Early Church Fathers
§2. The Arian Controversy Before Nicaea, 319-325.
§3 (1) The Council of Nicaea.
§4 (2). The Situation After the Council of Nicaea.
§5. The Council of Tyre and First Exile Af Athanasius, 335-337.
§6. Renewal of Troubles. Second Exile. Pistus and Gregory, Culmination of Eusebian Intrigue. Rome and Sardica. (337-346).
§7. The Golden Decade, 346-356.
§8. The Third Exile, 356-362.
§9. Athanasius Under Julian and His Successors; Fourth and Fifth Exiles. Feb. 21, 362, to Feb. 1, 366.
§2. Athanasius as an Author. Style and Characteristics.
§1. General Considerations.
§2. Fundamental Ideas of Man and His Redemption.
§3. Fundamental Ideas of God, the World, and Creation.
§4. Vehicles of Revelation; Scripture, the Church, Tradition.
§5. Content of Revelation. God Three in One and the Incarnation.
§6. Derivative Doctrines. Grace and the Means of Grace; The Christian Life; The Last Things.
§2. Principles and Method.
§1. Editions, &c. (A) Before 1601 only Latin translations. The first, at Vicenza, 1482, completed by Barnabas Celsanus after the death of the translator Omnibonus of Lonigo; dedicated to Paul II. Contained a few works only, viz. the `two books c. Gentes,' the letter to Serapion de Morte Arii, the De Incarn. adv. Arian. and adv. Apollin., `the Dispute with Arius at the Council of Nicaea.' (2) Paris, 1520, pub. by Jean Petit: two books c. Gent. fragment of the ad Marcellin. and some `spuria.' (3) Second edition at Strassburg, 1522., (4) Basel, 1527, by Eramus: Serap. ill. and iv., de Decr., Apol. Fug., Apol. c. Ar. (part of), `ad Monach.,' and some `spuria' (he rejected Serap. i. as unworthy of Athan. !). (5) Lyons, 1532, same contents as numbers (2) and (4), but with renderings by Politian, Reuchlin, Erasmus, &c. (6) Cologne, 1632, similar contents. (7) 1556, Basel (`apud Frobenium'), by P. Nannius, in 4 volumes; great advance on previous editions. 3 vols. contain the version by Nannius of the `genuina,' the fourth `spuria,' rendered by others. The Nannian version was ably tested, and found wanting, under the direction of the congregation of the Index (Migne xxv. pp. xviii. sqq.). (8) 1564 (or 1584?) Basel (substantially the same). (9) 1570, Paris, Vita Autonii and `five dialogues de Trin.,' version of Beza. (10) 1572, Paris, five volumes, combining Nos. 7 and 9. (II) 1574, Paris, Letter ad Amun, Letter 39 (fragment), Letter ad Rufinianum. (12) 1581, Paris, incorporating the latter with No. 10. (13) Rome, 1623, the spurious de variis quaestianibus.
(B) The first Greek Edition (14) 1601 at Heidelberg by Commelinus, with the Nannian Latin version (2 vols. fo. with a supplement of fragments, letters, &c., communicated by P. Felckmann). This edition was founded upon Felckmann's collation of numerous mss., of which the chief were (a) that in the Public Library at Basel (saec. xiv., not ix.-x. as Felck. states; formerly belonged to the Dominican Friary there). (b) The `Codex Christophorsoni,' now at Trin. Coll., Camb., saec. xvi. ineunt. (g) A `Codex Goblerianus' dated 1319, formerly thj monhj tou kurizou, and principally used by Nannius. Neither this nor the remaining mss. of Felckmann are as yet, I believe, identified. (Particulars, Migne, P.G. xxv. p. xliii.) (15) 1608, Paris, pub. by C. Chappelet, edited by Fronton le Duc, S.J., Latin only. (17) 1612, Paris, No. 15, with Vit. Ant. in Greek and Latin, from an edition (16) of 1611, Augsburg, by Höschel, 4º. (18) 1627, Paris, Greek text of 1601 with version of Nannius from edition No. 17, both injudiciously revised by Jean le Pescheur, from the critical notes of Felckmann himself, which however are omitted in this edition. (19) `Cologne,' or rather Leipzig, 1686, poor reprint of No. 18 with the Syntagma Doctrinae which Arnold had published in the previous year (see below, ch. ii. ). (Montf. wrongly dates this 1681.)
(C) All the above were entirely superseded by the great (20) 1698 Paris Benedictine Edition by Bernard de Montfaucon, aided, for part of vol. 1, by Jacques Loppin, 3 volumes fol. (i.e. vol. 1, parts 1 and 2, `genuina,' vol. 2 `dubia et spuria'), with a New Latin Version and ample prolegomena, &c. Montfaucon took over, apparently without revision, the critical data of Felckmann (including his mistake as to the age of the Basel ms. but collated very many fresh mss. (principally Parisian, full particulars in Migne xxvi. pp. 1449, sqq.), and for the first time put the text on a fairly satisfactory footing. The Works of Athanasius were freshly arranged with an attempt at chronological order, and a `Monitum' or short introduction prefixed to each. Critical, and a few explanatory, notes throughout; also an `onomasticon' or glossary. This splendid edition was far more complete than its predecessors, and beautifully printed. After its completion, Montfaucon discovered fresh material, most of which he published in vol. 2 of his `Collectio Nova Patrum,' Paris, 1706, with some further supplementary matter to his Prolegomena, partly in reply to Tillemont upon various critical questions; small additions in his Biblioth. Coisliniana, 1715. (The letters to Lucifer, included in Montfaucon's edition, had already seen the light in vol. iv. of the Bibliotheca Maxima Patrum (Lyons, 1677, Greekfathers in Latin only), and the two notes to Orsisius were taken from the life of Pachomius in the Acta SS. for May.)
(21) 1746, Rome, the de Titulis Psalmorum, edited from Barberini and Vatican mss. by Cardinal Niccolo Antonelli. (22) 1769, Venice, vol. v. of the `Bibliotheca Patrum' of the Oratorian Andrea Gallandi. Contains the works omitted in No. 2o, chiefly from Montf. Coll. Nov., but with a few minor additions, and with the fragments and letters found by Maffei at Verona (see below, pp. 495, 554). (23) 1777, Padua,by Giustiniani, in four volumes, containing firstly Montfaucon's `genuina' in two volumes, the `dubia' and `spuria' in the third, and the supplementary matter from (21) and (22) in the fourth. The printing of this standard edition is not equal to that of No. 20. (24) `1884' (1857), Paris, vols. xxv.-xxviii. of Migne's Patrologia Graeca, a reprint of No. 23, but in a new order (see vol. xxviii. p. 1650), and with the addition of the Festal Letters from Mai (see below, p. 501). The merits and demerits of this series are well known. Of the latter, the most serious are the misprints, with which every page literally teems.
(D) With Migne's edition the publication of a complete Athanasius (so far as his works are known to be extant) is attained, although there is still everything to be done towards the revision of the text on a critical basis. Among modern editions of large portions of Athanasius from the Benedictine text may be mentioned (25) Thilo, Athan. Opp. dogm. Selecta, Leipz. 1853. (26) Bright, Orations against the Arians (1873 2nd ed. 1883), and Historical Writings of Athanasius, 1881 (Oxf. Univ. Press), with introductions; both most convenient; his Lessons from the lives of three great Fathers (Longmans, 1890) gives an interesting popular study of Athan. Editions of separate books will be noticed in the short Introductions prefixed in this volume.
§2. Translations. The principal Latin versions have been referred to in §1. Of those in foreign languages it is not easy to procure adequate information. Fialon, in the work mentioned below, translates Apol. Const. and Apol. Fug.; in German the `Bibliothek der Kirchenvaeter,' vols. 13-18, Ausgew. Schriften des h. Ath., contains translations of several works by Fisch, Kempten from 1872. The principal English Translations are those in the `Library of the Fathers.' Of these, those edited or translated by Newman are incorporated in this volume. Some letters included in this volume, as well as the work against Apollinarianism, are also comprised in the volume (Lib. Fath. 46, 1881) by Bright, with excellent notes, &c., and with a preface by Dr. Pusey (see below, p. 482). Translations of single books will be noticed in the respective Introductions.
§3. Biographies. (a.) Ancient. The writings of Athanasius himself, while seldom furnishing precise chronological data, furnish almost all the primary information as to the facts of his eventful life. The earliest `Life' is the panegyric of Gregory of Nazianzus (Or. 21), delivered at CP. 379 or 380, rich in praises, but less so in historical material. More important in the latter respect is the Historia Acephala (probably earlier than 390) printed in this volume, pp. 496, sqq. (The Edition by Sievers in Ztschr. für Hist. Theol. for 1868 is referred to in this volume as `Sievers' simply.) It is a priceless source of chronological information, especially where it coincides with and confirms the data of the Festal Index (pp. 503, sqq.), a document probably earlier than 400. A secondary place is occupied by the Church historians, especially Socrates, Sozomen, and Theodoret, who draw largely from Athanasius himself, and from Rufinus, also in part from the Hist. Aceph. (especially Sozomen), and from Arian sources, which are mainly used by Philostorgius. More scattered notices in later ecclesiastical writers of the fourth century, especially Epiphanius; also Synesius, Jerome, Basil, &c., in the documents of the Councils, &c., and in the Life of Pachomius and other early documents relating to Egyptian Monasticism (see below, Introd. to Vit. Anton. and Appendix, pp 188, 487).
(b) Medieval. Under this head we may notice the Lives printed by Montfaucon among his Prolegomena. The first, Incerto Auctore, is dependent on the fifth-century historians and of no value. A second, preserved by Photius (c. 840) is in the judgment of that scholar, which Montfaucon endorses `unparalleled rubbish.' That by the Metaphrast _967) is a patchwork from earlier writers made with little skill, and not of use to the historian. An Arabic Life current in the Coptic Church, communicated to Montf. by Renandot, is given by Montf., as he says, that his readers may appreciate the `stupendous ignorance and triviality' of that nation. Montf. mentions Latin `Lives' compiled from Rufinus and from the Hist. Tripartita, `of no value whatever.' Of the Life of Athanasius `by Pachomius,' mentioned by Archd. Farrar (infra), I can obtain no particulars.
(c) Modern. The first was that by Tortelius prefixed to the edition of 1520 (§1 (2)), but compiled in the previous century and dedicated to Pope Eugenius IV. (`good for its time,' M.). Montf. mentions a valueless life by Lipomanus and a worse one of unknown origin prefixed to other early editions. In1671 Hermant made the first attempt at a critical biography (Paris); in 1664 an English work, "History of the Life and Actions of St. Athanasius by N.B. P.C. Catholick," with the imprimatur of Abp. Sheldon, had been published at London, in 1677 the biography in Cave, Lives of the Fathers, and in 1686-1704 du Pin, Nouvelle Bibliothèque. About the same date appeared the first volume of the Acta SS. for May, which contains a careful life by Paperbroch (1685; ded. to Innocent XI.). But all previous (to say nothing of subsequent) labours were cast into the shade by the appearance of the `Vita' of Montfaucon (Prolegg. to Tom. 1) in 1698, in which the chronology was reduced to order, and every particle of information lucidly digested; and by the `Memoires' of `M. Lenain de Tillemont' (vol. viii. in 1702), which go over the ground with quite equal thoroughness, and on many points traverse the conclusions of Montfaucon, whose work came into Tillemont's hands only when the latter was on his death-bed (1698). The ground was once more traversed with some fulness and with special attention to the literary and doctrinal work of Athan. by Remy Ceillier, (Aut. Sacres, vol. v. 1735). After this nothing remained to be done until the revival of interest in patristic studies during the present century. In 1827 appeared the monograph of Möhler `Ath. der Grösse' (Mainz), a dogmatic (R.C.) rather than a historical study: in 1862 Stanley (`Eastern Church,' Lect. vii.). Böhringer's life (in vol. 6 of Kirchengesch. in Biographien, 1860-1879) is praised as `thoroughly good and nearly exhaustive.' Fialon St. Athanase, Paris, 1877, is a most interesting and suggestive, though rather sketchy, treatment from an unusual point of view. P. Barbier Vie de St. A. (Tours, 1888) I have not seen. The best English life is that of Dr. Bright, first in the Introd. to the `Orations' (supra, d. 26), but rewritten for the Dictionary of Christ. Biography. The same writer's Introd. to the Hist. Writings (supra ib.) is equally good and should also be consulted. A lucid and able sketch by Dr. Reynolds has been published by the Religious Tract Society, 1889, and Archd. Farrar, Lives of the Fathers, 1, pp. 445-571, is eloquent and sympathetic.
§4. History of the Period, and of the Arian Controversy. (a) Conflict of the Church with Heathenism. On the later persecutions Aube, Les Chréestiens dans l'Emp. romain, Paris, 1881, id.`L'église et l'état,' ib. 1886, Uhlhorn Kampf des Christentums, &c. (4th ed.), 1886, Bernhardt Gesch. Roms von Valerian bis Dioklet., 1876, Görres, Licinianische Christenverfolgung, 1875. On Diocletian, Mason, Persec. of Diocl., 1876, Monographs by Vogel, 1857, Preuss, 1869. On the general subject of the decline of paganism, Lasaulx Untergang des Hellenismus, 1854, Merivale's Boyle Lectures, 1864-5, Chastel, Destruction du Paganisme, 1850, Schultze Gesch. des Untergangs des G.-R. Heidentums, 1887 (not praised),Döllinger, Gentile and Jew (E. Tr.), 1862. On the revival of paganism under Julian, Rendall, Julian 1879, Bp. J. Wordsworth in D.C.B., vol. ii., lives of Julian by Neander, 1813, Rode, 1877, Mücke, 1879, Naville, 1877, Strauss, der Romantiker, u.s.w., 1847, Julian's works, ed. Hertlein, 1875, and Neumann, 1880. Monographs by Auer, 1855, Mangold, 1862, Semisch, 1862, Lübker, 1864; Capes University Life in Ancient Athens, 1877, Sievers, Leben des Libanius, 1868.
(b) The Christian Empire, Keim, Uebertritt Konstantins, 1862, Brieger, Konst. der G., 1880, Gibbon's chapters on the subject should be carefully read. Chawner's Legisl. of Constantine, De Broglie, L'église et L'emp. romain, ii., Ranke, Weltgesch. iv. pp. 1-100 (important), 1884, Schiller, Gesch. der röm. Kaiserzeit (ii), 1887. See also the full bibliogaphy in vol. 1 of this series, p. 445-465.
(c) General History of the Church. It is unnecessary to enumerate the well-known general histories, all of which devote special pains to Athanasius and the Arian controversy. This is especially the case with Schaff, Nicene Christ. ii 616-678, 884-893, with full bibliography. See also supra . Bright's Notes on the Canons (Oxf. 1882), and Hefele, vol. 2 (E. Tra.), are most useful: also Kaye, Council of Nicaea (Works, vol. v. ed. 1888). Card. Hergenröther's Kirchengeschichte (allowing for the natural bias of the writer) is fair and able, with good bibliographical references in the notes (ed. 1884). By far the best modern historical monograph on the Arian period is that of Gwatkin, Studies of Arianism, 1882, constantly referred to in this volume, and indispensable. His Arian Controversy, 1889, is an abridgement, but with supplementary discussions of importance on one or two points; very useful bibliography prefixed to both. (Cf. also below, Chap. v. ) Kölling's Geschichte der Arianischen Haeresie (1St vol., 1874, 2nd, 1883) is pretentious and uncritical.
§5. History of Doctrine. For ancient sources see articles Heresiology and Person of Christ in D.C.B., vols. iii., iv. The modern classics are the works of Petavius, de Trinitate (in vols. ii. and iii. of his De dogmat. Theol.) of Thomassinus, Dogmata Theologica, and of Bull, Defensio fidei Nicaenae (maintanin against Petav. the fixity of pro-Nicene doctrine). Under this head we include Newman's Arians of the Fourth Century, an English classic, unrivalled as a dogmatic and religious study of Arianism, although unsatisfactory on its purely historical side. (Obsolete chronology retained in all editions.) The general histories of Doctrine are of course full on the subject of Arianism; for an enumeration of them, see Harnack, of his Prolegomena. In English we have Shedd (N.Y., 1863, Edinb., 1884), Hagenbach (Clark's Foreign Theol. Lib.), and the great work of Dorner(id.). The most important recent works are those of Harnack, Dogmengeschichte (1886, third vol., 1890), a most able work and (allowing for the prepossessions of the Ritschl school) impartial and philosophical; and Loofs, Leitfaden zur Dogmengeschichte (2 ed., 1890), on similar lines, but studiously temperate and fair. Both works are much used in this volume (quoted commonly as `Harnack,' `Loofs,' simply. Harnack, vol. i., is quoted from the first edition, but the later editions give comparative tables of the pages). For Councils and Creeds, in addition to the works of Hefele and Bright mentioned §4 c., see Heurtley Harmonia Symbolica; Hahn, Bibliothek der Symbole; Hort, Two Dissertations (1876), indispensable for history of the Nicene Creed; Swainson, Nicene and Apostles' Creed, 1875; Caspari, Ungedruckte u.s.w. Quellen zum Taufsymbol u.s.w. (3 vols. in 2, Christiania, 1866-1875), and Alte und Neue Quellen, ib. 1879; one of the most important of modern patristic works.
§6. Patristic Monographs. (a) Among the very numerous works of this kind, the most useful for our purpose are Zahn, Marcellus von Ancyra, 1867, very important for doctrinal history; Reinkens, Hilarius von Poitiers, 1864; Fialon, St. Basile, 1868; Ullmann, Gregorius von Nazianz (2 ed., 1867, part of earlier ed. trans. by Cox, 1855); Krüger, Lucifer von Calaris (excellent, especially for the Council of 362). Under this head may be mentioned the numerous excellent articles in Dict. Chr. Biog. referred to in their respective connexions.
(b) On the doctrine af Athanasius. In addition to the works of Ceillier and Möhler referred to above, Atzberger, Die Locaslehre des h. Ath. (Munich, 1880); Voigt, Die Lehre des Athan. (Bremen, 1861); Pell, Lehre des h. Ath. von der Sunde und Erlösung (Passau, 1888, a careful and meritorious analysis, candidly in the interest of Roman Catholicism. Difficulties not always faced).
The above list of authorities, &c., does not pretend to completeness, nor to enumerate the sources for general secular or Church history. But in what relates specially to Athanasius it is hoped that an approximation to either requirement has been attained. Works hearing on more special points are referred to in their proper places. In particular, a special Brief Bibliography is prefixed to the Vita Antonii.
Chapter II.-Life of St. Athanasius and Account of Arianism.
a. §§1-3. To the Council of Nicaea, 298-325.§1. Early years, 298-319.§2. The Arian controversy before Nicaea (319-325).§3. (1.) The Council of Nicae (325).§3. (2.) Situation at the close of the Council (325-328).
a. Novelty of Arianism. Its Antecedents in the history of doctrine.
b. The `Omoousion.'
c. Materials for reaction.
1. Persecuted Arians.
2. Eusebius and the Court.
3. Ecclesiastical conservatism. Marcellus and Photinus.
b. §§4-8. The Conflict with Arianism (328-361).§4. Early years of his Episcopate (328-335), and first troubles.§5. The Council of Tyre and First Exile (335-337).§6. Renewed troubles and Second Exile (337-346).
1. At Alexandria (337-339).
2. At Rome. Council of Antioch, &c. (339-342).
3. Constans; Council of Sardica, and its sequel (342-346).§7. The golden Decade (346-356).
1. Athanasius as bishop.
2. Sequel of the death of Constans.§8. The Third Exile (356-361).
1. Expulsion of Athanasius.
2. State of the Arian Controversy:-
3. Athanasius in his retirement.
c. §§9, 10. Athanasius in Victory (362-373).§9. Under Julian and his successors; Fourth and Fifth Exiles (362-366).§10. Last years. Basil, Marcellus, Apollinarius (366-373).
Id primum scitu opus est in proposito nobis minime fuisse ut omnis ad Arium Arianos aliosque haereticos illius aetatis itidemque Alexandrum Alexandrinum Hosium Marcellum Serapionem aliosque Athanasii familiares aut synodos spectantia recensere sed solummodo ea quae uel ad Athanasii Vitam pertinent uel ad earn proxime accedunt.-Montfaucon.
Athanasius was born between 296 and 29811 . His parents, according to later writers, were of high rank and wealthy. At any rate, their son received a liberal education. In his most youthful work we find him repeatedly quoting Plato, and ready with a definition from the Organon of Aristotle. He is also familiar with the theories of various philosophical schools, and in particular with the developments of Neo-Platonism. In later works, he quotes Homer more than once (Hist. Ar. 68, Orat. iv. 29), he addresses to Constantius a defence bearing unmistakeable traces of a study of Demosthenes de Corona (Fialon, pp. 286 sq. 293). His education was that of a Greek: Egyptian antiquities and religion, the monuments and their history, have no special interest for him: he nowhere betrays any trace of Egyptian national feeling. But from early years another element had taken a first place in his training and in his interest. It was in the Holy Scriptures that his martyr teachers had instructed him, and in the Scriptures his mind and writings are saturated. Ignorant of Hebrew, and only rarely appealing to other Greek versions (to Aquila once in the Ecthesis, to other versions once or twice upon the Psalms), his knowledge of the Old Testament is limited to the Septuagint. But of it, as well as of the New Testament, he has an astonishing command, Alecandreuj tw genei, anhr logioj, dunatoj wn taij grafaij. The combination of Scriptural study and of Greek learning was what one expects in a pupil of the famous Alexandrian School; and it was in this School, the School of Clement and Origen, of Dionysius and Theognostus, that young Athanasius learned, possibly at first from the lips of Peter the bishop and martyr of 3II2 . The influence of Origen still coloured the traditions of the theological school of Alexandria. It was from Alexander, Bishop of Alexandria 312-328, himself an Origenist `of the right wing,' that Athanasius received his moulding at the critical period of his later teens.
Of his first introduction to Alexander a famous story is told by Rufinus (Hist. Ed. I. xiv.). The Bishop, on the anniversary of the martyrdom of his predecessor. Peter, was expecting some clergy to dinner after service in a house by the sea. Out of the window, he saw some boys at play on the shore: as he watched, he saw that they were imitating the sacred rites of the Church. Thinking at last that they were going too far, he sent some of his clergy to bring them in. At first his enquiries of the little fellows produced an alarmed denial. But at length he elicited that one of them had acted the Bishop and had baptized some of the others in the character of catechumens. On ascertaining that all details had been duly observed, he consulted his clergy, and decided that the baptisms should be treated as valid, and that the boy-bishop and his clergy had given such plain proof of their vocation that their parents must be instructed to hand them over to be educated for the sacred profession. Young Athanasius accordingly, after a further course of elementary studies, was handed over to the bishop to be brought up, like Samuel, in the Temple of God. This, adds Sozomen (ii. 17), was the origin of his subsequent attachment to Alexander as deacon and secretary. The story is credited by some writers of weight (most recently. by Archdeacon Farrar), but seems highly improbable. It depends on the single authority of a writer not famed for historical judgment, and on the very first anniversary of Peter's martyrdom, when Alexander had hardly ascended the episcopal throne, Athanasius was at least fourteen years old. The probability that the anniversary would have been other than the first, and the possibility that Athanasius was even older, coupled with the certainty that his theological study began before Peter's martyrdom, compel us to mark the story with at least a strong note of interrogation. But it may be allowed to confirm us in the belief that Alexander early singled out the promise of ability and devotion which marked Athanasius for his right-hand man long before the crisis which first proved his unique value.
His years of study and work in the bishop's household bore rich fruit in the two youthful works already alluded to. These works more than any later writings of Athanasius bear traces of the Alexandrian theology and of the influence of Origenism: but in them already we trace the independent grasp of Christian principles which mark Athanasius as the representative of something more than a school, however noble and many-sided. It was not as a theologian, but as a believing soul in need of a Saviour, that Athanasius approached the mystery of Christ. Throughout the mazes of the Arian controversy his tenacious hold upon this fundamental principle steered his course and balanced his theology. And it is this that above all else characterises the golden treatise on the Incarnation of the Word. There is, however, one element in the influence of Origen and and his successors which already comes out, and which never lost its hold upon Athanasius,-the principle of asceticism. Although the ascetic tendency was present in Christianity from the first, and had already burst forth into extravagance in such men as Tertullian, it was reserved for the school of Origen, influenced by Platonist ideas of the world and life, to give to it the rank of an acknowledged principle of Christian morals-to give the stimulus to monasticism (see below, p. 193). Among the acclamations which accompanied the election of Athanasius to the episcopate that of estwnaskhwn was conspicuous (Apol. Ar. 6). In de Incarn. 51, 1, 48. 2, we seem to recognise the future biographer of Antony3 .
§2. The Arian Controversy Before Nicaea, 319-325.
At the time when Athanasius first appeared as an author, the condition of Christian Egypt was not peaceful. Meletius, bishop of Lycopolis, was accused of having sacrificed during the persecution in 301 (pp. 131, 234); condemned by a synod under bishop Peter, he had carried on schismatical intrigues under Peter, Achillas, and Alexander, and by this time had a large following, especially in Upper Egypt. Many cities had Meletian bishops: many of the hermits, and even communities of monks (p. 135), were on his side.
The Meletian account of the matter (preserved by Epiphan. Haer. 58) was different from this. Meletius had been in prison along with Peter, and had differed from him on the question of the lapsed, taking the sterner view, in which most of the imprisoned clergy supported him. It would not be without a parallel (D.C.b. art. Donatists, Novatian)in the history of the burning question of the lapsi to suppose that Meletius recoiled from a compromised position to the advocacy of impossible strictness. At any rate (de Incarn. 24. 4) the Egyptian Church was rent by a formidable schism. No doctrinal question, however, was involved. The alliance of Meletians and Arians belongs to a later date.
It is doubtful whether the outbreak of the Arian controversy at Alexandria was directly connected with the previous Christological controversies in the same Church. The great Dionysius some half-century before had been involved in controversy with members of his Church both in Alexandria and in the suffragan dioceses of Libya (infr. p. 173). Of the sequel of that controversy we have no direct knowledge: but we find several bishops and numerous clergy and laity in Alexandria and Libya4 ready to side with Arius against his bishop.
The origin of the controversy is obscure. It certainly must be placed as early as 318 or 319, to leave sufficient time before the final deposition of Arius in the council of 321 (infr. p. 234). We are told that Arius, a native of Libya, had settled in Alexandria soon after the origin of the Meletian schism, and had from motives of ambition sided at first with Meletius, then with Peter, who ordained him deacon, but afterwards was compelled to depose him (Epiph. Haer. 69, Sozom. i. 15). He became reconciled to Achillas, who raised him to the presbyterate. Disappointed of the bishopric at the election of Alexander, he nurtured a private grudge (Thdt. H. E. i. 2), which eventually culminated in opposition to his teaching. These tales deserve little credit: they are unsupported by Athanasius, and bear every trace of invention ex post facto. That Arius was a vain person we see from his Thalia (infr. p. 308): but he certainly possessed claims to personal respect, and we find him not only in charge of the urban parish of Baucalis, but entrusted with the duties of a professor of scriptural exegesis. There is in fact no necessity to seek for personal motives to explain the dispute. The Arian problem was one which the Church was unable to avoid. Not until every alternative had been tried and rejected was the final theological expression of her faith possible. Two great streams of theological influence had run their course in the third century: the subordinationist theology of Origen at Alexandria, the Monarchian theology of the West and of Asia which had found a logical expression in Paul of Samosata. Both streams had met in Lucian the martyr, at Antioch, and in Arius, the pupil of Lucian, produced a result which combined elements of both (see below, (2) a). According to some authorities Arius was the aggressor. He challenged some theological statements of Alexander as Sabellian, urging in opposition to them that if the Son were truly a Son He must have had a beginning, and that there had been therefore a time when He did not exist. According to others (Constantine in Eus. Vit. ii. 69) Alexander had demanded of his presbyters an explanation of some passage of Scripture which had led Arius to broach his heresy. At any rate the attitude of Alexander was at first conciliatory. Himself an Origenist, he was willing to give Arius a fair hearing (Sozom. ubi supra). But the latter was impracticable. He began to canvass for support, and his doctrine was widely accepted. Among his first partisans were a number of lay people and virgins, five presbyters of Alexandria, six deacons, including Euzoius, afterwards Arian bishop at Antioch (a.d. 361), and the Libyan bishops Secundus of Ptolemais in Pentapolis (see p. 226) and Theonas of Marmarica (see p. 70). A letter was addressed to Arius and his friends by Alexander, and signed by the clergy of Alexandria, but without result. A synod was now called (infr. p. 70,Socr. i. 6) of the bishops of Egypt and Libya, and Arius a d his allies deposed. Even this did not check the movement. In Egypt two presbyters and for deacons of the Mareotis, one of the former being Pistus, a later Arian bishop of Alexandria, declared for Arius; while abroad he was in correspondence with influential bishops who cordially promised their support. Conspicuous among the latter was a man of whom we shall hear much in the earlier treatises of this volume, Eusebius, bishop of Berytus, who had recently, against the older custom of the Church (p. 103, note 6), but in accordance with what has ever since been general in the case of important sees, been translated to the imperial city of Nicomedia. High in the favour, perhaps related to the family, of Constantine, possessed of theological training and practical ability, this remarkable man was for nearly a quarter of a century the head and centre of the Arian cause. (For his character and history, see the excellent article in D.C.B. ii. 360-367.) He had been a fellow-pupil of Arius in the school of Lucian, and fully shared his opinions (his letter to Paulinus of Tyre, Thdt. H. E. i. 6). The letter addressed to him by Arius (ib. 5) is one of our most important Arian monuments. Arius claims the sympathy of Eusebius of Caesarea and other leading bishops, in fact of all the East excepting Macarius of Jerusalem and two others, `heretical and untutored persons.' Eusebius responded with zeal to the appeal of his `fellow-Lucianist.' While Alexander was indefatigable in writing to warn the bishops everywhere against Arius (who had now left Alexandria to seek foreign support, first in Palestine, then at Nicomedia), and in particular addressed a long letter to Alexander, bishop of Byzantium (Thdt. H. E. i. 4), Eusebius called a council at Nicomedia, which issued letters in favour of Arius to many bishops, and urged Alexander himself to receive him to communion. Meanwhile a fresh complication had appeared in Egypt. Colluthus, whose name stands first among the signatures to the memorandum (to be mentioned presently) of the deposition of Arius, impatient it would seem at the moderation of Alexander, founded a schism of his own, and although merely a presbyter, took upon himself to ordain. In Egypt and abroad confusion reigned: parties formed in every city, bishops, to adopt the simile of Eusebius (Vit. Const.), collided like the fabled Symplegades, the most sacred of subjects were bandied about in the mouths of the populace, Christian and heathen.
In all this confusion Athanasius was ready with his convictions. His sure instinct and powerful grasp of the centre of the question made him the mainstay of his Bishop in the painful conflict. At a stage5 of it difficult to determine with precision, Alexander sent out to the bishops of the Church at large a concise and carefully-worded memorandum of the decision of the Egyptian Synod of 321, fortified by the signatures of the clergy of Alexandria and the Mareotis (see infra, pp. 68-71).
This weighty document, so different in thought and style from the letter of Alexander preserved by Theodoret, bears the clear stamp of the mind and character of Athanasius: it contains the germ of which his whole series of anti-Arian writings are the expansion (see introd. and notes, pp. 68-71), and is a significant comment on the hint of the Egyptian. bishops (Apol. c. Ar. 6 ad init.).
Early in 324 a new actor came upon the scene. Hosius, bishop of Cordova and confessor (he is referred to, not by name, Vit. Const. ii. 63, 73, cf. iii. 7, o panu bowmenoj; by name, Socr. i. 7), arrived with a letter from the Emperor himself, intreating both parties to make peace, and treating the matter as one of trivial moment. The letter may have been written upon information furnished by Eusebius (D.C.B.s.v.); but the anxiety of the Emperor for the peace of his new dominions is its keynote. On the arrival of Hosius a council (p. 140) was held, which produced little effect as far as the main question was concerned: but the claims of Colluthus were absolutely disallowed, and his ordination of one Ischyras (infr. ) to the presbyterate pronounced null and void. Hosius apparently carried back with him a strong report in favour of Alexander; at any rate the Emperor is credited (Gelas. Cyz. ii., Hard. Conc. i. 451-458) with a vehement letter of rebuke to Arius, possibly at this juncture. Such was the state of affairs which led to the imperial resolve, probably at the suggestion of Hosius, to summon a council of bishops from the whole world to decide the doctrinal question, as well as the relatively lesser matters in controversy.
§3 (1) The Council of Nicaea.
An ecumenical council was a new experiment. Local councils had long since grown to be a recognised organ of the Church both for legislation and for judicial proceedings. But no precedent as yet prescribed, no ecclesiastical law or theological principle had as yet enthroned, the `General Council' as the supreme expression of the Church's mind. Constantine had already referred the case of the Donatists first to a select council at Rome under bishop Miltiades, then to what Augustine (Ep. 43) has been understood to call a `plenarium ecclesiae universae concilium' at Arles in 314. This remedy for schism was now to be tried on a grander scale. That the heads of all the Churches of Christendom should meet in free and brotherly deliberation, and should testify to all the world their agreement in the Faith handed down independently but harmoniously from the earliest times in Churches widely remote in situation, and separated by differences of language race and civilisation, is a grand and impressive idea, an idea approximately realised at Nicaea as in no other assembly that has ever met. The testimony of such an assembly carries the strongest evidential weight; and the almost unanimous horror of the Nicene Bishops at the novelty and profaneness of Arianism condemns it irrevocably as alien to the immemorial belief of the Churches. But it was one thing to perceive this, another to formulate the positive belief of the Church in such a way as to exclude the heresy; one thing to agree in condemning Arian formulae, another to agree upon an adequate test of orthodoxy. This was the problem which lay before the council, and with which only its more clearsighted members tenaciously grappled: this is the explanation of the reaction which followed, and which for more than a generation, for well nigh half a century after, placed its results in jeopardy. The number of bishops who met at Nicaea was over 2506 . They represented many nationalities (Euseb. ubi supra.), but only a handful came from the West, the chief being Hosius, Caecilian of Carthage, and the presbyters sent by Silvester of Rome, whose age prevented his presence in person. The council lasted from the end of May till Aug. 25 (see D.C.A., 1389). With the many picturesque stories told of its incidents we have nothing to do (Stanley's Eastern Church, Socr. i. 10-12, Soz. i. 17, 18, Rufin. H.E. i. 3-5); but it may be well to note the division of parties. (1) Of thoroughgoing partisans of Arius, Secundus7 and Theonas alone scorned all compromise. But Eusebius of Nicomedia, Theognis, Bishop of Nicaea itself, and Maris of Chalcedon, also belonged to the inner circle of Arians by conviction (Socr. i. 8; Soz. i. 21 makes up the same number, but wrongly). The three last-named were pupils of Lucian (Philost. ii. 15). Some twelve others (the chief names are Athanasius of Anazarbus and Narcissus of Neronias, in Cilicia; Patrophilus of Scythopolis, Aetius of Lydda, Paulinus of Tyre, Theodotus of Laodicea, Gregory of Berytus, in Syria and Palestine; Menophantus of Ephesus; for a fuller discussion see Gwatk. p. 31, n. 3) completed the strength of the Arian party proper. (2) On the other hand a clearly formulated doctrinal position in contrast to Arianism was taken up by a minority only, although this minority carried the day. Alexander of Alexandria of course was the rallying point of this wing, but the choice of the formula proceeded from other minds. `gpodtadij and ou>\/ia are one in the Nicene formula: Alexander in 323 writes of treij upodtaeij.
The test formula of Nicaea was the work of two concurrent influences, that of the anti-Origenists of the East, especially Marcellus of Ancyra, Eustathius of Antioch, supported by Macarius of `Aelia,' Hellanicus of Tripolis, and Asclepas of Gaza, and that of the Western bishops, especially Hosius of Cordova. The latter fact explains the energetic intervention of Constantine at the critical moment on behalf of the test (see below, and Ep. Eus. p. 75); the word was commended to the Fathers by Constantine, but Constantine was `prompted' by Hosius (Harnack, Dogmg. ii. 226); outoj thn Nikaia pioton ecqeto (infr. p. 285, ). Alexander (the Origenist) had been prepared for this by Hosius beforehand (Soc. iii. 7; Philost. i. 7; cf. Zahn Marcell. p. 23, and Harnack's important note, p.229). Least of all was Athanasius the author of the omoousion; his whole attitude toward the famous test (infr. p. 303) is that of loyal acceptance and assimilation rather than of native inward affinity. `He was moulded by the Nicene Creed, did not mould it himself' (Loofs, p. 134). The theological keynote of the council was struck by a small minority; Eustathius, Marcellus, perhaps Macarius, and the Westerns, above all Hosius; the numbers were doubtless contributed by the Egyptian bishops who had condemned Arius in 321. The signatures, which seem partly incorrect, preserve a list of about 20. The party then which rallied round Alexander in formal opposition to the Arians may be put down at over thirty. `The men who best understood Arianism were most decided on the necessity of its formal condemnation.' (Gwatkin.) To this compact and determined group the result of the council was due, and in their struggle they owed much-how much it is hard to determine-to the energy and eloquence of the deacon Athanasius, who had accompanied his bishop to the council as an indispensable companion (infr. p. 103; Soz. i. 17 fin.). (3) Between the convinced Arians and their reasoned opponents lay the great mass of the bishops, 200 and more, nearly all from Syria and Asia Minor, who wished for nothing more than that they might hand on to those who came after them the faith they had received at baptism, and had learned from their predecessors. These were the `conservatives8 ,' or middle party, composed of all those who, for whatever reason, while untainted with Arianism, yet either failed to feel its urgent danger to the Church, or else to hold steadily in view the necessity of an adequate test if it was to be banished. Simple shepherds like Spyridion of Cyprus; men of the world who were more interested in their libelli than in the magnitude of the doctrinal issue; theologians, a. numerous class, `who on the basis of half-understood Origenist ideas were prepared to recognise in Christ only the Mediator appointed (no doubt before all ages) between God and the World' (Zahn Marc. p. 30); men who in the best of faith yet failed from lack of intellectual clearsightedness to grasp the question for themselves; a few, possibly, who were inclined to think that Arius was hardly used and might be right after all; such were the main elements which made up the mass of the council, and upon whose indefiniteness, sympathy, or unwillingness to impose any effective test, the Arian party based their hopes at any rate of toleration. Spokesman and leader of the middle party was the most learned Churchman of the age, Eusebius of Caesarea. A devoted admirer of Origen, but independent of the school of Lucian, he had, during the early stages of the controversy, thrown his weight on the side of toleration for Arius. He had himself used compromising language, and in his letter to the Caesarean Church (infra, p. 76 sq.) does so again. But equally strong language can be cited from him on the other side, and belonging as he does properly to the pre-Nicene age, it is highly invidious to make the most of his Arianising passages, and, ignoring or explaining away those on the other side, and depreciating his splendid and lasting services to Christian learning, to class him summarily with his namesake of Nicotnedia9 . (See Prolegg. to vol. 1 of this series, and above all the article in D.C.B.) The fact however remains, that Eusebius gave something more than moral support to the Arians. He was `neither a great man nor a clear thinker' (Gwatkin); his own theology was hazy and involved; as an Origenist, his main dread was of Monarchianism, and his policy in the council was to stave off at least such a condemnation of Arianism as should open the door to `confounding the Persons.' Eusebius apparently represents, therefore, the `left wing,' or the last mentioned, of the `conservative' elements in the council (supra, and Gwatkin, p. 38); but his learning, age, position, and the ascendency of Origenist Theology in the East, marked him out as the leader of the whole.
But the `conservatism' of the great mass of bishops rejected Arianism more promptly than had been expected by its adherents or patrons.
The real work of the council did not begin at once. The way was blocked by innumerable applications the Christian Emperor from bishops and clergy, mainly for the redress of personal grievances. Commonplace men often fail to see the proportion of things, and to rise to the magnitude of the events in which they play their part. At last Constantine appointed a day for the formal and final reception of all personal complaints, and burnt the `libelli' in the presence of the assembled fathers. He then named a clay by which the bishops were to be ready for a formal decision of the matters in dispute. The way was now open for the leaders to set to work. Quasi-formal meetings were held, Arius and his supporters met the bishops, and the situation began to clear (Soz. i. 17). To their dismay (de Deer. 3) the Arian leaders realised that they could only count on some seventeen supporters out of the entire body of bishops. They would seem to have seriously and honestly underrated the novelty of their own teaching (cf. the letter of Arius in Thdt. i. 5), and to have come to the council with the expectation of victory over the party of Alexander. But they discovered their mistake:-
`Sectamur ultro, quos opimus
Fallere et effugere est triumphus."
`Fallere et effugere' was in fact the problem which now confronted them. It seems to have been agreed at an early stage, perhaps it was understood from the first, that some formula of the unanimous belief of the Church must be fixed upon to make an end of controversy. The Alexandrians and `Conservatives' confronted the Arians with the traditional Scriptural phrases (pp. 163, 491) which appeared to leave no doubt as to the eternal Godhead of the Son. But to their surprise they were met with perfect acquiescence. Only as each test was propounded, it was observed that the suspected party whispered and gesticulated to one another, evidently hinting that each could be safely accepted, since it admitted of evasion. If their assent was asked to the formula `like to the Father in all things,' it was given with the reservation that man as such is `the image and glory of God.' The `power of God' elicited the whispered explanation that the host of Israel was spoken of as dunamij kuriou, and that even the locust and caterpillar are called the `power of God.' The `eternity' of the Son was countered by the text, `We that live are alway (2 Cor iv. ii)!' The fathers were baffled, and the test of omoousion, with which the minority had been ready from the first, was being forced (p. 172) upon the majority by the evasions of the Arians. When the day for the decisive meeting arrived it was felt that the choice lay between the adoption of the word, cost what it might, and the admission of Arianism to a position of toleration and influence in the Church. But then, was Arianism all that Alexander and Eustathius made it out to be? was Arianism so very intolerable, that this novel test must be imposed on the Church? The answer came (Newman Ar. p. 252) from Eusebius of Nicomedia. Upon the assembling of the bishops for their momentous debate (wj de ezhteito thj pistewj o tropoj, Eustath.) he presented them with a statement of his belief. The previous course of events may have convinced him that half-measures would defeat their own purpose, and that a challenge to the enemy, a forlorn hope, was the only resort left to him10 . At any rate the statement was an unambiguous assertion of the Arian formulae, and it cleared the situation at once. An angry clamour silenced the innovator, and his document was publicly torn to shreds (up oyei pantwn, says an eye-witness in Thdt. i. 8). Even the majority of the Arians were cowed, and the party were reduced to the inner circle of five (supra). It was now agreed on all hands that a stringent formula was needed. But Eusebius of Caesarea came forward with a last effort to stave off the inevitable. He produced a formula, not of his own devising (Kölling, pp. 208 sqq.), but consisting of the creed of his own Church with an addition intended to guard against Sabellianism (Hort, Two Diss. pp. 56, sq. 138). The formula was unassailable on the basis of Scripture and of tradition. No one had a word to say against it, and the Emperor expressed his personal anxiety that it should be adopted, with the single improvement of the omoousion. The suggestion thus quietly made was momentous in its result. We cannot but recognise the `prompter' Hosius behind the Imperial recommendation: the friends of Alexander had patiently waited their time, and now their time was come: the two Eusebii had placed the result in their hands. But how and where was the necessary word to be inserted? and if some change must be made in the Caesarean formula, would it not be as well to set one or two other details right? At any rate, the creed of Eusebius was carefully overhauled clause by clause, and eventually took a form materially different from that in which it was first presented11 , and with affinities to the creeds of Antioch and Jerusalem as well as Caesarea.
All was now ready; the creed, the result of minute and careful deliberations (we do not know their history, nor even how long they occupied12 ), lay before the council. We are told `the council paused.' The evidence fails us; but it may well have been so. All the bishops who were genuinely horrified at the naked Arianism of Eusebius of Nicomedia were yet far from sharing the clearsighted definiteness of the few: they knew that the test proposed was not in Scripture, that it had a suspicious history in the Church. The history of the subsequent generation shews that the mind of Eastern Christendom was not wholly ripe for its adoption. But the fathers were reminded of the previous discussions, of the futility of the Scriptural tests, of the locust and the caterpillar, of the whisperings, the nods, winks, and evasions. With a great revulsion of feeling the council closed its ranks and marched triumphantly to its conclusion. All signed,-all but two, Secundus and Theonas. Maris signed and Theognis, Menophantus and Patrophilus, and all the rest. Eusebius of Nicomedia signed; signed everything, even the condemnation of his own convictions and of his `genuine fellow-Lucianist' Arius; not the last time that an Arian leader was found to turn against a friend in the hour of trial. Eusebius justified his signature by a `mental reservation;' but we can sympathise with the bitter scorn of Secundus, who as he departed to his exile warned Eusebius that he would not long escape the same fate (Philost. i. 9).
The council broke up after being entertained by the Emperor at a sumptuous banquet in honour of his Vicennalia. The recalcitrant bishops with Arius and some others were sent into exile (an unhappy and fateful precedent), a fate which soon after overtook Eusebius of Nicomedia and Theognis (see the discussion in D.C.B. ii. 364 sq.). But in 329 `we find Eusebius once more in high favour with Constantine, discharging his episcopal functions, persuading Constantine that he and Arius held substantially the Creed of Nicaea.'
The council also dealt with the Paschal question (see Vit. Coast. iii. 18; so far as the question bears on Athanasius see below, p. 500), and with the Meletian schism in Egypt. The latter was the main subject of a letter (Soc. i. 9; Thdt. i. 9) to the Alexandrian Church. Meletius himself was to retain the honorary title of bishop, to remain strictly at home, and to be in lay communion for the rest of his life. The bishops and clergy of his party were to receive a mustikwtera xeirotonia (see Bright, Notes on Canons, pp. 25 sqq.; Gore, The Church and the Ministry, ed. 1, p. 192 note), and to be allowed to discharge their office, but in the strictest subordination to the Catholic Clergy of Alexander. But on vacancies occurring, the Meletian incumbents were to succeed subject to (1) their fitness, (2) the wishes of the people, (3) the approval of the Bishop of Alexandria. The terms were mild, and even the gentle nature of Alexander seems to have feared that immediate peace might have been purchased at the expense of future trouble (his successor openly blames the compromise, p. 131, and more strongly p. 137); accordingly, before carrying out the settlement he required Meletius to draw up an exact list of his clergy at the time of the council, so as to bar an indefinite multiplication of claims. Meletius, who must have been even less pleased with the settlement than his metropolitan, seems to have taken his time. At last nothing would satisfy both parties but the personal presentation of the Meletian bishops from all Egypt, and of their clergy from Alexandria itself, to Alexander (p. 137, toutouj kai parontaj paredwken tw Alecandrw), who was thus enabled to check the Brevium or schedule handed in by their chief13 . All this must have taken a long time after Alexander's return, and the peace was soon broken by his death.
Five months after the conclusion of the negotiations, Alexander having now died, the flame of schism broke out afresh (infr. p. 131. Montfaucon, in Migne xxv. p. lvii., shews conclusively that the above is the meaning of the mhnaj pente.) On his death-bed, Alexander called for Athanasius. He was away from Alexandria, but the other deacon of that name (see signatures p. 71), stepped forward in answer to the call. But without noticing him, the Bishop repeated the name, adding, `You think to escape, but it cannot be.' (Sozom, ii. 17.) Alexander had already written his Easter Letter for the year 328 (it was apparently still extant at the end of the century, p. 503). He died on April 17 of that year (Pharmuthi 22), and on the eighth of June Athanasius was chosen bishop in his stead.
§4 (2). The Situation After the Council of Nicaea.
The council (a) had testified, by its horrified and spontaneous rejection of it, that Arianism was a novelty subversive of the Christian faith as they had received it from their fathers. They had (b) banished it from the Church by an inexorable test, which even the leading supporters of Arius had been induced to subscribe. In the years immediately following, we find (c) a large majority of the Eastern bishops, especially of Syria and Asia Minor, the very regions whence the numerical strength of the council was drawn, in full reaction against the council; first against the leaders of the victorious party, eventually and for nearly a whole generation against the symbol itself; the final victory of the latter in the East being the result of the slow growth of conviction, a growth independent of the authority of the council which it eventually was led to recognise. To understand this paradox of history, which determines the whole story of the life of Athanasius as bishop, it is necessary to estimate at some length the theological and ecclesiastical situation at the close of the council: this will best be done by examining each point in turn (a) the novelty of Arianism, (b) the omoousion as a theological formula, (c) the materials for reaction.
(a) `Arianism was a new doctrine in the Church' (Harnack, p. 218); but it claimed to be no novelty. And it was successful for a long time in gaining `conservative' patronage. Its novelty, as observed above, is sufficiently shewn by its reception at the Council of Nicaea. But no novelty springs into existence without antecedents. What were the antecedents of Arianism? How does it stand related to the history within the Church of the momentous question, `What think ye of Christ?'
In examining such a question, two methods are possible. We may take as our point of departure the formulated dogma say of Nicaea, and examine in the light of it variations in theological statements in preceding periods, to shew that they do not warrant us in regarding the dogma as an innovation. That is the dogmatic method. Or we may take our start from the beginning, and trace the history of doctrine in the order of cause and effect, so as to detect the divergence and convergence of streams of influence, and arrive at an answer to the question, How came men to think and speak as they did? That is the historical method. Both methods have their recommendations, and either has been ably applied to the problem before us. In electing the latter I choose the more difficult road; but I do so with the conviction, firstly, that the former has tended (and especially in the ablest hands) to obscure our perception of the actual facts, secondly, that the saving faith of Christ has everything to gain from a method which appeals directly to our sense of historical truth, and satisfies, not merely overawes, the mind.
Let us then go back to `the beginning of the Gospel.' Taking the synoptic gospels as our primary evidence, we ask, what did Christ our Lord teach about Himself? We do not find formal definitions of doctrine concerning His Person. Doubtless it may seem that such a definition on His part would have saved infinite dispute and searchings of heart in the history of the Church. But recognising in Him the unique and supreme Revealer of the Father, it is not for us to say what He should have taught; we must accept His method of teaching as that which Divine Wisdom chose as the best, and its sequel in history as the way in which God willed man to learn. We find then in the materials which we possess for the history of His Life and Teaching fully enough to explain the belief of His disciples (see below) in His Divinity. Firstly, there is no serious doubt as to His claim to be the Messiah. (The confession of Peter in all four Gospels, Matt. xvi. 16; Mark viii. 29; Luke ix. 27; John vi. 69; `Son of Man,' Dan. vii. 13; Dan ix. 24, &c.). In this character He is King in the kingdom of Heaven (Matt. xxv. 31-36, cf. Mk. viii. 38), and revises the Law with full authority (Matt. v. 21-44, cf. Luke v. 24; Matt. xii. 8). It may be added that whatever this claim conveyed to the Jews of His own time (see Stanton's Jewish and Christian Messiah) it is impossible to combine in one idea the Old Testament traits of the Coming One if we stop short of the identification of the Messiah with the God of Israel (see Delitzsch, Psalms, vol. i. pp. 94, 95, last English ed.). Secondly, Christ enjoys and confers the full authority of God (Matt. x. 40; Luke x. 16; cf. also Matt. xxiv. 35; Mk. xiii. 31; Luke xxi. 33), gives and promises the Holy Spirit (`the Spirit of the Father,' see Matt. x. 17, &c.; Luke xii. 12, and especially Luke xxi. 15, egw gar dwsw, &c.), and apparently sends the prophets and holy men of old (cf Matt. xxiii. 34, egw apostellw with Luke xi. 49). Thirdly, the foundation of all this is laid in a passage preserved by the first and third gospels, in which He claims the unqualified possession of the mind of the Father (Luke x. 22; Matt. xi. 27), `No man knoweth [who] the Son [is], save the Father, neither knoweth any man [who] the Father [is] save the Son, and he to whomsoever the Son will (boulhtai) reveal Him.' Observe the reciprocity of knowledge between the Son and the Father. This claim is a decisive instantia foederis between the Synoptics and the Fourth Gospel, e.g. John xvi. 15; John xiv. 9, &c. Fourthly, we observe the claim made by Him throughout the synoptic record to absolute confidence, absolute faith, obedience, self-surrender, such as no frail man is justified in claiming from another; the absence of any trace in the mind of the `meek and lowly' one of that consciousness of sin, that need of reconciliation with God, which is to us an indispensable condition of the religious temper, and the starting-point of Christian faith (contrast Isa. vi. 5).
We now turn to the Apostles. Here a few brief remarks must suffice. (A suggestive summary in Sanday, `What the first Christians thought about Christ,' Oxford House Papers, First Series.) That S. Paul's summary of the Gospel (1 Cor. xv. 3 sqq.) is given by him as common ground between himself and the older Apostles follows strictly from the fact that the verb used (parelabon) links the facts of Redemption (v. 1, 4) with the personal experiences of the original disciples (5 sqq.). In fact it is not in dispute that the original Jewish nucleus of the Apostolic Church preached Jesus as the Messiah, and His death as the ground of forgiveness of sins (Pfleiderer, Urchrist. p. 20; Acts 11. 36, Acts 11. 38; Acts iii. 26; Acts iv. 12, &c.; the `Hebraic colouring' of these early chapters is very characteristic and important). The question is, however, how much this implied as to the Divine Personality of the Saviour; how far the belief of the Apostles and their contemporaries was uniform and explicit on this point. Important light is thrown on this question by the controversy which divided S. Paul from the mass of Jewish Christians with respect to the observance of the Law. Our primary source of knowledge here is Galatians, ch. ii. We there learn that while S. Paul regarded this question as involving the whole essence of the Gospel, and resisted every attempt to impose circumcision on Gentile Christians, the older Apostles conceded the one point regarded as central, and, while reserving the obligation of the Law on those born under it (which S. Paul never directly assailed, 1 Cor. vii. 18) recognised the Gospel of the uncircumcision as legitimate. This concession, as the event proved, conceded everything; if the `gospel of the uncircumcision' was sufficient for salvation, circumcision became a national, not a religious principle. Now this whole question was fundamentally a question about Christ. Men who believed, or were willing to grant, that the Law uttered from Sinai by the awful voice of the Most High Himself was no longer the supreme revelation of God, the one divinely ordained covenant of righteousness, certainly believed that some revelation of God different in kind (for no revelation of God to man could surpass the degree of Ex. xxxiii. 11) had taken place, an unique revelation of God in man. The revelation of God in Christ, not the revelation of God to Moses, was the one fact in the world's history; Sinai was dwarfed in comparison of Calvary. But it must be observed that while the older Apostles, by the very recognition of the gospel of the uncircumcision, went thus far with S. Paul, S. Paul realised as a central principle what to others lay at the circumference. What to the one was a result of their belief in Christ was to him the starting-point, from which logical conclusions were seen to follow, practical applications made in every direction. At the same time S. Paul taught nothing about Christ that was not implied in the belief of the older Apostles, or that they would not have felt impelled by their own religious position to accept. In fact it was their fundamental union in the implicit belief of the divinity of the Lord that made possible any agreement between S. Paul and the Jewish Apostles as to the gospel of the uncircumcision.
The apostles of the circumcision, however, stood between S. Paul and the zealot mass of Jewish Christians (Acts xxi. 20), many of whom were far from acquiescing in the recognition of S. Paul's Gospel. On the same principle that we have used to determine the belief of the Stuloi with regard to Christ, we must needs recognise that where the gospel of the uncircumcision was still assailed or disparaged, the Divinity of Christ was apprehended faintly, or not at all.
The name of the `Ebionite' sect testifies to its continuity with a section of the Jerusalem Church (see Lightfoot's Galatians, S. Paul and the Three). It should be observed, however, firstly that between the clear-sighted Apostle of the Gentiles and the straitest of the zealots, there lay every conceivable gradation of intermediate positions (Loofs, Leitf. §11. 2, 3); secondly, that while emancipation from legalism in the Apostolic Church implied what has been said above, a belief in the divinity of Jesus was in itself compatible with strict Jewish observance.
The divinity of Christ then was firmly held by S. Paul (the most remarkable passage is Rom. x. 9, Rom. x. 11, Rom. x. 13, where Khsoun 'hsoun = auton = Kurion = twty
Joel ii. 32), and his belief was held by him in common with the Jewish Apostles, although with a clearer illumination as to its consequences. That this belief was absolutely universal in the Church is not to be maintained, the elimination of Ebionism was only gradual (Justin, Dial. xlviii. ad fin.); but that it, and not Ebionism, represented the common belief of the Apostles and New Testament writers is not to be doubted.
But taking this as proved, we do not find an equally clear answer to the question In what sense is Christ God? The synoptic record makes no explicit reference to the pre-existence of Christ: but the witness of John and descent of the Spirit (Mark i. 7-11) at His baptism, coupled with the Virginal Birth (Mt., Lk.), and with the traits of the synoptic portrait of Christ as collected above, if they do not compel us to assert, yet forbid us to deny the presence of this doctrine to the minds of the Evangelists. In the Pauline (including Hebrews) and Johannine writings the doctrine is strongly marked, and in the latter (Joh. i. 1, Joh. i. 14, Joh. i. 18, monogenhj Qeoj) Jesus Christ is expressly identified with the creative Word (Palestinian Memra, rather than Alexandrian or from Philo; see also Rev. xix. 13), and the Word with God. Moreover such passages as Philipp. ii. 6 sqq., 2 Cor. xiii. 14 (the Apostolic benediction), &c., &c., are significant of the impression left upon the mind of the infant Churches as they started upon their history no longer under the personal guidance of the Apostles of the Lord.
Jesus Christ was God, was one with the Father and with the Spirit: that was enough for the faith, the love, the conduct of the primitive Church. The Church was nothing so little as a society of theologians; monotheists and worshippers of Christ by the same instinct, to analyse their faith as an intellectual problem was far from their thoughts: God Himself (and there is but one God) had suffered for them (Ign. Rom. vi.; Tat. Gr. 13; Melito Fr. 7), God's sufferings were before their eyes (Clem. R. I. II. 1), they desired the drink of God, even His blood (Ign. Rom. vii., cf. Acts xx. 28); if enthusiastic devotion gave way for a moment to reflexion `we must think of Jesus Christ as of God' (`Clem. R.' II. 1).
The `Apostolic fathers' are not theological in their aim or method. The earliest seat of theological reflexion in the primitive Church appears to have been Asia Minor, or rather Western Asia from Antioch to the Aegean. From this region proceed the Ignatian letters, which stand alone among the literature of their day in theological depth and reflexion. Their theology `is wonderfully mature in spite of its immaturity, full of reflexions, and yet at the same time full of intuitive originality' (Loofs, p. 61). The central idea is that of the renovation of man (Eph. 20), now under the power of Satan and Death (ib. 3, 19), which are undone (katalusij) in Christ, the risen Saviour (Smyrn. 3), who is `our true Life,' and endows us with immortality (Smyrn. 4, Magn. 6, Eph. 17). This is by virtue of His Divinity (Eph. 19, Smyrn. 4) in union with His perfect Manhood. He is the only utterance of God (logoj apo sighj proelqwn, Magn. 8), the `unlying mouth by which the Father spake' (Rom. 8.) `God come (genomenoj) in the flesh,' `our God' (Eph. 7, 18). His flesh partaken mystically in the Eucharist unites our nature to His, is the `medicine of incorruption' (Eph. 20, Smyrn. 7, cf. Trall. 1). Ignatius does not distinguish the relation of the divine to the human in Christ: he is content to insist on both: `one Physician, of flesh and of spirit, begotten and unbegotten' (Eph. 7). Nor does he clearly conceive the relation of the Eternal Son to the Father. He is unbegotten (as God) and begotten (as man): from eternity with the Father (Magn. 6): through Him the One God manifested himself. The theological depth of Ignatius was perhaps in part called forth by the danger to the churches from the Docetic heretics, representative of a Judaic (Philad. 5, Magn. 8-10) syncretism which had long had a hold in Asia Minor (1 John and Lightfoot Coloss., p. 73, 81 sqq.). To this he opposes what is evidently a creed (Trall. 9), with emphasis on the reality (alhqwj) of all the facts of Redemption comprised in it.
It was in fact the controversies of the second century that produced a theology in the Catholic Church,-that in a sense produced the Catholic Church itself. The idea of the Church as distinct from and embracing the Churches is a New Testament idea (Eph. v. 25, cf. 1 Cor. xv. 9, &c.), and the name `Catholic' occurs at the beginning of the second century (Lightfoot's note on Ign. Smyrn. 8); but the Gnostic and Montanist controversies compelled the Churches which held fast to the paradosij of the Apostles to close their ranks (episcopal federation) and to reflect upon their creed. The Baptismal Creed (Rom. x. 9, Acts viii. 37, Text. Rec., cf. 1 Cor. xv. 3-4) began to serve as a tessera or passport of right belief, and as a regularire standard, a `rule of faith.' The `limits of the Christian Church' began to be more clearly defined (Stanton, ubi supr. p. 167).
Another influence which during the same period led to a gradual formation of theology was the necessity of defending the Church against heathenism. If the Gnostics were `the first Christian theologians' (Harnack), the Apologists (120-200) are more directly important for our present enquiry. The usual title of Justin `Philosopher and Martyr' is significant of his position and typical of the class of writers to which he belongs. On the one hand the Apologists are philosophers rather than theologians. Christianity is `the only true philosophy' (Justin); its doctrines are found piecemeal among the philosophers (logoj spermatikoj), who are so far Christians, just as the Christians are the true philosophers (Justin and Minuc. Felix). But the Logos, who is imparted fragmentarily to the philosophers, is revealed in His entire divine Personality in Christ (so Justin beyond the others, Apol. ii. 8, Apol. ii. 10). In the doctrine of God, their thought is coloured by the eclectic Platonism of the age before Plotinus. God, the Father of all things, is Creator, Lord, Master, and as such known to man, but in Himself Unoriginate (agenhtoj), ineffable, mysterious (arrhtoj), without a name, One and alone, incapable of Incarnation (for references to Justin and to Plato, D.C.B. iii. 572). His `goodness' is metaphysical perfection, or beneficence to man, His `righteousness' that of Moral Governor of the Universe (contrast the deeper sense of St. Paul, Rom. iii. 21, &c.). But the abstractness of the conception of God gives way to personal vividness in the doctrine of the `visible God' (Tert. Prax. 15 sq.), the Logos (the subject of the O. T. `theophanies' according to the Apologists) who was `with' the Father before all things (Just. Dial. 62), but was `begotten' or projected (problhqeij) by the will of the Father (ib. 128) as God from God, as a flame from fire. He is, like the Father, ineffable (Cpistoj, Just. Apol. ii. 6), yet is the aggeloj, uphrethj of the Father. In particular He is the Father's minister in Creation: to create He proceeded from the Father, a doctrine expressly deduced from Prov. viii. 22 (Dial. 61, 129). Before this He was the logoj endiaqetoj, after it the logoj proforikoj, the Word uttered (Ps. xlv. 1 LXX; this distinction is not in Justin, but is found Theophil. ad Autol. ii. 10, 22: it is the most marked trace of philosophic [Stoic] influence on the Apologists). The Apologists, then, conceive of Christian theology as philosophers. Especially the Person of the Saviour is regarded by them from the cosmological, not the soteriological view-point. From the latter, as we have seen, St. Paul starts; and his view gradually embraces the distant horizon of the former (1 Cor. viii. 6, Coloss. i. 15); from the soteriological side also (directly) he reaches the divinity of Christ (Rom. v. 1-8; 1 Cor. i. 30; Rom. x. 13, as above). Here, as we shall see, Athanasius meets the Arians substantially by St. Paul's method. But the Apologists, under the influence of their philosophy rather than of their religion, start from the cosmological aspect of the problem. They engraft upon an Apostolic (Johannine) title of the Saviour an Alexandrine group of associations: they go far towards transmuting the Word of St. John to the Logos of Philo and the Eclectics. Hence their view of His Divinity and of his relation to the Father is embarrassed. His eternity and His generation are felt to be hardly compatible: His distinct Personality is maintained at the expense of His true Divinity. He is God, and not the One God; He can manifest Himself (Theophanies) in a way the One God cannot; He is an intermediary between God and the world. The question has become philosophical rather than directly religious, and philosophy cannot solve it. But on the other hand, Justin was no Arian. If he was Philosopher, he was also Martyr. The Apologists are deeply saturated with Christian piety and personal enthusiastic devotion to Christ. Justin in particular introduces us, as no other so early writer, into the life, the worship, the simple faith of the Primitive Church, and we can trace in him influences of the deeper theology of Asia Minor (Loofs, p. 72 sq. but see more fully the noble article on Justin in D.C.B. vol. iii.). But our concern is with their influence on the analysis of the object of faith; and here we see that unconsciously they have severed the Incarnate Son from the Eternal Father: not God (d ontwj qeoj) but a subordinate divine being is revealed in Christ: the Logos, to adopt the words of Ignatius, is no longer a true breach of the Divine Silence.
We must now glance at the important period of developed Catholicism marked especially by the names of Irenaeus, Tertullian, and Clement, the period of a consolidated organisation, a (relatively) fixed Canon of the New Testament, and a catholic rule of faith (see above, and Lumby, Creeds, ch. i.; Heurtley, Harmonia Symbolica, i.-viii.). The problem of the period which now begins (180-250) was that of Monarchianism; the Divinity of Christ must be reconciled with the Unity of God. Monarchianism is in itself the expression of the truth common to all monotheism, that the arxh or Originative Principle is strictly and Personally One and one only (in contrast to the plurality of arxikai utostaseij, see Newman, Arians p. 112 note). No Christian deliberately maintains the contrary. The Apologists, as we have seen, tended to emphasise the distinction of Father and Son; but this tendency makes of necessity in the direction of `subordination;' and any distinction of `Persons' or Hypostases in the Godhead involves to a Monotheist some subordination, in order to save the principle of the Divine Monarchia.' The Monarchian denied any subordination or distinction of hypostases within the Godhead. This tendency we have now to follow up. We do not meet with it as a problem in Irenaes. (He `is said to have written against it,' Newman, Ar. , p. 117, citing Dodw. in Iren.) This scholar of pupils of Apostles stands in the lines of the Asiatic theology. He is the successor of Iguatius and Polycarp. We find him, in sharp contrast to the Apologists, giving full expression to the revelation of God in Jesus (the `Son is the Measure of the Father, for He contains Him'), and the union of man with God in the Saviour, as the carrying out of the original destiny of man, by the destruction of sin, which had for the time frustrated it (III. xviii. p. 211, Deus antiquam hominis plasmationem in se recapitulans). Hence the `deification' of man's nature by union with Christ (a remarkable point of contact with Athanasius, see note on de Incar. 54. 3); incorruption is attained to by the knowledge of God (cf. John xvii. 3) through faith (IV. xx.); we cannot comprehend God, but we learn to know Him by His Love (ib.). At the same time we trace the influence of the Apologists here and there in his Christology (III. 6, 19, and the explanation of the `Theophanies,' iv. 20). But in his younger contemporary Tertullian, the reaction of Monarchianism makes itself felt. He is himself one of the Apologists, and at the same time under Asiatic influences. The two trains of influence converge in the name Trinitas, which he is the first to use (triaj first in the Asiatic Apologist Theophilus). In combating the Monarchian Praxeas (see below) he carries subordinationism very far (cf. Hermog. 3. `fuit tempus cum Ei filius non fuit'), he distinguishes the Word as `rationalis deus' from eternity, and `sermonalis' not from eternity (cf. again, Theophilus, supra). The Generation of the Son is a trobolh (also `eructare' from Ps. xlv. 1), but the divine `Substance' remains the same (river and fountain, sun and ray, Prax. 8, 9). He aims at reconciling `subordination' with the `Monarchia,' (ib. 4). In the Incarnate Christ he distinguishes the divine and human as accurately as Leo the Great (ib. 27, 29). In spite of inconsistencies such as were inevitable in his strange individuality (Stoic, philosopher, lawyer, Apologist, `Asiatic' theologian, Catholic, Montanist) we see in Tertullian the starting-point of Latin Theology (but see also Harnack ii. 287 note).
We must now examine more closely the history of Monarchian tendencies, and firstly in Rome. The sub-Apostolic Church, simply holding the Divinity of Christ and the Unity of God, used language (see above) which may be called `naively Monarchian.' This holds good even of Asiatic theology, as we find it in its earlier stage. The baptismal creed (as we find it in the primitive basis of the Apostles' Creed) does not solve the problem thus presented to Christian reflexion. Monarchianism attempted the solution in two ways. Either the One God was simply identified with the Christ of the Gospels and the Creeds, the Incarnation being a mode of the Divine manifestation (Father as Creator, Son as Redeemer, Spirit as Sanctifier, or the like): `Modalism' or Modalistic Monarchianism (including Patripassianism, Sabellianism, and later on the theology of Marcellus); or (this being felt incompatible with the constant personal distinction of Christ from the Father) a special effluence, influence, or power of the one God was conceived of as residing in the man Jesus Christ, who was accordingly Son of God by adoption, God by assimilation: `dynamic' Monarchianism or Adoptionism (`Son' and `Spirit' not so much modes of the Divine self-realisation as of the Divine Action). This letter, the echo but not the direct survival of Ebionism, was later on the doctrine of Photinus; we shall find it exemplified in Paul of Samosata; but our present concern is with its introduction at Rome by the two Theodoti, the elder of whom (a tanner from Byzantium) was excommunicated by Bishop Victor, while the younger, a student of the Peripatetic philosophy and grammatical interpreter of Scripture, taught there in the time of Zephyrinus. A later representative of this school, Artemon, claimed that its opinions were those of the Roman bishops down to Victor (Eus. H.E. v. 28). This statement cannot be accepted seriously; but it appears to be founded on a real reminiscence of an epoch in the action and teachings of the Roman bishops at the time. It must be remembered that the two forms of Monarchianism-modalism and adoptionism-are, while very subtly distinguished in their essential principle, violently opposed in their appearance to the popular apprehension. Their doctrine of God is one, at least in its strict unitarianism; but while to the Modalist Christ is the one God, to the Adoptionist He is essentially and exclusively man14 In the one case His Personality is divine, in the other human. Now there is clear proof of a strong Modalist tendency15 in the Roman Church at this time; this would manifest itself in especial zeal against the doctrine of such men as Theodotus the younger, and give some colour to the tale of Artemon. Both Tertullian and Hippolytus complain bitterly of the ignorance of those responsible for the ascendancy which this teaching acquired in Rome (Zefurinon anora idiwhn kai aeiron twn ekklhsiastikwn prwn, Hipp. `idiotes quisque aut perversus,' `simplices, ne dicam imprudentes et idiotoe.' Tert.). The utterances of Zephyrinus support this: `I believe in one God, Jesus Christ' (Hipp., see above on the language of the sub-Apost. Church). The Monarchian influences were strengthened by the arrival of fresh teachers from Asia (Cleomenes and Epigonus, see note 2) and began to arouse lively opposition. This was headed by Hippolytus, the most learned of the Roman presbytery, and eventually bishop16 in opposition to Callistus, the successor of Zephyrinus. The theology of Hippolytus was not unlike that of Tertullian, and was hotly charged by Callistus with `Ditheism.' The position of Callistus himself, like that of his predecessor, was one of compromise between the two forms of Monarchianism, but somewhat more developed. A distinction was made between `Christ' (the divine) and Jesus (the human); the latter suffered actually, the former indirectly (`filius patitur, pater vero compatitur.' (Tert.) ton Iiatera sumteon5enai tw niw, Hipp.; it is clear that under `Praxeas' Tertullian is combating also the modified Praxeanism of Callistus. See adv. Prax. 27, 29; Hipp. ix. 7); not without reason does Hippolytus charge Callistus with combining the errors of Sabellius with those of Theodotus. The compromise of Callistus was only partially successful. On the one hand the strictly modalist Sabellius, who from about 215 takes the place of Cleomenes at the head of Roman Monarchianism (his doctrine of the uiopatwr, of the Trinity as successive proswpa, `aspects,' of the One God, pure modalism as defined above) scorned compromise (he constantly reproached Callistus with having changed his front, Hipp.) was excommunicated, and became the head of a sect. And the fierce opposition of Hippolytus failed to command the support of more than a limited circle of enthusiastic admirers, or to maintain itself after his death. On the other hand (the process is quite in obscurity: see Harnack 1 , p. 620) the theology of Hippolytus and Tertullian eventually gained the day. Novatian, whose `grande volumen' (Jer.) on the Trinity represents the theology of Rome about 250 a.d., simply `epitomises Tertullian,' and that in explanation of the Rule of Faith. As to the Generation of the Son, he drops the `quando Ipse [Pater] voluit' of Tertullian, but like him combines a (modified) `subordination' with the `communio substantiae'-in other words the omoousion. Monarchianism was condemned in the West; its further history belongs to the East (under the name of Sabellianism first in Libya: see pp. 173, sqq.). But the hold which it maintained upon the Roman Church for about a generation (190-220) left its mark. Rome condemned Origen, the ally of Hippolytus; Rome was invoked against Dionysius of Alexandria; (Rome and) the West formulated the omoouoion at Nicaea; Rome received Marcellus; Rome rejected the treij upostaseij and supported the Eustathians at Antioch; it was with Rome rather than with the prevalent theology of the East that Athanasius felt himself one. (Cf. also Harnack, Dg. 1 , p. 622 sqq.) Monarchianism was too little in harmony with the New Testament, or with the traditional convictions of the Churches, to live as a formulated theology. The `naive modalism' of the `simplices quae major semper pars credentium est' (Tert.) was corrected as soon as the attempt was made to give it formal expression17 . But the attempt to do so was a valuable challenge to the conception of God involved in the system of the Apologists. To their abstract, transcendent, philosophical first Principle, Monarchianism opposed a living, self-revealing, redeeming God, made known in Christ. This was a great gain. But it was obtained at the expense of the divine immutability. A God who passed through phases or modes, now Father, now Son, now Spirit, a God who could suffer, was not the God of the Christians. There is some justice in Tertullian's scoff at their `Deum versipellem.'
The third great name associated with the end of the second century, that of Clement, is important to us chiefly as that of the teacher of Origen, whose influence we must now attempt to estimate. Origen (185-254) was the first theologian in the full sense of the term; the first, that is, to erect upon the basis of the rule of faith (Preface to de Princ.) a complete theological system, synthesising revealed religion with a theory of the Universe, of God, of man, which should take into account the entire range of truth and knowledge, of faith and philosophy. And in this sense for the Eastern Church he was the last theologian as well. In the case of Origen the Vincentian epigram, absolvuntur magistri condemnantur discipuli (too often applicable in the history of doctrine) is reversed. In a modified form his theology from the first took possession of the Eastern Church; in the Cappadocian fathers it took out a new lease of power, in spite of many vicissitudes it conquered opposing forces (the sixth general council crushed the party who had prevailed at the fifth); John of Damascus, in whom the Eastern Church says its last word, depends upon the Origenist theology of Basil and the Gregories. But this theology was Origenism with a difference. What was the Origenism of Origen? To condense into the compass of our present purpose the many-sidedness of Origen is a hopeless task. The reader will turn to the fifth and sixth of Bigg's Bampton Lectures for the best recent presentation; to Newman's Arians (I. §3), especially the `apology' at the end); to Harnack (ed. 1, pp. 510-556) and Loofs (§28); Shedd (vol. i. 288-305, should be read before Bigg and corrected by him) and Dorner; to the sections in Bull (Defens. ii. 9, iii. 3) and Petavius (who in Trin. I. iv. pursues with fluent malignity `omnigenis errorum portentis infamem scriptorem'); to the Origeniana of Huet and the dissertations of the standard editors; to the article Origenist Controversies , and to the comprehensive, exact, and sympathetic article Origen in the Dictionary of Christian Biography. The fundamental works of Origen for our purpose are the de Principiis, the contra Celsum, and the de Oratione; but the exegetical works are necessary to fill out and correct first impressions.
The general position of Origen with regard to the Person of Christ is akin to that of Hippolytus and Tertullian. It is to some extent determined by opposition to Gnosticism and to Monarchianism. His visit to Rome (Eus. H. E., vi. 14) coincided with the battle of Hippolytus against Zephyrinus and his destined successor: on practical as well as on doctrinal points he was at one with Hippolytus. His doctrine of God is reached by the soteriological rather than the cosmological method. God is known to us in the Incarnate Word; `his point of view is moral, not ...pseudo-metaphysical.' The impassibility of the abstract philosophical idea of God is broken into by `the passion of Love' (Bigg, p. 158). In opposition to the perfection of God lies the material world, conditioned by evil, the result of the exercise of will. This cause of evil is antecedent to the genesis of the material universe, the katabolhkosmou; materiality is the penalty and measure of evil. (This part of Origen's doctrine is markedly Platonic. Plotinus, we read, refused to observe his own birthday; in like manner Origen quaintly notes that only wicked men are recorded in Scripture to have kept their birthdays; Bigg, 203, note; cf. Harnack, p. 523, note.) The soul (yuxh as if from yucesqai) has in a previous state `waxed cold,' i.e. lost its original integrity, and in this condition enters the body, i.e. `is subjected to vanity' in common with the rest of the creature, and needs redemption (qualify this by Bigg, pp. 202 sqq., on Origen's belief in Original Sin). To meet this need the Word takes a Soul (but one that has never swerved from Him in its pre-existent state: on this antinomy Bigg, 190, note, 199) and mediante Anima, or rather mediante hac substantia animae (Prin. II. vi.) unites the nature of God and of Man in One. (On the union of the two natures in the qeanqrwpoj, in Ezek. iii. 3, he is as precise as Tertullian: we find the Hypostatic Union and Communicatio Idiomatum formally explicit; Bigg, 190.) The Word `deifies' Human Nature, first His Own, then in others as well (Cels. iii. 28, ina genhttui qeia: he does not use qeopoiesqai; the thought is subtly but really different from that which we found in Irenaeus: see Harnack, p. 551), by that perfect apprehension of Him oper hn prin genhtai sarc, of which faith in the Incarnate is the earliest but not the final stage (applying 2 Cor. v. 16; cf. the Commentary on the Song of Songs).
What account then does Origen give of the beginning and the end of the great Drama of existence? He starts from the end, which is the more clearly revealed; `God shall be all in all.' But `the end must be like the beginning;' One is the end of all, One is the beginning. From 1 Cor. xv. he works back to Romans viii.: the one is his key to the eternity after, the other, to the eternity before (Bigg pp. 193 sq.). Into this scheme he brings creation, evil, the history of Revelation, the Church and its life, the final consummation of all things. The Universe is eternal: God is prior to it in conception, yet He was never other than Creator. But in the history of the Universe the material world which we know is but a small episode. It began, and will end. It began with the estrangement of Will from God, will end with its reconciliation: God, from Whom is the beginning of all, `will be all in all.' (For Origen's eschatology see Bigg, 228-234.) From this point of view we must approach the two-sided Christology of Origen. To him the two sides were aspects of the same thing: but if the subtle presupposition as to God and the Universe is withdrawn, they become alternative and inconsistent Christologies, as we shall see to have actually happened. As God is eternally Creator, so He is eternally Father (Bigg, 160, note). The Son proceeds from Him not as a part of His Essence, but as the Ray from the Light; it cannot be rightly or piously said that He had a beginning, hn ote ouk hn (cf. De Princ. i. 2, iv. 28, and infr. p. 168); He is begotten from the Essence of the Father, He is of the same essence (omoousioj) (Fragm. 3 in Heb., but see Bigg, p. 179), there is no unlikeness whatever between the Son and the Father (Princ. i. 2, 12). He was begotten ek ton qelhmatoj tou Patroj (but to Origen the qelhma was inherent in the Divine Nature, cf. Bigg. 161, Harnack, p. 534 against Shedd, p. 301, note) not by probolh or emanation (Princ. iv. 28, i. 2. 4), as though the Son's generation were something that took place once for all, instead of existing continuously. The Father is in the Son, the Son in the Father: there is `coinherence.' On the other hand, the Word is God derivatively not absolutely, =O logoj hn proj ton Qeon, kai Q eoj hn o Logoj. The Son is Qeoj, the Father alone o Qeoj. He is of one ousia with the Father as compared with the creatures; but as contrasted with the Father, Who may be regarded as epekeina ousiaj18 , and Who alone is autoqeoj, autoagaqoj, alhqinoj qeoj, the Son is o detueroj qeoj (Cels. v. 39, cf. Philo's deutereuwn qeoj). As the Son of God, He is contrasted with all gentha; as contrasted with the Ingenerate Father, He stands at the head of the series of gennhta; He is metacu thj tou agen!n@htou kai thj twn yenhtwn fusewj19 . He even explains the Unity of the Father and the Son as moral (duo th upostasei pragmata en de th omo/oia kai th tautothti tou boulhmatoj, Cels. viii. 12). The Son takes His place even in the cosmic process from Unity to Unity through Plurality, `God is in every respect One and Simple, but the Saviour by reason of the Many becomes Many' (on John i. 22, cf. Index to this vol., s.v. Christ). The Spirit is subordinated to the Son, the Son to the Father (elattwn para ton patera o uioj ...eti de htton to pneuma to agion; Princ. I. 3, 5 Gk.), while to the Spirit are subordinated created spirits, whose goodness is relative in comparison with God, and the fall of some of whom led to the creation of matter (see above). Unlike the Son and the Spirit they are mutable in will, subject to prokoph, capable of embodiment even if in themselves immaterial.
The above slender sketch of the leading thoughts of Origen will suffice to show how intimately his doctrine of the Person of Christ hangs together with his philosophy of Religion and Nature. That philosophy is the philosophy of his age, and must be judged relatively. His deeply religious, candid, piercing spirit embodies the highest effort of the Christian intellect conditioned by the categories of the best thought of his age. Everywhere, while evading no difficulty, his strenuous speculative search is steadied by ethical and religious instinct. As against Valentinian and the Platonists, with both of whom he is in close affinity, he inexorably insists on the self-consciousness and moral nature of God, on human freewill. As against all contemporary non-Christian thought his system is pure monism. Yet the problem of evil, in which he merges the anti-thesis of matter and spirit, brings with it a necessary dualism, a dualism, however, which belongs but to a moment in the limitless eternity of God's all-in-allness before and after. Is he then a pantheist? No, for to him God is Love (in Ezek. vi. 6), and the rational creature is to be made divine and united to God by the reconciliation of Will and by conscious apprehension of Him. The idea of Will is the pivot of Origen's system, the centripetal force which forbids it to follow the pantheistic line which it yet undoubtedly touches. The `moral' unity of the Father and the Son (see above, tautothj boulhmatoj and ek tou qelhmatoj) is Unity in that very respect in which the Creator stands over against the self-determining rational creature. Yet the immutability, the Oneness of God, must be reconciled with the plurality, the mutability of the creature; here the Logos mediates; dia ta polla ginetai polla: but this must be from eternity:-accordingly creation is eternal too. Here we see that the cosmological idea has prevailed over the religious, the Logos of Origen is still in important particulars the Logos of the Apologists, of Philo and the philosophers. The difference lies in His co-eternity, upon which Origen insists without wavering. The resemblance lies in the intermediate20 position ascribed to Him between the agenntoj, (o Qeoj), and the genhta; He is, as Hypostasis, subordinate to the Father.
Now it is evident that the mere intellectual apprehension of a system which combines so many opposite tendencies, which touches every variety of the theological thought of the age (even modalism, for to Origen the Father is the Mon/aj, the autoqeoj, while yet He is no abstraction but a God who exists in moral activity, supra) and subtly harmonises them all, must have involved no ordinary philosophical power. When we add to this fact the further consideration that precisely the fundamental ideas of Origen were those which called forth the liveliest opposition and were gradually dropped by his followers, we can easily understand that in the next generation Origenism was no longer either the system of Origen, or a single system at all.
In one direction it could lend itself to no compromise; in spite of the justice done by Origen to the fundamental ideas both of modalism and of emanative adoptionism (cf. Harnack, pp. 548, note, and 586), to Monarchianism in either form he is diametrically opposed. The hypostatic distinctness of Son and Spirit is once for all made good for the theology of Eastern Christendom. We see his disciples exterminate Monarchianism in the East. On the left wing Dionysius refutes the Sabellians of Libya, on the right Gregory Thaumaturgus, Firmilian, and their brethren, after a long struggle, oust the adoptionist Paul from the See of Antioch. But its influence on the existing Catholic theology, however great (and in the East it was very great), inevitably made its way in the face of opposition, and at the cost of its original subtle consistency. The principal opposition came from Asia Minor, where the traditions of theological thought (see above, on Ignatius and Irenaeus, below on Marcellus) were not in sympathy21 with Origen. We cannot demonstrate the existence of a continuous theological school in Asia; but Methodius (270-300) certainly speaks with the voice of Ignatius and Irenaeus. He deals with Origen much as Irenaeus dealt with the Gnostics, defending against him the current sense of the regula fidei, and especially the literal meaning of Scripture, the origination of the soul along with the body, the resurrection of the body in the material sense, and generally opposing realism to the spiritualism of Origen. But in thus opposing Origen, Methodius is not uninfluenced by him (see Socr. vi. 13). He, too, is a student of Plato (with `little of his style or spirit'); his `realism' is `speculative.' He no longer defends the Asiatic Chiliasm, his doctrine of the Logos is coloured by Origen as that of Irenaeus was by the Apologists. The legacy of Methodius and of his Origenist contemporaries to the Eastern Church was a modified Origenism, that is a theology systematised on the intellectual basis of the Platonic philosophy, but expurgated by the standard of the regula fidei. This result was a compromise, and was at first attended with great confusion. Origen's immediate following seized some one side, some another of his system; some were more, some less influenced by the `orthodox' reaction against his teaching. We may distinguish an Origenist `right' and an Origenist `left.' If the Origenist view of the Universe was given up, the coeternity of the Son and Spirit with the Father was less firmly grasped. Origen had, if we may use the expression, `levelled up.' The Son was mediator between the Ingenerate God and the created, but eternal Universe. If the latter was not eternal, and if at the same time the Word stood in some essential correlation to the creative energy of God, Origen's system no longer implied the strict coeternity of the Word. Accordingly we find Dionysius (see below, p. 173 sqq.) uncertain on this point, and on the essential relation of the Son to the Father. More cautious in this respect, but tenacious of other startling features of Origen, were Pierius and Theognostus, who presided over the Catechetical School at the end of the century22 .
On the other hand, very many of Origen's pupils, especially among the bishops, started from the other side of Origen's teaching, and held tenaciously to the coeternity of the Son, while they abandoned the Origenist `paradoxes' with regard to the Universe, matter, pre-existence, and restitution. Typical of this class is Gregory Thaumaturgus, also Peter the martyr bishop of Alexandria, who expressly opposed many of Origen's positions (though hardly with the violence ascribed to him in certain supposed fragments in Routh, Rell. iv. 81) and Alexander himself. It was this `wing' of the Origenist following that, in combination with the opposition represented by Methodius, bequeathed to the generation contemporary with Nicaea its average theological tone. The coeternity of the Son with the Father was not (as a rule) questioned, but the essential relation of the Logos to the Creation involved a strong subordination of the Son to the Father, and by consequence of the Spirit to the Son. Monarchianism was the heresy most dreaded, the theology of the Church was based on the philosophical categories of Plato applied to the explanation and systematisation of the rule of faith. This was very far from Arianism. It lacked the logical definiteness of that system on the one hand, it rested on the other hand on a different conception of God; the hypostatic subordination of the Son was insisted upon, but His true Sonship as of one Nature with the Father, was held fast. In the slow process of time this neo-Asiatic theology found its way partly to the Nicene formula, partly to the illogical acceptance of it with regard to the Son, with refusal to apply it to the Spirit (Macedonius). To the men who thought thus, the blunt assertion that the Son was a creature, not coeternal, alien to the Essence of the Father, was a novelty, and wholly abhorrent. Arius drew a sharper line than they had been accustomed to draw between God and the creature; so did Athanasius. But Arius drew his line without flinching between the Father and the Son. This to the instinct of any Origenist was as revolting as it would have been to the clear mind and Biblical sympathy of Origen himself. In theological and philosophical principles alike Arius was opposed even to the tempered Origenism of the Nicene age. The latter was at the furthest remove from Monarchianism, Arianism was in its essential core Monarchian; the common theology borrowed its philosophical principles and method from the Platonists, Arius from Aristotle. To anticipate, Arianism and (so-called) semi-Arianism have in reality very little in common except the historical fact of common action for a time. Arianism guarded the transcendence of the divine nature (at the expense of revelation and redemption) in a way that `semi-Arianism,' admitting as it did inherent inequality in the Godhead, did not. They therefore tended in opposite directions; Arianism to Anomoeanism, `semi-Arianism' to the Nicene faith; their source was different. `Aristotle made men Arians,' says Newman with truth, `Plato, semi-Arians' (Arians , p. 335, note): but to say this is to allow that if Arianism goes back to Lucian and so to Paul of Samosata, semi-Arianism is a fragment from the wreck of Origen.
The Origenist bishops of Syria and Asia Minor had in the years 269-272, after several efforts, succeeded in deposing Paul of Samosata from the See of Antioch. This remarkable man was the ablest pre-Nicene representative of Adoptionist Monarchianism. The Man Jesus was inhabited by the `Word,' i.e. by an impersonal power of God, distinct from the Logoj or reason (wisdom) inherent in God as an attribute, which descended upon him at His Baptism. His union with God, a union of Will, was unswerving, and by virtue of it He overcame the sin of mankind, worked miracles, and entered on a condition of Deification. He is God ek prokophj (cf. Luke ii. 52) by virtue of progress in perfection. That is in brief the system of Paul, and we cannot wonder at his deposition. For the striking points of contact with Arianism (two `Wisdoms,' two `Words,' prokoph: cf. Orat. c. Ar. i. 5, &c.) we have to account23 . The theology of Arius is a compromise between the Origenist doctrine of the Person of Christ and the pure Monarchian Adoptionism of Paul of Samosata; or rather it engrafts the former upon the latter as the foundation principle, seriously modifying each to suit the necessity of combining the two. This compromise was not due to Arius himself but to his teacher, Lucian the Martyr. A native himself of Samosata, he stood in some relation of attachment (not clearly defineable) to Paul. Under him, he was at the head of a critical, exegetical, and theological school at Antioch. Upon the deposition of Paul he appears not so much to have been formally excommunicated as to have refused to acquiesce in the new order of things. Under Domnus and his two successors, he was in a state of suspended communion24 ; but eventually was reconciled with the bishop (Cyril?) and died as a martyr at Nicomedia, Jan. 7, 312. The latter fact, his ascetic life, and his learning secured him widespread honour in the Church; his pupils formed a compact and enthusiastic brotherhood, and filled many of the most influential Sees after the persecution. That such a man should be involved in the reproach of having given birth to Arianism is an unwelcome result of history, but one not to be evaded25 . The history of the Lucianic compromise and its result in the Lucianic type of theology, are both matters of inference rather than of direct knowledge. As to the first, whatever evidence there is connects Lucian's original position with Paul. His reconciliation with Bishop Cyril must have involved a reapproachment to the formula of the bishops who deposed Paul,-a thoroughly Origenist document. We may therefore suppose that the identification of Christ with the Logos, or cosmic divine principle, was adopted by him from Origenist sources. But he could not bring himself to admit that He was thus essentially identified with God the eternal; he held fast to the idea of prokoph as the path by which the Lord attained to Divinity; he distinguished the Word or Son who was Christ from the immanent impersonal Reason or Wisdom of God, as an offspring of the Father's Will, an idea which he may have derived straight from Origen, with whom of course it had a different sense. For to Origen Will was the very essence of God; Lucian fell back upon an arid philosophical Monotheism, upon an abstract God fenced about with negations (Harnack 226 , 195, note) and remote from the Universe. It was counted a departure from Lucian's principles if a pupil held that the Son was the `perfect Image of the Father's Essence' (Philost. ii. 15); Origen's formula, `distinct in hypostasis, but one in will,' was apparently exploited in a Samosatene sense to express the relation of the Son to the Father. The only two points in fact in which Lucian appears to have modified the system of Paul were, firstly in hypostatising the Logos, which to Paul was an impersonal divine power, secondly in abandoning Paul's purely human doctrine of the historical Christ. To Lucian, the Logos assumed a body (or rather 'Deus sapientiam suam misit in hunc mundum carne vestitam, ubi infra, p. 6), but itself took the place of a soul27 ; hence all the tapeinai leceij of the Gospels applied to the Logos as such, and the inferiority and essential difference of the Son from the Father rigidly followed.
The above account of Lucian is based on that of Harnack, Dogmg. ii. 184, sqq. It is at once in harmony with all our somewhat scanty data (Alexander, Epiphanius, Philostorgius, and the fragment of his last confession of faith preserved by Rufin. in Eus. H. E. ix. 9, Routh, Rell. iv. pp. 5-7, from which Harnack rightly starts) and is the only one which accounts for the phenomena of the rise of Arianism. We find a number of leading Churchmen in agreement with Arius, but in no way dependent on him. They are Eusebius of Nicomedia, Maris, Theognis, Athanasius of Anazarba, Menophantus; all Lucianists. The first Arian writer, Asterius (see below), is a Lucianist. (The Egyptian bishops Secundus and Theonas cannot be put down to any school; we do not know their history; but they are distinguished from the Lucianists by Philost. ii. 3.) It has been urged that, although Arius brought away heresy from the school of Lucian, yet he was not the only one that did so. True; but then the heresy was all of the same kind (list of pupils of Lucian in Philost. ii. 14, iii. 15). Aetius, the founder of logical ultra-Arianism and teacher of Eunomius, was taught the exegesis of the New Testament by the Lucianists Athanasius of Anazarba and Antony of Tarsus, of the Old by the Lucianist Leontius. This fairly covers the area of Arianism proper. But it may be noted that some Origenists of the `left wing,' whose theology emphasized the subordination, and vacillated as to the eternity of the Son, would find little to shock them in Arianism (Eusebius of Caesarea, Paulinus of Tyre), while on the other hand there are traces of a Lucianist `right wing,' men like Asterius, who while essentially Arian, made concessions to the `conservative' position chiefly by emphasising the cosmic mediation of the Word and His `exact likeness' to the Father28 . The Theology of the Eastern Church was suffering from the effort to assimilate the Origenist theology: it could not do so without eliminating the underlying and unifying idea of Origenism; this done, the overwhelming influence of the great teacher remained, while dissonant fragments of his system, vaguely comprehended in many cases, permeated some here, some there29 . Meanwhile the school of Lucian had a method and a system; they knew their own minds, and relied on reason and exegesis. This was the secret of their power. Had Arius never existed, Arianism must have tried its strength under such conditions. But the age was ready for Arius; and Arius was ready. The system of Arius was in effect that of Lucian: its formulation appears to have been as much the work of Asterius as of Arius himself. (Cf. p. 155, §8, o de Ar. metagrayaj dedwke toij idioij. The extant writings of Arius are his letters to Eus. Nic. and to Alexander, preserved by Theodoret and Epiph. Haer. 69, and the extracts from the `Thalia' in Ath., pp. 308-311, 457, 458; also the `confession' in Socr. i. 26, Soz. ii. 27. Cf. also references to his dicta in Ath. pp. 185, 229, &c.) Arius started from the idea of God and the predicate `Son.' God is above all things uncreated, or unoriginate, agen!n@htoj, (the ambiguity of the derivatives of gennasqai and genesqa; are a very important element in the controversy. See p. 475, note 5, and Lightfoot, Ignat. ii. p. 90 sqq.) Everything else is created, genhton. The name `Son' implies an act of procreation. Therefore, before such act, there was no Son, nor was God properly speaking a Father. The Son is not coeternal with Him. He was originated by the Father's will, as indeed were all things. He is, then, twn genhtwn, He came into being from non-existence (ec ouk ontwn), and before that did not exist (ouk hn prin genhtai). But His relation to God differs from that of the Universe generally. Created nature cannot bear the awful touch of bare Deity. God therefore created the Son that He in turn might be the agent in the Creation of the Universe-`created Him as the beginning of His ways,' (Prov. viii. 22, LXX.). This being so, the nature of the Son was in the essential point of agennhsia unlike that of the Father; (cenoj tou uiou kat ousian o Pathr oti anarxoj): their substances (upostaseij) are anepimiktoi,-have nothing in common. The Son therefore does not possess the fundamental property of sonship, identity of nature with the Father. He is a Son by Adoption, not by Nature; He has advanced by moral probation to be Son, even to be monogenhj qeoj (Joh. i. 14). He is not the eternal Logoj, reason, of God, but a Word (and God has spoken many): but yet He is the Word by grace; is no longer, what He is by nature, subject to change. He cannot know the Father, much less make Him known to others. Lastly, He dwells in flesh, not in full human nature (see above, p. xxviii. and note 2). The doctrine of Arius as to the Holy Spirit is not recorded, but probably He was placed between the Son and the other ktismata (yet see Harnack ii. 199, note 2).
Arian Literature. Beside the above-mentioned letters and fragments of Arius, our early Arian documents are scanty. Very important is the letter of Eus. Nic. to Paulinus, referred to above, (1), pp. xvi., xviii., other fragments of letters, p. 458 sq. The writings30 of Asterius, if preserved, would have been an invaluable source of information31 . Asterius seems to have written before the Nicene Council; he may have modified his language in later treatises. He was replied to by Marcellus in a work which brought him into controversy (336) with Eusebius of Caesarea. With the creeds and Arian literature after the death of Constantine we are not at present concerned.
Arianism was a novelty. Yet it combines in an inconsistent whole elements of almost every previous attempt to formulate the doctrine of the Person of Christ. Its sharpest antithesis was Modalism: yet with the modalist Arius maintained the strict personal unity of the Godhead. With dynamic monarchianism it held the adoptionist principle in addition; but it personified the Word and sacrificed the entire humanity of Christ. In this latter respect it sided with the Docetae, most Gnostics, and Manichaeans, to all of whom it yet opposes a sharply-cut doctrine of creation and of the transcendence of God. With Origen and the Apologists before him it made much of the cosmic mediation of the Word in contrast to the redemptive work of Jesus; with the Apologists, though not with Origen, it enthroned in the highest place the God of the Philosophers: but against both alike it drew a sharp broad line between the Creator and the Universe, and drew it between the Father and the Son. Least of all is Arianism in sympathy with the theology of Asia,-that of Ignatius, Irenaeus, Methodius, founded upon the Joannine tradition. The profound Ignatian idea of Christ as the Logoj apo sighj proelqwn is in impressive contrast with the shallow challenge of the Thalia, `Many words hath God spoken, which of these was manifested in the flesh?'
Throughout the controversies of the pre-Nicene age the question felt rather than seen in the background is that of the Idea of God. The question of Monotheism and Polytheism which separated Christians from heathen was not so much a question of abstract theology as of religion, not one of speculative belief, but of worship. The Gentile was prepared to recognise in the background of his pantheon the shadowy form of one supreme God, Father of gods and men, from whom all the rest derived their being. But his religion required the pantheon as well; he could not worship a philosophic supreme abstraction. The Christian on the other hand was prepared in many cases to recognise the existence of beings corresponding to the gods of the heathen (whether 1 Cor. viii. 5 can be quoted here is open to question). But such beings he would not worship. To him, as an object of religion, there was one God. The one God of the heathen was no object of practical personal religion; the One God of the Christian was. He was the God of the Old Testament, the God who was known to His people not under philosophical categories, but in His dealings with them as a Father, Deliverer, He who would accomplish all things for them that waited on Him, the God of the Covenant. He was the God of the New Testament, God in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, manifesting His Righteousness in the Gospel of Christ to whosoever believed. In Christ the Christian learned that God is Love. Now this knowledge of God is essentially religious; it lies in a different plane from the speculative aporiai as to God's transcendence or immanence, while yet it steadies the religious mind in the face of speculations tending either way. A God who is Love, if immanent, must yet be personal, if transcendent, must yet manifest His Love in such a way that we can know it and not merely guess it. Now as Christian instinct began to be forced to reflexion, in other words, as faith began to strive for expression in a theology32 , it could not but be that men, however personally religious, seized hold of religious problems by their speculative side. We have seen this exemplified in the influence of Platonic philosophy on the Apologists and Alexandrine Fathers. But to Origen, with all his Platonism, belongs the honour of enthroning the God of Love at the head and centre of a systematic theology. Yet the theology of the end of the third century assimilated secondary results of Origen's system rather than his underlying idea. On the one hand was the rule of faith with the whole round of Christian life and worship, determining the religious instinct of the Church; on the other, the inability to formulate this instinct in a coherent system so long as the central problem was overlooked or inadequately dealt with. God is One, not more; yet how is the One God to be conceived of, what is His relation to the Universe of genesij and fqora? and the Son is God, and the Spirit; how are they One, and if One how distinct? How do we avoid the relapse into a polytheism of secondary gods? What is-not the essential nature of Godhead, for all agreed that that is beyond our ken-but the prwton hmin, the essential idea for us to begin from if we are to synthesise belief and theology, pistij and gnwsij?
Arianism stepped in with a summary answer. God is one, numerically and absolutely. He is beyond the ken of any created intelligence. Even creation is too close a relation for Him to enter into with the world. In order to create, he must create an instrument (pp. 360 sqq.), intermediate between Himself and all else. This instrument is called Son of God, i.e. He is not coeternal (for what son was ever as old as his parent?), but the result of an act of creative will. How then is He different from other creatures? This is the weak point of the system; He is not really different, but a difference is created by investing Him with every possible attribute of glory and divinity except the possession of the incommunicable nature of deity. He is merely `anointed above His fellows.' His `divinity' is acquired, not original; relative, not absolute; in His character, not in His Person. Accordingly He is, as a creature, immeasurably far from the Creator; He does not know God, cannot declare God to us. The One God remains in His inaccessible remoteness from the creature. But yet Arians worshipped Christ; although not very God, He is God to us. Here we have the exact difficulty with which the Church started in her conflict with heathenism presented again unsolved. The desperate struggle, the hardly earned triumph of the Christians, had been for the sake of the essential principle of heathenism! The One God was, after all, the God of the philosophers; the idea of pagan polytheism was realised and justified in Christ33 ! To this Athanasius returns again and again (see esp. p. 360); it is the doom of Arianism as a Christian theology.
If Arianism failed to assist the thought of the Church to a solution of the great problem of God, its failure was not less conspicuous with regard to revelation and redemption. The revelation of the Gospel stopped short in the person of Christ, did not go back to the Father. God was not in Christ reconciling the world to Himself, we have access in Christ to a created intelligence, not to the love of God to usward, not to the everlasting Arms, but to a being neither divine nor human. Sinners against heaven and before God, we must accept an assurance of reconciliation from one who does not know Him whom we have offended; the kiss of the Father has never been given to the prodigal. Men have asked how we are justified in ascribing to the infinite God the attributes which we men call good: mercy, justice, love. If Christ is God, the answer lies near; if He is the Christ of Arius, we are left in moral agnosticism. Apart from Christ, the philosophical arguments for a God have their force; they proffer to us an ennobling belief, a grand `perhaps; but the historical inability of Monotheism to retain a lasting hold among men apart from revelation is an impressive commentary on their compelling power. In Christ alone does God lay hold upon the soul with the assurance of His love (Rom. v. 5-8; Matt. xi. 28; John xvii. 3). The God of Arius has held out no hand toward us; he is a far-off abstraction, not a living nor a redeeming God.
The illogicality of Arianism has often been pointed out (Gwatkin, pp. 21 sqq. esp. p. 28); how, starting from the Sonship of Christ, it came round to a denial of His Sonship; how it started with an interest for Monotheism and landed in a vindication of polytheism; how it began from the incomprehensibility of God even to His Son, and ended (in its most pronounced form) with the assertion that the divine Nature is no mystery at all, even to us. It is an insult to the memory of Aristotle to call such shallow hasty syllogising from ill-selected and unsifted first principles by his name. Aristotle himself teaches a higher logic than this. But at this date Aristotelianism proper was extinct. It only survived in the form of `pure' logic, adopted by the Platonists, but also studied for its own sake in connection with rhetoric and the art of arguing (cf. Socr. ii. 35). Such an instrument might well be a cause of confusion in the hands of men who used it without regard to the conditions of the subject-matter. An illogical compromise between the theology of Paul of Samosata and of Origen, the marvel is that Arianism satisfied any one even in the age of its birth. What has been said above with regard to the conception of God in the early Church may help to explain it; the germ of ethical insight which is latent in adoptionism, and which when neglected by the Church has always made itself felt by reaction, must also receive justice; once again, its inherent intellectualism was in harmony with the dominant theology of the Eastern Church, that is with one side of Origenism. Where analogous conditions have prevailed, as for example in the England of the early eighteenth century, Arianism has tended to reappear with no one of its attendant incongruities missing.
But for all that, the doom of Arianism was uttered at Nicaea and verified in the six decades which followed. Every possible alternative formula of belief as to the Person of Christ was forced upon the mind of the early Church, was fully tried, and was found wanting. Arianism above all was fully tried and above all found lacking. The Nicene formula alone has been found to render possible the life, to satisfy the instincts of the Church of Christ. The choice lies-nothing is clearer-between that and the doctrine of Paul of Samosata. The latter, it has been said, was misunderstood, was never fairly tried. As a claimant to represent the true sense of Christianity it was I think once for all rejected when the first Apostles gave the right hand of fellowship to S. Paul (see above, p. xxii.); its future trial must be in the form of naturalism, as a rival to Christianity, on the basis of a denial of the claim of Christ to be the One Saviour of the World, and of His Gospel to be the Absolute Religion. But Arianism, adding to all the difficulties of a supernatural Christology the spirit of the shallowest rationalism and the fundamental postulate of agnosticism, can surely count for nothing in the Armageddon of the latter days,
Spiacente a Dio ed a' nemici suoi.
(b) The omoousion as a theological formula34 .
The distinction, which in the foregoing discussion we have frequently had under our notice, between the pistij and gnwsij of the early Church, the pisij common to all, and formulated in the tessera or rule of faith, the gnwsij the property of apologists and theologians aiming at the expression of faith in terms of the thought of their age, and at times, though for long only slightly, reacting upon the rule of faith itself (Aquileia, Caesarea, Gregory Thaumaturgus), makes itself felt in the account of the Nicene Council. That the legacy of the first world-wide gathering of the Church's rulers is a Rule of Faith moulded by theological reflexion, one in which the gnwsi" of the Church supplements her pistij, is a momentous fact; a fact for which we have to thank not Athanasius but Arius. The pistij of the Fathers repudiated Arianism as a novelty; but to exclude it from the Church some test was indispensable; and to find a test was the task of theology, of gnwsij. The Nicene Confession is the Rule of Faith explained as against Arianism. Arianism started with the Christian profession of belief in our Lord's Sonship. If the result was incompatible with such belief, it was inevitable that an explanation should be given, not indeed of the full meaning of divine Sonship, but of that element in the idea which was ignored or assailed by the misconception of Arius. Such an explanation is attempted in the words ek thj ousiaj tou patroj, omoousiantw Patri, and again in the condemnation of the formula ec eteraj upostasewj h ousiaj. This explanation was not adopted without hesitation, nor would it have been adopted had any other barrier against the heresy, which all but very few wished to exclude, appeared effective. We now have to examine firstly the grounds of this hesitation, secondly the justification of the formula itself.
The objections felt to the word omoousion at the council were (1) philosophical, based on the identification of ousia with either eiooj (i.e. as implying a `formal essence' prior to Father and Son alike) or ulh; (2) dogmatic, based on the identification of ousia with tode ti, and on the consequent Sabellian sense of the omoousion; (3) Scriptural, based on the non-occurrence of the word in the Bible; (4) Ecclesiastical, based on the condemnation of the word by the Synod which deposed Paul at Antioch in 269.
All these objections were made and felt bona fide, although Arians would of course make the most of them. The subsequent history will shaw that their force was outweighed only for the moment with many of the fathers, and that to reconcile the `conservatism' of the Asiatic bishops to the new formula must be a matter of time. The third or Scriptural objection need not now be discussed at length. Precedent could be pleaded for the introduction into creeds of words not expressly found in Scripture (e.g. the word `catholic' applied to the Church in many ancient creeds, the creed of Gregory Thaumaturgus with tria" teleia, &c. &c.); the only question was, were the non-scriptural words expressive of a Scriptural idea? This was the pith of the question debated between Athanasius and his opponents for a generation after the council; the `conservative' majority eventually came round to the conviction that Athanasius was right. But the question depends upon the meaning of the word itself.
The word means sharing in a joint or common essence, ousia (cf. pmwnumoj, sharing the same name, &c. &c.). What then is ousia? The word was introduced into philosophical use, so far as we know, by Plato, and its technical value was fixed for future ages by his pupil Aristotle. Setting aside its use to express `existence' in the abstract, we take the more general use of the word as indicating that which exists in the concrete. In this sense it takes its place at the centre of his system of `categories,' as the something to which all determinations of quality, quantity, relation and the rest attach, and which itself attaches to nothing; in Aristotle's words it alone is self-existent, cwriston, whereas all that comes under any of the other categories is acwriston, non-existent except as a property of some ousia. But here the difficulty begins. We may look at a concrete term as denoting either this or that individual simply (prwtwj), or as expressing its nature, and so as common to more individuals than one. Now properly (prwtwj) ousia is only appropriate to the former purpose. But it may be employed in a secondary sense to designate the latter; in this sense species and genera are deuterai ousiai, the wider class being less truly ousiai than the narrower. In fact we here detect the transition of the idea of ousia from the category of ousia proper to that of poion cf. Athan. p. 478 sq.; he uses ousia freely in the secondary sense for non-theological purposes in contra Gentes, where it is often best rendered`nature'). Aristotle accordingly uses ousia freely to designate what we call substances, whether simple or compound, such as iron, gold, earth, the heavens, to akinhton, &c., &c. Corresponding again, to the logical distinction of genoj and eiooj is the metaphysical distinction (not exactly of matter and form, but) of matter simply, regarded as to npokeimenon, and matter regarded as existing in this or that form, to poion to en th onsia, to ti hneinai the meeting-point of logic and metaphysics in Aristotle's system. Agreeably to this distinction, onsia is used sometimes of the latter-the concrete thing regarded in its essential nature, sometimes of the former h np okeimenh onsia wj nlh, nlh being in fact the summum genus of the material world.
Now the use of the word in Christian theology had exemplified nearly every one of the above senses. In the quasi-mateial sense omoonsion had been used in the school of Valentinian to express the homogeneity of the two factors in the fundamental dualism of the Universe of intelligent beings. In a somewhat similar sense it is used in the Clementine Homilies xx. 7. The Platonic phrase for the Divine Nature, epekeina pashj onsiaj, adopted by Origen and by Athanasius contra Gentes, appears to retain something of the idea of ousia as implying material existence; and this train of associations had to be expressly disclaimed in defending the Nicene formula. In the sense of homogeneity the word omoonsion is expressly applied by Origen, as we have seen, to the Father and the Son: on the other hand, taking ousia in the`primary'Aristotelian sense, he has eteroj kat onj ian kai npokeimenon
In the West (see above on Tertullian and Novatian) the Latin substantia (Cicero had in vain attempted to give currency to the less euphonious but more suitable essentia) had taken its place in the phrase unius substantioeoe or communio substantioeoe, intended to denote not only the homogeneity but the Unity of Father and Son. Accordingly we find Dionysius of Rome pressing the test upon his namesake of Alexandria and the latter not declining it (below, p. 183). But a few years later we find the Origenist bishops, who with the concurrence of Dionysius of Rome deposed Paul of Samosata, expressly repudiating the term. This fact, which is as certain as any fact in Church history (see Routh Rell. iii. 364 &c., Caspari Alte u. Neue. Q., pp. 161 sqq.), was a powerful support to the Arians in their subsequent endeavours to unite the conservative East in reaction against the council. Scholars are fairly equally divided as to the explanation of the fact. Some hold, following Athanasius and Basil, that Paul imputed the omoonsion (in a materialising sense) to his opponents, as a consequence of the doctrine they opposed to his own, and that `the 80' in repudiating the word, repudiated the idea that the divine nature could be divided by the emanation of a portion of it in the Logos. Hilary, on the other hand, tells us that the word was used by Paul himself ('male omoonsion Paulus confessus est, sed numquid melius Arii negaverunt?') If so, it must have been meant to deny the existence of the Logos as an onsia (i.e. Hypostasis) distinct from the Father. Unfortunately we have not the original documents to refer to. But in either case the word was repudiated at Antioch in one sense, enacted at Nicaea in another. The fact however remains that the term does not exclude ambiguity. Athanasius is therefore going beyond strict accuracy when he claims (p. 164) that no one who is not an Arian can fail to be in agreement with the Synod. Marcellus and Photinus alone prove the contrary. But he is right in regarding the word as rigidly excluding the heresy of Arius.
This brings us to the question in what sense onsia is used in the Nicene definition. We must remember the strong Western and anti-Origenist influence which prevailed in the council (above, p. xvii.), and the use of npostasi and onsia as convertible terms in the anathematism (see Excursus A, pp. 77, sqq. below). Now going back for a moment to the correspondence of the two Dionysii, we see that Dionysius of Rome had contended not so much against the subordination of the Son to the Father as against their undue separation (memerismenai npostasei). In other words he had pressed the omoonsion upon his namesake in the interest rather of the unity than of the equality of the Persons in the Holy Trinity. At Nicaea, the problem was (as shewn above) to explain (at least negatively) how the Church understood the Generation of the Son. Accordingly we find Athanasius in later years explaining that the Council meant to place beyond doubt the Essential Relation of the Divine Persons to one another (to izion thj onsiaj, tanntothj, see de Decr. pp. 161, 163 sq., 165, 168, 319; of course including identity of Nature, pp. 396, 413, 232), and maintaining to the end (where he expresses his own view, p. 490, &c.) the convertibility of onsia and npostasij for this purpose. By the word ogeoj or qeoj he understands ouoen eteron h tmn ousian tou ontoj (de Decr. 22). The conclusion is that in their original sense the definitions of Nicaeaea assert not merely the specific identity of the Son with the Father (as Peter qua man is of one ousia with Paul, or the Emperor's statue of one form with the Emperor himself, p. 396), but the full unbroken continuation of the Being of the Father in the Son, the inseparable unity of the Son with the Father in the Oneness of the Godhead. Here the phrase is `balanced' by the ek thj !upostasewsh@ ousiaj tou Patroj not as though merely one ousia had given existence to another, but in the sense that with such origination the ousia remained the same. This is a`first approximation to the mysterious doctrine of the perixwrhsij= coinherence, or`circuminsessio,'which is necessary to guard the doctrine of the Trinity against tritheism, but which, it must be observed, lifts it out of the reach of the categories of any system of thought in which the workings of human intelligence have ever been able to organise themselves. The doctrine of the Holy Trinity vindicated by the Nicene formula on the one hand remains, after the exclusion of others, as the one direction in which the Christian intellect can travel without frustrating and limiting the movement of faith, without bringing to a halt the instinct of faith in Christ as Saviour, implanted in the Church by the teaching of S. Paul and of S. John, of the Lord Himself: on the other hand it is not a full solution of the intellectual difficulties with which the analysis of that faith and those instincts brings us face to face. That God is One, and that the Son is God, are truths of revelation which the category of`substance'fails to synthesise. The Nicene Definition furnishes a basis of agreement for the purpose of Christian devotion, worship, and life, but leaves two theologies face to face, with mutual recognition as the condition of the healthy life of either. The theology of Athanasius and of the West is that of the Nicene formula in its original sense. The inseparable Unity of the God of Revelation is its pivot. The conception of personality in the Godhead is its difficulty. The distinctness of the Father, Son, and Spirit is felt (alloj o Pathr alloj o uioj), but cannot be formulated so as to satisfy our full idea of personality. For this Athanasius had no word; prosqpon meant too little (implying as it did no more than an aspect possibly worn but for a special period or purpose), upostasij (implying such personality as separates Peter from Paul) too much. But he recognised the admissibility of the sense in which the Nicene formula eventually, in the theology of the Cappadocian fathers, won its way to supremacy in the East. To them upostasij was an appropriate term to express the distinction of Persons in the Godhead, while ousia expressed the divine Nature which they possessed in common (see Excursus A. p. 77 sqq.). This sense of ousia approximated to that of species, or eiooj (Aristotle's `secondary' ousia), while that of upostasi gravitated toward that of personality in the empirical sense. But in neither case did the approximation amount to complete identity. The idea of trine personality was limited by the consideration of the Unity; the perixwrhsij was recognised, although in a somewhat different form, the prominent idea in Athanasius being that of coinherence or immanence, whereas the Cappadocians, while using, of course, the language of John xiv. II, yet prefer the metaphor of successive dependence wsper ec alusew. (Bas. Ep. 38, p. II8 D). To Athanasius, the Godhead is complete not in the Father alone, still less in the Three Persons as parts of the one ousia, but in each Person as much as in all. The Cappadocian Fathers go back to the Origenist view that the Godhead is complete primarily in the Father alone, but mediately in the Son or Spirit, by virtue of their origination from the Father as phgh or aitia thj qeothtoj. To Athanasius the distinct Personality of Son and Spirit was the difficulty; his difference from Origen was wide, from Marcellus subtle. To the Cappadocians the difficulty was the Unity of the Persons; to Marcellus they were toto coeoelo opposed, they are the pupils of Origen35 . Accordingly when Basil makes a distinction between ousia and upostasij in the Nicene anathematism, he is giving not historical exegesis but his own opinion.
The Nicene definition in this sense emphasized the Unity of the Godhead in Three Persons, against the Arian division of the Son from the Father. How then did it escape the danger of lending countenance to Monarchiansm? Athanasius feels the difficulty without solving it, for the distinction given by him, p. 84, between omoousioj and monoousioj is without real meaning (we say with Tertullian`of one substance'). On the whole in mature years he held that the title`Son'was sufficient to secure the Trinity of Persons.`By the name Father we confute Arius, by the name of Son we overthrow Sabellius'(p. 434; cf. p. 413); and we find that the council in its revision of the Caeaesarean creed shifted uioj to the principal position where it took the place of logoj. Beyond this the Creed imposed no additional test in that direction (the ek thj ousiaj is important but not decisive in this respect). This was felt as an objection to the Creed, and the objection was pointed by the influence of Marcellus at the council. The historical position of Marcellus is in fact, as we shall see, the principal key to the`conservative'reaction which followed. The insertion into the conservative creeds of a clause asserting the endlessness of Christ's Kingdom, which eventually received ecumenical authority, was an expression of this feeling. But a final explanation between the Nicene doctrine and Monarchianism could not come about until the idea of Personality had been tested in the light of the appearance of the Son in the Flesh. The solution, or rather definition, of the problem is to be sought in the history of the Christological questions which began with Apollinarius of Laodicea.
The above account of the anti-Arian test formulated at Nicaeaea will suffice to explain the motives for its adoption, the difficulties which made that adoption reluctant, and the fact of the reaction which followed. One thing is clear, namely that given the actual conditions, nothing short of the test adopted would have availed to exclude the Arian doctrine. It is also I think clear, that not only was the current theology of the Eastern Church unable to cope with Arianism, but that it was itself a danger to the Church and in need of the corrective check of the Nicene definition. Hellenic as was the system of Origen, it was in its spirit Christian, and saturated with the influence of Scripture. It could never have taken its place as the expression of the whole mind of the Church; but it remains as the noblest monument of a Christian intellect resolutely in love with truth for its own sake, and bent upon claiming for Christ the whole range of the legitimate activity of the human spirit. But the age had inherited only the wreck of Origenism, and its partial victory in the Church had brought confusion in its train, the leaders of the Church were characterised by secular knowledge rather than grasp of first principles, by dogmatic intellectualism rather than central apprehension of God in Christ. Eusebius of Caeaesarea is their typical representative. The Nicene definition and the work of Athanasius which followed were a summons back to the simple first principles of the Gospel and the Rule of Faith. What then is their value to ourselves? Above all, this, that they have preserved to us what Arianism would have destroyed, that assurance of Knowledge of, and Reconciliation to, God in Christ of which the divinity of the Saviour is the indispensable condition; if we are now Christians in the sense of S. Paul we owe it under God to the work of the great synod. Not that the synod explained all; or did more than effectually `block off false forms of thought or avenues of unbalanced inference'which`challenged the acceptance of Christian people.'The decisions of councils are`primarily not the Church saying "yes" to fresh truths or developments or forms of consciousness; but rather saying "no" to untrue and misleading modes of shaping and stating her truth,' (Lux Mundi, ed. i. p. 240, cf. p. 334). It is objected that the Nicene Formula, especially as understood by Athanasius, is itself a `false form of thought,' a flat contradiction in terms. That the latter is true we do not dispute (see Newman's notes infra, p. 336, note 1, &c.). But before pronouncing the form of thought for that reason a false one, we must consider what the `terms' are, and to what they are applied. To myself it appears that a religion which brought the divine existence into the compass of the categories of any philosophy would by that very fact forfeit its claim to the character of revelation. The categories of human thought are the outcome of organised experience of a sensible world, and beyond the limits of that world they fail us. This is true quite apart from revelation. The ideas of essence and substance, personality and will, separateness and continuity, cause and effect, unity and plurality, are all in different degrees helps which the mind uses in order to arrange its knowledge, and valid within the range of experience, but which become a danger when invested with absolute validity as things in themselves. Even the mathematician reaches real results by operating with terms which contain a perfect contradiction (e.g. Ö-1, and to some extent the `calculus of operations'). The idea of Will in man, of Personality in God, present difficulties which reason cannot reconcile.
The revelation of Christ is addressed primarily to the will not to the intellect, its appeal is to Faith not to Theology. Theology is the endeavour of the Christian intellect to frame for itself conceptions of matters belonging to the immediate consequences of our faith, matters about which we must believe something, but as to which the Lord and His Apostles have delivered nothing formally explicit. Theology has no doubt its certainties beyond the express teaching of our Lord and the New Testament writers; but its work is subject to more than the usual limitations of human thought: we deal with things outside the range of experience, with celestial things; but `we have no celestial language.' To abandon all theology would be to acquiesce in a dumb faith: we are to teach, to explain, to defend; the logoj sofiaj and logoj gnwsewj have from the first been gifts of the Spirit for the building up of the Body. But we know in part and prophesy in part, and our terms begin to fail us just in the region where the problem of guarding the faith of the simple ends and the inevitable metaphysic, into which all pure reflexion merges, begins. Eite oun filosofhteon eite mh filosofhteon, filosofhteon, `man is metaphysical nolens volens:' only let us recollect that when we find ourselves in the region of antinomies we are crossing the frontier line between revelation and speculation, between the domain of theology and that of ontology. That this line is approached in the definition of the great council no one will deny. But it was reached by the council and by the subsequent consent of the Church reluctantly and under compulsion. The bold assumption that we can argue from the revelation of God in Christ to mysteries beyond our experience was made by the Gnostics, by Arius: the Church met them by a denial of what struck at the root of her belief, not by the claim to erect formulaeae applied merely for the lack of better into a revealed ontology. In the terms Person, Hypostasis, Will, Essence, Nature, Generation, Procession, we have the embodiment of ideas extracted from experience, and, as applied to God, representing merely the best attempt we can make to explain what we mean when we speak of God as Father and of Christ as His Son. Even these last sacred names convey their full meaning to us only in view of the historical person of Christ and of our relation to God through Him. That this meaning is based upon an absolute relation of Christ to the Father is the rock of our faith. That relation is mirrored in the name Son of God: but what it is in itself, when the empirical connotations of Sonship are stripped away, we cannot possibly know. `Omoousioj tw Patpi, ek thj ousiaj tou Patroj' these words assert at once our faith that such relation exists and our ignorance of its nature. To the simplicity of faith it is enough to know (and this knowledge is what our formula secures) that in Christ we have not only the perfect Example of Human Love to God, but the direct expression and assurance of the Father's Love to us.
(c) Materials for Reaction.
`The victory of Nicaeaea was rather a surprise than a solid conquest. As it was not the spontaneous and deliberate purpose of the bishops present, but a revolution which a minority had forced through by sheer strength of clearer Christian thought, a reaction was inevitable as soon as the half-convinced conservatives returned home' (Gwatkin). The reaction, however, was not for a long time overtly doctrinal. The defeat, the moral humiliation of Arianism at the council was too signal, the prestige of the council itself too overpowering, the Emperor too resolute in supporting its definition, to permit of this. Not till after the death of Constantine in 337 does the policy become manifest of raising alternative symbols to a coordinate rank with that of Nicaeaea; not till six years after the establishment of Constantius as sole Emperor,-i.e. not till 357,- did Arianism once again set its mouth to the trumpet. During the reign of Constantine the reaction, though doctrinal in its motive, was personal in its ostensible grounds. The leaders of the victorious minority at Nicaeaea are one by one attacked on this or that pretence and removed from their Sees, till at the time of Constantine's death the East is in the hands of their opponents. What were the forces at work which made this possible?
(1) Persecuted Arians. Foremost of all, the harsh measures adopted by Constantine with at least the tacit approval of the Nicene leaders furnished material for reaction. Arius and his principal friends were sent into exile, and as we have seen they went in bitterness of spirit. Arius himself was banished to Illyricum, and would seem to have remained there five or six years. (The chronology of his recall is obscure, but see D.C.B. ii. 364, and Gwatkin, p. 86, note 2). It would be antecedently very unlikely that a religious exile would spare exertions to gain sympathy for himself and converts to his opinions. As a matter of fact, Arianism had no more active supporters during the next half-century than two bishops of the neighbouring province of Pannonia, Valens of Mursa (Mitrowitz), and Ursacius36 of Singidunum (Belgrade). Valens and Ursacius are described as pupils of Arius, and there is every reason to trace their personal relations with the heresiarch to his Illyrian exile. The seeds sown in Illyria at this time were still bearing fruit nearly 50 years later (pp. 489, 494, note). Secundus nursed his bitterness fully thirty years (p. 294; cf. 456). Theognis grasped at revenge at Tyre in 335 (pp. 104, 114). Eusebius of Nicomedia, recalled from exile with his friend and neighbour Theognis, not long after the election of Athanasius in 328, was ready to move heaven and earth to efface the results of the council. The harsh measures against the Arians then, if insufficient to account for the reaction, at any rate furnished it with the energy of personal bitterness and sense of wrong.
(2) The Eusebians and the Court. Until the council of Sardica (i.e. a short time after the death of Eusebius of Nicomedia), the motive power of the reaction proceeded from the environment of Eusebius, oi peri Eusebion. It should be observed once for all that the term `Eusebians' is the later and inexact equivalent of the last named Greek phrase, which (excepting perhaps p. 436) has reference to Eusebius of Nicomedia only, and not to his namesake of Caeaesarea. The latter, no doubt, lent his support to the action of the party, but ought not to suffer in our estimation from the misfortune of his name. Again, the `Eusebians' are not a heresy, nor a theological party or school; they are the `ring,' or personal entourage, of one man, a master of intrigue, who succeeded in combining a very large number of men of very different opinions in more or less close association for common ecclesiastical action. The `Eusebians' sensu latiori are the majority of Asiatic bishops who were in reaction against the council and its leaders; in the stricter sense the term denotes the pure Arians like Eusebius, Theognis, and the rest, and those `political Arians' who without settled adherence to Arian principles, were, for all practical purposes, hand in glove with Eusebius and his fellows. To the former class emphatically belong Valens and Ursacius, whose recantation in 347 is the solitary and insufficient foundation for the sweeping generalisation of Socrates (ii. 37), that they `always inclined to the party in power,' and George, the presbyter of Alexandria, afterwards bishop of the Syrian Laodicea, who, although he went through a phase of `conservatism,' 357-359, began and ended (Gwatkin, pp. 181-183) as an Arian, pure and simple. Among `political Arians' of this period Eusebius of Caeaesarea is the chief. He was not, as we have said above, an Arian theologically, yet whatever allowances may be made for his conduct during this period (D.C.B., ii. 315, 316) it tended all in one direction. But on the whole, political Arianism is more abundantly exemplified in the Homoeans of the next generation, whose activity begins about the time of the death of Constans. The Eusebians proper were political indeed ei tinej kai alloi, but their essential Arianism is the one element of principle about them37 . Above all, the employment of the term `Semi-Arians' as a synonym for Eusebians, or indeed as a designation of any party at this period, is to be strongly deprecated. It is the (possibly somewhat misleading, but reasonable and accepted) term for the younger generation of convinced `conservatives,' whom we find in the sixth decade of the century becoming conscious of their essential difference in principle from the Arians, whether political or pure, and feeling their way toward fusion with the Nicenes. These are a definite party, with a definite theological position, to which nothing in the earlier period exactly corresponds. The Eusebians proper were not semi-, but real Arians. Eusebius of Coeoesarea and the Asiatic conservatives are the predecessors of the semi-Arians, but their position is not quite the same. Reserving them for a moment, we must complete our account of the Eusebians proper. Their nucleus consisted of the able and influential circle of `Lucianists;' it has been remarked by an unprejudiced observer that, so far as we know, not one of them was eminent as a religious character (Harnack, ii. 185); their strength was in fixity of policy and in ecclesiastical intrigue; and their battery was the imperial court. Within three years of the Council, Constantine had begun to waver, not in his resolution to maintain the Nicene Creed, that he never relaxed, but in his sternness toward its known opponents. His policy was dictated by the desire for unity: he was made to feel the lurking dissatisfaction of the bishops of Asia, perhaps as his anger was softened by time he missed the ability and ready counsel of the extruded bishop of his residential city. An Arian presbyter (`Eustathius' or `Eutokius'?), who was a kind of chaplain to Constantia, sister of Constantine and widow of Licinius, is said to have kept the subject before the Emperor's mind after her death (in 328, see Socr. i. 25). At last, as we have seen, first Eusebius and Theognis were recalled, then Arius himself was pardoned upon his general assurance of agreement with the faith of the Synod.
The atmosphere of a court is seldom favourable to a high standard of moral or religious principle; and the place-hunters and hangers-on of the imperial courts of these days were an exceptionally worthless crew (see Gwatkin, p. 60, 100, 234). It is a tribute to the Nicene cause that their influence was steadily on the other side, and to the character of Constantine that he was able throughout the greater part of the period to resist it, at any rate as far as Athanasius was concerned. But on the whole the court was the centre whence the webs of Eusebian intrigue extended to Egypt, Antioch, and many other ohscurer centres of attack.
The influences outside the Church were less directly operative in the campaign, but such as they were they served the Eusebian plans. The expulsion of a powerful bishop from the midst of a loyal flock was greatly assisted by the co-operation of a friendly mob; and Jews (pp. 94, 296), and heathen alike were willing to aid the Arian cause. The army, the civil service, education, the life of society were still largely heathen; the inevitable influx of heathen into the Church, now that the empire had become Christian, brought with it multitudes to whom Arianism was a more intelligible creed than that of Nicaea; the influence of the philosophers was a serious factor, they might well welcome Arianism as a `Selbstersetzung des Christentums.' This is not inconsistent with the instances of persecution of heathenism by Arian bishops, and of savage heathen reprisals, associated with the names of George of Alexandria, Patrophilus, Mark of Arethusa, and others. (For a fuller discussion, with references, see Gwatkin, pp. 53-59.)
(3.) The Ecclesiastical Conservatives. Something has already been said in more than one connection to explain how it came to pass that the very provinces whose bishops made up thelarge numerical majority at Nicaea, also furnished the numbers which swelled the ranks of the Eusebians at Tyre, Antioch, and Philippopolis. The actual men were, of course, in many cases38 changed in the course of years, but the sees were the same, and there is ample evidence that the staunch Nicene party were in a hopeless minority in Asia Minor39 and but little stronger in Syria. The indefiniteness of this mass of episcopal opinion justifies the title `Conservative.' In adopting it freely, we must not forget, what the whole foregoing account has gone to shew, that their conservatism was of the empirical or short-sighted kind, prone to acquiesce in things as they are, hard to arouse to a sense of a great crisis, reluctant to step out of its groove. If by conservatism we mean action which really tends to preserve the vital strength of an institution, then Athanasius and the leaders of Nicaea were the only conservatives. But it is not an unknown thing for vulgar conservatism to take alarm at the clear grasp of principles and facts which alone can carry the State over a great crisis, and by wrapping itself up in its prejudices to play into the hands of anarchy. Common men do not easily rise to the level of mighty issues. Where Demosthenes saw the crisis of his nation's destiny, Aeschines saw materials for a personal impeachment of his rival. In the anti-Nicene reaction the want of clearness of thought coincided with the fatal readiness to magnify personal issues. Here was the opportunity of the Arian leaders: a confused succession of personal skirmishes, in which the mass of men saw no religious principle, nor any combined purpose (Soc. i. 13, nuktomaxiaj teouden apeixe ta ginomena) was conducted from headquarters with a fixed steady aim. But their machinations would have been fruitless had the mass of the bishops been really in sympathy with the council to which they were still by their own action committed. `Arian hatred of the council would have been powerless if it had not rested on a formidable mass of conservative discontent: while the conservative discontent might have died away if the court had not supplied it with the means of action' (Gwatkin, p. 61. He explains the policy of the court by the religious sympathies of Asia Minor40 and its political importance, pp. 90-91.) But the authority of the council remained unchallenged during the lifetime of Constantine, and no Arian raised his voice against it. One doctrinal controversy there was, of subordinate importance, but of a kind to rivet the conservatives to their attitude of sullen reaction.
It follows from what has been said of the influence of Origen in moulding the current theology of the Eastern Church, that the one theological principle which was most vividly and generally grasped was the horror of Monarchian and especially of `Sabellian' teaching. Now in replying to Asterius the spokesman of early Arianism, no less a person than Marcellus, bishop of Ancyra (Angora) in Galatia, and one of the principal leaders of Nicaea, had laid himself open to this charge. It was brought with zeal and learning (in 336) in two successive works by Eusebius of Caesarea, which, with Ath., Orat. iv. are our principal source of information as to the tenets of Marcellus (see D.C.B. ii. 341, sq., Zahn Marcellus 99 sqq., fragments collected by Rettberg Marcelliana). On the other hand he was uniformly supported by the Nicene party, and especially by Athanasius and the Roman Church. His book was examined at Sardica, and on somewhat ex parte grounds (p. 125) pronounced innocent: a personal estrangement from Athanasius shortly after (Hilar. Fragm. ii. 21, 23) on account of certain `ambiguae praedi-cationes eius, in quam Photinus erupit, doctrinae,' did not amount to a formal breach of communion (he is mentioned 14 years later as an exiled Nicene bishop, pp. 256, 271), nor did the anxious questioning of Epiphanius (see Har. 72. 4.) succeed in extracting from the then aged Athanasius more than a significant smile. He refuses to condemn him, and in arguing against opinions which appear to be his, he refrains from mentioning the name even of Photinus41 . It may be well therefore to sketch in a few touches what we know of the system of Marcellus, in order that we may appreciate the relative right of Eusebius in attacking, and of Athanasius and the Romans in supporting him. Marcellus is a representative of the traditional theology of Asia Minor, as we find it in Ignatius and Irenaeus (see above, pp. xxii.-xxiv., xxvi. fin.), and is independent of any influence of, or rather in conscious reaction against, Origenism. We cannot prove that he had studied either Ignatius or Irenaeus, but we find the doctrine of anakefalaiwsij with reference to Creation and the Incarnation, and the Ignatian thought of the Divine Silence, and a general unmistakeable affinity (cf. Zahn 236-244). Marcellus `appeals from Origen to S. John.' He begins with the idea of Sonship, as Arius and the Nicene Council had done. Perceiving that on the one hand Arians and Origenists alike were led by the idea of Sonship as dependent on paternal will to infer the inferiority of the Son to the Father, and in the more extreme case to deny His coeternity, feeling on the other hand (with Irenaeus II. xxviii. 6) our inability to find an idea to correspond with the relation implied in the eternal Sonship, he turns to the first chapter of S. John as the classic passage for the pre-existent nature of Christ. He finds that before the Incarnation the Saviour is spoken of as Logos only: accordingly all other designations, even that of Son, must be reserved for the Incarnate. Moreover (Joh. i. 1) the Word is strictly coeternal, and no name implying an act (such as gennhsij) can express the relation of the Word to God. But in view of the Divine Purpose of Creation and Redemption (for the latter is involved in the former by the doctrine of anakefalaiw-sij) there is a process, a stirring within the divine Monad. The Word which is potentially (dunamei) eternally latent in God proceeds forth in Actuality (energeia), yet without ceasing to be potentially in God as well. In this energeia drastikh, to which the word gennhsij may be applied, begins the great drama of the Universe which rises to the height of the Incarnation, and which, after the Economy is completed, and fallen man restored (and more than restored) to the Sonship of God which he had lost, ends in the return of the Logos to the Father, the handing over of His Kingdom by the Son, that God may be all in all.
What strikes one throughout the scheme is the intense difficulty caused to Marcellus by the unsolved problem which underlies the whole theology of the Nicene leaders, the problem of personality. The Manhood of Christ was to Marcellus per se non-personal. The seat of its personality was the indwelling Logos. But in what sense was the Logos itself personal? Here Marcellus loses his footing: in what sense can any idea of personality attach to a merely potential existence? Again, if it was only in the energeia drastikh that the personality of the Word was realised, and this only reached its fulness in the Incarnation of Christ, was the transition difficult to the plain assertion that the personality of the Son, or of the Word, originated with the Incarnation? But if this were not so, and if the Person of the Word was to recede at the consummation of all things into the Unity of the Godhead, what was to become of the Nature He had assumed? That it too could merge into a potential existence within the Godhead was of course impossible; what then was its destiny? The answer of Marcellus was simple: he did not know (Zahn, 179); for Scripture taught nothing beyond 1 Cor. xv. 28.
We now perceive the subtle difference between Marcellus and Athanasius. Neither of them could formulate the idea of Personality in the Holy Trinity. But Athanasius, apparently on the basis of a more thorough intelligence of Scripture (for Marcellus, though a devout, was a partial and somewhat ignorant biblical theologian), felt what Marcellus did not, the steady inherent personal distinctness of the Father and the Son. Accordingly, while Athanasius laid down and adhered to the doctrine of eternal gennhsij, Marcellus involved himself in the mystical and confused idea of a divine platusmoj and sustolh. Moreover, while Athanasius was clearsighted in his apprehension of the problem of the day, Marcellus was after all merely conservative: he went behind the conservatism of the Origenists,-behind even that of the West, where Tertullian had left a sharper sense of personal distinction in the Godhead,-to an archaic conservatism akin to the `naive modalism' of the early Church; upon this he engrafted reflexion, in part that of the old Asiatic theology, in part his own. As the result, his faith was such as Athanasius could not but recognise as sincere; but in his attempt to give it theological expression he split upon the rocks of Personality, of Eschatology, of the divine immutability. His theology was an honest and interesting but mistaken attempt to grapple with a problem before he understood another which lay at its base. In doing so he exposed himself justly to attack; but we may with Athanasius, while acknowledging this, retain a kindly sympathy for this veteran ally of many confessors and sturdy opponent of the alliance between science and theology.
The feeling against Marcellus might have been less strong, at any rate it would have had less show of reason, but for the fact that he was the teacher of Photinus. This person became bishop of Sirmium between 330 and 340, gave great offence by his teaching, and was deposed by the Arian party ineffectually in 347, finally in 351. After his expulsion he occupied himself with writing books in Greek and in Latin, including a work `against all heresies,' in which he expounded his own (Socr. ii. 30). None of his works have survived, and our information is very scanty (Zahn, Marc. 189-196 is the best account), but he seems to have solved the central difficulty of Marcellus by placing the seat of the Personality of Christ in His Human Soul. How much of the system of his master he retained is uncertain, but the result was in substance pure Unitarianism. It is instructive to observe that even Photinus was passively supported for a time by the Nicenes. He was apparently (Hil. Fr. ii. 19, sqq.) condemned at a council at Milan in 345, but not at Rome till 380. Athanasius (pp. 444-447) abstains from mentioning his name although he refutes his opinions; once only he mentions him as a heretic, and with apparent reluctance (c. Apoll. ii. 19, tou legomenou fwteinou). The first42 condemnation of him on the Nicene side in the East is by Paulinus of Antioch in 362 (p. 486). On the other hand the Eusebians eagerly caught at so irresistible a weapon. Again and again they hurled anathemas at Photinus, at first simply identifying him with Marcellus, but afterwards with full appreciation of his position. And even to the last the new Nicene party in Asia were aggrieved at the refusal of the old Nicenes at Alexandria and Rome to anathematise the master of such a heretic. Photinus was the scandal of Marcellus, Marcellus of the Council of Nicaea.
§4. Early years of his Episcopate. The Anti-Nicene reaction, 328-335.
Athanasius was elected bishop by general consent. Alexander, as we have seen, had practically nominated him, and a large body of popular opinion clamoured for his election, as "the good, the pious, a Christian, one of the ascetics, a genuine bishop." The actual election appears (p. 103) to have rested with the bishops of Egypt and Libya, who testify ten years later (ib.) that the majority43 of their body elected him.
The see to which he succeeded was the second in Christendom; it had long enjoyed direct jurisdiction over the bishops of all Egypt and Libya (p. 178, Socr. i. 9), the bishops of Alexandria enjoyed the position and power of secular potentates, although in a less degree than those of Rome, or of Alexandria itself in later times (Socr. vii. II, cf. 7). The bishop had command of large funds, which, however, were fully claimed for church purposes and alms (see p. 105). In particular, the `pope' of Alexandria had practically in his hands the appointment to the sees in his province: accordingly, as years go on, we find Arianism disappear entirely from the Egyptian episcopate. The bishop of Alexandria, like many other influential bishops in antiquity, was commonly spoken of as Papa or Pope; he also was known as the 'Arxiepiskopoj, as we learn from a contemporary inscription (see p. 564, note 2).
The earliest biographer of Athanasius (see Introduction to Hist. Aceph. p. 495, 496, below) divides the episcopate of Athanasius into periods of `quiet' and of exile, marking the periods of each according to what appears to be the reckoning officially preserved in the episcopal archives. His first period of `quiet' lasts from June 8, 328, to July 11, 335 (departure for Tyre), a period of seven years, one month and three days; it is thus the third longest period of undisturbed occupancy of his see, the next being the last from his final restoration under Valens till his death (seven years and three months), and the longest of all being the golden decade (346 356, really nine years and a quarter) preceding the Third Exile.
Of the internal events of this first septennium of quiet we know little that is definite. At the end of it, however, we find him supported by the solid body of the Egyptian episcopate: and at the beginning one of his first steps (autumn of 329) was to make a visitation of the province `to strengthen the churches of God' (Vit. Pach., cf. also Epiph. H-r. 68. 6). We learn from the life of Pachomius (on which see below, p. 189), that he penetrated as far as Syene on the Ethiopian frontier, and, as he passed Tabenne, was welcomed by Pachomius and his monks with great rejoicings. At the request of Saprion, bishop of Tentyra, in whose diocese the island was, he appears to have ordained Pachomius to the presbyterate, thus constituting his community a self-contained body (Acta SS. Mai. iii. 30, Appx.). The supposed consecration of Frumentius at this time must be reserved, in accordance with preponderating evidence, for §7.
Meanwhile, the anti-Nicene reaction was being skilfully fostered by the strategy of Eusebius of Nicomedia. Within a year of the election of Athanasius we find him restored to imperial favour, and at once the assault upon the Nicene strongholds begins. The controversy between Marcellus and Eusebius of Caesarea (supra, p. xxxv.), appears to have begun later, but the latter was already, in conjunction with his friend Paulinus of Tyre and with Patrophilus, at theological war with Eustathius of Antioch. A synod of Arian and reactionary bishops assembled at Antioch, and deposed the latter on the two charges (equally de rigueur in such cases) of Sabellianism and immorality. Backed by a complaint (possibly founded on fact) that he had indiscreetly repeated a current tale (p. 271, n. 2) concerning Helena, the Emperor's mother, the sentence of the council had the full support of the civil arm, and Eustathius lost his see for ever. Although he lived till about 358, no council ventured to `restore' him (discussed by Gwatkin, pp. 73, 74, note), but the Christian public of Antioch violently resented his extrusion, and a compact body of the Church-people steadily refused to recognise any other bishop during, and even after, his lifetime (infr. p. 481). Asclepas of Gaza was next disposed of, then Eutropius of Hadrianople, and many others (names, p. 271). Meanwhile everything was done to foment disturbance in Egypt. The Meletians had been stirring ever since the death of Alexander, and Eusebius was not slow to use such an opportune lever. The object in view was two-fold, the restoration of Arius to communion in Alexandria, without which the moral triumph of the reaction would be unachieved, and the extrusion of Athanasius. Accordingly a fusion took place44 between the Arians of Egypt and the Meletians, now under the leadership of John `Arcaph,' whom Meletius on his death-bed had consecrated as his successor against the terms of the Nicene settlement. At any rate, the Meletians were attached to the cause by Eusebius by means of large promises. At the same time (330?) Eusebius, having obtained the recall of Arius from exile, wrote to Athanasius requesting him to admit Arius and his friends (Euzoius, Pistus, &c.) to communion; the bearer of the letter conveyed the assurance of dire consequences in the event of his non-compliance (p. 131). Athanasius refused to admit persons convicted of heresy at the Ecumenical Council. This brought a letter from the Emperor himself, threatening deposition by an imperial mandate unless he would freely admit `all who should desire it;'-a somewhat sweeping demand. Athanasius replied firmly and, it would seem, with effect, that `the Christ-opposing heresy had no fellowship with the Catholic Church.' Thereupon Eusebius played what proved to be the first card of a long suit. A deputation of three Meletian bishops arrived at the Palace with a complaint. Athanasius had, they said, levied a precept (kanwn) upon Egypt for Church expenses: they had been among the first victims of the exaction. Luckily, two Presbyters of Alexandria were at court, and were able to disprove the charge, which accordingly drew a stern rebuke upon its authors. Constantine wrote to Athanasius summoning him to an audience, probably with the intention of satisfying himself as to other miscellaneous accusations which were busily ventilated at this date, e.g., that he was too young (cf. p. 133) when elected bishop, that he had governed with arrogance and violence, that he used magic (this charge was again made 30 years later, Ammian. xv. 7), and sub-sidised treasonable persons. Athanasius accordingly started for court, as it would seem, late in 330 (see Letter 3, p. 512 sq.). His visit was successful, but matters went slowly; Athanasius himself had an illness, which lasted a long time, and upon his recovery the winter storms made communication impossible. Accordingly, his Easter letter for 332 (Letter 4) was sent unusually late-apparently in the first navigable weather of that year-and Athanasius reached home, after more than a year's absence45 , when Lent was already half over.
The principal matters investigated by Constantine during the visit of Athanasius were certain charges made by the three Meletian bishops, whom Eusebius had detained for the purpose; one of these, the story of Macarius and the broken chalice, will be given at length presently. All alike were treated as frivolous, and Athanasius carried home with him a commendatory letter from Augustus himself. Defeated for the moment, the puppets of Eusebius matured their accusations, and in a year's time two highly damaging stories were ripe for an ecclesiastical investigation.
(a) The case Ischyras. This person had been ordained presbyter by Colluthus, and his ordination had been, as we have seen (§2), pronounced null and void by the Alexandrian Council of 324. In spite of this he had persisted in carrying on his ministrations at the village where he lived (Irene Secontaruri, possibly the hamlet `Irene' belonged to the township of S., there was a presbyter for the township, pp. 133, 145, but none at Irene, p 106). His place of worship was a cottage inhabited only by an orphan child; of the few inhabitants of the place, only seven, and those his own relations, would attend his services. During a visitation of his diocese, Athanasius, had heard of this from the presbyter of the township, and had sent Macarius, one of the clergy who were attending him on his tour (cf. pp. 109, 139), to summon Ischyras for explanations. Macarius found the poor man ill in bed and unable to come, but urged his father to dissuade him from his irregular proceedings. But instead of desisting, Ischyras joined the Meletians. His first version of the matter appears to have been that Macarius had used violence, and broken his chalice. The Meletians communicate this to Eusebius, who eggs them on to get up the case. The story gradually improves. Ischyras, it now appeared, had been actually celebrating the Eucharist; Macarius had burst in upon him, and not only broken the chalice but upset the Holy Table. In this form the tale had been carried to Constantine when Athanasius was at Nicomedia. The relations of Ischyras, however, prevailed upon him to recall his statements, and he presented the Bishop with a written statement that the whole story was false, and had been extorted from him by violence. Ischyras was forgiven, but placed under censure, which probably led to his eventually renewing the charge with increased bitterness. Athanasius now was accused of personally breaking the chalice, &c. In the letter of the council of Philippopolis the cottage of Ischyras becomes a `basilica' which Athanasius had caused to be thrown down.
(b) The case of Arsenius. Arsenius was Meletian bishop of Hypsele (not in the Meletian catalogue of 327). By a large bribe, as it is stated, he was induced by John Arcaph to go into hiding among the Meletian monks of the Thebaid; rumours were quietly set in motion that Athanasius had had him murdered, and had procured one of his hands for magical purposes. A hand was circulated purporting to be the very hand in question. A report of the case, including the last version of the Ischyras scandal, was sent to Constantine, who, startled by the new accusation, sent orders to his half-brother, Dalmatius, a high official at Antioch, to enquire into the case. He appears to have suggested a council at Caesarea under the presidency of Eusebius, which was to meet at some time in the year 334 (perusin, p. 141, cf. note 2 there, also Gwatkin, p. 84 note; the `30 months' of Soz. ii. 25 is an exaggeration). Athanasius, however, obstinately declined a trial before a judge whom he regarded as biassed; his refusal bitterly offended the aged historian. Accordingly the venue was fixed for Tyre in the succeeding year; a Count Dionysius was to represent the Emperor, and see that all was conducted fairly, and Athanasius was stringently (p. 137) summoned to attend. Meanwhile a trusted deacon was on the tracks of the missing man. Arsenius was traced to a `monastery' of Meletian brethren in the nome of Antaeopolis in Upper Egypt. Pinnes, the presbyter of the community, got wind of the discovery, and smuggled Arsenius away down the Nile; presently he was spirited away to Tyre. The deacon, however, very astutely made a sudden descent upon the monastery in force, seized Pinnes, carried him to Alexandria, brought him before the `Duke,' confronted him with the monk who had escorted Arsenius away, and forced them to confess to the whole plot. As soon as he was able to do so, Pinnes wrote to John Arcaph, warning him of the exposure, and suggesting that the charge had better be dropped (p. 135; the letter is an amusingly naive exhibition of human rascality). Meanwhile (Socr. i. 29) Arsenius was heard of at an inn in Tyre by the servant of a magistrate; the latter had him arrested, and informed Athanasius46 . Arsenius stoutly denied his identity, but was recognised by the bishop of Tyre, and at last confessed. The Emperor was informed and wrote to Athanasius (p. 135), expressing his indignation at the plot, as also did Alexander, bishop of Thessalonica. Arsenius made his peace with Athanasius, and in due time succeeded (according to the Nicene rule) to the sole episcopate of Hypsele (p. 548). John Arcaph even admitted his guilt and renounced his schisms and was invited to Court (p. 136); but his submission was not permanent.
According to the Apology of Athanasius, all this took place some time before the council of Tyre; we cannot fix the date, except that it must have come after the Easter of 332 (see above). It appears most natural, from the language of Apol. Ar. 71, to fix the exposure of Arsenius not very long before the summoning of the council of Tyre, but long enough to allow for the renewed intrigues which led to its being convened. But this pushes us back behind the intended council of Caesarea in 334; we seem therefore compelled to keep Arsenius waiting at Tyre from about 333 to the summer of 335.
It must be remembered that the Council of Tyre was merely a parergon to the great Dedication Meeting at Jerusalem, which was to celebrate the Tricennalia of Constantine's reign by consecrating his grand church on Mount Calvary. On their way to Jerusalem the bishops were to despatch at Tyre their business of quieting the Egyptian troubles47 (Eus. V. C. iv. 41). To Tyre accordingly Athanasius repaired. He left Alexandria on July 11, 335, and was absent, as it proved (according to the reckoning of the Hist. Aceph., below, p. 496), two years, four months and eleven days.
§5. The Council of Tyre and First Exile Af Athanasius, 335-337.
Many of the bishops who were making their way to the great festival met at Tyre. The Arian element was very strong. Eusebius of Nicomedia, Narcissus, Maris, Theognis, Patrophilus, George, now bishop of Laodicea, are all familiar names. Ursacius and Valens, `young48 both in years and in mind' make their first entrance on the stage of ecclesiastical intrigue; Eusebius of Caesarea headed a large body of `conservative` malcontents: in the total number of perhaps 150, the friends of Athanasius were outnumbered by nearly two to one. (See Gwatkin's note, p 85, Hefele ii. 17, Eng Tra.) Eusebius of Caesarea took the chair (yet see D.C.B. ii. 316b). The proceedings of the Council were heated and disorderly; promiscuous accusations were flung from side to side; the president himself was charged by an excited Egyptian Confessor with having sacrificed to idols (p. 104, n. 2), while against Athanasius every possible charge was raked up. The principal one was that of harshness and violence. Callinicus, bishop of Pelusium, according to a later story49 , had taken up the cause of Ischyras, and been deposed by Athanasius in consequence. A certain Mark had been appointed to supersede him, and he had been subjected to military force. Certain Meletian bishops who had refused to communicate with Athanasius on account of his irregular election, had been beaten and imprisoned. A document from Alexandria testified that the Churches were emptied on account of the strong popular feeling against these proceedings. The number of witnesses, and the evident readiness of the majority of bishops to believe the worst against him, inspired Athanasius with profound misgivings as to his chance of obtaining justice. He had in vain objected to certain bishops as biassed judges; when it was decided to investigate the case of Ischyras on the spot, the commission of six was chosen from among the very persons challenged (p. 138). Equally unsuccessful was the protest of the Egyptian bishops against the credit of the Meletian witnesses (p. 140). But on one point the accusers walked into a trap. The `hand of Arsenius' was produced, and naturally made a deep impression (Thdt. H.E. i. 30). But Athanasius was ready. `Did you know Arsenius personally?' `Yes' is the eager reply from many sides. Promptly Arsenius is ushered in alive, wrapped up in a cloak. The Synod expected an explanation of the way he had lost his hand. Athanasius turned up his cloak and shewed that one hand at least was there. There was a moment of suspense, artfully managed by Athanasius. Then the other hand was exposed, and the accusers were requested to point out whence the third had been cut off (Socr. i. 29). This was too much for John Arcaph, who precipitately fled (so Socr., he seems to have gone to Egypt with the couriers mentioned below, cf. p. 142). But the Eusebians were made of sterner stuff: the whole affair was a piece of magic; or there had been an attempt to murder Arsenius, who had hid himself from fear. At any rate Athanasius must not be allowed to clear himself so easily. Accordingly, in order partly to gain time and partly to get up a more satisfactory case, they prevailed on Count Dionysius, in the face of strong remonstrances from Athanasius (p. 138), to despatch a commission of enquiry to the Mareotis in order to ascertain the real facts about Ischyras. The nature of the commission may be inferred, firstly, from its composition, four strong Arians and two (Theodore of Heraclea, and Macedonius of Mopsuestia) reactionaries; secondly, from the fact that they took Ischyras with them, but left Macarius behind in custody; thirdly, from the fact that couriers were sent to Egypt with four days` start, and with an urgent message to the Meletians to collect at once in as large numbers as possible at Irene, so as to impress the commissioners with the importance of the Meletian community at that place. The Egyptian bishops present at Tyre handed in strongly-worded protests to the Council, and to Count Dionysius, who received also a weighty remonstrance from the respected Alexander, Bishop of Thessalonica. This drew forth from him an energetic protest to the Eusebians (p. 142 sq.) against the composition of the commission. His protest was not, however, enforced in any practical way, and the Egyptians thereupon appealed to the Emperor (ib.). Athanasius himself escaped in an open boat with four of his bishops, and found his way to Constantinople, where he arrived on October 30. The Emperor was out riding when he was accosted by one of a group of pedestrians. He could scarcely credit his eyes and the assurance of his attendants that the stranger was none other than the culprit of Tyre. Much annoyed at his appearance, he refused all communication; but the persistency of Athanasius and the reasonableness of his demand prevailed. The Emperor wrote to Jerusalem to summon to his presence all who had been at the Council of Tyre (pp. 105, 145).
Meanwhile the Mareotic Commission had proceeded with its task. Their report was kept secret, but eventually sent to Julius of Rome, who handed it over to Athanasius in 339 (p. 143). Their enquiry was carried on with the aid of Philagrius the prefect, a strong Arian sympathiser, whose guard pricked the witnesses if they failed to respond to the hints of the commissioners and the threats of the prefect himself. The clergy of Alexandria and the Mareotis were excluded from the court, and catechumens, Jews and heathen, none of whom could properly have been present on the occasion, were examined as to the interruption of the eucharistic service by Macarius (p. 119). Even with these precautions the evidence was not all that could be wished. To begin with, it had all taken place on an ordinary week-day, when there would be no Communion (pp. 115, 125, 143); secondly, when Macarius came in Ischyras was in bed; thirdly, certain witnesses whom Athanasius had been accused of secreting came forward in evidence of the contrary (p. 107). The prefect consoled himself by letting loose the violence of the heathen mob (p. 108) against the `virgins' of the Church. The catholic party were helpless; all they could do was to protest in writing to the commission, the council, and the prefect (pp. 138-140. The latter protest is dated 10th of Thoth, i.e. Sep. 8, 335, Diocletian leap-year).
The commission returned to Tyre, where the council passed a resolution (Soz. ii. 25) deposing Athanasius. They then proceeded to Jerusalem for the Dedication50 of the Church of the Holy Sepulchre. Here Arius with certain others (probably including Euzoius) was received to communion on the strength of the confession of faith he had presented to Constantine a few years before, and the assembled bishops drew up a synodal letter announcing the fact to Egypt and the Church at large (pp. 144, 460). At this juncture the summons from Constantine arrived. The terms of it shewed that the Emperor was not disposed to hear more of the broken chalice or the murdered Arsenius: but the Eusebians were not at a loss. They advised the bishops to go quietly to their homes, while five of the inner circle, accompanied by Eusebius of Caesarea, who had a panegyric to deliver in the imperial presence, responded to the summons of royalty. They made short work of Athanasius. The whole farrago of charges examined at Tyre was thrown aside. He had threatened to starve the panendaimwn patriz, the chosen capital of Constantine, by stopping the grain ships which regularly left Alexandria every autumn. It was in vain for Athanasius to protest that he had neither the means nor the power to do anything of the kind. `You are a rich man,' replied Eusebius of Nicomedia, `and can do whatever you like.' The Emperor was touched in a sore place51 . He promptly ordered the banishment of Athanasius to Treveri, whither he started, as it would seem, on Feb. 5, 336 (pp. 105, 146, 503, note 11). The friends of Athanasius professed to regard the banishment as an act of imperial clemency, in view of what might have been treated as a capital matter, involving as it did the charge of treason (p. 105); and Constantine II., immediately after his father's death, stated (pp. 146, 272, 288) in a letter (written before he became Augustus in Sept. 337) that he had been sent to Treveri merely to keep him out of danger, and that Constantine had been prevented only by death from carrying out his intention of restoring him. These charitable constructions need not be rudely ignored; but in all probability the anxiety to be rid of a cause of disturbance was at least one motive with the peace-loving Emperor. At any rate the Eusebians could not obtain the imperial sanction to their proposed election of a successor (Pistus ?) to Athanasius. On his return after the death of Constantine he found his see waiting for him unoccupied (Apol. c. Ar. 29, p. 115).
The close of the Tricennalia was made the occasion of a council at Constantinople (winter 335-336). Marcellus was deposed for heresy and Basil nominated to the see of Ancyra, Eusebius of Caesarea undertaking to refute the `new Samosatene.' Other minor depositions were apparently carried out at the same time, and several Western bishops, including Protogenes of Sardica, had reason later on to repent of their signatures to the proceedings (Hil. Fragm. iii.).
Death of Arius. From Jerusalem Arius had gone to Alexandria, but (Soz. ii. 29) had not succeeded in obtaining admission to the Communion of the Church there. Accordingly he repaired to the capital about the time of the Council just mentioned. The Eusebians resolved that here at any rate he should not be repelled. Arius appeared before the Emperor and satisfied him by a sworn profession of orthodoxy, and a day was fixed for his reception to communion. The story of the distress caused to the aged bishop Alexander is well known. He was heard to pray in the church that either Arius or himself might be taken away before such an outrage to the faith should be permitted. As a matter of fact Arius died suddenly the day before his intended reception. His friends ascribed his death to magic, those of Alexander to the judgment of God, the public generally to the effect of excitement on a diseased heart (Soz. 1. c.). Athanasius, while taking the second view, describes the occurrence with becoming sobriety and reserve (pp. 233, 565). Alexander himself died very soon after, and Paul was elected in his place (D.C.B. art. Macedonius (2)), but was soon banished on some unknown charge, whereupon Eusebius of Nicomedia was translated to the capital see (between 336 and 340; date uncertain. Cf. D.C.B. ii. 367a).
Of the sojourn of Athanasius at Treveri, the noble home of the Emperors on the banks of the Mosel, we know few details, but his presence there appeals to the historic imagination. (See D.C.B. i. 186a.) He cannot have been there much above a year. He kept the Easter festival, probably of 336, certainly of 337, in the still unfinished Church (p. 244: the present Cathedral is said to occupy the site of what was then an Imperial palace: but the main palace is apparently represented by the `Roman baths).' He was not suffered to want (p. 146): he had certain Egyptian brethren with him; and found a sympathetic friend in the good Bishop Maximinus (cf. p. 239). The tenth festal letter, §1, preserves a short extract from a letter written from Trier to his clergy.
Constantine died at Nicomedia, having previously received baptism from the hands of Eusebius, on Whit-Sunday, May 22, 337. None of his sons were present, and the will is said to have been entrusted to the Arian chaplain mentioned above (p. xxxiv). Couriers carried the news to the three Caeesars, and at a very moderate52 rate of reckoning, it may have been known at Trier by about June 4. Constantine, as the eldest son, probably expected more from his father's will than he actually obtained. At any rate, on June 17 he wrote a letter to the people and clergy of Alexandria, announcing the restoration of their bishop in pursuance of an intention of his father's, which only death had cut short. Constantius meanwhile hastened (from the East, probably Antioch) to Constantinople (D.C.B.i. 651): he too had expectations, for he was his father's favourite. The brothers met at Sirmium, and agreed upon a division of the Empire, Constantius taking the East, Constans Italy and Illyricum, and Constantine the Gauls and Africa. On Sep. 9 they formally assumed the title Augustus53 . Athanasius had apparently accompanied Constantine to Sirmium, and on his way eastward met Constantius at Viminacium (p. 240), his first interview with his future persecutor. He presently reached Constantinople (p. 272), and on his way southward, at Caesarea in Cappadocia, again met Constantius, who was hurrying to the Persian frontier. On Nov. 23 he reached Alexandria amid great rejoicings (pp. 104, 503, Fest. Ind. x.), the clergy especially `esteeming that the happiest day of their lives.' But the happiness was marred by tumults (Soz. ii. 2, 5, Hil. Fragm. iii. 8, Fest. Ind. xi., next year `again'), which were, however, checked by the civil power, the prefect Theodorus being, apparently, favourable to Athanasius (pp. 102, 527, note 2). The festal letter for 338 would seem to have been finished at Alexandria, but the point is not absolutely clear. Here begins his second period of `quiet,' of one year, four months and twenty-four days, i.e., from Athyr 27 (Nov. 23), 337, to Pharmuthi 21 (April 16), 339.
§6. Renewal of Troubles. Second Exile. Pistus and Gregory, Culmination of Eusebian Intrigue. Rome and Sardica. (337-346).
(1). The stay of Athanasius at Alexandria was brief and troubled. The city was still disturbed by Arian malcontents, who had the sympathy of Jews and Pagans, and it was reported that the monks, and especially the famous hermit Antony, were on their side. This impression, however, was dissipated by the appearance of the great Ascetic himself, who, at the urgent request of the orthodox (pp. 214 sq., 503), consented to shew himself for two days in the uncongenial atmosphere of the city. The mystery and marvellous reputation, which even then surrounded this much-talked-of character, attracted Christians and heathen alike, in large numbers, to hear and see him, and, if possible, to derive some physical benefit from his touch. He denounced Arianism as the worst of heresies, and was solemnly escorted out of town by the bishop in person. As an annalist toward the close of the century tells us, `Antony, the great leader, came to Alexandria, and though he remained there only two days, shewed himself wonderful in many things, and healed many. He departed on the third of Messori' (i.e., July 27, 338).
Meanwhile the Eusebians were busy. In the new Emperor Constantius, the Nicomedian found a willing patron: probably his translation to the See of Constantinople falls at this time. It was represented to the Emperor that the restoration of the exiled Bishops in 337, and especially that of Athanasius, was against all ecclesiastical order. Men deposed by a Synod of the Church had presumed to return to their sees under the sanction of the secular authority. This was technically true, but the proceedings at Tyre were regarded by Athan. as depriving that Synod of any title to ecclesiastical authority (pp. 104, 271). It is impossible to accept au pied. de la lettre the protests on either side against state interference with the Church: both parties were willing to use it on their own side, and to protest against its use by their opponents. Constantine had summoned54 the Council of Nicaea, had (Soz. i. 17) fixed the order of its proceedings, and had enforced its decisions by civil penalties. The indignant rhetoric of Hist. Ar. 52 (p. 289) might mutatis nominibus have been word for word the remonstrance of a Secundus or Theonas against the great Ecumenical Synod of Christendom. At Tyre, Jerusalem, and CP., the Eusebians had their turn, and again at Antioch, 338-341. The Council of Sardica relied on the protection of Constans, that of Philippopolis on Constantius. The reign of the latter was the period of Arian triumph; that of Theodosius secured authority to the Catholics. The only consistent opponents of civil intervention in Church affairs were the Donatists in the West and the Eunomians or later Arians in the East (with the obscure exception of Secundus and Theonas, the original Arians cannot claim the compliment paid by Fialon, p. 115, to their independence). To the Donatists is due the classical protest against Erastianism, `Quid Imperatori cum ecclesia'(D. C. B. i. 652). Believing, as the present writer does, that the Donatist protest expresses a true principle, and that the subjection of religion to the State is equally mischievous with that of the State to the Church, it is impossible not to regret these consequences of the conversion of Constantine. But allowance must be made for the sanguine expectations with which the astonishing novelty of a Christian Emperor filled men's minds. It was only as men came to realise that the civil sword might be drawn in support of heresy that they began to reflect on the impropriety of allowing to even a Christian Emperor a voice in Church councils. Athanasius was the first to grasp this clearly. The voice of protest55 sounds in the letter of the Egyptian Synod of 338-9; throughout his exiles he steadily regarded himself, and was regarded by his flock, as the sole rightful Bishop of Alexandria, and continued to issue his Easter Letters from first to last. At the same time, it must be admitted that if he was right in returning to Alexandria in 337 without restoration by a Synod, he could not logically object to the return of Eusebius and Theognis (p. 104), who had not been deposed at Nicaea, but banished by the Emperor. The technical rights of Chrestus and Amphion (l. c.) were no better than those of Gregory or George. The spiritual elevation of Athanasius over the head and shoulders of his opponents is plain to ourselves; we see clearly the moral contrast between the councils of Rome and Antioch (340-41), of Sardica and Philippopolis (343), of Alexandria (362) and Seleucia (359). But to men like the Eastern `conservatives' the technical point of view necessarily presented itself with great force, and in judging of their conduct we must not assume that it was either meaningless diabolism or deliberate sympathy with Arianism that led so many bishops of good character to see in Athanasius and the other exiles contumacious offenders against Church order. (I am quite unable to accept M. Fialon's sweeping verdict upon the majority of Oriental bishops as `weak, vicious, more devoted to their own interests than to the Church,' &c., p. 116. He takes as literally exact the somewhat turgid rhetorical complaints of Greg. Naz.)
But the Eusebians were not limited to technical complaints. They had stirring accounts to give of the disorders which the return of Athanasius had excited, of the ruthless severity with which they had been put down by the prefect, who was, it was probably added, a mere tool in the hands of the bishop. Accordingly in the course of 338 the subservient Theodorus was recalled, and Philagrius the Cappadocian, who had governed with immense56 popularity in 335-337 (Fest. Ind. and p. 107 sq.), was sent to fill the office a second time. This was regarded at Alexandria as an Arian triumph (see p. 527, note 2). His arrival did not tend to allay the disorders. Old charges against Athanasius were raked up, and a new one added, namely that of embezzlement of the corn appropriated to the support of widows by the imperial bounty. The Emperor appears to have sent a letter of complaint to Athanasius (p. 273), but to have paid little attention to his defence. The Eusebians now ventured to send a bishop of their own to Alexandria in the person of Pistus, one of the original Arian presbyters, who was consecrated by the implacable Secundus. The date of this proceeding is obscure, probably it was conducted in an irregular manner, so as to render it possible to ignore it altogether if, as proved to be the case, a stronger candidate should be necessary. First, however, it was necessary to try the temper of the West. A deputation consisting of a presbyter Macarius and two deacons, Martyrius and Hesychius, was sent to Julius, bishop of Rome, to lay before him the enormities of Athanasius, Marcellus, Paul, Asclepas and the rest, and to urge the superior title of Pistus to the recognition of the Church. But upon hearing of this Athanasius summoned the Egyptian Episcopate together (winter 338-339), and composed a circular letter (pp. 101-110) dealing fully with the charges against him, especially with regard to the manner of his election and the irregularity of his return a year before. Two presbyters carried the letter in haste to Rome, and enlightened the Church there as to the antecedents of Pistus. Next day it was announced that Macarius, `in spite of a bodily ailment,' had decamped in the night. The deacons however remained, and requested Julius to call a council, undertaking that if Athanasius and the Eusebians were confronted all the charges brought by the latter should be made good. This proposal seemed unobjectionable, and Julius wrote inviting all parties to a council at Rome, or some other place to be agreed upon (p. 272); his messengers to the Eusebians were the Roman presbyters Elpidius and Philoxenus57 , (p. 111). The council was fixed for the following summer (so it would seem); but no reply was received from the Eusebians, who kept the presbyters in the East until the following January, when they at length started for Rome bearing a querulous and somewhat shifty reply (answered by Julius, p. 111, sqq.). But before the invitation had reached the Eusebians they had assembled at Antioch, where Constantius was in residence for the winter (laws dated Dec. 27; the court thereon January ? p. 92), repeated the deposition of Athanasius, and appointed Gregory, a Cappadocian, to succeed him. It had become clear that Pistus was a bad candidate; perhaps no formal synod could be induced to commit themselves to a man excommunicated at Nicaea and consecrated by Secundus. At any rate they tried to find an unexceptionable nominee. But their first, Eusebius, afterwards bishop of Emesa, refused the post, and so they came to Gregory58 , a former student of Alexandria, and under personal obligations to its bishop (Greg. Naz. Or. xxi. 15).
All was now ready for the blow at Athanasius. It fell in Lent (pp. 94, 503). His position since the arrival of Philagrius had been one of unrest. `In this year again,' says our annalist, `there were many tumults. On the xxii Phamenoth (i.e. Sunday, Mar. 18, 339) he was sought after by his persecutors in the night. On the next morning he fled from the Church of Theonas after he had baptized many. Then on the fourth day (Mar. 22) Gregory the Cappadocian entered the city as bishop' (Fest. Ind. xi.). But Athanasius (p. 95), remained quietly in the town for about four weeks more59 . He drew up for circulation `throughout the tribes' (cf. Judges xix. 29) a memorandum and appeal, describing the intrusion of Gregory and the gross outrages which had accompanied it. This letter was written on or just after Easter Day (April 15), and immediately after this he escaped from Alexandria and made his way to Rome. The data as to the duration of the periods of `quiet' and exile fix the date of his departure for Easter Monday, April 16. This absence from Alexandria was his longest, lasting `ninety months and three days,' i.e. from Pharmuthi 21 (April 16) 339 to Paophi 24 (October 21), 346.
(2.) The Second Exile of Athanasius falls into two sections, the first of four years (p. 239), to the council of Sardica (339-343), the second of three years, to his return in Oct. 346. The odd six months cannot be distributed with certainty unless we can arrive at a more exact result than at present appears attainable for the month and duration of the Sardican synod.
In May, 339, Athanasius, accompanied by a few of his clergy (story of the `detachment' of his monk Ammonius in Socr. iv. 23, sub fin.), arrived at Rome. He was within three months followed by Marcellus, Paul of CP., Asclepas, and other exiles who had been restored at the end of 337 but had once more been ejected. Soon after, Carpones, an original Arian of Alexandria, appeared as envoy of Gregory. He confirmed all that had been alleged against Pistus, but failed to convince Julius that his own bishop was anything but an Arian. Meanwhile time wore on, and no reply came from the Eusebians. Athanasius gave himself up to enforced leisure and to the services of the Church. Instead of his usual Easter letter for the following spring, he sent a few lines to the clergy of Alexandria and a letter to his right-hand man, bishop Serapion of Thmuis, requesting him to make the necessary announcement of the season. Gregory made his first attempt (apparently also his last) to fix the Easter Festival, but in the middle of Lent, to the amusement of the public, discovered that a mistake had been made, the correction of which involved his adherents in an extra week of Lenten austerities. We can well imagine that the spectacle of the abstracted asceticism of Ammonius aroused the curiosity and veneration of the Roman Christians, and thus gave an impulse to the ascetic life in the West (see Jerome, cited below, p. 191). That is all we know of the life of Athanasius during the first eighteen months of his stay at Rome.
In the early spring of 340 the presbyters returned (see above) with a letter from a number of bishops, including the Eusebian leaders, who had assembled at Antioch in January. This letter is carefully dissected in the reply of the Roman Council, and appears to have been highly acrimonious in its tone. Julius kept it secret for a time (p. 111), hoping against hope that after all some of the Orientals would come for the council; but at length he gave up all expectations of the kind, and convoked the bishops of Italy, who examined the cases of the various exiles (p. 114). All the old charges against Athanasius were gone into with the aid of the Mareotic report (the ex parte character of which Julius strongly emphasises) and of the account of the proceedings at Tyre. The council had no difficulty in pronouncing Athanasius completely innocent on all points. The charge of ignoring the proceedings of a council was disposed of by pointing out the uncanonical character of Gregory's appointment (p. 115), and the infraction by the complainants of the decrees of Nicaea. With regard to Marcellus, he responded to the request of the bishops by volunteering a written confession of his faith (p. 116, Epiph.Hoer. 72), which was in fact the creed of the Roman Church itself (Caspari, Quellen iii. 28, note, argues that the creed must have been tendered at an earlier visit, 336-337, but without cogent reasons). Either Julius and his bishops were (like the fathers of Sardica) very easily satisfied, or Marcellus exercised extreme reserve as to his peculiar tenets (Zahn, p. 71, makes out the best case he can for his candour). The other exiles were also pronounced innocent, and the synod `restored' them all. It remained to communicate the result to the Oriental bishops. This was done by Julius in a letter drawn up in the name of the council, and preserved by Athanasius in his Apology. Its subject matter has been sufficiently indicated, but its statesmanlike logic and grave severity must be appreciated by reference to the document itself. It has been truly called `one of the ablest documents in the entire controversy.' It is worth observing that Julius makes no claim whatever to pass a final judgment as successor of S. Peter, although the Orientals had expressly asserted the equal authority of all bishops, however important the cities in which they ruled (p. 113); on the contrary he merely claims that without his own consent, proceedings against bishops would lack the weight of universal consent (p. 118). At the same time he claims to be in possession of the traditions of S. Paul and especially of S. Peter, and is careful to found upon precedent (that of Dionysius) a claim to be consulted in matters alleged against a bishop of Alexandria. This claim, by its modesty, is in striking contrast with that which Socrates (ii. 17) and Sozom. (iii. 8, 10) make for him,-that owing to the greatness of his see, the care of all the churches pertained to him: and this again, which represents what the Greek Church of the early fifth century was accustomed to hear from Rome, is very different from the claim to a jurisdiction of divine right which we find formulated in Leo the Great.
The letter of Julius was considered at the famous Council of the Dedication (of Constantine's `Golden' Church at Antioch, see Eus. V.C. iii. 50), held in the summer of 341 (between May 22 and Sept. 1, see Gwatkin, p. 114, note). Eusebius of Constantinople was there (he had only a few months longer to live), and most of the Arian leaders. Caesarea was represented by Acacius, who had succeeded Eusebius some two years before; a man of Whom we shall hear more. But of the ninety-odd bishops who attended, the majority must have been conservative in feeling, such as Dianius of Caesarea, who possibly presided. At any rate Hilary (de Syn. 32) calls it `a synod of saints,' and its canons passed into the accepted body of Church Law. Their reply to Julius is not extant, but we gather from the historians that it was not conciliatory. (Socr. ii. 15, 17; Soz. iii. 8, 10; they are in such hopeless confusion as to dates and the order of events that it is difficult to use them here; Theodoret is more accurate but less full.)
But the council marks an epoch in a more important respect; with it begins the formal Doctrinal Reaction against the Nicene Formula. We have traces of previous confessions, such as that of Arius and Euzoius, 330-335, and an alleged creed drawn up at CP. in 336. But only now begins the long series of attempts to raise some other formula to a position of equality with the Nicene, so as to eventually depose the omoousion from its position as an ecumenical test.
The first suggestion of a new creed came from the Arian bishops, who propounded a formula (p. 146, §22), with a disavowal of any intention of disparaging that of Nicaea (Socr. ii. 10), but suspiciously akin to the evasive confession of Acius, and prefaced with a suicidally worded protest against being considered as followers of the latter. The fate of this creed in the council is obscure; but it would seem to have failed to commend itself to the majority, who put forward a creed alleged to have been composed by Lucian the martyr. This (see above, p. xxviii, and p. 461, notes 5-9), was hardly true of the creed as it stood, but it may have been signed by Lucian as a test when he made his peace with bishop Cyril. At any rate the creed is catholic in asserting the exact Likeness of the Son to the Father's Essence (yet the Arians could admit this as de facto true, though not originally so; only the word Essence would, if honestly taken, fairly exclude their sense), but anti-Nicene in omitting the omoousion, and in the phrase thmenupsasei tria, tphde sumfwnia en, an artfully chosen point of contact between Origen on the one hand, and Asterius, Lucian, and Paul of Samosata on the other. The anathemas, also, let in an Arian interpretation. This creed is usually referred to as the `Creed of the Dedication' or `Lucianic' Creed, and represents, on the one hand the extreme limit of concession to which Arians were willing to go, on the other the theological rallying point of the gradually forming body of reasoned conservative opinion which under the nickname of `semi-Arianism' (Epiph. Hoer. 73; it was repudiated by Basil of Ancyra, &c.) gradually worked toward the recognition of the Nicene formula.
A third formula was presented by Theophronius, bishop of Tyana, as a personal statement of belief, and was widely signed by way of approval. It insists like the Lucianic creed on the pretemporal gennhsij, against Marcellus, adding two other points (hypostatic pre-existence and eternal kingdom of the Son) in the same direction, and closing with an anathema against Marcellus, Sabellius, Paul, and all who communicate with any of their supporters. This was of course a direct defiance of Julius and the Westerns (Mr. Gwatkin, by a slip, assigns this anathema to the `fourth' creed).
Lastly, a few months after the council late autumn of 341) a few bishops reassembled in order to send a deputation to Constans (since 340 sole Western Emperor). They decided to substitute for the genuine creeds of the council a fourth formulary, which accordingly the Arians Maris and Narcissus, and the neutrals Theodore of Heraclea and Mark of Arethusa, conveyed to the West. The assertion of the eternal reign of Christ was strengthened, and the name of Marcellus omitted, but the Nicene anathemas were skilfully adapted so as to strike at the Marcellian and admit the Arian doctrine of the divine Sonship. This creed became the basis on which the subsequent Arianising confessions of 343 (Philippopolis), 344 (Macrostich), and 351 (Sirmium) were moulded by additions to and modifications of the anathemas. This series of creeds mark `the stationary period of Arianism,' i.e. between the close of the first generation (Arius, Asterius, Eusebius of Nicomedia) and the beginnings of the divergence of parties under the sole reign of Constantius. At present opposition to the school of Marcellus and to the impregnable strength of the West under a Catholic Emperor kept the reactionary party united.
It has been necessary to dwell upon the work of this famous Council in view of its subsequent importance. It is easy to see how the Eastern bishops were prevailed upon to take the bold step of putting forth a Creed to rival the Nicene formula. The formal approval of Marcellus at Rome shewed, so they felt, the inadequacy of that formula to exclude Sabellianism, or rather the direct support which that heresy could find in the word `homoüsion.' This being so, provided they made it clear that they were not favouring Arianism, they would be doing no more than their duty in providing a more efficient test. But here the Arian group saw their opportunity. Conservative willingness to go behind Nicaea must be made to subserve the supreme end of revoking the condemnation of Arianism. Hence the confusion of counsels reflected in the multiplicity of creeds. The result pleased no one. The Lucianic Creed, with its anti-Arian clauses, tempered by equivocal qualifications, was a feeble and indirect weapon against Marcellus, who could admit in a sense the pre-aeonian gennhsj and the `true' sonship. On the other hand, the three creeds which only succeeded in gaining secondary ratification, while express against Marcellus, were worthless as against Arianism. On the whole, the fourth creed, in spite of its irregular sanction, was found the most useful for the time (341-351); but as their doctrinal position took definite form, the Conservative wing fell back on the `Lucianic' Creed, and found in it a bridge to the Nicene (cf. pp. 470, 472, Hil. de Syn. 33, and Gwatkin, p. 119, note).
(3.) Athanasius remained in Rome more than three years after his departure from Alexandria (April, 339-May? 342, see p. 239). During the last of these years, the dispute connected with him had been referred by Julius to Constans, who had requested his brother to send some Oriental bishops with a statement of their case: this was the reason of the deputation (see above) of the winter of 341. They found Constans at Treveri, but owing to the warnings of good Bishop Maximinus60 , he refused to accept their assurances, and sent them ignominiously away. This probably falls in the summer of 342, the deputation on arriving in Italy having found that Constans had already left Milan for his campaign against the Franks (Gwatkin, p. 122, note 3). If this be so, Constans had already made up his mind that a General Council was the only remedy, and had written to Constantius to arrange for one. Before leaving Milan he had summoned Athanasius from Rome, and announced to him what he had done. The young Prince was evidently an admirer of Athanasius, who had received from him in reply to a letter of self-defence, written from Alexandria, an order for certain puktia, or bound volumes of the Scriptures (see Montfaucon, Animadv. xv., in Migne xxv., p. clxxvi.). The volumes had been delivered before this date. Constans hurried off to Gaul, while Athanasius remained at Milan, where he afterwards received a summons to follow the Emperor to Treveri61 ; here he met the venerable Hosius and others, and learned that the Emperors had fixed upon Sardica (now Sophia in Bulgaria), on the frontier line of the dominions of Constans62 , as the venue for the great Council, which was to assemble in the ensuing summer. Athanasius must have kept the Easter of 343 at Treveri: he had written his usual Easter letter (now lost) most probably from Rome or Milan, in the previous spring. The date of assembly and duration of the Sardican synod are, unfortunately, obscure. But the proceedings must have been protracted by the negotiations which ended in the departure of the Easterns, and (p. 124, note 2) by the care with which the evidence against the incriminated bishops was afterwards gone into63 .
We shall probably be safe in supposing that the Council occupied the whole of August and September, and that Constans sent Bishops Euphrates and Vincent to his brother at Antioch as soon as the worst weather of winter was over.
The Western bishops assembled at Sardica to the number of about 95 (see p. 147). Athanasius, Marcellus, and Asclepas arrived with Hosius from Treveri. Paul of Constantinople, for some unknown reason, was absent, but was represented by Asclepas64 . The Orientals came in a body, and with suspicion. They had the Counts Musonianus and Hesychius, and (according to Fest. Ind., cf. p. 276) the ex-Prefect Philagrius, as advisers and protectors: they were lodged in a body at the Palace of Sophia. The proceedings were blocked by a question of privilege. The Easterns demanded that the accused bishops should not be allowed to take their seats in the Council; the majority replied that, pending the present enquiry, all previous decisions against them must be in fairness considered suspended. There was something to be said on both sides (see Hefele, p. 99), but on the whole, the synod being convoked expressly to re-hear both sides, the majority were perhaps justified in refusing to exclude the accused. A long interchange (p. 119), of communications followed, and at last, alleging that they were summoned home by the news of the victory in the Persian war, the minority disappeared by night, sending their excuse by the Sardican Presbyter Eustathius (p. 275). At Philippopolis, within the dominions of Constantius, they halted and drew up a long and extremely wild and angry statement of what had occurred, deposing and condemning all concerned, from Hosius, Julius and Athanasius downward. They added the Antiochene Confession (`fourth' of 341), with the addition of some anathemas directed at the system of Marcellus. Among the signatures, which included most of the surviving Arian leaders, along with Basil of Ancyra, and other moderate men, we recognise that of Ischyras, `bishop from the Mareotis,' who had enjoyed the dignity without the burdens of the Episcopate since the Council of Tyre (p. 144). The document was sent far and wide, among the rest to the Donatists of Africa (Hef, p. 171).
This rupture doomed the purpose of the council to failure: instead of leading to agreement it had made the difference a hopeless one. But the Westerns were still a respectable number, and might do much to forward the cause of justice and of the Nicene Faith. Two of the Easterns had joined them, Asterius of Petra and Arius, bishop of an unknown see in Palestine. The only other Oriental present, Diodorus of Tenedos, appears to have come, like Asclepas, &c., independently of the rest. The work of the council was partly judicial, partly legislative. The question was raised of issuing a supplement to, or formula explanatory of, the Nicene creed, and a draft (preserved Thdt. H.E. ii. 8) was actually made, but the council declined to sanction anything which should imply that the Nicene creed was insufficient (p. 484, correcting Thdt. ubi supra, and Soz. iii. 12).
The charges against all the exiles were carefully examined and dismissed. This was also the case with the complaints against the orthodoxy of Marcellus, who was allowed to evade the very point which gave most offence (p. 125). Probably the ocular evidence (p. 124) of the violence which many present had suffered, indisposed the fathers to believe any accusations from such a quarter. The synod next proceeded to legislate. Their canons were twenty in number, the most important being canons 3-5, which permit a deposed bishop to demand the reference of his case to `Julius bishop of Rome,' `honouring the memory of Peter the Apostle;' the deposition to be suspended pending such reference; the Roman bishop, if the appeal seem reasonable, to request the rehearing of the case in its own province, and if at the request of the accused he sends a presbyter to represent him, such presbyter to rank as though he were his principal in person. The whole scheme appears to be novel and to have been suggested by the history of the case of the exiles. The canons are very important in their subsequent history, but need not be discussed here. (Elaborate discussions in Hefele, pp. 112-129; see also D.C.A. pp. 127 sq., 1658, 1671, Greenwood, Cath. Petr. i. 204-08, D.C.B. iii. 662 a, and especially 529-531.) The only legislation, however, to which Athanasius alludes is that establishing a period of 50 years during which Rome and Alexandria should agree as to the period for Easter (Fest. Ind. xv., infr. p. 544, also Hefele pp. 157 sqq.). The arrangement averted a dispute in 346, but differences occurred in spite of it in 349, 350, 360, and 368.
The synod addressed an encyclical letter to all Christendom (p. 123), embodying their decisions and announcing their deposition of eight or nine Oriental bishops (including Theodore of Heraclea, Acacius, and several Arian leaders) for complicity with Arianism. They also wrote to the Church of Alexandria and to the bishops of Egypt with special reference to Athanasius and to the Alexandrian Church, to Julius announcing their decisions, and to the Mareotis (Migne xxvi. 1331 sqq. printed with Letters 46, 47. Hefele ii. 165 questions the genuineness of all three, but without reason; see p. 554, note 1).
The effect of the Council was not at first pacific. Constantius shared the indignation of the Eastern bishops, and began severe measures against all the Nicene-minded bishops in his dominions (pp. 275 sqq). Theodulus, Bishop of Trajanople, died of his injuries before the Sardican Bishops had completed their work. At Hadrianople savage cruelties were perpetrated (ib.); and a close watch was instituted in case Athanasius should attempt to return on the strength of his synodical acquittal. Accordingly, he passed the winter and spring at Naissus (now Nish, see Fest. Ind. xvi.), and during the summer, in obedience to an invitation from Constans, repaired to Aquileia, where he spent the Easter of 345.
Meanwhile, Constans had made the cause of the Sardican majority his own. At the beginning of the year 344 he sent two of its most respected members to urge upon Constantius the propriety of restoring the exiles. Either now or later he hinted that refusal would be regarded by him as a casus belli. His remonstrance gained unexpected moral support from an episode, strange even in that age of unprincipled intrigue. In rage and pain at the apparent success of the envoys, Stephen, Bishop of Antioch, sought to discredit them by a truly diabolical trick (see p. 276). Its discovery, just after Easter, 344, roused the moral sense of Constantius. A Council was summoned, and met during the summer65 (p. 462, §26, `three years after' the Dedication at Midsummer, 341). Stephen was ignominiously deposed (see Gwatkin 125, note 1), and Leontius, an Arian, but a lover of quiet and a temporiser, appointed. The Council also re-issued the `fourth' Antiochene Creed with a very long explanatory addition, mildly condemning certain Arian phrases, fiercely anathemarising Marcellus and Photinus, and with a side-thrust at supposed implications of the Nicene formula. A deputation was sent to Italy, consisting of Eudoxius of Germanicia and three others. They reached Milan at the Synod of 345, and were able to procure a condemnation of Photinus (not Marcellus), but on being asked to anathematise Arianism refused, and retired in anger. At the same Synod of Milan, however, Valens and Ursacius, whose deposition at Sardica was in imminent danger of being enforced by Constans, followed the former example of Eusebius of Nicomedia, Maris, Theognis, and Arius himself, by making their submission, which was followed up two years later by a letter in abject terms addressed to Julius, and another in a tone of veiled insolence to Athanasius (p. 131). In return, they were able to beat up a Synod at Sirmium against Photinus (Hil. Frag. ii. 19), but without success in the attempt to dislodge him.
Meanwhile, Constantius had followed up the Council at Antioch by cancelling his severe measures against the Nicene party. He restored to Alexandria certain Presbyters whom he had expelled, and in the course of the summer wrote a public letter to forbid any further persecution of the Athanasians in that city. This must have been in August, 344, and `about ten months later' (p. 277), i.e., on June 26, 345 (F. I xviii.), Gregory, who had been in bad health for fully four years, died66 . Constantius, according to his own statement (pp. 127, 277), had already before the death of Gregory written twice to Athanasius (from Edessa; he was at Nisibis on May 12, 345), and had sent a Presbyter to request him urgently to come and see him with a view to his eventual restoration. As Gregory was known to be in a dying state, this is quite intelligible, but the language of Hist. Ar. 21, which seems to put all all three letters after Gregory's death, cannot stand if we are to accept the assurance of Constantius. Athanasius, at any rate, hesitated to obey, and stayed on at Aquileia (344 till early in 346), where he received a third and still more pressing invitation, promising him immediate restoration. He at once went to Rome to bid farewell to Julius, who wrote (p. 128 sq.) a most cordial and nobly-worded letter of congratulation for Athanasius to take home to his Church. Thence he proceeded to Trier to take leave of Constans (p. 239), and rapidly travelled by way of Hadrianople (p. 276) to Antioch (p. 240), where he was cordially received67 by Constantius. His visit was short but remarkable. Constantius gave him the strongest assurances (pp. 277, 285) of goodwill for the future, but begged that Athanasius would allow the Arians at Alexandria the use of a single Church. He replied that he would do so if the Eustathians of Antioch (with whom alone he communicated during this visit) might have the same privilege. But this Leontius would not sanction, so the proposal came to nothing (Soc. ii. 23, Soz. iii. 20), and Athanasius hastened on his way. At Jerusalem he was detained by the welcome of a Council, which Bishop Maximus had summoned to greet him (p. 130), but on the twenty-first of October his reception by his flock took place; `the people, and those in authority, met him a hundred miles distant' (Fest. Ind. xviii.), and amid splendid rejoicings (cf. p. xlii., note 3), he entered Alexandria, to remain there in `quiet' `nine years, three months and nineteen days' (Hist. Aceph. iv., cf. p. 496), viz., from Paophi 24 (Oct. 21), 346, to Mechir 13 (Feb. 8), 356. This period was his longest undisturbed residence in his see; he entered upon it in the very prime of life (he was 48 years old), and its internal happiness earns it the title of a golden decade.
§7. The Golden Decade, 346-356.
(1). This period is divided into two by the death of Constans in 350, or perhaps more exactly by the final settlement of sole power in the hands of Constantius on the day of Mursa, Sept. 28, 35168 . The internal condition of the Church at Alexandria, however, was not seriously disturbed even in the second period. From this point of view the entire period may be treated as one. Its opening was auspicious. Egypt fully participated in the `profound and wonderful peace' (p. 278) of the Churches. The Bishops of province after province were sending in their letters of adhesion to the Synod of Sardica (ib. and p. 127), and those of Egypt signed to a man.
The public rejoicing of the Alexandrian Church had something of the character of a `mission' in modern Church life. A wave of religious enthusiasm passed over the whole community. `How many widows and how many orphans, who were before hungry and naked, now through the great zeal of the people were no longer hungry, and went forth clothed;' `in a word, so great was their emulation in virtue, that you would have thought every family and every house a Church, by reason of the goodness of its inmates and the prayers which were offered to God' (p. 278). Increased strictness of life, the santification of home, renewed application to prayer, and practical charity, these were a worthy welcome to their long-lost pastor. But most conspicuous was the impulse to asceticism. Marriages were renounced and even dissolved in favour of the monastic life; the same instincts were at work (but in greater intensity) as had asserted themselves at the close of the era of the pagan persecutions (p. 200, fin.). Our knowledge of the history of the Egyptian Church under the ten years' peaceful rule of Athanasius is confined to a few details and to what we can infer from results.
Strong as was the position of Athanasius in Egypt upon his return from exile, his hold upon the country grew with each year of the decade. When circumstances set Constantius free to resume the Arian campaign, it was against Athanasius that he worked; at first from the remote West, then by attempts to remove or coax him from Alexandria. But Athanasius was in an impregnable position, and when at last the city was seized by the coup de main of 356, from his hidings places in Egypt he was more inaccessible still, more secure in his defence, more free to attack. Now the extraordinary development of Egyptian Monachism must be placed in the first rank of the causes which strengthened Athanasius in Egypt. The institution was already firmly rooted there (cf. p. 190), and Pachomius, a slightly older contemporary of Athanasius himself, had converted a sporadic manifestation of the ascetic impulse into an organised form of Community Life. Pachomius himself had died on May 9, 346 (infr. p. lx., note 3, and p. 569, note 3: cf. Theolog. Literaturztg. 1890, p. 622), but Athanasius was welcomed soon after his arrival by a deputation from the Society of Tabenne, who also conveyed a special message from the aged Antony. Athanasins placed himself at the head of the monastic movement, and we cannot doubt that while he won the enthusiastic devotion of these dogged and ardent Copts, his influence on the movement tended to restrain extravagances and to correct the morbid exaltation of the monastic ideal. It is remarkable that the only letters which survive from this decade (pp. 556-560) are to monks, and that they both support what has just been said. The army of Egyptian monks was destined to become a too powerful weapon, a scandal and a danger to the Church: but the monks were the main secret of the power and ubiquitous activity of Athanasius in his third exile, and that power was above all built up during the golden decade.
Coupled with the growth of monachism is the transformation of the episcopate. The great power enjoyed by the Archbishop of Alexandria made it a matter of course that in a prolonged episcopate discordant elements would gradually vanish and unanimity increase. This was the case under Athanasius: but the unanimity reflected in the letter ad Afros had practically already come about in the year of the return of Ath. from Aquileia, when nearly every bishop in Egypt signed the Sardican letter (p. 127; the names include the new bishops of 346-7 in Letter 19, with one or two exceptions). Athanasius not infrequently (pp. 559 sq. and Vit. Pach. 72) filled up vacancies in the episcopate from among the monks, and Serapion of Thmuis, his most trusted suffragan, remained after his elevation in very close relation with the monasteries.
Athanasius consecrated bishops not only for Egypt, but for the remote Abyssinian kingdom of Auxume as well. The visit of Frumentius to Alexandria, and his consecration as bishop for Auxume, are referred by Rufinus i. 9 (Socr. i. 19, &c.) to the beginning of the episcopate of Athanasius. But the chronology of the story (Gwatkin, pp. 93 sqq., D.C.B. ii. 236 where the argument is faulty) forbids this altogether, while the letter of Constantius (p. 250) is most natural if the consecration of Frumentius were then a comparatively recent matter, scarcely intelligible if it had taken place before the `deposition' of Athan. by the council of Tyre. Athanasius had found Egypt distracted by religious dissensions; but by the time of the third exile we hear very little of Arians excepting in Alexandria itself (see p. 564); the `Arians' of the rest of Egypt were the remnant of the Meletians, whose monks are still mentioned by Theodoret (cf. An incident the growing numbers of the Alexandrian Church during this period is the which shows necessity which arose at Easter in one year of using the unfinished Church of the Caesareum (for its history cf. p. 243, note 6, anti Hist. Aceph. vi., Fest. Ind. xxxvii., xxxviii., xl.) owing to the vast crowds of worshippers. The Church was a gift of Constantius, and had been begun by Gregory, and its use before completion and dedication was treated by the Arians as an act of presumption and disrespect on the part of Athanasius.
(2.) But while all was so happy in Egypt, the `profound peace' of the rest of the Church was more apparent than real. The temporary revulsion of feeling on the part of Constantius, the engrossing urgency of the Persian war, the readiness of Constans to use his formidable power to secure justice to the Nicene bishops in the East, all these were causes which compelled peace, while leaving the deeper elements of strife to smoulder untouched. The riva depositions and anathemas of the hostile Councils remained without effect. Valens was in possession at Mursa, Photinus at Sirmium. Marcellus was, probably, not at Ancyra (Zahn 82); but the Arians deposed at Sardica were all undisturbed, while Athanasius was more firmly established than ever at Alexandria. On the whole, the Episcopate of the East was entirely in the hands of the reaction-the Nicene element, often large, among the laity was in many cases conciliated with difficulty. This is conspicuously the case at Antioch, where the temporising policy of Leontius managed to retain in communion a powerful body of orthodox Christians, headed by Diodorus and Flavian, whose energy neutralised the effect of his own steadily Arian policy (particulars, Gwatkin, pp. 133, sqq., Newman, Arians , p. 455-from Thdt. H. E. ii. 24). The Eustathian schism at Antioch was, apparently, paralleled by a Marcellian schism at Ancyra, but such cases were decidedly the exception.
Of the mass of instances where the bishops were not Arian but simply conservative, the Church of Jerusalem is the type. We have the instructions given to the Catechumens of this city between 348 and 350 by Cyril, who in the latter year (Hort, p. 92) became bishop, and whose career is typical of the rise and development of so-called semi-Arianism. Cyril, like the conservatives generally, is strongly under the influence of Origen (see Caspari iv. 146-162, and of. the Catechesis in Heurtley de Fid. et Symb. 62 with the Regula Fidel in Orig. de Princ. i). The instructions insist strongly on the necessity of scriptural language, and while contradicting the doctrines of Acius (without mentioning his name; cf. Athanasius on Marcellus and Photinus in pp. 433-447) Cyril tacitly protests against the dmoonsion as of human contrivance (Cat. v. 12), and uses in preference the words `like to the Father according to the Scriptures' or `in all thing.' This language is that of Athanasius also, especially in his earlier works (pp. 84 sqq.), but in the latter phase of the controversy, especially in the Dated Creed of 359, which presents striking resemblances to Cyril's Catecheses, it became the watchword of the party of reaction. The Church of Jerusalem then was orthodox substantially, but rejected the Nicene formula, and this was the case in the East generally, except where the bishops were positively Arian. All were aggrieved at the way in which the Eastern councils had been treated by the West, and smarted under a sense of defeat (cf. Bright, Introd. to Hist. Tr., p. xviii.).
Accordingly the murder of Constans in 350 was the harbinger of renewed religious discord. For a time the political future was doubtful. Magnentius, knowing what Athanasius had to fear from Constantius, made a bid for the support of Egypt. Clementius and Valens, two members of a deputation to Constantius, came round by way of Egypt to ascertain the disposition of the country, and especially of its Bishop. Athanasius received them with bitter lamentations for Constans, and, fearing the possibility of an invasion by Magnentius, he called upon his congregation to pray for the Eastern Emperor. The response was immediate and unanimous:`O Christ, send help to Constantius' (p. 242). The Emperor had, in fact, sought to secure the fidelity of Athanasius by a letter (pp. 247, 278), assuring him of his continued support. And until the defeat of Magnentius at Mursa, he kept his word. That victory, which was as decisive for Valens as it was for Constantius (Gibbon, ii. 381, iii. 66, ed. Smith), was followed up by a Council at Sirmium, which successfully ousted the too popular Photinus (cf. pp. 280, 298; on the appeal of Photinus, and the debate between him and Basil of Ancyra, apparently in 355, see Gwatkin, pp. 145 sq., note 6). This was made the occasion for a new onslaught upon Marcellus in the anathemas appended to a reissue of the `fourth Antiochene' or Philippopolitan Creed (p. 465; on the tentative character of these anathemas as a polemical move, cf. Gwatkin, p. 147, note 1). The Emperor was occupied for more than a year with the final suppression of Magnentius (Aug. 10, 353), but `the first Winter after his victory, which he spent at Arles, was employed against an enemy more odious to him than the vanquished tyrant of Gaul' (Gibbon).
It is unnecessary to detail the tedious and unedifying story of the councils of Aries and Milan. The former was a provincial council of Gaul, attended by legates of the Roman see. All present submissively registered the imperial condemnation of Athanasius. The latter, delayed till 355 by the Rhenish campaign of Constantius, was due to the request of Liberius, who desired to undo the evil work of his legates, and to the desire of the Emperor to follow up the verdict of a provincial with that of a more representative Synod. The number of bishops present was probably very small (the numbers in Socrates ii. 36, Soz. iv. 9, may refer to those who afterwards signed under compulsion, p. 280, cf. the case of Sardica, p. 127, note 10). The proceedings were a drama in three acts, first, submission, the legates protesting; secondly, stormy protest, after the arrival of Eusebius of Vercellae; thirdly, open coercion. The deposition of Athanasius was proffered to each bishop for signature, and, if he refused, a sentence of banishment was at once pronounced, the emperor sitting with the `velum' drawn, much as though an English judge were to assume the black cap at the beginning of a capital trial. He cut short argument by announcing that `the was for the prosecution,' and remonstrance by the sentence of exile (p. 299); the opep egw boulomai tonto kanwn put into his mouth by Athanasius (p. 281) represents at any rate the spirit of his proceedings as justly as does `la tradizione son' io' that of the autocrat of a more recent council. At this council no creed was put forth: until the enemy was dislodged from Alexandria the next step would be premature. But a band of exiles were sent in strict custody to the East, of some of whom we shall hear later on (pp. 561, 481, 281, cf. p. 256, and the excellent monograph of Kruger, Lucifer von Calaris, pp. 9-23).
Meanwhile, Athanasius had been peacefully pursuing his diocesan duties, but not without a careful outlook as the clouds gathered on the horizon. The prospect of a revival of the charges against him moved him to set in order an unanswerable array of documents, in proof, firstly of the unanimity, secondly of the good reason, with which he had been acquitted of them (see p. 97). He had also, in view of revived assertions of Arianism, drawn up the two letters or memoranda on the rationale of the Nicene formula and on the opinion ascribed to his famous predecessor, Dionysius (the Apology was probably written about 351, the date of the de Decr., and de Sent. Dion.69 falls a little later). In 353 he began to apprehend danger, from the hopes with which the establishment of Constantius in the sole possession of the Empire was inspiring his enemies, headed by Valens in the West, and Acacius of Caesarea in the East. Accordingly, he despatched a powerful deputation to Constantius, who was then at Milan, headed by Serapion, his most trusted suffragan (cf. p. 560, note 3 a; p. 497, §3, copied by Soz. iv. 9; Fest. Ind. xxv.). The legates sailed May 19, but on the 23rd Montanus, an officer of the Palace, arrived with an Imperial letter, declining to receive any legates, but granting an alleged request of Athanasius to be allowed to come to Italy (p. 245 sq.). As he had made no request of the kind, Athanasius naturally suspected a plot to entice him away from his stronghold. The letter of Constantius did not convey an absolute command, so Athanasius, protesting his willingness to come when ordered to do so, resolved to remain where he was for the present. `All the people were exceedingly troubled,' according to our chroniclers. `In this year Montanus was sent against the bishop, but a tumult having been excited, he retired without effect.' Two years and two months later, i.e., in July-Aug. 355 (p. 497), force was attempted instead of stratagem, which the proceedings of Arles had, of course, made useless. `In this year Diogenes, the Secretary of the Emperor, came with the intention of seizing the bishop,' and `Diogenes pressed hard upon all, trying to dislodge the bishop from the city, and he afflicted all pretty severely; but on Sept. 470 he pressed sharply, and stormed a Church, and this he did continually for four months ...until Dec. 23. But as the people and magistrates vehemently withstood Diogenes, he returned back without effect on the 23rd of December aforesaid' (Fest. Ind. xxvii., Hist. Aceph. iii.). The fatal blow was clearly imminent. By this time the exiles had begun to arrive in the East, and rumours came71 that not even the powerful and popular Liberius, not even `Father' Hosius himself, had been spared. Athanasius might well point out to Dracontius (p. 558) that in declining the bishopric of the `country district of Alexandria' he was avoiding the post of danger. On the sixth of January the `Duke' Syrianus arrived in Alexandria, concentrating in the city drafts from all the legions stationed in Egypt and Libya. Rumour was active as to the intentions of the commandant, and Athanasius felt justified in asking him whether he came with any orders from the Court. Syrianus replied that he did not, and Athanasius then produced the letter of Constantius referred to above (written 350-351). The magistrates and people joined in the remonstrance, and at last Syrianus. protested `by the life of Caesar' that he would remain quiet until the matter had been referred to the Emperor. This restored confidence, and on Thursday night, Feb. 8, Athanasius was presiding at a crowded service of preparation for a Communion on the following morning (Friday after Septuagesima) in the Church of Theonas, which with the exception of the unfinished Caesareum was the largest in the city (p. 243). Suddenly the church was surrounded and the doors broken in, and just after midnight Syrianus and the `notary' Hilary `entered with an infinite force of soldiers.' Athanasius (his fullest account is p. 263) calmly took his seat upon the throne (in the recess of the apse), and ordered the deacon to begin the 136th psalm, the people responding at each verse `for His mercy endureth for ever.' Meanwhile the soldiers crowded up to the chancel, and in spite of entreaties the bishop refused to escape until the congregation were in safety. He ordered the prayers to proceed, and only at the last moment a crowd of monks and clergy seized the Archbishop and managed to convey him in the confusion out of the church in a half-fainting state (protest of Alexandrians, p. 301), but thankful that he had been able to secure the escape of his people before his own (p. 264). From that moment Athanasius was lost to public view for `six years and fourteen days' (Hist. Aceph., i.e., Mechir 13, 356-Mechir 27, 362), `for he remembered that which was written, Hide thyself as it were for a little moment, until the indignation be overpast (pp. 288, 252, 262). Constantius and the Arians had planned their blow with skill and delivered it with decisive effect. But they had won a `Cadmean Victory.'
§8. The Third Exile, 356-362.
The third exile of Athanasius marks the summit of his achievement. Its commencement is the triumph, its conclusion the collapse of Arianism. It is true that after the death of Constantius the battle went on with variations of fortune for twenty years, mostly under the reign of an ardently Arian Emperor (364-378). But by 362 the utter lack of inner coherence in the Arian ranks was manifest to all; the issue of the fight might be postponed by circumstances but could not be in doubt. The break-up of the Arian power was due to its own lack of reality: as soon as it had a free hand, it began to go to pieces. But the watchful eye of Athanasius followed each step in the process from his hiding-place, and the event was greatly due to his powerful personality and ready pen, knowing whom to overwhelm and whom to conciliate, where to strike and where to spare. This period then of forced abstention from affairs was the most stirring in spiritual and literary activity in the whole life of Athanasius. It produced more than half of the treatises which fill this volume, and more than half of his entire extant works. With this we shall have to deal presently; but let it be noted once for all how completely the amazing power wielded by the wandering fugitive was based upon the devoted fidelity of Egypt to its pastor. Towns and villages, deserts and monasteries, the very tombs were scoured by the Imperial inquisitors in the search for Athanasius; but all in vain; not once do we hear of any suspicion of betrayal. The work of the golden decade was bearing its fruit.
(1.) On leaving the church of Theonas, Athanasius appears to have made his escape from the city. If for once we may hazard a conjecture, the numerous cells of the Nitrian desert offered a not too distant but fairly inpenetrable refuge. He must at any rate have selected a place where he could gain time to reflect on the situation, and above all ensure that he should be kept well informed of events from time to time. For in Athanasius we never see the panic-stricken outlaw; he is always the general meditating his next movement and full of the prospects of his cause. He made up his mind to appeal to Constantius in person. He could not believe that an Emperor would go back upon his solemn pledges, especially such a voluntary assurance as he had received after the death of Constans. Accordingly he drew up a carefully elaborated defence (Ap. Const. 1-26) dealing with the four principal charges against him, and set off through the Libyan72 desert with the intention of crossing to Italy and finding Constantius at Milan. But while he was on his way, he encountered rumours confirming the reports of the wholesale banishment not only of the recalcitrants of Milan, but of Liberius of Rome and the great Hosius of Spain. Next came the news of the severe measures against Egyptian bishops, and of the banishment of sixteen of their number, coupled with the violence practised by the troops at Alexandria on Easter Day (p. 248 sq.); however, his journey was continued, until he received copies of letters from the Emperor, one denouncing him to the Alexandrians and recommending a new bishop, one George, as their future guide, the other summoning the princes of Auxumis to send Frumentius (supr. p. xlviii.) to Egypt in order that he might unlearn what he had been taught by `the most wicked Athanasius' and receive instruction from the `venerable George.' These letters, which shew how completely the pursuers were off the scent (p. 249), convinced Athanasius that a personal interview was out of the question. He returned into the desert,' and at leisure completed his apology (pp. 249-253), with the view partly of possible future delivery, partly no doubt of literary circulation. Before turning back, however, he appears to have drawn up his letter to the bishops of Egypt and Libya, warning them against the formula (see p. 222) which was being tendered for their subscription, and encouraging them to endure persecution, which had already begun at least in Eibya (Ep. Aeg.); the designation of George (§7) was already known, but he had not arrived, nor had Secundus (19) reappeared in Egypt, at any rate not in Libya (he was there in Lent, 357, p. 294). The letter to the bishops, then, must have been written about Easter, 356; not long after, because it contains no details of the persecution in Egypt; not before, for the persecution had already begun, and Athanasius was already in Cyrenaica, whence he turned back not earlier than April (to allow time for Constantius (1) to hear that Athanasius was thought to have fled to Ethiopia, (2) to write to Egypt, (3) for copies of the letter to overtake Athanasius on his way to Italy. Constantius was at Milan Jan.-April).
Meanwhile in Alexandria disorders had continued. The `duke' appears to have been either unable for a time, or to have thought it needless, to take possession of the churches; but we hear of a violent dispersion of worshippers from the neighbourhood of the cemetery on Easter Day (p. 249, cf. the Virgins after Syrianus but before Heraclius, p. 288); while throughout Egypt subscription to an Arianising formula was being enforced on the bishops under pain of expulsion. After Easter, a change of governor took place, Maximus of Nicaea (pp. 301 sqq., 247) being succeeded by Cataphronius, who reached Alexandria on the 10th of June (Hist. Aceph. iv.). He was accompanied by a Count Heraclius, who brought a letter from Constantius threatening the heathen with severe measures (pp. 288, 290), unless active hostilities against the Athanasian party were begun (this letter was not the one given p. 249; Ath. rightly remarks `it reflected great discredit upon the writer'). Heraclius announced that by Imperial order the Churches were to be given up to the Arians, and compelled all the magistrates, including the functionaries of heathen temples, to sign an undertaking to execute the Imperial incitements to persecution, and to agree to receive as Bishop the Emperor's nominee. These incredible precautions shew the general esteem for Athanasius even outside the Church, and the misgivings felt at Court as to the reception of the new bishop. The Gentiles reluctantly agreed, and the next acts of violence were carried out with their aid, `or rather with that of the more abandoned among them' (p. 291). On the fourth day from the arrival of Cataphronius, that is in the early hours of Thursday, June 13, after a service (which had began overnight, pp. 290, 256 fin., Hist. Aceph. v.), just as all the congregation except a few women had left, the church of Theonas was stormed and violences perpetrated which left far behind anything that Syrianus had done. Women were murdered, the church wrecked and polluted with the very worst orgies of heathenism, houses and even tombs were ransacked throughout the city and suburbs on pretence of `seeking for Athanasius.' Sebastian the Manichee, who about this time succeeded to the military command of Syrianus, appears to have carried on these outrages with the utmost zest (yet see Hist. Ar. 60). Many more bishops were driven into exile (compare the twenty-six of p. 297 with the `sixteen' p. 248, but some may belong to a still later period, see p. 257), and the Arian bishops and clergy installed, including the bitterly vindictive Secundus in Libya (p. 257). The formal transfer of churches at Alexandria took place on Saturday, June 15 (infr., p. 290, note 9): the anniversary of Eutychius (p. 292) was kept at Alexandria on July II, (Martyrol. Vetust. Ed. 1668). After a further delay of `eight months and eleven days' George, the new bishop, made his appearance (Feb. 24, 35773 , third Friday in Lent). His previous career74 and character75 were strange qualifications for the second bishopric in Christendom. He had been a pork-contractor at Constantinople, and according to his many enemies a fraudulent one; he had amassed considerable wealth, and was a zealous Arian. His violent temper perhaps recommended him as a man likely to crush the opposition that was expected. The history of his episcopate may be briefly disposed of here. He entered upon his See in Lent, 357, with an armed force. At Easter he renewed the violent persecution of bishops, clergy, virgins, and lay people. In the week after Pentecost he let loose the cruel commandant Sebastian against a number of persons who were worshipping at the cemetery instead of communicating with himself; many were killed, and many more banished. The expulsion of bishops (`over thirty,' p. 257, cf. other reff. above) was continued (the various data of Ath. are not easy to reconcile, the first 16 of p. 257 may be the `sixteen' of p. 248, before Easter, 356: we miss the name of Scrapion in all the lists 1) Theodore, Bishop of Oxyrynchus, the largest town of middle Egypt, upon submitting to George, was compelled by him to submit to reordination. The people refused to have anything more to do with him, and did without a bishop for a long time, until they obtained a pastor in one Heraclides, who is said to have become a `Luciferian.' (Cf. Lib. Prec., and Le Quien ii. p. 578.) George carried on his tyranny eighteen months, till Aug. 29, 358. His fierce insults against Pagan worship were accompanied by the meanest and most oppressive rapacity. At last the populace, exasperated by his `adder's bites' (Ammian.), attacked him, and he was rescued with difficulty. On Oct. 2 he left the town, and the party of Athanasius expelled his followers from the churches on Oct. 11, but on Dec. 24, Sebastian came in from the country and restored the churches to the people of George. On June 23, 359, `the notary Paul' (`in complicandis calumniarum nexibus artifex dirus, unde ei Catenae inditum est cognomentum,' Ammian. Marc. XIV. v., XV. iii.), the Jeffreys of the day, held a commission of blood, and. `vindictively punished many76 .' George was at this time busy with the councils of Seleucia and Constantinople (he was not actually present at the latter, Thdt. H. E. ii. 28), and was in no hurry to return. At last, just after the death of Constantius, he ventured back, Nov. 26, 361, but on the proclamation of Julian on Nov. 30 was seized by the populace and thrown into chains; on Dec. 24, `impatient of the tedious forms of judicial proceedings,' the people dragged him from prison and lynched him with the utmost ignominy.
Athanasius meanwhile eluded all search. During part of the year 357-358 he was in concealment in Alexandria itself, and he was supposed to be there two years later (Fest. Ind. xxx., xxxii.; the latter gives some colour to the tale of Palladius-cf. Soz. v. 6-of his having during part of this period remained concealed in the house of a Virgin of the church), but the greater part of his time was undoubtedly spent in the numberless cells of Upper and Lower Egypt, where he was secure of close concealment, and of loyal and efficient messengers to warn him of danger, keep him informed of events, and carry his letters and writings far and wide. The tale of Rufinus (i. 18) that he lay hid all the six years in a dry cistern is probably a confused version of this general fact. The tombs of kings and private persons were at this time the common abode of monks (cf. p. 564, note 1; also Socr. iv. 13, a similar mistake). Probably we must place the composition of the Life of Antony, the great classic of Monasticism, at some date during this exile, although the question is surrounded with difficulties (see pp. 188 sqq.). The importance of the period, however, lies in the march of events outside Egypt. (For a brilliant sketch of the desert life of Athanasius see D.G.B. i. 194 sq.; also Bright, Hist. Treatises, p. lxxiv. sq.)
(2.) With the accession of Constantius to sole power, the anti-Nicene reaction at last had a free hand throughout the Empire. Of what elements did it now consist? The original reaction was conservative in its numerical strength, Arian in its motive power. The stream was derived from the two fountain heads of Paul of Samosata, the ancestor of Arius, and of Origen the founder of the theology of the Eastern Church generally and especially of that of Eusebius of Caesarea. Flowing from such heterogeneous sources, the two currents never thoroughly mingled. Common action, dictated on the one hand by dread of Sabellianism, manipulated on the other hand by wire-pullers in the interest of Arianism, united the East till after the death of Constantine in the campaign against the leaders of Nicaea. Then for the last ten years of the life of Constans, Arianism, or rather the Reaction, had its `stationary period' (Newman). The chaos of creeds at the Council of Antioch (supr. p. xliv.) shewed the presence of discordant aims; but opposition to Western interference, and the urgent panic of Photinus and his master, kept them together: the lead was still taken by the Arianisers, as is shewn by the continued prominence of the fourth Antiochene Creed at Philippopolis (343), Antioch (344), and Sirmium (351). But the second or Lucianic Creed was on record as the protest of the conservative majority, and was not forgotten. Yet until after 351, when Photinus was finally got rid of and Constantius master of the world, the reaction was still embodied in a fairly compact and united party. But now the latent heterogeneity of the reaction began to make itself felt. Differing in source and motive, the two main currents made in different directions. The influence of Aristotle and Paul and Lucian set steadily toward a harder and more consistent Arianism, that of Plato and the Origenists toward an understanding with the Nicenes.
(a.) The original Arians, now gradually dying out, were all tainted with compromise and political sub-serviency. Arius, Asterius, Eusebius of Nicomedia, and the rest (Secundus and Theonas are the solitary exception), were all at one time or another, and in different degrees, willing to make concessions and veil their more objectionable tenets under some evasive confession. But in many cases temporary humiliation produced its natural result in subsequent uncompromising defiance. This is exemplified in the history of Valens and Ursacius after 351. Valens, especially, figures as the head of a new party of `Anomoeans' or ultra-Arians. The rise of this party is associated with the name of Aetius, its after-history with that of his pupil Eunomius, bishop of Cyzicus from 361. It was marked by a genuine scorn for the compromises of earlier Arianism, from which it differed in nothing except its more resolute sincerity. The career of Aetius (D.C.B. i. 50, sqq.) was that of a struggling, self-made, self-confident man. A pupil of the Lucianists (supr., p. xxviii.), he shrunk from none of the irreverent conclusions of Arianism. His loud voice and clear-cut logic lost none of their effect by fear of offending the religious sensibilities of others. In 350 Leontius ordained him deacon, with a licence to preach, at Antioch; but Flavian and Diodorus (see above, §7) raised such a storm that the cautious bishop felt obliged to suspend him. On the appointment of George he was invited to Alexandria, whither Eunomius was attracted by his fame as a teacher. His influence gradually spread, and he found many kindred spirits among the bishops. The survivors of the original Arians were with him at heart, as also were men like Eudoxius, bishop of Germanicia (of Antioch, 358, of CP. 360), who fell as far behind Aetius in sincerity as he surpassed him in profanity; the Anomoeans (anomoioj) were numerically strong, and morally even more so; they were the wedge which eventually broke up the reactionary mass, rousing the sincere horror of the Conservatives, commanding the sometimes dissembled but always real sympathy of the true Arians, and seriously embarrassing the political Arians, whose one aim was to keep their party together by disguising differences of principle under some convenient phrase.
(b.) This latter party were headed by Acacius in the East and in the West by Valens, who while in reality, as stated above, making play for the Anomoean cause, was diplomatist enough to use the influential `party of no principle' as his instrument for the purpose. Valens during the whole period of the sole reign of Constantius (and in fact until his own death about 375) was the heart and soul of the new and last phase of Arianism, namely of the formal attempt to impose an Arian creed upon the Church in lieu of that of Nicaea. But this could only be done by skilful use of less extreme men, and in the trickery and statecraft necessary for such a purpose Valens was facile princeps. His main supporter in the East was Acacius, who had succeeded to the bishoprick, the library, and the doctrinal position of his preceptor Eusebius of Caesarea. The latter, as we saw (p. xxvii. note 5), represented `the extreme left' of the conservative reaction, meeting the right wing, or rather the extreme concessions, of pure Arianism as represented by its official advocate Asterius, whom in fact Eusebius had defended against the onslaught of Marcellus. In so far then as the stream of pure Arianism could be mingled with the waters of Conservatism, Acacius was the channel in which they joined. Eusebius had not been an Arian, neither was Acacius; Eusebius had theological convictions, but lacked clearness of perception, Acacius was a clear-headed man but without convictions; Eusebius was substantially conservative in his theology, but tainted with political Arianism; Acacius was a political Arian first, and anything you please afterwards. On the whole, his sympathies seem to have been conservative, but he manifests a rooted dislike of principle of any kind. He appoints orthodox bishops (Philost. v. 1), but quarrels with them as soon as he encounters their true mettle, Cyril in 358, Meletius in 361; he befriends Arians, but betrays the too honest Aetius in 360. His ecclesiastical career begins with the council of four creeds in 341; in controversy with Marcellus he developed the concessions of Asterius till he almost reached the Nicene standard; he hailed effusively the Anomoean Creed of Valens in 358 (Soz. iv. 12), and in 359-60 forced that of Nike in its amended form upon the Eastern Church far and wide. He is next heard of, signing the Omoousion, in 363, and lastly (Socr. iv. 2) under Valens is named again along with Eudoxius. The real opinions of a man with such a record are naturally not easy to determine, but we may be sure that he was in thorough sympathy with the policy of Constantius, namely the union of all parties in the Church on the basis of subserviency to the State.
The difficulty was to find a formula. The test of Nicaea could not be superseded without putting something in its place, which should include Arianism as effectually as the other had excluded it. Such a test was eventually (after 357) found in the word omoioj77 . It was a word with a good Catholic history. We find it used freely by Athanasius in his earlier anti-Arian writings, and it was thoroughly current in conservative theology, as for example in Cyril's Catecheses (he has omoion kata taj grafaj and omoion kata panta). It would therefore permit even the full Nicene belief. On the other hand many of the more earnest conservative theologians had begun to reflect on what was involved in the `likeness' of the Son to the Father, and had formulated the conviction that this likeness was essential, not, as the Arians held, acquired. This was in fact a fair inference from the ousuaj aparallakton eikona of the Dedication Creed. This question made an agreement between men like Valens and Basil difficult, but it could be evaded by keeping to the simple omoion, and deprecating non-scriptural precision. Lastly, there were the Anomoeans to be considered. Now the omoion had the specious appearance of flatly contradicting this repellent avowal of the extremists; but to Valens and his friends it had the substantial recommendation of admitting it in reality. `Likeness' is a relative term. If two things are only `like' they are ipso facto to some extent unlike; the two words are not contradictories but correlatives, and if the likeness is not essential, the unlikeness is. So far then as the `Homoean' party rested on any doctrinal principle at all, that principle was the principle of Arius; and that is how Valens forwarded the Anomoean cause by putting himself at the head of the Homoeans. His plan of campaign had steadily matured. The deposition of Photinus in 351 had sounded the note of war, Aries and Milan (353-5) and the expulsion of Athanasius (356) had cleared the field of opponents, George was now in possession at Alexandria, and in the summer of 357 the triumph of Arianism was proclaimed. A small council of bishops met at Sirmium and published a Latin Creed, insisting strongly (1) on the unique Godhead of the Father, (2) on the subjection of the Son `along with all things subjected to Him by the Father,' and (3) strictly proscribing the terms omoousion, omoiousion, and all discussion of ousiu, as unscriptural and inscrutable.
This manifesto was none the less Anomoean for not explicitly avowing the obnoxious phrase. It forbids the definition of the `likeness' as essential, and does not even condescend to use the omoion at all. The Nicene definition is for the first time overtly and bluntly denounced, and the `conservatives' are commanded to hold their peace. The `Sirmium blasphemy' was indeed a trumpet-blast of defiance. The echo came back from the Homoeans assembled at Antioch, whence Eudoxius the new bishop, Acacius, and their friends addressed the Pannonians with a letter of thanks. But the blast heralded the collapse of the Arian cause; the Reaction `fell to pieces the moment Arianism ventured to have a policy of its own' (Gwatkin, p. 158, the whole account should be consulted). Not only did orthodox Gaul, under Phoebadius of Agen, the most stalwart of the lesser men whom Milan had spared, meet in synod and condemn the blasphemy, but the conservative East was up in arms against Arianism, for the first time with thorough spontaneity. Times were changed indeed; the East was at war with the Wests but on the side of orthodoxy against Arianism.
(c) We must now take account of the party headed by Basil of Ancyra and usually (since Epiphanius), but with some injustice, designated as Semi-Arians. Their theological ancestry and antecedents have been already sketched (pp. xxvii., xxxv.); they are the representatives of that conservatism, moulded by the neo-Asiatic, or modified Origenist tradition, which warmly condemned Arianism at Nicaea, but acquiesced with only half a heart in the test by which the Council resolved to exclude it. They furnished the numerical strength, the material basis so to call it, of the anti-Nicene reaction; but the reaction on their part had not been Arian in principle, but in part anti-Sabellian, in part the empirical conservatism of men whose own principles are vague and ill-assorted, and who fail to follow the keener sight which distinguishes the higher conservatism from the lower. They lent themselves to the purposes of the Eusebians (a name which ought to be dropped after 342) on purely negative grounds and in view of questions of personal rights and accusations. A positive doctrinal formula they did not possess. But in the course of years reflexion did its work. A younger generation grew up who had not been taught to respect Nicaea, nor yet had imbibed Arian principles. Cyril at Jerusalem, Meletius at Antioch, are specimens of a large class. The Dedication Creed at Antioch represents an early stage in the growth of this body of conviction, conviction not absolutely uniform everywhere, as the result shews, but still with a distinct tendency to settle down to a formal position with regard to the great question of the age. There was nothing in the Nicene doctrine that men like this did not hold: but the word omoousion opened the door to the dreaded Sabellian error: was not the history of Marcellus and Photinus a significant comment upon it? But if ousia meant not individuality, but specific identity (supr., p. xxxi. sq.) even this term might be innocently admitted. But to make that meaning plain, what was more effective than the insertion of an iota? 9Omoiousioj, then, was the satisfactory test which would banish Arius and Marcellus alike. Who first used the word for the purpose, we do not know, but its first occurrence is its prohibition in the `blasphemy' of Valens in 357. The leader of the `semi-Arians' in 357 was Basil of Ancyra, a man of deep learning and high character. George of Laodicea, an original Arian, was in active but short-lived78 alliance with the party, other prominent members of it were Eustathius, Bishop of Sebaste (Sivas), Eleusius of Cyzicus, Macedonius of Constantinople, Eusebius of Emesa, Cyril of Jerusalem, and Mark of Arethusa, a high-minded but violent man, who represents the `left' wing of the party as Cyril and Basil represent the `right.'
Now the `trumpet-blast' of Valens gave birth to the `Semi-Arians' as a formal party. An attempt was made to reunite the reaction on a Homoean basis in 359, but the events of that year made the breach more open than ever. The tendency towards the Nicene position which received its impulse in 357 continued unchecked until the Nicene cause triumphed in Asia in the hands of the `conservatives' of the next generation.
Immediately after the Acacian Synod at Antioch early in 358, George of Laodicea, who had reasons of his own for indignation against Eudoxius, wrote off in hot haste to warn Basil of the fearful encouragement that was being given to the doctrines of Aetius in that city. Basil, who was in communication (through Hilary) with Phoebadius and his colleagues, had invited twelve neighbouring bishops to the dedication of a church in Ancyra at this time, and took the opportunity of drawing up a synodical letter insisting on the Essential Likeness of the Son to the Father (omoion kat ousian), and eighteen anathemas directed against Marcellus and the Anomoeans. (The censure of omoousion h tautoousion is against the Marcellian sense of the omoousion). Basil, Eustathius, and Eleusius then proceeded to the Court at Sirmium and were successful in gaining the ear of the Emperor, who at this time had a high regard for Basil, and apparently obtained the ratification by a council, at which Valens, &c., were present, of a composite formula of their own (Newman's `semi-Arian digest of three Confessions') which was also signed by Liberius, who was thereupon sent back to Rome. (Soz. iv. 15 is our only authority here, and his account of the formula is not very clear: he seems to mean that two, not three, confessions were combined. (Cf. p. 449, note 4.) On the whole, it is most probable that the `fourth' Antiochene formula in its Sirmian recen-sion of 351 is intended, perhaps with the addition of twelve of the Ancyrene anathemas. (The question of the signatures of Liberius need not detain us.) The party of Valens were involved in sudden and unlooked-for discomfiture. Basil even succeeded in obtaining a decree of banishment against Eudoxius, Aetius, and `seventy' others (Philost. iv. 8). But an Arian deputation from Syria procured their recall, and all parties stood at bay in mutual bitterness.
Now was the opportunity of Valens. He saw the capabilities of the Homoean compromise, as yet embodied in no creed, and resolved to try it: and his experiment was not unsuccessful. All parties alike seem to have agreed upon the necessity for a council of the whole Church (on the origin of the proposal, and for other details, see p. 448). But Valens was determined what the result of the council must be. Accordingly he prevailed on the Emperor to divide it, the Western Synod to meet at Ariminum, the Eastern at `Rocky Seleucia,' a mountain fortress in Cilicia where there happened to be plenty of troops. The management of the latter was entrusted to Acaciusat Rimini Valens would be present in person. In event of the two synods differing, a delegation of ten bishops from each was to meet at Court and settle the matter. The Creed to be adopted had also to be arranged before. hand, and for this purpose, to his great discredit, Basil of Ancyra entered into a conference (along with Mark of Arethusa and certain colleagues) with Valens, George of Alexandria, and others of like mind. The result was the `Dated Creed' (May 22, 359) drawn by Mark, prohibiting the word ousia (in a gentler tone than that of the creed of Valens in 357), but containing the definition omoion kata panta (`as also the Scriptures teach,' see above, on Cyril, p. xlix.), words which Valens and Ursacius sought to suppress. But Constantius insisted on their retention, and Basil emphasised his subscription by a strongly-worded addition. Moreover in conjunction with George of Laodicea he drew up a memorandum (Epiph. 72, 12-22) vindicating the term ousia as implied in Scripture, insisting on the absolute essential likeness of the Son to the Father, except in respect of the Incarnation, and repudiating the idea that agennhsia is the essential notion of Godhead. Such a protest was highly significant as an approach to the Nicene position, but Basil must have felt its inefficiency for the purpose in hand. Had the creed been anything but a surrender of principle on his part, no explanatory memoranda would have been needed.
After the fiasco of the Dated Creed, the issue of the Councils was not doubtful. The details may be reserved for another place (pp. 448, 453 sqq.), but the general result is noteworthy. At both Councils the court party were in a minority, and in both alike they eventually had their way. (See Bright, Hist. Tr. lxxxiv.-xc., and Gwatkin, 170-180.) On the whole the Seleucian synod came out of the affair more honourably than the other, as their eventual surrender was confined to their delegates. Both Councils began bravely. The majorities deposed their opponents and affirmed their own faith, the Westerns that of Nicaea, the Easterns that of the Dedication. From both Councils deputations from each rival section went to the Emperor, who was now at Constantinople. The deputies from the majority at Ariminum, where the meeting had begun fully two months before the other, were not received, but detained first at Hadrianopic, then at Nike in Thrace (chosen, says Socr. ii. 37, to impose on the world by the name), where they were induced to sign a recension of the Dated Creed (the Creed itself had been revoked and recast without the date and perhaps without the kata panta before the preliminary meeting at Sirmium broke up, p. 466) of a more distinctly Homoean character. Armed with this document Valens brought them back to the Council, and `by threats and cajolery' obtained the signatures of nearly all the bishops. Yet the stalwart Phoebadius, Claudius of Picenum, the venerable African Muzonius, father of the Council, and a few others, were undaunted. But Valens, by adroit dissimulation and by guiding into a manageable shape the successive anathematisms by which his orthodoxy was tested, managed to deceive these simple-minded Westerns, and with applause and exultation, `plausu quodam et tripudio' (Jer.), amidst which `Valens was lauded to the skies' (!), the bishops were released from their wearisome detention and suspense. But Valens `cum recessisset tunc gloriabatur' (Prov. xx. 14). The Western bishops realised too late what they had done, `Ingemuit totus orbis, etse Arianum esse miratus est.' Valens hurried with the creed and the anathemas of Phoebadius to Constantinople, where he found the Seleucian deputies in hot discussion at court. The Eastern bishops at Seleucia had held to the `Lucianit' creed, and contemptuously set aside not only the Acacian alternative (p. 466), but the whole compromise of Basil and Mark at the Sirmian conference of the preceding May. The `Conservatives' and Acacians were at open war. But the change of the seat of war to the court gave the latter the advantage, and Valens and Acacius were determined to secure their position at any cost. The first step was to compel the signature of the `semi-Arian' deputies to the creed of Ariminum. This was facilitated by the renewal on the part of Acacius and Valens of their repudiation, already announced at Seleucia (p. 466), of the 'Anomoion, (of course with the mental reservation that the repudiation referred only to will). Even so, tedious discussions79 , and the threats of Constantins, with whom Basil had now lost all his influence (Thdt. ii. 27), were needed to bring about the required compliance late at night on New Year's Eve, 359-360 (Soz. iv. 23). In January, at the dedication of the Great Church of Constantine, the second step was taken. The revised creed of Nike was reissued without the anathemas of Ariminum. Aetius was offered by his friend Eudoxius as a sacrifice to the Emperor's scruples (see the account of the previous debates in Thdt. ubi supra), much as Arius had been sacrificed by his fellow-Lucianists at Nicaea (§2 supra: nine bishops protested, but were allowed six months to reconsider their objection; the six months lasted two years, and then a reconciliation with Actius took place for a time, Philost. vii. 6). Next a clean sweep was made of the leading semi-Arians on miscellaneous charges (Soz. iv. 24, sq.), and Eudoxius was installed as bishop of the New Rome in the place of Macedonius. The sacrifice of Actins gave the Homocans a free hand against their opponents, and was compensated by the appointment of numerous Anomoeans to vacant sees. In particular Eunomius replaced Eleusius at Cyzicus. In the eastern half of the Empire Homoeanism was supreme, and remained so politically for nearly twenty years. But not in the West. Before the Council of Constantinople met, the power of the West had passed away from Constantius. Gaul had acknowledged Julian as Augustus, and from Gaul came the voice of defiance for the Homoean leaders and sympathy for their deposed opponents (Hil. Frag. xi.). And even in the East, throughout their twenty years the Homoeans retained their hold upon the Church by a dead hand. `The moral strength of Christendom lay elsewhere;' on the one hand the followers of Eunomius were breaking loose from Eudoxius and forming a definitely Aden sect, those of Macedonius crystallising their cruder conservatism into the illogical creed of the `Pneumatomachi;' on the other hand the second generation of the `semi-Arians' were, under the influence of Athanasius, working their way to the Greek Catholicism of the future, the Catholicism of the neo-Nicene school, of Basil and the two Gregories.
The lack of inner cohesion in the Homoean ranks was exemplified at the start in the election of a new bishop for Antioch. Eudoxius had vacated the see for that of New Rome; Anianus, the nominee of the Homoeusian majority of Seleucia, was out of the question; accordingly at a Council in 361 the Acacians fixed upon Meletius, who had in the previous year accepted from the Homoeans of CP. the See of Sebaste in the room of the exiled Eustathius. The new Bishop was requested by the Emperor to preach on the test passage Prov. viii. 22. This he did to a vast anti eagerly expectant congregation. To the delight of the majority (headed by Diodorus and Flavian), although he avoided the omousion, he spoke with no uncertain sound on the essential likeness of the Son to the Father. Formally `Nicene,' indeed, the sermon was not (text in Epiph. Hoer. lxxiii. 29-33, see Hort, p. 96, note 1), but the dismay of the Homoean bishops equalled the joy of the Catholic laity. Meletius was `deposed' in favour of the old Arian Euzoius (infr., p. 70), and after his return under Jovian gave in his formal adhesion to the Nicene test.
(3.) The history of Athanasius during this period is the history of his writings. Hidden from all but devotedly loyal eyes, whether in the cells of Nitria and the Thebaid, or lost in the populous solitude of his own city, he followed with a keen and comprehensive glance the march of events outside. Two men in this age had skill to lay the physician's finger upon the pulse of religious conviction; Hilary, the Western who had learned to understand and sympathise with the East, Athanasius, the Oriental representative of the theological instincts of the West. First of all came the writings of which we have spoken, the circular to the bishops and the Apology to Constantius; then the dignified Apology for his flight, written not long before the expulsion of George late in 358, when he had begun to realise the merciless enmity and profound duplicity of the Emperor. We find him not long after this in correspondence with the exiled confessor, Lucifer of Calaris (pp. 561 sq., 481 sqq.), and warning the Egyptian monks against compromising relations with Arian visitors (Letter 53, a document of high interest), narrating to the trusted Scrapion the facts as to the death of Arius, and sending to the monks a concise refutation of Arian doctrine (Letters 52, 54). With the latter is associated a reissue of the Apology of 351, and, as a continuation of it, the solitary monument of a less noble spirit which Athanasius has left us, the one work which we would gladly believe to have come from any other pen80 . But this supposition is untenable, and in the ferocious pamphlet against Constantius known as the Arian History we are reminded that noble as he was, our saint yet lived in an age of fierce passions and reckless personal violence. The Arian History has its noble features-no work of Athanasius could lack them-but it reveals not the man himself but his generation; his exasperation, and the meanness of his persecutors. (For details on all these tracts see the Introductions and notes to them.) None of the above books directly relate to the doctrinal developments sketched above. But these developments called forth the three greatest works of his exile, and indeed of his whole career. Firstly, the four Logoi or Tracts against Arianism, his most famous dogmatic work. Of these an account will be given in the proper place, but it may be noticed here that they are evidently written with a conciliatory as well as a controversial purpose, and in view of the position between 357 and 359. Next, the four dogmatic letters to Serapion, the second of which reproduces the substance of his position against the Arians, while the other three are devoted to a question overlooked in the earlier stages of the controversy, the Coessentiality of the Holy Spirit. This work may possibly have come after the third, and in some ways the most striking, of the series, the de Synodis written about the end of 359, and intended as a formal offer of peace to the Homoeusian party. Following as it did closely upon the conciliatory work of Hilary, who was present at Seleucia on the side of the majority, this magnanimous Eirenicon produced an immediate effect, which we trace in the letters of the younger Basil written in the same or following year; but the full effect and justification of the book is found in the influence exerted by Athanasius upon the new orthodoxy which eventually restored the `ten provinces' to `the knowledge of God' (Hil. de Syn. 63. Further details in Introd. to de Syn., infra, p. 448. It may be remarked that the romantic idea of his secret presence at Seleucia, and even at Ariminum, must be dismissed as a too rigid inference from an expression used by him in that work: see note 1 there).
This brings us to the close of the eventful period of the Third Exile, and of the long series of creeds which registers the variations of Arianism during thirty years. We may congratulate ourselves on `having come at last to the end of the labyrinth of expositions' (Socr. ii. 41), and within sight of the emergence of conviction out of confusion, of order out of chaos. The work of setting in order opens our next period. Of the exile there is nothing more to tell except its close. Hurrying from Antioch on his way from the Persian frontier to oppose the eastward march of Julian, Constantius caught a fever, was baptised by Euzoius, and died at Mopsucrenae under Mount Taurus, on Nov. 3, 361. Julian at once avowed the heathenism he had long cherished in secret, and by an edict, published in Alexandria on Feb. 9, recalled from exile all bishops banished by Constantius. `And twelve days after the posting of this edict Athanasius appeared at Alexandria and entered the Church on the twenty-seventh day of the same month, Mechir (Feb. 21). He remained in the Church until the twenty-sixth of Paophi (i.e., Oct. 23) ...eight whole months' (Hist. Aceph. vii. The murder of George has been referred to above, p. liii.).
§9. Athanasius Under Julian and His Successors; Fourth and Fifth Exiles. Feb. 21, 362, to Feb. 1, 366.
(a) The Council of Alexandria in 362. The eight months of undisturbed residence enjoyed by Athanasius under Julian were well employed. One of his first acts was to convoke a Synod at Alexandria to deal with the questions which stood in the way of the peace of the Church. The Synod was one `of saints and confessors,' including as it did many of the Egyptian bishops who had suffered under George (p. 483, note 3, again we miss the name of the trusted Serapion), Asterius of Petra and Eusebius of Vercellae, with legates from Lucifer of Calaris, Apollinarius of Laodicea, and Paulinus the Presbyter who ruled the Eustathian community of Antioch. Our knowledge of the proceedings of the Synod (with an exception to be referred to later on) is derived entirely from its `Tome' or Synodal letter addressed to the latter community and to the exiles who were its guests. Rufinus, from whom or from the Tome itself Socrates appears to derive his knowledge, follows the Tome closely, with perhaps a faint trace of knowledge from some other81 source. Sozomen gives a short and inadequate report (v. 12). But the importance of the Council is out of all proportion either to the number of bishops who took part in it or to the scale of its documentary records. Jerome goes so far as to say that by its judicious conciliation it `snatched the whole world from the jaws of Satan' (Adv. Lucif. 20). If this is in any measure true, if it undid both in East and West the humiliating results of the twin Synods of 359, the honour of the achievement is due to Athanasius alone. He saw that victory was not to be won by smiting men who were ready for peace, that the cause of Christ was not to be furthered by breaking the bruised reed and quenching the smoking flax. (Best accounts of the Council, Newman, Arians V. i., Krüger, Lucif. 41-52, Gwatkin, p. 205, sqq.) The details may be reserved for the Introduction to the Tome, p. 481. But in the strong calm moderation of that document we feel that Athanasius is no longer a combatant arduously contending for victory, but a conqueror surveying the field of his triumph and resolving upon the terms of peace. The Council is the ripe first-fruits of the de Synodis, the decisive step by which he placed himself at the head of the reuniting forces of Eastern Christendom; forces which under the recognised headship of the `Father of Orthodoxy' were able successfully to withstand the revived political supremacy of Arianism under Valens, and after his death to cast it out of the Church. The Council then is justly recognised as the crown of the career of Athanasius, for its resolutions and its Letter unmistakably proceed from him alone, and none but he could have tempered the fiery zeal of the confessors and taught them to distinguish friend from foe.
It would have been well had Lucifer been there in person and not by deputy only. As it was he had gone to Antioch in fiery haste, with a promise extorted by Eusebius to do nothing rashly. Fanatical in his orthodoxy, quite unable to grasp the theological differences between the various parties (his remonstrances with Hilary upon the conciliatory efforts of the latter shew his total lack of theology: see also Krüger, pp. 36, sq.), and concentrating all his indignation upon persons rather than principles, Lucifer found Antioch without a bishop; for Euzoius was an Arian, and Meletius, whose return to the church of the Palaea was (so it seems) daily expected, was to Lucifer little better. What to such a man could seem a quicker way to the extinction of the schism than the immediate ordination of a bishop whom all would respect, and whose record was one of the most uncompromising resistance to heresy? Lucifer accordingly, with the aid we may suppose of Kymatius and Anatolius, ordained Paulinus, the widely-esteemed head of the irreconcileable or (to adopt Newman's word) protestant minority, who had never owned any Bishop of Antioch save the deposed and banished Eustathius. The act of Lucifer had momentous consequences (see D.C.B. on Meletius and Flavian, &c.); it perpetuated the existing tendency to schism between East and West; and but for the forbearance of Athanasius it would perhaps have wrecked the alliance of Conservative Asia with Nicene orthodoxy which his later years cemented. Even as it was, the relations between Athanasius and Basil were sorely tried by the schism of Antioch. The Tome however was signed by Paulinus82 , who added a short statement of his own faith, which, by recognising the legitimacy of the theological language of the other catholic party at Antioch, implicitly conceded the falseness of his own position.
Eusebius and Asterius of Petra carried the letter to Antioch, where they found the mischief already done. In deep pain at the headstrong action of his fellow-countryman, Eusebius gave practical assurance to both parties of his full sympathy and recognition, and made his way home through Asia and Illyria, doing his best in the cause of concord wherever he came. Lucifer renounced communion with all the parties to what he considered a guilty compromise, and journeyed home to Sardinia, making mischief everywhere (terribly so at Naples, according to the grotesque tale in the Lib. Prec.; see D.C.B. iv. 1221 under Zosimus (2)), and ended his days in the twofold reputation of saint and schismatic (Krüger, pp. 55, 116 sq.).
It may be well to add a few words upon the supposed Coptic acts of this council, and upon their connection with the very ancient Syntama Doctrinoe, wrongly so named, and wrongly ascribed to Athanasius. These `acts' are in reality a series of documents consisting of (1) The Nicene Creed, Canons, and Signatures; (2) A Coptic recension of the Syntagma Doctrinoe; (3) the letter of Paulinus from Tom. Ant., sub fin., a letter of Epiphanius, and a fragmentary letter of `Rufinus,' i.e. Rufinianus (see infr. p. 566, note 1). Revillout, who published these texts from a Turin and a Roman (Borgia) manuscript in 1881 (Le Concile de Nice'e d'apres les textes Coptes) jumped (Archives des missions scientifiques et littéraires, 1879) at the conclusion that the whole series emanated from the council of 362, from whose labours all our copies of the Nicene canons and signatures are supposed by him to emanate. His theory cannot be discussed at length in this place. It is worked out with ingenuity, but with insufficient knowledge of general Church history. It appears to be adopted wholesale by Eichhorn in his otherwise critical and excellent Athanasii de vita ascetica testmonia (see below, p. 189); but even those whose scepticism has not been awaked by the hypothesis itself must I think be satisfied by the careful study of M. Batiffol (Studia Patristica, fasc. ii.) that Revillout has erected a castle in the air. Of any `acts' of the Council of 362 the documents contain no trace at all. It is therefore out of place to do more than allude here to the great interest of the Syntagma in its three or four extant recensions in connection at once with the history of Egyptian Monasticism and with the literature of the Didaxh twn ib apostolwn (see Harnack in Theol. Litzg. 1887, pp. 32, sqq., Eichhorn, ib. p. 569, Warfield in Andover Review, 1886, p. 81, sqq., and other American literature referred to by Harnack a.a.O).
All over the Empire the exiles were returning, and councils were held (p. 489), repudiating the Homoean formula of union, and affirming that of Nicaea. In dealing with the question of those who had formerly compromised themselves with Arianism, these councils followed the lead of that of Alexandria, which accordingly is justly said by Jerome (adv. Lucif. 20) to have snatched the world from the jaws of Satan, by obviating countless schisms and attaching to the Church many who might otherwise have been driven back into Arianism.
Such were the more enduring results of the recall of the exiled bishops by Julian; results very different from what he contemplated in recalling them. Apparently before the date of the council he had written to the Alexandrians (Ep. 26), explaining that he had recalled the exiles to their countries, not to their sees, and directing that Athanasius, who ought after so many sentences against him to have asked special permission to return, should leave the City at once on pain of severer punishment. An appeal seems to have been made against this order by the people of Alexandria, but without effect. Pending the appeal Athanasius apparently felt safe in remaining in the town, and carrying out the measures described above. In October (it would seem) Julian wrote an indignant letter to the Prefect Ecdikius Olympus (Sievers, p. 124), threatening a heavy fine if Athanasius, `the enemy of the gods,' did not leave not only Alexandria, but Egypt, at once. He adds an angry comment on his having dared to baptize `in my reign' Greek ladies of rank (Ep. 6). Another letter (Ep. 51) to the people of Alexandria, along with arguments in favour of Serapis and the gods, and against Christ, reiterates the order for Athanasius to leave Egypt by Dec. 1. Julian's somewhat petulant reference to the bishop as a `contemptible little fellow' ill conceals his evident feeling that Athanasius, who had `coped with Constantius like a king battling with a king' (Greg. Naz.), was in Egypt a power greater than himself. But no man has ever wielded such political power as Athanasius with so little disposition to use it. He bowed his head to the storm and prepared to leave Alexandria once more (Oct. 23). His friends stood round lamenting their loss. `Be of good heart,' he replied, `it is only a cloud, and will soon pass away' (Soz. v. 14). He took a Nile boat, and set off toward Upper Egypt, but finding that he was tracked by the government officers he directed the boat's course to be reversed. Presently they met that of the pursuers, who suspecting nothing asked for news of Athanasius. `He is not far off' was the answer, given according to one account by Athanasius himself (Thdt. iii. 9, Socr. iii. 14). He returned to Chaereu, the first station on the road eastward from Alexandria (as is inferred from the Thereu or Thereon of Hist. Aceph. vii., viii.; but the identification is merely conjectural; for Chaereu cf Itin. and Vit. Ant. 86), and after danger of pursuit was over, `ascended to the upper parts of Egypt as far as Upper Hermupolis in the Thebald and as far as Antinoupolis; and while he abode in these places it was learned that Julian the Emperor was dead, and that Jovian, a Christian, was Emperor' (Hist. Aceph.). Of his stay in the Thebaid (cf. Fest. Ind. xxxv.) some picturesque details are preserved in the life of Pachomius and the letter of Ammon (on which see below, p. 487). As he approached Hermupolis, the bishops, clergy, and monks (`about 100 in number') of the Thebaid lined both banks of the river to welcome him. `Who are these,' he exclaimed, `that fly as a cloud and as doves with their young ones' (Isa. lx. 8, LXX). Then he saluted the Abbat Theodore, and asked after the brethren. `By thy holy prayers, Father, we are well.' He was mounted on an ass and escorted to the monastery with burning torches (they `almost set fire to him'), the abbat walking before him on foot. He inspected the monasteries, and expressed his high approval of all he heard and saw, and when Theodore, upon departing for his Easter (363) visitation83 of the brethren, asked `the Pope' to remember him in his prayers, the answer was characteristic: `If we forget thee, O Jerusalem' (Vit. Pachom. 92, see p. 569). About midsummer he was near Antinoupolis, and trusted messengers warned him that the pursuers were again upon his track. Theodore brought his covered boat to escort him up to Tabenne, and in company with an `abbat' called Pammon they made their way slowly against wind and stream. Athanasius became much alarmed and prayed earnestly to himself, while Theodore's monks towed the boat from the shore. Athanasius, in reply to an encouraging remark of Pammon, spoke of the peace of mind he felt when under persecution, and of the consolation of suffering and even death for Christ's sake. Pammon looked at Theodore, and they smiled, barely restraining a laugh. `You think me a coward,' said Athanasius. `Tell him,' said Theodore to Pammon. `No, you must tell him.' Theodore then announced to the astonished archbishop that at that very hour Julian had been killed in Persia, and that he should lose no time in making his way to the new Christian Emperor, who would restore him to the Church. The story (below, p. 487) implies rather than expressly states that the day and hour tallied exactly with the death of Julian, June 26, 363. This story is, on the whole, the best attested of the many legends of the kind which surround the mysterious end of the unfortunate prince. (Cf. Thdt. H.E. iii. 23, Soz. vi. 2. For the religious policy of Julian and his relation to Church history, see Rendall's Julian and the full and excellent article by Wordsworth in D.C.B. iii. 484-525.)
Athanasius entered Alexandria secretly and made his way by way of Hierapolis (Sept. 6, Fest. Ind.) to Jovian at Edessa, and returned with him (apparently) to Antioch. On Feb. 14 (or 20, Fest. Index) he returned to Alexandria with imperial letters and took possession of the churches, his fourth exile having lasted `fifteen months and twenty-two days' (Hist. Aceph.). The visit to Antioch was important.
Firstly, it is clear from the combined and circumstantial testimony of the Festal Index, the Hist. Aceph., and the narrative of Ammon, that Athanasius hurried to meet Jovian on his march from Persia to Antioch, and visited Alexandria only in passing and in private. He appears to have taken the precaution (see below) of taking certain bishops and others, representing the majority (plhqoj) of the Egyptian Church, along with him. Accordingly the tale of Theodoret (iv. 2), that he assembled a council (touj logimwterouj twn episkopwn egeiraj), and wrote a synodal letter to Jovian, in reply to a request from the latter to furnish him with an accurate statement of doctrine (followed by Montf., Hefele, &c.) must be set aside as a hasty conjecture from the heading of the Letter to Jovian (see below, ch. v. §3 (h), and cf. Vales. on Thdt. iv. 3, who suspected the truth).
Athanasius, secondly, had good reason for hurrying. The Arians had also sent a large deputation to petition against the restoration of Athanasius, and to ask for a bishop. Lucius, their candidate for the post, accompanied the deputation. But the energy of Athanasius was a match for their schemes. He obtained a short but emphatic letter from Jovian, bidding him return to his see, and placed in the Emperor's hands a letter (below, Letter 56, p. 567), insisting on the integrity of the Nicene creed, which it recites, and especially on the Godhead of the Holy Spirit.
Meanwhile at Antioch, where the winter was spent (Jovian was mostly there till Dec. 21), there was much to be attended to. Least important of all were the efforts of the Arian deputation to secure a hearing for their demands. Jovian's replies to them on the repeated occasions on which they waylaid him are perhaps undigni-fled (Gwatkin) but yet shew a rough soldier-like common sense. `Any one you please except Athanasius' they urged. `I told you, the case of Athanasius is settled already:' then, to the body-guard `Feri, feri' (i.e. use your sticks!) Some of the plhqoj of Antioch seized Lucius and brought him to Jovian, saying, `Look, your Majesty, at the man they wanted to make a bishop 1' (See p. 568 sq.)
Athanasius appears to have attempted to bring about some settlement of the disputes which distracted the Church of Antioch. The Hist. Aceph. makes him `arrange the affairs' of that Church, but Sozom. (vi. 5), who copies the phrase, significantly adds wj oion te hn-`as far as it was feasible.' The vacillations (Philost. viii. 2, 7, ix. 3, &c.) of Euzoius between Eudoxius on the one hand, and the consistent Anomoeans on the other, and the formation of a definite Anomoean sect, represented in Egypt by Heliodorus, Stephen, and other nominees of the bitter Arian Secundus (who appears to be dead at last) probably concerned Athanasius but little. But the breach among the Antiochene Catholics was more hopeless than ever. The action of Paulinus in ordaining a bishop for Tyre, Diodorus by name (p. 580 note), shews that he had caught something of the spirit of Lucifer, while on the other hand we can well imagine that it was with mixed feelings that Athanasius saw a number of bishops assemble under Meletius to sign the Nicene Creed. To begin with, they explained the omoousion to be equivalent to ek thj ousiaj and omoion kat= ousian. Now this was no more than taking Athanasius literally at his word (de Syn. 41 exactly; the confession, Socr. iii. 25, appears to meet Ath. de Syn. half way: cf. the reference to =Ellhnikh xrhsij with de Syn. 51), and there is no reason to doubt that the majority84 of those who signed did so in all sincerity, merely guarding the omoousion against its Sabellian sense (which Hilary de Syn. 71, had admitted as possible), and in fact, meaning by the term exactly what Basil the Great and his school meant by it. This is confirmed by the express denunciation of Arianism and Anomoeanism. But Athanasius may have suspected an intention on the part of some signatories to evade the full sense of the creed, especially as touching the Holy Spirit, and this suspicion would not be lessened by the fact that Acacius signed with the rest. It must remain possible, therefore, that a clause in the letter to Jovian referred to above, expresses his dipleasure85 at the wording of the document. (On the significance of the confession in question, see Gwatkin, pp. 226 sq., 244, note 1.) We gather from language used by St. Basil at a later date (Bas. Epp. 89, 258) that Athanasius endeavoured to conciliate Meletius, and to bring about some understanding between the two parties in the Church. Meletius appears to have considered such efforts premature: Basil writes to him that he understands that Athanasius is much disappointed that no renewal of friendly overtures has taken place, and that if Meletius desires the good offices of the Bishop of Alexandria the first word must come from him (probably seven or eight years later than this date). In justice to Meletius it must be allowed that Paulinus did his best to embitter the schism by ordaining bishops at Tyre and elsewhere, ordinations which Meletius naturally resented, and appears to have ignored (D.C.B. iv. Zeno (3),-where observe that the breach of canons began with the appointment of Paulinus himself). Athanasius returned to Alexandria on Feb. 14 (Hist. Aceph.) or 20 (Fest. Ind.), and Jovian died, by inhaling the fumes of a charcoal fire in the bedroom of a wayside inn, on Feb. 17.
Valentinian, an officer of Pannonian birth, was elected Emperor by the army, and shorty co-opted his brother Valens to a share in the Empire. Valens was allotted the Eastern, Valentinian choosing the Western half of the Empire. Valentinian was a convinced but tolerant Catholic, and under his reign Arianism practically died away in the Latin West (infra, p. 488). Valens, a weak, parsimonious, but respectable and well-intentioned ruler, at first took no decided line, but eventually (from the end of 364) fell more and more into the hands of Eudoxius (from whom he received baptism in 367) and the Arian hangers-on of the Court (a suggestive, if in some details disputable, sketch of the general condition of the Eastern Church under Valens in Gwatkin, pp. 228-236, 247 sq.). The semi-Arians of Asia were continuing their advance toward the Nicene position, but the question of the Holy Spirit was already beginning to cleave them into two sections. At their council of Lampsacus (autumn of 364) they reasserted their formula of `essential likeness' against the Homocans, but appear to have left the other and more difficult question undecided. After Valens had declared strongly on the side of the enemy, they were driven to seek Western aid. They set out to seek Valentinian at Milan, but finding him departed on his Gallic campaign (Gwatkin, 236, note) they contented themselves with laying before Liberius, on behalf of the Synod of Lampsacus and other Asiatic Councils, a letter accepting the Nicene Creed. After some hesitation (Soc. iv. 12) they were cordially received by Liberius, who gave them a letter to take home with them, in which the controverted question of the Holy Spirit is passed over in silence. (Letter of the Asiatics in Soot. iv. 12, that of Liberius in Hard. Conc. i. 743-5, the names include Cyril of Jerusalem, Macedonius, Silvanus of Tarsus, Athanasius of Ancyra, &c., and the Pope's letter is addressed to them `et universis orientalibus orthodoxis'). On their return, the disunion of the party manifested itself by the refusal of several bishops to attend the synod convoked to receive the deputies at Tyana, and by their assembling a rival meeting in Carla to reaffirm the `Lucianic' Creed (Hefele, ii. 287 E. Tr.). Further efforts at reunion were frustrated by the Imperial prohibition of an intended Synod at Tarsus, possibly in 367.
Athanasius remained in peace in his see until the spring of 365, when on May 5 a rescript was published at Alexandria, ordering that all bishops expelled under Constantius who had returned to their sees under Julian should be at once expelled by the civil authorities under pain of a heavy fine. The announcement was received with great popular displeasure. The officials were anxious to escape the fine, but the Church-people argued that the order could not apply to Athanasius, who had been restored by Constantius, expelled by Julian in the interest of idolatry, and restored by order of Jovian. Their remonstrances were backed up by popular riots: when these had lasted a month, the Prefect quieted the people by the assurance that the matter was referred back to Augustus (Hist. Aceph. x., followed by Soz. vi. 12). But on Oct. 5 an imperative answer seems to have come. The Prefect and the Commandant broke into the Church of Dionysius at night and searched the apartments of the clergy to seize the bishop. But Athanasius, warned in time, had escaped from the town that very night and retired to a country house which belonged to him near the `New River'86 . This was the shortest and mildest of the five exiles of Athanasius. In the autumn the dangerous revolt of Procopius threw the Eastern Empire into a panic. It was no time to allow popular discontent to smoulder at Alexandria, and on Feb. 1, 366, the notary Brasidas publicly announced the recall of Athanasius to Imperial order. The notary and `curiales' went out to the suburb in person and escorted Athanasius in state to the Church of Dionysius.
§10. Last Years, Feb. 1, 366-May 2, 373.
Athanasius now entered upon the last septennium of his life, a well-earned Sabbath of honoured peace and influence for good. Little occurred to disturb his peace at home, and if the confusion and distress of the Eastern Church under Valens could not but cause him anxiety, in Egypt at any rate, so long as he lived, the Catholic Faith was secure from molestation.
In 367 Lucius, who had been ordained Bishop of Alexandria by the Arian party at Antioch, made an attempt to enter the city. He arrived by night on Sept. 24, but on the following day the public got wind of his presence in Alexandria, and a dangerous riot was imminent. A strong military force rescued him from the enraged mob, and on Sept. 26 he was escorted out of Egypt. In the previous year a heathen riot had taken place and the great Church in the Caesareum had been burned. But in May, 368, the building was recommenced (the incendiaries having been punished) under an Imperial order.
On Sept. 22, 368, Athanasius began to build a Church in the quarter `Mendidium' (perhaps in commemoration of his completion of the 40th year of his Episcopate, see Hist. Aceph. xii.), which was dedicated Aug. 7, 370, and called after his own name.
In 368 or the following year we place the Synod at which Athanasius drew up his letter to the bishops of Africa giving an account of the proceedings at Nicaea, and mentioning his dissatisfaction at the continued immunity enjoyed by Auxentius at Milan (see p. 488).
Our knowledge of the last years of the life of Athanasius is derived partly from his own letters (59-64), partly from the scanty data of his latest works, partly from the letters of Synesius and Basil. From Synesius (Ep. 77) we hear of the case of Siderius, a young officer from the army who was present in Libya on civil duty, The Bishop of Erythrum, Orion by name, was in his dotage, and the inhabitants of two large villages in the diocese, impatient of the lack of supervision, clamoured for a bishop of their own, and for the appointment of Siderius. Sideus was accordingly consecrated by a certain Bishop Philo alone, without the canonical two assistants, and without the coguisance of Athanasius. But in view of the immense utility of the appointment Athanasius overlooked its irregularity, and even promoted Siderius to the Metropolitan see of Ptolemais, merging the two villages upon Orion's death once more into their proper diocese. (Fuller details D.C.B. iv. 777, sq.) But if Athanasius was no slave to ecclesiastical discipline when the good of the church was in question, he enforced it unsparingly in the interest of morality. An immoral governor of Libya was sternly excommunicated and the fact announced far and wide. We have the reply of Basil the Great, who in 370 had become Bishop of Caesarea in Cappadocia, to this notification, and from this time frequent letters passed between the champions of the Old and of the New Nicene orthodoxy. Unhappily we have none of the letters of Athanasius: those of Basil shew us that the loss is one to be deplored. The correspondence bore partly on the continuance of the unhappy schism at Antioch. Basil asks for the mediation of Athanasius; if he could not bring himself to write a letter to the bishops in communion with Meletius, he might at least use his influence with Paulinus and prevail upon him to withdraw. He also presses Meletius to take the initiative in conciliation: possibly he did so, at least one of Basil's letters is sent by the hand of one of Meletius' deacons (Bas. Epp. 60, 66, 69, 80, 82, 89). But `nothing came of the application:' Meletius probably felt injured at the strong support Athanasius had given to Paulinus, even in so questionable an affair as that of Diodorus of Tyre (supra, §9, and cf. Letter 64); while Athanasius was too deeply committed to surrender Paulinus, who again was the last man to yield of his own accord (Thdt. H.E. v. 23).
Basil obtained the good offices of Athanasius in his attempt to induce the bishops of Rome and the West to give him some support in his efforts against heresy in the East; but the failure here was due to the selfishness and arrogance of the Westerns. (Epp. 61, 67).
Basil was also troubled with the continued refusal of Athanasius and the Westerns to repudiate Marcellus, who was still living in extreme old age, and to whom the mass of the people at Ancyra were attached (Bas. Ep. 266, Legat. Eugen. 1, anariqmhton plhqoj). This state of things, he urged, kept alive the prejudice of many against the Nicene decrees (Ep. 69). But the Marcellians, perhaps aware of the efforts of Basil, sent a deputation, headed by the deacon Eugenius, and fortified by letters from `the bishops' of Macedonia and Achaia, to Alexandria. A synod was apparently in readiness to receive them, and upon demand they produced a statement of their faith, emphatically adopting the Nicene creed, condemning Sabellius, but affirming an en upootaoei triada. The distinction between Logoj and the Son is rejected, and the idea that the Monad existed before the Son anathematised. Photinus is classed as a heretic with Paul of Samosata. Only the eternal duration of Christ's kingdom is not mentioned. (It may be noted that while this letter gives up many points of the theology of Marcellus, the process is quite completed in a letter submitted by the Marcellian community in 375 to some exiled Egyptian bishops at Diocaesarea87 ; Epiph. Haer. 72, 11). Athanasius accepted the confession, and the assembled bishops subscribed their names (only a few signatures are preserved). While we understand Basil's regret at the refusal of Athanasius to condemn Marcellus, we can scarcely share it. If Athanasius shewed partiality toward his old ally, it was an error of generosity, or rather let us say a recognition of the truth, too often forgotten in religious controversy, that mistakes are not necessarily heresies, and that a man may go very far wrong in his opinions and yet be entitled to sympathy and respect.
Basil speaks of Athanasius in terms of unbounded veneration and praise, and Athanasius in turn rebukes those who attempted to disparage Basil's orthodoxy, calling him a bishop such as any church might desire to call its own (p. 579 sq.).
During the last decade of his life the attention of Athanasius was drawn to the questions raised by the Arian controversy as to the human nature of our Lord. The Arian doctrine on this subject was apparently as old as Lucian, but the whole subject received little or no attention in the earlier stages of the controversy, and it was only with the rise of the Anomoean school that the questions came into formal discussion. In the later letters of Athanasius we see the traces of wide-spread controversy on the matter (especially in that to Epictetus, No. 59), and Apollinarius, bishop of the Syrian Laodicea, and a former close friend of Athanasius, whose legates in 362 had joined in condemning the Arian Christology, broached a peculiar theory on the subject, viz., that while Christ took a human soul along with His Body, the Word took the place of the human spirit, pncuma (1 Thess. v. 23). The details of the system do not belong to our subject (an excellent sketch in Gwatkin's Arian Controversy, pp. 136-141); in fact it was two years after the death of Athanasius when Apollinarius definitely founded a sect by consecrating a schismatic bishop for the already distracted Church of Antioch. But Athanasius marked with alarm the tendency of his friend, and in the very last years of his life wrote a tract against his tenet in two short books, in which, as in writing against Marcellus and Photinus 15 years before, he refrains from mentioning Apollinarius by name. It may be observed that at the close of the second book he brings himself for the first time to censure by name `him they call Photinus,' classing him along with Paul of Samosata.
Athanasius was active to the last; spiritually (we are not able to say physically) `his eye was not dim, nor his natural force abated.' In his seventy-fifth year he entered (Ruf. ii. 3) upon the forty-sixth year of his episcopate. Feeling that his end was near, he followed the example of his revered predecessor Alexander, and named Peter as the man whom he judged fittest to succeed him; then `on the seventh of Pachon88 (May 2, 373) he departed this life in a wonderful manner.'
Chapter III.-Writings and Personal Characteristics of S. Athanasius.
It will be attempted to give a complete list of his writings in chronological order; those included in this volume will be marked with an asterisk and enumerated in this place without remark. The figures prefixed indicate the probable date.
(I) 318: * Two books `contra Gentes,' viz. c. Gent. and De Incarn. (2) 321-2: * Depositio Arii (on its authorship, see Introd.) (3) 328-373: * Festal Letters. (4) 328-335? * Ecthesis or Expositio Fidel. (5) Id.? * In Illud Omnia, etc. (6) 339: * Encyclica ad Episcopos ecclesiae catholicae. (7) 343: * Sardican Letters (46, 47, in this vol.). (8) 351? * Apologia Contra Arianos. (9) 352? * De Decretis Concilii Nicaeni, with the * Epistola Eusebii (a.d. 325) as appendix. (10) Id.? * De Sententia Dionysii. (11) 350-353? * Ad Amun, (Letter 48). (12) 354: * Ad Dracontium (Letter 49 in this vol.). (13) 356-362? Vita Antoni. (14) 356:* Epistola ad Episc. Aegypti et Libyae. (15) 356-7: *Apol. Ad Constantium. (16) 357: * Apol. De Fuga. (17) 358: * Epist. Ad Serapionem de Morte Arii (Letter 54). (18) ID. * Two Letters To Monks (52, 53). (19) 358? * Historia Arianorum `ad monachos.' (20) Id. * Orationes Adversus Arianos IV. (21) 359? * Ad Luciferum (Letters 50, 51). (22) Id.? Ad Serapionem Orationes IV. (Migne xxvi. 529, sqq.). These logoi or dogmatic letters are the most important work omitted in the preseut volume. Serapion of Thmuis, who appears from the silence respecting him in the lists of exiles to have escaped banishment in 356-7, reported to Athanasius the growth of the doctrine that, while the Son was co-essential with the Father, the Spirit was merely a creature superior to Angels. Athanasius replied in a long dogmatic letter, upon receiving which Serapion was begged to induce the author to abridge it for the benefit of the simple. After some hesitation Athanasius sent two more letters, the second drawing out the proofs of the Godhead of the Son, the third restating more concisely the argument of the first. The objections by which these letters were met were replied to in a fourth letter which Athanasius declared to be his last word. The persons combated are not the Macedonians, who only formed a party on this question at a later date, and whose position was not quite that combated in these letters. Athanasius calls them Tropigoi, or Figurists, from the sense in which they understood passages of Scripture which seemed to deify the Holy Spirit. It is not within our compass to summarise the treatises. but it may be noted that Ath. argues that where pncuma is absolute or anarthrous in Scripture it never refers to the Holy Spirit unless the context already supplies such reference (i. 4, sqq.). He meets the objection that the Spirit, if God and of God, must needs be a Son, by falling back upon the language of Scripture as our guide where human analogies fail us. He also presses his opponents with the consequence that they substitute a Dyad for a Trinity. In the fourth letter, at the request of Serapion, he gives an explanation of the words of Christ about Sin Against the Spirit. Rejecting the view (Origen, Theognostus) that post-baptismal sin is meant (§§9, sqq.), as favouring Novatianist rigour, he examines the circumstances under which our Lord uttered the warning. The Pharisees refused to regard the Lord as divine when they saw His miracles, but ascribed them to Beelzebub. They blasphemed `the Spirit,' i.e. the Divine Personality of Christ (§19, cf. Lam. iv. 20, LXX.). So far as the words relate to the Holy Spirit, it is not because the Spirit worked through Him (as through a prophet) but because He worked through the Spirit (20). Blasphemy against the Spirit, then, is blasphemy against Christ in its worst form (see also below, ch. iv., §6). It may be noted lastly that he refers to Origen in the same terms of somewhat measured praise (o polumaoh? kai flopono?), as in the De Decretis.
(23) 359-60. *De Synodis Arimini et Seleuciae celebratis. (24) 362: *Tomus Ad Antiochenos. (25) Id. Syntagma Doctrinae (?) see chapter ii. §9, above. (26) 362: *Letter to Rufinianus (Letter 55). (27) 363-4: *Letter to Jovian (Letter 56). (28) 364 ? *Two small Letters to Orsisius (57, 58)* (29) 369? *Synodal Letter Ad Afros. (30) Id.? *Letter to Epictetus (59). (31) Id.? *Letters to Adelphius and Maximus (60, 61). (32) 363-372 ? *Letter to Diodorus of Tyre (fragment, Letter 64). (33) 372: *Letters to John and Antiochus and to Palladius (62, 63). (34) 372? Two books against Apollinarianism (Migne xxvi. 1093, sqq. Translated with notes, &c., in Bright, Later Treatises of St. Athan.). The two books are also known under separate titles: Book I. as `De Incarnatione D.n.j.C. Contra Apollinarium,' Book II. as `De Salutari Adventu D.N.J.C.' The Athanasian authorship has been doubted, chiefly on the ground of certain peculiar expressions in the opening of Book I.; a searching investigation of the question has not yet been made, but on the whole the favourable verdict of Montfaucon holds the field. He lays stress on the affinity of the work to letters 59-61. I would add that the studious omission of any personal reference to Apollinarius is highly characteristic.) In the first book Athanasius insists on the reality of the human nature of Christ in the Gospels, and that it cannot be co-essential with the Godhead. `We do not worship a creature?' No; for we worship not the Flesh of Christ as such but the Person who wears it, viz. the Son of God. Lastly, he urges that the reality of redemption is destroyed if the Incarnation does not extend to the spirit of man, the seat of that sin which Christ came to atone for (§19), and seeks to fasten upon his opponents a renewal (§§20, 21) of the system of Paul of Samosata.
The second book is addressed to the question of the compatibility of the entire manhood with the entire sinlessness of Christ. This difficulty he meets by insisting that the Word took in our nature all that God had made, and nothing that is the work of the devil. This excludes sin, and includes the totality of our nature.
This closes the list of the dated works which can be ascribed with fair probability to Athanasius.
The remainder of the writings of Athanasius may be enumerated under groups, to which the `dated' works will also be assigned by their numbers as given above. Works falling into more than one class are given under each.
a. Letters. (Numbers 3, 7, 11, 12, 17, 18, 21, 26-28, 30-33; spurious letters, see infr. p. 581.)
b. Dogmatic. (2, 4, 5, 9, 10, 14. 20, 22-24, 26, 27, 29-31, 34.)
(35.) De Trinitate el Spiritu Sancto (Migne xxvi. 1191). Preserved in Latin only, but evidently from the Greek. Pronounced genuine by Montfaucon, and dated (?) 365.
(36) De Incarnatione et Contra Arianos (ib. 984). The Athanasian authorship of this short tract is very questionable. It is quoted as genuine by Theodoret Dial. ii. and by Gelasius de duabus naturis. In some councils it is referred to as `On the Trinity against Apollinarius;' by Facundus as `On the Trinity.' The tract is in no sense directed against Apollinarius. In reality it is an argument, mainly from Scripture, for the divinity of Christ, with a digression (13-19) on that of the Holy Spirit. On the whole the evidence is against the favourable verdict of Montfaucon, Ceillier, &c. That Athanasius should, at any date possible for this tract, have referred to the Trinity as `the three Hypostases' is out of the question (§10): his explanation of Prov. viii. 22 in Orat. ii. 44 sqq. is in sharp contrast with its reference to the Church in §6; at a time when the ideas of Apollinarius were in the air and were combated by Athanasius (since 362) he would not have used language savouring of that system (§§2, 3, 5, 7, &c.). It has been thought that we have here one of the Apollinarian tracts which were so industriously and successfully circulated under celebrated names (infra, on No. 40); the express insistence on two wills in Christ (§21), if not in favour of Athanasian might seem decisive against Apollinarian authorship, but the peculiar turn of the passage, which correlates the one will with sarc the other with pne/ma and qeo5 is not incompatible with the latter, which is, moreover, supported by the constant insistance on God having come, en sarki and en omoiwmati anqrwpou. The anqrwpo5 teleio5 of §8 and the wmoiwqh katanta of §11 lose their edge in the context of those passages. The first part of §7 could scarcely have been written by an earnest opponent of Apollinarianism. This evidence is not conclusive, but it is worth considering, and, at any rate, leaves it very difficult to meet the strong negative case against the genuineness of the Tract. (Best discussion of the latter in Bright, Later Treatises of St. A., p. 143; he is supported by Card. Newman in a private letter.)
(37) The Sermo Maior de Fide. (Migne xxvi. 1263 sqq., with an additional fragment p. 1292 from Mai Bibl. nov.). This is a puzzling document in many ways. It has points of contact with the earliest works of Ath. (especially pieces nearly verbatim from the de Incarn., see notes there), also with the Expos. Fid. Card. Newman calls it with some truth `Hardly more than a set of small fragments from Ath.'s other works.' However this may be, it is quoted by Theodoret as Athanasian more than once. The peculiarity lies in the constant iteration of ! Anqrwpoj for the Lord's human nature (see note on Exp. Fid.), and in some places as though it were merely the equivalent to swma or sarc, while in others the ! Anqrwpoj might be taken as the seat of Personality (26, 32). Accordingly the tract might be taken advantage of either by Nestorians, or still more by Apollinarians. The `syllogistic method,' praised in the work by Montfaucon, was not unknown to the last-mentioned school. (Prov. viii. 22 is explained in the Athanasian way. For a fuller discussion, result unfavourable, see Bright, ubi supr. p. 145.)
(38) Fragments against Paul of Samosata, Macedonians, Novatians (Migne xxvi. 1293, 1313-1317). The first of these may well be genuine. It repeats the (mistaken) statement of Hist. Ar. 71, that Zenobia was a Jewess. Of the second, all that can be said is that it attacks the Macedonians in language borrowed from Ep. Aeg. 11. The third, consisting of a somewhat larger group of five fragments, comprise a short sentence comparing the instrumentality of the priest in absolving to his instrumentality in baptizing.
It may be observed that fragments of this brevity rarely furnish a decisive criterion of genuineness.
(39) Interpretatio Symboli (ib. 1232, Hahn, §66). Discussed fully by Caspari, Ungedruckte u.s.w. Quelleni. pp. 1-72, and proved to be an adaptation of a baptismal creed drawn up by Epiphanius (Ancor. ad fin.) in 374. It may be Alexandrian, and, if so, by Bishop Peter or Theophilus about 380. It is a Ermhneia, or rather an expansion, of the Nicene, not as Montf. says, of the Apostles'(!), Creed.
(40) De Incarnatione Verbi Dei (Migne xxviii. 25-29). Quoted as Athanasian by Cyril of Alex., &c., and famous as containing the phrase Mian fusin. Apollinarian; one of the many forgeries from this school circulated under the names of Athanasius, Gregory Thaumaturgus, Julius, &c. See Caspari, ubi supra 151, Loofs, Leontius, p. 82, sqq. Caspari's proof is full and conclusive. See also Hahn, §120.
(41) Verona Creed (Hahn, §41, q.v.), a Latin fragment of a Western creed; nothing Athanasian but the ms. title.
(42) `Damasine' Creed (Opp. ed. Ben. ii. 626, Migne P.L lxii. 237 in Vig. Thaps.) forms the `eighth' of the Libri de Trinitate ascribed now to Athan. now to Damasus, &c., &c.: see Hahn, §128 and note.
(43) `de Irncarnatione' (Migne xxviii. 89), Anti-Nestorian: fifth century.
c. Historical, or historico-polemical (6, 8-10, 13-19, 23).
(44) Fragment concerning Stephen and the Envoys at Antioch (Migne xxvi. 1293). Closely related (relative priority not clear) to the account in Thdt. H.E., ii. 9.
d. Apologetic. To this class belong only the works under No. (1).
e. Exegetical (5). The other exegetical works attributed to Athan, are mainly in Migne, vol. xxvii.
(45) Ad Marcellinum de Interpretatione Psalmornm. Certainly genuine. A thoughtful and devout tract on the devotional use of the Psalter. He lays stress on its universality, as summing up the spirit of all the other elements of Scripture, and as applying to the spiritual needs of every soul in all conditions. He remarks that the Psalms are sung not for musical effect, but that the worshippers may have longer time to dwell upon their meaning. The whole is presented as the discourse tino5 filoponou geronto5, possibly an ideal character.
(46) Expositiones in Psalmos, with an Argumentum (upoqesi>\/) prefixed. The latter notices the arrangement of the Hebrew Psalter, the division into books, &c., and accounts for the absence of logical order by the supposition that during the Captivity some prophet collected as best he could the Scriptures which the carelessness of the Israelites had allowed to fall into disorder. The titles are to be followed as regards authorship. Imprecatory passages relate to our ghostly enemies. In the Expositions each Psalm is prefaced by a short statement of the general subject. He occasionally refers to the rendering of Aquila, Theodotion, and Symmachus.
(47) Fragmenta in Psalmos. Published by Felckmann from the Catena of Nicetas Heracleota, who has used his materials somewhat freely, often combining the comments of more than one Father into a single whole.
(48) De Titulis Psalmorum. First published by Antonelli in I746. This work, consisting of very brief notes on the Psalter verse by verse, is spoken of disparagingly by Alzog, Patrol., p. 229, and regarded as spurious, on good prima facie grounds, by Gwatkin, p. 69, note. Eichhorn, de Vit. Ascet., p. 43, note, threatens the latter (1886) with a refutation which, however, I have not seen.
(49)Fracmentum in Cantica. (Photius mentions a Commentary on Eccles. and Cant.) From a Catena published by Meursius in 1617. Very brief (on Cant. i. 6, 7, iii. 1, 2, vi. 1). A spurious homily is printed (pp. 1349-1361) as an appendix to it.
(50) Fragmenta in Evang. Matthaei. Also from ms. catenae. Contain a remarkable reference to the Eucharist (p. 1380, on Matt. vii. 6) and a somewhat disparaging reference to Origen (infr. p. 33) in reference to Matt. xii. 32, which passage is explained as in Serap. iv. (vide supra 22). The extracts purport in some cases to be taken from a homiletical or expository work of Athanasius divided into separate logoi. The passage `on the nine incurable diseases of Herod' is grotesque (Migne xxvi. 1252), but taken from Joseph., B. J. I. xxiii. 5. Cf. Euseb. H. E. i. 8.
(51) Fragmenta in Lucam. Also from ms. catenae. At the end, a remarkable passage on the extent to which prayers can help the departed.
(52) Fragmenta in Job. From Nicetas and ms. catenae. Contains little remarkable. `Behemoth' is Satan, as elsewhere in Athan.
(53) Fragmentum in L Cor. A short paragraph on 1 Cor. vii. I, or rather on vi. 18, somewhat inadequately explained.
f. Moral and Ascetic, (11-13, , 28).
(54) Sermo de Patientia. (Migne xxvi. 1295.) Of doubtful genuineness (Montf., Gwatkin).
(55) De Virginitate. (Migne xxviii. 251). Pronounced dubious by Montf., spurious by Gwatkin, genuine by Eichhorn (ubi supr., pp. 27, sqq.), who rightly lays stress on the early stage of feminine asceticism which is implied. But I incline to agree with Mr. Gwatkin as to its claims to come from Athanasius. `Three hypostases' are laid down in a way incompatible with Athanasius' way of speaking in later life.
(56) Mlscellaneous Fragments. These are too slight and uncertain to be either classed or discussed here. De Amuletis (xxvi. 1319); de Azymis, (1327), very dubious; In Ramos palmarum (1319), also dubious; various small homiletical and controversial pieces (pp. 1224-1258) of various value and claims to genuineness. (See also Migne xxv. p. xiv. No. xx.)
(57) Of Los Works (in addition to those of which fragments have been mentioned above) a Refutation of Arianism is referred to in Letter 52. We also hear of a treatise against heresics (a fragment above, No. 56). A `Synodicon,' with the names of all Bishops present at Nicaea, is quoted by Socr. i. 13, but is referred by Revillout to his alleged Acts of the Synod of Alexandria in 362, which he supposes to have reissued the Acts of Nicaea. See above, p. lix. A consolatory address to the Virgins maltreated by George is mentioned by Theodoret, H. E. ii. 14; he quotes a few words, referring to the fact that the Arians would not even allow them peaceable burial, but `sit about the tombs like demons' to prevent it. The Oratio de defunctis (infra, ch. iv. §6, fragment above, 56) is ascribed to him by John Damasc., but by others to Cyril of Alexandria. Many of his letters must have been lost. The Festal Letters are still very incomplete, and his letters to S. Basil would be a welcome discovery if they exist anywhere. A doctrinal letter against the Arians, not preserved to us, is mentioned de Decr. 5. (See also Montfaucon's Proef. ii. (Migne xxv. p. xxv., sqq), and Jerome, de Vir. illustr. 87, a somewhat careless and scanty list.)
The above enumeration includes all the writings attributed with any probability to S. Athanasius. The fragmentary character of many of them is no great presumption against their genuineness. The Abbat Cosmas in the sixth century advised all who met with anything by Athanasius to copy it, and if they had no paper, to use their clothes for the purpose. This will readily explain (if explanation is needed) the transmission of such numerous scraps of writing under the name of the great bishop. It will also partly explain the large body of Spurious Works which have sheltered themselves under his authority. To this class we have already assigned several writings (25, 36, 37 ? 39-43, 44 ? 48 ? 53 ? 55, 56 in part). Others whose claims are even less strong may be passed over, with only the mention of one or two of the more important. They are all printed in Migne, vol. xxviii., and parallels to some, especially the `dubious' In Passionem Et Crucem Domini, are marked in Williams' notes to the Festal Letters, partly incorporated in this volume. The epistola catholica and Synopsis Scripturae sacrae are among the better known, and are classed with a few others as `dubia' by Montfaucon, the fictitious Disputerio habita in concilio Nicaeno contra Arium, among the `spuria.' The silly tale de Imagine Berytensi seems to have enjoyed a wide circulation in the middle ages. Of the other undoubtedly `spurious' works the most famous is the `Athanasian Creed' or Quicunque Vult. It is needless to say that it is unconnected with Athanasius: its origin is still sub judice. The second part of it bears traces of the period circa 430 a.d., and the question which still awaits a last word is whether the Symbol is or is not a fusion of two originally independent documents. Messrs. Lumby, Swainson and others have ably maintained this, but the difficulties of their hypothesis that the fusion took place as late as about 800 a.d. are very great, and I incline to think will eventually prove fatal to it. But the discussion does not belong to our present subject.
§2. Athanasius as an Author. Style and Characteristics.
Athanasius was not an author by choice. With the exception of the early apologetic tracts all the writings that he has left were drawn from him by the stress of theological controversy or by the necessities of his work as a Christian pastor. We have no systematic doctrinal treatise, no historical monograph from his pen, although his writings are rich in materials for history and dogmatics alike. The exception to this is in the exegetical remains, especially those on the Psalms, which (supra, No. 45, sqq.) imply something more than occasional work, some intention of systematic composition. For this, a work congenial to one who was engaged in preaching, his long intervals of quiet at Alexandria (especially 328-335, 346-356, 365-373) may well have given him leisure. But on the whole, his writings are those of a man of powerful mind indeed and profound theological training, but still of a man of action The style of Athanasius is accordingly distinguished from that of many older and younger contemporaries (Eusebius, Gregory Naz., &c.) by its inartificiality. This was already observed by Erasmus, who did not know many of his best works, but who notes his freedom from the harshness of Tertullian, the exaggeration of Jerome, the laboured style of Hilary, the overloaded manner of Augustine and Chrysostom, the imitation of the Attic orators so conspicuous in Gregory; `sed totus est in explicanda re.' That is true. Athanasius never writes for effect, but merely to make his meaning plain and impress it on others. This leads to his principal fault, namely his constant self-repetition (see p. 47, note 6); even in apologising for this he repeats the offence. The praise by Photius (quoted below, Introd. to Orat.) of his aperitton seems to apply to his freedom not from repetition but from extravagance, or studied brilliancy. This simplicity led Philostorgius, reflecting the false taste of his age, to pronounce Athanasius a child as compared with Basil, Gregory, or Apollinarius. To a modern reader the manliness of his character is reflected in the unaffected earnestness of his style. Some will admire him most when, in addressing a carefully calculated appeal to an emperor, he models his periods on Demosthenes de Corona (see p. 237). To others the unrestrained utterance of the real man, in such a gem of feeling and character as the Letter (p. 557) to Draeontius, will be worth more than any studied apology. With all his occasional repetition, with all the feebleness of the Greek language of that day as an instrument of expression, if we compare it with the Greek of Thucydides or Plato, Athanasius writes with nerve and keenness, even with a silent but constant underflow of humour. His style is not free from Latinisms; preda (= praeda) in the Encycl., beteranoj (= veteranus), bhlon (= velum), magistroj, &c., are barbarisms belonging to the later decadence of Greek, but not without analogy even in the earliest Christian Literature. cunwrij is used in an unusual sense, p. 447. 'Areiomanitai seems to be coined by himself; akaqhkwn, apocenizein, epakouein (= answer), egkuklein, &c., are Alexandrinisms (see Fialon, p. 289). On the whole, no man was ever less of a stylist, while at the same time making the fullest use of the resources furnished by the language at his command. When he wrote, seven centuries of decay had passed over the language of Thucydides, the tragedians, Plato and the Orators. The Latin Fathers of the day had at their disposal a language only two centuries or so past its prime. The heritage of Thucydides had passed through Tacitus to the Latin prose writers of the silver age. The Latin of Tertullian, Cyprian, Jerome, Augustin, Leo, with all its mannerisms and often false antithesis and laboured epigram, was yet a terse incisive weapon compared with the patristic Greek. But among the Greek Fathers Athanasius is the most readable, simply because his style is natural and direct, because it reflects the man rather than the age.
§3. Personal characteristics (see Stanley's Eastern Church, Lect. vii.). To write an elaborate character of Athanasius is superfluous. The full account of his life (chap. ii.), and the specimens of his writings in this volume, may be trusted to convey the right impression without the aid of analysis. But it may be well to emphasise one or two salient points89
In Athanasius we feel ourselves in contact with a commanding personality. His early rise to decisive epoch-making infiuence,-he was scarcely more than 27 at the council of Nicaea,-his election as bishop when barely of canonical age, the speedy ascendancy which he gained over all Egypt and Libya, the rapid consolidation of the distracted province under his rule, the enthusiastic personal loyalty of his clergy and monks, the extraordinary popularity enjoyed by him at Alexandria even among the heathen (excepting, perhaps, `the more abandoned among them,' Hist. Ar. 58), the evident feeling of the Arians that as long as he was intact their cause could not prosper, the jealously of his influence shewn by Constantius and Julian, all this is a combined and impressive tribute to his personal greatness. In what then did this consist?
Principally, no doubt, in his moral and mental vigour; resolute ability characterises his writings and life throughout. He had the not too common gift of seeing the proportions of things. A great crisis was fully appreciated by him; he always saw at once where principles separated or united men, where the bond or the divergence was merely accidental. With Arius and Arianism no compromise was to be thought of; but he did not fail to distinguish men really at one with him on essentials, even where their conduct toward himself had been indefensible (de Syn.). So long as the cause was advanced, personal questions were insignificant. So far Athanasius was a partisan. It may be admitted that he saw little good in his opponents; but unless the evidence is singularly misleading there was little good to see. The leaders of the Arian interest were unscrupulous men, either bitter and unreasoning fanatics like Secundus and Maris, or more often political theologians, like Eusebius of Nicomedia, Valens, Acacius, who lacked religious earnestness. It may be admitted that he refused to admit error in his friends. His long alliance with Marcellus, his unvarying refusal to utter a syllable of condemnation of him by name; his refusal to name even Photinus, while yet (Orat. iv.) exposing the error associated with his name; his suppression of the name of Apollinarius, even when writing directly against him; all this was inconsistent with strict impartiality, and, no doubt, placed his adversaries partly in the right. But it was the partiality of a generous and loyal spirit, and he could be generous to personal enemies if he saw in them an approximation to himself in principle. When men were dead, unlike too many theologians of his own and later times, he restrained himself in speaking of them, even if the dead man were Arius himself.
In the whole of our minute knowledge of his life there is a total lack of self-interest. The glory of God and the welfare of the Church absorbed him fully at all times. We see the immense power he exercised in Egypt; the Emperors recognised him as a political force of the first order; Magnentius bid for his support, Constantius first cajoled, then made war upon him; but on no occasion does he yield to the temptation of using the arm of flesh. Almost unconscious of his own power, he treats Serapion and the monks as equals or superiors, degging them to correct and alter anything amiss in his writings. His humility is the more real for never being conspicuously paraded.
Like most men of great power, he had a real sense of humour (Stanley, p. 231, sq.,ed. 1883). Even in his youthful works we trace it (infr. p. 2), and it is always present, though very rarely employed with purpose. But the exposure of the Arsenius calumny at Tyre, the smile with which he answered the importunate catechising of an Epiphanius about `old' Marcellus, the oracular interpretation of the crow's `cras' in answer to the heathen (Sozom. iv. 10), the grave irony with which he often confronts his opponents with some surprising application of Scripture, his reply to the pursuers from the Nile boat in 362, allow us to see the twinkle of his keen, searching eye. Courage, self-sacrifice, steadiness of purpose, versatility and resourcefulness, width of ready sympathy, were all harmonised by deep reverence and the discipline of a single-minded lover of Christ. The Arian controversy was to him no battle for ecclesiastical power, nor for theological triumph. It was a religious crisis involving the reality of revelation and redemption. He felt about it as he wrote to the bishopsof Egypt, `we are contending for our all' (p. 234).
`A certain cloud of romance encircled him' (Reynolds). His escapes from Philagrius, Syrianus, Julian, his secret presence in Alexandria, his life among the monasteries of Egypt inhis third exile, his reputed visits to distant councils, all impress the imagination and lend themselves to legend and fable Later a es even claimed that he had fled in disguise to Spainand served as cook in a monastery near Calahorra (Act. SS. 2 Maii)! But he is also surrounded by an atmosphere of truth. Not a single miracle of any kind is related of him To invest him with the halo of miracle the Bollandists have to come down to the `translation' of his body, not to Constantinople (an event surrounded with no little uncertainty), but to Venice, whither a thievish sea-captain, who had stolen it from a church in Stamboul, brought a body, which decisively proved its identity by prodigies which left no room for doubt. But the Athanasius of history is not the subject of any such tales. It has been said that no saint outside the New Testament has ever claimed the gift of miracles for himself. At any rate (though he displays credulity with regard to Antony), the saintly reputation of Athanasius rested on his life and character alone, without the aid of any reputation for miraculous power.
And resting upon this firm foundation, it has won the respect and admiration even of those who do not feel that they owe to him the vindication of all that is sacred and precious. Not only a Gregory or an Epiphanius, an Augustine or a Cyril, a Luther or a Hooker, not only Montfaucon and Tillemont, Newman and Stanley pay tribute to him as a Christian hero. Secular as well as Church historians fall under the spell of his personality, and even Gibbon lays aside his `solemn sneer' to do homage to Athanasius the great.
Chapter IV.-The Theology of S. Athanasius.
§1. General Considerations.
The theological training of Athanasius was in the school of Alexandria, and under the still predominant although modified influence of Origen (see above, pp. xiv., xxvii.). The resistance which the theology of that famous man had everywhere encountered had not availed, in the Greek-speaking churches of the East, to stem its influence; at the same time it had made its way at the cost of much of its distinctive character. Its principal opponent, Methodius, who represented the ancient Asiatic tradition, was himself not uninfluenced by the theology he opposed. The legacy of his generation to the Nicene age was an Origenism tempered in various degrees by the Asiatic theology and by accommodations to the traditional canon of ecclesiastical teaching. The degrees of this modification were various, and the variety was reflected in the indeterminate body of theological conviction which we find at the time of the outbreak of Arianism, and which, as already explained, lies at the basis of the reaction against the definition of Nicaea. The theology of Alexandria remained Origenist, and the Origenist character is purest and most marked in Pierius, Theognostus, and in the non-episcopal heads of the Alexandrian School. The bishops of Alexandria after Dionysius represent a more tempered Origenism. Especially this holds good of the martyred Peter, whom we find expressly correcting distinctive parts of the system of his spiritual ancestor. In Alexander of Alexandria, the theological sponsor of the young Athanasius, the combination of a fundamentally 0rigenist theology with ideas traceable to the Asiatic tradition is conspicuous90 .
Athanasius, then, received his first theological ideas from Origenist sources, and in so far as he eventually diverged from Origen we must seek the explanation partly in his own theological or religious idiosyncrasy and in the influences which he encountered as time went on, partly in the extent to which the Origenism of his masters was already modified by different currents of theological influence.
To work out this problem satisfactorily would involve a separate treatise and a searching study, not only of Athanasius91 but on the one hand of Origen and his school, on the other of Methodius and the earlier pre-Nicene theologians. What is here attempted is the more modest task of briefly drawing attention to some of the more conspicuous evidences of the process and to some of its results in the developed theology of the saintly bishop.
It has been said by Harnack that the theology of Athanasius underwent no development, but was the same from first to last. The truth of this verdict is I think limited by the fact that the Origenism of Athanasius distinctly undergoes a change, or rather fades away, in his later works. A non-Origenist element is present from the first, and after the contest with Arianism begins, Origen's ideas recede more and more from view. Athanasius was influenced negatively by the stress of the Arian controversy: while the vague and loose Origenism of the current Greek theology inclined the majority of bishops to dread Sabellianism rather than Arianism, and to underrate the danger of the latter (pp. xviii., xxxv.), Athanasius, deeply impressed, from personal experience, with the negation of the first principles of redemption which Arianism involved, stood apart from the first from the theology of his Asiatic contemporaries and went back to the authority of Scripture and the Rule of Faith. He was influenced positively by the Nicene formula, which represents the combination of Western with anti-Origenist Eastern traditions in opposition to the dominant Eastern theology. The Nicene formula found in Athanasius a mind predisposed to enter into its spirit, to employ in its defence the richest resources of theological and biblical training, of spiritual depth and vigour, of self-sacrificing but sober and tactful enthusiasm; its victory in the East is due under God to him alone.
Athanasius was not a systematic theologian: that is he produced no many-sided theology like that of Origen or Augustine. He had no interest in theological speculation, none of the instincts of a schoolman or philosopher. His theological greatness lies in his firm grasp of soteriological principles, in his resolute subordination of everything else, even the formula omoousioj, to the central fact of Redemption, and to what that fact implied as to the Person of the Redeemer. He goes back from the Logos of the philosophers to the Logos of S. John, from the God of the philosophers to God in Christ reconciling the world to Himself. His legacy to later ages has been felicitously compared (Harnack, Dg. ii. 26, note) to that of the Christian spirit of his age in the realm of architecture. `To the many forms of architectural conception which lived in Rome and Alexandria in the fourth century, the Christian spirit added nothing fresh. Its achievement was of a different kind. Out of the many it selected and consecrated one; the multiplicity of forms it carded back to a single dominant idea, not so much by a change in the spirit of the art as by the restoration of Religion to its place as the central motive. It bequeathed to the art of the middle ages the Basilica, and rendered possible the birth of Gothic, a style, like that of the old Greek Temple, truly organic. What the Basilica was in the history of the material, the central idea of Athanasius has been in that of the spiritual fabric; an auspicious reduction, full of promise for the future, of the exuberant speculation of Greek theology to the one idea in which the power of religion then resided' (lb. and pp. 22 sqq., freely reproduced).
§2. Fundamental Ideas of Man and His Redemption.
To Athanasius the Incarnation of the Son of God, and especially his Death on the Cross, is the centre of faith and theology (Incar. 19, kefalaion thj pistewj, cf. 9. 1 and 5, 20. 2, &c.). `For our salvation' (Incar. 1) the Word became Man and died. But how did Athanasius conceive of `salvation'? from what are we saved, to what destiny does salvation bring us, and what idea does he form of the efficacy of the Saviour's death? Now it is not too much to say that no one age of the Church's existence has done full justice to the profundity and manysidedness of the Christian idea of Redemption as effected in Christ and as unfolded by S. Paul. The kingdom of God and His Righteousness; the forgiveness of sins and the adoption of sons as a present gift; the consummation of all at the great judgment;-Christian men of different ages, countries, characters and mental antecedents, while united in personal devotion to the Saviour and in the sanctifying Power of His Grace, have interpreted these central ideas of the Gospel in terms of their own respective categories, and have succeeded in bringing out now one, now another aspect of the mystery of Redemption rather than in preserving the balance of the whole. Who will claim that the last word has yet been said on S. Paul's deep conception of God's (not mercy but) Righteousness as the new and peculiar element (Rom. i. 17, iii. 22, 26) of the Gospel Revelation? to search out the unsearchable riches of Christ is the prerogative of Christian faith, but is denied, save to the most limited extent, to Christian knowledge (1 Cor. xiii. 9). The onesidedness of any given age in apprehending the work of Christ is to be recognised by us not in a censorious spirit of self-complacency, but with reverent sympathy, and with the necessity in view of correcting our own: panta dokimazte, to kalon katexete.
Different ages and classes have necessarily thought under different categories. The categories of the post-apostolic age were mainly ethical; the Gospel is the new law, and the promise of eternal life, founded on true knowledge of God, and accepted by faith. Those of the Asiatic fathers from Ignatius downwards were largely physical or realistic. Mankind is brought in Christ (the physician) from death to life, from fqora to afqarsia (Ign. passim); to euaggelion ...apartioma afqarsiaj (Ign., Melit.); human nature is changed by the Incarnation, man made God. Tertullian introduced into Western theology forensic categories. He applied them to the Person, not yet to the Work, of Christ: but the latter application, pushed to a repellent length in the middle ages, and still more so since the Reformation, may without fancifulness be traced back to the fact that the first Latin Father was a lawyer. Again, Redemption was viewed by Origen and others under cosmological categories, as the turning point in the great conflict of good with evil, of demons with God, as the inauguration of the deliverance of the creation and its reunion with God. The many-sidedness of Origen combined, indeed, almost every representation of Redemption then current, from the propitiatory and mediatorial, which most nearly approached the thought of S. Paul, to the grotesque but widely-spread view of a ransom due to the devil which he was induced to accept by a stratagem. It may be said that with the exception of the last-named every one cf the above conceptions finds some point of contact in the New Testament; even the forensic idea, thoroughly unbiblical in its extremer forms, would not have influenced Christian thought as it has done had it not corresponded to something in the language of S. Paul.
Now Athanasius does not totally ignore any one of these conceptions, unless it be that of a transaction with the devil, which he scarcely touches even in Orat. ii. 52 (see note there). Of the forensic view he is indeed almost clear. His reference to the `debt'' (to ofeilomenon, Incar. 20, Orat. ii. 66) which had to be paid is connected not so much with the Anselmic idea of a satisfaction due, as with the fact that death was by the divine word (Gen. iii.), attached to sin as its penalty.
The aspect of the death of Christ as a vicarious sacrifice (anti pantwn, de Incar. 9; prosforaand qusia, 10) is not passed over. But on the whole another aspect predominates. The categories under which Athanasius again and again states the soteriological problem are those of zwh and qanatoj, and afqarsia. So far as he works the problem out in detail it is under physical categories, without doing full justice to the ideas of guilt and reconciliation, of the reunion of will between man and God. The numberless passages which bear this. out cannot be quoted in full, but the point is of sufficient importance to demand the production of a few details.
(a) The original state of man was not one of `nature,' for man's nature is fqora; (thn enqanatw kata fusin fqoran, Incar. 3, cf. 8, 10, 44) the Word was imparted to them in that they were made kata thn tou qeou eikona (ib). Hence what later theology marks off as an exclusively supernatural gift is according to Athanasius inalienable from human nature, i.e. it can be impaired but not absolutely lost (Incar. 14, and apparently Orat. iii. 10 fin.; the question of the teaching of Athan. upon the natural endowments of man belongs specially to the Introd to de Incarnatione, where it will be briefly discussed). Accordingly their infraction of the divine command (by turning their minds, c. Gent. 3, to lower things instead of to the qewria twn qeiwn), logically involved them in non-existence (de Incar. 4), but actually, inasmuch as the likeness of God was only gradually lost, in fqora, regarded as a process toward non-existence. This again involved men in increasing ignorance of God, by the gradual obliteration of the eikw/, the indwelling Logos, by virtue of which alone men could read the open book (c. Gent-34 fin.) of God's manifestation of Himself in the Universe. It is evident that the pathological point of view here prevails over the purely ethical: the perversion of man's will mergesin the general idea of fqora, the first need of man is a change in his nature; or rather the renewed infusion of that higher and divine nature which he has gradually lost. (Cf. de Incar. 44, xrhzontwn thj autou qeothtoj dia tou omoiou).
(b) Accordingly the mere presence of the Word in a human body, the mere fact of the Incarnation, is the essential factor in our restoration (simile of the city and the king, ib. 9. 3, &c., cf. Orat. ii. 67, 70). But if so, what was the special need of the Cross? Athanasius felt, as we have already mentioned, the supremacy of the Cross as the purpose of the Saviour's coming, but he does not in fact give to it the central place in his system of thought which it occupies in his instincts. Man had involved himself in the sentence of death; death must therefore take place to satisfy this sentence (Orat. ii. 69; de Incar. 20. 2, 5); the Saviour's death, then, put an end to death regarded as penal and as symptomatic of man's gqora (cf. ib. 21. I, &c.). It must be confessed that Athanasius does not penetrate to the full meaning of S. Paul. The latter also ascribed a central import to the mere fact of the Incarnation (Rom. viii. 3, pemyaj), but primarily in relation to sin (yet see Athan. c. Apoll. ii. 6); and the destruction of the practical power of sin stands indissolubly correlated (Rom. viii. 1) with the removal of guilt and so with the Righteousness of God realising itself in the-propitiation of the blood of Christ (ib. iii. 21-26).
To Athanasius nature is the central, will a secondary or implied factor in the problem. The aspect of the death of Christ most repeatedly dwelt upon is that in it death spent its force (plhrwqeishj thj ecousiaj en tw kuriakw rwuati, ib. 8) agains human nature, that the `corruption' of mankind might run its full course and be spent in the Lord's body, and so cease for the future. Of this Victory over death and the demons the Resurrection is the trophy. His death is therefore to us (ib. 10) the arxh, zwhj we are henceforth afqarti dia thj anastasewj (27. 2, 32. 6, cf. 34. 1, &c.), and have a portion in the divine nature, are in fact deified (cf. de Incarn. 54, and note there). This last thought, which became (Harnack, vol. ii. p. 46) the common property of Eastern theology, goes back through Origen and Hippolytus to Irenaeeus. On the whole, its presentation in Athanasius is more akin to the Asiatic than to the Origenist form of the conception. To Origen, man's highest destiny could only be the return to his original source and condition: to Irenaeeus and the Asiatics, man had been created for a destiny which he had never realised; the interruption in the history of our race introduced by sin was repaired by the Incarnation, which carried back the race to a new head, and so carried it forward to a destiny of which under its original head it was incapable. To Origen the Incarnation was a restoration to, to Irenaeeus and to Athanasius (Or. ii. 67), an advance upon, the original state of man. (Pell, pp. 167-17, labours to prove the contrary, but he does not convince.)
(c) This leads us to the important observation that momentous as are to Athanasius the consequences of the introduction of sin into the world, he yet makes no such vast difference betweenthe condition of fallen and unfallen men as has commonly been assumed to exist. The latter state was inferior to that of the members of Christ (Orat. ii. 67, 68), while the immense (c. Gent. 8,de Incar. 5) consequences of its forfeiture came about only by a gradual course of deterioration (de Incar. 6. 1, hfanizeto; observe the tense), and in different degrees in different cases. The only difference of kind between the two conditions is in the universal reign of Death since the (partial) forfeiture of the kat eikona xarij: and even this difference is a subtle one; for man's existence in Paradise was not one of afqarsia except prospectively (de Incar. 3. 4). He enjoyed present happiness, alupoj anwdunj amerimnoj zwh, with promise of afqarsia in heaven. That is, death would have taken place, but not death as unredeemed mankind know it (cf. de Incar. 21. 1). In other words, man was created not so much in a state of perfection (teleioj ktisqeij,p. 384) as with a capacity for perfection (and for even more than perfection, p. 385 sq.) and with a destiny to correspond with such capacity. This destination remains in force even after man has failed to correspond to it, and is in fact assigned by Athanasius as the reason why the Incarnation was a necessity on God's part (de Incar. 6. 4-7, 10. 3, 13. 2-4, Orat. ii. 66, &c., &c.). Accordingly, while man was created (Orat. ii. 59) through the Word, the Word became Flesh that man might receive the yet higher dignity of Sonship92 ; and while even before the Incarnation some men were de facto pure from sin (Orat. iii. 33) by virtue of the xarij thj klhsewj involved in 9to kat eikona' (see ib. 10, fin.; Orat. i. 39 is even stronger, cf. iv. 22), they were yet qnhtoi and fqartoi; whereas those in Christ die, no longer kata thn proteran genesin en tw 'Adam, but to live again logwqeishj thj sarkoj (Orat. iii. 33,fin., cf. de Incar. 21. 1).
(d) The above slight sketch of the Athanasian doctrine of man's need of redemption and of the satisfaction of that need brings to light a system free from much that causes many modern thinkers to stumble at the current doctrine of the original state and the religious history of mankind. That mankind did not start upon their development with a perfect nature, but have fought their way up from an undeveloped stage through many lower phases of development that this development has been infinitely varied and complex, and that sin and its attendant consequences have a pathological aspect which practically is as important as the forensic aspect, are commonplaces of modern thought, resting upon the wider knowledge of our age, and hard to reconcile with the (to us) traditional theological account of these things. The Athanasian account of them leaves room for the results of modern knowledge, or at least does not rudely clash with the instincts of the modern anthropologist. The recovery of the Athanasian point of view is prima facie again. At what cost is it obtained? Does its recognition involve us in mere naturalism veiled under religious forms of speech? That was certainly not the mind of Athanasius, nor does his system really lend itself to such a result. To begin with, the divine destiny of man from, the first is an essential principle with our writer. Man was made and is still exclusively destined for knowledge of and fellowship with his Creator. Secondly the means, and the only means, to this end is Christ the Incarnate Son of God. In Him the religious history of mankind has its centre, and from Him it proceeds upon its new course, or rather is enabled once more to run the course designed for it from the first. How far Athanasius exhausted the significance of this fact may be a question; that he placed the fact itself in the centre is his lasting service to Christian thought.
(e) The categories of Athanasius in dealing with the question before us are primarily physical, i.e., on the one hand cosmological, on the other pathological. But it is well before leaving the subject to insist that this was not exclusively the case. The purpose of the Incarnation was at once to renew us, and to make known the Father (de Incarn. 16); or as he elsewhere puts it (ib. 7 fin.), anaktisai ta ola, uper pantn, paqein, and peri pantwn presbeusui proston Patera. The idea of afqarsia which so often stands with him for the summum bonum93 imparted to us in Christ, involves a moral and spiritual restoration of our nature, not merely the physical supersession of fqora by aqanasia (de Incarn. 47, 51, 52, &c., &c.).
§3. Fundamental Ideas of God, the World, and Creation.
The Athanasian idea of God has been singled out for special recognition in recent times; he has been claimed, and on the whole with justice, as a witness for the immanence of God in the universe in contrast to the insistence in many Christian systems on God's transcendence or remoteness from all created things. (Fiske, Idea of God, discussed by Moore in Lux Mundi (ed. 1) pp. 95-102.) The problem was one which Christian thought was decisively compelled to face by the Arian controversy (supra, p. xxix. sq.). The Apologists and Alexandrians had partially succeeded in the problem expressed in the dying words of Plotinus, `to bring the God which is within into harmony with the God which is in the universe,' or rather to reconcile the transcendence with the immanence of God. But their success was only partial: the immanence of the Word had been emphasised, but in contrast with the transcendence of the Father. This could not be more than a temporary resting-place for the Christian mind, and Arius forced a solution. That solution was found by Athanasius. The mediatorial work of the Logos is not necessary as though nature could not bear the untempered hand of the Father. The Divine Will is the direct and sole source of all things, and the idea of a mediatorial nature is inconsistent with the true idea of God (pp. 87, 155, 362, comparing carefully p. 383). `All things created are capable of sustaining God's absolute hand. The hand which fashioned Adam now also and ever is fashioning and giving entire consistence to those who come after him.' The immanence, or intimate presence and unceasing agency of God in nature, does not belong to the Word as distinct from the Father, but to the Father in and through the Word, in a word to God as God (cf. de Decr. 11, where the language of de Incarn. 17 about the Word is applied to God as such). This is a point which marks an advance upon anything that we find in the earliest writings of Athanasius, and upon the theology of his preceptor Alexander, to whom, amongst other not very clear formulae, the Word is a uesiteuusa fusij mngenhj (Thdt. H.E. ii. 4; Alexander cannot distinguish fusij from upstasij or usia; Father and Son are du axrista pragmata, but yet th upstasei du fuseij). This is indeed the principal particular in which Athanasius left the modified Origenism of his age, and of his own school, behind. If on the other hand he resembled Arius in drawing a sharper line than had been drawn previously between the one God and the World, it must also be remembered that his God was not the far off purely transcendent God of Arius, but a God not far from every one of us (Orat. ii. p. 361 sq.).
That God is beyond all essence uperkeina pashj usiaj (c. Gent. 2. 2, 40. 2, 35. I genhthj usiaj) is a thought common to Origen and the Platonists, but adopted by Athanasius with a difference, marked by the addition of genhthj. That God created all things out of pure bounty of being (c. Gent. §2. 2, §41. 2, de Incarn. §3. 3, and note there) is common to Origen and Philo, being taken by the latter from Plato's Timoeus. The Universe, and especially the human soul, reflects the being of its Author (c. Gent. passim). Hence there are two main paths by which man can arrive at the knowledge of God, the book of the Universe (c. Gent. 34 fin.), and the contemplation or self-knowledge of the soul itself (ib. 33, 34). So far Athanasius is on common ground with the Platonists (cf. Fialon, pp. 270, sqq.); but he takes up distinctively Christian ground, firstly, in emphasising the insufficiency of these proofs after sin has clouded the soul's vision, and, above all, in insisting on the divine Incarnation as the sole remedy for this inability, as the sole means by which man as he is can reach a true knowledge of God. Religion not philosophy is the sphere in which the God of Athanasius is manifest to man. Here, again, Athanasius is `Christo-centric.' With Origen, Athanasius refuses to allow evil any substantive existence (c. Gent. §§2, 6, de Incarn. §4. 5); evil resides in the will only, and is the result of the abuse of its power of free choice (c. Gent. 5 and 7). The evil in the Universe is mainly the work of demons, who have aggravated the consequences of human sin also (de Incarn. 52. 4). On the other hand, the evil does not extend beyond the sphere of personal agency, and the Providence of God (upon which Athanasius insists with remarkable frequency, especially in the de Fuga and c. Gent. and de Incarn., also in Vit. Anton.) exercises untiring care over the whole. The problem of suffering and death in the animal creation is not discussed by him; he touches very incidentally, Orat. ii. 63, on the deliverance of creation in connection with Ro viii 19-21.
§4. Vehicles of Revelation; Scripture, the Church, Tradition.
(a) The supreme and unique revelation of God to man is in the Person of the Incarnate Son. But though unique the Incarnation is not solitary. Before it there was the divine institution of the Law and the Prophets, the former a typical anticipation (de Incarn. 40. 2) of the destined reality, and along with the latter (ib. 12. 2 and 5) `for all the world a holy school of the knowledge of God and the conduct of the soul.' After it there is the history of the life and teaching of Christ and the writings of His first Disciples, left on record for the instruction of all ages. Athanasius again and again applies to the Scriptures the terms qeia and qeopneusta (e.g. de Decr. 15, de Incarn. 33. 3, &c.; the latter word, which he also applies to his own martyr teachers, is, of course, from 2 Ti iii. 16). The implications of this as bearing on the literal exactness of Scripture he nowhere draws out. His strongest language (de Decr. ubi supra) is incidental to a controversial point: on Ps lii (liii.) 2, he maintains that `there is no hyperbola in Scripture; all is strictly true,' but he proceeds on the strength of that principle to allegorise the verse he is discussing. In c. Gent. 2, 3, he treats the account of Eden and the Fall as figurative. But in his later writings there is, so far as I know, nothing to match this. In fact, although he always employs the allegorical method, sometimes rather strangely (e.g. De xxviii. 66, in de Incarn. 35, Orat. ii. 19, after Irenaeus, Origen, &c.), we discern, especially in his later writings, a tendency toward a more literal exegesis than was usual in the Alexandrian school. His discussion, e.g., of the sinlessness of Christ (c. Apol. i. 7, 17, ii. 9, 10) contrasts in this respect with that of his master Alexander, who appeals, following Origen's somewhat startling allegorical application, to Pr xxx. 19, a text nowhere used by Ath. in this way (Thdt. H.E. i. 4). This is doubtless largely due to the pressure of the controversy with the Arians, who certainly had more to gain than their opponents from the prevalent unhistorical methods of exegesis, as we see from the use made by them of 2 Co iv.11 at Nicaea, and of Pr viii. 22 throughout94 . Accordingly Athanasius complains loudly of their exegesis (Ep. Aeg. 3-4, cf. Orat. i. 8, 52), and insists (id. i. 54, cf. already de Decr. 14) on the primary necessity of always conscientiously studying the circumstances of time and place, the person addressed, the subject matter, and purpose of the writer, in order not to miss the true sense. This rule is the same as applies (de Sent. Dion. 4) to the interpretation of any writings whatever, and carries with it the strict subordination of the allegorical to the historical sense, contended for by the later school of Antioch, and now accepted by all reasonable Christians (see Kihn in Wetzer-Hergenrother's Kirchen-Lex. vol. i. pp. 955-959, who calls the Antiochene exegesis `certainly a providential phenomenon;' also supra, p. xxviii., note 1).
(b) The Canon of Scripture accepted by Athanasius has long been known from the fragments of the thirty-ninth Festal Letter (Easter, 367). The New Testament Canon comprises all the books received at the present day, but in the older order, viz., Gospels, Acts, Catholic Epistles, Pauline Epistles (Hebrews expressly included as S. Paul's between Thess. and Tim.), Apocalypse. The Old Testament canon is remarkable in several ways. The number of books is 22, corresponding to the Alexandrian Jewish reckoning, not to the (probably) older Jewish or Talmudic reckoning of 24 (the rolls of Ruth and Lam. counted separately, and with the Hagiographa). This at once excludes from the Canon proper the so-called `Apocrypha,' with the exception of the additions to Daniel, and of Baruch and `the Epistle,' which are counted as one book with Jeremiah. The latter is also the case with Lamentations, while on the other hand the number of 22 is preserved by the reckoning of Ruth as a separate book from Judges to make up for the exclusion of Esther. This last point is archaic, and brings Athanasius into connection with Melito (171 a.d.), who gives (Eus. H.E. iv. 26. 14, see also vol. 1, p. 144, note 1, in this series) a Canon which he has obtained by careful enquiry in Palestine. This Canon agrees with that of Athanasius except with regard to the order assigned to `Esdras' (i.e. Ezra and Nehemiah, placed by M. at the end), to `the twelve in one book' (placed by M. after Jer.), and Daniel (placed by M. before Ezekiel). Now, Esther is nowhere mentioned in the N.T., and the Rabbinical discussions as to whether Esther `defiled the hands' (i.e. was `canonical') went on to the time of R. Akiba (_135), an older, and even of R. Juda `the holy' (150-210), a younger, contemporary of Melito (see Wildeboer, Ontstaan van den Kanon, pp. 58, sq., 65, &c.). The latter, therefore, may represent the penultimate stage in the history of the Hebrew canon before its close in the second century, (doubted by Bleek, Einl. , §242, but not unlikely). Here, then, Ath. represents an earlier stage of opinion than Origen (Eus. H.E. vi. 25), who gives the finally fixed Hebrew Canon of his own time, but puts Esther at the end. As to the number of books, Athan. agrees with Josephus, Melito, Origen, and with Jerome, who, however, knows of the other reckoning of 24 ('nonnulli' in Prol. Gal.). Athansius enumerates, as `outside the Canon, but appointed by the Fathers to be read by those who newly join us,' Wisdom, Ecclesiasticus, Esther, Judith, and Tobit, as well as what is called the Teaching of the Apostles and the Shepherd. In practice, however, he quotes several of the latter as `Scripture' (Wisdom repeatedly so, see index to this vol.); `The Shepherd' is `most profitable,' and quoted for the Unity of the Creator (and cf. de Decr. 4), but not as `Scripture;' the `Didache' is not used by him unless the Syntagma (vide supra, p. lix.) be his genuine work. He also quotes 1 Esdras for the praise of Truth, and 2 Esdras once, as a `prophet.' `Daniel' includes Susanna and Bel and the Dragon.
(c) On the sufficiency of Scripture for the establishment of all necessary doctrine Athanasius insists repeatedly and emphatically (c. Gent. 1, de Incarn. 5, de Decr. 32, Vit. Ant. 16, &c., &c.); and he follows up precept by example. `His works are a continuous appeal to Scripture.' There is no passage in his writings which recognises tradition as supplementing Scripture, i.e., as sanctioning articles of faith not contained in Scripture. Tradition is recognised as authoritative in two ways: (1) Negatively, in the sense that doctrines which are novel are prima acie condemned by the very fact (de Decr. 7, note 2, ib. 18, Orat. i. 8, 10, ii. 34, 40, de Syn. 3, 6, 7, and Letter 59, §3); and (2) positively, as furnishing a guide to the sense of Scripture (see references in note on Orat. iii. 58, end of ch. xxix.). In other words, tradition with Athanasius is a formal, not a material, source of doctrine. His language exemplifies the necessity of distinguishing, in the case of strong patristic utterances on the authority of tradition, between different senses of the word. Often it means simply truth conveyed in Scripture, and in that sense `handed down' from the first, as for example c. Apol. i. 22, `the Gospel tradition,' and Letter 60. 6 (cf. Cypr. Ep. 74. 10, where Scripture is `divinae traditionis caput et origo.'). Moreover, tradition as distinct from Scripture is with Athanasius not a secret unwritten body of teaching handed down orally95 , but is to be found in the documents of antiquity and the writings of the Fathers, such as those to whom he appeals in de Deer., &c. That `the appeal of Athanasius was to Scripture, that of the Arians to tradition' (Gwatkin) is an overstatement, in part supported by the pre-Nicene history of the word omoousion (supra, p. xxxi. sq.). The rejection of this word by the Antiochene Council (in 268-9) is met by Athanasius, de Synod. 43, sqq., partly by an appeal to still older witnesses in its favour, parly by the observation (§45) that `writing in simplicity [the Fathers] arrived not at accuracy concerning the omoousion, but spoke of the word as they understood it,' an argument strangely like that of the Homoeans (Creed of Nike, ib. §30) that the Fathers [of Nicoea] adopted the word `in simplicity.'
(d) Connected with the function and authority of tradition is that of the Church. On the essential idea of the Church there is little or nothing of definite statement. The term `Catholic Church' is of course commonly used, both of the Church as a whole, and of the orthodox body in this or that place. The unity of the Church is emphatically dwelt on in the opening of the encyclical written in the name of Alexander (infr., p. 69 and supr., p. xvi.) as the reason for communicating the deposition of Arius at Alexandria to the Church at large. `The joyful mother of children' (Exp. in Ps. cxiii. 9) is interpreted of the Gentile Church, `made to keep house,' ate ton kurion enoikon exousa, joyful `because her children are saved through faith in Christ,' whereas those of the `synagogue' are apwleia paradedomena: the `strong city' polij perioxhj and `Edom' of Ps lx. 11 are likewise interpreted of the Church as gathered from all nations; similarly the Ethiopians of Ps lxxxvii. 4 (where the de Tit. pss. gives a quite different and more allegorical sense, referring the verse to baptism). The full perfection of the Church is referred by Athanasius not to the (even ideal) Church on earth but to the Church in heaven. The kingdom of God' (Matt. vi. 33) is explained as `the enjoyment of the good things of the future, namely the contemplation and knowledge of God so far as man's soul is capable of it,' while the city of Ps. lxxxvii. 1-3 is h anw =Ierousalhm in the de Titulis, but in the Expositio the Church glorified by `the indwelling of the Only-begotten.' In all this we miss any decisive utterance as to the doctrinal authority of the Church except in so far as the recognition of such authority is involved in what has been cited above in favour of tradition. It may be said that the conditions which lead the mind to throw upon the Church the weight of responsibility for what is believed were absent in the case of Athanasius as indeed in the earlier Greek Church generally.
But Athanasius was far from undervaluing the evidence of the Church's tradition. The organ by which the tradition of the Church does its work is the teaching function of her officers, especially of the Episcopate (de Syn. 3, &c.). But to provide against erroneous teaching on the part of bishops, as well as to provide for the due administration of matters affecting the Church generally, and for ecclesiastical legislation, some authority beyond that of the individual bishop is necessary. This necessity is met, in the Church as conceived by Athanasius, in two ways, firstly by Councils, secondly in the pre-eminent authority of certain sees which exercise some sort of jurisdiction over their neighbours. Neither of these resources of Church organisation meets us, in Athanasius, in a completely organised shape. A word must be said about each separately, then about their correlation.
(a) Synods. Synods as a part of the machinery of the Church grew up spontaneously. The meeting of the `Apostles and Eiders' at Jerusalem (Acts xv.) exemplifies the only way in which a practical resolution on a matter affecting a number of persons with independent rights can possibly be arrived at, viz., by mutual discussion and agreement. Long before the age of Athanasius it had been recognised in the Church that the bishops were the persons exclusively entitled to represent their flocks for such a purpose; in other words, Councils of bishops had come to constitute the legislative and judicial body in the Church (Eus. V.C. i. 51). Both of these functions, and especially the latter, involved the further prerogative of judging of doctrine, as in the case of Paul of Samosata. But the whole system had grown up out of occasional emergencies, and no recognised laws existed to define the extent of conciliar authority, or the relations between one Council and another should their decisions conflict. Not even the area covered by the jurisdiction of a given Council was defined (Can. Nic. 5). We see a Synod at Arles deciding a case affecting Africa, and reviewing the decision of a previous Synod at Rome; a Council at Tyre trying the case of a bishop of Alexandria; a Council at Sardica in the West deposing bishops in the East, and restoring those whom Eastern Synods had deposed; we find Acacius and his fellows deposed at Seleucia, then in a few weeks deposing their deposers at Constantinople; Meletius appointed and deposed by the same Synod at Antioch in 361, and in the following year resuming his see without question. All is chaos. The extent to which a Synod succeeds in enforcing its decisions depends on the extent to which it obtains de facto recognition. The canons of the Council of Antioch (341) are accepted as Church law, while its creeds are condemned as Arian (de Syn. 22-25).
We look in vain for any statement of principle on the part of Athanasius to reduce this confusion to order. The classical passage in his writings is the letter he has preserved from Julius of Rome to the Eastern bishops (Apol. c. Ar. 20-35). The Easterns insist strongly on the authority of Councils, in the interests of their deposition of Athanasius, &c., at Tyre. Julius can only reply by invoking an old-established custom of the Church, ratified, he says, at Nicaea (Can. 5?), that the decisions of one Council may be revised by another; a process which leads to no finality. The Sardican canons of three years later drew up, for judicial purposes only, a system of procedure, devolving on Julius (or possibly on the Roman bishop for the time being) the duty of deciding, upon the initiative of the parties concerned, whether in the case of a deposed bishop a new trial of the case was desirable, and permitting him to take part in such new trial by his deputies. But Athanasius never alludes to any such procedure, nor to the canons in question. (Compare above, pp. xlii., xlvi.).
The absence of any a priori law relating to the authority of Synods applies to general as well as to local Councils. The conception of a general Council did not give rise to Nicaea, but vice versa (see above, p. xvii.). The precedent for great Councils had already been set at Antioch (268-9) and Arles (314); the latter in fact seems to be indirectly called by S. Augustine plenarium universoe ecclesioe concilium; but the widely representative character of the Nicene Council, and the impressive circumstances under which it met, stamped upon it from the first a recognised character of its own. Again and again (de Decr. 4, 27, Orat. i. 7, Ep. Aeg. 5, &c., &c.) Athanasius presses the Arians with their rejection of the decision of a `world-wide' Council, contrasting it (e.g. de Syn. 21) with the numerous and indecisive Councils held by them. He protests (Ep. Aeg. 5, Tom. ad Ant., &c.) against the idea that any new creed is necessary or to be desired in addition to the Nicene. But in doing so, he does not suggest by a syllable that the Council was formally and a priori infallible, independently of the character of its decision as faithfully corresponding to the tradition of the Apostles. Its authority is secondary to that of Scripture (de Syn. 6, sub. fin.), and its scriptural character is its justification (ib.). In short, Mr. Gwatkin speaks within the mark when he disclaims for Athan. any mechanical theory96 of conciliar infallibility. To admit this candidly is not to depreciate, but to acknowledge, the value of the great Synod of Nicaea; and to acknowledge it, not on the technical grounds of later ecclesiastical law, but on grounds which are those of Athanasius himself. (On the general subject see D.C.A. 475-484, and Hatch, B.L. vii.)
(b) Jurisdiction of bishops over bishops. The fully-developed and organised `patriarchal' system does not meet us in the Nicene age. The bishops of important towns, however, exercise a very real, though not definable authority over their neighbours. This is especially true of Imperial residences. The migration of Eusebius to Nicomedia and afterwards to Constantinople broke through the time-honoured rule of the Church, but set the precedent commonly followed ever afterwards. In Egypt, although the name `patriarch' was as yet unheard, the authority of the Bishop of Alexandria was almost absolute. The name `archbishop' is here used for the first time. It is first applied apparently to Meletius (Apol. Ar. 71) in his list of clergy, but at a later date (about 358) to Athanasius in a contemporary inscription (see p. 564 a, note At the beginning of his episcopate (supra, p. xxxvii.) we find him requested to ordain in a diocese of Upper Egypt by its bishop. He sends bishops on deputations (Fest. Ind. xxv., &c.), and exercises ordinary jurisdiction over bishops and people of Libya and Pentapolis (cf. reference to Synesius, supr., p. lxii.). This was a condition of things dating at least from the time of Dionysius (p. 178, note 2). In particular he had practically the appointment of bishops for all Egypt, so that in the course of his long episcopate all the Egyptian sees were manned by his faithful adherents (cf. p. 493). The mention of Dionysius suggests the question of the relation of the see of Alexandria to that of Rome, and of the latter to the Church generally. On the former point, what is necessary will be said in the Introd. to the de Sent. Dion. With regard to the wider question, Athanasius expresses reverence for that bishopric `because it is an Apostolic throne,' and `for Rome, because it is the metropolis of Romania' (p. 282). That is his only utterance on the subject. Such reverence ought, he says, to have secured Liberius from the treatment to which he had been subjected. The language cited excludes the idea of any divinely-given headship of the Church vested in the Roman bishop, for his object is to magnify the outrageous conduct of Constantius and the Arians. Still less can anything be elicited from the account given by Ath. of the case of the Dionysii, or of his own relations to successive Roman bishops. He speaks of them as his beloved brothers and fellow-ministers (e.g., p. 489) and cordially. welcomes their sympathy and powerful support, without any thought of jurisdiction. But he furnishes us with materials, in the letter of Julius, for estimating not his own view of the Roman see, but that held by its occupant. The origin of the proceedings was the endeavour of the Easterns to procure recognition at Rome and in the West for their own nominee to the bishopric of Alexandria. They had requested Julius to hold a Council, `and to be himself the judge if he so pleased' (Apol. c. Ar. 20). This was intended to frighten Athanasius, but not in the least, as the sequel shews, to submit the decisions of a Council to revision by a single bishop. Julius summoned a Council as described above (p. xliii.), and at the end of a long period of delay and controversy sent a letter expressing his view of the case to the Orientals. This document has been already discussed (p. xliv.). It forms an important landmark in the history of papal claims, standing at least as significantly in contrast with those of the successors of Julius, as with those of his predecessors.
(g) Bishops and Councils. The superiority of councils to single bishops (including those of Rome, Alexandria, and Antioch) was questioned by no one in this age. Julius claims the support, not of authority inherent in his see, but of canons, and on the basis of them claims a voice in matters affecting the Church at large, not in his own name, but in that of `us all, that so a just sentence might proceed from all' (Apol. c. Ar. 35). Again, just as the judgment of his predecessor Melchiades and his council was revised at Aries in 314 (Augustin. Ep. 105. 8), so the case of Athanasius and Marcellus was reheard at the Council of Sardica three years after the decision of Julius and his council. The council was the supreme organ of the Church for legislative, judicial, and doctrinal purposes; had any other of superior or even equal rank been recognised, or had the authority of councils themselves been defined a priori by a system of Church law, the confusion of the fourth century would not have arisen. Whether or no the age would have gained, we at least should have been the losers.
§5. Content of Revelation. God Three in One and the Incarnation.
To dwell at length on the theology of Athanasius under this head is unnecessary here, not because there is little to say, but partly because what there is to say has been to some extent anticipated above, §§2, 3, and ch. ii. pp. xxxii., xxxvi., partly because the history of his life and work is the best exposition of what he believed and taught. That his theology on these central subjects was profoundly moulded by the Nicene formula is (to the present writer at least) the primary fact (see ch. ii. §3 (1), and (2) b). This of course presupposes that the Nicene faith found in him a character and mind prepared to become its interpreter and embodiment; and that this was so his pre-Nicene writings sufficiently shew.
For instance, his progressive stress on the Unity of the Godhead in Father, Son, and Spirit is but the following up of the thought expressed de Incarn. 17. 1 en monw tw eautou Patri oloj wn kata panta. It may be noted that he argues also from the idea of the Trinity to the coessential Godhead of the Spirit, ad Serap. i. 28, sq., Triaj estin oux ewj onomatoj monon ...alla alhqeia kai uparc ei triaj <\=85_eipatwsan palin <\=85_teiaj estin h duaj; and that he meets the difficulty (see infra, p. 438, ten lines from end, also Petav. Trin. VII. xiv.) of differentiating the relation of the Spirit to the Father from the gennhsij of the Son by a confession of ignorance and a censure upon those who assume that they can search out the deep things of God (ib. 17-19). The principle might be applied to this point which is laid down de Decr. 11, that `an act' belonging to the essence of God, cannot, by virtue of the simplicity of the Divine Nature, be more than one: the `act' therefore of divine gennhsij (the nature of which we do not know) cannot apply to the Spirit but only to the Son. But I do not recollect any passage in which Athanasius draws this conclusion from his own premises. The language of Athanasius on the procession of the Spirit is unstudied. In Exp Fid. 4, he appears to adopt the `procession' of the Spirit from the Father through the Son (after Dionysius, see Sent. Dion. 17). In Serap. i. 2, 20, 32, iii. 1, he speaks of the Spirit as idion tou Logou, just as the Word is idioj tou Patroj. His language on the subject, expressing the idea common to East and West (under the cloud of logomachies which envelop the subject) might possibly furnish the basis of an `eirenicon' between the two separated portions of Christendom. In explaining the `theophanies' of the Old Testament, Athanasius takes a position intermediate between that of the Apologists, &c. (supr., p. xxiii.) who referred them to the Word, and that of Augustine who referred them to Angels only. According to Athanasius the `Angel' was and was not the Word: regarded as visible he was an Angel simply, but the Voice was the Divine utterance through the Word (see Orat. iii. 12, 14; de Syn 27, Anath 15, note; also Serap. i. 14).
Lastly, it must again be insisted that in his polemic against Arianism Athanasius is centrally soteriological. It is unnecessary to collect passages in support of what will be fully appreciated only after a thorough study of the controversial treatises. The essence of his position is comprised in his paraphrase of St. Peter's address to the Jews, Orat. ii. 16, sq., or in the argument, ib. 67, sqq., i. 43, and iii. 13. With regard to the Incarnation, it may be admitted that Athanasius uses language which might have been modified had he had later controversies in view. His common use of anqrwpoj for the Manhood of Christ (see below, p. 83) might be alleged by the Nestorian, his comparison of it to the vesture of the High Priest (Orat. i. 47, ii. 8, see note there) by the Apollinarian or Monophysite partisan. But at least his use of either class of expressions shews that he did not hold the doctrine associated in later times with the other. Moreover, while from first to last he is explicitly clear as to the seat of personality in Christ, which is uniformly assigned to the Divine Logos (p. 40, note 2 and reff.), the integrity of the manhood of Christ is no less distinctly asserted (cf. de Incarn. 18. 1, 21. 7). He uses sqmua and anqrwpoj indifferently during the earlier stages of the conflict, ignoring or failing to notice the peculiarity of the Luciano-Arian Christology. But from 362 onward the full integrity of the Saviour's humanity, sarc and yuch logikh or rneuma, is energetically asserted against the theory of Apollinarius and those akin to it97 (cf. Letters 59 and 60, and c. Apoll.). Some corollaries of this doctrine must now be mentioned.
The question of the sinlessness of Christ is not discussed by Athanasius ex professo until the controversy with Apollinarianism. In the earlier Arian controversy the question was in reality involved, partly by the Arian theory of the treptothj of the Word, partly by the correlated theory of prokoph (cf. Oral. ii. 6, sqq.), and Athanasius instinctively falls back on the consideration that the Personality of the Son, if Divine, is necessarily sinless. In c. Apoll. i. 7, 17, ii. 10 the question is more thoroughly analysed. The complete psychological identity of Christ's human nature with our own is maintained along with the absolute moral identity of His will (qelhsij, the determination of will, not the qelhma ousiqdej or volitional faculty) with the Divine will.
With regard to the human knowledge of Christ, the texts Mark xiii. 32, Luke ii. 52, lie at the foundation of his discussion Orat. iii. 42-53. The Arians appealed to these passages to support the contention that the Word, or Son of God in His Divine nature, was ignorant of `the Day,' and advanced in knowledge. The whole argument of Athan. in reply is directed to shewing that these passages apply not to the Word or Son in Himself, but to the Son Incarnate. He knows as God, is ignorant as man. Omniscience is the attribute of Godhead, ignorance is proper to man. The Incarnation was not the sphere of advancement to the Word, but of humiliation and condescension; but the Manhood advanced in wisdom as it did in stature also, for advance belongs to man. That is the decisive and clear-cut position of Athanasius on this subject (which the notes there vainly seek to accommodate to the rash dogmatism of the schools). Athanasius appeals to the utterances of Christ which imply knowledge transcending human limitations in order to shew that such knowledge, or rather all knowledge, was possessed by the Word; in other words such utterances belong to the class of `divine' not to that of `human' phenomena in the life of Christ. So far as His human nature was concerned, He assumed its limitations of knowledge equally with all else that belongs to the physical and mental endowments of man. Why then was not Divine Omniscience exerted by Him at all times? This question is answered as all questions must be which arise out of any limitation of the Omnipotence of God in the Manhood of Christ. It was `for our profit, as I at least think' (ib. 48). The very idea of the Incarnation is that of a limiting of the Divine under human conditions, the Divine being manifested in Christ only so far as the Wisdom of God has judged it necessary in order to carry out the purpose of His coming. In other words, Athanasius regarded the ignorance of Christ as `economical' only in so far as the Incarnation is itself an oikonomia, a measured revelation, at once a veiling and a manifestation, of all that is in God. That the divine Omniscience wielded in the man Christ Jesus an adequate instrument for its own manifestation Athanasius firmly holds: the exact extent to which such manifestation was carried, the reserve of miraculous power or knowledge with which that Instrument was used, must be explained not by reference to the human mind, will, or character of Christ, but to the Divine Will and Wisdom which alone has both effected our redemption and knows the secrets of its bringing about. With Athanasius, we may quote St. Paul, tij egnw noun Kuriou.
It may be observed before leaving this point that Athanasius takes occasion (§43, fin., cf. 45) to distinguish two senses of the words `the Son,' as referring on the one hand to the eternal, on the other to the human existence of Christ. To the latter he limits Mark xiii. 32: the point is of importance in view of his relation to Marcellus (supra, p. xxxvi.).
As a further corollary of the Incarnation we may notice his frequent use (Orat. iii. 14, 29, 33, iv. 32, c. Apoll. i. 4, 12, 21) of the word qeotokoj as an epithet or as a name for the Virgin Mary. The translation `Mother of God' is of course erroneous. `God-bearer' (Gottes-barerin), the literal equivalent, is scarcely idiomatic English. The perpetual virginity of Mary is maintained incidentally (c. Apoll. i. 4), but there is an entire absence in his writings not only of worship of the Virgin, but of `Mariology,' i.e., of the tendency to assign to her a personal agency, or any peculiar place, in the work of Redemption (Gen. iii. 15, Vulg.). Further, the argument of Orat. i. 51 fin., that the sending of Christ in the flesh for the first time (loipon) liberated human nature from sin, and enabled the requirement of God's law to be fulfilled in man (an argument strictly within the lines of Rom. viii. 3), would be absolutely wrecked by the doctrine of the freedom of Mary from original sin (`immaculate conception'). If that doctrine be held, sin was `condemned in the flesh' (i.e., first deposed from its place in human nature, see Gifford or Meyer-Weiss in loc.), not by the sending of Christ, but by the congenital sinlessness of Mary. If the Arians had only known of the latter doctrine, they would have had an easy reply to that powerful passage.
§6. Derivative Doctrines. Grace and the Means of Grace; The Christian Life; The Last Things.
The idea of Grace is important to the theological system of Athanasius, in view of the central place occupied in that system by the idea of restoration and new creation as the specific work of Christ upon His fellow-men (supra, §2, cf. Orat. ii. 56, Exp. in Pss. xxxiii. 2, cxviii.5, LXX.). But, in common with the Greek Fathers generally, he does not analyse its operation, nor endeavour to fix its relation to free will (cf. Orat. i. 37 fin., iii. 25 sub fin.). The divine predestination relates (for anything that Ath. says) not to individuals so much as to the Purpose of God, before all ages, to repair the foreseen evil of man's fall by the Incarnation (Orat. ii. 75, sq.). On the general subject of Sacraments and their efficacy, he says little or nothing. The initiatory rite of Baptism makes us sons of God (de Decr. 31, cf. Orat. i. 37 ut supra), and is the only complete renewal to be looked for in this life, Serap. iv. 13). It is accompanied (de Trin. et Sp. S. 7) by confession of faith in the Trinity, and the baptism administered by Arians who do not really hold this faith is therefore in peril of losing its value (Oral. ii. 42, fin.). The grace of the Spirit conferred at baptism will be finally withdrawn from the wicked at the last judgment (Exp. in Ps. lxxv. 13, LXX.). In the de Trin. et Sp. S. 21 baptism is coupled with the imposition of hands as one rite. On the Eucharist there is an important passage (ad Serap. iv. 19), which must be given in full. He has been speaking of sin against the Holy Spirit, which latter name he applies [see above, ch. iii. §1 (22)] to the Saviour's Divine Personality. He proceeds to illustrate this by John vi. 62-64.
`For here also He has used both terms of Himself, flesh and spirit; and He distinguished the spirit from what is of the flesh in order that they might believe not only in what was visible in Him, but in what was invisible, and so understand that what He says is not fleshly, but spiritual. For for how many would the body suffice as food, for it to become meat even for the whole world? But this is why He mentioned the ascending of the Son of Man into heaven; namely, to draw them off from their corporeal idea, and that from thenceforth they might understand that the aforesaid flesh was heavenly from above, and spiritual meat, to be given at His hands. For `what I have said unto you,' says He, `is spirit and life;' as much as to say, `what is manifested, and to be given for the salvation of the world, is the flesh which I wear. But this, and the blood from it, shall be given to you spiritually at My hands as meat, so as to be imparted spiritually in each one, and to become for all a preservative to resurrection of life eternal.'
Beyond this he does not define the relation of the outward and visible in the Eucharist to the spiritual and inward. The reality of the Eucharistic gift is insisted on as strongly as its spirituality in such passages as ad Max. (Letter 61) 2 sub fin., and the comment on Matt. vii. 6 (Migne xxvii. 1380), `See to it, therefore, Deacon, that thou do not administer to the unworthy the purple of the sinless body,'' and the protest of the Egyptian bishops (Apol. c. Ar. 5) that their churches `are adorned only by the blood of Christ and by the pious worship of Him.' The Holy Table is expressly stated to have been made of wood (Hist. Ar. 56), and was situated (Apol. Fug.) in a space called the ierareion. The Eucharist was celebrated in most places every Sunday, but not on week-days (Apol. c. Ar. 11). But in Alexandria we hear of it being celebrated on a Friday on one occasion, and this was apparently a normal one (Apol Fug. 24, Apol. Const. 25). To celebrate the Eucharist was the office of the bishop or presbyter (Apol. c. Ar. 11). Ischyras (supr. p. xxxviii.) was held by Athanasius to be a layman only, and therefore incapable of offering the Eucharist. The sacrificial aspect of the Eucharist is not touched upon, except in the somewhat strange fragment (Migne xxvi. 1259) from an Oratio de defunctis, which contains the words h de ge anaimaktoj qusia ecilaamoj. He insists on the finality * of the sacrifice of the Cross, Orat. ii. 9, ai men gar kata nomon ...ouk eixon to piston, kaq hmeran parerxomenai: h de tou Swthroj quaia apac genomenh teteleiwke to pan. On repentance and the confession of sins there is little to quote. He strongly asserts the efficacy of repentance, and explains Heb. vi. 4, of the unique cleansing and restoring power of baptism (Serap. iv. 13, as cited above.) A catena on Jeremiah preserves a fragment [supra, ch. iii. §1 (38)], which compares the ministry of the priest in baptism to that in confession: outwj kai o<\pg lccc_ecomologoumenoj en metanoia dia tou ierewj lambanei thn afesin xariti Cristou. Of compulsory confession, or even of this ordinance as an ordinary element of the Christian life, we read nothing.
On the Christian ministry again there is little direct teaching. The ordinations by the presbyter Colluthus (Apol. Ar. 11, 12) are treated as null. The letter (49) to Dracontius contains vigorous and beautiful passages on the responsibility of the Ministry. On the principles of Christian conduct there is much to be gathered from obiter dicta in the writings of Athanasius. His description (cf. supra, p. xlviii.) of the revival of religious life at Alexandria in 346, and the exhortations in the Easter letters, are the most conspicuous passages for this purpose. In particular, he insists (e.g., p. 67) on the necessity of a holy life and pure mind for the apprehension of divine things, and especially for the study of the Scriptures. He strongly recommends the discipline of fasting, in which, as compared with other churches (Rome especially), the Alexandrian Christians were lax (Letter 12), but he warns them in his first Easter letter to fast not only with the body, but also with the soul. He also dwells (Letter 6) on the essential difference of spirit between Christian festivals and Jewish observance of days. Christ is the true Festival, embracing the whole of the Christian life (Letters 5, 14). He lays stress on love to our neighbour, and especially on kindness to the poor (Letter. i. 11, Hist. Ar. 61, Vit. Ant. 17, 30). On one important practical point he is very emphatic: `Persecution is a device of the devil' (Hist. Ar. 33). This summary judgment was unfortunately less in accordance with the spirit of the times than with the Spirit of Christ.
The ascetic teaching of Athanasius must be reserved for the introduction to the Vita Antoni (cf. Letters 48, 49, also above, p. xlviii.). His eschatology calls for discussion in connection with the language of the de Incarnatione, and will be briefly noticed in the introduction to that tract. With regard to prayers for the departed, he distinguishes (on Luke xiii. 21, &c., Migne xxvii. 1404) the careless, whose friends God will move to assist them with their prayers, from the utterly wicked who are beyond the help of prayer.
Chapter V. Chronology and Tables.
(1) The Festal Letters of Athanasius with their Index and the Historia Acephala constitute our primary source for chronological details (see below, §2). (2) Along with these come the chronological notices scattered up and down the other writings of Athanasius. These are of course of the utmost importance, but too often lack definiteness. (3) The chronological data in the fifth-century historians, headed by Socrates, are a mass of confusion, and have been a source of confusion ever since, until the discovery of the primary sources, No. (1) mentioned above. They must, therefore, be used only in strict subordination to the latter. (4) More valuable but less abundant secondary notices are to be derived from the Life of Pachomius, from the letter of Ammon (infra, p. 487), and from other writers of the day. (5) For the movements of the Emperors the laws in the Codex Theodosianus (ed. Hanel in Corpus Juris Ante-Justiniani) give many dates, but the text is not in a satisfactory condition.
(6) Modern discussions. The conflicting attempts at an Athanasian chronology prior to the discovery of the Festal Letters are tabulated in the Appendix to Newman's Arians, and discussed by him in his introduction to the Historical Tracts (Oxf. Lib. Fathers). The notes to Dr. Bright's article Athanasius in D.C.B., and his introduction to the Hist. Writings of S. Ath., may be profitably consulted, as also may Larsow's Fest-briefe (Leipz., 1852), with useful calendar information by Dr. J. G. Galle, the veteran professor of Astronomy at Breslau, and Sievers on the Hist. Aceph. (Supr. ch. i. §3.)
But by far the most valuable chronological discussions are those of Prof. Gwatkin in his Studies of Arianism. He has been the first to make full use of the best data, and moreover gives very useful lists of the great officials of the Empire and of the movements of the Eastern Emperors. Mr. Gwatkin's results were criticised in the Church Quarterly Review, vol. xvi. pp. 392-398, 1883, by an evidently highly-qualified hand98 . The criticisms of the Reviewer have been most carefully weighed by the present writer, although they quite fail to shake him in his general agreement with Mr. Gwatkin's results.
For the general chronology of the period we may mention Weingarten's Zeit-tafeln (ed. 3, 1888) as useful, though not especially so for our purpose, and above all Clinton's Fasti Romani, which, however, were drawn up in the dark ages before the discovery of the Festal Letters, and are therefore antiquated so far as the life of Athanasius is concerned.
§2. Principles and Method.
The determination of the leading Athanasian dates depends mainly on the value to be assigned to the primary sources, §1 (1). Reserving the fuller discussion of these texts for the Introduction to the Letters (pp. 495 sq., 500 sq.), it will suffice to state here what seem to be the results of an investigation of their value. (1) The Historia Ace-phala and Festal Index are independent of each other (cf. Sievers, p. 95, misunderstood, I think, by Mr. Gwatkin, p. 221). (2) They both belong to the generation after the death of Athanasius, the H.A. being apparently the earlier. (3) The data as to which they agree must, therefore, come from a source prior to either, i.e., contemporary with Athanasius. (4) In several important particulars they are confirmed by our secondary Egyptian sources, such as the Letter of Ammon and Life of Pachomius. (5) They verify most of the best results arrived at independently of them (of this below), and (6) In no case do they agree in fixing a date which can be proved to be wrong, or which there are sound reasons for distrusting. On these grounds I have classed the Historia and Index as primary sources, and maintain that the dates as to which the two documents agree must be accepted as certain. This principle at once brings the doubtful points in the chronology within very moderate limits. The general chronological table, in which the dates fixed by the agreement of these sources are printed in black type, will make this plain enough. It remains to shew that the principle adopted works out well in detail, or in other words, that the old Alexandrian chronology, transmitted to us through the twofold channel of the Historia and the Index, harmonises the apparent discrepancies, and solves the difficulties, of the chronological statements of Athanasius, and tallies with the most trustworthy information derived from other sources. In some cases it has been found desirable to discuss points of chronology where they occur in the Life of Athanasius; what will be attempted here is to complete what is there passed over without thorough discussion, in justification of the scheme adopted in our general chronological table.
§3. Applications. (a) Death of Alexander and Election of Athanasius. That the latter took place on June 8, 328, is established by the agreement of our sources, together with the numbering of the Festal Letters. Theodoret (H.E. i. 26) and others, misled by some words of Athanasius (Apol. c. Ar. 59), handed down to later ages the statement that Alexander died five months after the Council of Nicaea. It had long been seen that this must be a mistake (Tillemont, vi. 736, Montfaucon, Monit. in Vit. S. Athan.) and various suggestions99 were made as to the terminus a quo for the `five months' mentioned by Athanasius; that of Montfaucon remains the most probable (see ch. ii. §3 (1), p. xxi.). But the field was left absolutely clear for the precise and concordant statement of our chroniclers, which, therefore, takes undisputed possession. (Further details, supr. p. xx. sq.; Introd. to Letters, pp. 495, 303).
(b) The first exile of Athanasius. The duration is fixed by the Hist. Aceph. (see Introd. p. 495, sq.) as two years, four months, and eleven days, and this exactly coincides with the dates given by the Index for his departure for Tyre, July 11, 335, and his return from exile Nov. 23, 337 (not 338; for the Diocletian year began at the end of August). Although, therefore, the Hist. Aceph. is not available for the date, the constructive agreement between it and the Index is complete. But it has been contended that the year of the return from this exile must still be placed in 338, in spite of the new evidence to the contrary. The reasons alleged are very weak. (1) The letter of Constantine II., dated Treveri, June 17, so far from making against the year 337, clinches the argument in its favour. Constantine is still only `Caesar' when he writes it (pp. 146, 272); he was proclaimed Augustus on Sep. 9, 337 (Montf. in ann. 338 tries in vain to parry this decisive objection to the later date. He appeals to Maximin in Eus. H.E. ix. 10, but overlooks the word sebastoj there. Is it conceivable that a disappointed eldest son, as sensitive about his claims as Constantine was, would within so short a time of becoming `Augustus' be content to call himself merely `Caesar'?) The objection as to the distance of Treveri from Nicomedia has no weight, as we show elsewhere (p. xli., note 4); Constantine might have heard of his father's death a fortnight before the date of this letter. (2) The law (Cod. Th. X. x. 4) dated Viminacium, June 12, 338, if correctly ascribed to Constantius, would certainly lend plausibility to the view that it was at that time that Athanasius met Constantius at Viminacium (p. 240). But the names are so often confused in mss., and the text of the Theodosian Code requires such frequent correction, that there is no solid objection to set against the extremely cogent proofs (Gwatkin, p. 138) that the law belongs to Constantine, who in that case cannot have been at Trier on June 17, 338. As to Constantius, there is no reason against his having been in Pannonia at some time in the summer of 337. (3) The statement of Theodoret (H.E. ii. 1) that Ath. `stayed at Treveri two years and four months' seems to reproduce that of the Hist. Aceph. as to the length of the exile, and is only verbally inexact in applying it to the period actually spent in Trier. (4) The language of Letter 10, the Festal letter for 338, is not absolutely decisive, but §§3, 11 certainly imply that when it was written, whether at Alexandria or elsewhere, the durance of Athanasius was at an end. There can, we submit, be no reasonable doubt that the first exile of Athanasius began with his departure from Alexandria on July 11, 335, and ended with his return thither on Nov. 23, 337.
(c) Commencement of the second exile. Here again the agreement of our chronicles is constructive only, owing to the loss of the earlier part of the Hist. Aceph.; but it is none the less certain. The exile ended, as everyone now admits and as both chronicles tell us, on Paoph. 24 (Oct. 21), 346: it lasted, according to the H.A., seven years, six months, and three days. This carries us back to Phar. 21 (April 16), 339. Now we learn from the Index that he left the Church of Theonas on the night of Mar. 18-19, and from the Encyclical, 4, 5, that he took refuge first in another church, then in some secret place till over Easter Sunday (Apr. 15). This fits exactly with Apr. 16 as the date of his flight to Rome. To this there is only one serious objection, viz., that Ath. was summoned (p. 239) to Milan by Constantius after the end of three years from his leaving Alexandria. It has been assumed (without any proof) that this took place `just before' the council of Sardica. As a matter of fact, Constans left Athan. in Milan, and (apparently after his summer campaign) ordered him to follow him to Trier, in order to travel thence to the Council. Athanasius does not state either how long he remained at Milan, or when he was ordered to Trier; for a chronological inference, in opposition to explicit evidence, he furnishes no basis whatever. I agree with Mr. Gwatkin (whom his Reviewer quite misunderstands) in placing the Milan interview about May, 342, and the journey from Trier to Sardica after Easter (probably later still) in 343 (Constans was in Britain in the spring of 343, and had returned to Trier before June 30, Cod. Th. XII. i. 36, see also supr. p. xlv.). A more reasonable objection to the statement of the Index is that of Dr. Bright (p. xv. note 5), who sets against its information that Athan. fled from `Theonas' four days before Gregory's arrival, the statement of the Encyclical that he left a certain church after Gregory's outrages at Eastertide. But clearly Athan. first escaped from the church of Theonas, afterwards (between Good Friday and Easter) from some other church (allh ekklhsia), not named by him (`Quirinus,' cf. p. 95, note 1), and finally from the City itself. (Dr. Bright's arguments in favour of 340 are vitiated in part by his placing Easter on April 9, i.e. on a Wednesday, instead of the proper day, Sunday, Mar. 30). The date, April 16, 339, is, therefore, well established as the beginning of the second exile, and there is no tangible evidence against it. It is, moreover, supported by the subscription to the letter to Serapion, which stands in the stead of the Easter letter for 340, and which states that the letter was written from Rome.
(d) Council of Sardica and death of Gregory. The confusion into which the whole chronology of the surrounding events was thrown by the supposition (which was naturally taken without question upon the authority of Socrates and Sozomen) that the Sardican council met in 347, is reflected in the careful digest of opinions made by Newman (Arians, Appendix, or better, Introduction to Hist. Treatises of S. Ath. p. xxvi.; cf. also Hefele, Eng. Tra., vol. 2, p. 188, sq., notes), and especially in the difficulties caused by the necessity of placing the Council of Milan in 345 before Sardica, and the mission of Euphrates of Cologne to Antioch as late as 348. Now the Hist. Aceph., by giving October, 346, as the date of the return of Athanasius from his second exile, at once challenged the received date for Sardica, and J. D. Mansi, the learned editor of the `Collectio Amplissima' of the Councils, used this fact as the key to unlock the chronological tangle of the period. He argued that the Council of Sardica must be put back at least as early as 344; but the natural conservatism of learning resisted his conclusions until the year 1852, when the Festal Letters, discovered ten years earlier, were made available for the theological public of Europe. The date 347 was then finally condemned. Not only did Letter 18, written at Easter, 345, refer to the Council's decision about Easter, and Letter 19 refer to his restoration as an accomplished fact; the Index most positively dated the synod in the year 343, which year has now taken its place as the accepted date, although the month and duration of the assembly are still open to doubt (Supr. p. xlv., note 6). In any case it is certain that the Easter at which the deputies from Constans and the Council reached Antioch was Easter, 344. This brings us to the question of the date of Gregory's death. Mr. Gwatkin rightly connects the Council which deposed Stephen for his behaviour to the Western deputies, and elected Leontius, with the issue of the `Macrostich' creed `three years' (de Syn. 26) after the Council of the Dedication, i.e., in the summer of 344. This is our only notice of time for the Council in question, and it is not very precise; but the Council may fairly be placed in the early summer, which would allow time for the necessary preliminaries after Easter, and for the meeting of the fathers at reasonable notice. (Perhaps Stephen was promptly and informally deposed (Thdt.) after Easter, but a regular council would be required to ratify this act and to elect his successor.) After the Council (we are again not told how long after) Constantius writes a public letter to Alexandria forbidding further persecution of the orthodox (277, note 3). This may well have been in the later summer of 344. Then `about ten months later' (ib.) Gregory dies. This would bring us `about' to the early summer of 345; and this rough calculation100 is curiously confirmed by the precise statement of the Index xviii., that Gregory died on June 26 (345, although the Index, in accordance with its principle of arrangement, which will be explained in the proper place, puts the notice under the following year). Of course the date of the letter of Constantius, which Athanasius gives as the terminus a quo of the `ten months,' cannot be fixed except by conjecture, and the date given by the Index is (1) the only precise statement we have, (2) is likely enough in itself, and (3) agrees perfectly with the datum of de Synod 26. That is to say, as far as our evidence goes it appears to be correct.
(e) Return of Athanasius in 346. Here the precise statements of the Index and Hist. Aceph. agree, and are confirmed by Letter 19, which was written after his return. The date therefore requires no discussion. But it is important as a signal example of the high value to be assigned to the united witness of our two chronicles. For this is the pivot date which, in the face of all previously accepted calculations, has taken its place as unassailably correct, and has been the centre from which the recovery of the true chronology of the period has proceeded, The difficulty in dating the interview with Constantius at Antioch is briefly discussed p. xlvii. note 10.
(f) Irruption of Syrianus and Intrusion of George. The former event is dated without any room for doubt on the night of Thursday, Feb. 8 (Mechir 13), 356 (see p. 301, also Index and Hist. Aceph.). Here again the accuracy of our chronicles on points where they agree comes out strongly. It should be noted that an ill-informed writer could hardly have avoided a blunder here; for 356 was a leap-year: and in consequence of this (1) all the months from Thoth to Phamenoth, inclusive, began a day later, owing to the additional Epagomenon before the first day of Thoth: the 13th Mechir would, therefore, in these years correspond to Feb. 8, not as usual to Feb. 7. (2) Owing to the Roman calendar inserting its intercalary day at the end of February, Feb. 8 would fall on the Thursday, not on the Friday (reckoning back from Easter on Apr. 7: see Tables C, D., pp. 501 sq.). This date, then, may rank as one of the absolutely fixed points of our chronology. After the above examples of the value of the concordant testimony of the two chronicles, we must demand positive and circumstantial proof to the contrary before rejecting their united testimony that George made his entry into Alexandria in the Lent of 357, not 356. As a matter of fact all the positive evidence (supr., p. lii., note 11) is the other way, and when weighed against it, the feather-weight of an inference from a priori probability, and from the assumed silence of Athanasins (Ap. Fug. 6), kicks the beam.
(g) Athanasius in 362. The difficulty here is that Athanasius clearly returned after the murder of George, which, according to Amm. Marc. XXII. xi., took place upon the receipt at Alexandria of the news of the execution of Artemius at Antioch, which latter event must be placed in July. Therefore Athanasius would not have returned till August, 362. On the other hand the Hist. Aceph. makes George arrested four days after his return to Alexandria, and immediately upon the proclamation of the new Emperor, Nov. 30, 361. On Dec. 24 George is murdered, on Feb. 9 the edict for the return of the exiles is promulged, and on Feb. 21 Athanasius returns, to take flight again `eight months' later, on Oct. 24. The difficulty is so admirably sifted by Mr. Gwatkin (pp. 220, 221) that I refer to his discussion instead of giving one here. His conclusion is clearly right, viz., that Ammianus here, as occasionally elsewhere, has missed the right order of events, and that George was really murdered at the time stated in Hist. Aceph. The only addition to be made to Mr. Gwatkin's decisive argument is that Ammianus is inconsistent with himself, and in agreement with the Hist. Aceph., in dating the arrest of George shortly after his return from court. As George would not have been at Julian's court, this notice implies that the arrest took place only shortly after the death of Constantius. Moreover, George, who even under Constantius was not over-ready to visit his see, and who knew well enough the state of heathen feeling against him, would not be likely to return to Alexandria after Julian had been six months on the throne. We have then not so much to balance Ammianus against the Hist. Aceph., as to balance one of his statements, not otherwise confirmed, against another which is supported by the Hist. Aceph., and by other authorities as well, especially Epiph. Haer. 76. 1. (The Festal Index gives no precise date here, except Oct. 24, for the flight of Athanasius, which so far as it goes confirms the Hist. Aceph.) Moreover, "on the side of Ammianus there is at worst an oversight; whereas the Hist. Aceph. would need to be re-written." The murder of George, Dec. 24, 361, return of Athanasius, Feb. and his flight, Oct. 24, 362, may therefore be taken as firmly-established dates.
(h) Supposed Council at Alexandria in 363. This Synod assumed by Baronius, Montfaucon (Vit. in Ann. 363. 3) and others, after Theodoret (H. E. iv. 2) must be pronounced fictitious (so already Vales. in Thdt. l.c.). (1) The letter of Ammon (extract printed in this volume, p. 487) tells us on the authority of Athanasius that when Pammon and Theodore miraculously announced the death of Julian, they informed Athan. that the new Emperor was to be a Christian, but that his reign would be short; that Athanasius must go at once and secretly to the Emperor, whom he would meet on his journey before the army reached Antioch, that he would be favourably received by him, and that he would obtain an order for his restoration. Now (apart from the possibility of a grain of truth in the fhmh of the death of Julian) all these details bear the unmistakeable character of a vaticinium post eventum, in other words, we have the story as it was current when Ammon drew up the document in question at the request of Archbishop Theophilus (see also p. 567, note 1). At that time, then, the received account was that Athan. hastened secretly to meet Jovian as soon as he knew of his accession, and that he met him between Antioch and Nisibis. Now this native Egyptian account is transmitted independently by two other channels. (2) The Hist. Aceph. viii. tells us that the bishop entered Alexandria secretly `adventu eius non pluribus cognito,' went by ship to Jovian, and returned with letters from him. (3) The Festal Index tells us that eight months (i.e., Oct. 24md;June 26) after the flight of Ath. Julian died. On his death being published, Athan. returned secretly by night to Alexandria. Then on Sept. 6 he crossed the Euphrates (this seems to be the meaning of `embarked at the Eastern, Hierapolis,' the celebrated city, perhaps the ancient Karkhemish, which commanded the passage of the river, though some miles from its W. bank) and met the Emperor Jovian, by whom he was eventually dismissed with honour, returning to Alexandria Feb. 20, 364. Jovian was at Edessa Sept. 27, at Antioch Oct. 23.
The agreement of the three documents is most striking, and the more so since the chronicles are clearly independent both of one another and especially of the letter of Ammon, as is clear from the fact that neither mentions the fhmh, while the Festal Index implicitly contradicts it. This appears to be a crucial case in many ways. Firstly, the three narratives are all consistent in excluding the possibility of any such council as is supposed to have been summoned (see above, p. lx.). Against this there is nothing but the hasty inference of Thdt. (corrected by Valois, see above, ib.); the valueless testimony of the Libellus Synodicus (9th cent.); the marvellous tale of Sozom. v. 7 (referred to this time by Tillem. viii. 219, but by Soz. to the death of George: probably an amplification of Hist. Aceph. `visus est') that Athanasius suddenly to the delight of his people was found enthroned in his Church; and the more vague statement of Socr. (iii. 24) that he regained his church `at once after Julian's death.' As the three fifth-century writers are implicitly contradicted by three writers of Alexandria at the end of the previous century, the latter must be believed against the former. Secondly, the Index, the later as it appears, of the two chronicles, would seem to represent a form of the story less marvellous and therefore earlier than that of the Narratio. Now the latter certainly belongs to the Episcopate of Theophilus. The Index therefore can scarcely be placed later, and the Hist. Aceph. would fall, as Sievers, Einl. 2, had independently placed it at the beginning of the Episcopate of Theophilus. Thirdly, we have here an excellent example not only of the value of the combined evidence of the two chronicles, but also of their character as representing in many important respects the Alexandrian tradition of the last third of the fourth century. Before leaving this question it will be well to consider the dates a little more closely. Hierapolis was counted eight days' journey from Antioch. From Alexandria to Antioch by sea was about 500 miles, i.e. with a fair wind scarcely more than four days' sail (it might be less, cf. Conybeare and Howson, St. Paul, vol. 2, p. 376, sq. ed. 1877). This allows about twelve days for Athan. to reach the Euphrates from Alexandria, remembering that southerly winds prevail in the Eastern Mediterranean at this season (Sievers, Einl. 28). Now Athan. reached Hierapolis on Sept. 6 (Thoth 8, Egyptian leap-year). But according to the Index, he reached Alex. after Julian's death was published, and this according to Hist. Aceph. was on Mesori 26, i.e. Aug. 19. From that day to Sept. 6 are eighteen days, leaving about a week's margin for Ath. to hear the news, reach Alexandria, and perhaps for delay in finding a vessel, &c. But a far wider margin is really available, for the official announcement must have been preceded by many rumours, and was probably not despatched till more than a fortnight after Julian's death (as is observed by Mr. Gwatkin, p. 221). If we remember that Athanasius, according to the Letter of Ammon, was making all possible haste (supra, §9) we shall again realise the subtle cohesion of these three sources, and the impossibility of the `large Synod' imagined by some historians for the year 363.
(k) Exile under Valens. The date of this is discussed by Tillem. (note 96) and Montf. Vit. who, on the unstable basis of a computation of Theophanes (about 800 a.d.) and of the vague and loose sequences of events in Socr. and Sozom., tentatively refer the exile to the year 367. The only show of solid support for this date was that Tatianus (of later and unfortunate celebrity), whom the Photian Life and that by the Metaphrast connected with the expulsion, was known from Cod. Theod. to have been Prefect of Egypt in 367. But this airy fabric now gives place to the precise and accurate data of the Theophilan chronicles. Both Index and Hist. Aceph. place the occurrence not under Tatian but under Flavian, governor of Egypt 364nd;366. Both fix the year 365. The Hist. Aceph. (used by Soz.vi.12, who however makes no use of the dates) gives May 5, 365, for the Imperial order against bishops restored by Julian, June 8 for the reference to the Emperor (supra, ch. ii. §9), Oct. 5 for the retreat of Athan. and search for him by Flavian and Duke Victorinus, Feb. 1 for the return of Athanasius. This detailed chronology is corroborated in two ways; first by a letter of Libanius (Ep. 569) to Flavian, thanking him for a present of [Egyptian] doves, and congratulating him on his `victory' (a play on the name Victorinus is added), but with a satirical hint that if only Victorinus had any prisoners to shew for his pains (a clear allusion to the escape of Ath.) he (Libanius) would think him a finer fellow even than Cleon (Siev. Einl. 31). Secondly, the restoration of Ath. by Valens becomes historically intelligible, in view of the danger from Procopius, as pointed out supr. p. lxi., fin. We cannot then doubt that the chronicles are here once more the channels of the genuine chronological tradition.
(1) Death of Athanasius. It is superfluous to discuss this date at the present day, but it may be worth while to point out for the last time how admirably the combined testimony of our chronicles confirms the judgment of the best critics (Montfaucon, Tillemont, &c.) antecedent to their discovery, and how clearly the secondary value to be assigned to the chronological statements of Socrates and Sozomen once more comes out (Socr. iv. 21 puts the date at 371, and was followed by Papebroke, Petavius and others (fuller details and discussion of the question on its ancient footing in Newman's preface to Hist. Tracts of St. Athan., pp. xx., sqq.). But no one any longer questions the date of May 2-3, 373. The fact that the Hist. Aceph. gives May 3 and the Index May 2 (the date observed in the later calendars) vouches for the independence of the two documents and for the very early date of the former: probably, as Sievers and others suggest, the true date is the night between May 2 and May 3.