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contradiction to doctrinal positions operated as a caveat to the natural philosopher, as in the case of Galileo, against following to their natural conclusions his trains of thought. It followed from both these facts, therefore, first, that the Creed of Nicæa was set forth by a Council representing the whole Church, and next, that it was the outcome of the keen scrutiny applied to doctrine by so many able and cultured minds, that it became thenceforth the one authoritative Creed. The Fathers of Nicæa had no established formula set forth by Apostolic authority to appeal to. Had there been such, it can hardly be thought that they would have presumed to substitute one of their own in its place. But, in fact, though the Faith of the Churches was identical in substance, several Creeds were in use among them, and authority was not even claimed, so far as appears, for any one of these. It is this also, we may remark in passing, which is decisive against the literally Apostolic authorship attributed by legend to the Apostles' Creed. It must have been known to the Fathers of Nicæa, if current at that time. Yet it was apparently not even read in the Council, as some other Creeds were. It belonged to the earlier class of baptismal or non-critical symbols; and this is true of all its forms earlier and later. The wide currency which, during the seventh and eighth centuries A.D., it obtained throughout the West, must be attributed to the growing influence of the Roman Church, whose special Creed it was. There is no trace, however, of any formal or synodical action by which authority was given to it. It found its way early into all kinds of private and monastic offices, and thence into more authoritative forms. But it added nothing to the Catholic definitions : and none of its phrases are indexes to the gradual development of opinion in the Church. As Dr. Schaff says :
literasties' Crefent at that, as some
'If we regard, then, the present text of the Apostles' Creed as a complete whole, we can hardly trace it beyond the sixth, certainly not beyond the close of the fifth century, and its triumph over all the other forms in the Latin Church was not completed till the eighth century, or about the time when the Bishops of Rome strenuously endeavoured to conform the liturgies of the Western Churches to the Roman order.'-(Vol. ii. p. 19.)
For the crucial phrases which are the landmarks of past controversies, we must look to the Creed of Nicæa and Constantinople.
i Cf. Schaff, vol. ii. pp. 22–25.
See Dr. Salmon's Essay, already quoted.
Upon the details of the Arian controversy, prolonged as it was, we need not enter, because it consisted mainly of repeated and still repeated assertion by either side of its opposite affirmation on the point at issue—the identity of Nature between the Divine Father and the Divine Son. The more obstinately, therefore, the argument raged, the more closely it adhered to the debated point. No new issue consequently emerged in the course of the struggle. But when the orthodox doctrine had finally prevailed, and its inferential consequences had begun to be drawn out by one Father after another, then new pairs of logical alternatives presented themselves, and new oppositions were rapidly developed.
Upon the acknowledgment, that is to say, of Jesus the Christ as God the Son, and at the same time as truly Man, a new set of questions appeared. The preliminary inquiry, Can the Divine and the human be united ? had been answered. The orthodox doctrine of the Divine-Human Personality of Jesus often having been affirmed unmistakably and with philosophical accuracy by the Council at Nicæa, had at the end of the most desperate struggle which the Church had ever known, triumphed definitely over the opposing view. But Arianism died hard ; and to narrate the determined efforts which it made, up to the very end, to obtain the supremacy once more, would be too long for us here, although it can never be otherwise than an interesting subject to the theological student. He must study it, however, in the great work of Dr. Hefele, or the older one of Du Pin; for Dr. Schaff omits that chapter of Church history altogether, and makes a jump from the fourth General Council at Chalcedon to the sixth (A.D. 680), passing over the fifth with a mere mention in a note, and from thence passes to the Council of Trent.
But to return to our review of the course of thought. The Deity of Christ having been recognised, it was immediately debated in what manner the Humanity was compatible with it, and what was the modus vivendi between the two natures. Humanly speaking, this translation of the primitive and admitted fact into the accurate language of theology was a dangerous process to thinkers. Not a few who were presumably actuated by the best intentions at first, deflected from Catholic orthodoxy on one side or on the other during the course of their speculations. Apollinaris, in his denial of the Human Soul of Christ, is an example of this danger. Peter Lombard, by denying that God became in the Incarnation what He was not before, implicitly denied the reality of Christ's Human Nature. •Deus non factus est aliquid! But this position was condemned as Nihilianism. Nestorius, in separating the Hypostases, and his opponent Eutyches in confounding them,-a tendency due to the natural reaction from the rationalism of Nestorius; Sergius, in his modified monothelism, which the sixth Ecumenical Council met with its assertion of two natural wills in Jesus Christ, and two natural operations, indivisibly, inconvertibly, inseparably, inconfusedly [working] δύο φυσικάς ενεργείας, αδιαιρέτως, άτρέπτως, άμερίστως, ảo vyXútws, all of them fall under the same category. The Adoptionist partial revival of the Nestorian mode of thought and reasoning falls beyond our limits, and, indeed, its only novelty consisted in the form which it finally assumed. So that with this Council the second great cycle of thought, viz. the Christological, may be said to have closed. The general result is very well summed up by Dr. Schaff (vol. i. Pp. 33, 34) :
“The Chalcedonian Christology has latterly been subjected to a rigorous criticism (by Schleiermacher, Baur, Dorner, Rothe, and others), and has been charged with a defective psychology, and now with dualism, now with docetism, according as its distinction of two natures or of the personal unity has most struck the eye. But these imputations neutralise each other, like the imputations of tritheism and modalism, which may be made against the orthodox doctrine of the Trinity when either the tri-personality or the consubstantiality is taken alone. This, indeed, is the peculiar excellence of the Creed of Chalcedon, that it exhibits so sure a tact and so wise a circumspection in uniting the colossal antithesis in Christ, and seeks to do justice alike to the distinction of the natures and to the unity of the person. In Christ all contradictions are reconciled.
“The Chalcedon Creed is far from exhausting the great mystery of godliness, “ God manifest in the flesh.” It leaves much room for a fuller appreciation of the genuine, perfect, and sinless humanity of Christ, of the Pauline doctrine of the Kenosis, or self-renunciation and self-limitation of the Divine Logos in the incarnation and during the human life of our Lord, and for the discussion of other questions connected with His relation to the Father and to the Word, His person and His work. But it indicates the essential elements of Christological truth, and the boundary lines of Christological error. It defines the course for the sound development of this central article of the Christian faith, so as to avoid both the Scylla of Nestorian dualism and the Charybdis of Eutychian monophysitism, and to save the full idea of the one Divine-human personality of our Lord
1 The terms of the reconciliation effected under the Emperor Heraclius with the Monophysite party declared that our Lord performed the acts pertaining both to God and man by one 'theandric' operation.
and Saviour. Within these limits theological speculation may safely and freely move, and bring us to clearer conceptions; but in this world, where we “know only in part (ek pépovs),” and “see through a mirror obscurely (PL' écóftpou év aiviyuari),” it will never fully comprehend the great central mystery of the theanthropic life of our Lord.' And the late Dr. Mahan well says in his too brief history of the first three centuries of the Church (Works, vol. i. p. 538):— * With the condemnation of Eutyches and Dioscorus, the doctrine of the Incarnation was more exactly defined; and the four words, truly, perfectly, indivisibly, without confusion, became from that time the sum of the testimony of the four great Councils, the safeguard against every wind of error, from whatever quarter it might blow. That Jesus Christ is true God, had been witnessed at Nicæa ; that He is perfect Man had been defined at Constantinople ; that He is indivisibly One Person, had been settled at Ephesus; finally, the six hundred and thirty at Chalcedon declared that “ He is one and the same Christ, the Son, the Lord, the Only-begotten, in two natures, without confusion, change, division or separation.”
Dr. Schaff's section on the Athanasian Creed, though not otherwise than fair (he calls the Quicunque 'a valuable supplement to the Apostles' and Nicene Creeds), leans somewhat heavily against the early origin of the symbol. The Athanasian authorship he concludes to have been given up on all hands. But in so determining, he does not give its full weight to the array of defensive evidence stated of late years, and which undoubtedly tends to throw back the composition further and further towards the Athanasian age. With the latest work on the Utrecht Psalter, that of Mr. Birch, he is apparently unacquainted. A similar remark may be made as to the latest and, in many respects, the most valuable and convincing of the works upon the date of the Creed-Mr. F. D. W. Ommaney's Examination of the Athanasian Creed. He does not discuss the question of the Autun Canon-a most important piece of evidence, without considering which it is not possible to determine the date of Quicunque accurately. And the general impression we receive from this portion of his work is that the writer had formed an opinion adverse to the early origin in the course of study long previous to the present work, and had not re-examined the question with the degree of care which the weight and importance of the new evidence adduced by the defenders has a right to require.
Dr. Schaff gives also (vol. ii. pp. 66 et seqq.) a revised translation of the Quicunque, of which we cannot say that we think very highly. The version in our own Prayer-Book is a very good one; no doubt it requires amending in a few places, but those are the very places which Dr. Schaff has left untouched. To take them seriatim :
In verse i “it is necessary' is too strong a rendering of opus est.' It should be “it is needful.' For “it is necessary' the author would almost certainly have written 'necesse est.' Forcellini declares expressly in a dreadfully cacophonous sentence) : 'Opus est, minus est, quam necesse est. Then the force of 'ante omnia' has been mistaken. It means 'in the first place,' i.e. of time, not of importance. It is the first step to be taken. So that it means, "Whosoever desires to be saved, in the first place it is needful to hold the Catholic Faith.' But Dr. Schaff leaves all this as it is.
V. 2: ‘sine dubio peribit' means 'without doubt he will perish,' predictive ; and not ‘he shall perish,' denunciatory. The usage of the language with respect to 'shall' and 'will' has, in fact, changed. Dr. Schaff leaves this untouched.
V. 8: His substitution of 'uncreated' for 'uncreate' is quite unnecessary; of 'unlimited' for 'incomprehensible' (immensus, v. 9) very bald ; infinite would be better.
V. 25 has really an improved rendering: but there is in it the same obscurity of meaning which exists in the original. He renders 'there is nothing before or after : nothing greater or less.
V. 31. The distinction between ante sæcula and in sæculo, viz. 'before time' (the ages] and ‘in time,' is obscured in our version, and not restored by Dr. Schaff.
V. 34. The 'be' is strictly correct; and “is,' which Dr. Schaff would substitute, is merely a modern vulgarism. The English subjunctive is 'be' not ‘is.'
V. 36. One altogether,' unus omnino, though correct, is not clear ; but so Dr. Schaff leaves it. We would suggest in every respect.'
We need not, however, go all through the Creed. We have said enough, as we conceive, to make good our point.
The Councils between the first ‘in Trullo' and that at Trent-an interval of almost nine hundred years—have, as we have already noticed, no place in Dr. Schaff's work. The third great cycle of controversies, the anthropological, are similarly passed over, probably because they were decided by no Ecumenical Council, and have left no traces upon either of
1 Dr. Schaff writes it secula; making a very gratuitous blunder, for the Utrecht Psalter reads, correctly enough, sæcula.