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24. CHRIST AS LIGHT; HOW HE, AND HOW HIS DISCIPLES ARE THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD.
He said, then, that He was the light of the world; and we have to examine, along with this title, those which are parallel to it; and, indeed, are thought by some to be not merely parallel, but identical with it. He is the true light, and the light of the Gentiles. In the opening of the Gospel now before us He is the light of men: "That which was made,"(1) it says, "was life in Him, and the life was the light of men; and the light shines in darkness, and the darkness did not overtake it." A little further on, in the same passage, He is called the true light:(2) "The true light, which lightens every man, was coming into the world." In Isaiah, He is the light of the Gentiles, as we said before. "Behold,(3) I have set Thee for a light of the Gentiles, that Thou shouldest be for salvation to the end of the earth." Now the sensible light of the world is the sun, and after it comes very worthily the moon, and the same title may be applied to the stars; but those lights of the world are said in Moses to have come into existence on the fourth day, and as they shed light on the things on the earth, they are not the true light. But the Saviour shines on creatures which have intellect and sovereign reason, that their minds may behold their proper objects of vision, and so he is the light of the intellectual world, that is to say, of the reasonable souls which are in the sensible world, and if there be any beings beyond these in the world from which He declares Himself to be our Saviour. He is, indeed, the most determining and distinguished part of that world, and, as we may say, the sun who makes the great day of the Lord. In view of this day He says to those who partake of His light, "Work(4) while it is day; the night cometh when no man can work. As long as I am in the world, I am the light of the world." Then He says to His disciples,(5) "Ye are the light of the world," and "Let your light shine before men." Thus we see the Church, the bride, to present an analogy to the moon and stars, and the disciples have a light, which is their own or borrowed from the true sun, so that they are able to illuminate those who have no command of any spring of light in themselves. We may say that Paul and Peter are the light of the world, and that those of their disciples who are enlightened themselves, but are not able to enlighten others, are the world of which the Apostles were the light. But the Saviour, being the light of the world, illuminates not bodies, but by His incorporeal power the incorporeal intellect, to the end that each of us, enlightened as by the sun, may be able to discern the rest of the things of the mind. And as when the sun is shining the moon and the stars lose their power of giving light, so those who are irradiated by Christ and receive His beams have no need of the ministering apostles and prophets--we must have courage to declare this truth--nor of the angels; I will add that they have no need even of the greater powers when they are disciples of that first-born light. To those who do not receive the solar beams of Christ. the ministering saints do afford an illumination much less than the former; this illumination is as much as those persons can receive, and it completely fills them. Christ, again, the light of the world, is the true light as distinguished from the light of sense; nothing that is sensible is true. Yet though the sensible is other than the true, it does not follow that the sensible is false, for the sensible may have an analogy with the intellectual, and not everything that is not true can correctly be called false. Now I ask whether the light of the world is the same thing with the light of men, and I conceive that a higher power of light is intended by the former phrase than by the latter, for the world in one sense is not only men. Paul shows that the world is something more than men when he writes to the Corinthians in his first Epistle:(1) "We are made a spectacle unto the world, and to angels, and to men." In one sense, too, it may be considered,(2) the world is the creation which is being delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God, whose earnest expectation is waiting for the manifestation of the sons of God. We also draw attention to the comparison which may be drawn between the statement, "I am the light of the world," and the words addressed to the disciples, "Ye are the light of the world." Some suppose that the genuine disciples of Jesus are greater than other creatures, some seeking the reason of this ill the natural growth of these disciples, others inferring it from their harder struggle. For those beings which are in flesh and blood have greater labours and a life more full of dangers than those which are in an ethereal body, and the lights of heaven might not, if they had put on bodies of earth, have accomplished this life of ours free from danger and from error. Those who incline to this argument may appeal to those texts of Scripture which say the most exalted things about men, and to the fact that the Gospel is addressed directly to men; not so much is said about the creation, or, as we understand it, about the world. We read,(1) "As I and Thou are one, that they also may be one in Us," and(2) "Where I am, there will also My servant be." These sayings, plainly, are about men; while about the creation it is said that it is delivered from the bondage of corruption into the liberty of the glory of the children of God. It might be added that not even when it is delivered will it take part in the glory of the sons of God. Nor will those who hold this view forget that the first-born of every creature, honouring man above all else, became man, and that it was not any of the constellations existing in the sky, but one of another order, appointed for this purpose and in the service of the knowledge of Jesus, that was made to be the Star of the East, whether it was like the other stars or perchance better than they, to be the sign of Him who is the most excellent of all. And if the boasting of the saints is in their tribulations, since(3) "tribulation worketh patience, and patience probation, and probation hope, and hope maketh not ashamed," then the afflicted creation cannot have the like patience with man, nor the like probation, nor the like hope, but another degree of these, since(4) "the creation was made subject to vanity, not willingly, but on account of Him who subjected it. for hope." Now he who shrinks from conferring such great attributes on man will turn to another direction and say that the creature being subjected to vanity groans and suffers greater affliction than those who groan in this tabernacle, for has she not suffered for the utmost extent of time in her service of vanity--nay, many times as long as man? For why does she do this not willingly, but that it is against her nature to be subject to vanity, and not to have the best arrangement of her life, that which she shall receive when she is set free, when the world is destroyed and released even from the vanity of bodies. Here, however, we may appear to be stretching too far, and aiming at more than the question now before us requires. We may return, therefore, to the point from which we set out, and ask for what reason the Saviour is called the light of the world, the true light, and the light of men. Now we saw that He is called the true light with reference to the sensible light of the world, and that the light of the world is the same thing as the light of men, or that we may at least enquire whether they are the same. This discussion is not superfluous. Some students do not take anything at all out of the statement that the Saviour is the Word; and it is important for us to assure ourselves that we are not chargeable with caprice in fixing our attention on that notion. If it admits of being taken in a metaphorical sense we ought not to take it literally.(1) When we apply the mystical and allegorical method to the expression "light of the world" and the many analogous terms mentioned above, we should surely do so with this expression also.
30. CHRIST AS ANOINTED (CHRIST) AND AS KING.
In addition to these titles we must consider at the outset of our work that of Christ, and we must also consider that of King, and compare these two so as to find out the difference between them. Now it is said in the forty-fourth Psalm,(3) "Thou hast loved righteousness and hated iniquity, whence Thou art anointed (Christ) above Thy fellows." His loving righteousness and hating iniquity were thus added claims in Him; His anointing was not contemporary with His being nor inherited by Him from the first. Anointing is a symbol of entering on the kingship, and sometimes also on the priesthood; and must we therefore conclude that the kingship of the Son of God is not inherited nor congenital to Him? But how is it conceivable that the First-born of all creation was not a king and became a king afterwards because He loved righteousness, when, moreover, He Himself was righteousness? We cannot fail to see that it is as a man that He is Christ, in respect of His soul, which was human and liable to be troubled and sore vexed, but that He is conceived as king in respect of the divine in Him. I find support for this in the seventy-first Psalm,(4) which says, "Give the king Thy judgment, O God, and Thy righteousness to the king's Son, to judge Thy people in righteousness and Thy poor in judgment." This Psalm, though addressed to Solomon, is evidently a prophecy of Christ, and it is worth while to ask to what king the prophecy desires judgment to be given by God, and to what king's Son, and what king's righteousness is spoken of. I conceive, then, that what is called the King is the leading nature of the First-born of all creation, to which judgment is given on account of its eminence; and that the man whom He assumed, formed and molded by that nature, according to righteousness, is the King's Son. I am the more led to think that this is so, because the two beings are here brought together in one sentence, and are spoken of as if they were not two but one. For the Saviour made both one,(5) that is, He made them according to the prototype of the two which had been made one in Himself before all things. The two I refer to human nature, since each man's soul is mixed with the Holy Spirit, and each of those who are saved is thus made spiritual. Now as there are some to whom Christ is a shepherd, as we said before, because of their meek and composed nature, though they are less guided by reason; so there are those to whom He is a king, those, namely, who are led in their approach to religion rather by the reasonable part of their nature. And among those who are under a king there are differences; some experience his rule in a more mystic and hidden and more divine way, others in a less perfect fashion. I should say that those who, led by reason, apart from all agencies of sense, have beheld incorporeal things, the things which Paul speaks of as "invisible," or "not seen," that they are ruled by the leading nature of the Only-begotten, but that those who have only advanced as far as the reason which is conversant with sensible things, and on account of these glorify their Maker, that these also are governed by the Word, by Christ. No offence need be taken at our distinguishing these notions in the Saviour; we draw the same distinctions in His substance.
34. CHRIST AS THE FIRST AND THE LAST; HE IS ALSO WHAT LIES BETWEEN THESE.
Further, we have to ask in what sense He is called in the Apocalypse the First and the Last, and how, in His character as the First, He is not the same as the Alpha and the beginning, while in His character as the Last He is not the same as the Omega and the end. It appears to me, then, that the reasonable beings which exist are characterized by many forms, and that some of them are the first, some the second, some the third, and so on to the last. To pronounce exactly, however, which is the first, what kind of a being the second is, which may truly be designated third, and to carry this out to the end of the series, this is not a task for man, but transcends our nature. We shall yet venture, such as we are, to stand still a little at this point, and to make some observations on the matter. There are some gods of whom God is god, as we hear in prophecy,(1) "Thank ye the God of gods," and(2) "The God of gods hath spoken, and called the earth." Now God, according to the Gospel,(3) "is not the God of the dead but of the living." Those gods, then, are living of whom God is god. The Apostle, too, writing to the Corinthians, says:(4) "As there are gods many and lords many," and so we have spoken of these gods as really existing. Now there are, besides the gods of whom God is god, certain others, who are called thrones, and others called dominions, lordships, also, and powers in addition to these. The phrase,(5) "above every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come," leads us to believe that there are yet others besides these which are less familiar to us; one kind of these the Hebrews called Sabai, from which Sabaoth was formed, who is their ruler, and is none other than God. Add to all these the reasonable being who is mortal, man. Now the God of all things made first in honour some race of reasonable beings; this I consider to be those who are called gods, and the second order, let us say, for the present, are the thrones, and the third, undoubtedly, the dominions. And thus we come down in order to the last reasonable race, which, perhaps, cannot be any other than man. The Saviour accordingly became, in a diviner way than Paul, all things to all, that He might either gain all or perfect them; it is clear that to men He became a man, and to the angels an angel. As for His becoming man no believer has any doubt, but as to His becoming an angel, we shall find reason for believing it was so, if we observe carefully the appearances and the words of the angels, in some of which the powers of the angels seem to belong to Him. In several passages angels speak in such a way as to suggest this, as when(6) "the angel of the Lord appeared in a flame of fire. And he said. I am the God of Abraham and of Isaac and of Jacob." But Isaiah also says:(1) "His name is called Angel of Great Counsel." The Saviour, then, is the first and the last, not that He is not what lies between, but the extremities are named to show that He became all things. Consider, however, whether the last is man, or the things said to be under the earth, of which are the demons, all of them or some. We must ask, too, about those things which the Saviour became which He speaks of through the prophet David,(2) "And I became as a man without any to help him, free among the dead." His birth from the Virgin and His life so admirably lived showed Him to be more than man, and it was the same among the dead. He was the only free person there, and His soul was not left in hell. Thus, then, He is the first and the last. Again, if there be letters of God, as such there are, by reading which the saints may say they have read what is written on the tablets of heaven, these letters, by which heavenly things are to be read, are the notions, divided into small parts, into A and so on to <greek>W</greek>, the Son of God. Again, He is the beginning and the end, but He is this not in all His aspects equally. For He is the beginning, as the Proverbs teach us, inasmuch as He is wisdom; it is written: "The Lord rounded Me in the beginning of His ways. for His works." In the respect of His being the Logos He is not the beginning. "The Word was in the beginning." Thus in His aspects one comes first and is the beginning, and there is a second after the beginning, and a third, and so on to the end, as if He had said, I am the beginning. inasmuch as I am wisdom, and the second, perhaps, inasmuch as I am invisible, and the third in that I am life, for "what was made was life in Him." One who was qualified to examine and to discern the sense of Scripture might, no doubt, find many members of the series; I cannot say if he could find them all. "The beginning and the end" is a phrase we usually apply to a thing that is a completed unity; the beginning of a house is its foundation and the end the parapet. We cannot but think of this figure. since Christ is the stone which is the head of the corner, to the great unity of the body of the saved. For Christ the only-begotten Son is all and in all, He is as the beginning in the man He assumed, He is present as the end in the last of the saints, and He is also in those between, or else He is present as the beginning in Adam, as the end in His life on earth, according to the saying: "The last Adam was made a quickening spirit." This saying harmonizes well with the interpretation we have given of the first and the last.
39. CHRIST AS WISDOM AND SANCTIFICATION AND REDEMPTION.
We must not, however, pass over in silence that He is of right the wisdom of God, and hence is called by that name. For the wisdom of the God and Father of all things does not apprehend His substance in mere visions, like the phantasms of human thoughts. Whoever is able to conceive a bodiless existence of manifold speculations which extend to the rationale of existing things, living and, as it were, ensouled, he will see how well the Wisdom of God which is above every creature speaks of herself, when she says:(5) "God created me the beginning of His ways, for His works." By this creating act the whole creation was enabled to exist, not being unreceptive of that divine wisdom according to which it was brought into being; for God, according to the prophet David,(6) made all things in wisdom. But many things came into being by the help of wisdom, which do not lay hold of that by which they were created: and few things indeed there are which lay hold not only of that wisdom which concerns themselves, but of that which has to do with many things besides, namely, of Christ who is the whole of wisdom. But each of the sages, in proportion as he embraces wisdom, partakes to that extent of Christ, in that He is wisdom; just as every one who is greatly gifted with power, in proportion as he has power, in that proportion also has a share in Christ, inasmuch as He is power. The same is to be thought about sanctification and redemption; for Jesus Himself is made sanctification to us and redemption. Each of us is sanctified with that sanctification, and redeemed with that redemption. Consider, moreover, if the words "to us," added by the Apostle, have any special force. Christ, he says, "was made to us of God, wisdom, and righteousness, and sanctification, and redemption." In other passages, he speaks about Christ as being wisdom, without any such qualification, and of His being power, saying that Christ is the power of God and the wisdom of God, though we might have conceived that He was not the wisdom of God or the power of God, absolutely, but only for us. Now, in respect of wisdom and power, we have both forms of the statement, the relative and the absolute; but in respect of sanctification and redemption, this is not the case. Consider, therefore, since(1) "He that sanctifies and they that are sanctified are all of one," whether the Father is the sanctification of Him who is our sanctification, as, Christ being our head, God is His head. But Christ is our redemption because we had become prisoners and needed ransoming. I do not enquire as to His own redemption, for though He was tempted in all things as we are, He was without sin, and His enemies never reduced Him to captivity.
42. OF THE VARIOUS WAYS IN WHICH CHRIST IS THE LOGOS.
As, then, from His activity in enlightening the world whose light He is, Christ is named the Light of the World, and as from His making those who sincerely attach themselves to Him put away their deadness and rise again and put on newness of life, He is called the Resurrection, so from an activity of another kind He is called Shepherd and Teacher, King and Chosen Shaft, and Servant, and in addition to these Paraclete and Atonement and Propitiation. And after the same fashion He is also called the Logos,(2) because He takes away from us all that is irrational, and makes us truly reasonable, so that we do all things, even to eating and drinking, to the glory of God, and discharge by the Logos to the glory of God both the commoner functions of life and those which belong to a more advanced stage. For if, by having part in Him, we are raised up and enlightened, herded also it may be and ruled over, then it is clear that we become in a divine manner reasonable, when He drives away from us what in us is irrational and dead, since He is the Logos (reason) and the Resurrection. Consider, however, whether all men have in some way part in Him in His character as Logos. On this point the Apostle teaches us that He is to be sought not outside the seeker, and that those find Him in themselves who set their heart on doing so; "Say not(1) in thy heart, Who shall ascend into heaven? That is to bring Christ down; or, Who shall descend into the abyss? That is to bring Christ up from the dead. But what saith the Scripture? The Word is very nigh thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart," as if Christ Himself were the same thing as the Word said to be sought after. But when the Lord Himself says(2) "If I had not come and spoken unto them, they had not had sin but now they have no cloak for their sin," the only sense we can find in His words is that the Logos Himself says that those are not chargeable with sin to whom He (reason) has not fully come, but that those, if they sin, are guilty who, having had part in Him, act contrary to the ideas by which He declares His full presence in us. Only when thus read is the saying true: "If I had not come and spoken to them, they had not had sin." Should the words be applied, as many are of opinion that they should, to the visible Christ, then how is it true that those had no sin to whom He did not come? In that case all who lived before the advent of the Saviour will be free from sin, since Jesus, as seen in flesh, had not yet come. And more--all those to whom He has never been preached will have no sin, and if they have no sin, then it is clear they are not liable to judgment. But the Logos in man, in which we have said that our whole race had part, is spoken of in two senses; first, in that of the filling up of ideas which takes place, prodigies excepted, in every one who passes beyond the age of boyhood, but secondly, in that of the consummation, which takes place only in the perfect. The words, therefore, "If I had not come and spoken to them, they would not have had sin, but now they have no cloak for their sin," are to be understood in the former sense; but the words,(1) "All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers, and the sheep did not hear them," in the latter. For before the consummation of reason comes, there is nothing in man but what is blameworthy; all is imperfect and defective, and can by no means command the obedience of those irrational elements in us which are tropically spoken of as sheep. And perhaps the former meaning is to be recognized in the words "The Logos was made flesh," but the second in "The Logos was God." We must accordingly look at what there is to be seen in human affairs between the saying, "The Word (reason) was made flesh" and "The Word was God." When the Word was made flesh can we say that it was to some extent broken up and thinned out, and can we say that it recovered from that point onward till it became again what it was at first, God the Word, the Word with the Father; the Word whose glory John saw, the verily only-begotten, as from the Father. But the Son may also be the Logos (Word), because He reports the secret things of His Father who is intellect in the same way as the Son who is called the Word. For as with us the word is a messenger of those things which tile mind perceives, so the Word of God, knowing the Father, since no created being can approach Him without a guide, reveals the Father whom He knows. For no one knows the Father save the Son,(2) and he to whomsoever the Son reveals Him, and inasmuch as He is the Word He is the Messenger of Great Counsel,(3) who has the government upon His shoulders; for He entered on His kingdom by enduring the cross. In the Apocalypse,(4) moreover, the Faithful and True (the Word), is said to sit on a white horse, the epithets indicating, I consider, the clearness of the voice with which the Word of truth speaks to us when He sojourns among us. This is scarcely the place to show how the word "horse" is often used in passages spoken for our encouragement in sacred learning. I only cite two of these: "A horse is deceitful for safety,"(5) and "Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we will rejoice in the name of the Lord our God."(6) Nor must we leave unnoticed a passage in the forty-fourth Psalm,(7) frequently quoted by many writers as if they understood it: "My heart hath belched forth a good word, I speak my works to the King." Suppose it is God the Father who speaks thus; what is His heart, that the good word should appear in accordance with His heart? If, as these writers suppose, the Word (Logos) needs no interpretation, then the heart is to be taken in the natural sense too. But it is quite absurd to suppose God's heart to be a part of Him as ours is of our body. We must remind such writers that as when the hand of God is spoken of, and His arm and His finger, we do not read the words literally but enquire in what sound sense we may take them so as to be worthy of God, so His heart is to be understood of His rational power, by which He disposes all things, and His word of that which announces what is in this heart of His. But who is it that announces the counsel of the Father to those of His creatures who are worthy and who have risen above themselves, who but the Saviour? That "belched forth" is not, perhaps, without significance; a hundred other terms might have been employed; "My heart has produced a good word," it might have been said, or "My heart has spoken a good word." But in belching, some wind that was hidden makes its way out to the world, and so it may be that the Father gives out views of truth not continuously, but as it were after the fashion of belching, and the word has the character of the things thus produced, and is called, therefore, the image of the invisible God. We may enter our agreement, therefore, with the ordinary acceptation of these words, and take them to be spoken by the Father. It is not, however, a matter of course, that it is God Himself who announces these things. Why should it not be a prophet? Filled with the Spirit and unable to contain himself, he brings forth a word about his prophecy concerning Christ: "My heart hath belched forth a good word, I speak my works to the King, my pen is the tongue of a ready writer. Excellent in beauty is He beyond the sons of men." Then to the Christ Himself: "Grace is poured out on Thy lips." If the Father were the speaker, how could He go on after the words, "Grace is poured out on thy lips," to say, "Therefore God hath blessed thee for ever," and a little further on, "Therefore God, thy God, hath anointed thee with the oil of gladness above thy fellows." Some of those who wish to make the Father the speaker may appeal to the words, "Hear, O daughter, and behold and incline thine ear, and forget thy people and thy father." The prophet, it may be said, could not address the Church in the words, "Hear, O daughter." It is not difficult, however, to show that changes of person occur frequently in the Psalms, so that these words, "Hear, O daughter," might be from the Father, in this passage, though the Psalm as a whole is not. To our discussion of the Word we may here add the passage,(1) "By the word of the Lord were the heavens rounded, and all the power of them by the breath of His mouth." Some refer this to the Saviour and the Holy Spirit. The passage, however, does not necessarily imply any more than that the heavens were founded by the reason (logos) of God, as when we say that a house is built by the plan (logos) of the architect, or a ship by the plan (logos) of the shipbuilder. In the same way the heavens were founded (made solid) by the Word of God, for they are(2) of a more divine substance, which on this account is called solid;(3) it has little fluidity for the most part, nor is it easily melted like other parts of the world, and specially the lower parts. On account of this difference the heavens are said in a special manner to be constituted by the Word of God.
The saying then stands, first, "In the beginning was the Logos;" we are to place that full in our view; but the testimonies we cited from the Proverbs led us to place wisdom first, and to think of wisdom as preceding the Word which announces her. We must observe, then, that the Logos is in the beginning, that is, in wisdom, always. Its being in wisdom, which is called the beginning, does not prevent it from being with God and from being God, and it is not simply with God, but is in the beginning, in wisdom, with God. For he goes on: "He was in the beginning with God." He might have said, "He was with God;" but as He was in the beginning, so He was with God in the beginning, and "All things were made by Him," being in the beginning, for God made nil things, as David tells us, in wisdom. And to let us understand that the Word has His own definite place and sphere as one who has life in Himself (and is a distinct person), we must also speak about powers, not about power. "Thus saith the Lord of powers, (A.V. hosts)" we frequently read; there are certain creatures, rational and divine, which are called powers: anti of these Christ was the highest and best. and is called not only the wisdom of God but also His power. As, then, there are several powers of God, each of them in its own form, and the Saviour is different from these, so also Christ, even if that which is Logos in us is not in respect of form outside of us, will be understood from our discussion up to this point to be the Logos, who has His being in the beginning, in wisdom. This for the present may suffice, on the word: "In the beginning was the Logos."
1. "And the Word was with God, and the Word was God." In the preceding section, my revered brother Ambrosius, brother formed according to the Gospel, we have discussed, as far as is at present in our power, what the Gospel is, and what is the beginning in which the Word was, and what the Word is which was in the beginning. We now come to consider the next point in the work before us, How the Word was with God. To this end it will be of service to remember that what is called the Word came to certain persons; as "The Word of the Lord(1) which came to Hosea, the son of Beeri," and "The Word(2) which came to Isaiah, the son of Amos, concerning Judah and concerning Jerusalem," and "The Word which came to Jeremiah(3) concerning the drought." We must enquire how this Word came to Hosea, and how it came also to Isaiah the son of Amos, and again to Jeremiah concerning the drought; the comparison may enable us to dud out how the Word was with God. The generality will simply look at what the prophets said, as if that were the Word of the Lord or the Word, that came to them. May it not be, however, that as we say that this person comes to that, so the Son, the Word, of whom we are now theologizing, came to Hosea, sent to him by the Father; historically, that is to say, to the son of Beeri, the prophet Hosea, but mystically to him who is saved, for Hosea means, etymologically, Saved; and to the son of Beeri, which etymologically means wells, since every one who is saved becomes a son of that spring which gushes forth out of the depths, the wisdom of God. And it is nowise marvellous that the saint should be a son of wells. From his brave deeds he is often called a son, whether, from his works shining before men, of light, or from his possessing the peace of God which passes all understanding, of peace, or, once more, from the help which wisdom brings him, a child of wisdom; for wisdom,(1) it says, is justified of her children. Thus he who by the divine spirit searches all things, and even the deep things of God, so that he can exclaim,(2) "O the depth of the riches both of the wisdom and the knowledge of God!" he can be a son of wells, to whom the Word of the Lord comes. Similarly the Word comes also to Isaiah, teaching the things which are coming upon Judaea and Jerusalem in the last days; and so also it comes to Jeremiah lifted up by a divine elation. For IAO means etymologically lifting up, elation. Now the Word comes to men who formerly could not receive the advent of the Son of God who is the Word; but to God it does not come, as if it had not been with Him before. The Word was always with the Father; and so it is said, "And the Word was with God." He did not come to God, and this same word "was" is used of the Word because He was in the beginning at the same time when He was with God, neither being separated from the beginning nor being bereft of His Father. And again, neither did He come to be in the beginning after He had not been in it, nor did He come to be with God after not having been with Him. For before all time and the remotest age(3) the Word was in the beginning, and the Word was with God. Thus to find out what is meant by the phrase, "The Word was with God," we have adduced the words used about the prophets, how He came to Hosea, to Isaiah, to Jeremiah, and we have noticed the difference, by no means accidental, between "became" and "was." We have to add that in His coming to the prophets He illuminates the prophets with the light of knowledge, causing them to see things which had been before them, but which they had not understood till then. With God, however, He is God, just because He is with Him. And perhaps it was because he saw some such order in the Logos, that John did not place the clause "The Word was God" before the clause "The Word was with God." The series in which he places his different sentences does not prevent the force of each axiom from being separately and fully seen. One axiom is, "In the beginning was the Word," a second, "The Word was with God," and then comes, "And the Word was God." The arrangement of the sentences might be thought to indicate an order; we have first "In the beginning was the Word," then, "And the Word was with God," and thirdly, "And the Word was God," so that it might be seen that the Word being with God makes Him God.
2. IN WHAT WAY THE LOGOS IS GOD. ERRORS TO BE AVOIDED ON THIS QUESTION.
We next notice John's use of the article in these sentences. He does not write without care in this respect, nor is he unfamiliar with the niceties of the Greek tongue. In some cases he uses the article, and in some he omits it. He adds the article to the Logos, but to the name of God he adds it sometimes only. He uses the article, when the name of God refers to the uncreated cause of all things, and omits it when the Logos is named God. Does the same difference which we observe between God with the article and God without it prevail also between the Logos with it and without it? We must enquire into this. As the God who is over all is God with the article not without it, so "the Logos" is the source of that reason (Logos) which dwells in every reasonable creature; the reason which is in each creature is not, like the former called par excellence The Logos. Now there are many who are sincerely concerned about religion, and who fall here into great perplexity. They are afraid that they may be proclaiming two Gods, and their fear drives them into doctrines which are false and wicked. Either they deny that the Son has a distinct nature of His own besides that of the Father, and make Him whom they call the Son to be God all but the name, or they deny the divinity of the Son, giving Him a separate existence of His own, and making His sphere of essence fall outside that of the Father, so that they are separable from each other. To such persons we have to say that God on the one hand is Very God (Autotheos, God of Himself); and so the Saviour says in His prayer to the Father,(1) "That they may know Thee the only true God; "but that all beyond the Very God is made God by participation in His divinity, and is not to be called simply God (with the article), but rather God (without article). And thus the first-born of all creation, who is the first to be with God, and to attract to Himself divinity, is a being of more exalted rank than the other gods beside Him, of whom God is the God, as it is written,(2) "The God of gods, the Lord, hath spoken and called the earth." It was by the offices of the first-born that they became gods, for He drew from God in generous measure that they should be made gods, and He communicated it to them according to His own bounty. The true God, then, is "The God," and those who are formed after Him are gods, images, as it were, of Him the prototype. But the archetypal image, again, of all these images is the Word of God, who was in the beginning, and who by being with God is at all times God, not possessing that of Himself, but by His being with the Father, and not continuing to be God, if we should think of this, except by remaining always in uninterrupted contemplation of the depths of the Father.
3. VARIOUS RELATIONS OF THE LOGOS TO MEN.
Now it is possible that some may dislike what we have said representing the Father as the one true God, but admitting other beings besides the true God, who have become gods by having a share of God. They may fear that the glory of Him who surpasses all creation may be lowered to the level of those other beings called gods. We drew this distinction between Him and them that we showed God the Word to be to all the other gods the minister of their divinity. To this we must add, in order to obviate objections, that the reason which is in every reasonable creature occupied the same relation to the reason who was in the beginning with God, and is God the Word, as God the Word occupies to God. As the Father who is Very God and the True God is to His image and to the images of His image--men are said to be according to the image, not to be images of God--so He, the Word, is to the reason (word) in every man. Each fills the place of a fountain--the Father is the fountain of divinity, the Son of reason. As, then, there are many gods, but to us there is but one God the Father, and many Lords, but to us there is one Lord, Jesus Christ, so there are many Logoi, but we, for our part, pray that that one Logos may be with us who was in the beginning and was with God, God the Logos. For whoever does not receive this Logos who was in the beginning with God, or attach himself to Him as He appeared in flesh, or take part in some of those who had part in this Logos, or whoever having had part in Him falls away from Him again, he will have his portion in what is called most opposite to reason. What we have drawn out from the truths with which we started will now be clear enough. First, we spoke about God and the Word of God, and of Gods, either, that is, beings who partake in deity or beings who are called Gods and are not. And again of the Logos of God and of the Logos of God made flesh, and of logoi, or beings which partake in some way of the Logos, of second logoi or of third, thought to be logoi, in addition to that Logos that was before them all, but not really so. Irrational Reasons these may be styled; beings are spoken of who are said to be Gods but are not, and one might place beside these Gods who are no Gods, Reasons which are no Reasons. Now the God of the universe is the God of the elect, and in a much greater degree of the Saviours of the elect; then He is the God of these beings who are truly Gods, and then He is the God, in a word, of the living and not of the dead. But God the Logos is the God, perhaps, of those who attribute everything to Him and who consider Him to be their Father. Now the sun and the moon and the stars were connected, according to the accounts of men of old times, with beings who were not worthy to have the God of gods counted their God. To this opinion they were led by a passage in Deuteronomy which is somewhat on this wise:(1) "Lest when thou liftest up thine eyes to heaven, and seest the sun and the moon and the whole host of heaven, thou wander away and worship them and serve them which the Lord thy God hath appointed to all the peoples. But to you the Lord thy God hath not so given them." But how did God appoint the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven to all the nations, if He did not give them in the same way to Israel also, to the end that those who could not rise to the realm of intellect, might be inclined by gods of sense to consider about the Godhead, and might of their own free will connect themselves with these and so be kept from falling away to idols and demons? Is it not the case that some have for their God the God of the universe, while a second class, after these, attach themselves to the Son of God, His Christ, and a third class worship the sun and the moon and all the host of heaven, wandering, it is true, from God, but with a far different and a better wandering than that of those who invoke as gods the works of men's hands, silver and gold,-works of human skill. Last of all are those who devote themselves to the beings which are called gods but are no gods. In the same way, now, some have faith in that Reason which was in the beginning and was with God and was God; so did Hosea and Isaiah and Jeremiah and others who declared that the Word of the Lord, or the Logos, had come to them. A second class are those who know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified, considering that the Word made flesh is the whole Word, and knowing only Christ after the flesh. Such is the great multitude of those who are counted believers. A third class give themselves to logoi (discourses) having some part in the Logos which they consider superior to all other reason: these are they who follow the honourable and distinguished philosophical schools among the Greeks. A fourth class besides these are they who put their trust in corrupt and godless discourses, doing away with Providence, which is so manifest and almost visible, and who recognize another end for man to follow than the good. It may appear to some that we have wandered from our theme, but to my thinking the view we have reached of four things connected with the name of God and four things connected with the Logos comes in very well at this point. There was God with the article and God without the article, then there were gods in two orders, at the summit of the higher order of whom is God the Word, transcended Himself by the God of the universe. And, again, there was the Logos with the article and the Logos without the article, corresponding to God absolutely and a god; and the Logoi in two ranks. And some men are connected with the Father, being part of Him, and next to these, those whom our argument now brings into clearer light, those who have come to the Saviour and take their stand entirely in Him. And third are those of whom we spoke before, who reckon the sun and the moon and the stars to be gods, and take their stand by them. And in the fourth and last place those who submit to soulless and dead idols. To all this we find analogies in what concerns the Logos. Some are adorned with the Word Himself; some with what is next to Him and appears to be the very original Logos Himself, those, namely, who know nothing but Jesus Christ and Him crucified, and who behold the Word as flesh. And the third class, as we described them a little before. Why should I speak of those who are thought to be in the Logos, but have fallen away, not only from the good itself, but from the very traces of it and from those who have a part in it?
4. THAT THE LOGOS IS ONE, NOT MANY. OF THE WORD, FAITHFUL AND TRUE, AND OF HIS WHITE HORSE.
"He was in the beginning with God." By his three foregoing propositions the Evangelist has made us acquainted with three orders, and he now sums up the three in one, saying, "This (Logos) was in the beginning with God." In the first premiss we learned where the Logos was: He was in the beginning; then we learned with whom He was, with God; and then who He was, that He was God. He now points out by this word "He," the Word who is God, and gathers up into a fourth proposition the three which went before, "In the beginning was the Word," "The Word was with God," and "The Word was God." Now he says, He, this (Word) was in the beginning with God. The term beginning may be taken of the beginning of the world, so that we may learn from what is said that the Word was older than the things which were made from the beginning. For if "in the beginning God created heaven and earth," but "He" was in the beginning, then the Logos is manifestly older than those things which were made at the beginning, older not only than the firmament and the dry land, but than the heavens and earth. Now some one might ask, and not unreasonably, why it is not said, "In the beginning was the Word of God, and the Word of God was with God, and the Word of God was God." But he who asked such a question could be shown to be taking for granted that there are a plurality of logoi, differing perhaps from each other in kind, one being the word of God, another perhaps the word of angels, a third of men, and so on with the other logoi. Now, if this were so with the Logos, the case would be the same with wisdom and with righteousness. But it would be absurd that there should be a number of things equally to be called "The Word;" and the same would apply to wisdom and to righteousness. We shall be driven to confess that we ought not to look for a plurality of logoi, or of wisdom, or of righteousness, if we look at the case of truth. Any one will confess that there is only one truth; it could never be said in this case that there is one truth of God, and another of the angels, and another of man,--it lies ill the nature of things that the truth about anything is one. Now, if truth be one, it is clear that the preparation of it and its demonstration, which is wisdom, must in reason be conceived as one, since what is regarded as wisdom cannot justly claim that title where truth, which is one, is absent from its grasp. But if truth is one and wisdom one, then Reason (Logos) also, which announces truth and makes truth simple and manifest to those who are fitted to receive it, will be one. This we say, by no means denying that truth and wisdom and reason are of God, but we wish to indicate the purpose of the omission in this passage of the words "of God," and of the form of the statement, "In the beginning the Logos was with God." The same John in the Apocalypse gives Him His name with the addition "of God," where he says:(1) "And I saw heaven opened, and behold a white horse, and He that sat thereon called Faithful and True; and in righteousness doth He judge and make war. And His eyes are as a flame of fire, and on His head are many diadems, and He hath a name written which no one knoweth but He Himself. And He is arrayed in a garment sprinkled with blood, and His name is called(2) Word of God. And His armies in heaven followed Him on white horses, clothed in pure fine linen. And out of His mouth proceedeth a sharp sword, that with it He should smite the nations, and He shall rule them with a rod of iron, and He treadeth the winepress of the fierceness of the wrath of Almighty God. And He hath on His garment and on His thigh a name written: King of kings, and Lord of lords." In this passage Logos is necessarily spoken of absolutely without the article, and also with the addition Logos of God; had the first not been the case (i.e., had the article been given) we might have been led to take up the meaning wrongly,(3) and so to depart from the truth about the Logos. For if it had been called simply Logos, and had not been said to be the Logos of God, then we would not be clearly informed that the Logos is the Logos of God. And, again, had it been called Logos of God but not said to be Logos absolutely, then we might imagine many logoi, according to the constitution of each of the rational beings which exist; then we might assume a number of logoi properly so called. Again, in his description in the Apocalypse of the Logos of God, the Apostle and Evangelist (and the Apocalypse entitles him to be styled a prophet, too) says he saw the Word of God in the opened heaven, and that He was riding on a white horse. Now we must consider what he means to convey when he speaks of heaven being opened and of the white horse, and of the Word of God riding on the white horse, and also what is meant by saying that the Word of God is Faithful and True, and that in righteousness He judges and makes war. All this will greatly advance our study on the subject of the Word of God. Now I conceive heaven to have been shut against the ungodly, and those who bear the image of the earthly, and to have been opened to the righteous and those adorned with the image of the heavenly. For to the former, being below and still dwelling in the flesh, the better things are closed, since they cannot understand them and have neither power nor will to see their beauty, looking down as they do and not striving to look up. But to the excellent, or those who have their commonwealth in heaven,(1) he opens, with the key of David, the things in heavenly places and discloses them to their view, and makes all clear to them by riding on his horse. These words also have their meaning; the horse is white because it is the nature of higher knowledge (gnw^sis) to be clear and white and full of light. And on the white horse sits He who is called Faithful, seated more firmly, and so to speak more royally, on words which cannot be set aside, words which run sharply and more swiftly than any horse, and overhear in their rushing course every so-called word that simulates the Word, and every so-called truth that simulates the Truth. He who sits on the white horse is called Faithful, not because of the faith He cherishes, but of that which He inspires, because He is worthy of faith. Now the Lord Jehovah, according to Moses,(2) is Faithful and True. He is true also in respect of His relation to shadow, type, and image; for such is the Word who is in the opened heaven, for He is not on earth as He is in heaven; on earth He is made flesh and speaks through shadow, type, and image. The multitude, therefore, of those who are reputed to believe are disciples of the shadow of the Word, not of the true Word of God which is in the opened heaven. Hence Jeremiah says,(1) "The Spirit of our face is Christ the Lord, of whom we said, In His shadow shall we live among the nations." Thus the Word of God who is called Faithful is also called True, and ill righteousness He judges and makes war; since He has received from God the faculty of judging in very righteousness and very judgment, and of apportioning its due to every existing creature. For none of those who have some portion of righteousness and of the faculty of judgment can receive on his soul such copies and impressions of righteousness and judgment as to come short in no point of absolute righteousness and absolute justice, just as no painter of a picture can communicate to the representation all the qualities of the original. This, I conceive, is the reason why David says,(2) "Before Thee shall no living being be justified." He does not say, no man, or no angel, but no living being, since even if any being partakes of life and has altogether put off mortality, not even then can it be justified in comparison of Thee, who art, as it were, Life itself. Nor is it possible that one who partakes of life and is therefore called living, should become life itself, or that one who partakes of righteousness and, therefore, is called righteous should become equal to righteousness itself. Now it is the function of the Word of God, not only to judge in righteousness, but also to make war in righteousness, that by making war on His enemies by reason and righteousness, so that what is irrational and wicked is destroyed,(3) He may dwell in the soul of him who, for his salvation, so to speak, has become captive to Christ, and may justify that soul and cast out from her all adversaries. We shall, however, obtain a better view of this war which the Word carries on if we remember that He is an ambassador for the truth. while there is another who pretends to be the Word and is not, and one who calls herself the truth and is not, but a lie. Then the Word, arming Himself against the lie, slays it with the breath of His mouth and brings it to naught by the manifestation of His coming.(4) And consider whether these words of the Apostle to the Thessalonians may be understood in an intellectual sense. For what is that which is destroyed by the breath of the mouth of Christ, Christ being the Word and Truth and Wisdom, but the lie? And what is that which is brought to naught by the manifestation of Christ's coming, Christ being conceived as wisdom and reason, what but that which announces itself as wisdom, when in reality it is one of those things with which God deals as the Apostle describes,(1) "He taketh the wise, those who are not wise with the true wisdom, in their own craftiness"? To what he says of the rider on the white horse, John adds the wonderful statement: "His eyes are like a flame of fire." For as the flame of fire is bright and illuminating, but at the same thee fiery and destructive of material things, so, if I may so say, are the eyes of the Logos with which He sees, and every one who has part in Him; they have not only the inherent quality of laying hold of the things of the mind, but also that of consuming and putting away those conceptions which are more material and gross, since whatever is in any way false flees from the directness and lightness of truth. It is in a very natural order that after speaking of Him who judges in righteousness and makes war in accordance with His righteous judgments, and then after His warring of His giving light, the writer goes on to say, "On His head are many diadems." For had the lie been one, and of one form only, against which the True and Faithful Word contended, and for conquering which. He was crowned, then one crown alone would naturally have been given Him for the victory. As it is, however, as the lies are many which profess the truth and for warring against which the Word is crowned, the diadems are many which surround the head of the conqueror of them all. As He has overcome every revolting power many diadems mark His victory. Then after the diadems He is said to have a name written which no one knows but He Himself. For there are some things which are known to the Word alone; for the beings which come into existence after Him have a poorer nature than His, and none of them is able to behold all that He apprehends. And perhaps it is the case that only those who have part in that Word know the things which are kept from the knowledge of those who do not partake of Him. Now, in John's vision, the Word of God as He rides on the white horse is not naked: He is clothed with a garment sprinkled with blood, for the Word who was made flesh and therefore died is surrounded with marks of the fact that His blood was poured out upon the earth, when the soldier pierced His side. For of that passion, even should it be our lot some day to come to that highest and supreme contemplation of the Logos, we shall not lose all memory, nor shall we forget the truth that our admission was brought about by His sojourning in our body. This Word of God is followed by the heavenly armies one and all; they follow the Word as their leader, and imitate Him in all things, and chiefly in having mounted, they also, white horses. To him that understands, this secret is open. And as sorrow and grief and wailing fled away at the end of things, so also, I suppose, did obscurity and doubt, all the mysteries of God's wisdom being precisely and clearly opened. Look also at the white horses of the followers of the Word and at the white and pure linen with which they were clothed. As linen comes out of the earth, may not those linen garments stand for the dialects on the earth in which those voices are clothed which make clear announcements of things? We have dealt at some length with the statements found in the Apocalypse about the Word of God; it is important for us to know clearly about Him.
5. HE (THIS ONE) WAS IN THE BEGINNING WITH GOD.
To those who fail to distinguish with care the different propositions of the context the Evangelist may appear to be repeating himself. "He was in the beginning with God" may seem to add nothing to "And the Word was with God." We must observe more carefully. In the statement "The Word was with God" we are not told anything of the when or the where; that is added in the fourth axiom. There are four axioms, or, as some call them, propositions, the fourth being "He was in the beginning with God." Now "The Word was with God" is not the same thing as "He was," etc; for here we are told, not only that He was with God, but when and where He was so: "He was in the beginning with God." The "He," too, used as it is for a demonstration, will be considered to refer to the Word, or by a less careful enquirer, to God. What was noted before is now summed up in this designation "He," the notion of the Logos and that of God; and as the argument proceeds the different notions are collected in one; for the notion God is not included in the notion Logos, nor the notion Logos in that of God. And perhaps the proposition before us is a summing up in one of the three which have preceded. Taking the statement that the Word was in the beginning, we have not yet learned that He was with God, and taking the statement that the Word was with God it is not yet clear to us that He was with God in the beginning; and taking the statement that the Word was God, it has neither been shown that He was in the beginning, nor that He was with God.
Now when the Evangelist says, "He was in the beginning with God," if we apply the pronoun "He" to the Word and to God (as He is God) and consider that "in the beginning" is conjoined with it, and "with God" added to it, then there is nothing left of the three propositions that is not summed up and brought together in this one. And as "in the beginning" has been said twice, we may consider if there are not two lessons we may learn. First, that the Word was in the beginning, as if lie was by Himself and not with any one, and secondly, that He was in the beginning with God. And I consider that there is nothing untrue in saying of Him both that He was in the beginning, and in the beginning with God, for neither was He with God alone, since He was also in the beginning, nor was He in the beginning alone and not with God, since "He was in the beginning with God."
6. HOW THE WORD IS THE MAKER OF ALL THINGS, AND EVEN THE HOLY SPIRIT WAS MADE THROUGH HIM.
"All things were made through Him." The "through(1) whom "is never found in the first place but always in the second, as in the Epistle to the Romans,(2) "Paul a servant of Christ Jesus, a called Apostle, separated to the Gospel of God which He promised before by His prophets in Holy Scriptures, concerning His Son, who was born of the seed of David according to the flesh, deter mined the Son of God in power according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection of the dead, Jesus Christ our Lord, through whom we received grace and apostleship, for obedience of the faith among all the nations, for His name's sake." For God promised aforehand by the prophets His own Gospel, the prophets being His ministers, and having their word to speak about Him "through whom." And again God gave grace and apostleship to Paul and to the others for the obedience of the faith among all the nations, and this He gave them through Jesus Christ the Saviour, for the "through whom" belonged to Him. And the Apostle Paul says in the Epistle to the Hebrews:(1) "At the end of the days He spoke to us in His Son, whom He made the heir of all things, 'through whom' also He made the ages," showing us that God made the ages through His Son, the" through whom" belonging, when the ages were being made, to the Only-begotten. Thus, if all things were made, as in this passage also, through the Logos, then they were not made by the Logos, but by a stronger and greater than He. And who else could this be but the Father? Now if, as we have seen, all things were made through Him, we have to enquire if the Holy Spirit also was made through Him. it appears to me that those who hold the Holy Spirit to be created, and who also admit that "all things were made through Him," must necessarily assume that the Holy Spirit was made through the Logos, the Logos accordingly being older than He. And he who shrinks from allowing the Holy Spirit to have been made through Christ must, if he admits the truth of the statements of this Gospel, assume the Spirit to be uncreated. There is a third resource besides these two (that of allowing the Spirit to have been made by the Word, and that of regarding it as uncreated), namely, to assert that the Holy Spirit has no essence of His own beyond the Father and the Son. But on further thought one may perhaps see reason to consider that the Son is second beside the Father, He being the same as the Father, while manifestly a distinction is drawn between the Spirit and the Son in the passage,(2) "Whosoever shall speak a word against the Son of Man. it shall be forgiven him, but whosoever shall blaspheme against the Holy Spirit, he shall not have forgiveness, either in this world or in the world to come." We consider, therefore, that there are three hypostases, the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit; and at the same thee we believe nothing to be uncreated but the Father. We therefore, as the more pious and the truer course, admit that all things were made by the Logos, and that the Holy Spirit is the most excellent and the first in order(3) of all that was made by the Father through Christ. And this, perhaps, is the reason why the Spirit is not said to be God's own Son. The Only-begotten only is by nature and from the beginning a Son, and the Holy Spirit seems to have need of the Son, to minister to Him His essence, so as to enable Him not only to exist, but to be wise and reasonable and just, and all that we must think of Him as being. All this He has by participation of the character of Christ, of which we have spoken above. And I consider that the Holy Spirit supplies to those who, through Him and through participation in Him, are called saints, the material of the gifts, which come from God; so that the said material of the gifts is made powerful by God, is ministered by Christ, and owes its actual existence in men to the Holy Spirit. I am led to this view of the charisms by the words of Paul which he writes somewhere,(1) "There are diversities of gifts but the same Spirit, and diversities of ministrations, and the same Lord. And there are diversities of workings, but it is the same God that worketh all in all." The statement that all things were made by Him, and its seeming corollary, that the Spirit must have been called into being by the Word, may certainly raise some difficulty. There are some passages in which the Spirit is placed above Christ; in Isaiah, for example, Christ declares that He is sent, not by the Father only, but also by the Holy Spirit. "Now the Lord hath sent Me," He says,(2) "and His Spirit." and in the Gospel He declares that there is forgiveness for the sin committed against Himself, but that for blasphemy against the Holy Spirit there is no forgiveness, either in this age or in the age to come. What is the reason of this? Is it because the Holy Spirit is of more value than Christ that the sin against Him cannot be forgiven? May it not rather be that all rational beings have part in Christ, and that forgiveness is extended to them when they repent of their sins, while only those have part in the Holy Spirit who have been found worthy of it, and that there cannot well be any forgiveness for those who fall away to evil in spite of such great and powerful cooperation, and who defeat the counsels of the Spirit who is in them. When we find the Lord saying, as He does in Isaiah, that He is sent by the Father and by His Spirit, we have to point out here also that the Spirit is not originally superior to the Saviour, but that the Saviour takes a lower place than He in order to carry out the plan which has been made that the Son of God should become man. Should any one stumble at our saying that the Saviour in becoming man was made lower than the Holy Spirit, we ask him to consider the words used in the Epistle to the Hebrews,(3) where Jesus is shown by Paul to have been made less than the angels on account of the suffering of death. "We behold Him," he says, "who hath been made a little lower than the angels, Jesus, because of the suffering of death, crowned with glory and honour." And this, too, has doubtless to be added, that the creation, in order to be delivered from the bondage of corruption, and not least of all the human race, required the introduction into human nature of a happy and divine power, which should set right what was wrong upon the earth, and that this action fell to the share, as it were, of the Holy Spirit; but the Spirit, unable to support such a task, puts forward the Saviour as the only one able to endure such a conflict. The Father therefore, the principal, sends the Son, but the Holy Spirit also sends Him and directs Him to go before, promising to descend, when the thee comes, to the Son of God, and to work with Him for the salvation of men. This He did. when, in a bodily shape like a dove, He flew to Him after the baptism. He remained on Him, and did not pass Him by, as He might have done with men not able continuously to bear His glory. Thus John, when explaining how he knew who Christ was, spoke not only of the descent of the Spirit on Jesus, but also of its remaining upon him. For it is written that John said:(1) "He who sent me to baptize said, On whomsoever thou shalt see the Spirit descending and abiding upon Him, the same is He that baptizeth with the Holy Spirit and with fire." It is not said only, "On whomsoever thou shalt see the Spirit descending," for the Spirit no doubt descended on others too, but "descending and abiding on Him." Our examination of this point has been somewhat extended, since we were anxious to make it clear that if all things were made by Him, then the Spirit also was made through the Word, and is seen to be one of the "all things" which are inferior to their Maker. This view is too firmly settled to be disturbed by a few words which may be adduced to the opposite effect. If any one should lend credence to the Gospel according to the Hebrews, where the Saviour Himself says, "My mother, the Holy Spirit took me just now by one of my hairs and carried me off to the great mount Tabor," he will have to face the difficulty of explaining how the Holy Spirit can be the mother of Christ when it was itself brought into existence through the Word. But neither the passage nor this difficulty is hard to explain. For if he who does the will of the Father in heaven(2) is Christ's brother and sister and mother, and if the name of brother of Christ may be applied, not only to the race of men, but to beings of diviner rank than they, then there is nothing absurd in the Holy Spirit's being His mother, every one being His mother who does the will of the Father in heaven.
On the words, "All things were made by Him," there is still one point to be examined. The "word" is, as a notion, from "life," and yet we read, "What was made in the Word was life, and the life was the light of men." Now as all things were made through Him, was the life made through Him, which is the light of men, and the other notions under which the Saviour is presented to us? Or must we take the "all things were made by Him" subject to the exception of the things which are in Himself? The latter course appears to be the preferable one. For supposing we should concede that the life which is the light of men was made through Him, since it said that the life "was made" the light of men, what are we to say about wisdom, which is conceived as being prior to the Word? That, therefore, which is about the Word (His relations or conditions) was not made by the Word, and the result is that, with the exception of the notions under which Christ is presented, all things were made through the Word of God, the Father making them in wisdom. "In wisdom hast Thou made them all," it says,(1) not through, but in wisdom.
7. OF THINGS NOT MADE THROUGH THE LOGOS.
Let us see, however, why the words are added, "And without Him was not anything (Gr. even one thing) made." Some might think it superfluous to add to the words "All things were made through Him," the phrase "Without Him was not anything made." For if everything whatsoever was made through the Logos, then nothing was made without Him. Yet it does not follow from the proposition that without the Logos nothing was made, that all things were made through the Logos. It is possible that though nothing was made without the Logos, all things were made, not through the Logos only, but some things by Him. We must, therefore, make ourselves sure in what sense the "all things" is to be understood, and in what sense the "nothing." For, without a clear preliminary definition of these terms, it might be maintained that, if all things were made through the Logos, and evil is a part of all things, then the whole matter of sin, and everything that is wicked, that these also were made through the Logos. But this we must regard as false. There is nothing absurd in thinking that creatures were made through the Logos, and also that men's brave deeds have been done through Him, and all the useful acts of those who are now in bliss; but with the sins and misfortunes of men it is otherwise. Now some have held that since evil is not based in the constitution of things--for it did not exist at the beginning and at the end it will have ceased--that, therefore, the evils of which we spoke are the Nothing; and as some of the Greeks say that genera and forms, such as the (general) animal and the man, belong to the category of Nothings, so it has been supposed that all that is not of God is Nothing, and has not even obtained through the Word the subsistence it appears to have. We ask whether it is possible to show from Scripture in any convincing way that this is so. As for the meanings of the word "Nothing" and "Not-being," they would appear to be synonymous, for Nothing can be spoken of as Not-being, and the Not-being can be described as Nothing. The Apostle, however, appears to count the things which are not, not among those which have no existence whatever, but rather among things which are evil. To him the Not-being is evil; "God," he says,(1) "called the things that are not as things that are." And Mardochaeus, too, in the Esther of the Septuagint, calls the enemies of Israel "those that are not," saying,(2) "Deliver not Thy sceptre, O Lord, to those that are not." We may also notice how evil men, on account of their wickedness, are said not to be, from the name ascribed to God in Exodus:(3) "For the Lord said to Moses, I am, that is My name." The good God says this with respect of us also who pray that we may be part of His congregation. The Saviour praises him, saying,(4) "None is good but one, God the Father." The good, then, is the same as He who is. Over against good is evil or wickedness, and over against Him who is that which is not, whence it follows that evil and wickedness are that which is not. This, perhaps, is what has led some to affirm that the devil is not created by God. In respect that he is the devil he is not the work of God, but he who is the devil is a created being, and as there is no other creator but our God, he is a work of God. It is as if we should say that a murderer is not a work of God, while we may say that in respect he is a man, God made him. His being as a man he received from God; we do not assert that he received from God his being as a murderer. All, then, who have part in Him who is, and the saints have part in Him, may properly be called Beings; but those who have given up their part in the Being, by depriving themselves of Being, have become Not-beings. But we said when entering on this discussion, that Not-being and Nothing are synonymous, and hence those who are not beings are Nothing, and all evil is nothing, since it is Not-being, and thus since they are called Not-being came into existence without the Logos, not being numbered among the all things which were made through Him. Thus we have shown, so far as our powers admit, what are the "all things" which were made through the Logos, and what came into existence without Him, since at no time is it Being, and it is, therefore, called "Nothing."
9. THAT THE LOGOS PRESENT IN US IS NOT RESPONSIBLE FOR OUR SINS.
One point more on the words: "Without Him was not anything made." The question about evil must receive adequate discussion; what was said of it has not, it is true, a very likely appearance, and yet it appears to me that it ought not to be simply overlooked. The question is whether evil, also, was made through the Logos, taking the Logos, now be it well noted, in the sense of that reason which is in every one, as thus brought into being by the reason which was from the beginning. The Apostle says:(1) "Without the law sin was dead," and adds, "But when the commandment came sin revived," and so teaches generally about sin that it has no power before the law and the commandment (but the Logos is, in a sense, law and commandment), and there would be no sin were there no law, for,(2) "sin is not imputed where there is no law." And, again, there would be no sin but for the Logos, for "if I had not come and spoken unto them," Christ says,(3) "they had not had sin." For every excuse is taken away from one who wants to make excuse for his sin, if, though the Word is in him and shows him what he ought to do, he does not obey it. It seems, them, that all things, the worse things not excepted, were made by the Logos, and without Him, taking the nothing here in its simpler sense, was nothing made. Nor must we blame the Logos if all things were made by Him, and without Him nothing was made, any more than we blame the master who has showed the pupil his duty, when the instruction has been such as to leave the pupil, should he sin, no excuse or room to say that he erred through ignorance. This appears the more plainly when we consider that master and pupil are inseparable. For as master and pupil are correlatives, and belong together, so the Logos is present in the nature of reasonable beings as such, always suggesting what they ought to do, even should we pay no heed to his commands, but devote ourselves to pleasure and allow his best counsels to pass by us unregarded. As the eye is a servant given us for the best purposes, and yet we use it to see things on which it is wrong for us to look, and as we make a wrong use of our hearing when we spend our time in listening to singing competitions and to other forbidden sounds, so we outrage the Logos who is in us, and use Him otherwise than as we ought, when we make Him assist in our transgressions. For He is present with those who sin, for their condemnation, and He condemns the man who does not prefer Him to everything else. Hence we find it written:(4) "The word which I have spoken unto you, the same shall judge you." That is as if He should say: "I, the Word, who am always lifting up my voice in you, I, myself, will judge you, and no refuge or excuse will then be left you." This interpretation. however, may appear somewhat strained, as we have taken the Word in one sense to be the Word in the beginning, who was with God, God the Word, and have now taken it in another sense, speaking of it, not only in reference to the principal works of creation, as in the words, "All things were made through Him," but as related to all the acts of reasonable beings, this last being the Logos (reason), without whose presence none of our sins are committed. The question arises whether the Logos in us is to be pronounced the same being as that which was in the beginning and was with God, God the Word. The Apostle, certainly, does not appear to make the Logos in us a different being from the Logos who was in the beginning with God. "Say not in thine heart," he says,(1) "who shall go up into heaven; that is to bring Christ down, or who shall go down into the abyss; that is to bring Christ up from the dead. But what saith the Scripture? The Logos is very nigh thee, in thy mouth and in thy heart."
17. THE HIGHER POWERS ARE MEN; AND CHRIST IS THEIR LIGHT ALSO.
Another, again, appeals to the text, "Let us make man according to our image and likeness," and maintains that whatever is made according to God's image and likeness is man. To support this, numberless instances are adduced to show that in Scripture "man "and "angel" are used indifferently, and that the same subject is entitled both angel and man. This is true of the three who were entertained by Abraham, and of the two who came to Sodom; in the whole course of Scripture, persons are styled sometimes men, sometimes angels. Those who hold this view will say that since persons are styled angels who are manifestly men, as when Zechariah says,(4) "The messenger of the Lord, I am with you, saith the Lord Almighty," and as it is written of John the Baptist,(5) "Behold I send My messenger before thy face," the angels (messengers) of God are so called on account of their office, and are not here called men on account of their nature. It confirms this view that the names applied to the higher powers are not those of species of living beings, but those of the orders, assigned by God to this and to that reasonable being. "Throne" is not a species of living being, nor "dominion," nor "principality," nor "power"; these are names of the businesses to which those clothed with the names have been appointed; the subjects themselves are nothing but men, but the subject has come to be a throne, or a dominion, or a principality, or a power. In Joshua, the son of Nun, we read(1) that in Jericho there appeared to Joshua a man who said, "I am captain of the Lord's host, now am I come." The outcome of this is that the light of men must be held to be the same as the light of every being endowed with reason; for every reasonable being is man, since it is according to the image and likeness of God. It is spoken of in three different ways. "the light of men," and simply "the light," and "the true light." It is the light of men either, as we showed before, because there is nothing to prevent us from regarding it as the light of other beings besides men, or because all beings endowed with reason are called men because they are made in the image of God.
18. HOW GOD ALSO IS LIGHT, BUT IN A DIFFERENT WAY; AND HOW LIFE CAME BEFORE LIGHT.
The Saviour is here called simply light. But in the Catholic Epistle of this same John(2) we read that God is light. This, it has been maintained, furnishes a proof that the Son is not in substance different from the Father. Another student, however, looking into the matter more closely and with a sounder judgment, will say that the light which shines in darkness and is not overtaken by it, is not the same as the light in which there is no darkness at all. The light which shines in darkness comes upon this darkness, as it were, and is pursued by it, and, in spite of attempts made upon it, is not overtaken. But the light in which there is no darkness at all neither shines on darkness, nor is at first pursued by it, so as to prove victor and to have it recorded that it was not overtaken by its pursuer. The third designation was "the true light." But in proportion as God, since He is the Father of truth, is more and greater than truth, and since He is the Father of wisdom is greater and more excellent than wisdom, in the same proportion He is more than the true light. We may learn, perhaps, in a more suggestive manner, how the Father and the Son are two lights, from David, who says in the thirty-fifth Psalm,(3) "In Thy light we shall see light." This same light of men which shines in darkness, the true light, is called, further on in the Gospel, the light of the world; Jesus says,(4) "I am the light of the world." Nor must we omit to notice that whereas the passage might very well have run, "That which was made was in Him the light of men, and the light of men was life," he chose the opposite order. He puts life before the light of men, even if life and the light of men are the same thing; in thinking of those who have part in life, though that life is also the light of men, we are to come first to the fact that they are living the divine life spoken of before; then we come to their enlightenment. For life must come first if the living person is to be enlightened; it would not be a good arrange-meat to speak of the illumination of one not yet conceived as living, and to make life come after the illumination. For though "life" and "the light" of men are the same thing, the notions are taken separately. This light of men is also called, by Isaiah, "the light of the Gentiles," where he says,(1) "Behold I have set Thee for a covenant of the generation, for a light of the Gentiles;" and David, placing his confidence in this light, says in the twenty-sixth Psalm,(1) "The Lord is my illumination and my Saviour; whom shall I fear?"
21. CHRIST IS NOT, LIKE GOD, QUITE FREE FROM DARKNESS: SINCE HE BORE OUR SINS.
Now some one will ask how this statement that there is no darkness in Him can be regarded as a thing peculiar to Him, when we consider that the Saviour also was quite without sin. Could it not be said of Him also that "He is light, and that there is no darkness in Him"? The difference between the two cases has been partly set forth above. We will now, however, go a step further than we did before, and add, that if God made Christ who knew no sin to be sin for us,(5) then it could not be said of Him that there was no darkness in Him. For if Jesus was in the likeness(6) of the flesh of sin and for sin, and condemned sin by taking ripen Him the likeness of the flesh of sin, then it cannot be said of Him, absolutely and directly, that there was no darkness in Him. We may add that "He(1) took our infirmities and bare our sicknesses," both infirmities of the soul and sicknesses of the hidden man of our heart. On account of these infirmities and sicknesses which He bore away from us, He declares His soul to be sorrowful and sore troubled,(2) and He is said in Zechariah to have put on filthy garments,(3) which, when He was about to take them off, are said to be sins. "Behold, it is said, I have taken away thy sins." Because He had taken on Himself the sins of the people of those who believed in Him, he uses many such expressions as these: "Far from my salvation are the words of my transgressions,"(4) and "Thou knowest my foolishness, and my sins were not hid from Thee."(5) And let no one suppose that we say this from any lack of piety towards the Christ of God; for as the Father alone has immortality and our Lord took upon Himself. for His love to men, the death He died for us, so to the Father alone the words apply, "In Him is no darkness," since Christ took upon Himself, for His goodwill towards men, our darknesses. This He did, that by His power He might destroy our death and remove the darkness which is in our soul, so that the saying in Isaiah might be fulfilled,(6) "The people that sat in darkness saw a great light." This light, which came into being in the Logos, and is also life, shines in the darkness of our souls, and it has come where the rulers of this darkness carry on their struggle with the race of men and strive to subdue to darkness those who do not stand firm with all their power; that they might be enlightened the light has come so far, and that they might be called sons of light. And shining in darkness this light is pursued by the darkness, but not overtaken.
22. HOW THE DARKNESS FAILED TO OVERTAKE THE LIGHT.
Should any one consider that we are adding something that is not written, namely, the pursuit of the light by the darkness, let him reflect that unless the darkness had pursued the light the words, "The darkness did not overtake it," would have no meaning. John writes for those who have wit to see what is omitted and to supply it as the context requires, and so he wrote, "The darkness did not overtake it." If it did not overtake it, it must first have pursued it, and that the darkness did pursue the light is clear from what the Saviour suffered, and those also who received His teachings, His own children, when darkness was doing what it could against the sons of light and was minded to drive light away from men. But since, if God be for us,(1) no one, however that way minded, can be against us, the more they humbled themselves the more they grew, and they prevailed exceedingly. In two ways the darkness did not overtake the light. Either it was left far behind and was itself so slow, while the light was in its course so sharp and swift, that it was not even able to keep following it, or if the light sought to lay a snare for the darkness, and waited for it in pursuance of the plan it had formed, then darkness, coming near the light, was brought to an end. In either case the darkness did not overtake the light.
24. JOHN THE BAPTIST WAS SENT. FROM WHERE? HIS SOUL WAS SENT FROM A HIGHER REGION.
"There was a man sent from God, whose name was John." He who is sent is sent from somewhere to somewhere; and the careful student will, therefore, enquire from what quarter John was sent, and whither. The "whither" is quite plain on the face of the story; he was sent to Israel, and to those who were willing to hear him when he was staying in the wilderness of Judaea and baptizing by the banks of the Jordan. According to the deeper sense, however, he was sent into the world, the world being understood as this earthly place where men are; and the careful student will have this in view in enquiring from where John was sent. Examining the words more closely, he will perhaps declare that as it is written of Adam, "And the Lord sent him forth out of the Paradise of pleasure to till the earth, out of which he was taken," so also John was sent, either from heaven or from Paradise, or from some other quarter to this place on the earth. He was sent that he might bear witness of the light. There is, however, an objection to this interpretation, which is not to be lightly dismissed. It is written in Isaiah: "Whom shall I send, and who will go to the people?" The prophet answers: "Here am I,--send me." He, then, who objects to that rendering of our passage which appears to be the deeper may say that Isaiah was sent not to this world from another place, but after having seen "the Lord sitting on a throne high and lifted up," was sent to the people, to say, "Hearing, ye shall hear and shall not understand," and so on; and that in the same manner John, the beginning of his mission not being narrated, is sent after the analogy of the mission of Isaiah, to baptize, and to make ready for the Lord a people prepared for Him, and to bear witness of the light. So much we have said of the first sense; and now we adduce certain solutions which help to confirm the deeper meaning about John. In the same passage it is added, "He came for witness, to bear witness of the light." Now, if he came, where did he come from? To those who find it difficult to follow us, we point to what John says afterwards of having seen the Holy Spirit as a dove descending on the Saviour. "He that sent me," he says, "to baptize with water, He said unto me, Upon whomsoever thou shall see the Holy Spirit descending and abiding upon Him, the same is He that baptizeth with the Holy Spirit and with fire." When did He send him and give him this injunction? The answer to titlE question will probably be that when He sent him to begin to baptize, then He who was dealing with him uttered this word. But a more convincing argument for the view that John was sent from another region when he entered into the body, the one object of his entry into this life being that he should bear witness of the truth, may be drawn from the narrative of his birth. Gabriel, when announcing to Zacharias the birth of John, and to Mary the advent of our Saviour among men, says: That John is to be "filled with the Holy Spirit even from his mother's womb." And we have also the saying, "For behold, when the voice of thy salutation came into mine ears, the babe leaped in my womb for joy." He who sedulously guards himself in his dealings with Scripture against forced, or casual, or capricious procedure, must necessarily assume that John's soul was older than his body, and subsisted by itself before it was sent on the ministry of the witness of the light. Nor must we overlook the text, "This is Elijah which is to come." For if that general doctrine of the soul is to be received, namely, that it is not sown at the same time with the body, but is before it, and is then, for various causes, clothed with flesh and blood; then the words "sent from God" will not appear to be applicable to John alone. The most evil of all, the man of sin, the son of perdition, is said by Paul to be sent by God: "God sendeth them a working of error that they should believe a lie; that they all might be judged who believed not the truth, but had pleasure in unrighteousness." But our present question may, perhaps, be solved in this way, that as every man is a man of God, simply because God created him, but not every man is called a man of God, but only he who has devoted himself to God, such as Elijah and those who are called men of God in the Scriptures, thus every man might be said in ordinary language to be sent from God, but in the absolute sense no one is to be spoken of in this way who has not entered this life for a divine ministry and in the service of the salvation of mankind. We do not find it said of any one but the saints that he is sent by God. It is said of Isaiah as we showed before; it is also said of Jeremiah, "To whomsoever I shall send thee thou shalt go"; and it is said of Ezekiel, "I send thee to nations that are rebellious and have not believed in Me." The examples, however, do not expressly speak era mission from the region outside life into life, and as it is a mission into life that we are enquiring about, they may seem to have little bearing on our subject.
But there is nothing absurd in our transferring the argument derived from them to our question. They tell us that it is only the saints, and we were speaking of them, whom God is said to send, and in this sense they may be applied to the case of those who are sent into this life.
25. ARGUMENT FROM THE PRAYER OF JOSEPH, TO SHOW THAT THE BAPTIST MAY HAVE BEEN AN ANGEL WHO BECAME A MAN.
As we are now engaged with what is said of John, and are asking about his mission, I may take the opportunity to state the view which I entertain about him. We have read this prophecy about him, "Behold, I send My messenger (angel) before Thy face, who shall prepare Thy way before Thee;" and at this we ask if it can be one of the holy angels who is sent down on this ministry as forerunner of our Saviour. No wonder if, when the first-born of all creation was assuming a human body, some of them should have been filled with love to man and become admirers and followers of Christ, and thought it good to minister to his kindness towards man by having a body like that of men. And who would not be moved at the thought of his leaping for joy when yet in the belly, surpassing as he did the common nature of man? Should the piece; entitled "The prayer of Joseph," one of the apocryphal works current among the Hebrews, be thought worthy of credence, this dogma will be found in it clearly expressed. Those at the beginning, it is represented, having some marked distinction beyond men, and being much greater than other souls, because they were angels, they have come down to human nature. Thus Jacob says: "I, Jacob, who speak to you, arid Israel, I am an angel of God, a ruling spirit, and Abraham and Isaac were created before every work of God; and I am Jacob, called Jacob by men, but my name is Israel, called Israel by God, a man seeing God, because I am the first-born of every creature which God caused to live." And he adds: "When I was coming from Mesopotamia of Syria, Uriel, the angel of God, came forth, and said, I have come down to the earth and made my dwelling among men, and I am called Jacob by name. He was wroth with me and fought with me and wrestled against me, saying that his name and the name of Him who is before every angel should be before my name. And I told him his name and how great he was among the sons of God; Art not thou Uriel my eighth, and I am Israel and archangel of the power of the Lord and a chief captain among the sons of God? Am not I Israel, the first minister in the sight of God, and I invoked my God by the inextinguishable name?" It is likely that this was really said by Jacob, and was therefore written down, and that there is also a deeper meaning in what we are told, "He supplanted his brother in the womb." Consider whether the celebrated question about Jacob and Esau has a solution. We read,' "The children being not yet born, neither having done anything good or bad, that the purpose of God according to election might stand, not of works but of him that calleth, it was said, "The elder shall serve the younger." Even as it is written: "Jacob I loved, but Esau I hated." What shall we say, then? Is there unrighteousness with God? God forbid." If, then, when they were not yet born, and had not done any-thing either good or evil, in order that God's purpose according to election might stand, not of works, but of him that calleth, if at such a period this was said, how if we do not go back to the works done before this life, can it be said that there is no unrighteousness with God when the elder serves the younger and is hated (by God) before he has done anything worthy of slavery or of hatred? We have made something of a digression in introducing this story about Jacob and appealing to a writing which we cannot well treat with contempt; but it certainly adds weight to our argument about John, to the effect that as Isaiah's voice declares he is an angel who assumed a body for the sake of bearing witness to the light. So much about John considered as a man.
Theology 302 class (American Baptist College - Nashville, TN)
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