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stated, for instance, beyond all doubt whatever in IV. xx. I: 'Adest enim ei [i.e. Deo] semper Verbum et Sapientia, Filius et Spiritus, per quos et in quibus omnia libere et sponte fecit, ad quos et loquitur, dicens: Faciamus hominem ad imaginem et similitudinem nostram; ipse a semetipso substantiam creaturarum, et exemplum factorum, et figuram in mundo ornamentorum accipiens.' But the most important fact about St. Irenæus in this connexion is his statement of a doctrine of the Holy Trinity, which he refers to some older authority, but which it is extremely difficult to trace. Having observed (Hær. IV. iv. 2) that God does everything by measure and order, he then remarks, bene qui dixit ipsum immensum Patrem in Filio mensuratum; mensura enim Patris, Filius, quoniam et capit eum.' What this seems to prove is that within the Church there is a process of reflection going on, in some independent lines to those prevalent in Greek philosophy. The tendency towards a greater degree of abstraction in the conception of God is being reversed: the conviction of His Personality and independence of the world is growing in intensity.

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The writers we have been considering thus far have presented the phenomena of a Scriptural theory of things with some clearness. The authors whom we must now briefly discuss are far more difficult to estimate. Clement and Origen were both brought up in the philosophic air of Alexandria, and it must be confessed that they seem to have allowed their philosophy too free a range over the province of the Faith. In Clement (Strom. V. xii. 82, 83) we have a description of the nature of God, which it would be difficult to surpass in abstractness even in the purely pagan philosophers. God is a pure monad, without any conceivable relations or attributes or accidents. He is also ἐπέκεινα τοῦ ἑνὸς, but apparently is not called ἐπέκεινα τῆς οὐσίας (cf. Bigg, Bampton Lectures, p. 63, n. 2). So, again, the Son is the Consciousness of God-the circle of which the Father is the central point (Strom. IV. xxv. 158). At the same time, in spite of this unconditional surrender to the forces of Greek philosophy, there are points at which Clement draws the line. He denies, for instance (Strom. V. i. 6), the application to God of the distinction between the λόγος ἐνδιάθετος and πρодoρiòs, possibly in the interests of the co-eternity of the Son. And this latter truth he asserts earlier in the same book (V. i. 1). On the other hand, it must be admitted that in v. iii. 16 he writes as if the Word came forth for the sake of creation : προελθὼν δημιουργίας αἴτιος. It is noticeable

that he uses Tvɛûμa for substance. Also he denies the eternity and pre-existence of matter. It would seem, then, that in him we have a perilous compromise between philosophy and theology, according to which philosophy is, on the whole, supreme. With Origen, in spite of his reputation for unorthodoxy, there is more of critical discernment, less readiness to commit himself. There are signs enough in his thought of the influence of Plato and Platonism-the transcendence of God, the eternity of creation-and some survivals of Docetism in connexion with the Person of our Lord. Yet there are very definite assertions of the reality of the revelation through the Incarnate Christ; and Origen does not shrink any more than Justin from assigning moral motives to God, changeless and transcendent though He be (cf. C. Cels. IV. xiv.–xvii.)

It will be observed that the other authors cited before Clement and Origen have belonged to a different part of the world to these. Rome, Ephesus, Palestine, Gaul are their homes. To them we might add Tertullian, as representing Africa. These writers are all engaged in their way upon the one Faith; in all of them we find Trinitarian doctrine more or less clearly expressed. And none show the unmodified influence of Greek philosophy. There are signs that the Alexandrine Church was in some considerable degree isolated from its neighbours. It retained to a late date the College of Presbyter Bishops, the habit of celebrating the Agape in the evening; and, if we may believe recent textual criticism, the type of text prevalent in Alexandria was of limited circulation as compared with the Western, which ranged from Asia Minor to Gaul. May we add to these signs of isolation the tendency to surrender Christian verities under the pressure of philosophy, which seems to have been so much more prominent in Alexandria than elsewhere? It was not the permanent characteristic of the Church. It is Eusebius of Caesarea, the devoted admirer of Origen, who sets forth the various senses of the word Aóyos, and decides which is theologically tolerable (C. Marc. de Eccl. Theol. II. ix. x.); and it is Athanasius who insists that six@v, when applied to Christ, is intended to emphasize, not difference, as from Plato to Plotinus, but absolute similarity with God the Father (C. Ar. i. 21).

We have now seen the inadequacy of Dr. Hatch's conception of his subject in two distinct parts of it; he has not described Christianity successfully, nor realized its influence on Greek thought. As regards the first of these, we think he would probably have offered to defend his position somewhat

in the following way. In the lecture on the 'Greek Mysteries' (p. 300) we find the following statement :

'Baptism had felt the spell of the Greek ritual: not less so had the Lord's Supper. Its elements in the earliest times may be gathered altogether apart from the passages of the New Testament, upon which, however clearly we may feel, no sensible man will found an argument, and which, taken by themselves, possibly admit of more than one meaning.'

We are, therefore, handed over to the Teaching of the Twelve Apostles and other extra-Biblical accounts. That which he has explicitly and consciously done here, he has done implicitly throughout. And it seems as if this would be the line upon which he would justify his presentation of the problem. The books of the New Testament are many of them under discussion as to their date and authorship; their interpretation is no less uncertain and disputed. Their evidence, therefore, must be left aside until all these questions are settled. It is certainly true that by this means things become simpler and clearer; but we doubt whether exposition thus carried on gains in certainty or truth. Supposing for the moment that the account of Greek thoughts and usages were entirely unexceptionable, yet still these are confessedly not the only causes at work. The theory which results from the one-sided consideration of these is the theory which we might have been driven to hold if all Christian literature had vanished, but only on these conditions. Surely it cannot be valid, as things are.

We have spoken already of Dr. Hatch's critical position; it remains to enquire what philosophical position emerges as the support and basis of his treatment of Church history. It seems to be expressed in two prominent tendencies-individualism in religion, mechanism (if we may use this Hegelian word) in life. The religion which he seems to think that Christ meant to found was one which dispensed with all earthly media, and placed the single individual soul in an ethical relation with God. The Church, according to his theory, was simply a body of loosely attached individuals, who all agreed -in view of some relation, not clearly explained, with Jesus Christ to lay aside their sins and live a moral life.

'There is no adequate evidence that in the first age of Christianity association was other than voluntary. It was profoundly individual. It assumed, for the first time in human history, the infinite worth of the individual soul. The ground of that individual worth was a divine sonship. And the sons of God were brethren. They were drawn together by the constraining force of love. But

the clustering together under that constraining force was not necessarily the formation of an association.'


The earliest associations were drawn together on a basis of 'a fellowship of a common ideal and a common enthusiasm of goodness, of neighbourliness, and of mutual service, &c.' Possibly even the baptismal formula 'may have consisted, not in an assertion of belief, but in a promise of amendment;' at least this was the case in 'a conservative sect' known to Church history as the Elkasaite heretics (p. 337). One of the causes which led to the change of this state of things was the fact that baptism was conceived to have in itself an efficacy which in later times has been rarely attached to it. It was a real washing away of sins; it was a real birth into a new life; it was a real adoption into a divine sonship' (p. 342; cf. pp. 162-3). The tendency of this and much else in the book is in the direction of the position maintained by Dr. Martineau in his Seat of Authority. The distaste for anything which seems to interfere with the solitariness of the individual soul is there definitely expressed. And Dr. Hatch seems to feel a somewhat similar repulsion. Definitions of doctrine, organization of communities alike interfere with the primitive simplicity of the purely ethical religion. He contends for the unbounded freedom of the individual to think and order his life precisely as he pleases. All definiteness and close union are fettering. We can, in a measure, understand the feeling that the organization of an external community may limit individual motions. An arm or a leg would, no doubt, be more independent and free when separated from the body; and perhaps it is surprising that no one has ever thought of this conclusive rejoinder to St. Paul's analogy of the body and its parts. But we totally fail to see how the definition of a doctrine, supposing the doctrine is true and the definition adequate, interferes with individual freedom. Yet on this subject we have one of Dr. Hatch's most remarkable utterances. 'A definition of what has been hitherto undefined is necessarily of the nature of an addition' (p. 327). Surely, if the definition is true, it adds nothing whatever to the thing defined; and if it adds anything to the thing defined, it is a false definition. If you believe that Christ is God, you impose no additional burden on yourself by saying that this means He is consubstantial with the Father, and that there is a radical difference of opinion between you and those who say either that He is not consubstantial, or not God. It is only to those who deny your propositions, claim to share your worship, call themselves by the name of Christ, and describe

the difference as unessential, that the sentence of exclusion may seem hard, even though it corresponds to fact. If it be urged that the fact of there being a time when no definition existed implies that the Faith was indefinite, then we reply, That is the very point in dispute.

As a corollary of this individualism we have a mechanical view of history. The editor of these Lectures remarks in the preface that the mind of Dr. Hatch was one to which every species of mechanical Deism was alien.' This observation is illustrated by some remarks of Dr. Hatch himself in Lect. xi. He there censures and sets aside the view that 'the interpretation of the Divine Voice was developed gradually through three centuries, and that it was then suddenly arrested' (p. 332). We may suppose that this view is regarded as being that of the ordinary orthodox Christian. If it were there is no doubt that it would be Deism. The separation of God's control and care from any part or period of human life is deistic in tendency. But what are we to say of history on Dr. Hatch's principles ? Can we ascribe to the hand of God a process which works itself out through 'majorities in meetings,' aided by the police, and succeeds only in swamping and almost destroying that which is the sum of Christianity'? We cannot, surely, say that God was governing such a process. If He meant only to renovate the 'lonely pieties of individuals,' as Dr. Martineau calls them, surely the means were strangely chosen. The moment Christ is gone, the externalizing of His Church in organization and in doctrine begins; and His own Apostles are those who initiate the movement. Is it not more intelligible to hold that the Revelation of God in Christ did reveal something after all-something more than could be gained by the spiritualizing of the law? And, if this be so, the difficulty of regarding definitions of this truth in the Nicene age as final is comparatively slight. In those days men spoke Greek and used philosophical language; and this was not mere noise, it meant something. We have ceased to speak Greek, and are not all familiar with philosophy, but we worship Christ. And, if we mean to retain this practice, and use it rationally, we must express in language the significance we put upon it; we need some definitions. If the Nicene definitions were true, those-translated, transfused with modern life-will be what we need. If theirs were true and ours are true, they will say the same thing; it does not follow, because we no longer talk in terms of Greek philosophy, that it is a matter of indifference, or at least an unessential thing, whether Christ be God or not.



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