
Prisca was a [Greek: parthenos] (l.c. § 3); Proculus, the chief of the
Roman Montanists, "virginis senectæ" (Tert., adv. Val. 5). The oracle of
Prisca (No. 8) declares that sexual purity is the preliminary condition
for the oracles and visions of God; it is presupposed in the case of
every "sanctus minister." Finally, Origen tells us (in Titum, Opp. IV.
696) that the (older) Cataphrygians said: "ne accedas ad me, quoniam
mundus sum; non enim accepi uxorem, nec est sepulcrum patens guttur
menin, sed sum Nazarenus dei non bibens vinum sicut illi." But an
express legal direction to abolish marriage cannot have existed in the
collection of oracles possessed by Tertullian. But who can guarantee
that they were not already corrected? Such an assumption, however, is
not necessary.]

[Footnote 203: Euseb., V. 16. 9: V. 18. 5.]

[Footnote 204: It will not do simply to place Montanus and his two
female associates in the same category as the prophets of primitive
Christian Churches. The claim that the Spirit had descended upon them in
unique fashion must have been put forth by themselves with unmistakable
clearness. If we apply the principle laid down on p. 98, note 3, we will
find that--apart from the prophets' own utterances--this is still
clearly manifest from the works of Tertullian. A consideration of the
following facts will remove all doubt as to the claim of the new
prophets to the possession of an unique mission, (1) From the beginning
both opponents and followers constantly applied the title "New Prophecy"
to the phenomenon in question (Euseb., V. 16. 4: V. 19. 2; Clem., Strom.
IV. 13. 93; Tertull., monog. 14, ieiun. I, resurr. 63, Marc. III. 24.:
IV. 22, Prax. 30; Firmil. ep. 75. 7; alii). (2) Similarly, the divine
afflatus was, from the first, constantly designated as the "Paraclete"
(Orac. no. 5; Tertull. passim; Hippol. passim; Didymus etc.). (3) Even
in the third century the Montanist congregations of the Empire must
still have doubted whether the Apostles had possessed this Paraclete or
not, or at least whether this had been the case in the full sense.
Tertullian identifies the Spirit and the Paraclete and declares that the
Apostles possessed the latter in full measure--in fact as a Catholic he
could not do otherwise. Nevertheless he calls Montanus etc. "prophetæ
proprii" of the Spirit (pudic. 12; see Acta Perpet. 21). On the contrary
we find in Philos. VIII. 19: [Greek: huper de apostolous kai pan
charisma tauta ta gunaia doxazouin, hôs tolman pleion ti Christou en
toutois legein tinas autôn gegoneai]. Pseudo-Tertullian says: "in
apostolis quidem dicunt spiritum sanctum fuisse, paracletum non fuisse,
et paracletum plura in Montano dixisse quam Christum in evangelio
protulisse." In Didymus, l.c., we read: [Greek: tou apostolou grapsantos
k.t.l., ekeinoi legousin ton Montanon elêluthenai kai eschêkenai to
teleion to tou paraklêton, tout' estin to tou agion pneumatos]. (4)
Lastly, the Montanists asserted that the prediction contained in John
XIV. ff. had been fulfilled in the new prophecy, and that from the
beginning, as is denoted by the very expression "Paraclete."

What sort of mission they ascribed to themselves is seen from the last
quoted passage, for the promises contained in it must be regarded as the
enthusiastic carrying out of Montanus' programme. If we read attentively
John XIV. 16-21, 23, 26: XV. 20-26: XVI. 7-15, 25 as well as XVII. and
X.; if we compare the oracles of the prophets still preserved to us; if
we consider the attempt of Montanus to gather the scattered Christians
and really form them into a flock, and also his claim to be the bearer
of the greatest and last revelations that lead to all truth; and,
finally, if we call to mind that in those Johannine discourses Christ
designated the coming of the Paraclete as his own coming in the
Paraclete and spoke of an immanence and unity of Father, Son, and
Paraclete, which one finds re-echoed in Montanus' Oracle No. V., we
cannot avoid concluding that the latter's undertaking is based on the
impression made on excited and impatient prophets by the promises
contained in the Gospel of John, understood in an apocalyptic and
realistic sense, and also by Matt. XXIII. 34 (see Euseb., V. 16. 12
sq.). The correctness of this interpretation is proved by the fact that
the first decided opponents of the Montanists in Asia--the so-called
"Alogi" (Epiph., H. 51)--rejected both the Gospel and Revelation of
John, that is, regarded them as written by some one else. Montanism
therefore shows us the first and--up till about 180--really the only
impression made by the Gospel of John on non-Gnostic Gentile Christians;
and what a remarkable one it was! It has a parallel in Marcion's
conception of Paulinism. Here we obtain glimpses of a state of matters
which probably explains why these writings were made innocuous in the
canon. To the view advanced here it cannot be objected that the later
adherents of the new prophets founded their claims on the recognised
gift of prophecy in the Church, or on a prophetic succession (Euseb, H.
E. V. 17. 4; Proculus in the same author, II. 25. 7: III. 31. 4), nor
that Tertullian, when it suits him, simply regards the new prophecy as a
_restitutio_ (e.g., in Monog. 4); for these assumptions merely represent
the unsuccessful attempt to legitimise this phenomenon within the
Catholic Church. In proof of the fact that Montanus appealed to the
Gospel of John see Jerome, Ep. 41 (Migne I. p. 474), which begins with
the words: "Testimonia de Johannis evangelio congregata, quæ tibi quidam
Montani sectator ingessit, in quibus salvator noster se ad patrem iturum
missurumque paracletum pollicetur etc." In opposition to this Jerome
argues that the promises about the Paraclete are fulfilled in Acts II.,
as Peter said in his speech, and then continues as follows: "Quodsi
voluerint respondere et Philippi deinceps quattuor filias prophetasse et
prophetam Agabum reperiri et in divisionibus spiritus inter apostolos et
doctores et prophetas quoque apostolo scribente formatos. etc."]

[Footnote 205: We are assured of this not only by Tertullian, but also
by the Roman Montanist Proculus, who, like the former, argued against
heretics, and by the testimony of the Church Fathers (see, e.g., Philos.
VIII. 19). It was chiefly on the ground of their orthodoxy that
Tertullian urged the claim of the new prophets to a hearing; and it was,
above all, as a Montanist that he felt himself capable of combating the
Gnostics, since the Paraclete not only confirmed the _regula_, but also
by unequivocal utterances cleared up ambiguous and obscure passages in
the Holy Scriptures, and (as was asserted) completely rejected doctrines
like the Monarchian (see fuga 1, 14; corona 4; virg. vel. 1: Prax. 2,
13, 30; resurr. 63; pud. 1; monog. 2; ieiun. 10, II). Besides, we see
from Tertullian's writings that the secession of the Montanist
conventicles from the Church was forced upon them.]

[Footnote 206: The question as to whether the new prophecy had or had
not to be recognised as such became the decisive one (fuga 1, 14; coron.
1; virg. vel. 1; Prax. 1: pudic. 11; monog. 1). This prophecy was
recorded in writing (Euseb., V. 18. 1; Epiph., H. 48. 10; Euseb., VI.
20). The putting of this question, however, denoted a fundamental
weakening of conviction, which was accompanied by a corresponding
falling off in the application of the prophetic utterances.]

[Footnote 207: The situation that preceded the acceptance of the new
prophecy in a portion of Christendom may be studied in Tertullian's
writings "de idolol." and "de spectac." Christianity had already been
conceived as a _nova lex_ throughout the whole Church, and this _lex_
had, moreover, been clearly defined in its bearing on the faith. But, as
regards outward conduct, there was no definite _lex_, and arguments in
favour both of strictness and of laxity were brought forward from the
Holy Scriptures. No divine ordinances about morality could be adduced
against the progressive secularising of Christianity; but there was need
of statutory commandments by which all the limits were clearly defined.
In this state of perplexity the oracles of the new prophets were gladly
welcomed; they were utilised in order to justify and invest with divine
authority a reaction of a moderate kind. More than that--as may be
inferred from Tertullian's unwilling confession--could not be attained;
but it is well known that even this result was not reached. Thus the
Phrygian movement was employed in support of undertakings, that had no
real connection with it. But this was the form in which Montanism first
became a factor in the history of the Church. To what extent it had been
so before, particularly as regards the creation of a New Testament canon
(in Asia Minor and Rome), cannot be made out with certainty.]

[Footnote 208: See Bonwetsch, l.c., p. 82-108.]

[Footnote 209: This is the point about which Tertullian's difficulties
are greatest. Tatian is expressly repudiated in de ieiun. 15.]

[Footnote 210: Tertullian (de monog.) is not deterred by such a
limitation: "qui potest capere capiat, inquit, id est qui non potest

[Footnote 211: It is very instructive, but at the same time very
painful, to trace Tertullian's endeavours to reconcile the
irreconcilable, in other words, to show that the prophecy is new and yet
not so; that it does not impair the full authority of the New Testament
and yet supersedes it. He is forced to maintain the theory that the
Paraclete stands in the same relation to the Apostles as Christ does to
Moses, and that he abrogates the concessions made by the Apostles and
even by Christ himself; whilst he is at the same time obliged to
reassert the sufficiency of both Testaments. In connection with this he
hit upon the peculiar theory of stages in revelation--a theory which,
were it not a mere expedient in his case, one might regard as the first
faint trace of a historical view of the question. Still, this is another
case of a dilemma, furnishing theology with a conception that she has
cautiously employed in succeeding times, when brought face to face with
certain difficulties; see virg. vel. I; exhort. 6; monog. 2, 3, 14;
resurr. 63. For the rest, Tertullian is at bottom a Christian of the old
stamp; the theory of any sort of finality in revelation is of no use to
him except in its bearing on heresy; for the Spirit continually guides
to all truth and works wherever he will. Similarly, his only reason for
not being an Encratite is that this mode of life had already been
adopted by heretics, and become associated with dualism. But the
conviction that all religion must have the character of a fixed _law_
and presupposes definite regulations--a belief not emanating from
primitive Christianity, but from Rome--bound him to the Catholic Church.
Besides, the contradictions with which he struggled were by no means
peculiar to him; in so far as the Montanist societies accepted the
Catholic regulations, they weighed on them all, and in all probability
crushed them out of existence. In Asia Minor, where the breach took
place earlier, the sect held its ground longer. In North Africa the
residuum was a remarkable propensity to visions, holy dreams, and the
like. The feature which forms the peculiar characteristic of the Acts of
Perpetua and Felicitas is still found in a similar shape in Cyprian
himself, who makes powerful use of visions and dreams; and in the
genuine African Acts of the Martyrs, dating from Valerian's time, which
are unfortunately little studied. See, above all, the Acta Jacobi,
Mariani etc., and the Acta Montani, Lucii etc. (Ruinart, Acta Mart. edit
Ratisb. 1859, p. 268 sq., p. 275 sq.)]

[Footnote 212: Nothing is known of attempts at a formal incorporation of
the Oracles with the New Testament. Besides, the Montanists could
dispense with this because they distinguished the commandments of the
Paraclete as "novissima lex" from the "novum testamentum." The preface
to the Montanist Acts of Perpetua and Felicitas (was Tertullian the
author?) showed indeed the high value attached to the visions of
martyrs. In so far as these were to be read in the Churches they were
meant to be reckoned as an "instrumentum ecclesiæ" in the wider sense.]

[Footnote 213: Here the bishops themselves occupy the foreground (there
are complaints about their cowardice and serving of two masters in the
treatise _de fugo_). But it would be very unjust simply to find fault
with them as Tertullian does. Two interests combined to influence their
conduct; for if they drew the reins tight they gave over their flock to
heresy or heathenism. This situation is already evident in Hermas and
dominates the resolutions of the Church leaders in succeeding
generations (see below).]

[Footnote 214: The distinction of "Spiritales" and "Psychici" on the
part of the Montanists is not confined to the West (see Clem., Strom.
IV. 13. 93); we find it very frequently in Tertullian. In itself it did
not yet lead to the formal breach with the Catholic Church.]

[Footnote 215: A contrast to the bishops and the regular congregational
offices existed in primitive Montanism. This was transmitted in a
weakened form to the later adherents of the new prophecy (cf. the Gallic
confessors' strange letter of recommendation on behalf of Irenæus in
Euseb., H. E. V. 4), and finally broke forth with renewed vigour in
opposition to the measures of the lax bishops (de pudic. 21; de exhort.
7; Hippolytus against Calixtus). The _ecclesia_, represented as _numerus
episcoporum_, no longer preserved its prestige in the eyes of

[Footnote 216: See here particularly, de pudicitia 1, where Tertullian
sees the virginity of the Church not in pure doctrine, but in strict
precepts for a holy life. As will have been seen in this account, the
oft debated question as to whether Montanism was an innovation or merely
a reaction does not admit of a simple answer. In its original shape it
was undoubtedly an innovation; but it existed at the end of a period
when one cannot very well speak of innovations, because no bounds had
yet been set to subjective religiosity. Montanus decidedly went further
than any Christian prophets known to us; Hermas, too, no doubt gave
injunctions, as a prophet, which gave rise to innovations in
Christendom; but these fell short of Montanus' proceedings. In its later
shape, however, Montanism was to all intents and purposes a reaction,
which aimed at maintaining or reviving an older state of things. So far,
however, as this was to be done by legislation, by a _novissima lex_, we
have an evident innovation analogous to the Catholic development.
Whereas in former times exalted enthusiasm had of itself, as it were,
given rise to strict principles of conduct among its other results,
these principles, formulated with exactness and detail, were now meant
to preserve or produce that original mode of life. Moreover, as soon as
the New Testament was recognised, the conception of a subsequent
revelation through the Paraclete was a highly questionable and strange
innovation. But for those who acknowledged the new prophecy all this was
ultimately nothing but a means. Its practical tendency, based as it was
on the conviction that the Church abandons her character if she does not
resist gross secularisation at least, was no innovation, but a defence
of the most elementary requirements of primitive Christianity in
opposition to a Church that was always more and more becoming a new

[Footnote 217: There were of course a great many intermediate stages
between the extremes of laxity and rigour, and the new prophecy was by
no means recognised by all those who had strict views as to the
principles of Christian polity; see the letters of Dionysius of Corinth
in Euseb., H. E. IV. 23. Melito, the prophet, eunuch, and bishop, must
also be reckoned as one of the stricter party, but not as a Montanist.
We must judge similarly of Irenæus.]

[Footnote 218: Euseb., H. E. V. 16. 17. The life of the prophets
themselves was subsequently subjected to sharp criticism.]

[Footnote 219: This was first done by the so-called Alogi who, however,
had to be repudiated.]

[Footnote 220: De ieiun. 12, 16.]

[Footnote 221: Tertullian protested against this in the most energetic

[Footnote 222: It is well known that in the 3rd century the Revelation
of John itself was viewed with suspicion and removed from the canon in
wide circles in the East.]

[Footnote 223: In the West the Chiliastic hopes were little or not at
all affected by the Montanist struggle. Chiliasm prevailed there in
unimpaired strength as late as the 4th century. In the East, on the
contrary, the apocalyptic expectations were immediately weakened by the
Montanist crisis. But it was philosophical theology that first proved
their mortal enemy. In the rural Churches of Egypt Chiliasm was still
widely prevalent after the middle of the 3rd century; see the
instructive 24th chapter of Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History, Book VII.
"Some of their teachers," says Dionysius, "look on the Law and the
Prophets as nothing, neglect to obey the Gospel, esteem the Epistles of
the Apostles as little worth, but, on the contrary, declare the doctrine
contained in the Revelation of John to be a great and a hidden mystery."
There were even temporary disruptions in the Egyptian Church on account
of Chiliasm (see Chap. 24. 6).]

[Footnote 224: "Lex et prophetæ usque ad Johannem" now became the motto.
Churchmen spoke of a "completus numerus prophetarum" (Muratorian
Fragment), and formulated the proposition that the prophets corresponded
to the pre-Christian stage of revelation, but the Apostles to the
Christian; and that in addition to this the apostolic age was also
particularly distinguished by gifts of the Spirit. "Prophets and
Apostles" now replaced "Apostles, prophets, and teachers," as the court
of appeal. Under such circumstances prophecy might still indeed exist;
but it could no longer be of a kind capable of ranking, in the remotest
degree, with the authority of the Apostles in point of importance. Hence
it was driven into a corner, became extinct, or at most served only to
support the measures of the bishops. In order to estimate the great
revolution in the spirit of the times let us compare the utterances of
Irenæus and Origen about gifts of the Spirit and prophecy. Irenæus still
expressed himself exactly like Justin (Dial. 39, 81, 82, 88); he says
(II. 32. 4: V. 6. 1): [Greek: kathôs kai pollôn akouomen adelphôn hen tê
ekklêsia prophêtika charismata echontôn k.t.l.] Origen on the contrary
(see numerous passages, especially in the treatise c. Cels.), looks back
to a period after which the Spirit's gifts in the Church ceased. It is
also a very characteristic circumstance that along with the
naturalisation of Christianity in the world, the disappearance of
charisms, and the struggle against Gnosticism, a strictly ascetic mode
of life came to be viewed with suspicion. Euseb., H. E. V. 3 is
especially instructive on this point. Here it is revealed to the
confessor Attalus that the confessor Alcibiades, who even in captivity
continued his ascetic practice of living on nothing but bread and water,
was wrong in refraining from that which God had created and thus become
a "[Greek: typos skandalou]" to others. Alcibiades changed his mode of
life. In Africa, however, (see above, p. 103) dreams and visions still
retained their authority in the Church as important means of solving

[Footnote 225: Tertullian, adv. Marc. IV. 9, enumerates "septem maculas
capitalium delictorum," namely, "idololatria," "blasphemia,"
"homicidium," "adulterium," "stuprum," "falsum testimonium," "fraus."
The stricter treatment probably applied to all these seven offences. So
far as I know, the lapse into heresy was not placed in the same category
in the first centuries; see Iren. III. 4. 2: Tertull., de præscr. 30
and, above all, de pudic. 19 init.; the anonymous writer in Euseb., H.
E. V. 28. 12, from which passages it is evident that repentant heretics
were readmitted.]

[Footnote 226: Hermas based the admissibility of a second atonement on a
definite divine revelation to this effect, and did not expressly discuss
the admission of gross sinners into the Church generally, but treated of
their reception into that of the last days, which he believed had
already arrived. See particulars on this point in my article "Lapsi," in
Herzog's Real-Encyklopädie, 2 ed. Cf. Preuschen, Tertullian's Schriften
de pænit. et de pudic. mit Rücksicht auf die Bussdisciplin, 1890;
Rolffs, Indulgenz-Edict des Kallistus, 1893.]

[Footnote 227: In the work de pænit. (7 ff.) Tertullian treats this as a
fixed Church regulation. K. Müller, Kirchengeschichte I. 1892, p. 114,
rightly remarks: "He who desired this expiation continued in the wider
circle of the Church, in her 'antechamber' indeed, but as her member in
the wider sense. This, however, did not exclude the possibility of his
being received again, even in this world, into the ranks of those
possessing full Christian privileges,--after the performance of penance
or _exhomologesis_. But there was no kind of certainty as to that taking
place. Meanwhile this _exhomologesis_ itself underwent a transformation
which in Tertullian includes a whole series of basal religious ideas. It
is no longer a mere expression of inward feeling, confession to God and
the brethren, but is essentially performance. It is the actual
attestation of heartfelt sorrow, the undertaking to satisfy God by works
of self-humiliation and abnegation, which he can accept as a voluntarily
endured punishment and therefore as a substitute for the penalty that
naturally awaits the sinner. It is thus the means of pacifying God,
appeasing his anger, and gaining his favour again--with the consequent
possibility of readmission into the Church. I say the _possibility_, for
readmission does not always follow. Participation in the future kingdom
may be hoped for even by him who in this world is shut out from full
citizenship and merely remains in the ranks of the penitent. In all
probability then it still continued the rule for a person to remain till
death in a state of penance or _exhomologesis_. For readmission
continued to involve the assumption that the Church had in some way or
other become _certain_ that God had forgiven the sinner, or in other
words that she had power to grant this forgiveness in virtue of the
Spirit dwelling in her, and that this readmission therefore involved no
violation of her holiness." In such instances it is first prophets and
then martyrs that appear as organs of the Spirit, till at last it is no
longer the inspired Christian, but the professional medium of the
Spirit, viz., the priest, who decides everything.]

[Footnote 228: In the 2nd century even endeavours at a formal repetition
of baptism were not wholly lacking. In Marcionite congregations
repetition of baptism is said to have taken place (on the Elkesaites see
Vol. I. p. 308). One can only wonder that there is not more frequent
mention of such attempts. The assertion of Hippolytus (Philos. IX. 12
fin.) is enigmatical: [Greek: Epi Kallistou protô tetolmêtai deuteron
autois baptisma].]

[Footnote 229: See Tertull., de pudic. 12: "hinc est quod neque
idololatriæ neque sanguini pax ab ecclesiis redditur." Orig., de orat.
28 fin; c. Cels. III. 50.]

[Footnote 230: It is only of whoremongers and idolaters that Tertullian
expressly speaks in de pudic. c. I. We must interpret in accordance with
this the following statement by Hippolytus in Philos. IX. 12: [Greek:
Kallistos prôtos ta pros tas hêdonas tois anthrôpois synchôrein
epenoêse, legôn pasin hup' autou aphiesthai hamartias]. The aim of this
measure is still clear from the account of it given by Hippolytus,
though this indeed is written in a hostile spirit. Roman Christians were
then split into at least five different sects, and Calixtus left nothing
undone to break up the unfriendly parties and enlarge his own. In all
probability, too, the energetic bishop met with a certain measure of
success. From Euseb., H. E. IV. 23. 6, one might be inclined to conclude
that, even in Marcus Aurelius' time, Dionysius of Corinth had issued lax
injunctions similar to those of Calixtus. But it must not be forgotten
that we have nothing but Eusebius' report; and it is just in questions
of this kind that his accounts are not reliable.]

[Footnote 231: No doubt persecutions were practically unknown in the
period between 220 and 260.]

[Footnote 232: See Cypr., de lapsis.]

[Footnote 233: What scruples were caused by this innovation is shown by
the first 40 letters in Cyprian's collection. He himself had to struggle
with painful doubts.]

[Footnote 234: Apart from some epistles of Cyprian, Socrates, H. E. V.
22, is our chief source of information on this point. See also Conc.
Illib. can. 1, 2, 6-8, 12, 17, 18-47, 70-73, 75.]

[Footnote 235: See my article "Novatian" in Herzog's Real-Encyklopädie,
2nd ed. One might be tempted to assume that the introduction of the
practice of unlimited forgiveness of sins was an "evangelical reaction"
against the merciless legalism which, in the case of the Gentile Church
indeed, had established itself from the beginning. As a matter of fact
the bishops and the laxer party appealed to the New Testament in
justification of their practice. This had already been done by the
followers of Calixtus and by himself. See Philos. IX. 12: [Greek:
phaskontes Christon aphienai tois eudokousi]; Rom. XIV. 4 and Matt.
XIII. 29 were also quoted. Before this Tertullian's opponents who
favoured laxity had appealed exactly in the same way to numerous Bible
texts, e.g., Matt. X. 23: XI. 19 etc., see de monog, de pudic., de
ieiun. Cyprian is also able to quote many passages from the Gospels.
However, as the bishops and their party did not modify their conception
of baptism, but rather maintained in principle, as before, that baptism
imposes only obligations for the future, the "evangelical reaction" must
not be estimated very highly; (see below, p. 117, and my essay in the
Zeitschrift fur Theologie und Kirche, Vol. I., "Die ehre von der
Seligkeit allein durch den Glauben in der alten Kirche.")]

[Footnote 236: The distinction of sins committed against God himself, as
we find it in Tertullian, Cyprian, and other Fathers, remains involved
in an obscurity that I cannot clear up.]

[Footnote 237: Cyprian never expelled any one from the Church, unless he
had attacked the authority of the bishops, and thus in the opinion of
this Father placed himself outside her pale by his own act.]

[Footnote 238: Hippol., Philos. IX. 12: [Greek: Kai parabolên tôn
zizaniôn pros touto ephê ho Kallistos legesthai. Aphete ta zizania
sunauxein tô sitô, toutestin en tê ekklêsia tous hamartanontas. Alla kai
tên kibôton tou Nôe eis homoiôma ekklêsias ephê gegonenai, en hê kai
kunes kai lykoi kai korakes kai panta ta kathara kai akatharta; houtô
phaskôn dein einai en ekklêsia homoiôs, kai hosa pros touto dynatos ên
synagein houtôs hêrmêneusen.] From Tertull., de idolol. 24, one cannot
help assuming that even before the year 200 the laxer sort in Carthage
had already appealed to the Ark. ("Viderimus si secundum arcæ typum et
corvus et milvus et lupus et canis et serpens in ecclesia erit. Certe
idololatres in arcæ typo non habetur. Quod in arca non fuit, in ecclesia
non sit"). But we do not know what form this took and what inferences
they drew. Moreover, we have here a very instructive example of the
multitudinous difficulties in which the Fathers were involved by
typology: the Ark is the Church, hence the dogs and snakes are men. To
solve these problems it required an abnormal degree of acuteness and
wit, especially as each solution always started fresh questions. Orig.
(Hom. II. in Genes. III.) also viewed the Ark as the type of the Church
(the working out of the image in Hom. I. in Ezech., Lomm. XIV. p. 24
sq., is instructive); but apparently in the wild animals he rather sees
the simple Christians who are not yet sufficiently trained--at any rate
he does not refer to the whoremongers and adulterers who must be
tolerated in the Church. The Roman bishop Stephen again, positively
insisted on Calixtus' conception of the Church, whereas Cornelius
followed Cyprian (see Euseb., H. E. VI. 43. 10), who never declared
sinners to be a necessary part of the Church in the same fashion as
Calixtus did. (See the following note and Cyp., epp. 67. 6; 68. 5).]

[Footnote 239: Philos., l.c.: [Greek: Kallistos edogmatisen hopôs ei
episkopos hamartoi ti, ei kai pros thanaton, mê dein katatithesthai].
That Hippolytus is not exaggerating here is evident from Cyp., epp. 67,
68; for these passages make it very probable that Stephen also assumed
the irremovability of a bishop on account of gross sins or other

[Footnote 240: See Cypr., epp. 65, 66, 68; also 55. 11.]

[Footnote 241: This is asserted by Cyprian in epp. 65. 4 and 67. 3; but
he even goes on to declare that everyone is polluted that has fellowship
with an impure priest, and takes part in the offering celebrated by

[Footnote 242: On this point the greatest uncertainty prevails in
Cyprian. Sometimes he says that God himself installs the bishops, and it
is therefore a deadly sin against God to criticise them (e.g., in ep.
66. 1); on other occasions he remembers that the bishops have been
ordained by bishops; and again, as in ep. 67. 3, 4, he appears to
acknowledge the community's right to choose and control them. Cf. the
sections referring to Cyprian in Reuter's "Augustinische Studien"
(Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte, Vol. VII., p. 199 ff.).]

[Footnote 243: The Donatists were quite justified in appealing to
Cyprian, that is, in one of his two aspects.]

[Footnote 244: Origen not only distinguishes between different groups
within the Church as judged by their spiritual understanding and moral
development (Comm. in Matt. Tom. XI. at Chap. XV. 29; Hom. II. in Genes.
Chap. 3; Hom. in Cantic. Tom. I. at Chap. I. 4: "ecclesia una quidem
est, cum perfecta est; multæ vero sunt adolescentulæ, cum adhuc
instruuntur et proficiunt"; Hom. III. in Levit. Chap. iii.), but also
between spiritual and carnal members (Hom. XXVI. in Num. Chap. vii.)
i.e., between true Christians and those who only bear that name without
heartfelt faith--who outwardly take part in everything, but bring forth
fruits neither in belief nor conduct. Such Christians he as little views
as belonging to the Church as does Clement of Alexandria (see Strom.
VII. 14. 87, 88). To him they are like the Jebusites who were left in
Jerusalem: they have no part in the promises of Christ, but are lost
(Comm. in Matt. T. XII. c. xii.). It is the Church's task to remove such
members, whence we see that Origen was far from sharing Calixtus' view
of the Church as a _corpus permixtum_; but to carry out this process so
perfectly that only the holy and the saved remain is a work beyond the
powers of human sagacity. One must therefore content oneself with
expelling notorious sinners; see Hom. XXI. in Jos., c. i.: "sunt qui
ignobilem et degenerem vitam ducunt, qui et fide et actibus et omni
conversatione sua perversi sunt. Neque enim possibile est, ad liquidum
purgari ecclesiam, dum in terris est, ita ut neque impius in ea
quisquam, neque peccator residere videatur, sed sint in ea omnes sancti
et beati, et in quibus nulla prorsus peccati macula deprehendatur. Sed
sicut dicitur de zizaniis: Ne forte eradicantes zizania simul eradicetis
et triticum, ita etiam super iis dici potest, in quibus vel dubia vel
occulta peccata sunt.... Eos saltem eiiciamus quos possumus, quorum
peccata manifesta sunt. Ubi enim peccatum non est evidens, eiicere de
ecclesia neminem possumus." In this way indeed very many wicked people
remain in the Church (Comm. in Matt. T. X. at c. xiii. 47 f.: [Greek: mê
xenizometha, ean horômen hêmôn ta athroismata peplêrômena kai ponêrôn]);
_but in his work against Celsus Origen already propounded that empiric
and relative theory of the Christian Churches which views them as simply
"better" than the societies and civic communities existing alongside of
them_. The 29th and 30th chapters of the 3rd book against Celsus, in
which he compares the Christians with the other population of Athens,
Corinth, and Alexandria, and the heads of congregations with the
councillors and mayors of these cities, are exceedingly instructive and
attest the revolution of the times. In conclusion, however, we must
point out that Origen expressly asserts that a person unjustly
excommunicated remains a member of the Church in God's eyes; see Hom.
XIV. in Levit. c. iii.: "ita fit, ut interdum ille qui foras mittitur
intussit, et ille foris, qui intus videtur retineri." Döllinger
(Hippolytus and Calixtus, page 254 ff.) has correctly concluded that
Origen followed the disputes between Hippolytus and Calixtus in Rome,
and took the side of the former. Origen's trenchant remarks about the
pride and arrogance of the bishops of large towns (in Matth. XI. 9. 15;
XII. 9-14; XVI. 8. 22 and elsewhere, e.g., de orat. 28, Hom. VI. in Isai
c. i., in Joh. X. 16), and his denunciation of such of them as, in order
to glorify God, assume a mere distinction of names between Father and
Son, are also correctly regarded by Langen as specially referring to the
Roman ecclesiastics (Geschichte der römischen Kirche I. p. 242). Thus
Calixtus was opposed by the three greatest theologians of the
age--Tertullian, Hippolytus, and Origen.]

[Footnote 245: If, in assuming the irremovability of a bishop even in
case of mortal sin, the Roman bishops went beyond Cyprian, Cyprian drew
from his conception of the Church a conclusion which the former
rejected, viz., the invalidity of baptism administered by non-Catholics.
Here, in all likelihood, the Roman bishops were only determined by their
interest in smoothing the way to a return or admission to the Church in
the case of non-Catholics. In this instance they were again induced to
adhere to their old practice from a consideration of the catholicity of
the Church. It redounds to Cyprian's credit that he drew and firmly
maintained the undeniable inferences from his own theory in spite of
tradition. The matter never led to a great _dogmatic_ controversy.]

[Footnote 246: As to the events during the vacancy in the Roman see
immediately before Novatian's schism, and the part then played by the
latter, who was still a member of the Church, see my essay: "Die Briefe
des römischen Klerus aus der Zeit. der Sedisvacanz im Jahre 250"
(Abhandl. f. Weizsäcker, 1892).]

[Footnote 247: So far as we are able to judge, Novatian himself did not
extend the severer treatment to all gross sinners (see ep. 55. 26, 27);
but only decreed it in the case of the lapsed. It is, however, very
probable that in the later Novatian Churches no mortal sinner was
absolved (see, e.g., Socrates, H. E. I. 10). The statement of Ambrosius
(de pænit. III. 3) that Novatian made no difference between gross and
lesser sins and equally refused forgiveness to transgressors of every
kind distorts the truth as much as did the old reproach laid to his
charge, viz., that he as "a Stoic" made no distinction between sins.
Moreover, in excluding gross sinners, Novatian's followers did not mean
to abandon them, but to leave them under the discipline and intercession
of the Church.]

[Footnote 248: The title of the evangelical life (evangelical
perfection, imitation of Christ) in contrast to that of ordinary
Catholic Christians, a designation which we first find among the
Encratites (see Vol. I. p. 237, note 3) and Marcionites (see Tertull.,
adv. Marc. IV. 14: "Venio nunc ad ordinarias sententias Marcionis, per
quas proprietatem doctrinæ suæ inducit ad edictum, ut ita dixerim,
Christi, Beati mendici etc."), and then in Tertullian (in his
pre-Montanist period, see ad mart., de patient., de pænit., de idolol.;
in his later career, see de coron. 8, 9, 13, 14; de fuga 8, 13; de
ieiun. 6, 8, 15; de monog. 3, 5, 11; see Aubé, Les Chrétiens dans
l'empire Romain de la fin des Antonins, 1881, p. 237 ff.: "Chrétiens
intransigeants et Chrétiens opportunistes") was expressly claimed by
Novatian (Cypr., ep. 44. 3: "si Novatiani se adsertores evangelii et
Christi esse confitentur"; 46. 2: "nec putetis, sic vos evangelium
Christi adserere"). Cornelius in Eusebius, H. E. VI. 43. II calls
Novatian: [Greek: ho ekdikêtês tou euangeliou]. This is exceedingly
instructive, and all the more so when we note that, even as far back as
the end of the second century, it was not the "evangelical," but the
lax, who declared the claims of the Gospel to be satisfied if they kept
God in their hearts, but otherwise lived in entire conformity with the
world. See Tertullian, de spec. 1; de pænit. 5: "Sed aiunt quidam, satis
deum habere, si corde et animo suspiciatur, licet actu minus fiat;
itaque se salvo metu et fide peccare, hoc est salva castitate matrimonia
violare etc.": de ieiun. 2: "Et scimus, quales sint carnalium commodorum
suasoriæ, quam facile dicatur: Opus est de totis præcordiis credam,
diligam deum et proximum tanquam me. In his enim duobus præceptis tota
lex pendet et prophetæ, non in pulmonum et intestinorum meorum
inanitate." The Valentinian Heracleon was similarly understood, see
above Vol. I. p. 262.]

[Footnote 249: Tertullian (de pud. 22) had already protested vigorously
against such injustice.]

[Footnote 250: From Socrates' Ecclesiastical History we can form a good
idea of the state of the Novatian communities in Constantinople and Asia
Minor. On the later history of the Catharist Church see my article
"Novatian," l.c., 667 ff. The most remarkable feature of this history is
the amalgamation of Novatian's adherents in Asia Minor with the
Montanists and the absence of distinction between their manner of life
and that of the Catholics. In the 4th century of course the Novatians
were nevertheless very bitterly attacked.]

[Footnote 251: This indeed was disputed by Hippolytus and Origen.]

[Footnote 252: This last conclusion was come to after painful scruples,
particularly in the East--as we may learn from the 6th and 7th books of
Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History. For a time the majority of the
Oriental bishops adopted an attitude favourable to Novatian and
unfavourable to Cornelius and Cyprian. Then they espoused the cause of
the latter, though without adopting the milder discipline in all cases
(see the canons of Ancyra and Neocæsarea IV. sæc. init.). Throughout the
East the whole question became involved in confusion, and was not
decided in accordance with clear principles. In giving up the last
remnant of her exclusiveness (the canons of Elvira are still very strict
while those of Arles are lax), the Church became "Catholic" in quite a
special sense, in other words, she became a community where everyone
could find his place, provided he submitted to certain regulations and
rules. Then, and not till then, was the Church's pre-eminent importance
for society and the state assured. It was no longer variance, and no
longer the sword (Matt. X. 34, 35), but peace and safety that she
brought; she was now capable of becoming an educative or, since there
was little more to educate in the older society, a conservative power.
At an earlier date the Apologists (Justin, Melito, Tertullian himself)
had already extolled her as such, but it was not till now that she
really possessed this capacity. Among Christians, first the Encratites
and Marcionites, next the adherents of the new prophecy, and lastly the
Novatians had by turns opposed the naturalisation of their religion in
the world and the transformation of the Church into a political
commonwealth. Their demands had progressively become less exacting,
whence also their internal vigour had grown ever weaker. But, in view of
the continuous secularising of Christendom, the Montanist demands at the
beginning of the 3rd century already denoted no less than those of the
Encratites about the middle of the second, and no more than those of the
Novatians about the middle of the third. The Church resolutely declared
war on all these attempts to elevate evangelical perfection to an
inflexible law for all, and overthrew her opponents. She pressed on in
her world-wide mission and appeased her conscience by allowing a twofold
morality within her bounds. Thus she created the conditions which
enabled the ideal of evangelical perfection to be realised in her own
midst, in the form of monasticism, without threatening her existence.
"What is monasticism but an ecclesiastical institution that makes it
possible to separate oneself from the world and to remain in the Church,
to separate oneself from the outward Church without renouncing her, to
set oneself apart for purposes of sanctification and yet to claim the
highest rank among her members, to form a brotherhood and yet to further
the interests of the Church?" In succeeding times great Church
movements, such as the Montanist and Novatian, only succeeded in
attaining local or provincial importance. See the movement at Rome at
the beginning of the 4th century, of which we unfortunately know so
little (Lipsius, Chronologie der römischen Bischofe, pp. 250-255), the
Donatist Revolution, and the Audiani in the East.]

[Footnote 253: It is a characteristic circumstance that Tertullian's de
ieiun. does _not_ assume that the great mass of Christians possess an
actual knowledge of the Bible.]

[Footnote 254: The condition of the constitution of the Church about the
middle of the 3rd century (in accordance with Cyprian's epistles) is
described by Otto Ritschl, l.c., pp. 142-237. Parallels to the
provincial and communal constitution of secular society are to be found

[Footnote 255: To how great an extent the Church in Decius' time was
already a state within the state is shown by a piece of information
given in Cyprian's 55th epistle (c. 9.): "Cornelius sedit intrepidus
Romæ in sacerdotali cathedra eo tempore: cum tyrannus infestus
sacerdotibus dei fanda adque infanda comminaretur, cum multo patientius
et tolerabilius audiret levari adversus se æmulum principem quam
constitui Romæ dei sacerdotem." On the other hand the legislation with
regard to Christian flamens adopted by the Council of Elvira, which, as
Duchesne (Mélanges Renier: Le Concile d'Elvire et les flamines
chrétiens, 1886) has demonstrated, most probably dates from before the
Diocletian persecution of 300, shows how closely the discipline of the
Church had already been adapted to the heathen regulations in the
Empire. In addition to this there was no lack of syncretist systems
within Christianity as early as the 3rd century (see the [Greek: Kestoi]
of Julius Africanus, and other examples). Much information on this point
is to be derived from Origen's works and also, in many respects, from
the attitude of this author himself. We may also refer to relic- and
hero-worship, the foundation of which was already laid in the 3rd
century, though the "religion of the second order" did not become a
recognised power in the Church or force itself into the official
religion till the 4th.]

[Footnote 256: See Tertullian's frightful accusations in de pudic. (10)
and de ieiun. (fin) against the "Psychici", i.e., the Catholic
Christians. He says that with them the saying had really come to signify
"peccando promeremur," by which, however, he does not mean the
Augustinian: "o felix culpa."]

[Footnote 257: The relation of this Church to theology, what theology
she required and what she rejected, and, moreover, to what extent she
rejected the kind that she accepted may be seen by reference to chap. 5
ff. We may here also direct attention to the peculiar position of Origen
in the Church as well as to that of Lucian the Martyr, concerning whom
Alexander of Alexandria (Theoderet, H. E. I. 3) remarks that he was a
[Greek: aposunagôgos] in Antioch for a long time, namely, during the
rule of three successive bishops.]

[Footnote 258: We have already referred to the passage above. On account
of its importance we may quote it here:

"According to Celsus Apollo required the Metapontines to regard Aristeas
as a god; but in their eyes the latter was but a man and perhaps not a
virtuous one ... They would therefore not obey Apollo, and thus it
happened that no one believed in the divinity of Aristeas. But with
regard to Jesus we may say that it proved a blessing to the human race
to acknowledge him as the Son of God, as God who appeared on earth
united with body and soul." Origen then says that the demons
counterworked this belief, and continues: "But God who had sent Jesus on
earth brought to nought all the snares and plots of the demons and aided
in the victory of the Gospel of Jesus throughout the whole earth in
order to promote the conversion and amelioration of men; and everywhere
brought about the establishment of Churches which are ruled by other
laws than those that regulate the Churches of the superstitious, the
dissolute and the unbelieving. For of such people the civil population
([Greek: politeuomena en tais ekklêsiais tôn poleôn plêthê]) of the
towns almost everywhere consists." [Greek: Hai de tou Theou Christô
mathêteuthesai ekklêsiai, sunezetazomenai tais ôn paroikousi dêmôn
ekklêsiais, hôs phôtêres eisin en kosmô. tis gar ouk an homologêsai, kai
tous cheirous tôn apo tês ekklêsias kai sugkrisei beltionôn elattous
pollô kreittous tugxhanein tôn en tois demois ekklêsiôn; ekklêsia men
gar tou theou, pher' eipein, hê Athênaesi praeia tis kai eustathês, hate
Theô areskein tô epi pasi boulomenê; hê d' Athênaiôn ekklêsia stasiôdês
kai oudamôs paraballomenê tê ekei ekklêsia tou Theou; to d' auto ereis,
peri ekklêsias tou Theou tês en Korinthô kai tês ekklêsias tou dêmon
Korinthiôn; kai, pher' eipein, peri ekklêsias tou Theou tês en
Alexandreia, kai ekklêsias tou Alexandreôn dêmou, kai ean eugnômôn hê ho
toutou akouôn kai philalêthôs exetazê ta pragmata, thaumasetai ton kai
bouleusamenon kai anousai dunêthenta pantachou sustêsasthai ekklêsias
tou Theou, paroikousas ekklêsias tôn kath' 'ekastên polin dêmôn houtô de
kai boulên ekklêsias Theou boulê tê kath' hekastên polin sunexetazôn
heurois an hoti tines men tês ekklêsias bouleutai exioi eisi]--[Greek:
ei tis estin en tô panti polis tou Theou]--[Greek: en ekeinê
politeuesthai hoi de pantachou bouleutai ouden exion tês ek katataxeôs
huperochês, hên huperechein dokousi tôn politôn, pherousin en tois
heautôn êthesin; houtô de kai archonta ekklêsias hekastês poleôs
archonti tôn en tê polei sugkroteon; hina katanoêsus, hoti kai epi tôn
sphodra apotugchanomenoô bouletôn kai archontôn ekklêsias Theou, kai
rhathumoteron para tous eutonôterôs biountas ouden êtton estin heurein
hôs epipan huperochên tên en tê epi tas aretas prokopê para ta êthê tôn
en tais polesi bouleutôn kai archontôn.]]

[Footnote 259: Ritschl, Entstehung der altkatholischen Kirche pp. 362,
368, 394, 461, 555, 560, 576. Otto Ritschl, l.c., pp. 208, 218, 231.
Hatch "Organisation of the early Christian Church," Lectures 5 and 6;
id., Art. "Ordination," "Priest," in the Dictionary of Christian
Antiquities. Hauck, Art. "Priester" in Herzog's Real-Encyklopädie, 2nd
ed. Voigt, l.c., p. 175 ff. Sohm, Kirchenrecht I. p. 205 ff. Louw, Het
ontstaan van het Priesterschap in de christ. Kerk, Utrecht, 1892.]

[Footnote 260: Clement of Rome was the first to compare the conductors
of public worship in Christian Churches with the priests and Levites,
and the author of the [Greek: Didachê] was the first to liken the
Christian prophets to the high priests. It cannot, however, be shown
that there were any Christian circles where the leaders were directly
styled "priests" before the last quarter of the 2nd century. We can by
no means fall back on Ignatius, Philad. 9, nor on Iren., IV. 8. 3, which
passage is rather to be compared with [Greek: Did.] 13. 3. It is again
different in Gnostic circles, which in this case, too, anticipated the
secularising process: read for example the description of Marcus in
Iren., I. 13. Here, _mutatis mutandis_, we have the later Catholic
bishop, who alone is able to perform a mysterious sacrifice to whose
person powers of grace are attached--the formula of bestowal was:
[Greek: metadounai soi thelô tês emês charitos ... lambane ap' emou kai
di' emou charin], and through whose instrumentality union with God can
alone be attained: the [Greek: apolutrôsis] (I. 21.) is only conferred
through the mystagogue. Much of a similar nature is to be found, and we
can expressly say that the distinction between priestly mystagogues and
laymen was of fundamental importance in many Gnostic societies (see also
the writings of the Coptic Gnostics); it was different in the Marcionite
Church. Tertullian (de bapt. 17) was the first to call the bishop
"summus sacerdos," and the older opinion that he merely "played" with
the idea is untenable, and refuted by Pseudo-Cyprian, de aleat. 2
("sacerdotalis dignitas"). In his Antimontanist writings the former has
repeatedly repudiated any distinction in principle of a particular
priestly class among Christians, as well as the application of certain
injunctions to this order (de exhort. 7: "nonne et laici sacerdotes
sumus? ... adeo ubi ecclesiastici ordinis non est consessus, et offeis
et tinguis et sacerdos es tibi solus, sed ubi tres, ecclesia est, licet
laici."; de monog. 7). We may perhaps infer from his works that before
about the year 200, the name "priest" was not yet universally applied to
bishop and presbyters in Carthage (but see after this de præscr. 29, 41:
sacerdotalia munera; de pud. 1, 21; de monog. 12: disciplina sacerd.; de
exhort. 7: sacerdotalis ordo, ibid. 11 "et offeres pro duabus uxoribus,
et commendabis illas duas per sacerdotem de monogamia ordinatum;" de
virg. vel. 9: sacerdotale officium; Scorp. 7: sacerdos). The latest
writings of Tertullian show us indeed that the name and the conception
which it represents were already prevalent. Hippolytus (Philos. præf.:
[Greek: hôn hêmeis diadochoi tugchanontes tês te autês charitos
metechontes archierateias kai didaskalias], see also the Arabian canons)
expressly claimed high priesthood for the bishops, and Origen thought he
was justified in giving the name of "Priests and Levites" to those who
conducted public worship among Christians. This he indeed did with
reserve (see many passages, e.g., Hom. II. in Num., Vol. II. p. 278;
Hom. VI. in Lev., Vol. II. p. 211; Comment, in Joh., Vol. I. 3), but yet
to a far greater extent than Clement (see Bigg, l.c., p. 214 f.). In
Cyprian and the literature of the Greek Church in the immediately
following period we find the designation "priest" as the regular and
most customary name for the bishop and presbyters. Novatian (Jerome, de
vir. inl. 70) wrote a treatise _de sacerdote_ and another _de
ordinatione_. The notable and momentous change of conception expressed
in the idea can be traced by us through its preparatory stages almost as
little as the theory of the apostolic succession of the bishops. Irenæus
(IV. 8. 3, 17. 5, 18. 1) and Tertullian, when compared with Cyprian,
appear here as representatives of primitive Christianity. They firmly
assert the priesthood of the whole congregation. That the laity had as
great a share as the leaders of the Churches in the transformation of
the latter into Priests is moreover shown by the bitter saying of
Tertullian (de monog. 12): "Sed cum extollimur et inflamur adversus
clerum, tunc unum omnes sumus, tunc omnes sacerdotes, quia 'sacerdotes
nos deo et patri fecit'. Cum ad peræquationem disciplinæ sacerdotalis
provocamur, deponimus infulas."]

[Footnote 261: See Sohm, I. p. 207.]

[Footnote 262: The "deservire altari et sacrificia divina celebrare"
(Cypr. ep. 67. 1) is the distinctive function of the _sacerdos dei_. It
may further be said, however, that _all_ ceremonies of public worship
properly belong to him, and Cyprian has moreover contrived to show that
this function of the bishop as leader of the Church follows from his
priestly attributes; for as priest the bishop is _antistes Christi_
(dei); see epp. 59. 18: 61. 2: 63. 14: 66. 5, and this is the basis of
his right and duty to preserve the _lex evangelica_ and the _traditio
dominica_ in every respect. As _antistes dei_ however, an attribute
bestowed on the bishop by the apostolic succession and the laying on of
hands, he has also received the power of the keys, which confers the
right to judge in Christ's stead and to grant or refuse the divine
grace. In Cyprian's conception of the episcopal office the _successio
apostolica_ and the position of vicegerent of Christ (of God)
counterbalance each other; he also tried to amalgamate both elements
(ep. 55. 8: "cathedra sacerdotalis"). It is evident that as far as the
inner life of each church was concerned, the latter and newer
necessarily proved the more important feature. In the East, where the
thought of the apostolical succession of the bishops never received such
pronounced expression as in Rome it was just this latter element that
was almost exclusively emphasised from the end of the 3rd century.
Ignatius led the way when he compared the bishop, in his position
towards the individual community, with God and Christ. He, however, is
dealing in images, but at a later period the question is about realities
based on a mysterious transference.]

[Footnote 263: Soon after the creation of a professional priesthood,
there also arose a class of inferior clergy. This was first the case in
Rome. This development was not uninfluenced by the heathen priesthood,
and the temple service (see my article in Texte und Untersuchungen II.
5). Yet Sohm, l.c., p. 128 ff., has disputed this, and proposed
modifications, worth considering, in my view of the origin of the
_ordines minores_.]

[Footnote 264: Along with the sacerdotal laws, strictly so called, which
Cyprian already understood to apply in a frightful manner (see his
appeal to Deut. XVII. 12; 1 Sam. VIII. 7; Luke X. 16; John XVIII. 22 f.;
Acts XXIII. 4-5 in epp. 3. 43, 59. 66), other Old Testament commandments
could not fail to be introduced. Thus the commandment of tithes, which
Irenæus had still asserted to be abolished, was now for the first time
established (see Origen; Constit. Apost. and _my_ remarks on [Greek:
Did]. c. 13); and hence Mosaic regulations as to ceremonial cleanness
were adopted (see Hippol. Canones arab. 17; Dionys. Alex., ep. canon.).
Constantine was the first to base the observance of Sunday on the
commandment as to the Sabbath. Besides, the West was always more
hesitating in this respect than the East. In Cyprian's time, however,
the classification and dignity of the clergy were everywhere upheld by
an appeal to Old Testament commandments, though reservations still
continued to be made here and there.]

[Footnote 265: Tertullian (de pud. I) sneeringly named the bishop of
Rome "pontifex maximus," thereby proving that he clearly recognised the
heathen colouring given to the episcopal office. With the picture of the
bishop drawn by the Apostolic constitutions may be compared the
ill-natured descriptions of Paul of Samosata in Euseb., VII. 30.]

[Footnote 266: Yet this influence, in a direct form at least, can only
be made out at a comparatively late period. But nevertheless, from the
middle of the 3rd century the priests alone are possessed of knowledge.
As [Greek: mathêsis] and [Greek: mystagôgia] are inseparably connected
in the mysteries and Gnostic societies, and the mystagogue was at once
knowing one and priest, so also in the Catholic Church the priest is
accounted the knowing one. Doctrine itself became a mystery to an
increasing extent.]

[Footnote 267: Examples are found in epp. 1, 3, 4, 33, 43, 54, 57, 59,
65, 66. But see Iren., IV. 26. 2, who is little behind Cyprian here,
especially when he threatens offenders with the fate of Dathan and
Abiram. One of the immediate results of the formation of a priestly and
spiritual class was that the independent "teachers" now shared the fate
of the old "prophets" and became extinct (see my edition of the [Greek:
Didachê], prolegg. pp. 131-137). It is an instructive fact that
Theoktistus of Cæsarea and Alexander of Jerusalem in order to prove in
opposition to Demetrius that independent teachers were still tolerated,
i.e., allowed to speak in public meetings of the Church, could only
appeal to the practice of Phrygia and Lycaonia, that is, to the habit of
outlying provinces where, besides, Montanism had its original seat.
Euelpis in Laranda, Paulinus in Iconium, and Theodorus in Synnada, who
flourished about 216, are in addition to Origen the last independent
teachers (i.e., outside the ranks of the clergy) known to us in
Christendom (Euseb., H. E. VI. 19 fin.).]

[Footnote 268: See Döllinger, Die Lehre von der Eucharistie in den
ersten drei Jahrhunderten, 1826. Höfling, Die Lehre der ältesten Kirche
vom Opfer, p. 71 ff. Th. Harnack, Der christliche Gemeindegottesdienst
im apostolischen und altkatholischen Zeitalter, p. 342 ff. Steitz, Art.
"Messe" in Herzog's Real-Encyklopädie, 2nd ed. It is idle to enquire
whether the conception of the "sacerdotium" or that of the "sacrificium"
was first altered, because they are correlative ideas.]

[Footnote 269: See the proof passages in Höfling, l.c., who has also
treated in detail Clement and Origen's idea of sacrifice, and cf. the
beautiful saying of Irenæus IV. 18. 3: "Non sacrificia sanctificant
hominem; non enim indiget sacrificio deus; sed conscientia eius qui
offert sanctificat sacrificium, pura exsistens, et præstat acceptare
deum quasi ab amico" (on the offering in the Lord's Supper see Iren. IV.
17. 5, 18. 1); Tertull., Apolog. 30; de orat. 28; adv. Marc. III. 22;
IV. 1, 35: adv. Jud. 5; de virg. vel. 13.]

[Footnote 270: Cf. specially the Montanist writings; the treatise _de
ieiunio_ is the most important among them in this case; see cc. 7, 16;
de resurr. 8. On the use of the word "satisfacere" and the new ideas on
the point which arose in the West (cf. also the word "meritum") see
below chap. 5. 2 and the 2nd chap. of the 5th Vol. Note that the 2nd Ep.
of Clement already contains the sayings: [Greek: kalon eleêmounê hôs
metanoia hamartias kreissôn nêsteia proseuchês, eleêmosunê de amphoterôn
... eleêmosunê gar kouphisma hamartias ginetai] (16. 4; similar
expressions occur in the "Shepherd"). But they only show how far back we
find the origin of these injunctions borrowed from Jewish proverbial
wisdom. One cannot say that they had no effect at all on Christian life
in the 2nd century; but we do not yet find the idea that ascetic
performances are a sacrifice offered to a wrathful God. Martyrdom seems
to have been earliest viewed as a performance which expiated sins. In
Tertullian's time the theory, that it was on a level with baptism (see
Melito, 12. Fragment in Otto, Corp. Apol. IX. p. 418: [Greek: duo
sunestê ta aphesin amartêmata parechomena, pathos dia Christon kai
baptisma]), had long been universally diffused and was also exegetically
grounded. In fact, men went a step further and asserted that the merits
of martyrs could also benefit others. This view had likewise become
established long before Tertullian's day, but was opposed by him (de
pudic 22), when martyrs abused the powers universally conceded to them.
Origen went furthest here; see exhort. ad mart. 50: [Greek: hôsper timiô
haimati tou Iêsou êgorasthêmen ... houtôs tô timiô haimati tôn marturôn
agorasthêsontai tines]; Hom. X. in Num. c. II.: "ne forte, ex quo
martyres non fiunt et hostiæ sanctorum non offeruntur pro peccatis
nostris, peccatorum nostrorum remissionem non mereamur." The origin of
this thought is, on the one hand, to be sought for in the wide-spread
notion that the sufferings of an innocent man benefit others, and, on
the other, in the belief that Christ himself suffered in the martyrs
(see, e.g., ep. Lugd. in Euseb., H. E. V. 1. 23, 41).]

[Footnote 271: In the East it was Origen who introduced into
Christianity the rich treasure of ancient ideas that had become
associated with sacrifices. See Bigg's beautiful account in "The
Christian Platonists of Alexandria," Lect. IV.-VI.]

[Footnote 272: Moreover, Tertullian (Scorp. 6) had already said:
"Quomodo multæ mansiones apud patrem, si non pro varietate meritorum."]

[Footnote 273: See c. 1: "Nam cum dominus adveniens sanasset illa, quæ
Adam portaverit vulnera et venena serpentis antiqua curasset, legem
dedit sano et præcepit, ne ultra iam peccaret, ne quid peccanti gravius
eveniret: coartati eramus et in augustum innocentiæ præscriptione
conclusi, nec haberet quid fragilitatis humanæ infirmitas adque
imbecillitas faceret, nisi iterum pietas divina subveniens iustitiæ et
misericordiæ operibus ostensis viam quandam tuendæ salutis aperiret, ut
sordes postmodum quascumque contrahimus eleemosynis abluamus." c. 2:
"sicut lavacro aquæ salutaris gehennæ ignis extinguitur, ita eleemosynis
adque operationibus iustus delictorum flamma sopitur, et quia semel in
baptismo remissa peccatorum datur, adsidua et iugis operatic baptismi
instar imitata dei rursus indulgentiam largiatur." 5, 6, 9. In c. 18
Cyprian already established an arithmetical relation between the number
of alms-offerings and the blotting out of sins, and in c. 21, in
accordance with an ancient idea which Tertullian and Minucius Felix,
however, only applied to martyrdom, he describes the giving of alms as a
spectacle for God and Christ. In Cyprian's epistles "satisfacere deo" is
exceedingly frequent. It is almost still more important to note the
frequent use of the expression "promereri deum (iudicem)" in Cyprian.
See de unitate 15: "iustitia opus est, ut promereri quis possit deum
iudicem: præceptis eius et monitis obtemperandum est, ut accipiant
merita nostra mercedem." 18; de lapsis 31; de orat. 8, 32, 36; de
mortal. 10; de op. 11, 14, 15, 26; de bono pat. 18; ep. 62. 2: 73. 10.
Here it is everywhere assumed that Christians acquire God's favour by
their works.]

[Footnote 274: Baptism with blood is not referred to here.]

[Footnote 275: With modifications, this has still continued to be the
case beyond Augustine's time down to the Catholicism of the present day.
Cyprian is the father of the Romish doctrine of good works and
sacrifice. Yet is it remarkable that he was not yet familiar with the
theory according to which man _must_ acquire _merita_. In his mind
"merits" and "blessedness" are not yet rigidly correlated ideas; but the
rudiments of this view are also found in him; cf. de unit. 15 (see p.
134, note 3).]

[Footnote 276: "Sacrificare," "sacrificium celebrare," in all passages
where they are unaccompanied by any qualifying words, mean to celebrate
the Lord's Supper. Cyprian has never called prayer a "sacrifice" without
qualifying terms; on the contrary he collocates "preces" and
"sacrificium," and sometimes also "oblatio" and "sacrificium." The
former is then the offering of the laity and the latter of the priests.]

[Footnote 277: Cf. the whole 63rd epistle and above all c. 7: "Et quia
passionis eius mentionem in sacrificiis omnibus facimus, passio est enim
domini sacrificium quod offerrimus, nihil aliud quam quod ille fecit
facere debemus;" c. 9.: "unde apparet sanguinem Christi non offerri, si
desit vinum calici." 13; de unit. 17: "dominicæ hostiæ veritatem per
falsa sacrificia profanare;" ep. 63. 4: "sacramentum sacrificii
dominici." The transference of the sacrificial idea to the consecrated
elements, which, in all probability, Cyprian already found in existence,
is ultimately based on the effort to include the element of mystery and
magic in the specifically sacerdotal ceremony of sacrifice, and to make
the Christian offering assume, though not visibly, the form of a bloody
sacrifice, such as secularised Christianity desired. This transference,
however, was the result of two causes. The first has been already
rightly stated by Ernesti (Antimur. p. 94) in the words: "quia
eucharistia habet [Greek: anamnêsin] Christi mortui et sacrificii eius
in cruce peracti, propter ea paullatim coepta est tota eucharistia
sacrificium dici." In Cyprian's 63rd epistle it is still observable how
the "calicem in commemorationem domini et passionis eius offerre" passes
over into the "sanguinem Christi offerre," see also Euseb. demonstr. I.
13: [Greek: mnêmên tês thysias Christou prospherein] and [Greek: tên
ensarkon tou Christou parousian kai to katartisthen autou sôma
prospherein]. The other cause has been specially pointed out by Theodore
Harnack (l.c., p. 409 f.). In ep. 63. 2 and in many other passages
Cyprian expresses the thought "that in the Lord's Supper nothing else is
done _by_ us but what the Lord has first done _for_ us." But he says
that at the institution of the Supper the Lord first offered himself as
a sacrifice to God the Father. Consequently the priest officiating in
Christ's stead only presents a true and perfect offering when he
imitates what Christ has done (c. 14: "si Christus Jesus dominus et deus
noster ipse est summus sacerdos dei patris et sacrificiam patri se ipsum
obtulit et hoc fieri in sui commemorationem præcepit, utique ille
sacerdos vice Christi vere fungitur, qui id quod Christus fecit imitatur
et sacrificium verum et plenum tunc offert in ecclesia deo patri, si sic
incipiat offerre secundum quod ipsum Christum videat obtulisse"). This
brings us to the conception of the repetition of Christ's sacrifice by
the priest. But in Cyprian's case it was still, so to speak, only a
notion verging on that idea, that is, he only leads up to it, abstains
from formulating it with precision, or drawing any further conclusions
from it, and even threatens the idea itself inasmuch as he still appears
to conceive the "calicem in commemorationem domini et passionis eius
offerre" as identical with it. As far as the East is concerned we find
in Origen no trace of the assumption of a repeated sacrifice of Christ.
But in the original of the first 6 books of the Apostolic Constitutions
this conception is also wanting, although the Supper ceremonial has
assumed an exclusively sacerdotal character (see II. 25: [Greek: hai
tote] (in the old covenant) [Greek: thusiai, nun euchai kai deêseis kai
eucharistiai]. II. 53). The passage VI. 23: [Greek: anti thusias tês di'
haimatôn tên logikên kai anaimakton kai tên mustikên, hêtis eis ton
thanaton tou kuriou symbolôn charin epiteleitai tou sômatos autou kai
tou haimatos] does not belong to the original document, but to the
interpolator. With the exception therefore of one passage in the
Apostolic Church order (printed in my edition of the Didache prolegg. p.
236) viz.: [Greek: hê prosphora tou sômatos kai tou haimatos], we
possess no proofs that there was any mention in the East before
Eusebius' time of a sacrifice of Christ's body in the Lord's Supper.
From this, however, we must by no means conclude that the mystic feature
in the celebration of the sacrifice had been less emphasised there.]

[Footnote 278: In ep. 63. 13 Cyprian has illustrated the incorporation
of the community with Christ by the mixture of wine and water in the
Supper, because the special aim of the epistle required this: "Videmus
in aqua populum intellegi, in vino vero ostendi sanguinem Christi;
quando autem in calice vino aqua miscetur, Christo populus adunatur et
credentium plebs ei in quem credidit copulatur et iungitur etc." The
special mention of the offerers (see already Tertullian's works: de
corona 3, de exhort. cast. II, and de monog. 10) therefore means that
the latter commend themselves to Christ as his own people, or are
recommended to him as such. On the Praxis see Cyprian ep. I. 2 "... si
quis hoc fecisset. non offerretur pro eo nee sacrificium pro dormitione
eius celebraretur;" 62. 5: "ut fratres nostros in mente habeatis
orationibus vestris et eis vicem boni operis in sacrificiis et precibus
repræsentetis, subdidi nomina singulorum."]

[Footnote 279: Much as the use of the word "sacramentum" in the Western
Church from Tertullian to Augustine (Hahn, Die Lehre von den
Sacramenten, 1864, p. 5 ff.) differs from that in the classic Romish use
it is of small interest in the history of dogma to trace its various
details. In the old Latin Bible [Greek: mystêrion] was translated
"sacramentum" and thus the new signification "mysterious, holy ordinance
or thing" was added to the meaning "oath," "sacred obligation."
Accordingly Tertullian already used the word to denote sacred facts,
mysterious and salutary signs and vehicles, and also holy acts.
Everything in any way connected with the Deity and his revelation, and
therefore, for example, the content of revelation as doctrine, is
designated "sacrament;" and the word is also applied to the symbolical
which is always something mysterious and holy. Alongside of this the old
meaning "sacred obligation" still remains in force. If, because of this
comprehensive use, further discussion of the word is unnecessary, the
fact that revelation itself as well as everything connected with it was
expressly designated as a "mystery" is nevertheless of importance in the
history of dogma. This usage of the word is indeed not removed from the
original one so long as it was merely meant to denote the supernatural
origin and supernatural nature of the objects in question; but more than
this was now intended; "sacramentum" ([Greek: mystêrion]) was rather
intended to represent the holy thing that was revealed as something
relatively concealed. This conception, however, is opposed to the
Judæo-Christian idea of revelation, and is thus to be regarded as an
introduction of the Greek notion. Probst (Sacramente und Sacramentalia,
1872) thinks differently. That which is mysterious and dark appears to
be such an essential attribute of the divine, that even the obscurities
of the New Testament Scriptures were now justified because these
writings were regarded as altogether "spiritual." See Iren. II. 28. 1-3.
Tert. de bapt. 2: "deus in stultitia et impossibilitate materias
operationis suæ instituit."]

[Footnote 280: We have explained above that the Church already possessed
this means of grace, in so far as she had occasionally absolved mortal
sinners, even at an earlier period; but this possession was quite
uncertain and, strictly speaking, was not a possession at all, for in
such cases the early Church merely followed extraordinary directions of
the Spirit.]

[Footnote 281: Höfling, Das Sacrament der Taufe, 2 Vols., 1846. Steitz,
Art. "Taufe" in Herzog's Real-Encyklopädie. Walch, Hist. pædobaptismi
quattuor priorum sæculorum, 1739.]

[Footnote 282: In de bono pudic. 2: "renati ex aqua et pudicitia,"
Pseudo-Cyprian expresses an idea, which, though remarkable, is not
confined to himself.]

[Footnote 283: But Tertullian says (de bapt. 6): "Non quod in aquis
spiritum sanctum consequamur, sed in aqua emundati sub angelo spiritui
sancto præparamur."]

[Footnote 284: The disquisitions of Clement of Alexandria in Pædag. I, 6
(baptism and sonship) are very important, but he did not follow them up.
It is deserving of note that the positive effects of baptism were more
strongly emphasised in the East than in the West. But, on the other
hand, the conception is more uncertain in the former region.]

[Footnote 285: See Tertullian, de bapt. 7 ff.; Cypr., ep. 70. 2 ("ungi
quoque necesse est eum qui baptizatus est, ut accepto chrismate, i.e.,
unctione esse unctus dei et habere in se gratiam Christi possit"), 74. 5
etc. "Chrism" is already found in Tertullian as well as the laying on of
hands. The Roman Catholic bishop Cornelius in the notorious epistle to
Fabius (Euseb., H. E. VI. 43. 15), already traces the rites which
accompany baptism to an ecclesiastical canon (perhaps one from
Hippolytus' collection: see can. arab. 19). After relating that Novatian
in his illness had only received clinical baptism he writes: [Greek: ou
mên oude tôn loipôn etuche, diaphugôn tên noson, hôn chrê metalambanein
kata ton tês ekklêsias kanona, tou te sphragisthênai hupo tou
episkopou.] It is also remarkable that one of the bishops who voted
about heretic baptism (Sentent. episcop., Cypr., opp. ed. Hartel I. p.
439) calls the laying on of hands a sacrament like baptism: "neque enim
spiritus sine aqua separatim operari potest nec aqua sine spiritu male
ergo sibi quidem interpretantur ut dicant, quod per manus impositionem
spiritum sanctum accipiant et sic recipiantur, cum manifestum sit
_utroque sacramento_ debere eos renasci in ecclesia catholica." Among
other particulars found in Tertullian's work on baptism (cc. I. 12 seq.)
it may moreover be seen that there were Christians about the year 200,
who questioned the indispensability of baptism to salvation (baptismus
non est necessarius, quibus fides satis est). The assumption that
martyrdom replaces baptism (Tertull., de bapt. 16; Origen), is in itself
a sufficient proof that the ideas of the "sacrament" were still
uncertain. As to the objection that Jesus himself had not baptised and
that the Apostles had not received Christian baptism see Tert., de bapt.
11, 12.]

[Footnote 286: In itself the performance of this rite seemed too simple
to those who sought eagerly for mysteries. See Tertull., de bapt. 2:
"Nihil adeo est quod obduret mentes hominum quam simplicitas divinorum
operum, quæ in actu videtur, et magnificentia, quæ in effecta
repromittitur, ut hinc quoque, quoniam tanta simplicitate, sine pompa,
sine apparatu novo aliquo, denique sine sumptu homo in aqua demissus et
inter pauca verba tinctus non multo vel nihilo mundior resurgit, eo
incredibilis existimetur consecutio æternitatis. Mentior, si non e
contrario idolorum solemnia vel arcana de suggestu et apparatu deque
sumptu fidem at auctoritatem sibi exstruunt."]

[Footnote 287: But see Euseb., H. E. VI. 43. 15, who says that only the
laying on of hands on the part of the bishop communicates the Holy
Spirit, and this ceremony _must_ therefore follow baptism. It is
probable that confirmation as a specific act did not become detached
from baptism in the West till shortly before the middle of the third
century. Perhaps we may assume that the Mithras cult had an influence

[Footnote 288: See Tertullian's superstitious remarks in de bap. 3-9 to
the effect that water is the element of the Holy Spirit and of unclean
Spirits etc. Melito also makes a similar statement in the fragment of
his treatise on baptism in Pitra, Anal, Sacra II., p. 3 sq. Cyprian, ep.
70. I, uses the remarkable words: "oportet veio mundari et sanctificari
aquam prius a _sacer dote_ (Tertull. still knows nothing of this: c. 17:
etiam laicis ius est), ut possit baptismo suo peccata hominis qui
baptizatur abluere." Ep. 74. 5: "peccata purgare et hominem sanctificare
aqua sola non potest, nisi habeat et spiritum sanctum." Clem. Alex.
Protrept. 10.99: [Greek: labete hudôr logikos].]

[Footnote 289: It was easy for Origen to justify child baptism, as he
recognised something sinful in corporeal birth itself, and believed in
sin which had been committed in a former life. The earliest
justification of child baptism may therefore be traced back to a
philosophical doctrine.]

[Footnote 290: _Translator's note._ The following is the original Latin,
as quoted by Prof. Harnack: "Cunctatio baptismi utilior est, præcipue
circa parvulos. Quid enim necesse, sponsores etiam periculo ingeri ...
veniant ergo parvuli, dum adolescunt; veniant dum discunt, dum quo
veniant docentur; fiant Christiani, cum Christum nosse potuerint. Quid
festinat innocens ætas ad remissionem peccatorum? Cautius agetur in
sæcularibus, ut cui substantia terrena non creditur, divina credatur ...
Si qui pondus intelligant baptismi, magis timebunt consecutionem quam

[Footnote 291: Under such circumstances the recollection of the
significance of baptism in the establishment of the Church fell more and
more into the background (see Hermas: "the Church rests like the world
upon water;" Irenæus III. 17. 2: "Sicut de arido tritico massa una non
fieri potest sine humore neque unus panis, ita nec nos multi unum fieri
in Christo Iesu poteramus sine aqua quæ de coelo est. Et sicut aricla
terra, si non percipiat humorem, non fructificat: sic et nos lignum
aridum exsistentes primum, nunquam fructificaremus vitam sine superna
voluntaria pluvia. Corpora unim nostra per lavacrum illam quæ est ad
incorruptionem unitatem acceperunt, animæ autem per spiritum"). The
unbaptised (catechumens) also belong to the Church, when they commit
themselves to her guidance and prayers. Accordingly baptism ceased more
and more to be regarded as an act of initiation, and only recovered this
character in the course of the succeeding centuries. In this connection
the 7th (spurious) canon of Constantinople (381) is instructive: [Greek:
kai tên prôtên hêmeran poioumen autous Christianous, tên de deuteran
katêchoumenous, eita tên tritên exorkizomen autous k.t.l.]]

[Footnote 292: Döllinger, Die Lehre von der Eucharistie in dem ersten 3
Jahrhunderten, 1826. Engelhardt in the Zeitschrift fur die hist.
Theologie, 1842, I. Kahnis, Lehre vom Abendmahl, 1851. Ruckert, Das
Abendmahl, sein Wesen und seine Geschichte, 1856. Leimbach, Beitrage zur
Abendmahlslehre Tertullian's, 1874. Steitz, Die Abendmahlslehre der
griechischen Kirche, in the Jahrbucher fur deutsche Theologie,
1864-1868; cf. also the works of Probst. Whilst Eucharist and love feast
had already been separated from the middle of the 2nd century in the
West, they were still united in Alexandria in Clement's time; see Bigg,
l.c., p. 103.]

[Footnote 293: The collocation of baptism and the Lord's Supper, which,
as the early Christian monuments prove, was a very familiar practice
(Tert. adv. Marc. IV. 34: "sacramentum baptismi et eucharistiæ;"
Hippol., can. arab. 38: "baptizatus et corpore Christi pastus"), was, so
far as I know, justified by no Church Father on internal grounds.
Considering their conception of the holy ordinances this is not
surprising. They were classed together because they were instituted by
the Lord, and because the elements (water, wine, bread) afforded much
common ground for allegorical interpretation.]

[Footnote 294: The story related by Dionysius (in Euseb., l.c.) is
especially characteristic, as the narrator was an extreme spiritualist.
How did it stand therefore with the dry tree? Besides, Tertull. (de
corona 3) says: "Calicis aut panis nostri aliquid decuti in terram anxie
patimur". Superstitious reverence for the sacrament _ante et extra usum_
is a very old habit of mind in the Gentile Church.]

[Footnote 295: Leimbach's investigations of Tertullian's use of words
have placed this beyond doubt; see de orat. 6; adv. Marc. I. 14: IV. 40:
III. 19; de resuri. 8.]

[Footnote 296: The chief passages referring to the Supper in Clement are
Protrept. 12. 120; Pæd. I. 6. 43: II. 2. 19 sq.: I. 5. 15: I. 6. 38, 40;
Quis div. 23; Strom. V. 10. 66: I. 10. 46: I. 19. 96: VI. 14. 113: V.
II. 70. Clement thinks as little of forgiveness of sins in connection
with the Supper as does the author of the Didache or the other Fathers;
this feast is rather meant to bestow an initiation into knowledge and
immortality. Ignatius had already said, "the body is faith, the blood is
hope." This is also Clement's opinion; he also knows of a
transubstantiation, not, however, into the real body of Christ, but into
heavenly powers. His teaching was therefore that of Valentinus (see the
Exc. ex. Theod. § 82, already given on Vol. i. p. 263) Strom. V. 11. 70:
[Greek: logikon hêmin brôma hê gnôsis]; I. 20. 46: [Greek: hina dê
phagômen logikôs]; V. 10. 66: [Greek: brôsis gar kai posis tou theiou
logou hê gnôsis esti tês theias ousias]. Adumbrat. in epp. Joh.:
"sanguis quod est cognitio"; see Bigg, l.c., p. 106 ff.]

[Footnote 297: Orig. in Matth. Comment. ser. 85: "Panis iste, quem deus
verbum corpus suum esse fatetur, verbum est nutritorium animarum, verbum
de deo verbo procedens et panis de pane coe'esti... Non enim panem illum
visibilem, quem tenebat in manibus, corpus suum dicebat deus verbum, sed
verbum, in cuius mysterio fuerat panis ille frangendus; nec potum illum
visibilem sanguinem suum dicebat, sed verbum in cuius mysterio potus
ille fuerat effundendus;" see in Matt. XI. 14; c. Cels. VIII. 33. Hom.
XVI. 9 in Num. On Origen's doctrine of the Lord's Supper see Bigg, p.
219 ff.]

[Footnote 298: The conception of the Supper as _viaticum mortis_ (fixed
by the 13th canon of Nicæa: [Greek: peri de tôn exodeuontôn ho palaios
kai kanonikos nomos phulachthêsetai kai nun, hôste eitis exodeuoi, tou
teleutaiou kai anagkaiotatou ephodiou mê apostereisthai]), a conception
which is genuinely Hellenic and which was strengthened by the idea that
the Supper was [Greek: pharmakon athanasias], the practice of
benediction, and much else in theory and practice connected with the
Eucharist reveal the influence of antiquity. See the relative articles
in Smith and Cheetham's Dictionary of Christian Antiquities.]

[Footnote 299: The fullest account of the "history of the Romish Church
down to the pontificate of Leo I." has been given by Langen, 1881; but I
can in no respect agree (see Theol. Lit. Ztg. 1891, No. 6) with the
hypotheses about the primacy as propounded by him in his treatise on the
Clementine romances (1890, see especially p. 163 ff). The collection of
passages given by Caspari, "Quellen zur Geschichte des Taufsymbols,"
Vol. III., deserves special recognition. See also the sections bearing
on this subject in Renan's "Origines du Christianisme," Vols. V.-VII.
especially VII., chaps. 5, 12, 23. Sohm in his "Kirchenrecht" I. (see
especially pp. 164 ff., 350 ff., 377 ff.) has adopted my conception of
"Catholic" and "Roman," and made it the basis of further investigations.
He estimates the importance of the Roman Church still more highly, in so
far as, according to him, she was the exclusive originator of Church law
as well as of the Catholic form of Church constitution; and on page 381
he flatly says: "The whole Church constitution with its claim to be
founded on divine arrangement was first developed in Rome and then
transferred from her to the other communities." I think this is an
exaggeration. Tschirn (Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte, XII. p. 215
ff.) has discussed the origin of the Roman Church in the 2nd century.
Much that was the common property of Christendom, or is found in every
religion as it becomes older, is regarded by this author as specifically

[Footnote 300: No doubt we must distinguish two halves in Christendom.
The first, the ecclesiastical West, includes the west coast of Asia
Minor, Greece, and Rome together with their daughter Churches, that is,
above all, Gaul and North Africa. The second or eastern portion embraces
Palestine, Egypt, Syria, and the east part of Asia Minor. A displacement
gradually arose in the course of the 3rd century. In the West the most
important centres are Ephesus, Smyrna, Corinth, and Rome, cities with a
Greek and Oriental population. Even in Carthage the original speech of
the Christian community was probably Greek.]

[Footnote 301: Rome was the first city in the Empire, Alexandria the
second. They were the metropolitan cities of the world (see the
inscription in Kaibel, No. 1561, p. 407: [Greek: threpse m' Alexandreia,
metoikon ethapse de Rhomê, hai kosmou kai gês, ô xene, mêtropoleis]).
This is reflected in the history of the Church; first Rome appears, then
Alexandria. The significance of the great towns for the history of dogma
and of the Church will be treated of in a future volume. Abercius of
Hieropolis, according to the common interpretation (inscription V. 7 f.)
designates Rome as "queen." This was a customary appellation; see
Eunap., vita Prohaer. p. 90: [Greek: hê basileuousa Rhômê].]

[Footnote 302: In this connection we need only keep in mind the
following summary of facts. Up to the end of the second century the
Alexandrian Church had none of the Catholic and apostolic standards, and
none of the corresponding institutions as found in the Roman Church; but
her writer, Clement, was also "as little acquainted with the West as
Homer." In the course of the first half of the 3rd century she received
those standards and institutions; but her writer, Origen, also travelled
to Rome himself in order to see "the very old" church and formed a
connection with Hippolytus; and her bishop Dionysius carried on a
correspondence with his Roman colleague, who also made common cause with
him. Similar particulars may also be ascertained with regard to the
Syrian Church.]

[Footnote 303: See the proofs in the two preceding chapters. Note also
that these elements have an inward connection. So long as one was
lacking, all were, and whenever one was present, all the others
immediately made their appearance.]

[Footnote 304: Ignatius already says that the Roman Christians are
[Greek: apodiulismenoi apo pantos allotrion chrômatos] (Rom. inscr.); he
uses this expression of no others. Similar remarks are not quite rare at
a later period; see, for instance, the oft-repeated eulogy that no
heresy ever arose in Rome. At a time when this city had long employed
the standard of the apostolic rule of faith with complete confidence,
namely, at the beginning of the 3rd century, we hear that a lady of rank
in Alexandria, who was at any rate a Christian, lodged and entertained
in her house Origen, then a young man, and a famous heretic. (See
Euseb., H. E. VI. 2. 13, 14). The lectures on doctrine delivered by this
heretic and the conventicles over which he presided were attended by a
[Greek: murion plêthos ou monon hairetikôn, alla kai hêmetephôn]. That
is a very valuable piece of information which shows us a state of things
in Alexandria that would have been impossible in Rome at the same
period. See, besides, Dionys. Alex, in Euseb., H. E. VII. 7.]

[Footnote 305: I must here refrain from proving the last assertion. The
possibility of Asia Minor having had a considerable share, or having led
the way, in the formation of the canon must be left an open question
(cf. what Melito says, and the use made of New Testament writings in the
Epistle of Polycarp). We will, however, be constrained to lay the chief
emphasis on Rome, for it must not be forgotten that Irenæus had the
closest connection with the Church of that city, as is proved by his
great work, and that he lived there before he came to Gaul. Moreover, it
is a fact deserving of the greatest attention that the Montanists and
their decided opponents in Asia, the so-called Alogi, had no
ecclesiastical _canon_ before them, though they may all have possessed
the universally acknowledged books of the Romish canon, and none other,
in the shape of _books read in the churches_.]

[Footnote 306: See the Prolegg. of Westcott and Hort (these indeed give
an opposite judgment), and cf. Harris, _Codex Bezae. A study of the
so-called Western text of the New Testament_ 1891. An exhaustive study
of the oldest martyrologies has already led to important cases of
agreement between Rome and the East, and promises still further
revelations. See Duchesne, "Les Sources du Martyrologe Hieron." 1885.
Egli, "Altchristliche Studien, Martyrien und Martyrologieen ältester
Zeit." 1887; the same writer in the "Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche
Theologie", 1891, p. 273 ff.]

[Footnote 307: On the relations between Edessa and Rome see the end of
the Excursus.]

[Footnote 308: See my treatise "Die ältesten christlichen Datirungen und
die Anfánge einer bischòflichen Chronographie in Rom." in the report of
the proceedings of the Royal Prussian Academy of Science, 1892, pp.
617-658. I think I have there proved that, in the time of Soter, Rome
already possessed a figured list of bishops, in which important events
were also entered.]

[Footnote 309: That the idea of the apostolic succession of the bishops
was first turned to account or appeared in Rome is all the more
remarkable, because it was not in that city, but rather in the East,
that the monarchical episcopate was first consolidated. (Cf. the
Shepherd of Hermas and Ignatius' Epistles to the Romans with his other
Epistles). There must therefore have been a very rapid development of
the constitution in the time between Hyginus and Victor. Sohm, l.c.,
tries to show that the monarchical episcopate arose in Rome immediately
after the composition of the First Epistle of Clement, and as a result
of it; and that this city was the centre from which it spread throughout

[Footnote 310: See Pseudo-Cyprian's work "de aleat" which, in spite of
remarks to the contrary, I am inclined to regard as written by Victor;
cf. "Texte und Untersuchungen" V. I; see c. I of this writing: "et
quoniam in nobis divina et paterna pietas apostolatus ducatum contulit
et vicariam domini sedem cælesti dignatione ordinavit et originem
authentici apostolatus, super quem Christus fundavit ecclesiam, in
superiore nostro portamus."]

[Footnote 311: See report of the proceedings of the Royal Prussian
Academy of Science, 1892, p. 622 ff. To the material found there must be
added a remarkable passage given by Nestle (Zeitschrift fur
wissenschaftliche Theologie, 1893, p. 437), where the dates are reckoned
after Sixtus I.]

[Footnote 312: Cf. the 8th book of the Apostolic Constitutions with the
articles referring to the regulation of the Church, which in Greek MSS.
bear the name of Hippolytus. Compare also the Arabian Canones Hippolyti,
edited by Haneberg (1870) and commented on by Achelis (Texte und
Untersuchungen VI. 4). Apart from the additions and alterations, which
are no doubt very extensive, it is hardly likely that the name of the
Roman bishop is wrongly assigned to them. We must further remember the
importance assigned by the tradition of the Eastern and Western Churches
to one of the earliest Roman "bishops," Clement, as the confidant and
secretary of the Apostles and as the composer and arranger of their

[Footnote 313: See my proofs in "Texte und Untersuchungen," Vol. II.,
Part 5. The canons of the Council of Nicæa presuppose the distinction of
higher and lower clergy for the whole Church.]

[Footnote 314: We see this from the Easter controversy, but there are
proofs of it elsewhere, e.g., in the collection of Cyprian's epistles.
The Roman bishop Cornelius informs Fabius, bishop of Antioch, of the
resolutions of the Italian, African, and other Churches (Euseb., H. E.
VI. 43. 3: [Greek: êlthon eis hêmas epistolai Kornêliou Rhômaiôn
episkopou pros ... phabion, dêlousai ta peri tês Rhômaiôn sunodou, kai
ta doxanta pasi tois kata tên Italian kai Aphrikên kai tas autophi
chôras]). We must not forget, however, that there were also bishops
elsewhere who conducted a so-called oecumenical correspondence and
enjoyed great influence, as, e.g., Dionysius of Corinth and Dionysius of
Alexandria. In matters relating to penance the latter wrote to a great
many Churches, even as far as Armenia, and sent many letters to Rome
(Euseb., H. E. VI. 46). The Catholic theologian, Dittrich--before the
Vatican Decree, no doubt--has spoken of him in the following terms
(Dionysius von Alexandrien, 1867, p. 26): "As Dionysius participated in
the power, so also he shared in the task of the primateship." "Along
with the Roman bishop he was, above all, called upon to guard the
interests of the whole Church."]

[Footnote 315: This conception, as well as the ideas contained in this
Excursus generally, is now entirely shared by Weingarten (Zeittafeln,
3rd. ed., 1888, pp. 12, 21): "The Catholic Church is essentially the
work of those of Rome and Asia Minor. The Alexandrian Church and
theology do not completely adapt themselves to it till the 3rd century.
The metropolitan community becomes the ideal centre of the Great Church"
... "The primacy of the Roman Church is essentially the transference to
her of Rome's central position in the religion of the heathen world
during the Empire: _urbs æterna urbs sacra_."]

[Footnote 316: This is also admitted by Langen (l.c., 184 f.), who even
declares that this precedence existed from the beginning.]

[Footnote 317: Cf. chaps. 59 and 62, but more especially 63.]

[Footnote 318: At that time the Roman Church did not confine herself to
a letter; she sent ambassadors to Corinth, [Greek: hoitines martures
esontai metaxu humôn kai hêmôn]. Note carefully also the position of the
Corinthian community with which the Roman one interfered (see on this
point Wrede, Untersuchungen zum I Clemensbrief, 1891.)]

[Footnote 319: In Ignatius, Rom. inscr., the verb [Greek: prokathêmai]
is twice used about the Roman Church ([Greek: prokathêtai en] [to be
understood in a local sense] [Greek: topôi khôrion Rhômaiôn]--[Greek:
prokathêmenê tês agapês] = presiding in, or having the guardianship of,
love). Ignatius (Magn. 6), uses the same verb to denote the dignity of
the bishop or presbyters in relation to the community. See, besides, the
important testimony in Rom. II.: [Greek: allous edidaxate]. Finally, it
must be also noted that Ignatius presupposes an extensive influence on
the part of individual members of the Church in the higher spheres of
government. Fifty years later we have a memorable proof of this in the
Marcia-Victor episode. Lastly, Ignatius is convinced that the Church
will interfeie quite as energetically on behalf of a foreign brother as
on behalf of one of her own number. In the Epistle of Clement to James,
c. 2, the Roman bishop is called [Greek: ho alêtheias prokathezomenos].]

[Footnote 320: Euseb., H. E. IV. 23. 9-12; cf., above all, the words:
[Greek: Ex archês humin ethos esti touto, pantas men adelphous poikiôs
euergetein, ekklêsiais te pollais tais kata pasan polin ephodia pempein
... patroparadoton ethos Rhômaiôn Rômaioi diaphulattontes.] Note here
the emphasis laid on [Greek: Rômaioi].]

[Footnote 321: According to Irenæus a peculiar significance belongs to
the old Jerusalem Church, in so far as all the Christian congregations
sprang from her (III. 12. 5: [Greek: autai phônai tês ekklêsias, ex hês
pasa eschêken ekklêsia tês archên autai phônai tês mêtropoleôs tôn tês
kainês diathêkês politôn]). For obvious reasons Irenæus did not speak of
the Jerusalem Church of his own time. Hence that passage cannot be

[Footnote 322: Iren. III. 3. i: "Sed quomiam valde longum est, in hoc
tali volumine omnium ecclesiarum enumerare successiones, maximæ et
antiquissimæ et omnibus cognitæ, a gloriosissimis duobus apostolis Paulo
et Petro Romæ fundatæ et constitutæ ecclesiæ, eam quam habet ab
apostolis traditionem et annuutiatam hominibus fidem, per successiones
episcoporum pervenientem usque ad nos indicantes confundimus omnes eos,
qui quoquo modo vel per sibiplacentiam malam vel vanam gloriam vel per
cæcitatem et malam sententiam, præterquam oportet, colligunt. Ad hanc
enim ecclesiam propter potentiorem principalitatem necesse est omnem
convenire ecclesiam, hoc est, eos qui sunt undique fideles, in qua
semper ab his, qui sunt undique, conservata est ea quæ est ab apostolis
traditio." On this we may remark as follows: (1) The special importance
which Irenæus claims for the Roman Church--for he is only referring to
her--is not merely based by him on her assumed foundation by Peter and
Paul, but on a combination of the four attributes "maxima,"
"antiquissima" etc. Dionysius of Corinth also made this assumption
(Euseb., II. 25. 8), but applied it quite as much to the Corinthian
Church. As regards capability of proving the truth of the Church's
faith, all the communities founded by the Apostles possess
_principalitas_ in relation to the others; but the Roman Church has the
_potentior principalitas_, in so far as she excels all the rest in her
qualities of _ecclesia maxima et omnibus cognita_ etc. Principalitas =
"sovereign authority," [Greek: authentia], for this was probably the
word in the original text (see proceedings of the Royal Prussian Academy
of Science, 9th Nov., 1893). In common with most scholars I used to
think that the "in qua" refers to "Roman Church;" but I have now
convinced myself (see the treatise just cited) that it relates to "omnem
ecclesiam," and that the clause introduced by "in qua" merely asserts
that every church, _in so far as she is faithful to tradition, i.e.,
orthodox_, must as a matter of course agree with that of Rome. (2)
Irenæus asserts that every Church, i.e., believers in all parts of the
world, must agree with this Church ("convenire" is to be understood in a
figurative sense; the literal acceptation "every Church must come to
that of Rome" is not admissible). However, this "must" is not meant as
an imperative, but == [Greek: anagkê] == "it cannot be otherwise." In
reference to _principalitas_ == [Greek: authentia] (see I. 31. 1: I. 26.
1) it must be remembered that Victor of Rome (l.c.) speaks of the "origo
_authentici_ apostolatus," and Tertullian remarks of Valentinus when he
apostatised at Rome, "ab ecclesia _authenticæ_ regulæ abrupit" (adv.
Valent. 4).]

[Footnote 323: Beyond doubt his "convenire necesse est" is founded on
actual circumstances.]

[Footnote 324: On other important journeys of Christian men and bishops
to Rome in the 2nd and 3rd centuries see Caspari, l.c. Above all we may
call attention to the journey of Abercius of Hierapolis (not Hierapolis
on the Meander) about 200 or even earlier. Its historical reality is not
to be questioned. See his words in the epitaph composed by himself (V. 7
f.): [Greek: eis Rhômên hos epempsen emen basilêan athrêsai kai
basilissan idein chrusostolon chrusopedilon]. However, Ficker raises
very serious objections to the Christian origin of the inscription.]

[Footnote 325: We cannot here discuss how this tradition arose; in all
likelihood it already expresses the position which the Roman Church very
speedily attained in Christendom. See Renan, Orig., Vol. VII., p. 70:
"Pierre el Paul (léconciliés), voilà le chef-d'oeuvre qui fondait la
suprématie ecclésiastique de Rome dans làvenir. Une nouvelle qualité
mythique lemplagait celle de Romulus et Remus." But it is highly
probable that Peter was really in Rome like Paul (see 1 Clem. V.,
Ignatius ad Rom. IV.); both really performed important services to the
Church there, and died as martyrs in that city.]

[Footnote 326: The wealth of the Roman Church is also illustrated by the
present of 200,000 sesterces brought her by Marcion (Tertull., de præse.
30). The "Shepherd" also contains instructive particulars with regard to
this. As far as her influence is concerned, we possess various
testimonies from Philipp. IV. 22 down to the famous account by
Hippolytus of the relations of Victor to Marcia. We may call special
attention to Ignatius' Epistle to the Romans.]

[Footnote 327: See Tertullian, adv. Prax. I; Euseb., H. E. V. 3, 4.
Dictionary of Christian Biography III., p. 937.]

[Footnote 328: Euseb, H.E. V. 24. 9: [Greek: epi toutois ho men tês
Rhômaiôn proestôs Biktôr athroôs tês Asias pasês hama tais homorois
ekklêsiais tas paroikias apotemnein hôsan heterodoxousas, tês koinês
henôseôs peiratai, kai stêliteuei ge dia grammatôn, akoinônêtous pantas
ardên tous ekeise anakêruttôn adelphous]. Stress should be laid on two
points here: (1) Victor proclaimed that the people of Asia Minor were to
be excluded from the [Greek: koinê henôsis], and not merely from the
fellowship of the Roman Church; (2) he based the excommunication on the
alleged heterodoxy of those Churches. See Heinichen, Melet. VIII, on
Euseb., l.c. Victor's action is parallelled by that of Stephen.
Firmilian says to the latter: "Dum enim putas, omnes abs te abstineri
posse, solum te ab omnibus abstinuisti." It is a very instructive fact
that in the 4th century Rome also made the attempt to have Sabbath
fasting established as an _apostolic_ custom. See the interesting work
confuted by Augustine (ep. 36), a writing which emanates from a Roman
author who is unfortunately unknown to us. Cf. also Augustine's 54th and
55th epistles.]

[Footnote 329: Irenæus also (l.c. § 11) does not appear to have
questioned Victor's proceeding as such, but as applied to this
particular case.]

[Footnote 330: See Tertull., de orat. 22: "Sed non putet institutionem
unusquisque antecessoris commovendam." De virg. vel. I: "Paracletus
solus antecessor, quia solus post Christum;" 2: "Eas ego ecclesias
proposui, quas et ipsi apostolici viri condiderunt, et puto ante
quosdam;" 3: "Sed nec inter consuetudines dispicere voluerunt illi
sanctissimi antecessores." This is also the question referred to in the
important remark in Jerome, de vir. inl. 53: "Tertullianus ad mediam
ætatem presbyter fuit ecclesiæ Africanæ, invidia postea et contumeliis
clericorum Romanæ ecclesiæ ad Montani dogma delapsus."]

[Footnote 331: Stephen acted like Victor and excluded almost all the
East from the fellowship of the Church; see in addition to Cyprian's
epistles that of Dionysius of Alexandria in Euseb., H. E. VII. 5. In
reference to Hippolytus, see Philosoph. l. IX. In regard to Origen, see
the allusions in de orat. 28 fin.; in Matth. XI. 9, 15: XII. 9-14: XVI.
8, 22: XVII. 14; in Joh. X. 16; Rom. VI in Isai. c. 1. With regard to
Philosoph. IX. 12, Sohm rightly remarks (p. 389): "It is clear that the
responsibility was laid on the Roman bishop not merely in several cases
where married men were made presbyters and deacons, but also when they
were appointed bishops; and it is also evident that he appears just as
responsible when bishops are not deposed in consequence of their
marrying." One cannot help concluding that the Roman bishop has the
power of appointing and deposing not merely presbyters and deacons, but
also bishops. Moreover, the impression is conveyed that this appointment
and deposition of bishops takes place in Rome, for the passage contains
a description of existent conditions in the Roman Church. Other
communities may be deprived of their bishops by an order from Rome, and
a bishop (chosen in Rome) may be sent them. The words of the passage
are: [Greek: epi kallistou êrxanto episkopoi kai presbuteroi kai
diakonoi digamoi kai trigamoi kathistasthai eis klêrous ei de kai tis en
klêrô ôn gamoiê, menein ton toiouton en tô klêrô hôs mê hêmartêkota.]]

[Footnote 332: In the treatise "Die Briefe des romischen Klerus aus der
Zeit der Sedisvacanz im Jahre 250" (Abhandlungen fur Weizsäcker, 1892),
I have shown how the Roman clergy kept the revenue of the Church and of
the Churches in their hands, though they had no bishop. What language
the Romans used in epistles 8, 30, 36 of the Cyprian collection, and how
they interfered in the affairs of the Carthaginian Church! Beyond doubt
the Roman _Church_ possessed an acknowledged primacy in the year 250; it
was the primacy of active participation and fulfilled duty. As yet there
was no recognised dogmatic or historic foundation assigned for it; in
fact it is highly probable that this theory was still shaky and
uncertain in Rome herself. The college of presbyters and deacons feels
and speaks as if it were the bishop. For it was not on the bishop that
the incomparable prestige of Rome was based--at least this claim was not
yet made with any confidence,--but on the _city itself_, on the origin
and history, the faith and love, the earnestness and zeal _of the whole
Roman Church and her clergy_.]

[Footnote 333: In Tertullian, de præsc. 36, the bishops are not
mentioned. He also, like Irenæus, cites the Roman Church as one amongst
others. We have already remarked that in the scheme of proof from
prescription no higher rank could be assigned to the Roman Church than
to any other of the group founded by the Apostles. Tertullian continues
to maintain this position, but expressly remarks that the Roman Church
has special authority for the Carthaginian, because Carthage had
received its Christianity from Rome. He expresses the special
relationship between Rome and Carthage in the following terms: "Si autem
Italiæ adiaces habes Romam, unde nobis quoque auctoritas præsto est."
With Tertullian, then, the _de facto_ position of the Roman Church in
Christendom did not lead to the same conclusion in the scheme of proof
from prescription as we found in Irenæus. But in his case also that
position is indicated by the rhetorical ardour with which he speaks of
the Roman Church, whereas he does nothing more than mention Corinth,
Philippi, Thessalonica, and Ephesus. Even at that time, moreover, he had
ground enough for a more reserved attitude towards Rome, though in the
antignostic struggle he could not dispense with the tradition of the
Roman community. In the veil dispute (de virg. vel. 2) he opposed the
authority of the Greek apostolic Churches to that of Rome. Polycarp had
done the same against Anicetus, Polycrates against Victor, Proculus
against his Roman opponents. Conversely, Praxeas in his appeal to
Eleutherus (c. 1.: "præcessorum auctoritates"), Caius when contending
with Proculus, the Carthaginian clergy when opposing Tertullian (in the
veil dispute), and Victor when contending with Polycrates set the
authority of Rome against that of the Greek apostolic Churches. These
struggles at the transition from the and to the 3rd century are of the
utmost importance. Rome was here seeking to overthrow the authority of
the only group of Churches able to enter into rivalry with her those of
Asia Minor, and succeeded in the attempt.]

[Footnote 334: De pudic. 21: "De tua nunc sententia quæro, unde hoc ius
ecclesiæ usurpes. Si quia dixerit Petro dominus: Super hanc petram
ædificabo ecclesiam meam, tibi dedi claves regni cælestis, vel,
Quæcumque alligaveris vel solveris in terra, erunt alligata vel soluta
in coelis, id circo præsumis et ad te derivasse solvendi et alligandi
potestatem?" Stephen did the same; see Firmilian in Cyprian ep. 75. With
this should be compared the description Clement of Rome gives in his
epistles to James of his own installation by Peter (c. 2). The following
words are put in Peter's mouth: [Greek: klêmenta touton episkopon humin
cheirontonô, hô tên emên tôn logôn pisteuô kathedran ... dia autô
metadidômi tên exousian tou desmeuein kai luein, hina peri pantos ou an
cheirotonêsê epi gês estai dedogmatismenon en ouranois. dêsei gar ho dei
dethênai kai lusei ho dei luthênai, hôs ton tês ekklêsias eidôs

[Footnote 335: See Dionysius of Alexandria's letter to the Roman bishop
Stephen (Euseb., H. E. VII. 5. 2): [Greek: Hai mentoi Suriai holai kai
hê Arabia, ois eparkeite hekastote kai ois nun epesteilate.]]

[Footnote 336: In the case of Origen's condemnation the decision of Rome
seems to have been of special importance. Origen sought to defend his
orthodoxy in a letter written by his own hand to the Roman bishop Fabian
(see Euseb., H. E. VI. 36; Jerome, ep. 84. 10). The Roman bishop Pontian
had previously condemned him after summoning a "senate;" see Jerome, ep.
33 (Döllinger, Hippolytus and Calixtus, p. 259 f.). Further, it is an
important fact that a deputation of Alexandrian Christians, who did not
agree with the Christology of their bishop Dionysius, repaired to Rome
to the _Roman_ bishop Dionysius and formally accused the first named
prelate. It is also significant that Dionysius received this complaint
and brought the matter up at a Roman synod. No objection was taken to
this proceeding (Athanas., de synod.). This information is very
instructive, for it proves that the Roman Church was ever regarded as
specially charged with watching over the observance of the conditions of
the general ecclesiastical federation, the [Greek: koinê henôsis]. As to
the fact that in circular letters, not excepting Eastern ones, the Roman
Church was put at the head of the address, see Euseb., H. E. VII. 30.
How frequently foreign bishops came to Rome is shown by the 19th canon
of Arles (A.D. 314): "De episcopis peregrinis, qui in urbem solent
venire, placuit iis locum dari ut offerant." The first canon is also
important in deciding the special position of Rome.]

[Footnote 337: Peculiar circumstances, which unfortunately we cannot
quite explain, are connected with the cases discussed by Cyprian in epp.
67 and 68. The Roman bishop must have had the acknowledged power of
dealing with the bishop of Arles, whereas the Gallic prelates had not
this right. Sohm, p. 391 ff., assumes that the Roman bishop alone--not
Cyprian or the bishops of Gaul--had authority to exclude the bishop of
Arles from the general fellowship of the Church, but that, as far as the
Gallic Churches were concerned, such an excommunication possessed no
legal effect, but only a moral one, because in their case the bishop of
Rome had only a spiritual authority and no legal power. Further, two
Spanish bishops publicly appealed to the Roman see against their
deposition, and Cyprian regarded this appeal as in itself correct.
Finally, Cornelius says of himself in a letter (in Euseb., H. E. VI. 43.
10): [Greek: tôn loipôn episkopôn diadochous eis tous topous, en hois
êsan, cheirotonêsantes apestalkamen]. This quotation refers to Italy,
and the passage, which must be read connectedly, makes it plain (see,
besides, the quotation in reference to Calixtus given above on p. 162),
that, before the middle of the 3rd century, the Roman Church already
possessed a legal right of excommunication and the recognised power of
making ecclesiastical appointments as far as the communities and bishops
in Italy were concerned (see Sohm, p. 389 ff.).]

[Footnote 338: Euseb., H. E. VII. 30. 19. The Church of Antioch sought
to enter upon an independent line of development under Paul of Samosata.
Paul's fall was the victory of Rome. We may suppose it to be highly
probable, though to the best of my belief there is for the present no
sure proof, that it was not till then that the Roman standards and
sacraments, catholic and apostolic collection of Scriptures (see, on the
contrary, the use of Scripture in the Didaskalia), apostolic rule of
faith, and apostolic episcopacy attained supremacy in Antioch; but that
they began to be introduced into that city about the time of Serapion's
bishopric (that is, during the Easter controversy). The old records of
the Church of Edessa have an important bearing on this point; and from
these it is evident that her constitution did not begin to assume a
Catholic form till the beginning of the 3rd century, and that as the
result of connection with Rome. See _the Doctrine of Addai_ by Phillips,
p. 50: "Palut himself went to Antioch and received the hand of the
priesthood from Serapion, bishop of Antioch. Serapion, bishop of
Antioch, himself also received the hand from Zephyrinus, bishop of the
city of Rome, from the succession of the hand of the priesthood of Simon
Cephas, which he received from our Lord, who was there bishop of Rome 25
years, (sic) in the days of the Cæsar, who reigned there 13 years." (See
also Tixeront, _Edesse_, pp. 149, 152.) Cf. with this the prominence
given in the Acts of Scharbil and Barsamya to the fact that they were
contemporaries of Fabian, bishop of Rome. We read there (see Rubens
Duval, Les Actes de Scharbil et les Actes de Barsamya, Paris, 1889, and
Histoire d'Eclesse, p. 130): "Barsamya (he was bishop of Edessa at the
time of Decius) lived at the time of Fabian, bishop of Rome. He had
received the laying on of hands from Abschelama, who had received it
from Palut. Palut had been consecrated by Serapion, bishop of Antioch,
and the latter had been consecrated by Zephyrinus, bishop of Rome." As
regards the relation of the State of Rome to the Roman Church, that is,
to the Roman bishop, who by the year 250 had already become a sort of
_præfectus urbis_, with his district superintendents, the deacons, and
in fact a sort of _princeps æmulus_, cf. (1) the recorded comments of
Alexander Severus on the Christians, and especially those on their
organisation; (2) the edict of Maximinus Thrax and the banishment of the
bishops Pontian and Hippolytus; (3) the attitude of Philip the Arabian;
(4) the remarks of Decius in Cyp. ep. 55 (see above p. 124) and his
proceedings against the Roman bishops, and (5) the attitude of Aurelian
in Antioch. On the extent and organisation of the Roman Church about 250
see Euseb., H. E. VI. 43.]

[Footnote 339: The memorable words in the lately discovered appeal by
Eusebius of Dorylæum to Leo I. (Neues Archiv., Vol. XI., part 2, p. 364
f.) are no mere flattery, and the fifth century is not the first to
which they are applicable: "Curavit desuper et ab exordio consuevit
thronus apostolicus iniqua perferentes defensare et eos qui in
evitabiles factiones inciderunt, adiuvare et humi iacentes erigere,
secundum possibilitatem, quam habetis; causa autem rei, quod sensum
rectum tenetis et inconcussam servatis erga dominum nostrum Iesum
Christum fidem, nec non etiam indissimulatam universis fratribus et
omnibus in nomine Christi vocatis tribuitis caritatem, etc." See also
Theodoret's letters addressed to Rome.]




1. _Introduction._[340]

The object of the Christian Apologists, some of whom filled
ecclesiastical offices and in various ways promoted spiritual
progress,[341] was, as they themselves explained, to uphold the
Christianity professed by the Christian Churches and publicly preached.
They were convinced that the Christian faith was founded on revelation
and that only a mind enlightened by God could grasp and maintain the
faith. They acknowledged the Old Testament to be the authoritative
source of God's revelation, maintained that the whole human race was
meant to be reached by Christianity, and adhered to the early Christian
eschatology. These views as well as the strong emphasis they laid upon
human freedom and responsibility, enabled them to attain a firm
standpoint in opposition to "Gnosticism," and to preserve their position
within the Christian communities, whose moral purity and strength they
regarded as a strong proof of the truth of this faith. In the endeavours
of the Apologists to explain Christianity to the cultured world, we have
before us the attempts of Greek churchmen to represent the Christian
religion as a philosophy, and to convince outsiders that it was the
highest wisdom and the absolute truth. These efforts were not rejected
by the Churches like those of the so-called Gnostics, but rather became
in subsequent times the foundation of the ecclesiastical dogmatic. The
Gnostic speculations were repudiated, whereas those of the Apologists
were accepted. The manner in which the latter set forth Christianity as
a philosophy met with approval. What were the conditions under which
ecclesiastical Christianity and Greek philosophy concluded the alliance
which has found a place in the history of the world? How did this union
attain acceptance and permanence, whilst "Gnosticism" was at first
rejected? These are the two great questions the correct answers to which
are of fundamental importance for the understanding of the history of
Christian dogma.

The answers to these questions appear paradoxical. The theses of the
Apologists finally overcame all scruples in ecclesiastical circles and
were accepted by the Græco-Roman world, because they made Christianity
_rational_ without taking from, or adding to, its traditional historic
material. The secret of the epoch-making success of the apologetic
theology is thus explained: These Christian philosophers formulated the
content of the Gospel in a manner which appealed to the common sense of
all the serious thinkers and intelligent men of the age. Moreover, they
contrived to use the positive material of tradition, including the life
and worship of Christ, in such a way as to furnish this reasonable
religion with a confirmation and proof that had hitherto been eagerly
sought, but sought in vain. In the theology of the Apologists,
Christianity, as the religious enlightenment directly emanating from God
himself, is most sharply contrasted with all polytheism, natural
religion, and ceremonial. They proclaimed it in the most emphatic manner
as the religion of the spirit, of freedom, and of absolute morality.
Almost the whole positive material of Christianity is embodied in the
story which relates its entrance into the world, its spread, and the
proof of its truth. The religion itself, on the other hand, appears as
the truth that is surely attested and accords with reason--a truth the
content of which is not primarily dependent on historical facts and
finally overthrows all polytheism.

Now this was the very thing required. In the second century of our era a
great many needs and aspirations were undoubtedly making themselves felt
in the sphere of religion and morals. "Gnosticism" and Marcionite
Christianity prove the variety and depth of the needs then asserting
themselves within the space that the ecclesiastical historian is able to
survey. Mightier than all others, however, was the longing men felt to
free themselves from the burden of the past, to cast away the rubbish of
cults and of unmeaning religious ceremonies, and to be assured that the
results of religious philosophy, those great and simple doctrines of
virtue and immortality and of the God who is a Spirit, were certain
truths. He who brought the message that these ideas were realities, and
who, on the strength of these realities, declared polytheism and the
worship of idols to be obsolete, had the mightiest forces on his side;
for the times were now ripe for this preaching. What formed the strength
of the apologetic philosophy was the proclamation that Christianity both
contained the highest truth, as men already supposed it to be and as
they had discovered it in their own minds, and the absolutely reliable
guarantee that was desired for this truth. To the quality which makes it
appear meagre to us it owed its impressiveness. The fact of its falling
in with the general spiritual current of the time and making no attempt
to satisfy special and deeper needs enabled it to plead the cause of
spiritual monotheism and to oppose the worship of idols in the manner
most easily understood. As it did not require historic and positive
material to describe the nature of religion and morality, this
philosophy enabled the Apologists to demonstrate the worthlessness of
the traditional religion and worship of the different nations.[342] The
same cause, however, made them take up the conservative position with
regard to the historical traditions of Christianity. These were not
ultimately tested as to their content, for this was taken for granted,
no matter how they might be worded; but they were used to give an
assurance of the truth, and to prove that the religion of the spirit was
not founded on human opinion, but on divine revelation. The only really
important consideration in Christianity is that it is _revelation, real
revelation_. The Apologists had no doubt as to what it reveals, and
therefore any investigation was unnecessary. The result of Greek
philosophy, the philosophy of Plato and Zeno, as it had further
developed in the empires of Alexander the Great and the Romans, was to
attain victory and permanence by the aid of Christianity. Thus we view
the progress of this development to-day,[343] and Christianity really
proved to be the force from which that religious philosophy, viewed as a
theory of the world and system of morality, first received the courage
to free itself from the polytheistic past and descend from the circles
of the learned to the common people.

This constitutes the deepest distinction between Christian philosophers
like Justin and those of the type of Valentinus. The latter sought for a
_religion_; the former, though indeed they were not very clear about
their own purpose, sought _assurance_ as to a theistic and moral
conception of the world which they already possessed. At first the
complexus of Christian tradition, which must have possessed many
features of attraction for them, was something foreign to both. The
latter, however, sought to make this tradition intelligible. For the
former it was enough that they had here a revelation before them; that
this revelation also bore unmistakable testimony to the one God, who was
a Spirit, to virtue, and to immortality; and that it was capable of
convincing men and of leading them to a virtuous life. Viewed
superficially, the Apologists were no doubt the conservatives; but they
were so, because they scarcely in any respect meddled with the contents
of tradition. The "Gnostics," on the contrary, sought to understand what
they read and to investigate the truth of the message of which they
heard. The most characteristic feature is the attitude of each to the
Old Testament. The Apologists were content to have found in it an
ancient source of revelation, and viewed the book as a testimony to the
truth, i.e., to philosophy and virtue; the Gnostics investigated this
document and examined to what extent it agreed with the new impressions
they had received from the Gospel. We may sum up as follows: The
Gnostics sought to determine what Christianity is as a religion, and, as
they were convinced of the absoluteness of Christianity, this process
led them to incorporate with it all that they looked on as sublime and
holy and to remove everything they recognised to be inferior. The
Apologists, again, strove to discover an authority for religious
enlightenment and morality and to find the confirmation of a theory of
the universe, which, if true, contained for them the certainty of
eternal life; and this they found in the Christian tradition.

At bottom this contrast is a picture of the great discord existing in
the religious philosophy of the age itself (see p. 129, vol. I.). No one
denied the fact that all truth was divine, that is, was founded on
revelation. The great question, however, was whether every man possessed
this truth as a slumbering capacity that only required to be awakened;
whether it was rational, i.e., merely moral truth, or must be above that
which is moral, that is, of a religious nature; whether it must carry
man beyond himself; and whether a real redemption was necessary. It is
ultimately the dispute between morality and religion, which appears as
an unsettled problem in the theses of the idealistic philosophers and in
the whole spiritual conceptions then current among the educated, and
which recurs in the contrast between the Apologetic and the Gnostic
theology. And, as in the former case we meet with the most varied shades
and transitions, for no one writer has developed a consistent theory, so
also we find a similar state of things in the latter;[344] for no
Apologist quite left out of sight the idea of redemption (deliverance
from the dominion of demons can only be effected by the Logos, i.e.,
God). Wherever the idea of freedom is strongly emphasised, the religious
element, in the strict sense of the word, appears in jeopardy. This is
the case with the Apologists throughout. Conversely, wherever redemption
forms the central thought, need is felt of a suprarational truth, which
no longer views morality as the only aim, and which, again, requires
particular media, a sacred history and sacred symbols. Stoic
rationalism, in its logical development, is menaced wherever we meet the
perception that the course of the world must in some way be helped, and
wherever the contrast between reason and sensuousness, that the old Stoa
had confused, is clearly felt to be an unendurable state of antagonism
that man cannot remove by his own unaided efforts. The need of a
revelation had its starting-point in philosophy here. The judgment of
oneself and of the world to which Platonism led, the self-consciousness
which it awakened by the detachment of man from nature, and the
contrasts which it revealed led of necessity to that frame of mind which
manifested itself in the craving for a revelation. The Apologists felt
this. But their rationalism gave a strange turn to the satisfaction of
that need. It was not their Christian ideas which first involved them in
contradictions. At the time when Christianity appeared on the scene, the
Platonic and Stoic systems themselves were already so complicated that
philosophers did not find their difficulties seriously increased by a
consideration of the Christian doctrines. As _Apologists_, however, they
decidedly took the part of Christianity because, according to them, it
was the doctrine of reason and freedom.

The Gospel was hellenised in the second century in so far as the
Gnostics in various ways transformed it into a Hellenic religion for the
educated. The Apologists used it--we may almost say inadvertently--to
overthrow polytheism by maintaining that Christianity was the
realisation of an absolutely moral theism. The Christian religion was
not the first to experience this twofold destiny on Græco-Roman soil. A
glance at the history of the Jewish religion shows us a parallel
development; in fact, both the speculations of the Gnostics and the
theories of the Apologists were foreshadowed in the theology of the
Jewish Alexandrians, and particularly in that of Philo. Here also the
Gospel merely entered upon the heritage of Judaism.[345] Three centuries
before the appearance of Christian Apologists, Jews, who had received a
Hellenic training, had already set forth the religion of Jehovah to the
Greeks in that remarkably summary and spiritualised form which
represents it as the absolute and highest philosophy, i.e., the
knowledge of God, of virtue, and of recompense in the next world. Here
these Jewish philosophers had already transformed all the positive and
historic elements of the national religion into parts of a huge system
for proving the truth of that theism. The Christian Apologists adopted
this method, for they can hardly be said to have invented it anew.[346]
We see from the Jewish Sibylline oracles how wide-spread it was. Philo,
however, was not only a Stoic rationalist, but a hyper-Platonic
religious philosopher. In like manner, the Christian Apologists did not
altogether lack this element, though in some isolated cases among them
there are hardly any traces of it. This feature is most fully
represented among the Gnostics.

This transformation of religion into a philosophic system would not have
been possible had not Greek philosophy itself happened to be in process
of development into a religion. Such a transformation was certainly very
foreign to the really classical time of Greece and Rome. The pious
belief in the efficacy and power of the gods and in their appearances
and manifestations, as well as the traditional worship, could have no
bond of union with speculations concerning the essence and ultimate
cause of things. The idea of a religious dogma which was at once to
furnish a correct theory of the world and a principle of conduct was
from this standpoint completely unintelligible. But philosophy,
particularly in the Stoa, set out in search of this idea, and, after
further developments, sought for one special religion with which it
could agree or through which it could at least attain certainty. The
meagre cults of the Greeks and Romans were unsuited for this. So men
turned their eyes towards the barbarians. Nothing more clearly
characterises the position of things in the second century than the
agreement between two men so radically different as Tatian and Celsus.
Tatian emphatically declares that salvation comes from the barbarians,
and to Celsus it is also a "truism" that the barbarians have more
capacity than the Greeks for discovering valuable doctrines.[347]
Everything was in fact prepared, and nothing was wanting.

About the middle of the second century, however, the moral and
rationalistic element in the philosophy and spiritual culture of the
time was still more powerful than the religious and mystic; for
Neoplatonism, which under its outward coverings concealed the aspiration
after religion and the living God, was only in its first beginnings. It
was not otherwise in Christian circles. The "Gnostics" were in the
minority. What the great majority of the Church felt to be intelligible
and edifying above everything else was an earnest moralism.[348] New and
strange as the undertaking to represent Christianity as a philosophy
might seem at first, the Apologists, so far as they were understood,
appeared to advance nothing inconsistent with Christian common sense.
Besides, they did not question authorities, but rather supported them,
and introduced no foreign positive materials. For all these reasons, and
also because their writings were not at first addressed to the
communities, but only to outsiders, the marvellous attempt to present
Christianity to the world as the religion which is the true philosophy,
and as the philosophy which is the true religion, remained unopposed in
the Church. But in what sense was the Christian religion set forth as a
philosophy? An exact answer to this question is of the highest interest
as regards the history of Christian dogma.

2. _Christianity as Philosophy and as Revelation_.

It was a new undertaking and one of permanent importance to a tradition
hitherto so little concerned for its own vindication, when Quadratus and
the Athenian philosopher, Aristides, presented treatises in defence of
Christianity to the emperor.[349] About a century had elapsed since the
Gospel of Christ had begun to be preached. It may be said that the
Apology of Aristides was a most significant opening to the second
century, whilst we find Origen at its close. Marcianus Aristides
expressly designates himself in his pamphlet as a _philosopher of the
Athenians_. Since the days when the words were written: "Beware lest any
man spoil you through philosophy and vain deceit" (Col. II. 8), it had
constantly been repeated (see, as evidence, Celsus, passim) that
Christian preaching and philosophy were things entirely different, that
God had chosen the fools, and that man's duty was not to investigate and
seek, but to believe and hope. Now a philosopher, as such, pleaded the
cause of Christianity. In the summary he gave of the content of
Christianity at the beginning of his address, he really spoke as a
philosopher and represented this faith as a philosophy. By expounding
pure monotheism and giving it the main place in his argument, Aristides
gave supreme prominence to the very doctrine which simple Christians
also prized as the most important.[350] Moreover, in emphasing not only
the supernatural character of the Christian doctrine revealed by the Son
of the Most High God, but also the continuous inspiration of
believers--the new _race_ (not a new _school_)--he confessed in the most
express way the peculiar nature of this philosophy as a divine truth.
According to him Christianity is philosophy because its content is in
accordance with reason, and because it gives a satisfactory and
universally intelligible answer to the questions with which all real
philosophers have concerned themselves. But it is no philosophy, in fact
it is really the complete opposite of this, in so far as it proceeds
from revelation and is propagated by the agency of God, i.e., has a
supernatural and divine origin, on which alone the truth and certainty
of its doctrines finally depend. This contrast to philosophy is chiefly
shown in the unphilosophical form in which Christianity was first
preached to the world. That is the thesis maintained by all the
Apologists from Justin to Tertullian,[351] and which Jewish philosophers
before them propounded and defended. This proposition may certainly be
expressed in a great variety of ways. In the first place, it is
important whether the first or second half is emphasised, and secondly,
whether that which is "universally intelligible" is to be reckoned as
philosophy at all, or is to be separated from it as that which comes by
"nature." Finally, the attitude to be taken up towards the Greek
philosophers is left an open question, so that the thesis, taking up
this attitude as a starting-point, may again assume various forms. But
was the contradiction which it contains not felt? The content of
revelation is to be rational; but does that which is rational require a
revelation? How the proposition was understood by the different
Apologists requires examination.

_Aristides._ He first gives an exposition of monotheism and the
monotheistic cosmology (God as creator and mover of the universe, as the
spiritual, perfect, almighty Being, whom all things need, and who
requires nothing). In the second chapter he distinguishes, according to
the Greek text, three, and, according to the Syriac, four classes of men
(in the Greek text polytheists, Jews, Christians, the polytheists being
divided into Chaldeans, Greeks, and Egyptians; in the Syriac barbarians,
Greeks, Jews, Christians), and gives their origin. He derives the
Christians from Jesus Christ and reproduces the Christian _kerygma_ (Son
of the Most High God, birth from the Virgin, 12 disciples, death on the
cross, burial, resurrection, ascension, missionary labours of the 12
disciples). After this, beginning with the third chapter, follows a
criticism of polytheism, that is, the false theology of the barbarians,
Greeks, and Egyptians (down to chapter 12). In the 13th chapter the
Greek authors and philosophers are criticised, and the Greek myths, as
such, are shown to be false. In the 14th chapter the Jews are introduced
(they are monotheists and their ethical system is praised; but they are
then reproached with worshipping of angels and a false ceremonial). In
the 15th chapter follows a description of the Christians, _i.e._, above
all, of their pure, holy life. It is they who have found the truth,
because they know the creator of heaven and earth. This description is
continued in chapters 16 and 17: "This people is new and there is a
divine admixture in it." The Christian writings are recommended to the

_Justin._[352] In his treatise addressed to the emperor Justin did not
call himself a philosopher as Aristides had done. In espousing the cause
of the hated and despised Christians he represented himself as a simple
member of that sect. But in the very first sentence of his Apology he
takes up the ground of piety and philosophy, the very ground taken up by
the pious and philosophical emperors themselves, according to the
judgment of the time and their own intention. In addressing them he
appeals to the [Greek: logos sôphrôn] in a purely Stoic fashion. He
opposes the truth--also in the Stoic manner--to the [Greek: doxais
palaiôn].[353] It was not to be a mere _captatio benevolentiæ_. In that
case Justin would not have added: "That ye are pious and wise and
guardians of righteousness and friends of culture, ye hear everywhere.
Whether ye are so, however, will be shown."[354] His whole exordium is
calculated to prove to the emperors that they are in danger of repeating
a hundredfold the crime which the judges of Socrates had committed.[355]
Like a second Socrates Justin speaks to the emperors in the name of all
Christians. They are to hear the convictions of the wisest of the Greeks
from the mouth of the Christians. Justin wishes to enlighten the emperor
with regard to the life and doctrines ([Greek: bios kai mathêmata]) of
the latter. Nothing is to be concealed, for there is nothing to conceal.

Justin kept this promise better than any of his successors. For that
very reason also he did not depict the Christian Churches as schools of
philosophers (cc. 61-67). Moreover, in the first passage where he speaks
of Greek philosophers,[356] he is merely drawing a parallel. According
to him there are bad Christians and seeming Christians, just as there
are philosophers who are only so in name and outward show. Such men,
too, were in early times called "philosophers" even when they preached
atheism. To all appearance, therefore, Justin does _not_ desire
Christians to be reckoned as philosophers. But it is nevertheless
significant that, in the case of the Christians, a phenomenon is being
repeated which otherwise is only observed in the case of philosophers;
and how were those whom he was addressing to understand him? In the same
passage he speaks for the first time of Christ. He introduces him with
the plain and intelligible formula: [Greek: ho didaskalos Christos]
("the teacher Christ").[357] Immediately thereafter he praises Socrates
because he had exposed the worthlessness and deceit of the evil demons,
and traces his death to the same causes which are now he says bringing
about the condemnation of the Christians. Now he can make his final
assertion. In virtue of "reason" Socrates exposed superstition; in
virtue of the same reason, this was done by the teacher whom the
Christians follow. _But this teacher was reason itself; it was visible
in him, and indeed it appeared bodily in him._[358]

Is this philosophy or is it myth? The greatest paradox the Apologist has
to assert is connected by him with the most impressive remembrance
possessed by his readers as philosophers. In the same sentence where he
represents Christ as the Socrates of the barbarians,[359] and
consequently makes Christianity out to be a Socratic doctrine, he
propounds the unheard of theory _that the teacher Christ is the
incarnate reason of God_.

Justin nowhere tried to soften the effect of this conviction or explain
it in a way adapted to his readers. Nor did he conceal from them that
his assertion admits of no speculative demonstration. That philosophy
can only deal with things which ever are, because they ever were, since
this world began, is a fact about which he himself is perfectly clear.
No Stoic could have felt more strongly than Justin how paradoxical is
the assertion that a thing is of value which has happened only once.
Certain as he is that the "reasonable" emperors will regard it as a
rational assumption that "Reason" is the Son of God,[360] he knows
equally well that no philosophy will bear him out in that other
assertion, and that such a statement is seemingly akin to the
contemptible myths of the evil demons.

But there is certainly a proof which, if not speculative, is
nevertheless sure. The same ancient documents, which contain the
Socratic and super-Socratic wisdom of the Christians, bear witness
through prophecies, which, just because they are predictions, admit of
no doubt, that the teacher Christ is the incarnate reason; for history
confirms the word of prophecy even in the minutest details. Moreover, in
so far as these writings are in the lawful possession of the Christians,
and announced at the very beginning of things that this community would
appear on the earth, they testify that the Christians may in a certain
fashion date themselves back to the beginning of the world, because
their doctrine is as old as the earth itself (this thought is still
wanting in Aristides).

The new Socrates who appeared among the barbarians is therefore quite
different from the Socrates of the Greeks, and for that reason also his
followers are not to be compared with the disciples of the
philosophers.[361] From the very beginning of things a world-historical
dispensation of God announced this reasonable doctrine through prophets,
and prepared the visible appearance of reason itself. The same reason
which created and arranged the world took human form in order to draw
the whole of humanity to itself. Every precaution has been taken to make
it easy for any one, be he Greek or barbarian, educated or uneducated,
to grasp all the doctrines of this reason, to verify their truth, and
test their power in life. What further importance can philosophy have
side by side with this, how can one think of calling this a philosophy?

And yet the doctrine of the Christians can only be compared with
philosophy. For, so far as the latter is genuine, it is also guided by
the Logos; and, conversely, what the Christians teach concerning the
Father of the world, the destiny of man, the nobility of his nature,
freedom and virtue, justice and recompense, has also been attested by
the wisest of the Greeks. They indeed only stammered, whereas the
Christians speak. These, however, use no unintelligible and unheard-of
language, but speak with the words and through the power of reason. The
wonderful arrangement, carried out by the Logos himself, through which
he ennobled the human race by restoring its consciousness of its own
nobility, compels no one henceforth to regard the reasonable as the
unreasonable or wisdom as folly. But is the Christian wisdom not of
divine origin? How can it in that case be natural, and what connection
can exist between it and the wisdom of the Greeks? Justin bestowed the
closest attention on this question, but he never for a moment doubted
what the answer must be. Wherever the reasonable has revealed itself, it
has always been through the operation of the _divine_ reason. For man's
lofty endowment consists in his having had a portion of the divine
reason implanted within him, and in his consequent capacity of attaining
a knowledge of divine things, though not a perfect and clear one, by
dint of persistent efforts after truth and virtue. When man remembers
his real nature and destination, that is, when he comes to himself, the
divine reason is already revealing itself in him and through him. As
man's possession conferred on him at the creation, it is at once his
most peculiar property, and the power which dominates and determines his
nature.[362] All that is reasonable is based on revelation. In order to
accomplish his true destiny man requires from the beginning the inward
working of that divine reason which has created the world for the sake
of man, and therefore wishes to raise man beyond the world to God.[363]

Apparently no one could speak in a more stoical fashion. But this train
of thought is supplemented by something which limits it. Revelation does
retain its peculiar and unique significance. For no one who merely
possessed the "seed of the Logos" ([Greek: sperma tou logou]), though it
may have been his exclusive guide to knowledge and conduct, was ever
able to grasp the whole truth and impart it in a convincing manner.
Though Socrates and Heraclitus may in a way be called Christians, they
cannot be so designated in any real sense. Reason is clogged with
unreasonableness, and the certainty of truth is doubtful wherever the
whole Logos has not been acting; for man's natural endowment with reason
is too weak to oppose the powers of evil and of sense that work in the
world, namely, the demons. We must therefore believe in the prophets in
whom the whole Logos spoke. He who does that must also of necessity
believe in Christ; for the prophets clearly pointed to him as the
perfect embodiment of the Logos. Measured by the fulness, clearness, and
certainty of the knowledge imparted by the Logos Christ, all knowledge
independent of him appears as merely human wisdom, even when it emanates
from the seed of the Logos. The Stoic argument is consequently
untenable. Men blind and kept in bondage by the demons require to be
aided by a special revelation. It is true that this revelation is
nothing new, and in so far as it has always existed, and never varied in
character, from the beginning of the world, it is in this sense nothing
extraordinary. _It is the divine help granted to man, who has fallen
under the power of the demons, and enabling him to follow his reason and
freedom to do what is good. By the appearance of Christ this help became
accessible to all men._ The dominion of demons and revelation are the
two correlated ideas. If the former did not exist, the latter would not
be necessary. According as we form a lower or higher estimate of the
pernicious results of that sovereignty, the value of revelation rises or
sinks. This revelation cannot do less than give the necessary assurance
of the truth, and it cannot do more than impart the power that develops
and matures the inalienable natural endowment of man and frees him from
the dominion of the demons.

Accordingly the teaching of the prophets and Christ is related even to
the very highest human philosophy as the whole is to the part,[364] or
as the certain is to the uncertain; and hence also as the permanent is
to the transient. For the final stage has now arrived and Christianity
is destined to put an end to natural human philosophy. When the perfect
work is there, the fragmentary must cease. Justin gave the clearest
expression to this conviction. Christianity, i.e., the prophetic
teaching attested by Christ and accessible to all, puts an end to the
human systems of philosophy that from their close affinity to it may be
called Christian, inasmuch as it effects all and more than all that
these systems have done, and inasmuch as the speculations of the
philosophers, which are uncertain and mingled with error, are
transformed by it into dogmas of indubitable certainty.[365] The
practical conclusion drawn in Justin's treatise from this exposition is
that the Christians are at least entitled to ask the authorities to
treat them as philosophers (Apol. I. 7, 20: II. 15). This demand, he
says, is the more justifiable because the freedom of philosophers is
enjoyed even by such people as merely bear the name, whereas in reality
they set forth immoral and pernicious doctrines.[366]

In the dialogue with the Jew Trypho, which is likewise meant for heathen
readers, Justin ceased to employ the idea of the existence of a "seed of
the Logos implanted by nature" ([Greek: sperma logou emphuton]) in every
man. From this fact we recognise that he did not consider the notion of
fundamental importance. He indeed calls the Christian religion a
philosophy;[367] but, in so far as this is the case, it is "the only
sure and saving philosophy." No doubt the so-called philosophies put the
right questions, but they are incapable of giving correct answers. For
the Deity, who embraces all true being, and a knowledge of whom alone
makes salvation possible, is only known in proportion as he reveals
himself. True wisdom is therefore exclusively based on revelation. Hence
it is opposed to every human philosophy, because revelation was only
given in the prophets and in Christ.[368] The Christian is _the_
philosopher,[369] because the followers of Plato and the Stoics are
virtually no philosophers. In applying the title "philosophy" to
Christianity he therefore does not mean to bring Christians and
philosophers more closely together. No doubt, however, he asserts that
the Christian doctrine, which is founded on the knowledge of Christ and
leads to blessedness,[370] is in accordance with reason.

_Athenagoras._ The petition on behalf of Christians, which Athenagoras,
"the Christian philosopher of Athens," presented, to the emperors Marcus
Aurelius and Commodus, nowhere expressly designates Christianity as a
philosophy, and still less does it style the Christians
philosophers.[371] But, at the very beginning of his writing Athenagoras
also claims for the Christian doctrines the toleration granted by the
state to all philosophic tenets.[372] In support of his claim he argues
that the state punishes nothing but practical atheism,[373] and that the
"atheism" of the Christians is a doctrine about God such as had been
propounded by the most distinguished philosophers--Pythagoreans,
Platonists, Peripatetics, and Stoics--who, moreover, were permitted to
write whatsoever they pleased on the subject of the "Deity."[374] The
Apologist concedes even more: "If philosophers did not also acknowledge
the existence of one God, if they did not also conceive the gods in
question to be partly demons, partly matter, partly of human birth, then
certainly we would be justly expelled as aliens."[375] He therefore
takes up the standpoint that the state is justified in refusing to
tolerate people with completely new doctrines. When we add that he
everywhere assumes that the wisdom and piety of the emperors are
sufficient to test and approve[376] the truth of the Christian teaching,
that he merely represents this faith itself as the _reasonable_
doctrine,[377] and that, with the exception of the resurrection of the
body, he leaves all the positive and objectionable tenets of
Christianity out of account,[378] there is ground for thinking that this
Apologist differs essentially from Justin in his conception of the
relation of Christianity to secular philosophy.

Moreover, it is not to be denied that Athenagoras views the revelation
in the prophets and in Christ as completely identical. But in one very
essential point he agrees with Justin; and he has even expressed himself
still more plainly than the latter, inasmuch as he does not introduce
the assumption of a "seed of the Logos implanted by nature" [Greek:
sperma logou emphuton]. The philosophers, he says, were incapable of
knowing the full truth, since it was not from God, but rather from
themselves, that they wished to learn about God. True wisdom, however,
can only be learned from God, that is, from his prophets; it depends
solely on revelation.[379] Here also then we have a repetition of the
thought that the truly reasonable is of supernatural origin. Such is the
importance attached by Athenagoras to this proposition, that he declares
any demonstration of the "reasonable" to be insufficient, no matter how
luminous it may appear. Even that which is most evidently true--e.g.,
monotheism--is not raised from the domain of mere human opinion into the
sphere of undoubted certainty till it can be confirmed by
revelation.[380] This can be done by Christians alone. Hence they are
very different from the philosophers, just as they are also
distinguished from these by their manner of life.[381] All the praises
which Athenagoras from time to time bestows on philosophers,
particularly Plato,[382] are consequently to be understood in a merely
relative sense. Their ultimate object is only to establish the claim
made by the Apologist with regard to the treatment of Christians by the
state; but they are not really meant to bring the former into closer
relationship to philosophers. Athenagoras also holds the theory that
Christians are philosophers, in so far as the "philosophers" are not
such in any true sense. It is only the problems they set that connect
the two. He exhibits less clearness than Justin in tracing the necessity
of revelation to the fact that the demon sovereignty, which, above all,
reveals itself in polytheism,[383] can only be overthrown by revelation;
he rather emphasises the other thought (cc. 7, 9) that the necessary
attestation of the truth can only be given in this way.[384]

_Tatian's_[385] chief aim was not to bring about a juster treatment of
the Christians.[386] He wished to represent their cause as the good
contrasted with the bad, wisdom as opposed to error, truth in
contradistinction to outward seeming, hypocrisy, and pretentious
emptiness. His "Address to the Greeks" begins with a violent polemic
against all Greek philosophers. Tatian merely acted up to a judgment of
philosophers and philosophy which in Justin's case is still
concealed.[387] Hence it was not possible for him to think of
demonstrating analogies between Christians and philosophers. He also no
doubt views Christianity as "reasonable;" he who lives virtuously and
follows wisdom receives it;[388] but yet it is too sublime to be grasped
by earthly perception.[389] It is a heavenly thing which depends on the
communication of the "Spirit," and hence can only be known by
revelation.[390] But yet it is a "philosophy" with definite doctrines
([Greek: dogmata]);[391] it brings nothing new, but only such blessings
as we have already received, but could not retain[392] owing to the
power of error, i.e., the dominion of the demons.[393] Christianity is
therefore the philosophy in which, by virtue of the Logos revelation
through the prophets,[394] the rational knowledge that leads to
life[395] is restored. This knowledge was no less obscured among the
Greek philosophers than among the Greeks generally. In so far as
revelation took place among the barbarians from the remotest antiquity,
Christianity may also be called the barbarian philosophy.[396] Its truth
is proved by its ancient date[397] as well as by its intelligible form,
which enables even the most uneducated person that is initiated in
it[398] to understand it perfectly.[399] Finally, Tatian also states (c.
40) that the Greek sophists have read the writings of Moses and the
prophets, and reproduced them in a distorted form. He therefore
maintains the very opposite of what Celsus took upon him to demonstrate
when venturing to derive certain sayings and doctrines of Christ and the
Christians from the philosophers. Both credit the plagiarists with
intentional misrepresentation or gross misunderstanding. Justin judged
more charitably. To Tatian, on the contrary, the mythology of the Greeks
did not appear worse than their philosophy; in both cases he saw
imitations and intentional corruption of the truth.[400]

_Theophilus_ agrees with Tatian, in so far as he everywhere appears to
contrast Christianity with philosophy. The religious and moral culture
of the Greeks is derived from their poets (historians) and philosophers
(ad Autol. II. 3 fin. and elsewhere). However, not only do poets and
philosophers contradict each other (II. 5); but the latter also do not
agree (II. 4. 8: III. 7), nay, many contradict themselves (III. 3). Not
a single one of the so-called philosophers, however, is to be taken
seriously;[401] they have devised myths and follies (II. 8); everything
they have set forth is useless and godless (III. 2); vain and worthless
fame was their aim (III. 3). But God knew beforehand the "drivellings of
these hollow philosophers" and made his preparations (II. 15). He of old
proclaimed the truth by the mouth of prophets, and these deposited it in
holy writings. This truth refers to the knowledge of God, the origin and
history of the world, as well as to a virtuous life. The prophetic
testimony in regard to it was continued in the Gospel.[402] Revelation,
however, is necessary because this wisdom of the philosophers and poets
is really demon wisdom, for they were inspired by devils.[403] Thus the
most extreme contrasts appear to exist here. Still, Theophilus is
constrained to confess that truth was not only announced by the Sibyl,
to whom his remarks do not apply, for she is (II. 36): [Greek: en
Ellêsin kai en tois loipois ethnetin genomenê prophêtis], but that poets
and philosophers, "though against their will," also gave clear
utterances regarding the justice, the judgment, and the punishments of
God, as well as regarding his providence in respect to the living and
the dead, or, in other words, about the most important points (II. 37,
38, 8 fin.). Theophilus gives a double explanation of this fact. On the
one hand he ascribes it to the imitation of holy writings (II. 12, 37:
I. 14), and on the other he admits that those writers, when the demons
abandoned them ([Greek: tê psychê eknêpsantes ex autôn]), of themselves
displayed a knowledge of the divine sovereignty, the judgment etc.,
which agrees with the teachings of the prophets (II. 8). This admission
need not cause astonishment; for the freedom and control of his own
destiny with which man is endowed (II. 27) must infallibly lead him to
correct knowledge and obedience to God, as soon as he is no longer under
the sway of the demons. Theophilus did not apply the title of philosophy
to Christian truth, this title being in his view discredited; but
Christianity is to him the "wisdom of God," which by luminous proofs
convinces the men who reflect on their own nature.[404]

_Tertullian and Minucius Felix._[405] Whilst, in the case of the Greek
Apologists, the acknowledgment of revelation appears conditioned by
philosophical scepticism on the one hand, and by the strong impression
of the dominion of the demons on the other, the sceptical element is not
only wanting in the Latin Apologists, but the Christian truth is even
placed in direct opposition to the sceptical philosophy and on the side
of philosophical dogmatism, i.e., Stoicism.[406] Nevertheless the
observations of Tertullian and Minucius Felix with regard to the essence
of Christianity, viewed as philosophy and as revelation, are at bottom
completely identical with the conception of the Greek Apologists,
although it is undeniable that in the former case the revealed character
of Christianity is placed in the background.[407] The recognition of
this fact is exceedingly instructive, for it proves that the conception
of Christianity set forth by the Apologists was not an individual one,
but the necessary expression of the conviction that Christian truth
contains the completion and guarantee of philosophical knowledge. To
Minucius Felix (and Tertullian) Christian truth chiefly presents itself
as the wisdom implanted by nature in every man (Oct. 16. 5). In so far
as man possesses reason and speech and accomplishes the task of the
"examination of the universe" ("inquisitio universitatis"), conditioned
by this gift, he has the Christian truth, that is, he finds Christianity
in his own constitution, and in the rational order of the world.
Accordingly, Minucius is also able to demonstrate the Christian
doctrines by means of the Stoic principle of knowledge, and arrives at
the conclusion that Christianity is a philosophy, i.e., the true
philosophy, and that philosophers are to be considered Christians in
proportion as they have discovered the truth.[408] Moreover, as he
represented Christian ethics to be the expression of the Stoic, and
depicted the Christian bond of brotherhood as a cosmopolitan union of
philosophers, who have become conscious of their natural
similarity,[409] the revealed character of Christianity appears to be
entirely given up. This religion is natural enlightenment, the
revelation of a truth contained in the world and in man, the discovery
of the one God from the open book of creation. The difference between
him and an Apologist like Tatian seems here to be a radical one. But, if
we look more closely, we find that Minucius--and not less
Tertullian--has abandoned Stoic rationalism in vital points. We may
regard his apologetic aim as his excuse for clearly drawing the logical
conclusions from these inconsistencies himself. However, these
deviations of his from the doctrines of the Stoa are not merely prompted
by Christianity, but rather have already become an essential component
of his philosophical theory of the world. In the first place, Minucius
developed a detailed theory of the pernicious activity of the demons
(cc. 26, 27). This was a confession that human nature was not what it
ought to be, because an evil element had penetrated it from without.
Secondly, he no doubt acknowledged (I. 4: 16. 5) the natural light of
wisdom in humanity, but nevertheless remarked (32. 9) that our thoughts
are darkness when measured by the clearness of God. Finally, and this is
the most essential point, after appealing to various philosophers when
expounding his doctrine of the final conflagration of the world, he
suddenly repudiated this tribunal, declaring that the Christians follow
the prophets, and that philosophers "have formed this shadowy picture of
distorted truth in imitation of the divine predictions of the prophets."
(34) Here we have now a union of all the elements already found in the
Greek Apologists; only they are, as it were, hid in the case of
Minucius. But the final proof that he agreed with them in the main is
found in the exceedingly contemptuous judgment which he in conclusion
passed on all philosophers and indeed on philosophy generally.[410] (34.
5: 38. 5) This judgment is not to be explained, as in Tertullian's case,
by the fact that his Stoic opinions led him to oppose natural perception
to all philosophical theory--for this, at most, cannot have been more
than a secondary contributing cause,[411] but by the fact that he is
conscious of following _revealed_ wisdom.[412] Revelation is necessary
because mankind must be aided from without, i.e., by God. In this idea
man's need of redemption is acknowledged, though not to the same extent
as by Seneca and Epictetus. But no sooner does Minucius perceive the
teachings of the prophets to be divine truth than man's natural
endowment and the speculation of philosophers sink for him into
darkness. Christianity is the wisdom which philosophers sought, but were
not able to find.[413]

We may sum up the doctrines of the Apologists as follows: (1)
Christianity is revelation, i.e., it is the divine wisdom, proclaimed of
old by the prophets and, by reason of its origin, possessing an absolute
certainty which can also be recognised in the fulfilment of their
predictions. As divine wisdom Christianity is contrasted with, and puts
an end to, all natural and philosophical knowledge. (2) Christianity is
the enlightenment corresponding to the natural but impaired knowledge of
man.[414] It embraces all the elements of truth in philosophy, whence it
is _the_ philosophy; and helps man to realise the knowledge with which
he is naturally endowed. (3) Revelation of the rational was and is
necessary, because man has fallen under the sway of the demons. (4) The
efforts of philosophers to ascertain the right knowledge were in vain;
and this is, above all, shown by the fact that they neither overthrew
polytheism nor brought about a really moral life. Moreover, so far as
they discovered the truth, they owed it to the prophets from whom they
borrowed it; at least it is uncertain whether they even attained a
knowledge of fragments of the truth by their own independent
efforts.[415] But it is certain that many seeming truths in the writings
of the philosophers were imitations of the truth by evil demons. This is
the origin of all polytheism, which is, moreover, to some extent an
imitation of Christian institutions. (5) The confession of Christ is
simply included in the acknowledgment of the wisdom of the prophets; the
doctrine of the truth did not receive a new content through Christ; he
only made it accessible to the world and strengthened it (victory over
the demons; special features acknowledged by Justin and Tertullian). (6)
The practical test of Christianity is first contained in the fact that
all persons are able to grasp it, for women and uneducated men here
become veritable sages; secondly in the fact that it has the power of
producing a holy life, and of overthrowing the tyranny of the demons. In
the Apologists, therefore, Christianity served itself heir to antiquity,
i.e., to the result of the monotheistic knowledge and ethics of the
Greeks: "[Greek: Osa oun para pasikalôs eirêtai, hêmôn tôn Christianôn
esti]" (Justin, Apol. II. 13). It traced its origin back to the
beginning of the world. Everything true and good which elevates mankind
springs from divine revelation, and is at the same time genuinely human,
because it is a clear expression of what man finds within him and of his
destination (Justin, Apol. I. 46: [Greek: hoi meta logou biôsantes
Christianoi eisi, kan atheoi enomisthêsan, oion en Hellêsi men Sôkratês
kai Êrakleitos kai oi omoioi autois, en barbarois de Abraam k.t.l.],
"those that have lived with reason are Christians, even though they were
accounted atheists, such as Socrates and Heraclitus and those similar to
them among the Greeks, and Abraham etc. among the barbarians"). But
everything true and good is Christian, for Christianity is nothing else
than the teaching of revelation. No second formula can be imagined in
which the claim of Christianity to be the religion of the world is so
powerfully expressed (hence also the endeavour of the Apologists to
reconcile Christianity and the Empire), nor, on the other hand, can we
conceive of one where the specific content of traditional Christianity
is so thoroughly neutralised as it is here. But the really epoch-making
feature is the fact that the intellectual culture of mankind now appears
reconciled and united with religion. The "dogmas" are the expression of
this. Finally, these fundamental presuppositions also result in a quite
definite idea of the essence of revelation and of the content of reason.
The essence of revelation consists in its form: it is divine
communication through a miraculous inward working. All the media of
revelation are passive organs of the Holy Spirit (Athenag. Supplic. 7;
Pseudo-Justin, Cohort. 8; Justin, Dialogue 115. 7; Apol. I. 31, 33, 36;
etc.; see also Hippolytus, de Christo et Antichr. 2). These were not
necessarily at all times in a state of ecstasy, when they received the
revelations; but they were no doubt in a condition of absolute
receptivity. The Apologists had no other idea of revelation. What they
therefore viewed as the really decisive proof of the reality of
revelation is the prediction of the future, for the human mind does not
possess this power. It was only in connection with this proof that the
Apologists considered it important to show what Moses, David, Isaiah,
etc., had proclaimed in the Old Testament, that is, these names have
only a _chronological_ significance. This also explains their interest
in a history of the world, in so far as this interest originated in the
effort to trace the chain of prophets up to the beginning of history,
and to prove the higher antiquity of revealed truth as compared with all
human knowledge and errors, particularly as found among the Greeks
(clear traces in Justin,[416] first detailed argument in Tatian).[417]
If, however, strictly speaking, it is only the form and not the content
of revelation that is supernatural in so far as this content coincides
with that of reason, it is evident that the Apologists simply took the
content of the latter for granted and stated it dogmatically. So,
whether they expressed themselves in strictly Stoic fashion or not, they
all essentially agree in the assumption that true religion and morality
are the natural content of reason. Even Tatian forms no exception,
though he himself protests against the idea.

3. _The doctrines of Christianity as the revealed and rational

The Apologists frequently spoke of the doctrines or "dogmas" of
Christianity; and the whole content of this religion as philosophy is
included in these dogmas.[418] According to what we have already set
forth there can be no doubt about the character of Christian dogmas.
_They are the rational truths, revealed by the prophets in the Holy
Scriptures, and summarised in Christ_ ([Greek: christos logos kai
nomos]), _which in their unity represent the divine wisdom, and the
recognition of which leads to virtue and eternal life._ The Apologists
considered it their chief task to set forth these doctrines, and hence
they can be reproduced with all desirable clearness. The dogmatic scheme
of the Apologists may therefore be divided into three component parts.
These are: (A) Christianity viewed as monotheistic cosmology (God as the
Father of the world); (B) Christianity as the highest morality and
righteousness (God as the judge who rewards goodness and punishes
wickedness); (C) Christianity regarded as redemption (God as the Good
One who assists man and rescues him from the power of the demons).[419]
Whilst the first two ideas are expressed in a clear and precise manner,
it is equally true that the third is not worked out in a lucid fashion.
This, as will afterwards be seen, is, on the one hand, the result of the
Apologists' doctrine of freedom, and, on the other, of their inability
to discover a specific significance for the _person_ of Christ within
the sphere of revelation. Both facts again are ultimately to be
explained from their moralism.

The essential content of revealed philosophy is viewed by the Apologists
(see A, B) as comprised in three doctrines.[420] First, there is one
spiritual and inexpressibly exalted God, who is Lord and Father of the
world. Secondly, he requires a holy life. Thirdly, he will at last sit
in judgment, and will reward the good with immortality and punish the
wicked with death. The teaching concerning God, virtue, and eternal
reward is traced to the prophets and Christ; but the bringing about of a
virtuous life (of righteousness) has been necessarily left by God to men
themselves; for God has created man free, and virtue can only be
acquired by man's own efforts. The prophets and Christ are therefore a
source of righteousness in so far as they are teachers. But as God, that
is, the divine Word (which we need not here discuss) has spoken in them,
Christianity is to be defined as the Knowledge of God, mediated by the
Deity himself, and as a virtuous walk in the longing after eternal and
perfect life with God, as well as in the sure hope of this imperishable
reward. By knowing what is true and doing what is good man becomes
righteous and a partaker of the highest bliss. This knowledge, which has
the character of divine instruction,[421] rests on faith in the divine
revelation. This revelation has the nature and power of redemption in so
far as the fact is undoubted that without it men cannot free themselves
from the tyranny of the demons, whilst believers in revelation are
enabled by the Spirit of God to put them to flight. Accordingly, the
dogmas of Christian philosophy theoretically contain the monotheistic
cosmology, and practically the rules for a holy life, which appears as a
renunciation of the world and as a new order of society.[422] The goal
is immortal life, which consists in the full knowledge and contemplation
of God. The dogmas of revelation lie between the cosmology and ethics;
they are indefinitely expressed so far as they contain the idea of
salvation; but they are very precisely worded in so far as they
guarantee the truth of the cosmology and ethics.

1. The dogmas which express the knowledge of God and the world are
dominated by the fundamental idea that the world as the created,
conditioned, and transient is contrasted with something self-existing,
unchangeable and eternal, which is the first cause of the world. This
self-existing Being has none of the attributes which belong to the
world; hence he is exalted above every name and has in himself no
distinctions. This implies, first, the unity and uniqueness of this
eternal Being; secondly, his spiritual nature, for everything bodily is
subject to change; and, finally, his perfection, for the self-existent
and eternal requires nothing. Since, however, he is the cause of all
being, himself being unconditioned, he is the fulness of all being or
true being itself (Tatian 5: [Greek: katho pasa dunamis oratôn te kai
aoratôn autos hupostasis ên, sun autô ta panta]). As the living and
spiritual Being he reveals himself in free creations, which make known
his omnipotence and wisdom, i.e., his operative reason. These creations
are, moreover, a proof of the goodness of the Deity, for they can be no
result of necessities, in so far as God is in himself perfect. Just
because he is perfect, the Eternal Essence is also the Father of all
virtues, in so far as he contains no admixture of what is defective.
These virtues include both the goodness which manifests itself in his
creations, and the righteousness which gives to the creature what
belongs to him, in accordance with the position he has received. On the
basis of this train of thought the Apologists lay down the dogmas of the
monarchy of God ([Greek: tôn holôn to monarchikon]), his
supramundaneness ([Greek: to arrêton, to anekphraston, to achôrêton, to
akatalêpton, to aperinoêton, to asugkriton, to asymbibaston, to
anekdiêgêton]; see Justin, Apol. II. 6; Theoph. I. 3); his unity
([Greek: eis Theos]); his having no beginning ([Greek: anarchos, hoti
agenêtos]); his eternity and unchangeableness ([Greek: analloiôtos
kathoti athanatos]); his perfection ([Greek: teleios]); his need of
nothing ([Greek: aprosdeês]); his spiritual nature ([Greek: pneuma ho
Theos]); his absolute causality ([Greek: autos hyparchôn tou pantos hê
hypostasis], the motionless mover, see Aristides c. 1); his creative
activity ([Greek: ktistês tôn pantôn]); his sovereignty ([Greek:
despotês tôn holôn]); his fatherhood ([Greek: patêr dia to einai auton
pro tôn holôn]) his reason-power (God as [Greek: logos, nous, pneuma,
sophia]); his omnipotence ([Greek: pantokratôr hoti autos ta panta
kratei kai emperiechei]); his righteousness and goodness ([Greek: patêr
tês dikaiosunês kai pasôn tôn aretôn chrêstotês]). These dogmas are set
forth by one Apologist in a more detailed, and by another in a more
concise form, but three points are emphasised by all. First, God is
primarily to be conceived as the First Cause. Secondly, the principle of
moral good is also the principle of the world. Thirdly, the principle of
the world, that is, the Deity, as being the immortal and eternal, forms
the contrast to the world which is the transient. In the cosmology of
the Apologists the two fundamental ideas are that God is the Father and
Creator of the world, but that, as uncreated and eternal, he is also the
complete contrast to it.[423]

These dogmas about God were not determined by the Apologists from the
standpoint of the Christian Church which is awaiting an introduction
into the Kingdom of God; but were deduced from a contemplation of the
world on the one hand (see particularly Tatian, 4; Theophilus, I. 5, 6),
and of the moral nature of man on the other. But, in so far as the
latter itself belongs to the sphere of created things, the cosmos is the
starting-point of their speculations. This is everywhere dominated by
reason and order;[424] it bears the impress of the divine Logos, and
that in a double sense. On the one hand it appears as the copy of a
higher, eternal world, for if we imagine transient and changeable matter
removed, it is a wonderful complex of spiritual forces; on the other it
presents itself as the finite product of a rational will. Moreover, the
matter which lies at its basis is nothing bad, but an indifferent
substance created by God,[425] though indeed perishable. In its
constitution the world is in every respect a structure worthy of
God.[426] Nevertheless, according to the Apologists, the direct author
of the world was not God, but the personified power of reason which they
perceived in the cosmos and represented as the immediate source of the
universe. The motive for this dogma and the interest in it would be
wrongly determined by alleging that the Apologists purposely introduced
the Logos in order to separate God from matter, because they regarded
this as something bad. This idea of Philo's cannot at least have been
adopted by them as the result of conscious reflection, for it does not
agree with their conception of matter; nor is it compatible with their
idea of God and their belief in Providence, which is everywhere firmly
maintained. Still less indeed can it be shown that they were all
impelled to this dogma from their view of Jesus Christ, since in this
connection, with the exception of Justin and Tertullian, they manifested
no specific interest in the incarnation of the Logos in Jesus. The
adoption of the dogma of the Logos is rather to be explained thus: (1)
The idea of God, derived by abstraction from the cosmos, did indeed,
like that of the idealistic philosophy, involve the element of unity and
spirituality, which implied a sort of personality; but the fulness of
all spiritual forces, the essence of everything imperishable were quite
as essential features of the conception; for in spite of the
transcendence inseparable from the notion of God, this idea was
nevertheless meant to explain the world.[427] Accordingly, they required
a formula capable of expressing the transcendent and unchangeable nature
of God on the one hand, and his fulness of creative and spiritual powers
on the other. But the latter attributes themselves had again to be
comprehended in a unity, because the law of the cosmos bore the
appearance of a harmonious one. From this arose the idea of the Logos,
and indeed the latter was necessarily distinguished from God as a
separate existence, as soon as the realisation of the powers residing in
God was represented as beginning. _The Logos is the hypostasis of the
operative power of reason, which at once preserves the unity and
unchangeableness of God in spite of the exercise of the powers residing
in him, and renders this very exercise possible._ (2) Though the
Apologists believed in the divine origin of the revelation given to the
prophets, on which all knowledge of truth is based, they could
nevertheless not be induced by this idea to represent God himself as a
direct actor. For that revelation presupposes a speaker and a spoken
word; but it would be an impossible thought to make the fulness of all
essence and the first cause of all things speak. The Deity cannot be a
speaking and still less a visible person, yet according to the testimony
of the prophets, a Divine Person was seen by them. The Divine Being who
makes himself known on earth in audible and visible fashion can only be
the Divine Word. As, however, according to the fundamental view of the
Apologists the principle of religion, i.e., of the knowledge of the
truth, is also the principle of the world, so that Divine Word, which
imparts the right knowledge of the world, must be identical with the
Divine Reason which produced the world itself. In other words, the Logos
is not only the creative Reason of God, but also his revealing Word.
This explains the motive and aim of the dogma of the Logos. We need not
specially point out that nothing more than the precision and certainty
of the Apologists' manner of statement is peculiar here; the train of
thought itself belongs to Greek philosophy. But that very confidence is
the most essential feature of the case; for in fact the firm belief that
the principle of the world is also that of revelation represents an
important early-Christian idea, though indeed in the form of
philosophical reflection. To the majority of the Apologists the
theoretical content of the Christian faith is completely exhausted in
this proposition. They required no particular Christology, for in every
revelation of God by his Word they already recognised a proof of his
existence not to be surpassed, and consequently regarded it as
Christianity _in nuce_.[428] But the fact that the Apologists made a
distinction _in thesi_ between the prophetic Spirit of God and the
Logos, without being able to make any use of this distinction, is a very
clear instance of their dependence on the formulæ of the Church's faith.
Indeed their conception of the Logos continually compelled them to
identify the Logos and the Spirit, just as they not unfrequently define
Christianity as the belief in the true God and in his Son, without
mentioning the Spirit.[429] Further their dependence on the Christian
tradition is shown in the fact that the most of them expressly
designated the Logos as the _Son_ of God.[430]

The Logos doctrine of the Apologists is an essentially unanimous one.
Since God cannot be conceived as without reason, [Greek: alogos], but as
the fulness of all reason,[431] he has always Logos in himself. This
Logos is on the one hand the divine consciousness itself, and on the
other the power (idea and energy) to which the world is due; he is not
separate from God, but is contained in his essence.[432] For the sake of
the creation God produced (sent forth, projected) the Logos from
himself, that is, he engendered[433] him from his essence by a free and
simple act of will ([Greek: Theos ek Theou pephukôs ex heautou]. Dial.
61). Then for the first time the Logos became a hypostasis separate from
God, or, in other words, he first came into existence; and, in virtue of
his origin, he possesses the following distinctive features:[434] (1)
The inner essence of the Logos is identical with the essence of God
himself; for it is the product of self-separation in God, willed and
brought about by himself. Further, the Logos is not cut off and
separated from God, nor is he a mere modality in him. He is rather the
independent product of the self-unfolding of God ([Greek: oikonomia]),
which product, though it is the epitome of divine reason, has
nevertheless not stripped the Father of this attribute. The Logos is the
revelation of God, and the visible God. Consequently the Logos is really
God and Lord, i.e., he possesses the divine nature in virtue of his
essence. The Apologists, however, only know of one kind of divine nature
and this is that which belongs to the Logos. (2) From the moment when he
was begotten the Logos is a being distinct from the Father; he is
[Greek: arithmô eteron ti, Theos heteros, Theos deuteros] ("something
different in number, another God, a second God.") But his personality
only dates from that moment. "Fuit tempus, cum patri filius non fuit,"
("there was a time when the Father had no Son," so Tertullian, adv.
Hermog. 3). The [Greek: logos prophorikos] is for the first time a
hypostasis distinct from the Father, the [Greek: logos endiathetos] is
not.[435] (3) The Logos has an origin, the Father has not; hence it
follows that in relation to God the Logos is a creature; he is the
begotten, that is, the created God, the God who has a beginning.
Wherefore in rank he is below God ([Greek: en deutera chôra]--[Greek:
deuteros Theos], "in the second place, and a second God"), the messenger
and servant of God. The subordination of the Logos is not founded on the
content of his essence, but on his origin. In relation to the creatures,
however, the Logos is the [Greek: archê], i.e., not only the beginning
but the principle of the vitality and form of everything that is to
receive being. As an emanation (the begotten) he is distinguished from
all creatures, for he alone is the Son;[436] but, as having a beginning,
he again stands on a level with them. Hence the paradoxical expression,
[Greek: ergon prôtotokon tou patros] ("first begotten work of the
Father"), is here the most appropriate designation. (4) In virtue of his
finite origin, it is possible and proper for the Logos to enter into the
finite, to act, to speak, and to appear. As he arose for the sake of the
creation of the world, he has the capacity of personal and direct
revelation which does not belong to the infinite God; nay, his whole
essence consists in the very fact that he is thought, word, and deed.
Behind this active substitute and vicegerent, the Father stands in the
darkness of the incomprehensible, and in the incomprehensible light of
perfection as the hidden, unchangeable God.[437]

With the issuing forth of the Logos from God began the realisation of
the idea of the world. The world as [Greek: kosmos noêtos] is contained
in the Logos. But the world is material and manifold, the Logos is
spiritual and one. Therefore the Logos is not himself the world, but he
is its creator and in a certain fashion its archetype. Justin and Tatian
used the expression "beget" [Greek: gennan] for the creation of the
world, but in connections which do not admit of any importance being
attached to this use. The world was created out of nothing after a host
of spirits, as is assumed by most Apologists, had been created along
with heaven, which is a higher, glorious world. The purpose of the
creation of the world was and is the production of men, i.e., beings
possessed of soul and body, endowed with reason and freedom, and
therefore made in the image of God; beings who are to partake of the
blessedness and perfection of God. Everything is created for man's sake,
and his own creation is a proof of the goodness of God. As beings
possessed of soul and body, men are neither mortal nor immortal, but
capable either of death or immortality.[438] The condition on which men
can attain the latter introduces us to ethics. The doctrines, that God
is also the absolute Lord of matter; that evil cannot be a quality of
matter, but rather arose in time and from the free decision of the
spirits or angels; and finally that the world will have an end, but God
can call the destroyed material into existence, just as he once created
it out of nothing, appear in principle to reconcile the dualism in the
cosmology. We have the less occasion to give the details here, because
they are known from the philosophical systems of the period, especially
Philo's, and vary in manifold ways. All the Apologists, however, are
imbued with the idea that this knowledge of God and the world, the
genesis of the Logos and cosmos, are the most essential part of
Christianity itself.[439] This conception is really not peculiar to the
Apologists: in the second century the great majority of Christians, in
so far as they reflected at all, regarded the monotheistic explanation
of the world as a main part of the Christian religion. The theoretical
view of the world as a harmonious whole, of its order, regularity and
beauty; the certainty that all this had been called into existence by an
Almighty Spirit; the sure hope that heaven and earth will pass away, but
will give place to a still more glorious structure, were always present,
and put an end to the bright and gorgeously coloured, but phantastic and
vague, cosmogonies and theogonies of antiquity.

2. Their clear system of morality is in keeping with their relatively
simple cosmology. In giving man reason and freedom as an inalienable
possession God destined him for incorruptibility ([Greek: athanasia,
aphtharsia]), by the attainment of which he was to become a being
similar to God.[440] To the gift of imperishability God, however,
attached the condition of man's preserving [Greek: ta tês athanasias]
("the things of immortality"), i.e., preserving the knowledge of God and
maintaining a holy walk in imitation of the divine perfection. This
demand is as natural as it is just; moreover, nobody can fulfil it in
man's stead, for an essential feature of virtue is its being free,
independent action. Man must therefore determine himself to virtue by
the knowledge that he is only in this way obedient to the Father of the
world and able to reckon on the gift of immortality. The conception of
the content of virtue, however, contains an element which cannot be
clearly apprehended from the cosmology; moral goodness consists in
letting oneself be influenced in no way by the sensuous, but in living
solely, after the Spirit, and imitating the perfection and purity of
God. Moral badness is giving way to any affection resulting from the
natural basis of man. The Apologists undoubtedly believe that virtue
consists negatively in man's renunciation of what his natural
constitution of soul and body demands or impels him to. Some express
this thought in a more pregnant and unvarnished fashion, others in a
milder way. Tatian, for instance, says that we must divest ourselves of
the human nature within us; but in truth the idea is the same in all.
The moral law of nature of which the Apologists speak, and which they
find reproduced in the clearest and most beautiful way in the sayings of
Jesus,[441] calls upon man to raise himself above his nature and to
enter into a corresponding union with his fellow-man which is something
higher than natural connections. It is not so much the law of love that
is to rule everything, for love itself is only a phase of a higher law;
it is the law governing the perfect and sublime Spirit, who, as being
the most exalted existence on this earth, is too noble for the world.
Raised already in this knowledge beyond time and space, beyond the
partial and the finite, the man of God, even while upon the earth, is to
hasten to the Father of Light. By equanimity, absence of desires,
purity, and goodness, which are the necessary results of clear
knowledge, he is to show that he has already risen above the transient
through gazing on the imperishable and through the enjoyment of
knowledge, imperfect though the latter still be. If thus, a suffering
hero, he has stood the test on earth, if he has become dead to the
world,[442] he may be sure that in the life to come God will bestow on
him the gift of immortality, which includes the direct contemplation of
God together with the perfect knowledge that flows from it.[443]
Conversely, the vicious man is given over to eternal death, and in this
punishment the righteousness of God is quite as plainly manifested, as
in the reward of everlasting life.

3. While it is certain that virtue is a matter of freedom, it is just as
sure that no soul is virtuous unless it follows the will of God, i.e.,
knows and judges of God and all things as they must be known and judged
of; and fulfils the commandments of God. This presupposes a revelation
of God through the Logos. A revelation of God, complete in itself and
mediated by the Logos, is found in the cosmos and in the constitution of
man, he being created in his Maker's image.[444] But experience has
shown that this revelation is insufficient to enable men to retain clear
knowledge. They yielded to the seduction of evil demons, who, by God's
sufferance, took possession of the world, and availed themselves of
man's sensuous side to draw him away from the contemplation of the
divine and lead him to the earthly.[445] The results of this temptation
appeared in the facts that humanity as a whole fell a prey to error, was
subjected to the bonds of the sensuous and of the demons, and therefore
became doomed to death, which is at once a punishment and the natural
consequence of want of knowledge of God.[446] Hence it required fresh
efforts of the Logos to free men from a state which is indeed in no
instance an unavoidable necessity, though a sad fact in the case of
almost all. For very few are now able to recognise the one true God from
the order of the universe and from the moral law implanted in
themselves; nor can they withstand the power of the demons ruling in the
world and use their freedom to imitate the virtues of God. Therefore the
Almighty in his goodness employed new means through the Logos to call
men back from the error of their ways, to overthrow the sovereignty of
the demons upon earth, and to correct the disturbed course of the world
before the end has yet come. From the earliest times the Logos (the
Spirit) has descended on such men as preserved their souls pure, and
bestowed on them, through inspiration, knowledge of the truth (with
reference to God, freedom, virtue, the demons, the origin of polytheism,
the judgment) to be imparted by them to others. These are his
"prophets." Such men are rare among the Greeks (and according to some
not found at all), but numerous among the barbarians, i.e., among the
Jewish people. Taught by God, they announced the truth about him, and
under the promptings of the Logos they also committed the revelations to
writings, which therefore, as being inspired, are an authentic record of
the whole truth.[447] To some of the most virtuous among them he himself
even appeared in human form and gave directions. He then is a Christian,
who receives and follows these prophetic teachings, that have ever been
proclaimed afresh from the beginning of the world down to the present
time, and are summed up in the Old Testament. Such a one is enabled even
now to rescue his soul from the rule of the demons, and may confidently
expect the gift of immortality.

With the majority of the Apologists "Christianity" seems to be exhausted
in these doctrines; in fact, they do not even consider it necessary to
mention _ex professo_ the appearance of the Logos in Christ (see above,
p. 189 ff.). But, while it is certain that they all recognised that the
teachings of the prophets contained the full revelation of the truth, we
would be quite wrong in assuming that they view the appearance and
history of Christ as of no significance. In their presentations some of
them no doubt contented themselves with setting forth the most rational
and simple elements, and therefore took almost no notice of the
historical; but even in their case certain indications show that they
regarded the manifestation of the Logos in Christ as of special
moment.[448] For the prophetic utterances, as found from the beginning,
require an attestation, the prophetic teaching requires a guarantee, so
that misguided humanity may accept them and no longer take error for
truth and truth for error. The strongest guarantee imaginable is found
in the fulfilment of prophecy. Since no man is able to foretell what is
to come, the prediction of the future accompanying a doctrine proves its
divine origin. God, in his extraordinary goodness, not only inspired the
prophets, through the Logos, with the doctrines of truth, but has from
the beginning put numerous predictions in their mouth. These predictions
were detailed and manifold; the great majority of them referred to a
more prolonged appearance of the Logos in human form at the end of
history, and to a future judgment. Now, so long as the predictions had
not yet come to pass, the teachings of the prophets were not
sufficiently impressive, for the only sure witness of the truth is its
outward attestation. In the history of Christ, however, the majority of
these prophecies were fulfilled in the most striking fashion, and this
not only guarantees the fulfilment of the relatively small remainder not
yet come to pass (judgment, resurrection), but also settles beyond all
doubt the truth of the prophetic teachings about God, freedom, virtue,
immortality, etc. In the scheme of fulfilment and prophecy even the
irrational becomes rational; for the fulfilment of a prediction is not a
proof of its divine origin unless it refers to something extraordinary.
Any one can predict regular occurrences which always take place.
Accordingly, a part of what was predicted had to be irrational. Every
particular in the history of Christ has therefore a significance, not as
regards the future, but as regards the past. Here everything happened
"that the word of the prophet might be fulfilled." Because the prophet
had said so, it had to happen. Christ's destiny attests the ancient
teachings of the prophets. Everything, however, depends on this
attestation, for it was no longer the full truth that was wanting, but a
convincing proof that the truth was a reality and not a fancy.[449] But
prophecy testifies that Christ is the ambassador of God, the Logos that
has appeared in human form, and the Son of God. If the future destiny of
Jesus is recorded in the Old Testament down to the smallest particular,
and the book at the same time declares that this predicted One is the
Son of God and will be crucified, then the paying of divine honours to
this crucified man, to whom all the features of prophecy apply, is
completely justified. The stage marked by Christ in the history of God's
revelation, the content of which is always the same, is therefore the
highest and last, because in it the "truth along with the proof" has
appeared. This circumstance explains why the truth is so much more
impressive and convinces more men than formerly, especially since Christ
has also made special provision for the spread of the truth and is
himself an unequalled exemplification of a virtuous life, the principles
of which have now become known in the whole world through the spread of
his precepts.

These statements exhaust the arguments in most of the Apologies; and
they accordingly seem neither to have contemplated a redemption by
Christ in the stricter sense of the word, nor to have assumed the unique
nature of the appearance of the Logos in Jesus. Christ accomplished
salvation as a divine _teacher_, that is to say, his teaching brings
about the [Greek: allagê] and [Greek: epangôgê] of the human race, its
restoration to its original destination. This also seems to suffice as
regards demon rule. Logically considered, the individual portions of the
history of Jesus (of the baptismal confession) have no direct
significance in respect to salvation. Hence the teachings of the
Christians seem to fall into two groups having no inward connection,
i.e., the propositions treating of the rational knowledge of God, and
the predicted and fulfilled historical facts which prove those doctrines
and the believing hopes they include.

But Justin at least gave token of a manifest effort to combine the
historical statements regarding Christ with the philosophical and moral
doctrines of salvation and to conceive Jesus as the Redeemer.[450]
Accordingly, if the Christian dogmatic of succeeding times is found in
the connection of philosophical theology with the baptismal confession,
that is, in the "scientific theology of facts," Justin is, in a certain
fashion, the first framer of Church dogma, though no doubt in a very
tentative way. (1) He tried to distinguish between the appearance of the
Logos in pre-Christian times and in Christ; he emphasised the fact that
the whole Logos appeared only in Christ, and that the manner of this
appearance has no counterpart in the past. (2) Justin showed in the
Dialogue that, independently of the theologoumenon of the Logos, he was
firmly convinced of the divinity of Christ on the ground of predictions
and of the impression made by his personality.[451] (3) In addition to
the story of the exaltation of Christ, Justin also emphasised other
portions of his history, especially the death on the cross (together
with baptism and the Lord's Supper) and tried to give them a positive
significance.[452] He adopted the common Christian saying that the blood
of Christ cleanses believers and men are healed through his wounds; and
he tried to give a mystic significance to the cross. (4) He accordingly
spoke of the forgiveness of sins through Christ and confessed that men
are changed, through the new birth in baptism, from children of
necessity and ignorance into children of purpose and understanding and
forgiveness of sins.[453] Von Engelhardt has, however, quite rightly
noticed that these are mere words which have nothing at all
corresponding to them in the general system of thought, because Justin
remains convinced that the knowledge of the true God, of his will, and
of his promises, or the certainty that God will always grant forgiveness
to the repentant and eternal life to the righteous, is sufficient to
convert the man who is master of himself. Owing to the fundamental
conviction which is expressed in the formulæ, "perfect philosophy,"
"divine teacher," "new law," "freedom," "repentance," "sinless life,"
"sure hope," "reward," "immortality," the ideas, "forgiveness of sins,"
"redemption," "reconciliation," "new birth," "faith" (in the Pauline
sense) must remain words,[454] or be relegated to the sphere of magic
and mystery.[455] Nevertheless we must not on that account overlook the
intention. Justin tried to see the divine revelation not only in the
sayings of the prophets, but in unique fashion in the person of Christ,
and to conceive Christ not only as the divine teacher, but also as the
"Lord and Redeemer." In two points he actually succeeded in this. By the
resurrection and exaltation of Jesus Justin proved that Christ, the
divine teacher, is also the future judge and bestower of reward. Christ
himself is able to give what he has promised--a life after death free
from sufferings and sins, that is the first point. The other thing,
however, which Justin very strongly emphasised is that Jesus is even now
reigning in heaven, and shows his future visible sovereignty of the
world by giving his own people the power to cast out and vanquish the
demons in and by his name. Even at the present time the latter are put
to flight by believers in Christ.[456] So the redemption is no mere
future one; it is even now taking place, and the revelation of the Logos
in Jesus Christ is not merely intended to prove the doctrines of the
rational religion, but denotes a real redemption, that is, a new
beginning, in so far as the power of the demons on earth is overthrown
through Christ and in his strength. Jesus Christ, the teacher of the
whole truth and of a new law, which is the rational, the oldest, and the
divine, the only being who has understood how to call men from all the
different nations and in all stages of culture into a union of holy
life, the inspiring One, for whom his disciples go to death, the mighty
One, through whose name the demons are cast out, the risen One, who will
one day reward and punish as judge, must be identical with the Son of
God, who is the divine reason and the divine power. In this belief which
accompanies the confession of the one God, creator of heaven and earth,
Justin finds the special content of Christianity, which the later
Apologists, with the probable exception of Melito, reproduced in a much
more imperfect and meagre form. One thing, however, Justin in all
probability did not formulate with precision, viz., the proposition that
the special result of salvation, i.e., immortality, was involved in the
incarnation of the Logos, in so far as that act brought about a real
secret transformation of the whole mortal nature of man. With Justin,
indeed, as with the other Apologists, the "salvation" ([Greek: sôtêria])
consists essentially in the apportioning of eternal life to the world,
which has been created mortal and in consequence of sin has fallen a
prey to the natural destiny of "death;" and Christ is regarded as the
bestower of incorruptibility who thus brings the creation to its goal;
but as a rule Justin does not go beyond this thought. Yet we certainly
find hints pointing to the notion of a physical and magical redemption
accomplished at the moment of the incarnation. See particularly the
fragment in Irenæus (already quoted on page 220), which may be thus
interpreted, and Apol. I. 66. This conception, in its most complete
shape, would have to be attributed to Justin if the fragment V. (Otto,
Corp. Apol. III. p. 256) were genuine.[457] But the precise form of the
presentation makes this very improbable. The question as to how, i.e.,
in what conceivable way, immortality can be imparted to the mortal
nature as yet received little attention from Justin and the Apologists:
it is the necessary result of knowledge and virtue. Their great object
was to assure the belief in immortality. "Religion and morality depend
on the belief in immortality or the resurrection from the dead. The fact
that the Christian religion, as faith in the incarnate Son of God the
creator, leads to the assurance that the maker of all things will reward
piety and righteousness with the bestowal of eternal and immortal life,
is the essential advantage possessed by the Christian religion over all
others. The righteousness of the heathen was imperfect in spite of all
their knowledge of good and evil, because they lacked the certain
knowledge that the creator makes the just immortal and will consign the
unjust to eternal torment." The philosophical doctrines of God, virtue,
and immortality became through the Apologists the certain content of a
world-wide religion, which is Christian because Christ guarantees its
certainty. They made Christianity a deistical religion for the whole
world without abandoning in word at least the old "teachings and
knowledge" ([Greek: didagmata kai mathêmata]) of the Christians. They
thus marked out the task of "dogmatic" and, so to speak, wrote the
prolegomena for every future theological system in the Church (see Von
Engelhardt's concluding observations in his "Christenthum Justin's" pp.
447-490, also Overbeck in the Historische Zeitschrift, 1880, pp.
499-505.) At the same time, however, they adhered to the early-Christian
eschatology (see Justin, Melito, and, with reference to the resurrection
of the flesh, the Apologists generally), and thus did not belie their
connection with early Christianity.[458]

_Interpretation and Criticism, especially of Justin's Doctrines._

1. The fundamental assumption of all the Apologists is that there can
only be one and the same relation on earth between God and free man, and
that it has been conditioned by the creation. This thought, which
presupposes the idea of God's unchangeableness, at bottom neutralises
every quasi-historical and mythological consideration. According to it
grace can be nothing else than the stimulation of the powers of reason
existent in man; revelation is supernatural only in respect of its form,
and the redemption merely enables us to redeem ourselves, just as this
possibility was given at the creation. Sin, which arose through
temptation, appears on the one hand as error which must almost of
necessity have arisen so long as man only possessed the "germs of the
Logos" ([Greek: spermata tou logou]) and on the other as the dominion of
sensuousness, which was nearly unavoidable since earthly material
clothes the soul and mighty demons have possession of the world. The
mythological idea of the invading sway of the demons is really the only
interruption of the rationalistic scheme. So far as Christianity is
something different from morality, it is the antithesis of the service
and sovereignty of the demons. Hence the idea that the course of the
world and mankind require in some measure to be helped is the narrow
foundation of the thought of revelation or redemption. The necessity of
revelation and redemption was expressed in a much stronger and more
decisive way by many heathen philosophers of the same period.
Accordingly, not only did these long for a revelation which would give a
fresh attestation to old truth, but they yearned for a force, a real
redemption, a _præsens numen_, and some new thing. Still more powerful
was this longing in the case of the Gnostics and Marcion; compare the
latter's idea of revelation with that of the Apologists. It is probable
indeed that the thought of redemption would have found stronger
expression among them also, had not the task of _proof_, which could be
best discharged by the aid of the Stoic philosophy, demanded religious
rationalism. But, admitting this, the determination of the highest good
itself involved rationalism and moralism. For immortality is the highest
good, in so far as it is perfect knowledge--which is, moreover,
conceived as being of a rational kind,--that necessarily leads to
immortality. We can only find traces of the converse idea, according to
which the change into the immortal condition is the _prius_ and the
knowledge the _posterius_. But, where this conception is the prevailing
one, moralistic intellectualism is broken through, and we can now point
to a specific, supernatural blessing of salvation, produced by
revelation and redemption. Corresponding to the general development of
religious philosophy from moralism into mysticism (transition from the
second to the third century), a displacement in this direction can also
be noticed in the history of Greek apologetics (in the West it was
different); but this displacement was never considerable and therefore
cannot be clearly traced. Even later on under altered circumstances,
apologetic science adhered in every respect to its old method, as being
the most suitable (monotheism, morality, proof from prophecy), a
circumstance which is evident, for example, from the almost complete
disregard of the New Testament canon of Scripture and from other
considerations besides.

2. In so far as the possibility of virtue and righteousness has been
implanted by God in men, and in so far as--apart from trifling
exceptions--they can actually succeed in doing what is good only through
prophetic, i.e., divine, revelations and exhortations, some Apologists,
following the early Christian tradition, here and there designate the
transformation of the sinner into a righteous man as a work of God, and
speak of renewal and regeneration. The latter, however, as a real fact,
is identical with the repentance which, as a turning from sin and
turning to God, is a matter of free will. As in Justin, so also in
Tatian, the idea of regeneration is exhausted in the divine call to
repentance. The conception of the forgiveness of sins is also determined
in accordance with this. Only those sins can be forgiven, i.e.,
overlooked, which are really none, i.e., which were committed in a state
of error and bondage to the demons, and were well-nigh unavoidable. The
blotting out of these sins is effected in baptism, "which is the bath of
regeneration in so far as it is the voluntary consecration of one's own
person. The cleansing which takes place is God's work in so far as
baptism was instituted by him, but it is effected by the man who in his
change of mind lays aside his sins. The name of God is pronounced above
him who repents of his transgressions, that he may receive freedom,
knowledge, and forgiveness of his previous sins, but this effects a
change only denoting the new knowledge to which the baptised person has
attained." If, as all this seems to show, the thought of a specific
grace of God in Christ appears virtually neutralised, the adherence to
the language of the cultus (Justin and Tatian) and Justin's conception
of the Lord's Supper show that the Apologists strove to get beyond
moralism, that is, they tried to supplement it through the mysteries.
Augustine's assertion (de predest. sanct. 27) that the faith of the old
Church in the efficacy of divine grace was not so much expressed in the
_opuscula_ as in the _prayers_, shows correct insight.

3. All the demands, the fulfilment of which constitutes the virtue and
righteousness of men, are summed up under the title of _the new law_. In
virtue of its eternally valid content this new law is in reality the
oldest; but it is new because Christ and the prophets were preceded by
Moses, who inculcated on the Jews in a transient form that which was
eternally valid. It is also new because, being proclaimed by the Logos
that appeared in Christ, it announced its presence with the utmost
impressiveness and undoubted authority, and contains the promise of
reward in terms guaranteed by the strongest proof--the proof from
prophecy. The old law is consequently a new one because it appears now
for the first time as purely spiritual, perfect, and final. The
commandment of love to one's neighbour also belongs to the law; but it
does not form its essence (still less love to God, the place of which is
taken by faith, obedience, and imitation). The content of all moral
demands is comprehended in the commandment of perfect, active holiness,
which is fulfilled by the complete renunciation of all earthly
blessings, even of life itself. Tatian preached this renunciation in a
specially powerful manner. There is no need to prove that no remains of
Judæo-Christianity are to be recognised in these ideas about the new
law. It is not Judæo-Christianity that lies behind the Christianity and
doctrines of the Apologists, but Greek philosophy (Platonic metaphysics,
Logos doctrine of the Stoics, Platonic and Stoic ethics), the
Alexandrine-Jewish apologetics, the maxims of Jesus, and the religious
speech of the Christian Churches. Justin is distinguished from Philo by
the sure conviction of the living power of God, the Creator and Lord of
the world, and the steadfast confidence in the reality of all the ideals
which is derived from the person of Christ. We ought not, however, to
blame the Apologists because to them nearly everything historical was at
bottom only a guarantee of thoughts and hopes. As a matter of fact, the
assurance is not less important than the content. By dint of thinking
one can conceive the highest truth, but one cannot in this way make out
the certainty of its reality. No positive religion can do more for its
followers than faith in the revelation through Christ and the prophets
did for the Apologists. Although it chiefly proved to them the truth of
that which we call natural theology and which was the idealistic
philosophy of the age, so that the Church appears as the great insurance
society for the ideas of Plato and Zeno, we ought not at the same time
to forget that their idea of a divine spirit working upon earth was a
far more lively and worthy one than in the case of the Greek

4. By their intellectualism and exclusive theories the Apologists
founded philosophic and dogmatic Christianity (Loofs: "they laid the
foundation for the conversion of Christianity into a revealed
doctrine."[459]) If about the middle of the second century the short
confession of the Lord Jesus Christ was regarded as a watchword,
passport, and _tessera hospitalitas (signum et vinculum)_, and if even
in lay and uneducated circles it was conceived as "doctrine" in
contradistinction to heresy, this transformation must have been
accelerated through men, who essentially conceived Christianity as the
"divine doctrine," and by whom all its distinctive features were
subordinated to this conception or neutralised. As the philosophic
schools are held together by their "laws" ([Greek: nomoi]) as the
"dogmas" form the real bond between the "friends," and as, in addition
to this, they are united by veneration for the founder, so also the
Christian Church appeared to the Apologists as a universal league
established by a divine founder and resting _on the dogmas of the
perfectly known truth_, a league the members of which possess definite
laws, viz., the eternal laws of nature for everything moral, and unite
in common veneration for the Divine Master. In the "dogmas" of the
Apologists, however, we find nothing more than traces of the fusion of
the philosophical and historical elements; in the main both exist
separately side by side. It was not till long after this that
intellectualism gained the victory in a Christianity represented by the
clergy. What we here chiefly understand by "intellectualism" is the
placing of the scientific conception of the world behind the
commandments of Christian morality and behind the hopes and faith of the
Christian religion, and the connecting of the two things in such a way
that this conception appeared as the foundation of these commandments
and hopes. Thus was created the future dogmatic in the form which still
prevails in the Churches and which presupposes the Platonic and Stoic
conception of the world long ago overthrown by science. The attempt made
at the beginning of the Reformation to free the Christian faith from
this amalgamation remained at first without success.


[Footnote 340: Edition by Otto, 9 Vols., 1876 f. New edition of the
Apologists (unfinished; only Tatian and Athenagoras by Schwarz have yet
appeared) in the Texte und Untersuchungen zur altchristlichen
Litteratur-Geschichte, Vol. IV. Tzschirner, Geschichte der Apologetik,
1st part, 1805; id., Der Fall des Heidenthums, 1829. Ehlers, Vis atque
potestas, quam philosophia antiqua, imprimis Platonica et Stoica in
doctrina apologetarum habuerit, 1859.]

[Footnote 341: It is intrinsically probable that their works directly
addressed to the Christian Church gave a more full exposition of their
Christianity than we find in the Apologies. This can moreover be proved
with certainty from the fragments of Justin's, Tatian's and Melito's
esoteric writings. But, whilst recognising this fact, we must not make
the erroneous assumption that the fundamental conceptions and interests
of Justin and the rest were in reality other than may be inferred from
their Apologies.]

[Footnote 342: That is, so far as these were clearly connected with
polytheism. Where this was not the case or seemed not to be so, national
traditions, both the true and the spurious, were readily and joyfully
admitted into the _catalogus testimoniorum_ of revealed truth.]

[Footnote 343: Though these words were already found in the first
edition, Clemen (Justin 1890, p. 56) has misunderstood me so far as to
think that I spoke here of conscious intention on the part of the
Apologists. Such nonsense of course never occurred to me.]

[Footnote 344: Note here particularly the attitude of Tatian, who has
already introduced a certain amount of the "Gnostic" element into his
"Oratio ad Græcos," although, he adheres in the main to the ordinary
apologetic doctrines.]

[Footnote 345: Since the time of Josephus Greek philosophers had ever
more and more acknowledged the "philosophical" character of Judaism; see
Porphyr., de abstin. anim. II. 26, [Greek: hate philosophoi to genos

[Footnote 346: On the relation of Christian literature to the writings
of Philo, of Siegfried, Philo von Alexandrien, p. 303 f.]

[Footnote 347: It is very instructive to find Celsus (Origen, c. Cels.
I. 2) proceeding to say that the Greeks understood better how to judge,
to investigate, and to perfect the doctrines devised by the barbarians,
and to apply them to the practice of virtue. This is quite in accordance
with the idea of Origen, who makes the following remarks on this point:
"When a man trained in the schools and sciences of the Greeks becomes
acquainted with our faith, he will not only recognise and declare it to
be true, but also by means of his scientific training and skill reduce
it to a system and supplement what seems to him defective in it, when
tested by the Greek method of exposition and proof, thus at the same
time demonstrating the truth of Christianity."]

[Footnote 348: See the section "Justin und die apostolischen Váter" in
Engelhardt's "Christenthum Justin's des Martyrers," p. 375 ff., and my
article on the so-called 2nd Epistle of Clement to the Corinthians
(Zeitschrift für Kirchengeschichte I. p. 329 ff.). Engelhardt, who on
the whole emphasises the correspondences, has rather under- than
over-estimated them. If the reader compares the exposition given in Book
I., chap. 3, with the theology of the Apologists (see sub. 3), he will
find proof of the intimate relationship that may be traced here.]

[Footnote 349: See Euseb., H. E. IV. 3. Only one sentence of Quadratus'
Apology is preserved; we have now that of Aristides in the Syriac
language; moreover, it is proved to have existed in the original
language in the Historia Barlaam et Joasaph; finally, a considerable
fragment of it is found in Armenian. See an English edition by Harris
and Robinson in the Texts and Studies I. 1891. German translation and
commentary by Raabe in the Texte und Untersuchungen IX. 1892. Eusebius
says that the Apology was handed in to the emperor Hadrian; but the
superscription in Syriac is addressed to the emperor Titus Hadrianus

[Footnote 350: See Hermas, Mand I.]

[Footnote 351: With reservations this also holds good of the
Alexandrians. See particularly Orig., c. Cels. I. 62.]

[Footnote 352: Semisch, Justin der Martyrer, 2 Vols, 1840 f. Aubé, S
Justin, philosophe et martyre, 2nd reprint, 1875. Weizsäcker, Die
Theologie des Martyrers Justin's in the Jahrbuch fur deutsche Theologie,
1867, p. 60 ff. Von Engelhardt, Christenthum Justin's, 1878; id,
"Justin," in Herzog's Real-Encyklopädie. Stählin, Justin der Martyrer,
1880 Clemen, Die religionsphilosophische Bedeutung des
stoisch-christlichen Eudamonismus in Justin's Apologie, 1890. Flemming,
zur Beurtheilung des Christenthums Justin's des Martyrers, 1893.
Duncker, Logoslehre Justin's, 1848. Bosse, Der prae istente Christus des
Justinus, 1891.]

[Footnote 353: Apol. I. 2, p. 6, ed. Otto.]

[Footnote 354: Apol. I. 2, p. 6, sq.]

[Footnote 355: See the numerous philosophical quotations and allusions
in Justin's Apology pointed out by Otto. Above all, he made an extensive
use of Plato's Apology of Socrates.]

[Footnote 356: Apol. I. 4. p. 16, also I. 7, p. 24 sq: I. 26.]

[Footnote 357: Apol. I. 4, p. 14.]

[Footnote 358: Apol. I. 5, p. 18 sq., see also I. 14 fin.: [Greek: ou
sophistês hupêrchen alla dunamis Theou ho logos autou ên.]]

[Footnote 359: L.c.: [Greek: ou gar monon en Hellêsi dia Sôkratous hupo
logou êlegchthêtauta, alla kai en barbarois hup' autou tou logou
morphôthentos kai anthrôpou kai Iêsou Christou klêthenos.]]

[Footnote 360: Celsus also admits this, or rather makes his Jew
acknowledge it (Orig., c. Cels. II. 31). In Book VI. 47 he adopts the
proposition of the "ancients" that the world is the Son of God.]

[Footnote 361: See Apol. II. 10 fin.: [Greek: Sôkratei oudeis epeisthê
huper toutou tou dogmatos apothnêskin Christô de tô kai hupo Sôkratous
apo merous gnôsthenti ... ou philosophoi oude philologoi monon

[Footnote 362: The utterances of Justin do not clearly indicate whether
the non-Christian portion of mankind has only a [Greek: sperma tou
logon] as a natural possession, or whether this [Greek: sperma] has in
some cases been enhanced by the inward workings of the whole Logos
(inspiration). This ambiguity, however, arises from the fact that he did
not further discuss the relation between [Greek: ho logos] and [Greek:
to sperma tou logou] and we need not therefore attempt to remove it. On
the one hand, the excellent discoveries of poets and philosophers are
simply traced to [Greek: to emphuton panti genei anthrôpôn sperma tou
logou] (Apol. II. 8), the [Greek: meros spermatikou logou] (ibid) which
was implanted at the creation, and on which the human [Greek: heuresis
kai theôria] depend (II. 10). In this sense it may be said of them all
that they "in human fashion attempted to understand and prove things by
means of reason;" and Socrates is merely viewed as the [Greek: pantôn
eutonôteros] (ibid.), his philosophy also, like all pre-Christian
systems, being a [Greek: philosophia anthrôpeios] (II. 15). But on the
other hand Christ was known by Socrates though only [Greek: apo merous];
for "Christ was and is the Logos who dwells in every man." Further,
according to the Apologist, the [Greek: meros tou spermatikou theiou
logou] bestows the power of recognising whatever is related to the Logos
([Greek: to sungenes] II. 13). Consequently it may not only be said:
[Greek: hosa para pasi kalôs eirêtai hêmôn, tôn Christianôn esti]
(ibid.), but, on the strength of the "participation" in reason conferred
on all, it may be asserted that all who have lived with the Logos
([Greek: meta logou])--an expression which must have been
ambiguous--were Christians. Among the Greeks this specially applies to
Socrates and Heraclitus (I. 46). Moreover, the Logos implanted in man
does not belong to his nature in such a sense as to prevent us saying
[Greek: upo logou dia Sôkratous êlegchthê k.t.l.] (I. 5). Nevertheless
[Greek: autos ho logos] did not act in Socrates, for this only appeared
in Christ (ibid). Hence the prevailing aspect of the case in Justin was
that to which he gave expression at the close of the 2nd Apology (II.
15: alongside of Christianity there is only _human_ philosophy), and
which, not without regard for the opposite view, he thus formulated in
II. 13 fin.: All non-Christian authors were able to attain a knowledge
of true being, though only darkly, by means of the seed of the Logos
naturally implanted within them. For the [Greek: spora] and [Greek:
mimêma] of a thing, which are bestowed in proportion to one's
receptivity, are quite different from the thing itself, which divine
grace bestows on us for our possession and imitation.]

[Footnote 363: "For the sake of man" (Stoic) Apol. I. 10: II. 4, 5;
Dial. 41, p. 260, Apol I. 8: "Longing for the eternal and pure life, we
strive to abide in the fellowship of God, the Father and Creator of all
things, and we hasten to make confession, because we are convinced and
firmly believe that that happiness is really attainable." It is
frequently asserted that it is the Logos which produces such conviction
and awakens courage and strength.]

[Footnote 364: Justin has destroyed the force of this argument in two
passages (I. 44, 59) by tracing (like the Alexandrian Jews) all true
knowledge of the poets and philosophers to borrowing from the books of
the Old Testament (Moses). Of what further use then is the [Greek:
sperma logos emphuton]? Did Justin not really take it seriously? Did he
merely wish to suit himself to those whom he was addressing? We are not
justified in asserting this. Probably, however, the adoption of that
Jewish view of the history of the world is a proof that the results of
the demon sovereignty were in Justin's estimation so serious that he no
longer expected anything from the [Greek: sperma logos emphuton] when
left to its own resources; and therefore regarded truth and prophetic
revelation as inseparable. But this view is not the essential one in the
Apology. That assumption of Justin's is evidently dependent on a
tradition, whilst his real opinion was more "liberal."]

[Footnote 365: Compare with this the following passages: In Apol. I. 20
are enumerated a series of the most important doctrines common to
philosophers and Christians. Then follow the words: "If we then in
particular respects even teach something similar to the doctrines of the
philosophers honoured among you, though in many cases in a divine and
more sublime way; and we indeed alone do so in such a way that the
matter is proved etc." In Apol. I. 44: II. 10. 13 uncertainty, error,
and contradictions are shown to exist in the case of the greatest
philosophers. The Christian doctrines are more sublime than all human
philosophy (II. 15). "Our doctrines are evidently more sublime than any
human teaching, because the Christ who appeared for our sakes was the
whole fulness of reason" ([Greek: to logikon to holon], II. 10). "The
principles of Plato are not foreign ([Greek: allotria]) to the teaching
of Christ, but they do not agree in every respect. The same holds good
of the Stoics" (II. 13). "We must go forth from the school of Plato"
(II. 12). "Socrates convinced no one in such a way that he would have
been willing to die for the doctrine proclaimed by him; whereas not only
philosophers and philologers, but also artisans and quite common
uneducated people have believed in Christ" (II. 10). These are the very
people--and that is perhaps the strongest contrast found between Logos
and Logos in Justin--among whom it is universally said of Christianity:
[Greek: dunamis esti tou arrêtou patros kai ouchi anthrôpeiou logou
kataskeuê] (see also I. 14 and elsewhere.)]

[Footnote 366: In Justin's estimate of the Greek philosophers two other
points deserve notice. In the first place, he draws a very sharp
distinction between real and nominal philosophers. By the latter he
specially means the Epicureans. They are no doubt referred to in I. 4,
7, 26 (I. 14: Atheists). Epicurus and Sardanapalus are classed together
in II. 7; Epicurus and the immoral poets in II. 12; and in the
conclusion of II, 15 the same philosopher is ranked with the worst
society. But according to II. 3 fin. ([Greek: adunaton Kunikô,
adiaphoron to telos prothemenô, to agathon eidenai plên adikphorias])
the Cynics also seem to be outside the circle of real philosophers. This
is composed principally of Socrates, Plato, the Platonists and Stoics,
together with Heraclitus and others. Some of these understood one set of
doctrines more correctly, others another series. The Stoics excelled in
ethics (II. 7); Plato described the Deity and the world more correctly.
It is, however, worthy of note--and this is the second point--that
Justin in principle conceived the Greek philosophers as a unity, and
that he therefore saw in their very deviations from one another a proof
of the imperfection of their teaching. In so far as they are all
included under the collective idea "human philosophy," philosophy is
characterised by the conflicting opinions found within it. This view was
suggested to Justin by the fact that the highest truth, which is at once
allied and opposed to human philosophy, was found by him among an
exclusive circle of fellow-believers. Justin showed great skill in
selecting from the Gospels the passages (I. 15-17), that prove the
"philosophical" life of the Christians as described by him in c. 14.
Here he cannot be acquitted of colouring the facts (cf. Aristides) nor
of exaggeration (see, for instance, the unqualified statement: [Greek:
ha echomen eis koinon pherontes kai panti deomenô koinônountes]). The
philosophical emperors were meant here to think of the "[Greek: philois
panta koina]." Yet in I. 67 Justin corrected exaggerations in his
description. Justin's reference to the invaluable benefits which
Christianity confers on the state deserves notice (see particularly I.
12, 17.) The later Apologists make a similar remark.]

[Footnote 367: Dialogue 8. The dialogue takes up a more positive
attitude than the Apology, both as a whole and in detail. If we consider
that both works are also meant for Christians, and that, on the other
hand, the Dialogue as well as the Apology appeals to the cultured
heathen public, we may perhaps assume that the two writings were meant
to present a graduated system of Christian instruction. (In one passage
the Dialogue expressly refers to the Apology.) From Justin's time onward
the apologetic polemic of the early Church appears to have adhered
throughout to the same method. This consisted in giving the polemical
writings directed against the Greeks the form of an introduction to
Christian knowledge, and in continuing this instruction still further in
those directed against the Jews.]

[Footnote 368: Dial. 2. sq. That Justin's Christianity is founded on
theoretical scepticism is clearly shown by the introduction to the

[Footnote 369: Dial. 8: [Greek: houtôs dê kai dia tauta philosophos

[Footnote 370: Dial., l.c.: [Greek: parestin soi ton Christon tou Theou
epignonti kai teleiô genomenô eudaimonein].]

[Footnote 371: See particularly the closing chapter.]

[Footnote 372: Suppl. 2,]

[Footnote 373: Suppl. 4.]

[Footnote 374: Suppl. 5-7.]

[Footnote 375: Suppl. 24 (see also Aristides c. 13).]

[Footnote 376: Suppl, 7 fin. and many other places.]

[Footnote 377: _E.g._, Suppl. 8. 35 fin.]

[Footnote 378: The Crucified Man, the incarnation of the Logos etc. are
wanting. Nothing at all is said about Christ.]

[Footnote 379: Suppl. 7.]

[Footnote 380: Cf. the arguments in c. 8 with c. 9 init.]

[Footnote 381: Suppl. 11.]

[Footnote 382: Suppl. 23.]

[Footnote 383: Suppl. 18, 23-27. He, however, as well as the others,
sets forth the demon theory in detail.]

[Footnote 384: The Apology which Miltiades addressed to Marcus Aurelius
and his fellow-emperor perhaps bore the title: [Greek: huper tês kata
Christianous philosophias] (Euseb., H. E. V. 17. 5). It is certain that
Melito in his Apology designated Christianity as [Greek: hê kath' hêmas
philosophia] (l.c., IV. 26. 7). But, while it is undeniable that this
writer attempted, to a hitherto unexampled extent, to represent
Christianity as adapted to the Empire, we must nevertheless beware of
laying undue weight on the expression "philosophy." What Melito means
chiefly to emphasise is the fact that Christianity, which in former
times had developed into strength among the barbarians, began to
flourish in the provinces of the Empire simultaneously with the rise of
the monarchy under Augustus, that as foster-sister of the monarchy, it
increased in strength with the latter, and that this mutual relation of
the two institutions had given prosperity and splendour to the state.
When in the fragments preserved to us he twice, in this connection,
calls Christianity "philosophy," we must note that this expression
alternates with the other "[Greek: ho kath' hêmas logos]", and that he
uses the formula: "Thy forefathers held this philosophy in honour along
with the other cults" [Greek: pros tais allais thrêskeichis]. This
excludes the assumption that Melito in his Apology merely represented
Christian as philosophy (see also IV. 26. 5, where the Christians are
called "[Greek: to tôn theosebôn genos]"). He also wrote a treatise
[Greek: peri ktiseôs kai geneseôs Christou]. In it (fragment in the
Chron. Pasch) he called Christ [Greek: Theou logos pro aiônôn].]

[Footnote 385: See my treatise "Tatian's Rede an die Griechen übers."
1884 (Giessener Programm). Daniel, Tatianus, 1837. Steuer, Die Gottes-
und Logoslehre des Tatian, 1893.]

[Footnote 386: But see Orat. 4 init., 24 fin., 25 fin., 27 init.]

[Footnote 387: He not only accentuated the disagreement of philosophers
more strongly than Justin, but insisted more energetically than that
Apologist on the necessity of viewing the practical fruits of philosophy
in life as a criterion; see Orat. 2, 3, 19, 25. Nevertheless Socrates
still found grace in his eyes (c. 3). With regard to other philosophers
he listened to foolish and slanderous gossip.]

[Footnote 388: Orat. 13, 15 fin., 20. Tatian also gave credence to it
because it imparts such an intelligible picture of the creation of the
world (c. 29).]

[Footnote 389: Orat. 12: [Greek: ta tês hêmeteras paideias estin anôterô
tês kosmikês katalêpseôs]. Tatian troubled himself very little with
giving demonstrations. No other Apologist made such bold assertions.]

[Footnote 390: See Orat. 12 (p. 54 fin.), 20 (p. 90), 25 fin., 26 fin.,
29, 30 (p. 116), 13 (p. 62), 15 (p. 70), 36 (p. 142), 40 (p. 152 sq.).
The section cc. 12-15 of the Oratio is very important (see also c. 7
ff); for it shows that Tatian denied the natural immortality of the
soul, declared the soul (the material spirit) to be something inherent
in all matter, and accordingly looked on the distinction between men and
animals in respect of their inalienable natural constitution as only one
of degree. According to this Apologist the dignity of man does not
consist in his natural endowments: but in the union of the human soul
with the divine spirit, for which union indeed he was planned. But, in
Tatian's opinion, man lost this union by falling under the sovereignty
of the demons. The Spirit of God has left him, and consequently he has
fallen back to the level of the beasts. So it is man's task to unite the
Spirit again with himself, and thereby recover that religious principle
on which all wisdom and knowledge rest. This anthropology is opposed to
that of the Stoics and related to the "Gnostic" theory. It follows from
it that man, in order to reach his destination, must raise himself above
his natural endowment; see c. 15: [Greek: anthrôpon legô ton porrô men
anthrôptêtos pros auton de ton Theon kechôrêkota]. But with Tatian this
conception is burdened with radical inconsistency; for he assumes that
the Spirit reunites itself with every man who rightly uses his freedom,
and he thinks it still possible for every person to use his freedom
aright (11 fin., 13 fin., 15 fin.) So it is after all a mere assertion
that the natural man is only distinguished from the beast by speech. He
is also distinguished from it by freedom. And further it is only in
appearance that the blessing bestowed in the "Spirit" is a _donum
superadditum et supernaturale_. For if a proper spontaneous use of
freedom infallibly leads to the return of the Spirit, it is evident that
the decision and consequently the realisation of man's destination
depend on human freedom. That is, however, the proposition which all the
Apologists maintained. But indeed Tatian himself in his latter days
seems to have observed the inconsistency in which he had become involved
and to have solved the problem in the Gnostic, that is, the religious
sense. In his eyes, of course, the ordinary philosophy is a useless and
pernicious art; philosophers make their own opinions laws (c. 27);
whereas of Christians the following holds good (c. 32): [Greek: logou
tou dêmosiou kai epigeiou kechôrismenoi kai peithomenoi theou
parangelmasi kai nomô patros aphtharsias hepomenoi, pan to en doxê
keimenon anthrôpinê paraitoumetha].]

[Footnote 391: C. 31. init.: [Greek: hê hêmetera philosophia]. 32 (p.
128): [Greek: hoi boulomenoi philosophein par' hêmin anthrôpoi]. In c.
33 (p. 130) Christian women are designated [Greek: hai par hêmin
philosophousai]. C. 35: [Greek: hê kath' hêmas barbaros philosophia]. 40
(p. 152): [Greek: hoi kata Môusea kai homoiôs autô philosophountes]. 42:
[Greek: ho kata barbarous philosophôn Tatianos]. The [Greek: dogmata] of
the Christians: c. 1 (p. 2), 12 (p. 58), 19 (p. 86), 24 (p. 102), 27 (p.
108), 35 (p. 138), 40, 42. But Tatian pretty frequently calls
Christianity "[Greek: hê hêmetera paideia]", once also "[Greek:
nomothesia]" (12; cf. 40: [Greek: hoi hêmeteroi nomoi]), and often
[Greek: politeia].]

[Footnote 392: See, e.g., c. 29 fin.: the Christian doctrine gives us
[Greek: ouch hoper mê elabomen, all' hoper labontes hupo tês planês
echein ekoluthêmen].]

[Footnote 393: Tatian gave still stronger expression than Justin to the
opinion that it is the demons who have misled men and rule the world,
and that revelation through the prophets is opposed to this demon rule;
see c. 7 ff. The demons have fixed the laws of death; see c. 15 fin. and

[Footnote 394: Tatian also cannot at bottom distinguish between
revelation through the prophets and through Christ. See the description
of his conversion in c. 29. where only the Old Testament writings are
named, and c. 13 fin., 20 fin.. 12 (p. 54) etc.]

[Footnote 395: Knowledge and life appear in Tatian most closely
connected. See, e.g., c. 13 init.: "In itself the soul is not immortal,
but mortal; it is also possible, however, that it may not die. If it has
not attained a knowledge of that truth it dies and is dissolved with the
body; but later, at the end of the world, it will rise again with the
body in order to receive death in endless duration as a punishment. On
the contrary it does not die, though it is dissolved for a time, if it
is equipped with the knowledge of God."]

[Footnote 396: Barbarian: the Christian doctrines are [Greek: ta tôn
barbarôn dogmata] (c. 1): [Greek: kath' hêmas barbaros philosophia] (c.
35); [Greek: hê barbarikê nomothesia] (c. 12); [Greek: graphai
barbarikai] (c. 29); [Greek: kainotomein ta barbarôn dogmata] (c. 35);
[Greek: ho kata barbarous philosophôn Tatianos] (c. 42); [Greek: Môusês
pasês barbarou philosophias archêgos] (c. 31); see also c. 30, 32. In
Tatian's view barbarians and Greeks are the decisive contrasts in

[Footnote 397: See the proof from antiquity, c. 31 ff.]

[Footnote 398: C. 30 (p. 114): [Greek: toutôn oun tên katalêpsin

[Footnote 399: Tatian's own confession is very important here (c. 26):
"Whilst I was reflecting on what was good it happened that there fell
into my hands certain writings of the barbarians, too old to be compared
with the doctrines of the Greeks, too divine to be compared with their
errors. And it chanced that they convinced me through the plainness of
their expressions, through the unartificial nature of their language,
through the intelligible representation of the creation of the world,
through the prediction of the future, the excellence of their precepts,
and the summing up of all kinds under one head. My soul was instructed
by God and I recognised that those Greek doctrines lead to perdition,
whereas the others abolish the slavery to which we are subjected in the
world, and rescue us from our many lords and tyrants, though they do not
give us blessings we had not already received, but rather such as we had
indeed obtained, but were not able to retain in consequence of error."
Here the whole theology of the Apologists is contained _in nuce_; see
Justin, Dial. 7-8. In Chaps. 32, 33 Tatian strongly emphasises the fact
that the Christian philosophy is accessible even to the most uneducated;
see Justin, Apol. II. 10; Athenag. 11 etc.]

[Footnote 400: The unknown author of the [Greek: Logos pros Ellênas]
also formed the same judgment as Tatian (Corp. Apolog., T. III., p. 2
sq., ed. Otto; a Syrian translation, greatly amplified, is found in the
Cod. Nitr. Mus. Britt. Add. 14658. It was published by Cureton, Spic.
Syr., p. 38 sq. with an English translation). Christianity is an
incomparable heavenly wisdom, the teacher of which is the Logos himself.
"It produces neither poets, nor philosophers, nor rhetoricians; but it
makes mortals immortal and men gods, and leads them away upwards from
the earth into super-Olympian regions." Through Christian knowledge the
soul returns to its Creator: [Greek: dei gar apokatatathênai othen

[Footnote 401: Nor is Plato "[Greek: ho dokôn en autois semnoteron
pephilosophêkenai]" any better than Epicurus and the Stoics (III. 6).
Correct views which are found in him in a greater measure than in the
others ([Greek: ho dokôn Hellênôn sophôteros gegenêsthai]), did not
prevent him from giving way to the stupidest babbling (III. 16).
Although he knew that the full truth can only be learned from God
himself through the law (III. 17), he indulged in the most foolish
guesses concerning the beginning of history. But where guesses find a
place, truth is not to be found (III. 16: [Greek: ei de eikasmô, ouk ara
alêthê estin ta hup' autou eirêmena]).]

[Footnote 402: Theophilus confesses (I. 14) exactly as Tatian does:
[Greek: kai gar egô êpistoun touto esesthai, alla nun katanoêsas auta
pisteuô, hama kai epituchôn hierais graphais tôn agiôn prophêtôn, hoi
kai proeipon dia pneumatos Theou ti progegonota ô tropô gegonen kai ta
enestôta tini tropô ginetai, kai ta eperchomena poia taxei
apartisthêsetai. Apodeixin oun labôn tôn ginomenôn kai
proanapephônêmenôn ouk apistô]; see also II. 8-10, 22, 30, 33-35: III.
10, 11, 17. Theophilus merely looks on the Gospel as a continuation of
the prophetic revelations and injunctions. Of Christ, however, he did
not speak at all, but only of the Logos (Pneuma), which has operated
from the beginning. To Theophilus the first chapters of Genesis already
contain the sum of all Christian knowledge (II. 10-32).]

[Footnote 403: See II. 8: [Greek: hupo daimonôn de empneusthentes kai
hup' autôn phusiôthentes ha eipon di' autôn eipon].]

[Footnote 404: The unknown author of the work _de resurrectione_, which
goes under the name of Justin (Corp. Apol., Vol. III.) has given a
surprising expression to the thought that it is simply impossible to
give a demonstration of truth. ([Greek: O men tês alêtheias logos estin
eleutheroste kai autexousios, upo mêdemian basanon elegchou thelôn
piptein mêde tên para tois akouousi di' apodeixeôs exetasin hupomenein.
To gar eugenes autou kai pepoithos autô tô pempsanti pisteuesthai
thelei]). He inveighs in the beginning of his treatise against all
rationalism, and on the one hand professes a sort of materialistic
theory of knowledge, whilst on the other, for that very reason, he
believes in inspiration and the authority of revelation; for all truth
originates with revelation, since God himself and God alone is the
truth. Christ revealed this truth and is for us [Greek: tôn olôn pistis
kai apodeixis]. But it is far from probable that the author would really
have carried this proposition to its logical conclusion (Justin, Dial. 3
ff. made a similar start). He wishes to meet his adversaries "armed with
the arguments of faith which are unconquered" (c. 1, p. 214), but the
arguments of faith are still the arguments of reason. Among these he
regarded it as most important that even according to the theories about
the world, that is, about God and matter, held by the "so-called sages,"
Plato, Epicurus, and the Stoics, the assumption of a resurrection of the
flesh is not irrational (c. 6, p. 228 f.). Some of these, viz.,
Pythagoras and Plato, also acknowledged the immortality of the soul.
But, for that very reason, this view is not sufficient, "for if the
Redeemer had only brought the message of the (eternal) life of the soul
what new thing would he have proclaimed in addition to what had been
made known by Pythagoras, Plato, and the band of their adherents?" (c.
10, p. 246.) This remark is very instructive, for it shows what
considerations led the Apologists to adhere to the belief in the
resurrection of the body. Zahn, (Zeitschrift fur Kirchengeschichte, Vol.
VIII., pp. 1 f., 20 f.) has lately reassigned to Justin himself the
fragment de resurr. His argument, though displaying great plausibility,
has nevertheless not fully convinced me. The question is of great
importance for fixing the relation of Justin to Paul. I shall not
discuss Hermias' "Irrisio Gentilium Philosophorum," as the period when
this Christian disputant flourished is quite uncertain. We still possess
an early-Church Apology in Pseudo-Melito's "Oratio ad Antoninum Cæsarem"
(Otto, Corp. Apol. IX., p. 423 sq.). This book is preserved (written?)
in the Syrian language and was addressed to Caracalla or Heliogabalus
(preserved in the Cod. Nitr. Mus. Britt. Add. 14658). It is probably
dependent on Justin, but it is less polished and more violent than his

[Footnote 405: Massebieau (Revue de l'histoire des religions, 1887, Vol.
XV. No. 3) has convinced me that Minucius wrote at a later period than
Tertullian and made use of his works.]

[Footnote 406: Cf. the plan of the "Octavius." The champion of
heathenism here opposed to the Christian is a philosopher representing
the standpoint of the middle Academy. This presupposes, as a matter of
course, that the latter undertakes the defence of the Stoical position.
See, besides, the corresponding arguments in the Apology of Tertullian,
e.g., c. 17, as well as his tractate: "de testimonio animæ naturaliter
Christianæ." We need merely mention that the work of Minucius is
throughout dependent on Cicero's book, "de natura deorum." In this
treatise he takes up a position more nearly akin to heathen syncretism
than Tertullian.]

[Footnote 407: In R. Kühn's investigation ("Der Octavius des Min.
Felix," Leipzig, 1882)--the best special work we possess on an early
Christian Apology from the point of view of the history of dogma--based
on a very careful analysis of the Octavius, more emphasis is laid on the
difference than on the agreement between Minucius and the Greek
Apologists. The author's exposition requires to be supplemented in the
latter respect (see Theologische Litteratur-Zeitung, 1883, No. 6).]

[Footnote 408: C. 20: "Exposui opiniones omnium ferme philosophorum....
ut quivis arbitretur, aut nunc Christianos philosophos esse aut
philosophos fuisse jam tunc Christianos."]

[Footnote 409: See Minucius, 31 ff. A quite similar proceeding is
already found in Tertullian, who in his _Apologeticum_ has everywhere
given a Stoic colouring to Christian ethics and rules of life, and in c.
39 has drawn a complete veil over the peculiarity of the Christian

[Footnote 410: Tertullian has done exactly the same thing; see Apolog.
46 (and de præscr. 7.)]

[Footnote 411: Tertull., de testim. I.: "Sed non eam te (animam) advoco,
quæ scholis formata, bibliothecis exercitata, academiis et porticibus
Atticis pasta sapientiam ructas. Te simplicem et rudem et impoliitam et
idioticam compello, qualem te habent qui te solam habent... Imperitia
tua mihi opus est, quoniam aliquantulæ peritiæ tuæ nemo credit."]

[Footnote 412: Tertull., Apol. 46: "Quid simile philosophus et
Christianas? Græciæ discipulus et coeli?" de præscr. 7: "Quid ergo
Athenis et Hierosolymis? Quid academiæ et ecclesiæ?" Minuc. 38.5:
"Philosophorum supercilia contemnimus, quos corruptores et adulteros
novimus... nos, qui non habitu sapientiam sed mente præferimus, non
eloquimur magna sed vivimus, gloriamur nos consecutos, quod illi summa
intentione quæsiverunt nec invenire potuerunt. Quid ingrati sumus, quid
nobis invidemus, si veritas divinitatis nostri temporis ælate

[Footnote 413: Minucius did not enter closely into the significance of
Christ any more than Tatian, Athenagoras, and Theophilus; he merely
touched upon it (9. 4: 29. 2). He also viewed Christianity as the
teaching of the Prophets; whoever acknowledges the latter must of
necessity adore the crucified Christ. Tertullian was accordingly the
first Apologist after Justin who again considered it necessary to give a
detailed account of Christ as the incarnation of the Logos (see the 21st
chapter of the Apology in its relation to chaps. 17-20).]

[Footnote 414: Among the Greek Apologists the unknown author of the work
"de Monarchia," which bears the name of Justin, has given clearest
expression to this conception. He is therefore most akin to Minucius
(see chap. I.). Here monotheism is designated as the [Greek: katholikê
doxa] which has fallen into oblivion through bad habit; for [Greek: tês
anthrôpinês phuseôs to kat' archên suzugian suneseôs kai sôtêrias
labousês eis epignôsin alêtheias thrêskeias te tês eis ton hena kai
pantôn despotên.] According to this, then, only an awakening is

[Footnote 415: But almost all the Apologists acknowledged that
heathendom possessed prophets. They recognise these in the Sibyls and
the old poets. The author of the work "de Monarchia" expressed the most
pronounced views in regard to this. Hermas (Vis. II. 4), however, shows
that the Apologists owed this notion also to an idea that was widespread
among Christian people.]

[Footnote 416: See Justin, Apol. I. 31, Dial. 7, p. 30 etc.]

[Footnote 417: See Tatian, c. 31 ff.]

[Footnote 418: In the New Testament the content of the Christian faith
is now here designated as dogma. In Clement (I. 11.), Hermas, and
Polycarp the word is not found at all; yet Clement (I. 20. 4, 27. 5)
called the divine order of nature [Greek: ta dedogmatismena hupo Theou].
In Ignatius (ad Magn. XIII. 1) we read: [Greek: spoudazete oun
bebaiôthênai en tois dogmasin tou kuriou kai tôn apostolôn], but [Greek:
dogmata] here exclusively mean the rules of life (see Zahn on this
passage), and this is also their signification in [Greek: Didachê] XI.
3. In the Epistle of Barnabas we read in several passages (I. 6: IX. 7:
X. 1, 9 f.) of "dogmas of the Lord;" but by these he means partly
particular mysteries, partly divine dispensations. Hence the Apologists
are the first to apply the word to the Christian faith, in accordance
with the language of philosophy. They are also the first who employed
the ideas [Greek: theologein] and [Greek: theologia]. The latter word is
twice found in Justin (Dial. 56) in the sense of "aliquem nominare
deum." In Dial. 113, however, it has the more comprehensive sense of "to
make religio-scientific investigations." Tatian (10) also used the word
in the first sense; on the contrary he entitled a book of which he was
the author "[Greek: pros tous apophênamenous ta peri Theou]" and not
"[Greek: pros tous theologountas]". In Athenagoras (Suppl. 10) theology
is the doctrine of God and of all beings to whom the predicate "Deity"
belongs (see also 20, 22). That is the old usage of the word. It was
thus employed by Tertullian in ad nat. II. 1 (the threefold division of
theology; in II. 2, 3 the expression "theologia physica, mythica" refers
to this); Cohort, ad Gr. 3, 22. The anonymous writer in Eusebius (H. E.
V. 28. 4, 5) is instructive on the point. Brilliant demonstrations of
the ancient use of the word "theology" are found in Natorp, Thema und
Disposition der aristotelischen Metaphysik (Philosophische Monatshefte,
1887, Parts I and 2, pp. 55-64). The title "theology," as applied to a
philosophic discipline, was first used by the Stoics; the old poets were
previously called "theologians," and the "theological" stage was the
prescientific one which is even earlier than the "childhood" of
"physicists" (so Aristotle speaks throughout). To the Fathers of the
Church also the old poets are still [Greek: hoi palaioi theologoi]. But
side by side with this we have an adoption of the Stoic view that there
is also a philosophical theology, because the teaching of the old poets
concerning the gods conceals under the veil of myth a treasure of
philosophical truth. In the Stoa arose the "impossible idea of a
'theology' which is to be philosophy, that is, knowledge based on
reason, and yet to have positive religion as the foundation of its
certainty." The Apologists accepted this, but added to it the
distinction of a [Greek: kosmikê] and [Greek: theologikê sophia.]]

[Footnote 419: Christ has a relation to all three parts of the scheme,
(1) as [Greek: logos]; (2) as [Greek: nomos, nomothetês], and [Greek:
kritês]; (3) as [Greek: didaskalos] and [Greek: sotêr].]

[Footnote 420: In the reproduction of the apologetical theology
historians of dogma have preferred to follow Justin; but here they have
constantly overlooked the fact that Justin was the most Christian among
the Apologists, and that the features of his teaching to which
particular value is rightly attached, are either not found in the others
at all (with the exception of Tertullian), or else in quite rudimentary
form. It is therefore proper to put the doctrines common to all the
Apologists in the foreground, and to describe what is peculiar to Justin
as such, so far as it agree with New Testament teachings or contains an
anticipation of the future tenor of dogma.]

[Footnote 421: Cicero's proposition (de nat. deor. II. 66. 167): "nemo
vir magnus sine aliquo afflatu divino unquam fuit," which was the
property of all the idealistic philosophers of the age, is found in the
Apologists reproduced in the most various forms (see, e.g., Tatian 29).
That all knowledge of the truth, both among the prophets and those who
follow their teaching, is derived from inspiration was in their eyes a
matter of certainty. But here they were only able to frame a theory in
the case of the prophets; for such a theory strictly applied to all
would have threatened the spontaneous character of the knowledge of the

[Footnote 422: Justin, Apol. I. 3: [Greek: Hêmeteron oun ergon kai biou
kai mathêmatôn tên episkepsin pasi parechein].]

[Footnote 423: See the exposition of the doctrine of God in Aristides
with the conclusion found in all the Apologists, that God requires no
offerings and presents.]

[Footnote 424: Even Tatian says in c. 19: [Greek: Kosmou men gar ê
kataskeuê kalê, to de en autô politeuma phaulon].]

[Footnote 425: Tatian 5: [Greek: Oute anarchos ê hulê kathaper ho Theos,
oude dia to anarchon kai autê isodunamos tô Theô gennêtê de kai ouch
hupo tou allou gegonuia monon de hupo tou pantôn dêmiourgou
probeblêmenê]. 12. Even Justin does not seem to have taught otherwise,
though that is not quite certain; see Apol. I. 10, 59, 64, 67: II. 6.
Theophilus I. 4: II. 4, 10, 13 says very plainly: [Greek: ex ouk ontôn
ta panta epoiêsen.... ti de mega, ei ho theos ex hupokeimenês hulês
epoiei ton kosmon].]

[Footnote 426: Hence the knowledge of God and the right knowledge of the
world are most closely connected; see Tatian 27: [Greek: hê Theou
katalêpsis ên echô peri tôn holôn].]

[Footnote 427: The beginning of the fifth chapter of Tatian's Oration is
specially instructive here.]

[Footnote 428: According to what has been set forth in the text it is
incorrect to assert that the Apologists adopted the Logos doctrine in
order to reconcile monotheism with the divine honours paid to the
crucified Christ. The truth rather is that the Logos doctrine was
already part of their creed before they gave any consideration to the
person of the historical Christ, and _vice versâ_ Christ's right to
divine honours was to them a matter of certainty independently of the
Logos doctrine.]

[Footnote 429: We find the distinction of Logos (Son) and Spirit in
Justin, Apol. I. 5, and in every case where he quotes formulæ (if we are
not to assume the existence of interpolation in the text, which seems to
me not improbable; see now also Cramer in the Theologische Studien,
1893. pp. 17 ff., 138 ff.). In Tatian 13 fin. the Spirit is represented
as [Greek: ho diakonos tou peponthotos Theou]. The conception in Justin,
Dial. 116, is similar. Father, Word, and prophetic Spirit are spoken of
in Athenag. 10. The express designation [Greek: trias] is first found in
Theophilus (but see the Excerpta ex Theodoto); see II. 15: [Greek: hai
treis hêmerai tupoi heisin tês triados, tou Theou kai tou logou autou
kai tês sophias autou]; see II. 10, 18. But it is just in Theophilus
that the difficulty of deciding between Logos and Wisdom appears with
special plainness (II. 10). The interposition of the host of good angels
between Son and Spirit found in Justin, Apol. I. 5 (see Athenag.), is
exceedingly striking. We have, however, to notice, provided the text is
right, (1) that this interposition is only found in a single passage,
(2) that Justin wished to refute the reproach of [Greek: atheotês], (3)
that the placing of the Spirit after the angels does not necessarily
imply a position inferior to theirs, but merely a subordination to the
Son and the Father common to the Spirit and the angels, (4) that the
good angels were also invoked by the Christians, because they were
conceived as mediators of prayer (see my remark on I. Clem, ad Corinth.
LVI. 1); they might have found a place here just for this latter reason.
On the significance of the Holy Spirit in the theology of Justin, see
Zahn's Marcellus of Ancyra, p. 228: "If there be any one theologian of
the early Church who might be regarded as depriving the Holy Spirit of
all scientific _raison d'etre_ at least on the ground of having no
distinctive activity, and the Father of all share in revelation, it
is Justin." We cannot at bottom say that the Apologists possessed a
doctrine of the Trinity.]

[Footnote 430: To Justin the name of the Son is the most important; see
also Athenag. 10. The Logos had indeed been already called the Son of
God by Philo, and Celsus expressly says (Orig., c. Cels. II. 31); "If
according to your doctrine the Word is really the Son of God then we
agree with you;" but the Apologists are the first to attach the name of
Son to the Logos as a proper designation. If, however, the Logos is
intrinsically the Son of God, then Christ is the Son of God, not because
he is the begotten of God in the flesh (early Christian), but because
the spiritual being existing in him is the antemundane reproduction of
God (see Justin, Apol. II. 6: [Greek: ho huios tou patros kai Theou, ho
monos legomenos kuriôs huios])--a momentous expression.]

[Footnote 431: Athenag., 10; Tatian, Orat. 5.]

[Footnote 432: The clearest expression of this is in Tatian 5, which
passage is also to be compared with the following: [Greek: Theos ên en
archê, tên de archên logou dunamin pareilêphamen. Ho gar despotês tôn
holôn, autos huparchôn tou pantos hê hupostasis, kata men tên mêdepô
gegenêmenên poiêsin monos ên, katho de pasa dunamis, horatôn te kai
aoratôn autos hupostasis ên, sun autô ta panta sun autô dia logikês
dunameôs autos kai ho logos, hos ên auto, hupestêse. Thelêmati de tês
aplotêtos autou propêda logos, ho de logos, ou kata kenou chôrêsas,
ergon prôtotokon tou patros ginetai. Touton ismen tou kosmou tên archên.
Gegone de kata merismon, ou kata apokopên to gar apotmêthen tou prôtou
kechôristai, to de meriothen oikonomas tên hairesin proslabon ouk endea
ton hothen eilêptai pepoiêken. Ôsper gar aro mias dados anaptetai men
pura polla, tês de prôtês dados dia tên exapsin tôn pollôn dadôn ouk
elattoutai to phôs, houtô kai ho logos proelthôn ek tês tou patros
dunameôs ouk alogon pepoiêke ton gegennêkota]. In the identification of
the divine consciousness, that is, the power of God, with the force to
which the world is due the naturalistic basis of the apologetic
speculations is most clearly shown. Cf. Justin, Dial. 128, 129.]

[Footnote 433: The word "beget" ([Greek: gennan]) is used by the
Apologists, especially Justin, because the name "Son" was the recognised
expression for the Logos. No doubt the words [Greek: exereugesthai,
proballesthai, proerchesthai, propêdan] and the like express the
physical process more exactly in the sense of the Apologists. On the
other hand, however, [Greek: gennan] appears the more appropriate word
in so far as the relation of the essence of the Logos to the essence of
God is most clearly shown by the name "Son."]

[Footnote 434: None of the Apologists has precisely defined the Logos
idea. Zahn, l.c., p. 233, correctly remarks: "Whilst the distinction
drawn between the hitherto unspoken and the spoken word of the Creator
makes Christ appear as the thought of the world within the mind of God,
yet he is also to be something real which only requires to enter into a
new relation to God to become an active force. Then again this Word is
not to be the thought that God thinks, but the thought that thinks in
God. And again it is to be a something, or an Ego, in God's thinking
essence, which enters into reciprocal intercourse with something else in
God; occasionally also the reason of God which is in a state of active
exercise and without which he would not be rational." Considering this
evident uncertainty it appears to me a very dubious proceeding to
differentiate the conceptions of the Logos in Justin, Athenagoras,
Tatian, and Theophilus, as is usually done. If we consider that no
Apologist wrote a special treatise on the Logos, that Tatian (c. 5) is
really the only one from whom we have any precise statements, and that
the elements of the conception are the same in all, it appears
inadvisable to lay so great stress on the difference as Zahn, for
instance, has done in the book already referred to, p. 232 f. Hardly any
real difference can have existed between Justin, Tatian, and Theophilus
in the Logos doctrine proper. On the other hand Athenagoras certainly
seems to have tried to eliminate the appearance of the Logos in time,
and to emphasise the eternal nature of the divine relationships,
without, however, reaching the position which Irenæus took up here.]

[Footnote 435: This distinction is only found in Theophilus (II. 10);
but the idea exists in Tatian and probably also in Justin, though it is
uncertain whether Justin regarded the Logos as having any sort of being
before the moment of his begetting.]

[Footnote 436: Justin, Apol. II. 6., Dial. 61. The Logos is not produced
out of nothing, like the rest of the creatures. Yet it is evident that
the Apologists did not yet sharply and precisely distinguish between
begetting and creating, as the later theologians did; though some of
them certainly felt the necessity for a distinction.]

[Footnote 437: All the Apologists tacitly assume that the Logos in
virtue of his origin has the capacity of entering the finite. The
distinction which here exists between Father and Son is very pregnantly
expressed by Tertullian (adv. Marc. II. 27): "Igitur quæcumque exigitis
deo digna, habebuntur in patre invisibili incongressibilique et placido
et, ut ita dixerim, philosophorum deo. Quæcumque autem ut indigna
reprehenditis deputabuntur in filio et viso et audito et congresso,
arbitro patris et ministro." But we ought not to charge the Apologists
with the theologoumenon that it was an inward necessity for the Logos to
become man. Their Logos hovers, as it were, between God and the world,
so that he appears as the highest creature, in so far as he is conceived
as the production of God; and again seems to be merged in God, in so far
as he is looked upon as the consciousness and spiritual force of God. To
Justin, however, the incarnation is irrational, and the rest of the
Greek Apologists are silent about it.]

[Footnote 438: The most of the Apologists argue against the conception
of the natural immortality of the human soul; see Tatian 13; Justin,
Dial. 5; Theoph. II. 27.]

[Footnote 439: The first chapter of Genesis represented to them the sum
of all wisdom, and therefore of all Christianity. Perhaps Justin had
already written a commentary to the Hexaëmeron (see my Texte und
Untersuchungen I. 1, 2, p. 169 f.). It is certain that in the second
century Rhodon (Euseb., H. E. V. 13. 8), Theophilus (see his 2nd Book ad
Autol.), Candidus, and Apion (Euseb., H. E. V. 27) composed such. The
Gnostics also occupied themselves a great deal with Gen. I.-III.; see,
e.g., Marcus in Iren. I. 18.]

[Footnote 440: See Theophilus ad Aut. II. 27: [Greek: Ei gar ho Theos
athanaton ton anthrôpon ap' archês pepoiêkei, Theon auton pepoiêkei;
palin ei thnêton auton pepoiêkei edokei an ho Theos aitios einai tou
thanatou autou. Oute oun athanaton auton epoiêsen oute mên thnêton, alla
dektikon amphoterôn, hina, ei rhepsê epi ta tês athanasias têrêsas tên
entolên tou Theou, misthon komisêtai par' autou tên athanasian kai
genêtai Theos, ei d' au trapê epi ta tou thanatou pragmata parakousas
tou Theou, autos eautô aitios ê tou thanatou.]]

[Footnote 441: See Justin, Apol. I. 14 ff. and the parallel passages in
the other Apologists.]

[Footnote 442: See Tatian, Orat. II. and many other passages.]

[Footnote 443: Along with this the Apologists emphasise the resurrection
of the flesh in the strongest way as the specific article of Christian
anticipation, and prove the possibility of realising this irrational
hope. Yet to the Apologists the ultimate ground of their trust in this
early-Christian idea is their reliance on the unlimited omnipotence of
God and this confidence is a proof of the vividness of their idea of
him. Nevertheless this conception assumes that in the other world there
will be a return of the flesh, which on this side the grave had to be
overcome and regarded as non-existent. A clearly chiliastic element is
found only in Justin.]

[Footnote 444: No uniform conception of this is found in the Apologists;
see Wendt, Die Christliche Lehre von der menschlichen Vollkommenheit
1882, pp. 8-20. Justin speaks only of a heavenly destination for which
man is naturally adapted. With Tatian and Theophilus it is different.]

[Footnote 445: The idea that the demon sovereignty has led to some
change in the psychological condition and capacities of man is
absolutely unknown to Justin (see Wendt, l.c., p. 11 f., who has
successfully defended the correct view in Engelhardt's "Das Christenthum
Justin's des Märtyrers" pp. 92 f. 151. f. 266 f., against Stählin,
"Justin der Märtyrer und sein neuester Beurtheiler" 1880, p. 16 f.).
Tatian expressed a different opinion, which, however, involved him in
evident contradictions (see above, p. 191 ff.). The apologetic theology
necessarily adhered to the two following propositions: (1) The freedom
to do what is good is not lost and cannot be. This doctrine was opposed
to philosophic determinism and popular fatalism. (2) The desires of the
flesh resulting from the constitution of man only become evil when they
destroy or endanger the sovereignty of reason. The formal _liberum
arbitrium_ explains the possibility of sin, whilst its actual existence
is accounted for by the desire that is excited by the demons. The
Apologists acknowledge the universality of sin and death, but refused to
admit the necessity of the former in order not to call its guilty
character in question. On the other hand they are deeply imbued with the
idea that the sovereignty of death is the most powerful factor in the
perpetuation of sin. Their believing conviction of the omnipotence of
God, as well as their moral conviction of the responsibility of man,
protected them in theory from a strictly dualistic conception of the
world. At the same time, like all who separate nature and morality in
their ethical system, though in other respects they do not do so, the
Apologists were obliged in practice to be dualists.]

[Footnote 446: Death is accounted the worst evil. When Theophilus (II.
26) represents it as a blessing, we must consider that he is arguing
against Marcion. Polytheism is traced to the demons; they are accounted
the authors of the fables about the gods; the shameful actions of the
latter are partly the deeds of demons and partly lies.]

[Footnote 447: The Old Testament therefore is not primarily viewed as
the book of prophecy or of preparation for Christ, but as the book of
the full revelation which cannot be surpassed. In point of content the
teaching of the prophets and of Christ is completely identical. The
prophetical details in the Old Testament serve only to attest the _one_
truth. The Apologists confess that they were converted to Christianity
by reading the Old Testament. Cf. Justin's and Tatian's confessions.
Perhaps Commodian (Instruct. I. 1) is also be understood thus.]

[Footnote 448: The _Oratio_ of Tatian is very instructive in this
respect. In this book he has nowhere spoken _ex professo_ of the
incarnation of the Logos in Christ; but in c. 13 fin. he calls the Holy
Spirit "the servant of God who has suffered," and in c. 21 init. he
says: "we are not fools and do not adduce anything stupid, when we
proclaim that God has appeared in human form." Similar expressions are
found in Minucius Felix. In no part of Aristides' Apology is there any
mention of the pre-Christian appearance of the Logos. The writer merely
speaks of the revelation of the Son of God in Jesus Christ.]

[Footnote 449: We seldom receive an answer to the question as to why
this or that particular occurrence should have been prophesied.
According to the ideas of the Apologists, however, we have hardly a
right to put that question; for, since the value of the historical
consists in its having been predicted, its content is of no importance.
The fact that Jesus finds the she-ass bound to a vine (Justin, Apol. I.
32) is virtually quite as important as his being born of a virgin. Both
occurrences attest the prophetic teachings of God, freedom, etc.]

[Footnote 450: In Justin's polemical works this must have appeared in a
still more striking way. Thus we find in a fragment of the treatise
[Greek: pros Markiôna], quoted by Irenæus (IV. 6. 2), the sentence
"unigenitus filius venit ad nos, suum plasma in semetipsum
recapitulans." So the theologoumenon of the _recapitulatio per Christum_
already appeared in Justin. (Vide also Dial. c. Tryph. 100.) If we
compare Tertullian's _Apologeticum_ with his Antignostic writings we
easily see how impossible it is to determine from that work the extent
of his Christian faith and knowledge. The same is probably the case,
though to a less extent, with Justin's apologetic writings.]

[Footnote 451: Christians do not place a man alongside of God, for
Christ is God, though indeed a second God. There is no question of two
natures. It is not the divine nature that Justin has insufficiently
emphasised--or at least this is only the case in so far as it is a
second Godhead--but the human nature; see Schultz, Gottheit Christi, p.
39 ff.]

[Footnote 452: We find allusions in Justin where the various incidents
in the history of the incarnate Logos are conceived as a series of
arrangements meant to form part of the history of salvation, to paralyse
mankind's sinful history, and to regenerate humanity. He is thus a
forerunner of Irenæus and Melito.]

[Footnote 453: Even the theologoumenon of the definite number of the
elect, which must be fulfilled, is found in Justin (Apol. I. 28, 45).
For that reason the judgment is put off by God (II. 7). The Apology of
Aristides contains a short account of the history of Jesus; his
conception, birth, preaching, choice of the 12 Apostles, crucifixion,
resurrection, ascension, sending out of the 12 Apostles are mentioned.]

[Footnote 454: "To Justin faith is only an acknowledgment of the mission
and Sonship of Christ and a conviction of the truth of his teaching.
Faith does not justify, but is merely a presupposition of the
justification which is effected through repentance, change of mind, and
sinless life. Only in so far as faith itself is already a free decision
to serve God has it the value of a saving act, which is indeed of such
significance that one can say, 'Abraham was justified by faith.' In
reality, however, this took place through [Greek: metanoia]." The idea
of the new birth is exhausted in the thought: [Greek: Theos kalei eis
metanoian], that of the forgiveness of sins in the idea: "God is so good
that he overlooks sins committed in a state of ignorance, if man has
changed his mind." Accordingly, Christ is the Redeemer in so far as he
has brought about all the conditions which make for repentance.]

[Footnote 455: This is in fact already the case in Justin here and
there, but in the main there are as yet mere traces of it: the
Apologists are no mystics.]

[Footnote 456: If we consider how largely the demons bulked in the ideas
of the Apologists, we must rate very highly their conviction of the
redeeming power of Christ and of his name, a power continuously shown in
the victories over the demons. See Justin Apol. II. 6, 8; Dial. II, 30,
35, 39, 76, 85, 111, 121; Tertull., Apol. 23, 27, 32, 37 etc. Tatian
also (16 fin.) confirms it, and c. 12, p. 56, line 7 ff. (ed. Otto) does
not contradict this.]

[Footnote 457: Von Engelhardt, Christenthum Justin's, p. 432 f., has
pronounced against its genuineness; see also my Texte und Untersuchungen
I. 1, 2, p. 158. In favour of its genuineness see Hilgenfeld,
Zeitschrift für wissenschaftliche Theologie, 1883, p. 26 f. The fragment
is worded as follows: [Greek: Plasas ho Theos kat' archas ton anthrôpon
tês gnômês autou ta tês phuseôs apêôrêsen entolê mia poiêsamenos tên
diapeiran. Phulaxanta men gar tautên tês athantou lêxeôs pepoiêken
esesthai, parabanta de tês enantias. Outô gegonôs ho anthrôpos kai pros
tên parabasin euthus elthôn tên phthoran phusikôs eisedexato. Phusei de
tês phthoras prosgenomenês anankaion ên hoti sôsai boulomenos ên tên
phthoropoion ousian aphanisas. Touto de ouk ên heteros genesthai, ei
mêper hê kata phusin zôê proseplakê tô tên phthoran dexamenô,
aphanizousa men tên phthoran, athanaton de tou loipou to dexamenon
diatêrousa. Dia touto ton logon edeêsen en sômati genesthai, hina (tou
thanatou) tês kata phusin hêmas phthoras eleutherôsê. Ei gar, hôs phate,
neumati monon ton thanaton hêmôn apekôlusen, ou prosêi men dia tên
boulêsin ho thanatos, ouden de êtton phthartoi palin êmen phuikên en
heautois tên phthoran peripherontes].]

[Footnote 458: Weizsäcker, Jahrbücher fur deutsche Theologie, 1867, p.
119, has with good reason strongly emphasised this element. See also
Stählin, Justin der Martyrer, 1880, p. 63 f., whose criticism of Von
Engelhardt's book contains much that is worthy of note, though it
appears to me inappropriate in the main.]

[Footnote 459: Loofs continues: "The Apologists, viewing the
transference of the concept 'Son' to the preëxistent Christ as a matter
of course, enabled the Christological problem of the 4th century to be
started. They removed the point of departure of the Christological
speculation from the historical Christ back into the preëxistence and
depreciated the importance of Jesus' life as compared with the
incarnation. They connected the Christology with the cosmology, but were
not able to combine it with the scheme of salvation. Their Logos
doctrine is not a 'higher' Christology than the prevailing form; it
rather lags behind the genuine Christian estimate of Christ. It is not
God who reveals himself in Christ, but the Logos, the depotentiated God,
who _as God_ is subordinate to the supreme Deity."]



1. _The theological position of Irenæus and the later contemporary
Church teachers_.

Gnosticism and the Marcionite Church had compelled orthodox Christianity
to make a selection from tradition and to make this binding on
Christians as an apostolical law. Everything that laid claim to validity
had henceforth to be legitimised by the faith, i.e., the baptismal
confession and the New Testament canon of Scripture (see above, chap. 2,
under A and B). However, mere "prescriptions" could no longer suffice
here. But the baptismal confession was no "doctrine;" if it was to be
transformed into such it required an interpretation. We have shown above
that the _interpreted_ baptismal confession was instituted as the guide
for the faith. This interpretation took its _matter_ from the sacred
books of _both_ Testaments. It owed its guiding lines, however, on the
one hand to philosophical theology, as set forth by the Apologists, and
on the other to the earnest endeavour to maintain and defend against all
attacks the traditional convictions and hopes of believers, as professed
in the past generation by the enthusiastic forefathers of the Church. In
addition to this, certain interests, which had found expression in the
speculations of the so-called Gnostics, were adopted in an increasing
degree among all thinking Christians, and also could not but influence
the ecclesiastical teachers.[461] The theological labours, thus
initiated, accordingly bear the impress of great uniqueness and
complexity. In the first place, the old Catholic Fathers, Melito,[462]
Rhodon,[463] Irenæus, Hippolytus, and Tertullian were in every case
convinced that all their expositions contained the universal Church
faith itself and nothing else. Though the faith is identical with the
baptismal confession, yet every interpretation of it derived from the
New Testament is no less certain than the shortest formula.[464] The
creation of the New Testament furnished all at once a quite unlimited
multitude of conceptions, the whole of which appeared as "doctrines" and
offered themselves for incorporation with the "faith."[465] The limits
of the latter therefore seem to be indefinitely extended, whilst on the
other hand tradition, and polemics too in many cases, demanded an
adherence to the shortest formula. The oscillation between this brief
formula, the contents of which, as a rule, did not suffice, and that
fulness, which admitted of no bounds at all, is characteristic of the
old Catholic Fathers we have mentioned. In the second place, these
fathers felt quite as much need of a rational proof in their arguments
with their christian opponents, as they did while contending with the
heathen;[466] and, being themselves children of their time, they
required this proof for their own assurance and that of their
fellow-believers. The epoch in which men appealed to charisms, and
"knowledge" counted as much as prophecy and vision, because it was still
of them same nature, was in the main a thing of the past.[467] Tradition
and reason had taken the place of charisms as courts of appeal. But this
change had neither come to be clearly recognized,[468] nor was the right
and scope of rational theology alongside of tradition felt to be a
problem. We can indeed trace the consciousness of the danger in
attempting to introduce new _termini_ and regulations not prescribed by
the Holy Scriptures.[469] The bishops themselves in fact encouraged this
apprehension in order to warn people against the Gnostics,[470] and
after the deluge of heresy, representatives of Church orthodoxy looked
with distrust on every philosophic-theological formula.[471] Such
propositions of rationalistic theology as were absolutely required,
were, however, placed by Irenæus and Tertullian on the same level as the
hallowed doctrines of tradition, and were not viewed by them as
something of a different nature. Irenæus uttered most urgent warnings
against subtle speculations;[472] but yet, in the naivest way,
associated with the faithfully preserved traditional doctrines and
fancies of the faith theories which he likewise regarded as tradition
and which, in point of form, did not differ from those of the Apologists
or Gnostics.[473] The Holy Scriptures of the New Testament were the
basis on which Irenæus set forth the most important doctrines of
Christianity. Some of these he stated as they had been conceived by the
oldest tradition (see the eschatology), others he adapted to the new
necessities. The qualitative distinction between the _fides credenda_
and theology was noticed neither by Irenæus nor by Hippolytus and
Tertullian. According to Irenæus I. 10. 3 this distinction is merely
quantitative. Here faith and theological knowledge are still completely
intermixed. Whilst stating and establishing the doctrines of tradition
with the help of the New Testament, and revising and fixing them by
means of intelligent deduction, the Fathers think they are setting forth
the faith itself and nothing else. Anything more than this is only
curiosity not unattended with danger to Christians. Theology is
interpreted faith.[474]

Corresponding to the baptismal confession there thus arose at the first
a loose system of dogmas which were necessarily devoid of strict style,
definite principle, or fixed and harmonious aim. In this form we find
them with special plainness in Tertullian.[475] This writer was still
completely incapable of inwardly connecting his rational (Stoic)
theology, as developed by him for apologetic purposes, with the
Christological doctrines of the _regula fidei_, which, after the example
of Irenæus, he constructed and defended from Scripture and tradition in
opposition to heresy. Whenever he attempts in any place to prove the
_intrinsic_ necessity of these dogmas, he seldom gets beyond rhetorical
statements, holy paradoxes, or juristic forms. As a systematic thinker,
a cosmologist, moralist, and jurist rather than a theosophist, as a
churchman, a masterly defender of tradition, as a Christian exclusively
guided in practical life by the strict precepts and hopes of the Gospel,
his theology, if by that we understand his collective theological
disquisitions, is completely devoid of unity, and can only be termed a
mixture of dissimilar and, not unfrequently, contradictory propositions,
which admit of no comparison with the older theology of Valentinus or
the later system of Origen.[476] To Tertullian everything lies side by
side; problems which chance to turn up are just as quickly solved. The
specific faith of Christians is indeed no longer, as it sometimes seems
to be in Justin's case, a great apparatus of proof for the doctrines of
the only true philosophy; it rather stands, in its own independent
value, side by side with these, partly in a crude, partly in a developed
form; but inner principles and aims are nearly everywhere sought for in
vain.[477] In spite of this he possesses inestimable importance in the
history of dogma; for he developed and created, in a disconnected form
and partly in the shape of legal propositions, a series of the most
important dogmatic formulæ, which Cyprian, Novatian, Hosius, and the
Roman bishops of the fourth century, Ambrosius and Leo I., introduced
into the general dogmatic system of the Catholic Church. He founded the
terminology both of the trinitarian and of the Christological dogma; and
in addition to this was the first to give currency to a series of
dogmatic concepts (_satisfacere_, _meritum_, _sacramentum_, _vitium
originis_ etc., etc._). Finally it was he who at the very outset
imparted to the type of dogmatic that arose in the West its momentous
bias in the direction of _auctoritas et ratio_, and its corresponding
tendency to assume a legal character (_lex_, formal and material),
peculiarities which were to become more and more clearly marked as time
went on.[478] But, great as is his importance in this respect, it has no
connection at all with the fundamental conception of Christianity
peculiar to himself, for, as a matter of fact, this was already out of
date at the time when he lived. What influenced the history of dogma was
not his Christianity, but his masterly power of framing formulæ.

It is different with Irenæus. The Christianity of this man proved a
decisive factor in the history of dogma in respect of its content. If
Tertullian supplied the future Catholic dogmatic with the most important
part of its formulæ, Irenæus clearly sketched for it its fundamental
idea, by combining the ancient notion of salvation with New Testament
(Pauline) thoughts.[479] Accordingly, as far as the essence of the
matter is concerned, the great work of Irenæus is far superior to the
theological writings of Tertullian. This appears already in the task,
voluntarily undertaken by Irenæus, of giving a relatively complete
exposition of the doctrines of ecclesiastical Christianity on the basis
of the New Testament, in opposition to heresy. Tertullian nowhere
betrayed a similar systematic necessity, which indeed, in the case of
the Gallic bishop too, only made its appearance as the result of
polemical motives. But Irenæus to a certain degree succeeded in
amalgamating philosophic theology and the statements of ecclesiastical
tradition viewed as doctrines. This result followed (1) because he never
lost sight of a fundamental idea to which he tried to refer everything,
and (2) because he was directed by a confident view of Christianity as a
religion, that is, a theory of its purpose. The first fundamental idea,
in its all-dominating importance, was suggested to Irenæus by his
opposition to Gnosticism. It is the conviction that the Creator of the
world and the supreme God are one and the same.[480] The other theory as
to the aim of Christianity, however, is shared by Irenæus with Paul,
Valentinus, and Marcion. It is the conviction that Christianity is real
redemption, and that this redemption was only effected by the appearance
of Christ. The working out of these two ideas is the most important
feature in Irenæus' book. As yet, indeed, he by no means really
succeeded in completely adapting to these two fundamental thoughts all
the materials to be taken from Holy Scripture and found in the rule of
faith; he only thought with systematic clearness within the scheme of
the Apologists. His archaic eschatological disquisitions are of a
heterogeneous nature, and a great deal of his material, as, for
instance, Pauline formulæ and thoughts, he completely emptied of its
content, inasmuch as he merely contrived to turn it into a testimony of
the oneness and absolute causality of God the Creator; but the
repetition of the same main thoughts to an extent that is wearisome to
us, and the attempt to refer everything to these, unmistakably
constitute the success of his work.[481] God the Creator and the one
Jesus Christ are really the middle points of his theological system, and
in this way he tried to assign an intrinsic significance to the several
historical statements of the baptismal confession. Looked at from this
point of view, his speculations were almost of an identical nature with
the Gnostic.[482] But, while he conceives Christianity as an explanation
of the world and as redemption, his Christocentric teaching was opposed
to that of the Gnostics. Since the latter started with the conception of
an original dualism they saw in the empiric world a faulty combination
of opposing elements,[483] and therefore recognised in the redemption by
Christ the separation of what was unnaturally united. Irenæus, on the
contrary, who began with the idea of the absolute causality of God the
Creator, saw in the empiric world faulty estrangements and separations,
and therefore viewed the redemption by Christ as the reunion of things
unnaturally separated--the "recapitulatio" ([Greek:
anakephalaiôsis]).[484] This speculative thought, which involved the
highest imaginable optimism in contrast to Gnostic pessimism, brought
Irenæus into touch with certain Pauline trains of thought,[485] and
enabled him to adhere to the theology of the Apologists. At the same
time it opened up a view of the person of Christ, which supplemented the
great defect of that theology,[486] surpassed the Christology of the
Gnostics,[487] and made it possible to utilise the Christological
statements contained in certain books of the New Testament.[488]

So far as we know at least, Irenæus is the first ecclesiastical
theologian after the time of the Apologists (see Ignatius before that)
who assigned a quite specific significance to the person of Christ and
in fact regarded it as the vital factor.[489] That was possible for him
because of his realistic view of redemption. Here, however, he did not
fall into the abyss of Gnosticism, because, as a disciple of the
"elders", he adhered to the early-Christian eschatology, and because, as
a follower of the Apologists, he held, along with the realistic
conception of salvation, the other dissimilar theory that Christ, as the
teacher, imparts to men, who are free and naturally constituted for
fellowship with God, the knowledge which enables them to imitate God,
and thus by their own act to attain communion with him. Nevertheless to
Irenæus the pith of the matter is already found in the idea that
Christianity is real redemption, i.e., that the highest blessing
bestowed in Christianity is the deification of human nature through the
gift of immortality, and that this deification includes the full
knowledge and enjoying of God (visio dei). This conception suggested to
him the question as to the cause of the incarnation as well as the
answer to the same. The question "cur deus--homo", which was by no means
clearly formulated in the apologetic writings, in so far as in these
"homo" only meant _appearance_ among men, and the "why" was answered by
referring to prophecy and the necessity of divine teaching, was by
Irenæus made the central point. The reasons why the answer he gave was
so highly satisfactory may be stated as follows: (1) It proved that the
Christian blessing of salvation was of a specific kind. (2) It was
similar in point of form to the so-called Gnostic conception of
Christianity, and even surpassed it as regards the promised extent of
the sphere included in the deification. (3) It harmonised with the
eschatological tendency of Christendom, and at the same time was fitted
to replace the material eschatological expectations that were fading
away. (4) It was in keeping with the mystic and Neoplatonic current of
the time, and afforded it the highest imaginable satisfaction. (5) For
the vanishing trust in the possibility of attaining the highest
knowledge by the aid of reason it substituted the sure hope of a
supernatural transformation of human nature which would even enable it
to appropriate that which is above reason. (6) Lastly, it provided the
traditional historical utterances respecting Christ, as well as the
whole preceding course of history, with a firm foundation and a definite
aim, and made it possible to conceive a history of salvation unfolding
itself by degrees [Greek: oikonomia Theou]. According to this conception
the central point of history was no longer the Logos as such, but Christ
as the _incarnate God_, while at the same time the moralistic interest
was balanced by a really religious one. An approach was thus made to the
Pauline theology, though indeed in a very peculiar way and to some
extent only in appearance. A more exact representation of salvation
through Christ has, however, been given by Irenæus as follows:
Incorruptibility is a _habitus_ which is the opposite of our present one
and indeed of man's natural condition. For immortality is at once God's
manner of existence and his attribute; as a created being man is only
"capable of incorruption and immortality" ("_capax incorruptionis et
immortalitatis_");[490] thanks to the divine goodness, however, he is
intended for the same, and yet is empirically "subjected to the power of
death" ("sub condicione mortis"). Now the sole way in which immortality
as a physical condition can be obtained is by its possessor uniting
himself _realiter_ with human nature, in order to deify it "by adoption"
("_per adoptionem_"), such is the technical term of Irenæus. The deity
must become what we are in order that we may become what he is.
Accordingly, if Christ is to be the Redeemer, he must himself be God,
and all the stress must fall upon his birth as man. "By his birth as man
the eternal Word of God guarantees the inheritance of life to those who
in their natural birth have inherited death."[491] But this work of
Christ can be conceived as _recapitulatio_ because God the Redeemer is
identical with God the Creator; and Christ consequently brings about a
final condition which existed from the beginning in God's plan, but
could not be immediately realised in consequence of the entrance of sin.
It is perhaps Irenæus' highest merit, from a historical and
ecclesiastical point of view, to have worked out this thought in
pregnant fashion and with the simplest means, i.e., without the
apparatus of the Gnostics, but rather by the aid of simple and
essentially Biblical ideas. Moreover, a few decades later, he and
Melito, an author unfortunately so little known to us, were already
credited with this merit. For the author of the so-called "Little
Labyrinth" (Euseb., H. E. V. 28. 5) can indeed boast with regard to the
works of Justin, Miltiades, Tatian, Clement, etc., that they declared
Christ to be God, but then continues: [Greek: Ta Eirênaiou te kai
Melitônos kai tôn loipôn tis agnoei biblia, theon kai anthrôpon
katangellonta ton Christon] ("Who is ignorant of the books of Irenæus,
Melito, and the rest, which proclaim Christ to be God and man"). The
progress in theological views is very precisely and appropriately
expressed in these words. The Apologists also professed their belief in
the full revelation of God upon earth, that is, in revelation as the
teaching which necessarily leads to immortality;[492] but Irenæus is the
first to whom Jesus Christ, God and man, is the centre of history and
faith.[493] Following the method of Valentinus, he succeeded in
sketching a history of salvation, the gradual realising of the [Greek:
oikonomia Theou] culminating in the deification of believing humanity,
but here he always managed to keep his language essentially within the
limits of the Biblical. The various acting æons of the Gnostics became
to him different stages in the saving work of the one Creator and his
Logos. His system seemed to have absorbed the rationalism of the
Apologists and the intelligible simplicity of their moral theology, just
as much as it did the Gnostic dualism with its particoloured mythology.
Revelation had become history, the history of salvation; and dogmatics
had in a certain fashion become a way of looking at history, the
knowledge of God's ways of salvation that lead historically to an
appointed goal.[494]

But, as this realistic, quasi-historical view of the subject was by no
means completely worked out by Irenæus himself, since the theory of
human freedom did not admit of its logical development, and since the
New Testament also pointed in other directions, it did not yet become
the predominating one even in the third century, nor was it consistently
carried out by any one teacher. The two conceptions opposed to it, that
of the early Christian eschatology and the rationalistic one, were still
in vogue. The two latter were closely connected in the third century,
especially in the West, whilst the mystic and realistic view was almost
completely lacking there. In this respect Tertullian adopted but little
from Irenæus. Hippolytus also lagged behind him. Teachers like
Commodian, Arnobius, and Lactantius, however, wrote as if there had been
no Gnostic movement at all, and as if no Antignostic Church theology
existed. The immediate result of the work carried on by Irenæus and the
Antignostic teachers in the Church consisted in the fixing of tradition
and in the intelligent treatment of individual doctrines, which
gradually became established. The most important will be set forth in
what follows. On the most vital point, the introduction of the
philosophical Christology into the Church's rule of faith, see Chapter

The manner in which Irenæus undertook his great task of expounding and
defending orthodox Christianity in opposition to the Gnostic form was
already a prediction of the future. The oldest Christian motives and
hopes; the letter of both Testaments, including even Pauline thoughts;
moralistic and philosophical elements, the result of the Apologists'
labours; and realistic and mystical features balance each other in his
treatment. He glides over from the one to the other; limits the one by
the other; plays off Scripture against reason, tradition against the
obscurity of the Scriptures; and combats fantastic speculation by an
appeal sometimes to reason, sometimes to the limits of human knowledge.
Behind all this and dominating everything, we find his firm belief in
the bestowal of divine incorruptibility on believers through the work of
the God-man. This eclectic method did not arise from shrewd calculation.
It was equally the result of a rare capacity for appropriating the
feelings and ideas of others, combined with the conservative instincts
that guided the great teacher, and the consequence of a happy blindness
to the gulf which lay between the Christian tradition and the world of
ideas prevailing at that time. Still unconscious of the greatest
problem, Irenæus with inward sincerity sketched out that future dogmatic
method according to which the theology compiled by an eclectic process
is to be nothing else than the simple faith itself, this being merely
illustrated and explained, developed and by that very process
established, as far as "stands in the Holy Scripture," and--let us
add--as far as reason requires. But Irenæus was already obliged to
decline answering the question as to how far unexplained faith can be
sufficient for most Christians, though nothing but this explanation can
solve the great problems, "why more covenants than one were given to
mankind, what was the character of each covenant, why God shut up every
man unto unbelief, why the Word became flesh and suffered, why the
advent of the Son of God only took place in the last times etc." (I. 10.
3). The relation of faith and theological Gnosis was fixed by Irenæus to
the effect that the latter is simply a continuation of the former.[495]
At the same time, however, he did not clearly show how the collection of
historical statements found in the confession can of itself guarantee a
sufficient and tenable knowledge of Christianity. Here the speculative
theories are as a matter of fact quite imbedded in the historical
propositions of tradition. Will these obscurities remain when once the
Church is forced to compete in its theological system with the whole
philosophical science of the Greeks, or may it be expected that, instead
of this system of eclecticism and compromise, a method will find
acceptance which, distinguishing between faith and theology, will
interpret in a new and speculative sense the whole complex of tradition?
Irenæus' process has at least this one advantage over the other method:
according to it everything can be reckoned part of the faith, providing
it bears the stamp of truth, without the faith seeming to alter its
nature. It is incorporated in the theology of facts which the faith here
appears to be.[496] The latter, however, imperceptibly becomes a
revealed system of doctrine and history; and though Irenæus himself
always seeks to refer everything again to the "simple faith" ([Greek:
philê pistis]), and to believing simplicity, that is, to the belief in
the Creator and the Son of God who became man, yet it was not in his
power to stop the development destined to transform the faith into
knowledge of a theological system. The pronounced hellenising of the
Gospel, brought about by the Gnostic systems, was averted by Irenæus and
the later ecclesiastical teachers by preserving a great portion of the
early Christian tradition, partly as regards its letter, partly as
regards its spirit, and thus rescuing it for the future. But the price
of this preservation was the adoption of a series of "Gnostic" formulæ.
Churchmen, though with hesitation, adopted the adversary's way of
looking at things, and necessarily did so, because as they became ever
further and further removed from the early-Christian feelings and
thoughts, they had always more and more lost every other point of view.
The old Catholic Fathers permanently settled a great part of early
tradition for Christendom, but at the same time promoted the gradual
hellenising of Christianity.

2. _The Doctrines of the Church._

In the following section we do not intend to give a presentation of the
theology of Irenæus and the other Antignostic Church teachers, but
merely to set forth those points of doctrine to which the teachings of
these men gave currency in succeeding times.

Against the Gnostic theses[497] Irenæus and his successors, apart from
the proof from prescription, adduced the following intrinsic
considerations: (1) In the case of the Gnostics and Marcion the Deity
lacks absoluteness, because he does not embrace everything, that is, he
is bounded by the _kenoma_ or by the sphere of a second God; and also
because his omnipresence, omniscience, and omnipotence have a
corresponding limitation.[498] (2) The assumption of divine emanations
and of a differentiated divine _pleroma_ represents the Deity as a
composite, i.e.,[499] finite being; and, moreover, the personification
of the divine qualities is a mythological freak, the folly of which is
evident as soon as one also makes the attempt to personify the
affections and qualities of man in a similar way.[500] (3) The attempt
to make out conditions existing within the Godhead is in itself absurd
and audacious.[501] (4) The theory of the passion and ignorance of
Sophia introduces sin into the pleroma itself, i.e., into the
Godhead.[502] With this the weightiest argument against the Gnostic
cosmogony is already mentioned. A further argument against the system is
that the world and mankind would have been incapable of improvement, if
they had owed their origin to ignorance and sin.[503] Irenæus and
Tertullian employ lengthy arguments to show that a God who has created
nothing is inconceivable, and that a Demiurge occupying a position
alongside of or below the Supreme Being is self-contradictory, inasmuch
as he sometimes appears higher than this Supreme Being, and sometimes so
weak and limited that one can no longer look on him as a God.[504] The
Fathers everywhere argue on behalf of the Gnostic Demiurge and against
the Gnostic supreme God. It never occurs to them to proceed in the
opposite way and prove that the supreme God may be the Creator. All
their efforts are rather directed to show that the Creator of the world
is the only and supreme God, and that there can be no other above this
one. This attitude of the Fathers is characteristic; for it proves that
the apologetico-philosophical theology was their fundamental assumption.
The Gnostic (Marcionite) supreme God is the God of religion, the God of
redemption; the Demiurge is the being required to explain the world. The
intervention of the Fathers on his behalf, that is, their assuming him
as the basis of their arguments, reveals what was fundamental and what
was accidental in their religious teaching. At the same time, however,
it shows plainly that they did not understand or did not feel the
fundamental problem that troubled and perplexed the Gnostics and
Marcion, viz., the qualitative distinction between the spheres of
creation and redemption. They think they have sufficiently explained
this distinction by the doctrine of human freedom and its consequences.
Accordingly their whole mode of argument against the Gnostics and
Marcion is, in point of content, of an abstract, philosophico-rational
kind.[505] As a rule they do not here carry on their controversy with
the aid of reasons taken from the deeper views of religion. As soon as
the rational argument fails, however, there is really an entire end to
the refutation from inner grounds, at least in the case of Tertullian;
and the contest is shifted into the sphere of the rule of faith and the
Holy Scriptures. Hence, for example, they have not succeeded in making
much impression on the heretical Christology from dogmatic
considerations, though in this respect Irenæus was still very much more
successful than Tertullian.[506] Besides, in adv. Marc. II. 27, the
latter betrayed what interest he took in the preëxistent Christ as
distinguished from God the Father. It is not expedient to separate the
arguments advanced by the Fathers against the Gnostics from their own
positive teachings, for these are throughout dependent on their peculiar
attitude within the sphere of Scripture and tradition.

Irenæus and Hippolytus have been rightly named Scripture theologians;
but it is a strange infatuation to think that this designation
characterises them as evangelical. If indeed we here understand
"evangelical" in the vulgar sense, the term may be correct, only in this
case it means exactly the same as "Catholic." But if "evangelical"
signifies "early-Christian," then it must be said that Scripture
theology was not the primary means of preserving the ideas of primitive
Christianity; for, as the New Testament Scriptures were also regarded as
_inspired_ documents and were to be interpreted according to the
_regula_, their content was just for that reason apt to be obscured.
Both Marcion and the chiefs of the Valentinian school had also been
Scripture theologians. Irenæus and Hippolytus merely followed them. Now
it is true that they very decidedly argued against the arbitrary method
of interpreting the Scriptures adopted by Valentinus, and compared it to
the process of forming the mosaic picture of a king into the mosaic
picture of a fox, and the poems of Homer into any others one might
choose;[507] but they just as decidedly protested against the rejection
by Apelles and Marcion of the allegorical method of interpretation,[508]
and therefore were not able to set up a canon really capable of
distinguishing their own interpretation from that of the Gnostics.[509]
The Scripture theology of the old Catholic Fathers has a twofold aspect.
The religion of the Scripture is no longer the original form; it is the
mediated, scientific one to be constructed by a learned process; it is,
on its part, the strongest symptom of the secularisation that has begun.
In a word, it is the religion of the school, first the Gnostic then the
ecclesiastical. But it may, on the other hand, be a wholesome reaction
against enthusiastic excess and moralistic frigidity; and the correct
sense of the letter will from the first obtain imperceptible recognition
in opposition to the "spirit" arbitrarily read into it, and at length
banish this "spirit" completely. Irenæus certainly tried to mark off the
Church use of the Scriptures as distinguished from the Gnostic practice.
He rejects the accommodation theory of which some Gnostics availed
themselves;[510] he emphasises more strongly than these the absolute
sufficiency of the Scriptures by repudiating all esoteric
doctrines;[511] he rejects all distinction between different kinds of
inspiration in the sacred books;[512] he lays down the maxim that the
obscure passages are to be interpreted from the clear ones, not vice
versa;[513] but this principle being in itself ambiguous, it is rendered
quite unequivocal by the injunction to interpret everything according to
the rule of faith[514] and, in the case of all objectionable passages,
to seek the type.[515] Not only did Irenæus explain the Old Testament
allegorically, in accordance with traditional usage;[516] but according
to the principle: "with God there is nothing without purpose or due
signification" ("nihil vacuum neque sine signo apud deum") (IV. 21. 3),
he was also the first to apply the scientific and mystical explanation
to the New Testament, and was consequently obliged to adopt the Gnostic
exegesis, which was imperative as soon as the apostolic writings were
viewed as a New Testament. He regards the fact of Jesus handing round
food to those _lying_ at table as signifying that Christ also bestows
life on the long dead generations;[517] and, in the parable of the
Samaritan, he interprets the host as the Spirit and the two denarii as
the Father and Son.[518] To Irenæus and also to Tertullian and
Hippolytus all numbers, incidental circumstances, etc., in the Holy
Scriptures are virtually as significant as they are to the Gnostics, and
hence the only question is what hidden meaning we are to give to them.
"Gnosticism" is therefore here adopted by the ecclesiastical teachers in
its full extent, proving that this "Gnosticism" is nothing else than the
learned construction of religion with the scientific means of those
days. As soon as Churchmen were forced to bring forward their proofs and
proceed to put the same questions as the "Gnostics," they were obliged
to work by their method. Allegory, however, was required in order to
establish the continuity of the tradition from Adam down to the present
time--not merely down to Christ--against the attacks of the Gnostics and
Marcion. By establishing this continuity a historical truth was really
also preserved. For the rest, the disquisitions of Irenæus, Tertullian,
and Hippolytus were to such an extent borrowed from their opponents that
there is scarcely a problem that they propounded and discussed as the
result of their own thirst for knowledge. This fact not only preserved
to their works an early-Christian character as compared with those of
the Alexandrians, but also explains why they frequently stop in their
positive teachings, when they believe they have confuted their
adversaries. Thus we find neither in Irenæus nor Tertullian a discussion
of the relation of the Scriptures to the rule of faith. From the way in
which they appeal to both we can deduce a series of important problems,
which, however, the Fathers themselves did not formulate and
consequently did not answer.[519]

_The doctrine of God_ was fixed by the old Catholic Fathers for the
Christendom of succeeding centuries, and in fact both the methodic
directions for forming the idea of God and their results remained
unchanged. With respect to the former they occupy a middle position
between the renunciation of all knowledge--for God is not abyss and
silence--and the attempt to fathom the depths of the Godhead.[520]
Tertullian, influenced by the Stoics, strongly emphasised the
possibility of attaining a knowledge of God. Irenæus, following out an
idea which seems to anticipate the mysticism of later theologians, made
love a preliminary condition of knowledge and plainly acknowledged it as
the principle of knowledge.[521] God can be known from revelation,[522]
because he has really revealed himself, that is, both by the creation
and the word of revelation. Irenæus also taught that a sufficient
knowledge of God, as the creator and guide, can be obtained from the
creation, and indeed this knowledge always continues, so that all men
are without excuse.[523] In this case the prophets, the Lord himself,
the Apostles, and the Church teach no more and nothing else than what
must be already plain to the natural consciousness. Irenæus certainly
did not succeed in reconciling this proposition with his former
assertion that the knowledge of God springs from love resting on
revelation. Irenæus also starts, as Apologist and Antignostic, with the
God who is the First Cause. Every God who is not that is a phantom;[524]
and every sublime religious state of mind which does not include the
feeling of dependence upon God as the Creator is a deception. It is the
extremest blasphemy to degrade God the Creator, and it is the most
frightful machination of the devil that has produced the _blasphemia
creatoris_.[525] Like the Apologists, the early Catholic Fathers confess
that the doctrine of God the Creator is the first and most important of
the main articles of Christian faith;[526] the belief in his oneness as
well as his absoluteness is the main point.[527] God is all light, all
understanding, all Logos, all active spirit;[528] everything
anthropopathic and anthropomorphic is to be conceived as incompatible
with his nature.[529] The early-Catholic doctrine of God shows an
advance beyond that of the Apologists, in so far as God's attributes of
goodness and righteousness are expressly discussed, and it is proved in
opposition to Marcion that they are not mutually exclusive, but
necessarily involve each other.[530]

In the case of the _Logos doctrine_ also, Tertullian and Hippolytus
simply adopted and developed that of the Apologists, whilst Irenæus
struck out a path of his own. In the _Apologeticum_ (c. 21) Tertullian
set forth the Logos doctrine as laid down by Tatian, the only noteworthy
difference between him and his predecessor consisting in the fact that
the appearance of the Logos in Jesus Christ was the uniform aim of his
presentation.[531] He fully explained his Logos doctrine in his work
against the Monarchian Praxeas.[532] Here he created the formulæ of
succeeding orthodoxy by introducing the ideas "substance" and "person"
and by framing, despite of the most pronounced subordinationism and a
purely economical conception of the Trinity, definitions of the
relations between the persons which could be fully adopted in the Nicene
creed.[533] Here also the philosophical and cosmological interest
prevails; the history of salvation appears only to be the continuation
of that of the cosmos. This system is distinguished from Gnosticism by
the history of redemption appearing as the natural continuation of the
history of creation and not simply as its correction. The thought that
the unity of the Godhead is shown in the _una substantia_ and the _una
dominatio_ was worked out by Tertullian with admirable clearness.
According to him the unfolding of this one substance into several
heavenly embodiments, or the administration of the divine sovereignty by
emanated _persons_ cannot endanger the unity; the "arrangement of the
unity when the unity evolves the trinity from itself" ("dispositio
unitatis, quando unitas ex semetipsa [trinitatem] derivat") does not
abolish the unity, and, moreover, the Son will some day subject himself
to the Father, so that God will be all in all.[534] Here then the
Gnostic doctrine of æons is adopted in its complete form, and in fact
Hippolytus, who in this respect agrees with Tertullian, has certified
that the Valentinians "acknowledge that the one is the originator of
all" ("[Greek: ton hena homologousin aition tôn pantôn]"), because with
them also, "the whole goes back to one" ("[Greek: to pan eis hena
anatrechei]").[535] The only difference is that Tertullian and
Hippolytus limit the "economy of God" ([Greek: oikonomia tou Theou]) to
Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, while the Gnostics exceed this number.[536]
According to Tertullian "a rational conception of the Trinity
constitutes truth, an irrational idea of the unity makes heresy"
("trinitas rationaliter expensa veritatem constituit, unitas
irrationaliter collecta hæresim facit") is already the watchword of the
Christian dogmatic. Now what he considers a rational conception is
keeping in view the different stages of God's economy, and
distinguishing between _dispositio_, _distinctio_, _numerus_ on the one
hand and _divisio_ on the other. At the beginning God was alone, but
_ratio_ and _sermo_ existed within him. In a certain sense then, he was
never alone, for he thought and spoke inwardly. If even men can carry on
conversations with themselves and make themselves objects of reflection,
how much more is this possible with God.[537] But as yet he was the only
_person_.[538] The moment, however, that he chose to reveal himself and
sent forth from himself the word of creation, the Logos came into
existence as a real being, before the world and for the sake of the
world. For "that which proceeds from such a great substance and has
created such substances cannot itself be devoid of substance." He is
therefore to be conceived as permanently separate from God "secundus a
deo consititutus, perseverans in sua forma"; but as unity of substance
is to be preserved ("_alius pater, alius filius, alius non
aliud_"--"_ego et pater unum sumus ad substantiæ unitatem, non ad numeri
singularitatem dictum est_"--"_tres unum sunt, non unus_"--"the Father
is one person and the Son is another, different persons not different
things", "_I and the Father are one_ refers to unity of substance, not
to singleness in number"--"the three are one thing not one person"), the
Logos must be related to the Father as the ray to the sun, as the stream
to the source, as the stem to the root (see also Hippolytus, c. Noëtum
10).[539] For that very reason "Son" is the most suitable expression for
the Logos that has emanated in this way ([Greek: kata merismon]).
Moreover, since he (as well as the Spirit) has the same substance as the
Father ("unius substantia" = [Greek: homoousios]) he has also the same
_power_[540] as regards the world. He has all might in heaven and earth,
and he has had it _ab initio_, from the very beginning of time.[541] On
the other hand this same Son is only a part and offshoot; the Father is
the whole; and in this the mystery of the economy consists. What the Son
possesses has been given him by the Father; the Father is therefore
greater than the Son; the Son is subordinate to the Father.[542] "Pater
tota substantia est, filius vero derivatio totius et portio".[543] This
paradox is ultimately based on a philosophical axiom of Tertullian: the
whole fulness of the Godhead, i.e., the Father, is incapable of entering
into the finite, whence also he must always remain invisible,
unapproachable, and incomprehensible. The Divine Being that appears and
works on earth can never be anything but a part of the transcendent
Deity. This Being must be a derived existence, which has already in some
fashion a finite element in itself, because it is the hypostatised Word
of creation, which has an origin.[544] We would assert too much, were we
to say that Tertullian meant that the Son was simply the world-thought
itself; his insistance on the "unius substantiæ" disproves this. But no
doubt he regards the Son as the Deity depotentiated for the sake of
self-communication; the Deity adapted to the world, whose sphere
coincides with the world-thought, and whose power is identical with that
necessary for the world. From the standpoint of humanity this Deity is
God himself, i.e., a God whom men can apprehend and who can apprehend
them; but from God's standpoint, which speculation can fix but not
fathom, this Deity is a subordinate, nay, even a temporary one.
Tertullian and Hippolytus know as little of an immanent Trinity as the
Apologists; the Trinity only _appears_ such, because the unity of the
substance is very vigorously emphasised; but in truth the Trinitarian
process as in the case of the Gnostics, is simply the background of the
process that produces the history of the world and of salvation. This is
first of all shown by the fact that in course of the process of the
world and of salvation the Son grows in his sonship, that is, goes
through a finite process;[545] and secondly by the fact that the Son
himself will one day restore the monarchy to the Father.[546] These
words no doubt are again spoken not from the standpoint of man, but from
that of God; for so long as history lasts "the Son continues in his
form." In its point of departure, its plan, and its details this whole
exposition is not distinguished from the teachings of contemporaneous
and subsequent Greek philosophers,[547] but merely differs in its aim.
In itself absolutely unfitted to preserve the primitive Christian belief
in God the Father and the Lord Jesus Christ, its importance consists in
its identification of the historical Jesus with this Logos. By its aid
Tertullian united the scientific, idealistic cosmology with the
utterances of early Christian tradition about Jesus in such a way as to
make the two, as it were, appear the totally dissimilar wings of one and
the same building,[548] With peculiar versatility he contrived to make
himself at home in both wings.

It is essentially otherwise with the Logos doctrine of Irenæus.[549]
Whereas Tertullian and Hippolytus developed their Logos doctrine without
reference to the historical Jesus, the truth rather being that they
simply add the incarnation to the already existing theory of the
subject, there is no doubt that Irenæus, as a rule, made Jesus Christ,
whom he views as God and man, the _starting-point_ of his speculation.
Here he followed the Fourth Gospel and Ignatius. It is of Jesus that
Irenæus almost always thinks when he speaks of the Logos or of the Son
of God; and therefore he does not identify the divine element in Christ
or Christ himself with the world idea or the creating Word or the Reason
of God.[550] That he nevertheless makes Logos ([Greek: monogenês,
prôtotokos], "only begotten," "first born") the regular designation of
Christ as the preëxistent One can only be explained from the apologetic
tradition which in his time was already recognised as authoritative by
Christian scholars, and moreover appeared justified and required by John
I. 1. Since both Irenæus and Valentinus consider redemption to be the
special work of Christ, the cosmological interest in the doctrine of the
second God becomes subordinate to the soteriological. As, however, in
Irenæus' system (in opposition to Valentinus) this real redemption is to
be imagined as _recapitulatio_ of the creation, redemption and creation
are not opposed to each other as antitheses; and therefore the Redeemer
has also his place in the history of creation. In a certain sense then
the Christology of Irenæus occupies a middle position between the
Christology of the Valentinians and Marcion on the one hand and the
Logos doctrine of the Apologists on the other. The Apologists have a
cosmological interest, Marcion only a soteriological, whereas Irenæus
has both; the Apologists base their speculations on the Old Testament,
Marcion on a New Testament, Irenæus on both Old and New.

Irenæus expressly refused to investigate what the divine element in
Christ is, and why another deity stands alongside of the Godhead of the
Father. He confesses that he here simply keeps to the rule of faith and
the Holy Scriptures, and declines speculative disquisitions on
principle. He does not admit the distinction of a Word existing in God
and one coming forth from him, and opposes not only ideas of emanation
in general, but also the opinion that the Logos issued forth at a
definite point of time. Nor will Irenæus allow the designation "Logos"
to be interpreted in the sense of the Logos being the inward Reason or
the spoken Word of God. God is a simple essence and always remains in
the same state; besides we ought not to hypostatise qualities.[551]
Nevertheless Irenæus, too, calls the preëxistent Christ the Son of God,
and strictly maintains the personal distinction between Father and Son.
What makes the opposite appear to be the case is the fact that he does
not utilise the distinction in the interest of cosmology.[552] In
Irenæus' sense we shall have to say: The Logos is the revelation
hypostasis of the Father, "the self-revelation of the self-conscious
God," and indeed the eternal self-revelation. For according to him the
Son _always_ existed with God, _always_ revealed the Father, and it was
always the _full_ Godhead that he revealed in himself. In other words,
he is God in his specific nature, _truly_ God, and there is no
distinction of essence between him and God.[553] Now we might conclude
from the strong emphasis laid on "always" that Irenæus conceived a
relationship of Father and Son in the Godhead, conditioned by the
essence of God himself and existing independently of revelation. But the
second hypostasis is viewed by him as existing from all eternity, just
as much in the quality of Logos as in that of Son, and his very
statement that the Logos has revealed the Father from the beginning
shows that this relationship is always within the sphere of revelation.
The Son then exists because he gives a revelation. Little interested as
Irenæus is in saying anything about the Son, apart from his historical
mission, naïvely as he extols the Father as the direct Creator of the
universe, and anxious as he is to repress all speculations that lead
beyond the Holy Scriptures, he could not altogether avoid reflecting on
the problems: why there is a second deity alongside of God, and how the
two are related to one another. His incidental answers are not
essentially different from those of the Apologists and Tertullian; the
only distinction is this incidental character. Irenæus too looked on the
Son as "the hand of God," the mediator of creation; he also seems in one
passage to distinguish Father and Son as the naturally invisible and
visible elements of God; he too views the Father as the one who
dominates all, the head of Christ, i.e., he who bears the creation and
_his_ Logos.[554] Irenæus had no opportunity of writing against the
Monarchians, and unfortunately we possess no apologetic writings of his.
It cannot therefore he determined how he would have written, if he had
had less occasion to avoid the danger of being himself led into Gnostic
speculations about æons. It has been correctly remarked that with
Irenæus the Godhead and the divine personality of Christ merely exist
beside each other. He did not want to weigh the different problems,
because, influenced as he was by the lingering effects of an
early-Christian, anti-theological interest, he regarded the results of
this reflection as dangerous; but, as a matter of fact, he did not
really correct the premises of the problems by rejecting the
conclusions. We may evidently assume (with Zahn) that, according to
Irenæus, "God placed himself in the relationship of Father to Son, in
order to create after his image and in his likeness the man who was to
become his Son;"[555] but we ought not to ask if Irenæus understood the
incarnation as a definite purpose necessarily involved in the Sonship,
as this question falls outside the sphere of Patristic thinking. No
doubt the incarnation constantly formed the preëminent interest of
Irenæus, and owing to this interest he was able to put aside or throw a
veil over the mythological speculations of the Apologists regarding the
Logos, and to proceed at once to the soteriological question.[556]

Nothing is more instructive than an examination of Irenæus' views with
regard to the _destination of man_, the _original state_, the _fall_,
and _sin_; because the heterogeneous elements of his "theology," the
apologetic and moralistic the realistic, and the Biblical (Pauline), are
specially apparent here, and the inconsistencies into which he was led
are very plain. But these very contradictions were never eliminated from
the Church doctrinal system of succeeding centuries and did not admit of
being removed; hence his attitude on these points is typical.[557] The
apologetic and moralistic train of thought is alone developed with
systematic clearness. Everything created is imperfect, just from the
very fact of its having had a beginning; therefore man also. The Deity
is indeed capable of bestowing perfection on man from the beginning, but
the latter was incapable of grasping or retaining it from the first.
Hence perfection, i.e., incorruptibility, which consists in the
contemplation of God and is conditional on voluntary obedience, could
only be the _destination_ of man, and he must accordingly have been made
_capable_ of it.[558] That destination is realised through the guidance
of God and the free decision of man, for goodness not arising from free
choice has no value. The capacity in question is on the one hand
involved in man's possession of the divine image, which, however, is
only realised in the body and is therefore at bottom a matter of
indifference; and, on the other, in his likeness to God, which consists
in the union of the soul with God's Spirit, but only comes about when
man is obedient to him. Along with this Irenæus has also the idea that
man's likeness consists in freedom. Now, as man became disobedient
immediately after the creation, this likeness to God did not become
perfect.[559] Through the fall he lost the fellowship with God to which
he was destined, i.e., he is forfeit to death. This death was
transmitted to Adam's whole posterity.[560] Here Irenæus followed
sayings of Paul, but adopted the words rather than the sense; for, in
the first place, like the Apologists, he very strongly emphasises the
elements that palliate man's fall[561] and, secondly, he contemplates
the fall as having a teleological significance. It is the fall itself
and not, as in Paul's case, the consequences of the fall, that he thus
views; for he says that disobedience was conducive to man's development.
Man had to learn by experience that disobedience entails death, in order
that he might acquire wisdom and choose freely to fulfil the
commandments of God. Further, man was obliged to learn through the fall
that goodness and life do not belong to him by nature as they do to
God.[562] Here life and death are always the ultimate question to
Irenæus. It is only when he quotes sayings of Paul that he remembers sin
in connection with redemption; and ethical consequences of the fall are
not mentioned in this connection. "The original destination of man was
not abrogated by the fall, the truth rather being that the fall was
intended as a means of leading men to attain this perfection to which
they were destined."[563] Moreover, the goodness of God immediately
showed itself both in the removal of the tree of life and in the
sentence of temporal death.[564] What significance belongs to Jesus
Christ within this conception is clear: he is the man who first realised
in his person the destination of humanity; the Spirit of God became
united with his soul and accustomed itself to dwell in men. But he is
also the teacher who reforms mankind by his preaching, calls upon them
to direct their still existing freedom to obedience to the divine
commandments, thereby restoring, i.e., strengthening, freedom, so that
humanity is thus rendered capable of receiving incorruptibility.[565]
One can plainly see that this is the idea of Tatian and Theophilus, with
which Irenæus has incorporated utterances of Paul. Tertullian and
Hippolytus taught essentially the same doctrine;[566] only Tertullian
beheld the image and likeness of God expressly and exclusively in the
fact that man's will and capacity are free, and based on this freedom an
argument in justification of God's ways.[567]

But, in addition to this, Irenæus developed a second train of thought.
This was the outcome of his Gnostic and realistic doctrine of
recapitulation, and evinces clear traces of the influence of Pauline
theology. It is, however, inconsistent with the moralistic teachings
unfolded above, and could only be united with them at a few points. To
the Apologists the proposition: "it is impossible to learn to know God
without the help of God" ("impossibile est sine deo discere deum") was a
conviction which, with the exception of Justin, they subordinated to
their moralism and to which they did not give a specifically
Christological signification. Irenæus understood this proposition in a
Christological sense,[568] and at the same time conceived the blessing
of salvation imparted by Christ not only as the incorruptibility
consisting in the beholding of God bestowed on obedience IV. 20. 5-7:
IV. 38, but also as the divine sonship which has been won for us by
Christ and which is realised in constant fellowship with God and
dependence on him.[569] No doubt he also viewed this divine sonship as
consisting in the transformation of human nature; but the point of
immediate importance here is that it is no longer human freedom but
Christ that he contemplated in this connection. Corresponding to this he
has now also a different idea of the original destination of man, of
Adam, and of the results of the fall. Here comes in the mystical
Adam-Christ speculation, in accordance with the Epistles to the
Ephesians and Corinthians. Everything, that is, the "longa hominum
expositio," was recapitulated by Christ in himself; in other words he
restored humanity _to what it originally was_ and again included under
one head what was divided.[570] If humanity is restored, then it must
have lost something before and been originally in good condition. In
complete contradiction to the other teachings quoted above, Irenæus now
says: "What we had lost in Adam, namely, our possession of the image and
likeness of God, we recover in Christ."[571] Adam, however, is humanity;
in other words, as all humanity is united and renewed through Christ so
also it was already summarised in Adam. Accordingly "the sin of
disobedience and the loss of salvation which Adam consequently suffered
may now be viewed as belonging to all mankind summed up in him, in like
manner as Christ's obedience and possession of salvation are the
property of all mankind united under him as their head."[572] In the
first Adam we offended God by not fulfilling his commandments; in Adam
humanity became disobedient, wounded, sinful, bereft of life; through
Eve mankind became forfeit to death; through its victory over the first
man death descended upon us all, and the devil carried us all away
captive etc.[573] Here Irenæus always means that in Adam, who represents
all mankind as their head, the latter became doomed to death. In this
instance he did not think of a hereditary transmission, but of a mystic
unity[574] as in the case of Christ, viewed as the second Adam. The
teachings in III. 21. 10-23[575] show what an almost naturalistic shape
the religious quasi-historical idea assumed in Irenæus' mind. This is,
however, more especially evident from the assertion, in opposition to
Tatian, that unless Adam himself had been saved by Christ, God would
have been overcome by the devil.[576] It was merely his moralistic train
of thought that saved him from the conclusion that there is a
restoration of _all_ individual men.

This conception of Adam as the representative of humanity corresponds to
Irenæus' doctrine of the God-man. The historical importance of this
author lies in the development of the Christology. At the present day,
ecclesiastical Christianity, so far as it seriously believes in the
unity of the divine and human in Jesus Christ and deduces the divine
manhood from the work of Christ as his deification, still occupies the
same standpoint as Irenæus did. Tertullian by no means matched him here;
he too has the formula in a few passages, but he cannot, like Irenæus,
account for its content. On the other hand we owe to him the idea of the
"two natures," which remain in their integrity--that formula which owes
its adoption to the influence of Leo I. and at bottom contradicts
Irenæus' thought "the Son of God became the Son of man," ("filius dei
factus filius hominis"). Finally, the manner in which Irenæus tried to
interpret the historical utterances about Jesus Christ from the
standpoint of the Divine manhood idea, and to give them a significance
in regard to salvation is also an epoch-making fact.

"Filius dei filius hominis factus," "it is one and the same Jesus
Christ, not a Jesus and a Christ, nor a mere temporary union of an æon
and a man, but one and the same person, who created the world, was born,
suffered, and ascended"--this along with the dogma of God the Creator is
the cardinal doctrine of Irenæus:[577] "Jesus Christ truly man and truly
God" ("Jesus Christus, vere homo, vere deus").[578] It is only the
Church that adheres to this doctrine, for "none of the heretics hold the
opinion that the Word of God became flesh" ("secundum nullam sententiam
hæreticorum verbum dei caro factum est").[579] What therefore has to be
shown is (1) that Jesus Christ is really the Word of God, i.e., is God,
(2) that this Word really became man and (3) that the incarnate Word is
an inseparable unity. Irenæus maintains the first statement as well
against the "Ebionites" as against the Valentinians who thought that
Christ's advent was the descent of one of the many æons. In opposition
to the Ebionites he emphasises the distinction between natural and
adopted Sonship, appeals to the Old Testament testimony in favour of the
divinity of Christ,[580] and moreover argues that we would still be in
the bondage of the old disobedience, if Jesus Christ had only been a
man.[581] In this connection he also discussed the birth from the
virgin.[582] He not only proved it from prophecy, but his recapitulation
theory also suggested to him a parallel between Adam and Eve on the one
hand and Christ and Mary on the other, which included the birth from the
virgin.[583] He argues in opposition to the Valentinians that it was
really the eternal Word of God himself, who was always with God and
always present to the human race, that descended.[584] He who became man
was not a being foreign to the world--this is said in opposition to
Marcion--but the Lord of the world and humanity, the Son of God, and
none other. The reality of the body of Christ, i.e., the essential
identity of the humanity of Christ with our own, was continually
emphasised by Irenæus, and he views the whole work of salvation as
dependent on this identity.[585] In the latter he also includes the fact
that Jesus must have passed through and been subjected to all the
conditions of a complete human life from birth to old age and
death.[586] Jesus Christ is therefore the Son of God who has really
become the Son of man; and these are not two Christs but one, in whom
the Logos is permanently united with humanity.[587] Irenæus called this
union "union of the Word of God with the creature" ("adunitio verbi dei
ad plasma")[588] and "blending and communion of God and man" ("commixtio
et communio dei et hominis")[589] without thereby describing it any more
clearly.[590] He views it as perfect, for, _as a rule_, he will not
listen to any separation of what was done by the man Jesus and by God
the Word.[591] The explicit formula of two substances or natures in
Christ is not found in Irenæus; but Tertullian already used it. It never
occurred to the former, just because he was not here speaking as a
theologian, but expressing his belief.[592] In his utterances about the
God-man Tertullian closely imitates Irenæus. Like the latter he uses the
expression "man united with God" ("homo deo mixtus")[593] and like him
he applies the predicates of the man to the Son of God.[594] But he goes
further, or rather, in the interest of formal clearness, he expresses
the mystery in a manner which shows that he did not fully realise the
religious significance of the proposition, "the Son of God made Son of
man" ("filius dei filius hominis factus"). He speaks of a "corporal and
spiritual, i.e., divine, substance of the Lord", ("corporalis et
spiritalis (i.e., divina) substantia domini")[595] of "either substance
of the flesh and spirit of Christ" ("utraque substantia et carnis et
spiritus Christi"), of the "creation of two substances which Christ
himself also possesses," ("conditio duarum substantiarum, quas Christus
et ipse gestat")[596] and of the "twofold condition not blended but
united in one person--God and man" ("duplex status _non confusus sed
conjunctus_ in una persona--deus et homo".)[597] Here we already have in
a complete form the later Chalcedonian formula of the two substances in
one person.[598] At the same time, however, we can clearly see that
Tertullian went beyond Irenæus in his exposition.[599] He was, moreover,
impelled to combat an antagonistic principle. Irenæus had as yet no
occasion to explain in detail that the proposition "the Word became
flesh" ("verbum caro factum") denoted no transformation. That he
excludes the idea of change, and that he puts stress on the Logos'
assumption of flesh from the Virgin is shown by many passages.[600]
Tertullian, on the other hand, was in the first place confronted by
(Gnostic) opponents who understood John's statement in the sense of the
Word's transforming himself into flesh, and therefore argued against the
"assumption of flesh from the Virgin" ("assumptio carnis ex
virgine");[601] and, in the second place, he had to do with Catholic
Christians who indeed admitted the birth from the Virgin, but likewise
assumed a change of God into flesh, and declared the God thus invested
with flesh to be the Son.[602] In this connection the same Tertullian,
who in the Church laid great weight on formulæ like "the crucified God,"
"God consented to be born" ("deus crucifixus," "nasci se voluit deus")
and who, impelled by opposition to Marcion and by his apologetic
interest, distinguished the Son as capable of suffering from God the
Father who is impassible, and imputed to him human weaknesses--which was
already a further step,--sharply emphasised the "distinct function"
("distincte agere") of the two substances in Christ and thus separated
the persons. With Tertullian the interest in the Logos doctrine, on the
one hand, and in the real humanity, on the other, laid the basis of that
conception of Christology in accordance with which the unity of the
person is nothing more than an assertion. The "deus factus homo"
("verbum caro factus") presents quite insuperable difficulties, as soon
as "theology" can no longer be banished. Tertullian smoothed over these
difficulties by juristic distinctions, for all his elucidations of
"substance" and "person" are of this nature.

A somewhat paradoxical result of the defence of the Logos doctrine in
the struggle against the "Patripassians" was the increased emphasis that
now began to be laid on the integrity and independence of the human
nature in Christ. If the only essential result of the struggle with
Gnosticism was to assert the substantial reality of Christ's body, it
was Tertullian who distinguished what Christ did as man from what he did
as God in order to prove that he was not a _tertium quid_. The
discriminating intellect which was forced to receive a doctrine as a
problem could not proceed otherwise. But, even before the struggle with
Modalism, elements were present which repressed the naïve confidence of
the utterances about the God-man. If I judge rightly, there were two
features in Irenæus both of which resulted in a splitting up of the
conception of the perfect unity of Christ's person. The first was the
intellectual contemplation of the perfect humanity of Jesus, the second
was found in certain Old and New Testament texts and the tradition
connected with these.[603] With regard to the first we may point out
that Irenæus indeed regarded the union of the human and divine as
possible only because man, fashioned from the beginning by and after the
pattern of the Logos, was an image of the latter and destined for union
with God. Jesus Christ is the realisation of our possession of God's
image;[604] but this thought, if no further developed, may be still
united with the Logos doctrine in such a way that it does not interfere
with it, but serves to confirm it. The case becomes different when it is
not only shown that the Logos was always at work in the human race, but
that humanity was gradually more and more accustomed by him (in the
patriarchs and prophets) to communion with God,[605] till at last the
perfect man appeared in Christ. For in this view it might appear as if
the really essential element in Jesus Christ were not the Logos, who has
become the new Adam, but the new Adam, who possesses the Logos. That
Irenæus, in explaining the life of Jesus as that of Adam according to
the recapitulation theory, here and there expresses himself as if he
were speaking of the perfect man, is undeniable: If the acts of Christ
are really to be what they seem, the man concerned in them must be
placed in the foreground. But how little Irenæus thought of simply
identifying the Logos with the perfect man is shown by the passage in
III. 19. 3 where he writes: "[Greek: hôsper gar ên anthrôpos hina
peirasthê, houtô kai logos hina doxasthê. êsychazontos men tou logou en
tô peirazesthai kai staurousthai kai apothnêskein sugginomenou de tô
anthrôpô en tô nikan kai hypomenein kai chrêsteuesthai kai anistasthai
kai analambanesthai]" ("For as he was man that he might be tempted, so
also he was the Logos that he might be glorified. The Logos remained
quiescent during the process of temptation, crucifixion and death, but
aided the human nature when it conquered, and endured, and performed
deeds of kindness, and rose again from the dead, and was received up
into heaven"). From these words it is plain that Irenæus preferred to
assume that the divine and human natures existed side by side, and
consequently to split up the perfect unity, rather than teach a mere
ideal manhood which would be at the same time a divine manhood. The
"discrete agere" of the two natures proves that to Irenæus the perfect
manhood of the incarnate Logos was merely an incidental quality he
possessed. In reality the Logos is the perfect man in so far as his
incarnation creates the perfect man and renders him possible, or the
Logos always exists behind Christ the perfect man. But nevertheless this
very way of viewing the humanity in Christ already compelled Irenæus to
limit the "deus crucifixus" and to lay the foundation for Tertullian's
formulæ. With regard to the second point we may remark that there were
not a few passages in both Testaments where Christ appeared as the man
chosen by God and anointed with the Spirit. These as well as the
corresponding language of the Church were the greatest difficulties in
the way of the Logos Christology. Of what importance is an anointing
with the Spirit to him who is God? What is the meaning of Christ being
born by the power of the Holy Ghost? Is this formula compatible with the
other, that he as the Logos himself assumed flesh from the Virgin etc.?
Irenæus no doubt felt these difficulties. He avoided them (III. 9. 3) by
referring the bestowal of the Spirit at baptism merely to the _man_
Jesus, and thus gave his own approval to that separation which appeared
to him so reprehensible in the Gnostics.[606] This separation indeed
rescued to future ages the minimum of humanity that was to be retained
in the person of Christ, but at the same time it laid the foundation of
those differentiating speculations, which in succeeding times became the
chief art and subject of dispute among theologians. The fact is that one
cannot think in realistic fashion of the "deus homo factus" without
thinking oneself out of it. It is exceedingly instructive to find that,
in some passages, even a man like Irenæus was obliged to advance from
the creed of the one God-man to the assumption of two independent
existences in Christ, an assumption which in the earlier period has only
"Gnostic" testimony in its favour. Before Irenæus' day, in fact, none
but these earliest theologians taught that Jesus Christ had two natures,
and ascribed to them particular actions and experiences. The Gnostic
distinction of the Jesus _patibilis_ ("capable of suffering") and the
Christ [Greek: apathês] ("impassible") is essentially identical with the
view set forth by Tertullian adv. Prax., and this proves that the
doctrine of the two natures is simply nothing else than the Gnostic,
i.e., scientific, adaptation of the formula: "filius dei filius hominis
factus." No doubt the old early-Christian interest still makes itself
felt in the _assertion_ of the one person. Accordingly we can have no
historical understanding of Tertullian's Christology or even of that of
Irenæus without taking into account, as has not yet been done, the
Gnostic distinction of Jesus and Christ, as well as those old
traditional formulæ: "deus passus, deus crucifixus est" ("God suffered,
God was crucified").[607]

But beyond doubt the prevailing conception of Christ in Irenæus is the
idea that there was the most complete unity between his divine and human
natures; for it is the necessary consequence of his doctrine of
redemption, that "_Jesus Christus factus est, quod sumus nos, uti nos
perficeret esse quod et ipse_"[608] ("Jesus Christ became what we are in
order that we might become what he himself is"). But, in accordance with
the recapitulation theory, Irenæus developed the "factus est quod sumus
nos" in such a way that the individual portions of the life of Christ,
as corresponding to what we ought to have done but did not do, receive
the value of saving acts culminating in the death on the cross. Thus he
not only regards Jesus Christ as "salvation and saviour and saving"
("salus et salvator et salutare"),[609] but he also views his whole life
as a work of salvation. All that has taken place between the conception
and the ascension is an inner necessity in this work of salvation. This
is a highly significant advance beyond the conception of the Apologists.
Whilst in their case the history of Jesus seems to derive its importance
almost solely from the fulfilment of prophecy, it acquires in Irenæus an
independent and fundamental significance. Here also we recognise the
influence of "Gnosis," nay, in many places he uses the same expressions
as the Gnostics, when he sees salvation accomplished, on the one hand,
in the mere appearance of Jesus Christ as the second Adam, and on the
other, in the simple acknowledgment of this appearance.[610] But he is
distinguished from them by the fact that he decidedly emphasises the
personal acts of Jesus, and that he applies the benefits of Christ's
work not to the "pneumatic" _ipso facto_, but in principle to all men,
though practically only to those who listen to the Saviour's words and
adorn themselves with works of righteousness.[611] Irenæus presented
this work of Christ from various points of view. He regards it as the
realisation of man's original destiny, that is, being in communion with
God, contemplating God, being imperishable like God; he moreover views
it as the abolition of the consequences of Adam's disobedience, and
therefore as the redemption of men from death and the dominion of the
devil; and finally he looks upon it as reconciliation with God. In all
these conceptions Irenæus fell back upon the _person_ of Christ. Here,
at the same time, he is everywhere determined by the content of Biblical
passages; in fact it is just the New Testament that leads him to these
considerations, as was first the case with the Valentinians before him.
How uncertain he still is as to their ecclesiastical importance is shown
by the fact that he has no hesitation in reckoning the question, as to
why the Word of God became flesh and suffered, among the articles that
are a matter of consideration for science, but not for the simple faith
(I. 10. 3). Here, therefore, he still maintains the archaic standpoint
according to which it is sufficient to adhere to the baptismal
confession and wait for the second coming of Christ along with the
resurrection of the body. On the other hand, Irenæus did not merely
confine himself to describing the fact of redemption, its content and
its consequences; but he also attempted to explain the peculiar nature
of this redemption from the essence of God and the incapacity of man,
thus solving the question "cur deus homo" in the highest sense.[612]
Finally, he adopted from Paul the thought that Christ's real work of
salvation consists in his death on the cross; and so he tried to
amalgamate the two propositions, "_filius dei filius hominis factus est
propter nos_" ("the Son of God became Son of man for us") and "filius
dei passus est propter nos" ("the Son of God suffered for us") as the
most vital ones. He did not, however, clearly show which of these
doctrines is the more important. Here the speculation of Irenæus is
already involved in the same ambiguity as was destined to be the
permanent characteristic of Church speculation as to Christ's work in
succeeding times. For on the one hand, Paul led one to lay all the
emphasis on the death on the cross, and on the other, the logical result
of dogmatic thinking only pointed to the appearance of God in the flesh,
but not to a particular work of Christ that had not been already
involved in the appearance of the Divine Teacher himself. Still, Irenæus
contrived to reconcile the discrepancy better than his successors,
because, being in earnest with his idea of Christ as the second Adam, he
was able to contemplate the whole life of Jesus as redemption in so far
as he conceived it as a recapitulation. We see this at once not only
from his conception of the virgin birth as a fact of salvation, but also
from his way of describing redemption as deliverance from the devil.
For, as the birth of Christ from the Virgin Mary is the recapitulating
counterpart of Adam's birth from the virgin earth, and as the obedience
of the mother of Jesus is the counterpart of Eve's disobedience, so the
story of Jesus' temptation is to him the recapitulating counterpart of
the story of Adam's temptation. In the way that Jesus overcame the
temptation by the devil (Matt. IV.) Irenæus already sees the redemption
of mankind from Satan; even then Jesus bound the strong one. But,
whereas the devil seized upon man unlawfully and deceitfully, no
injustice, untruthfulness, or violence is displayed in the means by
which Jesus resisted Satan's temptation.[613] As yet Irenæus is quite as
free from the thought that the devil has real rights upon man, as he is
from the immoral idea that God accomplished his work of redemption by an
act of deceit. But, on the strength of Pauline passages, many of his
teachings rather view redemption from the devil as accomplished by the
_death_ of Christ, and accordingly represent this death as a ransom paid
to the "apostasy" for men who had fallen into captivity. He did not,
however, develop this thought any further.[614]

His idea of the _reconciliation_ of God is just as rudimentary, and
merely suggested by Biblical passages. He sometimes saw the means of
reconciliation solely in obedience and in the "righteous flesh" as such,
at other times in the "wood." Here also the recapitulation theory again
appears: through disobedience at the tree Adam became a debtor to God,
and through obedience at the tree God is reconciled.[615] But teachings
as to vicarious suffering on the part of Christ are not found in
Irenæus, and his death is seldom presented from the point of view of a
sacrifice offered to God.[616] According to this author the
reconciliation virtually consists in Christ's restoring man to communion
and friendship with God and procuring forgiveness of sins; he very
seldom speaks of God being offended through Adam's sin (V. 16. 3). But
the incidental mention of the forgiveness of sins resulting from the
redemption by Christ has not the meaning of an _abolition_ of sin. He
connects the redemption with this only in the form of Biblical and
rhetorical phrases; for the vital point with him is the abolition of the
_consequences_ of sin, and particularly of the sentence of death.[617]
Here we have the transition to the conception of Christ's work which
makes this appear more as a completion than as a restoration. In this
connection Irenæus employed the following categories: _restoring of the
likeness of God in humanity_; _abolition of death_; _connection and
union of man with God_; _adoption of men as sons of God and as gods_;
_imparting of the Spirit who now becomes accustomed to abide with
men_;[618] _imparting of a knowledge of God culminating in beholding
him_; _bestowal of everlasting life_. All these are only the different
aspects of one and the same blessing, which, being of a divine order,
could only be brought to us and implanted in our nature by God himself.
But inasmuch as this view represents Christ not as performing a
reconciling but a perfecting work, his _acts_ are thrust more into the
background; his work is contained in his constitution as the God-man.
Hence this work has a universal significance for all men, not only as
regards the present, but as regards the past from Adam downwards, in so
far as they "according to their virtue in their generation have not only
feared but also loved God, and have behaved justly and piously towards
their neighbours, and have longed to see Christ and to hear his
voice."[619] Those redeemed by Jesus are immediately joined by him into
a unity, into the true humanity, the Church, whose head he himself
is.[620] This Church is the communion of the Sons of God, who have
attained to a contemplation of him and have been gifted with everlasting
life. In this the work of Christ the God-man is fulfilled.

In Tertullian and Hippolytus, as the result of New Testament exegesis,
we again find the same aspects of Christ's work as in Irenæus, only with
them the mystical form of redemption recedes into the background.[621]

Nevertheless the _eschatology_ as set forth by Irenæus in the fifth Book
by no means corresponds to this conception of the work of Christ as a
restoring and completing one; it rather appears as a remnant of
antiquity directly opposed to the speculative interpretation of
redemption, but protected by the _regula fidei_, the New Testament,
especially Revelation, and the material hopes of the great majority of
Christians. But it would be a great mistake to assume that Irenæus
merely repeated the hopes of an earthly kingdom just because he still
found them in tradition, and because they were completely rejected by
the Gnostics and guaranteed by the _regula_ and the New Testament.[622]
The truth rather is that he as well as Melito, Hippolytus, Tertullian,
Lactantius, Commodian, and Victorinus lived in these hopes no less than
did Papias, the Asia Minor Presbyters and Justin.[623] But this is the
clearest proof that all these theologians were but half-hearted in their
theology, which was forced upon them, in defence of the traditional
faith, by the historical situation in which they found themselves. The
Christ, who will shortly come to overcome Antichrist, overthrow the
Roman empire, establish in Jerusalem a kingdom of glory, and feed
believers with the fat of a miraculously fruitful earth, is in fact a
quite different being from the Christ who, as the incarnate God, has
already virtually accomplished his work of imparting perfect knowledge
and filling mankind with divine life and incorruptibility. The fact that
the old Catholic Fathers have both Christs shows more clearly than any
other the middle position that they occupy between the acutely
hellenised Christianity of the theologians, i.e., the Gnostics, and the
old tradition of the Church. We have indeed seen that the twofold
conception of Christ and his work dates back to the time of the
Apostles, for there is a vast difference between the Christ of Paul and
the Christ of the supposedly inspired Jewish Apocalypses; and also that
the agency in producing this conjunction may be traced back to the
oldest time; but the union of a precise Christological Gnosis, such as
we find in Irenæus and Tertullian, with the retention in their integrity
of the imaginative series of thoughts about Antichrist, Christ as the
warrior hero, the double resurrection, and the kingdom of glory in
Jerusalem, is really a historical novelty. There is, however, no doubt
that the strength of the old Catholic theology in opposition to the
Gnostics lies in the accomplishment of this union, which, on the basis
of the New Testament, appeared to the Fathers possible and necessary.
For it is not systematic consistency that secures the future of a
religious conception within a church, but its elasticity, and its
richness in dissimilar trains of thought. But no doubt this must be
accompanied by a firm foundation, and this too the old Catholic Fathers
possessed--the church system itself.

As regards the details of the eschatological hopes, they were fully set
forth by Irenæus himself in Book V. Apart from the belief that the
returning Nero would be the Antichrist, an idea spread in the West
during the third century by the Sibylline verses and proved from
Revelation, the later teachers who preached chiliastic hopes did not
seriously differ from the Gallic bishop; hence the interpretation of
Revelation is in its main features the same. It is enough therefore to
refer to the fifth Book of Irenæus.[624] There is no need to show in
detail that chiliasm leads to a peculiar view of history, which is as
much opposed to that resulting from the Gnostic theory of redemption, as
this doctrine itself forbids the hope of a bliss to be realised in an
earthly kingdom of glory. This is not the proper place to demonstrate to
what extent the two have been blended, and how the chiliastic scheme of
history has been emptied of its content and utilised in the service of
theological apologetics.

But the Gnostics were not the only opponents of chiliasm. Justin, even
in his time, knew orthodox Christians who refused to believe in an
earthly kingdom of Christ in Jerusalem, and Irenæus (V. 33 ff.),
Tertullian, and Hippolytus[625] expressly argued against these. Soon
after the middle of the second century, we hear of an ecclesiastical
party in Asia Minor, which not only repudiated chiliasm, but also
rejected the Revelation of John as an untrustworthy book, and subjected
it to sharp criticism. These were the so-called Alogi.[626] But in the
second century such Christians were still in the minority in the Church.
It was only in the course of the third century that chiliasm was almost
completely ousted in the East. This was the result of the Montanistic
controversy and the Alexandrian theology. In the West, however, it was
only threatened. In this Church the first literary opponent of chiliasm
and of the Apocalypse appears to have been the Roman Presbyter Caius.
But his polemic did not prevail. On the other hand the learned bishops
of the East in the third century used their utmost efforts to combat and
extirpate chiliasm. The information given to us by Eusebius (H. E. VII.
24), from the letters of Dionysius of Alexandria, about that father's
struggles with whole communities in Egypt, who would not give up
chiliasm, is of the highest interest. This account shews that wherever
philosophical theology had not yet made its way the chiliastic hopes
were not only cherished and defended against being explained away, but
were emphatically regarded as Christianity itself.[627] Cultured
theologians were able to achieve the union of chiliasm and religious
philosophy; but the "simplices et idiotæ" could only understand the
former. As the chiliastic hopes were gradually obliged to recede in
exactly the same proportion as philosophic theology became naturalised,
so also their subsidence denotes the progressive tutelage of the laity.
The religion they understood was taken from them, and they received in
return a faith they could not understand; in other words, the old faith
and the old hopes decayed of themselves and the _authority_ of a
mysterious faith took their place. In this sense the extirpation or
decay of chiliasm is perhaps the most momentous fact in the history of
Christianity in the East. With chiliasm men also lost the living faith
in the nearly impending return of Christ, and the consciousness that the
prophetic spirit with its gifts is a real possession of Christendom.
Such of the old hopes as remained were at most particoloured harmless
fancies which, when allowed by theology, were permitted to be added to
dogmatics. In the West, on the contrary, the millennial hopes retained
their vigour during the whole third century; we know of no bishop there
who would have opposed chiliasm. With this, however, was preserved a
portion of the earliest Christianity which was to exercise its effects
far beyond the time of Augustine.

Finally, we have still to treat of the altered conceptions regarding the
Old Testament which the creation of the New produced among the
early-Catholic Fathers. In the case of Barnabas and the Apologists we
became acquainted with a theory of the Old Testament which represented
it as the Christian book of revelation and accordingly subjected it
throughout to an allegorical process. Here nothing specifically new
could be pointed out as having been brought by Christ. Sharply opposed
to this conception was that of Marcion, according to which the whole Old
Testament was regarded as the proclamation of a Jewish God hostile to
the God of redemption. The views of the majority of the Gnostics
occupied a middle position between the two notions. These distinguished
different components of the Old Testament, some of which they traced to
the supreme God himself and others to intermediate and malevolent
beings. In this way they both established a connection between the Old
Testament, and the Christian revelation and contrived to show that the
latter contained a specific novelty. This historico-critical conception,
such as we specially see it in the epistle of Ptolemy to Flora, could
not be accepted by the Church because it abolished strict monotheism and
endangered the proof from prophecy. No doubt, however, we already find
in Justin and others the beginning of a compromise, in so far as a
distinction was made between the moral law of nature contained in the
Old Testament--the Decalogue--and the ceremonial law; and in so far as
the literal interpretation of the latter, for which a pedagogic
significance was claimed, was allowed in addition to its typical or
Christian sense. With this theory it was possible, on the one hand, to
do some sort of justice to the historical position of the Jewish people,
and on the other, though indeed in a meagre fashion, to give expression
to the novelty of Christianity. The latter now appears as the _new_ law
or the law of freedom, in so far as the moral law of nature had been
restored in its full purity without the burden of ceremonies, and a
particular historical relation to God was allowed to the Jewish nation,
though indeed more a wrathful than a covenant one. For the ceremonial
regulations were conceived partly as tokens of the judgment on Israel,
partly as concessions to the stiffneckedness of the people in order to
protect them from the worst evil, polytheism.

Now the struggle with the Gnostics and Marcion, and the creation of a
New Testament had necessarily a double consequence. On the one hand, the
proposition that the "Father of Jesus Christ is the creator of the world
and the God of the Old Testament" required the strictest adherence to
the unity of the two Testaments, so that the traditional apologetic view
of the older book had to undergo the most rigid development; on the
other hand, as soon as the New Testament was created, it was impossible
to avoid seeing that this book was superior to the earlier one, and thus
the theory of the novelty of the Christian doctrine worked out by the
Gnostics and Marcion had in some way or other to be set forth and
demonstrated. We now see the old Catholic Fathers engaged in the
solution of this twofold problem; and their method of accomplishing it
has continued to be the prevailing one in all Churches up to the present
time, in so far as the ecclesiastical and dogmatic practice still
continues to exhibit the inconsistencies of treating the Old Testament
as a Christian book in the strict sense of the word and yet elevating
the New above it, of giving a typical interpretation to the ceremonial
law and yet acknowledging that the Jewish people had a covenant with

With regard to the first point, viz., the maintenance of the unity of
the two Testaments, Irenæus and Tertullian gave a most detailed
demonstration of it in opposition to Marcion,[628] and primarily indeed
with the same means as the older teachers had already used. It is Christ
that prophesied and appeared in the Old Testament; he is the householder
who produced both Old and New Testaments.[629] Moreover, as the two have
the same origin, their meaning is also the same. Like Barnabas the early
Catholic Fathers contrived to give all passages in the Old Testament a
typical Christian sense: it is the same truth which we can learn from
the prophets and again from Christ and the Apostles. With regard to the
Old Testament the watchword is: "Seek the type" ("Typum quæras").[630]
But they went a step further still. In opposition to Marcion's
antitheses and his demonstration that the God of the Old Testament is a
petty being and has enjoined petty, external observances, they seek to
show in syntheses that the same may be said of the New. (See Irenæus IV.
21-36). The effort of the older teachers to exclude everything outward
and ceremonial is no longer met with to the same extent in Irenæus and
Tertullian, at least when they are arguing and defending their position
against the Gnostics. This has to be explained by two causes. In the
first place Judaism (and Jewish Christianity) was at bottom no longer an
enemy to be feared; they therefore ceased to make such efforts to avoid
the "Jewish" conception of the Old Testament. Irenæus, for example,
emphasised in the most naïve manner the observance of the Old Testament
law by the early Apostles and also by Paul. This is to him a complete
proof that they did not separate the Old Testament God from the
Christian Deity.[631] In connection with this we observe that the
radical antijudaism of the earliest period more and more ceases. Irenæus
and Tertullian admitted that the Jewish nation had a covenant with God
and that the literal interpretation of the Old Testament was
justifiable. Both repeatedly testified that the Jews had the right
doctrine and that they only lacked the knowledge of the Son. These
thoughts indeed do not attain clear expression with them because their
works contain no systematic discussions involving these principles. In
the second place the Church itself had become an institution where
sacred ceremonial injunctions were necessary; and, in order to find a
basis for these, they had to fall back on Old Testament commandments
(see Vol. I., chap. 6, p. 291 ff.). In Tertullian we find this only in
its most rudimentary form;[632] but in the course of the third century
these needs grew mightily[633] and were satisfied. In this way the Old
Testament threatened to become an authentic book of revelation to the
Church, and that in a quite different and much more dangerous sense than
was formerly the case with the Apostolic Fathers and the Apologists.

With reference to the second point, we may remark that just when the
decay of antijudaism, the polemic against Marcion, and the new needs of
the ecclesiastical system threatened the Church with an estimate of the
Old Testament hitherto unheard of, the latter was nevertheless thrust
back by the creation and authority of the New Testament, and this
consequently revived the uncertain position in which the sacred book was
henceforth to remain. Here also, as in every other case, the development
in the Church ends with the _complexus oppositorum_, which nowhere
allows all the conclusions to be drawn, but offers the great advantage
of removing every perplexity up to a certain point. The early-Catholic
Fathers adopted from Justin the distinction between the Decalogue, as
the moral law of nature, and the ceremonial law; whilst the oldest
theologians (the Gnostics) and the New Testament suggested to them the
thought of the (relative) novelty of Christianity and therefore also of
the New Testament. Like Marcion they acknowledged the literal sense of
the ceremonial law and God's covenant with the Jews; and they sought to
sum up and harmonise all these features in the thought of an economy of
salvation and of a history of salvation. This economy and history of
salvation which contained the conception of a divine _accommodation and
pedagogy_, and which accordingly distinguished between constituent parts
of different degrees of value (in the Old Testament also), is the great
result presented in the main work of Irenæus and accepted by Tertullian.
It is to exist beside the proof from prophecy without modifying it;[634]
and thus appears as something intermediate between the Valentinian
conception that destroyed the unity of origin of the Old Testament and
the old idea which neither acknowledged various constituents in the book
nor recognised the peculiarities of Christianity. We are therefore
justified in regarding this history of salvation approved by the Church,
as well as the theological propositions of Irenæus and Tertullian
generally, as a Gnosis "toned down" and reconciled with Monotheism. This
is shown too in the faint gleam of a historical view that still shines
forth from this "history of salvation" as a remnant of that bright light
which may be recognised in the Gnostic conception of the Old
Testament.[635] Still, it is a striking advance that Irenæus has made
beyond Justin and especially beyond Barnabas. No doubt it is
mythological history that appears in this history of salvation and the
recapitulating story of Jesus with its saving facts that is associated
with it; and it is a view that is not even logically worked out, but
ever and anon crossed by the proof from prophecy; yet for all that it is
development and history.

The fundamental features of Irenæus' conception are as follow: The
Mosaic law and the New Testament dispensation of grace both emanated
from one and the same God, _and were granted for the salvation of the
human race in a form appropriate to the times_.[636] The two are in part
different; but the difference must be conceived as due to causes[637]
that do not affect the unity of the author and of the main points.[638]
We must make the nature of God and the nature of man our point of
departure. God is always the same, man is ever advancing towards God;
God is always the giver, man always the receiver;[639] God leads us ever
to the highest goal; man, however, is not God from the beginning, but is
destined to incorruptibility, which he is to attain step by step,
advancing from the childhood stage to perfection (see above, p. 267 f.).
This progress, conditioned by the nature and destination of man, is,
however, dependent on the revelation of God by his Son, culminating in
the incarnation of the latter and closing with the subsequent bestowal
of the Spirit on the human race. In Irenæus therefore the place of the
many different revelation-hypostases of the Valentinians is occupied by
the one God, who stoops to the level of developing humanity,
accommodates himself to it, guides it, and bestows on it increasing
revelations of grace.[640] The fundamental knowledge of God and the
moral law of nature, i.e., natural morality, were already revealed to
man and placed in his heart[641] by the creator. He who preserves these,
as for example the patriarchs did, is justified. (In this case Irenæus
leaves Adam's sin entirely out of sight). But it was God's will to bring
men into a higher union with himself; wherefore his Son descended to men
from the beginning and accustomed himself to dwell among them. The
patriarchs loved God and refrained from injustice towards their
neighbours; hence it was not necessary that they should be exhorted with
the strict letter of the law, since they had the righteousness of the
law in themselves.[642] But, as far as the great majority of men are
concerned, they wandered away from God and fell into the sorriest
condition. From this moment Irenæus, keeping strictly to the Old
Testament, only concerns himself with the Jewish people. These are to
him the representatives of humanity. It is only at this period that the
training of the human race is given to them; but it is really the Jewish
_nation_ that he keeps in view, and through this he differs very
decidedly from such as Barnabas.[643] When righteousness and love to God
died out in Egypt, God led his people forth so that man might again
become a disciple and imitator of God. He gave him the written law (the
Decalogue), which contains nothing else than the moral law of nature
that had fallen into oblivion.[644] But when they made to themselves a
golden calf and chose to be slaves rather than free men, then the Word,
through the instrumentality of Moses, gave to them, as a particular
addition, the commandments of slavery (the ceremonial law) in a form
suitable for their training. These were bodily commandments of bondage
which did not separate them from God, but held them in the yoke. The
ceremonial law was thus a pedagogic means of preserving the people from
idolatry; but it was at the same time a type of the future. Each
constituent of the ceremonial law has this double signification, and
both of these meanings originate with God, i.e., with Christ; for "how
is Christ the end of the law, if he be not the beginning of it?"
("quomodo finis legis Christus, si non et initium eius esset") IV. 12.
4. Everything in the law is therefore holy, and moreover we are only
entitled to blame such portions of the history of the Jewish nation as
Holy Scripture itself condemns. This nation was obliged to circumcise
itself, keep Sabbaths, offer up sacrifices, and do whatever is related
of it, so far as its action is not censured. All this belonged to the
state of bondage in which men had a _covenant_ with God and in which
they also possessed the right faith in the one God and were taught
before hand to follow his Son (IV. 12, 5; "lex prædocuit hominem sequi
oportere Christum"). In addition to this, Christ continually manifested
himself to the people in the prophets, through whom also he indicated
the future and prepared men for his appearance. In the prophets the Son
of God accustomed men to be instruments of the Spirit of God and to have
fellowship with the Father in them; and in them he habituated himself to
enter bodily into humanity.[645] Hereupon began the last stage, in which
men, being now sufficiently trained, were to receive the "testamentum
libertatis" and be adopted as Sons of God. By the union of the Son of
God with the flesh the _agnitio filii_ first became possible to all;
that is the fundamental novelty. The next problem was to restore the law
of freedom. Here a threefold process was necessary. In the first place
the Law of Moses, the Decalogue, had been disfigured and blunted by the
"traditio seniorum". First of all then the pure moral law had to be
restored; secondly, it was now necessary to extend and fulfil it by
expressly searching out the inclinations of the heart in all cases, thus
unveiling the law in its whole severity; and lastly the _particularia
legis_, i.e., the law of bondage, had to be abolished. But in the latter
connection Christ and the Apostles themselves avoided every
transgression of the ceremonial law, in order to prove that this also
had a divine origin. The non-observance of this law was first permitted
to the Gentile Christians. Thus, no doubt, Christ himself is the end of
the law, but only in so far as he has abolished the law of bondage and
restored the moral law in its whole purity and severity, and given us

The question as to the difference between the New Testament and the Old
is therefore answered by Irenæus in the following manner. It consists
(1) in the _agnitio filii_ and consequent transformation of the slaves
into children of God; and (2) in the restoration of the law, which is a
law of freedom just because it excludes bodily commandments, and with
stricter interpretation lays the whole stress on the inclinations of the
heart.[646] But in these two respects he finds a real addition, and
hence, in his opinion, the Apostles stand higher than the prophets. He
proves this higher position of the Apostles by a surprising
interpretation of 1 Cor. XII. 28, conceiving the prophets named in that
passage to be those of the Old Testament.[647] He therefore views the
two Testaments as of the same nature, but "greater is the legislation
which confers liberty than that which brings bondage" ("maior est
legisdatio quæ in libertatem, quam quæ data est in servitutem"). Through
the two covenants the accomplishment of salvation was to be hastened
"for there is one salvation and one God; but the precepts that form man
are numerous, and the steps that lead man to God are not a few;" ("una
est enim salus et unus deus; quæ autem formant hominem, præcepta multa
et non pauci gradus, qui adducunt hominem ad deum"). A worldly king can
increase his benefits to his subjects; and should it not also be lawful
for God, though he is always the same, to honour continually with
greater gifts those who are well pleasing to him? (IV. 9. 3). Irenæus
makes no direct statement as to the further importance which the Jewish
people have, and in any case regards them as of no consequence after the
appearance of the covenant of freedom. Nor does this nation appear any
further even in the chiliastic train of thought. It furnishes the
Antichrist and its holy city becomes the capital of Christ's earthly
kingdom; but the nation itself, which, according to this theory, had
represented all mankind from Moses to Christ, just as if all men had
been Jews, now entirely disappears.[648]

This conception, in spite of its want of stringency, made an immense
impression, and has continued to prevail down to the present time. It
has, however, been modified by a combination with the Augustinian
doctrine of sin and grace. It was soon reckoned as Paul's conception, to
which in fact it has a distant relationship. Tertullian had already
adopted it in its essential features, amplified it in some points, and,
in accordance with his Montanist ideas, enriched it by adding a fourth
stage (ab initio--Moses--Christ--Paraclete). But this addition was not
accepted by the Church.[649]

3. _Results to ecclesiastical Christianity._

As we have shown, Irenæus, Tertullian, and Hippolytus had no strictly
systematised theology; they formulated theological propositions because
their opponents were theologians. Hence the result of their labours, so
far as this was accepted by the Western Church of the third century,
does not appear in the adoption of a systematic philosophical dogmatic,
but in theological fragments, namely, the rule of faith fixed and
interpreted in an antignostic sense[650]. As yet the rule of faith and
theology nowhere came into collision in the Western Churches of the
third century, because Irenæus and his younger contemporaries did not
themselves notice any such discrepancies, but rather imagined all their
teachings to be expositions of the faith itself, and did not trouble
their heads about inconsistencies. If we wish to form a notion as to
what ideas had become universally prevalent in the Church in the middle
of the third century let us compare Cyprian's work "Testimonia", written
for a layman, with Novatian's work "De Trinitate".

In the "Testimonia" the doctrine of the two Testaments, as developed by
Irenæus, forms the framework in which the individual dogmas are set. The
doctrine of God, which should have been placed at the beginning, has
been left out in this little book probably because the person addressed
required no instruction on the point. Some of the dogmas already belong
to philosophical theology in the strict sense of the word; in others we
have merely a precise assertion of the truth of certain facts. All
propositions are, however, supported by passages from the two Testaments
and thereby proved.[651] The theological counterpart to this is
Novatian's work "De Trinitate". This first great Latin work that
appeared in Rome is highly important. In regard to completeness, extent
of Biblical proofs, and perhaps also its influence on succeeding times,
it may in many respects be compared with Origen's work [Greek: peri
archôn]. Otherwise indeed it differs as much from that work, as the
sober, meagre theology of the West, devoid of philosophy and
speculation, differs in general from that of the East. But it sums up in
classic fashion the doctrines of Western orthodoxy, the main features of
which were sketched by Tertullian in his antignostic writings and the
work against Praxeas. The old Roman symbol forms the basis of the work.
In accordance with this the author gives a comprehensive exposition of
his doctrine of God in the first eight chapters. Chapters 9-28 form the
main portion; they establish the correct Christology in opposition to
the heretics who look on Christ as a mere man or as the Father himself;
the Holy Scriptures furnish the material for the proofs. Chapter 29
treats of the Holy Spirit. Chapters 30 and 31 contain the recapitulation
and conclusion. The whole is based on Tertullian's treatise against
Praxeas. No important argument in that work has escaped Novatian; but
everything is extended, and made more systematic and polished. No trace
of Platonism is to be found in this dogmatic; on the contrary he employs
the Stoic and Aristotelian syllogistic and dialectic method used also by
his Monarchian opponents. This plan together with its Biblical attitude
gives the work great outward completeness and certainty. We cannot help
concluding that this work must have made a deep impression wherever it
was read, although the real difficulties of the matter are not at all
touched upon, but veiled by distinctions and formulæ. It probably
contributed not least to make Tertullian's type of Christology the
universal Western one. This type, however, as will be set forth in
greater detail hereafter, already approximates closely to the
resolutions of Nicæa and Chalcedon.[652] Novatian adopted Tertullian's
formulæ "one substance, three persons" ("una substantia, tres personæ"),
"from the substance of God" ("ex substantia dei"), "always with the
Father" ("semper apud patrem"), "God and man" ("deus et homo"), "two
substances" ("duæ substantiæ"), "one person" ("una persona"), as well as
his expressions for the union and separation of the two natures adding
to them similar ones and giving them a wider extension.[653] Taking his
book in all we may see that he thereby created for the West a dogmatic
_vademecum_, which, from its copious and well-selected quotations from
Scripture, must have been of extraordinary service.

The most important articles which were now fixed and transferred to the
general creed along with the necessary proofs, especially in the West,
were: (1) the unity of God, (2) the identity of the supreme God and the
creator of the world, that is, the identity of the mediators of creation
and redemption, (3) the identity of the supreme God with the God of the
Old Testament, and the declaration that the Old Testament is God's book
of revelation, (4) the creation of the world out of nothing, (5) the
unity of the human race, (6) the origin of evil from freedom, and the
inalienable nature of freedom, (7) the two Testaments, (8) Christ as God
and Man, the unity of his personality, the truth of his divinity, the
actuality of his humanity, the reality of his fate, (9) the redemption
and conclusion of a covenant through Christ as the new and crowning
manifestation of God's grace to all men, (10) the resurrection of man in
soul and body. But the transmission and interpretation of these
propositions, by means of which the Gnostic theses were overthrown,
necessarily involved the transmission of the Logos doctrine; for the
doctrine of the revelation of God and of the two Testaments could not
have prevailed without this theory. How this hypothesis gained
acceptance in the course of the third century, and how it was the means
of establishing and legitimising philosophical theology as part of the
faith, will be shown in the seventh chapter. We may remark in conclusion
that the religious hope which looked forward to an earthly kingdom of
Christ was still the more widely diffused among the Churches of the
third century;[654] but that the other hope, viz., that of being
deified, was gaining adherents more and more. The latter result was due
to men's increasing indifference to daily life and growing aspiration
after a higher one, a longing that was moreover nourished among the more
cultured by the philosophy which was steadily gaining ground. The hope
of deification is the expression of the idea that this world and human
nature do not correspond to that exalted world which man has built up
within his own mind and which he may reasonably demand to be realised,
because it is only in it that he can come to himself. The fact that
Christian teachers like Theophilus, Irenæus, and Hippolytus expressly
declared this to be a legitimate Christian hope and held out a sure
prospect of its fulfilment through Christ, must have given the greatest
impulse to the spread and adoption of this ecclesiastical Christianity.
But, when the Christian religion was represented as the belief in the
incarnation of God and as the sure hope of the deification of man, a
speculation that had originally never got beyond the fringe of religious
knowledge was made the central point of the system and the simple
content of the Gospel was obscured.[655]


[Footnote 460: Authorities: The works of Irenæus (Stieren's and Harvey's
editions), Melito (Otto, Corp. Apol. IX.), Tertullian (Oehler's and
Reiflerscheid's editions), Hippolytus (Fabricius', Lagarde's, Duncker's
and Schneidewin's editions), Cyprian (Hartel's edition), Novatian
(Jackson). Biographies of Bohringer, Die Kirche Christi und ihre Zeugen,
1873 ff. Werner, Der Paulinismus des Irenäus, 1889. Nöldechen,
Tertullian, 1890. Döllinger, "Hippolytus und Kallistus," 1853. Many
monographs on Irenæus and Tertullian.]

[Footnote 461: The following exposition will show how much Irenæus and
the later old Catholic teachers learned from the Gnostics. As a matter
of fact the theology of Irenæus remains a riddle so long as we try to
explain it merely from the Apologists and only consider its antithetical
relations to Gnosis. Little as we can understand modern orthodox
theology from a historical point of view--if the comparison be here
allowed--without keeping in mind what it has adopted from Schleiermacher
and Hegel, we can just as little understand the theology of Irenæus
without taking into account the schools of Valentinus and Marcion.]

[Footnote 462: That Melito is to be named here follows both from
Eusebius, H. E. V. 28. 5, and still more plainly from what we know of
the writings of this bishop; see Texte und Untersuchungen zur Geschichte
der altchristlichen Litteratur, I. 1, 2, p. 24 ff. The polemic
writings of Justin and the Antignostic treatise of that "ancient" quoted
by Irenæus (see Patr. App. Opp. ed. Gebhardt etc. I. 2, p. 105 sq.) may
in a certain sense be viewed as the precursors of Catholic literature.
We have no material for judging of them with certainty. The New
Testament was not yet at the disposal of their authors, and consequently
there is a gap between them and Irenæus.]

[Footnote 463: See Eusebius, H. E. V. 13.]

[Footnote 464: Tertullian does indeed say in de præscr. 14: "Ceterum
manente forma regulæ fidei in suo ordine quantumlibet quæras, et trades,
et omnem libidinem curiositatis effundas, si quid tibi videtur vel
ambiguitate pendere vel obscuritate obumbrari"; but the preceding
exposition of the _regula_ shows that scarcely any scope remained for
the "curiositas," and the one that follows proves that Tertullian did
not mean that freedom seriously.]

[Footnote 465: The most important point was that the Pauline theology,
towards which Gnostics, Marcionites, and Encratites had already taken up
a definite attitude, could now no longer be ignored. See Overbeck's
Basler Univ.--Programm, 1877. Irenæus immediately shows the influence of
Paulinism very clearly.]

[Footnote 466: See what Rhodon says about the issue of his conversation
with Appelles in Euseb., H. E. V. 13. 7: [Greek: egô de gelasas kategnôn
autou, dioti dedaskalos einai legôn oun êdei to didaskomenon hup' autou

[Footnote 467: On the old "prophets and teachers" see my remarks on the
[Greek: Didachê], c. 11 ff., and the section, pp. 93-137, of the
prolegomena to my edition of this work. The [Greek: didaskaloi
apostolikoi kai prophêtikoi] (Ep. Smyrn. ap. Euseb., H. E. IV. 15. 39)
became lay-teachers who were skilful in the interpretation of the sacred

[Footnote 468: In the case of Irenæus, as is well known, there was
absolutely no consciousness of this, as is well remarked by Eusebius in
H. E. V. 7. In support of his own writings, however, Irenæus appealed to
no charisms.]

[Footnote 469: See the passage already quoted on p. 63, note 1.]

[Footnote 470: Irenæus and Tertullian scoffed at the Gnostic terminology
in the most bitter way.]

[Footnote 471: Tertullian, adv. Prax. 3: "Simplices enim quique, ne
dixerim imprudentes et idiotæ, quæ major semper credentium pars est,
quoniam et ipsa regula fidei a pluribus diis sæculi ad unicum et verum
deum transfert, non intellegentes unicum quidem, sed cum sua [Greek:
oikonomia] esse credendum, expavescunt ad [Greek: oikonomian]." Similar
remarks often occur in Origen. See also Hippol., c. Noet 11.]

[Footnote 472: The danger of speculation and of the desire to know
everything was impressively emphasised by Irenæus, II. 25-28. As a
pronounced ecclesiastical positivist and traditionalist, he seems in
these chapters disposed to admit nothing but obedient and acquiescent
faith in the words of Holy Scripture, and even to reject speculations
like those of Tatian, Orat. 5. Cf. the disquisitions II. 25. 3: "Si
autem et aliquis non invenerit causam omnium quæ requiruntur, cogitet,
quia homo est in infinitum minor deo et qui ex parte (cf. II. 28.)
acceperit gratiam et qui nondum æqualis vel similis sit factori"; II.
26. 1: [Greek: Ameinon kai symphorôteron idiôtas kai oligomatheis
huparchein, kai dia tês agapês plêsion genesthai tou Theou ê polymatheis
kai empeirous dokountas einai, blasphêmous eis ton heautôn heuriskesthai
despotên], and in addition to this the close of the paragraph, II. 27.
1: Concerning the sphere within which we are to search (the Holy
Scriptures and "quæ ante oculos nostros occurrunt", much remains dark to
us even in the Holy Scriptures II. 28. 3); II. 28. 1 f. on the canon
which is to be observed in all investigations, namely, the confident
faith in God the creator, as the supreme and only Deity; II. 28. 2-7:
specification of the great problems whose solution is hid from us, viz.,
the elementary natural phenomena, the relation of the Son to the Father,
that is, the manner in which the Son was begotten, the way in which
matter was created, the cause of evil. In opposition to the claim to
absolute knowledge, i.e., to the complete discovery of all the processes
of causation, which Irenæus too alone regards as knowledge, he indeed
pointed out the limits of our perception, supporting his statement by
Bible passages. But the ground of these limits, "ex parte accepimus
gratiam," is not an early-Christian one, and it shows at the same time
that the bishop also viewed knowledge as the goal, though indeed he
thought it could not be attained on earth.]

[Footnote 473: The same observation applies to Tertullian, Cf. his point
blank repudiation of philosophy in de præse. 7, and the use he himself
nevertheless made of it everywhere.]

[Footnote 474: In point of form this standpoint is distinguished from
the ordinary Gnostic position by its renunciation of absolute knowledge,
and by its corresponding lack of systematic completeness. That, however,
is an important distinction in favour of the Catholic Fathers. According
to what has been set forth in the text I cannot agree with Zahn's
judgment (Marcellus of Ancyra, p. 235 f.): "Irenæus is the first
ecclesiastical teacher who has grasped the idea of an independent
science of Christianity, of a theology which, in spite of its width and
magnitude, is a branch of knowledge distinguished from others; and was
also the first to mark out the paths of this science."]

[Footnote 475: Tertullian seems even to have had no great appreciation
for the degree of systematic exactness displayed in the disquisitions of
Irenæus. He did not reproduce these arguments at least, but preferred
after considering them to fall back on the proof from prescription.]

[Footnote 476: The more closely we study the writings of Tertullian, the
more frequently we meet with inconsistencies, and that in his treatment
both of dogmatic and moral questions. Such inconsistencies could not but
make their appearance, because Tertullian's dogmatising was only
incidental. As far as he himself was concerned, he did not feel the
slightest necessity for a systematic presentation of Christianity.]

[Footnote 477: With reference to certain articles of doctrine, however,
Tertullian adopted from Irenæus some guiding principles and some points
of view arising from the nature of faith; but he almost everywhere
changed them for the worse. The fact that he was capable of writing a
treatise like the de præscr. hæret., in which all proof of the intrinsic
necessity and of the connection of his dogmas is wanting, shows the
limits of his interests and of his understanding.]

[Footnote 478: Further references to Tertullian in a future volume.
Tertullian is at the same time the first Christian _individual_ after
Paul, of whose inward life and peculiarities we can form a picture to
ourselves. His writings bring us near himself, but that cannot be said
of Irenæus.]

[Footnote 479: Consequently the _spirit_ of Irenæus, though indeed
strongly modified by that of Origen, prevails in the later Church
dogmatic, whilst that of Tertullian is not to be traced there.]

[Footnote 480: The supreme God is the Holy and Redeeming One. Hence the
identity of the creator of the world and the supreme God also denotes
the unity of nature, morality, and revelation.]

[Footnote 481: What success the early-Christian writings of the second
century had is almost completely unknown to us; but we are justified in
saying that the five books "adv. hæreses" of Irenæus were successful,
for we can prove the favourable reception of this work and the effects
it had in the 3rd and 4th centuries (for instance, on Hippolytus,
Tertullian, Clement of Alexandria, Victorinus, Marcellus of Ancyra,
Epiphanius, and perhaps Alexander of Alexandria and Athanasius). As is
well known, we no longer possess a Greek manuscript, although it can be
proved that the work was preserved down to middle Byzantine times, and
was quoted with respect. The insufficient Christological and especially
the eschatological disquisitions spoiled the enjoyment of the work in
later times (on the Latin Irenæus cf. the exhaustive examination of
Loof: "The Manuscripts of the Latin translation of Irenæus", in the
"Studies of Church History" dedicated to Reuter, 1887). The old Catholic
works written against heretics by Rhodon, Melito, Miltiades, Proculus,
Modestus, Musanus, Theophilus, Philip of Gortyna, Hippolytus, and others
have all been just as little preserved to us as the oldest book of this
kind, the Syntagma of Justin against heresies, and the Memorabilia of
Hegesippus. If we consider the criticism to which Tatian's Christology
was subjected by Arethas in the 10th century (Oratio 5; see my Texte und
Untersuchungen I. 1, 2 p. 95 ff.), and the depreciatory judgment passed
on Chiliasm from the 3rd century downwards, and if we moreover reflect
that the older polemical works directed against heretics were supplanted
by later detailed ones, we have a summary of the reasons for the loss of
that oldest Catholic literature. This loss indeed makes it impossible
for us to form an exact estimate of the extent and intensity of the
effect produced by any individual writing, even including the great work
of Irenæus.]

[Footnote 482: People are fond of speaking of the "Asia Minor" theology
of Irenæus, ascribe it already to his teachers, Polycarp and the
presbyters, then ascend from these to the Apostle John, and complete,
though not without hesitation, the equation: John--Irenæus. By this
speculation they win simply everything, in so far as the Catholic
doctrine now appears as the property of an "apostolic" circle, and
Gnosticism and Antignosticism are thus eliminated. But the following
arguments may be urged against this theory: (1) What we know of Polycarp
by no means gives countenance to the supposition that Irenæus learned
more from him and his fellows than a pious regard for the Church
tradition and a collection of historical traditions and principles. (2)
The doctrine of Irenæus cannot be separated from the received _canon_ of
New Testament writings; but in the generation before him there was as
yet no such compilation. (3) The presbyter from whom Irenæus adopted
important lines of thought in the 4th book did not write till after the
middle of the second century. (4) Tertullian owes his Christocentric
theology, so far as he has such a thing, to Irenæus (and Melito?).]

[Footnote 483: Marcion, as is well known, went still further in his
depreciatory judgment of the world, and therefore recognised in the
redemption through Christ a pure act of grace.]

[Footnote 484: See Molwitz, De [Greek: Anakephalaiôseôs] in Irenæi
theologia potestate, Dresden, 1874.]

[Footnote 485: See, e.g., the Epistle to the Ephesians and also the
Epistles to the Romans and Galatians.]

[Footnote 486: But see the remark made above, p. 220, note 1. We might
without loss give up the half of the Apologies in return for the
preservation of Justin's chief Antignostic work.]

[Footnote 487: According to the Gnostic Christology Christ merely
restores the _status quo ante_, according to that of Irenæus he first
and alone realises the hitherto unaccomplished destination of humanity.]

[Footnote 488: According to the Gnostic conception the incarnation of
the divine, i.e., the fall of _Sophia_, contains, paradoxically
expressed, the element of sin; according to Irenæus' idea the element of
redemption. Hence we must compare not only the Gnostic Christ, but the
Gnostic Sophia, with the Christ of the Church. Irenæus himself did so in
II. 20. 3.]

[Footnote 489: After tracing in II. 14 the origin of the Gnostic
theologoumena to the Greek philosophers Irenæus continues § 7: "Dicemus
autem adversus eos: utramne hi omnes qui prædicti sunt, cum quibus eadem
dicentes arguimini (Scil. "ye Gnostics with the philosophers"),
cognoverunt veritatem aut non cognoverunt? Et si quidem cognoverunt,
superflua est salvatoris in hunc mundum descensio. Ut (lege "ad") quid
enim descendebat?" It is characteristic of Irenæus not to ask what is
new in the revelations of God (through the prophets and the Logos), but
quite definitely: "Cur descendit salvator in hunc mundum?" See also lib.
III. præf.: "veritas, hoc est dei filii doctrina", III. 10. 3: "Hæc est
salutis agnitio quæ deerat eis, quæ est filii del agnitio ... agnitio
salutis erat agnitio filii dei, qui et salus et salvator et salutare
vere et dicitur et est." III. 11. 3: III. 12. 7: IV. 24.]

[Footnote 490: See II. 24. 3, 4: "Non enim ex nobis neque ex nostra
natura vita est; sed secundum gratiam dei datur." Cf. what follows.
Irenæus has in various places argued that human nature inclusive of the
flesh is _capax incorruptibilitatis_, and likewise that immortality is
at once a free gift and the realisation of man's destiny.]

[Footnote 491: Book V. pref.: "Iesus Christus propter immensam suam
dilectionem factus est quod sumus nos, uti nos perficeret esse quod et
ipse": III. 6. I: "Deus stetit in synagoga deorum ... de patre et filio
et de his, qui adoptionem perceperunt, dicit: hi autem sunt ecclesia.
Hæc enim est synagoga dei," etc.; see also what follows III. 16. 3:
"Filius dei hominis filius factus, ut per eum adoptionem percipiamus
portante homine et capiente et compleciente filium dei." III. 16. 6:
"Dei verbum unigenitus, qui semper humano generi adest, unitus et
consparsus suo plasmati secundum placitum patris et caro factus, ipse
est Iesus Christus dominus noster ... unus Iesus Christus, veniens per
universam dispositionem et omnia in semetipsum recapitulans. In omnibus
autem est et homo plasmatio dei, et hominem ergo in semetipsum
recapitulans est, invisibilis visibilis factus, et incomprehensibilis
factus comprehensibilis, et impassibilis passibilis, et verbum homo,
universa in semetipsum recapitulans ... in semetipsum primatum
assumens,.. universa attrahat ad semetipsum apto in tempore." III. 18.
1: "Quando incarnatus est filius homo et homo factus longam hominum
expositionem in se ipso recapitulavit, in compendio nobis salutem
præstans, ut quod perdideramus in Adam id est secundum imaginem et
similitudinem esse dei, hoc in Christo Iesu reciperemus." Cf. the whole
18th chapter where the deepest thoughts of the Pauline Gnosis of the
death on the cross are amalgamated with the Gnosis of the incarnation;
see especially 18. 6, 7: "[Greek: Ênôsen oun ton anthrôpon tô Theô. Ei
gar mê anthrôpos enikêsen tên antipalon tou anthrôpou, ouk an dikaiôs
enikêthê ho echthros. Palin te, ei mê ho Theos edôrêsato tên sôtêrian,
ouk an bebaiôs eschomen autên. Kai ei mê sunênôthê ho anthrôpos tô Theô,
ouk an êdunêthê metaschein tês aphtharsias. Edei gar ton mesitên Theou
te kai anthrôpôn dia tês idias pros hekaterous oikeiotêtos eis philian
kai homonoian tous amphoterous sunagôgein; kai Theô men parastêsai ton
antrôpon anthrôpois de gnôrisai ton Theon.] Qua enim ratione filiorum
adoptionis eius participes esse possemus, nisi per filium eam quæ est ad
ipsura recepissemus ab eo communionem, nisi verbum eius communicasset
nobis caro factum? Quapropter et per omnem venit ætatem, omnibus
restituens eam quæ est ad deum communionem." The Pauline ideas about
sin, law, and bondage are incorporated by Irenæus in what follows. The
disquisitions in capp. 19-23 are dominated by the same fundamental idea.
In cap. 19 Irenæus turns to those who hold Jesus to be a mere man,
"perseverantes in servitute pristinæ inobedientiæ moriuntur, nondum
commixti verbo dei patris neque per filium percipientes libertatem ...
privantur munere eius, quod est vita æsterna: non recipientes autem
verbum incorruptionis perseverant in carne mortali, et sunt debitores
mortis, antidotum vitæ non accipientes. Ad quos verbum ait, suum munus
gratiæ? narrans: [Greek: Egô eipa, huioi hupsistou este pantes kai
theoi; humeis de hôs anthrôpoi apothnêskete. Tauta legei pros tous mê
dexamenous tên dôrean tês huiothesias, all' atimazontas tên sarkôsin tês
katharas gennêseôs tou logou tou Theou ... Eis touto gar ho logos
anthrôpos] et qui filius dei est filius hominis factus est, [Greek: hina
ho anthrôpos ton logon chôrêsas kai tên huiothesian labôn huios genêtai
Theou]. Non enim poteramus aliter incorruptelam et immortalitatem
percipere, nisi adunati fuissemus incorruptelæ et immortalitati.
Quemadmodum autem adunari possumus incorruptelæ et immortalitati, nisi
prius incorruptela et immortalitas facta fuisset id quod et nos, ut
absorbet*etur quod erat corruptibile ab incorruptela et quod erat
mortale ab immortalitate, ut filiorum adoptionem perciperemus?" III. 21.
10: [Greek: Ei toinun ho prôtos Adam esche patera anthrôpon kai ek
spermatos egennêthê, eikos ên kai deuteron Adam legein ex Iôsêph
gegennêsthai. Ei de ekeinos ek gês elêphthê, plastês de autou ho Theos,
edei kai ton anakephalaioumenon eis auton hupo tou Theou peplasmenon
anthrôpon tên autên ekeinô tês gennêseôs echein homoiotêta. Eis ti oun
palin ouk elabe choun ho Theos, all' ek Marias enêrgêse tên plasin
genesthai. Hina mê allê plasis genêtai mêde allo to sôzomenon ê, all'
autos ekeinos anakephalaiôthê têroumenês tês homoiotêtos]; III. 23. 1:
IV. 38: V. 36: IV. 20: V. 16, 19-21, 22. In working out this thought
Irenæus verges here and there on soteriological naturalism (see
especially the disquisitions regarding the salvation of Adam, opposed to
Tatian's views, in III. 23). But he does not fall into this for two
reasons. In the first place, as regards the history, of Jesus, he has
been taught by Paul not to stop at the incarnation, but to view the work
of salvation as only completed by the sufferings and death of Christ
(See II. 20. 3: "dominus per passionem mortem destruxit et solvit
errorem corruptionemque exterminavit, et ignorantiam destruxit, vitam
autem manifestavit et ostendit veritatem et incorruptionem donavit";
III. 16. 9: III. 18. 1-7 and many other passages), that is, to regard
Christ as having performed a _work_. Secondly, alongside of the
deification of Adam's children, viewed as a mechanical result of the
incarnation, he placed the other (apologetic) thought, viz., that
Christ, as the teacher, imparts complete knowledge, that he has
restored, i.e., strengthened the freedom of man, and that redemption (by
which he means fellowship with God) therefore takes place only in the
case of those children of Adam that acknowledge the truth proclaimed by
Christ and imitate the Redeemer in a holy life (V. 1. 1.: "Non enim
aliter nos discere poteramus quæ sunt dei, nisi magister noster, verbum
exsistens, homo factus fuisset. Neque enim alias poterat enarrare nobis,
quæ sunt patris, nisi proprium ipsius verbum ... Neque rursus nos aliter
discere poteramus, nisi magistrum nostrum videntes et per auditum
nostrum vocem eius percipientes, ut imitatores quidem operum, factores
autem sermonum eius facti, communionem habeamus cum ipso", and many
other passages). We find a combined formula in III. 5. 3: "Christus
libertatem hominibus restauravit et attribuit incorruptelæ

[Footnote 492: Theophilus also did not see further, see Wendt, l.c., 17

[Footnote 493: Melito's teaching must have been similar. In a fragment
attributed to him (see my Texte und Untersuchungen I. 1, 2 p. 255 ff.)
we even find the expression "[Greek: hai duo ousiai Christou]". The
genuineness of the fragment is indeed disputed, but, as I think, without
grounds. It is certainly remarkable that the formula is not found in
Irenæus (see details below). The first Syriac fragment (Otto IX. p. 419)
shows that Melito also views redemption as reunion through Christ.]

[Footnote 494: The conception of the stage by stage development of the
economy of God and the corresponding idea of "several covenants" (I. 10.
3: III. 11-15 and elsewhere) denote a very considerable advance, which
the Church teachers owe to the controversy with Gnosticism, or to the
example of the Gnostics. In this case the origin of the idea is quite
plain. For details see below.]

[Footnote 495: It would seem from some passages as if faith and
theological knowledge were according to Irenæus simply related as the
"is" and the "why." As a matter of fact, he did express himself so
without being really able to maintain the relationship thus fixed; for
faith itself must also to some extent include a knowledge of the reason
and aim of God's ways of salvation. Faith and theological knowledge are
therefore, after all, closely interwoven with each other. Irenæus merely
sought for a clear distinction, but it was impossible for him to find it
in his way. The truth rather is that the same man, who, in opposition to
heresy, condemned an exaggerated estimate of theoretical knowledge,
contributed a great deal to the transformation of that faith into a
monistic speculation.]

[Footnote 496: See 1. 10. 2: [Greek: Kai oute ho panu dunatos en logô
tôn en tais ekklêsiais proestôtôn toutôn] (scil. than the regula sidei)
[Greek: epei oudeis gar uper ton didaskalon oute ho asthenês en tô logô
elattôsei tên paradosin. Mias gar kai tês autês pisteôs ousês oute ho
polu peri autês dunamenos eipein epleonasen, oute ho to oligon

[Footnote 497: See Bohringer's careful reviews of the theology of
Irenæus and Tertullian (Kirchengeschichte in Biographien, Vol. I. 1st
section, 1st half (2nd ed.), pp. 378-612, 2nd half, pp. 484-739).]

[Footnote 498: To the proof from prescription belong the arguments
derived from the novelty and contradictory multiplicity of the Gnostic
doctrines as well as the proofs that Greek philosophy is the original
source of heresy. See Iren. II. 14. 1-6; Tertull. de præscr. 7; Apolog.
47 and other places; the Philosophoumena of Hippolytus. On Irenæus'
criticism of Gnostic theology see Kunze, Gotteslehre des Irenäus,
Leipzig, 1891. p. 8 ff.]

[Footnote 499: See Irenæus II. 1. 2-4: II. 31. 1. Tertull., adv. Marc.
I. 2-7. Tertullian proves that there can be neither two morally similar,
nor two morally dissimilar Deities; see also I. 15.]

[Footnote 500: See Irenæus II. 13. Tertullian (ad Valent. 4) very
appropriately defined the æons of Ptolemy as "personales substantias
extra deum determinatas, quas Valentinus in ipsa summa divinitatis ut
sensus et affectus motus incluserat."]

[Footnote 501: See Irenæus, l.c., and elsewhere in the 2nd Book,
Tertull. adv. Valent. in several passages. Moreover, Irenæus still
treated the first 8 Ptolemaic æons with more respect than the 22
following, because here at least there was some appearance of a Biblical
foundation. In confuting the doctrine of æons he incidentally raised
several questions (II. 17. 2), which Church theologians discussed in
later times, with reference to the Son and Spirit. "Quæritur quemadmodum
emissi sunt reliqui æones? Utrum uniti ei qui emiserit, quemadmodum a
sole radii, an efficabiliter et partiliter, uti sit unusquisque eorum
separatim et suam figurationem habens, quemadmodum ab homine homo ...
Aut secundum germinationem, quemabmodum ab arbore rami? Et utrum eiusdem
substantiæ exsistebant his qui se emiserunt, an ex altera quadam
substantia substantiam habentes? Et utrum in eodem emissi sunt, ut
eiusdem temporis essent sibi?... Et utrum simplices quidam et uniformes
et undique sibi æquales et similes, quemadmodum spiritus et lumina
emissa sunt, an compositi et differentes"? See also II. 17. 4: "Si autem
velut a lumine lumina accensa sunt... velut verbi gratia a facula
faculæ, generatione quidem et magnitudine fortasse distabunt ab invicem;
eiusdem autem substantive cum sint cum principe emissionis ipsorum, aut
omnes impassibiles perseverant aut et pater ipsorum participabit
passiones. Neque enim quæ postea accensa est facula, alterum lumen
habebit quam illud quod ante eam fuit." Here we have already a statement
of the logical reasons, which in later times were urged against the
Arian doctrine.]

[Footnote 502: See Iren. II. 17. 5 and II. 18.]

[Footnote 503: See Iren. II. 4. 2.]

[Footnote 504: Tertullian in particular argued in great detail (adv.
Marc. I. 9-19) that every God must, above all, have revealed himself as
a creator. In opposition to Marcion's rejection of all natural theology,
he represents this science as the foundation of all religious belief. In
this connection he eulogised the created world (I. 13) and at the same
time (see also the 2nd Book) argued in favour of the Demiurge, i.e., of
the one true God. Irenæus urged a series of acute and weighty objections
to the cosmogony of the Valentinians (see II. 1-5), and showed how
untenable was the idea of the Demiurge as an intermediate being. The
doctrines that the Supreme Being is unknown (II. 6), that the Demiurge
is the blind instrument of higher æons, that the world was created
against the will of the Supreme God, and, lastly, that our world is the
imperfect copy of a higher one were also opposed by him with rational
arguments. His refutation of the last conception is specially remarkable
(II. 7). On the idea that God did not create the world from eternal
matter see Tertull., adv. Hermog.]

[Footnote 505: But this very method of argument was without doubt
specially impressive in the case of the educated, and it is these alone
of whom we are here speaking. On the decay of Gnosticism after the end
of the 2nd century, see Renan, Origines, Vol. VII., p. 113 ff.]

[Footnote 506: See his arguments that the Gnostics merely _assert_ that
they have only one Christ, whereas they actually possess several, III.
16. 1, 8 and elsewhere.]

[Footnote 507: See Iren., I. 9 and elsewhere; Tertull., de præscr. 39,
adv. Valent. passim.]

[Footnote 508: See Tertull., adv. Marc. II. 19, 21, 22: III. 5, 6, 14,
19: V. 1.; Orig. Comm. in Matth., T. XV. 3, Opp. III., p. 655: Comm. in
ep. ad Rom., T. II. 12. Opp. IV., p. 494 sq.; Pseudo-Orig. Adamantius,
De recta in deum fide; Orig. I. pp. 808, 817.]

[Footnote 509: For this reason Tertullian altogether forbade exegetic
disputes with the Gnostics, see de præscr. 16-19: "Ego non ad scripturas
provocandum est nec in his constituendum certamen, in quibus aut milla
aut incerta victoria est aut parum certa."]

[Footnote 510: See Iren., III. 5. 1: III. 12. 6.]

[Footnote 511: See Iren., III. 14. 2: III. 15. 1; Tertull., de præscr.
25: "Scripturæ quidem perfectæ sunt, quippe a verbo dei et spiritu eius
dictæ, nos autem secundum quod minores sumus et novissimi a verbo dei et
spiritu eius, secundum hoc et scientia niysteriorum eius indigenus."]

[Footnote 512: See Iren. II. 35. 2: IV. 34, 35 and elsewhere. Irenæus
also asserted that the translation of the Septuagint (III. 21. 4) was
inspired. The repudiation of different kinds of inspiration in the
Scriptures likewise involved the rejection of all the critical views of
the Gnostics that were concealed behind that assumption. The
Alexandrians were the first who again to some extent adopted these
critical principles.]

[Footnote 513: See Iren. II. 10. 1: II. 27. 1, 2.]

[Footnote 514: See Iren. II. 25. I.]

[Footnote 515: Irenæus appropriates the words of an Asia Minor presbyter
when he says (IV. 31. 1): "De his quidem delictis, de quibus ipsæ
scripturæ increpant patriarchas et prophetas, nos non oportere exprobare
eis ... de quibus autem scripturæ non inciepant (scil. delictis), sed
simpliciter sunt positæ, nos non debere fieri accusatores, sed typum

[Footnote 516: See, e.g., IV. 20. 12 where he declares the three spies
whom Rahab entertained to be Father, Son. and Spirit.]

[Footnote 517: See Iren. IV. 22. 1.]

[Footnote 518: See Iren. III. 17. 3.]

[Footnote 519: Justin had already noted certain peculiarities of the
Holy Scriptures as distinguished from profane writings. Tertullian
speaks of two _proprietates iudaicæ literaturæ_ in adv. Marc. III. 5. 6.
But the Alexandrians were the first to propound any kind of complete
theories of inspiration.]

[Footnote 520: See above p. 233, note 2, Kunze, l.c.]

[Footnote 521: See Iren, II. 26. 1, 13. 4: "Sic et in reliquis omnibus
nulli similis erit omnium pater hominum pusillitati: et dicitur quidem
secundum hæc propter delectionem, sentitur autem super hæc secundum
magnitudinem." Irenæus expressly says that God cannot be known as
regards his greatness, i.e. absolutely, but that he can be known as
regards his love, IV. 20. 1: "Igitur secundum magnitudem non est
cognoscere deum, impossibile est enim mensurari patrem; secundum autem
dilectionem eius--hæc est enim quæ nos per verbum eius perducit ad
deum--obedientes ei semper discimus quoniam est tantus deus etc."; in
IV. 20. 4 the knowledge of God "secundum dilectionem" is more closely
defined by the words "per verbum eius Iesum Christum." The statements in
§§ 5 and 6 are, however, specially important: they who are pure in heart
will see God. God's omnipotence and goodness remove the impossibility of
man knowing him. Man comes to know him gradually, in proportion as he is
revealed and through love, until he beholds him in a state of
perfection. He must be in God in order to know God: [Greek: hôsper hoi
blepontes to phôs entos eisi tou phôtos kai tês lamprotêtos autou
metechousin, houtôs hoi blepontes ton Theon entos eisi tou Theou,
metechontes autou tês lamprotêtos. Kai dia touto ho achôrêtos kai
akatalêptos kai aoratos horômenon heauton ... tois pistois pareschen,
hina zôopoiêsê tous chôrountas kai blepontas auton dia pisteôs]. See
also what follows down to the words: [Greek: metochê Theou esti to
ginôskein Theon kai apolauein tês chrêstotêtos autou], et homines igitur
videbunt deum, ut vivant, per visionem immortales facti et pertingentes
usque in deum. Sentences of this kind where rationalism is neutralised
by mysticism we seek for in Tertullian in vain.]

[Footnote 522: See Iren., IV. 6. 4: [Greek: Edidaxen hêmas ho kurios,
hoti Theon eidenai oudeis dunatai, mê ouchi Theou didaxantos, toutestin,
aneu Theou mê ginôskesthai ton Theon; auto de to ginôskesthai ton Theon
thelêma einai tou patros, Gnôsontai gar auton hois an apokalupsê ho

[Footnote 523: Iren. II. 6. 1, 9. 1, 27. 2: III. 25. 1: "Providentiam
habet deus omnium propter hoc et consilium dat: consilium autem dans
adest his, qui morum providentiam habent. Necesse est igitur ea quæ
providentur et gubernantur cognoscere suum directorem; quæ quidem non
sunt irrationalia neque vana, sed habent sensibilitatem perceptam de
providentia dei. Et propter hoc ethnicorum quidam, qui minus illecebris
ac voluptatibus servierunt, et non in tantum superstitione idolorum
coabducti sunt, providentia eius moti licet tenuiter, tamen conversi
sunt, ut dicererit fabricatorem huiuss universitatis patrem omnium
providentem et disponentem secundum nos mundum." Tertull., de testim.
animæ; Apolog. 17.]

[Footnote 524: See Iren., IV. 6. 2; Tertull., adv. Marc. I, II.]

[Footnote 525: See Iren., V. 26. 2.]

[Footnote 526: See Iren., II. 1. I and the Hymn II. 30. 9.]

[Footnote 527: See Iren., III. 8. 3. Very pregnant are Irenæus'
utterances in II. 34. 4 and II. 30. 9: "Principari enim debet in omnibus
et dominari voluntas dei, reliqua autem omnia huic cedere et subdita
esse et in servitium dedita" ... "substantia omnium voluntas dei;" see
also the fragment V. in Harvey, Iren., Opp. II. p. 477 sq. Because
everything originates with God and the existence of eternal metaphysical
contrasts is therefore impossible the following proposition (IV. 2, 4),
which is proved from the parable of the rich man and Lazarus, holds,
good: "ex una substantia esse omnia, id est Abraham et Moysem et
prophetas, etiam ipsum dominum."]

[Footnote 528: See Iren. II. 28. 4, 5: IV. 11. 2.]

[Footnote 529: Tertullian also makes the same demand (e.g. adv. Marc.
II. 27); for his assertion "deum corpus esse" (adv. Prax. 7: "Quis enim
negabil, deum corpus esse, etsi deus spiritus est? spiritus enim corpus
sui generis in sua effigie") must be compared with his realistic
doctrine of the soul (de anima 6) as well as with the proposition
formulated in de carne 11: "omne quod est, corpus est sui generis; nihil
est incorporale, nisi quod non est." Tertullian here followed a
principle of Stoic philosophy, and in this case by no means wished to
teach that the Deity has a human form, since he recognised that man's
likeness to God consists merely in his spiritual qualities. On the
contrary _Melito_ ascribed to God a corporeal existence of a higher type
(Eusebius mentions a work of this bishop under the title "[Greek: ho
peri ensômatou Theou logos],") and Origen reckoned him among the teachers
who recognised that man had also a likeness to God in form (in body);
see my Texte und Untersuchungen I. 1. 2, pp. 243, 248. In the second
century the realistic eschatological ideas no doubt continued to foster
in wide circles the popular idea that God had a form and a kind of
corporeal existence. A middle position between these ideas and that of
Tertullian and the Stoics seems to have been taken up by Lactantius
(_Instit. div._ VII. 9, 21; de ira dei 2. 18.).]

[Footnote 530: See Iren., III. 25. 2; Tertull., adv. Marc. I. 23-28: II.
11 sq. Hippolytus briefly defined his doctrine of God in Phil. X. 32.
The advance beyond the Apologists' idea of God consists not only in the
thorough discussion of God's attributes of goodness and righteousness,
but also in the view, which is now much more vigorously worked out, that
the Almighty Creator has no other purpose in his world than the
salvation of mankind. See the 10th Greek fragment of Irenæus (Harvey,
II. p. 480); Tertull., de orat. 4: "Summa est voluntatis dei salus
eorum, quos adoptavit"; de paenit. 2: "Bonorum dei unus est titulus,
salus hominum"; adv. Marc. II. 27: "Nihil tam dignum deo quam salus
hominis." They had here undeniably learned from Marcion; see adv. Marc.
I. 17. In the first chapters of the work de orat., however, in which
Tertullian expounds the Lord's Prayer, he succeeded in unfolding the
meaning of the Gospel in a way such as was never possible for him
elsewhere. The like remark may be made of Origen's work de orat., and,
in general, in the case of most authors who interpreted the Lord's
Prayer in the succeeding period. This prayer kept alive the knowledge of
the deepest meaning of the Gospel.]

[Footnote 531: Apol. 21: "Necesse et igitur pauca de Christo ut deo ...
Jam ediximus deum universitatem hanc mundi verbo et ratione et virtute
molitum. Apud vestros quoque sapientes [Greek: Logon], id est sermonem
et rationem, constat artificem videri universitatis." (An appeal to Zeno
and Cleanthes follows). "Et nos autem sermoni atque rationi itemque
virtuti, per quæ omnia molitum deum ediximus, propriam substantiam
spiritum inscribimus, cui et sermo insit pronuntianti et ratio adsit
disponenti et virtus præsit perficienti. Hunc ex deo prolatum didicimus
et prolatione generatum et idcirco filium dei et deum dictum ex unitate
substantiæ, nam et deus spiritus (that is, the antemundane Logos is the
Son of God). Et cum radius ex sole porrigitur, portio ex summa; sed sol
erit in radio, quia solis est radius nec separatur substantia sed
extenditur (cf. adv. Prax. 8). Ita de spiritu spiritus et deo deus ut
lumen de lumine accensum. Manet integra et indefecta materiæ matrix,
etsi plures inde traduces qualitatis mutueris: ita et quod de deo
profectum est, deus est et dei filius et unus ambo. Ita et de spiritu
spiritus et de deo deus modulo alternum numerum, gradu non statu fecit,
et a matrice non necessit sed excessit. Iste igitur dei radius, ut retro
semper prædicabatur, delapsus in virginem quandam et in utero eius caro
figuratus nascitur homo deo mixtus. Caro spiritu instructa nutritur,
adolescit, adfatur, docet, operatur et Christus est." Tertullian adds:
"Recipite interim hanc fabulam, similis est vestris." As a matter of
fact the heathen must have viewed this statement as a philosophical
speculation with a mythological conclusion. It is very instructive to
ascertain that in Hippolytus' book against Noëtus "the setting forth of
the truth" (c. 10 ff.) he begins with the proposition: [Greek: Theos
eboulêthê kosmon ktisai]. The Logos whose essence and working are
described merely went forth to realise this intention.]

[Footnote 532: See Hagemann, Die römische Kirche (1864), p. 172 ff.]

[Footnote 533: See my detailed exposition of the _orthodox_ side of
Tertullian's doctrine of the Trinity ("orthodox" in the later sense of
the word), in Vol. IV. There it is also shown that these formulæ were
due to Tertullian's _juristic_ bias. The formulæ, "una _substantia_,
tres _personæ_", never alternates in his case with the others, "una
_natura_, tres _personæ_"; and so it remained for a long time in the
West; they did not speak of "natures" but of "substances" ("nature" in
this connection is very rare down to the 5th century). What makes this
remarkable is the fact that Tertullian always uses "substance" in the
concrete sense "individual substance" and has even expressed himself
precisely on the point. He says in de anima 32: "aliud est substantia,
aliud natura substantiæ; siquidem substantia propria est rei cuiusque,
natura vero potest esse communis. Suscipe exemplum: substantia est
lapis, ferrum; duritia lapidis et ferri natura substantiæ est. Duritia
(natura) communicat, substantia discordat. Mollitia lanæ, mollitia plumæ
pariant naturalia eorum, substantiva non pariant ... Et tune naturæ
similitudo notatur, cum substantiæ dissimilitudo conspicitur. Men and
animals are similar _natura_, but not _substantia_." We see that
Tertullian in so far as he designated Father, Son, and Spirit as one
substance expressed their _unity_ as strongly as possible. The only idea
intelligible to the majority was a juristic and political notion, viz.,
that the Father, who is the _tota substantia_, sends forth officials
whom he entrusts with the administration of the monarchy. The legal
fiction attached to the concept "person" aided in the matter here.]

[Footnote 534: See adv. Prax. 3: "Igitur si et monarchia divina per tot
legiones et exercitus angelorum administratur, sicut scriptum est:
Milies centies centena milia adsistebant ei, et milies centena milia
apparebant ei, nec ideo unius esse desiit, ut desinat monarchia esse,
quia per tanta milia virtutum procuratur: quale est ut deus divisionem
et dispersionem pati videatur in filio et spiritu sancto, secundum et
tertium sortitis locum, tam consortibus substantiæ patris, quam non
patitur in tot angelorum numero?" (!!) c. 4: "Videmus igitur non obesse
monarchiæ filium, etsi hodie apud filium est, quia et in suo statu est
apud filium, et cum suo statu restituetur patri a filio." L.c.:
"Monarchia in tot nominibus constituta est, in quot deus voluit."]

[Footnote 535: See Hippol., c. Noetum II. According to these doctrines
the unity is sufficiently preserved (1) if the separate persons have one
and the same substance, (2) if there is one possessor of the whole
substance, _i.e._, if everything proceeds from him. That this is a
remnant of polytheism ought not to be disputed.]

[Footnote 536: Adv. Prax. 8: "Hoc si qui putaverit, me [Greek: probolên]
aliquam introducere id est prolationem rei alterius ex altera, quod
facit Valentinus, primo quidem dicam tibi, non ideo non utatur et
veritas vocabulo isto et re ac censu eius, quia et hæresis utitur; immo
hæresis potius ex veritate accepit quod ad mendacium suum strueret"; cf.
also what follows. Thus far then theologians had got already: "The
economy is founded on as many names as God willed" (c. 4).]

[Footnote 537: See adv. Prax. 5.]

[Footnote 538: Tertull., adv. Hermog. 3: "fuit tempus, cum ei filius non

[Footnote 539: Novatian (de trin. 23) distinguishes very decidedly
between "factum esse" and "procedere".]

[Footnote 540: Adv. Prax. 2: "Custodiatur [Greek: oikonomias]
sacramentum, quæ unitatem in trinitatem disponit, tres dirigens, tres
autem non statu, sed gradu, nec substantia, sed forma, nec potestate,
sed specie, unius autem substantiæ et unius status et potestatis."]

[Footnote 541: See the discussions adv. Prax. 16 ff.]

[Footnote 542: Tertull., adv. Marc. III. 6: "filius portio
plenitudinis." In another passage Tertullian has ironically remarked in
opposition to Marcion (IV. 39): "Nisi Marcion Christum non subiectum
patri infert."]

[Footnote 543: Adv. Prax. 9.]

[Footnote 544: See the whole 14th chap. adv. Prax. especially the words:
"I am ergo alius erit qui videbatur, quia non potest idem invisibilis
definiri qui videbatur, et consequens erit, ut invisibilem patrem
intellegamus pro plenitudine maiestatis, visibilem vero filium
agnoscamus pro modulo derivationis." One cannot look at the sun itself,
but, "toleramus radium eius pro temperatura portionis, quæ in terram
inde porrigitur." The chapter also shows how the Old Testament
theophanies must have given an impetus to the distinction between the
Deity as transcendent and the Deity as making himself visible. Adv.
Marc. II. 27: "Quæcunque exigitis deo digna, habebuntur in patre
invisibili incongressibilique et placido et, ut ita dixerim,
philosophorum deo. Quæcunque autem ut indigna reprehenditis,
deputabuntur in filio et viso et audito et congresso, arbitro patris et
ministro, miscente in semetipso hominem et deum in virtutibus deum, in
pusillitatibus hominem, ut tantum homini conferat quantum deo detrahit."
In adv. Prax. 29 Tertullian showed in very precise terms that the Father
is by nature impassible, but the Son is capable of suffering. Hippolytus
does not share this opinion; to him the Logos in himself is likewise
[Greek: apathês] (see c. Noetum 15).]

[Footnote 545: According to Tertullian it is certainly an _essential
part of the Son's nature_ to appear, teach, and thus come into
connection with men; but he neither asserted the necessity of the
incarnation apart from the faulty development of mankind, nor can this
view be inferred from his premises.]

[Footnote 546: See adv. Prax. 4. the only passage, however, containing
this idea, which is derived from 1 Cor. XV.]

[Footnote 547: Cf. specially the attempts of Plotinus to reconcile the
abstract unity which is conceived as the principle of the universe with
the manifoldness and fulness of the real and the particular (Ennead.
lib. III.-V.). Plotinus employs the subsidiary notion [Greek: merismos]
in the same way as Tertullian; see Hagemann l.c. p. 186 f. Plotinus
would have agreed with Tertullian's proposition in adv. Marc. III. 15:
"Dei nomen quasi naturale divinitatis potest in omnes communicari quibus
divinitas vindicatur." Plotinus' idea of hypostasis is also important,
and this notion requires exact examination.]

[Footnote 548: Following the baptismal confession, Tertullian merely
treated the Holy Ghost according to the scheme of the Logos doctrine
without any trace of independent interest. In accordance with this,
however, the Spirit possesses his own "numerus"--"tertium numen
divinitatis et tertium nomen maiestatis",--and he is a person in the
same sense as the Son, to whom, however, he is subordinate, for the
subordination is a necessary result of his later origin. See cc. 2, 8:
"tertius est spiritus a deo et filio, sicut tertius a radice fructus a
frutice, et tertius a fonte rivus a flumine et tertius a sole apex ex
radio. Nihil tamen a matrice alienatur a qua proprietates suas ducit.
Ita trinitas per consertos et connexos gradus a patre decurrens et
monarchiæ nihil obstrepit et [Greek: oikonomias] statum protegit"; de
pudic. 21. In de præscr. 13 the Spirit in relation to the Son is called
"vicaria vis". The element of personality in the Spirit is with
Tertullian merely a result arising from logical deduction; see his
successor Novatian de trin. 29. Hippolytus did not attribute personality
to the Spirit, for he says (adv. Noet. 14): [Greek: Hena Theon erô,
prosôpa de duo, oikonomia de tritên tên charin tou hagiou pneumatos;
patêr men gar eis, prosôpa de duo, hoti kai ho huios, to de triton to
hagion pneuma]. In his Logos doctrine apart from the express emphasis he
lays on the creatureliness of the Logos (see Philos. X. 33: [Greek: Ei
gar Theon se êthelêse poiêsai ho Theos, edunato; echeis tou logou to
paradeigma]) he quite agrees with Tertullian. See ibid.; here the Logos
is called before his coming forth "[Greek: endiathetos tou pantos
logismos]"; he is produced [Greek: ek tôn ontôn], i.e., from the Father
who then alone existed; his essence is "that he bears in himself the
will of him who has begotten him" or "that he comprehends in himself the
ideas previously conceived by and resting in the Father." Cyprian in no
part of his writings took occasion to set forth the Logos doctrine in a
didactic way; he simply kept to the formula: "Christus deus et homo",
and to the Biblical expressions which were understood in the sense of
divinity and preëxistence; see Testim. II. 1-10. Lactantius was still
quite confused in his Trinitarian doctrine and, in particular, conceived
the Holy Ghost not as a person but as "sanctificatio" proceeding from
the Father or from the Son. On the contrary, Novatian, in his work _de
trinitate_ reproduced Tertullian's views. For details see Dorner
Entwickelungsgeschichte I. pp. 563-634, Kahnis, Lehre vom heiligen
Geiste; Hagemann, l.c., p. 371 ff. It is noteworthy that Tertullian
still very frequently called the preëxistent Christ _dei spiritus_; see
de oral. I: "Dei spiritus et dei sermo et dei ratio, sermo rationis et
ratio sermonis et spiritus, utrumque Iesus Christus." Apol. 21: adv.
Prax. 26; adv. Marc. I. 10: III. 6, 16: IV. 21.]

[Footnote 549: See Zahn, Marcellus of Ancyra, pp. 235-244. Duncker, Des
heiligen Irenaus Christologie, 1843.]

[Footnote 550: Zahn, l.c., p. 238.]

[Footnote 551: See Iren., II. 13. 8: II. 28. 4-9: II. 12. 2: II. 13. 2,
and also the important passage II. 29. 3 fin.]

[Footnote 552: A great many passages clearly show that Irenæus decidedly
distinguished the Son from the Father, so that it is absolutely
incorrect to attribute modalistic ideas to him. See III. 6. 1 and all
the other passages where Irenæus refers to the Old Testament
theophanies. Such are III. 6. 2: IV. 5. 2 fin.: IV. 7. 4, where the
distinction is particularly plain: IV. 17. 6: II. 28. 6.]

[Footnote 553: The Logos (Son) is the administrator and bestower of the
divine grace as regards humanity, because he is the revealer of this
grace, see IV. 6 (§ 7: "agnitio patris filius, agnitio autem filii in
patre et per filium revelata"): IV. 5: IV. 16. 7: IV. 20. 7. He has been
the revealer of God from the beginning and always remains so, III. 16.
6: IV. 13. 4 etc.: he is the antemundane revealer to the angel world,
see II. 30. 9: "semper autem coëxsistens filius patri, olim et ab initio
semper revelat patrem et angelis et archangelis et potestatibus et
virtutibus et omnibus, quibus vult revelari deus;" he has always existed
with the Father, see II. 30. 9: III. 18. 1: "non tunc coepit filius dei,
exsistens semper apud patrem"; IV. 20. 3, 7, 14. 1: II. 25. 3: "non enim
infectus es, o homo, neque semper coëxsistebas deo, sicut proprium eius
verbum." The Logos is God as God, nay, for us he is God himself, in so
far as his work is the work of God. Thus, and not in a modalistic sense,
we must understand passages like II. 30. 9: "fabricator qui fecit mundum
per semitipsum, hoc est per verbum et per sapientiam suam," or hymnlike
statements such as III. 16. 6: "et hominem ergo in semetipsum
recapitulans est, invisibilis visibilis factus, et incomprehensibilis
factus comprehensibilis et impassibilis passibilis et verbum homo" (see
something similar in Ignatius and Melito, Otto, Corp. Apolog. IX, p. 419
sq.). Irenæus also says in III. 6. 2: "filius est in patre et habet in
se patrem," III. 6. 1.: "utrosque dei appellatione signavit spiritus, et
eum qui ungitur filium et eum, qui ungit, id est patrem." He not only
says that the Son has revealed the Father, but that the Father has
revealed the Son (IV. 6. 3: IV. 7. 7). He applies Old Testament passages
sometimes to Christ, sometimes to God, and hence in some cases calls the
Father the creator, and in others the Son ("pater generis humani verbum
dei", IV. 31. 2). Irenæus (IV. 4. 2) appropriated the expression of an
ancient "immensum patrem in filio mensuratum; mensura enim patris
filius, quoniam et capit eum." This expression is by no means intended
to denote a diminution, but rather to signify the identity of Father and
Son. In all this Irenæus adhered to an ancient tradition; but these
propositions do not admit of being incorporated with a rational system.]

[Footnote 554: Logos and Sophia are the hands of God (III. 21. 10: IV.
20): also IV. 6. 6: "Invisibile filii pater, visibile autem patris
filius." Judging from this passage, it is always doubtful whether
Irenæus, like Tertullian, assumed that transcendency belonged to the
Father in a still higher sense than to the Son, and that the nature of
the Son was more adapted for entering the finite than that of the Father
(on the contrary see IV. 20. 7 and especially IV. 24. 2: "verbum
naturaliter quidem invisibile"). But it ought not to have been denied
that there are passages, in which Irenæus hints at a subordination of
the Son, and deduces this from his origin. See II. 28. 8 (the knowledge
of the Father reaches further than that of the Son and the Father is
greater than the Son); III. 6. 1 (the Son _receives_ from the Father the
sovereignty); IV. 17. 6 (a very important passage: the Father owns the
name of Jesus Christ as his, first, because it is the name of his Son,
and, secondly, because he gave it himself); V. 18. 21, 3 ("pater
conditionem simul et verbum suum portans"--"verbum portatum a
patre"--"et sic unus deus pater ostenditur, qui est super omnia et per
omnia et in omnibus; super omnia pater quidem et ipse est caput
Christi"--"verbum universorum potestatem habet a patre"). "This is not a
subordination founded on the nature of the second person, but an
inequality that has arisen historically," says Zahn (l.c., p. 241); but
it is doubtful whether such a distinction can be imputed to Irenæus. We
have rather simply to recognise the contradiction, which was not felt by
Irenæus because, in his religious belief, he places Christ on a level
with God, but, as a theologian, merely touched on the problem. So also
he shows remarkable unconcern as to the proof of the unity of God in
view of the distinction between Father and Son.]

[Footnote 555: Irenæus very frequently emphasises the idea that the
whole economy of God refers to mankind, see, e.g., I. 10. 3: [Greek:
ekdiêgeisthai tên pragmateian kai oikonomian tou Theou tên epi tê
anthrôpotêti genomenên], IV, 20. 7: "Verbum dispensator paternæ gratiæ
factus est ad utilitatem hominum, propter quos fecit tantas
dispositiones." God became a creator out of goodness and love; see the
beautiful expression in IV. 20. 7: "Gloria dei vivens homo, vita autem
hominis visio dei," or III. 20. 2: "Gloria hominis deus, operationes
vero dei et omnis sapientias eius et virtutis receptaculum homo." V. 29.
1: "Non homo propter conditionem, sed conditio facta est propter

[Footnote 556: Irenæus speaks about the Holy Spirit in numerous
passages. No doubt he firmly believes in the distinction of the Spirit
(Holy Spirit, Spirit of God, Spirit of the Father, Spirit of the Son,
prophetic Spirit, Wisdom) from the Father and Son, and in a particular
significance belonging to the Spirit, as these doctrines are found in
the _regula_. In general the same attributes as are assigned to the Son
are everywhere applicable to him; he was always with the Father before
there was any creation (IV. 20. 3; Irenæus applies Prov. III. 19: VIII.
22 to the Spirit and not to the Son); like the Son he was the instrument
and hand of the Father (IV. pref. 4, 20. 1: V. 6. 1.). That Logos and
Wisdom are to be distinguished is clear from IV. 20. 1-12 and
particularly from § 12: IV. 7. 4: III. 17. 3 (the host in the parable of
the Good Samaritan is the Spirit). Irenæus also tried by reference to
Scripture to distinguish the work of the Spirit from that of the Logos.
Thus in the creation, the guidance of the world, the Old Testament
history, the incarnation, the baptism of Jesus, the Logos is the energy,
the Spirit is wisdom. He also alluded to a specific ministry of the
Spirit in the sphere of the new covenant. The Spirit is the principle of
the new knowledge in IV. 33. 1, 7, Spirit of fellowship with God in V.
I. 1, pledge of immortality in V. 8. 1, Spirit of life in V. 18. 2. But
not only does the function of the Spirit remain very obscure for all
that, particularly in the incarnation, where Irenæus was forced by the
canon of the New Testament to unite what could not be united (Logos
doctrine and descent of the Spirit upon Mary--where, moreover, the whole
of the Fathers after Irenæus launched forth into the most wonderful
speculations), but even the personality of the Spirit vanishes with him,
e.g., in III. 18. 3: "unguentem patrem et unctum filium et unctionem,
qui est spiritus" (on Isaiah LXI. 1); there is also no mention of the
Spirit in IV. pref. 4 fin., and IV. 1. 1, though he ought to have been
named there. Father, Son, and Spirit, or God, Logos, and Sophia are
frequently conjoined by Irenæus, but he never uses the formula [Greek:
trias], to say nothing of the abstract formulas of Tertullian. In two
passages (IV. 20. 5: V. 36. 2) Irenæus unfolded a sublime speculation,
which is inconsistent with his usual utterances. In the first passage he
says that God has shown himself prophetically through the Spirit (in the
Old Testament), then adoptively through the Son, and will finally show
himself paternally in the kingdom of heaven; the Spirit prepares man for
the Son of God, the Son leads him to the Father, but the Father confers
on him immortality. In the other passage he adopts the saying of an old
presbyter (Papias?) that we ascend gradually through the Spirit to the
Son, and through the Son to the Father, and that in the end the Son will
deliver up everything to the Father, and God will be all in all. It is
remarkable that, as in the case of Tertullian (see above), it is 1 Cor.
XV. 23-28 that has produced this speculation. This is another clear
proof, that in Irenæus the equality of Father, Son, and Spirit is not
unconditional and that the eternity of Son and Spirit is not absolute.
Here also we plainly perceive that the several disquisitions in Irenæus
were by no means part of a complete system. Thus, in IV. 38. 2, he
inverts the relationship and says that we ascend from the Son to the
Spirit: [Greek: Kai dia touto Paulos Korinthiois phêsi: gala humas
epotisa, ou Brôma, oude gar êdunasthe bastazein; toutesti, tên men kata
anthrôpon parousian tou kuriou emathêteuthête, oudêpou de to tou patros
pneuma epanapauetai eph' humas dia tên humôn astheneian]. Here one of
Origen's thoughts appears.]

[Footnote 557: The opinions advanced here are, of course, adumbrations
of the ideas about redemption. Noldechen (Zeitschrift fur
wissenschaftliche Theologie, 1885, p. 462 ff): "Die Lehre vom ersten
Menschen bei den christlichen Lehrern des 2 Jahrhunderts."]

[Footnote 558: Here the whole 38th chapter of the 4th Book is to be
examined. The following sentences are perhaps the most important:
[Greek: Ei de legei tis ouk êdunato ho Theos ap' archês teleion
anadeixai ton anthrôpon, Gnôtô, hoti tô men Theô, aei kata ta auta onti
kai agennêtô huparchonti, hôs pros heauton, panta dunata; ta de gegonta,
katho metepeita geneseôs archên idian esche, kata touto kai
hustereisthai dei auta tou pepoiêkotos; ou gar êdunanto agennêta einai
ta neôsti gegennêmena. Katho de mê estin agennêta, kata touto kai
husterountai tou teleiou. Katho de neôtera, kata touto kai nêpia, kata
touto kai asunêthê kai agumnasta pros tên teleian agôgên]. The mother
can no doubt give strong food to the child at the very beginning, but
the child cannot stand it: [Greek: anthrôpos adunatos labein auto;
nêpios gar ên], see also § 2-4: "Non ab initio dii facti sumus, sed
primo quidem homines, tunc demum dii, quamvis deus secundum
simplicitatem bonitatis suæ hoc fecerit, nequis eum putet invidiosum aut
impræstantem." "Ego," inquit, "dixi, dii estis et filii excelsi omnes,
nobis autem potestatem divinitatis baiulare non sustinentibus" ...
"Oportuerat autem primo naturam apparere, post deinde vinci et absorbi
mortale ab immortalitate et corruptibile ab incorruptibilitate, et fieri
hominem secundum imaginem et similitudinem dei, agnitione accepta boni
et mali." Ibid.: [Greek: hupotagê Theou aptharsia, kai paramonê
aptharsias doxa agennêtos ... horasis Theou peripoiêtikê aptharsias;
aptharsia de eggus einai poiei Theou]. In this chapter Irenæus
contemplates the manner of appearance of the Logos (as man) from the
point of view of a [Greek: sunnêpiazein]. His conception of the capacity
and destination of man enabled him to develop his ideas about the
progressive training of the human race and about the different covenants
(see below). On this point cf. also IV. 20. 5-7. The fact that,
according to this way of looking at things, the Good and Divine appeared
only as the _destination_ of man--which was finally to be reached
through divine guidance--but not as his _nature_, suggested both to
Irenæus and Tertullian the distinction between "natura" and "gratia" or
between "substantia" and "fides et iustitia." In other words, they were
led to propound a problem which had occurred to the Gnostics long
before, and had been solved by them in a dualistic sense. See Irenæus
II. 29. 1: "Si propter substantiam omnes succedunt animæ in refrigerium,
et superfluum est credere, superflua autem et discessio salvatoris; si
autem propter iustitiam, iam non propter id, quod sint animæ sed quoniam
sunt iustæ ... Si enim natura et substantia salvat, omnes salvabuntur
animæ; si autem iustitia et fides etc." II. 34. 3: "Non enim ex nobis
neque ex nostra natura vita est, sed secundum gratiam dei datur," II.
34. 4. Tertullian adv. Marc. III. 15: "Christi nomen non ex natura
veniens, sed ex dispositione." In Tertullian these ideas are not
unfrequently opposed to each other in this way; but the relationship
between them has by no means been made clear.]

[Footnote 559: On the psychology of Irenæus see Bohringer, p. 466 f.,
Wendt p. 22. The fact that in some passages he reckoned the [Greek:
pneuma] in man as the latter's inalienable nature (e.g. II. 33-5),
though as a rule (like Tatian) he conceives it as the divine Spirit, is
an evident inconsistency on his part. The [Greek: eikôn] is realised in
the body, the [Greek: homoiôsis] is not given by nature, but is brought
about by the union with the Spirit of God realised through obedience (V.
6. 1). The [Greek: homoiôsis] is therefore subject to growth, and was
not perfect at the beginning (see above, IV. 38. 4, where he opposes
Tatian's opinion). It is clear, especially from V. 12. 2, that it is
only the [Greek: pnoê], not the [Greek: pneuma], that is to be conceived
as an original possession. On this point Irenæus appealed to 1 Cor. XV.
45. It is plain from the 37th chapter of the 4th Book, that Irenæus also
views everything as ultimately dependent on man's inalienable freedom.
Alongside of this God's goodness has scope for displaying itself in
addition to its exercise at the creation, because it guides man's
knowledge through counsel; see § 1. On Matth. XXIII. 37 Irenæus remarks:
"veterem legem libertatis hominis manifestavit, quia liberum eum deus
fecit ab initio, habentem suam potestatem sicut et suam animam ad
utendum sententia dei voluntarie et non coactum a deo ... posuit in
homine potestatem electionis quemadmodum in angelis (et enim angeli
rationabiles), ut hi quidem qui obedissent iuste bonum sint possidentes,
_datum quidem a deo, servatum vero ab ipsis_." An appeal to Rome II. 4-7
(!) follows. In § 2 Irenæus inveighs violently against the Gnostic
doctrines of natural goodness and wickedness: [Greek: pantes tês autês
eisi physeôs]. In § 4 he interprets the Pauline: "omnia licent, sed non
omnia expediunt," as referring to man's inalienable freedom and to the
way in which it is abused in order to work evil(!): "liberæ sententiæ ab
initio est homo et liberæ sententiæ est deus, cuius ad similitudinem
factus est." § 5: "Et non tantum in operibus, sed etiam in fide, liberum
et suæ potestatis arbitrium hominis _servavit_ (that is, respected)
dominus, dicens: Secundum fidem tuam fiat tibi." § 4: "deus consilium
dat continere bonum, quod perficitur ex obedientia." § 3: "[Greek: to
autexousion tou anthrôpou kai to symbouleutikon tou Theou mê
biazomenou]." IV. 4. 3: "homo rationabilis et secundum hoc similis deo
liber in arbitrio factus et suæ potestatis, ipse sibi causa est, ut
aliquando quidem frumentum aliquando autem palea fiat."]

[Footnote 560: As a matter of fact this view already belongs to the
second train of thought; see particularly III. 21-23. Here in reality
this merely applies to the particular individuals who chose
disobedience, but Irenæus almost everywhere referred back to the fall of
Adam. See, however, V. 27. 2: "Quicunque erga eum custodiunt
dilectionem, suam his præstat communionem. Communio autem dei vita et
lumen et fruitio eorum quæ sunt apud deum bonorum. Quicumque autem
absistunt secundum sententiam suam ab eo, his eam quæ electa est ab
ipsis separationem inducit. Separatio autem dei mors, et separatio lucis
tenebræ, et separatio dei amissio omnium quæ sunt apud eum bonorum." V.
19. 1, 1. 3, 1. 1. The subjective moralism is very clearly defined in
IV. 15. 2: "Id quod erat semper liberum et suæ potestatis in homine
semper servavit deus et sua exhortatio, ut iuste iudicentur qui non
obediunt ei quoniam non obedierunt, et qui obedierunt et crediderunt ei,
honorentur incorruptibilitate."]

[Footnote 561: Man's sin is thoughtlessness; he is merely led astray
(IV. 40. 3). The fact that he let himself be seduced under the pretext
of immortality is an excuse for him; man was _infans_, (See above; hence
it is said, in opposition to the Gnostics, in IV. 38. 4:
"supergredieutes legem humani generis et antequam fiant homines, iam
volunt similes esse factori deo et nullam esse differentiam infecti dei
et nunc facti hominis." The same idea is once more very clearly
expressed in IV. 39. 3; "quemadmodum igitur erit homo deus, qui nondum
factus est homo?" i.e., how could newly created man be already perfect
as he was not even man, inasmuch as he did not yet know how to
distinguish good and evil?). Cf. III. 23. 3, 5: "The fear of Adam was
the beginning of wisdom; the sense of transgression led to repentance;
but God bestows his grace on the penitent" ... "eum odivit deus, qui
seduxit hominem, ei vero qui seductus est, sensim paullatimque misertus
est." The "pondus peccati" in the sense of Augustine was by no means
acknowledged by Irenæus, and although he makes use of Pauline sayings,
and by preference such as have a quite different sense, he is very far
from sharing Paul's view.]

[Footnote 562: See IV. 37. 7: "Alias autem esset nostrum insensatum
bonum, quod esset inexercitatum. Sed et videre non tantum nobis esset
desiderabile, nisi cognovissemus quantum esset malum non videre; et bene
valere autem male valentis experientia honorabilius efficit, et lucem
tenebrarum comparatio et vitam mortis. Sic et coeleste regnum
honorabilius est his qui cognoverunt terrenum." The main passage is III.
20. 1, 2, which cannot be here quoted. The fall was necessary in order
that man might not believe that he was "naturaliter similis deo." Hence
God permitted the great whale to swallow man for a time. In several
passages Irenæus has designated the permitting of evil as kind
generosity on the part of God, see, e.g., IV. 39. 1, 37. 7.]

[Footnote 563: See Wendt, l.c., p. 24.]

[Footnote 564: See III. 23. 6.]

[Footnote 565: See V. I. 1: "Non enim aliter nos discere poteramus quæ
sunt dei, nisi magister noster, verbum exsistens, homo factus fuisset
... Neque rursus nos aliter discere poteramus, nisi magistrum nostrum
videntes," etc.; III. 23. 2, 5. 3: "libertatem restauravit"; IV. 24. 1:
"reformavit humamum genus"; III. 17. 1: "spiritus sanctus in filium dei,
filium hominis factum, descendit cum ipso assuescens habitare in genere
humano." III. 19. 1: IV. 38. 3: 39. 1, 2. Wendt's summary, l.c., p. 24:
"By the Logos becoming man, the type of the perfect man made its
appearance," formulates Irenæus' meaning correctly and excludes the
erroneous idea that he viewed the Logos himself as the prototype of
humanity. A real divine manhood is not necessary within this train of
thought; only a _homo inspiratus_ is required.]

[Footnote 566: See Hippol. Philos. X. 33 (p. 538 sq.): [Greek: Epi
toutois ton pantôn archonta dêmiourgôn ek pasôn synthetôn ousiôn
eskeuasen, ou Theôn thelôn poiein esphêlen, oude angelon, all'
anthrôpon. Ei gar Theon se êthelêse poiêsai, edunato; echeis tou logou
to paradeigma; anthrôpon thelôn, anthrôpon se epoiêsen; ei de theleis
kai Theos genesthai, hupakoue tô pepoiêkoti.] The famous concluding
chapter of the Philosophoumena with its prospect of deification is to be
explained from this (X. 34).]

[Footnote 567: See Tertull. adv. Marc. II. 4-11; his undiluted moralism
appears with particular clearness in chaps. 6 and 8. No weight is to be
attached to the phrase in chapter 4 that God by placing man in Paradise
really even then put him from Paradise into the Church. This is contrary
to Wendt's opinion, l.c., p. 67. ff., where the exposition of Tertullian
is _speciosior quam verior_. In adv. Marc. II. 4 ff. Wendt professes to
see the first traces of the scholastic and Romish theory, and in de
anima 16, 41 the germ of the subsequent Protestant view.]

[Footnote 568: See IV. 5. 1, 6. 4.]

[Footnote 569: See IV 14. 1: "In quantum enim deus nullius indiget, in
tantum homo indiget dei communione. Hæc enim gloria hominis, perseverare
et permanere in dei servitute." This statement, which, like the numerous
others where Irenæus speaks of the adoptio, is opposed to moralism,
reminds us of Augustine. In Irenæus' great work, however, we can point
out not a few propositions which, so to speak, bear the stamp of
Augustine; see IV. 38. 3: [Greek: hupotagê Theou aphtharsia].]

[Footnote 570: See the passages quoted above, p. 241 f.]

[Footnote 571: See III. 18. 1. V. 16. 1 is very remarkable: [Greek: En
tois prosthen chronois elegeto men kat' eikona Theou gegonenai ton
anthrôpon, ouk edeiknuto de, eti gar aoratos ên ho logos, ou kat' eikona
ho anthrôpos egegonei. dia touto dê kai tên homoiôsin iadiôs apebalen];
see also what follows. In V. I. 1 Irenæus even says: "Quoniam iniuste
dominabatur nobis apostasia, et cum natura essemus dei omnipotentis,
alienavit nos contra naturam diabolus." Compare with this the
contradictory passage IV. 38: "oportuerat autem primo naturam apparere"
etc. (see above, p. 268), where _natura hominis_ is conceived as the
opposite of the divine nature.]

[Footnote 572: See Wendt, l.c., p. 29, who first pointed out the two
dissimilar trains of thought in Irenæus with regard to man's original
state, Duncker having already done so in regard to his Christology.
Wendt has rightly shown that we have here a real and not a seeming
contradiction; but, as far as the explanation of the fact is concerned,
the truth does not seem to me to have been arrived at. The circumstance
that Irenæus did not develop the mystic view in such a systematic way as
the moralistic by no means justifies us in supposing that he merely
adopted it superficially (from the Scriptures): for its nature admits of
no systematic treatment, but only of a rhetorical and contemplative one.
No further explanation can be given of the contradiction, because,
strictly speaking, Irenæus has only given us fragments.]

[Footnote 573: See V. 16. 3: [Greek: en tô prôtô Adam prosekopsamen, mê
poiêsantes autou tên entolên]. IV. 34. 2: "homo initio in Adam
inobediens per mortem percussus est;" III. 18. 7-23: V. 19. 1: V. 21. 1:
V. 17. 1 sq.]

[Footnote 574: Here also Irenæus keeps sin in the background; death and
life are the essential ideas. Bohringer l.c., p. 484 has very rightly
remarked: "We cannot say that Irenæus, in making Adam's conduct and
suffering apply to the whole human race had started from an inward,
immediate experience of human sinfulness and a feeling of the need of
salvation founded on this." It is the thoughts of Paul to which Irenæus
tried to accommodate himself without having had the same feeling about
the flesh and sin as this Apostle. In Tertullian the mystic doctrine of
salvation is rudimentary (but see, e.g. de anima 40: "ita omnis anima eo
usque in Adam censetur donec in Christo recenseatur," and other
passages); but he has speculations about Adam (for the most part
developments of hints given in Irenæus; see the index in Oehler's
edition), and he has a new realistic idea as to a physical taint of sin
propagated through procreation. Here we have the first beginning of the
doctrine of original sin (de testim. 3: "per diabolum homo a primordio
circumventus, ut præceptum dei excederet, et propterea in mortem datus
exinde totum genus de suo semine infectum suæ etiam damnationis traducem
fecit." Compare his teachings in de anima 40, 41, 16 about the disease
of sin that is propagated "ex originis vitio" and has become a real
second nature). But how little he regards this original sin as guilt is
shown by de bapt. 18: "Quaie innocens ætas festinat ad baptismum." For
the rest, Tertullian discussed the relationship of flesh and spirit,
sensuousness and intellect, much more thoroughly than Irenæus; he showed
that flesh is not the seat of sin (de anima 40). In the same book (but
see Bk. V. c. 1) he expressly declared that in this question also sure
results are only to be obtained from revelation. This was an important
step in the direction of secularising Christianity through "philosophy"
and of emasculating the understanding through "revelation." In regard to
the conception of sin Cyprian followed his teacher. De op. et eleem. 1
reads indeed like an utterance of Irenæus ("dominus sanavit illa quæ
Adam portaverat vulnera"); but the statement in ep. 64. 5: "Recens natus
nihil peccavit, nisi quod secundum Adam carnaliter natus contagium
mortis antiquæ prima nativitate contraxit" is quite in the manner of
Tertullian, and perhaps the latter could also have agreed with the
continuation: "infanti remittuntur non propria sed aliena peccata."
Tertullian's proposition that absolutely no one but the Son of God could
have remained without sin was repeated by Cyprian (see, e.g., de op. et
eleem. 3).]

[Footnote 575: III. 22. 4 has quite a Gnostic sound ... "eam quæ est a
Maria in Evam recirculationem significans; quia non aliter quod
colligatum est solveretur, nisi ipsæ compagines alligationis
reflectantur retrorsus, ut primæ coniunctiones solvantur per secundas,
secundæ rursus liberent primas. Et evenit primam quidem compaginem a
secunda colligatione solvere, secundam vero colligationem primæ
solutionis habere locum. Et propter hoc dominus dicebat primos quidem
novissimos futuros et novissimos primos." Irenæus expresses a Gnostic
idea when he on one occasion plainly says (V. 12. 3): [Greek: En tô Adam
pantes apothnêskomen, hoti psychikoi.] But Paul, too, made an approach
to this thought.]

[Footnote 576: See III. 23. 1, 2, a highly characteristic statement.]

[Footnote 577: See, e.g., III. 9. 3, 12. 2, 16. 6-9, 17. 4 and
repeatedly 8. 2: "verbum dei, per quem facta sunt omnia, qui est dominus
noster Jesus Christus."]

[Footnote 578: See IV. 6. 7.]

[Footnote 579: See III. 11. 3.]

[Footnote 580: See III. 6.]

[Footnote 581: See III. 19. 1, 2: IV. 33. 4: V. 1. 3; see also
Tertullian against "Ebion" de carne 14, 18, 24; de præser. 10. 33.]

[Footnote 582: See III. 21, 22: V. 19-21.]

[Footnote 583: See the arguments, l.c., V. 19. 1: "Quemadmodum
adstrictum est morti genus humanum per virginem, salvatur per virginem,
æqua lance disposita virginalis inobedientia per virginalem
obedientiam," and other similar ones. We find the same in Tertull., de
carne 17, 20. In this connection we find in both very extravagant
expressions with regard to Mary (see, e.g. Tertull., l.c. 20 fin.: "uti
virgo esset regeneratio nostra spiritaliter ab omnibus inquinamentis
sanctificata per Christum." Iren. III. 21. 7: "Maria cooperans
dispositioni (dei);" III. 22. 4 "Maria obediens et sibi et universo
generi humano causa facta est salutis" ... "quod alligavit virgo Eva per
incredulitatem, hoc virgo Maria solvit per fidem"). These, however, have
no doctrinal significance; in fact the same Tertullian expressed himself
in a depreciatory way about Mary in _de carne_ 7. On the other hand it
is undeniable that the later Mariolatry has one of its roots in the
parallel between Eve and Mary. The Gnostic invention of the _virginitas
Mariæ in partu_ can hardly be traced in Irenæus III. 21. 4. Tertullian
(de carne 23) does not seem to know anything about it as yet, and very
decidedly assumed the natural character of the process. The popular
conception as to the reason of Christ's birth from a virgin, in the form
still current to-day, but beneath all criticism, is already found in
Tertullian _de carne_ 18: "Non competebat ex semine humano dei filium
nasci, ne, si totus esset filius hominis, non esset et dei filius,
nihilque haberet amplius Salomone, ut de Hebionis opinione credendus
erat Ergo iam dei filius ex patris dei semine, id est spiritu, ut esset
et hominis filius, caro ei sola competebat ex hominis carne sumenda sine
viri semine. Vacabat enim semen viri apud habentem dei semen." The other
theory existing side by side with this, viz., that Christ would have
been a sinner if he had been begotten from the semen, whereas he could
assume sinless flesh from woman is so far as I know scarcely hinted at
by Irenæus and Tertullian. The fact of Christ's birth was frequently
referred to by Tertullian in order to prove Christ's kinship to God the
Creator, e.g., adv. Marc. III. 11. Hence this article of the _regula
fidei_ received a significance from this point of view also. An
Encratite explanation of the birth from the Virgin is found in the old
treatise _de resurr._ bearing Justin's name (Otto, Corp. Apol. III., p.

[Footnote 584: See, e.g., III. 18. 1 and many other places. See the
passages named in note, p. 276.]

[Footnote 585: So also Tertullian. See adv. Marc. III. 8: The whole work
of salvation is destroyed by Docetism; cf. the work _de carne Christi_.
Tertullian exclaims to the Docetist Marcion in c. 5: "Parce unicæ spei
totius orbis." Irenæus and Tertullian mean that Christ's assumption of
humanity was complete, but not unfrequently express themselves in such a
manner as to convey the impression that the Logos only assumed flesh.
This is particularly the case with Tertullian, who, moreover, in his
earlier time had probably quite naive Docetic ideas and really looked
upon the humanity of Christ as only flesh. See Apolog. 21: "spiritum
Christus cum verbo sponte dimisit, prævento carnincis officio." Yet
Irenæus in several passages spoke of Christ's human soul (III. 22. 1: V.
1. 1) as also did Melito ([Greek: to alêthes kai aphantaston tês psuchês
Christou kai tou sômatos, tês kath' hêmas anthrôpinês phuseôs] Otto,
l.c., IX., p. 415) and Tertullian (de carne 10 ff. 13; de resurr. 53).
What we possess in virtue of the creation was _assumed_ by Christ
(Iren., l.c., III. 22. 2.) Moreover, Tertullian already examined how the
case stands with sin in relation to the flesh of Christ. In opposition
to the opinion of the heretic Alexander, that the Catholics believe
Jesus assumed earthly flesh in order to destroy the flesh of sin in
himself, he shows that the Saviour's flesh was without sin and that it
is not admissible to teach the annihilation of Christ's flesh (de carne
16; see also Irenæus V. 14. 2, 3): "Christ by taking to himself our
flesh has made it his own, that is, he has made it sinless." It was
again passages from Paul (Rom. VIII. 3 and Ephes. II. 15) that gave
occasion to this discussion. With respect to the opinion that it may be
with the flesh of Christ as it is with the flesh of angels who appear,
Tertullian remarks (de carne 6) that no angel came to die; that which
dies must be born; the Son of God came to die.]

[Footnote 586: This conception was peculiar to Irenæus, and for good
reasons was not repeated in succeeding times; see II. 22: III. 17. 4.
From it also Irenæus already inferred the necessity of the death of
Christ and his abode in the lower world, V. 31. 1, 2. Here we trace the
influence of the recapitulation idea. It has indeed been asserted (very
energetically by Schultz, Gottheit Christi, p. 73 f.) that the Christ of
Irenæus was not a personal man, but only possessed humanity. But that is
decidedly incorrect, the truth merely being that Irenæus did not draw
all the inferences from the personal humanity of Christ.]

[Footnote 587: See Iren. V. 31. 2: "Surgens in carne sic ascendit ad
patrem." Tertullian, de carne 24: "Bene quod idem veniet de cælis qui
est passus ... et agnoscent qui eum confixerunt, utique ipsam carnem in
quam sævierunt, sine qua nee ipse esse poterit et agnosci;" see also
what follows.]

[Footnote 588: See Iren. IV. 33. 11.]

[Footnote 589: See Iren. IV. 20. 4; see also III. 19. 1.]

[Footnote 590: He always posits the unity in the form of a confession
without describing it. See III. 16. 6, which passage may here stand for
many. "Verbum unigenitus, qui semper humano generi adest, unitus et
consparsus suo plasmati secundum placitum patris et caro factus ipse est
Iesus Christus dominus noster, qui et passus est pro nobis et
ressurrexit propter nos.... Unus igitur deus pater, quemadmodum
ostendimus, et unus Christus Iesus domiuns noster, veniens per universam
dispositionem et omnia in semelipsum recapitulans. In omnibus autem est
et homo plasmatio del, et hominem ergo in semetipsum recapitulans est,
invisibilis visibilis factus, et incomprehensibilis factus
comprehensibilis et impassibilis passibilis et verbum homo." V. 18. 1:
"Ipsum verbum dei incarnatum suspensum est super lignum."]

[Footnote 591: Here Irenæus was able to adopt the old formula "God has
suffered" and the like; so also Melito, see Otto l.c., IX. p. 416:
[Greek: ho Theos peponuen hupo dexias Israêlitidos] (p. 422): "Quidnam
est hoc novum mysterium? iudex iudicatur et quietus est; invisibilis
videtur neque erubescit: incomprehensibilis prehenditur neque
indignatur, incommensurabilis mensuratur neque repugnat; impassibilis
patitur neque ulciscitur; immortalis moritur, neque respondit verbum,
coelestis sepelitur et id fert." But let us note that these are not
"doctrines," but testimonies to the faith, as they were always worded
from the beginning and such as could, if need were, be adapted to any
Christology. Though Melito in a fragment whose genuineness is not
universally admitted (Otto, l.c., p. 415 sq.) declared in opposition to
Marcion, that Christ proved his humanity to the world in the 30 years
before his baptism; but showed the divine nature concealed in his human
nature during the 3 years of his ministry, he did not for all that mean
to imply that Jesus' divinity and humanity are in any way separated.
But, though Irenæus inveighed so violently against the "Gnostic"
separation of Jesus and Christ (see particularly III. 16. 2, where most
weight is laid on the fact that we do not find in Matth.: "Iesu
generatio sic erat" but "Christi generatio sic erat"), there is no doubt
that in some passages he himself could not help unfolding a speculation
according to which the predicates applying to the human nature of Jesus
do not also hold good of his divinity, in fact he actually betrayed a
view of Christ inconsistent with the conception of the Saviour's person
as a perfect unity. We can indeed only trace this view in his writings
in the form of an undercurrent, and what led to it will be discussed
further on. Both he and Melito, as a rule adhered to the simple "filius
dei filius hominis factus" and did not perceive any problem here,
because to them the disunion prevailing in the world and in humanity was
the difficult question that appeared to be solved through this very
divine manhood. How closely Melito agreed with Irenæus is shown not only
by the proposition (p. 419): "Propterea misit pater filium suum e coelo
sine corpore (this is said in opposition to the Valentinian view), ut,
postquam incarnatus esset in, utero virginis et natus esset homo,
vivificaret hominem et colligeret membra eius quæ mors disperserat, quum
hominem divideret," but also by the "propter hominem iudicatus est
iudex, impassibilis passus est?" (l.c.).]

[Footnote 592: The concepts employed by Irenæus are _deus_, _verbum_,
_filius dei_, _homo_, _filius hominis_, _plasma dei_. What perhaps
hindered the development of that formula in his case was the
circumstance of his viewing Christ, though he had assumed the _plasma
dei_, humanity, as a personal man who (for the sake of the
recapitulation theory) not only had a human nature but was obliged to
live through a complete human life. The fragment attributed to Irenæus
(Harvey II., p. 493) in which occur the words, [Greek: tou Theou logou
henôoei tê kath' hupostasin physikê henôthentos tê sakri], is by no
means genuine. How we are to understand the words: [Greek: hina ex
amphoterôn to periphanes tôn physeôn paradeichthê] in fragment VIII.
(Harvey II., p. 479), and whether this piece belongs to Irenæus, is
uncertain. That Melito (assuming the genuineness of the fragment) has
the formula of the two natures need excite no surprise; for (1) Melito
was also a philosopher, which Irenæus was not, and (2) it is found in
Tertullian, whose doctrines can be shown to be closely connected with
those of Melito (see my Texte und Untersuchungen I. 1, 2, p. 249 f.). If
that fragment is genuine Melito is the first Church teacher who has
spoken of two natures.]

[Footnote 593: See Apol. 21: "verbum caro figuratus ... homo deo
mixtus;" adv. Marc. II. 27: "filius dei miscens in semetipso hominem et
deum;" de carne 15: "homo deo mixtus;" 18: "sic homo cum deo, dum caro
hominis cum spiritu dei." On the Christology of Tertullian cf. Schulz,
Gottheit Christi, p. 74 ff.]

[Footnote 594: De carne 5: "Crucifixus est dei filius, non pudet quia
pudendum est; et mortuus est dei filius, prorsus credibile est, quia
ineptum est; et sepultus resurrexit, certum est, quia impossible est;"
but compare the whole book; c. 5 init.: "deus crucifixus," "nasci se
voluit deus". De pat. 3: "nasci se deus in utero patitur." The formula:
[Greek: ho gennêtheis, ho megas Theos] is also found in Sibyll. VII.

[Footnote 595: De carne I, cf. ad nat. II. 4: "ut iure consistat
collegium nominis communione substantiæ."]

[Footnote 596: De carne 18 fin.]

[Footnote 597: Adv. Prax. 27: "Sed enim invenimus illum diiecto et deum
et hominem expositum, ipso hoc psalmo suggerente (Ps. LXXXVII. 5) ...
hic erit homo et filius hominis, qui definitus est filius dei secundum
spiritum ... Videmus duplicem statum, non confusum sed coniunctum in una
persona deum et hominem Iesum. De Christo autem differo. Et adeo salva
est utriusque proprietas substantiæ, ut et spiritus res suas egerit in
illo, id est virtutes et opera et signa, et caro passiones suas functa
sit, esuriens sub diabolo ... denique et mortua est. Quodsi tertium quid
esset, ex utroque confusum, ut electrum, non tam distincta documenta
parerent utrinsque substantiæ." In what follows the _actus utriusque
substantiæ_ are sharply demarcated: "ambæ substantiæ in statu suo quæque
distincte agebant, ideo illis et operæ et exitus sui occurrerunt ...
neque caro spiritus fit neque spiritus caro: in uno plane esse possunt."
See also c. 29: "Quamquam cum duæ substantiæ censeantur in Christo Iesu,
divina et humana, constet autem immortalem esse divinam" etc.]

[Footnote 598: Of this in a future volume. Here also two _substances_ in
Christ are always spoken of (there are virtually three, since, according
to _de anima_ 35, men have already two substances in themselves) I know
only one passage where Tertullian speaks of _natures_ in reference to
Christ, and this passage in reality proves nothing; de carne 5: "Itaque
utriusque substantiæ census hominem et deum exhibuit, hinc natum, inde
non natum (!), hinc carneum, inde spiritalem" etc. Then: "Quæ proprietas
conditionum, divinæ et humanæ, æqua utique _naturæ_ cuiusque veritate
disjuncta est."]

[Footnote 599: In the West up to the time of Leo I. the formula "deus et
homo," or, after Tertullian's time "duæ substantiæ," was always a simple
expression of the facts acknowledged in the Symbol, and not a
speculation derived from the doctrine of redemption. This is shown just
from the fact of stress being laid on the unmixedness. With this was
associated a theoretic and apologetic interest on the part of
theologians, so that they began to dwell at greater length on the
unmixedness after the appearance of that Patripassianism, which
professed to recognise the _filius dei_ in the _caro_, that is in the
_deus_ so far as he is _incarnatus_ or has _changed_ himself into flesh.
As to Tertullian's opposition to this view see what follows. In
contradistinction to this Western formula the monophysite one was
calculated to satisfy both the _salvation_ interest and the
understanding. The Chalcedonian creed, as is admitted by Schulz, l.c.,
pp. 64 ff., 71 ff., is consequently to be explained from Tertullian's
view, not from that of the Alexandrians. Our readers will excuse us for
thus anticipating.]

[Footnote 600: "Quare," says Irenæus III. 21. 10--"igitur non iterum
sumpsit limum deus sed ex Maria operatus est plasmationem fieri? Ut non
alia plasmatio fieret neque alia, esset plasmatio quæ salvaietur, sed
eadem ipsa recapitularetur, servata similitudine?"]

[Footnote 601: See de carne 18. Oehler has misunderstood the passage and
therefore mispointed it. It is as follows: "Vox ista (Joh. I. 14) quid
caro factum sit contestatur, nec tamen periclitatur, quasi statim aliud
sit (verbum), factum caro, et non verbum.... Cum scriptura non dicat
nisi quod factum sit, non et unde sit factum, ergo ex alio, non ex
semetipso suggerit factum" etc.]

[Footnote 602: Adv. Prax. 27 sq. In de carne 3 sq. and elsewhere
Tertullian indeed argues against Marcion that God in contradistinction
to all creatures can transform himself into anything and yet remain God.
Hence we are not to think of a transformation in the strict sense, but
of an _adunitio_.]

[Footnote 603: So I think I ought to express myself. It does not seem to
me proper to read a twofold conception into Irenæus' Christological
utterances under the pretext that Christ according to him was also the
perfect man, with all the modern ideas that are usually associated with
this thought (Bohringer, l.c., p. 542 ff., see Thomasius in opposition
to him).]

[Footnote 604: See, e.g., V. 1. 3. Nitzch, Dogmengeschichte I. p. 309.
Tertullian, in his own peculiar fashion, developed still more clearly
the thought transmitted to him by Irenæus. See adv. Prax. 12: "Quibus
faciebat deus hominem similem? Filio quidem, qui erat induturus
hominem.... Erat autem ad cuius imaginem faciebat, ad filii scilicet,
qui homo futurus certior et verior imaginem suam fecerat dici hominem,
qui tunc de limo formari habebat, imago veri et similitudo." Adv. Marc.
V. 8: "Creator Christum, sermonem suum, intuens hominem futurum,
Faciamus, inquit, hominem ad imaginem et similitudinem nostram"; the
same in de resurr. 6. But with Tertullian, too, this thought was a
sudden idea and did not become the basis of further speculation.]

[Footnote 605: Iren. IV. 14. 2; for further particulars on the point see
below, where Irenæus' views on the preparation of salvation are
discussed. The views of Dorner, l.c., 492 f., that the union of the Son
of God with humanity was a gradual process, are marred by some
exaggerations, but are correct in their main idea.]

[Footnote 606: "Secundum id quod verbum dei homo erat ex radice lesse et
filius Abrabæ, secunum hoc requiescebat spiritus dei super eum ...
secundum autem quod deus erat, non secundum gloriam iudicabat." All that
Irenæus said of the Spirit in reference to the person of Christ is to be
understood merely as an _exegetical_ necessity and must not be regarded
as a theoretical _principle_ (this is also the case with Tertullian).
Dorner (l.c., p. 492 f.) has failed to see this, and on the basis of
Irenæus' incidental and involuntary utterances has attempted to found a
speculation which represents the latter as meaning that the Holy Ghost
was the medium which gradually united the Logos, who was exalted above
growing and suffering, into one person with the free and growing man in
Jesus Christ. In III. 12. 5-7 Irenæus, in conformity with Acts IV. 27:
X. 38, used the following other formulæ about Christ: [Greek: ho Theos,
ho poiêsas ton ouranon k.t.l., kai ho toutou pais, on echrisen ho
Theos]--"Petrus Iesum ipsum esse filium dei testificatus est, qui et
unctus Spiritu Sancto Iesus dicitur." But Irenæus only expressed himself
thus because of these passages, whereas Hippolytus not unfrequently
calls Christ [Greek: pais Theos].]

[Footnote 607: On Hippolytus' views of the incarnation see Dorner, l.c.,
I. p. 609 ff.--an account to be used with caution--and Overbeck, Quæst.
Hippol. Specimen (1864), p. 47 sq. Unfortunately the latter has not
carried out his intention to set forth the Christology of Hippolytus in
detail. In the work quoted he has, however, shown how closely the latter
in many respects has imitated Irenæus in this case also. It is
instructive to see what Hippolytus has not adopted from Irenæus or what
has become rudimentary with him. As a professional and learned teacher
he is at bottom nearer to the Apologists as regards his Christology than
Irenæus. As an exegete and theological author he has much in common with
the Alexandrians, just as he is in more than one respect a connecting
link between Catholic controversialists like Irenæus and Catholic
scholars like Origen. With the latter he moreover came into personal
contact. See Hieron., de vir. inl. 61: Hieron., ep. ad Damas. edit.
Venet. I., ep. 36 is also instructive. These brief remarks are, however,
by no means intended to give countenance to Kimmel's untenable
hypothesis (de Hippol. vita et scriptis, 1839) that Hippolytus was an
Alexandrian. In Hippolytus' treatise c. Noët. we find positive teachings
that remind us of Tertullian. An important passage is de Christo et
Antichristo 3 f.: [Greek: eis gar kai ho tou Theou] (Iren.), [Greek: di'
ou kai hêmeis tuchontes tên dia tou hagiou pneumatos anagennesin eis ena
teleion kai epouranion anthrôpon hoi pantes katantêsai epithumoumen]
(see Iren.) [Greek: Epeidê gar ho logos tou Theou asarkos ôn] (see
Melito, Iren., Tertull.) [Greek: enedusato tên hagian sarka ek tês
hagias parthenou; hôs numphios himation exuphanas heautô ên tô staurikô
pathei] (Irenæus and Tertullian also make the death on the cross the
object of the assumption of the flesh), [Greek: hopôs sygkerasas to
thnêton hemôn sôma tê heautou dunamei kai mixas] (Iren., Tertull.)
[Greek: tô aphthartô to phtharton kai to asthenes tô ischurô sôse ton
apollumenon anthrôpon] (Iren.). The succeeding disquisition deserves
particular note, because it shows that Hippolytus has also borrowed from
Irenæus the idea that the union of the Logos with humanity had already
begun in a certain way in the prophets. Overbeck has rightly compared
the [Greek: anaplassein di' heutou ton Adam] l.c., c. 26, with the
[Greek: anakephalaioun] of Irenæus and l.c., c. 44, with Iren. II. 22,
4. For Hippolytus' Christology Philosoph. X. 33, p. 542 and c. Noet. 10
ff. are the chief passages of additional importance. In the latter
passage it is specially noteworthy that Hippolytus, in addition to many
other deviations from Irenæus and Tertullian, insists on applying the
full name of Son only to the incarnate Logos. In this we have a remnant
of the more ancient idea and at the same time a concession to his
opponents who admitted an eternal Logos in God, but not a pre-temporal
hypostasis of the Son. See c. 15: [Greek: poion oun huion heautou ho
Theos dia tês sarkos katepempsen all' hê ton logon; hon huion
prosêgoreue dia to mellein auton genesthai, kai to koinon onoma tês eis
anthrôpous philostorgias analambanei ho huios (kaitoi teleios logos ôn
monogenes). oud' hê sarx kath' heautên dicha tou logou hupostênai
êdunato dia to en logô tên sustasin echein houtôs oun eis huios teleios
Theou ephanerôthê.] Hippolytus partook to a much greater extent than his
teacher Irenæus of the tree of Greek knowledge and he accordingly speaks
much more frequently than the latter of the "divine mysteries" of the
faith. From the fragments and writings of this author that are preserved
to us the existence of very various Christologies can be shown; and this
proves that the Christology of his teacher Irenæus had not by any means
yet become predominant in the Church, as we might suppose from the
latter's confident tone. Hippolytus is an exegete and accordingly still
yielded with comparative impartiality to the impressions conveyed by the
several passages. For example he recognised the woman of Rev. XII. as
the Church and the Logos as her child, and gave the following exegesis
of the passage (de Christo et Antichristo 61): [Greek: ou pausetai hê
ekklêsia gennôsa ek kardias ton logon tou en kosmô hupo apistôn
diôkomenon. "kai eteke", phêsin, "huion arrena, hos mellei poimainein
panta ta ethnê", ton arrena kai teleios Christon, paida Theou, Theon kai
anthrôpon katangellomenon aei tiktousa hê ekklêsia didaskei panta ta
ethnê.] If we consider how Irenæus' pupil is led by the text of the Holy
Scriptures to the most diverse "doctrines," we see how the "Scripture"
theologians were the very ones who threatened the faith with the
greatest corruptions. As the exegesis of the Valentinian schools became
the mother of numerous self-contradictory Christologies, so the same
result was threatened here--"doctrinæ inolescentes in silvas iam
exoleverunt Gnosticorum." From this standpoint Origen's undertaking to
subject the whole material of Biblical exegesis to a fixed theory
appears in its historical greatness and importance.]

[Footnote 608: See other passages on p. 241, note 2. This is also
reëchoed in Cyprian. See, for example, ep. 58. 6: "filius dei passus est
ut nos filios dei faceret, et filius hominis (scil. the Christians) pati
non vult esse dei filius possit."]

[Footnote 609: See III. 10. 3.]

[Footnote 610: See the remarkable passage in IV. 36. 7: [Greek: hê
gnôsis tou huiou tou Theou, hêtis ên aphtharsia.] Another result of the
Gnostic struggle is Irenæus' raising the question as to what new thing
the Lord has brought (IV. 34. 1): "Si autem subit vos huiusmodi sensus,
ut dicatis: Quid igitur novi dominus attulit veniens? cognoscite,
quoniam omnem novitatem attulit semetipsum afferens, qui fuerat
annuntiatus." The new thing is then defined thus: "Cum perceperunt eam
quæ ab eo est libertatem et participant visionem eius et audierunt
sermones eius et fruiti sunt muneribus ab eo, non iam requiretur, quid
novius attulit rex super eos, qui annuntiaverunt advenum eius ...
Semetipsum enim attulit et ea quæ prædicta sunt bona."]

[Footnote 611: See IV. 36. 6: "Adhuc manifestavit oportere nos cum
vocatione (i.e., [Greek: meta tên klêsin]) et iustitiæ operibus
adornari, uti requiescat super nos spiritus dei"--we must provide
_ourselves_ with the wedding garment.]

[Footnote 612: The incapacity of man is referred to in III. 18. 1: III.
21. 10; III. 21-23 shows that the same man that had fallen had to be led
to communion with God; V. 21. 3: V. 24. 4 teach that man had to overcome
the devil; the intrinsic necessity of God's appearing as Redeemer is
treated of in III. 23. 1: "Si Adam iam non reverteretur ad vitam, sed in
totum proiectus esset morti, victus esset deus et superasset serpentis
nequitia voluntatem dei. Sed quoniam deus invictus et magnanimis est,
magnanimem quidem se exhibuit etc." That the accomplishment of salvation
must be effected in a righteous manner, and therefore be as much a proof
of the righteousness as of the immeasurable love and mercy of God, is
shown in V. 1. 1: V. 21.]

[Footnote 613: Irenæus demonstrated the view in V. 21 in great detail.
According to his ideas in this chapter we must include the history of
the temptation in the _regula fidei_.]

[Footnote 614: See particularly V. 1. 1: "Verbum potens et homo verus
sanguine suo rationabiliter redimens nos, redemptionem semetipsum dedit
pro his, qui in captivitatem ducti sunt ... del verbum non deficiens in
sua iustitia, iuste etiam adversus ipsam conversus est apostasiam, ea
quæ sunt sua redimens ab ea, non cum vi, quemadmodum ilia initio
dominabatur nostri, ea quæ non erant sua insatiabiliter rapiens, sed
secundum suadelam, quemadmodum decebat deum suadentem et non vim
inferentem, accipere quæ vellet, ut neque quod est iustum confringeretur
neque antiqua plasmatio dei deperiret." We see that the idea of the
blood of Christ as ransom does not possess with Irenæus the value of a
fully developed theory, but is suggestive of one. But even in this form
it appeared suspicious and, in fact, a Marcionite idea to a Catholic
teacher of the 3rd century. Pseudo-Origen (Adamantius) opposed it by the
following argument (De recta in deum fide, edit Wetstein 1673, Sectio I.
p. 38 sq. See Rufinus' translation in Caspari's Kirchenhistorische
Anecdota Vol. I. 1883, p. 34 sq., which in many places has preserved the
right sense): [Greek: Ton priômenon ephês, einai ton Christon, ho
peprakôs tis estin; êlthen eis se ho aplous mythos; hoti ho pôlôn kai ho
agorazôn adelphoi eisin; ei kakos ôn ho diabolos tô agathô pepraken, ouk
esti kakos alla agathos; ho gar ap' archês phthonêsas tô anthrôpô, nun
ouk eti hupo phthonou agetai, tô agathô tên nomên paradous. estai oun
dikaios ho tou phthonou kai pantos kakou pausamenos. autos goun ho Theos
heurisketai pôlêsas; mallon de hoi hêmartêkotes heautous apêllotriôsan
hoi anthrôpoi dia tas hamartias autôn; palin de elutrôthêsan dia tên
eusplagchnian autou. touto gar phêsin ho prophêtês; Tais hamartiais
humôn eprathête kai tais anomiais exapesteila tên mêtera humôn. Kai
allos palin; Dôrean eprathête, kai ou meta argyriou lutrôthêsesthe. to,
oude meta argyriou; dêlonoti, tou haimatos tou Christou. touto gar
phaskei ho prophêtês] (Isaiah, LIII. 5 follows). [Greek: Eikos de hoti
kata se epriato dous heautou to haima; pôs oun kai ek nekrôn êgeireto;
ei gar ho labôn tên timên tôn anthrôpôn, to haima, apedôken, ouketi
epôlêsen. Ei de mê apedôke, pôs anestê Christos, ouketi oun to, Exousian
echô theinai kai exousian echô labein, histatai; ho goun diabolos
katechei to haima tou Christou anti tês timês tôn anthrôpôn; pollê
blasphêmios anoia! Pheu tôn kakôn! Apethanen, anestê hôs dunatos;
ethêken ho elaben; autê poia prasis; tou prophêtou legontos; Anastêtô ho
Theos kai diaskorpisthêtôsan hoi echthroi autou, Opou anastasis, ekei
thanatos!] That is an argument as acute as it is true and victorious.]

[Footnote 615: See Iren. V. 2, 3, 16. 3, 17-4. In III. 16. 9 he says:
"Christus per passionem reconciliavit nos deo." It is moreover very
instructive to compare the way in which Irenæus worked out the
recapitulation theory with the old proof from prophecy ("this happened
that the Scripture might be fulfilled"). Here we certainly have an
advance; but at bottom the recapitulation theory may also be conceived
as a modification of that proof.]

[Footnote 616: See, e.g., IV. 5. 4: [Greek: prothumôs Abraam ton idion
monogenê kai agapêton parachôrêsas thusian tô Theô, hina kai ho Theos
eudokêsê huper tou spermatos autou pantos ton idion monogenê kai
agapêton huion thusian paraschein eis lutrôsin hêmeteran].]

[Footnote 617: There are not a few passages where Irenæus said that
Christ has annihilated sin, abolished Adam's disobedience, and
introduced righteousness through his obedience (III. 18. 6, 7: III. 20.
2: V. 16-21); but he only once tried to explain how that is to be
conceived (III. 18. 7), and then merely reproduced Paul's thoughts.]

[Footnote 618: Irenæus has no hesitation in calling the Christian who
has received the Spirit of God the perfect, the spiritual one, and in
representing him, in contrast to the false Gnostic, as he who in truth
judges all men, Jews, heathen, Marcionites, and Valentinians, but is
himself judged by no one; see the great disquisition in IV. 33 and V. 9.
10. This true Gnostic, however, is only to be found where we meet with
right faith in God the Creator, sure conviction with regard to the
God-man Jesus Christ, true knowledge as regards the Holy Spirit and the
economy of salvation, the apostolic doctrine, the right Church system in
accordance with the episcopal succession, the intact Holy Scripture, and
its uncorrupted text and interpretation (IV. 33. 7, 8). To him the true
believer is the real Gnostic.]

[Footnote 619: See IV. 22. In accordance with the recapitulation theory
Christ must also have descended to the lower world. There he announced
forgiveness of sins to the righteous, the patriarchs and prophets (IV.
27. 2). For this, however, Irenæus was not able to appeal to Scripture
texts, but only to statements of a presbyter. It is nevertheless
expressly asserted, on the authority of Rom. III. 23, that these
pre-Christian just men also could only receive justification and the
light of salvation through the arrival of Christ among them.]

[Footnote 620: See III. 16. 6: "In omnibus autem est et homo plasmatio
dei; et hominem ergo in semetipsum recapitulans est, invisibilis
visibilis factus, et incomprehensibilis factus comprehensibilis et
impassibilis passibilis, et verbum homo, universa in semetipsum
recapitulans, uti sicut in supercaelestibus et spiritalibus et
invisibilibus princeps est verbum dei, sic et in visibilibus et
corporalibus principatum habeat, in semetipsum primatum assumens et
apponens semetipsum caput ecclesiæ, universa attrahat ad semetipsum apto
in tempore."]

[Footnote 621: There are innumerable passages where Tertullian has urged
that the whole work of Christ is comprised in the death on the cross,
and indeed that this death was the aim of Christ's mission. See, e.g.,
de pat. 3: "Taceo quod figitur; in hoc enim venerat"; de bapt. II: "Mors
nostra dissolvi non potuit, nisi domini passione, nee vita restitui sine
resurrectione ipsius"; adv. Marc. III. 8: "Si mendacium deprehenditur
Christi caro... nec passiones Christi fidem merebuntur. Eversum est
igitur totum dei opus. Totum Christiani nominis et pondus et fructus,
mors Christi, negatur, quam iam impresse apostolus demendat, utique
veram, summum eam fundamentum evangelii constituens et salutis nostræ et
prædictionis suae," 1 Cor. XV. 3, 4; he follows Paul here. But on the
other hand he has also adopted from Irenæus the mystical conception of
redemption--the constitution of Christ is the redemption--though with a
rationalistic explanation. See adv. Marc. II. 27: "filius miscens in
semetipso hominem et deum, ut tantum homini conferat, quantum deo
detrahit. Conversabatur deus, ut homo divina agere doceretur. Ex æquo
agebat deus cum homine, ut homo ex æquo agere cum deo posset." Here
therefore the meaning of the divine manhood of the Redeemer virtually
amounts to divine teaching. In de resurr. 63 Christ is called
"fidelissimus sequester dei et hominum, qui et homini deum et hominem
deo reddet." Note the future tense. It is the same with Hippolytus who
in Philos. X. 34 represents the deification of men as the aim of
redemption, but at the same time merely requires Christ as the lawgiver
and teacher: "[Greek: Kai tauta men ekpheuxê Theon ton onta didachtheis,
exeis de athanaton to sôma kai aphtharton hama psychê, basileian ouranôn
apolêpsê, ho en gê bious kai epouranion basilea epignous, esê de
homilêtês Theou kai sygklêronomos Christou, ouk epithymiais ê pathesi
kai nosois douloumenos. Gegonas gar Theos hosa gar hupemeinas pathê
anthrôpos ôn, tauta edidou, hoti anthrôpos eis, hosa de parakolouthei
Theô, tauta parechein epêngeltai Theos, hoti etheopoiêthês, athanatos
gennêtheis. Toutesti to Gnôthi seauton, epignous tou pepoiêkota Thoen.
To gar epignônai heauton epignôsthênai symbebêke tô kaloumenô hup'
autou. Mê philechthrêsête toinun heautois, anthrôpoi, mêde to
palindromein distasête. Christos gar estin ho kata pantôn Theos, os tên
hamartian ex anthrôpôn apoplunein proetaxe, neon ton palaion anthrôpon
apotelôn, eikona touton kalesas ap' archês, dia tupou tên eis se
epideiknumenos storgên, ou prostagmasin hupakousas semnois, kai agathou
agathos genomenos mimêtês, esê homoios hup' autou timêtheis. Ou gar
ptôcheuei Theos kai se Theon poiêsas eis doxan autou]." It is clear that
with a conception like this, which became prevalent in the 3rd century,
Christ's death on the cross could have no proper significance; nothing
but the Holy Scriptures preserved its importance. We may further remark
that Tertullian used the expression "satisfacere deo" about men (see,
e.g., de bapt. 20; de pud. 9), but, so far as I know, not about the work
of Christ. This expression is very frequent in Cyprian (for penances),
and he also uses it about Christ. In both writers, moreover, we find
"meritum" (_e.g._, Scorp. 6) and "promereri deum". With them and with
Novatian the idea of "culpa" is also more strongly emphasised than it is
by the Eastern theologians. Cf. Novatian de trin. 10: "quoniam cum caro
et sanguis non obtinere regnum dei scribitur, non carnis substantia
damnata est, quæ divinis manibus ne periret, exstructa est, sed sola
carnis _culpa_ merito reprehensa est." Tertullian de bapt. 5 says:
"Exempto reatu eximitur et poena." On the other hand he speaks of
fasting as "officia humiliationis", through which we can "inlicere" God.
Among these Western writers the thought that God's anger must be
appeased both by sacrifices and corresponding acts appears in a much
more pronounced form than in Irenæus. This is explained by their ideas
as practical churchmen and by their actual experiences in communities
that were already of a very secular character. We may, moreover, point
out in a general way that the views of Hippolytus are everywhere more
strictly dependent on Scripture texts than those of Irenæus. That many
of the latter's speculations are not found in Hippolytus is simply
explained by the fact that they have no clear scriptural basis; see
Overbeck, Quæst, Hippol., Specimen p. 75, note 29. On a superficial
reading Tertullian seems to have a greater variety of points of view
than Irenæus; he has in truth fewer, he contrived to work the grains of
gold transmitted to him in such a way as to make the form more valuable
than the substance. But one idea of Tertullian, which is not found in
Irenæus, and which in after times was to attain great importance in the
East (after Origen's day) and in the West (after the time of Ambrosius),
may be further referred to. We mean the notion that Christ is the
bridegroom and the human soul (and also the human body) the bride. This
theologoumenon owes its origin to a combination of two older ones, and
subsequently received its Biblical basis from the Song of Solomon. The
first of these older theologoumena is the Greek philosophical notion
that the divine Spirit is the bridegroom and husband of the human soul.
See the Gnostics (e.g., the sublime description in the Excerpta ex
Theodoto 27); Clem. ep. ad Jacob. 4. 6; as well as Tatian, Orat. 13;
Tertull., de anima 41 fin.: "Sequitur animam nubentem spiritui caro; o
beatum connubium"; and the still earlier Sap. Sal. VIII. 2 sq. An
offensively realistic form of this image is found in Clem. Horn. III.
27: [Greek: numphê gar estin ho pas anthrôpos, hopotan tou alêthous
prophêtou leukô logô alêtheias speiromenos phôtizêtai ton noun.] The
second is the apostolic notion that the Church is the bride and the body
of Christ. In the 2nd Epistle of Clement the latter theologoumenon is
already applied in a modified form. Here it is said that humanity as the
Church, that is human nature (the flesh), belongs to Christ as his Eve
(c. 14; see also Ignat. ad Polyc. V. 2; Tertull. de monog. II, and my
notes on [Greek: Didachê] XI. 11). The conclusion that could be drawn
from this, and that seemed to have a basis in certain utterances of
Jesus, viz., that the individual human soul together with the flesh is
to be designated as the bride of Christ, was, so far as I know, first
arrived at by Tertullian de resurr. 63: "Carnem et spiritum iam in
semetipso Christus foederavit, sponsam sponso et sponsum spousæ;
comparavit. Nam et si animam quis contenderit sponsam, vel dotis nomine
sequetur animam caro ... Caro est sponsa, quæ in Christo spiritum
sponsum per sanguinem pacta est"; see also de virg. vel. 16. Notice,
however, that Tertullian continually thinks of all souls together (all
flesh together) rather than of the individual soul.]

[Footnote 622: By the _regula_ inasmuch as the words "from thence he
will come to judge the quick and the dead" had a fixed place in the
confessions, and the belief in the _duplex adventus Christi_ formed one
of the most important articles of Church belief in contradistinction to
Judaism and Gnosticism (see the collection of passages in Hesse, "das
Muratorische Fragment", p. 112 f.). But the belief in the return of
Christ to this world necessarily involved the hope of a kingdom of glory
under Christ upon earth, and without this hope is merely a rhetorical

[Footnote 623: Cf. here the account already given in Book I., chap. 3,
Vol. I., p. 167 ff., Book I., chap. 4, Vol. I, p. 261, Book II., chap.
3, Vol. I, p. 105 f. On Melito compare the testimony of Polycrates in
Eusebius, H. E. V. 24. 5, and the title of his lost work "[Greek: peri
tou diabolou kai tês apokalupseôs Iôannou]." Chiliastic ideas are also
found in the epistle from Lyons in Eusebius, H. E. V. 1 sq. On
Hippolytus see his work "de Christo et Antichristo" and Overbeck's
careful account (l.c., p. 70 sq.) of the agreement here existing between
Irenæus and Hippolytus as well as of the latter's chiliasm on which
unfounded doubts have been cast. Overbeck has also, in my opinion, shown
the probability of chiliastic portions having been removed at a later
period both from Hippolytus' book and the great work of Irenæus. The
extensive fragments of Hippolytus' commentary on Daniel are also to be
compared (and especially the portions full of glowing hatred to Rome
lately discovered by Georgiades). With reference to Tertullian compare
particularly the writings adv. Marc. III., adv. Jud., de resurrectione
carnis, de anima, and the titles of the subsequently suppressed writings
de paradiso and de spe fidelium. Further see Commodian, Carmen apolog.,
Lactantius, Instit. div., I. VII., Victorinus, Commentary on the
Apocalypse. It is very remarkable that Cyprian already set chiliasm
aside; cf. the conclusion of the second Book of the Testimonia and the
few passages in which he quoted the last chapters of Revelation. The
Apologists were silent about chiliastic hopes, Justin even denied them
in Apol. I. 11, but, as we have remarked, he gives expression to them in
the Dialogue and reckons them necessary to complete orthodoxy. The
Pauline eschatology, especially several passages in 1 Cor. XV. (see
particularly verse 50), caused great difficulties to the Fathers from
Justin downwards. See Fragm. Justini IV. a Methodic supped. in Otto,
Corp. Apol. III., p. 254, Iren. V. 9, Tertull. de resurr. 48 sq.
According to Irenæus the heretics, who completely abandoned the
early-Christian eschatology, appealed to 1 Cor. XV. 50. The idea of a
kind of purgatory--a notion which does not originate with the realistic
but with the philosophical eschatology--is quite plainly found in
Tertullian, e.g., in de anima 57 and 58 ("modicum delictum illuc
luendum"). He speaks in several passages of stages and different places
of bliss; and this was a universally diffused idea (e.g., Scorp. 6).]

[Footnote 624: Irenæus begins with the resurrection of the body and the
proofs of it (in opposition to Gnosticism). These proofs are taken from
the omnipotence and goodness of God, the long life of the patriarchs,
the translation of Enoch and Elijah, the preservation of Jonah and of
the three men in the fiery furnace, the essential nature of man as a
temple of God to which the body also belongs, and the resurrection of
Christ (V. 3-7). But Irenæus sees the chief proof in the incarnation of
Christ, in the dwelling of the Spirit with its gifts in us (V. 8-16),
and in the feeding of our body with the holy eucharist (V. 2. 3). Then
he discusses the defeat of Satan by Christ (V. 21-23), shows that the
powers that be are set up by God, that the devil therefore manifestly
lies in arrogating to himself the lordship of the world (V. 24), but
that he acts as a rebel and robber in attempting to make himself master
of it. This brings about the transition to Antichrist. The latter is
possessed of the whole power of the devil, sums up in himself therefore
all sin and wickedness, and pretends to be Lord and God. He is described
in accordance with the Apocalypses of Daniel and John as well as
according to Matth. XXIV. and 2nd Thessalonians. He is the product of
the 4th Kingdom, that is, the Roman empire; but at the same time springs
from the tribe of Dan (V. 30. 2), and will take up his abode in
Jerusalem etc. The returning Christ will destroy him, and the Christ
will come back when 6000 years of the world's history have elapsed; for
"in as many days as the world was made, in so many thousands of years
will it be ended" (V. 28. 3). The seventh day is then the great world
Sabbath, during which Christ will reign with the saints of the first
resurrection after the destruction of Antichrist. Irenæus expressly
argued against such "as pass for orthodox, but disregard the order of
the progress of the righteous and know no stages of preparation for
incorruptibility" (V. 31). By this he means such as assume that after
death souls immediately pass to God. On the contrary he argues that
these rather wait in a hidden place for the resurrection which takes
place on the return of Christ, after which the souls receive back their
bodies and men now restored participate in the Saviour's Kingdom (V. 31.
2). This Kingdom on earth precedes the universal judgment; "for it is
just that they should also receive the fruits of their patience in the
same creation in which they suffered tribulation"; moreover, the promise
made to Abraham that Palestine would be given to him and to his seed,
i.e., the Christians, must be fulfilled (V. 32). There they will eat and
drink with the Lord in the restored body (V. 33. 1) sitting at a table
covered with food (V. 33. 2) and consuming the produce of the land,
which the earth affords in miraculous fruitfulness. Here Irenæus appeals
to alleged utterances of the Lord of which he had been informed by
Papias (V. 33. 3, 4). The wheat will be so fat that lions lying
peacefully beside the cattle will be able to feed themselves even on the
chaff (V. 33. 3, 4). Such and similar promises are everywhere to be
understood in a literal sense. Irenæus here expressly argues against any
figurative interpretation (ibid, and V. 35). He therefore adopted the
whole Jewish eschatology, the only difference being that he regards the
Church as the seed of Abraham. The earthly Kingdom is then followed by
the second resurrection, the general judgment, and the final end.]

[Footnote 625: Hippolytus in the lost book [Greek: hyper tou kata
Iôannên euangeliou kai apokalupseôs]. Perhaps we may also reckon Melito
among the literary defenders of Chiliasm.]

[Footnote 626: See Epiph., H. 51, who here falls back on Hippolytus.]

[Footnote 627: In the Christian village communities of the district of
Arsinoe the people would not part with chiliasm, and matters even went
the length of an "apostasy" from the Alexandrian Church. A book by an
Egyptian bishop, Nepos, entitled "Refutation of the allegorists"
attained the highest repute. "They esteem the law and the prophets as
nothing, neglect to follow the Gospels, think little of the Epistles of
the Apostles, and on the contrary declare the doctrine set forth in this
book to be a really great secret. They do not permit the simpler
brethren among us to obtain a sublime and grand idea of the glorious and
truly divine appearance of our Lord, of our resurrection from the dead
as well as of the union and assimilation with him; but they persuade us
to hope for things petty, perishable, and similar to the present in the
kingdom of God." So Dionysius expressed himself, and these words are
highly characteristic of his own position and that of his opponents; for
in fact the whole New Testament could not but be thrust into the
background in cases where the chiliastic hopes were really adhered to.
Dionysius asserts that he convinced these Churches by his lectures; but
chiliasm and material religious ideas were still long preserved in the
deserts of Egypt. They were cherished by the monks; hence Jewish
Apocalypses accepted by Christians are preserved in the Coptic and
Ethiopian languages.]

[Footnote 628: See Irenæus lib. IV. and Tertull. adv. Marc. lib. II. and

[Footnote 629: It would be superfluous to quote passages here; two may
stand for all Iren. IV. 9. 1: "Utraque testamenta unus et idem
paterfamilias produxit, verbum dei, dominus noster Iesus Christus, qui
et Abrahæ et Moysi collocutus est." Both Testaments are "unius et emsdem
substantiæ." IV. 2. 3: "Moysis literæ sunt verba Christi."]

[Footnote 630: See Iren. IV. 31. 1.]

[Footnote 631: Iren. III. 12. 15 (on Gal. II. 11 f.): "Sic apostoli,
quos universi actus et universæ doctrinæ dominus testes fecit, religiose
agebant circa dispositionem legis, qnæ; est secundum Moysem, ab uno et
eodem significantes esse deo"; see Overbeck "Ueber die Auffassung des
Streits des Paulus mit Petrus bei den Kirchenvatern," 1877, p. 8 f.
Similar remarks are frequent in Irenæus.]

[Footnote 632: Cf., e.g., de monog. 7: "Certe sacerdotes sumus a Christo
vocati, monogarniæ debitores, ex pristina dei lege, quæ nos tune in suis
sacerdotibus prophetavit." Here also Tertullian's Montanism had an
effect. Though conceiving the directions of the Paraclete as _new
legislation_, the Montanists would not renounce the view that these laws
were in some way already indicated in the written documents of

[Footnote 633: Very much may be made out with regard to this from
Origen's works and the later literature, particularly from Commodian and
the Apostolic Constitutions, lib. I.-VI.]

[Footnote 634: Where Christians needed the proof from prophecy or
indulged in a devotional application of the Old Testament, everything
indeed remained as before, and every Old Testament passage was taken for
a Christian one, as has remained the case even to the present day.]

[Footnote 635: With the chiliastic view of history this newly acquired
theory has nothing in common.]

[Footnote 636: Iren. III. 12. 11.]

[Footnote 637: See III. 12. 12.]

[Footnote 638: No _commutatio agnitionis_ takes place, says Irenæus, but
only an increased gift (IV. 11. 3); for the knowledge of God the Creator
is "principium evangelli." (III. 11. 7).]

[Footnote 639: See IV. 11. 2 and other passages, e.g., IV. 20 7: IV. 26.
1: IV. 37. 7: IV. 38. 1-4.]

[Footnote 640: Several covenants I. 10. 3; four covenants (Adam, Noah,
Moses, Christ) III. II. 8; the two Testaments (Law and New Covenant) are
very frequently mentioned.]

[Footnote 641: This is very frequently mentioned; see e.g., IV. 13. 1:
"Et quia dominus naturalia legis, per quæ homo iustificatur, quæ etiam
ante legisdationem custodiebant qui fide iustificabantur et placebant
deo non dissolvit etc." IV. 15, 1.]

[Footnote 642: Irenæus, as a rule, views the patriarchs as perfect
saints; see III. II. 8: "Verbum dei illis quidem qui ante Moysem fuerunt
patriarchis secundum divinitatem et gloriam colloquebatur", and
especially IV. 16. 3. As to the Son's having descended from the
beginning and having thus appeared to the patriarchs also, see IV. 6. 7.
Not merely Abraham but all the other exponents of revelation knew both
the Father and the Son. Nevertheless Christ was also obliged to descend
to the lower world to the righteous, the prophets, and the patriarchs,
in order to bring them forgiveness of sins (IV. 27. 2).]

[Footnote 643: On the contrary he agrees with the teachings of a
presbyter, whom he frequently quotes in the 4th Book. To Irenæus the
heathen are simply idolaters who have even forgotten the law written in
the heart; wherefore the Jews stand much higher, for they only lacked
the _agnitio filii_. See III. 5. 3: III. 10. 3: III. 12. 7, IV. 23, 24.
Yet there is still a great want of clearness here. Irenæus cannot get
rid of the following contradictions. The pre-Christian righteous know
the Son and do not know him; they require the appearance of the Son and
do not require it; and the _agnitio filii_ seems sometimes a new, and in
fact the decisive, _veritas_, and sometimes that involved in the
knowledge of God the Creator.]

[Footnote 644: Irenæus IV. 16. 3. See IV. 15. 1: "Decalogum si quis non
fecerit, non habet salutem".]

[Footnote 645: As the Son has manifested the Father from of old, so also
the law, and indeed even the ceremonial law, is to be traced back to
him. See IV. 6. 7: IV. 12. 4: IV. 14. 2: "his qui inquieti erant in
eremo dans aptissimam legem ... per omnes transiens verbum omni
conditioni congruentem et aptam legem conscribens". IV. 4. 2. The law is
a law of bondage; it was just in that capacity that it was necessary;
see IV. 4. 1: IV. 9. 1: IV. 13. 2, 4: IV. 14. 3: IV. 15: IV. 16: IV. 32:
IV. 36. A part of the commandments are concessions on account of
hardness of heart (IV. 15. 2). But Irenæus still distinguishes very
decidedly between the "people" and the prophets. This is a survival of
the old view. The prophets he said knew very well of the coming of the
Son of God and the granting of a new covenant (IV. 9. 3: IV. 20. 4, 5:
IV. 33. 10); they understood what was typified by the ceremonial law,
and to them accordingly the law had only a typical signification.
Moreover, Christ himself came to them ever and anon through the
prophetic spirit. The preparation for the new covenant is therefore
found in the prophets and in the typical character of the old. Abraham
has this peculiarity, that both Testaments were prefigured in him: the
Testament of faith, because he was justified before his circumcision,
and the Testament of the law. The latter occupied "the middle times",
and therefore come in between (IV. 25. 1). This is a Pauline thought,
though otherwise indeed there is not much in Irenæus to remind us of
Paul, because he used the moral categories, _growth_ and _training_,
instead of the religious ones, _sin_ and _grace_.]

[Footnote 646: The law, i.e., the ceremonial law, reaches down to John,
IV. 4. 2. The New Testament is a law of freedom, because through it we
are adopted as sons of God, III. 5. 3: III. 10. 5: III. 12. 5: III. 12.
14: III. 15. 3: IV. 9. 1, 2: IV. 11. 1: IV. 13. 2, 4: IV. 15. 1, 2: IV.
16. 5: IV. 18: IV. 32: IV. 34. 1: IV. 36. 2. Christ did not abolish the
_natus alia legis_, the Decalogue, but extended and fulfilled them; here
the old Gentile-Christian moral conception based on the Sermon on the
Mount, prevails. Accordingly Irenæus now shows that in the case of the
children of freedom the situation has become much more serious, and that
the judgments are now much more threatening. Finally, he proves that the
fulfilling, extending, and sharpening of the law form a contrast to the
blunting of the natural moral law by the Pharisees and elders; see IV.
12. 1 ff.: "Austero dei præcepto miscent seniores aquatam traditionem".
IV. 13. 1. f.: "Christus naturalia legis (which are summed up in the
commandment of love) extendit et implevit ... plenitudo et extensio ...
necesse fuit, auferri quidem vincula servitutis, superextendi vero
decreta libertatis". That is proved in the next passage from the Sermon
on the Mount: we must not only refrain from evil works, but also from
evil desire. IV. 16. 5: "Hæc ergo, quæ in servitutem et in signum data
sunt illis, circumscripsit novo libertatis testamento. Quæ autem
naturalia et liberalia et communia omnium, auxit et dilatavit, sine
invidia largiter donans hominibus per adoptionem, patrem scire deum ...
auxit autem etiam timorem: filios enim plus timere oportet quam servos".
IV. 27. 2. The new situation is a more serious one; the Old Testament
believers have the death of Christ as an antidote for their sins,
"propter eos vero, qui nunc peccant, Christus non iam morietur". IV. 28.
1 f.: under the old covenant God punished "typice et temporaliter et
mediocrius", under the new, on the contrary, "vere et semper et
austerius" ... as under the new covenant "fides aucta est", so also it
is true that "diligentia conversationis adaucta est". The imperfections
of the law, the "particularia legis", the law of bondage have been
abolished by Christ, see specially IV. 16, 17, for the types are now
fulfilled; but Christ and the Apostles did not transgress the law;
freedom was first granted to the Gentile Christians (III. 12) and
circumcision and foreskin united (III. 5. 3). But Irenæus also proved
how little the old and new covenants contradict each other by showing
that the latter also contains concessions that have been granted to the
frailty of man; see IV. 15. 2 (1 Cor. VII.).]

[Footnote 647: See III. II. 4. There too we find it argued that John the
Baptist was not merely a prophet, but also an Apostle.]

[Footnote 648: From Irenæus' statement in IV. 4 about the significance
of the city of Jerusalem we can infer what he thought of the Jewish
nation. Jerusalem is to him the vine-branch on which the fruit has
grown; the latter having reached maturity, the branch is cut off and has
no further importance.]

[Footnote 649: No special treatment of Tertullian is required here, as
he only differs from Irenæus in the additions he invented as a
Montanist. Yet this is also prefigured in Irenæus' view that the
concessions of the Apostles had rendered the execution of the stern new
law more easy. A few passages may be quoted here. De orat. I: "Quidquid
retro fuerat, aut demutatum est (per Christum), ut circumcisio, aut
suppletum ut reliqua lex, aut impletum ut prophetia, aut perfectum ut
fides ipsa. Omnia de carnalibus in spiritalia renovavit nova dei gratia
superducto evangelio, expunctore totius retro vetustatis." (This
differentiation strikingly reminds us of the letter of Ptolemy to Flora.
Ptolemy distinguishes those parts of the law that originate with God,
Moses, and the elders. As far as the divine law is concerned, he again
distinguishes what Christ had to complete, what he had to supersede and
what he had to spiritualise, that is, perficere, solvere, demutare). In
the _regula fidei_ (de præscr. 13): "Christus prædicavit novam legem et
novam promissionem regni coelorum"; see the discussions in adv. Marc.
II., III., and adv. Iud.; de pat. 6: "amplianda adimplendaque lex."
Scorp. 3, 8, 9; ad uxor. 2; de monog. 7: "Et quoniam quidam interdum
nihil sihi dicunt esse cum lege, quam Christus non dissolvit, sed
adimplevit, interdum quæ volunt legis arripiunt (he himself did that
continually), plane et nos sic dicimus legem, ut onera quidem eius,
secundum sententiam apostolorum, quæ nec patres sustinere valuerunt,
concesserint, quæ vero ad iustitiam spectant, non tantum reservata
permaneant, verum et ampliata." That the new law of the new covenant is
the moral law of nature in a stricter form, and that the concessions of
the Apostle Paul cease in the age of the Paraclete, is a view we find
still more strongly emphasised in the Montanist writings than in
Irenæus. In ad uxor. 3 Tertullian had already said: "Quod permittitur,
bonum non est," and this proposition is the theme of many arguments in
the Montanist writings. But the intention of finding a basis for the
laws of the Paraclete, by showing that they existed in some fashion even
in earlier times, involved Tertullian in many contradictions. It is
evident from his writings that Montanists and Catholics in Carthage
alternately reproached each other with judaising tendencies and an
apostasy to heathen discipline and worship. Tertullian, in his
enthusiasm for Christianity, came into conflict with all the authorities
which he himself had set up. In the questions as to the relationship of
the Old Testament to the New, of Christ to the Apostles, of the Apostles
to each other, of the Paraclete to Christ and the Apostles, he was also
of necessity involved in the greatest contradictions. This was the case
not only because he went more into details than Irenæus; but, above all,
because the chains into which he had thrown his Christianity were felt
to be such by himself. This theologian had no greater opponent than
himself, and nowhere perhaps is this so plain as in his attitude to the
two Testaments. Here, in every question of detail, Tertullian really
repudiated the proposition from which he starts. In reference to one
point, namely, that the Law and the prophets extend down to John, see
Noldechen's article in the Zeitschrift fur wissenschaftliche Theologie,
1885, p. 333 f. On the one hand, in order to support certain trains of
thought, Tertullian required the proposition that prophecy extended down
to John (see also the Muratorian Fragment: "completus numerus
prophetarum", Sibyll. I. 386: [Greek: kai tote dê pausis estai metepeita
prophêtôu], scil. after Christ), and on the other, as a Montanist, he
was obliged to assert the continued existence of prophecy. In like
manner he sometimes ascribed to the Apostles a unique possession of the
Holy Spirit, and at other times, adhering to a primitive Christian idea,
he denied this thesis. Cf. also Baith "Tertullian's Auffassung des
Apostels Paulus und seines Verhaltnisses zu den Uraposteln" (Jahrbuch
fur protestantische Theologie, Vol. III. p. 706 ff.). Tertullian strove
to reconcile the principles of early Christianity with the authority of
ecclesiastical tradition and philosophical apologetics. Separated from
the general body of the Church, and making ever increasing sacrifices
for the early-Christian enthusiasm, as he understood it, he wasted
himself in the solution of this insoluble problem.]

[Footnote 650: In addition to this, however, they definitely established
within the Church the idea that there is a "Christian" view in all
spheres of life and in all questions of knowledge. Christianity appears
expanded to an immense, immeasurable breadth. This is also Gnosticism.
Thus Tertullian, after expressing various opinions about dreams, opens
the 45th chapter of his work "de anima" with the words: "Tenemur hie de
sommis quoque Christianam sententiam expromere". Alongside of the
antignostic rule of faith as the "doctrine" we find the casuistic system
of morality and penance (the Church "disciplina") with its media of
almsgiving, fasting, and prayer; see Cypr, de op et eleemos., but before
that Hippol., Comm. in Daniel ([Greek: Ekkl Alêth]. 1886, p. 242):
[Greek: hoi eis tu onoma ton Theou pisteuontes kai di' agathoergias to
prosôpon autou exilaskomenoi.]]

[Footnote 651: In the case of Irenæus, Hippolytus, and Tertullian we
already find that they observe a certain order and sequence of books
when advancing a detailed proof from Scripture.]

[Footnote 652: It is worthy of note that there was not a single Arian
ecclesiastic of note in the Novatian churches of the 4th century, so far
as we know. All Novatian's adherents, even those in the West (see
Socrates' Ecclesiastical History), were of the orthodox Nicæan type.
This furnishes material for reflection.]

[Footnote 653: Owing to the importance of the matter we shall give
several Christological and trinitarian disquisitions from the work "de
trinitate". The archaic attitude of this Christology and trinitarian
doctrine is evident from the following considerations. (1) Like
Tertullian, Novatian asserts that the Logos was indeed always with the
Father, but that he only went forth from him at a definite period of
time (for the purpose of creating the world). (2) Like Tertullian, he
declares that Father, Son, and Spirit have one substance (that is, are
[Greek: homoousioi], the _homoousia_ of itself never decides as to
equality in dignity); but that the Son is subordinate and obedient to
the Father and the Spirit to the Son (cc. 17, 22, 24), since they derive
their origin, essence, and function from the Father (the Spirit from the
Son). (3) Like Tertullian, Novatian teaches that the Son, after
accomplishing his work, will again become intermingled with the Father,
that is, will cease to have an independent existence (c. 31); whence we
understand why the West continued so long to be favourable to Marcellus
of Ancyra; see also the so-called symbol of Sardika. Apart from these
points and a few others of less consequence, the work, in its formulæ,
exhibits a type which remained pretty constant in the West down to the
time of Augustine, or, till the adoption of Johannes Damascenus'
dogmatic. The sharp distinction between "deus" and "homo" and the use
that is nevertheless made of "permixtio" and synonymous words are also
specially characteristic. Cap. 9: "Christus deus dominus deus noster,
sed dei filius"; c. 11: "non sic de substantia corporis ipsius
exprimimus, ut solum tantum hominem illum esse dicamus, sed ut
divinitate sermonis in ipsa concretione permixta etiam deum illum
teneamus"; c. 11 Christ has _auctoritas divina_, "tam enim scriptura
etiam deum adnuntiat Christum, quam etiam ipsum hominem adnuntiat deum,
tam hominem descripsit Iesum Christum, quam etiam deum quoque descripsit
Christum dominum." In c. 12 the term "Immanuel" is used to designate
Christ as God in a way that reminds one of Athanasius; c. 13: "præsertim
cum animadvertat, scripturam evangelicam utramque istam substantiam in
unam nativitatis Christi foederasse concordiam"; c. 14: "Christus ex
verbi et carnis coniunctione concretus"; c. 16: "... ut neque homo
Christo subtrahatur, neque divinitas negetur ... utrumque in Christo
confoederatum est, utrumque coniunctum est et utrumque connexum est ...
pignerata in illo divinitatis et humilitatis videtur esse concordia ...
qui mediator dei et hominum effectus exprimitur, in se deum et hominem
sociasse reperitur ... nos sermonem dei scimus indutum carnis
substantiam ... lavit substantiam corporis et materiam carnis abluens,
ex parte suscepti hominis, passione"; c. 17: "... nisi quoniam
auctoritas divini verbi ad suscipiendum hominem interim conquiescens nec
se suis viribus exercens, deiicit se ad tempus atque deponit, dum
hominem fert, quem suscepit"; c. 18: "... ut in semetipso concordiam
confibularet terrenorum pariter atque cælestium, dum utriusque partis in
se connectens pignora et deum homini et hominem deo copularet, ut merito
filius dei per assumptionem carnis filius hominis et filius hominis per
receptionem dei verbi filius dei effici possit"; c. 19: "hic est enim
legitimus dei filius qui ex ipso deo est, qui, dum sanctum illud (Luke
I. 35) assumit, sibi filium hominis annectit et illum ad se rapit atque
transducit, connexione sua et permixtione sociata præstat et filium
illum dei facit, quod ille naturaliter non fuit (Novatian's teaching is
therefore like that of the Spanish Adoptionists of the 8th century), ut
principalitas nominis istius 'filius dei' in spiritu sit domini, qui
descendit et venit, ut sequela nominis istius in filio dei et hominis
sit, et merito consequenter his filius dei factus sit, dum non
principaliter filius dei est, atque ideo dispositionem istam anhelus
videns et ordinem istum sacramenti expediens non sic cuncta confundens,
ut nullum vestigium distinctionis collocavit, distinctionem posuit
dicendo. 'Propterea et quod nascetur ex te sanctum vocabitur filius
dei'. Ne si distributionem istam cum libramentis suis non dispensasset,
sed in confuso permixtum reliquisset, vere occasionem hæreticis
contulisset, ut hominis filium qua homo est, eundum et dei et hominis
filium pronuntiare deberent.... Filius dei, dum filium hominis in se
suscepit, consequenter illum filium dei fecit, quoniam illum filius sibi
dei sociavit et iunxit, ut, dum filius hominis adhæret in nativitate
filio dei, ipsa permixtionem foeneratum et mutuatum teneret, quod ex
natura propria possidere non posset. Ac si facta est angeli voce, quod
nolunt hæretici, inter filium dei hominisque cum sua tamen sociatione
distinctio, urgendo illos, uti Christum hominis filium hominem
intelligant quoque dei filium et hominem dei filium id est dei verbum
deum accipiant, atque ideo Christum Iesum dominum ex utroque connexum,
et utroque contextum atque concretum et in eadem utriusque substantiæ
concordia mutui ad invicem foederis confibulatione sociatum, hominem et
deum, scripturæ hoc ipsum dicentis veritate cognoscant". c. 21:
"hæretici nolunt Christum secundam esse personam post patrem, sed ipsum
patrem;" c. 22: "Cum Christus 'Ego' dicit (John X. 30), deinde patrem
infert dicendo, 'Ego et pater', proprietatem personæ suæ id est filii a
paterna auctoritate discernit atque distinguit, non tantummodo de sono
nominis, sed etiam de ordine dispositæ potestatis ... unum enim
neutraliter positum, societatis concordiam, non unitatem personæ sonat
... unum autem quod ait, ad concordiam et eandem sententiam et ad ipsam
charitatis societatem pertinet, ut merito unum sit pater et filius per
concordiam et per amorem et per dilectionem. Et quoniam ex patre est,
quicquid illud est, filius est, manente tamen distinctione ... denique
novit hanc concordiæ unitatem est apostolus Paulus cum personarum tamen
distinctione." (Comparison with the relationship between Paul and
Apollos! "Quos personæ ratio invicem dividit, eosdem rursus invicem
religionis ratio conducit; et quamvis idem atque ipsi non sint, dum idem
sentiunt, ipsum sunt, et cum duo sint, unum sunt"); c. 23: "constat
hominem a deo factum esse, non ex deo processisse; ex deo autem homo
quomodo nou processit, sic dei verbum processit". In c. 24 it is argued
that Christ existed before the creation of the world and that not merely
"predestinatione", for then he would be subsequent and therefore
inferior to Adam, Abel, Enoch etc. "Sublata ergo prædestinatione quæ non
est posita, in substantia fuit Christus ante mundi institutionem"; c.
31: "Est ergo deus pater omnium institutor et creator, solus originem
nesciens(!), invisibilis, immensus, immortalis, æternus, unus deus(!),
... ex quo quando ipse voluit, sermo filius natus est, qui non in sono
percussi aeris aut tono coactæ de visceribus vocis accipitur, sed in
substantia prolatæ a deo virtutis agnoscitur, cuius sacræ et divinas
nativitatis arcana nec apostolus didicit ..., filio soli nota sunt, qui
patris secreta cognovit. Hic ergo cum sit genitus a patre, semper est in
patre. Semper autem sic dico, ut non innatum, sed natum probem; sed qui
ante omne tempus est, semper in patre fuisse discendus est, nec enim
tempus illi assignari potest, qui ante tempus est; semper enim in patre,
ne pater non semper sit pater: quia et pater illum etiam præcedit, quod
necesse est, prior sit qua pater sit. Quoniam antecedat necesse est eum,
qui habet originem, ille qui originem nescit. Simul ut hic minor sit,
dum in illo esse se scit habens originem quia nascitur, et per patrem
quamvis originem habet qua nascitur, vicinus in nativitate, dum ex eo
patre, qui solus originem non habet, nascitur ..., substantia scilicet
divina, cuius nomen est verbum ..., deus utique procedens ex deo
secundam personam efficiens, sed non eripiens illud patri quod unus est
deus.... Cuius sic divinitas traditur, ut non aut dissonantia aut
inæqualitate divinitatis duos deos reddidisse videatur.... Dum huic, qui
est deus, omnia substrata traduntur et cuncta sibi subiecta filius
accepta refert patri, totam divinitatis auctoritatem rursus patri
remittit, unus deus ostenditur verus et æternus pater, a quo solo hæc
vis divinitatis emissa, etiam in filium tradita et directa rursus per
substantiæ; communionem ad patrem revolvitur."]

[Footnote 654: If I am not mistaken, the production or adaptation of
Apocalypses did indeed abate in the third century, but acquired fresh
vigour in the 4th, though at the same time allowing greater scope to the
influence of heathen literature (including romances as well as
hagiographical literature).]

[Footnote 655: I did not care to appeal more frequently to the Sibylline
oracles either in this or the preceding chapter, because the literary
and historical investigation of these writings has not yet made such
progress as to justify one in using it for the history of dogma. It is
well known that the oracles contain rich materials in regard to the
doctrine of God, Christology, conceptions of the history of Jesus, and
eschatology; but, apart from the old Jewish oracles, this material
belongs to several centuries and has not yet been reliably sifted.]



Clement and Origen.

The Alexandrian school of catechists was of inestimable importance for
the transformation of the heathen empire into a Christian one, and of
Greek philosophy into ecclesiastical philosophy. In the third century
this school overthrew polytheism by scientific means whilst at the same
time preserving everything of any value in Greek science and culture.
These Alexandrians wrote for the educated people of the whole earth;
they made Christianity a part of the civilisation of the world. The
saying that the Christian missionary to the Greeks must be a Greek was
first completely verified within the Catholic Church in the person of
Origen, who at the same time produced the only system of Christian dogma
possessed by the Greek Church before John Damascenus.

1. _The Alexandrian Catechetical School. Clement of Alexandria._[656]

"The work of Irenæus still leaves it undecided whether the form of the
world's literature, as found in the Christian Church, is destined only
to remain a weapon to combat its enemies, or is to become an instrument
of peaceful labour within its own territory." With these words Overbeck
has introduced his examination of Clement of Alexandria's great
masterpiece from the standpoint of the historian of literature. They may
be also applied to the history of theology. As we have shown, Irenæus,
Tertullian (and Hippolytus) made use of philosophical theology to expel
heretical elements; but all the theological expositions that this
interest suggested to them as necessary, were in their view part of the
faith itself. At least we find in their works absolutely no clear
expression of the fact that faith is one thing and theology another,
though rudimentary indications of such distinctions are found. Moreover,
their adherence to the early-Christian eschatology in its entirety, as
well as their rejection of a qualitative distinction between simple
believers and "Gnostics," proved that they themselves were deceived as
to the scope of their theological speculations, and that moreover their
Christian interest was virtually satisfied with subjection to the
authority of tradition, with the early-Christian hopes, and with the
rules for a holy life. But since about the time of Commodus, and in some
cases even earlier, we can observe, even in ecclesiastical circles, the
growing independence and might of the aspiration for a scientific
knowledge and treatment of the Christian religion, that is of Christian
tradition.[657] There is a wish to maintain this tradition in its
entirety and hence the Gnostic theses are rejected. The selection from
tradition, made in opposition to Gnosticism--though indeed in accordance
with its methods--and declared to be apostolic, is accepted. But there
is a desire to treat the given material in a strictly scientific manner,
just as the Gnostics had formerly done, that is, on the one hand to
establish it by a critical and historical exegesis, and on the other to
give it a philosophical form and bring it into harmony with the spirit
of the times. Along with this we also find the wish to incorporate the
thoughts of Paul which now possessed divine authority.[658] Accordingly
schools and scholastic unions now make their appearance afresh, the old
schools having been expelled from the Church.[659] In Asia Minor such
efforts had already begun shortly before the time when the canon of holy
apostolic tradition was fixed by the ecclesiastical authorities (Alogi).
From the history of Clement of Alexandria, the life of bishop Alexander,
afterwards bishop of Jerusalem, and subsequently from the history of
Origen (we may also mention Firmilian of Cæsarea), we learn that there
was in Cappadocia about the year 200 a circle of ecclesiastics who
zealously applied themselves to scientific pursuits. Bardesanes, a man
of high repute, laboured in the Christian kingdom of Edessa about the
same time. He wrote treatises on philosophical theology, which indeed,
judged by a Western standard, could not be accounted orthodox, and
directed a theological school which maintained its ground in the third
century and attained great importance.[660] In Palestine, during the
time of Heliogabalus and Alexander (Severus), Julius Africanus composed
a series of books on scientific theology, which were specifically
different from the writings of Irenæus and Tertullian; but which on the
other hand show the closest relationship in point of form to the
treatises of the so-called Gnostics. His inquiries into the relationship
of the genealogies of Jesus and into certain parts of the Greek
Apocalypse of Daniel showed that the Church's attention had been drawn
to problems of historical criticism. In his chronography the apologetic
interest is subordinate to the historical, and in his [Greek: Kestoi],
dedicated to Alexander Severus (Hippolytus had already dedicated a
treatise on the resurrection to the wife of Heliogabalus), we see fewer
traces of the Christian than of the Greek scholar. Alexander of Ælia and
Theoktistus of Cæsarea, the occupants of the two most important sees in
Palestine, were, contemporaneously with him, zealous patrons of an
independent science of theology. Even at that early time the former
founded an important theological library; and the fragments of his
letters preserved to us prove that he had caught not only the language,
but also the scientific spirit of the age. In Rome, at the beginning of
the third century, there was a scientific school where textual criticism
of the Bible was pursued and where the works of Aristotle, Theophrastus,
Euclid, and Galen were zealously read and utilised. Finally, the works
of Tertullian show us that, even among the Christians of Carthage, there
was no lack of such as wished to naturalise the pursuit of science
within the Church; and Eusebius (H. E. V. 27) has transmitted to us the
titles of a series of scientific works dating as far back as the year
200 and ascribed to ecclesiastics of that period.

Whilst all these phenomena, which collectively belong to the close of
the second and beginning of the third century, show that it was indeed
possible to suppress heresy in the Church, but not the impulse from
which it sprang, the most striking proof of this conclusion is the
existence of the so-called school of catechists in Alexandria. We cannot
now trace the origin of this school, which first comes under our notice
in the year 190,[661] but we know that the struggle of the Church with
heresy was concluded in Alexandria at a later period than in the West.
We know further that the school of catechists extended its labours to
Palestine and Cappadocia as early as the year 200, and, to all
appearance, originated or encouraged scientific pursuits there.[662]
Finally, we know that the existence of this school was threatened in the
fourth decade of the third century; but Heraclas was shrewd enough to
reconcile the ecclesiastical and scientific interests.[663] In the
Alexandrian school of catechists the whole of Greek science was taught
and made to serve the purpose of Christian apologetics. Its first
teacher, who is well known to us from the writings he has left, is
_Clement of Alexandria_.[664] His main work is epoch-making. "Clement's
intention is nothing less than an introduction to Christianity, or,
speaking more correctly and in accordance with the spirit of his work,
an initiation into it. The task that Clement sets himself is an
introduction to what is inmost and highest in Christianity itself. He
aims, so to speak, at first making Christians perfect Christians by
means of a work of literature. By means of such a work he wished not
merely to repeat to the Christian what life has already done for him as
it is, but to elevate him to something still higher than what has been
revealed to him by the forms of initiation that the Church has created
for herself in the course of a history already dating back a century and
a half." To Clement therefore Gnosis, that is, the (Greek) philosophy of
religion, is not only a means of refuting heathenism and heresy, but at
the same time of ascertaining and setting forth what is highest and
inmost in Christianity. He views it as such, however, because, apart
from evangelical sayings, the Church tradition, both collectively and in
its details, is something foreign to him; he has subjected himself to
its authority, but he can only make it intellectually his own after
subjecting it to a scientific and philosophical treatment.[665] His
great work, which has rightly been called the boldest literary
undertaking in the history of the Church,[666] is consequently the first
attempt to use Holy Scripture and the Church tradition together with the
assumption that Christ as the Reason of the world is the source of all
truth, as the basis of a presentation of Christianity which at once
addresses itself to the cultured by satisfying the scientific demand for
a philosophical ethic and theory of the world, and at the same time
reveals to the believer the rich content of his faith. Here then is
found, in form and content, the scientific Christian doctrine of
religion which, while not contradicting the faith, does not merely
support or explain it in a few places, but raises it to another and
higher intellectual sphere, namely, out of the province of authority and
obedience into that of clear knowledge and inward, intellectual assent
emanating from love to God.[667] Clement cannot imagine that the
Christian faith, as found in tradition, can of itself produce the union
of intellectual independence and devotion to God which he regards as
moral perfection. He is too much of a Greek philosopher for that, and
believes that this aim is only reached through knowledge. But in so far
as this is only the deciphering of the secrets revealed in the Holy
Scriptures through the Logos, secrets which the believer also gains
possession of by subjecting himself to them, all knowledge is a
reflection of the divine revelation. The lofty ethical and religious
ideal of the man made perfect in fellowship with God, which Greek
philosophy had developed since the time of Plato and to which it had
subordinated the whole scientific knowledge of the world, was adopted
and heightened by Clement, and associated not only with Jesus Christ but
also with ecclesiastical Christianity. But, whilst connecting it with
the Church tradition, he did not shrink from the boldest remodelling of
the latter, because the preservation of its wording was to him a
sufficient guarantee of the Christian character of the speculation.[668]
In Clement, then, ecclesiastical Christianity reached the stage that
Judaism had attained in Philo, and no doubt the latter exercised great
influence over him.[669] Moreover, Clement stands on the ground that
Justin had already trodden, but he has advanced far beyond this
Apologist. His superiority to Justin not only consists in the fact that
he changed the apologetic task that the latter had in his mind into a
systematic and positive one; but above all in the circumstance that he
transformed the tradition of the Christian Church, which in his days was
far more extensive and more firmly established than in Justin's time,
into a real scientific dogmatic; whereas Justin neutralised the greater
part of this tradition by including it in the scheme of the proof from
prophecy. By elevating the idea of the Logos who is Christ into the
highest principle in the religious explanation of the world and in the
exposition of Christianity, Clement gave to this idea a much more
concrete and copious content than Justin did. Christianity is the
doctrine of the creation, training, and redemption of mankind by the
Logos, whose work culminates in the perfect Gnostics. The philosophy of
the Greeks, in so far as it possessed the Logos, is declared to be a
counterpart of the Old Testament law;[670] and the facts contained in
the Church tradition are either subordinated to the philosophical
dogmatic or receive a new interpretation expressly suited to it. The
idea of the Logos has a content which is on the one hand so wide that he
is found wherever man rises above the level of nature, and on the other
so concrete that an authentic knowledge of him can only be obtained from
historical revelation. The Logos is essentially the rational law of the
world and the teacher; but in Christ he is at the same time officiating
priest, and the blessings he bestows are a series of holy initiations
which alone contain the possibility of man's raising himself to the
divine life.[671] While this is already clear evidence of Clement's
affinity to Gnostic teachers, especially the Valentinians, the same
similarity may also be traced in the whole conception of the task
(Christianity as theology), in the determination of the formal principle
(inclusive of the recourse to esoteric tradition; see above, p. 35
f.),[672] and in the solution of the problems. But Clement's great
superiority to Valentinus is shown not only in his contriving to
preserve in all points his connection with the faith of the main body of
Christendom, but still more in his power of mastering so many problems
by the aid of a single principle, that is, in the art of giving the most
comprehensive presentation with the most insignificant means. Both facts
are indeed most closely connected. The rejection of all conceptions that
could not be verified from Holy Scripture, or at least easily reconciled
with it, as well as his optimism, opposed as this was to Gnostic
pessimism, proved perhaps the most effective means of persuading the
Church to recognise the Christian character of a dogmatic that was at
least half inimical to ecclesiastical Christianity. Through Clement
theology became the crowning stage of piety, the highest philosophy of
the Greeks was placed under the protection and guarantee of the Church,
and the whole Hellenic civilisation was thus at the same time
legitimised within Christianity. The Logos is Christ, but the Logos is
at the same time the moral and rational in all stages of development.
The Logos is the teacher, not only in cases where an intelligent
self-restraint, as understood by the ancients, bridles the passions and
instincts and wards off excesses of all sorts; but also, and here of
course the revelation is of a higher kind, wherever love to God alone
determines the whole life and exalts man above everything sensuous and
finite.[673] What Gnostic moralists merely regarded as contrasts
Clement, the Christian and Greek, was able to view as stages; and thus
he succeeded in conceiving the motley society that already represented
the Church of his time as a unity, as the humanity trained by one and
the same Logos, the Pedagogue. His speculation did not drive him out of
the Church; it rather enabled him to understand the multiplicity of
forms she contained and to estimate their relative justification; nay,
it finally led him to include the history of pre-Christian humanity in
the system he regarded as a unity, and to form a theory of universal
history satisfactory to his mind.[674] If we compare this theory with
the rudimentary ideas of a similar kind in Irenæus, we see clearly the
meagreness and want of freedom, the uncertainty and narrowness, in the
case of the latter. In the Christian faith as he understood it and as
amalgamated by him with Greek culture, Clement found intellectual
freedom and independence, deliverance from all external authority. We
need not here directly discuss what apparatus he used for this end.
Irenæus again remained entangled in his apparatus, and much as he speaks
of the _novum testamentum libertatis_, his great work little conveys the
impression that its author has really attained intellectual freedom.
Clement was the first to grasp the task of future theology. According to
him this task consists in utilising the historical traditions, through
which we have become what we are, and the Christian communion, which is
imperative upon us as being the only moral and religious one, in order
to attain freedom and independence of our own life by the aid of the
Gospel; and in showing this Gospel to be the highest revelation by the
Logos, who has given evidence of himself whenever man rises above the
level of nature and who is consequently to be traced throughout the
whole history of humanity.

But does the Christianity of Clement correspond to the Gospel? We can
only give a qualified affirmation to this question. For the danger of
secularisation is evident, since apostasy from the Gospel would be
completely accomplished as soon as the ideal of the self-sufficient
Greek sage came to supplant the feeling that man lives by the grace of
God. But the danger of secularisation lies in the cramped conception of
Irenæus, who sets up authorities which have nothing to do with the
Gospel, and creates facts of salvation which have a no less deadening
effect though in a different way. If the Gospel is meant to give freedom
and peace in God, and to accustom us to an eternal life in union with
Christ Clement understood this meaning. He could justly say to his
opponents: "If the things we say appear to some people diverse from the
Scriptures of the Lord, let them know that they draw inspiration and
life therefrom and, making these their starting-point give their meaning
only, not their letter" ([Greek: kan heteroia tisi tôn pollôn
kataphainêtai ta hyph' hêmôn legomena tôn kyriakôn graphôn, isteon hoti
ekeithen anapnei te kai zê kai tas aphormas ap' autôn echonta ton noun
monon, ou tên lexin, paristan epangelletai]).[675] No doubt Clement
conceives the aim of the whole traditionary material to be that of Greek
philosophy, but we cannot fail to perceive that this aim is blended with
the object which the Gospel puts before us, namely, to be rich in God
and to receive strength and life from him. The goodness of God and the
responsibility of man are the central ideas of Clement and the
Alexandrians; they also occupy the foremost place in the Gospel of Jesus
Christ. If this is certain we must avoid that searching of the heart
which undertakes to fix how far he was influenced by the Gospel and how
far by philosophy.

But, while so judging, we cannot deny that the Church tradition was here
completely transformed into a Greek philosophy of religion on a
historical basis, nor do we certify the Christian character of Clement's
"dogmas" in acknowledging the evangelical spirit of his practical
position. What would be left of Christianity, if the practical aim,
given by Clement to this religious philosophy, were lost? A
depotentiated system which could absolutely no longer be called
Christian. On the other hand there were many valuable features in the
ecclesiastical _regula_ literally interpreted; and the attempts of
Irenæus to extract an authoritative religious meaning from the literal
sense of Church tradition and of New Testament passages must be regarded
as conservative efforts of the most valuable kind. No doubt Irenæus and
his theological _confrères_ did not themselves find in Christianity that
freedom which is its highest aim; but on the other hand they preserved
and rescued valuable material for succeeding times. If some day trust in
the methods of religious philosophy vanishes, men will revert to
history, which will still be recognisable in the preserved tradition, as
prized by Irenæus and the rest, whereas it will have almost perished in
the artificial interpretations due to the speculations of religious

The importance that the Alexandrian school was to attain in the history
of dogma is not associated with Clement, but with his disciple
Origen.[676] This was not because Clement was more heterodox than
Origen, for that is not the case, so far as the Stromateis is concerned
at least;[677] but because the latter exerted an incomparably greater
influence than the former; and, with an energy perhaps unexampled in the
history of the Church, already mapped out all the provinces of theology
by his own unaided efforts. Another reason is that Clement did not
possess the Church tradition in its fixed Catholic forms as Origen did
(see above, chapter 2), and, as his Stromateis shows, he was as yet
incapable of forming a theological system. What he offers is portions of
a theological Christian dogmatic and speculative ethic. These indeed are
no fragments in so far as they are all produced according to a definite
method and have the same object in view, but they still want unity. On
the other hand Origen succeeded in forming a complete system inasmuch as
he not only had a Catholic tradition of fixed limits and definite type
to fall back upon as a basis; but was also enabled by the previous
efforts of Clement to furnish a methodical treatment of this
tradition.[678] Now a sharp eye indeed perceives that Origen personally
no longer possessed such a complete and bold religious theory of the
world as Clement did, for he was already more tightly fettered by the
Church tradition, some details of which here and there led him into
compromises that remind us of Irenæus; but it was in connection with his
work that the development of the following period took place. It is
therefore sufficient, within the framework of the history of dogma, to
refer to Clement as the bold forerunner of Origen, and, in setting forth
the theology of the latter, to compare it in important points with the
doctrines of Clement.

2. _The system of Origen._[679]

Among the theologians of ecclesiastical antiquity Origen was the most
important and influential alongside of Augustine. He proved the father
of ecclesiastical science in the widest sense of the word, and at the
same time became the founder of that theology which reached its complete
development in the fourth and fifth centuries, and which in the sixth
definitely denied its author, without, however, losing the form he had
impressed on it. Origen created the ecclesiastical dogmatic and made the
sources of the Jewish and Christian religion the foundation of that
science. The Apologists, in their day, had found everything clear in
Christianity; the antignostic Fathers had confused the Church's faith
and the science that treats of it. Origen recognised the problem and the
problems, and elevated the pursuit of Christian theology to the rank of
an independent task by freeing it from its polemical aim. He could not
have become what he did, if two generations had not preceded him in
paving the way to form a mental conception of Christianity and give it a
philosophical foundation. Like all epoch-making personalities, he was
also favoured by the conditions in which he lived, though he had to
endure violent attacks. Born of a Christian family which was faithfully
attached to the Church, he lived at a time when the Christian
communities enjoyed almost uninterrupted peace and were being
naturalised in the world; he was a member of a Christian Church where
the right of scientific study was already recognised and where this had
attained a fixed position in an organised school.[680] He proclaimed the
reconciliation of science with the Christian faith and the compatibility
of the highest culture with the Gospel within the bosom of the Church,
thus contributing more than any other to convert the ancient world to
Christianity. But he made no compromises from shrewd calculation: it was
his inmost and holiest conviction that the sacred documents of
Christianity contained all the ideals of antiquity, and that the
speculative conception of ecclesiastical Christianity was the only true
and right one. His character was pure, his life blameless; in his work
he was not only unwearied, but also unselfish. There have been few
Fathers of the Church whose life-story leaves such an impression of
purity behind it as that of Origen. The atmosphere which he breathed as
a Christian and as a philosopher was dangerous; but his mind remained
sound, and even his feeling for truth scarcely ever forsook him.[681] To
us his theory of the world, surveyed in its details, presents various
changing hues, like that of Philo, and at the present day we can
scarcely any longer understand how he was able to unite the different
materials; but, considering the solidity of his character and the
confidence of his decisions, we cannot doubt that he himself felt the
agreement of all essential parts of his system. No doubt he spoke in one
way to the perfect and in another to the mass of Christian people. The
narrow-minded or the immature will at all times necessarily consider
such proceedings hypocrisy, but the outcome of his religious and
scientific conception of the world required the twofold language.
Orthodox theology of all creeds has never yet advanced beyond the circle
first mapped out by his mind. She has suspected and corrected her
founder, she has thought she could lop off his heterodox opinions as if
they were accidental excrescences, she has incorporated with the simple
faith itself the measure of speculation she was obliged to admit, and
continued to give the rule of faith a more philosophic form, fragment by
fragment, in order that she might thus be able to remove the gap between
Faith and Gnosis and to banish free theology through the formula of
ecclesiastical dogma. But it may reasonably be questioned whether all
this is progress, and it is well worth investigating whether the gap
between half theological, clerical Christianity and a lay Christianity
held in tutelage is more endurable than that between Gnosis and Pistis,
which Origen preserved and bridged over.

The Christian system of Origen[682] is worked out in opposition to the
systems of the Greek philosophers and of the Christian Gnostics. It is
moreover opposed to the ecclesiastical enemies of science, the Christian
Unitarians, and the Jews.[683] But the science of the faith, as
developed by Origen, being built up with the appliances of Philo's
science, bears unmistakable marks of Neoplatonism and Gnosticism. Origen
speculated not only in the manner of Justin, but also in that of
Valentinus and therefore likewise after the fashion of Plotinus; in fact
he is characterised by the adoption of the methods and, in a certain
sense, of the axioms current in the schools of Valentinus and traceable
in Neoplatonism. But, as this method implied the acknowledgment of a
sacred literature, Origen was an exegete who believed in the Holy
Scriptures and indeed, at bottom, he viewed all theology as a methodical
exegesis of Holy Writ. Finally, however, since Origen, as an
ecclesiastical Christian, was convinced that the Church (by which he
means only the perfect and pure Church) is the sole possessor of God's
holy revelations with whose authority the faith may be justly satisfied,
nothing but the two Testaments, as preserved by her, was regarded by him
as the absolutely reliable divine revelation.[684] But, in addition to
these, every possession of the Church, and, above all, the rule of
faith, was authoritative and holy.[685] By acknowledging not only the
relative correctness of the beliefs held by the great mass of simple
Christians, as the Valentinians did, but also the indispensableness of
their faith as the foundation of speculation, Origen like Clement
avoided the dilemma of becoming a heterodox Gnostic or an ecclesiastical
traditionalist. He was able to maintain this standpoint, because in the
first place his Gnosis required a guaranteed sacred literature which he
only found in the Church, and because in the second place this same
Gnosis had extended its horizon far enough to see that what the
heretical Gnosis had regarded as contrasts were different aspects of the
same thing. The relative way of looking at things, an inheritance from
the best time of antiquity, is familiar to Origen, as it was to Clement;
and he contrived never to lose sight of it, in spite of the absolute
attitude he had arrived at through the Christian Gnosis and the Holy
Scriptures. This relative view taught him and Clement toleration and
discretion (Strom. IV. 22. 139: [Greek: hê gnôsis agapa kai tous
agnoountas didaskei te kai paideuei tên pasan ktisin tou pantokratoros
Theou timan], "Gnosis loves and instructs the ignorant and teaches us to
honour the whole creation of God Almighty"); and enabled them everywhere
to discover, hold fast, and further the good in that which was meagre
and narrow, in that which was undeveloped and as yet intrinsically
obscure.[686] As an orthodox traditionalist and decided opponent of all
heresy Origen acknowledged that Christianity embraces a salvation which
is offered to all men and attained by faith, that it is the doctrine of
historical facts to which we must adhere, that the content of
Christianity has been appropriately summarised by the Church in her rule
of faith,[687] and that belief is of itself sufficient for the renewal
and salvation of man. But, as an idealistic philosopher, Origen
transformed the whole content of ecclesiastical faith into ideas. Here
he adhered to no fixed philosophical system, but, like Philo, Clement,
and the Neoplatonists, adopted and adapted all that had been effected by
the labours of idealistic Greek moralists since the time of Socrates.
These, however, had long before transformed the Socratic saying "know
thyself" into manifold rules for the right conduct of life, and
associated with it a theosophy, in which man was first to attain to his
true self.[688] These rules made the true "sage" abstain from occupying
himself in the service of daily life and "from burdensome appearance in
public". They asserted that the mind "can have no more peculiar duty
than caring for itself." This is accomplished by its not looking without
nor occupying itself with foreign things, but, turning inwardly to
itself, restoring its own nature to itself and thus practising
righteousness.[689] Here it was taught that the wise man who no longer
requires anything is nearest the Deity, because he is a partaker of the
highest good through possession of his rich Ego and through his calm
contemplation of the world; here moreover it was proclaimed that the
mind that has freed itself from the sensuous[690] and lives in constant
contemplation of the eternal is also in the end vouchsafed a view of the
invisible and is itself deified. No one can deny that this sort of
flight from the world and possession of God involves a specific
secularisation of Christianity, and that the isolated and
self-sufficient sage is pretty much the opposite of the poor soul that
hungers after righteousness.[691] Nor, on the other hand, can any one
deny that concrete examples of both types are found in infinite
multiplicity and might shade off into each other in this multiplicity.
This was the case with Clement and Origen. To them the ethical and
religious ideal is the state without sorrow, the state of insensibility
to all evils, of order and peace--but peace in God. Reconciled to the
course of the world, trusting in the divine Logos,[692] rich in
disinterested love to God and the brethren, reproducing the divine
thoughts, looking up with longing to heaven its native city,[693] the
created spirit attains its likeness to God and eternal bliss. It reaches
this by the victory over sensuousness, by constantly occupying itself
with the divine--"Go ye believing thoughts into the wide field of
eternity"--by self-knowledge and contemplative isolation, which,
however, does not exclude work in the kingdom of God, that is in the
Church. This is the divine wisdom: "The soul practises viewing herself
as in a mirror: she displays the divine Spirit in herself as in a
mirror, if she is to be found worthy of this fellowship; and she thus
discovers the traces of a mysterious way to deification."[694] Origen
employed the Stoic and Platonic systems of ethics as an instrument for
the gradual realisation of this ideal.[695] With him the mystic and
ecstatic as well as the magic and sacramental element is still in the
background, though it is not wanting. To Origen's mind, however, the
inadequacy of philosophical injunctions was constantly made plain by the
following considerations. (1) The philosophers, in spite of their noble
thoughts of God, tolerated the existence of polytheism; and this was
really the only fault he had to find with Plato. (2) The truth did not
become universally accessible through them.[696] (3) As the result of
these facts they did not possess sufficient power.[697] In contrast to
this the divine revelation had already mastered a whole people through
Moses--"Would to God the Jews had not transgressed the law, and had not
slain the prophets and Jesus; we would then have had a model of that
heavenly commonwealth which Plato has sought to describe"[698]--and the
Logos shows his universal power in the Church (1) by putting an end to
all polytheism, and (2) by improving everyone to the extent that his
knowledge and capacity admit, and in proportion as his will is inclined
to, and susceptible of, that which is good.[699]

Not only, however, did Origen employ the Greek ethic in its varied
types, but the Greek cosmological speculation also formed the
complicated substructure of his religious system of morals. The Gnosis
is formally a philosophy of revelation, that is a Scripture
theology,[700] and materially a cosmological speculation. On the basis
of a detailed theory of inspiration, which itself, moreover, originates
with the philosophers, the Holy Scriptures are so treated that all facts
appear as the vehicles of ideas and only attain their highest value in
this aspect. Systematic theology, in undertaking its task, always
starts, as Clement and Origen also did, with the conscious or
unconscious thought of emancipating itself from the outward revelation
and community of cultus that are the characteristic marks of positive
religion. The place of these is taken by the results of speculative
cosmology, which, though themselves practically conditioned, do not seem
to be of this character. This also applies to Origen's Christian Gnosis
or scientific dogmatic, which is simply the metaphysics of the age.
However, as he was the equal of the foremost minds of his time, this
dogmatic was no schoolboy imitation on his part, but was to some extent
independently developed and was worked out both in opposition to
pantheistic Stoicism and to theoretical dualism. That we are not
mistaken in this opinion is shown by a document ranking among the most
valuable things preserved to us from the third century; we mean the
judgment passed on Origen by Porphyry in Euseb., H. E. VI. 19. Every
sentence is instructive,[701] but the culminating point is the judgment
contained in § 7: [Greek: kata men ton Bion Christianôs zôn kai
paranomôs, kata de tas peri tôn pragmatôn kai tou theou doxas Hellênizôn
kai ta Hellênôn tois othneiois hupoballomenos mythois.] ("His outward
life was that of a Christian and opposed to the law, but in regard to
his views of things and of the Deity, he thought like the Greeks,
inasmuch as he introduced their ideas into the myths of other peoples.")
We can everywhere verify this observation from Origen's works and
particularly from the books written against Celsus, where he is
continually obliged to mask his essential agreement in principles and
method with the enemy of the Christians.[702] The Gnosis is in fact the
Hellenic one and results in that wonderful picture of the world which,
though apparently a drama, is in reality immovable, and only assumes
such a complicated form here from its relation to the Holy Scriptures
and the history of Christ.[703] The Gnosis neutralises everything
connected with empiric history; and if this does not everywhere hold
good with regard to the actual occurrence of facts, it is at least
invariably the case in respect to their significance. The clearest proof
of this is (1) that Origen raised the thought of the unchangeability of
God to be the norm of his system and (2) that he denied the historical,
incarnate Logos any significance for "Gnostics." To these Christ merely
appears as the Logos who has been from eternity with the Father and has
always acted from the beginning. He alone is the object of the knowledge
of the wise man, who merely requires a perfect or, in other words, a
divine teacher.[704] The Gospel too only teaches the "shadow of the
secrets of Christ;" but the eternal Gospel, which is also the pneumatic
one, "clearly places before men's minds all things concerning the Son of
God himself, both the mysteries shown by his words, and the things of
which his acts were the riddles" ([Greek: saphôs paristêsi tois noousi
ta panta enôpion peri autou tou huiou tou Theou, kai ta paristamena
mustêria hupo tôn logôn autou, ta te pragmata, ôn ainigmata êsan hai
praxeis autou]).[705] No doubt the true theology based on revelation
makes pantheism appear overthrown as well as dualism, and here the
influence of the two Testaments cannot be mistaken; but a subtle form of
the latter recurs in Origen's system, whilst the manner in which he
rejected both made the Greek philosophy of the age feel that there was
something akin to it here. In the final utterances of religious
metaphysics ecclesiastical Christianity, with the exception of a few
compromises, is thrown off as a husk. The objects of religious knowledge
have no history or rather, and this is a genuinely Gnostic and
Neoplatonic idea, they have only a supramundane one.

This necessarily gave rise to the assumption of an esoteric and exoteric
form of the Christian religion, for it is only behind the statutory,
positive religion of the Church that religion itself is found. Origen
gave the clearest expression to this assumption, which must have been
already familiar in the Alexandrian school of catechists, and convinced
himself that it was correct, because he saw that the mass of Christians
were unable to grasp the deeper sense of Scripture, and because he
realised the difficulties of the exegesis. On the other hand, in solving
the problem of adapting the different points of his heterodox system of
thought to the _regula fidei_, he displayed the most masterly skill. He
succeeded in finding an external connection, because, though the
construction of his theory proceeded from the top downwards, he could
find support for it on the steps of the _regula fidei_, already
developed by Irenæus into the history of salvation.[706] The system
itself is to be, in principle and in every respect, monistic, but, as
the material world, though created by God out of nothing, merely appears
as a place of punishment and purification for souls, a strong element of
dualism is inherent in the system, as far as its practical application
is concerned.[707] The prevailing contrast is that between the one
transcendent essence and the multiplicity of all created things. The
pervading ambiguity lies in the twofold view of the spiritual in so far
as, on the one hand, it belongs to God as the unfolding of his essence,
and, on the other, as being created, is contrasted with God. This
ambiguity, which recurs in all the Neoplatonic systems and has continued
to characterise all mysticism down to the present day, originates in the
attempt to repel Stoic pantheism and yet to preserve the transcendental
nature of the human spirit, and to maintain the absolute causality of
God without allowing his goodness to be called in question. The
assumption that created spirits can freely determine their own course is
therefore a necessity of the system; in fact this assumption is one of
its main presuppositions[708] and is so boldly developed as to limit the
omnipotence and omniscience of God. But, as from the empirical point of
view the knot is tied for every man at the very moment he appears on
earth, and since the problem is not created by each human being as the
result of his own independent will, but lies in his organisation,
speculation must retreat behind history. So the system, in accordance
with certain hints of Plato, is constructed on the same plan as that of
Valentinus, for example, to which it has an extraordinary affinity. It
contains three parts: (1) The doctrine of God and his unfoldings or
creations, (2) the doctrine of the Fall and its consequences, (3) the
doctrine of redemption and restoration.[709] Like Denis, however, we may
also, in accordance with a premised theory of method, set forth the
system in four sections, viz., Theology, Cosmology, Anthropology,
Teleology. Origen's fundamental idea is "the original indestructible
unity of God and all spiritual essence." From this it necessarily
follows that the created spirit after fall, error, and sin must ever
return to its origin, to being in God. In this idea we have the key to
the religious philosophy of Origen.

The only sources for obtaining a knowledge of the truth are the Holy
Scriptures of both Testaments. No doubt the speculations of Greek
philosophers also contain truths, but these have only a propædeutic
value and, moreover, have no certainty to offer, as have the Holy
Scriptures, which are a witness to themselves in the fulfilment of
prophecy.[710] On the other hand Origen assumes that there was an
esoteric deeper knowledge in addition to the Holy Scriptures, and that
Jesus in particular imparted this deeper wisdom to a few;[711] but, as a
correct Church theologian, he scarcely made use of this assumption. The
first methodical principle of his exegesis is that the faith, as
professed in the Church in contradistinction to heresy, must not be
tampered with.[712] But it is the carrying out of this rule that really
forms the task of the theologian. For the faith itself is fixed and
requires no particular presentation; it never occurred to Origen to
assume that the fixing of the faith itself could present problems. It is
complete, clear, easily teachable, and really leads to victory over
sensuality and sin (see c. Cels. VII. 48 and cf. other passages), as
well as to fellowship with God, since it rests on the revelation of the
Logos. But, as it remains determined by fear and hope of reward so, as
"uninformed and irrational faith" ([Greek: pistis idiôtikê] and [Greek:
alogos]), it only leads to a "somatic Christianity" ([Greek:
Christianismos sômatikos]). It is the task of theology, however, to
decipher "spiritual Christianity" ([Greek: Christianismos pneumatikos])
from the Holy Scriptures, and to elevate faith to knowledge and clear
vision. This is effected by the method of Scripture exegesis which
ascertains the highest revelations of God.[713] The Scripture has a
threefold sense because, like the cosmos, alongside of which it stands
like a second revelation, as it were, it must contain a pneumatic,
psychic, and somatic element. The somatic or historical sense is in
every case the first that must be ascertained. It corresponds to the
stage of mere faith and has consequently the same dignity as the latter.
But there are instances where it is to be given up and designated as a
Jewish and fleshly sense. This is to be assumed in all cases where it
leads to ideas opposed to the nature of God, morality, the law of
nature, or reason.[714] Here one must judge (see above) that such
objectionable passages were meant to incite the searcher to a deeper
investigation. The psychic sense is of a moral nature: in the Old
Testament more especially most narratives have a moral content, which
one can easily find by stripping off the history as a covering; and in
certain passages one may content oneself with this meaning. The
pneumatic sense, which is the only meaning borne by many passages, an
assertion which neither Philo nor Clement ventured to make in plain
terms, has with Origen a negatively apologetic and a positively didactic
aim. It leads to the ultimate ideas which, once attained, are
self-evident, and, so to speak, pass completely over into the mind of
the theologian, because they finally obtain for him clear vision and
independent possession.[715] When the Gnostic has attained this stage,
he may throw away the ladders by which he has reached this height.[716]
He is then inwardly united with God's Logos, and from this union obtains
all that he requires. In most passages Origen presupposed the similarity
and equal value of all parts of the Holy Scriptures; but in some he
showed that even inspiration has its stages and grades, according to the
receptivity and worthiness of each prophet, thus applying his relative
view of all matters of fact in such cases also. In Christ the full
revelation of the Logos was first expressed; his Apostles did not
possess the same inspiration as he,[717] and among the Apostles and
apostolic men differences in the degrees of inspiration are again to be
assumed. Here Origen set the example of making a definite distinction
between a heroic age of the Apostles and the succeeding period. This
laid the foundation for an assumption through which the later Church
down to our time has appeased her conscience and freed herself from
demands that she could not satisfy.[718]

points back to an ultimate cause and the created spirit to an eternal,
pure, absolutely simple, and unchangeable spirit, who is the original
source of all existence and goodness, so that everything that exists
only does so in virtue of being caused by that One, and is good in so
far as it derives its essence from the One who is perfection and
goodness. This fundamental idea is the source of all the conclusions
drawn by Origen as to the essence, attributes, and knowableness of God.
As the One, God is contrasted with the Manifold; but the order in the
Manifold points back to the One. As the real Essence, God is opposed to
the essences that appear and seem to vanish, and that therefore have no
real existence, because they have not their principle in themselves, but
testify: "We have not made ourselves." As the absolutely immaterial
Spirit, God is contrasted with the spirit that is clogged with matter,
but which strives to get back to him from whom it received its origin.
The One is something different from the Manifold; but the order, the
dependence, and the longing of that which is created point back to the
One, who can therefore be known relatively from the Manifold. In
sharpest contrast to the heretical Gnosis, Origen maintained the
absolute causality of God, and, in spite of all abstractions in
determining the essence of God, he attributed self-consciousness and
will to this superessential Essence (in opposition to Valentinus,
Basilides, and the later Neoplatonists).[720] The created is one thing
and the Self-existent is another, but both are connected together; as
the created can only be understood from something self-existent, so the
self-existent is not without analogy to the created. The Self-existent
is in itself a living thing; it is beyond dispute that Origen with all
his abstractions represented the Deity, whom he primarily conceived as a
constant substance, in a more living, and, so to speak, in a more
personal way than the Greek philosophers. Hence it was possible for him
to produce a doctrine of the attributes of God. Here he did not even
shrink from applying his relative view to the Deity, because, as will be
seen, he never thinks of God without revelation, and because all
revelation must be something limited. The omnipresence of God indeed
suffers from no limitation. God is potentially everywhere; but he is
everywhere only potentially; that is, he neither encompasses nor is
encompassed. Nor is he diffused through the universe, but, as he is
removed from the limits of space, so also he is removed from space
itself.[721] But the omniscience and omnipotence of God have a limit,
which indeed, according to Origen, lies in the nature of the case
itself. In the first place his omnipotence is limited through his
essence, for he can only do what he wills;[722] secondly by logic, for
omnipotence cannot produce things containing an inward contradiction:
God can do nothing contrary to nature, all miracles being natural in the
highest sense[723]--thirdly, by the impossibility of that which is in
itself unlimited being comprehended, whence it follows that the extent
of everything created must be limited[724]--fourthly, by the
impossibility of realising an aim completely and without disturbing
elements.[725] Omniscience has also its corresponding limits; this is
specially proved from the freedom of spirits bestowed by God himself.
God has indeed the capacity of foreknowledge, but he knows transactions
beforehand because they happen; they do not happen because he knows
them.[726] That the divine purpose should be realised in the end
necessarily follows from the nature of the created spirit itself, apart
from the supporting activity of God. Like Irenæus and Tertullian Origen
very carefully discussed the attributes of goodness and justice in God
in opposition to the Marcionites.[727] But his exposition is different.
In his eyes goodness and justice are not two opposite attributes, which
can and must exist in God side by side; but as virtues they are to him
identical. God rewards in justice and punishes in kindness. That it
should go well with all, no matter how they conduct themselves, would be
no kindness; but it is kindness when God punishes to improve, deter, and
prevent. Passions, anger, and the like do not exist in God, nor any
plurality of virtues; but, as the Perfect One, he is all kindness. In
other places, however, Origen did not content himself with this
presentation. In opposition to the Marcionites, who declared Christ and
the Father of Christ to be good, and the creator of the world to be
just, he argued that, on the contrary, God (the foundation of the world)
is good, but that the Logos-Christ, in so far as he is the pedagogus, is

From the perfect goodness of God Origen infers that he reveals or
communicates himself, from his immutability that he _always_ reveals
himself. The eternal or never beginning communication of perfection to
other beings is a postulate of the concept "God". But, along with the
whole fraternity of those professing the same philosophy, Origen assumed
that the One, in becoming the Manifold and acting in the interests of
the Manifold, can only effect his purpose by divesting himself of
absolute apathy and once more assuming a form in which he can act, that
is, procuring for himself an adequate organ--_the Logos_. The content of
Origen's teaching about this Logos was not essentially different from
that of Philo and was therefore quite as contradictory; only in his case
everything is more sharply defined and the hypostasis of the Logos (in
opposition to the Monarchians) more clearly and precisely stated.[729]
Nevertheless the personal independence of the Logos is as yet by no
means so sharply defined as in the case of the later Arians. He is still
the Consciousness of God, the spiritual Activity of God. Hence he is on
the one hand the idea of the world existing in God, and on the other the
product of divine wisdom originating with the will of God. The following
are the most important propositions.[730] The Logos who appeared in
Christ, as is specially shown from Joh. I. 1 and Heb. I. 1, is the
perfect image[731] of God. He is the Wisdom of God, the reflection of
his perfection and glory, the invisible image of God. For that very
reason there is nothing corporeal in him[732] and he is therefore really
God, not [Greek: autotheos], nor [Greek: ho Theos], nor [Greek: anarchos
archê] ("beginningless beginning"), but the second God.[733] But, as
such, immutability is one of his attributes, that is, he can never lose
his divine essence, he can also in this respect neither increase nor
decrease (this immutability, however, is not an independent attribute,
but he is perfect as being an image of the Father's perfection).[734]
Accordingly this deity is not a communicated one in the sense of his
having another independent essence in addition to this divine nature;
but deity rather constitutes his essence: [Greek: ho sotêr ou kata
metousian, alla kat' ousian esti Theos][735] ("the Saviour is not God by
communication, but in his essence"). From this it follows that he shares
in the essence of God, therefore of the Father, and is accordingly
[Greek: homoousios] ("the same in substance with the Father") or, seeing
that, as Son, he has come forth from the Father, is engendered from the
essence of the Father.[736] But having proceeded, like the will, from
the Spirit, he was always with God; there was not a time when he was
not,[737] nay, even this expression is still too weak. It would be an
unworthy idea to think of God without his wisdom or to assume a
beginning of his begetting. Moreover, this begetting is not an act that
has only once taken place, but a process lasting from all eternity; the
Son is always being begotten of the Father.[738] It is the theology of
Origen which Gregory Thaumaturgus has thus summed up:[739] [Greek: eis
kurios, monos ek monou, theos ek theou, charaktêr kai eikôn tês
theotêtos, logos energos, sophia tês tôn holôn sustaseôs periektikê kai
dunamis tês holês ktiseôs poiêtikê, huios alêthinos alêthinou patros,
aoratos aoratou kai aphthartos aphthartou kai athanatos athanatou kai
aidios aidiou]. ("One Lord, one from one, God from God, impress and
image of Godhead, energetic word, wisdom embracing the entire system of
the universe and power producing all creation, true Son of a true
Father, the invisible of the invisible and incorruptible of the
incorruptible, the immortal of the immortal, the eternal of the
eternal"). The begetting is an indescribable act which can only be
represented by inadequate images: it is no emanation--the expression
[Greek: probolê] is not found, so far as I know[740]--but is rather to
be designated as an act of the will arising from an inner necessity, an
act which for that very reason is an emanation of the essence. But the
Logos thus produced is really a personally existing being; he is not an
impersonal force of the Father, though this still appears to be the case
in some passages of Clement, but he is the "sapientia dei
substantialiter subsistens"[741] ("the wisdom of God substantially
existing") "figura expressa substantial patris" ("express image of the
Father's substance"), "virtus altera in sua proprietate subsistens" ("a
second force existing in its own characteristic fashion"). He is, and
here Origen appeals to the old Acts of Paul, an "animal vivens" with an
independent existence.[742] He is another person,[743] namely, the
second person in number.[744] But here already begins Origen's second
train of thought which limits the first that we have set forth. As a
particular hypostasis, which has its "first cause" ([Greek: prôton
aition]) in God, the Son is "that which is caused" ([Greek: aitiaton]),
moreover as the fulness of ideas, as he who comprehends in himself all
the forms that are to have an active existence, the Son is no longer an
absolute _simplex_ like the Father.[745] He is already the first stage
of the transition from the One to the Manifold, and, as the medium of
the world-idea, his essence has an inward relation to the world, which
is itself without beginning.[746] As soon therefore as the category of
causality is applied--which moreover dominates the system--and the
particular contemplation of the Son in relation to the Father gives way
to the general contemplation of his task and destination, the Son is not
only called [Greek: ktisma] and [Greek: dêmiourgêma], but all the
utterances about the quality of his essence receive a limitation. We
nowhere find the express assertion that this quality is inferior or of a
different kind when compared with that of God; but these utterances lose
their force when it is asserted that complete similarity between Father
and Son only exists in relation to the world. We have to acknowledge the
divine being that appeared in Christ to be the manifestation of the
Deity; but, from God's standpoint, the Son is the hypostasis appointed
by and _subordinated_ to him.[747] The Son stands between the uncreated
One and the created Many; in so far as unchangeableness is an attribute
of self-existence he does not possess it.[748] It is evident why Origen
was obliged to conceive the Logos exactly as he did; it was only in this
form that the idea answered the purpose for which it was intended. In
the description of the essence of the Logos much more heed continues to
be given to his creative than to his redeeming significance. Since it
was only a teacher that Origen ultimately required for the purpose of
redemption, he could unfold the nature and task of the Logos without
thinking of Christ, whose name indeed he frequently mentions in his
disquisitions, but whose person is really not of the slightest
importance there.[749]

In order to comply with the rule of faith, and for this reason alone,
for his speculation did not require a Spirit in addition to the Logos,
Origen also placed the Spirit alongside of Father and Son. All that is
predicated about him by the Church is that he is equal to the other
persons in honour and dignity, and it was he that inspired both Prophets
and Apostles; but that it is still undecided whether he be created or
uncreated, and whether he too is to be considered the Son of God or
not.[750] As the third hypostasis, Origen reckoned him part of the
constant divine essence and so treated him after the analogy of the Son,
without producing an impressive proof of the necessity of this
hypostasis. He, however, became the Holy Spirit through the Son, and is
related to the latter as the latter is related to the Father; in other
words he is subordinate to the Son; he is the first creation of the
Father through the Son.[751] Here Origen was following an old tradition.
Considered quantitatively therefore, and this according to Origen is the
most important consideration, the Spirit's sphere of action is the
smallest. All being has its principle in the Father, the Son has his
sphere in the rational, the Holy Spirit in the sanctified, that is in
the Church; this he has to rule over and perfect. Father, Son, and
Spirit form a [Greek: trias] ("triad")[752] to which nothing may be
compared; they are equal in dignity and honour, and the substance they
possess is one. If the following is not one of Rufinus' corrections,
Origen said[753]: "Nihil in trinitate maius minusve dicendum est cum
unius divinitatis fons verbo ac ratione sua teneat universa"[754]
("nothing in the Trinity is to be called greater or less, since the
fountain of one divinity holds all his parts by word and reason"). But,
as in Origen's sense the union of these only exists because the Father
alone is the "source of deity" ([Greek: pêgê tês theotêtos]) and
principle of the other two hypostases, the Trinity is in truth no
homogeneous one, but one which, in accordance with a "subtle emanation
idea", has degrees within it. This Trinity, which in the strict sense
remains a Trinity of revelation, except that revelation belongs to the
essence of God, is with Origen the real secret of the faith, the mystery
beyond all mysteries. To deny it shows a Jewish, carnal feeling or at
least the greatest narrowness of conception.

The idea of createdness was already more closely associated with the
Holy Ghost than with the Logos. He is in a still clearer fashion than
the Son himself the transition to the series of ideas and spirits that
having been created by the Son, are in truth the unfolding of his
fulness. They form the next stage after the Holy Spirit. In assuming the
existence of such beings as were required by his philosophical system,
Origen appealed to the Biblical doctrine of angels, which he says is
expressly acknowledged in the Church.[755] With Clement even the
association of the Son and Holy Ghost with the great angelic spirits is
as yet not altogether avoided, at least in his expressions.[756] Origen
was more cautious in this respect.[757] The world of spirits appears to
him as a series of well-arranged, graded energies, as the representative
of created reason. Its characteristic is growth, that is, progress
([Greek: prokopê]).[758] Growth is conditioned by freedom: "_omnis
creatura rationabilis laudis et culpæ capax: laudis, si secundum
rationem, quam in se habet, ad meliora proficiat, culpæ, si rationem
recti declinet_"[759] ("every rational creature is capable of meriting
praise or blame--praise, if it advance to better things according to the
reason it possesses in itself, blame, if it avoid the right course"). As
unchangeableness and permanence are characteristic of the Deity, so
freedom is the mark of the created spirit.[760] In this thesis Origen
goes beyond the assumption of the heretical Gnostics just as much as he
does in his other proposition that the creaturely spirit is in no sense
a portion of the divine (because it is changeable[761]); but in reality
freedom, as he understands it, is only the capacity of created spirits
to determine their own destiny _for a time_. In the end, however, they
must turn to that which is good, because everything spiritual is
indestructible. _Sub specie æternitatis_, then, the mere communication
of the divine element to the created spirit[762] is _not_ a mere
communication, and freedom is no freedom; but the absolute necessity of
the created spirit's developing itself merely appears as freedom. Yet
Origen himself did not draw this conclusion, but rather based everything
on his conception that the freedom of _naturæ rationabiles_ consisted in
the _possibilitas utriusque_, and sought to understand the cosmos, as it
is, from this freedom. To the _naturæ rationabiles_, which have
different _species_ and _ordines_, human souls also belong. The whole of
them were created from all eternity; for God would not be almighty
unless he had always produced everything[763]; in virtue of their origin
they are equal, for their original community with the Logos permits of
no diversity[764]; but, on the other hand, they have received different
tasks and their development is consequently different. In so far as they
are spirits subject to change, they are burdened with a kind of bodily
nature,[765] for it is only the Deity that is without a body. The
element of materiality is a necessary result of their finite nature,
that is, of their being created; and this applies both to angels and
human souls.[766] Now Origen did not speculate at all as to how the
spirit world might have developed in ideal fashion, a fact which it is
exceedingly important to recognise; he knows nothing at all about an
ideal development for all, and does not even view it as a possibility.
The truth rather is that as soon as he mentions the _naturæ
rationabiles_, he immediately proceeds to speak of their fall, their
growth, and their diversities. He merely contemplates them in the given
circumstances in which they are placed (see the exposition in [Greek:
peri archôn] II. 9. 2).

develop. When they have done so, they attain perfection and make way for
new dispensations and worlds.[767] In the exercise of their freedom,
however, disobedience, laxity, laziness, and failure make their
appearance among them in an endless multiplicity of ways.[768] The
disciplining and purifying of these spirits was the purpose for which
the material world was created by God.[769] It is therefore a place of
purification, ruled and harmoniously arranged by God's wisdom.[770] Each
member of the world of spirits has received a different kind of material
nature in proportion to his degree of removal from the Creator. The
highest spirits, who have virtually held fast by that which is good,
though they too stand in need of restitution, guide the world, are
servants of God ([Greek: angeloi]), and have bodies of an exceedingly
subtle kind in the form of a globe (stars). The spirits that have fallen
very deeply (the spirits of men) are banished into material bodies.
Those that have altogether turned against God have received very dark
bodies, indescribably ugly, though not visible. Men therefore are placed
between the angels and demons, both of whom try to influence them. The
moral struggle that man has to undergo within himself is made harder by
the demons, but lightened by the angels,[771] for these spiritual powers
are at all times and places acting both upon the physical and the
spiritual world. But everything is subject to the permission of the
divine goodness and finally also to the guidance of divine providence,
though the latter has created for itself a limit in freedom.[772] Evil,
however, and it is in this idea that Origen's great optimism consists,
cannot conquer in the end. As it is nothing eternal, so also it is at
bottom nothing real; it is "nonexistent" ([Greek: ouch on]) and "unreal"
([Greek: anupostaton]).[773] For this very reason the estrangement of
the spirits from God must finally cease; even the devil, who, as far as
his _being_ is concerned, resulted from God's will, cannot always remain
a devil. The spirits must return to God, and this moment is also the end
of the material world, which is merely an intermediate phase.[774]

According to this conception the doctrine of man, who in Origen's view
is no longer the sole aim of creation to the same extent as he is with
the other Fathers,[775] assumes the following form: The essence of man
is formed by the reasonable soul, which has fallen from the world above.
This is united with the body by means of the animal soul. Origen thus
believes in a threefold nature of man. He does so in the first place,
because Plato holds this theory, and Origen always embraced the most
complicated view in matters of tradition, and secondly, because the
rational soul can never in itself be the principle of action opposed to
God, and yet something relatively spiritual must be cited as the cause
of this action. It is true that we also find in Origen the view that the
spirit in man has itself been cooled down into a soul, has been, as it
were, transformed into a soul; but there is necessarily an ambiguity
here, because on the one hand the spirit of man is said to have chosen a
course opposed to God, and, on the other, that which is rational and
free in man must be shown to be something remaining intact.[776] Man's
struggle consists in the endeavour of the two factors forming his
constitution to gain control of his sphere of action. If man conquers in
this struggle he attains _likeness_ to God; the image of God he bears
beyond danger of loss in his indestructible, rational, and therefore
immortal spirit.[777] Victory, however, denotes nothing else than the
subjugation of the instincts and passions.[778] No doubt God affords
help in the struggle, for nothing good is without God,[779] but in such
a way as not to interfere with freedom. According to this conception sin
is a matter of necessity in the case of fallen spirits; all men are met
with as sinners and are so, for they were already sinners.[780] Sin is
rooted in the whole earthly condition of men; it is the weakness and
error of the spirit parted from its origin.[781] The idea of freedom,
indeed, is supposed to be a feature which always preserves the guilty
character of sin; but in truth it becomes a mere appearance,[782] it
does not avail against the constitution of man and the sinful habit
propagated in human society.[783] All must be sinners at first,[784] for
that is as much their destiny as is the doom of death which is a
necessary consequence of man's material nature.[785]

_The Doctrine of Redemption and Restoration._

In the view of Clement and Origen the proposition: "God wishes us to be
saved by means of ourselves" ([Greek: o Theos hêmas ex hêmôn autôn
bouletai sôzesthai]) is quite as true as the other statement that no
spirit can be saved without entering into fellowship with the Logos and
submitting to his instruction.[786] They moreover hold that the Logos,
after passing through his various stages of revealing activity (law of
nature, Mosaic law), disclosed himself in the Gospel in a manner
complete and accessible to all, so that this revelation imparts
redemption and eternal happiness to all men, however different their
capacities may be. Finally, it is assumed that not only men but all
spiritual creatures, from the radiant spirits of heaven down to the
dusky demons, have the capacity and need of redemption; while for the
highest stage, the "spiritual Church", there is an _eternal Gospel_
which is related to the written one as the latter is to the law. This
eternal Gospel is the first complete revelation of God's highest
intentions, and lies hidden in the Holy Scriptures.[787] These elements
compose Origen's doctrine of revelation in general and of Christ in
particular.[788] They presuppose the sighing of the creature and the
great struggle which is more especially carried on upon earth, within
the human breast, by the angels and demons, virtues and vices, knowledge
and passion, that dispute the possession of man. Man must conquer and
yet he cannot do so without help. But help has never been wanting. The
Logos has been revealing himself from the beginning. Origen's teaching
concerning the preparatory history of redemption is founded on the
doctrines of the Apologists; but with him everything takes a more vivid
form, and influences on the part of the heretical Gnosis are also not
lacking. Pure spirits, whom no fault of their own had caused to be
invested with bodies, namely, the prophets, were sent to men by the
Logos in order to support the struggling and to increase knowledge. To
prepare the way of salvation the Logos chose for himself a whole people,
and he revealed himself among all men. But all these undertakings did
not yet lead to the goal. The Logos himself was obliged to appear and
lead men back. But by reason of the diverse nature of the spirits, and
especially of men, the redeeming work of the Logos that appeared could
not fail to be a complicated one. In the case of some he had really to
show them the victory over the demons and sin, a view which beyond
dispute is derived from that of Valentinus. He had, as the "Godman," to
make a sacrifice which represented the expiation of sin, he had to pay a
ransom which put an end to the devil's sovereignty over men's souls, and
in short he had to bring a redemption visible and intelligible to
all.[789] To the rest, however, as divine teacher and hierophant he had
to reveal the depths of knowledge, and to impart in this very process a
new principle of life, so that they might now partake of his life and
themselves become divine through being interwoven with the divine
essence. Here, as in the former case, restoration to fellowship with God
is the goal; but, as in the lower stage, this restoration is effected
through faith and sure conviction of the reality of a historical
fact--namely, the redeeming death of Christ,--so, in the higher stage,
it is accomplished through knowledge and love, which, soaring upward
beyond the Crucified One, grasp the eternal essence of the Logos,
revealed to us through his teaching in the eternal Gospel.[790] What the
Gnostics merely represented as a more or less valuable appearance--
namely, the historical work of Christ--was to Origen no appearance but
truth. But he did not view it as _the_ truth, and in this he agrees with
the Gnostics, but as _a_ truth, beyond which lies a higher. That
historical work of Christ was a reality; it is also indispensable for
men of more limited endowments, and not a matter of indifference to the
perfect; but the latter no longer require it for their personal life.
Here also Origen again contrived to reconcile contradictions and thus
acknowledged, outdid, reconciled, and united both the theses of the
Gnostics and those of orthodox Christians. The object and goal of
redemption are the same for all, namely, the restoration of the created
spirit to God and participation in the divine life. In so far as history
is a struggle between spirits and demons, the death of Christ on the
cross is the turning-point of history, and its effects extend even into
heaven and hell.[791]

On the basis of this conception of redemption Origen developed his idea
of Christ. Inasmuch as he recognised Christ as the Redeemer, this
Christ, the God-man, could not but be as many-sided as redemption is.
Only through that masterly art of reconciling contradictions, and by the
aid of that fantastic idea which conceives one real being as dwelling in
another, could there be any apparent success in the attempt to depict a
homogeneous person who in truth is no longer a person, but the symbol of
the various redemptions. That such an acute thinker, however, did not
shrink from the monstrosity his speculation produced is ultimately to be
accounted for by the fact that this very speculation afforded him the
means of nullifying all the utterances about Christ and falling back on
the idea of the divine teacher as being the highest one. The whole
"humanity" of the Redeemer together with its history finally disappears
from the eyes of the perfect one. What remains is the principle, the
divine Reason, which became known and recognisable through Christ. The
perfect one, and this remark also applies to Clement's perfect Gnostic,
thus knows no "Christology", but only an indwelling of the Logos in
Jesus Christ, with which the indwellings of this same Logos in men
began. To the Gnostic the question of the divinity of Christ is of as
little importance as that of the humanity. The former is no question,
because speculation, starting above and proceeding downwards, is already
acquainted with the Logos and knows that he has become completely
comprehensible in Christ; the latter is no question, because the
humanity is a matter of indifference, being the form in which the Logos
made himself recognisable. But to the Christian who is not yet perfect
the divinity as well as the humanity of Christ is a problem, and it is
the duty of the perfect one to solve and explain it, and to guard this
solution against errors on all sides. To Origen, however, the errors are
already Gnostic Docetism on the one hand, and the "Ebionite" view on the
other.[792] His doctrine was accordingly as follows: As a pure
unchangeable spirit, the Logos could not unite with matter, because this
as [Greek: mê on] would have depotentiated him. A medium was required.
The Logos did not unite with the body, but with a soul, and only through
the soul with the body. This soul was a pure one; it was a created
spirit that had never fallen from God, but always remained in faithful
obedience to him, and that had chosen to become a soul in order to serve
the purposes of redemption. This soul then was always devoted to the
Logos from the first and had never renounced fellowship with him. It was
selected by the Logos for the purpose of incarnation and that because of
its moral dignity. The Logos became united with it in the closest way;
but this connection, though it is to be viewed as a mysteriously real
union, continues to remain perfect only because of the unceasing effort
of will by which the soul clings to the Logos. Thus, then, no
intermixture has taken place. On the contrary the Logos preserves his
impassibility, and it is only the soul that hungers and thirsts,
struggles and suffers. In this, too, it appears as a real human soul,
and in the same way the body is sinless and unpolluted, as being derived
from a virgin; but yet it is a human one. This humanity of the body,
however, does not exclude its capacity of assuming all possible
qualities the Logos wishes to give it; for matter of itself possesses no
qualities. The Logos was able at any moment to give his body the form it
required, in order to make the proper impression on the various sorts of
men. Moreover, he was not enclosed in the soul and body of Christ; on
the contrary he acted everywhere as before and united himself, as
formerly, with all the souls that opened themselves to him. But with
none did the union become so close as with the soul, and consequently
also with the body of Jesus. During his earthly life the Logos glorified
and deified his soul by degrees and the latter acted in the same way on
his body. Origen contrived to arrange the different functions and
predicates of the incarnate Logos in such a way that they formed a
series of stages which the believer becomes successively acquainted with
as he advances in knowledge. But everything is most closely united
together in Christ. This union ([Greek: koinônia enôsis, anakrasis]) was
so intimate that Holy Writ has named the created man, Jesus, the Son of
God; and on the other hand has called the Son of God the Son of Man.
After the resurrection and ascension the whole man Jesus appears
transformed into a spirit, is completely received into the Godhead, and
is thus identical with the Logos.[793] In this conception one may be
tempted to point out all possible "heresies":--the conception of Jesus
as a heavenly man--but all men are heavenly;--the Adoptianist
("Ebionite") Christology--but the Logos as a person stands behind
it;--the conception of two Logoi, a personal and an impersonal; the
Gnostic separation of Jesus and Christ; and Docetism. As a matter of
fact Origen united all these ideas, but modified the whole of them in
such a way that they no longer seem, and to some extent are not, what
they turn out to be when subjected to the slightest logical analysis.
This structure is so constituted that not a stone of it admits of being
a hair's-breadth broader or narrower. There is only one conception that
has been absolutely unemployed by Origen, that is, the modalistic view.
Origen is the great opponent of Sabellianism, a theory which in its
simplicity frequently elicited from him words of pity; otherwise he made
use of all the ideas about Christ that had been formed in the course of
two hundred years. This becomes more and more manifest the more we
penetrate into the details of this Christology. We cannot, however,
attribute to Origen a doctrine of two natures, but rather the notion of
two subjects that become gradually amalgamated with each other, although
the expression "two natures" is not quite foreign to Origen.[794] The
Logos retains his human nature eternally,[795] but only in the same
sense in which we preserve our nature after the resurrection.

The significance which this Christological attempt possessed for its
time consists first in its complexity, secondly in the energetic
endeavour to give an adequate conception of Christ's _humanity_, that
is, of the moral freedom pertaining to him as a creature. This effort
was indeed obliged to content itself with a meagre result: but we are
only justified in measuring Origen's Christology by that of the
Valentinians and Basilidians, that is, by the scientific one that had
preceded it. The most important advance lies in the fact that Origen set
forth a scientific Christology in which he was able to find so much
scope for the humanity of Christ. Whilst within the framework of the
scientific Christologies this humanity had hitherto been conceived as
something indifferent or merely apparent, Origen made the first attempt
to incorporate it with the various speculations without prejudice to the
Logos, God in nature and person. No Greek philosopher probably heeded
what Irenæus set forth respecting Christ as the second Adam, the
_recapitulatur generis humani_; whereas Origen's speculation could not
be overlooked. In this case the Gnosis really adopted the idea of the
incarnation, and at the same time tried to demonstrate the conception of
the God-man from the notions of unity of will and love. In the treatise
against Celsus, moreover, Origen went the reverse way to work and
undertook to show, and this not merely by help of the proof from
prophecy, that the predicate deity applied to the historical
Christ.[796] But Origen's conception of Christ's person as a model (for
the Gnostic) and his repudiation of all magical theories of redemption
ultimately explain why he did not, like Tertullian, set forth a doctrine
of two natures, but sought to show that in Christ's case a human subject
with his will and feelings became completely merged in the Deity. No
doubt he can say that the union of the divine and human natures had its
beginning in Christ, but here he virtually means that this beginning is
continued in the sense of souls imitating the example of Christ. What is
called the real redemption supposed to be given in him is certainly
mediated in the Psychic through his _work_, but the _person_ of Christ
which cannot be known to any but the perfect man is by no means
identified with that real redemption, but appears as a free moral
personality, inwardly blended with the Deity, a personality which cannot
mechanically transfer the content of its essence, though it can indeed
exercise the strongest impression on mind and heart. To Origen the
highest value of Christ's person lies in the fact that the Deity has
here condescended to reveal to us the whole fulness of his essence, in
the person of a man, as well as in the fact that a man is given to us
who shows that the human spirit is capable of becoming entirely God's.
At bottom there is nothing obscure and mystical here; the whole process
takes place in the will and in the feelings through knowledge.[797]

This is sufficient to settle the nature of what is called personal
attainment of salvation. Freedom precedes and supporting grace follows.
As in Christ's case his human soul gradually united itself with the
Logos in proportion as it voluntarily subjected its will to God, so also
every man receives grace according to his progress. Though Clement and
Origen did not yet recommend actual exercises according to definite
rules, their description of the gradations by which the soul rises to
God already resembles that of the Neoplatonists, except that they
decidedly begin with faith as the first stage. Faith is the first step
and is our own work.[798] Then follows the religious contemplation of
visible things, and from this the soul advances, as on the steps of a
ladder, to the contemplation of the _substantiæ rationabiles_, the
Logos, the knowable essence of God, and the whole fulness of the
Deity.[799] She retraces her steps upwards along the path she formerly
passed over as a fallen spirit. But, when left to her own resources, she
herself is everywhere weak and powerless; she requires at every stage
the divine grace, that is, enlightenment.[800] Thus a union of grace and
freedom takes place within the sphere of the latter, till the
"contemplative life" is reached, that joyous ascetic contemplativeness,
in which the Logos is the friend, associate, and bridegroom of the soul,
which now, having become a pure spirit, and being herself deified,
clings in love to the Deity.[801] In this view the thought of
regeneration in the sense of a fundamental renewal of the Ego has no
place;[802] still baptism is designated the bath of regeneration.
Moreover, in connection with the consideration of main Biblical thoughts
(God as love, God as the Father, Regeneration, Adoption, etc.) we find
in both Clement and Origen passages which, free from the trammels of the
system, reproduce and set forth the preaching of the Gospel in a
surprisingly appropriate way.[803] It is evident that in Origen's view
there can be no visible means of grace; but it likewise follows from his
whole way of thinking that the symbols attending the enlightening
operation of grace are not a matter of indifference to the Christian
Gnostic, whilst to the common man they are indispensable.[804] In the
same way he brought into play the system of numerous mediators and
intercessors with God, viz., angels and dead and living saints, and
counselled an appeal to them. In this respect he preserved a heathen
custom. Moreover, Origen regards Christ as playing an important part in
prayer, particularly as mediator and high priest. On prayer to Christ he
expressed himself with great reserve.

Origen's eschatology occupies a middle position between that of Irenæus
and the theory of the Valentinian Gnostics, but is more akin to the
latter view. Whilst, according to Irenæus, Christ reunites and glorifies
all that had been severed, though in such a way that there is still a
remnant eternally damned; and, according to Valentinus, Christ separates
what is illegitimately united and saves the spirits alone, Origen
believes that all spirits will be finally rescued and glorified, each in
the form of its individual life, in order to serve a new epoch of the
world when sensuous matter disappears of itself. Here he rejects all
sensuous eschatological expectations.[805] He accepted the formula,
"resurrection of the flesh", only because it was contained in the
doctrine of the Church; but, on the strength of 1 Cor. XV. 44, he
interpreted it as the rising of a "corpus spiritale", which will lack
all material attributes and even all the members that have sensuous
functions, and which will beam with radiant light like the angels and
stars.[806] Rejecting the doctrine that souls sleep,[807] Origen assumed
that the souls of the departed immediately enter Paradise,[808] and that
souls not yet purified pass into a state of punishment, a penal fire,
which, however, like the whole world, is to be conceived as a place of
purification.[809] In this way also Origen contrived to reconcile his
position with the Church doctrines of the judgment and the punishments
in hell; but, like Clement, he viewed the purifying fire as a temporary
and figurative one; it consists in the torments of conscience.[810] In
the end all the spirits in heaven and earth, nay, even the demons, are
purified and brought back to God by the Logos-Christ,[811] after they
have ascended from stage to stage through seven heavens.[812] Hence
Origen treated this doctrine as an esoteric one: "for the common man it
is sufficient to know that the sinner is punished."[813]

This system overthrew those of the Gnostics, attracted Greek
philosophers, and justified ecclesiastical Christianity. If one
undertook to subject it to a new process of sublimation from the
standpoint given in the "contemplative life", little else would be left
than the unchangeable spirit, the created spirit, and the ethic. But no
one is justified in subjecting it to this process.[814] The method
according to which Origen preserved whatever appeared valuable in the
content of tradition is no less significant than his system of ethics
and the great principle of viewing everything created in a relative
sense. Supposing minds of a radical cast, to have existed at the close
of the history of ancient civilisation, what would have been left to us?
The fact of a strong and undivided religious interest attaching itself
to the traditions of the philosophers and of the two Testaments was the
condition--to use Origen's own language--that enabled a new world of
spirits to arise after the old one had finished its course.

During the following century Origen's theology at first acted in its
entirety. But it likewise attained this position of influence, because
some important propositions could be detached from their original
connection and fitted into a new one. It is one of the peculiarities of
this ecclesiastical philosophy of religion that the most of its formulæ
could be interpreted and employed _in utramque partem_. The several
propositions could be made to serve very different purposes not only by
being halved, but also by being grouped. With this the relative unity
that distinguishes the system no doubt vanished; but how many are there
who strive after unity and completeness in their theory of the world?
Above all, however, there was something else that necessarily vanished,
as soon as people meddled with the individual propositions, and enlarged
or abridged them. We mean the frame of mind which produced them, that
wonderful unity between the relative view of things and the absolute
estimate of the highest good attainable by the free spirit that is
certain of its God. But a time came, nay, had already come, when a sense
of proportion and relation was no longer to be found.

In the East the history of dogma and of the Church during the succeeding
centuries is the history of Origen's philosophy. Arians and orthodox,
critics and mystics, priests who overcame the world and monks who
shunned it but were eager for knowledge[815] could appeal to this system
and did not fail to do so. But, in the main problem that Origen set for
the Church in this religious philosophy of his, we find a recurrence of
that propounded by the so-called Gnosticism two generations earlier. He
solved it by producing a system which reconciled the faith of the Church
with Greek philosophy; and he dealt Gnosticism its death-blow. This
solution, however, was by no means intended as the doctrine of the
Church, since indeed it was rather based on the distinction between
Church belief and theology, and consequently on the distinction between
the common man and the theologian. But such a distinction was not
permanently tenable in a Church that had to preserve its strength by the
unity and finality of a revealed faith, and no longer tolerated fresh
changes in the interpretation of its possession. Hence a further
compromise was necessary. The Greek philosophy, or speculation, did not
attain real and permanent recognition within the Church till a new
accommodation, capable of being accounted both Pistis and Gnosis, was
found between what Origen looked on as Church belief and what he
regarded as Gnosis. In the endeavours of Irenæus, Tertullian, and
Hippolytus were already found hesitating, nay, we may almost say naïve,
attempts at such an accommodation; but ecclesiastical traditionalism was
unable to attain complete clearness as to its own position till it was
confronted with a philosophy of religion that was no longer heathen or
Gnostic, but had an ecclesiastical colouring.

But, with this prospect, we have already crossed the border of the third
century. At its beginning there were but few theologians in Christendom
who were acquainted with speculation, even in its fragmentary form. In
the course of the century it became a recognised part of the orthodox
faith, in so far as the Logos doctrine triumphed in the Church. This
development is the most important that took place in the third century;
for it denoted the definite transformation of the rule of faith into the
compendium of a Greek philosophical system, and it is the parallel of a
contemporaneous transformation of the Church into a holy commonwealth
(see above, chapter 3).


[Footnote 656: Guericke, De schola, quæ Alex. floruit catechetica 1824,
1825. Vacherot, Hist. crit. de l'école d'Alex., 1846-51. Reinkens, De
Clemente Alex., 1850. Redepenning, Origenes Thl. I. p. 57 ff. Læmmer,
Clem. Al. de Logo doctrina, 1855. Reuter, Clem. theolog. moralis, 1853.
Cognat, Clement d'Alex. Paris, 1859. Westcott, Origen and the beginnings
of Christian Philosophy (Contemporary Review, May 1879). Winter, Die
Ethik des Clemens von Alex., 1882. Merk, Cl. Alex, in seiner
Abhängigkeit von der griech. Philosophie, Leipzig, 1879 (see besides
Overbeck, Theol. Lit. Ztg., 1879. No. 20 and cf. above all his
disquisitions in the treatise "Ueber. die Anfänge der patristischen
Litteratur,") Hist. Ztschr. N.F., Vol. XII., pp. 455-472 Zahn,
Forschungen, Vol. III. Bigg, The Christian Platonists of Alexandria,
Oxford, 1886. Kremmer, De catal. heurematum, Lips. 1890. Wendland,
Quæst. Musonianæ, Berol. 1886. Bratke, Die Stellung des Clem. Alex. z.
antiken Mysterienwesen (Stud. u. Krit. 1888, p. 647 ff). On Alexander of
Jerusalem see Routh, Reliq. Sacr. T. II. p. 161 sq.; on Julius Africanus
see Gelzer, Sextus Jul. Afr. I. Thl., 1880, p. 1 ff., Spitta, Der Brief
des Jul. Afr. an Aristides, Halle 1877, and my article in the
Real-Encykl. On Bardesanes see Hilgenfeld, B., der letzte Gnostiker,
1864, and Hort's article in the Dictionary of Christian Biography. On
the labours in scientific theology on the part of the so-called Alogi in
Asia Minor and of the Roman Theodotianists see Epiph. hær. 51, Euseb.,
H. E. V. 28 and my article "Monarchianismus" in the R.-Encykl. f.
protest. Theol. 2nd. ed., Vol. X., pp. 183 ff., 188 ff. On the
tendencies even of orthodox Christians to scientific theology see
Tertull., de præscr. hær. 8 ff. (cf. the first words of c. 8: "Venio
itaque ad illum articulum, quem et nostri prætendunt ad ineundam
curiositatem. Scriptum est, inquiunt, Quærite et invenietis" etc.).]

[Footnote 657: This manner of expression is indeed liable to be
misunderstood, because it suggests the idea that something new was
taking place. As a matter of fact the scientific labours in the Church
were merely a continuation of the Gnostic schools under altered
circumstances, that is, under the sway of a tradition which was now more
clearly defined and more firmly fenced round as a _noli me tangere_.]

[Footnote 658: This was begun in the Church by Irenæus and Tertullian
and continued by the Alexandrians. They, however, not only adopted
theologoumena from Paulinism, but also acquired from Paul a more ardent
feeling of religious freedom as well as a deeper reverence for love and
knowledge as contrasted with lower morality.]

[Footnote 659: We are not able to form a clear idea of the school of
Justin. In the year 180 the schools of the Valentinians, Carpocratians,
Tatian etc. were all outside the Church.]

[Footnote 660: On the school of Edessa see Assemani, Bibl. orient., T.
III., P. II., p. 924; Von Lengerke, De Ephraemi arte hermen., p. 86 sq.;
Kihn, Die Bedeutung der antiochenischen Schule etc., pp. 32 f. 79 f.,
Zahn, Tatian's Diatessaron, p. 54. About the middle of the 3rd century
Macarius, of whom Lucian the Martyr was a disciple, taught at this
school. Special attention was given to the exegesis of the Holy

[Footnote 661: Overbeck, l.c., p. 455, has very rightly remarked: "The
origin of the Alexandrian school of catechists is not a portion of the
Church history of the 2nd century, that has somehow been left in the
dark by a mere accident; but a part of the well-defined dark region on
the map of the ecclesiastical historian of this period, which contains
the beginnings of all the fundamental institutions of the Church as well
as those of the Alexandrian school of catechists, a school which was the
first attempt to formulate the relationship of Christianity to secular
science." We are, moreover, still in a state of complete uncertainty as
to the personality and teaching of Pantænus (with regard to him see
Zahn, "Forschungen" Vol. III., pp. 64 ff. 77 ff). We can form an idea of
the school of catechists from the 6th Book of Eusebius' Ecclesiastical
History and from the works of Clement and Origen.]

[Footnote 662: On the connection of Julius Africanus with this school
see Eusebius, VI. 31. As to his relations with Origen see the
correspondence. Julius Africanus had, moreover, relations with Edessa.
He mentions Clement in his chronicles. On the connection of Alexander
and the Cappadocian circle with Pantænus, Clement, and Origen, see the
6th Book of Eusebius' Ecclesiastical History. Alexander and Origen were
disciples of Pantænus.]

[Footnote 663: See my article "Heraklas" in the Real-Encyklopadie.]

[Footnote 664: We have the most complete materials in Zahn,
"Forschungen" Vol. III. pp. 17-176. The best estimate of the great
tripartite work (Protrepticus, Pædagogus, Stromateis) is found in
Overbeck, l.c. The titles of Clement's remaining works, which are lost
to us or only preserved in fragments, show how comprehensive his
scientific labours were.]

[Footnote 665: This applies quite as much to the old principles of
Christian morality as to the traditional faith. With respect to the
first we may refer to the treatise: "Quis dives salvetur", and to the
2nd and 3rd Books of the Pædagogus.]

[Footnote 666: Clement was also conscious of the novelty of his
undertaking; see Overbeck, l.c., p. 464 f. The respect enjoyed by
Clement as a master is shown by the letters of Alexander of Jerusalem.
See Euseb., H. E. VI. 11 and specially VI. 14. Here both Pantænus and
Clement are called "Father", but whilst the former receives the title,
[Greek: ho makarios hôs alêthôs kai kurios ], the latter is called:
[Greek: ho hieros Klêmês, kurios mou genomenos kai ôphelêsas me].]

[Footnote 667: Strom. VI. 14, 109: [Greek: pleon estin tou pisteusai to
gnônai], Pistis is [Greek: gnôsis suntomos tôn katepeigontôn] (VII. 10.
57, see the whole chapter), Gnosis is [Greek: apodeixis tôn dia pisteôs
pareilêmmenôn tê pistei epoikodomoumenê] (l.c.), [Greek: teleiôsis
anthrôpou] (l.c.), [Greek: pistis epistêmonikê] (II. II. 48).]

[Footnote 668: We have here more particularly to consider those
paragraphs of the Stromateis where Clement describes the perfect
Gnostic: the latter elevates himself by dispassionate love to God, is
raised above everything earthly, has rid himself of ignorance, the root
of all evil, and already lives a life like that of the angels. See
Strom. VI. 9. 71, 72: [Greek: Oude gar endei ti autô pros exomôiosin tô
kalô kai agathô einai oude ara philei tina tên koinên tautên philian,
all' agapa ton ktistên dia tôn ktismatôn. Out' oun epithumia kai orexei
tini peripiptei oute endeês esti kata ge tên psuchên tôn allôn tinos
sunôn êdê di' agapês tô erastô, ô dê ôkeiôtai kata tên hairesin kai tê
ex askêseos hexei, toutô prosechesteron sunengizôn, makarios ôn dia tên
tôn agathôn periousian, ôste heneka ge toutôn exomoiousthai biazetai tô
didaskalô eis apatheian.] Strom. VII. 69-83: VI. 14, 113: [Greek: houtôs
dunamin labousa kuriakên hê psuchê meleta einai Theos, kakon men ouden
allo plên agnoias einai nomizousa.] The whole 7th Book should be read.]

[Footnote 669: Philo is quoted by Clement several times and still more
frequently made use of without acknowledgment. See the copious citations
in Siegfried, Philo von Alexandrien, pp. 343-351. In addition to this
Clement made use of many Greek philosophers or quoted them without
acknowledgment, e.g., Musonius.]

[Footnote 670: Like Philo and Justin, Clement also no doubt at times
asserts that the Greek philosophers pilfered from the Old Testament; but
see Strom. I. 5. 28 sq.: [Greek: pantôn men aitios tôn kalôn ho Theos,
alla tôn men kata proêgoumenon hôs tês te diathêkês tês palaias kai tês
neas, tôn de kat' epakolouthêma hôs tês philosophias. tacha de kai
proêgoumenôs tois Hellêsin edothê tote prin ê ton kyrion kalesai kai
tous Hellênas. epaidagôgei gar kai autê to Hellênikon hôs ho nomos tous
Hebraious eis Christon.]]

[Footnote 671: See Bratke's instructive treatise cited above.]

[Footnote 672: The fact that Clement appeals in support of the Gnosis to
an esoteric tradition (Strom. VI. 7. 61: VI. 8. 68: VII. 10. 55) proves
how much this writer, belonging as he did to a sceptical age,
underestimated the efficacy of all human thought in determining the
ultimate truth of things. The existence of sacred writings containing
all truth was not even enough for him; the content of these writings had
also to be guaranteed by divine communication. But no doubt the ultimate
cause of this, as of all similar cases of scepticism, was the dim
perception that ethics and religion do not at all come within the sphere
of the intellectual, and that the intellect can produce nothing of
religious value. As, however, in consequence of philosophical tradition,
neither Philo, nor the Gnostics, nor Clement, nor the Neoplatonists were
able to shake themselves free from the intellectual _scheme_, those
things which--as they instinctively felt, but did not recognise--could
really not be ascertained by knowledge at all received from them the
name of _suprarational_ and were traced to divine revelation. We may say
that the extinction or pernicious extravagancies to which Greek
philosophy was subjected in Neoplatonism, and the absurdities into which
the Christian dogmatic was led, arose from the fact that the tradition
of placing the ethical and religious feelings and the development of
character within the sphere of knowledge, as had been the case for
nearly a thousand years, could not be got rid of, though the incongruity
was no doubt felt. Contempt for empiricism, scepticism, the
extravagancies of religious metaphysics which finally become mythology,
have their origin here. Knowledge still continues to be viewed as the
highest possession; it is, however, no longer knowledge, but character
and feeling; and it must be nourished by the fancy in order to be able
to assert itself as knowledge.]

[Footnote 673: Clement was not a Neoplatonic mystic in the strict sense
of the word. When he describes the highest ethical ideal, ecstasy is
wanting; and the freshness with which he describes Quietism shows that
he himself was no Quietist. See on this point Bigg's third lecture,
l.c., particularly p. 98 f. "... The silent prayer of the Quietist is in
fact ecstasy, of which there is not a trace in Clement. For Clement
shrank from his own conclusions. Though the father of all the Mystics he
is no Mystic himself. He did not enter the 'enchanted garden,' which he
opened for others. If he talks of 'flaying the sacrifice,' of leaving
sense behind, of Epopteia, this is but the parlance of his school. The
instrument to which he looks for growth in knowledge is not trance, but
disciplined reason. Hence Gnosis, when once obtained, is indefectible,
not like the rapture which Plotinus enjoyed but four times during his
acquaintance with Porphyry, which in the experience of Theresa never
lasted more than half an hour. The Gnostic is no Visionary, no
Theurgist, no Antinomian."]

[Footnote 674: What a bold and joyous thinker Clement was is shown by
the almost audacious remark in Strom. IV. 22. 136: [Greek: ei goun tis
kath' hypothesin protheiê tô gnôstikô poteron helesthai bouloito tên
gnôsin tou Theou ê tên sôtêrian tên aiônian, ein de tauta kechôrismena
pantos mallon en tautotête onta, oude kath' otioun distasas heloit an
tên gnôsin tou Theou.]]

[Footnote 675: Strom. VII. 1. 1. In several passages of his main work
Clement refers to those churchmen who viewed the practical and
speculative concentration of Church tradition as dangerous and
questioned the use of philosophy at all. See Strom. VI. 10. 80: [Greek:
polloi kathaper hoi paides ta mormolukeia, houtôs dediasi tên hellênikên
philosophian, phoboumenoi mê apagagê autous]. VI. 11. 93.]

[Footnote 676: Eusebius, H. E. VI. 14. 8, tells us that Origen was a
disciple of Clement.]

[Footnote 677: Clement's authority in the Church continued much longer
than that of Origen. See Zahn, "Forschungen" III. p. 140 f. The
heterodox opinions advanced by Clement in the Hypotyposes are for the
most part only known to us in an exaggerated form from the report of

[Footnote 678: In ecclesiastical antiquity all systematising was merely
relative and limited, because the complex of sacred writings enjoyed a
different authority from that which it possessed in the following
period. Here the reference of a theologoumenon to a passage of Scripture
was of itself sufficient, and the manifold and incongruous doctrines
were felt as a unity in so far as they could all be verified from Holy
Scriptures. Thus the fact that the Holy Scriptures were regarded as a
series of divine oracles guaranteed, as it were, a transcendental unity
of the doctrines, and, in certain circumstances, relieved the framer of
the system of a great part of his task. Hitherto little justice has been
done to this view of the history of dogma, though it is the only
solution of a series of otherwise insoluble problems. We cannot for
example understand the theology of Augustine, and necessarily create for
ourselves the most difficult problems by our own fault, if we make no
use of that theory. In Origen's dogmatic and that of subsequent Church
Fathers--so far as we can speak of a dogmatic in their case--the unity
lies partly in the canon of Holy Scripture and partly in the ultimate
aim; but these two principles interfere with each other. As far as the
Stromateis of Clement is concerned, Overbeek (l.c.) has furnished the
explanation of its striking plan. Moreover, how would it have been
conceivable that the riches of Holy Scripture, as presented to the
philosophers who allegorised the books, could have been mastered,
problems and all, at the first attempt.]

[Footnote 679: See the treatises of Huetius (1668) reprinted by
Lommatzsch. Thomasius, Origenes 1837. Redepenning, Origenes, 2 Vols.
1841-46. Denis, de la philosophie d'Origène, Paris 1884. Lang, Die
Leiblichkeit der Vernunftwesen bei Origenes, Leipzig, 1892. Mehlhorn,
Die Lehre von der menschlichen Freiheit nach Origenes (Zeitschrift für
Kirchengeschichte, Vol. II., p. 234 ff.). Westcott, Origenes, in the
Dictionary of Christian Biography Vol. IV. Moller in Herzog's
Real-Encyklopädie, 2nd ed., Vol. XI., pp. 92-109. The special literature
is to be found there as well as in Nitzsch, Dogmengeschichte I., p. 151,
and Ueberweg, Grundriss der Geschichte der Philosophie, 5th ed, p. 62

[Footnote 680: See his letter in Eusebius, H. E. VI. 19. 11 ff.]

[Footnote 681: In the polemic against Celsus it seems to us in not a few
passages as if the feeling for truth had forsaken him. If we consider,
however, that in Origen's idea the premises of his speculation were
unassailable, and if we further consider into what straits he was driven
by Celsus, we will conclude that no proof has been advanced of Origen's
having sinned against the current rules of truth. These, however, did
not include the commandment to use in disputation only such arguments as
could be employed in a positive doctrinal presentation. Basilius (Ep.
210 ad prim. Neocæs) was quite ready to excuse an utterance of Gregory
Thaumaturgus, that sounded suspiciously like Sabellianism, by saying
that the latter was not speaking [Greek: dogmatikôs], but [Greek:
agônistikôs]. Jerome also (ad Pammach. ep 48, c. 13), after defending
the right of writing [Greek: gymnastikôs], expressly said that all Greek
philosophers "have used many words to conceal their thoughts, threaten
in one place, and deal the blow in another." In the same way, according
to him, Origen, Methodius, Eusebius, and Apollinaris had acted in the
dispute with Celsus and Porphyry. "Because they are sometimes compelled
to say, not what they themselves think, but what is necessary for their
purpose; they do this only in the struggle with the heathen."]

[Footnote 682: See, above all, the systematic main work "[Greek: peri

[Footnote 683: Many writings of Origen are pervaded by arguments,
evincing equal discretion and patience, against the Christians who
contest the right of science in the Church. In the work against Celsus,
however, he was not unfrequently obliged to abandon the simple
Christians. C. Celsus III. 78: V. 14-24 are particularly instructive.]

[Footnote 684: In this point Origen is already narrower than Clement.
Free judgments, such as were passed by Clement on Greek philosophy, were
not, so far as I know, repeated by Origen. (See especially Clement,
Strom. I. 5. 28-32: 13. 57, 58 etc.); yet he also acknowledges
revelations of God in Greek philosophy (see, _e.g._, c. Cels. VI. 3),
and the Christian doctrine is to him the completion of Greek philosophy
(see the remains of Origen's lost Stromateis and Hom. XIV. in Genes. §
3; other passages in Redepenning II., p. 324 ff.).]

[Footnote 685: We must here content ourselves with merely pointing out
that the method of scientific Scriptural exegesis also led to
historico-critical investigations, that accordingly Origen and his
disciples were also critics of the tradition, and that scientific
theology, in addition to the task of remodelling Christianity, thus
began at its very origin the solution of another problem, namely, the
critical restoration of Christianity from the Scriptures and tradition
and the removal of its excrescences: for these efforts, strictly
speaking, do not come up for consideration in the history of dogma.]

[Footnote 686: The theory that justified a twofold morality in the
Church is now completely legitimised, but the higher form no longer
appears as Encratite and eschatological, but as Encratite and
philosophical. See, for example, Clement, Strom. III. 12. 82: VI. 13.
106 etc. Gnosis is the principle of perfection. See Strom. IV. 7. 54:
[Greek: prokeitai de tois eis teleiôsin speudousin hê gnôsis hê logikê
hês themelios hê agia trias pistis, agapê, elpis].]

[Footnote 687: See the preface to the work [Greek: peri archôn].]

[Footnote 688: From the conclusion of Hippolytus' Philosophoumena it is
also evident how the Socratic [Greek: Gnôthi seauton] was in that age
based on a philosophy of religion and was regarded as a watchword in
wide circles. See Clem. Pædag. III. 11. 1.]

[Footnote 689: See Gregory Thaumaturgus' panegyric on Origen, one of the
most instructive writings of the 3rd century, especially cc. 11-18.]

[Footnote 690: Yet all excesses are repudiated. See Clem. Strom. IV. 22.
138: [Greek: Ouk egkratês outos eti, all' en hexei gegonen apatheias
schêma theion ependusasthai anamenôn]. Similar remarks are found in

[Footnote 691: In many passages of Clement the satisfaction in knowledge
appears in a still more pronounced form than in Origen. The boldest
expression of it is Strom. IV. 22. 136. This passage is quoted above on
p. 328.]

[Footnote 692: See the beautiful prayer of the Christian Gnostic in
Strom. IV. 23. 148.]

[Footnote 693: See Strom. IV. 26. 172: Origen's commentaries are
continually interrupted by similar outbursts of feeling.]

[Footnote 694: On deification as the ultimate aim see Clem., Strom. IV.
23. 149-155: VII. 10. 56, 13. 82, 16. 95: [Greek: houtôs ho tô kuriô
peithomenos kai tê dotheisê di' autou katakolouthêsas prophêteia teleôs
ekteleitai kat' eikona tou didaskalou en sarki peripolôn Theos]. But
note what a distinction Clement makes between [Greek: ho Theos] and the
perfect man in VII. 15. 88 (in contradistinction to the Stoic
identification); Origen does this also.]

[Footnote 695: Gregory (l.c., c. 13) relates that all the works of the
poets and philosophers were read in Origen's school, and that every part
of these works that would stand the test was admitted. Only the works of
atheists were excluded, "because these overpass the limits of human
thought." However, Origen did not judge philosophers in such an
unprejudiced manner as Clement, or, to speak more correctly, he no
longer valued them so highly. See Bigg, l.c., p. 133, Denis l.c.

[Footnote 696: See, for example, c. Cels. V. 43: VII. 47, 59 sq. He
compared Plato and other wise men to those doctors who give their
attention only to cultured patients.]

[Footnote 697: See, for example, c. Cels. VI. 2.]

[Footnote 698: C. Cels. V. 43.]

[Footnote 699: One of Origen's main ideas, which we everywhere meet
with, particularly in the work against Celsus (see, for example, VI. 2)
is the thought that Christ has come to improve all men according to
their several capacities, and to lead some to the highest knowledge.
This conception appears to fall short of the Christian ideal and perhaps
really does so; but as soon as we measure it not by the Gospel but by
the aims of Greek philosophy, we see very clearly the progress that has
been attained through this same Gospel. What Origen has in his eye is
mankind, and he is anxious for the amendment not merely of a few, but of
all. The actual state of things in the Church no longer allowed him to
repeat the exclamations of the Apologists that all Christians were
philosophers and that all were filled with the same wisdom and virtue.
These exclamations were naïve and inappropriate even for that time. But
he could already estimate the relative progress made by mankind within
the Church as compared with those outside her pale, saw no gulf between
the growing and the perfect, and traced the whole advance to Christ. He
expressly declared, c. Cels. III. 78, that the Christianity which is
fitted for the comprehension of the multitude is not the best doctrine
in an absolute, but only in a relative, sense; that the "common man", as
he expresses himself, must be reformed by the prospect of rewards and
punishments; and that the truth can only be communicated to him in
veiled forms and images, as to a child. The very fact, however, that the
Logos in Jesus Christ has condescended so to act is to Origen a proof of
the universality of Christianity. Moreover, many of the wonderful
phenomena reported in the Holy Scriptures belong in his opinion to the
veiled forms and images. He is very far from doing violence to his
reason here; he rather appeals to mysterious powers of the soul, to
powers of divination, visionary states etc. His standpoint in this case
is wholly that of Celsus (see particularly the instructive disquisition
in I. 48), in so far as he is convinced that many unusual things take
place between heaven and earth, and that individual names, symbols etc.
possess a mysterious power (see, for example, c. Cels. V. 45). The views
as to the relationship between knowledge and holy initiation or
_sacramentum_ are those of the philosophers of the age. He thinks,
however, that each individual case requires to be examined, that there
can be no miracles not in accordance with nature, but that on the
contrary everything must fit into a higher order. As the letter of the
precepts in both Testaments frequently contains things contrary to
reason (see [Greek: peri archôn] IV. 2. 8-27) in order to lead men to
the spiritual interpretation, and as many passages contain no literal
sense at all (l.c. § 12), so also, in the historical narratives, we
frequently discover a mythical element from which consequently nothing
but the idea is to be evolved (l.c. § 16 sq.: "Non solum de his, quæ
usque ad adventum Christi scripta sunt, hæc Spiritus sanctus procuravit,
sed ... eadem similiter etiam in evangelistis et apostolis fecit. Nam ne
illas quidem narrationes, quas per eos inspiravit, absque huiuscemodi,
quam supra exposuimus, sapientiæ suæ arte contexuit. Unde etiam in ipsis
non parva promiscuit, quibus historialis narrandi ordo interpolates, vel
intercisus per impossibilitatem sui reflecteret atque revocaret