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C KQa.QQ> 



HARVARD COLLEGE 
LIBRARY 




FROM THE BEQUEST OF 

JAMES WALKER 

(Glass of 1814) 
President of Harvard College 



•• 



bdng giTen to wmka in the Intaileetaal 
aiid]I«n«l 



,»» 




THE CHRISTIAN PLATONISTS 



OF ALEXANDRIA 



BIGG 



bonbon: 
HENRY FROWDE 




OXPOKD Univbrsitv Press Wakbhousb 
Aken Corkek, E.C. 



'xV> 



"J^ ■*•— "-ai 



•i 



O 



THE CHRISTIAN PLATONISTS 



OF 



ALEXANDRIA, , 



EIGHT LECTURES 

PREACHED BEFORE THE UNIVERSITY OF OXFORD 

IN THE YEAR 1886 



ON THE FOUNDATION OF THE LATE REV. JOHN BAMPTON, M.A. 

CANON OF SAUSBURY 



BY 



CHARLES I^IGG, D.D. 

ASSISTANT CHAPLAIN OP CORPUS CHRISTl COLLEGE, FORMERLY SENIOR STUDENT OF 

CHRIST CHURCH, OXFORD 



AT THE CLARENDON PRESS 

1886 

[ ji^i rights reserved ] 










• J { «_< ••-* i-1 




:^£brab2 



fm.) 



u 



EXTRACT 

FROM THE LAST WILL AND TESTAMENT 

OF THE LATE 

REV. JOHN BAMPTON, 

CANON OF SALISBURY, 

" I give and bequeath my Lands and Estates to the 

" Chancellor, Masters, and Scholars of the University of Oxford 
" for ever, to have and to hold all and singular the said Lands or 
" Estates upon trust, and to the intents and purposes hereinafter 
" mentioned ; that is to say, I will and appoint that the Vice- 
" Chancellor of the University of Oxford for the time being shall 
" take and receive all the rents, issues, and profits thereof, and 
" (after all taxes, reparations, and necessary deductions made) 
"that he pay all the remainder to the endowment of eight 
"Divinity Lecture Sermons, to be established for ever in the 
" said University, and to be performed in the manner following : 

" I direct and appoint, that, upon the first Tuesday in Easter 
" Term, a Lecturer may be yearly chosen by the Heads of Col- 
" leges only, and by no others, in the room adjoining to the 
" Printing-House, between the hours of ten in the morning and 
"two in the afternoon, to preach eight Divinity Lecture 
*' Sermons, the year following, at St. Mary's in Oxford, between 
" the commencement of the last month in Lent Term, and the 
" end of the third week in Act Term. 



vi Extract from the Rev. John Bamptons Will. 

" Also I direct and appoint, that the eight Divinity Lecture 
*' Sermons shall be preached upon either of the following 
" Subjects — to confirm and establish the Christian Faith, and 
"to confute all heretics and schismatics — ^upon the divine 
" authority of the holy Scriptures — upon the authority of the 
" writings of the primitive Fathers, as to the faith and practice 
" of the primitive Church — upon the Divinity of our Lord and 
" Saviour Jesus Christ — ^upon the Divinity of the Holy Ghost — 
" upon the Articles of the Christian Faith, as comprehended in 
" the Apostles' and Nicene Creed. 

"Also I direct, that thirty copies of the eight Divinity Lec- 
" ture Sermons shall be always printed, within two months after 
*' they are preached ; and one copy shall be given to the Chan- 
" cellor of the University, and one copy to the Head of every 
" College, and one copy to the Mayor of the city of Oxford, and 
" one copy to be put into the Bodleian Library ; and the 
" expense of printing them shall be paid out of the revenue of 
" the Land or Estates given for establishing the Divinity Lecture 
" Sermons ; and the Preacher shall not be paid, nor be entitled 
" to the revenue, before they are printed. 

" Also I direct and appoint, that no person shall be qualified 
" to preach the Divinity Lecture Sermons, unless he hath taken 
" the degree of Master of Arts at least, in one of the two Uni- 
" versities of Oxford or Cambridge ; and that the same person 
" shall never preach the Divinity Lecture Sermons twice." 



/ 



PREFACE. 

Not many words will be necessary by way of Prole- 
gomena to this book. A glance at the Synopsis will 
explain what I have undertaken; and the Lectures 
themselves will prove with what means, in what spirit, 
and with what success, the undertaking has been 
achieved. 

A Bampton Lecturer labours under some peculiar 
difficulties. His eight discourses — eight Stromateis or 
Carpet Bags, if I may use the quaint phrase of Clement 
— will not pack away more than a limited, if somewhat 
elastic, number of articles. I have preferred to omit 
what could not comfortably be included, rather than 
force things in, to the destruction of their proper shape 
and utility. It is better to travel expeditus than to carry 
about a mere collection of samples. But then it becomes 
necessary to keep to the main lines of country, and not 
wander off into every tempting nook, or down each 
shadowy lane. The voyager may do this with safety, if 
he makes careful note of the finger-posts and by-roads, 
which others with more leisure and ampler means may 
wish to investigate. I trust I have given such landmarks 
as may enable the reader to check my own aberrations 
from the king's highway, and to gather for himself any 
further information that he may desire. 



viii Preface. 

The accomplished student will notice other deficiencies 
of a more serious kind ; and here again the high-sounding 
title of Bampton Lecturer entails a penalty. Quid 
dignum tanto feret hie promissor hiaiu f I wish I could 
take for my motto the words of Clement {Strom, i. i. 
17), *No book can be so fortunate, but that some will 
find fault ; and that may be reckoned to have fared not 
ill, which none can with justice censure/ It was a wise 
as well as a graceful practice of older times to begin 
every preface with the address Lectori Benevolo. All I 
can hope is that my shortcomings are not due to slack- 
ness or indolence, to want of consideration for my readers, 
or of reverence for those bright stars of holiness, of 
wisdom, of erudition, whose names occur in the following 
pages. Here I may observe that the Bishop of Durham's 
monumental work on Ignatius did not come into my 
hands till too late to be of much service. I had deferred 
the perusal till the completion of my own task should 
have set me at freedom once more to become a learner, 
not anticipating (as I ought to have done) that it would 
n so many ways shed light upon my theme. It is 
necessary to mention this, lest the reader should suspect 
me, on one or two points, of a desire to controvert, with- 
out reason given, the opinion of so illustrious a scholar. 

One such point arises out of a passage in the Epistle 
of Ignatius to the Romans (chap. 7) : ^Qiv yap ypiffxm iyXv 
ipQv Tov aitoOaveiv. 6 iiios Ipws iaravpoiTaiy koX ovk Iotiv iv 
ifiol irvp <f}iX6vXoVy vbuip bi C^v koX XaXovv iv ifioC, la-uiOiv /xo4 
Xiyov* Aevpo irpos rdv Ttaripa, Origen (see Lecture V. 
p. 188) translated the words 6 ifxhs Ipoas iaravponTai, 



/ 



r-»B 



Preface. ix 

*Meus autem Amor crucifixus est.' Dr. Zahn objects 
to this ; ' Non Christum, quern solum amet, crucifixum 
esse <Jicit Ignatius, quemadmodum plerique post 
Origenem intellexerunt, nee vero eum, qui crucifixus est 
amorem suum vocavit, sicuti graecorum verborum ignari 
nonnuUi halucinati sunt, sed suam rerum terrestrium 
cupiditatem quasi crucifixam esse profitetur (cf. Gal. vi. 
14).' It did not appear to me that a comment, which 
attributed ignorance of Greek to Origen, called for special 
notice. But as Dr. Zahn's conclusion has been adopted 
and supported by the high authority of the Bishop of 
Durham, it is no longer safe or respectful to pass over 
the matter in silence. It is not indeed a necessary part 
of my task to consider whether Origen was right or 
wrong. Nevertheless as the Commentary on the Song 
of Songs fostered, if it did not initiate, a remarkable 
change in the expression of Christian love, it is of interest 
to trace this change as near the fountain-head as possible. 

I do not quite understand the point of Dr. Zahn's 
assertion that Origen's rendering is bad Greek. He 
may mean that Ipin^ ought not to be confounded with 
aydirr]. Or he may mean that Ipws, which signifies the 
passion of love, or the god by whom the passion was 
supposed to be inspired, does not signify the object of 
the passion, the darling or beloved one. 

To the first question it is almost sufficient to reply, that 
whether the confusion of lpo)s and iyiirri ought to have 
been made or not, it certainly was made, not only by 
Origen but by Clement (6 ipa<rr6s of Christ, Strom, vi. 9. 
72). And if by them why not by Ignatius? Origen, a 



X Preface. 

good Greek scholar pace Dr. Zahn, asserts that Ignatius 
employed this hyperbole in the present pa:ssage. And 
what other sense can the words convey? Can Ipox?, 
when used without limiting additions, signify * earthly 
passions,' * carnal appetites ? ' Like our ' love,* of which 
it is almost an exact equivalent, it may be applied to 
base uses, but it is not, like lTt\,Qv\da^ a base word. From 
the time of Parmenides it had been capable of the most 
exalted signification; it is introduced here by the 
participle IpQiv in the sense of ardent spiritual desire ; it 
is opposed in true Platonic fashion to Trvp ^iXovKov (we 
have other Platonic phrases in this same Epistle : chap, 
iii, ovh\v (f)aLv6fi€vov koXov : chap, vi, fjirjbi iJXry KokaKevoTjTc), 
The second point is but a trivial one. It has been 
remarked that Ipco? is almost an exact equivalent of 
Move.' The exception is that in classical Greek it 
perhaps never signifies Uhe beloved.' Yet it may be 
urged that all words indicative of strong feeling may 
be used to denote the person by whom the feeling is 
aroused — my life, my joy, my dread, and so on — and it 
certainly would not be a very hazardous stroke to employ 
lp(os in the same manner, though the usual term is 6 
ipd^ievos or 6 ipaaros. Thus Fritzsche explains Theoc. 
li. 151, olI^v lp<t}To$ iKpirco iirex^iTo, and, even if this 
instance is dubious, phrases like that of Meleager, 
AnthoL Pal. v. 166, ^ vios iXKos Ipws, via iralyvia^ or that 
of Euripides, Oed. frag. ^^'^^ Dind., kvo^ 6* Ipcaros Svtos ov 
fil* fjbovri, show how difficult it is to keep the senses 
apart. Again, we have the closely allied words ipdrvXos 
(Theoc. iii. 7), ipo^rCs (Theoc. iv. 59), and the common 



Preface. xi 

proper names Erotion (Plautus, Men. i. a. 60 ; Martial, 
v« 34; 37; x. 61) and Eros (Martial^ x. 80; other 
instances in Pape and Benseler), all blending in the same 
way the ideas of * love/ * Cupid,' * darling ; * and the latter 
at least denoting not sexual passion but the love of parent 
for child (cp. Eurip. Ereck. frag. 360, Dind., ^/jStc iirjrpos, 
trotScs, &s ovK lor' Ipcos roiovros iXAoy Saris fjbCiav ipav). 
Lastly, in Alciphron, £pj^. i. 34, we have the very phrase 
of which we are in quest, 6 Iftis Ipcas EvOi!brjp.€. If then 
there is any violation of usage in the expression of 
Ignatius (on the supposition that Origen is right), it is 
but slight, and cannot cause surprise in the case of 
a writer who treats grammar like a slave. 

The Bishop of Durham does not, as I understand him, 
deny that Origen's rendering is admissible as a question 
of Greek, but maintains that it * tears the clause out of 
the context/ But is this so ? 

What is Ignatius saying ? ' For I that write unto you 
am living, but in love with death. My Love is crucified, 
and in me there is no earth-fed fire, but living water 
speaking in my heart and saying Come hither to the 
Father/ Why is he in love with death? Because 
Christ, his Beloved, is crucified, and perfect union with 
Him will be attained by death, a martyr death like His. 
Because, his heart being with Christ, there is no fire of 
sin to drown the voice that calls him. If we translate 
as proposed by Dr. Zahn and the Bishop of Durham, we 
not only do great violence to the word Ipwy, but lose an 
impassioned phrase quite in harmony with the general 
colour of this highly figurative and enthusiastic passage. 



xii Preface. 

Origen rarely misunderstands, except where some 
strong prepossession deflects his judgment, and here his 
mind was biassed rather in the other direction. Not- 
withstanding the difference of time he was a strong con- 
servative precisely where Ignatius was a bold innovator, 
but in this one instance he sanctioned the new modes of 
expression, which, as Liicke pointed out, were brought 
into vogue largely through the influence of the martyrs, 
and of Ignatius above all. 

It remains only to express my gratitude to those who 
have helped me on my way; to the authorities of the 
Bodleian ; to Corpus Christi College (my alma nutrix to 
whom I am indebted not merely for the loan of books 
but for the will and power to profit by them) ; to the 
Librarian of Christ Church, whose iron discipline has 
been relaxed in my behalf ; and to many friends whose 
advice, assistance and sympathy have been of supreme 
value to me. One there is in particular, of a communion, 
alas, that is not my own, on whose patience and erudition 
I have been suffered to make prodigal drafts. To him I 
could have wished to dedicate this book, Quicquid hoc 
libelli Qualecunque^ did I not know too surely that there 
is much in it of which he cannot approve, and that I 
should vex the modesty, which veils learning that would 
grace a professed theologian, by adding his name. 



CHARLES BIGG. 



OxFOBO) : 
SepL\% 1886, 



^^1 



SYNOPSIS OF CONTENTS. 



-♦-♦- 



LECTURE I. 

INTRODUCTION. PHILO AND THE GNOSTICS. 

PAGE 

THE MUSEUM OF ALEXANDRIA i 

t Influence of the Pagan University upon Christian thought only 

distant and indirect^ 

THE EGYPTIAN JEWS were the active mediators between 

European and Oriental ideas • . . . . , . 2 

Their wealth, numbers, and privileges 3 

The Septuagint and consequent outbreak of literary Activity . 

Propaganda 4 : 

HeUenism / 

Aristeas ^ / 

Aristobulus ......... \ 

Greek Philosophy * stolen ' from the Jew . 

Logos Doctrine before Philo 

PHILO 

Opposition to Anthropomorphism ...... 7 

Negative Conception of Deity ■ . . . . . . . 8 

Limitation of the Analytic Method in Philo ... 9 

Evil of Matte: . . . > . . • . . . 11 

Hence Creation and Providence delegated to Subordinate 
Powers ... 



/ 



\_^ 



Relation of Powers to Angels, Logoi, Ideas, Demons . \2 \ 

The Two Powers of Goodness and Justice --*___. .. ..- - ' " 

Their indistinct Personality .*.... 13 

- Relation to eulier Jewish speculations .... 14 

The Logos . . 

• History of the Term . , 15 

Relation of the Logos to GOD . . . . 

Wisdom 16 

InteUigible World 



xiv Synopsis of Contents. 



PACE 

Schechinah 

Eldest Son 

Second God 17 

Relation of the Logos to the Two Powers . . 

Book of Creation • . 

King's Architect 

Charioteer 

Relation of the Logos to the World 

Seal. Divider. Bond 

High Priest's Vesture 

Creator 18 

Helmsman, Pilot of Creation 

Vicegerent of God ........ 

Relation of the Logos to Man 

Heavenly Man 

Mediator as Prophet and Law 19 

as High Priest and Atoner .... 
The Two Lives, corresponding to the distinction between 

GOD and the Logos a i *^ 

Faith and Wisdom. The Sensible and the Heal . 

The Three Paths 33 

Vision, Ecstasy \ 

Relation of Philonism to historic Judaism .... 33 — C | 

Relation of Philonism to the Christian Church ... 34 *A _ 

Facilitated the definition of the Trinity ..... 35 <, 

Impeded the understanding of the Atonement . 

Intellectualism — its good and evil 36 

THE GNOSTICS . * 

Subordinate interest of Gnostic Metaphysics. .... 37 

Their predominant Ethical motive 38 

Plutarch and the Heathen Gnostics 39 

The Christian Gnostics ... ^ ... . 

Their Dualism . 30 

Their Exegesis ........' 

Their Theory of Salvation 

Christology of Theodotns ...... 31 

The Three Natures of Man 33 ♦ ! 

Eschatology 33 \ 

Relation of Gnosticism to Platonism • • • . . 34 ^ 

Mazdeism 

Ebionitism "- 

St Paul . . . • . 

General Character and Effects of GnostidsQi . ... 35 



i 



Synopsis of Contents, 



XV 



LECTURE IL 



1 



■ 



-^ 



CLEMENT. 

PAGE 

\THE ALEXANDRINE CHURCH 

Founded according to tradition by St. Mark .... 36 

V Its wealth and importance at the end of the second centnry , . 
' Its conservatism in ritual and discipline ..... 38 

Changes effected by Demetrius 

^ The College of Presbyters 39 

The Suffragan Bishops 40 

^ The Catechetical School 

^ Object of the Institution ...••.. 41 

^ Course of Instruction 43 

The first Master Athenagoras (?).... 43 

Pantaenus • . . 

r. FLAVIUS CLEMENS ..!.... 

., His Life 45 

His Character and Attainments ...... 46 

His Love of Literature ........ 

And of Philosophy 

Unity of Truth ........ 48 

Science a Covenant of God ...... 

, Apologists not unfriendly to Philosophy .... 49 

Philosophy brought into discredit by the Gnostics . 
. Clement proclaims its necessity to the Church . . 50 

His position on one side Rationalist^ on another Mystic . 51 

The Canon of Scripture 

How far settled in Clement's time 52 

'Paulinism* ..••..... 53 

The Unity of Scripture ;.;;•,. 

Denied on moral grounds by the Ebionites • . 54 

' and by the Gnostics 
Clement defends the Moral Law by maintaining the 

essential identity of Justice and Goodness . '55 
And the Sacrificial Law on the ground of its per- 
manent doctrinal value . « • • • 56 
Allegorism the Key to the Unity of Scripture • 
General character of Alexandrine Allegorism • 
^ Opposition to popular Theology • ; ; . . 57 
Reserve ..*•.•*••• 58 



XVI 



Synopsis of Contents. 



THE HOLY TRINITY 

Universal admission of the doctrine in some shape or other 
Previous Speculation on the subject. Emanationism. Modalism 
^Difference between the Philonic and the Christian Logos 

Doctrine 

The Prophoric Logos 

THE FATHER' 

Method of Clement . . • 

The Revelation of Scripture , 

Analysis or Elimination 

' The Monad . . / 

The Son the Consciousness of God 

' Relation of Clement to Neo-Pktonism . . . . 
-^Jutility of his Method 

THE SON . 

His Personality. Coequality. Coetemity . 

Terminology of Clement 

Use of Philonic phraseology i . . . . . 
Clement rejects the term * Prophoric Logos ' . 
Subordinationism strictly secondary in Clement 

THE HOLY SPIRIT . 

His Personality not yet clearly defined . . . . 

How far explained by Clement ..... 

Office of the Holy Spirit. ...... 

Jealousy of Pantheism , 

THE INCARNA TION AND REDEMPTION . . . 

The Human Soul of Jesus • » . ♦ , ... 

Semi-Docetism ••...•... 

The Passion of Jesus undesigned by God .... 

Christ the Light of the World 

Hellenism in Clement's view of Redemption . . . . 

The Ransom .•..,«.... 

Forgiveness ,...««.... 

Reconciliation and Propitiation • • . . ' . 

Clement*s Typology . , , , . . ■ . 
, V Manifestation of Christ as Man in the Lower Life, as Physician, 
Shepherd, Tutor, Lawgiver . . . . . , 

>c In the higher Life as God, as Light, Truth, Life 
-4 As High Priest •*..•«... 

Redemption the consummation of the spiritual development of 
mankind ••..•..... 



PAGE 



59 



60 
61 



6a 

63 
64 

65 

66 
67 

68 
69 

70 



71 



73 
73 

74 



75 



i 



k 



Synopsis of Contents. 



xvii 



LECTURE III. 

CLEMENT. 

PAGK 

Creation 

|, Denial of Pre-existence and of Eternity of Matter ... 76 

The Six Days allegorised 

TheSonlofMan 77 

The Origin of Evil 

Opposition to Gnosticism 

y The Freedom of the Will 78 

V. Departure from Plato and St. Paul 79 

Rejection of Determinism 

Indiiferentism . . . 

Doctrine of Original Sin unknown to Clement . . . .80 

Adam potentially not actually perfect 

y The Soul does not descend from Adam . . . .' . 

AUegorism of the Fall 81 

L Infant Baptism not the rule at Alexandria .... 

Faith and Grace 8a 

The Baptism of Regeneration 83 

The Two Lives * 

Historical Conditions of Clement's view 

Gnosticism and Paulinism 

Legalism 

Necessity of Discipline enhanced by the rapid expansion 

of the Church • 84 

Social, moral, spiritual inequality amongst the brethren . 85 

Distinction between Visible and Invisible Church not yet 

familiar 

Documentary sources of his view , 

"fHeathen Philosophy ....... 86 

^- Apostolic Fathers 

♦. Scripture 

Characteristic Notes of the Two Lives 

Faith, Fear, Holiness 

Knowledge, Love, Righteousness 

-fThe Compromise between the Church and the World . 87 

Criticism of this Via Media 

How different from Gnosticism 

Breach of continuity between the Two Lives . 

S-Egotism . . . . 88 

• Clement's treatment of Faith 

And of Hope .......... 

And of Fear 89 

b 



xvlii Synopsis of Contents. 

PAGE 

The Lower Life as described in the Pedagogue .... 

Stoicism 90 

^ Aristotelianism 

The Higher Life 

Described in terms borrowed from the Greek Mysteries . 91 

i .Knowledge. Gnosis. The true Gnostic . . • . 
Y Indefectibility of Knowledge ...... 

^ Object of Knowledge 92 

y Holiness the indispensable condition of Knowledge . 

f Connection with Allegorism 

i- Necessity of mental cultivation 93 

x^ove ■•..»•*.... 

f- Relation to Knowledge 

/ ■ How affected by Stoicism and Flatonism .... 

Apathy 

Disinterested Love 94 

Relation of Clement's view to Mysticism .... 95 

Stress laid upon Holiness 

And upon Righteousness . 96 

And upon due use of the Means of Grace ... 97 

Silent Prayer 

The indefectibility of Gnosis excludes Ecstasy ... 98 

Connection of Christian Mysticism with the Song of 

Songs 99 

The Church 

One 100 

Holy 

The Priesthood 

The Gnostic the only Hiereus loi 

Sacrifice. Altar. Incense 

Penance 

Spiritual Direction 102 

The Eucharist 

Not separate at Alexandria from the Agape . . . 103 
The Public Agape 

The Aox4 

The House-Supper 

The Eucharistic Grace 105 

It is Gnosis 

Eschatology 

Resurrection ...... • • 

J Pagan doctrine of Immortality . ... 108 

, Variety of opinion in the Church .... 



7^ 



Synopsis of Contents. xix 

PACE 

Resurrection of ' this flesh * 109 

Chiliasm 

Belief in the nearness of the End of the World . 
Various opinions as to Rewards and Punishments . 1x0 
Prayers for the Dead 

Clement's own view n i 

The glorified body 

The double office of Fire 

Punishments 

Spiritual in nature 

The prayers of the Saints 112 

Possibility of Repentance till the Last Day 
The State of the Blessed 

All purged by Fire 113 

The Seven Heavens 

TheOgdoadofRest 114 

The Poena Damni 

The Beatific Vision 



LECTURE IV, 

ORIGEN. 

His Life and Character 115-123 

-His Works 

Textual Criticism 

The New Testament 123 

The Hexapla 125 

Origen's knowledge of Hebrew 

The Controversy with Africanus . . . . 126 

Exegesis 

The Scholia 127 

The Homilies 

Church-buildings, Lituigy, Character of the Congre- 
gation . . . . . . , . . 1 28 

^ Origen as a Preacher 129 

The Commentaries 

Their general plan 131 

j Origen's services as an Expositor of the real sense of 

Scripture 

Allegorism 

• General difference between Clement and Origen . . 134 

ba 



XX Synopsis of Contents. 



PAGE 

The Law of Correspondence 

The Three Senses of Scripture 136 

How distinguished 

The Negative use of Allegorism . . . . . 137 

Denial of the Literal Sense 

Reasons for this . . .. . . . 138 

Biographical interest of Origen's view . . 139 

The Positive use of Allegorism 

The Discovery of Mysteries 

Economy or Reserve 141 

The Two Lives in Origen 

Scope and Purpose of Alexandrine Reserve 
Erroneous inferences that have been drawn 

from it . . . - . • * . . 143 
How feir capable of defence , . . . 144 
Objections to the Alexandrine method of Allegorism 

It is seen at its worst on its Apologetic side . . 146 
May be charged with dishonesty 
Reasons for modifying this judgment 

Its Positive use 

Differing judgments 148 

In application to the Old Testament it confounds 

symbol with proof 

In application to the Church of the Present it is the 

expression of spiritual freedom and enlightenment . 150 
In application to the Church of the Future it is open 
to the charge of presumption .... 

But this may be extenuated .... 



LECTURE V. 

ORIGEN. 

The Regula Fidei 153 

Anxiety of Origen to keep within the Canon . , . 

His teaching always Scriptural 154 

The Three Methods of Pagan Theology . . . . . 155 
The Christian Method 

THE NA TURE OF GOD, 

The Negative Attributes 

The Positive Attributes i. .• 

God not Impassible 158 

. Our knowledge of Him inadequate but true 






Synopsis of Contents. xxi 

PAGE 

God is Perfect, not Absolute 159 

-A Limitation of Creation 

-*• Eternity of Creation 

^ Optimism 160 

^ Diyine Power conditioned by Goodness and Wisdom 161 

the' HOLY TRINITY 

Theodotus 162 

The Noetians 

H3rpostasis. Ousia. Person. Substance . . . . 163 
The Mystery of the Economy 166 

THE FATHER 167 

THE SON 

His Hypostasis 

Coetemity. Coequality 

Epinoiai of the Son 168 

Essential — Wisdom, Word, Light, Truth . . . . 169 

Accidental — Propitiation, Redemption, Mediation 

Li what sense the office of Mediation ceases . . 170 

THE HOLY SPIRIT 171 

His Relation to the other Persons undetermined 

The title 'God' 172 

Coetemity and Coequality 1 73 

His Office 

THE UNITY IN TRINITY 

The Translations of Rufinus 175 

Persons numerically but not locally distinct . . . . 1 76 

The AU^orism of the Shew Bread 

The Eternal Generation 177 

Rejection of the terms ' Projection,* * Prophoric ' . . 1 78 
Unity of Perfect Harmony ...... 

Unity of Substance 

The term Homoousios 1 79 

Unity of Derivation 180 

Subordinationism 

Y Origen's view Scriptural, not Metaphysical . . 181 
His object is to restrict the ancient idea of Subordina- 
tion and expand that of the Equality of the Persons 182 

Prayer. to the Son 183 

How limited by Origen 

Conservatism of his language . . . . 186 
Influence of his Commentary on the Song of 
Songs 188 



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xxii Synopsis of Contents. 

PAGE 

THE INCARNATION 189 

The God-Man 

The Human Soul of Jesus . 

The Flesh of Jesus 190 

The last trace of Docetism . . . . . 191 

The Humanity of Jesus eternal . . . . 192 



LECTURE VI. 

ORIGEN. 

Creation 193 

The Eternity before and after this World .... 

Disorder of Creation 194 

Injustice, Inequality 195 

Pre-existence 

The First Heaven and Earth 196 

Freewill. The Fall 197 

The Visible Heaven and Earth 

The Soul of Man 199 

Philosophical objections to Origen's theory ... 

Scriptural objections 

Predestination 200 

Grace 201 

Original Sin 202 

Origen did not at first hold this tenet 

Grounds of his later belief 

Infant Baptism 

Law of Purification 203 

' Families * in earth and Heaven 

' Seed of Abraham * 204 

Fall of Adam 

Descent of Sinless Souls 205 

The 'Reign of Death' 

Sense of Guilt stronger in Origen than in Clement 206 

The Four Revelations 

The Natural Law 207 

Position of the Gentiles 

The Law of Moses 208 

Not the cause of Sin 

Idea of Development not so clear in Origen as in 
Clement 



Synopsis of Contents. 



xxui 



/ 



i 



t 



PACE 

The Gospel 

The Two Lives 

Faith and Wisdom 309 

The object of Faith. ' Jesus my Lord and Saviour ' . a 10 
The Epinoiai in their subjective aspect 

Levitical Typology 

Ransom. Redemption 

Propitiation 2^1 

The Duplex Ifostta aia 

The Church 

One and Catholic 313 

The Promise to Peter 

Rome . .' 

The Clergy 314 

Symbolised by the Mosaic Hierarchy 

The Dominion of Grace 315 

Confession 316 

Penance. Absolution .... 

History of the Question .... 

Origen's View 317 

The Eucharist 319 

Growing sense of reverence and mystery 

In what sense the Eucharist is a Mystery . . 3 so 

The Presence of Christ, in what sense Real . 331 

The Eternal Gospel 333 

The Spiritual Church 

Meaning and scope of the Eternal Gospel . . . 333 

Hades and Paradise 334 

The Day of Judgment 

The Resurrection of the Flesh 335 

The * Germinative Principle * . . . . 

Details of his View 336 

The Aeons to Come . . . . . . . 237 

Enduring Freedom 

Rise and Fall of the Soul 328 

Uncertainty of Origen's opinion 

The 'Refiner's Fire' 339 

Punishment, its nature and object 

General Principles of Origen . . 330 

Scriptural basis 

The word * Eternal ^ 331 

The voice of Scripture .... 
Vacillation of Origen. The Wedding Guest 333 

The Demons . 



1 



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xxiv Synopsis of Contents. 



PAGB 

The Consummation of All Things 233 

The Beatific Vision 334 

The Potna Damni 



LECTURE VII. 

THE REFORMED PAGANISM. 

The Second Century an Age of Revival 235 

ORIENTAL HENOTHEISM 236 

MiTHRA .....' 237 

Previous history of Mithraism 

Redemption 238 

Atonement 

The Taurobolium. Regeneration 

The Mithraic ^fessiah 

Mithraic Eschatology 239 

Hierarchy. Sacraments 

Sarapis 

Connection with Ebionitism and Valentinianism 

And with Christianity 240 

THE PHILOSOPHERS 

The Belief in the Immortality of the Soul 

THE PYTHAGOREANS 241 

Their General Character 

Their Rivalry with Christianity . - . . 242 

The Life of Apollonius 243 

Its Origin and Purpose 244 

Outline of the Book . . « 4 . . 245 

The Imperial Eirenicon 247 

THE TRINITARIAN PLATONISTS .... 248 
History of the Platonic Trinity .... 

The Platonic Letters 249 

Platonic Monotheism, Ditheism, Tritheism . 250 

NUMENIUS OF ApAMEA 

His Trinity 251 

His Obligation to Philo 252 

And to Christianity 

His relation to Plotinus 253 






1 



Synopsis of Contents. xxv 

PAGE 

THE UNITARIAN PLATONISTS .... 

Celsus 254 

The True Word 

Origen's Reply 

Celsns not an Epicurean 

His character, attainments, and temper . . . 255 
Legal position of Christianity at this time . . 256 
His criticism of the Gospel and the Law . 

The One God 257 

The Demons 258 

Special Providence 

Mediation. Revelation. Miracles . 

The Two Lives 260 

Chief Points in the Debate 

Knowledge of God in Christ. The Licamation 

^ /W^W Objections of Celsus . . . 261 

Answer of Origen 

} Historical Objections of Celsus . . . 262 

Answer of Origen. Christian Evidences . 263 
J The Word of God .... 

\ Miracles 

Prophecy 264 

Sufferings of the Apostles . 

\ Nature and Origin of Evil 

Resurrection of the Body 265 

Celsus' attempt at Reconciliation . . . . 266 
Why not serve Two Masters ? . . . . 
! The real difficulty ; Form and Matter . 268 



\ 



LECTURE VIII. 

SUMMARY. 

CLEMENT 

His after History 

The Index of Gelasius 269 

Photius 270 

Neglect of Clement's Writings . . . . 271 
Clement VIU erases his name from the Martyrology . 272 
Benedict XIV defends and maintains the erasure 

Is Clement a Saint ? 



I . 



XXVI 



Synopsis of Contents. 



PAGE 

ORIGEN 273 

His books coDdemned by Theophilus and Epiphanius . 275 
And by Pope Anastasins and others .... 

Condemnations of the Home Synod and the Fifth Council 276 

Treatment of his Name 277 

Importance of the Historical point of view . . . 279 

ALEXANDRINE EXEGESIS 281 

In what sense it survived 

SPECIAL DOCTRINES 

Pre-existence 282 

PAULINISM 

How far understood by the Alexandrines . . . 283 

Free Will and Grace . . . . . 

Doctrine of the Alexandrines 284 

Doctrine of Augustine 285 

Confusions of Augustine's treatment of the Will 
Superiority of his view of Grace . . . 288 
Errors arising out of the incompatibility of 
Augustine's doctrine of Grace with his 'general 
ecclesiastical theory 289 

Redemption 290 

Doctrine of Origen ....... 

of Augustine 

of Anselm 

Resurrection 291 

Restitution 

Clement and Origen not strictly speaking Universalists 292 

In what sense Punishment is Eternal 

Other opinions on the subject 293 

The Monks of Egypt and Palestine . 

Diodorus and Theodore 

The two Gregories 

Jerome 294 

The Doctrine of Purgatory 

In the Greek Church 295 

In the Roman Church 

Distinction between the Doctrine of Purgatory and 

the speculations of Origen . . . . 296 

Relation of Origenism to our own belief . . . 298 
Morality of the Alexandrine speculations . . . 299 



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Synopsis of Contents. 



xxvu 



QUIETISM 

Relation of the Quietists to Clement 
Substantial justice of their condemnation . 
GENERAL MERITS OF THE ALEXANDRINES 

Reasonableness 

Services against Gnosticism, Chiliasm, and Montanism 
Their Preaching of the Fatherhood of God 



PACB 

300 
302 
303 



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V 



'J 



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A 



LECTURE I. 

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and 
the Word was God. — St. John i. i. 

I PROPOSE to offer in the Lectures, which I am to have 
the privilege of delivering, a contribution towards the 
history of Alexandrine Platonism in the Christian 
Church. It will be my endeavour to sketch the con- 
ditions out of which it arose in the teaching of Philo 
and the Gnostics, to describe its full development in 
Clement and Origen, to mesisure its reflex action on 
Pagan religion and philosophy, and in conclusion to 
estimate the value of its results, to ascertain, as far as 
may be, the services it was enabled to render to the 
Church and to humanity. It is not possible within 
the limited time at my command to reap the whole 
harvest of a field so large and so fruitful. But I shall 
be able at any rate to show what profit is to be 
looked for. And though we can only follow the 
main outlines of the subject, we shall succeed perhaps 
in gaining a just conception of a great crisis in the 
history of the Church, and of the great men who 
played a conspicuous part in it. 

It was not without reason that the first systematic 
attempt to harmonise the tradition of faith with the 
free conclusions of human intellect was made neither 
at Rome not at Athens, but in Egypt. Yet it is not 
to the famous University that we must look for its 



2 The Pagan University. [Lect. 

source^. Alexandria still possessed its three great 
royal foundations, the M\a9eupT^ the Serapeum, and the 
Sebastion ; its three libraries, its clerical heads, its 
well-endowed staff of professors and sinecure fellows. 
Nor did these misuse their advantages. Though the 
hope of imperial favour drew the more ambitious 
teachers of philosophy and rhetoric irresistibly towards 
Rome, letters were still cultivated, and the exact 
sciences flourished as nowhere else by the banks of 
the Nile. But the influence of the Pagan University 
upon Christian thought was distant and indirect. The 
Greek professor, throned beneath the busts of Homer 
and Plato, regarded himself as an apostle of Hellenic 
culture in the midst of an alien and barbarous race ; 
and though a few, like Chaeremon ^, may have bestowed 
serious attention upon the monuments of the Pharaohs, 
the impulse would scarcely have passed the limits of 
a learned curiosity had it acted upon the Greeks alone. 
It was in the mind of the Jew that Eastern and Western 
ideas were first blended in fruitful union. 

The Jews of Egypt, if we may credit Philo, numbered 
not less than a million souls. In no city of the Empire 
were they so wealthy or so powerful as at Alexandria. 
Of the five regions of the town two were almost entirely 
given up to them, and they swarmed in the other three. 

* The history of the Alexandrine University may be read in Matter, 
Histoire de t^cole (tAlexandrie, 2nd ed., Paris, 1840, or in Parthey's 
excellent little book, Das Alexandrinische Museum^ Berlin, 1838. There 
is some interesting information in Mommsen's fifth volume. The ' sinecure 
fellows * are the drcXcrs ^(Khaw^ou Hadrian gave one of those places to 
a successful athlete; see Parthey, p. 94. I infer that the Sebastion or 
Claudianum had a clerical Head : there is no doubt that it was so in the 
case of the Museum or the Serapeum ; cp. Mommsen, v. 569, 579. 

' According to Mommsen, v. 579, Chaeremon was an Egyptian. See 
\ Miiller, Frt^, Hist, Grate. Hi. 495. 



\ 

H 



I,] The Alexandrine Jews, 3 

Many dwelt in the country districts also, and the con- 
vents of their Therapeutae were to be found in every 
nome^. They had their own senate and magistrates, 
who apportioned the taxation and settled the disputes 
of the community. They enjoyed the rights of iso- 
poHty^, standing on an equal footing with the Greek 
burgesses, and possessing immunities denied to the 
native Copts. It is probable that the great corn-trade 
offered them facilities which, with the commercial genius 
1 of their race, they were not slow in turning to profit, 

■ In more than one respect their position offers a striking 

resemblance to that afterwards enjoyed by their country- 
men in Spain. 

For our present purpose the first great event in their 
history is the translation of the Hebrew Scriptures into 
Greek. In whatever way this most ancient and* famous 
' of all Versions came into existence, whether it grew up 

gradually out of the interpretation of the daily lessons, 
or was made by the order, and under the patronage of 
Ptolemy ^, it gave the signal for a remarkable outbreak 

* Philo, De Vita Cont. 3. 

* As to isopolity, see Dahne, i, p. 19; Egypt was governed by the 
Emperor as a crown colony, and the dignity of all citizens was lower there 
than in other provinces. But the Jews possessed the same privileges as the 
Greeks. Burgesses were scourged when necessary by different officers, with 
a different kind ef rod, from the Coptic non-burgesses. Philo complains 
bitterly that Flaccus had ordered eminent Jews to be flogged like Copts, 
and not rats k\€vOepiojTipais xal iroXiTtKoaripcus fmari^iv. Tiberius Julius 
Alexander, a Jew and nephew of Philo, attained to the equestrian dignity 
and was made governor of Egypt by Nero, though at the cost of apostasy. 
A vivid picture of the numbers, wealth, privileges, and unpopularity of the 
Jews in Egypt will be found in Philo, In Flaccum. See Siegfried, Philo, 
p. 5 ; Dahne, Gesehicktliche Darstellung der jiidisch-alexandrinischen Re- 
ligions-philosophicy i. 16 sqq. For the magnificence of the Onias Temple 
at Leontopolis and the great Synagogue at Alexandria^ see Delitzsch, Zur 
Cesch. der jiidischen Poesie, pp. 25 sqq. 

^ The story of Aristeas has long been given up. Even that of Aiisto- 

B 2 



\ 



4 The A lexandrine Jews. [Lect. 

of literary activity. So far as this was apologetic and 
propagandist, a Iw^anch of that new-bom zeal which com- 
passed sea and land to make one proselyte, its history, 
character, and effect on pagan life and literature, interest- 
ing as they are, lie beyond our scope ^. But side by 
side with this outward aggressive movement ran another 
and a different one, the object of which was to appro- 
priate, and to justify the appropriation, of Greek wisdom, 
to reconcile Judaism with the culture of the Western 
world. Even before the completion of the Septuagint 
this tendency was at work. Platonism is discoverable 
in the Pentateuch, Stoicism in the Apocrypha^. It is 

bulus appears to be now generally rejected. According to the latter the 
translation of the Law was made by the order and at the expense of 
Rolemy PhUadelphus, whose instigator and agent was Demetrius Phalereus; 
£us. Praip, Ev, xiii. 12. a. But, as Scaliger first pointed out, Hermippus, 
« writer' of very good note, relates that Demetrius Phalereus was banished 
by Philadelphus, whose succession to the throne he had endeavoured to 
prevent. This error discredits the whole statement of AristobuluSi and it 
is accordingly more than doubtful whether the translation of the Pentateuch 
was in any way encouraged by PhUadelphus, though such a work suits very 
weU with his general character as a magnificent patron of literature. 
Hence by some the translation is supposed to have grown up gradually out 
of a custom introduced by Ezra. By the side of the reader of the Law 
stood an interpreter (Meturgeman) who translated the lesson from Hebrew 
into the vernacular tongue. See Delitzsch, Zur GeschichU der judischen 
PoesUi p. 19 ; Redepenning, Origenes^ ii. 158, 217 ; Siegfried, Philot p. 7. 
It is certain -^at the Septuagint Version was made at different times by 
different hands. The Pentateuch, the oldest portion, dates from the first 
half of the third century B.C. ; the Hagiographa, the most recent portion, 
was in existence about 150 B.c. Schiirer {Geschichte des jiid, Volkes, 
zweit Theil, 1886/ pp. 697 sqq.), says nothing about the Metuzgeman, but 
regards it as t:lear that the translation was originally a private work, and 
gradually acquired official recognition. Tischendorf, Proleg. in Vetus Test,, 
leaves the question of Ptolemy's co-operation undecided. Dr. Edersheim, 
Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah^ vol. i. p. 26 sq., accepts the account 
of Aristobulus as substantially correct, and thinks that the whole transla- 
tion was completed by 221 B.C. at latest. 

^ The student will find full information in SchiireS'. 

' The ^extent to which the translation of the Hebrew books is coloured 



/ \ 



I.] The Alexandrine Jews. 5 

probable that every school of Greek philosophy, except 
the 'godless Epicurean,' had its representatives among 
the Alexandrine Jews. But the favourite was Platonism 
as it was then understood, Platonism that is to say 
hardened into a system, filled upand rounded off, in its 
theology with Peripateticism, in its ethics with Stoicism. 
The myths of the poet-philosopher have become dogmas, 
and the central point of the whole is the enigmatical 
Timaeus. 

But in yielding thus to the fascinations of Greek 
wisdom the Jew stumbled on many difficulties. His own 
Scriptures he had been taught to regard as divine and 
sufficient. If the doctrines of the Academy were true, 
they were true only in so far as they coincided with the 
word of God. Thus it became incumbent on the party 
of the new learning for the satisfaction of their own 
conscience to find Plato in the Law^ and for the satisfac- 
tion of their more scrupulous countrymen to find the 
Law in Plato. These objects, though to some degree 
facilitated by the Septuagint translators themselves, 
could only be fully secured by violent means. Hence 

by Greek philosophy is matter of doubt. Dahne, ii. ii sqq., and Gfrorer, 
Urchrtstenthuniy ii. 8~i8, find many traces of adaptation which are disal- 
lowed by Frankel, Zeller, and Siegfried. But Siegfried admits that in Gen. 
i. a, 1} h\ 7^ ^v &6paTos xal dLKaracK^i&aaros^ there is an unmistakeable 
reference to the K6(r/jios vorjrSs, The difficulty of decision arises in part out 
of the fact that many ideas were common to the Rabbinical and the Hellen- 
istic schools. But the statement in the text that the work of the latter 
was facilitated by the LXX translators is amply borne out by the way in 
which the latter (i) avoid anthropomorphic phrases — thus the 'repentance 
of God,' Gen. yi. 6, disappears; (ii) substitute 0f6s and /e^ptos for the 
Tetragram; (iii) introduce the later doctrine of Guardian Angels, Deut. 
xxxii. 8. This verse in its Septuagint form became in fact the foundaticm 
of the doctrine which, if Rabbinical, is also certainly Platonic. The 
influence of PUtonism and Stoicism on the Book of Wisdom and Mace. iv. 
is unquestioned. See Siegfried, Philo, pp. 6 sqq. ; Schiirer. 



6 The Alexandrine Jews, [Lect, 

the fable of Aristeas, which, transferring to the Greek 
text the literal inspiration claimed for the Hebrew, 
rendered possible the application of those modes of 
interpretation, by which any language could be forced 
to yield any sense desired. Hence again the fiction of 
Aristobulus ^, which asserted the existence of a previous 
and much older translation of the Law. By this means 
it was possible to argue that Plato was but * an Attic 
Moses ^,' and a swarm of treatises on Plagiarism solaced 
the weaker brethren with ample proof that all the best 
sayings of all the Greek philosophers were * stolen ' from 
the Jew, and might lawfully be reclaimed. Thus fortified 
the Hellenising party moved steadily onward in the 
<levelopment of those ideas, which we now associate with 
the name of Philo, because he is to us their sole expo- 
nent. But in truth even the Logos doctrine, the key- 
stone of the whole structure, was already in place when 
he took up the work ^. 

^ Ens. Praip, Ev, xiii. 1 2. This positive statement is a pnre fiction 
(see Ewald, Gesch, des V. /., iv. 337, ed. 1864), made for the purpose of 
supporting his assertion that the peripatetic philosophy was based upon the 
Law and the Prophets. Clem. Strom, v. 14. 97. For the character and 
influence of Aristobulus, see Valckenar, Diatribe ; Dahne, ii. 73 sqq. ; 
Ewald; Zeller, iii. 2. 219 sqq. Schiirer defends Aristobulus against the 
charge of forgery, maintaining that he was himself deceived by the 
adulterated passages which he quotes. Cobet holds the same view; see 
Preface to Dindorfs edition of Clement, xxv. But there is no ground for it. 

^ The phrase is ascribed to Numenius by Clement, Strom, i. 22. 150. 
Eusebius, Praep. Ev, xi. 10. 14, only says that it is with good reason attri- 
buted to Numenius. But Clement's language is so clear and positive 
(Nov/i^vtof . . . dvTiicpvs 7/Mi^ei) that Schiirer (p. 830) cannot be right in 
doubting whether that philosopher was really the author of the phrase. 

' Siegfried, p. 223 : ' Dass er anch hierin Vorganger hatte, deutet er selbst 
an. So erwahnt er de ssmn, i. 19 (i. 638) eine altere Auslegung von Gen. 
xxviii. II, welche den rt^iros auf den Logos bezog.' Zeller, Iii. p. 628, insists 
upon the remarkable passage in de Cherubim, 9 (i. 143) where Philo speaks 
of both doctrines, that of the Two Powers and that <^ the Logos, as given to 



I.] . Philo. .7 

It IS only in a peculiar sense that Philo is to be called 
a philosopher ^. His works form a discursive commentary 
upon the Law, taking up point after point, not in their 
natural order, but as they spring out of the text before 
him. And his object is not to investigate but to har- 
monise. The idealism of Plato is to be discovered in 
the history of the Patriarchs and the precepts of the 
Law, and amalgamated with the products of Rabbinical 
speculation. The religious interest is with Philo the 
predominant ; hence he starts not with the analysis of 
the act of knowledge, but with the definition of God. On 
this theme two very divergent views were entertained. 
Some of the Rabbis, relying upon those passages of the 
older Scriptures, where the Deity is spoken of as wearing 
the form and actuated by the feelings of humanity, were 
Anthropomorphists ^, and expressed this opinion in the 
simplest and most direct fashion. Others, following the 

him by special revelation. Philo, however, may mean only that the convic- 
tion of their trnth and the sense of their full import were imparted to him in 
a divine ecstasy, as the knowledge of Christ was given to St. Paul in the 
same way. 

* My guides to the understanding of the text of Philo have been Dahne, 
GeschUhtlkh^Darstellungderjuduch-alexandHnischenReligionS'philosophie^ 
Halle, 1834 ; Grossmann, Quaestiones Philoneae \ Zeller ; and Siegfried, Philo 
von Alexandria, Jena, 1875. The last is excellent and indispensable. All 
other authorities bn the subject will be found in Siegfried or in SdiUrer, by 
whom the list of German literature is continued down to the present year. 
I have seen also the French writers R^ville, Soulier, Vacherot, Simon. 
For the relation between Philo and Rabbinical speculation, a point on 
which I cannot pretend to form an independent judgment, I have relied 
implicitly on Siegfried, with some assistance from Gfrorer and Maybaum. I 
may refer the reader also to Dr. Edersheim's forthcoming article in the 
Dictionary of Christian Biography, the proof-sheets of which I have been 
enabled to use by the kindness of the learned author. 

Zeller rates hiid higher than Dahne; iii. p. 594, ed. 1852: 'Was den 
Philo von seinen Vorgangem unterscheidet ist die Vollstandigkeit und 
Folgerichtigkeit, mit der er ihren Standpunkt zum System ausgefuhrt hat.* 

* See Gfrorer, Das Jahrhundert des Heils, Stuttgart, 1838, i. p. 276 sqq. 



8. Philo. [Lect. 

lead of the Prophets, and developing the conception of 
the Ineffable Name, refused to think or speak of Jehovah 
except as a pure spirit. * God sees,' said one, * and is not 
seen; so the soul sees and is not seen '/ 

For the Hellenist truth lay wholly in the latter con- 
ception, which wais maintained by the Peripatetic Aristo- 
bulus, and developed by the Platonist Philo. In one 
remarkable passage he comments upon the words 'it 
repented God that He had made man ^Z To accept such 
language in its literal sense is impiety greater than any 
that was drowned in the Flood. In truth God is not as 
man, is not as the world, is not as heaven. He is above 
space, being Himself Space and Place, inasmuch as He 
embraces all things and is embraced of none; above time, 
for time is but the register of the fluctuations of the 
world, and God when He made the world made time 
also. His Life is Eternity, the everlasting Now, wherein 
is neither past, present, nor future. He is unchanging, 
for the Best can change only by becoming worse, which 
is inconceivable. Change, again, is the shifting of rela- 
tions, the flux of attributes, and God has neither relations 
nor attributes. Hence He has no name. Man in his 
weakness is ever striving to find some title for the 
Supreme, But, says Philo, 'names are symbols of 
created things, seek them not for Him who is uncreated.' 
Even the venerable and scriptural titles of God and Lord 
are inadequate, must be understood as metaphors, and 
used with reserve. The phrases that Philo himself 
prefers to employ are * the One,' ' He that is/ ' Himself.' 

* Gfrorer, Das Jakrhundert des Heils, i. p. 389. 

' Quod Deus Immutabilis, 5 (i. 275) sqq. But I need not give detailed 
references for this section. See Siegfried, 199 sqq. ; Dahne^ i. 118 sqq. 



I.] The Deity. 9 

From all this it follows that God is incomprehensible. 
We know that He is, to know what He is transcends 
the powers vouchsafed to man. 

Thus in the extravagance of his recoil from materialism 
Philo transformed the good Father and Lord of the Bible 
into the Eternal Negation of dialectics. But Philo, 
though he marked out the way for later transcenden- 
talism, does not himself push his argument to its extreme 
conclusion. He does not mean all that he appears to 
say^. The analytic method is Aristotelian rather than 
Platonic, and the influences of the Timaeus, of Stoicism, 
of the Bible, all combine as yet to modify its rigour. 
When Philo tells us that God has no qualities, we are 
to understand that He is immaterial, and can therefore 
experience none of those passions that attach to the 
body^. Hence again He cannot be said to possess any 
of those virtues, that depend upon the regulation of the 
passions by the reason. But reason itself He possesses 
in the same sense as man ^. If He has no relations, this 

^ Dahne, i. p. 127 sqq., regards Philo's conception of God as practical 
Atheism. ' £r philosophirte aber anch gar nicht (wenigstens nicht znerst) 
im Interesse des menschlichen Geschlechts, dem er freilich anf diese Weise 
seinenGott ranbte, sondem lediglich im Interesse dieses Gottesselbst* (p. 136). 
Siegfried too thinks that he was only able to save religion by a want of 
philosophic perspicacity, which enabled him to mix np the Stoic doctrine of 
the Immanence of God with this theory of the Absolute without perceiving 
that the two were irrecondleable. It is certain that Philo often speaks in 
Stoic language of God, advancing at times to the very verge of Pantheism ; 
Siegfried, p. 204 ; Dahne, i. 280 sqq. But he never for a moment ceases to 
think of God in Platonic fashion as pure Spirit opposed to Matter. Whereas 
to the Stoic Matter and Spirit were at bottom the same thing ; all is ulti- 
mately resolved into Matter; Zeller, vol. iii. p. 77, ed. 1852. On the side 
of theology Philo was no more really Stoic than St. Paul, who also did not 
hesitate to use the language of Aratus. Those who wish to see what 
theology becomes in the hands of a Stoic should read the Homilies, 

2 See especially Quod Deus Imm. 11 (1. 280). 

' See especially QuodDeus Imm, 6 (i. 276). God is changeless, not because 



lO Philo. [Lect. 

merely means that He wants nothing, and depends on 
nothing, because He is perfect and the source of all that 
is^. Philo does not intend to exclude the relation of 
subject and object Kke Plotinus, who denies that God 
can be said to think ^. Again, if God is One, is incom- 
prehensible, so too is the human mind. Of this also, 
though it is our self, we know only that it is ^ ' God,' 
says Philo, ' possesses not intelligence only but reasoning, 
and using these powers He ever surveys all that He has 
made, suffering nothing to transgress its appointed 
order *.' Neo-Platonism is already in view, but between 
Plotinus and Philo there are several stages to be passed. 
One of these is marked by the name of Basilides, another 
by that of Clement. 

It is evident that Philo was not prevented by any 
metaphysical bar from attributing the work of Provi- 
dence, or even of Creation, to the Deity. There was 
however a grave moral difficulty. For the world was 

He is a 'blank, but l^ecause He is perfect. ' Since then the soul of man by the 
soft breezes of science and wisdom calms the snrge and seething, roused 
by the sudden bursting of the fierce blast of vice, and Allaying the swelling 
billows reposes in sunny and windless calm, canst thou doubt that the In- 
corrupt and Blessed, He who has girded Himself with the might of the 
virtues and perfection itself and happiness, suffers no change of mind ? ' He 
is by no means the Aristotelian Deity who ' thinks Himself.' ... ' It is 
clear then that the father must know his children, the artist his works, the 
steward his charge, and God is in truth Father, Artist, Steward of all that 
is in heaven or in the world.' Consciousness of the external does not in 
Philo's view imply change in God, who sees not as man sees in time, but 
in eternity. 
^ The idea of Relation is defined De mutatione Nominum, 4 (i. 583). 

* Enn, iii. 9. 3. 

' Legis Alleg. i, 30 (i. 62) : ^M6rw% oZv 6 *A8a/i, rovriariv b voCs, rd aX\a 
bvoyAiuv Ktd KaraKa/JL^iyarv kavT$ 6vofJLa ohx kmriOriaiv on kavrbv dyvocT teal 
•fijv Ibiav (jujffiv, De mut, Nom. 2 (i. 579) : not ri OavfiaffrSv, el rd bv dvOpdj- 
vois diear&\rjirT€v, dndrt xal 6 kv 4/cd(rT^ vov9 dyywXTos i^fuv kan ; His ^XV^ 
ohffiav €td€v ; 

* Quod Deus Immut. 7 (i. 277). 



1.] The Powers. 1 1 

created out of pre-existing matter. And matter, though 
eternal, was evil — 'lifeless, erroneous, divisible, un- 
equaP.' It seemed impossible to bring the Perfect 
Being into direct contact with the s^iseless and cor- 
ruptible^. Hence when Philo speaks of the royal or 
fatherly operations of the Deity, he is generally to be 
understood as referring not to God Himself but to His 
Powers or Ministers. ' Though throned above Creation 
He nevertheless fills His world, for by His power, reach- 
ing to the utmost verge. He binds together each to each 
by the words of harmony.' Here the meaning is so 
obscure that it might pass without detection, but the 
language that follows is more explicit : ' Though He be 
far off, yet is He very near, keeping touch by means of 
His creative and regulative Powers, which are close to 
all, though He has banished the things that Jiav^ birth 
far away from His essential nature ^' 

What are these Powers? On one side they are the 
Angels, on whom a world of curious ingenuity had been 
expended in the Jewish schools. On the other they are 

^ Quis rer, div, haeres. 32 (i. 495). The idea that Matter is Evil, which exer- 
cises so important an influence on the whole system of Philo, rests especially 
on his explanation of Gen. i. 31, * God saw everything that He had made, 
and behold it was very good.' But -He had not made Matter, and spoke no 
praise of this. The belief in the pre-existence of Matter had found acceptance 
among the Jews before Philo ; Siegfried, p. 230. 

* De vict. offer, 1 3 (ii. 26 1 ) : od 7^^ fy Oifus djrfipov Koi vtipvpfiivris (fXrjs \f/aij(iv 
. , . 0€6v. De confus. ling. 34 (i.431) : xfmos iikv yd-poitdtySs kariv & rov mwrds 
miT^p, djs dcTaOcu r^s omp* kripcjv c2 kOiKoi SrnxtovpyTJaax' rb dk ttpiirov dpSfv kavr^ 
TC Kol rods yivofUvois rais vm]K6ois Svvdfxeffiv tariv & hiavXarruv kiprJKtv. 
Another more tender and certainly more beautiful way of expressing the 
same thing is found in passages like De mundi (^. 6 (i. 5), where it is said 
that God's goodness is bounded by the receptivity of His creatures. A 
full revelation, an tanJimited gift, would undo .us. Compare p. 13, below. 
Even God's Powers must divest themselves of their * fire ' before they can 
touch our weak and tainted nature without consuming it. 

' Dcpost, Cainii 5 (i. 229). 



1 2 Pkilo. [Lect. 

the Logoi of the Stoic, the Ideas of the Platonist, the 
thoughts of God, the heavenly models of things upon 
earth, the types which, imprinted upon matter like a seal 
upon wax, give to it life, reality, durability^. The Ideas, 
again^ could be identified with the discrowned gods of 
Olympus, the heroes and demons, who in the Platonic 
religion play a part analogous to that of the angels^. 
In either aspect they are innumerable ^. But considered 
as types they may be summed up in two great master- 
types, considered as Angels they are ruled by two great 
Archangels, representing one the Goodness, the other the 

* They are 28^ai, ii.pxkrvtfoi Idtai, rvvoi, fiirpa, <r<ppayid€i. These are 
Platonic terms denoting the Essence or Form, the principle of reality. 
Again, \6yoit \6yoi ffwfpfUiriKol, ff-nipimra koX ^TCoj. KoS^Buaca. inrb rod $£0v. 
These are Stoic terms denoting, not the Essence which to the Stoic was 
matter, but the principle of Life, Force, the particle of divine spirit inherent 
in things. Again, they are SvvdfieiSf aaijiiaroi Sw6,fi€i5, hopv<f>6poi Sw&fifis, 
ayyeXoi, x^P^'''^^' These are Jewish terms. See Grossmann, Quaest, Phil, 
p. 23 ; D'ahne, i. 205 sqq., 253 sqq. 

What the student has most to be afraid of is the giving to Philo more consis- 
tence and system than he really possesses. In a rapid account it is impossible 
to avoid this fault. What I have said in the text is I believe in the main 
correct, but everything is floating and hazy. Thus De conf. ling. 34 (i. 431) 
the Powers are distinct from the Ideas which they create, and apparently 
from the Angels. They are certainly distinct from the Angels, De Man. ii. i 
(ii. 222). But De Mon. i. 6 (ii. 218, 219) th^ are the Ideas. Nor can I find 
that the Powers are anywhere expressly identified with the Angels, though 
Siegfried, p. 211, says that they are. 

The Angels and the Logoi are identified, Z?^^<?/«»«j,i. 19 (i. 638) : aBav6i.roii 
\6yois ots KoXeiv €0os dyyikovs. And when we consider the close affinity 
of K6yos and Itia, and the fact that t/is Logos is the Sum of the Powers, it 
is very difficult to see how the Angels can be kept apart. 

^ De gigantibuSf 2 (i. 263) ; De somniis, i. 22 (i. 642) : rai/ros Zaiyioims ix\v 
ol oKKoi ^i\6(ro<J>oi, 6 5^ hpbs \6yos dyyi\ovs ttcaOt «a\€Tu, 

' As Ideas certainly: see note above. Zeller, p. 619. De profugis^ 18 
(i. 560) Philo counts six powers corresponding in number to the Cities 
of Refuge. His enumeration is: (i) Buq% \d70f ; (2) 1^ iroif^Tc«i) 8i^a/Ms; 
(3) ^ fiaffiXdK^ ; (4) ^ tKcoK ; (5) ^ vo/JLoOeruc^ ; (6) 6 /c6<r/tos vorjrSs, 2 and 
4 belong to Goodness, 3 and 5 to Justice, 6 is a mere etcetera sail the 
Ideas! 



I.] The Powers. 1 3 

Justice of the Eternal^. The former, the older and 
stronger Power, is generally intended in Scripture by 
the word God, the latter by the word Lord, which Philo 
apparently did not understand to be used nierely as a 
substitute for the Ineffable Name^. 

If It be asked whether the Powers are persons or not, 
it IS difficult to find a satisfactory reply. In one point 
of view they are mere abstractions. But in the mind 
of the Jew these scholastic entities tend inevitably to 
become things, living beings. The Powers are ideas, 
but then again they are God's agents, who create the 
ideas, and stamp them on matter. They are the two 
Cherubim^ who keep the gates of Paradise, the two 
Angels who entered Sodom*. Yet Philo never for a 
moment regards them as existing apart from their 
source. They are the breath of God's mouth. They 
are as rays of the sun, which at first are pure, and as 
incomprehensible as their source, but, as they shoot 
down through the dim air, lose their fire while retain- 
ing their light. Otherwise they would destroy what 
their mission is to cherish and preserve ^. 



^ The names vary. The First, the better and elder, is ^€^5, ij voirjTticff, 
Aya06TTjSt x^ipi^"''''^) cdcp7cr<s ; the Second is nipios, 1) iSeurtXiin^, &pxfi,k^ovaia, 
4 vo/ioBtTifc^f 1} tcoKaffTiK^, Siegfried, p. 213; Dahne, i. 231. 

* Siegfried, p. 203. 

^ De Cherub. 9 (i. 144). 

* Di Abr, 24. 25 (ii. 19). In Gen. xvii. i the words &<p0ri Ki6pios are 
explained to mean that the fiafftXitdi Svvafus appeared to Abraham. In 
Gen. xyiii. 2 the three men are 6 $t<^s 5opv<f>oporjfjt€vos iird dv€tv twv dvayrdTcn 
9w&fjt€av, dpx^i re ad ical AyaBdrrp-oSf but the following words again seem 
to destroy the personality of the Powers, tts &v 6 /i4(ros rpirrds .(pavraaias 
iv€ipyd(€To T]} dpariKy iffvxvt ^^ •^•^' Abelis et Catnip 15 (i. 173). 

* Leg. Alleg, i. 13 (i. 51); Quod Deus Im. 17 (i. 284) ; Sieg. p. 216. A 
point which makes against the personality of the Powers is the way in 
which they can be broken up and combined ; see Dahne, i. p. 242 sqq. ; 



14 Philo. [Lect. 

In all this Philo was following in the track of earlier 
Jewish speculation^. The Rabbis of Palestine had 
made many efforts to penetrate the mystery of the 
creatures who in Ezekiel's vision sustain the chariot- 
throne of the Almighty, and . found in them a symbol 
of the divine justice and goodness. The subject was 
treated as a profound mystery, and there was a party 
which discouraged all attempts to pry into it. Only 
four men, it was said, had penetrated this magic garden, 
and one only, the great Akiba, had returned in safety. 
But the Hellenists of Alexandria were more audacious. 
They had * eaten too much honey/ and intoxicated by 
the sweets, of which they had rifled the hives of the 
Greeks, they dared to speak of the Powers in a way 
that seemed to impair the unity of God. They had 
ventured even farther. The duality of Persons did not 
satisfy their craving for philosophic completeness. 
Behind this pair of persons, or personifications, there 
must be one more puissant Being, one more compre- 
hensive generalisation. This was the Logos, a term 
which Philo found already in use. 

Logos ^ is a phrase of the Hellenic schools. It has a 

Gfrorer, Philo, p. 239. The fact is that Philo wavers between the one 
mode of conceptioa and the other. This applies to the Logos also. See 
Zeller, iii. 626. 

^ For this section see Siegfried, p. 211 sq. 

' An excellent account of those Jewish speculations which paved the way 
for the Alexandrine Logos theory will be found in Siegfried, pp. 219 sqq. 
The actual title Logos comes to Philo in a direct line from the Greek 
Pantheists Heraklitus and the Stoics. The reason why he preferred this 
title to that of Idea is to be found in the Biblical * Word of God.' To the 
Stoic the X<57oj kow6s^ the X670S avepfJuiTiKSs is the Divine Force, the Anima 
Mundi of which Virgil sings — Aen. vi. 724 : * Principio caelum ac terras . . • 
Spiritus intus alit, totamque infusa per artus Mens agitat molem et magno 
se corpore miscet.* It is resolvable ultimately into the Divine Matter. ' £s 
dnifte nur dieser stoischen Logoslehre durch die Unterscheidnng des Logos 



/ 



I.] The Logos. 1 5 

long history, and had already gathered round itself many 
associations, that fitted it for the new part it was now to 
assume. It denotes with equal facility the uttered word, 
the reasoning mind, or again a plan, scheme, system. It 
IS the Platonic Idea of Good, the Stoic World-Spirit, or 
Reason of God, immanent in creation which it fosters and 
sustains. Round this heathen stem clustered a number 
of ideas that were floating in solution in the schools of 
the Jews — the Shechinah, the Name of God, 6ie Ten 
Words of Creation that might perhaps be One, the great 
Archangel and chief of the Chariot-bearers, Metatron, the 
Heavenly Man, the High Priest. Philo has gathered 
together from East and West every thought, every 
divination, that could help to mould his sublime con- 
ception of a Vicegerent of God, a Mediator between the 
Eternal and the ephemeral. His Logos reflects light 
from countless facets. It is one of those creative phrases, 
struck out in the crisis of projection, which mark an 
epoch in the development of thought. 

What the Logos became in the hands of Philo we 
3hall see most clearly by considering him in his fourfold 
relation — to God — to the Powers — to the World — and 
to Man. 

In his relation to God he is first of all Wisdom^. 

von der.Gottheit ihr pantheistisches* durch seine Unterscheidnng von dem 
gebildeten Stoff ihr materialistisches Geprage abgestreift werden, und der 
Philonische Logos war fertig* (Zeller, iii. 630). The word is emptied, that 
is to say, of its true Stoic significance, and becomes partly the Idea, partly 
the Agent by whom the idea is impressed npon matter. 

^ The precise relation of Wisdom to the Logos is by no means without 
difficulty, for here as everywhere Philo's language fluctuates. Some have 
maintained that they are identical. Dahne, i. p. 221, thinks that Sophia is 
a * theilkraft ' of the Logos ; so that Logos may always be used for Sophia, 
but not the reverse. But Siegfried points out (p. 222, cp. p. 215) that 
Sophia is sometimes spoken of as the higher principle, the Fountain or 



1 6 Philo. [Lect. 

Already, in the Book of Proverbs ^, Wisdom appears 
as the eternal Assessor of the Most High — ' When He 
prepared the heavens I was there.' In the Alexandrine 
Book of Wisdom ^, written probably under Stoic influ- 
ences, this Power assumes new titles and significance. 
He is *the loving Spirit of the Lord that fiUeth the 
earth,* holy, only-begotten, *the brightness of the ever- 
lasting light, the unspotted mirror of the Power of God, 
the image of His Goodness.' Philo is but translating 
this hymn of praise into scientific terminology, when he 
calls the Word the Intelligible World, that is the sum of 
the thoughts of God, or again the Idea of Ideas, which 
imparts reality to all lower ideas, as they in turn to all 
sensible kinds ^ The Word is the whole mind of God, 
considered as travelling outside itself, and expressing 
itself in act. Hence he is styled its Impress, its Like- 
ness, its House. This is his abstract Greek side. In his 
more realistic Hebrew aspect he is the Schechinah or 
glory of God ; or again, as that glory falls upon our sight 
only veiled and dimmed, he is the Shadow of God. And 

Mother, of the Logos. The differing gender of the two words in Greek, 
the one being feminine and the other mascnline, was a difEculty. This 
Philo endeavoured to solve in the cnrions allegorism on the name of 
Bethnel, De Prof. 9 (i. 553). Bethuel signifies ' daughter of God/ that is, 
Wisdom. But this virgin daughter is father of Rebecca, that is^ Patience. 
So aU the virtues have feminine names (in Greek), because in relation to 
God they are derivative and receptive. But in relation to us they are mas- 
culine. Hence we may say that Wisdom, the daughter of God, is a man 
and a father, begetting in the soul knowledge, understanding, and all good 
and praiseworthy actions. The drift of this passage is no doubt to blend 
the Logos with Sophia. The confusion of gender with sex offers a curious 
instance of the tendency of Philo's mind to turn abstractions into things. 

1 vUi. 27. 

" i. 6, 7; vii. 22 sqq. 

' De Mundi Opif. 6 (i. 5). For the numerous other passages referred to 
in this account of the Logos it is sufficient to refer generally to Siegfried 
and Grossmann. 



L] The Logos. 17 

growing ever more definite and personal, he is the Son, ' 
the Eldest Son, the Firstborn of God. Many of the 
divine titles are his by right. He too is the Sun, the 
Darkness, the Monad, God ^, the Second God. 

In his relation to the other Powers, again, there is the 
same graduated ascent from the abstract to the real. If 
the Powers are Ideas, the Word is their Sum. He is 
the Book of Creation, in which all the subordinate 
essences are words. But, again, he is their Creator, 
the King's Architect, in whose brain the plan of the 
royal city is formed. He stands between them divid- 
ing* yet uniting, like the fiery sword between the 
Cherubim at the gates of Eden. He ts their leader, 
their Captain, their Charioteer, the Archangel of many 
names. 

As regards the world he is on the one side the Arche- 
typal Seal, the great Pattern according to which all is 
made. He is the Divider, in so far as he differentiates, 
and makes each thing what it is. He is the Bond, in so 
far as all existence depends on the permanence of form. 
Hence in him both worlds, the intelligible and the sen- 
sible, form one great whole, a figure of which is the 
vesture of the High Priest. On the head is the plate of 
gold with its legend * Holiness to the Lord ; ' the blue, 
the purple, the scarlet of the robe are the rainbow web : 
of Nature ; the bells about the feet, whose silver sound = 
IS heard when Aaron goeth into the Holy Place, signify 
the rapt joy of the human spirit when it penetrates into 
the divine mysteries. The robe is woven of one piece, .' 
and may not be rent, because the Word binds all 

^ e€<5s, but not h e€<5s, Dt Somn. 39 (i 655) ; the distinction recurs in 
Origen. 

C 



i8 Philo, [Lect. 

together in life and harmony^. So far we are still 
breathing Greek air. But then again the Word is the 
Instrumental Cause, the Organ of Creation. He is the 
Creator, the Helmsman, and Pilot of the universe. 
*God with justice and law leads His great flock, the 
four elements and all that is shaped thereof, the circlings 
of sun and moon, the rhythmic dances of the stars, 
having set over them His upright Word, His Firstborn 
Son, who will receive the charge of this holy flock as a 
Vicegerent of the Great King ^.' Here Philo is thinking, 
not of Wisdom, but of the mighty * God said ' of the 
Book of Genesis. The word is, not the Spirit only, or 
the Mind, but the Will of God 3. 

But the crowning interest of these speculations 
depends on their relation to human life. * What is this 
Son of God to us ? 

The answer is given by the peculiar position of the 
Logos, who stands between God and Man partaking of 
both natures. For Man, as regards his reason, is the 
image of the Logos, as the Logos is the image of God. 
Hence the Logos is the Mediator, the Heavenly Man *, 
who represents in the eyes of God the whole family 
upon earth. He is not indeed the point of union, 
because we may rise above him. The khowledge which 

^ See the beantiful passage in De ntigrat, Abr, i8 (i. 45a). Cp. De Vita 
Mos. iii. 14 (ii. 155). 
* ^ De Agric. 12 (i. 308). 

' Canon Westcott ijntr»d. to the Gospel of St. John^ p. xvi) maintains 
that the Logos of St. John is derived, not from Philo, but from the Palestinian 
Schools, mainly on the ground that in Philo Logos is Reason and not Will. 
But to a Platonist like Philo there is no difference between Reason and 
Will. And the passages referred to in the text are sufficient to show that 
the Logos of Philo is conceived of as * a divine Will sensibly manifested in 
'personal action.' 

* Siegfried, p. 221. 



I.] The Logos. 19 

he gives is a lower knowledge, the knowledge of God in 
Nature, and our allegiance to him is therefore but 
temporary and provisional. But he is necessary as the 
door, through which we must pass to direct communion 
with his Father, 

Here Philo could borrow no light from the Greeks, to 
whom the idea of Mediation was foreign ; though, as we 
shall see, there were elements in the current Platonism, 
which were readily adapted to this end ^. 

The Logos then is first the Prophet of the Most 
High, the Man whose name is the Dayspring, the 
Eternal Law. He is the Giver of the divine Light and 
therefore the Saviour, for to the Platonist sin is dark- 
ness. But it is not enough that our eyes should be 
opened. For the visual ray within us is weakened or 
quenched by vice, our rebellions have alienated us from 
God. We need therefore an Atonement. Still mor^ 
do we need strength and sustenance. 

All these requirements are satisfied by the Logos. 
For his atoning function Philo found a fitting symbol 
ready to hand in the High Priest 2, who since the days 
of the Exile, in the abeyance of the throne, had risen in 
Jewish eyes to a dignity almost superhuman. His 
vesture, as we have seen, was the type of the whole 
world, for which he interceded with its Maker. He alone 

^ See the doctrine of the Demons in Lecture vii. • 

" See Siegfried, p. 221. The four prayers uttered by the High Priest on 
the Day of Atonement, * most precious fragments of the Liturgy of the Old 
Testament Temple worship,* will be found in Delitzsch (Z«r Geschichte 
der Jiid. Poesie, pp. 184 sqq.). The first three, pronounced by the High 
Priest with his hand on the head of the sin offering, were (i) for himself 
and family ; (ii) for the sons of Aaron ; (iii) for the whole people. The 
fourth was uttered immediately on leaving the Holy of Holies. In each 
the Ineffable Name was pronounced three times. 

c a 



20 Philo. [Lect. 

might pronounce the Ineffable Name. He alone might 
enter into the Holy of Holies, behold the glory of God, 
and yet live. He held this high prerogative, because 
when he entered into the sanctuary he was, says Philo 
= with an audacious perversion of the text, * not a man ^.' 
The true High Priest is sinless ; if he needs to make an 
offering and utter prayer for himself, it is only because 
he participates in the guilt of the people, whom he 
represents. Thus the Word is the Supplicator, the 
Paraclete, the Priest who presents the soul of man 
' with head uncovered ' before God ^. He is figured by 
Aaron, who stands with burning censer between the 
living and the dead. * I stand,' Philo makes him say, 
' between the Lord and you, I who am neither un- 
created like God nor created like you, but a mean 
between the two extremes, a hostage to either side^.' 
And as he teaches, as he atones, so he feeds and sus- 
tains his people, falling upon every soul as the manna 
fell like dew upon the whole earth. In this sense he is 
Melchisedech, priest of the Most High God, King of 
Salem, that is of peace, who met Abraham returning 
from his victory over the four kings, and refreshed him 
with the mystic Bread and Wine *. 

* De Somn, ii. 28. (i. 684) : traa/ ydp^ <f>rjaiv, elairf tls rd. &yta rStv dyiojv 
6 dpxifpevs, ofOpoairos oIk tarat (Lev. xvi. 1 7). Ti; oZv ei fjiij Mpomros ; Sipd 
y€ 0€6s ; 

^ De Cher. 5 (i. 141). ' Quis Rerum Div. Her, 4a (i. 502). 

* Ammon ( = Sense) and Moab ( = the Intellect divorced from God) 
refused Israel bread and water. * But let Melchisedec give wine instead of 
water, and refresh the soul with pure juice of the grape, that it may be 
possessed by divine intoxication, more sober than sobriety itself. For he is 
the Priest Word,' Leg, Alleg, iii. 26 (i. 103). Ibid, 56 (i. 119) Philo 
goes on to explain what is this heavenly food of the soul. It is Light, 
true Education, the knowledge of God, which is given by the Word. The 
passage is referred to by Clement, Strom, iv* 26. i6i» 



I.] The Two Lives. 2 1 

Such a division in the divine nature leads to a 
corresponding distinction in the moral and spiritual 
life. To know God in His Powers is one thing, to know 
Him in Himself is another and a higher. The first is 
the life of Faith, Hope, Discipline, Effort, the second is 
that of Wisdom, Vision, Peace, Those who are still 
struggling upwards in obedience to the Word are 
servants, whose proper food is milk; those who have 
emerged into the full light are grown men, the friends 
of God, the seeing Israel ^, 

* How terrible is this place,' cried Jacob awaking from 
his dream, ' this is none other than the House of God.' 
So the soul starting up from the sleep of indifference 

^ Philo divides men into two great classes, in each of which there are 
several subdivisions. I. The godless, the non-moral, the Fool. His gnide 
is the lower intelligence; see De Migr, Abr. 12 (i. 446): iropei^crai t\ b 
&ppajy 9c* dfjb^oripcav, 0v/jtov re Kal imOvfiSas d€l, yuqHva hiaKtiirwv xp^vov, 
rbv ffvioxov koX 0pa0evTijy \6yov &no0dk&jv. His highest faculty is lost or 
debased ; he has nothing but the vovs yfjivos, <pi\oaujfMTos, <pi\ova$ifis. To 
this class belong the Sensualist, such as Ham ( — 64pfirjy Fever) ; the vain 
Sophist, such as the ' archer ' Ishmael ; the Sceptic, such as Cain ; the self- 
seeking politician, such as Joseph. II. The Moral, Spiritual Life. This 
has two stages — that of the Babe, that of the Perfect. Be Migr. Abr, 9 (i. 
443) • ^Ttpos vrfviajv Ktd irepos rtXeiaji/ xSip6s kariVf 6 fjitv 6vofm(6fJt(V05 
da/trjffis, 6 9^ Ka\oTjfJi€vos ao<f^. Their food is vrpria leai yaXoKrdidrjs : idtd. 
6 (i. 440). The Lower Stage has three subdivisions — dcrKrjffiSy fiAOrjartSf 
ipbats: De Som. i. 27 (i. 646). The consummation — the Higher Stage — 
whether attained by moral discipline, intellectual training, or natural 
development, is Wisdom, Perfection. 

See Siegfried, pp. 249 sqq. ; Dahne, pp. 341 sqq. The two stages 1 
are the j8/os 'nftaicnK6s, the /3tos 0€Oif»jTiK6s of the Greek philosophers ; the 
vpoHorrfl and ao<l>ia of the later Stoics ; but with this difference, that in Philo 
both stages are religious. The three avenues to perfection are given by ' 
Aristotle, Diog. Laert. v. 18: rpiwy i<pfj detv iraiddav (piaeoK fmO-fiffeoK 
da/c^fffws. But Philo regards them as characteristic of three distinct classes 
of learners, while the pagan philosopher regarded them as means of im- 
provement which must be employed in combination by every learner. 
Hence the three classes of Proficients in Seneca, Epistle 75, answer to 
different degrees of progress, not to different lines of progress. This, as 
will be seen, is nearly Clement's view. 



22 Philo. [Lect. 

learns with a shock of amazement, that the world is, 
not a tavern, but a temple. Wherefore it exclaims, * It 
is not as I fancied, for the Lord is in this place/ 
This sensible world is indeed the House of God, the 
gate of Heaven. For the spiritual world of ideas can 
be comprehended only by climbing upwards from what 
we see and feel, 'Those who wish to survey the beauty 
of a city must enter in at the gate ; so those who would 
contemplate the ideas must be led by the hand by the 
impressions of the senses ^.' We must know God as He 
is manifested to us in the experience of life, first by fear 
of His Justice, then by love of His Goodness, before we 
can attain to Jerusalem, the Vision of Peace. But the 
Powers are summed up in the Word. Hence the In- 
terpreter Word is the God of those that are imperfect, 
but of the wise and perfect the First God is King 2. 

The knowledge of the Most High is Vision, the direct 
personal communion of a soul that no longer reasons 
but feels and knows. It was reached by Abraham 
through learning, by * the wrestler ' Jacob through moral 
effort, by Isaac, * the laughter of the soul,' through the 
natural development of a sweet and gracious spirit. It 
is attainable, if not by all, yet by the purest and keenest 
sighted, if not in permanence, yet frequently. * I will 
not be ashamed to relate,' says Philo, * what has hap- 
pened to myself a thousand times. Often when I have 
come to write out the doctrines of philosophy, though 
I well knew what I ought to say, I have found my mind 

^ De Somn. 32 (i. 649). 

' Leg, Alleg. iii. 73 (i. 128) : olroi y^p ^fjiwv rSiv dreXwv A*' tXrj 9(6s, tSjv ^\ 
awpSiv Kai T€\(iojy 6 vpSnos. The difference between the knowledge of God 
in His works and the knowledge of God in Himself (the latter Philo calls the 
Great Mysteries) is explained in the sublime passage b^inning Leg, Alleg, 
iii. 31 (i. 106). 



i 



I.] Ecstasy, 23 

dry and barren, and renounced the task in despair. At 
other times, though I came empty, I was suddenly filled 
with thoughts showered upon me from above like snow- 
flakes or seed, so that in the heat of divine possession 
I knew not the place, or the company, or myself, what I 
said, or what I wrote V 

Here then^ but still in a singularly cool and tem- 
perate form, we have the second great doctrine of Neo- 
Platonism — Ecstasy, the logical correlative of the 
Absolute God. As held by Numenius and his ioV 
lowers it is certainly derived from Philo, though here 
again there was in Paganism a germ, which only needed 
fertilisation. The idea of a personal Revelation comes 
to Philo from the Prophetic Vision of the Old Testa- 
ment. It is already found in Plutarch 2, by whom it is 
connected with the frenzy of the Pythoness or the 
Corybant. But its later systematic form and scientific 
grounding are historically connected with the specula- 
tions of the Alexandrine Jew. 

Such was the teaching of Philo so far as it falls within 
our present scope. We need not dwell upon its rela- 
tion to historic Judaism. Philo remained to the last 
a devout and trusted Jew. Yet he placed a new re- 
ligion, a Greek philosophic system, above the faith of 

^ De Migr. Abr, 7 (i. 441). See also the account of the ' divine in- 
toxication ' of Samnel's mother, De Ebrietate, 36 (i. 380) ; Quis Rerum DiVi 
Heres. 14 (i. 482). De Vita Contemp, 2, 3 (ii. 473, 475) actual vision 
seems to have been enjoyed by the Therapeutae only in dreams^ De Cher. 9 
(i. 144) Philo says that he had learned the significance of the two Cherubim 
and the fiery sword : irapcl ^vx9s kyJqs elojOuias rd. ttoWcL 0eo\fjnT€iff0au, 

* See De Pythiae Orac. 21, 22 ; De def, Orac. 48 ; Amatorius, xyi. 4. 
Plutarch recognises only the official ecstasy of priest and prophetess. His 
attitude is apologetic; he has to explain how it is that the revelation is 
sometimes imperfect, deceitful, impure. Enthusiasm is a part of his religion^ 
bat not of his philosophy. See Zeller,, vol. iiL 



24 Philo. [Lect. 

his fathers. He retained the Law as the worship of 
the Logos; high over this stands the free spiritual 
worship of the Eternal. The one is but the preparation, 
and in its ancient national form not even a necessary- 
preparation, for the other. It will be obvious how this 
facilitated the task of the Christian teacher ^. 

But what concerns us at present is his direct influence 
upon tTie Church. This falls into two branches, for it 
? is probable that Philonism coloured the New Testament 
itself, and it is certain that it largely affected the after 
development of' Christian doctrine. The first conse- 
quence is no doubt capable of exaggeration. The ideas 
of the purely Palestinian schools coincided in many 
points with those of the Alexandrines, of which they 
formed the basis, and It is perhaps by this fact rather 
than by any immediate contact that we should explain 
the resemblances of St. Paul, St. James, and even of 
the Epistle to the Hebrews, with Philo. But there can 
be little doubt that St. John acquired from Alexandria 
that conception of the Word, which first brought 
Christian theology wfihiii the sphere of metaphysics^. 

^ Siegfried, pp. 157 sqq. 

" Not necessarily from Philo, if, as seems probable, the Logos doctrine is 
somewhat older than Philo*s time. The question tnms mainly upon (i) the 
exact significance and (ii) the date of the Memra of the Targams. May- 
banm, Die Anthropomorphien und Anthropathien bet Onkelos, Breslau, 
1870, maintains that in Onkelos 'Word of God' is a mere periphrasis for 
God, and is never regarded as having a hypostatic existence. Gfrorer, 
Jahrhundert des Heils^ i. 310 sqq., maintains the opposite, but regards the 
idea as unquestionably Alexandrine in origin. With this agrees the view of 
Dr. Edersheim, Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah^ vol. i. pp. 46, 56. 
Siegfried (p. 317) asserts that 'it is universally acknowledged that John 
borrowed from Philo the name of Logos to express the manifestation of 
God.' He refers to Ballenstedt, Dahne, Gfrorer, LUcke, de Wette-Briickner, 
Domer, Neander, Tholuck, Lutterbeck. Nevertheless his language is too 
peremptory. Ewald (v. 153 sqq. ; vi. 277) holds that the doctrine of the 



I] Influence of his Teaching. 25 

Philo's influence upon the mind of post-apostolic 
times was partly helpful, partly detrimental. It was 
given to the Alexandrine Jew to divine the possibility 
and the mode of an eternal distinction in the Divine 
Unity, and in this respect the magnitude of our debt 
can hardly be overestimated. How large it is we may 
measure in part by the fact that the docfrine of the 
Holy Spirit, which has no place in his system*, remained 
for a long time meagre, inarticulate, and uncertain. But 
the Logos is not Christ, is not the Messiah ^. Far less is 
he Jesus, for from the Platonic point of view the Incar- 
nation is an impossibility. Hence though Philo supplied 
the categories, under which the work of Jesus continued 
to be regarded, his influence on this side was upon the 

Word grew up among the Jews and had become an article of the 
popular belief as well as a tenet of the schools. And that the book of Enoch 
shows that before the beginning of the second century B.c. the Word was 
identified with the Messiah. (Other authorities however regard the Book 
of Enoch as, in part at any rate, Christian.) Hamack, Dogmengeschichte, 
p. 79, note, says, * Die AufFassimg des Verhaltnisses von Gott und Welt im 
vierten Evangelium ist nicht die Philonische. Daher ist auch die Logos- 
lehre dort im wesentlichen nicht die Philo*s.* This is maintained at length 
by Dr. Westcott, Introduction to the Gospel of St. John^ pp. xv. sqq., and by 
Schanz, a recent Roman Catholic editor of the same Gospel. But the difference, 
while sufficient to show that St. John is applying a partially heathen phrase to 
a wholly Christian conception, is by no means such as to exclude the possibility 
of connection, and in any case very little weight can be attached to this line 
of argument in default of proof that a homegrown Logos doctrine existed in 
Palestine before the time of St. John. Some importance is perhaps to be 
attached to the fact that in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies^ a work which 
seems to be built upon a Palestinian system, we have God and the Two Powers 
but not the Logos. Yet the writer was acquainted with St. John, and would 
surely have given this title to the Son if he had found it current in the 
Palestinian schools. 

^ The traces of a Messianic hope in Philo are very indistinct. De Execr, 
9 (ii. 436) the dispersed of Israel shall return from exile : (fyayov/jievoi vp6s' 
Ttvos OiiorifXis 1j Kara <pii<riv iofOpwrivris (we should surely read dy$pcinrivrjv) 
&ff€aK, Siegfried (p. 222) refers this to the Logos. Dahne, p. 437, thinks 
it not improbable tliat the Logos is meant. 



2 6 Influence of Philo. [Lect. 

whole hurtful. To Philo religion is the emancipation 
of the intelligence from the dominion of sense. In 
such a scheme knowledge is more than Faith ^, For- 
giveness has no real place, and Vicarious Suffering no 
meaning. Such words as Atonement, Mediator, High 
Priest, could not mean to the Platonist what they must 
mean to the Christian, and dowa to the time of Clement 
Philo's great name stood between the Church and a 
clear understanding of their real signification. 

Other parts of his legacy were more questionable 
still — his vicious AUegorism, his theory of the Absolute 
God. But upon these we shall be compelled to dwell 
at some length further on, and therefore need speak no 
more in the present place. Let us only add that 
Alexandrine intellectualism, though it leads to an over- 
estimate of human effort and to a self-centred concep- 
tion of virtue, has yet the great merit of finding blessed- 
ness in the soul itself. The Kingdom of God is within 
us, even in this life. Thus it affords the means for 
rectifying a tendency very prevalent in the early 
Church, that of looking for happiness only in another 
world as a compensation for suffering in this. Its 

^ Philo speaks of Faith — the most perfect of virtues, the queen of virtues 
— in very splendid teims. See especially De Abrahamo, 46 (ii. 39) ; Quis 
Rerum Div. Herei- 18 (i. 486). But in section 21 of the last-named treatise 
it appears to be distinguished from aw^a, in the same way as by Clement, 
as the cause of obedience, as the characteristic of the lower stage of the 
spiritual life. This indeed is a consequence of his system^ But Philo 
has a clearer view that spiritual health is the one thing desirable, and is 
not hampered by the question that pressed heavily on Clement — what 
is the minimum condition of salvation ? Hence his conception of Faith is 
*nobler, it may be said more Pauline, than Clement's. So again, not being 
troubled by the problem of Responsibility, he uses much stronger and 
grander language on the subject of Grace. See Siegfried, p. 307 ; Denis, 
Philosophic (fOrig^nCt p. 222, 



I.] The Gnostics. 27 

reward is holiness, the vision of God; its punishment 
is that of being what sinners are. Thus it is directly 
opposed in principle, if not always in practice, to the 
vulgar paradise of Chiliasm, and even to Asceticism. 
For Asceticism, as distinguished from temperance, rests, • 
not upon the antithesis of spirit and matter, but upon \ 
* pther-worldliness,' the delusion that heaven can be ; 
purchased by self-torture in this life. \ 

Our view of the conditions out of which Christian 
Platonism sprung would be incomplete without a brief 
notice of Gnosticism^. It will be needless to enter into 
the confused details of the so-called Gnostic systems. 
The Aeons of Valentinus and others are but the Ideas 
of Plato seen through the fog of an Egyptian or Syrian 
mind. They were not understood to affect the unity of ^ 
God, and, except as guardian Angels, play no practical 
part. Clement and Origen scarcely ever allude to them, 
and they have no place at all in the systems of Marcion 
and Basilides ^. For us they have mainly this interest, 

^ The standard anthorities on the subject of Gnosticism are — Neander, 
Church History, vol. 2 ; Banr, Die Christliche Gnosis, Tubingen, 1835 ; 
Matter, Histoire Critique du Gnosticisme, 2nd edition, Strasbourg and Paris, 
1843; Lipsius, article Gnosiicismus in Ersch and Gruber, Leipzig, i860; 
Mansel, Gnostic Heresies, 1875. All except the last two are anterior in date 
to the publication in 1851 of six additional books of the Philosophumena 
which have given an entirely new view of Basilides. We are concerned 
entirely with what Lipsius counts as the second or Alexandrian stage of 
Gnosticism^ The view taken in the following pages rests mainly on the 
Gnostic fragments which will be found collected in Stieren's edition of Irenaeus, 
on the Excerpta ex Theodoto, and the general impression left on the mind by 
the study of Clement, Orjgen, and the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies. 

" To Valentinus the Aeons were simply the ideas, the thoughts of 
God. TertuUian, Adv. Valentin, iv : ' £am postmodum Ptolemaeus 
intravit, nominibus et numeris Aeonum distinctis in personales substantias, ' 
sed extra deum determinatas, quas Valentinus in ipsa summa divini- 
tatis ut sensus et affectus motus incluserat.' This is confirmed by a striking 
extract from an Epistle of Valeatiaus given by Clement, Strom, ii. 20. 114; 



28 The Gnostics. [Lect. 

that they complete the work of the Philonic analysis. 
God is finally separated from His attributes, the Aeons 
of Reason and Truth, and becomes the Eternal Silence 
of Valentinus, the Non-existent God of Basilides *. 

It is a mistake to approach the Gnostics on the meta- 
physical side. There is a certain wild poetical force in 
Valentinus, but otherwise their world - philosophy is 
purely grotesque. The ordinary Christian controver- 
sialist felt that he had nothing to do but set out at 
unsparing length their tedious pedigrees, in the well- 
grounded confidence that no one would care to peruse 
them a second time. The interest, the meaning, of 
Gnosticism rest entirely upon its ethical motive. It 
was an attempt, a serious attempt, to fathom the dread 
mystery of sorrow and pain, to answer that spectral 
doubt, which is mostly crushed down by force — Can 
the world as we know it have been made by God? 

* Cease,' says Basilides, * from idle and curious variety, 
and let us rather discuss the opinions, which even bar- 
barians have held, on the subject of good and eviP.' 

* I will say anything, rather than admit that Providence 
is wicked^.' Valentinus describes in the strain of an 
ancient prophet the woes that afflict mankind. * I durst 

Stieren, Irenaeusy p. 910. But the same thing is probably true of Ptolemy 
and of Heracleon. The use of the word aeon by the Gnostic writers them- 
selves is obscure. I find it used to denote, (i) God ; Heracleon apud 
Origen in loan. ii. 8 (Lomm, i. 117), rbv cdStva ^ rd kv r^ aiStvi, Hence 
6 Iv alwty ibid, xiii. 19 (Lomm, ii. 33), is Jesus: (ii) Aeons = Ideas? 
= Emanations? Exc. ex Theod. 23, ibid. 32, tKaaros rSjy al&voav idiov lx*« 
v\rfpoj/M, lijy (rv(vyiav ; (iii) Angels; Exc. ex Theod. 25, the Valentinians 
\eyovai rohs al&vas Sfujvbftojs rqi \6y<p \6yovs, Here Aeon = \6yos » Angels 
■a Stars. So in section 7* dyvojaros cUv 6 war^p &v ^BiKriaev yvmadrjvai rou 
alwcriv : cp. St. Paul, Eph. ii. 7. As to the Guardian Angels, see below, p. 33. 

^ Philos. vii. 21 : o&rcwy obK &v Oeds ivolrjce xSfffJiov ovk ovra If oiffc ovtow, 

' Stieren's IreneuuSy p. 901. 

' Stieren's Irenaeus, p. 903 ; Clem. Strom, iv. la. 8 a. 



I.] Their Ethical Motive. 29 

not affirm/ he concludes, ' that God is the author of all 
this ^/ So TertuUian says of Marcion, ' like many men 
of our time, and especially the heretics, he is bewildered 
by the question of evil ^' 

They approach the problem from a non-Christian 
point of view, and arrive therefore at a non-Christian 
solution. Yet the effort is one that must command our 
respect, and the solution is one that a great writer of 
our own time thought not untenable ^ Many of them, 
especially the later sectaries, accepted the whole Chris- 
tian Creed*, but always with reserve. The teaching 
of the Church thus became in their eyes a popular 
exoteric confession, beneath their own Gnosis, or Know- 
ledge, which was a Mystery, jealously guarded from 
all but the chosen few. They have been called the 
first Christian theologians. We may call them rather 
the first Freemasons. 

There is no better example of the cultivated Gnostic 
than Plutarch. Perplexed by the nightmare of physical 
and moral evil this amiable scholar could see no light 
except in the dualism of Zoroaster^. The world was 
created by Ormuzd, the spirit of Good, but Ahriman, 
the dark and wicked, had broken in and corrupted all. 

^ From the remarkable fragment of the Dissertation on the Origin of 
Evil, Stieren's Irenaeus, p. 912. 
'^ * Adv. Marcion. i. 2. 

• See J. S. Mill, Three Essays on Religion^ ed. 1874, PP- 25, 37, 58. Mr. 
Mill himself rejected the Dualistic solution; ibid, p. 185. 

* Basilides accepted the whole of the Gospel narrative, Philos. vii. 27. So 
did Theodotus. TertuUian, Adv. Val. i : ' Si subtiliter tentes per ambiguitates 
bilingnes communem fidem, adfirmant.' Irenaeus, Preface, 2 : oh% <^v\6.aauv 
vap^yycXxci' ii\uv Krjpios dfioia fikv XaXovmaSt AifSfiota 8i ippovovvras. See the 
accounts of Cerdon, Irenaeus, iii. 4. 3, and Apelles, Eusebius, H, E.y. 13 ; 
Hamack, Dogmengesch. p. 186. 

' Dc Isidc et Osiride, 45 sqq. 



30 Gnostic Exegesis. [Lect. 

From Plutarch sprang a succession of purely heathen 
Gnostics, against whom, more than a century later, 
Plotinus felt it necessary to take up the pen ^. Between 
these and the Gnostics known to Christian controversy 
there is no essential difference. Both start from the 
same terrible problem, both arrive at the same conclu- 
sion, the existence of a second and imperfect God. 
They identified this Being with the Creator or Demi- 
urge, and ascribed to him the authorship of the whole, 
or the greater part, of the Old Testament. For, though 
they allegorised the New Testament, the Gnostics did 
not, in any of their voluminous commentaries, apply 
this solvent to the Hebrew Scriptures. These they 
criticised with a freedom learned from the Essenes^. 
They found there, side by side with the eternal 
spiritual law, the code of an imperfect and transient 
morality ; worse than all, they found there passion, 
revenge, and cruelty ascribed to the Most High. It 
is not possible to read the remarkable letter of Ptolemy 
« to Flora, without perceiving that Old Testament exegesis 
was the real strength of Gnosticism. It was so power- 
ful because it was so true. On this one point they 
retained their advantage to the last. The facts were 
in the main as they alleged, and the right explanation 
depended on principles equally foreign, at that time, to 
Gnostic and to orthodox. 

Their views of religion, of salvation, were as various 
as their strange and perplexing cosmogonies. We may 

* Porph. Vita Plotini^ i6. 

' Compare the exegesis of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies with that»of 
Ptolemy's Epistle to Flora. The author of the Homilies considered that 
he was refuting Gnosticism, but there was certainly a historical connection 
between his views and those of the Valentinians. See below, p. 34, 



I.] Gnostic Christology. 31 

leave out of sight the PauHnism of Marcion, and take as 
a type the system of Theodotus, a leader of the Eastern 
Valentinians, with whose writings Clement had an in- 
timate acquaintance ^. Christ came, he taught, not for 
our redemption alone, but to heal the disorders of the 
whole universe. For Earth, and Heaven, and even God 
Himself, were diseased by the revolt of Wisdom, who in 
blind presumption had given birth to she knew not 
what. But for man's sake Christ became Man ^, taking 

^ It is doubtful what the Excerpta ex Theodoto really are. ' Descripta 
videntur ex libris Hypotyposeon,' says Valesius on Eus. H,E. v. ii. 2. 
Zahn, Forschungen zur Gesch, des N. T, Katums, Erlangen, 1884, vol. iii. p. 
122, thinks that they are a collection of extracts from the eighth book of 
the Stromateis, Renan, Marc-AurHey p. 118, regards them as a collection 
of extracts from the writings of the Valentinian Theodotus made by Clement 
for his own use, and this seems the best view. It is doubtful again who 
Theodotus was. Neander and Domer think him the same as Theodotus the 
money-changer. Zahn inclines, rather fancifully, to identify him with the 
Theodas (if that is the right name ; the reading is doubtful) of Strom. vH. 
17. 106, the disciple of Paul and teacher of Valentinus, and thinks that there 
may have been a book bearing the name of this supposed pupil of the 
Apostle. It should be added that Theodotus is referred to by name only 
five times, and that much of the information for which Clement refers vaguely 
to ' the Valentinians ' may come from some other source. The text is ex- 
ceedingly obscure and corrupt. Bunsen, Anal. Ante-Nic, vol. i, gives the 
conjectural emendations and Latin translation of Bemays. The accusations 
brought byPhotius against the orthodoxy of Clement may rest in part upon a 
misunderstanding of this curious and difficult treatise. See also Dr. West- 
cott's article, Clement of Alexandria, in the Dictionary of Christian 
Biography. 

* The Christology of Theodotus differs somewhat from that ascribed to 
Valentinus by the author of the Philosophumena. (i) The Only-Begotten 
God (§ 6 ; this is I suppose the earliest authority for this reading in John 
i. 18), Nous, Aletheia, Logos, Zoe appear to be only different names for 
the Spirit of ICnowledge, the irpofioX^, or externalised thought of God. 
(ii) Christ is a vpo^oXii of exiled Wisdom who returns to the vX-fiprnfia to 
beg aid for his mother, is detained there, and apparently united to the 
Only-Begotten; §§ 23, 39, 44. (iii) Jesus the irpofioK-fj of all the Aeons 
is sent forth to comfort Wisdom ; § 23. (iv) Jesus is never separated from 
the Only-Begotten ; §§ 7, 43. (v) Jesus descends to the world through the 
realm of Space, that is the Demiurge, and takes to himself the Psychic 



32 The Gnostics, The Three Natures. [Lect. 

upon Him our threefold nature, body, soul, and spirit, 
though His body was spiritual, not gross as ours. Yet 
He is not the Saviour of all, but of those only who can 
receive Him, and in so far as they can receive Him^. 
Some there are who cannot know Him, these are they 
who have flesh but not soul, who perish like the beasts. 
Some again, the spiritual, are predestined to life 
eternal^. They are akin to the light, knowledge once 
given leads them on inevitably to perfection, annihil- 
ating all their earthly passions. Between these hover 
'the psychic,' the feminine souls, to whom faith is 
granted, but not knowledge. Before the coming of 
Christ these were creatures of destiny, the sport of evil 
angels, whom they could not resist ^. But the Incarna- 
tion and Baptism of our Lord broke their bonds, and 
by faith and discipline they become capable of eternal 
life *. 

In that future existence the soul needs no body, for 

Christ, § 59, the npo0o\^ of the Demiurge, § 47 — that is to say, his vovs 
assumes a ipvx^ — and weaves for Himself a body ix rijs dtpavovs tffvxn^ 
ovaias, § 59. (vi) He was bom of the Holy Ghost and the Virgin ; § 23. 
The whole of the Gospel narrative then follows. 

^ § 7 : d 8i airrds iari toiovtos &v iie&ffTip otos K€x<upri<rO<u dvyarai. 

^ § 56 : rd fiiv oZv vy€VfiaTiKbv <pva€i ffoj^Sfievov^ to di ifafxi*^^^ a^e^oiaiov 
by kviTrfdet&rrjra ^x^' ^P^^ '''^ vtariv mt d/f^tipaiav leai rpdr dviffriav leal 
<l^opdy iinxrcl r^v olxtlav aXpeaty, rb 8^ itXtiebv <piua€i &n6\Xvrai. The 
Spiritual, the Elect, are masculine, children of Adam ; the Psychic, the 
Called, are feminine, children of Eve; § 21. This idea is found in the 
Homilies. The Spiritual must be 'shaped' by knowledge; §§ 57, 59: 
the Psychic must be ' grafted on to the fruitful olive ; * § 56, ' changed ' 
from slavery into freedom, from feminine into masculine, §§ 57, 79. Unless 
they become spiritual they are burnt up in the fire, § 52, body and soul 
perish in Gehenna (proved by Matt. x. 28), § 51, that is to say before 
they rise to Paradise the fourth heaven, which earthly flesh may not 
enter, § 51 : this last idea is based upon 2 Cor. xii. 2. 

' §§ 69-75. 
* §§ 76-78. 



I.] Gnostic Eschatology. 33 

It is Itself a body, as the Stoics taught ^ It is im- 
mortal and for ever blessed. But there are degrees of 
felicity. The spiritual soar up at once through the 
seven planetary orbits to the Ogdoad, the region of 
the fixed stars, where is no more labour nor change. 
There they await the consummation, when Christ, the 
great High Priest, shall lay aside His soul, and enter 
through the Cross — that is the upper Firmament — into 
the Holy of Holies, taking with Him His children, now 
become pure Words like Himself. The Psychic are 
cleansed by fire, the sensible and the intellectual fire 2, 
the pangs of sense, the stings of remorse. Aided and 
comforted by guardian angels^, who were 'baptised for 
them,' while yet they were 'dead in trespasses and 

* § 14, dXAd icaiii '^xt\cw\Jia, Fot how, the anthor asks, can the souls 
who are chastised feel their punishments if they are not bodies ? Corpore£4 
also, though in an ever-ascending scale of fineness, are the demons, the 
angels, archangels and Protoctists, the Only-Begotten, and apparently even 
the Father; §§ lo, ii. 

» §81. 

' Theodotus appears to distinguish two classes of Angels ; those created 
by the Demiurge, who like all his works are imperfect copies of the 
existences of the spiritual world, § 47, and the ' male angels,' the creation 
of the Only-Begotten, § 21. It is by union with these that the 'female 
soul' becomes masculine and capable of entering the Pleroma. It is 
these angels that are 'baptised for the dead' (i Cor. xv. 29). Hence 
the Valentinian was baptised eis X^pcMXiv dyy€\i«^Vy in the same Name 
in which his guardian Angel had previously been baptised ; § 22. The 
male Angels came down with Jesus for our salvation, § 44, and ' pray for 
our forgiveness that we may enter in with them. For they may be said 
to have need of us that they may enter in, for without us this is not 
permitted to them ; ' § 35. Similar ideas will be found in the religion of 
Mithra, see below, Lecture vii, and in the Homilies, ix. 9 sqq. (though 
here the union is between the bad man and his demon). So Heracleoii 
says (apud Origen in Joan, xiii. 11) that the Samaritan woman's husband 
is her Pleroma. Cp. also Irenaeus, iii. 15. 2 : 'est inflatus iste talis, neque 
in caelo neque in terra putat se esse, sed intra Pleroma introisse et com- 
plexum iam angelum sunm.' Also the Valentinian epitaph quoted by 
Renan, Marc-AuriUf p. 147. 

D 



34 Gnostic Eschatology, [Lect. 

sins/ who love them, and yearn for them as their 
spiritual brides, they rise, through three * mansions' or 
stages of discipline, to the Ogdoad their final home, 
their Rest ^. Thus spirit, soul, and body, the com- 
mingling of which is the cause of all evil and suffering, 
are finally separated into their appointed places, and 
the healing work of Christ is achieved. It is not diffi- 
cult to trace here a barbaric Platonism, mingled with 
Mazdeism, coloured by the influence of the Ebionites, 
and strangely refracted echoes of St. Paul ^. St. Paul 

* Jesus in his descent puts on the Psychic Christ in 'T<5iros, Space, the 
realm of the Demiurge; § 59. It was the Psychic Christ, that is the 
Human Nature, that died, § 61, and now sits on the right hand of the 
Demiurge, § 62, till the Restitution, *in order that he may pacify Space 
and guarantee a safe passage for the Seed into the Pleroma,' § 38. Then 
He lays aside ^vx4 ^^^^ ccu/ia and passes through the Veil, § 27, taking 
with him His children, His Body, the Church, § 42. Till then the 
elect await Him in the Ogdoad, the eighth heaven, the changeless region 
of the fixed stars, §§ 26, 63, becoming Words, Intelligent Aeons, \6nfOi^ 
alcoves voepol, §§ 27, 64. At the same time the Psychic rise from the 
Kingdom of the Demiurge to the Ogdoad, § 63. 

" The barbaric cast of their Philosophy may be seen in the grotesque 
character assumed by the Logoi or Aeons in the popular systems, in 
the crude description of the Non-Existent God by Basilides, and generally 
in the Gnostic incapacity for abstract ideas. Thus the inner Veil which 
divides the Ogdoad from the Pleroma, the world of Ideas, is Heaven. 
But one derivation given for the word ovpw6s is Spos, a boundary or 
division. Horos might mean a pole, such as Greeks employed to mark 
the limits of a field. Hence the upper firmament might be called XravpSs, 
the Cross which divides believers from unbelievers ; Excerpta, § 42. The 
passions were conceived of in Stoic fashion as actual bodies hanging on 
to the soul, the rtpoaaprfiiMra or vpoa<f»v^s ^x4* Man thus becomes, says 
Clement, a kind of Trojan Horse; Strom, ii. 20. 112 sqq. As to the 
Mazdeism, there is clear historical proof of the connection of Gnosticism 
with the system of Zoroaster ; cp. Lect. vii, the passages referred to above 
from Plutarch and Porphyry, Duncker, vol. v. pp. 53 sqq. of the English 
translation. As to Ebionitism, I notice the following points of resemblance 
between Theodotus and the Homilies — Anthropomorphism — ^the Syzygies — 
the antitheses of Male and Female, Fire and Light, Right and Left — the 
union of the soul with its Angel — the idea that the Water of Baptism 
<}uenches the fire of sin, suggesting or suggested by the ancient readhig in 



I.] Results of Gnosticism. 35 

was held in high esteem by these sectaries, and to their 
sinister admiration is largely due the neglect of his 
special teaching in the early Church. 

This Dualism, this Fatalism, for the three natures are 
a modified fatalism, are vain and worse than vain. 
They belong to a lower stage of religious life, above 
polytheism, yet far below Christianity. From this 
semi-barbarism spring all the faults of Gnosticism, its 
conceit, its uncertain morality, its chimeras, its peremp- 
tory solutions of the insoluble. Like all half-truths it 
perished self-convicted, melting away like Spenser's 
woman of snow in presence of the living Florimell. It 
left a certain mark upon Catholicism, and partly by 
shaking the older faiths, partly by preparing men's minds 
for a better belief, partly by compelling the leaders 
of the Church to ask what they believed and why they 
believed it, aided not inconsiderably in the triumph of 
the Gospel, and in the development of the Creed ^. But 
in the second century, while it was yet living and 
aggressive, it constituted a danger greater than the 
Arian controversy, greater than any peril that has ever 
menaced the existence of the Faith. 

Matt. iii. 15, which tells how a fire shone in the Jordan at the baptism 
of Jesus. Lastly, the doctrine of several Incarnations of Jesus is found 
in the Excerpta, § 19. Zahn is therefore mistaken in saying (p. 123) that 
there is no trace of Ebionitism in the Christology of Clement's Theodotus. 

^ The first philosophical statement of the Real Presence is to be found 
Excerpta, % 82. To Gnostics is due the importation of the words ovaia^ 
virSffraais, dfiooijffios into theology. They held the Virgin in high honour ; 
Renan, Marc-AurHe, p. 145. They were the first to speculate on the date 
of the Nativity, Strom, i. 21. 145, and to attempt the portraiture of Christ ; 
Iren. 1. 25. 6. Beyond this I see nothing but the influence of antagonism. 
See however Hamack, Dogmengeschichte, pp. 185 sqq. 



D % 



LECTURE II. 

That was the true Lights which lighteth every man that cometh 

into the world, — St. John i. 9, 

According to the earliest tradition, that which is 
preserved in the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies, Chris- 
tianity was first preached in the streets of Alexandria 
by Barnabas ^. But for ages the Egyptians have attri- 
buted the foundation of their Church to St. Mark, the 
interpreter of St. Peter. At a later date the Patriarchs 
of Alexandria were elected be^de the tomb of the 
Evangelist in the great church of Baucalis, the most 
ancient ecclesiastical edifice in the city, in close prox- 
imity to the wharves and corn-magazines of the crowded 
harbour. 

At the close of the .second century the Church of 
Alexandria was already a wealthy and flourishing com- 
munity. Its warfare is said to have been comparatively 
bloodless. Three times within a hundred years Egypt 
had endured all the horrors of unsuccessful rebellion, and 
once a sanguinary riot had been occasioned by the dis- 

^ Horn, I. 8 sqq. The claims of Mark find no support from Clement. 
But Bishop Lightfoot thinks there is no reason to doubt the tradition ; 
Philippians, p. 323, ed. 1873. See Redepenning, Origenes, i. p. 185, note. 

The sources employed for this sketch of the history of the Alexandrine 
Church are Contextio Gemmarum sive Eutychii Pair, Alex, Annales, 
Bocock, Oxford, 1656; Eutychii Origines Eccl. Alex., Selden, London, 
1642 ; Le Quien, Oriens Christianus ; Renaudot, Historia Patriarcharum 
Alex. Jacobitarum \ Neale, Holy Eastern Church, Some information is 
to be gathered from the Oracula Sibyllina, see Excur. in Alexandre's ed., 
and much from Clement. Origen's church was that of Palestine, llie 
letter of Hadrian to Servianus in Vppiscus, Vita Satumini, is regarded as a 
forgery by Mommsen, v. p. 579 note. 



The Alexandrine Church. 37 

covery of the Apis bull \ Amid scenes like these the 
Christians no doubt bore their full share of suffering. 
But down to the time of Severus there appears to have 
been no definite persecution of the faith ^. The execu- 
tion of Christians was in general a concession to the 
mob, and it is probable that in Alexandria in ordinary 
times the populace was held down by a much more 
severe restraint than elsewhere, the Emperors being 
always nervously apprehensive of any disturbance by 
which the supply of corn might be interrupted. Under 
these favouring circumstances the Church had spread 
with great rapidity. Already the house-church of the 
first age had been replaced by buildings specially con- 
structed for the purposes of Christian worship ^, and it 
would seem therefore that the right of holding land was 
enjoyed, perhaps under some l^al fiction, by the 
Alexandrine, as it certainly was by the African and 
Roman communities *. In other naatters the Egyptian 

* In 115 the Jews of Egypt and Cyrene revolted, and were quelled by 
Marcins Turbo. The rebellion of Barcochba extended to Egypt, and in 
the reign of Marcus occurred the insurrection of the Bucoli ; see Mommsen, 
V. 581. The Apis sedition is recorded in Spartian's Life of Hadrian, 12. 

' Clement says {^Strom, ii, ao, 125), i)/ttV tk dfl>0ovoi fjuxprvpojv mjyat 
l/raon/f ^fiipas Iv 6<p0aKfJLoTs ^fxwv $icj povfi€vai rrapoirrwfiivajv dvatririvSvXcvo- 
fjUvojv rcLs K€<l>aXcLs dvortfjivofiivojv. He may be speaking of sufferings in 
other countries, or Christian blood may have been shed in Alexandria 
before the official commencement of the persecution of Severus. See Aub^, 
Les Chretiens dans P Empire Romain^ pp. 117 sqq. Nevertheless persecution 
was always going on more or less in every province where the governor 
happened to be weak or hostile. Since the discovery of the Greek text of 
the Acts of the Scillitan martyrs, this tragedy is known to have occurred in 
180, a time otherwise of peace : see Gones, Jakrb, fiir Prot. Theol. 1884, 
parts ii and iii. 

' Clement speaks of * coming from church 'just as we do, Paed, ii. 10. 96, 
liritk l£ kK/cXijffias, <f>4pet Ij &yopdi ^fKovra, but does not like Origen refer to 
the arrangements of the building. See on this subject Probst, Kirchlicfie 
Discipline pp. 181 sqq. 

* ' Areae Christianorum ' are mentioned by TertuUian, Ad Scapulam^ 3. 



38 The Alexandrine Church. [Lect. 

Church seems to have moved less rapidly than its neigh- 
bours. The traces of a written liturgy in Clement are 
—scanty and vague ^. The Eucharist was no^et disjoined 
from the Agape. Infant Baptism was not yet the rule. 
Discipline was not so severe as elsewhere. The Bishop 
was not yet sharply distinguished from the Presbyter, 
nor the Presbyter and Deacon from the lay-brother. 
The fidelity, with which the Alexandrines adhered to 
othe ancient democratic model, may be due in part to 
the social standing and intelligence of the congregation. 
The same reason may account for their immunity from 
many of the ecclesiastical storms of the time. Gnosti- 
cism indeed was rampant in this focus of East and 
West. But of Noetianism, of the Easter controversy, 
of Montanism hardly a sound is to be heard ^. 

About the same time Callistus was overseer of the cemetery at Rome; 
Philos, ix. 12. 

^ Probst i^Liturgie^ p. 9) gives reasons for supposing that the first sketch 
of a written Liturgy existed in the middle of the second century, and {ibid. 
pp. 135 sqq.) finds in Clement traces of a Liturgy resembling in its main out- 
lines that given in the eighth book of the Apostolical Constitutions. It is most 
difficult to say what precise facts underlie Clement's allusive phrases. The 
only passages, so far as I know, in which written formularies may be re- 
ferred to are Strom, vii. 1 2. 80, where rh fpa to. So(6\oya tA Sia 'Haa^ov dX- 
Krjyopo^fitua seem to allude to the Trisagion uttered by the Cherubim and 
Seraphim (Renaudot, Liturgiarum Orient. Collection i. p. 46), and Protrep, 
xi. Ill, where the 'outstretched hands of Christ* may be explained by a 
phrase in the ancient Alexandrine Liturgy translated by Ludolfus, from the 
Ethiopic (in Bunsen, Hippolytus^ iv. p. 242), 'ut impleret voluntatem tuam 
et populum tibi efiiceret expandendo manus suas.' For the Agape and 
Infant Baptism, see next Lecture. 

* Of Noetianism Clement does not speak. He wrote a treatise IIcpJ rov 
vAffxa, in which he considered the relation of St. John's narrative to that of 
the Synoptists ; see the Fragments, the best account is that of Zahn, Forsch- 
ungen, iii. p. 32) ; and the Kai^cirv tKicXriaiaaTiKhs ^ ir/)ds robs lovdaiCovras 
may have been directed against the Quartodecimans (see Zahn, idid. p. 35). 
The Treatises (Sermons, Zahn thinks) on Fasting and the promised but 
not written treatise on Prophecy were certainly aimed at the Montanists, 
whom he mentions with forbearance, Strom, iv. 13. 93; vi. 8. 66. But 



II.] The Alexandrine Church. 39 

Nevertheless wealth and numbers brought dangers of 
their own, and Alexandria was driven along the same 
road which other Churches were already pursuing. The 
lowering of the average tone of piety and morals among 
the laity threw into stronger relief the virtues of the 
clergy, and enabled them with a good show of justice 
and necessity to claim exclusive possession of powers, 
which had originally been shared by all male members 
of the Church. 

We can still trace the incidents, by which this mo- 
mentous change was effected. The most interesting 
feature in the Alexandrine Church was its College of 
twelve Presbyters, who enjoyed the singular privilege of 
electing from among themselves, and of consecrating, 
their own Patriarch ^, They were the rectors of the 
twelve city parishes, which included certain districts 

he does not seem to have been troubled at home by either Montanism or 
Judaism. 

^ Contextio Gemmarum, p. 331 : ' Constituit autem Evangelista Marcus, 
una cum HananiaPatriarcha, duodecim Presbyteros, qui nempe cumPatriarcha 
manerent, adeo ut cum vacaret Patriarchatus unum e duodecim Presbyteris 
eligerent, cujus capiti reliqui undecim manus imponentes ipsi benedicerent et 
Patriarcham crearent ; deinde virum aliquem insignem eligerent quem secum 
Presbyterum constituerent loco eius qui factus est Patriarcha, ut ita semper 
extarent duodecim. Neque desiit Alexandriae institutum hoc de Presbyteris, 
ut scilicet Patriarchas crearent ex Presbyteris duodecim, usque ad tempora 
Alexandri Patriarchae Alexandrini qui fuit ex numero illo cccxviii. Is 
autem vetuit ne deinceps Patriarcham Presbyter! crearent et decrevit ut 
mortuo Patriarcha convenirent Episcopi qui Patriarcham ordinarent. . . . 
Atque ita evanuit institutum illud antiquius.' In Selden, p. xxxi. 

Cp. Jerome, Ep. 146 (in Migne), Ad Evangelum : * Nam et Alexandriae a 
Marco Evangelista usque ad Heraclam et Dionysium Episcopos Presbyteri 
semper unum ex se electum in excelsiori gradu coUocatum Episcopimi 
nominabant: quomodo si exercitus Imperatorem faciat.' Eutychius also 
tells us that Demetrius was the first to appoint Suffragans. See Bishop 
Lightfoot, Philippians, Excursus on the Christian Ministry. The inference 
that there was a prolonged struggle between the two orders is RitschVs 
Entstehung der Altk. Kirche, 2nd ed. p. 432. 



40 The Alexandrine Church. [Lect. 

outside the walls. Even in the time of Epiphanius 
they exercised a sort of episcopal jurisdiction ^. They 
formed a chapter, of which the Patriarch was President, 
and to this chapter all provincial letters were addressed. 
But towards the close of the second century their chief 
and distinguishing prerogative had been lost. While 
the Patriarch Julian lay upon his death-bed, he was 
warned by an angel in a vision, that the man, who next 
day should bring him a present of grapes, was destined 
to be his successor. The sign was fulfilled by Deme- 
trius, an unlettered rustic, and, what to later ages seemed 
even more extraordinary, a married man. In obedience 
to the divine warning Demetrius was seated almost by 
force in the throne of St. Mark. He proved a stern 
and enterprising ruler. He stripped the people of one 
of their few remaining privileges by the censure, which 
he pronounced on Origen for preaching while yet a 
layman, and he broke the power of the Presbyteral 
College by the appointment of a number of Suffragan 
Bishops, whom he afterwards persuaded to pass sentence 
of degradation upon Origen, a sentence which the Pres- 
byters had refused to sanction^. From this time the 
Chapter never succeeded in regaining its prerogative, 
though the struggle appears to have been protracted 
till the incumbency of the Patriarch Alexander. Thus 
was finally abolished this most interesting relic of a 
time, when there was no essential difference between 
Bishop and Priest, and of a later but still early time, 
when the Bishop was chairman or life-president of a 



1 Epiph. Ixix. I. 

" Redepenning, Origenesy i. p. 412; Huet, Origeniana, i. 2, 12 (Lomm^ 
xxii. 44) ; Photius, cod. cxviii. 



.i 



II.] The Catechetical School. 41 

council of Priests, by whom the affairs of a great city- 
church were administered in common. 

A large and rich community, existing in the bosom of 
a great University town, could not long submit to exclu- 
sion from the paramount interests of the place. Their 
most promising young men attended the lectures of the 
heathen professors. Some like Ammonius relapsed into 
Hellenism, some drifted^ into Gnosticism like Ambrosius, 
some like Heraclas passed safely through the ordeal, and 
as Christian priests still wore the pallium, or philoso- 
pher's cloak, the doctor's gown we may call it of the 
pagan Academy. Learned professors like Celsus, like 
Porphyry, began to study the Christian Scriptures with a 
cool interest in this latest development of religious 
thought, and pointed out with the acumen of trained 
critics the scientific difficulties of the Older Testament 
and the contradictions of the New. It was necessary to 
recognise, and if possible to profit by, the growing con- 
nection between the church and the lecture-room. 
Hence the catechetical instruction, which in most other 
communities continued to be given in an unsystematic 
way by Bishop or Priest, had in Alexandria developed 
about the middle of the century into a regular institu- 
tion. _ 

This was the famous Catechetical SchooP. dt still 
continued to provide instruction for those desirous of 
admission into the Church, but with this humble routine 
it combined a higher and more ambitious function. 1 It 
was partly a propaganda, partly we may regard it as a 

^ Schools of a similar description existed at Antioch, Athens, Edessa, 
Nisibis ; Guerike, Dc Schola Akx. p. 2 ; Hamack, Dogmengeschichtey 501 
sqq. 



42 The Catechetical School. [Lect» 

denominational college by the side of a secular univer- 
sity. (There were no buildings appropriated to the 
purpose. The master received his pupils in his own 
house, and Origen was often engaged till late at night 
in teaching his classes or giving private advice or in- 
struction to those who needed it. The students were 
of both sexes, of very different ages. Some were con- 
verts preparing for baptism, some idolaters seeking for 
light, some Christians reading as we should say for 
orders or for the cultivation of their understandings. 
There was as yet no rigid system, no definite classifica- 
tion of Catechumens, such as that which grew up a 
century later. The teacher was left free to deal with 
his task, as the circumstances of his pupils or his own 
genius led him. /But the general course of instruction 
' pursued in the Alexandrine school we are fortunately 
able to discover with great accuracy and fulness of detail. 
Those who were not capable of anything more were 
taught the facts of the Creed, with such comment and 
explanation as seemed desirable. Others, Origen tells us, 
were taught dialectically. The meaning of this phrase 
is interpreted for us by Gregory Thaumaturgus, one of 
the most illustrious and attached of Origen's disciples. 
At the outset the student's powers of reasoning and exact 
observation were strengthened by a thorough course of 
scientific study, embracing geometry, physiology, and 
astronomy. After science came philosophy. The writ- 
ings of all the theological poets, and of all the philoso- 
phers except the * godless Epicureans,' were read and 
expounded. The object of the teacher was no doubt in 
part controversial. He endeavoured to prove the need of 
revelation by dwelling on the contradictions and imper- 



.1 



II.] The Catechetical School. 43 

fections of all human systems, or he pointed out how the 
partial light vouchsafed to Plato or Aristotle was but an 
earnest of the dayspring from on high. But the attitude 
of Clement or Origen towards Greek thought was not 
controversial in any petty or ignoble sense. They looked 
up to the great master-minds of the Hellenic schools 
with a generous admiration, and infused the same spirit 
into their disciples. 

Philosophy culminated in Ethics, and at this point 
began the dialectic training properly so called. The 
student was called upon for a definition of one of those 
words that lie at the root of all morality, Good or Evil, 
Justice or Law ; and his definition became the theme of 
a close discussion conducted in the form of question and 
answer. In the course of these eager systematic con- 
versations every prejudice was dragged to light, every 
confusion unravelled, every error convicted,' the shame 
of ignorance was intensified, the love of truth kindled 
into a passion. So far the course pursued did not differ 
essentially from that familiar to the heathen schools. 
But at this point the characteristic features of the Chris- 
tian seminary come into view. We find them in the 
consistency and power, with which virtue was represented 
as a subject not merely for speculation but for practice 
— in the sympathy and magnetic personal attraction of 
the teacher — but above all in the Theology, to which all 
other subjects of thought were treated as ancillary ^. 
fit may be doubted whether any nobler scheme of 
Christian education has ever been projected than this, 

^ The materials for this account will be found in Guerike and the 
Panegyric of Gr^ory Thaumaturgus (in Lomm. xxv. 339). Gregory is 
describing the teaching of Origen as he had profited by it in Caesarea. But 
the description will hold good of his earlier work at Alexandria. 



\ 



44 Clement. [Lect. 

which we find in actual working^ at Alexandria at the 
end of the second century after Christ. I have dwelt 
upon it at some length, partly because of the light it 
throws upon the speculations of the great Alexandrine 
divines, partly in view of the charges of ignorance and 
credulity so often levelled at the early Christians. The 
truth is, that so far as the Church differed from the rest 
of society it differed for the better. Whatever treasures 
of knowledge belonged to the ancient world lay at 
its command, and were freely employed in its service, 
and it possessed besides the inestimable advantage of 
purer morals and a more reasonable creed. J/ 

The first master of the Alexandrine school is said to 
have been the Apologist Athenagoras. But the state- 
ment rests upon evidence so insufficient that we may be 
permitted to disregard it^. The teacher, under whom 
the institution first attains to a place in history, 
is Pantaenus, a converted Stoic philosopher^, who in 
the course of a mission journey to India is said to have 
discovered a Hebrew version of the Gospel of St. Mat- 
thew. He was an author of some eminence, but all that 
we possess of his writings is a fragment of some half-dozen 
lines, containing however a sensible and valuable remark 
on the relations of the Greek and the Hebrew verb. 
His pupil and successor was the more famous Clement. »^ 

Titus Flavius Clemens was a Greek, and probably an 
Athenian ^ He was born about the middle of the 

* The name of Athenagoras is found first in the list of masters of the 
Alexandrine school given by Philippus Sidetes in a fragment discovered by 
Dodwell. Gnerike inclines to accept the statement. Redepenning, i. 63, 
regards it as highly doubtful. See also Otto, Proleg. to Athenagoras, 
p. xxii. 

* See Guerike, Roulh. 

* Epiph. xxxii. 6 : WJiiirii tv <paffi tiv€s *A\(^avSp4a tnpoi di 'kOrjvtuov, It 



IL] His Life. 45 

second century, and inherited his name in all likelihood 
from an ancestor enfranchised by Vespasian or his son. 
He was the child apparently of heathen parents ^, and 
Eleusis and the Schools had been to him the vestibule 
of the Church. Like many another ardent spirit in that 
restless age he wandered far and wide in quest of truth, 
till at last in Egypt he * caught ' Pantaenus, * that true 
Sicilian bee,' hidden away in modest obscurity, and In 
his lessons found satisfaction alike for soul and mind. 
Here at Alexandria he made his home. He received 
priestly orders ^, and was appointed master of the Cate- 
chetical School, at first probably as assistant to Pan- 
taenus. He appears to have fled from the persecution 
of Severus in 203, and did not return to Egypt. After 
this date we catch but one uncertain glimpse of him ^, 
and it would seem that he died about 213. 

It is not an eventful biography. Clement was essen- 
tially a man of letters, and his genial contemplative 

seems a natural inference from the acconnt of his wanderings in Strom, i. 
I. II that he was not a native Alexandrine, and that his starting-point 
was Hellas. The statement that he was an Athenian is rendered probable 
by the character of his style, which is deeply tinged with Homeric phrases 
and bears a strong resemblance to that of Philostratus and the Sophists 
whom Philostratns describes, and again by his familiarity with Attic usage. 
See for this last point Paed, i. 4. 11 ; 5. 14; ii. 11. 117; 12. 122. But 
Dindorf, Preface, p. xxvii, tries to make him more Attic than he is. For 
the special bibliography of Clement the reader may consult Guerike, Dr. 
Westcott in Dictionary of Christian Biography, Jacobi's article in Herzog, 
and Dr. Hamack*s Dogmengeschichte, 

^ Eus. Praep, Ev, ii. 2. 64, ir&irruv filv IkSi ir€ifm IXBuv ivfip, Bdrrdv ye 
11^ rrjs rrXdvTjs Styaveiuaas. We may perhaps infer from the knowledge of 
the Mysteries display-ed in Protrep, ii. that he had been initiated. But the 
teachers to whom he expresses his obligations in Strom, i. i. 11 were all 
Christians. See the note in Heinichen's Eusebius, H,E,'7, 11. 3. 

* Paed. i. 6. 37. 

* Heinichen's Eus. H. E.yi. 11. 6. For further information as to the 
life of Qement see Guerike or Dr. Westcott's article in Dictionary of 
Christian Biography. 



46 Clement. [Lect. 

temper rendered him averse to direct controversy and 
the bustle of practical life. His writings are the faithful 
mirror of his studies and thoughts, but tell us little of 
incident. In later times he was considered a marvel of 
learning. Nor was this estimate ill-grounded, for the 
range of his acquaintance with Greek literature, eccle- 
siastical \ Gnostic, and classical, was varied and extensive. 
There are indeed deductions to be made. His citations 
are often taken at second-hand from dubious sources, 
and he did not sift his acquisitions with the scholar's in- 
stinct 2. He passes many a sharp remark on the rhetori- 

^ Clement was acquamted with Barnabas, Hermas, Clemens Romanns, 
with Melito, Xrenaeus (Eus. H, E. vi. 13. 9; compare Strom, vii. 18. 109 
with Irenaeus v, 8, and perhaps Frotr, xi. iii with Irenaeus iii. 22. 4; in 
both Adam is created as a child, and Eve is at first his playmate), possibly 
with Papias (but the yiovaX rroiKlKat may come from Irenaeus v. ad fin. or 
elsewhere ; see Routh, Papias, frag. 5) and Tatian. "With Justin (or the 
author of the Cohort, ad Gentiles and de Mon,) and Athenagoras he has certain 
quotations in common. These however are probably drawn by all three from 
\\H Hecataeus; cp. Strom, v. 14. 113. He has no knowledge of Ignatius or 
Tertullian. Of other books quoted I may name the Gospels according to 
the Hebrews and Eg3rptians, the Revelation of Peter, the Preaching of Peter, 
the Preaching of Paul (a distinct book), the Acts of Peter (?), the 
Assumption of Moses {Adumb. p. 1008), the Syllogisms of Misael, the 
Mar^iou irapaS($(rc{s, Doctrina Apostolorum, Duae Viae, Enoch {Adumb. 
1008), Sophonias {Strom, v. 11. 77). Others, the prophecies of Ham, 
Nicolaus, Parchor, &c., seem to be distinctively Gnostic. References will 
be found in editions of the Pp. App., Hilgenfeld, Bryennius, &c. I think 
it probable that he had read the Homilies. See Lardner, Credibility, 
vol. 2. A list of quotations from unknown Apocryphal sources will be 
foimd in Bishop Kaye. 

" On the Axpiaia of Clement see Dindorf, Preface^ xxii. Even when he 
quotes «arct X^^ti' there can be no doubt that he is generally following some 
secondary authority, often dishonest Jews, Hecataeus or Aristobulus. 
Anthologies abounded at Alexandria, and often bore fanciful names, such as 
\€ifji/dw, kXixdn^, lerjpioVy irivkos, impddtiaos {Strom, vi. I. a). A mere refer- 
ence to the indices will show that Clement's knowledge of the dramatists is 
not to be compared with that of Athenaeus. The lengthy passage begin- 
ning Strom, i. 21, with all its imposing array of authorities, is compiled from 
Tatian and Casianus. Lastly, though Clement refers to Varro and to Romaa 



II.] His Learning and Character. 47 

cians ^ but at bottom he is himself a member of their 
guild, cloudy, turgid, and verbose. But Theology had not 
yet driven out the Muses. His love of letters is sincere, 
and the great classics of Greece are his friends and coun- 
sellors. Even the comic poets are often by his side. If 
we look at his sweUing periods, at his benignity and 
liberality and the limitations of his liberality, at his 
quaint and multifarious learning, at his rare blending of 
gentle piety and racy humour, we shall find in him a 
striking counterpart to our own author of the Liberty 
of Prophesying. 

Clement is not a great preacher, for he has neither 
acted nor witnessed such a soul's tragedy as that dis- 
closed by Augustine in his Confessions. He is no such 
comforter for the doubting and perplexed as the fearless 
Origen. Still less is he one of those dialecticians who 
solace the logical mind with the neatness and precision 
of their statements. He is above all things a Mis- 
sionary. For one thus minded the path of success lies 
in the skill, with which he can avail himself of the good, 
that lies ready to his hand. He must graft the fruitful 
olive on to the wild stem, and aim at producing, not a 
new character, but a richer development of the old. 

This is his guiding principle. The Gospel in his view 
is not a fresh departure, but the meeting-point of two 

customs and history in four or five places, he seems to have been almost 
wholly ignorant of the West. 

^ They are * a river of words, a drop of sense,* or like old boots of which 
all but the tongue is worn out {Strom, i. 3. 22), full of quibbles and disputes 
about shadows {Strom, vi. 18, 182 ; Strom, i. 5. 29). Clement says of those 
who give themselves up to Rhetoric, 'as most do,' that they have fallen in 
love with the handmaid and neglect the mistress. This last figure is 
from Philo, De Congr, Erud. Grot. 27 : the handmaid is Hagar, secular 
knowledge ; the mistress Sarah, divine philosophy. He disparages style, 
Strom, i. 10. 48 ; ii. i, 3. 



48 Clement. [Lect. 

converging lines of progress, of Hellenism and Judaism. 
To him all history is one, because all truth is one. 
* There is one river of Truth,' he says, * but many 
streams fall into it on this side and on that ^.' Among 
Christian writers none till very recent times, not even 
Origen, has so clear and grand a conception of the 
development of spiritual life. The civilisation of the 
old world had indeed led to idolatry. But idolatry, 
shameful and abominable as it was, must be regarded 
as a fall, a corruption ^. The fruits of Reason are to be 
judged not in the ignorant and sensual, but in Hera- 
clitus, in Sophocles, in Plato. For such as these Science 
had been a covenant of God^, it had justified them as 
the Law justified the Jew*. He still repeats the old 

^ Strom, i. 5. 29. So a drachma is one and the same, but if you give it 
to a ship-captain it is called ' fare/ if to a revenue officer ' tax,' if to a land- 
lord * rent,* if to a schoolmaster ' fee,' if to a shopkeeper * price ;' Strom, i. 
20. 97, 98. Truth is like the body of Pentheus, torn asimder by fanatics, 
each seizes a limb and thinks he has the whole ; Strom, i. 13. 57. This last 
famous simile is borrowed from Numenius, Eus. Praep. Ev. xiv. 5. 7. 

* It was a corruption of Star-worship which God gave to the Gentiles 
as a steppmg-stone to a purer religion ; Strom, vi. 14. no sq. This idea, 
which is also found in Origen (Redepenning, ii. 27), is based partly on a mis- 
interpretation of Deut. iv. 19 (see Potter's Note), partly on the history of 
Abraham as told by Philo. The origin of Mythology Clement has analysed 
with considerable skill ; Protrep. ii. a6. But in general he hovers between 
the two views prevalent in the early Church, Sometimes he speaks of the 
gods, with Euemerus, as ' dead men/ sometimes as * demons.' Athenagoras, 
TertuUian, Minucius f'elix combine these two beliefs and represent the gods 
as dead men whose temples, images, and tombs were haunted by the 
demons for the sake of the steam and blood of the sacrifices. 

' Strom, vi. 8. 67. 

* Strom, i. 5. 28 ; vi. 5. 42 sqq. Philosophy is an imperfect gift bestowed 
oh irporjyovfjUvojt dXX^ /car* ivoKoKtMijfAa, t.e, not by special revelation 
but as a natural consequence of the possession of reason. Hence its right- 
eousness is imperfect and preparatory, and cannot avail those who deli- 
berately reject the Gospel ; Strom, i. 7. 38. It justified the Philosopher 
when it led him to renounce idolatry, vi. 6. 44, and carry his principles into 
practice, vi. 7. 55. But iixaios &«afov ttaOb ilKcu6s kartv oi hiwpipti^ vi. 6. 47* 



II.] Value of Philosophy. 49 

delusion that the Greek philosopher had 'stolen' his 
best ideas from the books of Moses ^. But his real belief 
is seen in the many passages where he maintains that 
Philosophy is a gift not of devils ^ but of God through 
the Logos, whose light ever beams upon his earthly 
image, the intelligence of man. 'Like the burning 
glass, its power of kindling is borrowed from the sun ®.' 

It was not only a wise but a courageous view. The 
Apologists had not as a rule been hostile to secular 
learning, but they made little use of it. Pleading for 
toleration, for life, to educated men they laboured to 
prove that the Christian doctrines of God, the Word, 
Virtue, Immortality, are those of all true philosophy, 
that Revelation is the perfection of Common Sense *. 
But they did not go beyond this ; their object was not to 
set out the whole of Christian teaching, still less to 
coordinate it. The Gnostics alone had attempted this. 
But the Gnostics endeavoured to combine the Evan- 
gelical theory with wholly alien beliefs. Hence, rejecting 
the Old Testament, they denied what all Christians 

Christ preached in Hades not only to Jews but to Greeks ; it would be * very- 
unfair/ irXcoi'c^fas ov t^s rvxoi&arfs ipyov, that the latter should be condemned 
for ignorance of what they could not know. See for other quotations, 
Guerike, Redepenning, Origenes^ i. 139 sqq, 

* Clement refers to the Greek Philosophers the words of our Lord, John x. 8, 
Yet all their knowledge was not * stolen;* Strom, i. 1 7. 87, But he maintains 
the hypothesis of * theft ' at great length, v. 14. 89 sqq. 

* Here too Clement vacillates. Strom, v. J. 10 he adopts the doctrine of 
the Homilies (or Enoch?) that the fallen angels betrayed the secrets of 
heaven to their earthly wives. Elsewhere philosophy is a fruit of the in- 
dwelling of the divine spirit, the ifup^ffrj/M, Protr. vL 68 ; Strom, v. 13. 87. 
Its doctrines are kvaiifffiard riva rod \6yov, Protr, vii. 74* Or it is given 
by the gOod Angels, Strom, vi. 17. 156 sqq. 

' Strom, vi. 17. 149. Strom, i, 5. 37 it is finely compared to God's rain 
which falls upon all kinds of soil and causes all kinds of plants to grow. 

* See Hamack, Dogmengeschichte, pp. 379 sqq. 

E 



50 Clement. [Lect. 

regarded as the principal evidence of the Divinity of 
Christ, their Docetism reduced Redemption to a purely 
moral and intellectual process, their Dualism cut away 
the testimony of Scripture and of experience to the 
existence and character of God^. There arose a violent 
reaction. Irenaeus maintains that God has given to 
us two infallible criteria, our own senses and Scripture, 
and that all beyond is superfluous and fallacious. Tatian 
inveighs against the Schools with fierce derision. Her- 
mias and TertulHan^ assert with the Book of Enoch 
that Greek Science is the invention of devils, the bridal 
gift of the fallen Angels to the daughters* of men. 
This opinion was strongly represented at Alexandria, 
which was indeed the hotbed of Gnosticism. The 
ruling party there was that of the Orthodoxasts, whose 
watchword was 'Only believe,' who took their stand 
upon the Creed and refused to move one step beyond ^. 

Even in that age and place Clement saw and dared 

• 

to proclaim, that the cure of error is not less knowledge 
but more. Hence he strenuously asserted not only the 
merits of Philosophy in the past but its continuous 
necessity in the Cburch *. Not merely' doe^ leahiihg J 

* This argument against Dnalism is nowhere so forcibly expressed as by 
the ingenious editor oi^t Recognitions S\.i2 : *Aperi nobis . . . quomodo tu ex 
lege didiceris deum quern lex ipsa nescit.* Ibid. 60 : ' Da ergo nobis . . . sensum 
aliquem novum per quern novum quem dicis deum possimus agnoscere ; isti 
enim quinque sensus, quos nobis dedit creator deus, creatori suo fidem 
servant.* Simon Magus replies that the sixth sense required is Ecstasy, and 
Peter in answer finely exposes the vanity of such a source of knowledge. 

* See Irenaeus, ii. 26, 27; Tert. Apol 35; De IdoL^\ .Hermia^^o^ 
init, (cp. Otto's Prolegomena^ pp. xliii. sqq.) ; Tatian, 25 sqq. 

' The 6p9odo^a(rral, Strom, i. 9. 45. He calls them also ((nX^yfeX-fifioves, 
ipwpodteis. They demand ifftX^v rijv vianv^ i. i. 18 ; 9. 43. For a lively 
but malicious picture of this party by the hand of a clever unbeliever, see 
Origen, Contra Celsum, iii. 44-78. 

* Strom, i. 5. 2?. 



J 



II.] Value of Philosophy. 51 

grace the preacher, not merely does it impart clearness, 
security, elevation to the convictions, but it is essential 
to conduct. For Christianity is a reasonable service. 
The virtue of Justice in particular is impossible without 
intelligence. Science is the correlative of Duty. And 
though Scripture is the all-sufficient guide, even here 
the Christian must borrow assistance from the Schools. 
For Philosophy is necessary to Exegesis. * Even in the 
Scriptures the distinction of names and things breeds 
great light in the souP.' 

Thus, however much the field of enquiry is limited by 
Authority, learning is still indispensable as the art of 
expression, as logic, as ethics, as sociology, as philology. 
But the Alexandrines went further. They professed 
and exhibited the most entire loyalty to the Creed. 
But outside the circle of Apostolical dogma they held 
themselves free. They agreed with the Orthodoxasts 
that Scripture was inspired. But their great Platonic 
maxim, that * nothing is to be believed which is un- 
worthy of God,' makes reason the judge of Revelation ^. 
They held that this maxim, was a part of the Aposto- 
lical tradition, and accordingly they put the letter of the 
Bible in effect on one side, wherever, as in the account of 
Creation or of the Fall, it appeared to conflict with the 
teaching of Science. But though there is in them a 

* Strom, i. 3. 19, ao ; 20. 99, 100 ; vi. 6 sqq., 10 sqq. The Lord an- 
swered Satan with, a play upon the word ' bread,* i. 9. 44, ' and I fail to see 
how Satan, if he were, as some consider, the inventor of philosophy and 
dialectics, coold be baffled by the well-known figure of amphiboly.* For 
the relation of Science to Duty see especially Strom, i. 9. 43 ; 10. 46 ; for 
its service to Exegesis, i. 9. 44 sq. ; vi. 10. 83. 

* This maxim is enunciated by Clement, Strom, vi. 15. 134 ; vii. 16. 196, 
and lies at the root of Allegorism. It is the guiding principle also of the 
Homilies (ii. 40, vw K^x^lv ^ yfwp\v ifarA rov 0€ou ifftvMs ktrriv), and of 
the Gnostics. 

£ 2 



52 dement. [Lect. 

strong vein of Common Sense or Rationalism, they 
were not less sensible of the mystic supernatural side 
of the religious life than Irenaeus. The difference is, 
that with them the mystical grows out of the rational, 
that they think always less of the historical fact than of 
the idea, less of the outward sign than of the inner 
truth. Their object is to show, not that Common Sense 
is enough for salvation, but that neither Faith without 
Reason nor Reason without Faith can bring forth its 
noblest fruits, that full communion with God, the 
highest aim of human effort, can be attained only by 
those who in Christ have grown to the stature of the 
perfect man, in whom the saint and the thinker are 
blended together in the unity of the Divine Love. 
Hence they represent on one side the revolt of Pro- 
testantism against Catholicism, on the other that of 
Mysticism against Gnosticism. And their great service 
to the Church is, that they .endeavoured faithfully to 
combine the two great factors of the spiritual life. 

The Canon of Scripture had already assumed very 
nearly its permanent form ^. Gradually, with infinite 
care and discussion, those documents, which could be 

' See Dr. Westcott, On the Canons pp. 354 sqq., ed. 1881 : 'Clement it 
appears recognised as Canonical all the books of the New Testament 
except the Epistle of St. James, the second Epistle of St. Peter, and the 
third Epistle of St. John. And his silence as to these can prove no more 
than that he was not acquainted with them.' Most of the references to 
James given in the Index are doubtful. But in Strom, vi. 18. 164 there 
seems to be a clear allusion to the ' royal law ' of love. And the mention 
of James with Peter, John, and Paul as the founders of Christian Gnosis, 
Strom, i I. 11; vi. 9. 68, would be very remarkable unless James were 
known to Clement as a Canonical writer. Again, Eusebius (ZT. E, vi. 14) and 
Cassiodorius both testify that James was commented ^upon in the Hypoty- 
poses. On the axithority attributed by Clement to Barnabas and the 
Revelation. of Peter (both were included in the Hypotyposes\ sat Dr. West- 
cott, App. B. 



II.] The Cmtan. 53 

regarded as possessed of Apostolical authority, had been 
set apart to form the New Testament. And as the 
circle was drawn closer, as the living voice of Prophecy 
died away, so the reverence for the canonical books grew 
higher, till they were regarded as inspired in the same 
sense as the oldftr Scriptures. But, as soon as men began 
to read the New Testament as a divinely given whole, 
they could not fail to be struck by the violent contrast 
between the teaching of St. Paul and the whole system 
of the existing Church. Down to this time no trace of 
* Paulinism ' is to be found, except among the Gnostics. 
Even Clement apologises for treating *the noble Apostle^,' 
as he calls him, with the same deference as the Twelve. 
But he does so without hesitation, and the working of 
the new leaven is seen at once in his view of Knowledge, 
of the Resurrection, of Retribution. Indeed, we may 
characterise this period as the first of those Pauline 
reactions, which mark the critical epochs of theology. 
It is the age of Irenaeus and the Alexandrines. But 
while the leading motive of the former is the Incarna- 
tion, the mystical saving work of Christ, the guiding 
principles of the latter are the goodness of God and 
the freedom of Man. Hence Paulinism assumed very 

^ 'O iLvSaroXoSy 6 icoAof, Oftrn^ffioSf ytvvatos dvSarokos. The passage 
referred to is Strom, iv. ai. 134, *l(Triov fiivroi &ri, cl xai 6 HavKog roTs 
)(p6vois vtd^ti tifOhs ii^rd. t^v tov /evpiov &v6Xrf^iv &Kfi&ffas, dXXd. oZv ^ ypci<t*^ 
a^^ ix rrjs vaXcuds ijpnjTau HiaB^Krjs iK€i$€V dvawiovaa /cdl \cL\ovaa, 

Clement maintains against the Ebionites that St. Paul is in complete 
accordance with the Jewish Scriptures. At the same time he regards him, 
like Origen, as one of the chief authorities for the use of Allegorism. On 
the terms 'Judaism,' 'Jewish Christian/ 'Paulinism,* see Dr. Hamack's 
excellent remarks {pogmengeschichte^ pp. 215 sqq.). Dr. Hamack also sets 
the Simon Magus myth in a true historical light {ibid. p. 179). It is 
cheering to notice the dying away of the wilful Tubingen theories, on 
which so much erudition and ingenuity have been wasted. 



54 Clement. [Lect. 

different shapes in the Western and the Eastern doctors ^. 
In the former the antithesis of the First and the Second 
Adam is already pointing the way to the Augustinian 
doctrine of Grace, in the latter the vision of the great 
day, when Christ shall deliver up the kingdom to His 
Father, leads on to Universalism. 

The second great question arising out of the com- 
pletion of the Canon was that of the Unity of Scripture. 
This the Catholic strenuously asserted, the Gnostic denied 
or admitted only with large reservations. 

What is the relation of the Old Testament to the 
New? What is that Law which Jesus came not to 
destroy but to fulfil ? The Ebionites replied that it was 
the Spiritual Law, that is to say the Moral Law, with 
the addition of certain positive precepts — circumcision, 
the sabbath, abstention from blood ^. The general body 

^ Harnack, Dogmengeschichte, pp. 424 sqq. 

^ I refer to the Homilies. Circumcision is there regarded as of eternal 
obligation ; thus in the Epistle of Peter and The Contestation it is ordered that 
the sacred books of the sect shall be entrusted to none but a circumcised 
believer. In the body of the work this condition is not insisted upon. But 
Clement had become a Jew at Rome; iv. 22. The observation of the 
Sabbath, again, is not insisted upon, but it underlies the k^SofjL&dos fivarffpiov 
of xvii. I o. The precepts of the Spiritual Law are given in vii.4. Abstention 
from blood was the law of the whole Church (see Or. Sifyllina, ii. 96 ; viii. 
402 ; Eusebius, H, E.v. i. 26 ; Tert. Apol. 9 ; Clement, Paed. ii. i. 17 ; 
Origen, In Rom. ii. 13, Lorn. vi. 1 28). It was falling into desuetude in the 
time of Augustine ; see note in Heinichen on Euseb. H. E.y. i. 26. The 
Sabbath was kept as a holy day ; see Bingham, xiii. 9. 3. It was still 
necessary to argue the higher sanctity of the Lord's Day, the eighth day. 
Hence the earnest iteration with which Clement dwells on the ^OyZo&bos 
fWffTqpioVy Strom, iv. 17. 109; v. 6. 36; 14. 106; vi. 14. io8 ; 16, 138. 
In the last passage he argues that Light was created on the first day, then 
follow six days of creative work, then the eighth a repetition of the first. 
I may notice here that in one passage (Strom, v. 11. 74) Clement speaks of 
the Law as actually forbidding Sacrifice. This is the view of the Homilies^ 
of Barnabas, ii. 9, of the Epistle to Biognetus^ iii. iv, and of the Praedicatio 
Petri apud Strom, vi. 5. 41. It is a good instance of Clement's erudite 
uncertainty. 



II.] Unity of Scripture. 55 

of the Church differed from this definition only in so far 
as they rejected the rite of circumcision. But the Ebion- 
ites went on to declare, that the whole of the Old Testa- 
ment, so far as it was not in strict agreement with this 
standard, is a forgery of the Evil Spirit. They involved 
in one sweeping condemnation the Temple ritual, the 
history of the wars, and the Monarchy, and a large part 
of the prophetic writings^. This was in substance the 
view of the Gnostics also. These maintained that the 
Author of the Old Testament is described sometimes 
as evil, sometimes as imperfect, commanding fierce wars 
of extermination, caring for sacrifice, governing by pay- 
ment and punishment. He is Just, they said,, at best, 
but surely not Good. 

Clement, whose intellect is penetrating but not syste- 
matic, did not grasp the whole range of the problem 
before him. He leaves for Origen the task of dealing 
with those passages, in which, as the Gnostics affirmed, 
the Scriptures attribute direct immorality to Jehovah, 
and confines himself to the proposition that goodness is 
not inconsistent with severity, that He who teaches must 
also threaten, and He who saves correct. Justice, he 
insists, is the reverse side of Love. * He, who is Good 
for His own sake, is Just for ours, and Just because He 
is Good^.' The moral Law then, though inferior to the 
Gospel Law, because it works by fear and not by love, 
and reveals God as Lord but not as Father, is yet one 

^ Not all the prophets; see the references in Lagarde*s edition of the 
Homilies, In particidar, Is. vii. 6, ix. 6 are applied to Christ, Horn, xvi. 14, 
from which it would seem that the first chapter of Matthew was not omitted 
by the Ebionites. This was quite consistent with a denial of Christ's 
Divinity, as in the case of Theodotus of Byzantium ; Philos. vii. 35. 

* Paed, i. 10. 88 ; the theme is dwelt upon at great length in Uiis book 
from chap. 8 onwards. Cp. Stnm, i. 27. 171 ; ii. 7. 52 sqq. ; iv. 3. 9. 



56 Clement [Lect. 

' with it in the way of development, as a needful prepara- 
tory discipline, as a step in the divine education of the 
world, or of the individual^. The rest of the Old Testa- 
ment, though in one sense transient, has yet an eternal 
significance as the shadow of good things to come, as 
revealing Christ throughout, though but in riddles and 
symbols. It has therefore a high doctrinal value for 
those who can read it aright. Already the Sacrificial 
Law was looked upon as the charter of the Christian 
hierarchy 2. But this opinion, so pregnant of conse- 
quences in later times, Clement deliberately rejects. In 
this point he differs from Origen, by whom the Priest 
and Levite are regarded as types of the Christian 
Presbyter and Deacon, though even he does not carry 
the parallel so far as was afterwards done^ 

Th.e method by which this inner harmony is discover- 
able, the key to the riddles of the Old Testament, is AJle=^ 
gorism. What this singular system effected in the hands 
of the Alexandrine Jew, we have already seen. By the 
Christian it was adapted to fresh purposes — the explana- 
tion of Prophecy and of the New Testament itself. It 
was in universal use, and was regarded by all as one 
of the articles of the Ecclesiastical Canon or Tradition ^ 

* For the unity of Inspiration, and so of all Scripture, see Strom, 
ii. 6. 29; iii. 11. 76; iv. 21. 132 ; iv. 22. 135 ; vi. 13. 106; vi. 15. 125; vii. 
16. 95 ; vii. 18. 107. The Law is inferior to the Gospel as teaching only 
abstinence from evil, yet this is the way to the Gospel and to well-doing ; 
iv. 21. 130. The Law and Prophets taught in riddles what the Gospel 
teaches clearly; vi. 7. 58; 15. 123. The Law governs by fear, it 6. 30, 
and reveals God as Lord, i. 27. 173, a very Philonic passage. 

* In the Testament of the Twelve Patriarchs. See Lightfoot, Philippians, 
pp. 252 sqq. 

' Origen, De Princ^ Preface, 8. Clement appears to distinguish between 
two traditions, the Ecclesiastical and the Gnostic, the Kav^ r^s iKKKrfffias, 
Strom, i. I. 15 ; 19. 96 ; vii. 15. 90 ; 16. 95, 104, and the yvwrri/ci^ vapdSoffis,, 



II. ] A llegorism. 5 7 

We shall be compelled to revert to this topic at a later 
period, and it will be sufficient here to notice, that the 
Alexandrines differed from their contemporaries in three 
important points. ' They regarded Allegorism as having 
been handed down from Christ and a few chosen Apostles, 
through a succession, not of Bishops, but of Teachers^. 
They employed it boldly, as Philo had done before them, 
for the reconciliation of Greek culture with the Hebrew 
Scriptures. And lastly they applied it to the New Testa- 
ment, not merely for the purpose of fanciful edification, but 
with the serious object of correcting the literal, mechanical, 
hierarchical tendencies of the day ^. This is in truth the 
noblest side of Allegorism, for here it deals with cases, 
where the antithesis of letter and spirit is most real and 

Strom, i. i. 15, or ti'wo'is, iv. 15. 97. The latter was communicated by 
Christ to James, Peter, John, Panl, and the other Apostles, vi. 8. 68, but 
only to the Four, i. i. 11 ; cp. Iv. 15. 97. The former is the Little, the 
latter the Great Mysteries. The former gives the facts of the Creed, and 
Faith and Obedience, being ' watered ' by Greek philosophy, lead up to the 
spiritual interpretation of the facts. See the opening of Strom, i. generally. 
The Gnostic tradition is secret in so far as all Christians do not as a matter 
of fact understand it, yet not secret in so far as all ought to understand it. 
Hence Clement, Paed, i. 6. 33, denies that the Church has hihayhs ^Kkas 
ivopp^rovSy while he yet speaks of t6 rys yy^jfirji dir6ppTjToy, Quis Dives 
Salvus, 5; Strom, 1. i. 13. The difference between this teaching and 
Origen's is merely verbal. 

* See Strom, L 1. 11 ; vi. 9. 68. 

' I may notice here that Clement speaks of Four Senses of Scripture. 
The MS. reading Tcrpoxws in Strom, i. 28. 1 79 is quite right, in spite of the 
doubts of Bishop Potter and Sylburg. Compare § 176, 1) \i\v ovv xard 
JAaxv^kd <f>t\oao<f>la r^rpaxyi ri/xytrcu, that is to say into History, Legislation 
( « Ethics), Sacrifice ( = Physics), and Theology or Epopteia ( = Dialectic 
or Metaphysics). Here the three higher divisions answer to the branches 
of Philosophy as taught in the Greek schools. In § 1 79 Clement repeats 
this : ' We must interpret the law in four ways as giving a type, or a moral 
command or a prophecy.' The literal sense is omitted. The identification 
of Sacrificial Typology with Physics is very arbitrary. Theodotus, £x- 
cerpta, § 66, speaks of Three Senses, the Literal, the Parabolic, and the 
Mystical, just like Origen, but finds them only in the New Testament. 



58 Clement [Lect. 

vital. Yet it was this crowning merit of the Alexandrines 
that led to one of their most serious errors. On many- 
points — the explanation of those much-contested words, 
Priest, Altar, Sacrifice, the Body and Blood of Christ, 
the Power of the Keys, Eternal Life, Eternal Death — 
they were at variance with the spirit of the age. Hence 
they were driven to what is known as Reserve. The 
belief of the enlightened Christian becomes a mystery, 
that may not be revealed to the simpler brother, for 
whom the letter is enough. They strove to justify them- 
selves in this by texts of Scripture, but their Reserve is 
in fact the 'medicinal lie^' of Plato, the freemasonry of 
the Gnostics, and their best defence is that in practice it 
is little more than a figure of speech. 

From the Unity of Truth flows the necessity of Reve- 
lation. For all knowledge must rest ultimately on the 
same small group of Axioms, which cannot be proved, as 
the Greek understood proofs. There is then no third term 
between a self-communication of the Divine and absolute 
scepticism. 

The ultimate and therefore, strictly speaking, only in- 
demonstrable axiom of religious philosophy is that, which 
concerns the Being and the Nature of God. By the 
grace of the Logos He has been known though imper- 
fectly in all ages and climes to those, who diligently 
sought Him. But to us He is revealed in the New 
Testament as a Triad ^ — Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. 

^ Strom, vii. 9. 53, of the Gnostic : d\i;^ t€ 7clp <l>pov€i &/m /cal dX.rf$€v€i, 
vk^v cl fAifi rroT€ iv Bepairelas fiipci^ leaOdvep larpos vpds voaovvras M ffomjfdtf 
rwv iMfa/SvTow if^cvcrcrcu ^ ip^vdos kpu /vara roiits aofpiarAs. 

^ Strom, ii. 4. 13; vi. 7. 57 sq. 

^ Strom. V. 14. 103. The word is used by Theophilus, Ad AutoL ii. 15. 
But it is doubtful whether Theophilns was the first to employ it. Cp. 
Excerpta ex Theod, § 80, where it is said that the believer &^ rpiSiv dvofj^ruv 



II.] The Trinity, 59 

What is the exact signification of these titles ? What 
is the precise relation to one another and to us of the 
Entities they denote ? The answer to these questions was 
the first and most difficult task of Christian Theology. 

From the very outset all Christian sects baptised and 
pronounced the benediction in the Triple. Name. Even 
those, who could not understand, did not venture to abjure 
this authoritative formula, and the problems agitated, 
serious as they undoubtedly were, turned solely upon 
the manner of its explanation. Some like the author of 
the Homilies^ and the Gnostics generally, tried to fit it 
on, by the most violent methods, to opinions derived 
from external sources^. Others endeavoured to recon- 
cile the One with the Three, by what is known as 
Emanationism. The Son, the Holy Spirit, were occa- 
sional expansions of the Divine Nature, shooting forth 
like rays from a torch, and again absorbed into the 
parent flame ^. Others, again, regarded the Three Names 
as three phases, or manifestations, of the One Divine 
Activity ^ But the main body of the Church asserted 

irdo-i^s r^s iv <t>0opq, rpid^s dmiWdyrf. The form of the antithesis seems 
to imply that the Three Names were already spoken of as a Trias. 

* The Homilies afford perhaps the most striking of all external proofs of 
the authenticity of the Baptismal Formula. The Son, one of the two powers 
of God, is emphatically ' not God.' The Holy Spirit is a mere occasional 
emanation, 'a hand put forth' for the purpose of creation and then 
* drawn back again/ xvi. la ; 15 ; xx. 8. Yet the sect which adhered to this 
Jewish ante-Philonic system baptised in the Triple Name, ix. 19, and used 
the doxology, iii. 72. The point is urged by Domer, vol. i. p. 168 of the 
English translation. A widely different view is maintained by Hamack, 
Dogmengeschichtey p. 56 ; Scholten, Die Taufformel. 

* The Son, Justin, Trypho^ 128 (p. 458 in Otto's ed.). This passage is 
wrongly referred to by Bishop Potter, and apparently by Siegfried, p. 334, 
as giving Justin's own opinion. The Holy Spirit, Athenagoras, p. 48 of 
Otto's ed. 

^ Perhaps the Alogi, see Domer ; but Dr. Schaff (/)«■/ of Christian Biog., 
Alogians) doubts this. The Monarchians, Neander, ii. p. 295 of the English 



6o • Clement. [Lect. 

the Deity and Personality of the Son, and, though with 
less unanimity, those also of the Holy Ghost, and spoke 
of the Three as united in Power or in Spirit. 

The Christian doctrine differed from that of Philo in 
many important features. In the latter, as we have 
seen, a certain doubt hangs over the number and even 
the existence of the Powers. They are a divination, a 
poet's vision of what may be, of what must be, but hardly 
more. And, because they form an indefinite series, the 
Powers are essentially inferior to their source. The 
Divine Energy is degraded as it approaches the sphere 
of material existence, the Logos has the light but not 
the fire of God. It is because he is inferior that he is 
the Demiurge, the Eternal Himself may not be brought 
into contact with evil. But the Christian held that God 
made the world out of nothing, and made it good. 
Hence the concrete is no longer polluted, and creation 
is a mark rather of the exaltation than of the inferiority 
of its Agent. * In Him was Life.' Thus there remains 
no other difference between the Father and the Logos 
than that between the One and the Many, an eternal 
antithesis, which in Clement's view implies the mutual 
necessity of the two terms, in that of Origen, who lays 
more stress upon the idea of causation, a distinction of 
dignity but not of nature. This mode of thought was 
immensely strengthened by the Incarnation, by which 

translation. Monarchianism was especially strong in Rome, £us. H, E, v. 
28 ; Philos. ix ; Tert. Adv. Prax, It is to be regarded neither as the pre- 
vailing view of the Roman Church, nor as a heresy introduced at a late 
date, but as an ancient opinion which had always existed side by side with 
the belief in a Personal Trinity. The incompatibility of the two modes of 
conception was not distinctly realised till towards the end of the second 
century. The chronology and details of the history of Monarchianism are 
very obscure. See Hamack, 564 sqq. 



II.] Previous Speculations. 6i 

humanity is taken up into the bosom of the Divine, and 
the deepest humiliation becomes a gauge of the Love 
and Wisdom that prompted it. Again in Philo there is 
scarcely a trace of any Messianic hope, while, in the belief 
of the Christian, Christ is at once the Giver, the Sum, and 
the Accomplisher of all Revelation. Other functions, 
that especially enhance the distinction between the two 
points of view, are those of Pardon and of Judgment. 

On the other hand, in one remarkable point the ideal 
of Christianity was in danger of falling below that of 
Philo. For there was a tendency in less philosophical 
minds to distinguish between the unspoken and the 
spoken Word, to conceive of the Son, the Divine Reason 
or Logos, as at first immanent in the mind of the Father 
and assuming hypostasis for the purpose of Creation^. 

It is at this point that Clement takes up the thread. 
But it must be observed, that he is never controversial 
nor even historical in his method. His horizon is limited 
by the Eastern world. He never glances at Monarch- 
ianism, which was already perhaps the subject of fierce 
debate in Rome. Hence it is difiicult to trace the exact 
relation of his ideas to those of his predecessors or 
contemporaries. 

The knowledge of God is necessarily the starting-point 
of the religious philosopher. But how is God to be 
known? Philo dwells upon the lessons to be learned 
from the order and beauty of Creation. These give a 
true though inadequate picture of Jehovah, and form the 

* Philo does not apply to the Divine Logos the distinction of kvZiii^tTo^ 
and vpo<l>ofH/e6s. It is employed by Theophilus, Ad Aut. li. lo. 22, by 
TertuUian, Adv. Prax. 5, and the author of tiie Philos. x. 33. Irenaeus rejects 
these tenns as Gnostic, ii. 28. 6. See Baur, Dreieinigkeit, pp. 163 sqq. ; 
Lehrb, der Chr, Dogmengesch, p. 105. 



62 Clement. [Lect. 

creed of the lower life, of those who have not risen above 
the guidance of the Logos. But Clement knows the 
world only through books, and hardly touches upon this 
fruitful and persuasive theme ^. For him the channels of 
revelation are only Scripture and abstract reason. He 
ought on his own principle to have regarded the second 
as merely ancillary to the first. This however is far 
from being his real view. Scripture gives us such an idea 
of God, as is sufficient to start and guide us in our efforts 
to attain moral purity. But purity is only a negative 
state, valuable chiefly as the condition of insight. He who 
has been purified in Baptism and then initiated into the 
Little Mysteries, has acquired that is to say the habits 
of self-control and reflection, becomes ripe for the Greater 
Mysteries^, for Epopteia or Gnosis, the scientific know- 
ledge of God. From this point he is led on by the 

4 

* He touches upon it, Protrep. i. 5 ; iv. 63. But we should notice that 
the Protrepticus is addressed to the unconverted heathen. 

* The three stages are represented loosely by the three surviving treatises 
of Clement. The Protrepticus is an exhortation to the heathen world to 
turn to the Word, the Light, and leads up to Baptism. The Paedagogus 
shows how the baptised Christian is further purified by discipline which 
eradicates passion =: ret Ka$6p<na^ rd fwcfA iivaHipta, The Stromateis as we 
have them are a rambling account of the moral side of Gnosis. They 
describe Book i the relation of Faith to Education ; Book ii the definition 
of Faith and its relation to Knowledge; Book iii the Gnostic virtue of 
Temperance; Book iv Courage and Love; Book v Relation of Faith to 
Symbolism ; Book vi Ejiowledge, Apathy, the use of Philosophy ; Book vii 
description of the Gnostic life. The last two books conclude what he calls 
the i}0c«ds T<Jiros, and were to be followed by an investigation of the dpxcu, 
the Gnosis proper. This he never wrote. The logical treatise which 
forms Book viii may have been intended as an introduction to the Christian 
metaphysics. Thus Clement never really reached the fityiXa fivffrfipia or 
lvoirrc(a. See Strom, i. 1. 15 ; v. 11. 71; vi. i. i; vii. 4. 27 ; Protrep, xii. 
118 sqq. ; Paed, i. i. For a fuller analysis of his writings, see Westcott, 
Clement of Alexandria^ in Diet of Ch. Biog. ; Overbeck, TluoL Lit. Ztg., 
1879, ^O' ^o> ^^^ Hist. Ztschr.y N. F., Bd. zii. pp. 455-472; Zahn, 
Forschungen, Other information in Fabricius, I^Uine, De yy&trti. 



t 

1 1 



II.] The Deity., 63 

method of Analysis or Elimination^. 'Stripping from 
concrete existence all physical attributes, taking away 
from it in the next place the three dimensions of space, 
we arrive at the conception of a point having position.' 
There is yet a further step, for perfect simplicity has not 
yet been gained. Reject the idea of position, and we 
have reached the last attainable abstraction, the pure 
Monad. 

This IS God. We know not what He is, only what 
He is not. He has absolutely no predicates, no genus, 
no differentia, no species. He is neither unit nor 
number. He has neither accident nor substance. Names 
denote either qualities or relations. God has neither. 
*He is formless and nameless, though we sometimes 
give Him titles, whrch are not to be taken in their proper 
sense, the One, the Good, Intelligence, or Existence, or 
Father, or God, or Creator, or Lord.' ^pThese are but 
honourable phrases, which we use, liot because they 
really describe the Eternal, but that our understanding 
may have something to lean upon 2. 

The next step must obviously be to find some means 
of restoring to the Supreme Being the actuality, of 
which He has been deprived in this appalling definition. 
This Clement effects through the doctrine of the Son. 
* The God then, being indemonstrable, is not the object 

^ 6.v6>MaiSy Strom, v. ii. 71, or xarct AfpaiptatVf Alcinons, chap. 10. The 
same method is applied by Maximns Tyrins, xvii. 5 sqq. See Lecture V ad in. 

" The leading passages are Strom, v. 11. 71; 12. 81 sq. ; vi. 18. 166 ; cp. 
also ii. 2. 6. God is kftkKuva rov Ms /eat imlp aMiv fiovdda, Paed. i. 8. 71. 
But though this really means the same as lir^xeiva r^s ohis'ai'Sy Clement 
avoids the use of this Platonic phrase. God is or has ovo'Ia, Strom, ii. 2. 5 ; 
iv. 26. 162 ; v. 10. 66 ; Fragment of vtpi vpovolas, Dindorf, iii. 497 ; Zahn, 
iii. 40. Clement departs from Plato again in appljnng the term Infinite to 
God. 



64 Clement [Lect. 

of knowledge, but the Son is Wisdom, and Knowledge, 
and Truth, and whatever else is akin to these, and so is 
capable of demonstration and definition. All the powers 
of the Divine Nature gathered into one complete the 
idea of the Son, but He is infinite as regards each of 
His powers. He is then not absolutely One as Unity, 
nor Many as divisible, but One as AH is One. Hence 
He is All. For He is a circle, all the powers being 
orbed and united in Him.* 

The Son in this Pythagorean mode of statement is ^ 
the circle, of which the Father is the central point. He 
is the ideal Many, the Mind, of which the Father is the 
principle of identity. He is in fact the consciousness of 
God^ 

We are here brought into contact with one of the 
most pregnant thoughts of the second century. Clement 
it will be seen, though Philo is before his eyes, has 
taken the leap from which Philo recoiled. He has 
distinguished between the thinker and the thought, be- 
tween Mind and its unknown foundation, and in so 
doing has given birth to Neo-Platonism 2. 

* Strom, iv. 25. 156. If Zahn is right {Forsch. iii. 77) in ascribing to 
the Hypotyposes the fragment preserved by Maximos Confessor, Clement 
expressly denied to God any conscionsness of the external world. He sees 
the object only as mirrored in the Son. This will then be the signification 
of the words (S;s fJio BO^^yxira. 6 Oths tcI 6vra yivd;<r«€u Routh (vol. i. p. 
378) with better reason attributes the fragment to Pantaenus. But in any 
case Clement's meaning seems to be clear. 

' The doctrine of the Absolute God Clement may have drawn through 
Basilides or Valentinus from Aristotle. The conception of the Son as the 
Father's complement, the v6riais which the Father vo^T^ is not, so far as 
I am aware, to be found in any Gnostic writer. Contrast with Clement's 
language Excerpta^ % 7. The doctrine of Numenius, as I shall endeavour 
to show in Lecture vii, is quite different. Nor can Clement have been 
indebted to Ammonius Saccas. For Ammonius would be only about 
thirty years of age in 390 A. D. Philosophers rarely began to teach befoie 



II.] The Deity. 65 

It IS essentially a heathen conception, and can be 
developed consistently only on heathen principles. 
Clement has gone astray from the first by his mode of 
approaching the subject. The question as he has posed 
it is, not what is Spirit ? or what is the Idea of Good ?* 
but a very different one, what is the simplest thing con- 
ceivable? And he assumes that this is> and that it is 
the cause of all that exists. Nothing that is part of the 
effect can belong to the Cause. Hence, instead of 
seeking for the Perfect Being, he has fallen upon this 
futile method of Analysis, which deals with words not 
with things, and asks, not what is divisible in reality; 
but what is divisible in logic. The result is a chimera, 
a bare Force, which neither is nor is not, neither thinks 
nor thinks not, a Cause divided by an impassable gulf 
from all its effects. Nor has Clement been at any pains 
to surround his doctrine with the needful explanations 
and safeguards. This work he left entirely to Plotinus. 

Some indeed of the consequences Clement foresaw. 
Thus he tells us that man may become by virtue like 
the Son, but not Hke God ^. Others he does not appear 
to have felt at all. The transcendental God, who is not 
the object of knowledge, can be approached only by a 
faculty other than reason, by direct Vision or Ecstasy, 

that age, and Ammonias, who is said to have been originally a porter, prob- 
ably did not attain any eminence till even a later period of life. This 
I renegade Christian was most likely himself indebted to Clement. On the 
relation of Clement to Plotinus, see especially A. Richter, Neu-Platonische 
Studien^ Halle, 1867. <A;lso Dahne, De yvdxrtt: Vacherot, Histoire de 
P£cole d^Alexandrie, 

^ Strom, vi. 14. 114, it is impions to suppose (as the Stoics did) that the 
virtue of God and that of man are the same. ' Some Christians,' however, 
maintained that man by virtue becomes like God, Strom, ii. 22. 131. See 
Irenaeus, v. 6 ; Tert. De Bapt. 5 ; Recognitions ^ v. 23 ; Dahne, De yv6xr€i, 
p. 103 note. 

F 



66 Clement. [Lect. 

but Clement does not teach this ^. He believed in the 
revelation of God by His Son. But what gospel has 
revealed this Monad, how could He be revealed, what 
good would the revelation do us if given, or how could 
we test the revelation? The true conclusion from 
Clement's premisses is the moral paradox, which has 
been maintained with consummate ability from this 
very placed that, as we can know nothing of God, we 
must accept without question whatever we are told. 
But he was far from thinking this, and his whole argu- 
ment against Gnosticism proceeds upon the assumption, 
that the Goodness and Justice of God are the same in 
kind as our own. It is true that he sometimes draws a 
distinction between having virtue and being virtue, from 
^which we might suppose that, like Philo, he regarded 
the difference between human and divine morality as 
lying in the mode of its possession. But this merely 
proves, that in practice he denies, what in theory he 
asserts, because to the Christian conscience God is, and 
must be, not the Everlasting No, but the Everlasting Yea^ 
dementis mode of statement is such as to involve 
necessarily the Unity, Equality, and Eternity of the 
First and Second Persons *. It has been asserted, that 

^ Strem, v. ii. 74. Direct Vision is granted only in heaven ; the instru- 
ment of knowledge in this life is Dialectic. See next Lecture. 

* The allusion is to Dean Mansel's Limits of Religious Thought, the 
Bampton Lectures for 1858. The reader who is interested in the discussion 
of the point should refer also to the controversy between Dean Mansel and 
Mr. Goldwin Smith, and to F. D. Maurice's What is Revelation ? Cambridge, 
1859 ; and Sequel to the Inquiry what is of Revelation^ Cambridge, i860, 
with the Reply of Dean Mansel. 

' The distinction between having virtue and being virtue is applied, not to 
God but to the Gnostic, Strom, iv. 6. 40 ; vii. 7. 38. God is vovs ; Pro- 
trep, X. 98 ; Strom, iv. 25. 155 ; vi. 9. 72 : is good, just, beneficent, omniscient ; 
V. 14. 141; vi. 15. 141; 17. 155. 

^ See passages in Bull, ii. 6. 



11.] The Son. 67 

he hardly leaves sufficient room for a true distinction of 
Hypostasis-^. But, though he possesses no technical 
name either for Substance or Person ^ there is no 
doubt that the latter conception was clearly present to 
his mind. *0 mystic wonder,' he exclaims, ' One is the 
Father of All, One also the Word of All, and the Holy 
Ghost is One and the same everywhere ^.' His method 
of developing this proposition is determined partly by 
language inherited from his predecessors, partly by 
veins of thought afterwards seized and expanded by 
Origen. But he differs in a marked degree both from 
his pupils and his teachers. 

Many of the phrases which he applies to the Son — 
the Name, the Face, the House of God, and so on — are 
borrowed from Philo *. From Christian writers he had 
learned to speak of Christ as * begotten of the Will of 

^ Domer, vol. i. p. 288 ; Cognat, ClSment d*Alexandriet p. 448. 

^ Substance is t^ appijTov, iri^cv/xa, <f>^ais. But the word ovcia is already 
emerging into use as the distinctive expression. See note above, p. 63. 
Strom, vi. 16. 138. Person is <f>^aiSf Strom, vii. 2. 5 ; rh Iv, Paed. i. 6. 42 ; 
and even IvSarams, Strom, ii. 18. 96 : t^s rpinjs ijSrj fwy^s (so we should 
read, not itivqs, as Potter, Klotz, Dind.) awavToilHrrjs M rfju rov tevpiov 
r€r&pTrjv iir6<rTa<riv, The third * mansion * is Charity, which joining on 
to the Person of the Lord makes up the rtrp&s of Virtues. Potter is quite 
mistaken in explaining this obscure passage so as to make Tcrdprr] vir6<rraais 
'signify ' humanamChristi naturam quae cum tribus divinis personis numerata 
quatemionem quodammodo efficit' 

' Paed, i. 6. 42 ; iii. 12. loi ; Strom, vi. 7. 58. 

* Name of God, Strom, v. 6. 38 : Face, Paed, i. 7. 57 ; Strom, v. 6. 34 : 
Image, SvOpwios dva$^Sf Heavenly Man, Paed. i. 12. 98 ; Strom, v. 14. 94 : 
High Priest, Strom, v. 6. 32 : Charioteer, PaedAii. 12. loi : Pilot (perhaps 
directly from Numenius), Strom, vii. 2. 5 : Idea or Sum of Ideas, Strom, 
V. 3. 16: Sum of the Powers, Paed. i. 8. 74; Strom, iv. 25. 156: House 
of God, Paed. i. 9. 81 : Melchisedech, Strom, iv. 25. 161 : The Mystic 
Angel, Paed. i. 7. 56 sqq. Ebionite is the identification of Christ with 
* the Beginning/ Sircm. v. 6. 38 ; vi. 7. 58. Valentinian probably is the 
Angel of the Great Council, Paed. i. 5. 24, cp. Excerpta, % 43 and the 
representation of Christ as chief of the Seven Protoctists, Strom, v. 6. 3a, 
35 ; vii. 6. 143. 

F % 



68 Clement [Lect* 

the Father,' as ' coming forth for the sake of creation ^.' 
But to Clement such words could only mean, that the 
difference of Persons is first manifested in their external 
relations. He rejects the distinction between the 
Spoken and the Unspoken Word ^. There was no 
doubt in his mind as to the timeless Personality of the 
Logos. ' If God is Father/ he says, ' He is at the same 
time Father of a Son ^.' Again God is Just from all 
eternity because the Son is in, yet distinct from, the 
Father, so that the * equipoise ' of knowledge and love 
between the Two is the first idea of justice*. 

He does not indeed shrink from giving expression to 
the ministerial capacity implied in the very name of 
Son. In a famous passage of the Stromateis^ all 
rational existence is figured as a vast and graduated 
hierarchy, like a chain of iron rings, each sustaining and 
sustained, each saving and saved, held together by the 
magnetic force of the Holy Spirit, which is Faith. It is 
5"^the belief in the solidarity of all that thinks and feels, 
which was afterwards the master-thought of Origen. 
Father, Son, and Holy Spirit are succeeded by the 
orders of Angels, and these in their turn by men. If 
we look upwards, the Son is * next to the Almighty,' ' a 
kind of Energy of the Father.' If we look downwards, 
He is the Great High Priest, in whom all are reconciled 

^ Strom, V. 3. 16. Similar language is used by Tatian, Ad Graecos, 5 ; 
Theophilus, Ad Aut. ii. 2a ; Tertullian, Adv, Frax, 5. 

* Strom. V. I. 6 ; Nitzsch, Dogmengesch, i. 203 ; Redepenning, Origenes, 
i, 112. But Zahn, Forsck, iii. 145 note; Hamack> Dogmengesch, 531 note, 
explain the passage differently. In Strom, vii. 2. 5, the words oIk diro- 
T€fiy6fJi€vos imply a rejection of the word npo0o\'ff by which the (feneration 

• of the Son was sometimes described. 

* Strom, V. I. I. 

* See the three remarkable passagjes, Paed. i. 8. 71, 74 ; 10. 88. 
' vii. 2. 9. 



II.] The Son. 69 

to God. But the idea of subordination is strictly 
secondary in Clement. The text *none is good save 
One' does not mean to him, what it meant to his 
scholar ^ Always he recurs to the essential Unity of 
the Father and the Son. He has no scruple about 
prayer to the latter ^. * Let us pray to the Word — Be 
propitious, O Teacher of thy children. Father, Chario- 
teer of Israel, Son and Father, Lord who art Both.' 
So complete is the union, that he does not hesitate to 
transfer to the Son the peculiar titles of the Father. If 
the one is * beyond all intelligible,' so also is the other, if 
the one is Almighty, so also is the other, and, following 
the example of Philo and Justin, Clement applies to the 
Son passages of the Old Testament, where Lord is 
employed as the substitute for Jehovah^. 

» Paed. i. 8. 74. 

' Paed, iii. la. loi ; Strom, vii. 12. 7a. See also the first Hymn to the 
Saviour Christ appended to the Pedagogue. It is probably genuine ; Rede- 
penning, i. 121. 

• The Son is Mxtiva rod vorjroVf Strom, v. 6. 38. He is tnanoKp&rcap, 
Paed, i. 5. 24 ; iii. 7. 39 ; Protrep, viii. 81 ; Strom, iv. 3. 148 : «i$pios, Paed, 
i. 7. 56, 57 : the Father alone is perfect, for in Him is the Son, and in the 
Son the Father, Paed, i. 7. 53.* The passages usually quoted as showing 
Clement's tendency to Subordinationism are Strom, vii. i. 2, vptfffivrtpov €v 
y€vi(r«i; vii. 2. 5, the Father is 6 fidvos rraarroKp&rcup ; Strom, v. i. 6, the 
Son is a S^va/us, vii. 2. 8 an ivipytiat Paed, iii. i. 2 a ^Ulkovo^ of the 
Father ; Protrep, x. 1 10 He is made equal to the Father ; Pa^d, iii. 12. 98 
He is the diriaBov fioi5\r]/M of the Father; Strom, vi. 7. 59 Creation runs up 
to the Father, Redemption to the Son. Rufinus, JSptl, in Apol, Pamphili^ 
Clement sometimes ' filium Dei creaturam dicit.' This must refer to the word 
KTl{€tp used of Wisdom (Prov. viii. 22), Strom, v. 14. 89. Even iroi€iv might be 
used, Strom, vi. 7. 58 (in a quotation from the Uirpov sc^p,), ts &px^v rwv 
im6»Tw ivolrf<r€v, Cp. Adumd, in I Joan, p. 1009, ' ^^ namque primitivae 
viitutes ac primo creatae ' of the Son and Holy Spirit On the interpretation 
of this passage of the Book of Proverbs, see Huet, Origeniana, ii. 2. 21 
(Lomm. xxii. 176); Rosenmiiller, Hist, Interp, iii. 216, 229; Baur, 
Dreieinigkeit, Bull and Domer do not regard Clement as a Subordina- 
tionist. Huet maintains the opposite view. Redepenning occupies an 
intermediate position. The statement of Photius that Clement spoke of two 



yo Clement. The Holy Spirit. [Lect. 

Down to this point the expansion of Christian doc- 
trine had been facilitated by the speculations of Philo. 
But here the light of philosophy fails. Philo had no 
Trinity, unless the World be counted as the third term. 
Hence perhaps it resulted, that a certain doubt hangs over 
the Personality of the Holy Spirit in Hermas, in Athena- 
goras, and even in Hippolytus^ not to speak of later times. 

Clement proposed to enter at length upon the subject 
in a separate treatise, perhaps with a special view to 
Montanism^. But the plan was never carried out. Hence, 
though there is no doubt that he regarded the Spirit as 
a distinct hypostasis^we cannot state with precision how 
he considered the Third Person to be related to the First 
and Second. It is the Holy Spirit, equally with the Logos, 
who speaks by the Prophets*. It is He, as we have seen, 
who binds together the Church Visible and Invisible *. 
It is He whose ' dew' washes away our sins, and sanctifies 
both soul and body®. Out of this last office of sancti- 
fication arises the only point, that Clement has deemed 
it needful to define. The Third Person of the Platonic 
Trinity is the World Spirit, of which the soul of man is 
a part or effluence. Clement is jealous of the slightest 
approach to Pantheism, and takes occasion more than 
once to warn his readers, that the Holy Spirit, though 

Logl must rest upon a blunder ; see Dr. Westcott, Clement of Alexandria, 
in Diet. Christ. Biog. ; Zahn, Forsch. iii. 144 ; and Lect. viiL 

^ See the commentators on Hermas, Sim. v. 6 ; Athenag. Supplication 10 ; 
Hippolytus, Contra Noetum, 14. p. 52, ed. Lagarde. The author of the 
Philosophumena in the sketch of vital Christian doctrine with which he 
concludes his work omits all mention of the Holy Spirit. 

» Strom, V. 13. 88. 

' Paed, i. 6. 4a ; liL la. loi ; Strom, v. 14. 103 ; vii. a. 9 ; Redepenning, 
i. laa ; Guerike, ii. 154. 

* Protrep, i. 8 ; viii. 79. « Strom, vii. a. 9. 

• Quis D. Saltms, 34 ; Strom, iv. a 6. 163. 



\ 



II.] The Incarnation. 71 

said to be breathed into the believer, is present in the 
soul not as a part of God, not in essence, but in power. 
What he means he explains by a quotation from the 
Apostolic Barnabas. 'Wherefore in us as in a temple 
God truly dwells* But how ? By the word of His faith, 
by the calling of His promise, by the wisdom of His 
statutes, by the precepts of His doctrine-^.' 

We have yet to speak of the Incarnation and the 
redeeming work of Jesus. 

The Word, the whole Word, took flesh of the Virgin 
Mary, and became Man. Jesus alone is both God and 
Man^. He who is God became Man, that we might 
become gods^ It has been doubted whether Clement 
ascribed to the Lord a human soul, but without reason, 
for it is the soul of Jesus that was our Ransom*. But 
His Flesh was not wholly like ours, inasmuch as it was 
exempt from all carnal desires and emotions, even the 
most necessary and innocent^. And as his Platonic dis- 

* Strom, vii. 14. 87 ; vL 16. 138 ; ik ao. 117 ; ▼. 13. 88. 

* See esp. Strom, iii. 17. 102 ; Protrtp. i. 7 ; x. 106 ; Qids D, Salvus, 
37. In the last very striking passage the words rb dpprjrov airrov varfip, rh 
Z\ ^/uv avfLvaBh yiyovt fjf^njp refer to the Eternal Generation, frooL which 
Clement passes on to the Incarnation. 

* Protr. i. 8 ; cp. Strom, iv. 23. 152 ; vii. 3. 13; 10. 56; 13. 82, referring 
to John X. 34. The same strong phrase is used by the author of the Philos. 
X. 34, y4yovas ycLp OtSs . . , oh ydp irro^ci/ct Otbs leal o^ Btbv noi'ffaas tis 
8^av atbrov. It is a favourite with Origen also. 

* Redepenning, i. 401 : ' Clemens nur von einer Verbindung des Logos mit 
einem menschlichen Korper ohne Seele weiss.* But Paed, i. 2. 4, He is 
dwaOi^s Tify ipvx^v ; cp. tdtd, i. 9. 85, 6 rb fxiyiffrov tnrip ^fiSav r^ i^^x^v 
airro^ IviSiSoi/s, and Q, D, S. 37. Clement probably held with Origen that 
the Ransom was specially the Soul and not the Body of Christ. 

' Strom, vi. 9. 71, He was dwcL^avKus dva^?, and ate and drank only to 
forestall Docetism. Strom, iii 7. 59 the opinion of Valentinus is quoted, 
apparently with approvaL Indeed the view of Clement differs but little 
from that of Valentinus and Apelles, who held that the Saviour*s body was 
propriae qualitatis, Terti^ lies, Camis, 2 ; Adv. Marc, iii. ii ; Philos, vii. 



/ 



72 Clement [Lect. 

like of the body has led Clement here, though no 
Docetist, perilously near to the confines of Docetism, 
«o another Platonic theory, that all suffering is corrective, 
has induced him to speak of the Passion of Jesus as 
undesigned by God. * We must say then that God did 
*-not prevent it, for this alone saves both the providence 
and the goodness of God.' But in truth Clement has 
saved neither. What he has done is to introduce dis- 
sension into the counsels of the Most High^. 

Clement's Christology is often spoken of as meagre 
and unsatisfactory. In one aspect this is unjust. For 
Clement's idea of the Saviour is larger and nobler — ^^may 
we say less conventional ? — than that of any other doctor 
of the Church. Christ is the Light that broods over all 
history, and lighteth every man that cometh into the 
world. AH that there is upon earth of beauty, truth, 
goodness, all that distinguishes the civilised man from 
the savage, the savage from the beasts, is His gift. No 
later writer has so serene and hopeful a view of human 
nature as Clement, and though this may seem to depress 
his estimate of the Redeemer, it surely exalts in the 
same measure his belief in the fostering bounty of the 
Eternal Word. Especially is the goodness of Christ 
manifested towards His Church, to whom He has given 
a life, and promised a future, which He alone can bestow. 

But if wje ask why the Birth, the Passion, the Cross ? 
why Jesus redeemed us in this way, and no other? 
Clement has no answer. It may be urged that all 

38. This was also the teaching of Theodotos, see above, p. 32. The curious 
tradition recorded Adumb, in Epist.Joan, i. p. 1009 refers apparently to 
the flesh of Jesus after the Resurrection, but it is doubtful whether this pas- 
sage is not an interpolation. See Dr. Zahn's note. 
* Strom, iv. la, 86. 



II.] Redemption. 73 

answers are but formal. Or that Clement speaks the 
language of the whole sub-apostolic age. But this is 
only partially true. The spirit of Hellenism lies heavier 
on Clement than on others, and led him to draw a line 
between the Cross and the Ascension, between the 
'death unto sin' and the ^new life unto righteousness,' 
which though it has connections with Scripture, is yet 
not Scriptural. We shall see farther on how he regards 
the Passion of our Lord, Redemption, as the source of 
Fear and Hope, but most strangely not of Love. 

By His death Christ Ransoms us from the powers of 
eviP, and bestows upon us Forgiveness, relieving us 
thereby not merely from the punishment, or guilt, but 
from the ignorance, which is the power of sin. Forgive- 
ness was undoubtedly a most difficult idea to the Alex- 
andrines, who believed firmly in the changelessness of 
God, and carried their faith in the wholesome necessity 
of correction so far, that they admitted a quantitative 
relation between the offence and its chastisement. They 
held that Pardon can be freely bestowed only in Baptism, 
and that the Christian should be taught to look, not upon 
the Crucified, but upon the Risen Lord, the fountain not 
of pardon, but of life ^. Jesus again reconciles us to God. 

^ For the \vTpov, see Q. D, S, 37 ; 42; J*aed. i. 5. 23, and elsewhere. 
Clement does not say expressly to whom the ransom is paid ; see however 
Protrep, xi. iii. Distinguish from diroAi;rpa;(r(S, complete emancipation 
from sin, perfected only in the other life, Strom, vii. 10. 56. 

* The ft«e pardon purchased for us by Christ is expressly limited to actual 
sin committed before Baptism, Q. D, S. 40, rSfp filv odv vpoyeytvtfixivojv $€ds 
lA5oj<riv d^fffiv rSfv S^ kvt,6vTW ahrhs %Kaaros kavr^, Cp. Strom, ii. 14. 58 ; 
iv. 24. 153 ; 25. 154. Christ, as God, forgives sins, and then disciplines the 
believer as Man, Faed. i. 3. 7. It should be observed that forgiveness in 
Clement's mind signifies not merely the cancelling of a penalty, but the 
cure of that ignorance which is the .cause And strength of sin. Sin done 
before Baptism, in darkness, does not necessarily imply badness of heart, 



-^ 



74 Clement. [Lect. 

He is our Propitiation, but this word, which, if more than 
a figure of speech, is so supremely difficult, Clement leaves 
unexplained^. Notwithstanding his Allegorism Clement 
quotes few Messianic prophecies, and, in respect of typo- 
logy, does not venture beyond the track marked out by 
Philo and Barnabas, except when authorised by the New 
Testament. Hence the only sacrificial title, which he 
distinctly applies to our Lord, is that of the Lamb of 
God 2. 

To the Christian pilgrim, in the lower life, Christ 
manifests Himself as Physician, Shepherd, Tutor, Law- 
giver, calming the fever of passion by gentle words of 
admonition or bitter roots of fear. This He does as 
Man, by virtue of His humiliation and perfect obedience 

hence for this no remedy is necessary except light. In all other cases the 
penalty is itself the earnest of forgiveness. 

^ He rarely touches upon this aspect of Redemption. Pcied. iii. 12. 98, 
KfiX alrbi iXafffjtSs iari vtpl twv dfrnpriSfv ijfjujy, &s <priaiv b ^Icadvytji (i. 2. 2), 
6 ldffi€vos ^fuay teal ff&fia icai ^xAv. Protrept, i. 6, vlobi dirct0rrs dtoAAiS^cu 
KVTpl : X. 1 10, 6 Ka06p<rios xal aorr^pios /cat fi€tXlxtos ... 6 (nroy9o<p6po5 xai 
dioAXoim^s Kot acarijp ijfiw \6yos, Paed, iii. i. 2, fiffflrris ydp 6 kiyos. 
Everywhere the barrier is not God's wrath, but man*s impurity. 

* Paed. i. 5. 24, Christ is d/iybs rod 0€ov in respect of His innocence : Strom. 
V. 6. 32, He is the Lamb with seven eyes of Rev. v. 6 : Strom, v. 11. 70 ; 
vii. 3. 14, He is dXoKdptrwfm, in the latter passage vir^p ^fiSfv UpevOhra : 
Paed. i. 5. 23, Isaac is Uptiov dfs 6 tci&pios : Paed. i. 6. 47, the blood of Abel 
is a type : Paed. i. 8. 61, Joshua : Paed. i. 11. 97, Christ is our Uptiw: 
Protr. xi. iii, the outstretched hands of Moses are a type : Paed. ii. 8. 75, 
the burning bush foreshadows the crown of thorns: Paed. ii. 9. 81, Lot the 
Just : Paed. iii. 12. 85, kkvrpdfOrjfKv . . . ri/x/9; atfrnri ok Afivov ^fxdffMv Koi 
dffirtXov XpiffTov (Peter i. i . 19) : Strom, v. 11. 72, the Tree of Life : v. i. 8, 
Abraham, the Elect Father of Sound, is the Logos (from Philo) : Strom. 
vi. II. 84, the 318 servants of Abraham signify Christ (from Barnabas ; this 
is the only passage where Clement appears to imply literal inspiration ; 318, 
in Greek writing TIH, denotes the Cross and the name IH30T3) : iii. 12. 86, 
Land of Jacob (from Barnabas ; another very forced allegory) : v. 6. 32, the 
High Priest's Mitre signifies Christ the Head of the Church (adapted from 
Philo) : vi. II. 88, David's lyre is a type : iv. 25. 161, Melchisedech (from 
Philo). 



\ 



II.] Redemption. 75 

unto death ^. Gradually He makes Himself known to 
us in the higher life as God, feeding us in the Eucharist, 
or Agape, with His Body and Blood, the sacred food of 
Gnosis, becoming our Light, our Truth, our Life, bestow- 
ing upon us the Adoption of Sons, binding us in closest 
unity with the Spirit, leading us on to the holy mountain, 
the better Cithaeron, the spiritual Church ^. Clement 
speaks of Jesus as our High Priest, but only in the 
Philonic sense, as our Representative and Intercessor^. 
The idea of the 'Recapitulation' of all men in Christ 
as the second Adam, so fruitful in the brooding soul of 
Irenaeus, is strange to him. He looks upon Redemption, 
not as the restitution of that which was lost at the Fall, 
but as the crown and consummation of the destiny of 
Man, leading to a righteousness such as Adam never 
knew, and to heights of glory and power as yet un- 
sealed and undreamed. *The Word of God became Man, 
in order that thou also mayest learn from Man, how 
man becomes God *.' 

^ Protrept, i. 7, rh c? ^v kdlBa^tv im<pay€h &s BibdaKoXoSt tva rb dc2 (rju 

darepov &s dcds X^PTTh^V • ■f'^^- i* 3* 7t '''^ f*^^ dfjapr^fmra &i 0(6s d^ic/s, 
c2s bk rd /ifj k^aimfyr6»€iv vaiHayorfihf jSjs du^Bponros. 

^ See especially the fine outburst at the close of the Protrepticust and the 
opening of the Paedagogus, 

' Protrept, xii. 120; Strom, vii. 2. 9. But Strom, v. 11. 70, though 
'Apx^^P^^ is not used, Christ offers Himself to the Father as a $vfM dirvpov^ 
a phrase borrowed from Euripides, ' the scenic philosopher.* In v. 10. 66 
He is the diropov 0v/xa of Plato, Pep. ii. p. 378 A. So closely are Clement's 
reminiscences of the Classics intertwined with his theology. 

* Protrept. i. 8. The reader will find it instructive to compare with this 
sketch of the Christology of Clement, Dr. Hamack's account of the teach- 
ing of Irenaeus, Dogmengeschichte^ p. 478 sqq. 



V 



LECTURE III. 

And now dbideth faiths hope, charity ^ these three : but the greatest of 

these is charity, — i Cor. xiii. 13. 

Clement did not admit the pre-existence of the soul 
or the eternity of Matter ^, but in other respects followed 
closely the Philonic view of Creation. God of His 
o goodness and love created the world of Ideas, the in- 
visible heaven and earth, and in accordance with this 
divine model the Word gave shape and substance to the 
material universe ^. The six days are not to be under- 
stood literally. They express in an allegory the differ- 
ing dignity of the things recorded to have been created 
on each in succession^. The pre-eminence of Man is 
further shown by the fact, that he was not called into 
existence by a mere command, but moulded, if we may 
so speak, by the very hands of God *, who breathed into 
his nostrils the * spirit,' or * intellect,' the 'sovereign 
faculty ' of the tripartite soul ^ Thus Man received at 

^ The eternity of matter is denied, Strom, v. 14. 89. The pre-existence 
of the soul is rejected, Strom, iii. 13. 93 ; iv. 26. 167 ; Eclogae Proph. 
517. Yet it appears to be implied, Q, D. S. 33, 36 ; Strom, vii. a. 9. 

* Strom. V. 6. 39 ; 14. 93 sq. 
' Strom, vi. 16. 142. 

* Paed. i. 3. 7. 

' Clement analyses the ^vxit a, philosophically into kmOvfjda, OvfiSs and 
\oyiafi6s from the ethical point of view, Strom, iii. 10. 68, and into the 
rpia fihpa or icpiHipia, aI<r$rjaUf X^^j vovs from the logical, Strom, ii. 11. 
50 (the latter is from Philo, see Potter's note) ; b. theologically, Strom, 
vi. 16. 134 sqq., into ten parts, corresponding mystically to the Decalogue. 
From the point of view of the New Testament these ten faculties may 
be summed up in two, the diaad. wti^/Mra, The first cr6p(, capKuehv wevfjui, 
rd vnoMtifJievoVf the animal and emotional nature, is actually materialised 



Creation. Freedom. 77 

birth the ' image/ and may acquire by a virtuous life the 
' likeness/ of God, or rather of the Son. The * image/ 
the Reason, may be blurred and defaced, but can never 
be wholly destroyed. It is the 'love-charm,' which 
makes Man dear to God for his own sake ^. It is the 
fountain of that natural yearning, which makes the 
child always unhappy, when banished from his Father's 
home. It is by this that he receives, understands, 
recognises his Father's voice. 

But here there arises a difficulty, which had never 
before been felt in all its force. If God made all things 
out of nothing, what is the cause of Evil ? According to 
the heathen Platonist, and even in the eyes of Philo, it 
was Matter. God's purpose was limited and frustrated 
by the nature of the substance, on which He was com- 
pelled to work. The Gnostics carried this view so far 
as to maintain, that creation was the act of a rebellious 
spirit, who mingled together things that ought to have 
been kept apart. But the Christian believed that 
Matter, as well as Form, was created by God. How 
then were the imperfections of the universe, pain, sin, 
waste, inequality, to be accounted for? They can be no 



by sin and is cast off in heaven, Strom, v. 6. 52 ; the second is the wtvfia pro- 
per, the vovs or \6yos in Platonic, the ^(/jiovik6v in Stoic, the kfJupi^aijfM in 
Philonic language. In the latter consists the likeness to God, or rather 
to the Son; Protrept. x. 98 ; Paed, i. 3. 7 ; Strom, ii. 19. 102; v. 13. 87 ; 
vi. 9. 72. It is to be distinguished from the Holy Spirit which is said 
vpoirarivvtlaOcu, Strom, v. 13. 88. M. Denis is quite mistaken in ascribing 
the error of Tatian to Clement, Philosophic (VOrighu, p. 225. 

^ Paed, i. 3. 7, the kiupniarnia is a <piKrpov which makes man dear to God 
for his own sake. See also Protrept. x. 100, rri^vM ycLp &\Xojs i dyOpanros 
oltceioas ^x^"' ^P^' ^^^ • Strom, v. 13. 87, man has an ifjujtacris 0€ov </>v<ri/rt}. 
But on the other hand, Strom, ii. 16. 74, God has no ^v(r(«^ ffxicis with 
man. Man's spirit is not a part of God as on the Pantheistic theory. 
Otherwise He would be partaker in our sins. 



78 Clement. [Leci. 

part of the intention of Him, who gave all things being 
because He is Good. 

Here again Clement does not grasp the whole range 
of the problem. He is not affected by the disorder of 
external Nature, as was the troubled and far-glancing 
spirit of Origen. To the former all that seems to 
demand explanation is the existence of Sin, and for this 
he found an adequate reason in the Freedom of the 
Human Will. 

This conception is as new as the difficulty out of 
which it sprang. It is to be found in the Apologists, 
but the Alexandrines were the first to define it and 
make it the foundation of a system. 

St. Paul speaks of Freedom from conflicting motives, 
but never of Freedom of the Will. There are those who 
being servants of sin are free from righteousness, those 
again who being free from sin are servants to God. 
Between these stand a third class, who are in bondage 
yet longing to break their fetters — 'to will is present 
with me, but how to perform that which is good I find 
not.' This is in fact the doctrine of the Platonist, who 
held that the soul has two instinctive and antagonistic 
movements, that of Reason towards the Ideal and that 
of Sense towards Gratification, and that the man is then 
only truly free, when his sovereign faculty soars freely 
towards the Good unimpeded by the clamour of Desire. 
In what sense Will itself is free the Greeks did not 
attempt to decide. Generally speaking they regarded 
it as the expression of character, and did not or could 
not clear up the previous question, how character itself 
is formed ^. 

^ The difficulty was felt bat not remoyed by Aristotle. See especially 



III.] Freedom. 79 

Yet precisely at this point, where Plato and St. Paul 
are in substantial agreement, the Alexandrines broke 
loose from their allegiance. There were strong reasons 
for this revolt. They had to account for the Fall of the 
First Man. This was no mere academical thesis, it was 
pressed upon them by an active, subtle, and formidable 
antagonist. If Adam was created perfect, said the 
Gnostic, he could not have fallen. He was then created 
imperfect, and in that case the Creator was the cause of 
his imperfection, and must therefore be imperfect Him- 
self ^ Closely connected with this argument is the 
Gnostic Dualism and their peculiar doctrine of pre- 
destination. At a later period, when gnosticism was 
practically vanquished, Augustine did not hesitate to 
maintain that, though God predestines, He is yet not the 
author of evil. But to the Alexandrines this did not 
seem possible. Determinism in any shape appeared to 
them to impugn both the divine goodness and the divine 
right to punish sin, and though they held that in truth 
God does not punish, they would not acknowledge this 
in set terms. Hence they were driven to make Will an 
independent faculty, knowing both good and evil and 
choosing between them, selecting and in fact creating its 
own motive. The actual phrase Free Will, Liberum 
Arbitriunij is due to TertuUian, but it expresses with 



Eih, Nic, iii. 5. 1*1, «i Bi ris \iyoi &ri irdvrcs i<f>UvTcu rov (pmvofiivov ay a$ov, 
TTjs dl tpayrcurias ov m/pioi, <i\A.' 6V0165 itaff tnaffros itrrt roiovro teed rd Ti?<os 
<pai»€Tax abr^y «.tA. 

^ The Gnostics went so far as to assert that 6 fi)l ica)\v(ras alrios, he 
who did not prevent evil is the cause of the evil. The argument is retorted 
upon them with unanswerable force in the RecognitionSy ii. The Demiurge 
is evil because he tolerates evil. Why then does God tolerate the Demiurge ? 
The difficulty was strongly felt by Clement, whom it drove to the assertion 
that Christ's Passion was not ordained by the Father, Strom, iv. 12. 86 sq. 



8o 



Clement. 



[Lect, 



Latin precision what Clement and Origen really 
mean. 

No wise man will attempt to find a precise solution 
for the eternal antinomy of Freedom and Necessity. It 
is enough to point out what the Alexandrines did. In 
« their recoil from Gnosticism they abolished Necessity 
altogether, and gave Freedom a new meaning. We can 
only judge of their action by its results. It has become 
possible to ask whether God can do wrong, and almost a 
heresy to speak of Christ as begotten by the Will of the 
Father. And already the door is opened for all the 
barren disputes, that troubled the Church and the 
Schools from the days of Augustine to those of Pascal ^. 

Evil then in Clement's view is, not a Power, but an 
Act. It is not the Platonic 'lie in the soul,' nor the 
Pauline 'law of sin,' not a vicious motive nor a false 
' belief, because these have no constraining force. Vice 
consists in acting the lie, and we need not act it unless 
we choose. Clement could not then believe in any 
inherited depravity of human nature. This follows 
indeed already from his opinion, that the Reason comes 
in each case fresh from the hands of its Maker. Adam 

^ Origen has formally explained the Alexandrine doctrine of Freedom 
in the third book of the De Principiis, Neither he nor Clement cleariy saw 
what Jeremy Taylor insists upon, that * in moral things liberty is a direct 
imperfection, a state of weakness, and supposes weakness of reason and 
weakness of love.' But practically they admit, as we shall see, that at 
a certain point in the upward progress Grace absorbs the Will, and that at 
a certain point in the downward progress evil becomes second nature. Thus 
the demons have sinned so deeply * ut revocari nolint magis quam non possint,' 
De Princ. i. 8. 4. But this point of irremediable depravity, of complete 
AtcoXaaia^ they refused to fix. This seems to be the essential difference 
between the Alexandrines on the one hand and the Gnostics and Augustine 
on the other. Mehlhom, Die Lehre von der menschlichen Freiheii tmch Or^ 
Zeitsch. fiir Kirch. Gesch. 2 Band, p. 234, is referred to by Dr. Hamack, but 
I have not seen the article. 



III.] Grace. 8 1 

was created perfect, yet not perfect ; perfect inasmuch as 
every faculty was sound and apt for virtue, not perfect 
inasmuch as virtue was not yet actualised by obedience. 
He fell by lust, and so we all fall ^. There is no entailed 
necessity between his sin and ours. But though Free 
Will and Reason, both gifts of God, are enough for 
guidance in this world, they cannot tell us fully what 
God is, they cannot bring us into living communion 
with Him. 'Each of us justifies himself.' *The true 
Gnostic creates himself.' Men may * choose to believe 
or to disbelieve^.' Yet Faith itself is a grace ^; 'the 
ball-player cannot catch the ball unless it is thrown to 
him.' We are created capable of wisdom, goodness, 

* The soul does not come fix)m the parent, Strom, vi. i6. 135. For 
the original estate of Adam see Strom, iv. 23. 150; vi. 12. 96. The 
Serpent was pleasure, Protrept. xi. iii, and the precise sin may have been 
that the first parents anticipated the time fixed by God for their marriage, 
Strom. Hi. 17. 103. Compare Philo, De Mundi Op. 55 (i. 37) sqq. *Ita 
vix alia Adamum primo vixisse conditione noster censet qnam posterorum 
in^tes,' Guerike, i. p. 143. Clement does not admit any hereditary guilt. 
For (i) God punishes only voluntary sins, Strom, ii. 14. 60 ; and again, 
those sins which are not imputed are those which are /i^ Kar^ vpoalptaiv, 
Strom, ii. 15. 66. (ii) The sins forgiven in Baptism are always spoken 
of as actual sins, (iii) Infant Baptism, a practice which is very closely 
connected with the tenet of Original Sin, is never certainly mentioned by 
Clement. Mr. Marriott (article Baptism in Diet, Christian Antiquities) 
cites Paed. iii. 11. 59, rSfv 1^ tharos dvaffvoufjUvanr vcuSlojv, but in this treatise 
vcudiov is used of * babes in Christ ' without any reference to age. (iv) la 
Strom, iii. 16. 100 Clement replies to the Encratites, who forbade marriage 
on the ground that the children are accursed, Xtyirwrca^ ^/uv vov iv6pv€v<nr 
rd ytwrjBlp muHloy, 1j vws tir6 r^v rod *Addift {iiroirhrTOiK€v dpiiy rd firjdiv 
hfpy^iray. (v) The causes of sin are dXrjs dtrOivtia and dyvotay Strom, vii. 
3. 16. Yet Adam is the type, though not the source, of sin, Protrept. 
xi. III. So also Adumb. in Ep, Judae^ p. 1008, *■ Sic etiam peccato Adae 
subjacemus secundum peccati similitudinem,' where the negative is omitted, 
as by Origen, in the well-known verse, Rom. v. 14. But I doubt very much 
whether this passage, which goes on to lay down the doctrine of Reprobation 
is from the hand of Clement. 

* Strom, iii. 9. 65 : vii. 3. 13 : iv. 25. 157. 

• Strom, ii. 4. 14 : iii. 7. 57. 



82 Clement. [Lect, 

felicity, which yet we can only attain by grasping the 
Divine Hand outstretched to lift us up. ' Not without 
special grace does the soul put forth its wings ^' 

The secrets of this diviner life cannot be expressed in 
rules and formulas. But there is a point where grace 
and nature meet, which is the proper field of discipline. 
Knowledge must be gradually assimilated. Love must 
creep before it can fly. Christ has revealed to us all 
truth, but truth is precept before it is conviction. It is 
by obedience to Authority, that the carpenter and the 
pilot acquire their skill. So the Christian life begins in 
Faith \ that is belief in the desirability of the End, and 
willing submission to the Means in their regular pro- 

^ The ball-player, Strom, ii. 6. 25. So in Paed. i. 6. a8 regeneration 
is compared to waking or the removal of a cataract ; we open our eyes 
and the light streams in. The words 'no man can come to Me except 
my Father draw him/ Clement explains differently at different times, 
Strom, iv. 22. 138 ; v. 13. 83.. In the latter passage he quotes with approval 
the saying of Plato in the Meno^ that virtue comes to those to whom 
it comesy Bd(^ M^W* Compare also v. i. 7 ; vi. 6. 45 ; Q, D, S. lo, 21. 

* See especially Strom, ii. 2, 3 , 4. Clement was very anxious to connect 
Faith, the Christian watchword, with philosophy. Plato, who refers it 
{/^ep. vi. adfinem) to the rfi^fxa tov alcOrjrcv and regards it as unintelligent 
belief in material objects, gave him no assistance, and perhaps helped to 
mislead him. He found better definitions in Aristotle, Topics, iv. 126 B. 
18, 1} TticTis ifir6krft//i5 atpotpA, in the vpocdptais of the Ethics , in the Epicurean 
•trp6\Tiif/i5, in the Stoic ovyKaTABtais. It is the faculty by which we grasp 
the dpx"^' These to Clement are not, as to the Stoic and Epicurean, the 
facts of sense alone, but the a priori data of deduction identified with 
the articles of the Creed. Hence Faith in Strom, ii. 4. 13, 14 is an act 
of vow conditioned by ataOrjais. That is to say, experience brings home 
to us and ratifies the dicta of Revelation. Hence Knowledge and Faith 
may be spoken of as in substance identical ; Strom, iv. 16. 100 ; v. i. 2 ; 
vi- 17* 155; vii- 3. 5. But generally speaking ^tX^ vhns is sharply 
distinguished from Gnosis. It is the iiia koOoXik^ aamjpia, Paed. i. 6. 30, 
or rather the irpdn-jj vpbs cramjplav vevau, Strom, ii. 6. 31. But 'honour' 
is more than salvation, vi. 13. 109. Faith is in fact the minimum condition 
of admittance into the Kingdom of Heaven. But it is not full spiritual 
life^ Paed. 1.1.3; '^^^ '* ^^f^ kindy {rYi€ia koI yvSuriw 



III.] Faith and Baptism, 83 

gression. But we can learn only within the school, and 
we must first be cleansed. Hence the gate of the 
Church is the Baptism of Regeneration. Herein we 
receive Forgiveness, the only free forgiveness, of all past 
sins, which leaves the mind like a sheet of blank paper, 
not good yet * not bad,' we are brought within the circle 
of light, within reach of all wholesome sacraments and 
aids. We have started fairly in the race for the eternal 
crown ^. 

Beyond this point stretches out the Christian Life, 
and here begins the most distinctive portion of Cle- 
ment's teaching. We shall fail to do him justice unless 
we bear steadily in view the two influences that deter- 
mined his path — on the one hand the love of St. Paul, 
on the other the dread of Gnosticism, a dread which did 
not prevent him from seeing that this peculiar form of 
error answered to a real and pressing need of the human 
mind. Gnosticism was in one aspect distorted Paulinism. 
The cure lay in a full and true presentation of the 
Apostle's teaching. But Clement only half understood 

* The lociis classicus on Baptism is Paed. i. 6. It carries with it a double 
grace, Forgiveness and Light For the first see § 30, •ir6yra filv oZv 
dvo\ov6fi€0a T^ dfrnpr-^fuiTa ohxiri dc iff/xtv vapd ir6Bas Haxoi. Light in a 
sense has been given before, for vlaris and Ka-Hixv^^^ precede Baptism. But 
mans afta fiatrrlfffMri dyl^ iraiScvcrai irvei/fiari. The gift is perfect, 
because it is the gift of the perfect God. That is to say, it is objectively 
perfect ; our subjective perfection, rd riXos, the Promise, Rest, is attained 
only in the Resurrection. It is a perfect gift at first imperfectly grasped. 
Clement gives no details about /caTffxV^^^' Strom, i. 19. 96 he speaks of 
the ovK ol/cttov icat yvfjaiw ijSojp of heretical baptism. The only ritual usage 
he mentions is that of giving milk and honey to the newly baptised at their 
first communion, Paed. i. 6. 35. See TertuUian, £>e Cor, Mil. iii ; Bingham, 
xii. 4. 6; Probst, Kirchliche Disciplin, p. 321. Probst finds allusions to 
Confirmation and to a week of instruction and daily communion succeeding 
Baptism, Sakratnente, pp. 159 sqq., 193 sqq.,but they are very dubious. Infant 
Baptism appears to have been not the rule at Alexandria, see above, p. 81. 



84 Clement [Lect. 

St. Paul, and in his desire to win back the sectaries he 
draped Christianity in a Gnostic garb. 

He saw around him a system little better than the 
liberal form of Judaism out of which it sprang. The 
new wine was fermenting in old bottles, the Christian 
still trembled beneath the handwriting of ordinances. 
If we read the Doctrine of the Apostles^ we find there a 
law which differs from the Mosaic mainly in being more 
searching and elaborate. The circumstances of the 
time were such as to confirm and even justify this 
legalism. Crowds were pressing into the Church, 
mostly ignorant and undisciplined, some rich and wilfuL 
They brought with them the moral taint, the ingrained 
prejudices of their old life. We learn from many 
sources that the same incongruous blending of the 
Gospel with pagan superstitions, which recurred during 
the conversion of the Northern Barbarians, existed in 
some degree in the second and third centuries ^. Disci- 
pline, teaching, supervision, direction, were absolutely 
necessary to the purity and maintenance of the Faith, 
and no^wise man would attempt to weaken the growing 
authority of the Priest. 

Yet there were those again for whom this atmosphere 
was not the best, devout souls whose life was hidden 
with Christ in God, men and women of cultivated 
thoughtful minds, who fretted under a system of routine 
and dictation administered, we may suppose, not unfre- 
quently, by ignorant and fanatical officers. Social and 

* See Mimter, Primordia Ecclesiae Africanaef pp. 6, 68, 95. The curses 
on tombstones by which the grave was secured against violation were often 
copied with slight alterations from the formulas in use among Pagans. See 
Mr. Ramsay's article. Cities and Bishoprics of Phrygia^ Journal of 
Hellenic Studies, Oct. 1883, p. 400. 



ii 



III.] The Two Lives. 85 

personal distinctions were perhaps greater in those days 
than they have ever been since, and in times of intense 
religious excitement these distinctions shape themselves 
into forms of character, which, though held together by 
the most powerful of all bands, are yet as different as it 
is possible for children of the same family to be. No- 
where do we see this more clearly than in the history of 
the Martyrs. There were those who died, as Polycarp, 
Perpetua, Blandina, Christlike blessing their persecutors ; 
there were those who brought their fate on their own 
heads by wild defiance, and went to meet it like Pris- 
tinus drugged to insensibility by the fumes of wine; 
there were others again, like Peregrinus, who found 
suffering for the Name an easy road to profit, and if the 
worst happened to notoriety ^. It was out of this diver- 
gence of type that the Gnostic made his gain. What 
was the Christian teacher to do ? How was he to deal 
with the spirit of discontent and disillusion which he 
knew to be at work? It was impossible to alter the 
existing framework of the comrtiunity. But there might 
be a life within a life, a Church within a Church, a quiet 
haven for the spiritually free. 

Had Clement written a few years later he would have 
taken refuge in the distinction between nominal and real 
Christianity, between the Visible and the Invisible 
Church. But he lived in a time of transition. As yet 
the ancient view that all the brethren were in process of 

* For Pristinus see TertuUian, Dejej. 12 ; Munter, Prim. Eccl. Afr. p. 
183. The history of Peregrinus will be found in Lucian. He was actually 
a confessor, and it was not his own fault that he was not a martyr. That 
these were not isolated instances is clear from the earnestness with which 
Clement maintains against Heracleon that even those who had denied Christ 
in their lives washed away their sins by martyrdom ; Strom, iv. 9. 72 sqq. 



86 Clement. [Lsct* 

salvation, though shaken, was not abandoned. Hence he 
falls back upon his philosophy, and finds the solution in 
the Two Lives of Philo, the practical and contemplative 
Life of Plato and Aristotle, still more exactly in the 
Stoic distinction between Proficiency and Wisdom ^. He 
thought he found the same idea in certain antitheses of 
St. Paul's — the milk and the solid food — faith and 
knowledge or mysteries — the spirit of bondage and the 
spirit of adoption — faith and hope which are less than 
charity. There were indications in the Roman Qement, 
in Hermas, in Barnabas^, that pointed in the same 
direction. Other cherished ideas appeared to fit in — the 
opposition between the servant and the son of God, be- 
tween God the Lord and God the Father, between the 
letter and the spirit, between the Human and the Divine 
Natures of Christ. Gathering all these hints into one, 
[ Clement proclaims that the life of the ordinary believer, 
that is to say of the great body of the Church, is a 
lower life. Its marks are Faith, Fear and Hope ^ — un- 
questioning obedience to the letter of Authority, a 
selfish motive, a morality of abstinence from wrong. 
It is the sphere of discipline, of repression, of painful 
effort. Its crown is Holiness *, the negative virtue of 

* See the description of the Stoic vpoKoirfi or Proficiency in Seneca, 

Ep. 75- 

* Clem. Rom. i. i. 2 ; 7. 4 ; 36. 2 ; 40. i ; 41. 4 ; 48. 5 ; Hermas, Vis, i. 
2. i; Barnabas, i. 5 ; ii. 2. 3 ; v. 4; vi. 9; ix. 8; x. lo; xiii. 7. In 
Hermas and Barnabas the connection of Gnosis with Allegorism is clearly 
asserted. 

' Strom, ii. 12. 55 ; iv. 7. 53. Sometimes he drops Fear, and speaks of 
the ar^ia rptds, Faith, Hope and Charity, corresponding to the three man- 
sions in the Father's House. 

* Strom, iv. 22. 135, 1) awox^ row /cohwv, imfid0pa ycLp avnj vpoKOir^ 
fieyiffTfjs : vi. 7. 60, ^ dtrox^ tSw iccueojv fy rivts Ttktioafty ijyovvTcu md ianv 
&v\S)s Tcv Koivov viaTov *Iov8cuov re Kojt "'EKXr^oi 1} rcA.c(a;(ris aj/nj. 



m.] The Two Lives. 87 

Self-Control. It is a state of salvation, but not of peace 
or joy. Above it stands the Higher Life, that of the true 
Gnostic, the life of Love, Righteousness, Knowledge, 
of serene and reasonable convictions, of glad and spon- 
taneous moral activity, in which the spirit of man is so 
closely wedded to the spirit of his Lord that there is no 
more recalcitrance, and freedom is merged in the beata 
necessiias non peccandu 

Thus Clement insisted as against the Gnostic that 
purity is the condition of insight, as against the Ortho- 
doxast that law is meant to issue in freedom. On these 
two piers he built his Via Media the Christian Gnosis. 
It is a compromise between the Church and the world, 
but the later history of Catholicism is enough to prove 
how inevitable is such a concession to a body that will 
govern and yet purify society. 

As against the Gnostic, again, Clement protests that 
the Two Lives are not divided by any law of nature. 
The one must and should grow out of the other, the one 
IS incomplete without the other. All men, all women are 
called, as he says, ' to philosophise ^,' to strive upwards 
to the highest ideal. Yet the distinction in itself is evil, 
and Clement has expressed it in such a way as to make 
not a distinction but a real difference, a breach of prin- 
ciple and continuity. The spiritual life is one because 
Love, its root, is one. But this Faith, which in the 
Lower Life leads through Fear and Hope to Love, is 
itself not Love, but imperfect intellectual apprehension ; 

^ Paed, i. 4; 6. 33: Strom, iv. 8. 59, 68; 19. 1 18-124. In this last 
passage he refers to Judith, Esther, Susanna, Miriam, and a host of women 
famous in Greek story, but to none of those mentioned in the New Tes- 
tament, and quotes from Euripides the character of a^ood wife as a pattern 
for the Christian matron. 



88 Clement. [Lect. 

not personal trust in the Saviour, but a half-persuasion 
of the desirableness of what the Saviour promises ^ 
The belief, the morality, the reward are all external 
Fear and Hope are the life, not the outer husk which 
shields and protects the life till it is strong enough to 
act by itself. Clement has attempted to seize the 
Pauline doctrine of Grace without the Pauline doctrine 
of Faith ^. He has superposed the Gospel freedom 
upon the Aristotelian theory of Habit, upon ' reasonable 
self-love,' upon the legal Christianity of his time, with- 
out seeing that between these two an entirely new 
element must come into play. 

This element he has endeavoured to supply by 
banishing Fear and Hope from the Higher Life, * Perfect 
Love casteth out Fear,' which indeed is not a motive but 
a check. But disinterestedness, which is what Clement 
wants, does not depend upon the presence or absence of 
Hope, but on the nature of the thing hoped for. That 
which was mercenary in its original conception does not 
become less mercenary because Hope is swallowed up in 
fruition. In Clement's view the supreme End of all is 

' Clement partly realised all this. To the Platonist the v(yu% has an tpoa 
for the voi/rd. The spark of knowledge contains the spark of desire, and 
this is kindled to a flame by better knowledge gained through practice, 
Strom, vi. 17. 150 sqq. 

* How little Clement understood what St. Paul means by Faith will be 
seen from the following quotations. Strom, yi. 13. 108, 'thy faith hath 
saved thee* was said not to Gentiles, but to Jews who already abounded in 
good works, vi. 12. 98, Faith is not good in itself, but as leading to Fear 
and Hope. vi. 13. iii, every act of the Gnostic is a icarSpBvfia, every act 
of the simple believer a ftitrrj irpa(i9. He constantly uses these Stoic phrases, 
vi. 12. 103, 'Faith was accounted to Abraham for righteousness when he 
had advanced to that which is greater and more perfect than faith. For he 
who merely abstains from wrong is not righteous unless he adds well-<loing 
and knowledge of the reason why he ought to do some things and not do 
others.' iv. 18. 113, Love is the motive of the Gnostic, Fear that of Faith. 



in.] The Lower Life, 89 

not Love but Knowledge, and this misplacement of the 
Ideal involves an egotism which he vainly struggles to 
escape. He succeeds in placing felicity within the soul, 
in the fulness of spiritual life, but he has not really 
advanced beyond the point of view of Philo. 

But Fear he has handled in a truly Christian spirit. 
It is not the fear of the slave who hates his master, it is 
the reverence of a child for its father, of a citizen for the 
good magistrate. TertuUian, an African and a lawyer, 
dwells with fierce satisfaction on terrible visions of tor- 
ment. The cultivated Greek shrinks not only from the 
gross materialism of such a picture, but from the idea of 
retribution which it implies. He is never tired of re- 
peating that Justice is but another name for Mercy. 
Chastisement is not to be dreaded, but to be embraced. 
* The mirror is not evil to the ugly face because it shows 
it as it is, the physician is not evil to the sick man 
because he tells him of his fever. For the physician is 
not the cause of the fever.' Still more evidently true is 
this of Jesus. * The Lord who died for us is not our 
enemy.' Here or hereafter God's desire is not ven- 
geance but correction. In truth it is not He that 
punishes, but we that draw chastisement on our own 
heads ^ 

The life of Faith, as he has described it in the later 
books of the Pedagogue, is in beautiful accordance with 
these maxims^. It is a life, like that of the Puritans in 

^ PcLed, i. 8. 62, iic\a06fi«voi bk t6 fiiyiarov airrov r^s (piXavBpamlas Bri 
St' ^fias dirOponros iykvtrox ibid. 67, c&s dAi^^ofs &ya$^ irdffxovaiv ol Zi/erjv 
dtb6vT€s : ibid. 69, atpfirai 22 tfeaffros ^fjiwy t€Ls rifxojpias avrbs iKoijy dfiap- 
riyojVi airla Sk kXoyiivov $€65 dvairtos. For the mirror see Paed. i. 9. 88. 
The same simile is found in Epictetus, it 14. 21. It was probably a Stoic 
commonplace. 

' Clement's doctrine on the subject of Pleasure is to be found in Paed. ii, 



90 Clement. [Lect. 

Milton's youth, of severe self-restraint, but built on broad 
principles, not captious and not gloomy. It should be 
as the Stoics taught, * according to Nature,' hence all 
artificial desires are evil. But Clement condemns on 
the one hand the self-torture in which some of the 
Gnostics emulated the Hindoo Fakirs, on the other the 
Stoic paradox that things external are things indifferent. 
Here again he is Aristotelian. Innocent pleasure is 
the salt of life. Wealth rightly used is a blessing. The 
first requisite is the beauty of virtue, the second the 
beauty of health ; Christ Himself was not beautiful in 
person ^. Many thoughts are suggested by this charming 



iii ; Strom, iii. iv. His general aim is to moderate the antique rigour in 
favour of the wealthier classes. His leading principle is the ffv «aT<i ^vcrtK 
of the Stoics, but he rejects the older Stoic doctrine of the ddiAtpopa, Strom. 
iv. 5. 19, and adopts the more modem distinction of external circumstances 
into nporjy/ih'a and dvoirporjyfUvay which comes to the same thing as the 
threefold division of Good characteristic of Peripateticism, Strom, iv. 26. 
164, 166. His chief axioms are that pleasure as such is not to be desired 
by the Christian, and that to be * according to nature * it must be strictly 
limited to the end which God intended it to promote. Hence the rule of 
marital continence, the prohibition of the use of the 'bones of dead 
animals,' ivory and tortoiseshell, of dyes, and artificial hair. No ring is 
allowed but a signet. There is a natural and an unnatural use of flowers. 
' For in spring-time to walk abroad in meadows dewy and soft and springing 
fresh with jewelled flowers delights us with a natural and wholesome 
fragrance, and we suck their sweetness as do the bees. But it is not meet 
for grave men to carry about in the house a plaited chaplet from meads 
untrodden.' The stem prohibition of the use of cut flowers is one of the 
most singular features of primitive Christian discipline. It is hardly 
necessary to refer to the De Cor. Mil. of TertuUian. Art he disparages, but 
the signet may bear a simple Christian emblem, a dove, a fish, a ship 
in full sail, a lyre, an anchor, a fisherman. But he was quoted on this 
account in the Iconoclastic controversy as a favourer of Christian imagery, 
Photius, Cod. I TO. Generally speaking, he gives innocent pleasure a liberal 
scope. ' Wine,' he says, quoting Plato, * makes a man good-tempered, agree- 
able to his company, more lenient to his slaves, more complaisant to his 
friends.' He is much less austere than Origen. 
^ Strom, iii. 17. 103; vi. 17. 151. 



III.] The Higher Life. 91 

and authentic picture of daily Christian life. We see the 
vulgarity and thinly -veneered barbarism of Roman 
luxury giving way to true courtesy and refinement. We 
see the Church, no longer oppressed by instant expecta- 
tion of the Last Day, settling quietly down to her task 
of civilising the world. Already her victory is assured. 

Those who have been trained in the school of Jesus 
the Pedagogue are fitted for, are imperatively summoned 
to a better service. Clement delights to speak of the 
Higher Life in terms borrowed from Eleusis. It is the 
Greater Mysteries, of which Christ is the Hierophant and 
Torchbearer. Such language is partly conventional and 
common to all the Platonists of the time ^. Again it 
is intended to conciliate the Gnostics and the religious 
heathen, who had all been initiated, as probably Clement 
himself had been in his youth. But it is also connected 
with, and tends to strengthen, the unfortunate doctrine 
of Reserve. 

In the Higher Life Faith gives way to Knowledge, 
Fear and Hope to Love, while Holiness is merged in 
Righteousness. 

Knowledge, Gnosis, Clement has defined in words 
taken partly from Philo, partly from the Stoics. From 
the first he learned that it is the intuitive communion of 
the intelligence with the Ideas, from the latter that being 
science it is indefectible^. To the Christian doctor 



^ It is to be found in Plato himself and Aristotle (see Lobeck, Aglao- 
p?iamusj p. 128), in Philo, and in Plutarch. 

' It is Ifis, Sid0€(ns, HariKijipis ris fiefiaia «ai dfxerdirrojTos, imffr^firj 
dvavofiXriTos. Clement uses the strongest language to express the union of 
the Gnostic with his knowledge ; it is kvSrrjSt oiK€iaj<ris, dydnpaffis, the didios 
Ofeapia becomes his ovaia, his (Sftra inrSffraffis. He no longer has goodness, 
he is goodness, Strom, iv. 22. 136; 25. 157 ; vi. 9. 71; vii. 12. 79. This 



92 Clement, [Lect. 

Christ is not only the Sum of the Ideas, but the co- 
equal Son of God, and Gnosis therefore is the * appre- 
hensive contemplation ' of God in the Logos, and not, as 
in Philo, of God above the Logos ^. Yet there is a 
progress in the object of Knowledge, measured by the 
varying aspect of Christ, who in the Lower Life is mani- 
fested chiefly on the human side as Physician, Tutor, and 
so on, in the Higher chiefly on the divine as Light, 
Truth, Life. Holiness is the indispensable preliminary 
of knowledge, which is partly Theology, but still more 
the experimental knowledge of Christ. The Gnostic is 
the 'pure in heart' who 'sees God.' * He that would 
enter the fragrant shrine,' says Clement, quoting the in- 
scription over the temple gate of Epidaurus, ^ must be 
pure, and purity is to think holy things ^.' He is the 
' approved money-changer,' whose * practised senses ' are 
the touchstone of truth. His Faith has become Con- 
viction, Authority is superseded by the inner light. To 
him the deep things of Scripture are revealed. He reads 
the spirit beneath the letter. In Christ he understands 
past, present, and future, the theory of Creation, the 
symbolism of the Law, the inner meaning of the Gospel, 
the mysteries of the Resurrection ^. He sees the vital 
harmony of dogma with dogma, of all dogmas with 
Reason *. In a word, he is an AUegorist. Moral purity 
and assiduous study of Scripture are the only training 

language is important as bearing on his doctrine of Grace. We have here 
the beata necessitas non peccandi. Again it entirely excludes Ecstasy. 

* Gnosis is always in Christ; Strom, iv. 25. 155; v. 3. 16; vi. 9. 78. 
Nay, the Saviour is our knowledge and spiritual paradise ; vi. i. 3. 

* Strom, V. I. 13. Another favourite quotation is from Plato's PhcUdo, 
p. 67, ol KoSap^ ydp KoBapov (<p&wr€<r&ai fiil oh B^iurhv if. 

* Strom, vi. 7. 54. 

* The awtupij rm doyftdrwVf Strom, i. 2. 20. 



IILJ The Higher Life. 93 

that is absolutely necessary^. But Clement well knew 
the importance of mental cultivation. His Gnostic still 
reads Plato in his leisure moments. * He is not like the 
common run of people who fear Greek philosophy as 
children fear a goblin lest it should run away with 
them 2.' 

Of Knowledge Love is at once the life-element and 
the instrument. For * the more a man loves the more 
deeply does he penetrate into God^.' But here again, 
most unhappily, Stoicism comes in, and casts the chill 
shadow of Apathy over the sweetest and simplest of 
Christian motives. Platonism also helped to mislead. 
For though the Alexandrines held that Matter is the 
work of God, they could not wholly divest their minds of 
the old scholastic dislike of the brute mass and the emo^ 
tions connected with it. The first thought suggested 
by the Incarnation is Fear. Love is not of Jesus, but of 
the Logos, the Ideal. Clement could not bear to think 
that the rose of Sharon could blossom on common soil *. 
This was the price he paid for his Transcendental 
Theology. 

Love makes man like the beloved. But Christ, like 
God, was absolutely passionless. So too were the 
Apostles after their Master's Resurrection. So too 
must the Gnostic be. Self-control, Holiness, has made 

^ The majority of the Christians had not received a regular education 
and some did not know their letters, Strom, i. 20. 99. Erudition is some- 
times hurtful to the understanding, as Anaxarchus said, voXvfjuxBir} /cdftra 
/ilv &<l>(\i€i K&pra h\ fiKdwrfi rbv txovra, Strom, i. 5. 35. 

* Strom, vi. 10. 80; 18. 162. 

» Q. D. S. 27. 

^ The most singular instance of Clement's disparagement of human love 
is to be found in Strom, vii. 12. 70, where married life is regarded as supe- 
rior to celibacy because it offers so many more temptations to surmount. 



94 Clement. [Lect. 

the reason absolute master of the brute in the centaur 
man. He will feel those desires which, like hunger or 
thirst, are necessary for self-preservation, but not joy 
nor sorrow nor courage nor indignation nor hatred. He 
lives in the closest union with the Beloved, so absorbed 
in the Divine Love that he can no longer be" said to love 
his fellow-creatures in the ordinary sense of the word ^. 

There were many in Clement's own time who shrank 
from this too ethereal ideal, which, to use his own phrase, 
* touches earth with but one foot.' If we take away hope 
and joy, they urged, will not the Christian be swallowed 
up by the sorrows of life ? And if all union with the 
Beautiful is preceded by aspiration, how can he be pas- 
sionless who aspires to the Beautiful ^ ? How can we 
rise without desire, and how can we desire the extinction 
of desire ? It is the argument afterwards pressed with 
irresistible force by Bossuet and Bourdaloue against 
F^nelon. Clement replies, * Love is no more desire but 
a contented self-appropriati©n, which restores the Gnostic 
into oneness with Christ by faith, so that he needs 
neither time nor place. For by Love he is already in 
that scene where he will one day dwell. And having an- 
ticipated his hope by Gnosis he desires nothing, for he 
holds in closest possession the very object of desire.' It 
is the Love which we mortals feel * in our diviner mo- 
ments, when Love is satisfied in the completeness of the 
beloved object.' So absolute is its content, that if it 
were possible to separate eternal salvation from the 
knowledge of God, and a choice were given to the 

^ The leading passages on the subject of Apathy and disinterested 
Love are Strom, iv. 6. 30; 18. iii; 22. 135-146; vi. 9. 71; 12. 100; 
16. 138. 

* Strom, vi. 9. 73. 



ni.] The Higher Life. 95 

Gnostic, he would without hesitation choose the latter. 
It is the paradox of Mysticism : — 

Be not angry; I resign 

Henceforth all my will to tliine: 

I consent that thou depart, 

Though thine absence breaks my heart; 

Go then, and for ever too ; 

All is right that thou wilt do^ 

Of this Ideal (for it is perhaps no more^) enough has 
been said. Clement no doubt overshot the mark. It 
remains to be seen whether by so doing he encouraged 
presumption, or led weakness astray. The answer is to 
be found in the rigour with which he insists upon Holi- 
ness as the indispensable condition, on Righteousness 
as the indispensable fruit of Love. 

Like all the early Fathers he attached a very real 
sense to the word Righteousness. * Ye were justified by 
the name of the Lord, ye were made just as He is, and 
joined in the closest possible union with the Holy 
Spirit^.' It is not mere abstention from evil, which 

^ It was Insisted upon by the Quietists. It is a paradox because the 
separation is impossible. The Kingdom of Heaven is within you. Milton 
makes Satan complain, ' Which way I go is hell, myself am hell ;' and the 
converse is true also. But Clement knew this well ; cp. Strom, v. lo. 63, 
rh 8^ dkyvQHv rbv mripa OdvarSs itrrtv, &s rh yv&ycu (oaf^ aldjvios. Nor did 
the Quietists think otherwise. Bossuet did not venture directly to deny the 
mystic paradox, which is in fact admitted in the Articles of Issy. But 
I must refer my readers to Mr. Vaughan*s charming Hours with the Mystics ^ 
vol. ii. pp. 170, 217, 380, ed. 1856. 

' Clement ascribes Apathy to Christ and to the Apostles after the Resur- 
rection, Strom, vi. 9. 71. As regards men he uses sometimes very strong 
language. The Gnostic becomes a god upon earth, iv. 23. 149 ; vii. 3. 13 ; 
10. 56 : he is Xc&f^iKtx ivravOa (porrtivhs 8i ffSi;, vi. 13. 105. On the other 
hand, Faed. i. 2. 4; Strom, iv. 21. 130 ; Q, D. S. 40, more sober language is 
employed ; Christ is the only perfect man, passion cannot be wholly 
eradicated in this life, the wise man touches no known sin. It is the posse 
non peccare, not the turn posse peccare. But Clement is less introspective 
than Origen. The mere frailty of human nature does not distress him so 
long as he feels that his heart is safe in Christ. 

' Strom, vii. 14. 87. On Righteousness, see especially the fine passage, . 



96 Clement. [Lect. 

is Holiness, the virtue of the Lower Life, but the free 
active joyous service of those who are sanctified. It is 
life which needs no rule. The Gnostic, says Clement in 
language very like that of Madame de Guyon, has no 
virtue, because he is virtue. Nature is absorbed by 
Grace. It is easier to do good than to leave it undone, 
hence * good works follow Gnosis as shadow follows sub- 
stance ^.' Contemplation is the Gnostic's chief delight, 
the next is active beneficence, the third is instruction, 
the work of making others like himself. God gives him 
an exceeding great reward, the salvation of other men ^. 
Thus Apathy, Detachment, make the sanctified be- 
liever not less but more useful to his kind. It is 
important to add, in view of the objections afterwards 
urged against the Quietists, that Clement lays great 
stress upon the observance of the existing Church disci- 

Strom. vi. 12. 102. Origen distinguishes two modes of Righteousness, 
Innocence, the effect of Baptismal Forgiveness, and the active virtue of 
Justice. Clement speaks only of the latter. The just man is faithful, but 
the &ithful man is not necessarily just. Faith is salvation, but not righteous- 
ness ; it gives the will, but not immediately the power to do right. Faith is 
life, righteousness is health {xriUia), It would seem then that we might be 
'saved' without good works, but Clement never expressly deals with this 
question. He seems to assert the opposite, Strom, v. i. 7, -x^pvn yd,p 
aoj(6fji€0a ov/e dv€v fxivroi tSjv koXSjv ^pycjy, but here perhaps aonripUi is used 
in the sense of vyUia. On the necessity, the * merit ' of good works, see 
Strom, v. 13. 86; vii. 12. 72 ; 14. 108.^ 

* Strom, vii. 13. 82. 

* Strom, iv. 22. 136. In ii. 11. 46 the three characteristics of Gnosis are 
0€O}pla — 1) rSfv kvroXwv kmrikftris — &vhp&v dyaiOaty KaraffK€vq : vi. 17. 160 the 
Gnostic is compared to a vaidorpififjs who teaches in three ways, Kard irupaKo- 
Xoi^<riv, putting the pupil in the requisite posture and making him do thething 
required ; Ka0' dfioiwaiVy by example and emulation ; /card vpdffTo^iv, when the 
pupil has mastered all his exercises and simply requires to be told which he 
is to perform : the last may refer to spiritual direction : vii. i. 3 the life of 
the Gnostic is a constant Btpaweia of two kinds, fieXTwriteff, in which he 
resembles the presbyter, hmjptTudi, in which he resembles the deacon. See 
Baur, Christlichc Gnosis, p. 507. 



in.] The Higher Life. 97 

pline, the regular use of all the ordinary means' of Grace. 
I will not here dwell upon what he says about Public 
Worship, the reading of Scripture, the Eucharist, Alms- 
giving, Fasting^. It will be sufficient to state his views 
on the subject of Prayer^, the point on which the 
Quietists departed most widely from the lines he laid 
down. 

The Gnostic prays without ceasing. He would rather 
forego the grace of God than enjoy it without prayer. 
But indeed this is impossible. For our holiness must 
cooperate with the providence of God, if the blessing is 
to be perfect. Holiness is a correlative of Providence ^ 
For God Himself is a voluntary agent. He does not 
* warm like fire ' as Plutarch thought, nor can we receive 
His best gifts involuntarily, even if they be given before 
we ask. 

But God reads the heart, and therefore few words are 
needed or none. * Ask,' He says, * and I will do, think, 
and I will give*.' Good is the prayer which Christians 
utter in the church, with head and hands uplifted, and 
foot raised at the Amen, as if to soar above earth. 

' Public Worship in the morning, Paed, ii. la 96 : Fasting on Wednesday 
and Friday, Strom, vii. 12, 75. The Scripture says (Tobit xii. 8), dyaOdv 
VTftrrfia fitrdi vpoaevxijs, vrfffruau, Sk dvox^s Kaje&v fxrfvvovatv diraf airXo); : ob- 
servance of the Lord's Day, Strom, vii. 12. 76 : Reading of Scripture, Paed. ii. 
10.96; Strom, vii. 7. 49; Almsgiving, Q. D. S. 33; Strom, ii. 15. 96, 
k\erjiJMC^€Us oZv «al viurtai d-noteaOcupovrai al dfjuifniiu : on the Eucharist 
see below. 

* See generally Strom. Iv. 23. 148 ; viii. 7. 35 sqq. 

' &ifr€m<rrpo<fyfi, Avri<rTpo<pos, Strom, vii. 7. 42. The reference to Plutarch 
(an author whom Clement several times quotes) is non posse suavitervivi 
sec. Epic, xxii, <^t€ ySip Otpfjiov rb ifnjx^^^ dWcL t6 $€pfxalv€iv &<rir€p odS* 
dyaBov rd fixdnrtiv. This will further illustrate what was said in Lecture I 
on Plutarch's connection with Gnosticism. 

* aXrrjffcu ital voi^ffor kwoffOriTi koX d^aoj, a favourite quotation (see Strom. 
vi. 9. 78 ; 12. Id ; vii. 7. 40 ; 12. 73) from some apocryphal book. 

H 



98 Clement. [Lect. 

Good IS prayer at the three hours \ with face turned 
towards the East, as even pagans use. But better still 
is the inner colloquy of unspoken supplication for 
which no place or time is set apart, the praise of him 
who ploughs, of him who sails upon the sea. The 
Gnostic's prayer is chiefly Thanksgiving and Interces- 
sion, as was that of our Saviour. Beyond this he will 
ask only for the continuance of the blessings he enjoys, 
for he desires nothing that he has not, and the Father's 
Will is enough for him. 

The prayer of the Gnostic, even when speechless, is 
still conscious arid active. It is far removed from the 
blank vacuity of the soul which, as Molinos says, * lies 
dead and buried, asleep in Nothingness 2 ' — thinking 
without thought of the Unconditioned. The Silent 
Prayer of the Quietist is in fact Ecstasy, of which there 
is not a trace in Clement. 

For .Clement shrank from his own conclusions. 
Though the father of all the Mystics he is no Mystic 
himself. He did not enter the 'enchanted garden' which 
he opened for others. If he talks of * flaying the sacrifice,' 
of leaving sense behind, of Vision, of Epopteia, this is 
but the parlance of his school. The instrument to 
which he looks for growth in knowledge is not trance, 
but the disciplined reason. Hence Gnosis when once 
attained is i indefectible, not like the rapture which Plo- 
tinus enjoyed but four times during his acquaintance 
with Porphyry, which in the experience of Theresa 

^ Strom, vii. 7. 40 ; the Gnostic rose also at intervals during the night to 
pray, Paed. ii. 9. 79 ; Strom, vii. 7. 49. 

^ ' Endormie dans le n^ant,' Molinos, Guide Spirituelle, iii. 20. 201. I 
owe the reference to La Bmy^re, Dialogues sur le QuiJtisme, vol. ii. ed. 
S^Yoia, 



III.] The Church. 99 

never lasted more than half-an-hour ^. The Gnostic is 
no Visionary, no Theurgist, no Antinomian. 

These dangers were not far away in the age of Mon- 
tanus and the Neo-Platonists. The Alexandrines have 
perhaps too much *dry light/ but their faith was too 
closely wedded to reason and the written word to be 
seduced by these forbidden joys. Mysticism is as yet a 
Pagan solace. The time for a purely Christian mysti- 
cism, which Gerson evolves not from the reason but 
from the emotions, had not yet arrived. Yet Clement 
laid the fuel ready for kindling. The spark that was 
needed was the allegorical interpretation of the Song of 
Songs. This was supplied, strange to say, by Origen, 
the least mystical of all divines. 

Every baptised Christian, who has not been * cut off' 
like a diseased limb by solemn judicial process, is a 
member of the Church upon earth, is therefore within 
the pale of salvation. The Church^ is the Platonic City 
of God, • a lovely body and assemblage of men governed 
by the Word,' * the company of the Elect.' She is the 
Bride of Christ, the Virgin Mother, stainless as a Virgin, 
loving as a Mother. She is One, she is Catholic, be- 

* Poiphyry, Vita PloHni^ 23, p. 116, ed. Firmin-Didot. For St. Theresa 
see Barth^lemy Saint-Hilaire, U^cole cTAlexandrie, pp. xlv, Ixxix; for 
Gerson, ibid. Ixii, xcviii. Vacherot in his third volume traces the connec- 
tion of the Alexandrines '^th mediaeval mysticism. Dahne, De Tvdxret, 
p. 112, insists that Clement himself was a mystic. It depends upon the 
meaning which we attach to the word. In one sense all believers in the 
unseen are Mystics ; in ano&er, all believers in whom the emotional element 
predominates largely over the intellectual. I have taken Mysticism as co- 
extensive with Ecstasy. Of tiiis again there are several degrees, ranging 
from the inarticulate conmiunion of the Quietists to pictorial visions. Such 
visions were regarded with suspicion by Mystics of die higher class, such as 
St. John of the Cross. See Vaughan, /fours with the Mystics, 

' Strom, iv. a6. 172; vii. 5. 29; iii. 6. 49; 11. 74; Paed, i. 6. 42; 
Strom, vii. 17. 107 (one, true, ancient, catholic), 108 (apostolic). 



icxD Clement [Lect. 

cause the doctrine and tradition of the Apostles is one ; 
the heretic who has forsaken her fold has * an assembly 
devised by man/ * a school/ but not a Church ^. One in 
belief, but not in mechanism. Peter is the first of the 
Apostles ^, but the See of Peter is never named. The 
West is as unknown to Clement as it was to his 
favourite Homer. Yet in this One Church there is a 
distinction. There are those who within her fold live as 
do the Gentiles, these are the flesh of Christ's Mystical 
Body; there are those who cleave to the Lord and 
become one spirit with Him, the Sons of God, the 
Gnostics; these are the Holy Church, the Spiritual 
Church ; these, and they who are in process to be- 
come as these, are the rings which have not dropped 
from the magnetic chain, but in spiritual union with 
saints and angels * wait for the Rest of God *.' 

The Stromateis were written during the Patriarchate 
of Demetrius amid the bustle and excitement of a revo- 
lution. But no echo of the strife penetrated the tranquil 

* Biarptfiif, Strom, vii. 15. 92 : 6y$p&mv€U (rvyfj\^(y€tf, vii. 17. 106. The 
notes of heresy axe contempt of apostolical tradition, vii. 16. 95, d 
dtfoXoKrhas r^ kfCKXrjataaTtK^v itap&hoaiv, and defiance of Scriptnre, which 
the Gnostics reject in part, vii. 16. 97, vapfirifuf/ccyTo rds ypaipds, or inter- 
pret by vicions methods out of (ptXavrla, Those who nse only water in the 
Eucharist are heretics, i. 19. 96 ; and there is also a heretical baptism, idid. 
On the asceticism and in some cases lax morality of the Gnostics, see 
Strom, iii. The * Phrygians^' are not called heretics, iv. 3. 93. 

^ Q.D,S, 21, 6 fMxdpios irirpos d iK\€KT6s 6 k^aipcros 6 vpSaros rSfv 
fKt&rp-wy inrip 0^ /i6vov Kcd iavrov rbv (pSpov & ffoni^ iieTtk€t, 

' Strom, vii. 11. 68 : in vii. 14. 87 the Gnostics are the Holy Church, the 
Spiritual Body of which those who only bear the name of Christian and 
do not live according to reason are the flesh. Had this point of view been 
habitual to him Clement must have written very differently about the Lower 
Life. The Invisible Spiritual Church, the Communion of Saints, is compared 
to a chain of rings upheld by a magnet, vii. 2. 9. It is the Church of the 
First Bom, Protrept, ix. 82. 



ni.] The Clergy. loi 

seclusion in which Clement lectured and composed. 
He reflects with calm fidelity the image of the antique 
times in which he had himself been reared. His heart 
is with the Republic ; he is the Samuel of the new 
monarchy. 

One of the chief pillars of the aggressive theory of 
Church polity was the claim of the Christian ministry 
to be regarded as lineal successors of the sacrificial 
hierarchy of the Jews. But to Clement the true anti- 
t)rpe of Levite or Hiereus is the Gnostic, the son or 
daughter of God, who has been anointed like King, 
Prophet, or High Priest of the Law, but with the 
spiritual unction of the Holy Ghost ^. The Gnostic 
sacrifice is that of praise, of a contrite spirit, of a soul 
delivered from carnal lusts ; the incense is holy prayer ; 
the altar is the just soul, or the congregation of 
believers ^. Beyond this there is no sacrifice except the 
'costly,' the *fireless' Victim once offered upon the 
Cross ^. Clement quotes the famous verse of Malachi, 
but the *pure offering' is the knowledge of God as 
Creator derived by the heathen from the light of the 
universal Word*. The much disputed text about the 
power of the keys he never cites at all, and in the 
Penance controversy, which was already agitating men's 
minds, he follows Hermas, allowing but one Absolution 
for mortal sin after Baptism, a view highly unfavourable 

^ lepers, Strom, iv. 25. 157 sq. ; vii. 7. 36. In Strom, vi. 13. 106 the 
Gnostic is a trne Presbyter, thongh he be not honoured vpcaroKaBeSpltf, 

■ The sacrifice, Faed, iii. 12. 90 ; Strom, ii. 18. 79, 96 ; v. 11. 67 (imme- 
diately after an allusion to the Eucharist) ; yii. 3. 14 ; 6. 31, 32. The last 
cited passage explains the terms altar, incense. 

' Strom, v. II. 66, 70. See also passages quoted in Lecture II. 

* Strom, v. 14. 136. The veise had already been applied to the Eucharist 
in the Doctrine of the Apostles, Irenaeus and Justin. 



102 Clement. [Lect. 

to the growing authority of the Bishop^. He rarely 
mentions the three orders of Clergy 2, and never in con- 
nection with the Sacraments. The rich man should 
have a domestic chaplain or spiritual director, who is to 
be * a man of God ^! The unlearned brother is not to 
trust his private judgment, but the interpreter of Scrip- 
ture is no doubt the Gnostic. The one office assigned 
to the Presbyter is that of * making men better,' and this 
is also the special function of the Gnostic. 

It seems most probable that at this time, in the 
Church of Alexandria, the Eucharist was not yet dis- 
tinguished in time, ritual, or motive from the primitive 

* Strom, ii. 13. 56. Clement follows Hermas, Mand, iy. 3, almost 
verbally, thongh without naming his authority. He supports this view 
by Heb. x. 26, 27. Clement nowhere expressly draws a distinction betweea 
mortal and venial sins, but it is implied here and in Strom, vi. 12. 97, where 
he speaks of fifravoia 9iff(rfi, the first being conversion, the second repentance 
for minor daily sins. It is the first, repentance of mortal sin, that could 
only be repeated once after baptism. It is singular that in Q. D. S, he does 
not enter upon the question. (I observe that in § 39 the right reading is un- 
doubtedly &s fi^ im^vrivix^ai rikeov, otros oi icaT&fr/f<piffr€u.) For further 
information see Lecture vi. 

* Strom, vi. 13. 107. Bishop, Priest, and Deacon symbolise the ' three 
Mansions,* the three degrees of the Angelic Hierarchy: iii. 12. 90, Priest 
and Deacon distinguished from \aiK6s: vii. i. 3, Priests exercise the 
/ScArictfrim^, Deacons the {nnjp€Tiicij Oepavela : vi. 13. 106, Priests have 
vpojTOKaOedpia, sitting probably in a semicircle with the Bishop in their 
centre round the east end of the church: Paed. i. 6. 37, voifi4v€$ ka/ikv oi 
rwy kKKkrf(TiSv rrporjyoiifi€yoi. 

' Q. D. S. 41. Probst, Sakramente, p. 261, unhesitatingly identifies the 
Man of God with the Priest. It is just possible that we have here the same 
admonition as in Origen, Sel, in Psalmos^ Hom. ii. 6 (Lom. xii. p. 267), 
' tantummodo circumspice diligentius, cui debeas confiteri peccatum tuum. 
Proba prius mediqum.' He may mean that the chaplain is to be a priest, but 
a worthy priest. But were there more than, twelve priests in Alexandria, 
and in any case can there have been enough to supply domestic chaplains to 
all the rich men who needed them ? I do not doubt that the chaplain is to 
be a Gnostic who is a judge in spiritual matters, Strom, vii. 7. 45. Rnfinus, 
before his ordination, seems to have held such a post in the household of 
Melania. Compare note above, p. 96. Probst, I may add> endeavours to 



III.] The Eucharist, 103 

Supper of the Lord ^. Of this, the Agape, the Love- 
Feast, or Banquet, there were two forms, the public and 
the private, the first celebrated at a full gathering of the 
brethren on fixed evenings in the church, the second in 
private houses ^. 

prove that the Gnostic is the Priest by combining what Clement says of the 
Gnostic, of Moses, of the Law, and of Christ the Shepherd. 

^ This statement, that the Encharist at Alexandria was not yet separated 
from the Agape and that both were celebrated together in the evening, may 
seem doubtful, and indeed I make it with some hesitation. It may be argued, 
on the other side, (i) That the separation was already made in the West, as 
we see from Justin and TertuUian, and is found immediately after Clement's 
time in Palestine, teste Origen. (ii) That the word Eucharist is- employed 
by Clement for the Elements, Strom, i. i. 5, and for the rite, Paed. ii. 2. 20 ; 
Strom, iv. 25. 161. (iii) That there was a morning service at Alexandria, 
though we are not told that it included the Eucharist, Paed. ii. 10. 96. On 
the other hand, (i) the Liturgy, so far as we can judge, is not nearly so 
developed in Clement's church as in that of Origen ; (ii) the Agape in both 
its forms is distinctly mentioned, the Eucharist as a separate office is 
not ; (iii) the word Eucharist is employed of the Agape, Paed. ii. 10. 
96. (iv) The Agape is mentioned in the Sibylline Oracles — C)r. viii: 402, 497, 
temp. Trajan or Hadrian ; Or. v. 265, temp. Antoninus Pius — while the 
Eucharist is not : see Alexandre, ii. 547. It is true that both these authori- 
ties are anterior in date to Clement, (v) Dionysius of Alexandria still uses of 
the rite of Communion the same word, IcrWacrt;, which in Clement means the 
Agape, Eus. H.E. vi. 42. 5, nai itpocwxSfv airoTs koX kffrt&ffeojv ifcoivdjvrjcav. 
(vi) Lastly, I do not know of any passage in an Oriental writer before 
Clement's time in which the Eucharist appears as a distinct and substan- 
tive office. In the Doctrine of the Apostles Hilgenfeld observes upon the 
word IfiirAi^a^at in chap. 10, ' eucharistia vere coena communis nondum 
separata ab Agape.' And from Socrates, v. 22, it appears that the Agape 
lingered on in the churches of Upper Egypt longer than elsewhere. We 
may infer from this perhaps that Alexandria also had clung to the primitive 
usage after it had been abandoned by others. 

' The public Agape is the Srjfi&iip ktrrlauris of Paed. ii. i. 12. But we 
read of t6v ic€fc\rjK6Ta, ibid, § 10. This is the 8ox^. Yet frirther the * Feast' 
is universal and daily, Paed, ii. 10. 96, iciripas 82 dvavavcaaOcu KoJB-fiKti 
/i€tSl t^ karlaffiv K<d fitrd r^ hrrl rah dtrokabaeffiv cvxapiffTiay. Here 
Clement obviously means the ordinary house supper. So again, Strom, vii. 
7. 49, al irpb T^s kari&CiOK hrfb^fis rwv ypa<f>Sfv, rf/akfjiol Hi Kcd vfjivoi trapd t^v 
ktrrlaffiv vp6 76 t^s koItijs. No priest can have been present in the vast 
majority of cases ; the devotional exercises of the family and the ' thanks- 
giving' constituted the meal an Eucharist. The phrase in Q. D. S. 23, irSfia 
Ka6t ijfx4pay hBidovs iSavaaias, may perhaps thus be explained. The private 



I04 Clement. [Lect. 

The first was still disfigured by those excesses and 
disorders, which St. Paul sharply rebuked, but a century 
of discipline had not eradicated. It was preceded by 
reading of the Scriptures, psalms and hymns. After 
this the Bread and Wine were blessed, and then dis- 
tributed by the deacons *. Viands of every kind, often 
costly and richly dressed, were provided by the liberality 
of the wealthier brethren. Clement does not attempt to 
lay any puritanical restrictions upon social enjoyment. 
He enforces the rule prohibiting the taste of blood or of 
meat offered to idols, he explains the code of good 
manners, and insists upon moderation. The Christian 
must eat to live, not live to eat. He must not abuse the 
Father's gifts. He must show by precept and example 
that the heavenly banquet is not the meat that perisheth, 
but love, that the believer's true food is Christ ^. 

All that Clement says upon this subject is of the 
highest value to those who wish to recast for themselves 
a faithful image of the Church life of the end of the 

Agape is the ordinary evening meal also in Cyprian, Ep. 63.. § 16. p. 714, 
ed. Hartel. In a somewhat later time the clergy appear to have been gene- 
rally bnt not always present at the 8ox4, which has become a charity dinner, 
to which especially poor old women were invited, Const, Ap, ii. aS. The 
Council of Laodicea prohibited the Agape in churches, can. 28, and in 
private houses, can. 58. Mansi, iii. 563. Hefele. 'Hoc modo in totum 
eucharistia ab agapis distincta et separata fuit,' Bohmer, Dissertationes 
Juris Eccles, Lipsiae, 1711, diss. iv. The consecration of the Eucharist by 
laymen was not unknown in TertuUian's church. Exhort, Cast. vii. 

* Supper followed the Eucharist, see Pcud, it i. 11, fifxA r^v \v X^t^ 
Tpwpffiv, The deacons carried round the supper as well as the consecrated 
bread and wine ; see the following words, (rvfifiercufxpofiiprfs avrSfv, ws (Ivttv, 
tQs d/cpaaias vpbs roiy Jiuuc6v<av, 

' The description of the Agape will be found at the opening of Paed. ii. 
For a similar and equally graphic account of the coarse vulgarity of Alex- 
andrine luxury, see Philo, De Vita Cont, 5 (ii. 477). The contrast between 
the heathen man of the world and the Christian gentleman as drawn by 
Clement is most instructive. 



IIL] The Eucharist. 105 

second century. But of all his phrases the most im- 
portant are those which assure us, that the ordinary 
evening meal of a Christian household was in a real 
sense an Agape. It was preceded by the same acts of 
worship ; it was blessed by thanksgiving ; it was a true 
Eucharist. The house father is the house priest. The 
highest act of Christian devotion is at the same time the 
simplest and most natural. Husband, wife and child, 
the house slave, and the invited guest gathered round 
the domestic board to enjoy with thankfulness the good 
gifts of God, uplifting their hearts in filial devotion, ex- 
panding them in brotherly bounty and kindness. To us 
the word Eucharist has become a term of ritual, whose 
proper meaning is all but obsolete. To the Greek it 
was still a word of common life — thanksgiving, the 
grateful sense of benefits received, of good gifts showered 
by the good Father on mind and heart and body. * He that 
eateth eateth imto the Lord and keepeth Eucharist to 
God ... so that a religious meal is an Eucharist ^.' 

All these good gifts sum themselves up in one, the 
gift of the Son. In the Eucharist, in its narrower sense, 
we eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ, ' hallowed 
food,' of which the bread and wine given by Melchise- 
dech to Abraham was a type ^. It is ' a mystery pass- 
ing strange ®.* * I will, I will impart to you this grace 
also, the full and perfect bounty of incorruption. I give 

^ Paed, iL I. lo, c&s c&oi r^v ZiKolca^ rpwp^v fixapi(yrUiy, 
* Strom, iv. 26. 161. The figure is from Philo, and must be interpreted 
by PhUo's light. 

' ftv<rHfpiw mpddo^ov, Paed, i. 6. 43 : the following quotation is from 
Protrept, xii. lao. The chief passages on the subject of the Eucharist are, 
besides these two, Paed, ii. 2. 19 sq. ; Strom, v. 10. ^^, Other notices in 
Paed. i. 5. 15; 6. 38; Strom, i. 10. 46; 19. 96; v. 11. 70; vi. 14. 113; 
Q,D,S, 33. 



io6 Clement. [Led. 

to you the knowledge of God. I give to you my perfect 
Self.' Christ's own Sacrifice, the charter of His High 
Priesthood, is the condition of His sacramental agency. 
But what is the special boon that He conveys in that 
supreme moment, when His sacrifice co-operates with 
ours, when * in faith ' we partake ^ of the nourishment 
which He bestows? Not forgiveness — that gift is be- 
stowed in the laver of Regeneration, and if lost must be 
regained by the stern sacrament of Penance — but incor- 
ruption, immortality ^. The Bread, the Wine mingled 
with Water, are an allegory. * The Blood of the Lord 
is twofold. One is fleshly, whereby we have been ran- 
somed from corruption ' — in Baptism — * one is spiritual, 
with this we have been anointed' — in the Eucharist. 
The Body is Faith, the Blood is Hope, which is as it 
were the lifeblood of Faith. 'This is the Flesh and 
Blood of the Lord, the apprehension of the Divine 
power and essence.' * The Blood of His Son cleanseth 
from all sin. For the doctrine of the Lord which is 
very strong is called His Blood ^.' 

The elements are * hallowed food ' ; * the meat of 
babes, that is to say the Lord Jesus, that is to say the 
Word of God, is spirit made flesh, hallowed flesh from 
heaven *.' These phrases have been interpreted in very 

* Pcud, ii. 2. 20, {; oX Kath. viariv fi€TaXafifiivovr€S. 

* Paed. ii. 2. 19 ; iii. i. 2. 

^ For these four quotations see Paed. ii. 2. 19 ; i. 6. 38 ; Strom, v. 10. 
66 ; Adumb, in Ep. foan, I. p. 1009. I quote the last book always with 
hesitation. 

* Strom, iv. 26. 161 ; Paed. i. 6. 43. The two opposing views are 
maintained by Dollinger, Die Eucharistie in den drei ersten Jahrb., Mainz, 
1826, and Probst, Liturgie^ on the one hand, and by Hofling, Die Lehre 
der dltesten Kirche vom Opfer im Leben und Cultus, Erlangen, 185 1. 
Upon the whole Hofling's view appears to me to be correct. But I must 
in fairness add, what I do not remember to have seen mentioned, that the 



m.] The Eucharist. ' 107 

different senses. One writer sees in them the doctrine 
of Transubstantiation, another the doctrine of Zwinglius. 
Those who read Clement as a whole, who reflect upon 
his strong antithesis of the letter, the flesh, to the spirit, 
who take into due account his language on the subject 
of Priest and Sacrifice, and his emphatic declaration that 
* knowledge is our reasonable food ^,' will be inclined to 
think that the latter view is far nearer to the truth. 
Christ is present in the Eucharist as Gnosis, ' in the 
heart, not in the hand.' The Elements are a symbol, an 
allegory ^ perhaps a vehicle, an instrument, inasmuch as 
they are ordained by Christ Himself, and to substitute 

doctrine of the Real Presence is stated, Excerptay 82, b dpros Ktd rb iKcuov 
&yia^€Tai ry dw&fid tov dvSfxaros oif ret a^d. Hyra KarSi rd ^>cuv6fi€vov ota 
i\'^<l>0i]i 6X\d, HwanH els Hvvafuv Trvevftariic^ fi€Tafii0\rjT€u, And the 
precise idea of transubstantiation was familiar to Clement, Paed. i. 6. 40, 
vdffxfi 8i r^v n€Ta0o\^v kotSl voi&rrjra ov Kar ovaiay. He is speaking of 
the change of the mother's blood into milk, and his point is that the Faith 
of the Lower Life is the same in substance as the Gnosis of the Higher. It 
is barely possible that there may be also some allusion to the Elements, but 
I do not tiiink there is. 

^ Sirom. v. 11. 70, Xoyixbu ^fuv fipufui ^ yy&ffn : i. 10. 46, Xya 8^ <piyQ)fi€v 
XoyiKws : v. 10. 66, 0puais yap xal v6ais rod Oelov \6yov ^ yvwffis ken t$? 
Otias ovaias: Adumb, in Ep.Joan. I. p. loii, sanguis quod est cognitio. 
There is a remarkable departure from the ordinary symbolism in the very 
obscure passage, Paed. il. 2. 19, 20. Clement's drift is that those are to 
be praised who abstain from wine altogether, and he illustrates this by the 
mixed chalice. The Wine is the Blood, the symbol of Redemption, Bap- 
tism, Faith, and Discipline ; the Water is the Spirit, the better gift. 

^ Paed, ii. 2. 32, qI\m. t^s dfiir^Aov, ihv \6yov rbv vepi iroWSw eKx^^fievov 
€ls cupeaiv AfMpri&v evippoffvinjs &yiov dXXrjyopeT vdfM : i. 6. 47, ^ yotp leai 
oifx^ dtyos d^^KrjyopeiTai, Much depends on the meaning of the word 
Allegory and the purpose of the Alexandrine Disciplina Arcani, On this 
I shall speak in Lecture iv. It may be noticed here that Clement mentions 
the kiss of peace, Paed. iii. 11. 81 ; the practice of anointing the eyes with 
a drop of the wine from the lips (a bare allusion), Paed. ii. 12. 129 ; and 
tells us, Strom, i. i. 5, that some clergymen made the communicant take 
his piece of bread instead of giving it to him, lest they should become 
partakers in the sin of the tmworthy recipient; see Probst, Liturgie^ 
PP- 135 sqq. 



io8 Clement. [Lect. 

any other figure for the one so ordained Is heresy. But 
the veil, though a holy thing because it belongs to the 
sanctuary, is not the mystery that it shrouds, the alle- 
gory is not the truth that it bodies forth. 

The chief article of the Christian Gnosis was that of 
the Future Life. It was as interesting to Pagans as to 
Christians. ' What will become of the soul after death ? * 
asks Plotinus, as he enters upon this universally fascinat- 
ing theme. The immortality of the soul was positively 
denied by none but the * godless Epicureans.' But the 
doctrine of the Resurrection was peculiar to the Church, 
and, while it strengthened her hold upon the masses, 
was a great stumbling-block in the way of the educated. 
The Platonist looked upon the body as the * dungeon of 
the soul,' and could not understand how any pious man 
should expect a good God to renew and perpetuate that 
degrading bondage. 

Within the Church itself there was some variety and 
much confusion of thought. TertuUian and many others 
held that the soul itself was material ^. From this fol- 
lowed the terrible belief of Tatian, that it dies with the 
body, and is raised again with the body, by an act of 
Divine power, for an eternity of suffering or joy. Others, 
especially Arabian Christians, held that after dissolution 
the soul sleeps unconscious, till awakened to life by the 
restoration of its organism. But the majority believed 
in an intermediate yet conscious state of existence in 
Hades or Paradise, extending to the Day of Judgment, 

^ A MoQtanist sister in one of her visions saw a sonl ' tenera et lucida et 
aerii colons et forma per onmia hmnana,* De Anima^ 9. Tatian's doctrine 
in Oratio ad Graecos, 13. For the Arabians, Eus. ff, E. vi. 37 ; Rede- 
penning, Origenesy ii. 105 sqq. The iffuxoiroyvvxiot may perhaps be found 
also in Athenagoras, jDe Res, 16, though Otto thinks not. 



*' 



/' 



ni.] Resurrection. 109 

when the soul is reunited to the body, from which it has 
been for a time divorced. 

The Resurrection itself they interpreted in the most 
literal sense. It would be a resurrection of * this flesh,' 
of the identical body which had been dissolved by death. 
The * change,' spoken of by St. Paul, was strictly limited 
to the accession of the new attribute of incorruption ^. 
Closely allied to this view was the widespread opinion 
of the Chiliasts, who, resting upon the prophecies of 
Isaiah and the Apocalypse, believed that after the first 
Resurrection the saints should reign in the flesh upon 
earth for a thousand years under the sceptre of Christ. 
Chiliasm, which in vulgar minds was capable of the most 
unhappy degradation, was in turn strengthened by the 
urgent expectation of the End of the World. In the 
lower strata of Christian society prophecies on this 
subject were rife. At this very time a calculation, based 
on the numerical value of the letters composing the 
word Rome, fixed the downfall of the Empire and the 
coming of Christ for judgment for the year 195 A.D.* 
The Montanists held that the appointed sign was the 
appearance of the New Jerusalem in heaven ; and this 
sign was given during the expedition of Severus against 
the Parthians, when for forty consecutive mornings the 
vision of a battlemented city hanging in the clouds 
was beheld by the whole army ^. 

* See IrenaeuSy v. 13 ; Athenagoras, Di Res, 

* The four letters composing the word Pcufti; = 948, hence it was sup- 
posed the empire wonld last that nnmber of years, Or, Sib. viii. 148. When 
this expectation was frustrated by the course of events, the authors of the 
last four Sibylline books struck off 105 years from the Roman Fasti and 
fixed upon the year 305 in the reign of Diocletian. See much curious 
information upon similar speculations which recurred again and again from 
the persecution of Nero downwards, Alexandre, ii. pp. 485 sqq. 

* Tertnllian, Adv, Marc. ill. 34; Miinter, Primordia Eccl. Afr. p. 141. 



no Clement. [Leet. 

There were differences of opinion again as to the 
nature, object, duration, of the sufferings that await the 
wicked in the life to come, especially among the outlying 
sects. The Valentinians, as we have seen, taught * con- 
ditional immortality,' and regarded the future life as a 
state of education, of progress through an ascending 
series of seven heavens. The Clementine Homilies^ a 
work composed under strong Judaic influences, expresses 
different views in different places. In one the sinner is 
warned that eternal torments await him in the life to 
come. In another St. Peter proclaims that those who 
repent, however grievous their offences, will be chastised 
but for a time, that those who repent not will be tortured 
for a season and then annihilated ^. The Church at large 
believed in an eternity of bliss or of woe. Yet among 
the Montanists prayers and oblations were offered up on 
behalf of the departed, and it was thought that these 
sacrifices could in certain cases quicken the compassion 
of God towards those who had died in sin. The widow 
prayed that her lost husband's pangs might be alleviated, 
and that she might share with him in the First Resurrec- 
tion. Perpetua, the matron lily of martyrs, in that jail 
which seemed to be a palace while her baby was at her 
breast, cried for mercy upon the soul of her little brother, 
who had died unbaptised ^. 

^ Eternal torments in i. 7 ; xi. 11 : the other view in iii. 6. 

* Tertullian, De Manogamia, 10, the widow prays for her husband's soul ; 
' enimvero et pro anima eius orat, et refngerium interim adpostulat ei et in 
prima resurrectione consortium, et offert annuls diebus dormitionis eius :' De 
Cor. Mil. 3, 'oblationes pro defunctis, pro natalitiis, annua die facimus' 
(here he rests the usage on tradition, and not on Scripture ; but he may mean 
only that the oblation is not scriptural as the use of prayer is sanctioned by 
1 Tim. i. 18) : see also De Exhort. Cast, 11. All these treatises are Mon- 
tanist according to Miinter. Montanist also in the opinion of Valedus are 



in.] Resurrection, \\i 

Clement never composed his promised treatise on the 
Resurrection, and it is not always easy to attach a definite 
meaning to his allusive style. But the general outline of 
his teaching is sufficiently clear. He rejects with scornful 
brevity the fancies of Chiliasm^ The Resurrection body 
is not * this flesh,' but, as St. Paul taught, a glorified frame, 
related to that which we now possess as the grain of corn 
to the new ear, devoid in particular of the distinctions of 
sex^. The change is wrought by fire. Even Christ rose 

• through fire.' Fire is here the agent not of chastise- 
ment, but of that mysterious sublimation by which our 
organism is fitted for existence in a new sphere. 

For the sinner the fire bums with a fiercer intensity, 
because it has a harsher office. It is the pang of un- 
satisfied lusts that gnaw the soul itself for want of food, 
the sting of repentance and shame, the sense of loss. It 

the Acta of St. Perpetua. As to the latter it should be observed that the 
little brother Dinocrates for whom Perpetna intercedes had certainly died 
unbaptised. For his father was a Pagan — Perpetna herself was baptised in 
the prison — and the effect of her prayer is that Dinocrates is admitted to the 
benefits of baptism. ' I saw Dinocrates coming forth from a dark place 
very hot and thirsty, squalid of face and pallid of hue . . . And hard by 
where he stood was a tank full of water, the margin whereof was higher 
than the stature of the child, and he stood on tiptoe as if he would drink.* 
Again, 'on the day on which we lay in the stocks,' she prays, and sees 
Dinocrates cleansed, dressed, and cool, drinking eagerly of the water. 

* Then I knew that he was released from pain.* Further, the privilege of 
intercession is granted to Perpetua by revelation as a special mark of favour. 
So Clement appears to restrict it to the Gnostic. The practice of prayer for 

the dead was certainly uncommon at the end of the second century. It is not 
found in Origen, for in Rom, ix. 12 is confessedly from the hand of Rufinus. 

^ Strom, vii. 1 2. 74» the Gnostic, tw KfxriiiKSiv leairoi Oeiaiv Syrojv kmxy- 
7e\ictfy KaT€fifyaXo<l>p6v7j(r€y, Guerike considers that these words refer to 
Chiliasm, ii. p. 163. 

^ Paed. i. 4. 10 ; 6. 46. In this last passage it is said that Christ rose 
'through fire,' which changes the natural into the spiritual body, as earthly 
fire changes wheat into bread. But the resurrection body may still be 
called flesh, jPaed, Ii. 10. 100; ill. i. 2. 



112 Clement. [Lect. 

is ministered not by fiends but by good angels \ it is 
alleviated by the prayers of the saints on earth ^. 

There can I think be no doubt (though it has been 
doubted) that Clement allowed the possibility of repent- 
ance and amendment till the Last Day. At that final 
Assize there will be found those who, like Aridaeus ^, are 
incurable, who will still reject, as man always can reject, 
the proffered grace. But he nowhere expressly limits 
probation to this brief life. All his theory of punish- 
ment*, which is strictly Platonic, for he hardly ever 
quotes Scripture in this connection^, p6ints the same 
way. And many passages might be adduced which 
prove how his maxims are to be applied. 'Let them 
be chastised,' he says of the * deaf serpents ' who refuse 
to hear the voice of the charmer, *by God, enduring His 
paternal correction before the Judgment, till they be 
ashamed and repent ®.' In that fiery trial even Sodom 

* Strom. V. 14. 90 ; vil. 2, la. 

' The Gnostic, olKT€ip€t robs fitrii B6vaTov muBfvofxivovs Hid. r^ HoXAtrtcn 
d«ovalon k^ofAo\oyov/ihovs, Strom, vii. la. 78. Yet Clemeat does not ex- 
pressly say that he prays for them. 

^ Strom, y. 14. 90 : in iv. 24. 154 the ' £dthless* are as the chafif which 
the wind driveth away. 

* The object of KdXatru is threefold — ^amendment, example, and protection 
of the wejJc, Strom, i. 26. 168; iy. 24. 154; yi. 12. 99. The distinction 
between KdXatrts and rifiapia, Strom, iv. 14. 153 ; Piled, i. 8. 70, the latter 
is the rendering of evil for evil, and this is not the desire of God. Both 
/e6\a(Tis and rifwpia are spoken of in Strom, v. 14. 90, bnt this is not to be 
pressed, for in Strom, vi. 14. 109 the distinction between the words is 
dropped and both signify purgatorial chastisement 

* Isaiah iv. 4 is quoted, Paed. iii. 9. 48, and Cor. i. 3. 10-13, Strom. 
y. 4. 26. 

* Strom, vii. 16. 102. Repentance is attributed to the dead again in 
Strom, vi. 14. 109. If it be asked wAicA repentance Clement speaks of 
here (see note above, p. 102), the instance of Sodom and Gomorrha, Adumb. 
in Ep.Judae, p. 1008, is very strong. It rests upon Ezekiel xvi. 33, 55, and 
is employed by Origen in the same way. Even stronger is the language of 
Strom, vii. 2. 12, irouSci^orcts . . . rents M vXiov dinj\')fffK6Tas ktcfiidfoyrai 



m.] The Future Life. 113 

and Gomorrha cried unto God and were forgiven. There 
is no difference between his teaching and that of Origen, 
except that he generally seems to be thinking of the 
doom of Christians, that he regards probation as ceasing 
at the Day of Judgment ^ and that he does not contem- 
plate the possibility of a fall from grace in the after-life. 

Even the just must be purged by the ' wise fire^,' before 
they are fit for the presence of the Most Holy God. Not 
at once can they see face to face, or enter into possession 
of those good things which * eye hath not seen nor ear 
heard.' When the burden of sin has been laid down, 
when the angels have taken their appointed ' tolP,' the 
spirit must still grow in knowledge, rising in due course 
through the seven heavens of the Valentinian, through 
the three 'mansions' or 'folds' prefigured by the triple 
hierarchy of the Church*. Some — those who have 

lUTovo^lv. The question of the orthodoxy or heterodoxy of the Alexan- 
drines in this part of their teaching turns entirely upon the word *• repent- 
ance/ to which we shall recur in Lecture VIII. 

* See Strom, vii. 2. 12. It should be observed that the word trpox/xVcis 
here may refer to ' previous judgments ' in this life ; that is to say, to the 
Sacrament of Penance : compare Adumb. in Ep. Petri, i. p. 1007. 

' Strom, vii. 6. 34, iri/p ov rd vafjuftdyov xal 06vav<rov &X\a rd <pp6vtfiov 
\iyovT€5, rh Butevoij/uyov Bid yjnjxv^ t^s Bttpxo/i^vrjs rd vvp, Cp. Eclogae 
Proph, 25. p. 995, and Minucius Felix, xxxv, illic sapiens ignis membra 
urit et reficit ; carpit et nutrit. There is an allusion to Isaiah iv. 4, but the 
actual phrase 'wise fire* comes from Heraclitus and the Stoics. 

' The Angels who guard the road up to the highest heaven 'take toll ' of 
the passer-by, Strom, iv. 18. 117. 

^ Clement may have taken the seven heavens from Valentinus or from the 
Revelation of Sophonias, Strom, v. 11. 77. He found allusions to them in 
Plato's Timaetis, p. 31 ; in Clemens Romanus, i. 20 (of the 'lands' beyond 
the ocean) ; in St. Paul, and elsewhere. The same idea is found in the 
book of Baruch (Origen, De Princ. ii. 3. 6), and in Aristo, Fragment iv. in 
Otto, Corp. App. vol. ix. p. 363. See also Hennas, Vis, iii. 4, and note 
there in the ed. of Gebhardt and Hamack. The seven days of purification 
are a type, Strom, iv. 25. 158. The iMvtjX noiielXai are from Papias (Fragm. 
V. in Routh). They answer to the tiiree stages of Fear, Hope, and Love, 

I 



114 Clement The Future Life. 

brought forth thirty, or sixty, or a hundredifold, yet 
have fallen short of what they might have been — mount 
no higher than this ^. But the Gnostic, scaling from 
glory up to glory, will attain at last to the stature of the 
perfect man, and find rest upon the holy mountain of 
God, the Church that is above all. There in the change- 
less Ogdoad, a name borrowed from the Valentinian by 
the Catholic, as indeed is the greater part of this descrip- 
tion, he shall dwell for ever with Chtist, the God and 
Guardian of his faith and love, beholding the Father no 
longer * in a glass darkly,' but with the direct unclouded 
vision of a pure heart, in light that never fades 2. 

Clement speaks of this final consummation as Rest. 
But it is the rest of God, *'who ceases not from doing 
good^.' There is no absorption, no confusion of subject 
and object. It is the rest not of unity but of perfect 
similarity, perfect reciprocity, the polar rest of a soul 
energising in unimpeded knowledge and love. Farther 
than this Clement does not dare to pry into the sanctuary 
of Light. ' I say no more glorifying the Lord *.' 

to the three divisions of the Temple, to the three kinds of seed, Strom, vi. 
14. 114, to the three grades of the hierarchy, vi. 13. 107. 

* This seems to be clearly meant in Strom, iv. 18. 114 ; vi. 14. 108, 114; 
cp. also Eel, Proj^h, 56. But if so, the poena damni never wholly ceases, 
Strom, vi. 14. 109. 

* Strom, iv. 35. 158 ; vi. 14. 108; vii. 10. 56, 57. 
' Strom, vi. 12. 104, 

* Strom, vii. 3. 13. 



LECTURE IV. 



Again the kingdom of heaven is like unto treasure hid in afield ; the 
which when a man hath found he hideth, and for joy thereof goeth and 
selleth all that he hath, and buyeth that field. — St. Matt. xiii. 44. 

Clement as we have seen is a philosopher of a 
desultory and eclectic type and so far as the needs 
of his tranquil spirit led him on. Egypt is his worl'd, 
Gnosticism his one trouble. Origen had travelled to 
Rome in the West and Bostra in the East, and had 
found everywhere the clash of arms. But apart from this 
he was not one of those who discover the rifts in their 
harness only on the morning of the battle. His sceptical 
intelligence pries unbidden into every defect, and antici- 
pates the hostile thrust. He stands to his arms for life 
or death, like a Dominican theologian of the thirteenth 
century, or an English divine of the nineteenth. The 
range of his activity is amazing. He is the first great 
scholar, the first great preacher, the first great devotional 
writer, the first great commentator, the first gfeat 
dogmatist. But he is nothing else. Already we have 
entered upon the joyless age of erudition. The beauties 
of Hellenism, in which Clement still delighted, are a 
withered flower, and Christian art is as yet unborn. 

The life of Origen extended from 185 A.D, to254 A.D., 
from the reign of Commodus to that of Valerian and 
Gallienus, During this long and eventful period his 
activity was constant, varied and distinguished, and 
friends and enemies, both equally ardent, have left us 
large materials for his biography. It is impossible here 

I a 



♦, 






»!. 



1 1 6 Origen. [Lect. 

to deal exhaustively with a subject so wide. We must 
content ourselves with touching upon the most charac- 
teristic features ^. 

He was * by race an Egyptian,' a Copt, one of the 
children of the soil, despised by the Greek colonists for 
their animal-worship and their petulant turbulence, and 
treated even by the upright Roman law on the footing 
of slaves. Son as he was of Christian parents he yet 
bore the name of one of his country^s deities, Origenes, 
child of Hor, the god of Light ^. From his blood he 
drew that fiery ardour which long tribulation softened 
but could not quench. He was a martyr by race, but a 
stern schooling was needed before he learned to drink 
the cup as God had mixed it for him. When his father 

* For fuller information about the biography of Origen the reader shonld 
consult Thomasins, Redepenning, or Huet. Denis, Philosophie (POrigine, 
is a most valuable aid to the study of his system of doctrine. Dr. Har- 
nack's Dogmengeschichte is also very useful. Redepenning, ii. 472, gives a 
list of editions. The special literature will be found in Moller's article in 
Herzog, in Nitzsch, Dogmengeschichte, or in Ueberweg, Grundriss der Gesch, 
der Philosophie, All my references are to the edition of Lommatzsch, the 
V volume and page have been noted where it seemed desirable. 

" G. J. Voss was the first who gave the right derivation of the name of 
Origen ; Redepenning, i. 421. Suidas, Erasmus, Halloix, Cave were satis- 
fied with the impossible etymology, 'bom in the mountains.' Origen is 
commonly spoken of by the by-name Adamantius, which, according to 
Photius, Cod. 118, means the same as Doctor Irrefragabilis, on d^afuarrlyois 
d€<Tfjiots i<fK«rav ots &y S^o'cic \6yovs, according to Jerome denotes his inde- 
fatigable capacity for labour (hence Jerome also calls him x^^^i'^cpos), 
according to Huet the firmness with which he stood like a rock against 
Heretics. For the heathen philosopher of the same name see Porphyry, 
VitaPlotini^ 20 ; Eunapius, Vita Porphyrii^ P- 467 I Ruhnken, Diss.philo- 
logica de mta et scriptis Longiniy in his ed. of Longinus, Oxford, 1806. 
. ^Epiphanius endeavoured to save the reputation of Origen by inventing 
a second author ^-of the same name, to whom he ascribed the more heterodox 
articles of Origenism, Ilcur. Ixiii. i ; Ixiv. 3. The Praedestinati auctor, 
Haer. 42, caUs this phantom heresiarch Syrus sceleratissimus, and adds 
a third Origen, who denied the Resurrection. See Huet, Origeniana, 
i. I. 7. 



IV.] His Life. 117 

Leonidas fell a victim to the persecution of Severus, 
nothing but the womanly sense of his mother prevented 
Origen, then a boy of seventeen, from drawing destruc- 
tion on his own head by open defiance of the authorities. 
The destitute orphan found shelter in the house of a 
wealthy Alexandrine lady, but neither gratitude nor the 
sense of a common misfortune could induce him to 
behave with civility to her Gnostic chaplain. Shortly 
afterwards, at the age of eighteen, he found independence 
in the mastership of the Catechetical School, left vacant 
by the flight of Clement. He breathed his own spirit 
into his pupils, of whom six at least perished. Nor was 
it Origen's fault that he did not share their fate. He 
visited them in prison, he acted as their advocate, and 
gave them the brotherly kiss in open court. We are 
not surprised to hear that he narrowly escaped stoning 
in the streets, or that he was hunted from house to house 
by the gendarmery. What is remarkable is that he 
escaped, and even contrived throughout the reign of 
terror to keep his school together. It is probable that 
the edict of Severus, which was directed against converts 
only, did not touch him, and that so long as he abstained 
from formal defiance he was personally safe ^. And he 
had already learned that formal defiance was suicide. 

The second path that allures the wilful martyr is that 
of self-torture. Like Buddha, like Marcus Aurelius, like 
Wesley, like many another enthusiast in every age and 
clime and church, Origen flung himself into asceticism 
only to learn the truth of the old Greek adage, ' He who 
starts in the race before the signal is given is whipped.' 

^ An excellent account of the persecution of Severus wiU be found in 
Aub^, Les Chritiens dans V Empire Romain, See also Miinter, Primordia 
Eccl. Afr, 



1 1 8 Origen. [Lect. 

He sold the manuscripts of the Greek classics, which he 
had written out with loving care, for a trifling pension, in 
order that he might be able to teach without a fee, and 
subjected himself for some years to the severest discipline 
by night and day. This was the time of his bondage to 
the letter. He would cany out with severest fidelity 
the precept of the Saviour, * provide neither gold nor 
silver . . . neither two coats, neither shoes.' He went, as 
is well known, even farther than this, and did what was 
condemned at once by the wholesome severity of the 
Roman law, and the conscience, if not the actual ordin- 
ance of the Church. This error too he learned to 
renounce, but not wholly nor frankly, for to the last he 
looked with a sombre eye on the affections of the flesh. 

Rebellion is the third temptation of undisciplined zeal, 
and this charge also may be laid to Origen's account. 
Here unhappily our materials are too scanty for a clear 
and dispassionate judgment. The bare facts are that in 
the year %\^ Origen, being then at Caesarea, accepted 
the invitation of Alexander, Bishop of Jerusalem, and 
Theoctistus, Bishop of Caesarea, to expound the Scrip- 
tures before the assembly of the Church, though as yet a 
layman, and that in %2% he was ordained at the same 
place by the same Bishops. We cannot tell how far 
these acts were in violation of the existing discipline. 
Both were lawful in Palestine, both were regarded by^ 
Demetrius as unlawful. If the rule was more stringent '> 
at Alexandria, it was possibly a recent innovation. We 
do not know how far the dispute was complicated by 
the character of the Patriarch, by the teaching and 
conduct of Origen, or by the peculiar position of the 
Alexandrine Presbytery. But it is significant that the 



IV.] His Life. iig 

extreme penalty of degradation was carried only by the 
voices of the newly created suffragan bishops, against 
the inclination of the priests. These latter could not but 
sympathise with a victim of the same usurpation that 
lay so heavy on themselves. 

For our present purpose the importance of the incident 
is that it marks the final renunciation by Origen of that 
narrow l^al spirit, which leads by many paths to the 
one goal of servitude. He was learning in strange and 
unexpected ways the true meaning of the Christian 
sacrifice. He had been willing and eager to *give his 
body to be burned,' he had * given all his goods to feed 
the poor,' and his reward had been not the martyr 
crown but the martyr spirit, 'love which beareth all 
things.' Now, when he had found his true career in 
indefatigable labour for the Word of God, and sought to 
sanctify his toil and enlarge his influence by the name 
and authority of a priest, what he sought was given to 
him, but at the cost of banishment and obloquy. Such 
discipline was needed before this high impatient spirit 
could obey with docility the bridle of God. 

Many years before this it had become manifest in 
what direction Providence was leading him. As a child 
he had received by his father's care not only a minute 
knowledge of Scripture, a great part of which he learned 
by heart, but a thorough training in what was called the 
encyclic discipline — the grammar, rhetoric and science 
which formed the ordinary education of a youth of good 
family. Hebrew, a rare accomplishment, and philo- 
sophy ^, he acquired while so absorbed in school work 

* Origen does not name the professor whose lectures he attended. The 
belief that it was Ammonins Saccas rests npon the statement of Porphyry. 



I20 Origen. . [Lect. 

that he could find time for study only by curtailing the 
hours of sleep. His literary activity began in 223, when 
he would be thirty-eight years old, and continued inces- 
santly to the end of his life. Like many other men of 
studious habits he found the labour of composition 
irksome, but Ambrosius, a wealthy and intelligent man 
whom Origen had reclaimed from Gnosticism, continually 
spurred him on, and overcame the physical difficulty by 
providing him with a number of shorthand writers and 
copyists. From this time his labours were unremitting. 

* The work of correction,' he says in one of his letters, 

* leaves us no time for supper, or after supper for exercise 
and repose. Even at these times we are compelled to 
debate questions of interpretation and to emend MSS. 
Even the night cannot be given up altogether to the 
needful refreshment of sleep, for our discussions extend 
far into the evening. I say nothing about our morning 
labour continued from dawn to the ninth or tenth hour. 
For all earnest students devote this time to study of the 
Scriptures and reading ^.' 

Such was his life during the progress of the Hexapta, 
and indeed at all times. The volume of writing thus 
produced was enormous. But it is evident that no man 
can accomplish the best work of which he is capable 
under these conditions, harassed by the demands of 

Foiphyry, who was an excellent man, no doubt spoke in good faith, 
but he has confused the heathen Origen whom he once knew with the 
Christian Origen whom he can never have known, and therefore no weight 
at all can be attached to what he says. The teacher may well have been 
Anmionius, but it is by no means certain. For even if that distinguished 
man was already in the chair, it appears from the opening of the Eunuchus 
ascribed to Lucian, that at a great school there were two professors of each of 
the four sects of philosophy. Their stipend was 10,000 drachmas per annum. 
See notes in Heinichen on Eusebius, If, E, vi. 19. 

* From the Epistle to a Friend cUnmt Ambrosius, in Lomm. xvii. p. 5. 



IV.] His Life. 121 

pupils, toiling with feverish anxiety to master the ever- 
growing mountain of minute facts, and in hardly won 
intervals pouring out the eager flow of extemporaneous 
thought to nimble-fingered stenographers ^. The marvel 
is not that Origen composed so much, but that he 
composed so well. 

And to these professional labours must be added a 
far-reaching personal influence, with all its responsibilities 
and engagements. Origen was essentially a man of the 
student type, but he wielded that powerful charm which 
attaches to high intellectual gifts when combined with 
an ardent and sympathetic nature. His pupil Gregory 
Thaumaturgus speaks of his ' sweet grace and persua- 
sion mingled with a certain constraining force ^,* and uses 
towards him that strong Greek word by which Plato 
describes the love of the soul for its ideal. Such a 
charm is a practical power, and works with more 
freedom and pungency in a private station of life. It 

^ Ambrosins, whom Origen calls his ipyo^&Krrjs, taskmaster, provided 
him with seven stenographers, and the same number of calligraphists. We 
may compare them with the staff of a modem lexicographer. But Origen 
used them for his commentaries and other composition. Thus In Joan. vi. i 
(Lom. i. p. 176) he complains that his work has been at a standstill 
because the awtfi^vs raxvyp^^i were not with him. After the year 246 
his extemporaneous Homilies were taken down by shorthand writers. 

* From the Panegyric of Gregory Thaumaturgus, 6 (in Lom. xxv). The 
student of Origen should certainly begin with this graphic and loving though 
too rhetorical sketch of the great master. Gregory was on his way to the 
Roman law school at Ber3rtus, where he was to study for the bar. But by a 
series of accidents, which he regarded afterwards as divinely ordered, he fell 
in with Origen at Caesarea, and could not tear himself away. ' It was as if 
a spark fell into my soul and caught fire and blazed up, such was my love for 
the Holy Word and for this man its friend and advocate. Stung by this 
desire I forgot all that seemed to touch me most nearly, my studies, even my 
beloved jurisprudence, my country, my relatives, my present mission, the 
object of my travels.* Gregory stayed with Origen for five years, became a 
bishop, and was famed for his miracles. 



122 Origen. [Lect. 

constituted Origen the unofficial representative, arbiter, 
peacemaker of the Eastern Church. A provincial 
governor consults him on affairs of the soul, the 
Christian or half-Christian Emperor Philip corresponds 
with him, the Empress Mother Mammaea summons him 
to Antioch and provides him with a guard of honour ^. 
The Churches of Achaea and Arabia make him their 
umpire, and peace follows his award. In the furnace of 
affliction he has grown to be one of those magnetic 
natures that test the capacity for love and veneration 
in every one that comes within their sphere. 

Origen had long learned to acquiesce in the prevalent 
view of the Easterns that martyrdom involves a high 
responsibility, that the Christian has no right either to 
fling away his life or to fix the guilt of blood upon ' the 
powers ordained of God.* The Church would gladly 
have restricted this Olympian contest to her chosen 
athletes. Hence he quitted Alexandria during the Fury 
of Caracalla, which though not specially directed against 
Christians, no doubt involved them. Once again he fled 
from the persecution of Maximin to Caesarea of Cappa- 
docia, where in the house of Juliana he whiled away the 
stormy days in labour upon the Hexapla, What thoughts 
solaced him during this dry and gigantic task we know 
from the treatise on Martyrdom, composed at this time 
for the benefit of his friend Ambrosius, who had been 
thrown into prison, * a golden book ' it has been called 

* The date of the interview with Mammaea is doubtftil. Baronius, Tille- 
mont and De la Rue (see Huet) place it in 218. Redepenning, i. 3Y3, in 223 ; 
this is Huet's own opinion. Anb^^ pp. 306 sqq. throws it fon^rd to 232, 
on the gromid that it was after the ordination of Origen, bnt I am not aware 
what reason he has for this statement. On the vexed question of the relation 
of Philip to Christianity see Huet and Aub^, pp. 470 sqq. 



IV.] Text of the New Testament. 123 

with truth, for it touches not a single false note. At 
last his own summons came. He was incarcerated in 
the persecution of Decius, and treated with a severity 
which shattered his frame already enfeebled by labour 
and old age. 

He was buried in Tyre, where for centuries his tomb, 
in the wall behind the high altar, formed the chief orna- 
ment of the magnificent cathedral of the Holy Sepulchre. 
Tyre was wasted by the Saracens, but even to this day, 
it is said, the poor fishermen, whose hovels occupy the 
site of that city of palaces, point to a shattered vault 
beneath which lie the bones of ' Oriunus ^.' 

We may consider his voluminous and many-sided 
works under three heads — Textual Criticism, Exegesis, 
and Religious Philosophy. The first of these does not 
properly fall within the scope of our enquiry, but a brief 
notice may be permitted for the sake of the side-light 
which it throws upon the character of our author. 

He devoted much time and labour to the text of the 
New Testament, which was already disfigured by corrup- 
tions, 'some arising from the carelessness of scribes, 
some from the evil licence of emendation, some from 
arbitrary omissions or interpolations^.' Already the 
records were perverted in numberless passages, not only 
by Gnostic audacity, but by those minor variations 
which constitute what are known as the Western and 
Alexandrine families. Between errors of the latter class 
and the genuine reading he had no means of deciding 
except the perilous canon of intrinsic probability, which 

* I owe this fact to Dr. Westcott's article, Origen and the beginnings of 
Christian Philosophy ^ in the Contemporary Review for May, 1879. 
' In Matth. xv. 14 (Lorn. iii. 357). 



1 24 Origen. [Uct. 

he applies with much acuteness, but at the same time 
with severe caution^. All that he could hope was to 
purify his own MS. or MSS.^ (for he used more than 
one, and those of different families) from manifest faults 
of transcription and from recent and obvious deprava- 
tions. This he effected with care and ability. The 
Exemplaria Adamantii acquired the authority of a 
standard, and derived additional importance from the 
fact that a copy was presented by Eusebius to the 
Emperor Constantine. But Origen's fame as a critic 
rests chiefly upon the Hexapla, In controversy with 
the Jews the Christian disputant was constantly baffled 
by the retort, that the passages on which he relied were 
not found, or were otherwise expressed, in the Hebrew. 
Several new translations or recensions of the whole or 
part of the LXX had been produced, in which the 
discrepancies of the Alexandrine Version from the 
original were brought into strong relief. Origen saw 
clearly the whole of the difficulties involved, and with 

* See the Diss, critica de Cod. IV Evang. Origenis in Griesbach, Opus- 
cula Academical vol. i. Origen sometimes makes conjectures in his 
Commentaries, but never admitted them into his text. Thus he thought 
the words * thou shalt love thy neighbour as thyself spurious in Matt. xix. 
19 (see In Matth. xv. 14), but he does not venture to expunge them. He sup> 
ports the reading V^pn/^aiivow in Matt. viii. 28 and the parallel passages, but it 
is doubtful whether he actually inserted it in his MS. ; see In Joan. vi. 24 ; 
Redepenning, ii. 184 note ; and Tischendorf. Bethabara he found in some 
copies. In Rom. v. 14 the majority of his MSS. omitted the /i^, In Rom. 
v. I (Lom. vi. 344). There were bolder critics in his time. Some wished 
to set aside the story of Dives and -Lazarus, In Joan, xxxii. 13 (Lom. ii. 
447) ; the words * to-day thou shalt be with me in Paradise,' In Joan. 
xxxii. 19 (Lom. ii. 481) ; and the advice given to slaves, i Cor. vii. 21, In 
Rom, i. I (Lom. vi. 12). 

^ Redepenning, ii. 182 sqq. ; Griesbach, p. 240. The latter scholar 
pointed out that the text of Mark used by Origen for In Matth. was Western, 
while that quoted in the In Joan, is Alexandrine. See Gregory, PrO' 
legomena to Tischendorf, p. 189 ; Westcott and Hort, p. 113. 



IV.] The Hexapla. 125 

characteristic grandeur and fearlessness determined 
upon producing an edition of the Old Testament that 
should exhibit in parallel columns the Hebrew text and 
the rival versions, thus bringing before the eye of the 
enquirer in one view the whole of the evidence attain- 
able \ At the same time he corrected and supple- 
mented the LXX from the other versions, chiefly those 
of Theodotion and Aquila. This gigantic and costly 
scheme was rendered feasible by the munificence, and 
facilitated by the active cooperation, of Ambrosius. 

The Hexapla^ the first great achievement of Christian 
erudition, is impressive in many ways, not least as a 
proof of the intelligence and sincerity of the community 
to which it was addressed. But with all his devotion 
and learning Origen was not a consummate master in 
the higher functions of criticism. His equipment was 
insufficient. His knowledge of Hebrew was respectable, 
and for his age remarkable, but not profound. He had 
a fair acquaintance with the grammar and dictionary, 
but had not penetrated into the genius of the language ^. 

' Field, in his magnificent work, Origenis Hexapla^ xlviii. does not think 
that Origen had a distinctly controversial purpose in view. But see Rede- 
penning, i. 234. 375; ii. 170. The locus classicus is In Matth. xv. 14. 
Partly owing to the plan followed by Origen, partly to the haste and 
inaccuracy of transcribers, the Hexapla caused very serious changes in the 
text of the LXX. Jerome, Praefatio in Librum Paral., Migne, vol. xxviii. 
p. 1333 ; Schiirer, p. 701. 

* Redepenning, i. 367 ; ii. 166. 198 ; Emesti, Opuscula Philologica et 
Critica. There is however some reason for™ lowering this estimate. In 
JVum.tHom. xiv. i, Aiunt ergo qui hebraicas literas legunt, in hoc loco Deus 
non sub signo tetragrammati esse positum, de quo qui potest requirat 
(Redepenning thinks these words may have been inserted by the translator) ; 
Contra Celsum, i. 34, i) ii\v Xi^it ^ 'AaXfui, ffy ol ii\v l/SSofc^^ovra fi€T€t\'ff<l>a<ri 
wpds r^v vcLfiBivoy, 6X\oi 8i tls r^ vwviv, Hcirai, &s ipcuri, leat iv rf Acvrc- 
povo/iiqi kvl vapOivov. Origen does not speak of his own knowledge on this 
important and much debated point, and the authorities on whom he relied 
misled him, for the word almah is not found in the passage to which 



126 Origen, [Lect. 

Again he was hampered by prejudice. He regarded the 
LXX as an independent and inspired authority, and, like 
Justin, accounted for its variation from the Hebrew by 
supposing that the latter had been deliberately falsified 
by the Jews^. In this way he explained the absence 
from the Canon of the Apocryphal Books. On one 
occasion he had employed in a public debate doctrinal 
proofs taken from the History of Susanna. This drew 
upon him an epistle from Julius Africanus, in which it 
was shown with great force and ingenuity that this addi- 
tion to the Book of Daniel could not have been com- 
posed in Hebrew^. Origen with much learning and 
some little warmth refused to be convinced, but the 
honour of arms remained with Africanus, whose letter 
indeed is a signal refutation of the epithets ' credulous ' 
and * uncritical ' so often applied to the age in which, and 
the men by whom, the Canon of the New Testament was 
settled. 

Of the stately Hexapla time has spared us nothing 
but a gleaning of scattered fragments. The original MS. 
perished probably when the library of Caesarea was 
destroyed by the Arabs in the middle of the seventh 
century, and its immense size — it consisted of not less 
than fifty great rolls of parchment — must have prevented 
its ever being copied as a whole, though the revised LXX 

he refers, Deut. xxii. 33-26. It is evident from the Ep. ad Afric. that 
Origen could not walk alone in Hebrew. Hence Boherellus inferred * Ori- 
genem hebraice plane nescivisse.* See Rosenmiiller, iii. 63. 33. 153. 

^ Justin, TryphOf 71 ; Otto, p. 356. 

* The chief point urged by Africanus is the play of words aytvo^ cxtcTis, 
vpTvos vpiais. Origen struggles against this cogent argument in the £p. ad 
Afric. But in a Fragment from Strom, x. (Lorn. xvii. p. 74) he admits 
that if the paronomasia does not exist in Hebrew the objection is fatal. 
The ^is not critical but theological. See Schiirer, p. 717. 



IV.] The Scholia. 127 

was circulated separately, and indeed still exists in a 
Syriac translation ^. But of the exegetic work of Origen 
a very considerable mass is still extant, partly in the 
authentic Greek, partly in Latin translations. The 
surviving remains cover a lai^e part both of the Old 
and of the New Testaments, and afford ample material 
for judging the method and substance of his teaching. 
Yet they are but a portion of what he accomplished. 
In the form of Scholia, Homilies or Commentaries he 
expounded nearly every book in the Bible, and many 
books were treated in all three ways. 

The Scholia ^ were brief annotations, such as are com- 
monly found on the margin of ancient MSS. The 
Homilies and Commentaries require a fuller notice. 

Already the old prophesyings and speaking with 
tongues, except among the Montanist sectaries, have 
disappeared before the growing reverence for Scripture 
and the increasing stringency of discipline. Their place 

* The Sjrro-Hexaplar text is probably nearly all in existence, though till 
all the Fragments have been published it cannot be known what deficiencies 
may exist. See the articles Versions in Diet, of Bible by Tregelles and 
Syrische Bibelubersetzungen by Nestle in Herzog ; Field ; Ceriani, Codex 
Syro-hexaplaris Ambrosianus, Milan, 1874; Lagarde, V. T, ab Origene 
recensiti frag, apud Syros servata quinque, Gottingen, 1880; Dr. T. Skat 
Roerdam, Libri Judicum et Ruth, Hauniae, 1861 ; the last-named authority 
gives full and elaborate prolegomena. 

' Jerome, Preface to his translation of the Homilies on Ezekiel, * Scias 
Origenis opuscula in onmem Scripturam esse triplicia. Primum eius 
Excerpta, quae Giaece ax'^^^^ nuncupantur, in quibus ea quae sibi videbantur 
obscura atque habere aliquid difficultatis summatim breviterque perstrinxit.* 
In the Preface to his Comm. on Matthew, Jerome calls them ' commaticum 
interpretandi genus.* The word ar^fitiotxriSf which also occurs, appears to be 
used in the general sense of ' notes,' which were sometimes perhaps (^xt^Aia, 
sometimes extracts from the Commentaries or Homilies, Origeniana, iii. i. 4, 
but see Redepenning, ii. 376 ; Emesti, Opuscula Philologica, Such are the 
fragmentary extracts, chiefly from Catenas and of somewhat doubtful 
authenticity, published as Selecta. See the monita in De la Rue. Gallandi, 
vol. xvf,,App,, has collected many fragments that are not given in Lommatzsch. 



128 Origen, [Lect. 

was supplied by the Homily^ or Discourse, a name 
derived from the philosophic schools, expressive of the 
character of Christian eloquence, which was didactic and 
not rhetorical. In the days of Origen, and in Palestine, 
(for his priestly activity belongs wholly to the time after 
his exile from Egypt) public worship was held no longer 
in the large. room of some wealthy brother s house, but in 
buildings definitely appropriated for the purpose, in which 
the Bishop and his clergy were seated in a semicircle 
round the decorated Altar^. The service was divided 
into two portions, corresponding to what were afterwards 
known as the Mass of the Catechumens and the Mass of 
the Faithful. To the first, which was held daily, belonged 
the reading of Scripture, the Sermon, and apparently 
certain prayers ^ ; to the second, celebrated on Sundays 
and festivals, the prayers properly so called and the 
Eucharist. At the first catechumens, even heathen, were 
allowed to be present ; from the second all, save the 
baptised, were rigidly excluded. 

The Lessons were often of considerable length, com- 
prising as much as three or four of our modern chapters, 
and went on in regular order, and the preacher ex- 
pounded the whole or a portion of each according to 
the direction of the presiding bishop *. It is probable 

^ Redepenning, ii. 2 1 2 sqq. The terms ictipvyfia and ScoXc^i s were also in nse. 

* Injesu Nave, Horn. x. 3 (Lorn. xi. 104) ; Injudices, Horn. iii. 2 (Lorn. 
xi« 337) ; Probst, Kirchliche Discipline p. 212. 

^ Many of the Homilies end with the admonition to stand np and pray, e.g. 
In Luc. zxxix. Catechumens were addressed In Luc., Hom. vii. Heaths 
were sometimes present, Injerem,, Hom. ix. 4 (Lorn. xv. 210). 

* The Lesson read before the Sermon on the Witch of Endor included 
I Sam. xxT. xxvi. xxvii. xxviii. Origen, standing in the pulpit, asks which 
of the four trtpntoirai he is to take for his subject, S ri vort ^ot/Xcreu 6 
imffKovos vpoT€ivdrw rSfv rtaa&pojVf tva ittpX rovro dffxokrf$Sf/Mv, and the 
Bishop replies, ' the Witch of Endor.' There was as yet only one lesson, 
taken sometimes from the Old, sometimes from the New Testament. At 



IV.] The Homilies. 129 

that the friendly prelate of Caesarea suffered Origen to 
follow his own plan ; hence his Homilies form a continuous 
exposition of the several books. They were delivered 
before a mixed, shifting, and not always orderly congre- 
gation. The services were daily and long. Some of the 
brethren would attend only on feast-days, and not always 
then. Some left the church before the sermon began, or 
if they remained, gathered in knots in the farther end of 
the building, the place of the heathen and unbaptised, 
* turning their backs on the Word of God and busying 
themselves with secular gossip.' There were broad 
differences again in knowledge and morality. Some 
thought it not inconsistent with their Christian profes- 
sion to haunt the circus or the amphitheatre ; some fluc- 
tuated between Gnosticism and the Church ; some were 
still tainted with heathen superstitions; some, sincere 
but ignorant, interpreted the promises of the Gospel in 
the most gross and carnal sense, or ' believed of God what 
would not be believed of the crudest of mankind.' Hence 
the duty of Reserve, which Origen everywhere professes, 
weighs upon him with especial urgency in the Homilies^. 
The Homilies are rather what we should call Lectures 
than Sermons. His object in the pulpit, Origen tells us, 
is not the explanation of the letter so much as the 

a somewhat later period there were four, divided into two pairs, the first 
pair from the Old, the second from the New Test., and between the two 
readings a psalm was song, Const. App* ii. 57, but no trace of this nsage is 
found in Origen, Redepenning, iL 221 sqq.; Probst, Liturgie, 152. Many 
of Origen*s Homilies must have taken an hour and a half in the delivery. 

^ The behaviour of the women was especially troublesome, ' quae tantmn 
garriunt, quae tantnm fabnlis obstrepnnt, ut non sinant esse silentinm. lam 
quid de mente earum, quid de corde discutiam, si de infantibus suis aut de lana 
cogitent aut de necessariis domus,' In Exod, Hom. xiii. 3: cp. In Num. 
Hom. V. I ; In Lev, Hom. ix. 5. 7. 9 ; In Gen, Hom. x. i ; Philocalia^ k 
8 ad fin, \ Redepenning, ii. 229. 

K 



\ 



130 Origen. [Lect. 

edification of the Church ; hence he dwells here almost 
entirely upon the moral and spiritual sense ^ There is 
abundance of allegory but little exhortation, still less 
unction or pathos, Origen does not wind himself into 
the heart. He has not the blithe geniality of Clement, 
whose cloistered life seems never to have felt a storm. 
In Origen there is a subdued fire that reveals the tale of 
mental suffering and exhausting toil. Hence that austere 
solemnity, that absolute sincerity, that breadth and 
dignity of mind, which still grasp and detain the reader 
with the same spell that was cast upon Gregory. 
Origen is emphaticdly *a man of God,' strong and 
subtle yet infinitely humble and gentle, a true Ductor 
Dubiiantiuniy because he knew there was much that he 
did not know and yet was not afraid. His style is 
almost everywhere loose and prolix, owing to his habit 
of extemporaneous speech or dictation. This applies 
to the Commentaries as well as to the Homilies. 
Where he used the pen it is terser and more collected. 
But it is always simple and direct, flowing straight from 
the heart, devoid of every ornament, and owing its force 
entirely to that glowing fusion of thought and feeling 
by which it is informed. 

^ In Lev^ Horn. i,\\ In Num. Horn. xiv. i. The reader may acquire a 
jnst idea of Origen as a preacher by perusing In Gen* viii ; In Lev. vii ; In 
Luc. xiv. The Homilies on Judges we know to have been written, though 
extempore passages were added in the delivery, see Horn. i. 3 : ' Sed et illud 
quod dicentibus nobis occurrit,' &c. Beyond this passage I am not aware 
of the existence of any positive evidence as to which of his works were 
i^ritten with his own hand, though some, e.g. the In Joan. , we know were 
not. But I cannot think that the L>e Principiis, the De OroHone, or the De 
Martyrio belonged to the latter class. Eustathins complains of Origen's 
<!/iCT/M>s^Xvap(a; Theophilus called him 'Seminariumloqaadtatis;' Erasmus 
on the other hand praises his brevity, Huet, Orig. iii. 1. 1 ; Redepenning, it 
as 2. Some interesting remarks, will be found in Rothe, Geschichte dcr 
Fredigt^ Bremen, 1881. 



IV.] The Commentaries. 131 

The plan which he laid down for himself in the Com- 
mentaries ^ was to give first the literal, then the moral, 
then the spiritual sense of each verse in regular succes- 
sion. The text is but the threshing-floor on*^ which he 
pours out all the harvest of his knowledge, his medita- 
tions, his hopes. Any word may open up a train of 
thought extending throughout all Scripture and all time. 
Hence there is much repetition and confusion. Even 
here the object is not so much instruction as the deep- 
ening of the Christian life. We lose in perspicuity, but 
we never miss the inspiriting sense of immediate coAtact 
with a great character. 

To us, though not to himself nor to the men^ of his 
time, Origen's merit as an expositor rests mainly upon 
the skill and patience with which he evolved the real and 
natural sense of the Bible ^. He himself saw clearly that 

^ I may recommend to the reader the allegory on the Treasury In Joan. 
xix. 2 ; the passage on the Death of Christ, ibid, xxviii. 14 ; on Eaith, ibid% 
xxxii. 9 ; the allegory on the Mercy Seat, In Rom. iii. 8, and the. Exposition 
of the Parables in St. Matthew. The latter Commentary is generally superior 
to that on St. John. But those who wish to see Origen at hisbest will seek 
him where he is least allegorical, in the Contra Celsunty or the treatises on 
Prayer and on Martyrdom, 

' Perhaps the best instance of Origen's merits and defects in dealing with 
the literal sense is to be found in his comments on the opening words of 
St. John's Gospel In Joan. i. 16 onwards. In the New Testament he is 
always excellent, but we must compare him with the ancient commentators 
on Homer, not, as Rosenmiiller practically does, with the best modern 
divines. I have adhered to Origen's own distinction of the literal from the 
mystic sense. But it must be remembered that many of the most important 
passages in the N. T. are figurative, and that it is precisely in the explanation 
of these that the merit of Origen is to be found. Perhaps his supreme excel- 
lence lies in his clearness and courage in pointing out difficulties, the moral 
anomalies which beset the Gnostic and the ignorant Christian, the apparent 
non-fulfilment of the Messianic hope which rebuffed the Jew (see for all 
this the opening of the Philocalia) ; the contradictions of the Evangel- 
ists, In Joan. x. 3. sqq. ; the chronological difficulty involved in the ' four 
months before harvest,' In Joan. xiii. 39 ; the historical difficulty in the title 
§affiXiie6s, In Joan, xiii. 57. If he often creates perplexities out of insigni- 

K 2, 



132 Origen. [Lect. 

this IS the foundation of everything. If we measure 
him by the best modern commentators, we may be 
struck by his deficiencies. But in relation to his own 
age his services are extraordinary. He need not fear 
comparison with the great pagan grammarians. He 
took great pains as we have seen to ascertain the text ; 
he insists on the necessity of fixing the precise meaning 
of the words, and for this purpose will hunt a phrase 
through the whole Bible with a fertility of quotation 
truly prodigious, when we remember that it rests upon 
unaided memory. He never slurs a difficulty, raising 
and discussing every doubt that can by any possibility 
suggest itself. Hebrew he knew but imperfectly, and 
this is a fatal defect in dealing with the LXX. But in 
the New Testament he displays an accurate and intelli- 
gent appreciation of Greek grammar. Where he fails it is 
from preconceived ideas, from the hairsplitting and over- 
subtlety which are the Nemesis of AUegorism, or from 
deficiency of that sense of humour which corrects the 
extravagances of Clement. He cannot understand irony, 
and the simpler a thing is the more difficult he makes 
it ^. Such scientific knowledge as the times could supply 
is at his call ^ and he had travelled in Palestine with a 

ficant verbal distinctions, this is still a fault on the right side. For details 
see Redepenning, ii. 200 sqq. ; Rosenmiiller. Emesti, Opuscula Philologica et 
Criticay rates him very high as the founder of textual criticism and scientific 
inductive exegesis. 

^ A good instance of this is this treatment of the gift of Caleb to his 
daughter Achsa (Joshua xv. 19), '£t accepit Gonetlam superiorem et 
Gonetlam inferiorem . . . Videtis quia vere auxilio Dei opus est ut haec 
explanari queant,* Injesu Nave, Hom. xx. 4. 

^ It did not amount to much. See the account of the different kinds of 
pearls In Matt, x. 7. Origen thought that the popular beliefe that serpents 
spring from the spinal marrow of dead men, bees from oxen, wasps from 
horses, beetles from asses, that serpents have a knowledge of antidotes, that 
the eagle uses the dcHri^s KiOon as an amulet for the protection of its young 



IV.] The Commentaries. 133 

keen eye for the geography of the Gospels. Philosophy 
too was at his command, though he does not rate it so 
high as Clement^. * Few/ he says, 'are those who have 
taken the spoils of the Egyptians and made of them the 
furniture of the tabernacle.' Learning is useful, he tells 
his pupil Gr^ory, but the Scriptures are their own best 
key. * Be diligent in reading the divine Scriptures, yes, 
be diligent . . . Knock and the doorkeeper will open unto 
thee . . . And be not content to knock and to enquire, 
for the most necessary aid to spiritual truth is prayer. 
Hence our Saviour said not only " knock and it shall be 
opened," and "seek and ye shall find," but "ask and it 
shall be given you ^." ' 

were possibly true. Contra Celsum^ iv. 57. 86. But he is no worse than 
Celsus himself or Pliny. Similar absurdities are to be found in Clement. 
For Origen's other accomplishments, see Origeniana^ ii. i ; Red^enning, 
i. 219. M. Denis, p. 14, rates them very low. Indeed absorbed as Origen 
was in the drudgery of tuition from his eighteenth year, it is impossible 
that he can have gone profoundly into any line of knowledge not immedi- 
ately connected with his special studies. 

* For the use that he made of philosophy, see the Panegyric of Gregory, 
and the account of his method of teaching in Lecture II. M. Denis, Philo* 
sophie d'^Orighne^ p. 30, says : • II ne conservaitde I'esprit philosophique que 
Tinsatiable curiosit^,' and complains, in the chapter on Anthropologies of his 
neglect of ethics, psychology and politics. The duties of citizens would not 
have been a safe theme for a Christian writer under the heathen Empire. 
Psychology again is for another reason an exceedingly difficult subject for a 
Christian, because he cannot isolate it, because he has to regard above all 
things the point of junction with metaphysics, and with the metaphysics of 
Revelation. Clement and Origen were the first to attempt the problem from 
this point of view. The same difficulty attaches to the theory of Ethics. 
The practice of Ethics is undervalued both by Clement and Origen, though 
not so markedly by the latter. Hence it is a just criticism, ' Qu'il y a bien 
plus ^ apprendre sur Tobservation int^rieure non seulement dans Saint 
Augustin ou dans Saint Jerome, mais encore dans Tertullien.* The remarks 
of M. Denis are brilliant and in the main accurate, but the plan of his work 
compels him to approach Origen obliquely, and view him in a false light. 

|( Origen is before all things a theologian, but a philosophical theologian. The 
reader may consult with advantage Hamack, Dogmengeschichte,T^^. 514 sqq. 

* From the Epistola ad Gregofium. The difference between the attitude of 



134 Origen. [Lect* 

But It IS when the sense is ascertained, or as he calls it 
'cleansed/ that the supreme task of the Commentator 
first comes into view. By all the means that science 
can bring to our aid we can do no more than attain to 
the * letter that killeth,' that bald first sense of Scripture 
which fluctuates between Atheism and Superstition. 
We must believe only what is worthy of God. Where 
then are we to find the true divine message ? Origen 
like Clement held firmly to the unity and inspiration of 
all Scripture, and therefore like Clement he was driven 
to find the answer to this question in Allegorism. 
There is however considerable difference in detail 
between the two teachers. 

Clement is content to accept Allegorism as a fact, as 
a part of Tradition. It was sanctioned by the practice of 
Philo and Barnabas, and appeared to derive authority 
from certain passages of Scripture. This is not enough 
for Origen, whose reason works always with a broad 
poetic sweep, and never rests till it has brought the 
particular affirmation under the scope of some all- 
embracing law. To him Allegorism is only one mani- 
festation of the sacramental mystery of Nature. There 
are two heavens, two earths — the visible is but a blurred 
copy of the invisible. The divine wisdom and goodness^ 
which are the cause of both, are in this world of ours 
distorted by refraction arising from the density of the 
medium. Yet they may be discerned by those that 
have eyes to see. Allegorism, Teleology, the argument 
from Analogy are all different aspects of one great 
truth. God made man in His own image and likeness, 

Clement and Origen towards philosophy is well described by M. Denis» 
Introductioit, 



IV.] A llegorism. 135 

and so perhaps He made other creatures in the image 
and likeness of other heavenly things. Hence the grain 
of mustard, which, though it is the least of all seeds, 
when grown is the greatest among herbs, and becometh 
a tree, may be a parable of the kingdom of heaven . . . 
What is true of seeds is true also of trees, of animals. 
Again in the grain of mustard lurks more than one 
analogy to eternal verities, for it is a symbol also of 
faith. * If a man have faith as a grain of mustard seed 
he may say unto this mountain, Be thou removed!' There 
are then in this one seed many virtues serving as symbols 
of heavenly things, and of these virtues the last and 
lowest is that whereby it ministers to our bodily needs. 
So with all else that God made — it is good for the use 
of man, but it bears also the imprint of celestial things, 
whereby the soul may be taught, and elevated to the 
contemplation of the invisible and eternal. Nor 19 it 
possible for man, while he lives in the flesh, to know any- 
thing that transcends his sensible experience, except by 
seizing and deciphering this imprint. For God has so 
ordered His creation, has so linked the lower to the 
higher by subtle signatures and affinities, that the world 
we see is, as it were, a great staircase, by which the ihind 
of man must climb upwards to spiritual intelligence ^. 

From this Law of Correspondence springs incidentally 
the profound observation that suggested the Analogy. 
* He, who believes the Scripture to have proceeded from 
Him who is the Author of Nature, may well expect to 
find the same sort of difficulties in it as are found in the 



* The passage quoted is from In Cant. Canticorum, iii. (Lorn. xv. 48), 
Consult also In Lev, Horn. v. i (Greek text in Philoc. chap. i. ad Jin,) and 
De Princ, iv. 



1 36 Origen. [Lect. 

constitution of Nature.' But the antagonists whom 
Origen had in view were not so much the Platonic 
Deists as the Jew and especially the Gnostic. Hence 
the turn which he gives to the argument is in the main 
different from that of Bishop Butler. 

Scripture has in general three senses — the literal, the 
morat, and the spiritual^. Not that every passage is 
susceptible of all three modes of interpretation. Many 
texts have no literal sense at all. Some, like the Deca- 
logue, have a moral signification, of such a kind that it is 
needless to seek farther. The distinction between the 
two higher senses is not always very clearly drawn, as 
there are regions where the one shades off into the other 
by very fine gradations. But there is an abundance of 
passages where they are so sharply defined as to show 
us exactly what Origen meant. Thus the grain of 
mustard is first the actual seed, then faith^ then the 
Kingdom of Heaven. So again the * little foxes ' of the 
Song of Songs are typical, in the second sense of sins 
affecting the individual, in the third of heresies distract- 
ing the Church ^. The moral embraces all that touches 
the single soul in this life, in its relation to the law of 
right, or to God ; the spiritual includes all * mysteries,' all 

^ Redepenning, i. 299 sqq. ; OrigenianckyiX. 2. 13 (Lorn, xxiii, 254). For 
the spiritaal sense Origen uses more than a score of different terms, Red. 
p. 305. Some have thought that he made a triple division of the spiritual 
into allegoric, tropologic, and anagogic, or a double into allegoric and ana- 
gogic, but without sufficient reason. That there were neither more nor less 
than three senses was proved by Prov. xxii. 20, teak a^ l\ dir&ypai/Hu adrcL 
^cavTf) rptffffSis eh fiovK^v nal yvSkriv kvl rd wkdros r^s mipdias <rov» They 
answer to body, soul, and spirit, and arc alluded to in the waterpots holding 
' two or three firkins apiece,' and in the Shepherd of Hennas, a book, ' qui a 
nonnuUis contemni videtur,' where Grapte, Clement, and Hermas represent 
the three classes of believers. De Princ, iv. 11. 

' In Cant, Cantic, iv. (Lom. xv. p. 83 sqq.). 



IV.] Negative Use of Allegorism. 137 

the moments in the history of the community, the 
Church, in time and still more in eternity. 

To interpret and set forth these mysteries, these moral 
enigmas, is the task of AHegorism. But we must now 
notice that this Biblical alchemy is capable of applica- 
tion to two distinct purposes. One is negative and 
apologetic, the other is positive and didactic. Origen 
employed it in both directions with singular freedom 
and address. But it is his use of the negative side that 
is the more characteristic. 

He held that innumerable passages in both Testa- 
ments have no sense at all except as Allegories ^ 
Neither Clement nor Philo expressly affirmed this, 
though the idea certainly lurked within their minds 2. 
But Origen was not the man to disguise from himself 
or from others the exact nature of what he was doing. 
Many passages of Scripture, he says, are excluded from 
belief by physical impossibility. Such are those which 
speak of morning and evening before the creation of the 
Sun, the story of the Fall, and the carrying up of our 
Lord into an exceeding high mountain by Satan in the 
Temptation. Others again imjfJy moral imp>ossibilities. 
Such are those which speak of the child as punished for 
the sin of the parent, the law that on the Sabbath no 
Jew should take up a burden or move from his place, 
the precepts of the Saviour not to possess two coats, to 
pluck out the offending eye, to turn the right cheek to 
him that has smitten the left. Yet another class are 
rejected by the enlightened conscience. Such are the 

^ De Princ, iv. 15 sqq. ^ 

* Philo comes very near denying the literal sense in De EbrieL 36 (i. 379), 

%aiiav^\ 8c yiyoy€ fjiiu tffcas SvOpanros, •trap€ikrjirTau Zk o^x ^ ai/vOcToy ff^v 

dW* &5 vovs XaTpc/^ nai $€pan€l^ $€ov /i6vov xo^p^f^* 



138 Origen. [Lecf. 

adventures of Lot, the cruelties of the Jewish wars, the 
execrations of the Psalms. All these antinomies of 
Scripture were forced upon him on one side by the 
Ebionite and Gnostic, on the other by the Greek 
philosopher, who was beginning to study the Bible in 
a spirit of not wholly unfriendly curiosity, and was 
violently repelled by these proofs, as he thought them, 
of Jewish barbarism. Origen felt the embarrassment 
most acutely, and his fearless logic saw but one way of 
escape. These passages, he admitted, in their literal 
sense are not true. Why then, urged the adversary, 
are they found in what you Christians call the Word of 
God? To this he replied that, though in one sense 
untrue, they are in another the highest, the only valuable 
truth. They are permitted for an object. These im- 
possibilities, trivialities, ineptitudes are wires stretched 
across our path by the Holy Spirit, to warn us that we 
are not in the right way. We must not leap over them ; 
we must go beneath, piercing down to the smooth broad 
road of the spiritual intelligence. They are the rough 
outer husk, which repels the ignorant and unfit reader, 
but stimulates the true child of God to increased exer- 
tion. The letter is the external garb, often sordid and 
torn, but * the king's daughter is all glorious within.' It 
is as if the sunlight streamed in through the crannies of 
a ruinous wall ; the wall is ruinous in order that the 
sunlight may stream in ^. 

Origen could not rest content with an easy optimism 
like that of Clement, who stopped short at the assertion 
of the unity of Divine Justice and Goodness. For there 

^ The foundations of this section will be found in De Princ. iv. and the 
Philocalia, 



IV.] Positive Use of Allegorism. 139 

was that in Scripture which appeared to him irreconcile- 
able with both. These passages were in fact the key* 
of the Gnostic position. What the Gnostic asserted was 
not merely that Justice and Goodness are different 
things, but that God as He is depicted in the Old Testa- 
ment is certainly not good, though He may be called 
just in the sense in which that epithet is applied to 
earthly rulers, who, though harsh and vindictive, do not 
punish without a j"eason. The difficulty is certainly 
there, and Origen with his far-sighted intrepidity fixes 
and grapples with it. It is a serious effort to solve a 
serious and, if left unsolved, fatal objection. 

We may notice also in passing the biographical inter- 
est of his mature teaching on this point. If we compare 
what he says in the De Principiis^ where he treats the 
command about the two coats as purely figurative, 
with the passionate asceticism of his youth, we shall 
see how the letter had been to him in very truth at 
once a stumbling-block and a cranny in the wall. It 
was by bruising himself in the fiery endeavour to obey, 
that he learned what obedience really means. 

On its negative side AHegorism then is apologetic, on 
its positive it is the instrument for the discovery of 
Mysteries^. What these are we have seen already in 

^ The word Mystery is used in two senses. First of the Christian worship 
or ritual, the modem Sacraments. Of these, though their general nature 
could not be kept secret, all minute knowledge was reserved for those who 
had the right to be present at their enactment. In this respect they resem- 
bled the Mysteries of Samothrace or Eleusis, hence the name. So Ignatius, 
Ad Eph. 1 2, speaks of Christians as (rvfifiiaToi : cp. Ad Trail, ii. 3 : see 
also Ep. ad Diognetum, 1 ; TertuUian, ApoL 7. In this sense that of natural 
reserve, of reluctance to lay bare the whole organism of the Church to un- 
sympathetic hearers, the DisHplina Arcani is no doubt very ancient, though 
its growth can be traced. It cannot have been viewed as a rule of con- 
science by St Paul who on the ship * took bread and gave thanks to God 



I40 Origen. [Lect. 

the case of Clement, and shall see more clearly still as 
we advance. In both respects it must be handled with 
a certain reserve. The rule of Economy was directed 
partly against the mocking heathen ; that which is sacred 
must not be given to dogs. But it had also another 
and even more serious application as a law of forbear- 
ance towards the weaker brethren. From these too * it 
is good to hide the mystery of the King ^.' Origen does 
not distinguish between the higher and lower Life quite 
in the same way as Clement, who regards all Christians 
as members (^ the true Church, though ranked in an 

before them all.* Second, of what we may call Theology the doctrine of the 
Trinity, of Angels, of the Resurrection, the explanation and idealisation of 
rites, the hidden meaning of the Law. In this sense the word Mystery 
is found in the New Testament. Ignatius hints at mjrsteries concerning the 
unseen world which he is not at liberty to divulge. Ad Smym, vi. i ; TrcUU 
T. a. The word might be used of the visions of the Montanists. But in 
the Alexandrines it means almost alwajrs intellectual interpretation, in fact 
theology. See Probst, Kirchliche Discipline 303 sqq. ; Bingham, x. 5, and 
Mr. Haddan's article LHsciplina Arcani in Diet, of Christ. Ant. 

* Tobit xii. 7 quoted Contra Celsum^ v. 19. Many passages were thought 
to inculcate the duty of Reserve. Clement, Strom, y. 10. 63, cites fivar^ipiov 
kubv kfiol teal roTs vlois rod oXkov /mv, Theodotion*s version of Isaiah xxiv. 16 
(but he quotes it from a Gospel, probably the Gospel according to the 
Egyptians ; Hilgenfeld, Novum Test, extra Can. Rec. iii. p. 46. The verse 
is used in the same way in the Homilies^ xix. 20. See note in Field), and 
Strom, ii. a. 8, Proverbs v. 16, fi^ inr^pfKXfifrOca <rot fiiara kx ttjs u^ irrjyrjs, 
where the negative is not found in the Hebrew. In the New Testament it 
was based mamly upon Matt. viL 6 ; Mark iv. 34. In Clement and Origen 
it is almost alwajrs spoken of as intended for the protection of the weaker 
brethren. Thus the main reason why Scripture speaks in allegories is to 
stimulate enquiry, and one principal difference between the simple believer 
and the Gnostic is that all allegories are withheld from the former. See 
especially Paed. ii. 8. 73, where Clement breaks off his explanation of the 
mysteries involved in the Crown of Thorns with the words, dA.A.' k^ifirjv ydp 
rov vai^ywytieov rvvov rd Hi^aHaktxbv c75o$ mptKT&ycjv. Origen professes 
his inability to say all that might be said on the mysteries of the Trinity and 
Eternal Punishment in an exoteric treatise. Contra Celsum, vi. 18. a 6, yet it 
is not the doctrines but the allegories involved that he finds it impossible to 
explain to unbelievers. See also the passages referred to above, p. 129. 



IV.] Economy. 141 

ascending scale of faith and knowledge. He takes ^ 
much severer view of the insufficiency of nominal 
Christianity, and on the other hand accentuates the 
distinction between theology and acquiescence. Hence 
the difference between the Two Lives has a marked 
tendency to pass over, on the side of knowledge into 
that between professional and unprofessional, between 
cleric and lay, on the side of conduct into that between 
the Visible and Invisible Church ^. 

* The holy Apostles,' he says, * in preaching the faith 
of Christ declared with the utmost clearness whatever 
they thought necessary to salvation, even to those who 
are slothful in the investigation of divine science, leaving 
the reason of their assertions to be sought out by those 
who should deserve the excellent gifts of the Spirit, and 
especially the graces of utterance, wisdom and knowledge. 
But as to other things they affirmed indeed that they 
are, but why or whence they did not explain ^' He 

^ Origen speaks of the thcee degrees of Christian perfection, distinguished 
by Faith, Hope, and Charity, In Rom. iv. 6 (Lorn. vi. 271) and elsewhere. 
The distinction between the Two Lives is laid down In Joan, xx. 26 sqq. as 
by Clement, the a-nXovaripov mcrT^hovris who do not understand the word 
which they obey, the slaves whose motive is Fear, are opposed to the sons, ol 
BiopaTifcojT€pov icaTa»oovvT& (the Seeing Israel). Even Paul was by nature a 
child of wrath; so are we all ; we become adopted sons by using the light 
and power given to us, especially by loving our enemies. Compare In Joan. 
XX. 15 ; Prol. in Cant. Cantic.^ where again the stress is laid upon L>ove. 
Elsewhere more value is assigned to Knowledge, and so the distinction at 
times seems to coincide very nearly with that between Clergy and People, 
Contra Celsum, i. 9 ; Injesu Nave^ Hom. xvii. But even among the Clergy 
there were those who could speak only of the literal and moral senses, and 
so belonged to the lower class. In Lev. Hom. xiii. i. 3. The difference be- 
tween the Visible and Invisible Church in the sense of nominal and real 
Christianity is very forcibly expressed In Matt, xii. 12. See further in Lec- 
ture VI. 

' De Princ. i. 3. The following passage is from In Num. Hom. v. i . It 
wiU be obser\'ed that though the son of Kohath is a conmiunicant> the rule of 



142 Origen. [Lect. 

found a symbol of this distinction of believers in the 
arrangements for carrying the Tabernacle on the march. 
Aaron and his sons were to wrap the sanctuary and 
all the vessels of the sanctuary in the appointed covering 
of badgers' skins or cloths of blue and scarlet, ' after that 
the sons of Kohath shall come to bear them, but they 
shall not touch any holy thing lest they die . . . they 
shall not go in to see when the holy things are covered 
lest they die.' So in our ecclesiastical observances there 
are some things that all must do, but that all cannot 
understand. Why for instance we should kneel in 
prayer, or why we should turn our faces to the East, 
could not I think be made clear to everybody. Who 
again could easily expound the manner of celebration 
of the Eucharist, or of its reception, or the words and 
actions, the questions and replies of Baptism ? And yet 
all these things we carry veiled and covered upon our 
shoulders, when we so fulfil them as they have been 
handed down to us by the Great High Priest and his 
Sons.' Only the son of Aaron, the man of spiritual 
intelligence, might gaze upon the holy things naked and 
unveiled. To the son of Kohath belonged unquestion- 
ing obedience ; he carried the burden, but was forbidden 
to demand the reason. Nor might the son of Aaron 
declare it. To uncover the mystery, to explain that 
which the bearer was not able to comprehend, was 
spiritual homicide. 

The nature and scope of the Alexandrine Disciplina 

Reserve, 'nolite mittere sanctum canibus,* applies to him, In Lev, Horn. tL 6 ; 
xii. 7. In Num, Horn. iv. 3, ' Ant si res poscit proferre et inferioribus, id est 
imperitioribns, tradere, ne nnda proferat, ne aperta ostendat et penitns 
patentia ; alioqnin homicidiom facit et exterminat plebem.* 



IV.] Economy. 143 

Arcani ^ are suffidently clear from these extracts, which 
might be indefinitely multiplied. The Reserve or 
Economy of Clement and Origen was directed mainly 
against Christians of the simpler sort, and its object was 
to save them from waters too deep for them, to guard 
them from discussions involving doubts that would cer- 
tainly perplex, and might altogether mislead, a faith 
earnest and correct, though supported by slender in- 
tellectual gifts. In plain words the faith of the son of 
Kohath is Catholicism, and that of the son of Aaron 
is Idealism, and the Allegorism of Clement and Origen 
is a plea for the utmost freedom of thought, on con- 
dition that it keeps within the teaching of Christ and 
His Apostles, and is couched in a learned language. 

Only by perverse ingenuity can it be twisted into an 
argument in defence of the very mode of conception 
against which it is especially directed^. The Eucharist 



^ Probst wonld restrict this phrase (first used by Meier, a professor of 
Helmstadt in 1677) to the mle forbidding the revelation of the Christian 
rites to heathen and distinguish it from the pedagogic Economy, which may 
be expressed in the words of the Council of Trent : ' Apud rudem vero 
plebem diffidliores ac subtiliores quaestiones quaeque ad aedificationem 
non fadunt, et ex quibus plerumque nulla fit pietatis accessio, a popularibus 
condonibus secludantur. Incerta item vel quae specie falsi laborant evul- 
gari ac tractari non permittunt,' Kirchliche DiscipUn, pp. 303 sqq. Perhaps 
the distinction is not ill grounded, for Origen is certainly reticent as to the 
ritual of the Eucharist, In Lev, Hom. ix. 10. It may be noticed here that 
he uses the phrase ' sancta sanctorum ' to express not the secrecy but the 
spiritual nature of the Eucharist, the difference between worthy and unworthy 
redpients, In Lev,, Hom. xiii. 6 ; Frol. in Cant. C antic, (Lom. xiv. 314). 
As regards theology there is really no secret at all. So far as Clement and 
Origen had explicit views they declared them in one place or another. M. 
Denis says of the latter, *■ Nul parmi les docteurs de T^glise n'use moins de 
la m^thode de ^parler par I'^onomie quoiqu'il en reconnaisse Tutilit^ et la 
sagesse.' 

' As by Bellarmine and his followers, see Bingham, x. 5. The argument 
fiom the DiscipUna Arcani^ in its strict logical form, proceeds on the axiom 



144 Origen. [Lect. 

is doubtless one of the mysteries, to be spoken of with 
guarded reserve in the presence not only of heathen, but 
of simple or careless believers. But it is a mystery 
in precisely the same sense as any other, and precisely 
the same solvent must be applied, before we can obtain 
the spiritual truth hidden beneath the rough ore of the 
words. * Even in the New Testament there is a letter 
which killeth him who does not spiritually consider 
what is said. If according to the letter you follow the 
very words of Christ . . . unless ye eat my Flesh and 
drink my Blood, this letter killeth^.' Nor was it the 
greatest of the mysteries. There was doubtless a party 
in the Church who attached a very literal sense to these 
words of the Saviour, and bitterly resented any attempt 
to idealise them. But the danger of wounding the 
simple faith and suggesting doubts that might weaken 
the sanctions of morality lay in a different direction — in 
speculations upon foreknowledge, predestination and 
birth-sin, in attempts to penetrate the secrets of the 
Eternal Gospel, the doctrine of angels and demons, and 
the history of the soul after death. Of these it is said 
they are ' mysteries which may not be entrusted even 
to paper^.' 

It is possible to defend the practice of Reserve, if it 

that complete silence is absolnte proof, and that, failing this, the less the 
evidence the more certain the conclusion. This is obviously absurd. Hence 
the DiscipUna Arcaniy as a controversial weapon, has been superseded by 
the doctrine of Development, though it is still employed to eke out insuffi- 
cient evidence. 

* In Lev. Honu vii. 5 (Lorn. ix. 306). 

' In Rom, ii. 4, of the mode in which the souls of good men operate 
after dissolution as good angels, those of the wicked as bad angels, it is 
said that these things are 'ne chartulae quidem committenda mysteria.' 
Compare the Frol. in Cant, Cantic, (Lorn. xiv. 320). 



IV.] Economy. 145 

be taken to represent the method of a skilful teacher, 
who will not confuse the learner with principles beyond 
his comprehension ^. This however is by no means what / 
the Alexandrines intended. With them it is the screen jl 
of an esoteric belief. They held that the mass of men L 
will necessarily accept the symbol for the idea, will, that ; 
is, be more or less superstitious. It is enough if their \ 
superstition is such as to lead them in the right direction. 
This is a necessary corollary of the new compromise be- 
tween the Church and the world, a taint inherited from 
the Greek schools in which Truth was not a cardinal 
virtue. Freedom remains, but it is a freedom of the 
dite^ which may be tolerated so long as it does not cry 
aloud in the streets. But let us remember the Alex- 
andrines were pleading for the freedom, not for the 
restriction. It was not altogether their fault, if they 
were driven to approximate on this point to the dreaded 
Gnostics. 

Ongen differs from Clement in regarding Allegorism 
rather as a personal gift than as an inherited tradition'^. 
He differs from him still more in the volume, ingenuity, 
beauty of his applications of the method. All Scripture 
becomes transparent beneath his touch ; the * crannies 

' It is so defended by J. H. Newman, Arians, i, 3. pp. 40 sqq. 3rd ed. ; see 
also the Apologia pro Vita Sua ; and by Origen himself, Contra Celsum, iii. 
5a sqq. 

' Clement's few AUegorisms are almost without exception borrowed. We 
may say that he regarded not only the sanction but the substance of this 
mode of interpretation as given by Tradition. Origen feels that he has a 
personal illumination : In Levit. Horn. viii. i, 'putas possumus veteris instru- 
menti formas novi testamenti gestis et sermonibus coaptare ? Possumus, si 
nos ipsum Dei Verbum et juvare et inspirare dignatur.* In this respect he 
is more of a Mystic than Clement, but Rosenmiiller, iii. p. 146, is harsh in 
comparing him to the fanatics of the Inner Light. 

L 



J 



146 Origen. [Lect. 

in the wall' multiply and widen, till the wall itself 
disappears. The dangers of such a mode of procedure 
are obvious, and there were not wanting those who 
urged them, though they directed their protest mainly 
against its application to the New Testament ^. Many 
probably were offended by precisely those features of 
Origen's teaching which were of the deepest and most 
permanent value. But there are objections which may be 
pressed without suspicion of narrowness or prejudice. 

The Alexandrine method as applied by Origen is 
undoubtedly unsound. He appeals to the examples of 
Christ and St. Paul^, and to a certain limited extent 
with justice. But his rules of procedure, his playing 
with words and numbers and proper names, his bound- 
less extravagance are learned not from the New Testa- 
ment, but through Philo from the puerile Rabbinical 
schools^. Yet we must distinguish. On its apologetic 
side AUegorism is seen at its worst. When the Stoics 
assure us that the heathen deities are but symb5ls of 
the forces of Nature, and turn the hideous myths of Zeus 
or Dionysus into a manual of physical science ; when 
Philo makes Tamar represent the soul widowed from 
sensual delights ; when Clement turns the unclean meats 

^ In Lev, Horn. zvi. 4, ' dicet fortassis auditor quid iterum hie euresilogns 
agit :' In Gen, Horn. xiii. Here the objection is to AUegorism in general. 
But in application to the Old Testament it was in universal use among 
orthodox Christians. 

^ In Num, Hom. i. 3, Apostolo nobis Paulo spiritualis intelligentiae 
semina respergente ; In Num, Hom. iii. 5, Non possum illuc adscendere 
nisi praecedat me Paulus. He is referring to the Epistle to the Hebrews, which 
he certainly regarded as the work of Si.V2ix\iDe Principiis, preface, i ; though 
he thought that the actual wording of the Epistle was due not to the Apostle 
himself but to one of his disciples, Eus. H. E. yi. 25. 11. 

' For the relation of Origen's allegorism to that of Philo, see Siegfried, 

pp- 351 sqq- 



IV-] A llegorism, 147 

into vices that are to be shunned, we rebel. This is 
not the meaning. Such paltering with the text is not 
honest, and in this respect there was reason in the re- 
proach of Celsus that Jews and Christians alike were, 
ashamed of their Bible. Yet let us not be harsh. To 
us it is not difficult to allow that the Old Testament is \ 
the history of a people and not merely of a religion, that 
God's revelation is progressive, that He speaks by human 
messengers, that something has been permitted because / 
of the hardness of men's hearts. But to the Alexandrines, 
bound as they were by their Jewish theory of inspiration 
and beset by eager foes, it was not easy to admit all 
this. Concessions are not readily made by men struggling 
for all that they hold dear. Nor indeed was the notion \ 
of historical development familiar to their times. Per- ' 
haps we may say that its first fruitful germ is found in\ 
the Churchj in the qualified admission of the inferiority) 
of the Old Testament to the New. The Alexandrines 
went so far as to explain certain passages — those which 
attribute human figure and emotions to God — by the 
principle of accommodation or condescension, and Origen 
even admitted the existence of degrees of inspiration ^. 
Through these observations lay the way to a clear 
solution of the difficulty. But though the key was 
actually in the lock, Origen did not turn it. The time 
had not yet come. 

^ See especially In Joann, i. 4 onwards. The Law is inferior to the 
Gospel ; in the New Testament the Epistles stand below the Gospels, and 
of the Gospels the diropx^ is that of John, * whose sense none can grasp 
nnless he has fallen upon the breast of Jesus and received from Jesus Mary 
to become his mother.' Compare also Contra Celsum^ iv. 8, where again he 
hints at the subject, but declines to pursue it because it is a Mystery : ex<t 8^ 
T< i ir«/)i Toiroav Xin/oi /AvariK&T€pov «al ficMrepov KaX fi^ vavvji <p$6vHV 

L 2 



148 Origen. [Lect. 

Again, of the positive use of AUegorism it is not 
possible to speak without qualification. What is the 
value of the mysteries which it aims at discovering? 
Does it really discover mysteries at all? One critic 
regards it as wholly futile, *an excellent means of 
finding what you already possess.' To another it is 
fecunda mater errorum^ superstitionum^ fanaticarum- 
que opinionum. Yet a third considers it to have been 
the bulwark of orthodoxy against the sceptical literal 
method of the school of Antioch ^. The truth is that it 
means very different things in relation to the Law and 
to the Gospel, and within the sphere of the latter in 
relation to the Church of the Present and to the Church 
of the Future. 

As regards the Old Testament, it is a dangerous and in 
its actual use a delusive method, delusive because it 
proceeds upon the exaggeration of a truth. If we think 
|of that long Revelation, unfolding itself gradually through 
I centuries, and growing ever fuller and clearer as it pro- 
ceeds, we cannot deny that its earlier stages contained 
the germ of the later, that much was anticipatory and 
preparative, that God granted to chosen spirits a vision 
I more or less distinct of the long-hoped-for consummation. 
\rhe Priest, the King, the Prophet foreboded with in- 
creasing clearness the Lamb of God, the Son of David, 
the Man of Sorrows. There were shadows of good things 
to come ; there were vaticinations ; there were types. But 
\ it does not follow that all was type ; it does not follow 
that the type is a perfect and elaborate figure of the 



^ The first reference is to M. Denis, who has many clever epigrams on 
this subject ; the second to RosenmuUer ; the third to Cardinal Newman, 
Development of Christian Doctrine, p. 343, ed. 1878. 






IV.] Allegorism. 149 

antitype. The Alexandrines erred in both ways. They 
I found symbols where there was no symbol ; they treated 
^symbols not as indications, as harbingers, but as proofs. 
Thus they undertook to demonstrate Christian doctrine 
by passages which in the belief of the Jew were not 
I Messianic at all, or, if Messianic, had not been fulfilled. 
F They neglected the difference between before and after. 
As we look back, we see many things in the Old Testa- 
ment which find their explanation only in the New. 
/^We see how the providence of God was leading his 
Vpeople up to precisely this issue and no other. Like 
the minister of Queen Candace, we recognise under 
Philip's guidance that Isaiah prophesied not of himself 
but of Jesus. So the old in a thousand points illustrates, 
/ prognosticates, confirms the new. But the shadow is not 
Va demonstration, for the very reason that it is a shadow. 
The road by which we are guided is the right road, but 
until we reach the goal we cannot be certain whither 
it will lead us. The early Christians forgot this, forgot 
the doubts and perplexities through which they had 
themselves attained their bourne. Hence their angry 
amazement at the blindness and obstinacy of the Jew. 
The Alexandrines are open to this animadversion. 

They found in the Old Testament what they already 
possessed, what they could not have found unless they 
had possessed it. But at any rate they found nothing 
more. They avoided the worst excesses. They are 
always intelligent and reasonable, and their extravagance 
is that of the poet-philosopher, not that of the dogmatist. 
And they did not invert their Allegorism. They found 
the New Testament in the Old, but they had far too 
:lear a sense of the spirituality of true religion to 



1 50 Origen. [Lect. 

r attempt to carry the Old over into the New. They 
< evaporated the letter ; they did not stereotype the spirit. 
What AUegorism signified as applied to the Church 
of the Present and to the Church of the Future has been 
partly explained, and we shall have to recur to the point 
again. Let us only notice here that it is to speculations 
on the latter subject, on Eschatology, that the charge of 
presumption applies. Here too there is a truth. All 
/ language that we use, that even Christ could use, of the 
i^ world behind the veil, is necessarily mythical, figurative. 
But in this case we have not yet reached the bourne, and 
therefore the key to the hieroglyph is wanting. This 
Irenaeus saw ; this Origen refused to see. There were 
questions to which he felt some answer must be found. 
There were questions on which he obtained real though 
limited and uncertain light. Indeed it was not his 
nature to rest content. He held with Philo, that even if 
truth be unattainable the happiness of man lies in the 
ceaseless pursuit of this ideal, that ever flies as he 
advances. * If we see some admirable work of human 
art,' he says, ' we are at once eager to investigate the 
nature, the manner, the end of its production ; and the 
contemplation of the works of God stirs us with an 
incomparably greater longing to learn the principles, the 
method, the purpose of creation.' *This desire, this 
passion,' he continues, *has without doubt been im- 
planted in us by God. And as the eye seeks light, as 
our body craves food, so our mind is impressed with the 
characteristic and natural desire of knowing the truth of 
God and the causes of what we observe ^' 

* De Princ, ii. 11. 4. In the translation of this passage I have borrowed 
the language of Dr. Westcott, Cont. Review^ May, 1879, P* 335« 



IV.] A llegorism. 1 5 1 

This IS noble language, and the modest devotion with 
which he strove to fulfil it is equally noble. If we are 
less aspiring, let us not say presumptuous, it is because 
we have learned from him, because we dare not gaze 
upon the darkness of excessive light that even * the eagle ] 
eye of Origen ^ ^ failed to pierce. 

^ The phrase is from Cardinal Newman*s lines on the Greek Fathers, 
Verses on Various Occasions, 1868, p. 83. 



LECTURE V. 

Believe Me that I am in the Father^ and the Father in Me, — St. John 

xiv. II. 
Why callest thou mi good? there is none good but One, that is, God. — 

St. Matthew xix. 1 7. 

^ We have already seen what Origen regarded as the 
proper task of the Christian philosopher. Tradition, 
embodying the teaching of the Apostles, has handed 
down certain facts, certain usages, which are to be 
received without dispute, but does not attempt to 
explain the why or the whence. It is the office of 
the sanctified reason to define, to articulate, to co- 
ordinate, even to expand, and generally to adapt to 
human needs the faith once delivered to the Church. 

What then is the utterance of Tradition ? It tells us 
that there is One God who created all things out of 
nothing, who is Just and Good, the Author of the Old 
as of the New Testament, the Father of our Lord Jesus 
Christ: that Jesus Christ was begotten of the Father 
before every creature, that through Him all things were 
made, that He is God and Man, bom of the Holy Spirit 
and the Virgin Mary, that He did truly suffer, rise, 
again, and ascend into heaven: that the Holy Ghost 
is associated in honour and dignity with the Father and 
the Son, that it is He who inspired the saints both of 
the Old and of the New Dispensation : that there will 
be a Resurrection of the dead, when the body which is 
sown in corruption will rise in incorruption, and that in 



The Regula Fidei. 153 

I the world to come the souls of men will inherit eternal 

life or suffer eternal punishment according to their 
works : that every reasonable soul is a free agent, 
plotted against by evil spirits, comforted by good angels, 
but in no way constrained : that the Scriptures were 
written by the agency of the Spirit of God, that they 
have two senses, the plain and the hidden, whereof the 
latter can be known only to those to whom is given the 
grace of the Holy Spirit in the word of wisdom and 
knowledge^. ^ *• J 

Here then we have the pith and substance of that 
doctrine which, in Alexandria at any rate, was taught to 
all Christians in the time of Origen. It differs from the 
Nicene Creed in that it does not use the terms * Very 
God ' or ' Homoousian ' of the Son, in that it asserts the 
moral attributes of God, the creation of the world out of 
nothing, the spiritual nature of the Resurrection Body, 
the connection of punishments and rewards with conduct, 
the eternity of punishment, the existence of Angels, the 
freedom of the Will, the double sense of Scripture. It 
is rather a Regula FideP than a Creed in the strict 
sense of the word. But the language is already so 



* De PrincipiiSf preface, 4 onwards. Origen, like Clement, had the 
strongest persuasion that all his speculations lay within this nonn. * Servetur 
vero ecclesiastica praedicatio per successionis ordinem ab apostolis tradita, 
et usque ad praesens in ecclesiis pennanens : ilia sola credenda est Veritas 
quae in nullo ab ecclesiastica et apostolica discordat traditione.' Yet there 
is a sense in which the perfect Christian rises above Tradition, Injoann. xiii. 
16. This thought also is shared by Clement. In both Knowledge is more 
than Faith, and Ordinances, though always obligatory, cease to be 
necessary. 

^ The Koyojv kKKXtjauurriicSsy itaviiv rrjs €KK\tjffias, or Tfjs vapaSSfftciK, or tov 
(bayytXlov, or again, ij dvoaroXxK^ leal k/eKXrjataariK^ bpOoroida tuv Soyfi&Toin/ 
of Clement. The latter has nowhere set out his creed in the same systematic 
way as Origen, but there is a complete agreement between the two. 



1 54 Origen. [Lect. 

framed as definitely to exclude the Gnostics, the Noe- 
tians, possibly the Chiliasts, and certainly all those who 
doubted the Personality of the Holy Spirit. 

Within these limits all is open ground. Even the 
definition of the terms, especially of the word * eternal,' is 
subject to reverent but free discussion. And Origen has 
availed himself of this liberty to the fullest extent. 
One of his earliest works is the De Principiis^ ' On First 
Principles,' that is to say on the data of the Creed, in 
which he maps out the field of investigation, and ex- 
presses with fearless candour all his doubts, beliefs, 
suggestions, divinations about each article in turn. He 
was already of mature age when he composed this 
treatise, and his voluminous later writings are little more 
than an expansion of the ideas there set down. Much 
might be said of the De Principiis^ the most remarkable 
production of ante-Nicene times, but it has three merits 
at least that must not be omitted. Origen never slurs 
a difficulty, never dogmatises, never consciously departs 
from the teaching of Scripture. It is in this last point 
that he differs most, in point of method, from Clement, 
who not unfrequently leaves us in doubt as to the precise 
Scriptural basis of his ideas. Sometimes Origen's in- 
terpretations are wrong; sometimes again he attaches 
undue weight to particular expressions. Certain texts 
seem to dominate him and colour all his views ^. But 
his most daring flights always start from some point in 
the written Word. The connection with the particular 
passage under discussion may be of the most fanciful 
kind, but the opinion itself is never arbitrary. 

We shall obtain the clearest view of Origen's teaching 

' Denis, p. 56. 



v.] The Method of Theology. 155 

by following in the main the plan traced in the De 
PrincipiiSy and proceeding from those high problems 
that touch upon the nature of God to the consideration 
of His Economy, His dealings with the Church and the 
soul of man. 

The heathen Celsus lays down three methods^ by 
which men may attain to a certain, though limited, 
knowledge of God. They are Analysis, Synthesis, and 
Analogy. The nature and results of the first we have 
seen in the case of Clement. Synthesis is the inductive 
mode, by which we gather from the constitution of the 
world an idea of Him by whom the world was made. 
Analogy is the poet's faculty bodying forth in a m)^h, 
a simile, that which language is inadequate to express. 
Thus Plato in the Republic compares the Idea of Good 
to the Sun. Origen insists on the contrary that the 
Christian knows God in a way better than any of these, 
as revealed in the Incarnate Christ. Yet to some extent 
he admits the use of Synthesis. For the world was made 
by God through Christ, and still bears the legible imprint 
of its Author. 

' Accordingly he takes his point of departure from the 
words of our Saviour ' God is a Spirit/ from the words 
of St. John ' God is Light ^.' ' It must not be supposed 
then that God is a body, or in a body, but a simple 

* Contra Celsum, vii. 42. 44. They are defined also by Alcinous, chap. 10. 
Compare Maximus Tyrius, xvii. 8. The three methods of Celsus appear to 
answer to his three classes of religious teachers, atxpoC, <pik6(ro<poiy and ivB^oi 
wotrjTcd. M. Denis complains, p. 85, that the passage in Celsus is *tr^3 
brouill^.' But the text as given in Lomm. is quite clear. M. Vacherot, 
S^ole ifAlexandrte, iii. p. 220, has a chapter on the Method of the 
Alexandrines, but the references given above will suffice to show that he 
is entirely wrong in his assertion that ' la pens^e qui la domine et Tinspire 
est etrang^re aux ecoles grecques.' 

* De PrincipiiSt i. i. 



156 Origen. [Lect. 

intellectual nature, admitting of no addition at all. There 
is in Him no greater or less, no higher or lower, for He 
is the Monad, the Unit, Mind, the Fountain of all 
mind.' From this first conception flow the negative 
attributes of the Divine Nature, and here Origen is 
compelled in spite of his disclaimer to make a certain 
use of the method of Analysis. Being Mind God is 
incorporeal^. This point, owing perhaps to the in- 
fluence of Stoicism, had as yet been very imperfectly 
apprehended in the Church, and it is not the least of 
Origen's merits that he seizes upon it with insight and 
decision, proving the immateriality, that is in fact the 
existence of the soul, and so of God, by an argument 
resembling the famous Cogito ergo sum^. Being in- 
corporeal God is independent of the laws of Space 
and Time, omniscient, omnipresent, unchanging, incom- 
prehensible. His dwelling-place is the thick darkness. 
*How unsearchable are His judgments, and His ways 
past finding out.' He has in a sense no titles, and His 
fittest name is He That Is. ( « ^- *). 

Thus far Origen is in agreement with his predecessors, 
though rather with Philo than with Clement. But here 
he strikes off* into a wholly different train of thought. 
Our knowledge of the Divine spreads out on all sides 

^ In the view of the Homilies, the Valentinians, Melito (see Routh, and 
Heinichen's note on Ens. H. E. iv. 26. 2), TertulUan, Adv. Praxeam, 7, 
God is corporeal. Even Irenaens finds the image of God in the body of man, 
V. 6. 1 , and not as the Alexandrines in the vovs . Anthropomorphism lingered 
on long in the East It is one of the chief merits of the Alexandrines that 
they treated this point with no less emphasis and distinctness than Philo. 
Two great difficulties were the facts that the term da^fiaros is not Scriptural, 
though found in the Doctrina Petri, where the words ' Non sum daemonium 
incorporeum ' were attributed to the Saviour after the Resurrection, and that 
vifevfM does not in itself connote inmiateriality. See De Princ., praefatio, 8 ; 
Injoann. xiii. 24 ; Z>^ Oratione, 23, 24. 

^ De Princ, i. i. 7 ; ii. 11. 4 ; iv. 36 ; Denis, p. 310. 



v.] The Negative Attributes, 157 

into the inconceivable, but it is rooted in the positive.' 
Before we can know what He is not, we must know what j 
He is ; the titles Good, Wise, Just, which we apply to . 
Him, are inadequate but not untrue. 

God is incomprehensible. But the cause of the in- 
comprehensibility is in us, not in Him. His dwelling 
is the thick darkness, but He Himself is Light ; and the 
more nearly we approach Him the more completely will 
the darkness melt away into light. There will come a 
time when, becoming one spirit with the Word, we shall 
see Him face to face, and know even as we are known. 
Even now we are not left without some understanding of 
Him which, imperfect as it may be, is yet true as far as 
it goes. We see Him dimly revealed in Creation. The 
order, the beauty of Nature are scintillations of the 
Divine goodness, as far inferior to their source as the 
sunbeams that stream through a keyhole to the Sun 
itself; yet authentic, homogeneous. Still more veritably 
we see Him in the Word, for * he who hath seen the Son 
hath seen the Father,' seen Him in the express Image 
of His Person, though only in such degree as the divine 
grace has enabled him ^. 

Again, God being unchanging, eternal, must needs be 
passionless. Scripture attributes to Him wrath, hatred, 
repentance, but only in condescension to our infirmities. 
He is righteous and good, and desireth not the death . 
of a sinner. Punishment is not His work, but the 
necessary consequence of sin 2. There will come a time 
in the restitution of all things when it will no longer 

* De Princ. i. i. 

* The justice and goodness of God are maintained, De Princ, ii. 5, with 
great force and subtlety. 



/ » 



158 Origen. [Lect- 

be possible to speak of the wrath of God. But though 
Origen cannot think of the Deity as agitated by passions 
in the narrower sense of the word, by mental disturbance 
or unreason of any kind, it follows from the language 
already cited that he was far from regarding Him as 
devoid of attributes. *The Father Himself and God 
of all,' he says, *is longsuffering, merciful and pitiful. 
Has He not then in a sense passions? The Father 
Himself is not impassible. He has the passion of 
Love 1.' 

Hence when Celsus, in true Platonic fashion, using 
almost the very words of Philo or Clement, asserts that 
God has no name, because He has no passions in the 
sense of attributes that can be denoted by a name, 
Origen replies with a distinction. It is true, he admits, 
in a sense, that no name can express the exact nature 
of the properties of God, just as no single word will 
express the difference between the sweetness of a date 
and the sweetness of a fig. Yet both are sweet; we 
know what the term means in each case, and the dis- 
parity of the meanings is not so great but that they 

^ In Ezech. Horn. vi. 6. See also the exceedingly beantiful passage, In 
Num. Horn, xxiii. 2, where he dwells on the same subject at length. Bnt 
he conclndes with a retractation, as if he felt that he had been carried too far : 
' Haec autem omnia, in qnibns vel lugere vel gaudere vel odisse vel laetari 
dicitur Dens, tropice et hnmano more accipienda snnt ab Scriptnris did. 
Aliena porro est divina natura ab omni passionis et permntationis afifectn, in 
illo semper beatitudinis apice immobilis et inconcussa perdnrans.' Yet 
Origen had experienced that state of consciousness, exemplified for ns by all 
exalted Christian spirits, in which joy and sorrow cease to be passions and 
are no longer contraries. He did not clearly see that what is true of Good- 
ness and Justice is true of Love and Sympathy. They differ not in themselves, 
but in their objects. Or again, we may say he did not clearly see that self- 
sacrifice is divine, and that the Incarnation is only the most striking instance 
of an universal law. Yet in the passages quoted he has given expression to 
this truth, though with timidity. 



V 



V.J The Positive Attributes. 159 

are in substance identicaP. The same reasoning will 
apply to those epithets which are common to virtuous 
men and to God. We cannot comprehend God, we 
cannot explain Him, for He is infinitely better than all 
we can think about Him. But if we argue from the 
justice of man to the justice of God, we are proceeding 
like the geometer from the imperfect to the perfect, not 
like the alchemist from the known to the unknowable. 

It will be seen that the God of Origen is no longer A 
the Unconditioned. He is not Absolute but Perfect,/ 
and perfection is itself a condition. He is perfectly wise, 
perfectly just, perfectly mighty, but the perfection of 
these attributes consists precisely in the fact that they 
are limited by one another^. From this consideration 
flow Origen's peculiar views as to Creation. Nature 
is not infinite; God created all things by number and 
measure because perfect wisdom cannot comprehend 
an unlimited object. Nature again is eternal. The ex- 
istence of the universe can in a sense be measured by 
time, for time and the world began together, time is 

* Contra Celsum, vi. 65. 

* See De Princ. ii. 9. i : * Non enim, nt qnidam volunt, finem putandam 
est non habere creaturas ; qnia nbi finis non est nee comprehensio nlla nee 
circumscriptio esse potest.' So the Wisdom of Solomon says, xi. 20, that 
God ereated all things * in numero et mensura ; ' De Princ. iv. 35 (Greek, 
text), /ii/Seis tk vpoffKOjrrirca r^ \6yqf el fiirpa kmriOepitv leal ry tov deoO 
9twd/i€i, dveipa ycLp vtptkafictv r$ <pif<r€i ddvyarov rvyx^^^^' Other passages 
in Redepenning, ii. 290. Like the English Platonist Henry More, Origen 
finds the idea of God in that of the Perfeet Being. His point of view is 
moral, not like that of Clement psendo-metaphysical. Hence all the so- 
called negative attributes sink at once into a secondary place. The more 
the reader reflects upon this the more important I feel persuaded he will see 
it to be. What an absurd yet mischievous word is * infinite,* purely material 
in all its associations, and as unmeaning when applied to spirit as ' colour- 
less ' or * imponderable * would be. Yet it is habitually used as if it were the 
highest term of reverence. To a Platonist * infinite ' means almost the same 
as ' evil.' Limitation is of the essence of truth and of beauty. 



i6o 



Origen. 



[Lect. 



( 



the roister of the world's life. But in another sense 
creation is timeless. Creator and Creation are correla- 
tive notions ; the one cannot be thought of without the 
other. God must indeed precede logically, as the cause 
is in conception prior to the effect, but His inner per- 
fection implies external realisation. From the first He 
was King, He was righteous, because there was some- 
thing not Himself that He could rule in righteousness. 
Otherwise we must suppose a change in Him, a de- 
velopment, a passage from the potential to the actual. 
But this it would be impious to think of God, who from 
the first is Act, is Perfect. Readers of Lucretius will 
recollect the Epicurean argument against Creation which 
Origen appears to have here in view. And it is evident 
how little he would have been embarrassed by modern 
geology ^ 

From the same mode of thought flows a qualified 
Optimism similar to that of Leibnitz or Butler. Origen 
does not shut his eyes to the manifold traces of disorder 
and inequality in Nature. Nevertheless, despite the 
existence of ' hideous monsters and vermin,' of physical 



^ De PrincA. 2. lo : ' Qnemadmodum pater non potest esse quis, si filias 
non sit, neque dominus quis esse potest sine possessione sine servo, ita ne 
omnipotens quidem Dens dici potest, si non sint in quos exerceat potentatnm ; 
et ideo nt omnipotens ostendatur Detis omnia snbsistere necesse est.* See the 
whole section. Origen is of cotucse^speaking of the ^first^he^jeo-And ^£H!^' 
not of that world in which fallen men live, the ' mundus hie qui ex certo tem- 
pore" eoepit oTZ)^ Princ. 111. 5. i. The Epicnrean argument against crea- 
tion^was^ased upon the impossibility of God beginning to do anything. 
Cicero, De Nat. Deorum^ i. 9 : ' Quid autem erat, quod concupisceret Deus 
mundum et signis et luminibus, tamquam aedilis, ornare ? Si ut ipse melius 
habitaret ; antea videlicet tempore infinito in tenebris tamquam in gurgustio 
habitaverat : ' Lucretius, v. 165 sqq. The same argument in Origen*s mind 
proved the Eternal Generation of the Son and the_e£fiQiit3LJ2f flgaitUUI* 
Later theologians regarded it as admirable in the first case and abominable 
in the second. ■ " ' 



1 



v.] Self-Limitation of God. i6i 

and moral wrong, he held that the world is good because 
it answers to the plan of a wise Creator^. Nay it is the 
best of all possible worlda. For if there could have 
been a better, we must suppose either that the Divine 
Power was insufficient to realise it, or that the Divine 
Wisdom failed to conceive it. Such an optimism was 
peculiarly easy to the Platonist, who regarded the world 
as a scene not of probation only but of correction, and 
linked the imperfections of man's environment with the 
sin of a previouTlife. But this tenet does not affiect 
the main position, which is in fact that of Bishop Butler, 
' that we are not competent judges of this scheme from 
the small parts of it that come within our view in the 
present life.' 

But Origen went farther than this, and drew or ap-i^ 
peared to draw the startling conclusion that God cannot 
do anything that He has not done. This was actually 
maintained by Abelard, * though,' as he adds, * this opinion 
of ours has few or no supporters, and differs widely from 
the utterances of the Saints, and somewhat from reason 
itself^.' It is not indeed certain that Origen formally 
inferred this consequence, though it was laid to his 
account by enemies who accused him of teaching that 
God is All-Ruler but not Almighty. But the inference 
does not seem to involve any distortion of the facts. 
For Origen regarded the Divine Goodness, Wisdom, 
Power as working in perfect harmony and co-extension, 
so as to be in fact different aspects of the same energy. 
If God's Power is limited, it is limited not by the re- 
sistance of matter, for God created matter and made 

^ Injoann, xiii. 42. 

* I owe the quotation to Huet, Origeniana, ii. i. i. 

M 



1 62 ^ Ortgen. [Lect. 

4 

it what it is, but by His own reason and His own bene- 
ficence. That He can do nothing that is evil is admitted 
by all. Origen possibly, Abelard certainly, advanced 
a step farther, and declared that He can leave undone 
nothing that is good. For otherwise in our desire to 
get rid of one restriction we are compelled to admit 
another of a far more dangerous kind, because impeach- 
ing either the Wisdom or the Goodness of Him who, 
if any gradation of His virtues is conceivable, is Good 
and Wise even before He is Mighty. 

The Christian Deity is One in Three. But in what 
sense One, in what sense Three? These questions were 
already the subject of fierce debate, especially at Rome, 
where the fire that had long been smouldering had been 
kindled into a blaze by the action of two Popes. Victor 
had excommunicated Theodotus, who denied in some sense 
the Divinity of Jesus ^. Callistus had expelled from the 

^ Eus. H,E,v.2^,6i BltCTcap B€6Sotov rbv tnevriafTbv dpxriy6v kcH varipa 
ravnjs Trjs dpvrjffiBiov dnoaraaSaSf dtrtie^pv^e rrjs leoivowlaSf frpSarov eMvra 
if/iKhv dvOpemov rbv 7ipi(rT6v. See notes in Heinichen. Bat the anonymous 
writer quoted here is by no means accurate in his statements. Theodotus, 
if he is the same as Theodotus of Byzantium, did not assert that * Christ 
was a mere man/ nor was he the inventor of his doctrine. He belonged to 
the Ebionite school, and taught that 'Jesus was a man bom of the Virgin, 
according to the will of the Father, who having lived the life of other men 
but in perfect piety, afterwards at his baptism in Jordan received the Christ, 
who came down from above in likeness of a dove. Hence the miraculous 
powers did not work in Him till the Spirit which Theodotus calls Christ 
came down and was manifest in Him ; * Philos» vii. 35. The passage con- 
tinues : Oi6v Jiik ovJi47roT€ tovtov ytyoyivcu o&ro< BiKovaiv M r$ ico06Ji^ rw 
wtv/juiTos, trcpoi d^ furd r^v k/c vticpSfv dvaaraatv. There must be some 
error in the text here, as ov^ivort cannot be reconciled with kwl r§ xoBSi^ rod 
irvtvpuiTos. Probably the words oStm . . . dvdanuxtv are a gloss. What 
Theodotus taught was that the preexistent Christ was not God ; cp. x. 23. 
He held doubtless with the Homilies that he was the Eldest Power but yet 
not God in the strict sense of the word. I observe that the party violence 
of this anonymous author has turned what is an argument in £Eivonr of the 
doctrine of the Trinity into an argument against it. See Lecture ii. p. 59. 



v.] Hypostasis and Ousia. 163 

Church the Noetians, who denied the Personality of the 
Son and the Holy Ghosts Origen had visited Rome 
during the papacy of Zephyrinus^, and was keenly 
alive to the perils of the crisis. Hence his views and 
language exhibit a marked advance upon those of his 
predecessor. 

The terminology indeed is still fluctuating and un- 
certain, but the later usage is already all but established. 
' The word for Person in Origen is commonly Hypostasis, 
that for the Divine Nature is less determinate but is 
frequently Ousia^, The two expressions were current 

Hamack, Dogmengeschichtef p. 573 sqq., gives the latest authorities on the 
subject. 

^ Yl2imzx^i,Dogmengeschichtej pp. 601 sqq. ; Philos. ix. 11 sqq. Noetianism, 
Monarchianism, Patripassianism, Modalism.Unitarianism should be regarded 
in one sense as an ancient, in another as a recent opinion. Doubtless in 
some form or another it had existed before the debate reached the acute 
stage. But the sentiment which prevails is the sentiment of the majority. 

' £us. J/. ^. vi. 14. 10 : b /Afvroi 'AdafidvTios, Hol tovto ydp ^v t$ 
*Clpiyiy€i ovofta, Z«f>vplvov xard. ro^aJie robs xp^^ou^ "^^^ 'Fcafudaiv €KK\Tj(rias 
iyovfiivou ' €mStj/irf<fai rg *P&fi'ff tctU avT65 vov fp&tp^i \4yoiiv ' ed^dfitvos lilv 
dfixmoTarrjv *Fcafwicjv kH/e\tjaiav idttv.* 

' For Person we have vir6<rTa<rts, Injoann, ii. 6, ^ftcfs fUvrot y€ rpus 
viroffTdff€is V€i06fuvoi Tvyx&yeiv : ovcla ISlCf ibid., doyfmri(ojv firj^^ oifffiav 
Tivd Idiay wptardvai tov dylov nvct^/uaros : ItiSnjs and ovaia Hard 9€ptypa<l^Vf 
Injoann, ii. 2 : ov<ria alone, Injoann. i. yiadjin,, ii. 18 : vvoKcifuvov, In 
Jerem. Hom. viii. a : the two combined, De Orat. 15, Irepos tear ovaiav xal 
intoKtiiuvdv (so English ed. and de la Rue, al. inro/cfifitvSs) kariv 6 vl6s tov 
varpos. For Substance, ovaia is used, In Joann, x. 21 (Lorn. i. p. 350), 
oiovTM k« TO^TOfv vo^oraaOiu /i^ Jitcupipew r$ dpiOfi^ t6v vldv tov varpdsy 
dXX* tv od fi6vov ovalq, d\\d koI imoKtiiiivt^ rvyxdvovras dp/iporipovs /card 
Tildas tmvoias dia<f>6pov5 ov icard (urdaraffiv kiyetrBcu varipa koI vlSv : De Orat. 
23 (Lom. xvii. p. 183), oXciv^ dcpiards lijv oitaicw tov Beov dvd irdvTow tS/v 
ycvvrjrSjv : In Matth, xvii. 14 (Lom. iv. 116) we have rh \v vwo/ctifttvov : 
Cels. viii. 12, ovra 81J0 t§ viroffrdati rrpdypara %v Zk rj oiiovoix^ ical rg 
ffv/jupcnfltf Koi ravrdrrfTi rod fiovXiiparos. I have not noted other instances of 
the use of ovaia, but in the Latin translations substantia occurs frequently ; 
In Num^ Hom. xii. i ; In Rom, vii. 13 ; viii. 5 ; De Princ, i. 2. 5 ; In Levit* 
Hom. xiii. 4 ; In Cant, Cantic, iii. (Lom. xv. 56), qui ibi Trinitas propter 
distinctionem personarum, hie unus Deus intellegitur pro unitate substantiae. 
But here we may trace the hand of Rufinus. 

M 1 



1 64 Origen. [Lect 

in the philosophy of the time, and mean precisely the 
same thing. The difference between them appears to 
be merely this, that Ousia is properly Platonic, while 
Hypostasis^ a comparatively modern and rare word, is 
properly Stoic. To the Platonist Ousia denoted the 
Idea, by participation in which the thing is what it is, 
which is prior to and above the thing. To the Stoic both 
words signified the thing itself, the essential substratum 
which, having no qualities, is yet the vehicle of all 
qualities^. Hypostasis bears also the meaning of an 



* The definition of ohfAa is given at length by Origen, De Orat. 27 (Lorn, 
jivii. 210) : 1) fxivToi Kvpiws ohcla roTs fiev vpoijyovfAivrp/ r^v t&v darajfiarojv 
ivdaraaiv tTpat (fMCKoviri (that is by the Platonist) veySfutmu «ard rd 
&(TufMTa t6 ctvai fiffiaims €Xovra .... rofs 5^ iv€ueo\ov0ijTiHiiv eUrr^y eJyai 
vofjdiovci vporj-YOVfi^vrfv S^ lijv tSjv awfi&rc^ (that is to the Stoics) lipoi avr^s 
otroi €l<n' ovata icrlv 1^ vpdn-r} tSjv Svtojv fj\rj . . . , ^ t6 vpSrrov inrStrrarov 
diroiov. In this latter sense it is identical with vnoK€ifi€voVf which already in 
Aristotle means the substantia materialis, vA.i7qnae deterrainaturperformam, 
or oiiffia cui inhaerent v(i$rf av/JLfif^tjKSra. See the Index of Bonitz. This 
was the view of the Stoics ; see Ritter and Preller, Hist. Phil, Gr. et Rom. 
§ 403. In this sense the o^aia was said {HplcraaOcu or l<p4<rr6,v€Uj and from 
this verb is formed {nrdaraais. The latter in the precise sense of snbstance 
is exceedingly rare, and as far as I can gather distinctively Stoic. It became 
naturalised in Latin as Substantia in the time of Seneca and Quintilian. 
Cicero attempted to represent ovaia by Essentia^Sentcsi, Ep, 58 ad in., 
cupio, si fieri potest, propitiis auribus tuis, essentiam dicere. Si minus 
dicam et iratis. Ciceronem auctorem huius verbi habeo, puto locu- 
pletem — but this harsh form did not live in classic Latin. There is a 
remarkable passage in Socrates, H. E. iii. 7, where we are informed 
that Irenaeus, a grammarian, in his Atticistes calls the word Hypostasis 
barbarous because the ancients did not use it or gave it a wholly 
different sense. But he continues, Xcrkov fihrroi Sri, d koL ol vaKoLoi 
<piK6<To<pOL rj)v Xi^iv vc^iXivov, &W* S/jujs ol vedrrtpoi rSaw ipiKoc6tpccv ffwexSK 
dvrl Tijs ovalai rj \4^et ti}s {nroGTAff€Cit5 &n€Xjpii<raa^ro, The cw^xSk 
is a great exaggeration. The reader will find ovtria fifty times when he 
finds im6craffis once. Lastly, these scientific terms were introduced into 
theology by the Gnostics : ohala, vvSaraais, {nroieelfievov, dfu)oij<rios all occur 
in Irenaeus, 1. 5. I. Yet it should be added that inrSffTcuris is used by Tatian 
(Otto, pp. 22, 28) ; wala and inrScraffts by Athenagoras, D€ Res. i. Suppl. 
24 (Otto, pp. 130, 188) ; \nr6cra<ris in the Ep. ad Diog. 2 ; and olaia by 



v.] Person and Substance, 165 

actually subsisting entity, the manifestation of the es- 
sence in the phenomenon. But this sense belongs to 
Ousia also, so that the theological distinction between 
the two terms is purely arbitrary. In the West Persona 
and Substantia are already familiar to TertuUian ^. Of 
these terms, Persona^ a singularly material word, belongs 
not to the schools but to the Latin law courts, and 
means ' a party,' * an individual,' with all his legal duties 
and rights. Substantia is a translation of Hypostasis, 
Thus it came about that the same word, which in the 
metaphysical East signified Person, was employed by 
, the prosaic and law-loving West for Substance ; an un- 
happy confusion which gave rise to much acrimonious 
debate ^. 

Melito, De Incar. Chrisii (Routh, i. p. lai), rhs lAo airrov ovclas, of the two 
nataies in Christ. 

* Adv. Prax, 2. Gregory Nazianzen, Orat, xxi. 46, regards Persona as 
a translation of vp6aonrov. It is tme that tpdaonrov, tinder Hebrew influ- 
ences, had imbibed the notion of individuality. But we may venture to 
think that Gregory has inverted the actual course of things. The reason 
why the "Westerns adopted the word Hypostasis for Substance is no doubt 
that Substantia existed in Latin, while Essentia did not. In this sense in 
Latin theology Hypostasis is a translation of Substantia* The same is true 
I believe of the word vpSaeavov, which is first found in Hippolytus, 
Contra Noetum, 14, ed. Lagarde, p. 52, and the Philos, ix. 12. These 
authors (or this author, for Dr. DoUinger appears, to have demonstrated 
that the Philos. is the work of Hippolytus) write in Greek but think in 
Latin. Their style is steeped in Latin idioms. And besides, it is 
highly unlikely that they would have selected a Greek phrase to 
emphasise the point of a dispute which was being eagerly debated on all 
sides in colloquial Latin. For the legal use of Persona compare Cic. pro 
Milone, 12, itaque illud Cassianum cui bono fuerit in his personis valeat. 
For other information on these famous words see Baur, Dreieinigkeit, i. 446, 
note ; Liddon, Bampton Lectures^ ed. 10, p. 33, note ; Huet, Origeniana, 
ii. 2. 3 ; Redepenning, ii. p. 82 ; Bull, Defence of the Nicene Creed, vol. i. 
pp. 188, 236, English translation of 185 1. 

* See the account of the Council of Alexandria in 362, Mansi, iii. p. 350. 
Jerome, Ep, xv. ad Damasum (in Migne, vol. xxii. p. 355), complains that 
he is looked upon as a heretic in the East because he would not use the 



1 66 Origen. [Lect. 

The cpntroyersy of the times turned mainly upon 
what was called by Western divines *the mystery of 
the Economy^/ the right mode that is to say _of appre- 
hending the personal difference, especially as regards 
the relation of the Father to the Son. The problem 
of the Unity was of course involved in this, but it was 
not the immediate point at issue ; hence the phraseology 
on this side was less guarded and precise. For Origen 
and the men of his time the great object was to establish 
the true Personality of Christ, to show that though God 
He yet was not the Father. Their reasoning applies 
also to the Holy Spirit, but not so pointedly; and as 
regards the Third Person, there is still some degree of 
hesitation and obscurity which the Alexandrines, and 
in particulai: Origen, did much to dissipate. 

phrase ' tres hypostases.* He objects that the formula is not Apostolical, 
but this applies equally to his own mode of statement 

^ Tertullian, Adv. Praxeam, 2 : Quasi non sic quoque unus sit omnja, dum 
ex uno omnia, per substantiae scilicet unitatem, et nihilominus custodiatnr 
olKOPOfjdas sacramentum, quae unitatem in trinitatem disponit. /did. 3 : 
. Sed monarchiam sonare student Latini, olieovofjuav intelligere nolunt etiam 
Graeci. Hippoljrtus, Contra Noetum^ 14 (ed. Lagarde, p. 5 a), 5vo yXv oix 
€pw Otovs dW* 4 ^va, vpdffojwa Bl Bvo, olxovofiiq. SI TpiTrjp ri^v x^P^^ '''ov aytov 
wfy/MTOs, var^p ii\v ydp efs vpdffama tl B^o 5ri xcd 6 vl6s, rd 82 rplrov rd 
dyiov wevfM, var^p kvriWtrcu, \6yos dirorcAcr, vlbs Bl b€ltevvTCUj St* 6S irar^/» 
viaTfv€Tai, olKovofjdas <rvfjul>ooviq. (this is surely the right reading ; Lagarde has 
olxovofjdq, cvfjupavia) avydytrai els tva Oe6v. Ibid. 4 (p. 46, Lagaide), 
fxvarfipiov olKovopuas. A little lower down the word appears to bear even in 
this usage its ordinary sense of 'dispensation.* Idid. 14 (p. 53, Lagarde), 
yivdfcrieiuv oh^ 6 varp^os \6yos ri^u olKovofday KoJt rd BiXr^fia rod varpds, 
on oIk &XX0JS fiov\€Tcu Bo(d(e<r0at ^ ovtws. But it has evidently acquired 
a technical sense. Baur, Dreieinigkeit, ed. 1 841, p. 178, ' £s liegtin ihm der 
Begrifif einer durch eine Vielheit sich vermittelnden Einheit.* Tatian, Ad 
GraecoSj 5 (p. 24 of Otto's ed.), yiyove Si (d \6yos) xard fiepiCfjiSv, oh itard 
dvoKoirfiv rb ydp dnoTfitjOlv rod vpirrov tfcx(i7p«Trcu, rb B\ ixtpicOlv olxovofuas 
rijv cSp€<riv vpoakafioy ovk Med rhv $$&^ etXrfnrat vevolrjtcev. If he were 
asked how the Son could be distinguished from the Father without impairing 
the perfections of the Father, Tatian replies, * this is the mystery of the Divine 
Will.* But see the note in Otto. 



v.] The Son. 167 

The definition of the Father is already contained 
in its main outlines in what has been said about the 
Deity. The specific attributes of the First Person will 
be best ascertained by considering His relation to the 
Second and the Third. 

The Son then is a Hypostasis, Living Wisdom, or, as 
He IS entitled in the Acts of Paul, in the first rude 
attempt at definition, *a living animaP.' He is verily 
and substantially God, and therefore of necessity co- 
eternal and ^ oegHal with.- the Father. On the first 
point there is no shadow of doubt as to Origen's mean- 
ing. * There never can have been a time when He was 
not. For when was that God, whom John calls the 
Light, destitute of the radiance of His proper glory, so 
that a man may dare to ascribe a beginning of existence 
to the Son . . . Let a man, who ventures to say there 
was a time when the Son was not, consider that this 
is all one with saying there was a time when Wisdom 
was not, the Word was not, the Life was not^.' Nor, if 

^ De Principiis, i. 2. 3 : Unde et recte mihi dictus videtur sermo iUe, qui 
in Actibns Paoli scriptus est, quia ' hie est verbnm ^imal yivens.* 

' De Princ, iv. a 8. Nothing can be stronger than Origen's language on 
the co-etemity of the Son : ' Qui autem initium dat Verbo Dei, vel Sapientiae 
Dei, intuere ne magis in ipsum ingenitum Patrem impietatem suam iactet, 
cum eum neget semper Patrem fuisse, et genuisse Verbum, et habuisse 
Sapientiam in omnibus anterioribus vel temporibus vel saeculis vel si quid 
illud est quod nominari potest/ Origen is the inventor of the phrase ohK 
ianv 6t€ ohx fjv, famous afterwards as the watchword of the Catholics 
against the Arians, De Princ. i 2. 9 ; iv. 28 ; In Rom, i. 5. Nor can we 
suspect here the hand of Rufinus, for the phrase is guaranteed not only 
by Pamphilus in his Apology, but by Athanasius, De Deer, Syn, Nic, 
chap. 27, ed. Migne. Further, as if this were not enough, Origen warns his 
reader that when we say the Son * never * had a beginning we are speaking 
not of Time but of Eternity : Nam et haec ipsa nomina temporalis vocabuli 
significantiam gerunt, id est quando vel nunqtiam ; supra omne autem tempus, 
et supra omnia saecula, et supra omnem aetemitatem intelligenda sunt ea, 
quae de Patre et Filio et Spiritu Sancto dicuntur ; De Princ, iv. 28. Father, 
if we may so speak, is the most ancient title of God : De Princ, i. 2. 10, non 



1 68 Origen. [Lect. 

we keep in view his most deliberate and emphatic ut- 
terances, can there be any doubt about the second. 
The proof is taken from the Epistle to the Hebrews, 
where the Son is called ' the express image of the 
Hypostasis of God ; ' from the Book of Wisdom, where 
He is ' the unspotted mirror of the power of God.' For 
the property of a mirror is to reflect every feature, every 
act of him that looks therein, without the slightest change. 
Hence the Saviour Himself says, * All mine are thine 
and thine are mine,* *What things soever the Father 
doeth these also doeth the Son likewise ; ' and St. John 
in the Apocalypse applies to Christ the Ineffable Name, 
*Thus saith the Lord God, who is, and who was, and 
who is to come ^.' 

But Scripture carries us beyond this, giving to the 
Son a number of titles to denote His Epinoiai^ His 
economic functions. His relations to the world 2. In 
this sense the Father is One and Simple, while the Son 
is Many. He is, firstly. Wisdom, the perfect image of 
the mind and will of God, which He expresses in crea- 

potest antiqnior esse in Deo Omnipotentis appellatio qnam Fatris: per 
Filium enim omnipotens est Pater. On this point of the Coetemity there 
cannot be any doubt as to Origen's meaning. See the Excursus of Maranus 
in Lomm. vol. xxii. p. 351. 

^ De Princ, i. 2. 

* In Cant, Cant. iii. (Lorn. xv. p. 29) : Et ne mireris, si idem ipse et 
arbor vitae et diversa alia dicatur, cum idem et panis verus, et vitis vera, et 
agnus Dei, et multa alia nominetur. Omnia namque haec Verbum Dei 
unicuique efficitur, prout mensura vel desiderium participantis exposcit: 
secundum quod et manna, qui cum esset unus cibus, unicuique tamen desi- 
derio (desiderii ?) sui reddeb^t saporem. The peculiarity of Origen's view 
is that he endeavours to arrange these titles of Christ in an ascending scale, 
and regards them as denotin|; successive stages of the believer*s progress and 
receptivity. This was a Valentinian idea. Excerpta ex Theodoto, 7, 1 1\ 
aitrds kart toiovtos &v kK6^Ti^ olos ir€;((up^<r0ac SvvaTai, and a. similar view 
gave their name to the Docetae (see the Diet, of Christ Biog.). But the 
graduation of the titles is necessarily difficult, obscure, and fluctuating. 



r> * <■ I* J" 



v.] Epinoiai of the Son, 169 

tion. Secondly, He is the Word, * because He is as it were 
the interpreter of the secrets of the divine intelligence,' 
the channel of Revelation ^. Hence He is also the Life 
and the Truth, the giver and sustainer of physical being 
and spiritual well-being. These are properties of His 
Deity which can never change. Others He has as the 
God-Man, Propitiation, Physician, Shepherd, Redemp- 
tion, the True Bread, the True Vine, the Lamb of God. 
These_are^ccidental^ joi^^ man never fallen into sin 
they would have been needless ^. Origen compares these 

^ Wisdom is the first and highest of the Epinoiai : Injoann, ii. 6, vpocm- 
voovfUvrfs rod \6yov <ro<l>las. In this sense Christ is the Mind of God, 
continens in semet ipsa universae creatorae vel initia vel formas vel species, 
De Princ. i. 2. 2. All things were created according to the ideas which God 
had previously brought to consciousness (vpoTpavojOhras) in Wisdom, as 
a house, a ship is built according to the plan or scheme existing in the mind 
of the builder ; Injoann, i. 22. Here we have the King's Architect of Philo. 
In this sense He may be the Kdcftos vorirds, In Joann, xix. 5 ; cp. Contra 
Celsum, V. 22, 39 ; vi. 64. In the De Princ. ii. 3. 6 Origen does not reject 
the doctrine of Idieas, but merely denies the independent existence of the 
K6anoi vorjTSs : utique a nostris alienum est mundum incorporeum dicere, in 
sola mentis phantasia vel cogitationum lubrico consistentem. As Wisdom 
Christ is Creator ; Injoann, i. 22, Srjfuovpyds Bk 6 Xpi(rr6s us apxfi, fcaiBd <ro^ta 
ktrri. The Epinoia of the Word comes after that of Wisdom, I?e Frinc. i. 2. 3 ; 
Injoann. i. 22. It is the outer aspect, if we may so say, of the Son's Divinity, 
the side on which He conmiunicates with the world, the first link in the chain 
between God and man. See Denis, Fhilosophie (TOrig^ne, pp. 89 sqq. 

' Origen distinguishes, Injoann. i. 22, between the Epinoiai which belong 
to Christ as properties of His eternal Nature and those which are accretions, 
assumed for the purpose of Redemption. It is in respect of the latter that 
the Son is Many, while the Father is One. To the latter class belong First- 
bom from the Dead, iKaarrjpLOVf Light, Shepherd; to the former. Wisdom, 
Word, Life, Truth. Tcixa 1^ cwpia ifitve fidvoy, ^ «oi \6y05, ^ xal (cjff, 
v6arroK h\ nal iX'fjBcta' ov /i^v 8^ koI ret dWa 5<ra 8t' ^fids 'npo<r(i\rf<l>e. In 
Joann. i. 30, the latter are the alaOfiTA, the former the vorjrdy and here comes 
in the distinction between the Two Lives as in Clement. Those who know 
Christ only as alcOrjrSs are ruled by Him as Man ; those who have risen to a 
perception of the votjtA are fia<n\€v6fi€voi tnrd rfjs vporiyovfi4vrf5 <t»iKT€a)s tov 
fioyoyevovSf governed by Christ as God. The reader will observe how 
closely this is connected with the teaching of Fhilo, though the Christian 
could not admit that the Word is God only of the imperfect. 



\ 



1 70 Origen. [Lect. 

Epinoiai to the steps of the Temple leading up to the 
Holy of Holies. The lower flight is the Humanity, the 
upper the Divinity, the whole make up our knowledge 
of the Saviour ^. We have already seen the same idea 
in Clement, though not so clearly developed. 

* Let no one think,' says Origen, ' that we are intro- 
ducing a dist inct ion into the essencejof the Spn ^.' But the 
mode of expression has given rise to misunderstanding. 
It is not meant that Christ will ever put off His Hu- 
manity^ or that we shall ever cease to need Him, for 
even at the climax of all things He will still be the Life 
and the Truth. We shall see the Father face to face, but 
only because we shall be * one spirit with the Lord.' 
In this sense only Origen believed that the work of 
Redemption and Mediation will have an end. We shall 
see the Father no longer in the Son, but as the Son sees 
( Him, in the day when God shall be all in all *. But to 

^ Injoann, xix. i (Lorn. ii. 149). In this passage in £<nr«p rw dyafioBfuav 
6 fiovoy€y^5 Icrri vpSrros itrl ret Kdru read 6 fih hari ftpwros. In Joann. 
xxxii. 19 there are Epinoiai of the believer corresponding to those of Christ. 
He is first the slave, then the disciple, the little child, the child, the brother 
of Jesus, the son of God. 

' In Joann. i. 30 ad fin. Huet chaiges Origen with asserting that the 
title Word belongs to the Son only accidentally, like those of Light and 
Shepherd, but he is entirely wrong. The reader of the Origeniana most be 
on his guard throughout. Huet*s timidity leads him into frequent errors, in 
spite of his learning and his sincere desire to do justice. Maranus and de 
la Rue are not only more generous but safer guides. 

' See the end of this Lecture. 

* In Joann, xx. 7. The reader may consult M. Denis, p. 379. There is, 
however, an important distinction. We shall no longer see the Father 
in the Son, but we, being in the Son, shall see the Father face to face. And 
in this sense the work of Mediation does not cease. See De Princ. iii. 
5. 6 sq.. Cum ipsis et in ipsis Ipse quoque subiectus dicitur Patri. De 
Princ, iii. 6. i Origen quotes John xvii. 21, 24, * Pater, volo ut ubi ego 
sum et isti sint mecum, et sicut ego et tu unum sumus ita et isti in nobis 
unum sint.* This is one of his favourite texts. The same idea is developed. 
In Levit, Hom. vii. 2. Here again the reference is to i Cor. xv. 28. Why 



/ 



v.] The Holy Ghost. 171 

Origen, as to Clement, the beli ef in Jesus as Redeemer is 
the note of the lower life. We must rise above the 
sensible to the intelligible^ from obedience to love and 
knowledge, from Jesus to the Word. Redemption is 
forgiveness and healing discipline, and the true Christian 
has ceased to need these. Hence the startling phrase 
that * to know Christ crucified is the knowledge of babes ^.' 
Or again, * Blessed are those who want the Saviour no 
longer as Physician, Shepherd, Redemption^.* But 
Origen's outlook is darker than that of Clement. He 
throws the higher life farther and farther back, and 
exhibits a growing intensity of devotion towards the 
Son of Man._ 

The heath en Platonists have attained, says Origen, by 
the light of Nature to a knowledge of the Father and 
even of the Son ; but the belief in the Holy Ghost is 
the distinguishing prerogative of Christianity^. The 
statement marks his sense of the importance of this 
article of the Creed, which he did much to strengthen 
and expand. He has indeed no technical word to 
denote the relation of the Third to the other Persons, 

does the Apostle say ' then shall the Son Himself be subject to the Father ? ' 
Not that He needs subjection to the Father, but on my account, in whom 
He has not yet perfected His work, He is said to be as yet not subject. But 
when He shall have finished His office and brought all His creatures to the 
top of perfection, then He Himself shall be called subject in those whom 
He hath put under the Father, and in whom He has perfected the work 
that the Father gave Him to do, that God may be all in all. Then and 
not till then Christ's joy shall be full. 

^ Injoann. i. 20, ^vau yXv airrov ^^x^ 1) BtSrifs, ftpbs ^fias Bi, /i^ dnd rod 
fteyiBovs avTov dwafiivovs dp^aaOcu r^s vfpi avrov dKij0€ias, ^ dyOpotrndrrj? 
avToVf kclB6 tois vrjviou KaraYf^^^'rcu *Irjffovs X(HaT6s,KCLt otros iaravftotfiivos. 
So also /did. xix. 3. 

' Injoann. i. 22. 

' The leading passages on the subject of the Holy Spirit are De Princ, i. 
3 ; ii. 7 ; Injoann. ii. 6. 



172 Origen. [Lect 

nor does he ever definitely bestow upon Him the title 
of God ^. But the idea, if not the word, is clearly there. 



* In De Princ, ii. 7. i he appears even to deny it: ' Nam nt concedamus 
Marcioni vel Valentino posse differentias deitatis (of Father and Son) in- 
dncere . . . qnid inyeniet at differentiam Spiritus Sancti introdncat.' But he 
certainly spoke of the divinity of the Holy Spirit ; Und, § 3, the Mon- 
tanists ' minora quam dignnm est de ejns divinitate sentientes erroribus se ac 
deceptionibns tradiderunt.' Basil (JDe Spir, SanctOf vol. ii. p. 358, ed. Paris, 
1638), who considers that the doctrine of Origen was not sound on all 
points, quotes from the In Rom., ai if pat Swdfitis \ojprirtKajt rov /lovoytvovs 
leat rijs rov dyiov irvev/MTos 0t6TifToSt and adds, oj/rcus oTfuu rh r^s napaSSffcws 
lax'fpbv li^c voKXAias rohs dvBpas xai tcmV oUctlois ovtSjv SSyfiaaiv dyriXiyeiv, 
The latter remark is unjust Tradition was certainly on the side of Origen 
as against Basil ; for the title Deus is first expressly bestowed upon the 
Holy Spirit by Tertullian in his Montanist treatise Adv. Praxeam^ 3« 13 ; 
cp. Baur, Dreieinigkeit, ed. 1841, p. 177 note. In the Preface to the 
De PrincipiiSf § 4, it is affirmed that the praedicatio apostolica does 
not decide of the Spirit utrum natus an innatus. Jerome has utrum 
factus an infectus. Apparently Rufinus read ytvrrirhs 4 d'^fhnniTost 
Jerome ytvrjrds ^ dyfvrjTos. The words are constantly interchanged in 
MSS. In Joann. ii, 6 Origen starts several questions — whether the Spirit 
has a hypostatic existence ; whether He is one of the all things which 
were made i^^ykv^ro) through the Son; whether He is less or greater 
than the Son. The first he answers by affirming the Three Hypostases. 
The reply to the second is very hesitating and tortuous. It is perhaps the 
worst instance of the evil of his extemporaneous method of composition. At 
first (p. 1 10 Lom.) he regards it as the more pious and true conclusion that the 
Spirit is not included in the ' all things * that were made by the Son. But 
Tov vlov XP^f**'' loiK^ rh oiyiov wevfM, Bicucovovvros avrov ry {nroCTdffti ov 
fidvoy els rd ttvcu AXXA leai awpov cTvcu kqX koyuedv leal Biicmoy, Ktd my 
drivoTow xph "vrd vouv rvyx^'*'^^^ Hard fitrox^ rSjv'itpotipriiUwy ^fuy 
Xptarov kmvotSry, And three pages further on (p. 113 Lom.) he slides into 
the affirmative, ravra b\ kmitokh k^'fjTaarai. aaifUarepw IteTv fiovXofUvots irws, 
tl initfra Sid rov k&yov l7^ycro, Koi rd wtvfM did rod \6yov iyivcro tv rSau 
vdvrojy rvyxdfov. Thus the relation of the Spirit to the Son appears to be 
analogous to that of the Son to the Father. Perhaps this need not be under- 
stood as directly contradicting Z>e Princ, i. 3. 4, neque enim putandum 
est quod etiam Spiritus Filio revelante cognoscit. Si enim revelante Filio 
cognoscit Patrem Spiritus Sanctus, ergo ex ignoiantia ad scientiam venit. 
De Princ. ii. 2. i we read, Sicut ingenitum Filium generat Pater et Spiritum 
Sanctum proferi\ In Rom. vii. i. Qui vere ex ipso Deo procedit\ De 
Princ. i. a. 13, In eo fonte de quo vel natus est Filius vel procedit Spiritus 
Sanctus. But in these passages Rufinus is hardly trustworthy. To the 
third question he replies finally that the Spirit is vwobtiartpov rov &* oS 



1 



v.] The Holy Ghost. 173 

The full divinity of the Holy Spirit lay enfolded in the 
Baptismal formula, and is the logical consequence of the 
assertion of His hypostasis. His eternity Origen teaches 
as distinctly as that of the Son ; His equality is virtually 
though not so clearly contained in many passages. 
Thus He is ' associated in honour and dignity with the 
Father and the Son.' He is one of the adorable Trinity 
which is wholly present in each of the Persons. And 
Origen himself invokes the Holy Spirit in prayer ^. 

It is He that in the beginning moved upon the face of 
the waters ^ ; He that is to be understood both in Old and 

17^^670. Vi*fv^cOait 7€n7T<5y, were not in themselves incorrect words to use 
either of the Son or of the Holy Spirit ; see Orig, ii. 2. 23 (Lorn. xxii. 
p. 184), with the note of Maranns, and £xc. v. at end of volume. But the 
Bishop of Durham, Apost. Fathers ^ part ii. vol. a. sect. i. p. 90, inclines to 
doubt this. How cautious Origen is may be seen, De Princ, i. 3. 3 : 
Verumtamen usque ad praesens nullum sermonem in scriptis Sanctis 
invenire potuimus per quem Spiritus Sanctus factura esse vel creatura 
diceretur, ne eo quidem modo, quo de Sapientia referre Salomonem supra 
edocuimus. He found Kri^eiv used of Wisdom but not of the Holy Spirit. 
The idea suggested, Injoann, ii. 6, that the work of redemption was properly 
the function of the Holy Spirit, but that He, being unable to sustain the 
task, delivered it over to the Son, is, as Maranus pointed out, a mere 
scholastic dwopia illustrating only the freedom with which Origen moved. 

* See De Princ. i. 3 throughout; In Joann, vi. 17 (Lom. i. 227), ry 
kyarapkxwTi \a.vrhv rf BeiSrrjTi tijs iiwdfJLCoas rSiv tiJs vpoeitvyijT^s rpidSos 
kniKK'^aeary, quoted by Basil, De Spir, SanctOy 29 ; De Princ. ^ Preface, 4, 
Honore ac dignitate Patri ac Filio sociatum tradiderunt Spiritum Sanctum ; 
In Levit. Hom. i. i. Ipse igitur nobis Dominus, ipse Sanctus Spiritus 
deprecandus est, ut omnem nebulam omnemque caliginem, quae peccatorum 
sordibus concreta visum nostri cordis obscurat, auferre dignetur ; In Isai. 
Hom. i. 4, Denique ut unitatem Deitatis in Trinitate cognoscas solus 
Christus in praesenti lectione nunc peccata dimittit, et tamen certum est a 
Trinitate peccata dimitti; IHd. iv. i, Non iis sufficit semel clamare 
* Sanctus,' neque bis, sed perfectum numerum Trinitatis assumunt, ut multi- 
tudinem sanctitatis manifestent Dei, quae est trinae sanctitatis repetita com- 
munitas, sanctitas Patris, sanctitas nnigeniti Filii et Spiritus Sancti. See 
Denis, pp. 117 sqq. 

* De Princ. i. 3. 3. Participation in the work of Creation is again assigned 
to the Holy Spirit, De Princ, iv. 30, on the authority of Psalm xxxiii. 6, 
Verbo Domini coeli firmati sunt, et spiritu oris eius onmis virtus eorum. 



1 74 Ortgen. [Lect. 

New Testament by the words Spirit or Holy Spirit. 
But His special work is that of sanctification. The 
Father gives being to all that exists ; the Son imparts 
^ reason, Logos, to all that is capable of it ; the Holy 
Ghost works life in those that believe. Hence though 
all men may be said to participate in the First and 
Second Persons, not all men share in the Third. It is 
He that creates in man the capacity to receive Christ, 
first as Justice, then as Wisdom, and so on in ever- 
deepening affinity, till at last the gift of being becomes 
worthy of the Giver. Man is made what God meant 
' him to be, good and permanently good, by the ceaseless 
' ministrations of the Holy Spirit. Thus it may be said 
that the Son and the Holy Spirit are the cause of the 
knowledge of God, that the Holy Spirit is the substance 
of the graces of the Father ^ 

Thus far the Alexandrines cleared and defined the 
notion of the Divine Persons. But a not less difficult 
task remained behind. Granting the triple Personality, 
! where then is the Unity, or as it was called the Monarchy ? 
The question was involved in Noetianism, it was pressed 
upon the Church from without by Celsus, the champion 
of reformed Heathenism. It involved the very essence 
and existence of the faith. If Christianity was Mono- 
theism in the sense of Noetus, where was the reality of 
the work of Jesus ? if it were not Monotheism in the sense 

This is importanti as showing that in De Princ, i. 3. 5 the words ' ut operati- 
onem specialem Spiritus Sancti et specialem Patris ac Filii describamos ' are 
not inserted by Rufinns. This is a snfficient answer to the strictures of 
Theophilus, Jerome and Justinian, for which see the Origeniana. 

* De Princ. i. 3. 5 ; ProL in Cant, Cant, (Lorn. xiv. 307) ; Injoann. 
ii. 6 ; Injerem, Horn. viii. i. Substance of the graces, ^\fj rStv x<ip«'^/<<&rwy. 
As the Son is efoffvxo^ awpla, so the Holy Spirit is Hfo/vxof X^P^h though this 
phrase is not actually used. 



i 



v.] The Unity in Trinity. 175 

of Celsus, in what was it better than the religion of 
Mithra, and what became of its exclusive claims? 

We enter here upon one of the most fiercely decried 
portions of Origen's teaching^. Let it be observed by- 
way of caution that he had no paper money, no accepted 
phrases to pass current instead of thought ; that speaking 
of the most awful mystery that can exercise the mind of 
man, he expresses himself by no means with neatness 
and precision, but with becoming hesitation, as of one 
who hears only 'fragments of the mighty voice,' and 
faithfully endeavours to render the whole of what he 
hears. Hence his language is partly that of later 
n times, partly not; most startling when most Biblical. 
Rufinus, the translator of the De PrincipiiSy has doubt- 
less tampered with his text. But we have abundant 
means of checking his divagations. There is no im- 
portant point on which we cannot produce the exact 
meaning of Origen ^. 



^ The chief among the ancient assailants of Origen and Origenism were 
Methodius, De Resurrectioney fragments only are extant, but there is an ab- 
stract of the work in Photius, Cod. 234 ; Eustathios, De Engastrimytho, 
in Migne, vol. xvii. 614; Epiphanius, Haereses, Ixiv; Ep. ad Joann, Ep. 
Hieros.y Latin translation in Jerome's Epistles, 51, Migne, vol. xxii ; Theo- 
philos, Paschal Letters, i. a. 3, Greek fragments in Migne, vol. Ixv. 54, 
Latin translations in Jerome's Epistles, 96, 98, 100, Migne, vol. xxii ; 
Jerome, Epp, 84, Ad Pammachiwn et Oceanum, 124 Ad Avitum^ Migne, 
vol. xxii; Apologia adv, libros Rufini\ Justinian, Adv, Origenem or Ad 
Menam, Mansi, ix. 487 ; Migne, Ixxxvi. 946 ; Labbe, v. 635. 

' The life and works of Rufinus (whose cognomen is variously given as 
Toranus, Turranius, or Tj^rannius) will be found in Migne, vol. xxi. See 
also Origeniana^ ii^ 4. 10; Redepenning, ii. 61, 68, 254; Neander, iv. 
447 (Eng. Trans.) ; Gieseler, Lehrhuch der Kirchengeschichte, 1824, part i. 
p. 284 sqq. Rufinus, a monk of Aquileia, in 372 accompanied a pious and 
wealthy lady Melania to the East as a kind of domestic chaplain, though 
not yet ordained. In Palestine, where he remained till 397, living for a part 
of the time with the hermits on the Mount of Olives, he had a serious 
quarrel with Jerome, arising out of the dispute between Epiphanius and 



1 76 Origen. [Lect. 

Let us begin with passages representing the line of 
thought that was afterwards predominant- Origen insists 
that both terms of the antinomy, the One and the Many, 
must be equally kept in view. Thus in the Homily on 
the Shew Bread, one of his most remarkable allegories, 
the bread, he says, is made of two-tenths of flour. It is 
significant then of the two Persons, for ten, the perfect 
number, is emblematic of Deity. The loaves are laid 
one upon another to show that they are one mass, one 

John of Jerusalem. The latter was accnsed of Origenism and Rufinns took 
his part. On his return to Italy he began to translate Greek theological 
works into Latin at the request of friends, in particular the De Principiis. 
This led to a renewal of hostilities with Jerome, and drew upon Rufinus the 
censure of Pope Anastasius, though he does not appear to have been formally 
condemned. He died in Sicily, whither he had fled for shelter during the 
invasion of Alaric. Here in sight of the blazing villages of Calabria, in the 
midst of horrors that might seem to denote the approaching end of all 
things, he found comfort in the mystical commentary on the Song of Songs. 
Besides the De Principiis he gave to Latin the pseudo-Clementine Recogni- 
tions, The Westerns appear to have been at this time profoundly ignorant 
of Greek speculations, and Rufinus was much in the position of the scholars 
who first introduced modem German theology into England. To him we 
owe the Latin version of the Homilies on Genesis, Exodus, Leviticus, 
Numbers, Joshua, Judges, i Samuel (the last probably, Red. ii. 255), 
Psalms 36-38, the Commentaries on the Song of Songs, and Romans, and 
the De Principiis^ with the Apology of Pamphilus. The translation of the 
Homilies on the Song of Songs, Isaiah, Jeremiah, Ezekiel, Luke, is by 
Jerome. The author of the version of the latter part of the Commentary on 
Matthew is unknown. We have also some fragments of the translation of 
the De Princ, by Jerome, and of a Homily on Job by Hilarius Pictaviensis. 
Rufinus has described his mode of translation very candidly (see his Pre- 
faces to Numbers, Joshua, Psalms, De Princ, i. and iii, and the peroratio to 
In Rom,). He dealt with great freedom, expanding, condensing, com- 
bining, expurgating, and amending. The gist of Jerome*s attack upon the 
translation of the De Princ. is not that Rufinus had softened or omitted un- 
orthodox expressions on the subject of the Trinity (for he had done the same 
thing himself in his version of the Homilies on Isaiah), but that he had 
supported and strengthened Origen's i^ews on the subjoct of the Fall, Resti- 
tution, &c. The worst that can be said of Rufinus & th^ his judgment 
and temper were not perfect. Huet treats him very Jkarshly in order to 
relieve Jerome. 1 



v.] The Unity in Trinity. 177 

Bread. * For I cannot separate the Son from the Father, 
the Father from the Son.* Yet again, the loaves are 
placed in two layers to denote the Personal distinction. 
' We call Him Father who is not Son, Him Son who is 
not Father ^.' Again, elsewhere the Persons are numeri- 
cally distinct ^. But this is not to be taken to imply local 
division. *For to ascribe division to an incorporeal 
substance is the act not only of extreme impiety but of 
the dullest folly ^.' Hence the Generation of the Son is 
to be regarded as a continuous process. ' The Father did 
not beget His Son and let Him go from Himself, but 
always begets Him*.' For this reason he rejects the 
phrases which earlier writers had employed, — that of 

^ In Levit Horn. xiii. 4. 

* The Noetians hold n^ Bicupipdv ry dpiOfi^ t6v vl6v rod ftaTp6t, Injoann, 
X. 21. So Justin, Apol, i. 2a, the Son %T^p6t ken rov $€ov dpiOfi^ dW* ov 
yy^fiy. Agam, Trypho, 56 (Otto, p. 192). 

' De Princ. i. 2. 6 : Observandum namque est ne quis incttrrat in 
absurdas fabnlas eonim qui prolationes quasdam sibi ipsis depingunt, ut 
divinam naturam in partes vocent, et Deum patrem quantum in se est divi* 
dant, cum hoc de incorporea natura vel leviter suspicari non solum extremae 
impietatis sit verum uUimae insipientiae. 

* Injerem, Hom. ix. 4, ad Jin.: ovxl kyivirqaev 6 traiiip rbv vlbv ical 
&iri\vc€if avrbv 6 ftar^p dird rijs yevia^cos avrov 6X\* de2 ytwq, avr6v, Origen 
goes on to illustrate his meaning by the simile of the Torch and the Ray. 
Huet regards with suspicion this figure, which was indeed used by unorthodox 
writers to give the idea of an occasional emanation, emitted from and again 
absorbed into the parent flame. See above, p. 59, note. But de la Rue 
defends it with perfect success, though the language of De Princ, i. 2. 7, 11 
hardly needs defence. Cp. also In Joann. xxxii. 18 (Lom. ii. 470), ^Ai/f 
\i\v odv otfMt r$s t6^ijs rev Otov ainov dva^afffia ttvai rbv vl6v. The idea 
of occasional emanation attaches also to the phrase Prophoric Logos, that is 
Spoken Wordjwhich Origen rejects, Injoann. i. 23 (Lom. i. 50): /ra^ iiaKiara^ 
Ivc2 CW€X^ X/'^^^ '''V ^£*7P€i^£aTo 1) KapSia fwv \6yov dyaOSv, oiSfifVoi 
ftpo<l>opdy varpiK^ oiovel kv ffvWafiats xeifxivrfv etvai rhv vlbv rov $€ov koX 
xard Tovro hnSaraffiv a{fT$, €l diepifiS/s ai/rSfv irw$avoifJLeOaf ov BiHSaffiv. De 
Princ. i. 2. 4 Origen rejects also the Adoption theory. Ibid. i. 2. 6 the 
Son's existence depends upon the Will of the Father and the Divine Genera- 
tion is illustrated by the relation of volition to intelligence. 

N 



178 Origen. [Lect. 

Projection, that of the Prophoric Logos, — and prefers 
the beautiful simile of the Torch and the Ray. So far 
his view IS that known as Circumincession, the idea of 
perfect mutual interpenetration. He has addressed him- 
self mainly to the relation between Father and Son. But 
what is true of them is true of the whole Trinity. 

But still it may be asked in what precisely does the 
unity consist ? In this particular form the question had 
as yet hardly been posed, and it would have been better 
had it never been stated. The most we can do is to 
agree upon a word, and at such altitudes words lose their 
vitality. But it was not Origen's nature to gloss over a 
difficulty, and in those days of Pol)^heism it would not 
perhaps have been safe to do so. He will give then 
what answer he can, though he well knows what the 
answer is worth. At one time in reply to Celsus he 
places the unity in perfect moral harmony. ' We worship 
the Father of Truth, and the Son who is Truth, Two in 
Person, but One in agreement and concert and identity 
of will.* It is a union like that of the Church, * the multi- 
tude of them that believed were of one heart and one 
soul *.' At another time he uses the expression One in 

* Contra CV/rMfn,viii. la. After quoting John xiv. 11,* I am in the Father 
and the Father in Me,* Origen proceeds, fi H rts lie ro^rwy v€pt<nnuT$^<T€Tai 
ixfl vt] aifTO/ioKovfJify ftpbs rovs dvcupovvras 8^0 cfveu {fvoffrdatis iraripa isai 
vlov, kwiarrjcdTW rf ^jv 8c v<iy7a;v r&v martvadmrw 1) xapBla koI 1) ^x4 /4a, 
Hva Ocwfyfiay rd iyib «ai 6 varijp tv ka/iev, "Eara oZv 0€6v, &s diroBt9dwa/uyf 
t6v iraripa ica\ rbv vl6v Oepaver^fitv . # . . Srra 8i;o rp {fwotrrdffti vp&y/juira, 
tv 82 ry d/AOVoiff. Koi ry avijupwtt^ Ka\ rp ravrSTrfri rov fiovk^fuiros. The 
same definition supported by the same illustration was censured in the case 
of Abbot Joachim by the Fourth Lateran Council in 1215 ; see Mansi,xxii. 
981 sqq., or Denzinger, EncAirtdion, § 358. Abbot Joachim preached also 
'the Eternal Gospel,* though he gave to the phrase a political significance 
and used it to express the social and religious reformation yearned for by 
the enthusiasts of his time. M. Denis, pp. 576 sqq., appears to me to 
underrate the connection between Origen and Joachim. 



v.] The Mode of Unity. 179 

Substance, and Pamphilus even ascribes to him the famous 
Homoousion of the Nicene Fathers ^. This however could 
not be his definite opinion, partly because the word Ousia 
or Essence still means at times Person or Hypostasis; 
partly because from either point of view, the Stoic or the 
Platonic, it was by no means clear whether God could 
be spoken of as having Ousia at all, because He is rather 
^ above all Ousia ^ ; ' partly again because the term belongs 

* Frag. 3 from commentary In Hebr, quoted by Pamphilus in \iS& Apology, 
Quae utraeque similitudines (vapor virtutis Dei and aporrhoea gloriae 
Omnipotentis purissima) manifestissime ostendunt communionem substantiae 
esse Filio cum Patre. Aporrhoea enim dfioofSaios videtur, id est nnius sub- 
stantiae cum illo corpore ex quo est vel aporrhoea vel vapor (Lom. xxiv. 
359). The word dfioovcios is used by Heracleon to denote the natural affinity 
which he in common with the other Valentinians conceived to exist between 
the Pneumatic and God and between the Hylic and the Devil, Injoann. xiii. 
25 ; XX. 18 (Lom. ii. 43, 241). This idea is rejected both by Clement, Strom. 
ii. 16. 74 ; iv. 13. 91, and by Origen. In this usage the word means made 
of the same stuff, of the same genus, governed by the same laws, but does not 
imply equality. In this sense it is applied to the Son by the author of the 
Homilies^ xx. 7. The Son is dfwoiaios r^ 0«^ IffMva/ios Si oi. As a terjn 
of theology the word appears to have been first employed in these ways by 
Gnostics and Ebionites. In the passage quoted above from Origen it 
appears for the first time in its later Nicene sense, for I cannot regard the 
passage in the AdumbrationeSy p. 1009, as dementis, though Zaha, Forsch- 
ungen^-p. 138, thinks otherwise. The word was not regarded as orthodox 
by the Antiochene Fathers, see Routh, iii. p. 314. Like many other words 
it acquired a technical meaning which at first undoubtedly it did not possess. 
Bull, book ii. chapter i, may still be read with advantage, though he 
endeavoured to prove too much. *0/ju>o^(rtos is certainly not * a word of 
which the precision and exactness precluded all attempt at equivocation.' 
See also Hamack, Dogmengeschichte, pp. 531 sqq. 

' See Contra Celsum, vi. 64. Celsus says, obV olcrias fierix^i 6 Otds, 
No, replies Origen, iitrlx^Tai ycLp fiSXXov 1j iierixtt. So the Saviour, oi 
fjitrix^^ /^^^ ^/caioail/vijs' bi/eaiotrilivij hi &p iitrtxirai imh t&v buccdojv, . . 
IIoX^; 8c 6 v(pl r^s oiffias \6y05 ical tivaOt^prjros .... irSrtpop MKtiva 
oiffflas iffrl vpecrfitiq. Koi bvydfiei 6 6(6s ^craStSo^s olalas . . 4 f^ avrSs kffriv 
obaia. . . . ZrjTTfriov 3i Kal el ohcriav fikv oiifftoav Xeieriov ical ISiav Ibt&v /ra^ 
dpX^v t6v fiovoy€v^ teal vpwr&roKOV irdffijs Kriaeoas, Mxtiva Si noivToav toCtojv 
t6v varipa avrov koI Oeov, In Joann. xix. i (Lom. ii. p. 149), iv ovrws 
i\$y M rd ivtHeiv ry otaiq, 1j ry inttpiKUva ttjs ovffias dwdfi€t nal <p6ff€t rov 

N 2, 



1 



1 80 Origen. [Lect- 

to the vocabulary of science and not of Scripture, and 
even in science denotes not knowledge but the absence 
of knowledge. For the Ousia is precisely that about a 
thing of which we are wholly ignorant. Hence again, 
taking his stand upon the words of our Saviour ' that 
they may know Thee the only true God,* upon the words 
of St. Paul * to us there is but One God the Father,* he 
seeks for the ground of unity in the derivation of the 
Second Person from the First, of the Third from the 
Second and First. The Father is *the God,' *the only 
true God.' The Son is * God ' without additiotv .because 
His Deity is derived ^. 

The Son, as we have seen, possesses all the attributes 
of God, His Goodness, His Wisdom, His Power. He 
possesses them in full and perfect measure, jiot acci- 
dentally but substantially and unchangeably, not pre- 
cariously but by virtue, if we may so speak, of a law of 
the Divine Nature. He is b^otten, not created. The 
Son is in^he^ Father, the Father in the Son, and no 
schism is conceivable between them. Yet the Word is 
the Splendour of the Divine Glory, the Image of the 
Father's Person, in a word He is the Son. The Father 
is the 'Fountain' from whom His Divinity is * drawn*.' 

Bcov. If ohaia be taken in its Platonic sense as signifying Idea it is prior 
to the Thing, and thus the Idea of God would be above God ; again, the 
Ideas are sometimes spoken of as created by God. If the word be taken in 
its Stoic sense, we arrive at a distinction between the vp6mj vXtj and the ira^ 
of the Deity. Words like these, which represent or are supposed to repre- 
sent the teaching of sensible experience, explain without explaining that 
which ' eye hath not seen.* 

^ Jnjoann, ii. 2, 3, 18 ; xiii. 25 ; xxxii. 18 ; Contra Celsnm, viii. 14, 15. 

' In Joann, ii. 2, av&aas t^j ^t&nfTos ds kavrov, * Hoc est portionem 
divinitatis non divinitatem ' remarks Huet, with whom agrees M. Denis, p. 
I ID. This is laying far too much stress upon a word. Besides, had Origen 
written rV OtSrtfra, he would have meant that the Son had deprived the 
Father of Deity. 



v.] Derivation. Subordination. i8i 

It IS the difference between Cause and Effect, and in this 
aspect it sometimes seems to Origen immense ^. Yet if 
we look downwards, if we compare the God Son with 
the highest of created things, with principalities and 
archangels, there is a gulf more enormous still, because 
of another kind. 

We shall however wrong Origen, if we attempt to 
derive his ^ubordinationism from metaphysical con- 
siderations. It is gurely Scriptural, and rests wholly 
and entirely upon the words of Jesus, * My Father is 
greater than I,' ' that they may know Thee the only true 
God,' * None is Good save One.' The dominant text in 
Origen's mind was the last. Hence he limits the rela- 
tivity to the attribute to which it is limited by Christ 
Himself. The Son is Very Wisdom, Very Righteous- 
ness, Very Truth, perhaps even Very King, but not Very 
Goodness. Perfect Image of the Father's Goodness, but 
not the Absolute Good, though in regard to us He is the 
Absolute Good^. There are indeed passages where 

* Jnjoann. xiii. 25, vdvTOjy fikv rw yevyrSav vntpix^^^ 0^ ffvy/cpi(r€i AAA* 
{fV€pfiaWoi&<rg vmpox^ (fHtfuv rhv Xcjrrjpa «a2 rb wvtvfta rh &yiov tnrtptx6- 
fuvov TOffovTOv ^ Kal vXiov dird rov varpSs, Hfftp inrtp^x^^ avrbs xai t6 ayiov 
vy^vfUL rSiv koiirSav. Observe the words ov ffvyKpian, the Son and Holy 
Spirit are not to be compared with created things. With this passage 
should be contrasted In Matth, xv. 10, itK^Uav ydip 1) vrtpoxfl irpds rd 
{nroitiartpa iffoBd. kv rf ISorr^pc, IU1B6 karriv €lK$av t^ &ya06Tr]Tos airov rov 
$fov, ijirtp i) vircpox^ rod $€ov 6vtos dyaOov irp6s t6v elvdvra l^njpa 6 var^p, 
d vifirpas fit, fiti^av fiov kffriv ovra irpbs Mpovs koX tUdva r^s dya06rrjTOi 
rod Ofov, 

' The boldness with which Rufinns corrected his text is nowhere more 
evident than in De Princ, i. 2. 13. The most important passage of the 
original Greek is given in Jnstinian, AdMenam : o^oi rolvw ^yovfuu leai knl 
rov acarijpos KaXok Av \tx9-fiaea0ai 6ri tliciijv dyaBSrrjros rov $(ov lariVf dXA' 
oitK airoaya06v, Kal r&x^ ^^ ^^^^ &ya06s, dAX' odx &s dwXws &ya06s. Kal 
&(fu€p €Ik&v kcrri rov 0€ov rov dopdrov /eai /card rovro 0(6f, dXX' ol vtpi oi 
\iyti airrds 6 Xpitrrds, tva yivdHnewrl at rhv puivw dXfjOivby $t6v of/rcas tlinin^ 



1 82 Origen. [Lect. 

Origen hesitatingly suggests the question whether there 
may not be in the Father abysses of knowledge, glory, 
power beyond all that is given to the Son^. These 
however must not be insisted upon. Where he pro- 
nounces his real thought, the difference between the 
Persons is conceived not as quantitative nor as quali- 
tative, but as modal simply. The Son qua Son is 
inferior to the Father qua Father. 

' Speculate not,' says Gregory Nazianzen, * upon the 
Divine Generation, for it is not safe ... let the doctrine 
be honoured silently ... It is a great thing for thee to 
know the fact; the mode we cannot admit that even 



iffoB&njTos dAX' oOx &s i varffp drnfiaWdxTcas Aya06f. The best comment 
on this passage is afforded by In Matth. xiv. 7, airrbs y6p iariv & BaatX^hs 
rSrv oipavSfv, koX &(rv€p alT65 kcrriv 1) avrocwpia koL 1) airroSiHcuoavvfj nai f 
avToaXfjOeta, offTca fiij[iroT€ teat 1) alrofiaatKda, Bnt here again it will be 
observed not t6 alrroayaBSv. Now as the whole existence of the Son is 
derived from the Father, and He is therefore strictly speaking no more 
airrocrofia than alroayoBSy, it will be evident that Origen is here straggling 
against his own principles and endeavonring to rednce the doctrine of 
Derivation and Subordination, which he had inherited from his predecessors, 
to the narrowest limits consistent with the direct teaching of Scriptnre. 
There is a sense even in which the Son may be called the Absolute Good, 
if not in respect of God yet in respect of man : &s fjiiv irp6s rhv iraripa thc&v 
iffriv dyaOSrijTos, &s 8J irpbs rd, XomSi Sntp ^ rod waTpbs dya$6njs wpds aiT6r, 
In Matth, xv. 10. What struck later ages as the novelty and audacity of 
Origen^s doctrine was in truth its archaism and conservatism. ' La v^t^, 
c'est que la pens^e d*Orig^ne se meut dans deux directions tout oppos^. 
Lorsqu'il ne suit que la logique et les id^es oil sa fervente pi^t^ Tinclinait, 
il va ^ r^galit^ des personnes divines. Lorsqu'il s*en tient k la tradition . . . 
il recule devant les consequences de sa pi^t^ et de la logique, et se jette \. 
rextr^mit^ oppos^e;* Denis, p. iii. 

^ De Princ, iv. 35, £larc isiaX \v r^ i^octV b vat^p fiti{6va>s leal rpea^oripen 
not TtkfioTtpws vottrcu Up* iavTov 1j inrb rov vlov : Injoann. xxxii. 18 the 
glory which the Father has in Himself is greater than that which He has in 
His Son. On the other hand, Injoann. i. 27 the Son's knowledge is equal 
to that of the Father. Redepenning, ii. 277 sqq.; Denis, iii sqq. ; Ori- 
geniana, ii. 2. 19 (Lom. xxii. p. 172); Bull, ii. 9. At any rate Origen 
did not think himself debarred from considering the question. 



v.] Subordination. 183 

angels understand, much less thou^.' It is a wise 
admonition, but it is double-edged, and must not be so 
applied as to smite Origen alone. Nor indeed is it just 
to blame him here for presumption. He could not, he 
dared not, shrink back where the word of God led him 
on. He could not think that a truth three times at 
least pressed upon the Church by Christ Himself might 
safely be ignored. To his dauntless spirit these words 
of the Master seemed to be not a scandal but a flash of 
light. They spoke of the supreme anchor of all our ' 
hopes, the transcendental Goodness of Him from whom 
all things ultimately proceed, of that day when Christ 
shall render up His Kingdom to the Father, and God, , 
the Good, shall be all in all. Lastly, let us remember, he ^ 
is speaking, though more emphatically than others, the 
belief of his time ^. He was condemned by Jerome and 
Justinian ; but he has been acquitted by Athanasius and 
theologians of every school to whom history and Scripture 
do not speak in vain. 

The objections urged in ancient times against Origen s 
Subordinationism, objections resting in many cases on 
the most serious misapprehension, may for the present 
be dismissed ^. But there is one true consequence of his 
view so momentous that it must not be passed over. 
I refer to his teaching on the subject of prayer offered to / 
the Son. 

He has declared himself upon this point many times. 



^ Orat. xxxT. 29. 30 ; in Migne, xxix. 8. 

' See the catena of patristic explanations of John xiv. 28 given by Dr. 
Westcott, Gospel of St. John, p. 213, ed. 1882. * Towards the close of the 
fonrth century the opinion began to gain currency that the superior greatness 
of the Father was referred to the human life of the Son.' 

' The curious reader will find them in the Origeniana, 



1 84 Origen. [Lect. 

especially in the Celsus. *Away with the advice of 
Celsus that we should pray to demons. For we must 
pray only to the Supreme God, yes, and we must pray 
to the Only-Begotten and Firstborn of every creature, 
and beseech Him as our High Priest to offer to His God 
(.and our God, to His Father and the Father of all that 
live, our prayers as they come first to Him.' The 
meaning of these words is explained at large in the 
Treatise upon Prayer. Starting from the text of St. 
Paul, ' I exhort therefore that first of all supplications, 
prayers, intercessions and giving of thanks be made for 
all men^,' he proceeds to draw a distinction between 
these four terms. Prayer in its proper sense, he con- 
cludes, is that which the soul sends up with clearest 



1 I Tim. ii. i : wapaxaXu oZy vp&rov nSofrcjv voiciffOcu 8€i}<rci;, irpofftvx&^f 
kvT(i&(€is, cdxapi(rr/a( imip vdvrwv AvOpdnrwy. There is a difficulty in ex- 
plaining Origen's meaning because ' prayer ' must be used as the equivalent 
both of cix4 s^cl of Ttpoa&txh* £^x4 seems to be regarded as the genus 
including these four species. Airjais is defined t^ irc^ (^ the English 
editor) iWehcvrSs rivi /m^* Ucffias v^pi rod k/etivov rvx^tv i»airtixroiihniv 
flx'fiv. It is prayer without worship (vpoaipuvrjais). Intercession is a con- 
fident appeal for benefits to oneself or to others, r^ lw6 wapprjffiay riviL 
vKflova txovros vtpi rivafy d^loaaiv vpbs $t6v : the difference here lies in the 

(character of the speaker, it is the address of a son to his father. It should 
be added that Origen lays down not only that we must pray to God'through 
Christ, but that we must not pray to Him in any other way. In the opening 
of the eighth book Contra Celsum where Origen is replying to the reproach 
of Celsus that the Christian served two Masters and so introduced ardtriSf 
hostile division, between the old Deity and the new, he uses of Christ not 
merely rificty and $(pav€v€iv, but ffifieiv, Oprja/et^etp, dovXci^civ, referring to John 
V. 33; X. 30; xiv. 11; xvii. 2a. litd. i. 51 Christ is 6 hirb XptauavSav 
vpofftevyo^fjitvos. Worship, the highest adoration, is offered to God through 
Christ, and to Christ as He is in, as He is One with the Father. This will 
explain the language of the De Oratione where it is said that worship 
ivpoff/aimjffts) belongs to Christ only in a figurative sense, not absolutely or 
in His own right. Everywhere Origen's language is the same. With the 
fullest recognition of the Divinity of the Son there is the constant warning 
that we must not forget that God is our Father and the Father of all that is. 



v.] Prayer to Christ. 185 

insight for the higher spiritual gifts, and is accompanied 
by a Doxology. The three lower forms of petition/ 
may be addressed to men for help or pardon, or to 
saints or angels, or to the Holy Spirit or Christ, the 
last and highest only to the Father in the Son's 
name ^. 

He does not, it will be observed, forbid the Christian 
to pray to Christ as God. He refers to the prayers of 
the Penitent Thief, of Stephen, of the father of the 
lunatic child, all addressed to the Son and the Son 
alone, and he himself prays to the Son in the same 
way ^. We may throw light upon his meaning by refer- 



* Contra Celsum^y. 4 ; viii. 13, 26 ; De Orat, 14, 15. The words 'with 
clearest insight * are given as a translation of fJt€yaXo<pv4aT€pov in De Orat, 
14 (Lorn. xvii. 142). It is justified by the observation that fi€yaKo<l>v4s is 
frequently used of the mystic spiritual sense. Prayer in the sense of suppli- 
cation, dirjais, to saints, tbui. (Lorn. xvii. 146), r^v bk b4rjcriv fji6yois Ayiois, c7 
Tis €ifp(0€iij Uavkos 1j nirpos, tva &(f>€\i^ffaHriy '^nas d^tovs iroiowrcs rod rvxc<V 
r^s ifSofAiyfjs adroTs k^ovaias wpbs rd dfuipr^fiara aufniycu, Origen no doubt 
r^[arded this kind of prayer as lawfully offered to saints, whether on earth 
or in heaven. As regards the Angels see Contra Celsunty v. 4; viii. 57, but 
especially viii. 13, where Origen says that a sort of Btpavcla may be offered 
to the angels if we understand exactly what we mean by the word. In De 
Mart. 6, 7 he denies that either Xarpefa or "npoaKxrvqais could be offered to 
Angels, but this language does not exclude prayer provided that in prayer 
we do not confound these high servants of the Almighty with their Maker 
and Master. In this sense Origen may be said to pray to the guardian 
Angel of the newly baptized, In Ezech, Horn. i. 7 (Lorn. xiv. 20), Omnia 
angelis plena sunt, veal Angele, suscipe sermone conversum ab errore priStino. 

' Contra Celsum^ v. 4, Sei^aofitOa 8^ xal avrov rod \6yov hoI kvriv^6iuOa aOr$ 
leat cdxct/Korr^flro/ACViva} vpoffcv(6fic0a b4, idv Svpd)fji€0a KarajcovHv T^svipi irpoa- 
cvx^s Kvpio\€^ias leai /eaTaxp^<T€CJ5 : explained ibid. viii. 26, fi6v(p ydp trpoatvK- 
t4ov r^ ivl vcUft 0«f Kcd npocrtvKTiov ye t$ fiovoycvti Kal vpojTor6K<f ir&ffrjs 
fcrlatcaSt \6y<if 0€ov, teal d^icariov airriv &s dpxt^p^a rifi^ iv* abrhv <p0dffa<ray "^fiwy 
fhyj^v difwpipHV M rhy Othv airrw koX Of by ilpJUnr, kclL varipa avrov koI varipa 
rSjy fiiotnrrcjv xard rhv \6yov rov O^ov, Hymns were sung to the Father 
and to Christ, Ibid. viii. 67. See also In Exodum, Hom. xiii. 3, Domine 
Jesu, praesta mihi ut aliquid monumenti habere merear in tabemaculo tuo : 
In Levit, Hom. i. i, ipse igitur nobis Dominus, ipse Spiritus Sanctus depre- 



1 86 Origm. [Lect. 

ence to his favourite idea of the Epinoiau We may 
address the Saviour, in immediate supplication, for those 
boons which it is His special province to bestow- But 
in the supreme moment of adoration, when the soul 
strains upwards to lay itself as a sacrifice before the 
highest object of thought, we must not stop short of 
Him who is above alL Such prayer is necessarily 
attended by a *doxology,' a clear recognition of the 
Nature of Him before whom we stand, and in the 
doxology the Father's Name is first. Origen appeals 
to the express command of Jesus, * Whatsoever ye shall 
ask the Father He will give it in My name,' to the usage 
of Scripture, and lastly to the usage of the Church. 

It is probable that at this very time a change wa s 
creeping^ into the language of worship. 'Are we not 

candus est, nt omnem nebnlam, omnemqne caliginem, quae peccatoram 
soidibns concreta visum nostri cordis obscnrat, aufene dignetur : In Livit 
Horn. y. 5, Dominum meum Jesnm inyocaie me opoitet ut qnaerentem me 
faciat inrenire et pulsanti aperiat : In Num. Hom. xxv. 3,nos autem oiemns 
ex corde Verbum Dei, qui est unigenitus eius, et qui revelat Patrem quibus 
vult, ut et nobis haec revelare dignetur : In Ezech. Hom. iii. 4, Praesta mihi, 
Christe, ut disrumpam cervicalia in animarum consuta luxuriam : In Rom, 
viii. 4, Sed et in principio Epistolae, quam ad Corinthios scribit, ubi didt 
' cum omnibus qui invocant nomlsn Domini nostri Jesu Christi, in omni loco 
ipsorum et nostro,* eum cuius nomen invocatur Dominum (al. Deum) Jesum 
Christum esse pronuntiat. Si eigo et Enos et Moses et Aaron et Samuel 
' invocabant Dominum et ipse exaudiebat eos,* sine dubio Christum Jesum 
Dominum invocabant: et si invocare nomen Domini et orare Dominum 
unum atque idem est, sicut invocatur Deus invocandus est Christns, et sicut 
oratnr Deus ita et onmdus est Christus . . . Unum namque utrique honorem 
deferendum, id est Patri et Filio, divinus edocet sermo, cum dicit ' ut omnes 
honorificent Filium sicut honorificant Patrem.' But this last passage goes 
beyond Origen's usual language and may have been amended by Rufinns. 
It will be observed that he insists upon the difference between the nvptoKt^ia 
and Kar&xpficiSf the absolute and relative sense, of Prayer, and that his own 
Prayers to the Son are ejaculatory and brief. The reader may consult 
Lucke, De Invocatume Jesu Christi inprecibus Christianorum accuratius 
definienda, Gottingae, 1843 ; Redepenning, Origenes, ii. 38 sqq. ; Bingham, 
xiii. 2. 3. 



v.] Prayer to Christ. 187 

divided,' he asks, * if we pray some to the Father, some 
to the Son, falling into the error of ignorant men because 
we have never enquired into the real nature of what we 
are doing ^?' Strange and innovating as his words may- 
seem to us, they are really the very opposite of this. 
They are a plea for ancient usage in a time of change- 
It has been thought that his protest refers specially to 
the Eucharist, the Anaphora or Missa Fidelium, in which 
for long after this time there was no direct address to 
the Son^. But in truth it has a wider scope. He is 
warning his readers not against excessive devotion to 
* the Lord and Saviour Jesus,' for in this Origen himself 
yields to none, nor against the fullest belief in Christ's 
Divinity, for here also Origen's doctrine, in the judgment 
of those most worthy of our deference, stands above 
suspicion, but against the language, if I may risk the 

* De Orat. i6. 

' At the time when Gregory the Great mtroduoed the Christe Eleison into 
the Roman Mass it was not found in the Greek Liturgies. Greg. Ej>p. ix. 
1 2, Adjoannem Syracusanum Episcopum : ' Kyrie Eleison autem nos neque 
diximus neque dicimus sicut a Graecis dicitur, quia in Graecis simul omnes 
dicunt, apud nos autem a clericis dicitur et a populo respondetur, et totidem 
vicibus etiam Christe Eleison dicitur, quod apud Graecos nuUo modo dicitur.' 
The K3nie Eleison had been introduced into the Western Mass about the be- 
ginning of the sixth century ; see Canon 3 of Cone. Vasense III. in Mansi, viii. 
727. In the Church of Africa a protest was made at the end of the fourth 
century against the insertion of prayers to the Son in the Mass. See the 21st 
of the second series of Canons of the Synod of Hippo held in 393 (Hefele, 
vol. ii. p. 398, Elng. trans.) : ' In prayers no one shall address the Son instead 
of the Father or the Father instead of the Son, except at the altar, when 
prayer shall always be addressed to the Father. No one shall make use of 
strange forms of prayer without having first consulted well-instructed brethren.* 
Probst, Liturgie, pp. 141 sqq., finds in the four words defined by Origen an 
outline of the whole Liturgy. Aii^ffis, he thinks, means the prayers of the 
Catechumens and Penitents ; irpocrevxfi, the Thanksgiving, Trisagion, and 
Confession ; iyT€v(is, the Memento ; and ti/xapiffTla, the Thanksgiving after 
Communion. His view is too ingenious, but it seems not unlikely that by 
vpofftvxft Origen means particularly the prayers that accompanied the 
Eucharist. 



1 88 OHgen. [Lect 

phrase, of partial adoration, which verges on the one 
hand towards Noetianism, on the other towards some 
form of Gnosticism, that is of moral opposition. Is it 
too much to assert that the latter and graver danger has 
more than once been perilously near at hand, that the 
Father has, in appearance at any rate, been obscured 
behind the Son, as the Son in turn behind the Virgin 
and the Saints ? 

It is curious to observe that Origen himself contributed, 
perhaps more than any one else, to direct and feed this 
movement by his Commentary and Homilies on the 
Song of Songs. He undertook the work with many 
misgivings, for he was startled at finding the Greek word 
which denotes sexual affection used, as he thought, of the 
love between Christ and His mystical Bride. But he 
persuaded himself that there is no real difference between 
the Eros of poetry and the Agape of the New Testament. 
/ * It matters not therefore which word we use of God. 
Nor do I think any one can be blamed if he calls God 
Eros^ as John called Him Agape. Lastly, I remember 
that one of the Saints, Ignatius by name, said of Christ, 
"My Eros is crucified;" nor do I think he should be 
censured.' Jerome said of the Homilies on the Canticles 
that Origen, who had surpassed all other writers in his 
other books, had in this surpassed himself. It gave 
welcome expression to what after the triumph of Atha- 
nasius was the dominant feeling, and redeemed in some 
degree the fame of its author, damaged by his supposed 
inclination to Arianism. And thus Origen, the first 
pioneer in so many fields of Christian thought, the 
father in one of his many aspects of the English Lati- \ 
tudinarians, became also the spiritual ancestor of Bernard, 



I 



v.] 



The Incarnation. 



189 



the Victormes, and the author of the De Imitatiane^ of 
Tauler and MoHnos and Madame de Guyon ^. 

In Subordinationism, in the theory of the Two Lives, 
above all in Allegorism, we may still discern the hand of 
Philo. But the influence of the illustrious Jew was far 
weaker on Origen than it had been on Clement. No- 
where is this emancipation so visible as in the doctrine of 
the Incarnation. Greatest of all miracles is this, that the 
Very Word and Wisdom of God should have dwelt 
within the frame of that Man who appeared in Judaea, 
should have been born and wailed as an infant, should 
have died and risen again. The understanding of man 
is stupefied and knows not whither to turn. If we think 
of Him as God, behold He is Man ; if as Man, we see 
Him returning from the grave, bearing in triumph the 
spoils of conquered death 2. 

Origen's view of the God-Man — a term which he first 
employed — differs from the ordinary view, generally 
speaking, only in so far as it is conditioned by his 
opinions of the preexistence of the Soul and of the 
nature of the resurrection body. 

He is the first to speak at large of the Human Soul of 
Jesus. Like other souls, it was eternal and eternally 



\ 



^ See the Prologue to the Commentary on the Song of Songs, and Jerome's 
PrefiEice to his translation of the Homilies on the same book. It need 
hardly be said that Origen himself remains faithful to the ideal point of 
view, and is never betrayed into the imagery of earthly passion used by the 
monastic writers on the subject of 'the Bridegroom*s Kiss* and similar 
phrases. These widowed spirits transferred to Jesus that ' mortal yearning * 
which they were forbidden to indulge towards wife or husband. Hence 
the Mysticism of the Middle Ages, so alluring in its finer manifestations, so 
revolting, so nearly allied to the most frightful form of h3rpocrisy in its 
coarser shapes. 

" Dt Princ, ii. 6. a. 



190 Origen. ' [Lect; 

united with the Word. From the first it received Him 
wholly, and clove to Him inseparably. It was like in all 
things to all other human souls, free as they, but the 

^ perfection of love, the singleness of worthiness bound it 
so closely to the Godhead, that the union of the two may 
be compared to a mass of iron glowing for ever with a 
white heat. He who should touch the iron would feel not 
the iron but the fire. Hence in Scripture we commonly 
find the titles proper to the Humanity of our Lord 
transferred to His Divinity and conversely. It is the 

- Communicatio Idiomatunt ^. 

The flgsb of Jesus was pure from all birth stain, from 
all defilement of every kind ^- It was real flesh. His 

* De Princ, ii. 6. 4 sqq. ; Injoann. i. 37 ; xx. 17 ; Contra Celsum, i. 32, 
33. Nevertheless the properties of the Two Natures xemain in truth 
distinct, Contra Celsum,jVi^i^ ; vii. 16. Redepenning, ii. 387, points out 
that the soul of Christ being sinless was in Origen^s theory not a soul at all. 
For the word ^x4 is derived fancifully from ^vx^j <uid explained to mean 
'the spirits whose love had grown cold' through their defection from God. 
There is certainly an inconsistency here ; but Origen held, as we shall see in 
the next Lecture, that many sinless or nearly sinless spirits had assumed 
flesh to aid in our redemption. Other difficulties have been raised by those 
who are determined to see something unsound in all that Origen wrote. If 
the soul of Christ existed before the union, can it be said to have deserved 
the union ? Again, ' ex unione hypostatica Verbi cum anima aut peccatrice 
aut quae peccare et danmari potuisset sequereter de Verbo sic ei unito idem 
ob communionem idiomatum did posse,' see the Origeniana, This how* 
ever is absurd. According to Origen the soul of Christ was created sinless 
but free. It was in the same position as the soul of Adam before the Fall, 
and by its union with the Word was removed for ever from the possibility of 
sin. Origen proves the existence of Christ's human soul partly by Scripture, 
e. g. Matth. xxvi. 38, * My soul is exceeding sorrowful,' partly by the con- 
sideration that it was necessary as a link of connection between the Godhead 
and the Flesh, see De Princ. ii. 6. 

' In Levit. Hom. xii. 4. Hence when, as In Levit. Hom. ix. 6, Origen 
regards the High Priest Joshua ' clothed in filthy garments ' (Zech. iii. 3) as 
a type of the Incarnation, we must understand him to be speaking merely of 
the Saviour's humiliation. This is expressly stated In Lucam, Hom. xiv, 
' ut autem scias Jesum quoque sordidatum sentiendum secundum ignominiam 



v.] The Incarnation. 191 

Life, His Passion were in no sense fantastic ^. So real / 
was His Body that we cannot accept in the literal sense 
the story of His being carried up into a mountain by the 
Tempter 2. But as the pellucent alabaster vase shows ^ 
the fire within, so the flesh of Jesus was at times suffused 
by the glory of the indwelling Deity. So it was espe- 
cially at the Transfiguration, so it was according to an 
ancient tradition throughout the year of His ministry. 
Some saw but the figure without grace or comeliness of 
the carpenter's son, but those whose eyes were opened 
by the Spirit discerned the beauty of the Word flashing 
through the veil of matter. Hence it came to pass that 
the followers of Judas at the Betrayal knew not who He 
was ; the darkness of their own souls was projected 
upon the features of Him they sought. In this beautiful 
fancy we may perhaps recognise the last faint trace of 
Docetism ^ 

crncis, non secundum ipsam quam assmnpsit sanctam camem.' So again, In 
Levit. Horn. viii. 2, the law of purification applies to every woman * quae 
susceperit semen et pepererit.' The last words are intended to exclude the 
Virgin. See also In Rom. vi. 1 2. 
v^ ' Cont ra Qelsum^ iii. 23 ; iv. 19. As Man He was not diro^airXws dva^f, 
as Clement taught : KaOh Z\ SvO pontes fiv^itayrhs fmXKov Mp&nrov ictHOfffirffjkivos 
Tp dtefHj^ /^^'''oxv ^^^ avTo\6yov Koi r^s airoaoif^as, vtrifieivfy &s trwpbs nal 
rikeios &n€p ^XPV^ inrofitiycu rbv vtrlp vavrbs rov ytvow twv &y$pdnrajVf 1j leal 
rSfv XoyiK&y, v&vTa vparrovra. Contra Celsum^ vii. 1 7. He suffered sorrow 
at Gethsemane, In Matth, Comm. Series, 92 ; temptation, In Luc. Horn, 
xxix. 

' De Princ, iv. 16, Quod* secundum literam quomodo fieri potuisse 
videbitur, ut vel in excelsum montem educeretur a diabolo Jesus, vel etiam 
camalibus oculis eius tanquam subiecta, et adiacentia uni monti omnia 
mundi ostenderet regna. 

' In Matth, Com. Series, 100; Contra Celsum, ii. 64. Connected with 
this perhaps is his refusal to accept the ancient view that the human form of 
Jeisus'was wanting in beauty or dignity. See Contra Celsum, vi. 75, where 
he cbnlrasts Is. Iiii. 1-3 with Psalm xlv. 3, 4, vtpiicaaau ri^v fiofupalav aov 
kw\ Toy fjttjp6v aov, twari, ry dipaiirrfTi aov icai rf KdKkti aov. Origen. 
appears to have thought that Jesus resembled John the Baptist in features, 



192 Origen. The Ascension. 

Jesus truly rose from the dead, not in this flesh but in 
that glorified Body of which St. Paul speaks. Pure as 
it is, as it was, it is the Body of our Brother, and our 
High Priest may be said to need purification for the sins 
of the people that are laid upon Him^. Hence the 
mysterious * Touch Me not.' * At even He washed His 
garment in wine, that is His blood.' * It was necessary 
that my Lord and Saviour should not only be bom 
among men but also descend into hell, that as a man 
prepared He might lead the scapegoat into the wilder- 
ness, and returning thence, His work being now achieved, 
might ascend to the Father, and there be purified more 
fully at that heavenly altar, that He might endow with* 
perpetual purity the pledge of our flesh which He had , 
carried up with Him.' 

hence the mistake of Herod, Matth. xiv. 2 ; In Joann. vi. 30. He was 
baptized in the month of January ; In Ezech, Horn. i. 4. 

' In Levit, Hom. ix. 5 ; In Joann, vi. 37. Redepenning therefore is 
wrong in speaking of Origen's ' Auflosimg der menschlichen Natnr des Herm 
bei der Erhohung desselben.' Whatever criticisms attach to Origen's view of 
the Resurrection of men attach also to his view of the Resurrection of Jesus, 
but no others. 



\\ 



•/ 



LECTURE VI. 

That God may he all in alL—i Cor. xt. a8. 

Creation, as the word is commonly understood, was 
in Origen's views not the beginning, but an intermediate 
phase in human history. Aeons rolled away before this 
world was made; aeons upon aeons, days, weeks, months ( 
and years, sabbatical years, jubilee years of aeons will 
run their course, before the end is attained. 

The one fixed point in this gigantic drama is the end, 
for this alone has been clearly revealed, * God shall be? 
all in all.' There will come a time when man, com-^ 
pletely subjected to Christ by the operation of the Holy" 
Ghost, shall in Christ be completely subjected to the 
Father. But now, he adds, the end is always like theii/ 
beginning^. The manifold diversity of the world is tol^^.^t^ 
close in unity, it must then have sprung from unity. 

^ De Princ, i. 6. 2, Semper enim similis est finis initiis, et ideo sicut 
tinus omnium finis, ita nnus omnium intelligi debet initium. The end of 
all intelligent work is perfection ; it cannot be regarded as ended till per- 
fection is attained. ' Finis vel consummatio rerum perfectarum consimima- 
tarumque esse videtur indicium/ But the beginning is the desire of perfection, 
and though absolute Wisdom plans the beginning in such a way that it 
carries within itself the means of its own fulfilment, each stage in the de- 
velopment is preparatory to all that follow, and in this sense inferior to 
them, and in this sense evil, relatively evil and relatively good. Even in 
God's work then it is not strictly true that the end is alwajrs like the be* 
ginning. The caution given by Origen at the commencement of this 
chapter applies to all his speculations outside the letter of the Creed and 
must never be forgotten : ' Nunc autem disputandi specie, magis quam 
definiendi, prout possumus, exercemur.* Compare i. 6. 4, Certius tamen 
qualiter se habitura sit res, scit solus Deus, et si qui eius per Christum et 
Spiritum Sanctum amid sunt ; iL 6. 6, Si quis. sane melius aliquid poterit 
invenire, et evidentioribus de Scripturis Sanctis assertionibus confirmare quae 
didt, ilia potius quam haec redpiantur. Innumerable passages of the same 

O 



^^' 



\ 



1 94 Origen. [Lect. 

His expansion of this theory is in fact an elaborate 
commentary upon the eighth chapter of the Epistle to 
the Romans and the fifteenth chapter of the First 
Epistle to the Corinthians. These he felt were the 
two keys, the one to the eternity before, the other to 
the eternity after. 

What is it that we see ? A vast creation orderly and 
beautiful, yet manifestly out of joint. Everywhere the 
or<ier is crossed and marred, yet the disorder is not 
intentional. It is that of an organism striving to shake 
off a mortal disease. The soul wrestles with the body, 
and the thrill of man's agony is felt by the great system 
of which he is a member. * The whole creation groaneth 
and travaileth together in pain until now.' What do 
these words mean? If we look upwards, we see Sun, 
Moon and Stars, intelligent creatures like ourselves, 
condemned to minister to our needs, nourishing the 
fruits of earth for our subsistence, marking the seasons 
for our direction. If we search the Scriptures, we read 
of Angels and Archangels, who are all of them * min- 
istering spirits.' So *the creature was made subject 
unto vanity,' ordained to help the vain and corruptible 
body of man, not willingly, but by reason of God who 
hath subjected the same in hope. And the hope is * the 
manifestation of the sons of God,' the day when those 
things shall be revealed, which God has prepared for 
those who shall deserve to be His Sons, or when, the 
veil being taken away, it shall be known that they are 
His Sons. Nay the trouble of sin reaches higher still. 

kind might be cited, but these will suffice. The reader will understand that 
Origen never dogmatises. This point is insisted upon byPamphilus in the 
Apologia, 



VL] Disorder of Nature. 195 

As yet even the Saviour will not 'drink wine' in the 
kingdom of God. He will not drink it, for He is alone. 
He waits for us. He will not receive His perfect glory- 
without thee, that is without His people, which is His 
Body. Thus all evil is resolved into sin. And sin is not \ 
isolated or individual. For all intelligent creatures are 
knit together in a solidarity so close, that the defect 
of one clouds the felicity and impedes the energies of all. 
But again, we see apparent injustice. Everywhere 
there is inequality. Star differeth from star in glory. 
Among the angels themselves there are grades — thrones, 
dominations, princedoms, powers — there are even those 
who have fallen wholly from their high estate. On 
earth it is the same. One man is bom within the fold 
of God's Church, another in polished Athens, a third 
is a lawless Scythian or a cannibal Ethiope. There are ! . 
the wise man and the fool, the rich and the poor, the | 
civilised and the squalid savage. Everywhere Jacob is ; 
chosen, while Esau is cast out. The facts of life led/ 
the Gnostics to predestination, the sense of violated 
justice to the belief in conditional immortality. But it \ 
appeared to Origen, that the equity of God was imper- 
fectly vindicated by a theory, which assigned to the 
majority of mankind a life of misery rounded off by 
annihilation. Thus opposition to Gnosticism becomes' 
the motive of his practical theology, as it was also of 
his exegesis. Yet on one main point he is in agreement 
with the great Gnostic chief Basilides. Evil flows from 
precedent evil. But, as differences of circumstance and 
faculty are congenital, it follows that this life must be re- 
garded as the continuation of one that h£is gone before ^. 

* For the fonndation of the preceding sections^ see De Princ, ii. 9 ; In 

0% 



1 96 Origm. [Lect. 

Whence then comes Evil? Not from God, for God 
would then not be God. Not from Matter, for this is 
another form of fatalism, leading directly to the hope- 
less Stoic doctrine, that the quantity of evil is fixed and 
unalterable. It must then be the work of man ^. 

In the beginning God created the heavens and the 
earth, that is the perfect heavens and earth, and peopled 
this world with Intelligences, forming in the Son the 

Rom, vii. 4 sqq. ; In Num. Horn, xxiii. 2 ; In Lev. Horn. vii. 2 ; Denis, 
Philosophie (TOrighUf chapter on Cosmologie\ Redepenning, ii. 315 sqq.; 
Guerike, ii. 185 sqq. ; Hamack, pp. 539 sqq. 

^ On the Stoic doctrine, see Lecture vii. It was held also by some at 
any rate of the Platonists, as for instance Celsns. So Contra Celsum, iv. 62, 
KOJtd. 8' iv rdts oZffiv o&rc 7rp6<r$€Vf otrrc vvv, otrrc aZOis fprrm leal irX«ta; yivotr 
&v. Mia yap ^ rSiv <i\wv <p^<ris Kai 1) aMf, teat leaieSrv yh€<ns dc2 1^ axtTfi, The 
same fatal notion is at the bottom of the smiling toleration of M. Aurelins. 
To philosophers of this school nothing is intolerable but enthusiasm. 
Celsus continueSi ' It is not easy for any one but a philosopher to understand 
the nature of evil ; ' Ibid. 65. Origen replies, ' It is not easy even for the 
philosopher, nor perhap>s possible Icb' iiri $€ov imirvoUf. Evil is not of God, 
nor yet of matter, r6 ydp i/cd<TTov '^ye/Mviicbv alnov rijs vvoffrdatjs Iv ajbrf 
Kcuclas iffrlv, Ijris kffrl t6 Kanov,* Ibid, 66. The subject is recurred to Ibid, 
vi. 54 sqq. Virtue and Vice are good and evil Kvpion, Bodily goods or 
ills, rd irpoijyfiiua, dvowpoijyfiiva, are good or evil tcaraxpijcrTiKd/Tcpoy, To 
these latter refers Isaiah xlv. 7. * Evil then, if by the word we understand 
that which is essentially evil, God did not create, though some evils, few in 
number if compared with the order of the whole world, followed as a con- 
sequence upon the plan of His work, just as spiral shavings and sawdust 
follow as a consequence upon the plan of a carpenter^s work, just as builders 
seem to ** make *' the heaps of broken stone and mortar that are left lying by 
the side of their buildings.' As to evils then in the secondary sense, we may 
admit that God is their author, tva did, Toirosv Imarpi^jf rivds, as similar 
so-called evils are caused by fathers^ teachers, surgeons, for corrective pur- 
poses. Of moral evil Origen speaks sometimes as if it were positive, some- 
times as if it were negative. De Princ, ii. 9. 2, Certum namque est malum 
esse bono carere; but again just below, in contrarium boni, quod sine 
dubio malum est, trahebatur. But God does not know evil or the evil man. 
This is illustrated by the words, * Adam, where art thou?' of Gen. iii. 9. 
This is from Philo, cf. In Psalm, i. 6 (Lom. xi. 392) with Leg, Allege iii. 17 
(i. 97). See also below, p. 200. For the mode in which God brings good 
out of evil the reader should turn to In Num, Horn. xiv. a, one of the finest 
passages in all Origen. ^< 



VI.] Creation. The Fall. 197 

ideas, which were then reah'sed by the Son as Agent ^. 
The Intelligences were limited in number, for Wisdom I 
is finite, and cannot comprehend the infinite. Except: 
the Holy Trinity nothing is incorporeal. Each of the 
created spirits had from the first an envelope, a principle 
of differentiation, a body, adapted to the nature of its 
environment, at first then of fine ethereal texture fitted 
in all respects for its celestial habitation. The spirits 
were equal and like, but they were free. Some sinned / 
and fell, some remained stedfast in their first estate, or 
rose to higher levels of power and goodness. The latter 
are the stars, the angels in the various degrees of their 
hierarchy. Of those who rebelled some became devils, 
fiends or archfiends, according to the manifold pro- 
portions of their transgression. But those whose error 
was less, whose love of God is cold yet not extinct (it 
is one of Origen's fanciful etymologies^), turned into 
'souls,' better or worse according as the faculties of 
sense and desire gained the upper hand over the in- 
telligence. For these at any rate there is hope of resti- 
tution, yet only through chastisement. The appointed 
scene of their discipline is this world, a later and grosser 
niodd of the first. It is infinitely various, to afford scope 
for the treatment proper to every phase of character, ' like 
a great house, in which are vessels of gold and silver, 
of wood and clay, some to honour and some to dis- 
honour.' * Wherefore neither will the Creator seem 

* De Princ, ii. 9. Philo and Clement explained the first verse of Genesis of 
the creation of the Ideal World. To Origen it denotes the creation of the first, 
the perfect, but still material world. Thus he tells us of two creations, and 
if we may add the creation of Ideas in the Son (see above, p. 169), of three. 

' Vtix^i ^rom ^x^> to niake cold. Plato, Cratylus, 399 £, suggests the 
same derivation in a different sense. It is called ^xh because it dra^vxcc 



J 



1 98 Origen. [Lect. 

unjust, when He distributes to each his earthly lot, nor 
will any one think, that birth happy or unhappy is ruled 
by chance, nor that there are different creators, nor that 
souls have different natures.' 

Origen rejected the Platonic doctrine of Metempsy- 
» ' chosis^, but he adopted that of pre-existence, and that 
which ascribes a soul to the stars. Both he found in 
Philo, and both were regarded as open questions in 
the Church 2. It is not necessary to dwell at any length 
upon the philosophic difficulties attending his theory. 
* He has not attempted to get rid of the break of con- 

^ Origen no dot ibt held that at the ResprrCQ.t.ioR^tbfi,.SQBlj3a§§eg froBaong, 
jN% ^ f V* V / body into an other. He himself insisted that the Resurrection body was in 
' ^ \, ■' ' ^^ a true sense the same as the body of this life, but it is open to any one to 



'' ^ Av*o( '♦•vvNi ^ ' argue that he has not proved the identity. See further on in this Lecture. 
\ But Metempsychosis in the sense of a migration of the soul into another 

human body or into the body of a beast, a plant, and so forth in another 
life on this same earth (and this is the only meaning of the woid) he cer- 
tainly did not hold j see Contra Celsum, iv. 7 ; v. 49 ; viii. 30 ; In Rom, v. 
I ; vi. 8 ; /» Mat. x. 20 ; xi. 17 ; xiii. i ; In Joan, vi. 7. Yet Justinian 
and Jerome charged him with asserting it. Unfortunately the passage on 
which their accusation is based, De Princ, i. 8. 4 adjin,, has been modified 
by Rufinus. A fragment of the Greek will be found in the Ad Menam, a 
Latin abstract in Jerome's Ep, ad Avitum. Both are given in the footnote 
in Lommatzsch. Jerome himself allows that Origen concluded his dis- 
cussion with the words * haec iuxta nostram sententiam non sint dogmata, 
sed quaesita tantum atque proiecta, ne penitus intractata viderentur.' 
Proiecta here means ' rejected ;' ' discussionis gratia dicta sint, et abiiciantur' 
is the version of Pamphilus, Apologia, ix. ad Jin, Pamphilus adds that 
the words objected to were not Origen's own but were put into the mouth 
of an adversary or interlocutor. See Origeniana, ii. 6. 1 7 sqq. ; Denis, 
pp. 190 sqq. 

' He found them also in Scripture. Psalm cxlviii. 3, 'Praise Him, all ye 
stars of light;' Job xxv. 5, * The stars are not pure in his sight.* Neither 
Jerome nor Augustine ventures to deny that the stars, may have souls. 
Ambrqsius agrees with Origen, and even Aquinas regards the question as 
open ; Origeniana, IL 8. 2 sqq. The great support of the pre-existence 
doctrine was John ix. 2, ' Master, who did sin, this man or his parents, that 
he was bom blind?' Jerome himself at one time held pre-existence. 
Augustine did not deny it, and down to the time of Gregory the Great the 



VI.] Inherent Difficulties. 199 

sciousness between the two lives, as Plato did, by the 
idea of partial reminiscence ^. Yet if in this life we have » j 
no recollection of what happened to us before our birth, ^^ ^^' 
why it may be asked should we have any knowledge, 
in a future existence, of what befell us here on earth? 
What is the value of a schooling, in which each lesson 
is forgotten as soon as learned ? Again, if the soul ac- 
cording to his fanciful etymology is the 'cold' sen- 
sualised intelligence, how does this agree with what 
he tells us about the sinless soul of Jesus ? These are 
minor flaws, but there is one of a far more serious kind. 
If the spirits were all alike, all subject to precisely the 
same conditions, why did any fall away? Because, he 1 
tells us, tjiej^jKei:eJree. But this is no answer. What ' * 
is the faculty, which can thus oscillate between perfect 
virtue and vice ? What is this mysterious paralysis, but 
the very fatalism he is struggling to avoid? In the 
Phaedrus myth the souls are neither pure nor equal; 
the unruly steed Desire is yoked from the first by the 
side of Reason, and the charioteer who cannot curb his 
wanton plunges, is flung down from the cope of heaven. 
This did not satisfy Origen's craving for justice. But 
all he could accomplish by his departure from Plato was 
to push the insoluble problem a step farther back, and 
to stereotype Clement's vicious theory of the indiffer-'^ 
entism of the Will. 

But there were other difficulties arising out of the 

qaestion remained undecided. See his Epistles, vii. 53 ; Origeniana, ii. 
6. 8 sqq. Mr. Neale, Holy Eastern Church, i. p. 36, regards the belief in 
pre-existence as erroneous but not heretical. 

^ The only passage, so far as I know, where Origen hints at the doctrine 
of Anamnesis is De Orai, 24 (Lom. xvii. p. 186), irSy r€ rpavSiv koL tA 
vcp2 rod $€ov IrrofUfJorffffKtTcu /JuiWov fj fiavOdva, xty dv6 rivos ducohttv Hotcg, 
if €bpl(rK€ip vo/ii(Q rd r^ Btoaefitias lAvarfjpia, 



200 %Origen. [Lect. 

language of Scripture itself. Most perplexing, in view 
of the Alexandrine theory of Freedom, were the words 
of St. Paul, ' Whom He did foreknow He did also pre- 
destinate.' The passage was at this time the sword 
of Gnosticism, as at a later date, by one of those singu- 
lar exchanges of weapons that have often occurred in 
the chance medley of controversy, it became the sword 
of Augustinianism. But Origen could admit neither 
election nor reprobatiou*. . If, he argues, God predestines 
only those whom He foreknows, it follows that He does 
not foreknow those whom He does not predestine. This 
is absurd. We are compelled therefore to drop the 
preposition. Foreknow is the same as know, know in 
countless passages of Scripture is equivalent to love. 
God knows only the good, whom He loves ; of evil He 
has no knowledge. Again, * whom He did predestinate 
them He also called according to purpose.' According, 
that is, to their own purpose; or if according to the 
purpose of God, then because He knew that they 
desired salvation. Origen in fact held that man is 
free in such a sense that God Himself cannot foresee 
what he may choose to do ^. 

* The passage cited in the text is In Rom. vii. 8, with which shonld be 
read the preceding chapter. Here Origen expressly denies foreknowledge 
in the ordinary sense of the word. ' Non enim secundum commnnem vulgi 
opinionem pntandum est bona malaqne praescire Deum, sed secnndum 
Scripturae sanctae consuetudinem sentiendmn . . . "Novit enim Dens 
eos qui sunt eius" . . . Caeteri autem praesciri non dicuntur; non 
quod aliquid latere possit illam naturam quae ubique est et nusquam 
deest, . sed quia omne quod malum est scientia eius vel praescientia ha- 
betur indignum (see above, p. 196). Sed et hoc intuere si praescire et 
praedestinare did potest Deus de his qui nondum sunt, an de his qui sunt 
quidem, nondum tamen conformes sunt imaginis Filii sui ; et si praesci- 
entiam in hoc magis esse convenit, quam in eo quod futurum sit id quod 
nondum est. In hoc enim voluntas magis est quam praescientia conditoris. 
Nam praescientia in quo videbitur, cum id quod fntnmm est pendeat in 



VI.] Predestination. Grace. 201 

Another text which distressed him beyond measure 
was *whom He will He hardeneth.' But even these 
terrible words he thought he could explain. Let us 
remember, he says, how the kindness of a lenient 
master makes the bad slave worse, how the same sun- 
shine melts the wax but hardens the clay. God may 
be said to harden the sinner in this sense, that the 
contemptuous disregard of His goodness produces hard- 
ness. Or again, He hardens the wicked man, inasmuch 
as He abandons him, withdrawing from him His fatherly 
chastisements, and deferring the cure of his sins to the 
next life. And this is doubtless right, better for the 
sinner himself. For God alone knows both the disease 
and the remedy, and can measure out the time of 
healing^. 

The same considerations determine his view of Grace, 
which is that of Clement. God perpetually incites,; 
surrounds, sustains, rewards, but does not constrain , 

factoris arbitrio ? ' Then follows the passage the sense of which is given in 
the text. Origen continues, ' Hoc ergo pacto neque in praescientia Dei vel 
salutis vel perditionis nostrae causa consistit, neque justificatio ex sola voca- 
tione pendebit, neque glorificari de nostra penitus potestate sublatum est.* 
But, he addS| if foreknowledge be taken in the ordinary sense of the word, 
' Non propterea erit aliquid quia id scit Deus futurum, sed quia futurum est 
scitur a Deo antequam fiat.' Language more in accordance with the general 
view is to be found In Rom, i. 2, 3, i8 sqq. ; De Orat. 6. Jansen, who in 
his Augustinus vehemently attacked Origen's doctrine of predestination, 
complains that he makes election depend ' ex praevisis hominum mentis ' 
and vocation proceed 'secundum propositum hominis non DeL' Huet 
replies that the first proposition is still open in the Catholic Church, and 
that the second was maintained by Chrysostom and Theodoret, Origenianaf 
ii. 7. But neither Huet nor Jansen appears to grasp the full scope of 
Origen*s teaching. Semi-Pelagianism was merely his ht^tpos -nKovsy the 
second line of defence on which he fell back (^foreknowledge was to be 
taken in the vulgar sense of the word. 

* De Princ, iii. i. 7 sqq. ; Fragment from Comm. in Exodum in PhilO" 
caiia, xxvii. It should be borne in mind that all these passages were 
Gnostic strongholds. 



i02 Ortgen. [Lect. 

the will. To use the language of a later time, Grace. 
is prevenient, concomitant, peculiar, b ut not efficacio us. 
We must go to Christ, that He may open our eyes. 
*As if,' retorts Bishop Huet, 'the will, that makes us 
go, were not given to us by God.' * But,' replies Origen, 
' he who does not know his sickness, cannot seek the 
physician, or, if healed, will not thank the physician.' 
And if pressed with the text * God worketh in us both 
to will and to do,' he will answer, that the Apostle 
means the general faculty, not the special determination 
of volition^. 

A further and still more serious difficulty arises out 
of the doctrine of Original Sin. This tenet is found 
in Irenaeus and TertuUian, but not in Clement^ or the 
De Principiis^ and we may perhaps infer, that Origen 
did not seriously consider the question, or perceive 
its bearing upon his other views, till after his settlement 
at Caesarea. There he found the practice of Infant 
Baptism, with which the doctrine of birth-sin is closely 
connected, in general use, and the difficulty at once 
pressed upon his mind. The Church, he says, in 
obedience to a tradition received from the Apostles, 

* De Princ, iii. i. 19. I shall recur to the Alexandrine doctrine of 
Grace in Lecture viii, and it will therefore be sufficient here to refer to 
Origenianay ii. 7, with the Excursus from De la Rue given in Lommatzsch, 
xxiii. p. 333. 

' See Irenaeus, iii. 12 sq. ; Tertullian, De Animas xli. Neither regarded 
the depravation consequent upon Original Sin as absolute. Justin is wrongly 
referred to by Bingham ; see the note in Otto's ed. p. 320, on Trypho^ 
88. Justin held that before Baptism men are children of necessity ; Ap, i. 
61, Otto, p. 166. Theodotus and the Homilies also teach that before the 
birth of Christ men were creatures of Necessity. That is to say, being 
ignorant and weak, they were doomed to sin. But there is no connection 
between this frailty of nature and the sin of Adam. Fragment 5, Otto, 
vol. iii. 256, is wrongly ascribed to Justin. For Clement's doctrine, see 
Lecture iii 



VI.] Original Sin. 203 

baptizes even infants. *For those, to whom are com- 
mitted the secrets of the divine mysteries, know, that 
there is in every human being a real stain of sin, which 
must be washed away by water and the Spirit^.' 

But whence comes this stain? It is sufficiently ac- 
counted for by the doctrine of pre-existence, and at times 
Origen appears to rest in this explanation. But there 
are traces in Scripture, which point in a different direc- 
tion, and when these are before his mind he stumbles 
and hesitates. Such was the Law of Purification. We 
see from this, that a certain impurity attaches to birth, ' '^ 
though what this can be is a great mystery. So David 
says ' in sin hath my mother conceived me,* showing 
that every soul, that is bom in the flesh, is polluted by the ; 
filth and iniquity of sin. Occasionally Origen seems to \ 
apply these words to the material uncleanness of the'^ 
body, for in his system the flesh is more nearly akin to 
evil than in that of Clement. But the notion of physical 
pollution runs up into that of moral guilt. * If there were 
nothing in little children to call for remission and indul- 
gence, the grace of Baptism would seem superfluous^.' 
And this is connected with the Fall. Our body is the 
* body of sin,' because Adam's children were not bom till 
after his disobedience ^. 

Other passages again speak of heredity, of transmitted 
qualities of body and mind. There are * families,' we 
read, in heaven and on earth. Souls have ' marks,' which 

* In Rom. V. 9. 

' In Lev, Horn. viii. 3. In this passage Origen makes the cnrious remark 
that in Scriptnre we read of none but wicked men celebrating their birthday. 
He regarded the body and its affections with fastidious disgust, /j>; Rom, vii. 
4, but he distinguishes the physical uncleanness of birth from sin, In Lev, 
Horn. xii. i ; In Lucam^ Hom. xiv. 

' In Rom, V. 9. 



c. 



204 Origen. [Loct 

express themselves through the body in the face, in the 
handwriting ^. The difference here thought of is one of 
texture rather than of kind. Peter and Paul are both 
good men, but the goodness of each has its own peculiar 
colour. But again, we read of the ' seed of Abraham ^.^ 
'The soul then has a pedigree as well as the body. As 
the latter reproduces the features of this or that of its 
i countless ancestors, so the former comes into life bringing 
5 with it * spermatic germs ' of good and evil. It may be, 
that he conceived of the soul as waiting till a body like 
itself and fit for its reception should be born ^ but he 
has not cleared up this point. And probably heredity 
as regards the soul is a figure of speech, denoting merely 
affinities, which the soul creates for itself. For he refers 
us for its explanation to the doctrine of pre-existence. 
But it is evident, that we have here two radically incon- 
gruous trains of thought. 

But there are places, where his vacillation is more con- 

Eicuous still. Writing against Celsus he treats the Fall 
a pure allegory. Adam is Man. His sin is a mystical 
^/esentation of the defection of the souls, that fell away 
from God. The * coats of skins' may perhaps be the 
bodies, in which they were clothed on their expulsion 
from Paradise*. Yet again, 'The Lord God expelled 

* In Num. Horn. ii. 
^ In Joan, xx. i sqq. 

^ This is the opinion of Redepenning, ii. 21, but he rests it upon a wrong 
explanation of Origen's oommentary on the Parable of the Labourers in the 
Vineyard, In Matt, xv. 31. 

* Contra Celsum, iv. 40. He is replying to the scoff of Celsus that ' God 
made one man with his own hands and could not persuade that one to do 
right.' Again, In Lev. Horn. vi. 2, the ' coats of skins * are a symbol of 
mortality. Julius Casianns, a Gnostic teacher, gave this explanation ; see 
Clement, Strom, iii. 14. 95. It is found also in the Kabbalah, Ginsbnrg, 
p. 30, and no doubt comes from a Rabbinical source. 



VI.] Original Sin. 205 

Adam from Paradise, and planted him in this earth. ■/ 
This was the punishment of his sin^ which without doubt > 
has extended to all nrien. For all of us have been set in' 
this place of humiliation, this valley of tears, whether 
because all Adam's descendants were in the first father's 
loins and banished with him, or whether each one is 
thrust out of Paradise in some other way ineffable and 
known to God alone ^.' The latter words are a salvo, 
but it is evident that Origen is here on the very point of 
abandoning the belief in pre-existence with all its con- 
sequences. 

Hence men are evil not only because they are * the ■ / 
sons and disciples of sinners ^,' but by the entailed sin of ' 
the first father. Yet not all alike. Some stainless spirits, v 
like that of John the Baptist, have been sent down to < 
labour for us ; some not wholly pure have descended for j 
our sakes lower than the law of their own purification 
required ^ And even in ordinary men Origen was far ' 
from admitting a complete depravation. By Adam's sin 
death, that is spiritual death, entered into the world and 
' passed upon ' all, affected that is with some touch of its 
contagion even the just. But it ' reigned ' over none but 
those, who sinned after the similitude of Adam's trans- 
gression. The sense of the last words is doubtful. They 
may have a mystical meaning, that is they may refer to 
the character of the antenatal sin. Or they may denote 

* In Rom, V. 4 ad Jin, Compare In Joan, xx. 21 (Lorn. ii. p. 257). 
But In Joan, xx. 3, it is still a question among some whether Adam is to be 
reckoned among the righteous or the unrighteous. The author of the 
Homilies vehemently asserts the former. Injerem, Hom. xvi. 4, the sin of 
Adam was not so grave as the sin of Cain. 

* In Rom. V. i (Lom. vi. 342). 

? The KoBobos rSjv €vy€v«rT4pejv tffvxo^, In Joan, xiii. 43 ad fin, ; cp. 
IHd, ii. 24, 25 ; In Matt, xii. 30; Origeniana, ii. 5. 24. 



2o6 Origen. [Lect. 

our inherited wickedness, or the evil imprinted on us by 
bad education. *In any case Christ has provided a 
remedy. Our mortal generation is changed by the 
regeneration of Baptism, and the doctrine of piety shuts 
out the doctrine of impiety ^.' 

Thus Theology finally triumphs over Ethics. Clement's 
Apathy is a Stoic phantasm ; his language is loose and 
presumptuous, but it breathes a joyous confidence in the 
assured victory of good over evil even in this world. 
Origen looks habitually on the darker side. Life is an 
expiation. Earth is a prison house. Man may be just 
and holy compared with his fellow-men or even with 
angels, but never in comparison with God. The son of 
God indeed is not the servant of sin ; he sins, but he is 
not a sinner. Or again, * he that believes sins not, that is 
to say falls not into sins unto death.' But ' if any man 
say that he has no sin, he is a liar, and the truth is not 
in him.' * I do not think any one's heart can become so 
pure, that thoughts of evil never stain it.' There will 
, come a time, when Jesus will ' wash our heads,' but the 
time is not yet. Such thoughts necessarily colour his 
view of Grace and Redemption, even where his language 
seems to be the same as that of Clement ^. 

* In Rom, V. i. Origen, it should be observed, omitted the negative in 
Rom. V. 14. Bnt he remarks that the reading hii tov$ /t^ AfjuxpHjiravTas 
was found in some copies. In the Commentary on Romans Origen appears 
to accept almost without reserve the literal sense of the story of the Fall. 
On the question of Original Sin, see Origenianaf ii. 7. 24. 

^ In Joan. xix. 6, tU ovv apa Itrrlv 6 ntartbotv, 4 ^ trtvovBoits ix rod duuctiffOat 
tcarcL rhv \6yov Kal (rvpiV€<pvK(vat aitrf rb fi^ kfirrtaciaOcu dv, 6(rov ivrl rovrois 
rots firjToiSf th rd. \ty6pitva np6s Odvarov tlycu dfjuxpr^iMTa. So In Rom. he 
distinguishes * peccatorem esse' from 'peccare.' In Rom. i. i, Qui etenim in 
came quis positus adipisci integram libertatem ut in nullo iam serviat cami ? 
sicut nee adoptionem filiorum quis in corpore positus habere ex integro 
potest ; Ibid. v. 9, Nam onmino ex integro nesdre peccatum solius Christi 



VL] Laws of Nature and of Moses, 207 

Looking back over history Origen distinguished three 
separate progressive revelations of God, the Natural Law, / 
the Law of Moses, and the Gospel. A fourth is still to I 
come. It is the Eternal Gospel. ^ 

The first two we may pass over with brief notice. His 
view is substantially that of Clement, though with a sweep 
of imagination reminding us of Hooker and Wordsworth 
he r^ards the Natural Law, the * stern daughter of the 
voice of God,' as swaying not men only, but angels and 
stars. But he places the Gentile^ and even the Jew 



est ; In Jesu Nave, Horn. xxi. 2, Non pnto cniqnam tantum in corde 
puritatis evenire nt nnnqnam adversae cogitationis contagione maculetur. 
See also the commentary on Jesus washing the disciples' feet, In Joan, xxxii. 
ad in. The passages referred to by Huet, Orig, ii. 7. 18, where sinlessness 
is attributed to the perfect Christian, are aU to be understood in this light. 

^ The Natural Law, the Law of Conscience, is N(J/ios opposed to 6 JSSfios, 
the Mosaic Law, In Rom. iii. 7 ; it is the Law which binds men, angels and 
all reasonable creatures, In Rom, v. i. Commenting on the words 'there 
is none that doeth good, no, not one,* 'What none,' he asks, 'who sheltered 
a stranger, or gave bread to the hungry, or clothed the naked, or rescued the 
innocent from the gripe of the oppressor ? I do not think that Paul the 
Apostle wished to make so incredible a statement.' But a man is said 
voittv xpf)<f'''6rrjTa, as he might be said to build a house. If he has only got 
together material, or laid the foundations, or built a room or two, he has 
not built a house. ' Ita arbitror et hie Apostolum dicere neminem fecisse 
bonitatem, hoc est a nuUo earn ad perfectum et ad integrum consumma- 
tam,' In Rom. iii. 3. Again, the Gentile who has followed the guidance of 
the law of reason, * licet alienus a vita videatur aetema, quia non credit 
Christo, et intrare non possit in regnum coelorum, quia renatus non est ex 
aqua et Spiritu, videtur tamen quod per haec quae dicuntur ab Apostolo 
bonorum operum gloriam et honorem et pacem perdere penitus non possit,' 
In Rom. ii. 7. There is a reward for him, then, though not the highest. 
See also iii. 6. Jansen, who held the absolute reprobation of the heathen, 
found great fault with Origen here. In the passage quoted above the 
Gentiles are excluded from the * kingdom of Heaven,' the Beatific Vision, 
because they do not believe in Christ. This is modified, though it is doubt- 
ful to what precise extent, by what we read elsewhere. Thus, In Matt. 
Comm. SeriiSy 39 (Lom. iv. 271), Quid autem dicamus de Britannis aut 
Germanis qui sunt circa Oceanum, vel apud Barbaros Dacas et Sarmatas et 
Scythas, quorum ploiimi nondum audierunt evangelii verbum, audituri sunt 



2o8 Origen. [Lect. 

decidedly lower in the scale of God's favour. We may- 
say that his idea of development is not so clear or serene. 
/ * History tells us/ he says, * that the wickedness of the 
(.. world is greater than it was ^/ He would not go so far as 
to allow that the Greek was * justified ' by his philosophy. 
To his mind there is a certain breach of continuity, though 
probably he would not have admitted this. The Gospel 
is not the natural crown of Reason and the Law, but 
rather a remedy for their failure ^. 

Again, as regards the Gospel itself there are numerous 
differences. On one side Origen is far more evangelical, 
on another far more ecclesiastical than his master. He 
speaks like Clement of the Two Lives, but as we have 
already noticed in a very different way ; he no longer 

autem in ipsa saeculi consummatione ? This was proved by Matth. 
zxiv. 14. 

* Contra Celsum, iv. 63. 

■ In Rom, V. 6, * Law (there is no article) which entered that offence 
/might abonnd * (Rom. v. 20) is the law of our members which rises up to 
/ resist the natural law. So too is the ' law which worketh wrath/ though it 
\ may be the Law of Moses, inasmuch as it fixes definite punishments for sins. 
/ Again, in chap. vii. 7, ' I had not known sin but by law,' law is the natural 
' law. Origen will not admit that tiu^ Law is in any sense the cause of sin. 
On the contrary, it struck the first effective blow at the power of sin. 
The locus classicus for this is In Rom. v. i, * Per legem enim purificatio 
peccatorum coepit aperiri et ex parte aliquatyrannidi eius obsisti per hostias, 
per expiationes varias, per sacrificia varia, p>er praecepta.' Being insuffi- 
cient it was supplemented by the Prophets, by Christ. But it is not 
abolished so much as absorbed into the Gospel, In Rom, iii. 11 ; In Lev. 
Hom. vi. 2, * Lavet te igitur Moses.* The works of the Law by which no 
flesh could be saved are not works of justice, but circumcision, sacrifice, 
keeping of new moons and sabbaths. In Rom. viii. 6. The Faith of Law 
and Gospel is One, In Jesu Nave, Hom. xvii. 2 ; cp. In Joan. xx. 12, but 
the Law is inferior, because to the Jews, except a few, God was known only 
as Lord, that is to say, was obeyed through fear. In Joan. xix. i ; again, 
because ' legis observantia poenam tantummodo effugit, fidei vero meritum 
spem repromissionis expectat,' In Rom. iv. 3. The Law is the clay figure 
which the artist afterwards casts in bronze, In Lev. Hom. x. i ; it is ' the 
lantern * opposed to • the light,' In Lev. Hom. xiii. 3. M. Denis, p. 41 sqq., 
lays too much stress on the inferiority of the Law. 



VI.] The Gospel ^09 

clings to the primitive belief, that all members of the 
Church are ipso facto in a state of salvation. The general 
relation of Faith and Conduct is the same, but in Origen 
( Knowledge, or as he prefers to call it Wisdom, is only a 
deeper and fuller faith ^ We hear no more of Apathy 
or of Disinterested Love ^. There is a difference also in 
the object of Faith. To Clement Christ is principally 

^ Faith in Origen, as in Clement, means Belief determining Action and 
leading up through Obedience to Love. A leading passage is In Joan* 
xzxii. 9, where taking his start from the words 'Increase our Faith,* 
' Though I have all Faith,' Origen distinguishes between perfect and im- 
perfect Faith. They are different in extension, not in intensity. The 
contents of Faith are the articles of the Creed, to which we may add the 
Epinoiai of Christ The distinction between Knowledge and Faith In 
Origen is evanescent. In Rom. iv. 5 he speaks of Two Faiths, a human 
and a divine. The addition of the latter makes perfect justifying faith. 
The one is of reason, the other of grace, the special gift of God» and both 
must coexist. As to the relation of Faith and Conduct, we know that men 
are justified by Faith without the works of the Law, for instance the Peni- 
tent Thief; and works without Faith justify no man, for instance the 
Pharisee of Luke xviii. \o\In Rom. iii. 9. This point is not brought out by 
Clement. But there are two justifications, one by faith, one by works. 
The former makes man just in the sight of God, it is forgiveness, known to 
God alone ; the latter makes him just also in the sight of saints and angels. 
The former is strictly only the 'initium iustificari;' it is imperfect faith. 
The faith which was imputed to Abraham for righteousness was perfect 
faith, which had already manifested itself in obedience. This is ' justified 
by God,' the man is made really and truly righteous. Then his faith is no 
longer 'imputed to him for righteousness,' for he is righteous. This is 
further illustrated from Ps. xxxii. i, a^ 'Blessed is he whose transgression 
is forgiven, whose sin is covered. Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord 
imputeth not iniquity.' First the soul leaves its evil and obtains pardon. 
Next by good deeds it covers its sins. Ubi vero iam ad perfectum 
venerit, ita ut omnis de ea malitiae radix penitus amputetur, eo usque ut 
nullum in ea vestigium possit inveniri nequitiae, ibi iam summa perfectae 
beatitudinis promittitur, cum nullum possit Dominus imputare peccatum ; 
In Rom, iv. i sqq. 

^ Injesu Nave, Horn. ix. 6, the six tribes who stood on Ebal are those 
who only desire to escape punishment, the six on Garizin are those who 
long for the blessing and the promises. Otherwise he speaks of the three 
degrees of perfection, the two classes of hearers, the milk and solid food 
much in the same way as Clement ; Injesu Nave^ Hom. xxii. 2. 

P 



210 Origen. [Lect. 

the Word and the Light ; to Origen He is more emphati- 
cally * my Lord aAd Saviour Jesus/ The life of the 
Christian is a growing receptivity of the Incarnate Son 
in His successive Epinoiau But we cannot attain beyond 
the lower Epinoiai^ those of Redemption and Mediation, 
in this world, nor for aeons yet to come. The Cross in 
all its wonder, its bounty, its power, is always before the 
eyes of Origen. * We are justified,' he says, ' by faith, 
but far more by the blood of Jesus ^.' Those mysteries, 
which Clement scarcely dared to gaze upon, Origen has 
endeavoured to explain. He is the first to attempt a 
philosophy of the Atonement. Christ is our Teacher 
and Example, but above all He is our Sacrifice, and 
under the touch of Allegory the whole ritual of Leviticus 
becomes eloquent of Him, who bore our sins upon the 
tree. 

Christ is our Ransom, our Redemption. By His 
precious Blood, that is not by His body but by His 
human soul, which the God within the Man, the Great 
High Priest, laid as a lamb upon the altar. He bought 
us from the powers of sin. His Death in some mystic 
way broke the powers of sin, as even now martyrs by 
Christlike self-surrender daunt and diminish the army of 
Satan. The spirits of evil were terrified and conscience 
stricken, some of them were even converted, by that 
immeasurable defiance^. 

* In Rom. iv. 1 1 (on Rom. v. 8, 9), Ex quo ostendit quod neque fides 
nostra sine Christi sanguine, neque sanguis Christ! nos sine fide nostra iusti- 
ficat ; ex utroque tamen multo magis sanguis Christi nos quam fides nostra 
iustificat. See also the passage quoted below, p. aai. 

^ In Matt, xvi. 8 (Lorn. iv. a8)> A^dorai 8^ \{frpov vv^p ijfMV 1) ^x4 
rov vlov rod 0€ov xai ovrt rd wtvfjui axiTOv . • . ovre rb awfui, oitHkv ydp 
€vpofUv vat TotovTov v€fi aiiTov y^pafifiivov. The ^x4 would include the 
Blood which is its oiHria, De Princ, ii. 8. 2. In Joan. vi. 35 the Victim is 



VL] The Gospel. 211 

Again, He is our Propitiation. * The true High Priest, 
He hath made God propitious to thee by His Blood, and 
reconciled thee to the Father.' * For God,' says Origen 
in language that seems, but only seems, to anticipate 
Anselm, * is just, and the just cannot justify the unjust. 
Therefore He willed the intervention of a Propitiator, 
that those might be justified by faith in Him, who could 
not be justified by their own works ^.' 

the Man which is laid upon the altar by the God the great High Priest, but 
this does not contradict the former passage. In Rom. iii. 7 Christ paid his 
own Life as a Ransom to the powers of evil by whom man was held in cap- 
tivity; Ibid, iv. II, Tradens sangninem suum principi huius mundi, se- 
cundum sapientiam Dei, quam nemo principum huius mundi cognovit ; si 
enim cognovissent nunquam Dominum maiestatis crucifixissent, ne sanguis 
ille quem sitierant, non tarn sitim quam vires eorum exstingueret regnumque 
destrueret. See also In Matt, xvi. 8. Some of the Guardian Angels of 
Nations were converted at the sight of Jesus, and this may account for the 
rapid spread of the Gospel in those regions over which they presided, In 
Joan, xiii. 58. But In Lucam^ Horn, xii, this is put differently. Each 
Nation, like each individual, has two Angels who watch over it, one good, 
the other evil. The Incarnation strengthened the hands of the good Angels. 
For the manner in which Christ's Death broke the power of the evil spirits, 
see especially the grand passage In Joan, xxviii. 14. Origen attributes the 
same power to all acts of self-sacrifice, especially to the martyr's death ; In 
Jesu Nave, Hom. xv. 6, Futo sane quia sancti . . . imminuant exercitum 
daemonum ; cp. In Num, Hom. x. 2 ; xxiv. i ; In Levit, Hom. ix. 3 ; /» 
Joan, vi. 35. 36; In Matt, xv. 34; Contra Celsum, viii. 44; De Mart, 
30. 50. But while the sacrifice of Christ is the one sufficient atonement for 
all the sins of the whole world, the benefit of the martjrr's example extends 
but to a few, and owes its efficacy to the Cross of Jesus. The merits of 
Christ's Death are conveyed through seven channels of remission, Baptism, 
Martyrdom, Almsgiving, Forgiveness, Conversion of a Sinner, Charity, 
Penitence ; In Lev. Hom. ii. 4. To these must be added the Eucharist ; In 
Matt, Comm, Series, 86. Nevertheless Origen's view coincides with that of 
Clement, that the only free forgiveness is that conveyed in Baptism ; In 
Lev. Hom. ii. 4, Apud nos una tantummodo venia est peccatorum quae 
per lavacri gratiam in initiis datur. For though these words are put into 
the mouth of an interlocutor, Origen appears to adopt them. We are to 
distinguish free 'venia' from purchased 'remissio.' 

^ See especially In Rom, iii. 8 ; iv. 8. In the former passage will be 
found the fine allegory on the Mercy Seat Here God is spoken of as 
recopciled to man. But * God declares His righteousness ' (Rom. iii. 25) is 

P 7, 



2 1 2 Origen. [Lect. 

Nay the salvation of man seems to be an inadequate 
object for that unspeakable effort of Divine Goodness. 
To Origen as to the Gnostics, as to Ignatius, the death 
of Jesus is a world-sacrifice ^. ' Christ was a double 
Victim, meet for those in heaven, as for those on earth.' 
The blood, which was shed in Jerusalem, was mystically 
sprinkled on the altar above, where the Saviour pleads 
His Atonement, till sin shall be no more. Wide as the 
violated order of God is the healing influence of His 
Love. All creation groaning and travailing in sympathy 
with man's distress is soothed and strengthened, and will 
be restored to perfect harmony, by Him, who in the blood 
of Jesus reconciles all things unto Himself, whether they 
be things in earth or things in heaven ^. 

explained to mean, manifests, confers upon man His righteonsness. In 
the second passage the reconciliation is of man to God. Jesas Christns 
nos per hostiam sanguinis sui reconciliavit Deo, sicut scriptum est, ' cum 
essemus inimici Dei, reconciliati sumus Deo per sanguinem crucis Filii 
eius (Rom. v. lo).' £t alibi idem Paulus addidit his dicens ' rogamus pro 
Christo, recondliamini Deo (2 Cor. v. 20).' Christ is our Peace because 
He breaks down the hedge 'quam peccando texuimus.' -The idea seems 
to be that prior to the Atonement of Christ God could not pardon, not 
because He had not received a sufficient price for His forgiveness, but 
because man could only be made good enough to receive pardon through 
faith in a crucified Saviour. 

^ Ignatius^ Ad Smym. vi; Ad TralU ix. i ; Domer, i. i. p. 113, Eng. 
trans. 

' In Lev. Hom. i. 3, Nisi quia forte hoc intellegi voluit, quod sanguis 
Jesu non solum in Jerusalem effusus est, ubi erat altare . . . sed et quod 
supemum altare quod est in coelis, ubi et ecclesia primitivorum est, idem 
ipse sanguis adsperserit ; sicut et apostolus dicit, quia * pacificavit per san- 
guinem crucis suae sive quae in terris sunt sive quae in coelis' (Col. i. 20) . . . 
Vis autem scire quia duplex hostia in eo fuit conveniens terrestribus et apta 
coelestibus ? But In Lev. Hom. ii. 3 on earth He is offered 'pro peccato,* 
in heaven ' pro munere.' That the Passion of Christ * profuisse coelestibus ' 
is stated also In Ltic. Hom. x; In Rom, v. 10 ; In Matt, xiii. 8. It was 
proved not only by Col. i. 20 but by Hebr. ii. 9, where Origen preferred the 
reading x'^9^^ 7^P ^^^^ iv\p vavrds kytiuffaro Oavdrov, He tasted death for 
all except God, In/oan» i. 40. Eph. iii. 10 was held by many of the early 



VI.] The Church. 213 

In discipline as in doctrine Origen is the exponent of 
a later age than Clement. The Catholic Church is one, 
but still with a spiritual, not an administrative unity. 

Hence Origen speaks of * the Churches ' as often as of 
*the Church.' The famous words of Christ to Peter, 
* whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in 
heaven, and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall 
be loosed in heaven,' are spoken also' to all Christians, 
whose faith is like that of Peter ^. But the majesty of 
the * most ancient Church ' of Rome exercised a certain 
fascination upon his mind. He did not think his educa- 
tion complete, till he had seen with his own ^y^& and 
heard with his own ears the ritual and the doctrine of 



Fathers to mean that the Angels received some benefit from the Incarnation. 
Origen thought that in His descent Christ actually took upon Himself the 
form of an Angel ; In Gen, Hom. viii. 8, Unde puto quod sicut inter hom- 
ines habitu repertus est ut homo, ita et inter angelos habitu est repertus ut 
angelus. So also In Matt, xiv. 7 ; In Joan, i. 34 ; In Rom, i. 4, Si ergo 
cum apparuit nobis hominibus non sine Evangelio apparuit, consequentia 
videtur ostendere, quod etiam angelieo ordini non sine Evangelio apparu- 
erit, illo fortassis quod aetemum Evangelium a Joanne memoratum supra 
edocuimus. Huet comments. Singulis angelorum ordinibus in sua uni- 
cuique forma apparuisse, Evangelium praedicasse et in coelo deniqtu mortem 
pro its obiisse sciscere_,videtur aliquando. I can find no authority for the 
words italicised. All benefits to whatever recipients flow from the one 
death of Christ upon Calvary ; see In Rom, v. 10. But Jerome and Jus- 
tinian allege that according to Origen Christ was to be crucified again for 
the sins of the Demons, not once but many times. They refer to De Princ, 
iv. 25, where again Rufinus has altered his text. But Origen there (see 
Jerome's translation and the Greek fragment given by Justinian, both in 
Lom.) seems to mean that the Passion of Christ in a sense endures to the 
Consummation of All, referring no doubt to the altar on which stood ' a 
Lamb as it had been slain.' Origeniana, ii. 3. 23 sq. The difficult words 
In Lev, Hom, i. 3, 'et hie quidem pro hominibus ipsam corporalem materiam 
sanguinis sui fudit, in coelestibus vero ministrantibus, si qui illi inibi sunt, 
sacerdotibus vitalem corporis sui virtutem, velut spirituale quoddam sacrifi- 
cium immolavit,' whatever they may mean precisely, do not refer to a 
sacrifice numerically different. See Redepenning, ii. 400 ; Hofling, ii. 25. 
* In Matt, xiii. 31 ; Z>^ Orat, 14 (Lom. xvii. 146). 



214 Origen. [Lect. 

the great Italian see, which was already designated by its 
wealth and splendour, its authority and orthodoxy, as 
the leader, the champion, the arbiter of Christendom. 
He seems to have felt the acquiescence of Rome in the 
sentence of Demetrius as a heavy addition to his mis- 
fortune, and somewhere about the year ^46 despatched a 
letter to Fabian, the reigning Pope, in which he pro- 
tested his orthodoxy^, and solicited readmission to 
communion. We must not however lay too much stress 
upon this fact. The same letter appears to have been 
addressed to the Bishops of all the Churches, which had 
ratified his condemnation. It was written after the 
accession of his pupil and friend Dionysius to the Patri- 
archate of Alexandria towards the end of Origen's life, 
when for the first time he felt it possible to make over- 
tures towards reconciliation without disparagement to 
his self-respect. 

The history of his career shows how little he thought 
the judgment of one Bishop ought to influence the action 
of another. Nor does he appear to have felt his. disgrace 
as a bar to his activity or a burden on his conscience. 
Yet, rebel as he was, he ranked far higher than Clement 
the authority and privileges of the clergy. The analogy 
between the Christian and the Mosaic hierarchy is con- 

^ Eus. H> E. vi. 36. 4, ypoul>€i 8^ xat ^afiiavf r^ /card, 'F&fiijv kmffxSv^f iripois 
T« irktiaTois dpxovffiv kKKXtjaiSiv, vtpl tjjs /ear alr^y dpOoHo^las. Jerome, 
£/>. Ixv. ad Pammachium (in Migne, ixxxiv), Ipse Origenes in epistola 
qnam scribit ad Fabianum Romanae urbis episcopum, poenitentiam agit 
cur talia scripserit, et causam temeritatis in Ambrosium confert, quod 
secreto edita in publicum protulerit. Origenianay i. 3. 13. That Origen 
in this letter recanted doctrines which he continued to teach to the end of his 
life, or that he endeavoured to throw the blam^ of his heterodoxy on his 
friend and benefactor is not to be believed on the unsupported testimony of 
Jerome. See, however, Dr. Westcott's article on Amdrosius, Diet. Christ. 
Biog. 



VI.] The Priest, 215 

stantly in his mind, and if he does not draw from it all 
the consequences that have been supposed, it is no less 
true that in his view the priest is no longer the minister 
of the congregation, but the vicar of God. The ordinar)'' 
Christian is indeed a priest, but only in the moral or 
spiritual sense, that is to say only in a figure, inasmuch 
as he offers to God the sacrifice of his own heart and 
mind ^. We still trace the working of the ancient mode 
of thought in the emphasis laid by Origen upon the 
moral and spiritual qualifications of the minister. His 
doctrine of clerical authority is not unlike that of Wiclif. 
The power to bind and loose depends upon the spiritual 
worthiness of him who wields it ^. He who is not holy 

^ Origen constantly speaks of the true Christian as a Priest, In Lev, Horn, 
iy. 6 ; yi. 5 ; ix. I. 8 ; xiii. 5. But the layman is a priest only ' secnndmn 
moralem locum ; ' In Lev. Horn. i. 5 ; ii. 4 ; ix. 6 ; or < secundum spiritualem 
intelligentiam/ In Lev, Horn. xv. 3. A very modem sounding phrase may 
be noticed, In Num. Hom. ii. i, where it is said of priests, virgins, ascetics, 
that they are in professione religionU. Injesu Nave, Hom. xvii. 2, shows 
that there was a strong tendency in Origen's mind to restrict the language 
concerning the Priesthood of the Christian to these ' religious.* 

' The locus classicus is In Lev. Hom. v. 3. The Priest ' eats the sins of 
the people,' that is, takes them upon himself and remits them, * secundum 
imaginem eius qui sacerdotium ecclesiae dedit.' But he must ' eat the sin * 
in a clean place, that is, he must have charity, faith, and a good conscience. 
He is said again ' repropitiare delictum/ and this phrase is explained to 
mean the moral amendment which the good Priest works in the sinner. 
Probst, Sakramentej p. 267, argues that Origen means only that the sin 
destroys the force of the priestly judgment if it affects him in respect of 
the particular act. If the Priest was generally speaking a good man, 
but absolved a particular penitent from personal affection, his absolution 
would be of no avail. But if, though generally speaking a bad man, he 
condemned a particular sinner after conscientious examination of his 
case, the condemnation would hold good just as a secular judge may pro- 
nounce just and valid sentences though his private life may be thoroughly 
vicious. This implies entire ignorance of the Alexandrine doctrine of 
spiritual knowledge, and is refuted by the entire run of the Homily referred 
to. The Priest is to have for himself ' the breast,' ' the right shoulder,' that 
is to say, he must have a heart pure from sin, a hand fruitful of good works. 
' Nisi habeat pectus ex onmibus membris electum non est sacerdos et nisi 



2 1 6 Origen. [Lect. 

IS no priest, and his sentence has no effect at all. Nor is 
the priestly absolution in itself of force. The priest 
declares, but does not bestow forgiveness. Nevertheless 
he alone may teach. He has received judgment of souls. 
It is his office to stablish the sinner, who is converted 
from his sin. He is to invite confession both public and 
private, and to declare the conditions of absolution, the 
kind and degree of penance, by which the sinner may 
gain his restoration to the peace of the Church *. 

How far this power extended was matter of grave 
doubt. The disputes, which afterward issued in the 
Novatian schism, were already smouldering in the 
Church. In many communities the opinion prevailed, 
that for mortal sins, especially for unchastity, murder, 
and idolatry, committed after Baptism, there was no 
forgiveness on earth. Early in the second century Hermas 
at Rome pleads for a mitigation of this stern rule, and 
would allow of one absolution for even the worst offences. 
This was, as has been said, the opinion of Clement also. 
In the time of Origen even a more lenient practice 
appears to have been adopted in the Church of Rome. 
At first perhaps those guilty of sins of unchastity, but 
soon afterwards all offenders of every grade, were de- 

habeat brachium dextrum non potest adscendere ad altare Dei et sacerdos 
nominarV To this end he needs the priestly science {fle Orat. 28 ; 
Probst wrongly explains it to mean casuistry)^ bnt this he cannot have unless 
he is spiritual and pare, " et ita demum emditionis capax fiat, si prins capax 
fuerit sanctitatis.' Compare In Psalm, xxxvii. Hom. ii. 6 (Lorn. xii. 267), 
Tantummodo circnmspice diligentius, cni debeas confiteri peccatnm tuun. 
Proba prins medicnm ; In Matt, xii. 14, if the gates of hell prevail against 
the Priest, in vain does he bind or loose. 

^ The Priest has Judicium animamm,' In Lev. Hom. v. 12. For con- 
fession see In Lev, Hom. ii. 4 ; In Psalm, xxxvii. Hom. ii. 6. The judgment 
of any righteous man has power to bind and loose, as was shown above, 
but not as regards the discipline of the Church. 



VI.] A dsolutton. 217 

clared capable of forgiveness on proper evidences of 
contrition. Thus the gates of mercy were thrown wide 
open, and the sin against the Holy Ghost, the unpar- 
donable sin, was declared to be defiance of the Church, 
obdurate refusal of the terms of pardon. It is possible 
that in some communities this view had prevailed from 
the first ^. 

On this point, as on some others, Origen's views 
underwent a modification. It may be that he was 
softened by age ; it may be that he was carried along 
by the changing sentiment of the Church around him. 
In his earlier writings ^ he gives unflinching expression 

^ See the letter of Dionysius of Corinth, circa A.D. 169, to the Churches 
of Pontus, Eus. H. E, iv. 23. For the obscure and difficult history of the 
Penance Controversy the student may consult DoUinger, Hippolytus and 
Callistus^ P> 117 sqq., Eng. trans. ; Probst, Sakramente, p. 296 sqq. ; Har- 
nack, article Novation in Herzog, ed. 1882, Dogmengeschichte, p. 331 sqq. 
An interesting monument of the triumph of the more merciful view is to be 
^ found in the Jonah pictures in the Chapel of the Sacraments in the Cemetery 
of Callistus ; Probst, Kirchliche Disdplin, p. 239. 

^ In. De Orat. 28 (written about A.D. 236) idolatry, adultery, forni- 
cation and wilful murder are death-sins. The distinction between mortal 
and venial sins is based upon the Law of Moses, ol /card vS/xov Uptts 
KcuXiovrai v€p( tivojv vpocipiptiv dfJiapTrjfi&TOJV Ovatav, and on I Sam. ii. 25. 
(Other texts appealed to by the severe party, and with good reason, were 
I John V. 16; Hebr. vi. 4; the precise meaning of Matt. xii. 31 is in 
dispute.) For these sins there is no forgiveness in the Church, though 
some icatrois imrpiipavT^s rd Im^p r^v Uparue^v d^lav, r&xP- fti^Si dKpi0ovvT€s 
rijiv Itpari/ef^ kmar'fifxrjv, presume to think they may be forgiven, did rijs 
€^X?s alrStv. De la Rue considered that Origen meant to blame the rash- 
ness of Priests who ventured to give absolution for mortal sins without 
proper evidence of contrition, but the reader will see, I think, that he denies 
the possibility of absolution for these sins on any terms. With this is to 
be compared In Ezech, Hom. iv. 8, where Origen reproves * nonnuUorum 
insipientiam, qui sensum animi sui Dei esse asserunt veritatem et frequenter 
dicunt '* fiiturum est ut unusquisque nostrum precibus suis eripiat quoscunque 
voluerit de gehenna." ' These words may seem to refer to Prayers for the 
Dead, but it is better to explain them in the same way as the passage of the 
De Oratione, Origen goes on to reprove those who * qui in Sanctis fiduciam 
habent.' The influence of confessors and martyrs was largely instrumental 
in breaking down the antique rigour. 



2 1 8 Origen. [Lect. 

to the stern old rule. No death-sin can be forgiven, 
and those priests, who presume to pronounce absolution 
in cases of this nature, are ignorant of the priestly science. 
Not that the sinner is forbidden to hope. ' God alone 
knows/ he says, speaking of the crime of apostasy, ' what 
evils He will bring upon those who deny and do not 
repent, what upon those who deny and repent ^.' The 
Church cannot pardon them, but God may. The sin, 
which has no forgiveness in this aeon or the aeon to 
come, may be atoned for in some one of the countless 
aeons of the vast hereafter. 

But in his later works he speaks with another voice. 
Even death-sins may be forgiven once — ^they may be 
forgiven a second and a third time — there are no limits 
to the Church's power of absolution. One crime alone, 
obdurate impenitence, has no forgiveness. The sinner 
who refuses to hear the Church, whether his offence be 
light or heavy, is cast forth, and when once expelled 
from the fold can never again re-enter. Yet even so it is 
better for him to repent, that he may have fewer sins to 
atone for in the Day of Judgment ^. 

* In Matt, Comm, Series, 114. This passage belongs to those that 
express the later and more lenient view, but the particular words here quoted 
are applicable in either case. 

^ In Lev. Horn. xv. 2, In gravioribus enim criminibus semel tantum 
poenitentiae conceditur locus ; ista vero communia quae frequenter incurri- 
mus semper poenitentiam recipiunt ; In Lev, Hom. xi. 2, Quod et si 
aliquis est qui forte praeventus est in huiuscemodi peccatis admonitus nunc 
verbo Dei, ad auxilium confngiat poenitentiae ; ut si semel admisit, secundo 
non faciat, aut si et secundo, aut etiam tertio praeventus sit, ultra non addat. 
Contra Celsum, iii. 51, the sinner is readmitted to communion, after pro- 
longed penance, but cannot be promoted to office in the Church. There are 
two remarkable passages in the Conmientary on Matthew. In Tom. xiii. 
30 Origen is explaining Matth. xviii. 15, ' K thy brother shall trespass 
against thee, &c.' , Some, he says, take this to mean that even death-sins 
may be forgiven. Others that even the lightest sins are shut out from for- 



VI.] The Eucharist 219 

On another important subject, the Eucharist \ we 
observe a similar advance beyond the position of 

giveness. Both have erred through not keeping closely to the text. Jesns 
says if the sinner repents on the first admonition, 'thon hast gained thy 
brother.' But what happens if he does not repent ? This Jesus does not 
say. In that case then he is neither wholly gained nor wholly lost. We know 
not what he will suffer. God knows ; we judge not, that we be not judged. 
In the words that follow a superfluous negative appears to have crept into 
the text, 5ri ovk i^eari 82s i^ijs fi^ ixcvaavra t6 rpirov ijcovaai. The obx 
should surely be omitted. If, Origen says, this rule seems hard upon those 
who have committed only light sins, let us remember that they have three 
chances of amendment. He goes on to say that it is better in any case to 
repent, XvaireXu //etf* drroaaovv dfiapr^fuiTa fiCTavociv, that we may have less 
to atone for at the Last Day. He certainly teaches here that if the sinner 
after three admonitions refused to submit to penance he was cut off from 
the Church, and this excommunication was final, whatever the gravity of the 
sin that had brought it about. But apparently there is no limit to the 
number of times that the sinner might be -admitted to penance. In the 
Comm, Series f 114, Peter's apostasy was pardoned because he repented at 
the crowing of the cock, before the break of day, that is before the 
descent of the Holy Spirit. Since that time there is no remission of this 
sin for those who deny Christ * in the day.' But, he adds, the denial itself 
proves that the day has not really dawned upon them. ' Forsitan autem 
et onmes homines quondo denegant Jesum, ita ut peccatum denegationis 
eorum recipiat medicinam, ante galli cantum denegare eum videntur.' 
Origen appears in these last words to be defending with some reluctance the 
practice of granting absolution even to apostates. Hence even this passage 
belongs to those in which the more lenient view is maintained. 

* The best account of Origen's doctrine on this subject is that given by 
Hofling, £>te Lehre der dltesten Kirche vom Opfer im Leben und Cultus 
der Christen, 1851. The controversy on the subject between Romanists 
and Protestants in the Reformation times will be found in the Origeniana, 
Both parties claimed Origen as a friend. Against Hofling may be set 
DoUinger, Die Eucharistie in den drei ersten Jahrhunderten, 1826. The 
Alexandrines held a real but spiritual and in no sense material Presence of 
Christ in the Eucharist. But there was undoubtedly a party which believed 
in Transubstantiation, though probably there was as yet no set philosophical 
explanation of this belief. See In Joan, xxxii. 16, votUrOoj 9k 6 Apvos nai 
vorfipiov rots iikv dir\ov(rripois xarcL rijv KOivoripcuf wepJ rrjs c^x^P'^'''^^ 
Moxff} T0<^ ^ $a9vT€pov ijcoiuuv fji€fM$rjK6<riv xard. r^v Ouoripav Koi vtpl rod 
Tpo<pifiov rris dXijO^ias \6yov kirayytXlay (Lom. ii. 459). Here the belief 
in a Corporal Presence is regarded as belonging to the Lower Life, the life 
of those who do not go beyond the letter. Transubstantiation rests upon 
Aristotelic or Stoic Realism, and is diametrically opposed to Platonism. 



2 20 Origen. [Lect. 

Clement, though here probably the difference is greater 
in language than in reality. The Church has its * altar/ 
^consecrated by the precious Blood of Christ ^' The 
Bread is * Sacerdotal Bread,' 'a kind of holy Body.' 
The communicant is said to ' receive the Body of the 
Lord/ * the sacraments of the Lord's Body ^.' In these 
and similar phrases we trace the growing reverence and 
mystery attached to the material of this greatest of 
Christian rites. Yet we must not be carried too far. 
The Eucharist is a Mystery, one of the chiefest Mys- 
teries, for here too there is a letter that killeth, a spirit 
that giveth life ^. The Bread and Wine are an allegory, 

Leading passages on the subject of the Eucharist are, In Matt,'^. 14 (Lpm. 
iii. 106 ; quite decisive as to the optis operatum and the value of the vKrO ; 
Comm, Series, 85 ; In Lev, Horn, xiii (the whole Homily should be read); 
In Num. Horn, xxiii. 6. It has been observed above, p. 143, that the 
Eucharist is a mystery in a double sense, firstly as regards its ritual, secondly 
as regards its doctrinal explanation. 

' Injesu Nave, Hom. ii. i ; x. 3 ; Injud, Hom. iii. 2 ; Probst, Kirch- 
liche Disciplin, p. 21 2. Injesu Nave, Hom. viii. 6, Christ is Priest, Victim, 
Altar. Ibid, Hom. ix. Origen uses the language of Clement. The believers 
are the altar on which Christ offers His sacrifice to the Father. The * or- 
natus altaris ' is the Law in the t3rpe engraved by Joshua on stones, in the 
antitype by Christ on the heart ; and all true Christians are Priests and 
Levites. Compare Contra Celsum, viii. 17. 

^ In Exodum, Hom. xiii. 3, Cum suscipitis corpus Domini, cum onmi 
cautela et veneratione servatis, ne ex eo parum quid decidat, ne consecrati 
muneris aliquid dilabatur ; Contra Celsum, viii. 33, dprovs kaOio/ifv aQ/Ju 
yevofjiivovs did r^v evx^v ayiSv ri leai dyi&^ov robs fJL€0* vyiws vpoOiatoiS 
avT^ Xpo^fttyovs ; In Lev. Hom. xiii. 6, Ille sacerdotalis panis qui est 
secretus et m3rsticus sermo. 

^ In Lev. Hom. vii. 5. The whole passage is one of the most important : 
Jesus ergo quia totus ex toto mundus est, tota eius caro cibus est, et totus 
sanguis eius potus est, quia omne opus eius sanctum est, et omnis sermo 
eius verus est. Propterea ergo et caro eius verus est cibus et sanguis eius 
verus est potus. Camibus enim et sanguine verbi sni tanquam mundo cibo 
ac potu, potat et reficit onme hominum genus. Secundo in hoc loco post 
illius camem mundus cibus est Petrus et Paulus et onmes Apostoli. Tertio 
loco discipuli eorum. 'Das Wort, die Verheissung des Herm ist der 
heilskraftige Leib und das heilskraftige Blut, das wir sowohl innerhalb als 



VI.] The E tec harts t. 221 

a symbol. * For it was not that visible bread, which He 
was holding in His hand, that God the Word called His 
Body ; it was the word as a symbol whereof that bread 
was to be broken. Nor was it that visible cup, that He 
called His Blood, but the word as a symbol whereof that 
wine was to be poured out . . . Why did He not say, this 
is the Bread of the New Testament, as He said, this is 
My Blood of the New Testament ? Because the bread 
is the word of righteousness, but the wine is the word of 
the knowledge of Christ. Since then the covenant of 
God is placed in the blood of the passion of Christ, so 
that we are saved by faith and not by righteousness, it is 
said of the chalice alone, this is the cup of the New 
Testament ^.' There is a sacrifice in the Eucharist, and 
there is a commemoration of a sacrifice, the first is that 
of the believer himself, the second is that of Christ ^ 
There is a Presence of Christ, but it is a spiritual, and 
therefore in Origen's view the only real. Presence, real pre* 
cisely because in nowise material. It is worth while to 

ausserhalb des Sakramentes empfangen und geniessen sollen.' Hence it is 
sometimes difficult to decide when Origen is speaking of the Eucharist and 
when of general spiritual communion with Christ, as In Matt. Comm. Series ^ 
86 ; Cels, viii. 2%\ De Orat. 27 ; Infer, Horn. xii. a. Hofling. 

* In Matt, Comm, Series, 85. 

^ In Lev, Horn. ix. 8. 9, at the heavenly altar, till the end of this world, 
Christ offers the incense which we must put into His Hands. Our sacri- 
fices can have no propitiatory value unless He thus takes them, receiving 
from us both the incense and the coala^ the fire of love. For the Christian's 
sacrifice, see In Num, Hom. xiL 3 ; xxiv. 2 ; In Exod, Hom. xiii. 2 ; De 
Orat, 1 2. But In Lev, Hom. v. 3, Ipse Christus solus est hostia pro pec- 
catis et ipse est hostia sancta sanctorum. He is the only sacrifice in the 
sense of sin-offering. In Lev, Hom. iii. 5, Omnis quidem paene hostia 
quae offertur habet aliquid formae et imaginis Christi. Especially the 
young bullock of Lev. iv. 3, the ram of the trespass-offering, and the Paschal 
Lamb. But not the scape-goat. In the Eucharist we plead the death of 
Christ; In Lev, Hom. xiii. 3, Quod ista est commemoratio sola quae 
propitium &cit hominibus Deum. 



252 Origen. [Lect. 

repeat that Origen held the Sacrifice of Christ to have 
consisted not of His Body but of His Soul. The Soul 
answers to the Wine, for according to the book of Genesis 
the blood is the soul or life. This one fact is enough to 
prove that, as regards the bread at any rate, Origen 
cannot have held the doctrine of transubstantiation in 
any shape whatever. 

But the thoughts of Origen turn with constant hope 
and longing from the Church on earth, where tares grow 
side by side with the wheat, to the spiritual invisible 
Church, the Church of the faithful and true, which has 
neither spot nor blemish nor wrinkle. It is linked in 
close and vital union to the Church above, the Church of 
the first-bom, of saints and martyrs and angels. These 
two form the Body, the Temple of the Lord, older in 
the counsels of God than creation itself. This is the 
saving Ark, the Church outside of which is no salvation. 
Men might belong to the visible Church, and yet be dead 
in trespasses and sins ; they might be cut off from the 
visible Church, and yet be true brothers of Christ. So 
different is the view of Origen from that of the organising 
law-loving West ^. 

^ Chnrch bnildings, Injesu Nave, Horn. ii. i, Cum videris . . . ecclesiasex- 
trni; their disposition, Ibid.y Horn. x. 3 ; Injad, Horn. iii. 2. The Church had 
been corrupted by prosperity, Infer, Horn. iv. 3 (Lorn. xv. 140) : * If we judge 
things by truth and not by numbers we shall see now that we are no longer 
faithful. But in bygone times we were faithful when the people suffered mar- 
tyrdom, when from the cemeteries to which we had escorted the bodies of 
the martyrs we returned to our places of meeting, and the whole church was 
gathered together, none falling away, and the catechumens were instructed 
in martyrdom and in the deaths of those who confessed the truth even unto 
blood, not yielding to temptation or being confounded before the living 
God. Then we know they saw signs and wonders ; then few were faithful, 
but they were faithful indeed, treading the strait and narrow path that 
leadeth unto life. But now when we* have become many — ^for it is not pos- 
sible that there should be many elect, for Jesus truly said many are called 



VI.J The Eternal Gospel. 11% 

To the Spiritual Church belongs the Eternal Gospel, 
a phrase taken from the Book of Revelation^. The 
Eternal Gospel bears the same relation to the actual 
Gospel, as this to the Law, or as Deuteronomy to 
the rest of the Pentateuch. It is that full disclosure 
of the purposes of God, which could not be given in the 
New Testament because of the nature of human lan- 
guage and the limitations of the flesh-bound mind. Yet 
there are hints, fragments, shadows, which he, who un- 
derstands the reading of the Mystic Sense, can seize 
and interpret. These hints, these ' crannies in the wall,* 
Origen finds abundantly in the Books of Joshua and 
Leviticus ; the earthly altar is a type of the heavenly 
altar ; the earthly Canaan is a model of the Promised 

but few chosen — ont of the multitude of them that profess godliness there 
are very few that attain to the election of God and blessedness.* Compare 
Injesu Nave, Hom. xxi. The true ChurcH, i^ /cvplms kKKkriaia, is holy and 
Tmdefiled, De Orat. 20 ad in. Outside the Church is no salvation, Injesu 
Navey iii. 5, Nemo semet ipsum decipiat ; extra hanc domum, id est extra 
ecclesiam nemo salvatur. Contrast however with this Injer, Hom. xx. 3, 
Qui extra ecclesiam est neque vas misericordiae est neque irae . . . sed vas in 
aliud quiddam reservatum (see above, p. 207, note). But there are those within 
the Church who do not belong to it, there are those who have been driven 
forth wrongfully and yet remain members ; In Lev. Hom. xiv. 3. Christ, the 
Angels, the holy dead are all present at the public worship of the Church ; In 
Lticaniy Hom. xxiii. Duplex hie adest ecclesia xma hominum altera angelorum ; 
cp. De Orat, 31. In Lev, Hom. ix. 8. 9, there are two Temples, the Holy 
Place and the Holy of Holies, the Church on earth, the Church in heaven. 
The former is the ira/xiSciiros Tpwprjs, 'paradisus deliciarum,' a phrase 
borrowed from Philo, Le^, All. i. 14 (i. 53), In Cant, Cant. 11 1 (Lom. xv. 
29), but this term expresses the Holy Church as a whole on earth or in 
heaven ; see In Ezech, Hom. xiii. 2. The Church in Heaven is the 'eccle- 
sia primitivorum ' (from Heb. xii. 23), Injesu Nave, Hom. ix. 4. We find 
the phrases ecclesia catholica, catholice, doctores catholici, and even catho- 
licus, a Catholic, the last In Lev, Hom. xiv. 2. 

* Rev. xiv. 6. See De Princ. iv. 25 ; In Joan, i. 9. 10; In Rom, i. 4 ; 
ii. 5 ; In Lev. Hom. xiii. 2. The imperfection of Revelation in the usual 
sense of the word, the aMrjrbv eitayyiXiov, appeared to be proved, especi- 
ally by I Cor. xiii. 9, 10, and John xxi. 25. 






224 Origen. [Lect. 

Land above. But the most significant are furnished by 
St. Paul. Pieced together by his cunning hand they 
form what is called his Eschatology, his vision of the 
life to come. He differs from Clement mainly in detail 
and the anxious care with which he discussed, debated, 
explained away the language of Scripture. 

He learned from the Bible that the soul passes at 
death into one of two abodes, which in accordance with 
the general belief of his time he regarded as situated 
beneath the earth. The first is Hades, the prison of the 
imperfect. It is guarded by the Cherubim, who with 
their fiery sword keep the way of the Tree of Life. 
Nor had any been suffered to pass these stern sentinels, 
till Christ descended, and carried the souls of the Patri- 
archs and Prophets in His train to Paradise, the man- 
sion of the blessed. Since that day the true believer 
passes at once into Paradise, unharmed by the fiery 
sword ^. Even in this place of rest the soul still has 
a bodily form, such as that which clothed it before its 
entry into life. 

At the close of this present Aeon will come the 
Great Day, when Christ will return to judgment. As 
in Clement, we hear nothing of the imminence of this 
catastrophe ; what the more refined minds are pondering 
is not the time, but the manner of the great change, the 

^ In libr. I Sam. Horn. 2 (Lorn. xi. 331) ; De Princ. ii. 11. 6, Puto 
enim quod sancti quiqtie discedentes de hac vita permanebimt in loco 
aliquo in terra posito, quern Paradisum dicit Scriptura divina, velut in 
quodam eruditionis loco, et, ut ita dixerim, auditorio vel schola animarum. 
* In terra,* I presume, is * within the earth,* ' under the earth.' Compare 
also In Lucam, Hom. xxiv; De Mart, 36. All pass 'the fiery sword,' 
' the fire/ but the righteous are not harmed nor stopped by the screen of 
flame because there is in them no fuel for it to fasten upon. That the soul 
in Hades or Paradise has a body was proved by the Parable of Dives and 
Lazarus; Redepenning, ii. 126. 



Yi.] The Resurrection. 225 

meaning of the Resurrection, the nature of the reward ^. 
The first of these questions Origen passes over, content 
to warn his readers that the Gospel prophecy must not 
be taken in its literal sense ^. Enough that there will be 
a new heaven and a new earth. And yet it is but * the 
fashion ' of this world that passeth away. The new uni-* 
verse will still be material, still infinite in variety, and 
apt as this for the discipline of those that dwell therein ^. 
In that Great Day men will be reunited to their 
bodies. This is the undoubted assurance of Scripture. 
But it constituted one of the great difficulties of the 
time. Christians were perplexed by it; heathen con- 
troversialists poured upon it unmixed ridicule and scorn. 
Origen like Clement found a solution of all his doubts 
in the teaching of St. Paul, but he refined upon this in 
a way peculiar to himself. The resurrection body will 
be the same as that we now inhabit, and yet not the 
same. Not the same because spiritual and glorious, 
because again its material substance will be entirely 
different. Yet the same, as our body of to-day is the 
same with our body of twenty years ago ; every particle 
is changed, yet the body as a whole is n6t changed, 
Origen found an explanation of this identity in difference 
in what he calls the *germinative principle,' a power 
similar to that, by which the ear of corn is evolved from 
the seed. The soul has a vital assimilative 'spark,' or 
* principle,' which lays hold of fitting matter, and shapes 

^ Chiliasm is emphatically condemned, De Princ, ii. 1 1 . 2. The First and 
Second Resurrection are distinguished, Sel. in Psalm, i. (Lorn, xi, 392), as 
that of righteous and that of wicked. But In Joan. xx. 2 1 (Lorn, ii: 259) the 
First Resurrection is for the * dead in Christ/ the imperfectly righteous, who 
need resurrection most. 

* In Matt. Comm, Series, 49. 

• De Princ. i. 6. 4; ii. 1. 3. 



226 Origen. [Lect. 

it into a habitation suited to its needs. The same pro- 
cess, by which it repairs the daily waste of our organism 
now, will enable it then to construct a wholly new tene- 
ment for itself ^ 

It has been urged that Origen's system leaves no 
real place for the Resurrection 2. This he would most 
strenuously have denied. And it is in fact untrue. 
The body of the soul in Paradise, though different from 
that which it inhabited in life, is still a body belonging 
to this Aeon, this world ; the resurrection body is the 
body of another Aeon, another world. Hence though 
its features are the same, because these are the natural 
outward expression of its abiding individuality, its tex- 
ture is far different, because adapted on the one hand 
to its new element, on the other to the varying degrees 
of the soul's purity or impurity^. Man, he tells us, will 

* De Princ. ii. lo. 3 ; iii. 6. 4 sqq. ; Stl. in Psal, i, 5 (Lorn. xi. 392) ; 
Contra Celsum, v. 22 sqq. The 'germinative principle' is the K6yoi^ sub- 
stantiae ratio, ffmvOrjpKriJiSs, kvrtpi&vfj. 

* Redepenning, ii. 127; Denis, 325. 

* The principles laid down by Origen are four. The Resurrection body 
will be infinitely more beautiful ; it will retain its general type and be 
recognisable ; it will be adapted to the requirements of its new^environment ; 
it will have no superfluous organs. In consequence of the latter rule the 
'gnashing of teeth* is not to be literally understood. The Resurrec- 
tion body of the wicked will differ from that of the righteous, Dt 
Princ. ii. 3 ; 10. 2 sq. ; iii. 6. 4. Origen taught the Resurrection of 
' this body,' and even of ' the flesh ' (Pamphilus insists upon this point, 
ApoL 7), but not of *this flesh.' Even in his own time many were 
offended at his doctrine, De Princ, ii. 10. i, and Jerome and others 
attacked him with great vehemence. The Origenist monks are said to have 
believed that the Resurrection body would be spherical, and this opinion is 
charged upon Origen by Justinian. The accusation rests probably upon 
De Orat, 31 (Lom. xvii. 378), where this shape is attributed to the bodies 
of the stars. The same general principles applied to the Body of our Lord 
as to that of man ; see Contra Celsunij ii. 62 ; iii. 41, and passages referred 
to at end of last Lecture. Some charged Origen with asserting that the 
Saviour laid aside His Body in the Sun. Some Christians, according to 



VI.] The Future Life. 227 

eventually cease to be 'a soul' at all. When his re- 
demption is complete, his love will be no longer * cold ; ' 
he will become a pure Intelligence, as he was before he 
lapsed from his first estate. But even so he will still be 
corporeal, for except the Trinity no spirit can exist 
without a shroud. The same law will apply to the 
Saviour, in so far as He is perfect Man. 

Clement figured the future life as an upward pro- 
gress of the soul through seven heavens to rest in the 
Ogdoad. But Origen doubted whether this Gnostic 
conception had sufficient Scripture warrant. Hence, 
following the hint conveyed in the phrase * aeons of 
aeons,' he speaks of a vast stretch of cycles reaching 
onwards in almost illimitable extension to the Consum- 
mation of All. There is in this a certain resemblance 
to Stoicism, but it is merely superficial ^. 

In that future life the soul is still free, is still tested \ 
by its use of freedom, rises and falls, is punished or 

Pamphilus, Apol. 7, actually held this strange tenet, interpreting in this way 
Psalm xix. 4, in sole posuit tabernaculum snnm. It is perhaps a Gnostic 
idea; see the acconnt of Theodotus in Lecture i. Any stone was good 
enough to fling at Origen. See for the whole subject, Origeniana, ii. 9 ; 
Denis, p. 297 sqq. ; Redepenning, places cited in Index. De la Rue con- 
sidered that there was nothing in Origen's speculations opposed to the 
Catholic faith, ' si modo quasdam exceperis quaestiunculas quas luxurians 
Origenis ingenium curiosius persequens pauUo longius prosequitur.* The 
reader should also bear in mind De Princ. i. 5. 4, Certius tamen qualiter 
se habitura sit res scit solus Deus et si qui eius per Christum et Spiritum 
Sanctum amici sunt. 

* Contra Celsum,^. 21, the canonical scriptures do not speak of seven or 
any definite number of heavens, yet do speak of heavens in the plural, 
whether these are to be identified with the Greek spheres or understood in a 
mystical sense. De Princ. ii. 3. 7, the eighth heaven, the &n\av^ <r<f)aTpa. 
There are three heavens. In Matt. xxx. ^\\In Psalm, xxxix. Hom. i. 8 ; De 
Mart. 13. De Princ. ii. 3. 5, Multorum saeculorum finis dicitur esse hie 
mundus qui et ipse saeculum dicitur: compare De Or at. 27 (Lom. xvii. 
226) ; In Matt, xv, 31. 



^28 Origen. [Lect. 

' rewarded, according to its works ^. All punishment is 
medicinal, at least in the purpose of the good God^ 
And the reward is not payment like that of an earthly 

,' master, who gives money in return for toil. The King- 
dom of God is within us, and what He promises is not 
happiness, still less pleasure, but the full satisfaction of 
that restless love of truth which He has implanted in 
the soul, most surely not in vain*. But all revelation 
must be gradual, must be willingly received. Hence 

* De Princ, i. 6. 3, Ex quo, ut opinor, hoc consequentia ipsa videtnr 
ostendere, unamqaamque rationabilem natnram posse ab uno in attemm 
ordinem transeuntem per singulos in omnes, et ab omnibus in singulos 
pervenire, dum accessus. profectuum defectuumve varios pro motibus yel cona- 
tibus propriis unusquisque pro liberi arbitrii fisicultate perpetitur. The drift of 
the passage compels us to apply these words to the future as well as to the past 
and present life. Still more distinct is De Princ. iii. i. 21, Ex quo opinamur 
quoniam quidem, ut frequenter diximus, immortalis est anima et aetema, quod 
in multis et sine fine spatiis per immensa et diversa saecula possibile est, ut 
vel a summo bono ad infima mala descendat, vel ab ultimis malis ad summa 
bona reparetur : and more explicit still are De Princ. ii. 3. 3 cut fin,, and 
the Fragment from Jerome's translation of De Princ. in the Ad Avitum 
(Lom. xxi. 133). The possibility of a fall in the future life is the special 
characteristic of Origen's view. It appeared to flow necessarily from the 

, doctrine of Free Will, on the other hand it is limited by the doctrine of Grace ; 

' see below at the end of this Lecture. But I have not noticed any passage 
where Origen affirms this possibility outside of the De Principiis, and it is 
expressly denied In Pom, v. 10. 

' The best passage for the curative nature of all punishment is to be found 
in the Selecta in Exodum on the hardening of Pharaoh's heart. Origen's 
belief is summed up very forcibly in the words tKOASroi aZv avytiH^ d/Mprias 
kivrf €ux^<tBcj KoXaaO^vai (Lom. viii. 328). Compare also De Princ. i. 
6. 3. The weak part of his doctrine is the tendency to regard the relation 
between vice and punishment as quantitative. In Lev. Horn. xiv. 3 there 
are three degrees of sinfulness, denoted by the ' wood, hay, straw ' of 
I Cor. iii. 12, which the fire bums up in a longer or shorter time. In Lev^ 
Hom. xi, 2 ; xiv. 4 the death, which was the punishment of certain sins 
under the Law, wiped out the sin. The Christian must make atonement 
either by penance ; this is the ' tradidi in interitum camis ' of i Cor. v. 5 ; or by 
fire in the next world. Here, as often, Origen is drawn in different direction^ 
by three irreconcileable principles — discipline, literalism, and spiritualism, 

• De Princ. ii. 11. 4 sqq. 



VI.] The Future Life. 229 

the future life is to be looked upon as one of progress 
through discipline. 

* The Lord is like a refiner's fire.' * It is certain that 
the fire which is prepared for sinners awaits us, and we 
shall go into that fire, wherein God will try each man's 
work of what kind it is ... . Even if it be a Paul or a 
Peter, he shall come into that fire, but such are they of 
whom it is written, " though thou pass through the fire, 
the flame shall not scorch thee."' The holy and the 
just are cleansed, like Aaron and Isaiah, with coals from 
bff the altar. But sinners, ' among whom I count my- 
self,' must be purged with another fire. This is not of 
the altar, it is not the Lord's, but is kindled by the 
sinner himself within his own heart. Its fuel is our own 
evil, the wood, the hay, the straw, sms graver or lighter, 
which we have built upon the foundation laid by Christ. 
Anger, envy, remorse, these rack men even in this life 
with anguish so intolerable, that many perish by their 
own hand rather than bear their torments longer. How 
much fiercer will be the smart, when the soul in the 
light of eternity surveys the history of all its wickedness 
written in indelible characters upon its own texture^; 
when it is * sawn asunder ' by the pangs which attend 
the separation of the guilty passions from the pure 
spirit ; when it bewails in ' outer darkness ' its banishment 
from Him, who is the Light and the Life ^. 

* The soul never really forgets anjrthing, but retains within itself * signa 
quaedam et formas ' of all its misdeeds, De Princ. ii. lo, 4. The same 
idea, that sin leaves an imprint on the soul, is expressed by the x^^P^9^^^ 
of De Orat. 28 ; the cicatrix of In Lev. Horn. viii. 5 ; the Ti5iros written oii 
the heart with iron pen and nail of adamant, Infer. Hom. xvi. 10. 

^ In Psal. xxxvii. Hom. iii. i ; In Lev. Hom. ix. 8 ; In Lucam, Hom. xiv, 
Ego puto quod et post resurrectionem ex mortuis indigeamus sacramento 
eluente nos atque purgante ; nemo enim absque sordibus resurgere poterit ; 



230 Origen. [Lect. 

Origen's view — we must not say his doctrine — rests 
largely upon general principles : that justice and good- 
ness are in their highest manifestation identical; that 
God does not punish, but has made man so, that in 
virtue only can he find peace and happiness, because He 

• has made him like Himself; that suffering is not a tax 
upon sin, but the wholesome reaction, by which the 
diseased soul struggles to cast out the poison of its 
malady; that therefore, if we have done wrong, it is 

' good to suffer, because the anguish is returning health, 
will cease when health is restored, and cannot cease till 
then. Again, that evil is against the plan of God, is 
created not by Him but by ourselves ; is therefore pro- 
perly speaking a negation, and as such cannot be eternal. 
These are in the main Greek thoughts; their chief 
source is the Gorgias of Plato. But his final appeal is 
always to Scripture. The texts on which he mainly relies 
are those of St. Paul, ' He shall be saved yet so as by 
fire,' * God shall be all in all.' But starting from these he 
finds a thousand hints and 'crannies,' especially in the 
Old Testament^. He laboured to answer objections. 

nee ullam posse animam reperiri quae universis statim vitiis caieat ; De Princ, 
ii. lo. 4 sqq. Injerem, Horn. ii. 3 Origen speaks as if the saints do not need this 
baptism of fire. But this must be understood in the light of the above passages. 
* Besides the famous texts Luke iii. 16, i Cor. iii. 15, Is. iv. 4, Origen 
quotes Is, xii. i, 'Though Thou wast angry with me, Thine anger is turned 
away;* xxiv. 22, *And they shall be gathered together as prisoners are 
gathered in the pit, and shall be shut up in the prison, and after many days 
shall they be visited;* xlvii. 14, 15, 5ri Ixcts SivSpoKas irvp6s, tcaOlffai lir* 
abrois' avroi icovrai <roi ffo^Otia : Micah vii. 9, ' I will bear the indignaticm 
of the Lord, because I have sinned against Him . . . He will bring me forth 
to the light ; * Ezekiel xvi. 53, 55, Restituetur Sodoma in antiquum ; Jerem. 
XXV. 15, 1 6,. Per Hieremiam prophetam iubetur calix furoris Dei propinari 
omnibus gentibus nt bibant et insaniant et evomant In quo comminatur 
dicens quia si quis noluerit bibere non mundabitur ; Matth. xviii 30, ' Went 
and cast him into prison till he should pay the debt;' John x. 16, * There shaU 



VI.] The Future Life. 231 

The word * eternal ' as applied to death does not neces- 
sarily mean * endless ^/ The sin, which is not forgiven 
in this aeon or the aeon to come, might yet be blotted 
out in some one of the aeons beyond ^. But he could 
not be blind to the fact, that there are in Scripture 
passages that make directly against him. Hence Resti- 
tution is a great and terrible mystery. It is taught in 
Scripture not explicitly but in allegories. And there is 
a reason for this, because many men are so vile, that 
even the dread of endless torments will scarcely curb 
their evil passions. Considerations such as these lay 
heavy upon his candid spirit. Hence though un- 
doubtedly his prevailing hope is, that all men shall be 
healed in that far-off day, when there shall be one flock 
and one shepherd, and even Sodom, as Ezekiel pro- 
phesied, shall be restored, at times his vision fails. * Who 

be one fold and one shepherd ; * Rom. xi. 25, 26, ' Blindness in part is hap- 
pened to Israel until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in, and so all Israel 
shall be saved ;* Rom. xi. 32, 'God hath concluded them all in unbelief that 
He might have mercy upon all;* i Peter iii. 18-21, 'Christ went and 
preached to those who perished in the Flood ; ' Ps. Ixxviii. 34, ' When He 
slew them then they sought Him.' Other texts are given by Huet, Ori' 
geniana, ii. 11. 20. 

* In Exodum, Hom. vi. 13, Domine quiregnas in saeculum et in saeculum 
ei adhuc ; De Princ, ii. 3. 5 ; In Lev. Hom. xiii. 6, Legitimum namque 
et aetemum est omne quod mysticum est. Contra Celsum, vi. 26, Origen 
seems to allow that al^ios implies endless duration, but argues that the 
word is used ha, ro%is fi6yis <l>60<^ ttjs cdcauiov Kok&ff €ca5 k&v avffriWovras 
lire iroaov r^s leaucias zeal tSw &n aviiis dfmpravofxivojy xvffiv. The word 
alw in the usage of the Platonists of the time, certainly included the idea 
of endless, changeless duration, see Plutarch, De Ei apod Delphos, 20; 
and it must be admitted that the arguments employed in the passages quoted 
above are not sufficient to prove Origen's point. Origen speaks of eternal 
punishments in many passages. Vincenzi, In S. Greg, Nyss. et Origenis 
Seripta et Doctrinam, Rome, 1865, refers to In Lev. Hom. ix. 4. 5 ; xiv. 4 ; 
In Jesu Nave, Hom. xvi. 3 ; In Ezech. Hom. vi. a6 ; In Matt. Com, xvi. 
22; De Mart, 25, and others, but he endeavours to prove £eir too much. 
^Gt Origeniatui,\\, i\, 

' In Matt, Com, xv. 21. 



.232 Origen, [Lect. 

is that guest who is bourld hand and foot, and cast into 
outer darkness ? You will ask whether he remains bound 
in the outer darkness for ever ? — for the words ' for this 
aeon,' or ' for the aeons,' are not added — or whether he 
will in the end be loosed ? — for it does not appear that 
anything is written about his future release. It does not 
seem to me to be safe, seeing I have no full understand- 
ing, to pronounce an opinion, especially in a case where 
Scripture is silent ^Z The same hesitation is apparent, 
where he is led to speak of the final doom of the evil 
spirits ^. 

Indeed the Alexandrine doctrine of Volition is such, 
that it is hard to reconcile with the hope of final unity. 
If the will is wholly free, unconditioned, indifferent, what 
after all is the use of these long ages of discipline? 
What can they produce, but an eternity of sterile change, 
I in which each rise is balanced by a fall, and after the 
lapse of a million ages the end is no nearer than it was^ 

^ In Joan, xxviii. 7 ; see also In Rom. viii. 12 ; Injer, Horn, xviii. 15. 

^ De Princ. i. 6. 3, the solvability of some of the evil spirits is an open 
question. IHd, i. 8. 4, the 'adversariae virtntes* are divided into two 
classes, i. ' principatus, potestates mundi rectores;* ofthese he only says that 
they are not essentially evil : a. another class has sunk so deep * ut revo- 
can nolit magis quam non possit.* Ibid. iii. 6. 5, * The last enemy that 
shall be destroyed is Death.* That is to say, not the substance but the 
wicked will of the Devil will at last be annihilated. He will cease to be 
an enemy. But this is denied. In Rom, viii. 9, Istius autem qui de coelo 
cecidisse dicitur nee in fine saeculi erit ulla conversio. In the Epistola ad 
Amicos (Lom. xvii. 8) according to the version of Jerome certain of Origen's 
adversaries taught that the Devil ' posse salvari/ according to that of Ru- 
finus they affirmed that Origen taught 'diabolum esse salvandum.* Both 
translators agree in the sense of the following words, ' quod ne mente 
quidem quis captus dicere potest' 

^ Jerome, Ad Avitum^ considers that the result of Origen's speculations 
\ is ' rursum nasci ex fine prindpium et ex principio finem.' But Origen ex-> 
pressly denies this, De Princ. iii. 6. 6. See Denis, pp. 176, 328, 347. 
Redepenning raises other difficulties on which it Is unnecessary to enter. 



VL] The Future Life. 233 

This IS Jerome's criticism, and it has been pressed by 
later writers. It may be a logical sequence, but it is 
certainly not the meaning of Origen. Some spirits may 
be rebellious to the last, and it is certain that God 
Himself can constrain no man to goodness. But who 
shall presume to say from observation of this life, which 
is but a pin-point in the boundless ocean, that the soul 
will always be obdurate. Great is the truth and it will 
prevail, if it have but time to work in. Slowly yet cer- 
tainly the blessed change must come, the purifying fire 
must eat up the dross, and leave the pure gold. Per- 
haps not till after many ages, not till after discipline 
prolonged through geologic cycles, the sinner will learn 
to kiss the rod, and submit to be healed. But at last 
his eyes will be opened, the prodigal will fall on the 
Father's bosom, and becoming * one spirit with the Lord' 
will thenceforth sin no more. One by one we shall 
enter into rest never to stray again. Then when Death 
the last enemy is destroyed, when the tale of His children 
is complete, Christ will * drink wine in the Kingdom of 
His Father.' This is the End, when * all shall be one, 
as Christ and the Father are One,' when ' God shall be 
all in all.' 

From this time forth there is no further change, but the 
soul remains secure in the fulness of intellectual fruition. 
Yet not all alike. To the Beatific Vision none can be 
admitted save the pure in heart. Though all other 
chastisements cease, when their object is fulfilled, the 
poena damni may still endure. Star differeth from star 
in glory. There are many mansions, many degrees^. 

' The many mansions are typified by the stages on the march of the 
Israelites from Egypt to the Promised Land. The end of the journey is 



V\ 



234 Origen. The Future Life. 

There are those, who bring forth thirty-, sixty-, a hun- 
dred-fold. * The righteous shall shine as the sun. And 
upon whom shall they shine but on those beneath them?' 
If we do not misinterpret these expressions, they 
appear to mean, that the soul by sin may lose capacities, 
which can never be wholly regained, and in this sense 
at least Origen teaches the eternity of punishment. 

the ' river which makes glad the city of God/ In Num. Horn. xxvi. 4. 5 ; 
xxviii. 2. 3. But again, Injesu Nave^ xxv. 4, there are different abodes even 
in the last degree figured by the final settlements of the tribes in East, West, 
South and North. Again, In Num. Hom. xi. 4. 5, as in this world the 
Gentile races are under the care of Guardian Angels, while Israel is the 
special portion of God, ' ita credo et in fine huius mundi atque in initio 
saeculi alterius fiiturum ut iterum dividat excelsus filios Adam^ et qui non 
potuerint ita mundi esse corde nt ipsum videant Dominum et esse portio 
Domini videant sanctos angelos et sint secundum numerum angelorum Dei. 
It may be doubted here whether Origen is speaking of the Day of Judg- 
ment or of the Consummation, but In Num. Hom. xxi. i he is certainly 
speaking of the latter. The same uncertainty attaches to In Luc, Hom. 
iii, where it is said that though all the redeemed will be in one place, only the 
pure in heart will be able .to see God. But here again I think he refers to 
the End. So again, Ibid, xvii, the $170/10$ is excluded from the church of 
the firstborn, ' non quo in 'aetemum mittatur incendium sed quo partem non 
habeat in regno Dei.* He may be saved but is not crowned. So again, In 
Lev. Hom. xiv. 3, he who is spotted with vices not of a mortal kind, ' huic 
etiamsi secundum Apostoli sententiam negantur regna coelorum non tamen 
alterius beatitudinis abscinditur locus.' Similar language is used of the 
Gentiles (see above, p. 207). To these passages may be added De Mart. 
13. 14 ; In Matt, x. 3. The point is of importance because it is the only 
ground on which Jerome attacks Origen's doctrine of the Restitution of Man, 
alleging {^Ep. Ixxxiv. Migne, Ad Fammachium et Oceanum) that he taught 
< post multa saecula atque unam omnium restitutionem id ipsum fore 
Gabrielem quod diabolum, Paulum quod Caipham, virgines quod prosti- 
bulas.' See Origeniana, ii. 11. 21. 



LECTURE VII. 

No man can serve two Masters, — St. Matt. vi. 24. 

Our account of Or^en would be essentially defective 
without a notice of his controversy with Celsus. We 
have seen how the Church utilised philosophy; we 
must now reverse the picture, and consider what the 
philosophers had to say on their side. It will be inter- 
esting to observe the attitude they took with regard 
to Christianity, the points they conceded, the points 
they denied, and to ascertain, as clearly as we can, what 
they treated as the vital issues of the great debate. 
But we shall be enabled to do this better, if we permit 
ourselves a wider scope, and review not the controversy 
with Celsus alone, but the mutual action and reaction 
of Christianity and Paganism during this period. 

It would be a serious error to regard the Second 
Century as a time of irreligion. On the contrary it 
was an age of revival. Everywhere men were seeking 
with restless eagerness for deeper, more positive, more 
vital beliefs. The ancient mythology had perished with 
the Republic, and the old Greek and Roman deities 
appear henceforth for the most part as intermediate 
beings, angels or demons, who people the spaces of 
air between man and the supreme object of his worship. 
This is no longer Zeus or Jupiter, but a God of Syrian, 
or Persian, or Egyptian nationality. The altars of 
the Great Mother, of Isis and Serapis, of Mithra, are 



236 The Reformed Paganism. [Lect. 

to be found all over the world, from Bactria to Gaul, 
in Northumberland, on the Rhine, in Numidia, wherever 
the Roman eagles flew, in the provinces, in Rome, in 
Caesar's palace. 

The change is significant in many ways. It shows, 
firstly, the irresistible tendency of the times towards 
a Monotheistic worship. For these Oriental Gods, 
though many in name, are in reality but one. As we 
gaze upon them they seem to melt into one another. 
Who is the Syrian Goddess? She is the Aramaic 
Astarte, the Babylonian Mylitta, she is the Great 
Mother, she is Isis, Universal Nature, the maternal 
feminine aspect of God. And God is the Sun, whose 
ray-crowned head is to be seen on Roman coins from 
the reign of Commodus to that of Constantine. Osiris, 
Mithra, Elagabalus, are all the same. They are the 
fatherly, fostering, masculine side of the Divine, aptly 
figured by the orb of day ^* 

^ The same idea, tliat of the substantial identity of deities, regarded by 
the vulgar as distinct, is found in Aeschylus, Prom, Vine, 2iOt &4fus ical 
Tata woXXSfv dvo/MTOJv fiofx^ fxla. This mode of conception — ^it has been 
called Henotheism — ^is an intermediate stage between Polytheism and Mono- 
theism. It had prevailed from very early times in Egypt (see M. Le Page 
Renouf, Hibbert Lectures for 1879 ; ^- Maspero, Histoire Ancientu des 
Peuples de t Orient, 4th ed., Paris, 1886) and obtains full expression in the 
De hide et Osiride of Plutarch, the De Dea Syria of Lucian. See also 
Mommsen, v. 454. It is the chief reason for the great fascination exercised 
by the Egyptian religion, notwithstanding its zoolatry, upon Greek minds. 
Henotheism, however, preserves in a confused way the personality of the 
different deities, and does not go so far as to assert that die different names 
only mark more or less perfect or imperfect ideas of the same God. This 
was asserted in one passage by Clement, Strom, v. 14. loi, where he 
affirms that God is meant by the Zeus of the poets. Origen would not 
admit this. When Celsus insists that all mankind worship the same Father, 
whether they call Him * Jehovah, Jove or Lord,' he replies that words have 
a natural affinity to things, that language is ^i^o-ci not Bka^i^ that the different 
names of the pagan gods have a real connection with demon-worship, as is 



vn.] Mithra, 237 

But besides this striving after unity, so natural to all 
dvilised men, there were other motives at work. What 
these were we shall best see by a brief account of Mithra, 
the most popular and powerful of all the new order of 
deities. 

Mithra was a God of the world-old Arian stock ^. 
In the Vedas he is the giver of light, life, and truth, 
the assessor, almost the double of Varuna, the Lord 
of Heaven. In the new dualism of the Iranian peoples 
he is d^raded to a subordinate place, and becomes, 
as Plutarch says, a mediator between Ormuzd the good 
and Ahriman the evil spirit, or between God and Man. 

proved by their ef&cacy in magical incantations, and finally quotes Plato, 
rh V \ikhv 8ios, & Up^axf, vfpl rd. dvSfMra rSrv OtSav oIk 5\(yov, Contra 
Celsum, i. 24; v. 44. 

^ The history of Mithra worship in its original home will be found in the 
admirable Introduction of Darmsteter to his translation of the Vendidad in 
Sacred Books of the East. Duncker also may be consulted. For the 
sprei^d of ^ithra worship in Europe, see Preller, Romische Mythologie \ 
Renan, Marc AurHe^ 576; DoUinger, The Gentile and the Jew\ Keim, 
Rom und das Christenthum, An account of Mithraic monuments in 
England will be found in the C. I, L, vol. vii ; and Bruce, Wallet Book of 
the Roman JVall. Almost any volume of the Inscriptions will supply in- 
teresting information ; see especially the account of the Mithraic cave at 
Constantine in Algeria, vol. viii. pt. i. no. 6975. The Mithra monuments 
were erected mainly by Roman officers. This fact proves how worthless is 
the distinction between licitae and illicitae religiones which used to be re- 
garded as explaining the Christian persecutions. The birthday of Mithra, 
the Sol Invictus, was December 25, on which day the festival of the Nativity 
of Christ, the Sun of Righteousness, began to be celebrated not long before 
the time of Chrysostom, It may be that the heathen festival was retained 
under a Christian name from a politic desire to soften the change from the 
old order of things to. the new, though the positive evidence for this rests 
upon a Homily formerly attributed to Chrysostom but of doubtful date and 
authorship. See King, The Gnostics and their Remains, p. 47 ; and 
Mr. Sinker's article Christmas in Diet. Christ. Ant. The same motive 
may accotmt for the fact that the figure of the Sun, with the legend * To the 
Invincible Sun, my Companion,' is found upon copper coins of Constantine ; 
though not after the year 323, when his victory over Licinius raised him above 
the necessity of dissimulation. See Eckhel, vol. viii. pp. 75, 79. 



238 The Reformed Paganism. [Xect. 

He IS the Sun, who shoots his rays down into this world 
to fight for man against cold, darkness, and disease. 
Hence he was worshipped in caves, and depicted as a 
youth slaying a bull. The cave is this dim earth ; the 
bull is the changing world or evil, whose death is the 
life of the soul. So Mithra is a Redeemer, and the 
blood of the slain bull is an Atonement. His monu- 
ments exhibit beneath these figures a dog, emblem 
of the purified soul, lapping up the blood ; and beneath 
all is the legend * A holy stream,' or * The stream that 
is shed for all ^.' 

Connected with Mithra worship, though properly be- 
longing to that of the Great Mother, was the barbarous 
rite of the Taurobolium. The devotee was seated in 
a trench, so that the blood of the slaughtered bull 
gushed all over him. Monuments which commemorate 
this hideous baptism speak of him by whom it was 
received as * regenerate ' — Renatus in aeternum Tauro- 
bolio ^, 

Mithraism had also its Messiah ^ In the fulness of 
time shall come a Saviour, a divine son of Zarathustra, 
the lawgiver. He shall bring to a glorious close the 
aeonian strife between good and evil. Death and Hell 
shall be destroyed, and men shall live in blessedness 

^ "NaifUL ff€$^<nov: nama cunctis; Preller, p. 761. 

' 'Der Einzuweihende wurde mit einem annlichen Gewande bekleidet, 
um so lecht eigentlich als " armer Sunder *' die reinigende Bluttaufe iiber 
sich ergehen zu lassen.' The oldest monument in commemoration of the 
Taurobolium is at Naples and dated 133, the most recent is at Rome and 
belongs to 390. Preller thinks the word renatus is borrowed from Christi- 
anity. It. was in common use in the Isis mysteries ', Apuleius, Mttam, 
xi. 31. 

'He was known by the name of Saoshyant. A tolerably precise outline 
of the doctrine is given by Theopompus, Fragments 71, 7 a in Muller's 
Frag. Hist. Graec, 



VII.] Mithrd. 239 

for evermore, * casting no shadow/ children, as we say, 
of light. Even before that consummation there is a 
heaven for the righteous. It is figured as a staircase with 
seven portals ^. These are the seven heavens, the abode 
of the six great Emanations and of Mithra. Through 
these the soul ascends, protected by its guardian angel, 
into the eighth, where it rests in the presence of Ormuzd. 
It is peculiar to the religion of Mithra and to that of 
Serapis, which is in other respects very similar, that 
the guardian angel is the intelligence, the better and 
purer half of human nature, which becomes after death 
the champion, or spiritual bride, of the lower soul. 
How closely all this resembles the ideas derived by 
Clement from the Valentinian Theodotus will be dis- 
cerned without further comment. 



^ Contra Celsum, vi. 22. * The priests held that only the pure and bright 
part of the soul could live on after death. Hence even in the living they 
distinguished this part from the polluted part, and in the pure immortal 
half they saw the side created by the good gods, its true being, the Fra- 
vashi, or protecting spirit allotted to each man ;* Duncker, v. p. 180, £ng. 
traus. So in the Egyptian Mysteries, 'At death the intellect (Khu or Ka) 
becomes a demon ; the soul passes into the under world and appears at the 
judgment bar of Osiris-Khent-Ament, and his thirty-two assessors. Its 
conscience, or as the Egyptians say its heart, accuses it. It is weighed in 
the balance of truth and justice. According as it is found light or heavy the 
righteous doom is pronounced, and the intellect, the demon, becomes the 
executioner. It reminds the soul how it neglected its warning and would 
none of its reproof ; it flogs it with the scourge of its sins, and delivers it up 
to the storm and the whirlwind;' Maspero, Germ, trans, of 1877, p. 39. 
The account is taken from the Book of the Dead^ a copy of which was 
buried with every mummy. But I observe that in his last edition M. Mas- 
pero does not bring out this peculiar relation of the intellect to the soul as 
its guardian angel or avenging demon. Compare p. 33 above, and Le Page 
Renouf, p. 147. Serapis or Sarapis (both spellings are found in inscriptions) 
is Osiris- Apis, that is, * the dead Apis.' All men after death were regarded 
as entering into union with, as becoming Osiris. *X partir de la xii* 
dynastie le defunt est nomm^ couramment TOsiris iV;* Maspero, pp. 31, 
35, 38, ed. Paris, 1886. 



240 The Reformed Paganism. [Lect. 

The disciples of Mithra formed an organised church 
with a developed hierarchy. They possessed the ideas 
of Mediation, Atonement, and a Saviour, who is human 
and yet divine, and not only the idea, but a doctrine of 
the Future Life. They had a Eucharist, and a Baptism, 
and other curious analogies might be pointed out be- 
tween their system and the Church of Christ ^. Most 
of these conceptions, no doubt, are integral parts of 
a religion much older than Christianity. But when we 
consider how strange they are to the older polytheism 
of Greece and Rome, and when we observe further that 
Mithraism did not come into full vogue till the time 
of Hadrian, that is to say till the age of Gnosticism, 
we shall hardly be wrong in judging that resemblances 
were pushed forward, exaggerated, modified, with a 
special view to the necessities of the conflict with the 
new faith, and that differences, such as the barbarous 
superstitions of the A vesta, were kept sedulously in the 
background with the same object. Paganism was copy- 
ing Christianity, and by that very act was lowering 
her arms. 

This process of approximation, so visible in the popu- 
lar religions, was carried to even greater lengths in the 
region of philosophy. The old scepticism was still 
represented by the Stoics, who combined the worship 
of humanity with speculative doubt, and by the Epi- 
cureans, who were practically Atheists. But these were 
the creeds of a few rebellious intellects. The belief 
in a future life, which Cicero had ridiculed in a court 



* Justin, Jpoi, i. 66 ; TryphOy 70; TcrtnlHan, De Bapt, 5 ; De praescr, 
Haer, 40 ; Preller, p, 759 ; DQllinger, The Gentile and the Jew, i, 416, £ng. 
trans. 



vn.] The Pythagoreans. 241 

of law, and Caesar and Cato had repudiated in the 
open Senate, had become a test. At Athens one who 
like Demonax stood aloof from the Mysteries was a 
marked man, much as a non-communicant would have 
been in the last century. This was the chief reason 
why Stoicism, for all its noble morality and its high 
services to law and to humanity, was swept away by the 
rise of the Platonising schools ^. 

We may divide the heathen Platonists into two main 
branches, according to the predominance in their cast 
of thought of the religious or the philosophic vein. To 
the former belong the Pythagoreans. These gave a 
general adherence to the teaching of Plato, but combined 
with it a high veneration for all 'philosophers, wise- men, 
and inspired poets ; ' for the shadowy figures of Pytha- 
goras, Orpheus, Linus, Abaris, Zamolxis ; for the much 
talked of but little known Brahmins and Buddhists ^ ; 

* The ' godless Epicureans' were not popular, hence Origen thinks that 
Celsus was afraid to come forward openly in his true character as a professed 
Epicurean, lest he should be regarded even by the Greeks as o^eos. For the 
denial of the future life by Cicero, see Pro CluentiOj 6i (in the Tusculan 
Disputations he professes to delight in the Platonic doctrine of immor- 
tality) ; by Caesar and Cato, Sallust, CcU. 51, 52. For Demonax, see § 11 
of Lucian's charming sketch. When accused of Atheism on the ground that 
iAiK ifiVTidij fi6vos &iraafro)v rats ^'EKwaiv'tmSj he replied that if the mysteries 
were bad he should have denounced them, and if they were good he should 
have revealed them to all men ; a noble sentiment in which he agrees with 
Philo. Stoicism, the ancient Positivism, was always sceptical. Their prayer 
always begins, * O God, if there be a God.* The hypothesis was not neces- 
sary to their system. See the Meditations of Marcus Aurelius, ix. 28. They 
did not absolutely deny the Future Life, though they were vague on the 
point, and admitted at most a possible inmiortality for a few illustrious souls ; 
so Tacitus, Agricola, 46. Stoicism throve because, like Christianity, it is a 
philosophy of suffering ; it fell because, unlike Christianity, it is a philosophy 
of despair. 

' There was no doubt a certain kind and degree of intercourse between the 
West and India by way of the Red Sea, and overland through the half 
Hellenised kingdom of Bactria (see Lassen, Zur Geschichte dcr Griech, und 

R 



242 The Reformed Paganism. [Lect. 

for Magi, Thracians, Egyptians, Jews. They profess 
to distil an elixir from all religions, from all that is 
except Christianity, which they never name. Yet the 
Church, from which they avert their eyes as from the 
angel of doom, is really the prompter and guide of all 
their efforts. If their beloved Hellenism was to be saved, 
it must be by reforms borrowed from this hated rival. 
And so they set to work with the energy of despair to 
prove that so far as Christianity was true it was not new. 

What was the secret, they asked, of the formidable 
growth of this new sect? They could not miss the 
external conditions. Christianity was a development 
of an ancient faith ; it had been preached by a divine 
person, whose mission was accredited by miracles. It 
taught a pure morality, and kindled a zeal that was 
stronger than the fear of death. It had its sacred books, 
dictated or inspired by the Spirit of God. Were not 
similar weapons to be found in their own armoury ? 

If they were not to be found, at any rate they were 
easy to manufacture. There were books of Orpheus, 
Hermes, Zoroaster, Osthanes, which would serve for 
Gospels. If Christ was Son of God, so were Plato, 
Pythagoras, ApoUonius. If Christ wrought signs and 
wonders, Pythagoras also caused a miraculous draught 
of fishes and fasted for forty days, Theosebius cast out 
devils, the death of Proclus was foreboded by a super- 
natural darkness so thick that the stars were seen at 

Indo-skyth, JCdnige in Baktrien^ Kabul und Indien^ Bonn, 1838), bnt in 
default of accurate literary information it cannot have been of snch a nature 
as seriously to affect the course of European thought. The merchant 
mariners brought back little knowledge, see Strabo, zy. 4. What knowledge 
there was appears to be derived chiefly from Megasthenes ; see the fragments 
in Miiller, Frag, Hist, Grace, ii. p. 437. But it is sufficient to refer to Bishop 
Lightfoot, ColossianSi p. 151 sqq., ed. 1875. 



vn.] The Pythagoreans. 243 

noonday. If Christ taught in parables, so too did 
Pythagoras. If the Church had martyrs, philosophy 
could boast of Damon and Phintias, of Myllius and 
Timycha, and of Anaxarchus. It was Pythagoras who 
first proclaimed the golden rule *thou shalt love thy 
friend as thyself,' and his morning and evening hymn 
were cited as models of devotion ^. In all this we may 
surely discern the reflex of Christian ideas. On the 
other hand it must be conceded that the doctrinal 
Reserve and the severe Asceticism attributed by the 
Pythagoreans to their founder affected sensibly the 
practice of the Church. 

Very little is really known of Pythagoras, and the 
twenty biographies which were current in the second 
century are little better than a mass of fiction ^. The 
same thing is true of the Life of Apollonius^ yet this 
extraordinary romance has a genuine historical interest 
of its own ^. 



* The miraculous draught of fishes, Porph3rry, Vita Pyth, 25 ; the fast of 
forty days, Ibid, 57 ; for TheosebiuSj see Damascius, Vita Isidori^ 56 ; for 
Proclus, Marinus, Vita Prodi ^ 37 ; the philosopher healed the daughter of 
Archiades when at the point of death, Ibid, 29. Porphyry also tells us that 
Pythagoras first taught rhv t^tKov &KXov lavrdv iXvai^ 33 ; that no one ever 
saw him weep (whereas Jesus wept), 35 ; that he taught all but his chosen 
disciples in parables, 37 ; and speaks of his morning and evening hymn, 
40. For Damon and Phintias, Myllius and Timycha, see Ibid. 60, 61 . Anax- 
archus, Contra Celsum, viii. 53. The Platonists were very anxious to prove 
that all Christianity taught was better taught in their own books ; see Augus- 
tine*s Confessions, vii. 9. 

' More than a score of complete or partial biographies of Pjrthagoras are 
referred to by Clement, Strom, i. 14. 62 sqq., and Porphyry in the Life, 
The only documentary foundation for all this mass of literature was the 
brief account of their master- s teaching said to have been drawn up by Lysis 
and Archippus, and certain tmoiarfuMTa K«pdkaMri asserted to have been 
composed by anon3rmous individuals for their private edification and handed 
down from father to son ; Porph. Vita, 58. 

^ The Life of ApoUonius has been dealt with by Gibbon, Neander, Meiners, 

R % 



244 '^^ Reformed Paganism. [Lect. 

It was composed by the courtly sophist Philostratus 
at the command of Julia Domna, wife of Severus, mother 
of Caracalla, aunt of Elagabalus and Alexander Severus. 
This princess was well acquainted with the faith and 
practice of Christians, who abounded in the royal house- 
hold. Nor was she hostilely disposed towards them. 
But she was deeply interested in the Syrian worship 
of the Sun, to which her family owed its consequence, 
and she presided over a coterie of lawyers and men of 
letters, which was ardent in the defence of Paganism. 
To a lady so learned and so august the settlement of 
ecclesiastical disputes was a tempting, and seemed an 
easy, task. Let paganism be set forth at its best, let 
it be shown that the old mythologies also carried in 
their bosom the germ of their own r^eneration, and 
could provide rational satisfaction for all the cravings 
of heart and mind, and then the reformed Judaism 
would be compelled to renounce its exclusive pre- 
tensions, and fall at once into its proper place in the 
new Pantheon. The necessary ideas were. already cur- 
rent in the imperial saloons. What was wanting was 
a Messiah, some personage, not too ancient and not too 
modern, who would inspire the system with the need- 
ful human interest and vitality. Such a figure was to 
be found in ApoUonius, a sage, though some said a 
charlatan, of the first century, and Philostratus was 



Buhle, Jacobs, I^tronne, Baur, I have made much nse of Aub^, Histoirt 
des Persecutions de V^glise^ to which I may refer the reader for further 
information. Of the three main authorities referred to by Philostratus, 
Damis the Ninevite is probably his own invention, Mazimus of Aegae 
wrote an account only of such part of the life of Apollonius as was spent at 
Aegae, and Moeragenes (cp. Contra Celswn^ vi. 41) appears to have treated 
the sage much as Lucian dealt with Alexander. 



VII.] Apollonius. 245 

commissioned to employ his facile pen and his rhetorical 
tropes in the great cause. 

The birth of Apollonius was announced by Proteus, 
the changing god of Nature, the World Spirit, or Platonic 
Holy Ghost. 'What is it that I shall bring forth?' 
asked the mother. The god replied * Myself.' At the 
age of sixteen the divine child entered on his mission. 
He gave away his patrimony, vowed perpetual chastity, 
and submitted to the law of five years' silence. His 
flowing hair, his bare feet and white linen robe, his rigid 
abstinence from flesh, marked him as a Pythagorean. 
His speech was sententious and authoritative, his radiant 
beauty imposed awe upon the most profane, and he 
dwelt in temples, especially those of Aesculapius the 
Healer, like a child in his father's house. One further 
testimony was needed, and to obtain this he journeyed 
on foot to the land of the Brahmins, who dwell with the 
gods, and for their purity and wisdom have been dowered 
with miraculous gifts. Thence he returned to be the 
saviour of the Hellenic world. He is described as wan-" 
dering from city to city, in East and farthest West, 
attended by disciples, who like those of Jesus are 
devoted yet slow of heart to understand, as possessing 
all languages even that of birds, as healing diseases, as 
raising the dead to life. The heathen priests oppose 
him, but the people hang upon his words. There were 
no bounds to his mysterious power ; the downfall of 
Nero and Domitian, the elevation of the good emperors 
Vespasian and Nerva, were due to the influence of this 
holy man. 

Hearing of the persecution of the philosophers by 
Domitian he resolves at once to offer himself as a volun- 



246 The Reformed Paganism. [Lect. 

tary sacrifice to the tyrant's rage, and gently reproving 
the fears of his disciples makes his way to Rome. There 
he IS charged with the crime that was so commonly 
urged against the Christians, that of having immolated 
a child in secret magic rites ; he is insulted, thrown into 
chains, and mockingly invited to save himself, if he can, 
by a miracle. But the child of God suffers only so far 
as is worthy of his Father. From the very tribunal of 
Domitian ApoUonius vanishes away, and appears the 
same day to two of his disciples, who are seated in a 
grotto of the Nymphs at Puteoli, talking sadly about 
their lost Master. Damis, one of the two, cannot 
believe his eyes, and is convinced by a grasp of the 
hand. 

After this ApoUonius renews his beneficent activity 
for a time. Where or when the end came no man knew, 
but according to one story which Philostratus probably 
intends his readers to accept, it befell in Crete. The 
priests of Dictynna had confined him in their temple. 
•But at midnight the sage arose before his gaoler's ^yts^ 
the chains fell from his limbs, the great gate swung open, 
and he went forth. A choir of angels was heard to salute 
him with the cry * Away from earth to heaven, away ; ' 
and ApoUonius was seen in the flesh no more. Yet 
once again after this translation he appeared to a mourn- 
ing disciple, to confirm his faith and assure him of the 
truth of immortality. 

It is the story of the Gospel corrected and improved. 
ApoUonius is what the enlightened circle of Julia Domna 
thought Christ ought to have been. His portrait is 
copied with minute care from that of the Son of Mary, 
but it has been adorned and dignified according to 



vn.] Apollonius. 247 

heathen notions. It is interesting to notice the point 
at which his passion ceases. To the Sun-worshipper, 
as to the Gnostic, the details of the Crucifixion seemed 
degrading. If Christ were what he professed to be, he 
could not have fallen so low. This was in the eyes of 
Celsus also one of the gravest objections to Christianity. 

We see from this curious romance precisely how far 
the authorities, with whose sanction it was published, 
were ready to advance on the path of concession. 
Apollonius refuses to be present at a bloody sacrifice, 
and contents himself with scattering incense on the altar 
of the Sun. He preaches against image worship, and 
against the barbarous shows of the amphitheatre. On 
the other hand, he loyally accepts the Emperor as Head 
of Church and State. At Alexandria, when the philoso- 
pher Euphrates exhorts Vespasian to restore the Re- 
public, Apollonius replies that monarchy is the only 
form of government suited to the times. * For me all 
constitutions are indifferent, for I depend upon God 
alone, but I do not wish the flock to perish for want 
of a good and faithful shepherd.' These were the terms 
now offered to the Christians, and had they accepted 
theni they would have been protected against the hos- 
tility of the heathen priests, which Apollonius is repre- 
sented as defying, a hostility just as bitterly irritated 
against the new Imperial religion as against the Church. 

Such was Pythagoreanism at its best. It is needless 
to exhibit its lower forms, or to describe at length that 
grovelling theurgy which represents with such startling 
exactness the coarse impositions of modern spiritualism. 
Sufficient to say that they are all there, the table-rapping, 
the apparitions, the aerial music, the floating in the air, 



248 The Reformed Paganism. [Lect. 

the magic writing, the thought reading, the medium with 
his sham miracles. The same causes produced the same 
effects, and then as now the most determined enemies 
of the quack were, as the arch-quack Alexander com- 
plains, the Epicurean Agnostic, and the Christian ^ 
But we must turn from the Pythagoreans to the more 
scientific family of Platonists. Of these there were two 
branches, the Trinitarian and the Unitarian. We may 
take as representatives of the first Numenius^ of the 
second Celsus. 

The genesis of the Platonic Trinity is one of the most 
perplexing questions in the history of philosophy. Like 
almost all the leading ideas of the time it had its roots 

^ *■ The famous oracle which predicted the death of Valens was obtained 
by certain men who sat round a table and noted letters of the alphabet, 
which were spelt out for them by some automatic agency after a fashion 
which, from the description of Ammonius, we cannot precisely determine.* 
Mr. F. W. H. Myers, Greek Oracles in Hellenica, p. 467. The reference is 
to Ammon. Marc. xxix. 2 ; xxxi. i. Compare for talking tables, Tertullian, 
ApoU 23; dancing furniture in the Homilies, ii. 32 ; Hevigation' in the 
account of the Brahmins in Philostratus, Vita Ap,\ magic writing in 
MacrobiuS) Sat, i. 23, and Lucian's Alexander, See also the PhilopstudeSy 
and 'Lohtcis.,AglaophafnMS, * Telepathy,' thought-reading, are very common ; 
there is a good story in the account of Sosipatra in the life of Aedesius ; 
Eunapius, p. 469, ed. Firmin-Didot. These * miracles ' attracted the notice 
of the police magistrate, and ceased or were concealed after the accession of 
Constantine ; Eunapius, p. 461. The dislike of the famous impostor 
Alexander for the disciples of Christ was expressed with the most outspoken 
candour. He complained that ' Pontus was full of Christians and Atheists,' 
25, and denounced them by solemn proclamation at the commencement of 
his mystic rites. ' First of all there was an expulsion of strangers, and 
Alexander cried aloud, " Out with the Christians," to which the congrega- 
tion replied, " Out with the Epicureans ;" ' 38. 

' For this philosopher, see Zeller, iii. p. 545 sqq. ; Vacherot, i. p. 3i9sqq. ; 
Siegfried, p. 277; Ritter and Preller, § 525 sqq.; and the fragments 
preserved by Eusebius, Praep, Ev,, by Porphyry and lamblichus in Stobaeus, 
Eel. i. 836 ; and by Nemesius, De Nat, Horn, iL 69 ; iii. 129-137. There 
was also a school of Platonists who held by the Timaeus and spoke of Two 
Gods. It was represented in the second century by Alcinous (see beloWi 
p. 250), but is not of sufficient interest to call for separate notice. 



vn.] The Platonic Trinity. . 249 

in the manysided speculations of Plato himself, and was 
largely modified by influences from other quarters. In 
the Republic we have, beside or above God, the Idea of 
Good, the cause of truth, knowledge and existence, itself 
above existence in majesty and power. If God is good, 
his goodness must be derived from this source, and it 
would seem at first as if we had here two divinities, the 
Father and the Son. Yet again in the same dialogue 
God is the creator at least of the subordinate Ideas. In 
the Timaeus the Demiurge forms the World-Spirit 
according to the pattern of the Ideas, which appear 
to be independent eternal existences. We have here 
three conceptions, God, the Ideas^ the World-Spirit. 
Plato has nowhere explained or harmonised this triad. 
This was done in some way by the author of the Epistles^ 
who speaks, in obscure language and with much parade 
of mystery, of Three Gods. Unfortunately the author- 
ship and date of the Epistles in general, and of this 
passage in particular, are highly uncertain ^. 

^ The passage is Ep, ii. p. 312 £. It is qnoted by Athenagoras, SuppL 
23; Justin, ApoL i. 60; Clement, Strom, v. 14. 104; Ens. Praep, Ev. xi. 
1 7. 20, and others. Karsten, Commentatio Critica de Platonis quaeferuntur 
EpistoliSf Traiecti ad Rhennm, 1864, gives a history of opinion as to the 
authenticity and date of the letters, and concludes that all are spurious, 
by different hands at different times, the Second being one of the latest 
and worst. Cobet, Var. Led, ed. 1873, p. 235, says oiEp, vii, * Platonis ipsius 
esse et argumentum et stilus clamant ; ' and Dr. Thompson {Gorgias, p. xii) 
appears inclined to follow Mr. Grote in regarding all the Epistles as the 
work of Plato himself. Zeller thinks that their composition falls at 
latest in the second half of the first century before Christ, but regards 
their spuriousness as beyond all question. I find it impossible to believe 
that this particular passage, whidi, though containing a most remarkable 
and important doctrine, is unknown to Philo or any of the heathen Platonists 
before Numenius, is much earlier in date than the last-named philosopher. 
It is to be observed that in Ep. vi. 323 C, D, only two Gods are spoken of. 
The two Epistles represent different schools, for in Origen's time some of 
the Platonists believed in two Gods, some in three ; Contra Celsumy v. 7. 



250 The Reformed Paganism. [Lect. 

In the time of Plutarch many regarded the Ideas as 
thoughts existing in the divine Mind ^. For those who 
held this view there were two principles, as they were 
called, God and the World ; and the latter might be 
regarded as a divine Being or not. Others, like Moder- 
atus ^ and Nicomachus, assigned to the Ideas a substan- 
tive existence outside the divine Mind. For these there 
were accordingly three principles. But, though the Ideas 
might doubtless be gathered up into one, none of the 
later Platonists had as yet personified the Arch-Idea, or 
spoken of it as a God. This was the work of Numenius, 
a Syrian of Apamea, whose date falls probably about the 
middle of the second century ^ 

* Plutarch, De Placitis Phil, i. 10. i, Sai«pdTi;s Koiji UK&rwv Xft^/Mcrrcb rvp 
i/Aiys ovfflas rds 28cas {nro\aiAfi6y€i kv rots vofiyuun koX rcuV <pcLFT€uriais rod 
$tov, TovriffTi Tov vov wp€<Tr&aas, 

^ See Zeller, ill. p. 514 note. Simp. PAys. f. 50 b, o^os yd^ xard rohs 
TlvOayopeiovs rd fiii^ vpurov vircp t6 etvau Koi vdfTav oiKTiay {nrwpaivirai' rb 8^ 
li€VT€pov ivt tvep kurl rb 6vrats kou, vorfrSv, rd, ttStj tprjulv ttvof rb Si rpirov, 
Sv€p iarl tpvxi'c6v, fX€rixfty tov kvbs «ai rSoy €l^v, Moderatns of Gades 
then {temp. Nero) summed up the Ideas in the one Idea of Good, but did 
not apparently personify them. Zeller insists that olros is Plato, not Mode- 
ratus, but this makes no real difference, for Simpliqius is describing 'what 
Moderatus held to be the doctrine of Plato. M. Vacherot has therefore no 
ground for regarding Moderatus as the first propagator of the Platonic 
Trinity. Nor is he better advised in attributing the same doctrine to Aid- 
nous. For, though Alcinous speaks (chap. 10) of the ovpdvios vovs and 1) 
^x4 TOV Kofffiov as distinct from God, these are merely two parts of the one 
Anima Mundi, as appears from chap. 14, teal rijv iffvx^v r^v dd oZffoy rov 
«6(Tfiov ovxt voi€i & 0€hs dWd, Karcucoff/xtT' tcai ravry \iyoir &v tcoi irotcfr, 
iytipojv leal imarp4<pojv vpbs avrbv rhv re vovv aM^^ k6X atrr^v &arr€p Ik «apov 
rivbs 4 fioJ^iojs fjwov' drjXov oZv Sri (aov &v €trj 6 tcSfffWs /cai vo€p6v . . . tawi 
obx otov T€ 6vros vov dv€v tf^xV^ vvoffr^vou. The doctrine of Apuleius 
{De Habit. Doctr, Plot. i. p. 163 Bip. ; Ritter and Preller, § 530) appears to 
agree with that of Alcinous. The question is perplexed by the difficulty of 
the dates. All we know of Alcinous and Nicomachus is that they are older 
than Plotinus. But, with the exceedingly dubious exception of the Second 
Platonic Epistle, it may be confidently affirmed that no Trinity is to be found 
in any Pagan philosopher who was not well acquainted with Christianity. 

' All we know as to his date is that he is older than Clement, who refers 



vn,] Numenius. 251 

That Numenius differed from all his predecessors in 
this article is clear from the fact that he claimed to be 
regarded as the regenerator of philosophy on this very 
account. He boasts that he has gone back to the 
fountain head, to Plato, Socrates and Pythagoras, to 
the ancient traditions of Brahmins, Magi, Egyptians and 
Jews, and has restored to the schools the forgotten 
doctrine of Three Gods^ Of these the first is Mind, 
simple and changeless, good and wise ^. Being change- 
less he cannot create, hence there is derived from him a 
second God, the Creator ^. The Son is no longer simple, 

to him by name and borrows from him not only the well-known comparison 
of Truth to the body of Pentheus (above, p. 48), but probably that also of 
the Pilot, and the phrase about the Son of God never leaving his v€pianHi ; 
cp. Strom, vii. 2. 5 ; £us. Praep. Ev. xi. 18. 10, 24. Apamea was one of 
the centres of Neo-Platonism. There lived Amelius, who quoted the 
Gospel of St. John in support of the doctrine of the Logos, Eus. Praep. Ev. 
xi. 19, and his adopted son Hostilianus Hesychius ; Porphyry, Vita Plotini, 
2, 3. Numenius was a foolish, gossiping man ; see the long and absurd 
story about Lacydes, Eus. Praep. Ev. xiv. 7. 

* Eus. Praep. Ev. xiv, 5. 5, oLnov hi Sti, rptts 9€ovs riOcfAivov ^SojKpdrovs 
md <l>i\o<ro<f>ovvTos (xirrois iv rdis rtpoa^Kovaiv kicd<TT<if fivO/xois, ol btaxoiaaavr^s 
rovTo n\v ijyvdow, k.t.\. Numenius is no doubt referring to the Second 
Platonic Epist|e, the author of which not only makes Plato ascribe his 
Trinity to Socrates, but actually affirm that he himself had never written 
upon theological questions at all ; 314 C, did. ravra olSlv vdnror* iyu) rr€pl 
ToifTQJV yiypaxpa, ohS* Icrt ffvyypafifia JlX&rcavos ovd^v oii^ iffrcu, rd Be vvv 
\(y6fi€va IfijKp&Tovs kan naXov tccH viov ytyovSros, I understand the author 
to mean not that Plato did not write the dialogues but that they are 
what they profess to be, mere verbatim reports of the teaching of Socrates. 

* For the attributes of the Supreme God, see Eus. Praep. Ev. xi. 22. 3 sqq., 
and xi. 10. It will be observed that the Deity of Numenius still possesses 
moral and intellectual qualities. Richter thinks that his doctrine of the 
Absolute did not differ from that of Clement or Plotinus, Neu-Plaionische 
Studiettf p. 60; but see Praep. Ev. xi. 18. 20, where even 'movement* is 
attributed in some sense to the Supreme. The doctrine of Ecstasy, in a 
form not unlike the self-induced mesmerism of the Quietists, is to be found 
in the extract from the ire/)J rayoBov given by Eus. Praep. Ev. xi. 22. i. 

^ Zeller, iii. 547, note, thinks that Numenius derived his doctrine of the 
Son-Creator from the Gnostics. This is quite impossible, for there is no 
trace of hostility between the two Deities. 



252 The Reformed Paganism. [Lect. 

like the Father, but twofold. * Condescending to Matter, 
which is multiple, he gives to it unity, but is himself 
divided.' Part of him is incorporated in the things that 
he has made, becomes in fact the World Spirit; part 
hovers over the world as its guide, ' riding on Matter as 
a pilot on his ship,' and maintaining it in harmony with 
the will of God, * He touches the sensible and cares for 
it, drawing it up to his own nature, because he yearns 
for it ^.' . Hence, as Proclus says, the Trinity of Numenius 
consists of the Father, the Creator, and the World. 

Numenius is but repeating the fashionable language 
of his school when he talks of Brahmins, Magi and 
Egyptians. The real source of his doctrine is un- 
doubtedly Jewish. We learn that he allegorised the 
Old Testament with some skill and success, and, when 
he called Plato an Attic Moses, he must have had Philo 
in his mind. But there is an element in his doctrine 
which is not Philonic. He speaks of Matter not as the 
cause of evil, but as something which the Son loves and 
cares for, so much so that in a peculiar sense he conde- 
scends to take its nature upon him. And in strict con- 
formity with this he regarded sin as the result of a 
conflict not between Mind and Matter, but between the 
higher and lower spirit of man. This is the language of 
St. Paul ; and, when we consider that he was well ac- 

* Eu8. Praep, Ev, xi. 18. i, 34, It will be observed that even in Nu- 
menius the doctrine of the Trinity has not yet attained to clearness and 
consistency. Though he speaks of Three Gods, the Son is still in part the 
same as the Anima Mundi : b Otbs fiivroi 6 Sci/repos xat rpiros iffrlv cfs* 
ffVfJup€p6fievo5 SI r$ vk-Q Svddi ovffy^ ivoi filv avr^Vt (TxiC^TOu, dl inr* airrfs, 
tmOviArjTticbv ^Oos ixovffrjs Kot fifobarjs. Matter is a dyad, I presune, 
because it has a i/^vxn, that is OvfiSs and imBvfda, but no vovs till this regu- 
lative unifying principle is infused into it by union with the Son. Numenius 
then has Three Gods but not Three Hypostases. Motinus speaks of rpcfs 
xnroffrdff€is, but not till after this phrase was current among Christians. 



vn. ] Numenius. 253 

quainted with the Gospels and possibly with the Epistles, 
it seems reasonable to conclude that in this peculiar 
view, on which he is in direct and violent contra- 
diction with Philo and the heathen Platonists in a 
body, he is reflecting the ideas proper to Christianity ^. 
The same thing is, I believe, true of his doctrine of 
the Trinity, which marks a distinct advance on the 

» 

teaching of Philo, and an advance in the direction of 
the Church. 

Numenius may not unfairly be regarded as the founder 
of Neo-Platonism, with the reservation already pointed 
out in favour of Clement^. But I should be carried 
far beyond my limits, if I were to attempt to define 
his relation to the great Plotinus. I must turn away 
from this tempting subject to the system of Unitarian 
Platonism as it is depicted in the extant fragments of 
Celsus ®. 

" Contra Celsum, i. 155 iv. 51. The story of Jannes and Jambres he 
may have learned either from 2 Tim. iii. 8 or from pseudo- Jonathan ; see 
Siegfried. In the latter case he must have had a very remarkable acquaint- 
ance with Rabbinical literature, and we can hardly avoid the suspicion that 
he was a Jew. For his doctrine of Evil as arising out of the strife between 
the two souls of man, see Zeller. No true Greek would have explained the 
theory of Ideas in so materialistic a way as Numenius. God, the Good, is 
the Idea of the Son, whom He consequently creates. Just so every sensible 
Kind has its Idea, and the concrete Man, Ox, Horse, are created by the Ideal 
Man, Ox, Horse; Praep. Ev, xi. 22. 9. This is the view also of Philo 
and Clement. I suspect that the motive of Numenius' treatise !!€/>{ T($irov 
was given by Philo, in whose terminology Place is another name for the 
Son. Of the same school and about the same date are Cronius and Harpo- 
cration, who are known to us only by name. 

' Porphyry ( Vita Plotiniy 21) would not admit that Plotinus was indebted 
to Numenius. Nevertheless there was a historical connection between the 
two teachers. Numenius was, as Longinus pronounced, far inferior in 
Atcpipfia to Amelitts and Plotinus, but, as Zeller says, he pointed out the 
way for them. 

' The author of the 'AXtjOijs AAyos may or may not have been the Celsus 
to whom Lucian addressed his exposure of the tricks of Alexander of Abo- 



254 The Reformed Paganism. [Lect. 

Celsus wrote his True Word against the Christians 
amid the civil troubles that clouded the latter days of 
M. Aurelius. Half a century afterwards the treatise 
fell into the hands of Ambrosius, .who sent it to Origen, 
with a request that he would reply to it. Origen 
was reluctant to undertake the task, thinking that the 
one effective answer to all opponents lay in the actual 
triumph of the Gospel. But as soon as he began to 
read the book he perceived the gravity of the attack, 
and threw himself heart and soul into the controversy. 
Like most of Origen's work the Contra Celsiim is marred 
by the fiery impetuosity of its author. He alters and 
enlarges the plan of his defence. With such haste does 
he pour out the eager flood of dictation, following and 
combating his antagonist sentence by sentence, that he 
often does not catch the point of an argument till he 
has wandered round it for many a page, and even to 

noteichos. The name was not uncommon. Nor perhaps is it necessary to 
suppose that the friend of Lucian was an Epicurean, though that is certainly 
the natural inference from the words rd rtXkov 94, Ihrtp koI ad Ijlkovt 'Em- 
ito6p(p rifxoap&v, dvSfi &s &\rj$oJs Up^ md $€(nr€al(^ lipf (fwaiVt Alexander, ad 
Jin, The author of the True Word was undoubtedly a Platonist, though 
Origen charges him with masking atheism under the garb of Platonism, 
Contra Celsum, i. 8 ; ii. 13 ; iii. 35. 80 ; iv. 4. 54'; v. 3. He seems to have 
jumped at this conclusion from the way in which Celsus spoke of the 
miracles of Jesus, admitting some of them to be true but ascribing them to 
vulgar magic ; see Contra Celsuniy i. 68, hpl^'s dfs Bid ro&rcav oioytl vapali- 
X^TCu fiayelcw flvai' ovk oTSa d 6 at;ros &v rf yp&ipavTi icard. fmy§ias fiifiXla 
w\uova. Now the Celsus who was Lucian's friend had written xarol fidycay, 
Alex, 21. Origen no doubt identified the two, and took it for granted that 
Lucian*s friend was an Epicurean. Keim shows good reason for supposing 
that he was right in the first inference and wrong in the second. The date 
of the True Word is about 1 78. Nearly the whole work is found em- 
bedded in the reply of Origen. The fragments have been collected, trans- 
lated, and commented on by several hands, especially by Theodor Keim, 
Celsui Wahres Wort, Ziirich, 1873, and with less erudition but great clear- 
ness and an interesting criticism by B. Aub^ in the Histoire des Persecutions 
de r£glise, Paris, 1878. 



VII.] Celsus. 255 

the last he does not clearly realise that Celsus was 
not an Epicurean but a Platonist. 

Celsus is scarcely to be called a philosopher, for he 
is deficient in system, penetration and sympathy. But 
he is a favourable specimen of the highly cultivated 
man of the world, keen, positive and logical, sceptical 
and mocking, yet not without genuine moral convictions, 
a student of the science of religion, an enlightened ad- 
vocate of the reformed Paganism. He was well armed 
for his task, for he had studied the four Gospels and the 
books of Genesis and Exodus, possessed some knowledge 
of the Prophets and Epistles, and had read more or less 
of Gnostic and Jewish, or Jewish-Christian, literature ^. 
Besides he had travelled widely, and sought conversation 
with religious professors of every shade, especially with 
Christians. He had gained, as he thought, full know- 
ledge of his subject before he took up the pen. Nor 
is he consciously unjust. He pours out his scorn with 
perfect impartiality upon the begging priests, and 
mountebanks, and gross superstitions of the popular 
religions. He does not repeat the old and not yet 
extinct slanders against the Church, and pays a grudg- 
ing respect to the purity of Christian morals. Yet 

* According to Tischendorf and Volkmar, Celsus used all the canonical 
and some uncanonical Gospels ; according to Meyer and Zeller, the S3mop- 
tics but not John ; according to Redepenning and Mosheim, no canonical 
Gospel at all but Jewish and Apocryphal documents. The question is dis- 
cussed by Keim, p. 219 sqq., who concludes that Celsus was well acquainted 
with all four canonical Gospels, that he makes most use of that of Matthew, 
that the general colouring of the Christology known to him is Johannine, 
and that there is no certain trace of his employment of any apocryphal 
Gospel. Of the Pauline Epistles Keim thinks he knew only a few phrases 
picked up in conversation, and his acquaintance with Old Testament 
prophecy is general and vague. See also Dr. Westcott, On tJu Cation^ 
p. 404. 



256 The Reformed Paganism. [Lect. 

when he charges the Christians with sorcery, want of 
patriotism and disloyalty, when he asserts with emphasis 
that every church is an illicit college, he is deliberately 
giving a new edge to the most deadly of all the ac- 
cusations under which the Christians suffered \ Well 
did he know the fatal significance of these cruel in- 
sinuations. 

We need not follow in detail his criticism of the 
Scriptures. He treats the Gospel from the point of 

* Their churches are illicit collies, i. i. 7 ; the charge of magic is 
made, i. 6. 68; vi. 39; that of want of patriotism, faction, viii. 2. 21. 
The law against illicit clubs or colleges was severe and bore very hard 
on the Christians. See the exceedingly interesting treatise of Mommsen, De 
Collegiis et Sodaliciis Romanorumy Kiliae, 1843. A Senatns Consultum 
passed probably under Augustus, while recognising the ancient collegia 
opificum, rendered all other dubs except burial societies illegal. They 
were allowed to meet once a month for business purposes, when the subscrip- 
tion (the 'stips menstrua*) was collected, but they had other unrestricted 
meetings for the purpose of offering sacrifice in the temple of the patron God 
and feasting together. The qualified toleration of benefit societies by the 
Sctum of Augustus appears to have been confined to Rome, and was extended 
to Italy and the Provinces by Sevems {Digest xlvii. 22). Before this time 
clubs of all kinds and denominations appear to have been illegal in Italy and 
the Provinces without special authorisation from the Emperor, and this was 
very grudgingly conferred (see the Rescript of Trajan in Pliny, Ep, x. 42, 43 ; 
Tac. Ann» xiv. 17). The language of TertuUian, ApoL 39, shows how 
easily the Christian Churches could be brought under this law. He does not 
deny that each Church is a collegium ; all he aims at proving is that its 
objects are good, and its management exemplary. The very phrases that 
are used of colleges occur in his description, and no doubt are used purposely — 

* coimus in coetum — si quod arcae genus est,* the regular word for the treasure 
chest of a collegium — ' modicam unusquisque stipem menstrua dievelquum 
velit et si modo velit et si modo possit apponit ' — the money was applied 

* egenis alendis humandisqtu^ They had coenae also, but how different 
from those of the colleges ! He concludes, ' quum probi quum boni 
coeunt, quum casti congregantur, non e&tf actio dicenda sed curia,* 'Curia' is 
apparentlyequivalent to * collegium licitum,' as 'factio * to ' collegium illicitum.* 
The charge of factiousness, want of patriotism, brought the Christian under 
the law of Maiestas, and magic was a capital crime. The subject of the 
laws under which Christians suffered has been investigated by M. £. La Blant, 
Note sur les bases juridiques des poursuites dirigies cantre Us Martyrs^ 
Acad, des Inscr. Nouvelle S^rie, vol. 2 (1866), p. 358. It seems probable 



VIL] Celsus, 257 

view of the Jew, the Law from that of «in educated 
Greek. This enabled him to insist upon the factious 
nature of the new faith, the Christians being renegade 
Jews as the Jews themselves were renegade Egyptians ; 
and at the same time to set in the strongest and most 
repulsive light whatever had been or could be urged 
against their documents. He was under no inherited 
restraint, and whatever his biting wit could find to say 
he said. But what we are concerned with is the more 
serious part of his work, his own belief, his intellectual 
relation towards Christianity, his view of the general 
religious position of the time. 

In the creed of Celsus there is one supreme God. 
He is good, beautiful and happy, but has no movement, 
attribute or name. He created all reasonable immortal 
beings, the soul of man and the lower deities, and the 
lower deities created the world. His work is perfect, so 

that there never was any law against Christianity as snch. But there were 
several Rescripts directing how the laws in point were to be enforced* Of 
these the most important were that of Trajan forbidding anonymons 
accusations, that of Hadrian ordering that Christians should not be con- 
demned except for definite offences against the laws, and another or others 
unknown directing that when convicted they should be put to death by 
decapitation, and that torture should only be applied in the usual way to 
force confession. See TertuUian, Ad Scapulam, 4 : Quid enim amplius 
tibi mandatnr quam nocentes confessos damnare, negantes autem ad tormenta 

revocare sine accusaiore negans se auditurum hominem secundum 

mandata Nam et nunc a praeside Legionis et a praeside Mauris 

taniae vezatur hoc nomen, sed gladio tenus sicut et a primordio mandatum est 
animadverti in huiusmodi. The same treatise shows how little these wise 
restrictions were regarded by many of the governors. Severus is said to 
have gone further. ludaeos fieri sub grandi poena vetuit : idan etiam de 
Christianis sanxit; Spartian, Vita Severi, 17. That he made sharp 
enactments against conversion to Judaism seems to be certain ; see Julius 
Paullus, Sent, v. 22. 3, in Huschke, Jurisp, AntejU5t^\ the incident 
recorded in Spartian*s Life of Caracalla, chap. i. ; and Origen, Contra 
Celsum, ii. 13. But it is almost certam from Tertullian, ApoL 5 and Ad 
Scap,^ that he made no new and special enactment against Christianity. 

S 



258 The Reformed Paganism. [Lect. 

that He never needs to interfere for its correction or 
improvement. And being absolutely just and good, He 
is untouched by pity. Man's relation to Him may alter, 
but His relation to man must ever be the same ^. It is 
still the old conception of God as pure Intelligence. 

God is the supreme ruler of Nature, whose laws are 
the expression of His reason, and in this sense He may 
be considered as exercising a general providence. But 
something more than this was demanded by the con- 
science of the times in which Celsus lived. To satisfy 
this need he inserts between God and the world the 
hierarchy of the inferior gods or Demons. These sub- 
ordinate powers fill a very remarkable place in all the 
Platonic systems of the time. They change philosophy 
into religion, they are the mediators between God and 
man, and, what is even still more important, they form 
the connecting link between the old and the reformed 
Paganism. 

It is not indeed a novel conception, for the Demons 
are as old as the poems of Hesiod, and appear in the 
Timaeus and the Symposium. But in the modem 
Platonists, Plutarch, Maximus Tyrius, or Cebus, they 
are no longer a subordinate accidental feature* Like 
the Powers of Philo, they are the real creators of all 
except the soul of man. Some of them are demons 
in the lowest sense of the word, spirits of evil banished 

' On this point it is worthy of notice that Origen does not contradict 
Celsus : \ii^rh. ravra V \avr^ Xafifidvei rd fi^ 9i96fi€vov Inrb tSjv Xoyucintpw 
maT€v6vToaVf rdxa inr6 rivoov dv<y^T<w vo/u(6fi€vov, dn &pa Sfjtoieat rots otter^ 
9ov\€^ov(Ti 5ov\€ijaas, oticrqf r&v olicTi(ofi4vwy 6 Btbs rohs Maxohs KowfH(€i, teal 
firjSiv rotovro dpuvras rotti AyaiBoifs Lvopplirrti' Zvtp l<n'lv iZixirrarov, iii. 71. 
But God, in the view of Celsus, is still moral and intelligent, though He has 
no name. For He knows what goes on upon earth ; iv. 3. 



vn.] Celsus. 259 

from the presence of God. But for the most part they 
are of mixed nature, some almost wholly divine, some 
little better than man. They exercise rule over special 
provinces of Nature, sending the lightning and the 
rain ; they are the * invisible farmers,' who make the 
crops to grow and the cattle to increase. They are 
the ' lords of the prison-house,' rulers of the darkness 
of this world in which the fallen spirit of man is con- 
fined for its purification* They are the gods of the 
old national mythologies, whom in times past men 
ignorantly worshipped as the Supreme. They give 
oracles, prophecies, revelations, send and cure diseases^ 
work miracles. They claim honour and service from 
man, the lower delighting in the steam and blood of 
sacrifices, the higher accepting no offering but that of 
a pure and holy spirit. Thus the Platonist found still 
a way to believe in the personal loving care of God 
for His creatures. He who denies the Demons, says 
Plutarch, denies providence, and breaks the chain that 
unites the world to the throne of God^. 

' Plutarch, De defectu Orac. 13. Special Providence and Mediation were 
the two great religious needs supplied by the doctrine of Demons. Both are 
very clearly brought out by Maximus.Tyrius. For the latter, see Oration xv. 
Without the Demons no relation could exist between God and man. At^ 
'yap vpay liar ojv K^xo^ptciUvav TJ<l>ha(i xofpio'^^o'CTac teal ^ kmfu^iarrapTdiraaiVf 
ifltr f*4 Tis Koivds Bpos dfji<l>6T€pa {mob^^rjTcu. It is necessary then that there 
should be a class of beings partaking of both natures, ^ ava$h Ovrjrdv 4 
dBdvarov hfiiradh. For the former see xvii. 12, where there is an elaborate 
picture of the world as the palace of God. * There is the great King 
tranquil as Law, bestowing upon his subjects the salvation that exists in 
him. There are the partners of his rule, many visible gods, many invisible. 
Some wait at his threshold, as it were his ushers (€l<ro77«A.€rs) ; some are 
kinsmen of the king, who share his table and his hearth ; some are ministers 
again of these, and some are still lower in degree. Thou seest the hierarchy 
and graduation of rule which stretches down from God to earth.' Maximus 
distinguishes Two Lives in almost exactly the same way as Philo. The 
lower is the knowledge of God in His works. For God is beautiful, and all 

S 2 



26o The Reformed Paganism. [Lect. 

There are so many coincidences between the Pagan 
doctrine of the Demons and the Christian doctrine of 
Angels and demons, that we are justified in assuming 
a close historical connection between the two. But 
the relation of these discrowned gods to the life of the 
soul is Philonic or Gnostic rather than Christian. They 
are the Gods of the imperfect, the saviours of those 
who are capable of virtue but not of knowledge. Here 
again we have the theory of the Two Lives, but they 
are separated by an impassable gulf. All but the 
gifted few are debarred by the law of Nature from the 
higher. 

This brings us to the first cardinal diflference between 
Celsus and Origen. How can God be known ? ' It is 
hard to find Him out,' replied the heathen, * impossible 
to reveal Him to all.' The knowledge of God cannot 
be conveyed in words, but from much meditation and 
close personal converse with the wise a spark is kindled 
in the soul. Philosophy can give us * some conception,' 
which the mind of the elect must develope for itself. The 
Christian replied, ' God is known to us, as far as He can 
be known, in the Incarnate Christ.' 

that is beautiM will guide us to Him, the beauty of the human frame, of a 
flowering mead, of a fair-flowing river, of the sea and sky and the gods in 
the 5ky, that is the stars. ' If these are enough for thee, thou hast seen 
God.* But for higher minds there is higher knowledge. To them (xvi. 7) 
the sensible suggests the suprasensual ; as the song of Demodocus suggested 
to Odysseus the siege of Troy, as the lyre suggests the beloved one who 
played on it, so the mind mounts up from lower to higher by a process 
resembling the thrill which vibrates through the slender shaft of a lance 
when you grasp the butt. The same ideas will be found in Plutarch, and 
indeed in Plato, Symposium^ 202 £. But in Maximus and Celsus they have 
grown immensely in relative importance, and the reason for this is to be 
found no doubt in the conflict with Christianity. The doctrine of the 
Demons properly understood would, it was hoped, make the belief in Christ 
unnecessary. 



vn.] Celsus, 261 

This was the great rock of offence. Celsus flung 
himself with all his force against the doctrine oT the 
Incarnation. He resisted it on a priori grouqds. Why 
should God come down to earth ? Does He not already 
know what is happening there, and can He not remedy 
what is amiss without descending in person? How can 
He forsake His proper abode, when, if you make the 
least change in the order of Nature, all must go to 
wreck? God is perfectly good, beautiful, happy ; if He 
descends into the world in human shape, He must 
change, and suffer in the change an unutterable degra- 
dation. And why should He need like a bad workman 
to correct what He has once made? Or if at all, why 
not till after the lapse of so many ages, waking out of 
sleep, as it were, and proceeding in unseemly haste to 
amend the consequences of His long neglect ? 

The answer to all this from the Christian point of 
view was easy. Celsus does not realise, as Origen with 
truth insists, either the nature of God, or the value of 
the human soul, or the necessary operation of its free- 
dom. No Christian asserted that God *came down,' 
in such a sense as that His throne in heaven should be 
left untenanted. Nor was it His own work that needed 
correction, but the work of man. Nor was the resolve 
a late and sudden one, for law-giver, priest, and prophet 
had borne their part in the progressive revelation, and 
the birth of Christ is but the crown of a long develop- 
ment^- Nor was God degraded by taking upon Him 
the form of a servant. For He who knew no sin knew 

* Contra Celsum, iv. 4. 7. But in the next chapter Origen goes on to say, 
^X^< ^^ ''*< ^ ff^fi^ ToifTow \6yos ftvCTiit&ntpov /va2 fia$vT€pov. The full explana- 
tion, that is to say, depends on the doctrine of pre-existence and the varying 
needs of purification entailed by the ante-natal sin. 



262 The Reformed Paganism. [Lect. 

no shame. But here the Christian and the heathen 
move in different planes, and their minds do not touch. 
To the one moral evil is the only pollution ; to the 
other mere contact with matter is, in the case of God, 
inconceivable. Even the Christian is here betrayed 
into weakness by mental associations which he could not 
wholly shake off. Christ came ' out of condescension 
to those who cannot lodk upon the dazzling radiance of 
the Godhead; He becomes Man till he that has received 
Him in this guise, being little by little lifted up by the 
Word, is able to contemplate His proper shape ^.' Origen 
held, and it is, as we have seen, one of his characteristic 
thoughts, that the Incarnation was a weakening and 
obscuring of the divine glory. It is not with him the 
highest and profoundest revelation of the divine love. 

In the historical argument of Celsus again we see this 
Platonic hatred of matter come out in strong relief. 
Jesus, he afBrmed, making use of Jewish fables still 
to be found in the Talmud, was an impostor, who suf- 
fered the death he deserved. He was not the promised 
Messiah, for the Prophets spoke only of a King and 
Conqueror. He was not a Son of God, for then His 
mother would have been a queen like Semele or Andro- 
meda. His person would have been beautiful ; His flesh 
would not have been liable to pain ; He would have 
vanished from the Cross, and appeared again in majesty 
to confound His enemies. His miracles, allowing them 
genuine, prove nothing, as He Himself admitted. His 

* Contra Celsum^ iv. 15. 19. In the latter passage we read the singular 
words, imjL ySip ovk droirdv lari rbv Iwfuvov <pi\ovs voaovvras l&(raa0cu t6 
<f>i\ov tSjv &,v$p6imoiv yivos rots roiotcSe oU oitx av ris xp^^o'Ttf vporfyovfiivan 
dAA' l#f vfptffTdatws. The language is to be explained by Origen*s view of 
the Epinoiai ; see Lecture v. 



VII.] Celsus, ^263 

Resurrection rests upon the testimony of * a hysterical 
woman ^.' Above all He failed, for the Jews who were 
yearning for their Saviour rejected Him, and His own 
disciples abandoned and denied Him. 

It did not occur to this singularly able man that, 
when the assigned cause is so inadequate to the manifest 
result, there must be some flaw in the calculation. 
Celsus dashes against the facts in passionate derision. 
' He has failed,' he cries, * and yet you believe Him.* 
The Christian's rejoinder was triumphant. He had but 
to point to the churches, springing up on all sides like 
grass after rain, and answer, * He has not failed — because 
we believe Him.' This is in fact the chief of the external 
supports on which the faith of Origen reposed. He 
believed Scripture to be the Word of God, yet as we 
have seen he did not insist upon its literal truth. He 
believed in Miracles, and held that the power of working 
them was still bestowed upon the Church. Yet he con- 
fesses that, however powerful these signs and wonders 
had once been in calling forth faith, they had come to 
be regarded as myths, and themselves needed proofs. 

^ Jesus warned His disciples that false Christs would work miracles ; ii. 
48. 49. 54. As pointed out above, Celsus did not wholly deny the miracles 
of Jesus, though he denied their significance. The • hysterical woman ' is 
the Magdalene. See ii. 55, tis toGto cZfie ; Tw^ vdpoiatpoSf ok ^drc, teal it 
ris dXXos rStv lie t^s out^s yor]T€iaSf Ijroi Kard nva hi&Btaiv dytipdi^as (the 
theory of Strauss) ^ /card, r^u aiftov fioii\Tjaiv 96^^ rrtirKavrjfuvy (pavraffCoaSelst 
tw€p 8^ fjLVplois avfji0i0TjK€v' ij, oirfp /mKXov, k/cirX^^ai roifs koivobs ry Tipareiq, 
raiuT-ff 0€\-^(ras koI bid. rod roiovrov if/i^fffiaros dtpopfi^v AhJiois dyiipTCUs 
vapacx^Tv (the theory of deliberate imposition). 

* In Joan, ii. 28 (Lom. i. 152), koX tovto 8^ ImCKtmrioVy Srt al fxtv 
Ttp&ffrioi bwdfxtis Tovs tcard rdv xp6vov rov Xpiarov ytvofUvovs "npoKoXuaSai 
ktrl t6 m(rre^€iv kSvvavTO' ovk tcm^ov Z\ rd ifjupariKdv fitrSi xp6vovs vXtiovas, 
ij^rf Kal fxvOoi ttvai wrovoijBciaai. Some miracles Origen doubted or explained 
away ; the carrying of Christ up into a mountain by the Tempter he 
thought impossible, and {Cels, ii. 48) the daughter of the Ruler of the 



^ 



7^ 



y 



264 The Reformed Paganism. [Lect. 

The argument from the fulfilment of prophecy he con- 
sidered as among the greatest of all the evidences^. 
But the one crowning proof of the truth of the Gospel, 
the miracle of all miracles, was the Christian life and 
the Christian society. • To this he recurs again and 
again. He who questioned alt things could doubt of 
nothing, when he fixed his eyes on the figure of the 
Church advancing swiftly onwards with the star of 
victory on her brow^. 

Other questions mooted in this famous debate, con- 
cerning the estate and destiny of man, are of secondary 
importance. Evil, Cdsus held, was caused by the 
resistance of Matter to the moulding hand of God. 
Now, as the quantity of Matter is fixed and its resist- 

Synagogae perhaps only slept. But the latter is accepted as a real 
instance of raising the dead, In GeUatas. (Lom. v. 269), where it is said 

Lthat Christ's miracles were historically true, and continue in the Church in 
spiritual sense. Injerem, Horn. iv. 3, the power of miracles has been lost 
by the Church because of her corruption. But this refers only to the greater 
miracles and indeed only with some limitation even to these ; see Contra 
Celsum, ii. 8, fxvi; M voabv vapd. XpiaTica^ois evplaxtrai, «a2 rivd 7c fitl^ova, 
Kal el marol iafi€v K4yovT€9t ioapAxafifv itai i^/JicTs. The txmj are Exorcism, 
Healing, Prophecy, /did. i 46. But the disciples of Jesus work even greater 
miracles in opening the eyes of the spiritually blind, /did. ii. 48. Miracles 
prove the divinity of Christ, and are themselves proved by prophecy, /did. 
viii. Q. The spread of Christianity was at first due to Miracles, /did, viii. 
47. Chrysippus, Plutarch, Numenius tell of Pagan miracles, which even 
Celsus believed in. Why then are Christian miracles false? Care and 
study are requisite to distinguish true miracles from imposture, /did. v. 57. 
Miracles are (nr^p (fficiv, not napct (pvciv, /did. v. 23 ; see also the following 
chapter. Another great evidence was to be found in the voluntary sufferings 
of the Apostles, /did, i. 31 ; iii. 23. 

* Prophecy is more important than Miracles, /njoan. ii. 28 ; cp. /njoan. 
xxxii. 9, ad Jin. ; Contra Celsum^ vi. 10 ; viii. 48. 

* Contra Celsum, iii. 9 ; iv. 32 ; vii. 26 ; //t Cant. Cant. iii. (Lom. xv. 43). 
There are many other passages of the same tenor. If we may rely upon /n 
Lucam, Hom. vi. (Lom. v. 106), Christianity had already been preached 
in Britain, but this appears to be contradicted by the passage quoted above, 
p. 207. In Contra Celsum, iii. 65, Origen tells us that the converts were 
not as a rule dravm from the vicious classes. 



vrr.] Celsus. 265 

ance is uniform, it follows that the quantity of Evil also 
is capable neither of increase nor of diminution. Man 
again, he taught, was by no means the chief object of 
divine care, many of the animals being equal, or even 
superior, to him in wisdom and in piety ^. These two 
ideas caused in him a cynical scorn of all endeavours to 
raise the vulgar masses from their degradation, and here 
again, surely from no truly philosophic reason, he was in 
fierce antagonism to the active, and oftentimes doubtless 
ignorant. Christian missionaries. His doctrine of a Future 
Life was that of his school. The main point at issue 
here was the belief in the Resurrection of the Body. 
To the Platonist this was revolting. * They say,' he 
exclaims, *that everything is possible to God. But 
God cannot do what is shameful, and will not do 
what is unnatural^.' His arguments are levelled 

* For the fixed quantity of Evil, see iv. 62. 69. 99 ; for its connection 
with Matter, iv. 65 ; viii. 55. Keim maintains that Celsus departs from 
Socrates and Plato in denying that God made the world for man any more 
than for brutes ; that man as regards his body is no better than the brutes ; 
that God is no more angry with man than with apes or flies, and that many 
of the animals are better than man, iv. 52-99. It must be allowed that his 
language on the subject of Evil is rather Stoic than Platonic. But all that 
he says is a natural consequence of the doctrines of the independence of 
Matter and of Metempsychosis. The C3mics, who were indefatigable street 
preachers (and in other respects also bore a striking resemblance to the 
Mendicant Friars), were in this honourably distinguished from their Stoic 
cousins. See Contra Celsum, iii. 50. It was the Cynic Demonax who 
advised the Athenians to destroy the altar of Pity if they persisted in their 
plan of introducing gladiatorial shows into the city; Lucian, Demonax ^ 57. 
To this love of souls rather than to the reason assigned by Augustine we 
may ascribe the singular fact that C3micism outlived Stoicism. See Aug. 
Contra Academ. iii. 19 : Nunc philosophos non fere vidimus nisi aut Cynicos 
aut Peripateticos aut Platonicos. Et Cynicos quidem, quia eos vitae quaedam 
delectat libertas atque licentia. 

^ The hope of the Resurrection is aKOiKi\Kw iXvis, v. 14; the Christians 
are BetXbv koI <piKoaiiiiarov yivos, vii. 36, and vayTekojs rp aapicl McSffiivoi, 
vli. 42. In vii. 36 again he says, oIk dvBp^ov fi^v ovS^ ttjs tpvxyjs dWd. 
rijs aapKos ij (ponr/f. * For this use of the word ** flesh " by Stoics and 



266 The Reformed Paganism, [Lect. 

against the cruder forms of the belief, and we have 
already seen what was Origen's reply. 

Celsus was a bitter foe to Christianity, but he was 
also a man of far-sighted practical vision, and his hostility 
had its limits. He forgot philosophy, and even justice, 
in his anger against these wilful sectaries, whose growth 
threatened destruction to temple and school. But he 
was the first of the governing classes who clearly dis- 
cerned the rift that was beginning to divide society, and 
he viewed with alarm the danger that might arise from 
a large, intelligent, ill-used and alienated class, at a time 
when the state was called upon to struggle for its exist- 
ence against the barbarians of the Danube. And so 
while Marcus Aurelius was lamenting in neatly turned 
phrases the 'dogged obstinacy ' of the martyrs of Vienna, 
whom he had himself condemned to d«ath on the most 
ridiculous accusations, this unknown scholar was asking 
whether it was already too late to heal the breach. 

Changing his tone of angry mockery for one of stern 
bul not unfriendly remonstrance, he presses the Chris- 
tians to consider whether after all it is impossible to 
serve Two Masters. Every good citizen ought to respect 
the worship of his fathers. And God gave to the Demons 
the honour which they claimed. Why then should the 
Christian refuse to eat at the Demons' table? They 
give us corn and wine and tlie very air we breathe ; we 
must either submit to their benefits or quit the world 

Platonists cp. Seneca, Ep, 65 ; ConsoL ad Mar, 24 ; Persius, ii. 62 (pulpa).* 
2^11er, TheoLJahrb. 1852, pp. 293 sqq. It may perhaps be doubted whether 
this word was borrowed from the Christian vocabulary. But this doubt 
will hardly apply to the word * angel.* Mazimus Tyrius, xvii. 9, h ^ 
^Axa^iJiias ^fuv &yyf\os of Plato. I have seen also the phrase ' angelic life/ 
but cannot now recover the reference. 



VII.] Celsus. 267 

altogether. All that is really important in Christianity 
is the belief in the immortality of the soul, in the future 
blessedness of the good, the eternal punishment of the 
wicked. Better suffer any torments than deny this 
faith ^. But why not swear by the Emperor, the dis- 
penser of all temporal blessings, as God of all spiritual ? 
Why not sing a paean to the bright Sun or Athena, and 
at any rate kiss the hand to those lower deities who can 
do us harm if neglected ^ ? It cannot be supposed that 
the great Roman Empire will abandon its tried and 
ancient faith for a barbarous novelty; ' He who thinks 
this knows nothing 2.' If there is to be unity the Church 
must make concessions, and Christ must accept a place, 
as in the Lararium of Alexander Severus, side by side 
with Apollonius and the chief gods of Rome. 

And so Celsus concludes with an almost pathetic 
exhortation to the injured Christians to have pity on 
their country, to rally round Caesar's eagles against the 
common foe, and not to refuse to serve in public offices, 
but in this way also to give their support to the laws and 
piety. The conclusion of the True Word is creditable 
both to the sagacity and to the temper of its author. 
But, when the persecutor thus found his weapons break- 
ing in his grasp, and stooped to appeal to the generosity 
of his victim, it is evident that the battle was already lost. 

* Contra Cebuniy viii. 53. 65. 

' A((iov(r$ai, not BprjffKtveiv or BtfMwt^tiv or SovXevciVf is all the obser- 
Tance Celsus claims for those inferior demons, like the Egyptian Decani« 
whose influence was chiefly malefic ; viii. 58. Yet what a concession is this ! 
Gibbon might well have reckoned amongst the causes of the triumph 
of Christianity the immorality and absurdity of the best alternative that the 
best Pagans could offer. On kissing the hand to idols, see Dr. Holden's 
note to Minucius Felix, Octavtus, 2. 

* Contra Celsum, viii. 7a. 



268 The Reformed Paganism. 

* Did Celsus know/ says Origen in one place ^, ' what 
to think of the immortal soul, its nature, its destiny, he 
would not mock at the Incarnation which is due to the 
great love of God for man.' There is justice in this 
reproach as regards Celsus, but it is hardly applicable to 
the Platonists generally. The real root of the difficulty 
lay in their sharp antithesis of Form as good to Matter 
as evil. Had Philo ever considered the question, he 
must have rejected Christ on the same grounds as 
Celsus, though assuredly without denying, as Celsus 
did, the moral beauty of the Saviour's life. Connected 
with the abhorrence of Matter was the disapproval of all 
emotion, which was regarded as inseparably linked with 
the perishable body. Hence the ancient world, with all 
its noble and intelligent devotion to truth and justice 
and the masculine virtues generally, was unable to per- 
ceive that the one cure for moral evil is Love, and that, 
as Love is necessarily self-sacrificing, so vicarious suffering 
is the deepest and most universal law of Ethics. This 
was then, as it is now, the leading difference between 
the * wisdom of the world ' and the preaching of the 
Cross. Even the Church hardly realised the full mean- 
ing of the truth of which she was the custodian. But 
the truth was given to her not in a doctrine, nor in a 
tradition, but in a life. The love of Jesus, like 
the power of light, may be wrongly analysed, but its 
width and its potency are none the less for our failure to 
explain them. It is one of the powers of Nature ; it is 
enough that it is there. 

* Contra Celsunif iv. 17. 



LECTURE VIII. 

Blame not before thou hast examined the truth : understand first 
and then rebuke. — Ecclesiasticus xi. 7. 

We have traced in the previous Lectures the rise of 
the Eclectic Alexandrine Platonism and the mode of 
its application to Christian life and doctrine. In the 
latter sphere its effect is to be traced mainly in the 
development of those articles of the Creed which treat 
of the mystery of the Trinity ; in the former in the 
attempt to reconcile the peculiar teaching of St. Paul, 
or, to employ a much abused word, Paulinism, with the 
older disciplinary theory of the Church. We have seen 
also how heathen Platonism borrowed light from the 
Gospel. There can be little doubt that in all essential 
points, especially as regards the doctrine of the Trinity, 
the indebtedness lies not upon the Church, but upon the 
School. It remains for us in the present Lecture to 
pass in hasty review the later history of Alexandrinism, 
and to estimate in some degree the permanent value of 
their contribution to Christian thought. 

Clement had no enemies in' life or in death. He did 
not, it is true, escape censure. Pope Gelasius is said to 
have placed his writings in the first Index librorum pro^ 
hibitorum, but the statement probably refers to the 
author of the Pseudo-Clementine Homilies and Recogni- 
tions^. More serious was the attack of Photius in the 

* The decree of Gelasius will be found in A. Thiel's Epistolae Pont, Rom. 
Genuinae, pt. i. p. 461. Gelasius amongst other books condemns 'Itinera- 
rium nomine Petri Apostoli quod appellatur Sancti Clementis, libri numero 



^r~\ - ^ >. 



270 Summary. [Lect. 

ninth century, though even this was temperate and not 
unkindly. The censures of Photius were directed against 
the Hypotyposes^ a commentary on the Bible in eight 
books, of which we now possess only a few Greek frag- 
ments, and an adulterated Latin version of the notes on 
the Catholic Epistles. Some of his charges can rest 
upon nothing but error. Others are accurate but insig- 
nificant and uncritical ^. In Egypt a certain suspicion 

decern, apocryphum.' This probably refers to the Recognitions. Then 
after a considerable nmnber of other works, ' Opuscnla alterius dementis 
Alezandrini apocrypha.' Benedict XIV considered this to refer to our 
Clement ; the BoUandists to ' another/ the pseudo-Clement. Not less than 
three words in this brief sentence are obscure, optucula, alterius, and 
apoctypka. The first can hardly refer to works of the bulk of the Stromateis 
and Hypotyposes ; the second, standing as it does practically by itself, may 
distinguish Clement of Alexandria from the author of the Recognitions or 
our Clement from another Alexandrine Clement ; the third may refer to the 
professions of mystery so common in the Stromateis and elsewhere, or may 
refer to * spurious ' works. Zahn {Forsch. iii. 140) is inclined to think that 
the genuine works of our Clement are meant. Bat I doubt whether the 
works of our Clement were known at Rome, seeing that the much more 
famous Origen was wholly imknown to Pope Anastasius before the Rufinian 
commotion, and almost wholly unknown to Augustine. 

^ Photius thought the Stromateis unsound in some points which he does 
not specify {Cod. cxi), and enumerates several definite errors which he 
detected in the Hypotyposes, Clement, he says, here taught the Eternity of 
Matter, Metempsychosis, and the existence of several worlds before Adam, 
that is to say Pre-existence. All these Clement in his extant works denies 
(but the last with some ancertainty, see above, p. 76). Photius is right in 
affirming that Clement held the doctrine of Ideas, but wrong if he means 
that he attributed to the Ideas an independent existence outside of the Son. 
He is probably right again in his statement that Clement applied the verb 
/cTi{€iv to the Generation of the Son (see above, p. 69), and certainly right 
in his statement that Clement interpreted Genesis vi. 2 of actual marriage 
between the fallen angels and the daughters of men. Again, he asserts that 
Clement described the creation of Eve from Adam in a manner that con- 
tradicted Tradition. To what this refers we do not know. Again, that he 
taught ft^ aapKojOfjvai rhv \6yov dXXcL B6^ai. This is a grave exaggeration. 
It is incredible that Clement should have taught Docetism pure and simple 
in the Hypotyposes, though there is that in the Stromateis which shows us 
how the exaggeration might arise (see above, p. 71). Lastly, K^om rod 
varpbs S^o reparoXoyS/v dvfkiyx^Tcu, This most probably rests on some 



virr.] Clement. 271 

appears to have fallen upon Clement, owing to his 
personal connection with Origen^. But with these 
exceptions his posthumous history has been like his 
life, peaceful, honourable and obscure. Among Mystic 
writers he has enjoyed a certain fame, but he has been 
little read, and Bishop Potter is almost the only scholar 
of note who has cared to spend much labour upon his 
writings. Partly this is due to his antique cast of 
thought; partly to his style, which elaborate as it is 
does not lend itself to quotation ; partly to the extreme 
difficulty of the text. Yet his books are in many ways 
the most valuable monument of the early Church, the 
more precious to all intelligent students because he 
lived, not like Origen in the full stream of events, but in 
a quiet backwater, where primitive thoughts and habits 
lingered longer than elsewhere. It is much to be desired 
that some competent editor should present his writings 
to the world in a less repulsive form than they bear 
at present, overlaid as they are with the rust of long 
neglect. 

Down to the seventeenth century the learning, virtues 

confusion between the universal logos, the vov^ of man, and the hypostatic 
Logos, the Son (see Zahn, Forschungeuy iii. p. 144). The accusation is 
especially based upon the Hypotyposesy otherwise we might suppose with 
Dr. Westcott that it rests upon a misunderstanding of the Excerpta. Origen 
also (see Pamphilus, -^^/^^j^/a, and Huet, Origeniafta, ii. 3. 15) was charged 
with preaching *two Christs,' as afterwards was Nestorius. In all three 
cases the accusation has no other root than an unreasoning bitterness of 
which the most ardent controversialist would now feel ashamed. Photius 
showed his kindly feeling towards Clement, not by tr3dng to understand 
him, but by supposing that his writings had been adulterated : koL &KXa Z\ 
livpia <f>Kvap€i xal fiKaa<t>r]fxti ttre aitT6s, €it€ tis ertpos t6 avrov npoacawov 
{nroKpi$€is. 

* Dr. Zahn, Forschungefiy iii. p. 141, refers to a Coptic Synaxarium in 
which Clement, Origen, and Arius are said to have been excommunicated 
by the Patriarch Demetrius. 



272 Summary. [Lect. 

and orthodoxy of Clement were held to merit for him 
the title of Saint. His name filled a place in the Mar- 
tyrologies, and his festival was fixed for the fourth of 
December. But, when the Roman Martyrology was 
revised by Clement VIII, the name of the Alexandrine 
doctor was omitted from the roll on the advice of Car- 
dinal Baronius. Benedict XIV maintained the decision 
of his predecessor, on the grounds that Clement's life 
was little known, that he had never obtained public 
cultus in the Church, and that some of his doctrines 
were, if not erroneous, at least suspect. The last article 
refers chiefly to the accusations of Photius ^. But the 
Abb^ Cognat does not hesitate to discuss the reasons 
upon which this verdict is based. It is not he urges an 
ex cathedra judgment, and therefore though valid may 
be reversed. Its effect is simply to banish the name of 
Clement from the Martyrology, and to refuse him the 
honour oidulia. But in his own mind the candid Roman 
Catholic priest still appears to regard as a saint the 
saintly advocate of Disinterested Love, and few deserve 
the title better than this most reasonable, humane, and 
sunny spirit ^. 

^ Benedict justified the omission of Clement*s name in the cooise of his 
elaborate Letter to King John of Portugal, who had undertaken to bear the 
expense of a new edition of the Martyrology. The Letter will be found in 
the Bullarium of Benedict XIV published at Venice 1778, no. liv. in vol. ii. 
p. 195. Abb6 Cognat refers to the Mechlin Bullarium of 1827, vol. vL 
p. 122. Benedict rested his doubts upon the Decree of Gelasius, the remarks 
of Cassiodorus (or Cassiodorius) upon the Adumbrationes (see 2^ahn, iiL 
133 sqq.)) the criticisms of Barbeirac and Petavius, and those of Photius. 

* See CUnient cTAlexandrief par I'Abb^ J. Cognat, Paris, 1859. ^ France 
Clement has never lost his title. ' Ni Tautorit^ de Benott XIV ni celle du 
Martyrologe Romain n^ont jamais empech^ les ^glises de France de c^l^brer 
sa fiSte le 4 d^cembre, suivant le martyrologe et Tautorit^ d^Usuard ; ' Dic- 
tionnaire de Patrologie^ Migne. His name will be found in the popular 
lists of saints whose names may be given to French children at baptism (see 



vm.] Origen. 273 

Very different has been the fate of Origen. Even 
before his death he was the mark of the most devoted 
affection and of the bitterest hostility^, and for many 
ages the same stormy halo surrounded his name. Down 
to the end of the fourth century he retained upon the 
whole the high estimation to which his learning, his 
piety, and his sufferings entitled him. If portions of 
his doctrines were assailed by Methodius and Eustathius, 
Pamphilus and Eusebius cherished his memory with 
loyal veneration, and protested against the ignorant mis- 
representations of those who could not understand the 
greatness they decried ; Athanasius stamped with high 
approval his doctrine of the Trinity ; Basil and Gregory 

**Nazianzen edited the Philocalia, a selection from his 
works, including passages from the De Principiis^ reputed 
the most dangerous of all ; Gregory of Nyssa repeated 
a large portion of his speculations ; Hilary of Poitiers, 
Eusebius of Vercellae, Ambrose translated into Latin 
certain of the Commentaries or Homilies. Even Jerome, 
in his earlier and better days, could find no language 
too strong to express his admiration for one who was * a 

I teacher of the Church second only to the great Apostle^.' 

for instance Bouillet's Atlas (VHistoire et de Giographie, Hachette, 1877). 
Bossuet speaks of him as St. Clement after his erasure from the Roman 
Martyrology. 

^ In Lucam, Hom. xxv: Quod quidem in ecclesia patimur; plerique 
enim dum plus nos diligunt quam meremur haec iactant et loquuntur 
sermones nostros doctrinamque laudantes, quae conscientia nostra non 
recipit. Alii vero tractatus nostros calumniantes, ea sentire nos criminantur 
quae nunquam sensisse nos novimus. De Princ, ii. 10. i : OfTenduntur 
quidam in ecclesiastica fide, quasi velut stulte et penitus insipienter de 
resurrectione credamus; praecipue haeretici: cp. De Princ. i. 16. i, the 
Epistola ad Amicos, and the Apologia of Pamphilus. The foundation 
of the following sections will be found, where not otherwise specified in the 
notes, in Huet and Denis. 

^ In the Preface to his translation of the Homilies on Ezekiel. In the 

T 



2 74 Summary. [Lect, 

But towards the end of the fourth century the clouds 
began to gather. The Church was distracted by a series 
of heresies, and though none of these could be traced 
directly to Origen, there were expressions in his endless 
discussions that might seem to favour them all. The 
Arians never appealed to him; yet he was called the 
father of Arianism. Pelagius considered that he was 
refuting Origen ; yet Jerome, not without reason, treated 
the two doctrines as closely allied. The name of Origen 
again was brought into question by the Eutychian and 
Nestorian disputes. All this fostered a sense of uneasi- 
ness, which was aggravated by the growing but obscure 
popularity of his teaching on the subjects of Pre-existence 
and the Resurrection. Many of the monks in Egypt 
and Palestine brooded in the silence of their Lauras over 
the fascinating visions of the Eternal Gospel, and it be- 
came a question with the rulers of the Church whether 
books so dangerous ought not to be taken by force out 
of the hands of the faithful. 

The commotions that ensued form one of the most 
painful episodes in ecclesiastical history. There was 
zeal for truth no doubt in the victors, but it was a base 
and cruel zeal. Origenism was laid under the ban in 

Preface to his translation of the Homilies on the Song of Songs he applies to 
Origen the text, ' introdnxit me rex in cubiculnm snum.' In his later days 
Jerome pressed very imfairly npon Origen, and is not to be acquitted, of 
inconsistency, sophistry, harshness, and duplicity. Yet let us notice here he 
always spoke with the profoundest respect of Origen's services : Hoc unum 
dico ; vellem cum invidia nominis eius, habere etiam scientiam Scripturarum, 
flocci pendens imagines umbrasque larvarum, quamm natura esse dicitur 
terrere parvulos, et in angnlis garrire tenebrosis ; Liber Hebraic, Quaest. in 
Gen., Preface. Again, in the Letter to Pammachius and Oceanus: Non 
imitemur eius vitia cuius virtutes non possumus sequi. . . . Sed dicas, Si 
multorum communis est error cur solum persequimini ? Quia vos laudatis 
ut apostolum. Tollite amoris inrtpfioKriv et nos toUimus odii magnitudinem. 



VIII.] Origen. 275 

the synods of Alexandria and Cyprus ^. In Italy, where 
Origen was as yet only known by versions of his exe- 
gOtical writings, the translation of the De Principiis 
caused a storm that was only allayed by the condemna- 
tion of Origenism and the disgrace of Rufinus at the 
instigation of Jerome ^. In the East the quarrel of the 
bad Theophilus with the Nitrian monks led to a far 
more deplorable catastrophe. Expelled from Egypt, 
the monks found shelter at Constantinople. Theophilus 

* Matters were brought to a crisis by three disputes— that between 
Theophilus and the Nitrian monks ; that between Epiphanius and Jerome 
on the one side and John of Jerusalem on the other ; and that between 
Jerome and Rufinus. Origenism was condemned by Synods held at 
Alexandria and in Cyprus, and according to Jerome the sentence was 
adopted by the Bishops of Rome, Milan, Aquileia, ' et omnis tam Orientis 
quam Occidentis Catholicorum Synodus.' Jerome^s statement is to some 
extent confirmed by the Letter of Pope Anastasius to John of Jerusalem, 
which will be found in Mansi, vol iii. 943. Anastasius, who frankly con- 
fesses that he had never heard of Origen before the translation of the De 
Principiis t appears to have personally approved of the action of Theophilus. 
But he says nothing about Western Synods. And it is certain that Origen 
was not condemned as a heretic, though Jerome appears to assert this ; 
Adv. Ruf, ii. 23 ; Ad Pamm, et Marc. 97 (Migne). For long after this in 
the deliberations which preceded the Fifth Council the question was de- 
bated whether anathema could be pronounced against the dead (Evagrius, 
iv. 38). The sentence applied only to his books, and to them with some 
restriction, whether some of these were condenmed. and some allowed, as 
afterwards by Pope Gelasius ; or whether all were directed to be read with 
caution by the learned. The latter is the more probable supposition ; see 
Jerome, Ad Tranquillinunif Ep. 62 (Migne). And there is a story that 
Theophilus himself was found reading the works of Origen after the down- 
fall of Chrysostom, and defended himself by saying (Socrates, vi. 1 7), rd 
*Clpi'yivovs €Oue€ /3(/3Xia \€ifiSavi it&vrojv dvOecov. E? ri oZv iv alrots l^ci;p<u 
KoXov, rcvro bpinofiai' cl 84 ri fwi dKavBStl^s <pav€irj, rovro dts xivrpov 
{fW€pPaivo). Socrates however (vi. 10) and Sozomen (viii. 14) say that the 
reading of the books of Origen was absolutely forbidden. So also Anasta- 
sius, Letter to Simplidanus, Mansi, iii. 945. 

' Pope Siricius supported RufiAis, but the next Pope, Anastasius, at the 
instance of Marcella, a disciple of Jerome, joined in the condemnation of 
Origen and censured Rufinus for his rashness in translating the De Principiis^ 
but did not molest him any further. Jerome calls this ' a glorious victory.* 

T % 



276 Summary. [Lect. 

eagerly caught the opportunity of humbling the rival 
Patriarch, and, aided by the wounded vanity of the 
o empress Eudoxia, drove the holy Chrysostom to exile 
and death. Of his two allies, one, Epiphanius, repented 
too late, when he learned from Eudoxia's own lips the 
nature of the service expected from him. But Jerome 
was not dismayed by the tragic issue. He exulted over 
the ruin of a great and good man, whose only fault was 
that he had extended the hand of charity to the hunted 
exiles, whose innocence Theophilus himself was not 
ashamed to acknowledge when once his vengeance was 
secured. * Babylon,' Jerome wrote to his accomplice, *is 
fallen, is fallen.' Babylon was Chrysostom '. 

The same excited state of feeling continued during 
the next century and a half. In 496 A.D. Origen was 
branded as a schismatic by Pope Gelasius^; and the 
fierce disputes of the Origenist and orthodox monks for 
possession of the convents of St. Saba in Palestine led 
to fresh condemnations in the reign of Justinian ^. From 

^ Jerome, Ep. 88, Ad Theophilum. But in Migne this letter (nnmbered 
113) is ascribed to Theophilus. 

^ Gelasius forbade the use of all those works of Origen which Jerome had 
not sanctioned by turning them into Latin. * Item Origenis opuscnla 
nonnulla quae vir beatissimus Hieronymus non repudiat legenda suscipimus. 
Reliqua autem omnia cum auctore suo dicimns renuenda.* In the next 
sentence the epithet schismaticus is applied to Origen ; Thiel, EpistoUu 
Rom. Pont. Genuinae, pt. i. p. 461. 

' "What these condemnations precisely were is an intricate, thorny, and in 
part perhaps insoluble question. I. Huet refers to a Synod of Antioch ; 
Origenianay ii. 3. 19 (Lom. xxiii. 328), Antiochena Ephraemii Synodus 
anathema dixit Origeni ; and again, ii. 4. 3. 6 (Lom. xxiv. 78), Qua 
circiter tempestate harum regionum Origenistas coUecta ab £phraemio 
Antiocheno praesule synodus anathemate danmavit, ut narrat auctor 
Synodici, quod nuper in Bibliotheca JuMs CanonUi recudi curavit erudi- 
tissimus et humanissimus Henricus Justellus. The reference is to the BibU 
Jur. Can., Paris, 166 1, vol. ii. p. 1202 ; and the notice runs thus, *Ev ^ Koxpi^ 
rh. djpiyiveia bdyfutra \nr6 twojv tuv HaXcuarivris /wvax&y kKparCv^ro* kv^* 



VIIL] Ortgen. 277 

that time throughout the Middle Ages the name of 
Origen was a byword in the East, and the margins of 

Siv 6 /Uyas 'EwppalfjiioSf 'Avrcoxcfa; liVf^as ipxif'^i<ytfovo9f 0€iay a^ohov kqX 
Updv ffwrrtjodfievot ivaOifuiTt robs vpocurmarcLs avrS/y /vareS^/coo'c. Huet's 
first notice then is incorrect ; the sentence of this Synod was launched not 
against Origen but against the ringleaders of the turbulent Origenist monks 
by name. II. In the EpistU of Justinian to Menas nine anathemas are 
propounded by the Emperor, covering the whole list of Origen's ' errors.* 
They will be foimd in Mansi, ix. 534. The nine anathemas given by 
Nicephorus {H, E. xvii. 27) are these nine, which were framed by the 
Emperor himself and never sanctioned by any ecclesiastical authority. 
They appear to have been laid before the Home or Domestic Synod of 
Bishops habitually resident in Constantinople, by Menas in 541, and the 
S3aiod in reply enacted fifteen anathemas (they will be found in Mansi, ix. 
595), embodying the substance of those of Justinian, but with considerable 
difference, and far inferior accuracy, of expression. III. Origen^s name 
occurs also in the eleventh anathema of the Fifth General Council, though 
in somewhat singular company and without reason given (Mansi, ix. 377). 
This anathema was reaffirmed, as it stood, by the First Lateran Council 
in 696 (Mansi, x. 1051). Origen*s name is mentioned again in combination 
with those of Evagrius and Didymus in the Imperial Edict recited at the 
Sixth General Council (the Third Council of Constantinople, a.d. 680): 
Suscepimus quoque et quae in temporibus Justiniani divae memoriae in 
praedicta a Deo conservanda nostra felicissima civitate complosa est synodus 
contra Dei impugnatores Origenem, Didymum et Evagrium ; Mansi, xi. 710. 
This probably is intended to repeat the sentence of the Fifth Council, 
though it may refer to that of the Home S3mod. It is difficult to suppose 
that the theologians of the Lateran Council were imposed upon by a forgery, 
yet it has been maintained upon very serious grounds that the name of 
Origen was added to the anathema of the Fifth Council at a later date. 
The point has been discussed at length by Walch, vol. vii ; Huet, Origeniana, 
ii. 3. 14 ; Cave, Hist, Lit. i. 558 ; Gamerius, in Gallandi, xii. 168 ; Cardinal 
Noris, Diss, de Synodo F, vol. i. p. 638, ed. Ballerini ; Hefele, Concilien- 
geschichte, vol. ii. p. 834, ed. 1856 ; Dr. Pusey, What is of Faith, &c., p. 
137; F. N. Oxenham, What is the Truth as to Everlasting Punishment, 
part ii ; Vincenzi, 'In S. Greg. Nyss. et Origenis scripta et doctrinam. It 
wiU be observed that the Fifth Council, though it probably denounced 
Origen by name as a heretic, did not specify, and apparently did not discuss, 
any one of his erroneous opinions. * Allerdings hat die fiinfte Synode auch 
den Origenes anathematisirt, aber nicht in einer besondem Sitzung nnd 
nicht in Folge von besondem Verhandlungen, sondem nur transeundo und 
in cumulo, indem sie in ihrem Xlten Anathematismus unter einer Anzahl 
alterer Haretiker auch seinen Namen aufFuhrte ;' Hefele. The documents 
referred to, with the exception of the Epistola ad Menam, are given by 



278 Summary. [Lect. 

his MSS. are found scrawled over with fierce execrations 
of his heresies and his blasphemies ^. But the Westerns, 
among whom the respect for learning never wholly died, 
took a more generous view. Leo III inserted passages 
from his works among the readings from the Fathers in 
the Roman breviary ^. Mechtildis, a saintly woman of 
the fourteenth century, saw a vision in which she was 
assured that God had been merciful to his errors. Books 
were written to prove that his salvation might be believed 
in, notwithstanding the anathemas of the Church ^ His 
works continued to be studied, and all that seemed un- 
sound was charitably ascribed to heretical interpolation*. 

Denzinger, who, with others, still ascribes the Fifteen Anathemas to the 
Fifth Council. 

^ BAacr^ftcr; alperi/ci et sitnilta. Even in the West fierce notes of the 
same kind are to be found. Thus in three MSS. of Jerome's De Viris 
lllustribus Martianaeus found the following scholion on the life of Origen : 
' Haec laus Origenis et falsa est et deceptio plurimorum, qui in amorem 
eins provocantur, cum constet eum super omnes haereticos venenato ore 
inauditas et intolerabiles blasphemias spiritu diabolico in Dominum nostrum 
Jesum Christum locutum fuisse : quique a Sanctis Patribus, episcopis et 
monachis anathematizatus, etiam bona illius minime legi debere.' 

' Huet, Origenianay ii. 3. 19 (Lom. xxiii. 331). 

' Robert Curzon, an Englishman, wrote a book De SalvcUione Origenis ; 
Bale, Centur, 3 : Picus Mirandnlanus maintained in a printed treatise 
' Rationabilius esse credere Origenem esse salvum quam credere ipsum esse 
damnatum : ' Stephanns Binetus also wrote ' De Salute Origenis.* See 
Huet, Origeniana, ii. 4. 3. 18 sqq. (Lom. xxiv. 98 sqq.), where other 
interesting information on the same point will be found collected. 

* The foundation for this mode of defence is to be found in the Epistola 
ad AmicoSf where Origen complains that reports of public disputations 
between himself and Gnostic teachers had been manipulated by the latter, 
and in one case at least actually manufactured. There is no reason what- 
ever for supposing that his works, as we have them, have been tampered 
with. But the theory furnished a convenient shelter for timid friends, as we 
have already seen in the case of Photius and Clement It is found in 
Rufinus* Pre£eice to his translation of the De Principiis^ and though justly 
set aside by Jerome, Adv, Rufinum, ii. 4. 5, held its ground throughout the 
Middle Ages. So in the well-known passage of Vincentius Lirinensis, Comm» 
i. 17, which deserves quotation also as showing the strange problem which 



VIIL] Origen. 279 

Probably Luther, whose passionate phrase, Origenent 
jam dudum dirts devovi^ is one of many that lie heavy 
on the great Reformer's fame, is the only man of emi- 
nence that ever spoke of Origen in language like this ; 
though the Augustinian divines of the sixteenth and 
seventeenth centuries were scarcely more just towards 
the great Alexandrine than the Graeculi of the Lower 
Empire ^. Even Methodius, even Theophilus, were dili- 
gent students of his books. Augustine, Bede, Bernard, 
respect the memory of one with whom they had little 
in common but learning and greatness of soul. Origen's 
name has been a kind of touchstone. There has been 
no truly great man in the Church who did not love him 
a little. 

In later times he has not missed the respect which is 

Origen presented to a saintly and not unlearned man in nncritical times : 
' Bed forte discipnlis parun felix ? Qnis nnqoam felicior ? Nempe innumeri 
ex sina sno doctores, innumeri sacerdotes, confessores et martyres extitenmt 
. . . Sed dicet aliquis corruptos esse Origenis libros. Non resisto ; quin 
potius et malo. Nam id a quibusdam et traditum et scriptum est, non 
Catholicis tantnm verum etiam Haereticis. Sed illud est quod nunc de- 
bemus animadvertere, etsi non ilium, libros tamen sub nomine eius editos, 
magnae esse tentationi.* Otbers, as has been said (above, p. 1 16), had recourse 
to Uie hypothesis of two and even of three Origens. 

^ The quotation from Luther, which I have not been able to verify, I owe 
to Huet. Melanchthon (ed. Wittebergae, 1 564, vol. iii. p. 1060) criticises 
Origen at some length ; approves his doctrine of the Trinity, but rejects that 
of Faitlk and Justification. He says of Rom. viii, ' hoc totum caput Pauli 
sceleste cpntaminatum est ab Origene.* The Alexandrine teaching on the 
subject of Free Will, &c. was harshly criticised by Jansen in his Augustinus^ 
On the other hand Erasmus writes (vol. iii. p. 99, ed. Basel, 1558), Quid 
aliis usu veniat nescio ; in me certe comperio quod dicam ; plus me docet 
Christianae philosophiae unica Origenis pagina quam decem Augustini : and 
again (vol. ix. p. 75), Nam Origenis exemplum fortassis reiecturi sunt, 
etiam si nemini plus tribuendum arbitror exceptis dogmatibus aliquot : and 
yet again (praef. in opera Origenis ; this quotation also I borrow), ' He 
loved that of which he spoke, and we speak with delight of the things which 
we love.* 



2So Summary. [Lect. 

his due. He has Jiad zealous friends, liberal critics, 
editors whose erudition and industry are beyond all 
praise. But only in recent times has it been possible to 
treat him with justice. For all depends upon the point 
of view. Those who judge him in the light of later 
opinion must either condemn him with reluctance, like 
Vincent of Lerins, or defend him as from a brief like 
Halloix and Vincenzi. But in no other field of know- 
ledge would such a course be tolerated. Theology is 
the only ungrateful science. She crushes her builders 
with the very stones they helped to pile. Among the 
greatest of these builders were Clement and Origen. 
We must ask what they found to build with. We must 
throw ourselves back into the days when tradition was in 
the making, and beliefs, which afterwards seemed eternal 
truths, had as yet occurred to no man. We must com- 
pare them not with Anselm, or Augustine, or Basil, or 
Athanasius, but with Irenaeus, or TertuUian, or Hip- 
polytus, or Justin ; and where these disagree we must 
allow that there was as yet no definite creed. 

If we compare the creed of the fourth century with 
that of the second, we cannot deny that there has been 
development. There has been no demonstrable change, 
if by change we mean shifting of ground or alteration of 
principle. Yet doctrine is not the same thing as senti- 
ment, nor technical formularies as implicit belief. The 
Church of Origen is no more the Church of the Athana- 
sian Creed, than the Parliament of Charles I is the 
Parliament of Queen Victoria. 

Where does this process of expansion, governed as it 
is not by Scripture but by philosophy, cease to be 
wholesome and necessary ? The problem of the earliest 



Vin.] Development Exegesis. 281 

Christians was to harmonise the Three Names of God 
with Monotheism, in such a way that they could justify 
their faith and live by it. That of later ages was the 
repression of error, a very different thing. At what 
point this later motive, in itself not indefensible, becomes 
purely mischievous, each party, each * heresy,' will decide 
for itself. The Alexandrines were animated by the 
earlier purer motive. They did not see all that their 
successors saw; but the question arises whether they 
did not see all that there was to be seen. In any case 
the later faith passed through theirs, grew out of theirs. 
And certainly if sufficiency of knowledge is to be tested 
by fulness and purity of the moral life, they will not be 
found to fail. 

It has been said that their Exegesis survived while 
their Philosophy perished^. This is true in a sense. 
They left behind them a strong influence, but they 
founded no school. Their spell was laid on Eusebius 
and his circle, on Didymus who, blind from his fifth 
year, became one of the leading scholars of his time and 
never dissembled his love for Origen, on Basil and the 
two Gregories. Their mode of thought may be traced 
far down into the sixth century, when it vanished, 
crushed out by tyranny and the leaden ignorance of 
the age. But in truth their exegesis was too closely 
wedded to their philosophy not to share its fortunes. 
Allegorism in a sense survived; so far, that is, as its 
object was to multiply types, symbols, Messianic pro- 
phecies, proof- texts ^; or to give meaning to what in the 

* By M. Denis ; Philosophie cTOriginef p. 416. 

' Basil rejected the theory of the Ideal world and accepted the history of 
Creation in the literal sense. What I have called the negative apologetic 



282 Summary. [Lect. 

prevailing oblivion of Hebrew, and in the West of Greek 
also, was unintelligible. But its great principles perished. 
Origen held that God can do nothing which is not just ; 
Augustine that what God does must be just. The pro- 
positions are convertible, but they lead to very different 
interpretations of Scripture. To Origen again the * letter 
which killeth' was the transient, mechanical, carnal, 
whether in the New Testament or in the Old. The 
Ceremonial Law was symbolical of Christ, but only in a 
very limited degree of the Christian hierarchy. Here 
his weapons were turned against him, and became the 
instrument, not of freedom, but of servitude. 

In this last respect the Reformation divines recurred 
to the Alexandrine method without realising that they 
had done so. For the word Allegorism, like many 
others, has changed its meaning. When Clement ex- 
plains the precept * Sell all that thou hast and give to 
the poor ' in such a way as to legitimatise the retention 
of wealth, when he says that the Christian altar is the 
congregation, when he defines spiritual death as aliena* 
tion from God, or the Heavenly Bread as Gnosis, all 
these in his view are Allegories. We should call them 
by another name. 

We need not pause on Origen's idea of Pre-existence, 

nse of AU^orism disappeared entirely, and thns the door which had been 
opened for the partial admission of philosophy and science was again dosed. 
Those Allegorisms again by which Christian dogmas were discovered in the 
Old Testament came very early to be regarded as the indispntable literal 
sense of the several passages and not allegorisms at all. A remarkable in- 
stance of this is famished by the decrees of the Comidl of Sirminm in 557 : 
Si qnis Faciamus hominem non Fatrem ad Filium dizissCi sed ipsam ad 
semetipsnm dicat Denm locntnm, anathema sit. See Rosenmiiller, iii. p, 290. 
Thus the word Allegorism gradually drifted into its modem sense and came 
to mean loosely any metaphorical application of the language of Scriptnre 
to the purpose of edification. 



VIIL] Pre-existence. Paulinism. 283 

on which time has delivered a sufficient verdict. It is 
enough to repeat that it was no mere arbitrary crotchet, 
but a serious and systematic attempt to explain and 
vindicate the distributive justice of God. Origen was 
the first to apply it in this way; but the belief itself was 
one that had an imposing array of authority, both 
Pagan and Jewish, in its favour, and might even claim 
support from the well-known passage in St. John's 
account of the healing of the man who was born 
blind. 

But what we have called the Paulinism of the Alexan- 
drines is far too important to be dismissed without 
further notice. It is here that we have to appreciate 
their contribution to religion, to the grasp of opinion 
upon conduct. They endeavoured to show that Christi- 
anity is not a doctrine but a life, not a law but a spirit. 
The Christian must be holy yet free, obedient yet intel- 
ligent, able to judge and act for himself, a true son of 
God, needing no earthly director because guided by his 
Father's eye. 

This they achieved. They showed that, though Habit 
is good, Knowledge and Love are better. They taught 
how Freedom is to be harmonised with Reverence and 
Order; the spontaneity of individualism with unity 
through the trained and sanctified intelligence. They 
struck the golden mean between Anarchy and Des- 
potism, a lesson which after times discarded, which even 
at this day is not sufficiently apprehended. It was not 
their fault, if they failed to grasp the true relation 
between the beginning and the end of the spiritual pro- 
gress. Their errors were two, both given to them by 
the modes of thought in which they had been trained. 



284 Summary. [Lect 

They regarded Habit as the cause, or rather as the indis- 
pensable condition, of Love ; and Love as the Platonic 
love of the Ideal in itself, not of the Ideal as discerned 
in and through the perfect Humanity. The influence of 
St. Paul did not rise high enough to sweep away these 
misconceptions till the time of the Pelagian controversy. 
Even then the real lesson of the debate was obscured by 
the misplacement of the point. It was made to hinge 
on the insoluble problem of the Freedom of the Will. 
But this is in truth a side issue. The really fruitful 
question is the nature of the Motive, not the mode of its 
operation. Yet it will conduce to the justice of our 
estimate, if we compare the teaching of the Alexandrines 
with that of Augustine on both points. 

The Alexandrines held, as we have seen, the theory 
of Indifferentism. The Will is a non-moral faculty, the 
power of choosing motives. They did not clearly see 
that the state of liberty, as they understood it, is a state 
of imperfection. Practically they admitted that at a 
certain point the soul, through union with Christ, be- 
comes so pure that it can no longer sin. But generally 
and in this life they maintained that man can do what 
he likes. Thus they accounted for the fall of Adam. 
Since that lapse the whole world has been prone to sin. 
But men are still so far free that they can choose at any 
rate the beginnings of amendment. Beyond this the 
Alexandrines distinguished between Virtue and Salva- 
tion. To the former man could attain by reason, which 
is itself a gift, a general grace, of God. But goodness 
varies in direct relation to knowledge, and perfect know- 
ledge is revealed in Christ alone. Hence salvation, 
spiritual health, life eternal, sonship, is in the fullest 



VIIL] Augustinianism. 285 

sense a gift of God. For it is the union of the soul 
with God, and that there may be this union God must 
come to us. We cannot claim His coming. But we can 
at least desire it. We can go to meet Him ; we can 
hold out our hand for His gift. This one point, the 
initial desire of amendment, is all that Origen and even 
Clement postulates ; and even this, being reasonable, is, 
let us repeat, a grace, inasmuch as it is the voice of that 
word which God breathed into us at Creation \ 

Small as the postulate may seem, it involves an insu- 
perable speculative difficulty. For it requires us to 
admit that man can do not only what he likes, but 
what ex hypothesi he does not like. Origen knew this. 
It was not through failure of insight that he adopted a 
theory, which, if scientifically imperfect, is consistent 
with itself, is in harmony with the facts of experience 
and involves no moral paradox. 

The theory of Augustine is open to objection on all 
these grounds. We may say indeed that he has no theory. 
He approaches the subject from the side of Scripture, 
which may be quoted with equal facility in either sense, 
and his language varies with the point that he desires to 
establish. He explained the Fall on the Alexandrine 

^ The difference between Origen and Augustine as to the necessity of the 
Divine Grace is very like that between Law and Wesley. After his conver- 
sion Wesley wrote a somewhat petulant letter to Law, whose Serious Call 
had for years been his model and guide. It had taught him, he says, that 
the law of God is holy, but he had learned also that he had not the power 
to fulfil it, and in this state he might have groaned till he died had not the 
Moravian Bohler showed him the better way of salvation by Faith. Why 
then, he asks, did you never give me this advice ? Law replies, * You have 
had a great many conversations with me, and you never were with me for 
half an hour without my being large upon that very doctrine which you 
make me totally ignorant and silent of.' See Tyerman's Life of Wesley, 
vol. i. p. 185. 



286 Summary, [Lect. 

view, though this is far more difficult for him, because 
he regarded Adam as originally perfect. This is the 
first terrible weakness in his position. He is driven into 
it not only by the nature of the case, but by the sup- 
posed necessity of justifying the reprobation of the 
entire world, which sinned in Adam^. Here again 
there is another and even more startling breach of se- 
quence. For, as he refuses to deny that each soul 
comes fresh from the hand of God, the phrase that 

* in Adam all die ' cannot have the meaning that he 
gives it^. 

But, as regards the actually existing race of men he 
asserts a wholly different thesis. 'The Will,' he says, 

* is always free, but it is not always good. It is either 
free from Righteousness,- and then it is evil ; or it is free 
from sin, and then it is good '.* His sense is confused 

* De Corrept. et Gratia, lo : Quia vero (Adam) per liberam arbitrinm 
Demn desernit, iustum indidiim Dei expertns est, nt com tota sua stirpe, 
quae in illo adhuc posita tota com illo peccaverat, damnaretur. Ibid. 1 1 : 
Posset enim perseverare si vellet : qnod ut noUet de libero descendit arbitrio; 
quod tunc ita liberum erat, nt bene velle posset et male. 

' Ep, 169. § 13 : Scripsi etiam librum ad sanctum presbytemm Hierony- 
mum de animae origine {Ep. 166) consulena eum, quomodo defendi possit 
ilia sententia, quam religiosae memoriae Marcellino suam esse scripsit, sin- 
gulas animas novas nascentibus fieri, nt non labefactetnr fnndatissima ecclesiae 
fides, qua inconcusse credimns quod in Adam onmes moriuntur, et nisi per 
Christum liberentur, quod per suum Sacramentum etiam in parvulis operatur, 
in condenmationem trahuntur. Augustine then was quite aware of the diffi- 
culty. But again. Opus Impetf, iv. 104, he writes, Argue de origine animamm 
cunctationem meam, quia non audeo docere vel affirmare quod nescio. 

' De Gratia et Libera Arbitrio , 15 : Semper est autem in nobis voluntas 
libera, sed non semper est bona. Aut enim a iustitia libera est quando servit 
peccato, et tunc est mala : aut a peccato libera est, quando servit iustitiae et 
tunc est bona. Gratia vero Dei semper est bona, et per banc fit ut sit homo 
bonae voluntatis, qui prius fiiit voluntatis malae. He ridiculed the ' balance ' 
theory of the Pelagians, Opus Imperfect, iii. 117 : Libra tua, quam conaris ex 
ntraque parte per aequalia momenta suspendere, ut voluntas quantum est 
ad malum, tantum etiam sit ad bonum libera. But this is exactly what he 
himself maintained as regards the First Parent. Nor does he get out of this 



vm.] A ugustiniantsm. 287 

here by an inherited phrase, which to him has no 
meaning, which he ought to have rejected, and retains 
only for a purpose. What he says amounts in fact to 
this, that there is no such thing as Freedom of Will, but 
that the man himself is free when his energy is un- 
impeded. He can do what he likes, biit never what he 
dislikes. It is a tenable view, but it carries with it 
obligations ; and if these are disregarded, it becomes at 
once immoral. Augustine did disregard them. Action, 
he maintains, follows the strongest motive, and the 
strongest motive is given to us, either by the direct 
operation of God, or by Nature. But Nature is tainted ; 
hence prior to Grace the strongest motive is invariably 
evil. 

Thus Augustine explains with facility those dark and 
reluctant utterances of the Epistle to the Romans under 
which Origen writhes in vain. Yet even he has not 
exactly caught the meaning of the Apostle, who speaks 
of man as free when enabled by grace, and not free yet 
yearning for freedom while sold under sin. ' For to will 
is present with me, but how to perform that which is 
good I know not.' Nor can his view be made to fit his 
theology without additional machinery, like the Ptole- 
maic epicycles. For though Grace furnishes the stronger 
motive, and so constrains the will, it is in itself valueless. 
Man may fall away by Free Will, which here again has 

difficulty by distinguishing two kinds of Grace of which the first only was 
given to Adam; De Correptione et Gratia^ ii, Prima est enim qua fit ut 
habeat homo iustitiam si velit ; secunda ergo plus potest, qua etiam fit ut 
velit. For what is the first except Free Will in the Alexandrine sense ? No 
Greek and no philosopher could have written as Augustine wrote here. It 
would have been far better if he had made the same confession of ignorance 
as regards Free Will that he makes firanklyas regards the origin of the soul. 
But then the Pelagians could not have been condenmed. 



288 Summary. [Lect. 

to reappear. For upon this phantom phrase hangs 
nothing less than the * Divine Justice. Hence above 
Grace Augustine is compelled to place the gift of Per- 
severance^; and this, and not Grace, is the cause of 
Salvation, which is here conceived of in the archaic 
fashion as something not to be attained till after death. 
Augustine has been called more logical than Origen. 
But surely on insufficient grounds. 

But by far the more important question remains. 
What is Grace.? According to the Alexandrines it is 
anything that makes men better. According to Augus- 
tine it is Love, the one and only thing that makes men 
better. ' For when it is asked,' he says, * whether any 
one be a good man, it is not asked what he believes, or 
what he hopes, but what he loves. For he who loves 
rightly without doubt he rightly believes, and rightly 
hopes ; but he who loves not believes in vain, hopes in 
vain ^.' * Little love is little righteousness ; great love is 
great righteousness; perfect love is perfect righteous- 
ness.' Here we have the full meaning of the Gospel. 
Such language is far in advance of the Alexandrines, 
who puzzle themselves and their hearers with their 
moral alchemy, seeking to distil love out of hope and 
fear, or to climb to it by the ladder of discipline, which 
without love has no ground to stand upon. The whole 
cumbrous structure of the Two Lives disappears at once. 
Henceforth except among the Mystics, who will be some- 
thing more than Christians, there is but One. 

* See especially the De Dono Perseverantiae. 

' Concerning Faithf Hope, and Charity^ i. 117 (I quote the Enchiridion 
here from Mr. de Romestin's Translation, Parker, 1885). The following 
passage is from De Natura et Gratia, 70 : Caritas inchoata inchoata iustitia 
est ; caritas provecta provecta iustitia est ; caritas magna magna iustitia est ; 
caritas perfecta perfecta iustitia est. 



VIII.] Augustinianism. 289 

Had Augustine rested here all would kave been well. 
For Determinism loses its terrors when we call it by its 
heavenly name of Charity. But here again his theology 
was too strong for his ethics. He has to combine his 
Determinism, not only with the terrible doctrine that all 
men are reprobate for a sin that was not their own, but 
with the scarcely less terrible doctrine that the healing 
love of God flows only through the ordinances of a 
Church, from which all but a fraction of humanity have 
been shut out by His own direct act. The unbaptised 
infant is doomed to eternal exclusion from the Beatific 
Vision ^. Fabricius will be punished less than Catiline, 
not because he is good, but because Catiline is worse *. 
St. Paul never taught Augustine this. If he is asked, 
how then God is just, he replies, ' He is just ; I know 
not how. 

It is not difficult to understand why his opponents 
asserted that Augustine had never ceased to be a 
Manichee. His system is in truth that of the Gnostics, 
the ancestors of the Manichees. For it makes no real 

^ This has been held to be the sole penalty of Original Sin as such. It 
implies no poena sensusy no suffering, and has been called ' a natural beati- 
tude.* See the decree of Pope Innocent III {Deer, iii. 42. 3 in Denzinger, 
Enchiridion^ p. 145, ed. 1865) : Poena originalis peccati est carentia yisionis 
Dei, actualis vero poena peccati est gehennae perpetuae cruciatus. The same 
view is maintaine4 by Thomas Aquinas. Before this time the state of un^ 
baptised infants after death is spoken of as one of punishment, but of punish>- 
ment in its most attenuated form. So Augustine, Concerning Faith, Hope, and 
Charity, i. 93 : ' The mildest punishment indeed of all will be theirs, who 
have added no sin further besides the sin of origin.* And even at a much 
later date the same language was used. See the Professio Fidei Graecis 
praescripta a Gregorio XJIIQxl Denzinger, Enchiridion, p. 395, ed. 1865) : 
lUomm autem animas qui in actuali mortal! peccato, vel solo original! de^ 
cedunty mox in infemum descendere, poenis tamen disparibus puniendas. 
I might therefore have used a stronger phrase in my text. 

' Contra Juiianum, iv. 3 : Minus enim Fabricius quam Catilina punietur 
non quia iste bonus, sed qi^ ille magis mains. 

U 



290 Summary, [Lect. 

difference whether our doom is stamped upon the nature 
given to us by our Creator, or fixed by an arbitrary 
decree. It is Gnosticism without the consolatory belief 
in conditional immortality. He could never have written 
as he did, had Gnosticism still borne as menacing a 
front as in the days of Origen. As regards the doctrine 
of Redemption he still occupies the ground of earlier 
theology. It was reserved for Anselm, centuries after- 
wards, to array the Justice against the Goodness of God, 
and thus to complete the resemblance of Christianity to 
its ancient deadly foe \ 

^ Anselm's doctrine rests npon the idea that sin constitutes a debt to 
God. God has been defrauded and must be repaid, The obligation is so 
huge that man cannot satisfy it. Christ pays it for him ; and receives from 
God Forgiveness, which, as He does not need it Himself, He bestows npon 
man. Cur Dens Homo^ i. 23 : Qtiid abstulit homo Deo cum vinci se 
permisit a diabolo ? . . . Nonne abstulit Deo quidquid de humana natura 
facere proposuerat ? — Non potest negari. — Intende in districtam iustitiam ; 
et iudica secundum illam, utrum ad aequalitatem peccati homo satisfaciat 
Deo ; nisi id ipsum quod, permittendb se vinci a diabolo, Deo abstulit, 
diabolum vincendo restituat ; ut quemadmodum, per hoc quod victus est, 
rapuit diabolus quod Dei erat, et Deus perdidit ; ita per hoc quod vincat, 
perdat diabolus et Deus recuperet Ibid, ii. 20 (Migne) : Quantum autem 
sit quod Filius sponte dedit non est opus exponere. — Sufficienter patet. — 
Eum autem qui tantum donum sponte dedit Deo sine retributione debere 
esse non iudicabis. — Immo necesse esse video ut Pater Filio retribuat; 
alioquin aut iniustus esse videtur, si nollet, aut impotens si non posset ; 
quae aliena sunt a Deo. ... Si voluerit Filius quod sibi debetur alii dare, 
poteritne Pater iure ilium prohibere aut alii cui dabit negare ?-^Inmio et 
iustum et necessarium intellego, ut.cui voluerit dare Filius a Patre reddatnr ; 
quia et Filio quod suum est dare licet, et Pater quod debet non nisi alii 
reddere potest. According to Anselm, then, Christ redeems mankind from 
God. Redemption is thus conceived of as a kind of mercantile transaction ; 
its moral and spiritual significance is thrown into the background. Again, 
it is impossible, on this mode of statement, to avoid the suspicion of moral 
opposition between Him who exacts and Him who pays the debt. This is 
of course not so violently expressed by a pure Trinitarian like Anselm as by a 
Gnostic, in whose idea the God from whom man was redeemed was the 
Demiurge, an imperfect Being and not a member of the Trinity. Neverthe- 
less the difficulty is inherent in. AnseWs theory, and has often led to the use 



YIIL] The Resurrection.' 291 

The Alexandrines were blamed also for their view of 
the nature of that body which the soul will receive at 
the Resurrection. It may still be doubted whether 
Origen does not offer a fair explanation of the words 
* flesh and blood shall not inherit the kingdom of God.' 
As on the question of the Will so here Augustine, before 
he became Bishop, held an opinion undistinguishable 
from that of the Alexandrine. Even his later revised 
belief is more like that of Origen than it is like that of 
Athenagoras ^ ; and it is probable that Origen's specula- 
tions would have escaped rebuke, had they not been 

of langnage that is most earnestly to be deprecated. The old view was 
that Christ redeemed man from the Powers of Evil. This again is capable 
of being understood in two very different ways. According to Origen the 
death of Christ partly daunts and weakens the Powers of Evil conceived as 
external entities, partly breaks the grasp of evil conceived as a. moral force 
existing in the soul ; and thus by making man better reconciles him to God. 
See in addition to passages quoted above (p. 210) In Rom. v. ib (Lom. vi. 
406). But here also the mercantile theory obtruded itself. By Augustine 
God is regarded as buying man from the Devil by the sacrifice of Christ. 
De Trinitate, xiii. 12 : Quadam iustitia Dei in potestatem diaboli traditum 
est genus humanum. ... Si ergo commissio peccatorum per iram Dei iustam 
hominem subdidit diabolo,profecto remissio peccatorum perreconciliationem 
Dei benignam emit hominem a diabolo. And again, Ibid. 14 : Quae est 
ergo iustitia qua victus est diabolus? Quae nisi iustitia Christi? Et 
quomodo victus est? Quia cum in Illo nihil dignum morte inveniret, 
occidit tamen. Et utique iustum est ut debitores quos tenebat liberi 
dimittantur, in eum credentes quem sine uUo debito occidit. Hoc est quod 
iustificari dicimur in Christi sanguine. Augustine was still keenly alive to 
the danger of introducing any shadow of antagonism into the relation 
between Father and Son. So Ibid, ii : Sed quid est iiistificati in sanguine 
ipHus? Quae vis est sanguinis huius, obsecro, ut in ea iustificentur 
credentes ? Et quid est reconciliati per mortem Filii eius ? Itane vero, 
cum irasceretur nobis Deus Pater, vidit mortem Filii sui pro nobis et 
placatus est nobis ? This cannot be, for onmia simul et Pater et Filius et 
amborum Spiritus pariter et concorditer operantur. The ancient view also, 
like its successor, is capable of degradation and caricature. But, if under- 
stood as it is meant, it is far profounder than that of Anselm. 

* Retractationesy i. 1 7 ; Concerning Faith, Hope, and Charity ^i, 84 sqq. 
(Trans, of Mr. de Romestin.) 



292 Summary. [Lect. 

seized upon and caricatured by the ignorant Eastern 
monks. Far greater is the interest that attaches to the 
doctrine of Restitution or Catharsis. Here ^ain Au- 
gustine is in opposition to Origen. Yet let us observe 
his opposition is managed with forbearance. If in one 
passage he speaks of this tenet as one ' which the Church 
rightly detests,' in another he regards those who hold it 
as yet CathoBcs, and 'deceived by a certain human 
kindness ^.' 

Neither Clement nor Origen is properly speaking a 
Universalist. Nor is Universalism the logical result of 
their principles. For if the goodness of God drew them 
in one direction, the Freedom of the Will, their negative 
pole, drove them with equal force in the other. Neither 
denied the eternity of punishment. What is known 
as the Poena Damni — exclusion that is from the sight 
of God — they held would never cease. The soul that 

^ Hoc in Origene dignissime detestatur Ecclesia ; De gestis Pelagii, iii. 
10. Nevertheless Augustine always treated Origen with great respect and 
forbearance. He refused to be entangled by Jerome in the controversy with 
John of Jerusalem. In Ep, 8 he expresses the wish of the African Church 
that Jerome would continue his work of interpreting the Greek divines, 
especially Origen, and when warned by Jerome that he should be careful 
how he read Origen, merely begged to be informed what the errors of 
Origen were ; Origeniana, ii. 4. i. 14. In the De Civitate Dei, xxi. 17, it 
is noticeable that he does not attribute Universalism to Origen : Qua in re 
misericordior profecto fuit Origenes, qui ^et ipsum diabolum atque angelos 
eius post graviora pro meritis et diutumiora supplida ex illis cruciatibus 
eruendos atque sociandos Sanctis Angelis credidit. Sed ilium et propter 
hoc, et propter alia nonnulla, et maxime propter altemantes sine cessatione 
beatitudines et miserias, et statutis seculorum intervallis ab istis ad illas 
atque ab illis ad istas itus ac reditus interminabiles, non immerito reprobavit 
Ecclesia. . . . Longe autem aliter istorum misericordia humano erat affectn, 
qni hominum illo iudicio damnatorum miserias temporales, omnium vero, 
qui vel citius vel tardius liberantur, aetemam felidtatem putant. Of these 
last he says {Concerning Faith, Hope, and Charity, i. 67), 'But they who 
believe this and yet are Catholics seem to. me. to be deceived by a. certain 
human kindness.' 



Vin.] Restitution. 293 

has sinned beyond a certain point can never again 
become what once it might have been. The * wise fire ' 
will consume its evil fuel; anguish, remorse, shame, 
distraction, all torment will end when 'the wood, 
the hay, the straw ^ are burnt up. The purified spirit 
will be brought home ; it will no longer rebel ; it will 
acquiesce in its lot ; but it may never be admitted within 
that holy circle where the pure in heart see face to face. 
Even this general cessation of ' the paia of sense ' they 
hoped, but did not venture to affirm, Man tramples on 
God*s goodness here ; he may scorn and defy it for ever. 
And so long as he answers ' I will not ' to the eternal 
' Thou shalt,' so long must his agony endure. 

The hope of a general Restitution of all souls through 
suffering to purity and blessedness lingered on in the 
East for some time ^ It was widely diffused among the 
monasteries of Egypt and Palestine. It was taught by 
Diodorus and Theodore^. The names of these liberal 
theologians are regarded with suspicion. But there is 
no stain on the orthodoxy of the two Gregories. Yet 
Gregory Nazianzen regarded it as an open question ^ ; 
while Gregory of Nyssa, one of the most revered leaders 
in the Church of the fourth century, proclaims it more 

^ See M. Denis, Philosophie cP Origine, pp. 535 sqq. 

' The opinion is attributed to Theodore of Mopsuestia and Diodorus of 
Tarsus by Salomon, Metropolitan of Bassora in A. D. 1222. See Assemannl, 
Bibl, Orient, iii. 323. 

' Oratio 40. § 36 : QiCta koI vvp KaBapr^piov . . . oTda koI vvp od KaOap- 
T^piou dWd. KokacFTfipiov. . . . vdvra yap ravra rijs A^ca^iariic^s l<7Tt IhvdfAecat' 
fl fjtii T<^ <lfi\ov /ed.PTav9a voetv tovto (ptKavOpom&r^pov, teal rod KoXd^ovros 
iva^uus. Poemata de StipsOy i. 543 (Migne, xxxvii. loio) he says of God, 
"Oi pa Koi oh^Xv \6vrtL's kv^^aro teal fA^TirretTa Jlvo/jUvovs ir^^ct re xai h Piov 
dWov kpvaou, 4 9rvjf>($;, ^^ dcoco (pa€<r<p6pov dvridcrovTas. e! Ze Qeov /eat 
arravras kffTiarepov ; dkkoOi KtiaOot, It is evident that Nazianzen regarded 
the doctrine as tenable, if he did not hold it himself. 



2 94 Summary. [Lect. 

emphatically and absolutely than the Alexandrines^. 
Even Epiphanius and Theophilus, the fierce antagonists 
of Origenism, appear to have regarded this particular 
article with indifference, except in so far as it embraced 
the fallen angels. The attitude of Jerome is highly 
ambiguous^. Origen's speculations on the subject of 
Catharsis were drowned in the general condemnation of 

» Or. in I Cor, xv, 28 {0pp. ii. 6, ed. Paris, 1638) : * What then is the 
scope of the word which the Apostle authoritatively uses in this passage ? 
That one day the nature of evil shall pass into nothingness, being altogether 
destroyed from among things that are ; and that the divine and unsullied 
goodness shall embrace within itself all intelligent natures, none of those 
whom God hath .made being exiled from the kingdom of God ; when, all 
the alloy of evil that has been mixed up in things that are having been 
separated by the refining action of the purgatorial fire, everything that was 
created by Guod shall have beeome such as it was at the beginning, when as 
yet it had not admitted evil. . . . This is the end of our hope, that nothing 
shall be left contrary to the good, but that the divine life penetrating all 
things shall absolutely destroy death from among things that are ; sin 
having been destroyed before him, by means of which, as has been said, 
death held his kingdom over men/ De Anitna et ResurrecHone {fipp. ii. 
pp. 226-229, ed. Paris, 1638) is equally strong. St. Germanus, Patriarch 
of Constantinople, in his Retribuens et Legitimus maintained that the 
latter treatise had been interpolated by heretics. We have seen the same 
subterfuge adopted in the case of Origen. Dr. Pusey and Yincenzi quote 
numerous passages in which the Nyssen speaks very clearly and strongly of 
eternal punishments. This again is true of Origen. 

' Jerome at one time a^rted (see Rufin. Apol, ii. 20) that Origen had 
been banished and -degraded out of mere envy, 'non propter dogmatum 
gravitatem, non propter haeresim, ut nunc contra eum rabidi canes simulant, 
sed quia gloriam eloquentiae eius et scientiae ferre non poterant, et illo 
dicente omnes muti putabantur.' In his preface to the translation of the 
Homilies on Ezekiel he called Origen * alterum post Apostolum Ecclesiarum 
magistrum.* Yet in these Homilies Origen's doctrine of Restitution is very 
clearly expressed, and at the time when Jerome wrote these words he must 
have been familiar with the De Principiis. Afterwards he inveighed strongly 
against the belief of the salvability of the Demons and against that of the 
restitution of man so far as it implied or seemed to imply restitution of the 
best and worst to an identical grade of blessedness (see above, p. 234). His 
own doctrine is that the demons and ifnpii, that is men who never knew God 
or, having known, abandoned Him, will be punished for ever, but that all 
' Christians' will be cleansed by fire. Huet speaks of this view as unortho- 



VIII.] Restituiivn. 295 

his name and teaching ^ ; but their place was to a large 
extent supplied by the doctrine of Purgatory. This 
existed in germ in the days of the Alexandrines ^, and 
is found fully developed in the Church of Augustine. 
From that time the Greek and Latin communions, that 
is to say the great majority of Christians, have held the 
faith that some sinners are punished but for a time ^ 

dox, but, if impii means those dying in mortal sin, it appears to coincide 
very nearly with the general doctrine of Puigatory, act any rate in its earlier 
form. For it was held by many that all Christians must pass through the 
Purgatorial flame. See especially Ambrose, In Psalm, xxxvi. 15 and cxviii. 
153 ; Alexandre, Oracula Sibyllina, ii. p. 531 ; Huet, Origmiana, ii. 11. 25. 
. ^ The Greek Church holds that Origen i^as condenmed by the Fifth 
Council principally on this ground. Confesno Orthodoxa, i. 66 (in Kimmel, 
Monumenta Fidei EccL Orient^x De Purgatorio autem igne quid nobis 
iudicandum ? Nihil usquam de eo in sacris Uteris traditur, quod temporaria 
uUa poena, animorum expurgatrix, a morte exsistat. Imo vero eam prae- 
cipue ab causam in Secunda S3modo Constantinopolitana Origenis danmata 
est sententia. But, as has been pointed out above, it is doubtful whether he 
was condenmed by the Fifth Council at all, and probable that if he was no 
reason was assigned. The only express condemnation of his Restitution 
theory is to be found in the Fifteen Anathemas ascribed to the Home Synod, 
of which the first runs, ff tis t^i' fivOdfdrj vptAnrap^iv rStv xpvx'^ *ai t^v ravrjn 
krro/Jiiviju repard/Si] dnoieaTdtrratTiv vp€<r0t^€if dvdOe/M cffToa : and the fifteenth, 
ft Tts kiy€t 6ti ^ dyatyii tSjv voSfv ^ cUnij iarai r^ vporipq,, Brt avnoa viro0€- 
^•flKfaav 4 /caraireTrT^jKeKrav, ojs rijv dpx^v r^v aMiv ftvau r$ riXu kcH rd 
riXos rrfi dpxijs pirpov itvai, dydOepa iarw. But the Home S3mod consisted 
only of a handful of Bishops resident dn the capital, and has no claim to be 
regarded as the mouth-jpiece of the Church at large. Asto the condemnation 
by the Fifth Council (if it was really pronounced), our sense of its gravity 
must be profoundly modified by the fact that it was pronounced not less than 
three hundred years after the death of Origen. 

' In the Montanist treatises of TertuUian see above, p. 1 10. For Augus- 
tine's view see Enchirid. ad Laur, 6*j ; De Civ. Deiy xx. 18 ; De gestis 
Pelagiiy iii. 10. 

* Mr. H. N. Oxenham {Catholic EschcUdhgy and Universalism) regards 
the teaching of the two Churches as identical. There is however consider- 
able difference in detail. The Greeks have no word for Purgatory, and 
certainly do not admit the existence of Purgatory as a distinct state. So 
Confessio Orthodoxa, i. 64: Annon et aliqui sic diem suum obeunt ut 
beatorum damnatorumque medii sint ? Huiusmodi homines nulli reperiuntnr. 
Again, the Greek belief rests upon a different foundation. They make no 



2g6 Summary. pL^ct- 

What then is the true difference between this ancient 
and all but universal belief and that of the Alexandrines ? 

It is by no means easy to define. For this question 
lies so near the roots of life, it is united by such tender 
fibres to our dearest hopes and fears, that it cannot be 
touched without a thrill. Hence it is seen through the 
mist of love and horror, and these two emotions intensify 
one another. The thought of the City of Destruction 
adds wings to the pilgrim's feet ; and while he rejoices 
with trembling over his own salvation, he cannot wish 
that the pursuing fury should seem less vengeful to 
others. Hence there has been much diversity. Words 
have been employed in very different senses. Points, 
upon which high authorities have insisted as vital, are 
treated by other authorities not less high as subordinate 
and immaterial. Yet if we fix our attention upon the 

Tise of the texts i Cor. iii. 15, Matth. ill. 11, on which according to Cardinal 
Newman the Roman doctrine reposes. They find no mention in Scripture 
of any 'purgatorial fire* or of any punishments that are not eternal. On 
the otiier hand, they attach great importance to Luke xii. 5, ' Fear Him which 
after He hath killed hath power to cast into hell.' It is to be inferred from 
this that God does not in all cases use this power ; that there are some souls 
whom He releases from torment. Nor does the Greek Church attempt to 
ascertain who these souls are. This lies entirely in the hand of God ; Conf. 
Orthod, i. 65. Whereas the Roman Church defines that none are admitted 
to Purgatory except those ' qui yere poenitentes in Dei caritate decesserint, 
antequam dignis poenitentiae fructibus de commissis satisfecerint et omissis.* 
Both Churches believe in the efficacy of prayers and sacrifices for the dead, 
but the indefiniteness of the Greek doctrine has saved it fi-om the practical 
abuses that have arisen out of the Roman view. So indefinite is the Greek 
doctrine that it was possible for Cyril Lucar to deny that his Church believed 
i,i Purgatory ; and Gerganus declared that * the Popish Purgatory was the 
invention of Virgil.' The Greek view will be found in the Canfessio Ortho- 
doxa in Kimmel or Schaff; Cyrilli Lucaris Patr. Const. Confessio ChrisH- 
amu fdei cut tidiuncta est gemina etusdem confessionis censura, 1645 ! 
Hofmann, Symholikf p. 186, and article Fegfeuer in Herzog; Loch, Dtts 
Dogma der Gr, Kirche vom Purgatorium. The Roman doctrine will be 
found most conveniently in Denzinger*s Enchiridion, 



VIIL] Restitution. 297 

language of the wisest teachers, there is also considerable 
agreement. As to the instruments of the Divine Retri- 
bution^, there is no longer any serious dispute. Nor 
perhaps will any one now deny, that the first object of 
chastisement is the amendment of the sinner, and that if 
in any case it appears to lead to a diifferent issue, the 
cause is in the sinner himself. 

But if we compare the teaching of Origen or Clement 
with that of Augustine or Aquinas, we shall find two 
points of antagonism, of which the first is real, the 
second verbal only. 

Both would agree that, if the grace of God is dead 
within the soul, hope can shine no more. But to the 
Alexandrines every man that lives is a child of God, 
a possessor of the divine grace, inasmuch as he bears 
within him, in his reason and his conscience, the image 
of the Divine Word. It may be that he has cast down 
and broken the image, that he has wholly embruted 
himself. But unless he has sunk to this frightful depth 
by his own free will, unless he has ceased to be a man, 
the Alexandrines held that we may leave him with fear- 
ful hope to the judgment of God. The later theologians 
took a far more sombre view. They who are in the 
Church and they only are within the pale of the Divine 
Love. Upon the excommunicate, the unbaptised, the 
heathen, the door is shut ^. This is the real distinction 
between the two. 

^ The Greek Chnrch believes only in mental, spiritual punishment. The 
Roman Church does not define this point ; but what her best minds think 
may be seen in the Dream of Gerontius or the meditations of St. Katharine 
of Genoa (in Loch, p. 150). 

' The Council of Trent mitigated this. Quae quidem translatio (in 
statum gratiae) post Evangelium promulgatum sine lavacro regenerationis 
aut eius voto fieri non potest ; Sess. vi. c 4. We may observe here that 



2 98 Summary. [Lect. 

The other, though it has been regarded as of the 
essence of the question, is in reality a purely verbal 
difference. It is this, whether the soul that is admitted 
to purgation can be said to repent or not ? This Origen 
affirmed, this the Roman and the Greek deny. But it 
matters little what language we employ, so long as the 
thing signified is the same. As the stress of its anguish 
passes, so the soul is braced to completer submission ; 
so it wakes to more fervertt love, to deeper knowledge ; 
so it turns from its evil, and fixes its gaze with intenser 
faith upon its Judge and Saviour. Origen meant no 
more than this ; n9r do the Roman and the Greek mean 
less ^. 

With respect to the bearing of Origenism on the 
teaching of our own Church I may venture to observe 

there are several eicpressions (chiefly Eastern) of a belief that great power 
attached to the prayers of persons eminent for sanctity. Thus Perpetua 
(above, p. no) is said to have rescued the soul of her unbaptised brother 
Dinocrates ; Gregory the Great to have obtained pardon for the Emperor 
Trajan ; Thecla for her heathen mother Falconilla ; and Johannes Dama- 
scenus for his Mahometan father. See Loch, p. 79, and the Bishop of 
Durham, Apostolic Fathers^ part ii. vol. i. p. 3. 

* The Greek Church has defined this point strictly and repeatedly. Con- 
fessio Orthodoxa, i. 64: Quibus ex verbis clarum evadit ab excessn suo 
liberari per se animam poenitentiamqne agere non posse, nihilque eiusmodi 
moliri quo infemis eximatur vinculis. The Roman Church does not appear 
to have decided it further than by condemning a proposition of Martin Luther, 
* nee probatum est uUis aut rationibus ant Scripturis ipsas (animas in Purga- 
torio) esse extra statum merendi aut augendae charitatis ' (Denzinger, § 662), 
and by the definition already quoted that the soul must have 'truly re- 
pented' in this life. Mr. H. N. Oxenham {Catholic Eschatology and 
Universalism) holds that the words ' repentance,* * probation,' cannot be 
applied to the future life. ' The acts of the soul in Purgatory are moral, 
though they are not strictly speaking meritorious ; they do not affect its final 
destiny which is already fixed.* ' We cannot admit that Purgatory includes 
the idea of a second probation for those who have already had their trial and 
failed.' All depends upon what we mean by ' repentance,' * probation,' and 
especially 'failure.' 



VIII.] Restitution. 299 

that here again there are two points involved. The first 
IS as before as to the nature, the scope, still more the 
degree of saving grace. Few among us would desire to 
bar the gates of heaven against the Unitarian Channing, 
against the Buddhist ascetic, against even the naked 
savage who on his sea-swept coral reef, forsaken as he 
may seem of God and man, is yet just and grateful and 
kind to wife and child. Yet few would think that for 
these maimed souls no instruction is needed, that the 
mere rending of the veil can make tolerable the splendour 
which it reveals. We believe in the many stripes and 
the few. We believe that star difiereth from star in 
glory, and in these words lies all that any sober-minded 
man has ever maintained. 

' God shall be all in all.* These words were never out 
of Origen's mind. He looked upon the hope that they 
enshrine as the golden key to every doubt. Nor can his 
hope, even in its fullest sweep, be thought unscriptural 
so long as this text remains part of the Bible. For we 
can hardly say that an explanation adopted by Origen 
and by Gregory of Nyssa is wholly baseless. 

It is not for me to defend the moral character of 
Clement or of Origen. Yet, as it has been argued that 
their teaching implies an inadequate conception of sin, 
a few words may be permitted. 

It is not possible to exaggerate the horrors of that 
abyss, when t^re figure to ourselves all that it holds within 
its dark recesses. Nor will any one who lifts up his eyes 
to Him, in Whose sight the very heavens are not clean, 
dare to extenuate the measure of his own transgressions. 
But guilt may be exaggerated, our own and still more 
easily our brother's. The mote is not as the beam. Is 



300 Summary. [Lect. 

it not an exaggeration to say, or to imply, or to dream, 
that because God is infinite all offences against His Holy 
Law are also infinite, or to think of Him as angry with 
sin, as losing by sin? The Alexandrines protested 
against such errors, but they regarded sin as spiritual 
death ; as separating us from Him, who is the joy and 
glory and life of the soul ; as needing, as doomed, to be 
eradicated by anguish sharper than a sword. They 
knew well * the agony of seeing all past sins in the sight 
of Jesus ^' But they believed above all things in the 
Father's love. They did not understand how His Crea- 
tion could for ever groan and travail, or how the Saviour 
could * drink wine ' in the sight of endless misery and 
wrong. 

Origen's view has been called a cruel view ^, because 
aeonian probation implies aeonian change, and so eternal 
hope seems to issue in never-ending fear. Neither 
, Clement nor Gregory admitted the possibility of a fall 
from grace in the future life. Even Origen held that 
there is a point, here or hereafter, at which love takes 
complete possession of the will, and the spirit is secure in 
the bosom of God. 

Space does not permit me to cast more than a flying 
glance upon the pathetic history of Quietism. The 
opinions which drew shame and ruin upon Molinos, 
F6nelon, Madame de Guyon, in a hypocritical court and 

* The phrase is from Dr. Pusey, IVhat is of Faith, p. ii6. 

' By Mr. H. N. Oxenham. In Rom. v. lo (Lorn. vi. 407 sqq.) Origen 
expressly denies the possibility of decleDsion from grace in the fiituxe life, on 
the ground that 'charity never faileth* and that 'nothing can separate us 
from the love of God * (Rom. viii. 3^, 39 ; i Cor. xiii. 8). And I do not 
feel sure that the passages quoted above, p. 228, axe sufficiently clear to 
demonstrate that he ever held the opposite opinion. At any rate the love 
of God in Christ, when once kindled ia the soul, is indefectible. 



VIII.] Quietism. 301 

a timeserving Church, were in substance those of Cle- 
ment. Again, we read of the Absolute Good, the Two 
Lives, Apathy, Disinterested Love, Silent Prayer. But 
that which in the Alexandrine was largely traditional 
and academic has become personal and impassioned, 
that which was intellectual and Platonic has passed over 
into the emotional and even sensuous. It rests no 
longer upon the Phaedrus or St. John, but on the 
Song of Songs. 

The Quietists were but lightly touched by the charac- 
teristic infirmities of Mysticism. They were guarded 
from these not only by deep piety, but by their high 
social standing and cultivated minds. Like all their 
class they sought to * antedate the peace of heaven ' — 
an impossible and to untutored spirits a perilous effort. 
The moral dangers of this presumption were not far 
distant when Madame de Guyon was pressing the doc- 
trines of Silent Prayer and Disinterested Love upon a 
bevy of school-girls at St. Cyr. But their real offence 
was not this. Quietism is a form of spiritual liberty, 
and this was a fatal blot in an age of directors and 
confessors. But there is no need to dwell upon a subject 
so fascinating in itself and so accessible to all. Those 
who wish to know what Quietism really was can peruse 
the Maxims of the Saints. Those who care to see how 
readily it lends itself to perversion and ridicule may read 
Bossuet or La Bruy^re. A just and temperate censor 
will be found in Bourdaloue, a sympathising critic in 
Vaughan ^. 

* The instruments condemnatory of Molinos and the doctrine of Dis- 
interested Love will be fomid in Denzinger, pp. 333-348, ed. 1865. It is 
impossible not to feel and express sympathy for the Quietists, who but for 
political reasons would probably have been left unmolested, and were 



302 Summary. [Lect. 

As we turn the pages of the Alexandrines, it is, to use 
a well-worn simile, as if we were walking through the 
streets of some long-buried city. Only with effort, only 
imperfectly, can we recall the vanished life. Even when 
we succeed in reconstructing the image of the past our 
first impulse is an ungenerous one — How different these 
men were to ourselves, how different and how inferior ! 
A second and finer thought teaches us better. They 
were as we are. We have drifted far away from them, 
and experience has taught us many things. But our 
horizon is no wider, and our light no fuHer. We know 
no more than they. The only way in which we can 
hope to surpass them is by the renunciation of vain 
endeavours, and the concentration of all our efforts on 
the ideal of Duty. 

They were too subtle, too inquisitive, but the good 
sense of the world has already judged their presump- 
tuous sallies. It has been urged that they are too intel- 
lectual and cramp the play of the emotions. This is 
true, and it is a fault, but on the other hand they are 
not effeminate. Their tone is bracing and salutary. 
Their use of Scripture is often wild and fantastic, but 
it has not the faults of the Middle Age ; it is free, un- 
prejudiced, reasonable in endeavour if not always in 
result. The one point on which we may justly blame 

certainly harshly used. Nevertheless the authorities who condemned them 
were in the right. Beautifal as Quietism is in its highest expression, in 
cultivated and truly saintly spirits, it is yet rooted in error ; it is a revolt against 
reason and the facts of lifci as well as against the teaching of Revelation. 
Hence in grosser natures it leads inevitably to moral depravation. Sufficient 
proof of this will be found in the account of Wesley's struggle with Quietism 
of the lower type given in Tyerman's Life. The Dialogues on Quietism re- 
ferred to above will be found in M. Servois' edition of La Bruy^re, but there 
is some doubt as to their real author. They are written somewhat in the 
style of Pascal, but with a far coarser touch. 



VIII.] Merits of the Alexandrines. 303 

them is their immoral doctrine of Reserve. Yet it is 
precisely this blot in their conduct which has most com- 
monly escaped censure, because it was capable of being 
turned to profit. 

But this is the stain of the age in which they lived 
and cannot obscure their great services to Christianity. 
His work upon the text of Scripture alone would entitle 
Origen to undying gratitude. It was he and his prede- 
cessor, more than any others, who saved the Church not 
only from Noetianism but from Gnosticism, Chiliasm, 
Montanism, that is from Paganism, Sensualism, Fana- 
ticism. In that age so like our own, when the Church 
had not yet acquired that civil support, that prescriptive 
hold upon the imagination, which now again she is rapidly 
losing, they broke the power of the Stoic Religion of 
Humanity, of Epicurean Agnosticism, of Platonic Spiri- 
tualism. Almost alone they strove to reconcile the 
revelation of God in Jesus with the older revelation of 
God in Nature. What could be done at that time they 
did, and their principles are of permanent value. They 
never wrestle with Science for a few inches of doubtful 
ground. For the ground of Science is not theirs, and 
that sense of Scripture, which alone can conflict with 
Science, is not the * spirit that giveth life.' 

Last and highest among their merits we muSt place 
their preaching of the Fatherhood of God. It may be 
that on some points they erred, like F^nelon, 'from 
excess of love,' but such errors, if they are really there, 
must be treated in the spirit from which they flow. 
Their teaching is associated, in Origen at least, with 
ideas on which most Christians fear to dwell, though 
they are impressed upon us by the authority of the 



304 The Kingdom of God. 

Saviour Himself. They taught that the Just One is 
Good, as few since have taught that highest and most 
lifegiving of all truths. Origen added that Goodness is 
the source of all that is, that in all the efforts of our 
soul we should strive through Christ to Him who is 
the First Source of Redemption as of all other blessings, 
that there will come a time when the work of Media- 
tion and Salvation will be achieved, when Christ will 
present the Church, His Sanctified Body, to the Father, 
Whom we shall see ' face to face/ 

It is the teaching of St. Paul. — * Then cometh the 
End when He shall have delivered up the Kingdom to 
God, even the Father . . . Then shall the Son also 
Himself be subject unto Him that put all thii^s under 
Him, that God may be all in all ^.' 

^ In two passages, Contra Celsum, viii. 1 1 ; Z?^ Orationt', 25 (where he 
is commenting on ' Thy Klingdom come '), Origen speaks of the delivering 
up of Christ's Kingdom to the Father. There will come a time when the 
Church and each of its members, being purified from all stain of sin, will be 
' governed by God alone.* These passages must be read in connection with 
those cited above (pp. 169-170) as to the cessation of the Mediatorial office 
of Christ, and In Maith. xiv. 7, where it is said that Christ is 'perhaps* 
a^o/3ao'(\c(a. Some light again may be thrown upon Origen's meaning 
by other passages where it is intimated that the Father Himself has 
Epinoiai — as 'consuming fire* and 'light,* and again as 'Lord* and 
'Father*; not that He changes, but that we change in relation to Him. 
See M. Denis, p. 378. Christ does not cease to be the Head of the Church 
or the King of Heaven. But He brings man when sin is dead within him, 
when he is now capable of the highest revelation of all, into immediate 
contact with the Father, so that he may see Him 'face to fiice,* ' as He b.' 
This contact depends on our complete and eternal union with Christ, and this 
again on the complete and eternal union of Christ with His Father. We 
have here no doubt the final expression of Origen's Subordinationism. But 
it must be observed ' subjection * means absolute harmony with the Arche- 
typal Will. At the End all will be one because the Father's Will isall in all 
and all in each. Each will fill the place which the Mystery of the Economy 
assigns to him. 



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