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Commentary On The Gospel According To Saint John Volumes 1&2

S. CYRIL Archbishop of Alexandria was well-nigh the last of that bright array of Greek Fathers which shone throughout all the fourth century and into the fifth. His powerful and comprehensive mind, well read and strengthened by study of Greek Heathen lore (as his frequent citations not only of Homer but even of the less known poets and his very language indicate), fostered by the works of his great predecessor S. Athanasius and aided by the living influence of S. Isidore Abbat of Pelusium, whom even when he had become Archbishop he still called father, his single-hearted loyal piety which every writing of his breathes forth, his will formed for rule, combined with the perception of the points that he could yield without betraying Truth:—all gave him during his life an influence such as no other man of his time had, and his writings were appealed to for centuries after on matters of dogma. In the Council of Chalcedon, holden a few years after S. Cyril’s death, some exception was at first taken by some of the Bishops to two or three expressions of Pope S. Leo, and these were afterwards unanimously accepted on being found to agree with what S. Cyril had written. In the 6th General Council, passages from this very Commentary were cited against Monothelism (pp. 384, 385, 387 of this volume and a piece of the lost book 8 on chap. 12:27, 28). Some thirty years after S. Cyril’s death Gennadius in the West, Priest of Marseilles, giving a brief notice of the Church’s great writers, says of S. Cyril, “He made very many Homilies which the Greek Bishops commit to memory and deliver.”

The Commentary on S. John has usually been regarded as S. Cyril’s great work. Its special value lies in its being the well-weighed enunciation of dogma of one whose mind had long and deeply meditated on the Faith. Our belief on the Holy TRINITY, on the Union of the Godhead and Manhood in CHRIST, on the Holy Eucharist as the means of our Union with Him, our free-will and consequent reward or Doom, are clearly and carefully stated and enforced. That effect of the Union and intimate relation of the Godhead with our nature in GOD the SON in imparting to the whole of our clay a new quickening life and strength, which has been so strikingly brought forward by a deep thinker in our day, will be found frequently spoken of in this Commentary as one of the results of the Incarnation.

On the Procession of GOD the HOLY GHOST S. Cyril’s teaching is identical with the words we now repeat, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son. The Creed as then laid down said only, Who proceedeth from the FATHER, and S. Cyril himself habitually used, not the Creed as we now have it and as it was enlarged in the Council of Constantinople, but the original Nicene Creed which ends at the words, And in the Holy Ghost. Yet his teaching is identical with what we now say. Throughout this Commentary (pp. 80, 106, 108, 111, 145, 251, 436, 438 &c.) S. Cyril says that the Holy Ghost is the SPIRIT, the own SPIRIT of the SON. In page 436, S. Cyril uses the remarkable words, As He calls Himself Son of man, since He was made Man, so again He calls Himself Spirit from His Own Spirit: for not Other than He is His own Spirit. S. Cyril’s teaching is uniform throughout his writings. Other passages of the same kind are collected in the Appendix to my father’s Sermon, The Responsibility of Intellect in matters of Faith, Oxford, 1873. To him too is due the Theological portion of this Preface and in especial the bracketted portion pp. xxi to end is wholly his.

a. Seeing He [the HOLY SPIRIT] is the Spirit of God the Father and the Son also, Which is poured forth essentially from Both, i. e., from the Father through the Son.

a. εἴ περ ἐστὶ τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ Πατρὸς καὶ μὴν καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ τὸ οὐσιωδῶς ἐξ ἀμφοῖν ἤγουν ἐκ Πατρὸς διʼ Υἱοῦ προχεόμενον Πνεῦμα.

b. For in that the Son is God and of God by Nature (for He is truly begotten of God the Father) the Spirit is His Very Own and in Him and from Him just as is conceived as to God the Father.

b. ᾗ μὲν γάρ ἐστι Θεὸς καὶ ἐκ Θεοῦ κατὰ φύσιν ὁ Υἱός• γελγέννηται γὰρ ἀληθῶς ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ Πατρός• ἴδιον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν αὐτῷ τε καὶ ἐξ αὐτοῦ τὸ Πνεῦμά ἐστι καθάπερ ἀμέλει καὶ ἐπʼ αὐτοῦ νοεῖται τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ Πατρός.

c. He said that He would baptize in fire and the Holy Ghost, infusing into the baptized no Spirit alien to Himself in manner of a servant and minister, but as being by Nature God with supremest authority [He infused] the Spirit Which is from Him and His Very Own.

c. αὐτὸν ἔφη βαπτίζειν ἐν πυρὶ καὶ Ἁγίῳ Πνεύματι, οὐ τὸ ἀλλότριον τοῖς βαπτιζομένοις ἐνιέντα πνεῦμα φουλοπρεπῶς καὶ ὑπουργικῶς ἀλλʼ ὡς Θεὸν κατὰ φύσιν μετʼ ἐξονσίας τῆς ἀνωτάτω τὸ ἐξ αὐτοῦ τε καὶ ἴδιον αὐτοῦ.

In the explanation of his xii Chapters against Nestorius, which explanation was written at the request of the Council of Ephesus

d. The Only-Begotten Word of God made Man hath remained thus too God, being all that the Father is save only being the Father, and having as His own the Holy Ghost Which is of Him and Essentially inexisting in Him.

d. Ἄνθρωπος γεγονὼς ὁ Μονογενὴς τοῦ Θεοῦ Λόγος ἀπομεμένηκε καὶ οὕτω Θεὸς, πάντα ὑπάρχων ὅσα καὶ ὁ Πατὴρ δίχα μόνου τοῦ εἶναι Πατὴρ, καὶ ἴδιον ἔχων τὸ ἐξ αὐτοῦ καὶ οὐσιωδῶς ἐμπεφυκὸς αὐτῷ Πνεῦμα Ἅγιον.

In the Thesaurus, a work elaborated with very great care and precision for the Defence of the Faith as regards the Persons of the most Holy Trinity, under the title—

e. That the HOLY GHOST is of the Essence of the FATHER and the SON.

e. ὅτι ἐκ τῆς οὐσίας τοῦ Πατρὸς καὶ τοῦ Υἱοῦ τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον

ὅτε τοίνυν τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον ἐν ἡμῖν γενόμενον συμμόρφους ἡμᾶς ἀποδεικνύει Θεοῦ, πρόεισι δὲ ἐκ Πατρὸς καὶ Υἱοῦ, πρόδηλον ὅτι τῆς θείας ἔστιν οὐσίας, οὐσιωδῶς ἐν αὐτῇ ὂν καὶ ἐξ αὐτῆς προϊόν• ὥσπερ οὖν ἀμέλει καὶ τὸ ἐξ ἀνθρωπείου στόματος ἐκτρέχον ἐμφύσημα, εἰ καὶ μικρὸν καὶ οὐκ ἄξιον τοῦ λόγου τὸ ὑπόδειγμα, πάντα γὰρ ὑπερέξει Θεός.

Since therefore the Holy Ghost coming to be in us makes us conformed to God and He goeth forth from the Father and the Son, it is manifest that He is of the Divine Essence, being Essentially in It and going forth from It: even as the breath too which goeth from the mouth of man, though the illustration be poor and unworthy, for God will surpass all things.

A few pages before there is another heading

f. That the Spirit is GOD and hath every way the same operation with the Son and is not alien from His Essence: also that when God is said to dwell in us it is the Spirit Who indwelleth.

f. ὅτι Θεὸς τὸ Πνεῦμα καὶ τὴν αὐτὴν ἐνέργειαν ἔχον τῷ Υἱῷ πανταχοῦ καὶ οὐκ ἀπεξενωμένον τῆς οὐσίας αὐτοῦ, ὁμοῦ δὲ διδάσκουσιν ὅτι Θεοῦ λεγομένου κατοικεῖν ἐν ἡμῖν, τὸ Πνεῦμά ἐστι τὸ ἐνοικοῦν.

And further on

g. Since Christ giveth laws, the Spirit as being by Nature in Him and of Him, Himself too is Lawgiver.

g. νομοθετοῦντος τοιγαροῦν τοῦ Χριστοῦ, ὡς ἐν αὐτῷ καὶ ἐξ αὐτοῦ φυσικῶς ὑπάρχον τὸ Πνεῦμα αὐτὸ νομοθετεῖ.

h. Since when Christ reneweth us and transplaceth us into a new life, the Spirit is said to renew us as’ is sung in the Psalms to God, Thou shalt send forth Thy Spirit and they shall be created and Thou shalt renew the face of the earth, we must of necessity confess that the Spirit is of the Essence of the Son. For as being by Nature of Him and being sent by Him upon the creation, He worketh the renewal, being the Complement of the HOLY TRINITY. And if so, the Spirit is God and of God and not a creature.

h. οὐκοῦν ἐπείπερ ἀνακαινίζοντος ἡμᾶς τοῦ Χριστοῦ καὶ εἰς νέαν μετατιθέντος ζωὴν, τὸ Πνεῦμα ἀνακαινίζειν λέγεται κατὰ τὸ ἐν ψαλμοῖς ᾀδόμενον ὡς πρὸς Θεόν “Ἐξαποστελεῖς “τὸ Πνεῦμά σου καὶ κτισθήσονται καὶ ἀνακαινιεῖς τὸ πρόσωπον τῆς γῆς,” ἀνάγκη τὸ Πνευμα τῆς οὐσίας ὑπάρχειν ὁμολογεῖν τοῦ Υἱοῦ. ὡς γὰρ ἐξ αὐτοῦ κατὰ φύσιν ὑπάρχον καὶ ἐπὶ τὴν κτίσιν παρʼ αὐτοῦ πεμπόμενον τὸν ἀνακαινισμὸν ἐργάζεται, συμπλήρωμα τῆς ἁγίας ὑπάρχον Τριάδος. εἰ δέ τοῦτο, Θεὸς ἄρα καὶ ἐκ Θεοῦ τὸ Πνεῦμα, καὶ οὐ ποίημα.

In the De Trinitate, a work whose scope is the same as that of the Thesaurus but its execution more popular and less dialectic, and a work to which S. Cyril refers in his Commentary on S. John pp. 87 C 94 C (pp. 100, 108 O. T.)

i. He sent us the Comforter from Heaven through Whom and in Whom He is with us and dwelleth in us, not infusing into us an alien, but the own Spirit of His Essence and of that of His Father.

i. ἔπευψε δὲ ἡμῖν ἐξ οὐρανοῦ τὸν Παράκλητον διʼ οὗ καὶ ἐν ᾧ μαθʼ ἡμῶν ἐστι καὶ ἐν ἡμῖν αὐλίζεται, οὐκ ὀθνεῖον ἡμῖν ἐγχέων ἀλλὰ τὸ τῆς οὐσίας αὐτοῦ καὶ τῆς τοῦ Πατρὸς αὐτοῦ ἴδιον Πνεῦμα.

Again in reply to the words objected

k. But they say that Christ said of Him, Of Mine He shall receive and tell it to you. They say therefore the SPIRIT is participant of the son.

k. πλὴν ἐκεῖνό φασιν ὅτι Χριστὸς ἔφη περὶ αὐτοῦ Ἐκ τοῦ ἐμοῦ λήψεται καὶ ἀναγγελεῖ ὑμῖν. μέτοχον οὖν ἄρα φασὶ τὸ Πνεῦμα τοῦ Υἱοῦ

Ἥκιστά γε, πολλοῦ γε οἶμαι καὶ δεῖ. τὸ γὰρ ἐξ αὐτοῦ τε καὶ ἐν αὐτῷ καὶ ἴδιον αὐτοῦ πῶς ἂν αὐτοῦ μεταλάχοι πώποτε καὶ ἐν ἴσῳ τοῖς θύραθεν σχετικῶς ἁγιάζοιτο καὶ ἀλλότριον ἔσται κατὰ φύσιν οὗ καὶ ἴδιον εἶναι λέγεται.

S. Cyril says

Not at all, far from it: for how should the Spirit that is both of Him and in Him and His Very Own partake of Him and be sanctified relatively like those things which are without and be by nature alien from Him Whose very Own He is said to be?

In his great Synodic Epistle to Nestorius which has the sanction of the Œcumenical Council of Ephesus, S. Cyril says

l. For even though the SPIRIT exists in His Own Person, and is conceived of by Himself in that He is Spirit and not Son, yet is He not therefore alien from Him, for He is called the Spirit of Truth and Christ is the Truth and He is shed forth from Him just as from God the Father.

l. εἰ γὰρ καὶ ἔστιν ἐν ὑποστάσει τὸ Πνεῦμα ἰδικῇ καὶ δὴ καὶ νοεῖται καθʼ ἑαυτὸ καθὸ Πνεῦμά ἐστι καὶ οὐχ Υἱός• ἀλλʼ οὖν ἐστιν οὐκ ἀλλότριον αὐτοῦ• Πνεῦμα γὰρ ἀληθείας ὠνόμασται, καὶ ἔστιν Χριστὸς ἡ ἀλήθεια• καὶ προχεῖται παρʼ αὐτοῦ καθάπερ ἀμέλει καὶ ἐκ τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ Πατρός.

There follow three passages from the great Commentary on S. John. The first is on p. 145 of this volume.

m. How shall we separate the Spirit from the Son, thus inexisting and essentially united, Who cometh forth through Him and is by nature in Him, that It cannot be thought to be Other than He by reason both of identity of working and the very exact likeness of Nature?… The blessed Paul having called Spirit of Christ That which dwelleth in us forthwith subjoined, If Christ be in you, introducing an entire likeness of the Son with the Spirit Who is His very own and is by nature poured forth from Him.

m. τίνα δὴ οὖν τρόπον ἀπομεριοῦμεν τὸ Πνεῦμα τοῦ Υἱοῦ, τὸ οὕτως ἐμπεφυκὸς καὶ οὐσιωδῶς ἡνωμένον, διʼ αὐτοῦ τε προκύπτον καὶ ὑπάρχον ἐν αὐτῷ φυσικῶς, ὡς μηδὲν ἕτερον εἶναι νομίζεσθαι παρʼ αὐτὸν, διά τε τὴν τῆς ἐνεργείας ταυτότητα καὶ αὐτὸ τὸ τῆς φύσεως ἀπαράλλακτον; … καὶ γοῦν ὁ μακάριος Παῦλος.… Πνεῦμα Χριστοῦ τὸ κατοικοῦν ἐν ἡμῖν ὀνομάσας, ἐπήγαγεν εὐθύς Εἰ δὲ ὁ Χριστὸς ἐν ὑμῖν, ἀπαράλλακτον εἰσφέρων τὴν ὁμοιότητα τοῦ Υἱοῦ πρὸς τὸ ἴδιον αὐτοῦ καὶ παρʼ αὐτοῦ κατὰ φύσιν προχεόμενον Πνεῦμα.

n. For since He is the Spirit of Christ and His mind, as it is written, which is nought else but what He is, in regard to identity of nature, even though He be both conceived of and is existent, He knows all that is in Him. And Paul will be our witness saying, For who knoweth the things of man save man’s spirit that is in him? thus the things of God too none knoweth save the Spirit of God. Wherefore as knowing what is in the counsel of the Only-begotten, He reporteth all things to us, not having the knowledge thereof from learning, that is; that He may not seem to fill the rank of a minister and to transmit the words of another but as His Spirit and knowing untaught all that belongeth to Him of whom and in whom He is, He revealeth to the Saints the Divine mysteries; just as man’s mind too knowing all things that are therein ministereth externally by uttered word the desires of the soul whose mind it is, seen and named in idea something different from it [the soul], not other by nature, but as a part complemental of the whole, existing in it and believed to be born from it.

n. ἐπειδὴ γάρ ἐστι Πνεῦμα Χριστοῦ καὶ νοῦς αὐτοῦ, κατὰ τὸ γεγραμμένον, οὐχ ἕτερόν τι παρʼ αὐτὸν ὄν, κατά γε τὸν ἐν ταυτότητι φυσικῇ λόγον, καίτοι νοούμενόν τε καὶ ὑπάρχον ἰδίως, οἶδε πάντα τὰ ἐν αὐτῷ. καὶ μαρτυρήσει λέγων ὁ Παῦλος “Τἰς γὰρ οἶδε τὰ τοῦ ἀνθρώπου, εἰ μὴ τὸ πνεῦμα “τοῦ ἀνθρώπου τὸ ὂν ἐν αὐτῷ; οὕτω καὶ τὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ οὐδεὶς “ἔγνωκεν, εἰ μὴ τὸ Πνεῦμα τοῦ Θεοῦ.” οὐκοῦν, ὡς εἰδὸς τὰ ἐν τῇ βουλήσει τοῦ Μονογενοῦς, πάντα ἡμῖν ἀναγγέλλει, οὐκ ἐκ μαθήσεως ἔχον τὴν εἴδησιν, ἵνα μὴ φαίνηται διακόνου τάξιν ἀποπληροῦν, καὶ τοὺς ἑτέρου τυχὸν διαπορθμεύων λόγους, ἀλλʼ ὡς Πνεῦμα αὐτοῦ, καθάπερ ἀρτίως εἰρήκαμεν, καὶ εἰδὸς ἀδιδάκτως πάντα τὰ ἐξ οὗ καὶ ἐν• ᾧπέρ ἐστι, τὰ θεῖα τοῖς ἁγίοις ἀποκαλύπτει μυστήρια, καθάπερ ἀμέλει καὶ ὁ ἀνθρώπινος νοῦς πάντα γινώσκων τὰ ἐν αὐτῷ, διακονεῖ πρὸς τὸ ἔξω, λόγῳ τυχὸν τῷ προφορικῷ, τὰ θελήματα τῆς ψυχῆς, ἧς ἐστι καὶ νοῦς, ἕτερον μέν τι παρʼ αὐτὴν ταῖν ἐπινοίαις ὁρώμενός τε καὶ ὀνομαζόμενος, ἕτερος δὲ κατὰ φύσιν οὐκ ὢν, ἀλλʼ ὡς μόριον τοῦ παντὸς συμπληρωτικὸν, ἐν αὐτῇ τε ὑπάρχον, καὶ ἐξ αὐτῆς ἀναφύεσθαι πιστευόμενον.

o. For for this cause He hath added that He shall tell you the things also to come, all but saying, This shall be a sign to you that the Spirit is full surely of My Essence and is so to speak My Mind, that He shall tell you the things to come even as I … For not surely as I would He foretell the things to come, were He not surely both existent in Me and going forth through (διʼ) Me and of the same essence with Me.

o. Διὰ γάρ τοι τοῦτο προστέθεικεν ὅτι καὶ τὰ ἐρχόμενα ἀναγγελεῖ ὑμῖν, μονονουχὶ λέγων Σημεῖον τοῦτο ἔσται ὑμῖν, ὅτι δὴ πάντως ἐκ τῆς ἐμῆς οὐσίας τὸ Πνεῦμά ἐστι, καὶ οἷον ἐμός ἐστι νοῦς, τὸ ἐρεῖν αὐτὸν τὰ ἐσόμενα, καθάπερ ἐγώ• προείρηκα γὰρ, εἰ καὶ μὴ δεδύνησθε πάντα μαθεῖν• οὐκ ἂν οὖν ἄρα καθάπερ ἐγὼ προερεῖ τὰ ἐσόμενα, μὴ οὐχὶ πὰντως ἐν ἐμοί τε ὑπάρχον καὶ διʼ ἐμοῦ προϊὸν, καὶ τῆς αὐτῆς οὐσίας ὑπάρχον ἐμοί.

The last one is a short extract from a homily in S. Luke only extant in a Syriac translation.

p. Nor had He [the Word Incarnate] need of the Holy Ghost; for the Spirit that proceedeth from God the Father is of Him and Equal in Essence with Him.

From the Index to this Volume the following extracts are subjoined illustrating this subject

God the Holy Ghost, the Spirit of the Son 80, 106, 108, 111, 143, 145, 251, 436, 438, 547, 548, 550, 552, reveals Christ because the Spirit of Truth 402, not other than the Son though He have His own existence 436, 438, inseparable from the Son 438, inexistent in Him even as in the Father 547, His and in Him and through Him 548, essentially of His nature and His own 552. In the other part of the Commentary are seven passages in which St. Cyril calls the Holy Ghost “the Spirit of the Father and the Son,” once he calls Him “the own Spirit of the Father and the Son,” three times says that “He proceedeth from the Father through the Son,” five times that “He is in the Son and goeth forth from the Son,” and seven times that “He is the Spirit of Truth as being the Spirit of Christ Who is Truth.” Cf. l. p. xiii., and q. p. xvii.

The Nestorian controversy occasioned S. Cyril to bring out prominently that, although the Holy Spirit was given without measure to our Lord as Man, and He wrought His wonderful works by It, yet It was His very own Spirit as God, which was given to Him as Man; and that He Himself gave It from Himself, as being eternally His own, “sending It forth from His own fulness (ἐξ ἰδίου πληρώματος) even as the Father too doth.” Thus then what is called the temporal Procession is a proof of the Eternal. The temporal Procession of the Holy Spirit from the Father and the Son is one and the same, because He is eternally by nature the Spirit of Both. This is very clearly stated and illustrated in the 3 former chapters of his fourth Book against Nestorius.

q. For He [the Word Incarnate] was confessedly glorified, when the SPIRIT wrought the Divine signs [our Lord’s miracles on earth]: yet glorified not as a God-clad man, gaining this from a Nature foreign to Him and above Him (as we too do) but rather as using His own Spirit, for He was God by Nature, and not alien to Him is His Spirit.… Belonging to Him then and of Him is His Spirit; and a clear demonstration hereof will be that He can bestow It on others too and that not of measure, as the blessed Evangelist saith (S. John 3:34). For the God of all measured to the Saints the grace through the Spirit.… but our Lord Jesus Christ putting forth the Spirit out of His own fulness even as the Father too doth, giveth it not as by measure to those worthy to have it.… When the Comforter shall come whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of Truth which proceedeth from the Father, He shall testify of Me. Note therefore how the Spirit which proceedeth from God the Father, this He says is the own Spirit of the Truth also, and He is I suppose full surely the Truth: how then, if He be of a truth not God Incarnate but man rather having the Divine Indwelling as His Euergy, does He promise to send down on them that believe on Him the Spirit of God the Father as though it were His own?… If then thou knowest that to sever the Spirit from His Divine Nature will be the worst of crimes and rightly so, His it is plain is the SPIRIT, as proceeding through His Ineffable Nature Itself and Con-Substantial with Him, and He will not need, as something external and foreign, the power from Him, but will use Him rather as His own Spirit … and He is not putting Himself outside of being by Nature God and having the Holy Ghost as His own … For as the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Father, being His Spirit by Nature, in the same manner It proceedeth through the Son also, being His of Nature and Consubstantial with Him. Hence even if He be glorified through the Spirit, He is conceived of as Himself glorifying Himself through His own Spirit, and this is not anything external even if He be seen made Man as we … For the Flesh was the Word’s own, and this yourself have just confessed to us (for you said that the Manhood is His and the, Holy Body taken of the holy Virgin is called His Temple) His again is His Spirit and the Word of God the Father will never be conceived of without His own Spirit.

q. ἐδοξάζετο μὲν γὰρ ὁμολογουμένως, ἐνεργοῦντος τοῦ Πνεύματος τὰς θεοσημίας• ἀλλʼ οὐχ ὡς ἄνθρεωπος θεοφόρος, ἐξ ὀθνείας τε καὶ ὑπερκειμένης φύσεως τὸ χρῆμα κερδαίνων καθὰ καὶ ἡμεὶς, ὡς ἰδίῳ δὲ μᾶλλον κεχρημένος τῷ Πνεύματι. Θεὸς γὰρ ἦν φύσει καὶ οὐκ ἀλλότριον αὐτοῦ τὸ Πνεῦμα αὐτοῦ• … οἴκοθεν οὖν ἄρα καὶ παρʼ αὐτοῦ τὸ Πνεῦμα αὐτοῦ, καὶ τούτου σαφὴς ἀπόδειξις εἴη ἂν τὸ καὶ ἑτέροις δύνασθαι χορηγεῖν αὐτὸ καὶ οὐκ ἐκ μέτρου, καθά φησιν ὁ μακάριος εὐαγγελιστής• ἐπεμέτρησε μὲν γὰρ τοῖς ἁγίοις τὴν διὰ τοῦ Πνεύματος χάρις ὁ τῶν ὅλων Θεός• … ὁ δέ γε Κύριος ἡμῶν Ιησοῦς Χριστὸς ἐξ ἰδίου πληρώματος προϊεὶς τὸ Πνεῦμα καθά καὶ αὐτὸς ὁ Πατὴρ, οὐχ ὡς ἐκ μέτρου διδωσιν αὐτὸ τοῖς ἀξίοις ἐλεῖν … ὅταν δὲ ἔλθῃ ὁ παρακλητος ὃν ἐγὼ πέμψω ὑμῖν παρὰ τοῦ Πατρὸς, τὸ Πνεῦμα τῆς ἀληθείας ὃ παρὰ τοῦ Πατρὸς ἐκπορεύεται, ἐκεῖνος μαρτυρήσει περὶ ἐμοῦ. ἀθρει δὴ οὐν ὅπως τὸ παρὰ τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ Πατρὸς ἐκπορευόμενον Πνεῦμα τοῦτο καὶ τῆς ἀληθείας ἴδιον εἶναι φῄς• αὐτὸς δέ που πάντως ἐστὶν ἡ ἀλήθεια. εἶτα πὼς, εἴπερ ἐστὶν ἀληθῶς οὐκ ἐνανθρωπήσας Θεὸς, ἀνθρωπος δὲ μᾶλλον τὴν θείαν ἐνοίκησιν ὡς ἐνέργειαν ἔχων, ὡς ἴδιον Πνεῦμα τὸ τοῦ Θεοῦ καὶ Πατρὸς τοῖς πιστευουσιν εἰς αὐτόν καταπέμψειν ἐπαγγέλλεται; … εἰ μὲν οὖν οἶσθα ὅτι τὸ ἀποτέμνειν τὸ Πνεῦμα τῆς θείας αὐτοῦ φύσεως, ἐγκλημάτων αἴσχιστον εἴη ἂν καὶ μάλα εἰκότως, αὐτοῦ δηλονότι τὸ Πνεῦμά ἐστιν ὡς διʼ αὐτῆς προϊὸν τῆς ἀπορρήτου φύσεως αὐτοῦ καὶ ὁμοούσιον αὐτῷ, καὶ οὐκ ἄν ἐδεήθη καθάπερ τινὸς τῆς ἔξωθέν τε καὶ ἐπακτὴς δυνάμεως τῆς παρʼ αὐτοῦ• χρήσεται δέ μᾶλλον ὡς ἱδίῳ Πνεύματι … καὶ οὐκ ἔξω τιθεὶς ἐαυτὸν τοῦ κατὰ φύσιν εἶναι Θεὸν καὶ ἴδιον ἔχειν τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον … ὥσπερ γὰρ πρόεισιν ἐκ τοῦ Πατρὸς τὸ Πνεῦμα τὸ Ἅγιον αὐτοῦ κατὰ φύσιν ὑπάρχον, καὶ κατὰ τὸν ἴσον τούτῳ τρόπον καὶ διʼ αὐτοῦ τοῦ Υἱοῦ, φυσικῶς ὂν αὐτοῦ καὶ ὁμοούσιον αὐτῷ. οὐκοῦν κἂνδοξάζηται διὰ τοῦ Πνεύματος, αὐτὸς ἐαυτὸν ὡς διʼ ἰδίου Πνεύματος νοεῖται δοξάζων, καὶ οὐχ ὡς θύραθεν τὸ ξρῆμα αὐτῷ κἂν εἰ ὁρῷτο γεγονὼς ἄνθρωπος καθʼ ἡμᾶς … ἦν μὲν γὰρ ἡ σὰρξ ἰδία τοῦ Λόγου, καὶ τοῦτο ἡμῖν ἀρτίως διωμολόγηκας αὐτός• αὐτοῦ γὰρ ἔφης εἶναι τὴν ἀνθρωπότητα, καὶ ναὸς αὐτοῦ κερημάτικε τὸ ἐκ τῆς ἁγίας παρθένου ληφθὲν ἅγιον σῶμα• ἴδιον δὲ πάλιν αὐτοῦ τὸ Πνεῦμα αὐτοῦ, καἰ οὐκ ἂν νοοῖτο πώποτε δίχα τοῦ ἰδίου Πνεύματος ὁ ἐκ Θεοῦ Πατρὸς Λόγος..

Again in his answer to the Eastern Bishops’ objection to his eleventh chapter occur the remarkable words,

r. But we must know that (as we said before) it is the own body of the Word which quickeneth all things, and because it is the body of life, it is also quickening (for through it does the Son infuse His Life into our mortal bodies and undo the might of Death) but the Holy Spirit of Christ also quickens us in equal wise, for it is the Spirit that quickeneth, as our Saviour Himself says.

r. Εἰδέναι δὲ ἀναγκαῖον ὅτι καθὰ φθάσαντες εἴπομεν, ἴδιόν ἐστι σῶμα τοῦ τὰ πάντα ζωογονοῦντος Λόγου• ἐπειδὴ δέ ἐστι σῶμα ζωῆς, καὶ ζωοποιόν ἐστι• διʼ αὐτοῦ γὰρ τοῖς θνητοῖς ἡμῶν σώμασιν ἐνίησι τὴν ζωὴν ὁ Υἱὸς καὶ καταργεῖ τοῦ θανάτου τὸ κράτος• ζωοποιεῖ δὲ ἡμᾶς κατὰ τὸν ἴσον τρόπον καὶ τὸ Ἅγιον Πνεῦμα Χριστοῦ• “τὸ γὰρ Πνεῦμά ἐστι τὸ ζωοποιοῦν,” κατὰ τὴν αὐτοῦ τοῦ Σωτῆρος φωνήν.

These passages are remarkable because S. Cyril is here not speaking of the relation of the Persons of the Holy Trinity one with another but assuming that his readers already know that God the Holy Ghost is the Very Spirit of God the Son, he is proving that, God the Son having been made Man for us, the relation of God the Holy Ghost to Him remains unaltered by this.

These extracts give S. Cyril’s teaching on this subject as extant in different works of his. But it may occur to some to think how we are to know that in all the bitter controversy about the expression of this doctrine in which S. Cyril was cited on both sides: how we are to know that the Greek manuscripts which preserve to us his writings were not tampered with through Latin influence. We have proof in regard to many of his writings. I quoted above his Thesaurus as extant in the Syriac Manuscript add. 14556 in the British Museum assigned by Dr. Wright to the sixth or seventh century and therefore anterior to the controversy. This manuscript contains even the formal heading, That the Holy Ghost is of the Essence of the Father and the Son. The citation from his apology to the Eastern Bishops is likewise extant in Syriac in the manuscript add. 12156 of the sixth century, that from the explanation of the twelve chapters in the manuscript add. 14557 of the seventh century which same manuscript also contains the treatise “De recta fide” addressed to the Emperor Theodosius; and this latter is in a much older version, one attributed to Rabbula, Bishop of Edessa, who was a contemporary of S. Cyril. For the extracts of the other works of his cited in this Preface I am not able to adduce the support of the Syriac. But neither is it needed: for S. Cyril’s teaching is uniform throughout and it is the clear and explicit teaching of one who had been instructed in the truth handed down by those before him and who held, taught and enunciated it as no matter of dry speculation but as living belief and reality.

It will be observed that in these passages, S. Cyril in speaking of the procession of the Holy Ghost from God the Son mainly uses the preposition ἐκ, from (in b, His very own and in Him and from Him, ἴδιον αὐτοῦ καὶ ἐν αὐτῷ τε καὶ ἐξ αὐτοῦ; in c, from Him and His own, τὸ ἐξ αὐτοῦ τε καὶ ἴδιον αὐτοῦ; in d, of Him and Essentially inexistent in Him, τὸ ἐξ αὐτου καὶ οὐσιωδῶς ἐμπεφυκὸς αὐτῷ in e, goeth forth from the Father and the Son, πρόεισι ἐκ πατρὸς καὶ υἱοῦ; in g, in Him and of Him, ἐν αὐτῷ καὶ ἐξ αὐτοῦ; in h, of Him by Nature, ἐξ αὐτοῦ κατὰ φύσιν; in k, of Him and in Him and His own, ἐξ αὐτοῦ τε καὶ ἐν αὐτῷ καὶ ἴδιον αὐτοῦ; in l, from Him παρʼ αὐτοῦ;) he also uses, in the same sense, the preposition διὰ, through (in a, poured forth from the Father through the Son, ἐκ πατρὸς διʼ υἱοῦ προχεόμενον; in m, both coming forth through Him and in Him by Nature, διʼ αὐτοῦ τε προκύπτον καὶ ὑπάρχον ἐν αὐτῷ φυσικῶς; in q, he uses διὰ twice, as proceeding through His ineffable Nature itself, ὡς διʼ αὐτῆς προϊὸν τῆς ἀπορρήτου φύσεως αὐτοῦ: as from the Father so through the Son, ἐκ τοῦ πατρὸς … καὶ διʼ αὐτοῦ τοῦ υἱοῦ, and παρὰ once, His own and of Him His Spirit, οἰκόθεν κιὰ παρʼ αὐτοῦ τὸ πνεῦμα αὐτοῦ).

This language of S. Cyril, as well as other language on the Procession of the Holy Ghost from the Son also, is the language of the Greek fathers before him.

The relation of the Three Divine Persons, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost is laid down for us by our Lord in the Baptismal formula, nor may we depart from it, “1For we must be baptized, as we have received; and believe, as we are baptized; and glorify, as we have believed, Father Son and Holy Ghost.” The order of the co-eternal Three must be, as Themselves, co-eternal. S. Basil says,

“The Holy Spirit is co-numbered with the Father and the Son, because also He is above creation. And He is placed, as we are also taught in the Gospel by the Lord, saying, ‘go, baptize in the name of the Father and the Son and the Holy Spirit;’ but he who places Him before the Son, or saith that He is elder than the Father, contraveneth the ordaining of God, and is alien from sound faith, not guarding the doxology as we have received … So that innovation as to the order is an annulling of the very existence, and a denial of the whole faith. For it is alike ungodly to bring down the Spirit to the creation, or to place It above Son or Father, either as to time or order.”

“The Spirit is co-pronounced with the Lord, as is the Son with the Father. For the name of Father and Son and Holy Ghost is spoken in the like way. As then the Son is to the Father, so the Spirit is to the Son, according to the order of the word delivered in Baptism. But if the Spirit is conjoined with the Son, and the Son with the Father, it is plain that the Spirit also is [conjoined] with the Father.”

The controversy raised by the unhappy Photius not having arisen, the faith could be expressed in those varied ways in which S. Cyril expressed it, since all contained the same truth as to the existence of the Divine Persons; that the Father, as the One Source of Being, everlastingly communicates Himself to the Son, in that way called Generation, and that that Being flows on eternally to the Holy Spirit, being derived originally from the Father, but issuing to the Holy Ghost from Both, the Father and the Son, as One. S. Gregory of Nyssa, having met the objection, that, “if we believe God the Son to be Eternal, we should also believe Him to be Ingenerate or Unoriginate,” by saying that “He ever co-exists with the ever-existing Father, united by Generation with the Ingenerateness of the Father;” says,

“So also we speak concerning the Holy Spirit also, the difference being only in the Order of Being. For as the Son is conjoined with the Father, and, deriving His Being from Him, is in no way posterior to Him in Being, so again the Holy Spirit cohereth to the Son, Who in thought only is conceived as prior, by way of causation, to the Hypostasis of the Spirit; for extensions of time have no place in the life before all time, so that, with the exception of cause, in nothing does the Holy Trinity differ in Itself.”

In another place, he meets the “cavil, that not to admit a difference [of the Three Divine Persons] as to nature, involves a confusion of the Persons.”

“While confessing the unvaryingness of the Natures, we do not deny the difference of ‘cause’ and ‘caused’ wherein alone we understand that the One is distinguished from the Other, that we believe that the One is the Cause, the Other from (ἐκ) the Cause; and in that which is from the Cause again we perceive another difference. For the One exists immediately from the First, the Other through Him Who exists immediately from the First: so that the being Only-Begotten remains unambiguously as belonging to the Son, without having any doubt that the Spirit is from (ἐκ) the Father, the intermediateness of the Son both preserving to Him the being Only-Begotten, and not excluding the Spirit from the natural relation to the Father. But in speaking of ‘Cause’ and ‘from Cause,’ we do not by these forms designate nature; (for one would not speak of ‘Cause’ and ‘Nature’ as the same) but we point out the difference in the mode of existence.”

He sums up,

“Speaking of such distinction in the Holy Trinity, that we believe ‘the Cause’ and the ‘from the Cause,’ we can be no longer accused of confounding the Persons in the community of Nature. Since then the principle of causation distinguishes the Persons of the Holy Trinity, setting forth that the one is ‘the Cause,’ the other, ‘from the Cause’ but the Divine Nature is, amid every conception, understood to be immutable and indivisible, therefore properly are One Godhead and One God, and all the God-beseeming names singularly enunciated.”

In these passages the Monarchia on the one side, and the eternal relation of the Holy Ghost to the Son, as having His Existence mediately from the Father but cohering immediately with the Son, are distinctly laid down.

S. Gregory of Nyssa is commonly supposed to have framed the additions to the Creed at the Council of Constantinople. His contemporaries S. Epiphanius and Didymus, and his brother S. Basil, express this relation of the Holy Spirit to the Son by the word “from.” Didymus, the teacher of S. Jerome and Rufinus, in his work on the Holy Spirit, translated by S. Jerome, “explaining the words of our Lord, He shall not speak from Himself,” writes,

“That is, not without Me and the Will of the Father, because He is inseparable from Mine and the Father’s Will. For He is not of (ex) Himself, but of (ex) the Father and Me. For His very Being He hath from (a) the Father and Me.”—“The Holy Spirit also, Who is the Spirit of truth and the Spirit of Wisdom, cannot, when the Son speaketh, hear what He knoweth not; since The Spirit of Truth proceeding is that Very Being, which is brought forth from (a) the Son, i. e., proceeding from the Truth, the Paraclete issuing from (a) the Paraclete, God from (a) God.”

And on the words “He shall glorify Me, because He shall take of Mine,”

“Here again, to ‘take’ is to be understood, so as to be in harmony with the Divine Nature. For as the Son, when He giveth, is not deprived of those things which He giveth, nor, with loss to Himself, imparteth to others, so also the Spirit doth not receive what He had not before. For if He receive what before He had not, when the gift is transferred to another, the Giver is emptied, ceasing to have what He giveth. As then above, when disputing of incorporeal natures, we understood, so now too we must know, that the Holy Spirit receiveth from the Son that which had been of His own Nature, and that this signifieth, not a giver and a receiver, but One Substance. Inasmuch as the Son is said to receive of the Father, That wherein He Himself subsists. For neither is the Son ought besides what is given to Him from (a) the Father, nor is the Substance of the Holy Spirit other, besides what is given Him by the Son.”

S. Epiphanius no where uses the word “through” but always “from” when speaking of the Eternal Being of the Holy Spirit. And these are no chance passages of S. Epiphanius, but passages in which he is carefully stating and guarding the truth as to the existence of the Holy Trinity. The first is against the heresy of Sabellius.

“For the Spirit ever is, with the Father and the Son, not in relation of brother with the Father, not begotten, not created, not brother of the Son, not grandson of the Father, but ever proceeding from the Father and receiving of the Son: not alien from Father and Son, but from (ἐκ) the same Essence, from (ἐκ) the same Godhead, from (ἐκ) the Father and the Son, with the Father and the Son, ever subsisting Holy Spirit, Divine Spirit, Spirit of glory, Spirit of Christ, Spirit of the Father. For it is the Spirit of the Father, Who speaketh in you, and My Spirit standeth in the midst of you, the Third in appellation, equal in Godhead, not alien from the Father and the Son, The Bond of the Trinity, The seal of the confession.”

And in his elaborate exposition of the faith, which he partly embodies in his writing against “the blasphemers of the Holy Ghost;”

“The Holy Spirit ever is, not begotten &c., but from (ἐκ) the same essence of the Father and the Son, the Holy Spirit; for God is Spirit.” “He is the Spirit of the Son; not by any composition, (as in us, soul and body) but in the midst of the Father and the Son, from (ἐκ) the Father and the Son, the third in appellation.” “Whole God is Wisdom; so then the Son is Wisdom from Wisdom, in Whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom. Whole God is Life; therefore the Son is Life from Life. For ‘I am the way, the truth and the life.’ But the Holy Spirit from Both (παρʼ ἀμφοτέρων) is Spirit from Spirit; for God is Spirit.”

“But some one will say, Do we then say that there are two Sons? How then is He Only-Begotten? But who art thou, who speakest against God? For since He calls Him Who is from Him, the Son, and That which is from Both, (τὸ παρʼ ἀμφοτέρων) the Holy Spirit; which being conceived by the saints through faith alone, being lightful, lightgiving, have a lightful operation, and by the light of faith are in harmony with the Father Himself;—hear thou, that the Father is Father of Him Who is the True Son, and wholly Light, and the Son is of True Father, Light of Light, (not, as things created or made, in title only) and the Holy Spirit is the Spirit of Truth, the third Light from (παρὰ) Father and Son.” “As there are many sons by adoption or calling, not in truth, because they have beginning and end, and are inclined to sin, so there are very many spirits by adoption or calling, although inclined to sin. But the Holy Spirit is Alone entitled from (ἀπὸ) the Father and the Son, the Spirit of Truth, and Spirit of God, and Spirit of Christ and Spirit of grace.” “If then He proceedeth from (παρὰ) the Father; and, the Lord saith, He shall take of Mine, then in the same way in which no one knows the Father save the Son, nor the Son, save the Father, so, I dare to say, that no one knoweth the Spirit, save the Father and the Son, from (παρʼ) Whom He proceedeth and from Whom He taketh, and neither doth any one know the Son and the Father, save the Holy Spirit, Who truly glorifieth, Who teacheth all things, Who testifieth concerning the Son, Who is from (παρὰ) the Father and of (ἐκ) the Son.” “1The Father then ever was, and the Spirit breatheth from (ἐκ) the Father and the Son, and neither is the Son created, nor is the Spirit created. But all things, after Father and Son and Holy Ghost, being created and made, once not being, came into being from Father Son and Holy Ghost through the Eternal Word, with the Eternal Father.”

Eunomius argued, that “he had received from the saints, that the Paraclete was the third in order and dignity,” and therefore he inferred that He was “third also in nature.” S. Basil answers,

“Was there ever man so bold, introducing novelties into divine doctrines? For what need is there, that if the Spirit is third in dignity and order, He should be in nature? For the word of godliness transmits to us, that He is second in dignity from the Son, having His Being from (παρʼ) Him, and receiving from (παρʼ Him: but that He hath a third nature, we have neither learned from the Holy Scriptures, nor can it be inferred as consequent from the things aforesaid. For as the Son is second in order from the Father, because He is of (ἐκ) Him, and in dignity, because the Father is the Beginning and Cause of His Being, and because the approach and bringing near to God the Father is through Him, but He is in no wise second in nature, because the Godhead in Each is One; so also the Holy Spirit, although He is subordinate to the Son in order and dignity, would not therefore be of another nature.”

These are doctrinal writers, writing at the period when the heresy of Macedonius on the Holy, Ghost was rife, and therefore they had the more reason to be very careful as to what they wrote.

S. Athanasius sets forth the faith as to the Holy Spirit as that “tradition which had been from the first, the teaching and faith of the Catholic Church, which the Lord gave, the Apostles preached, the fathers kept.” He sums up,

“It is shewn harmoniously from the Holy Scriptures, that the Holy Spirit is not a creature but the very own (ἴδιον) of the Word and of the Godhead of the Father. For thus is the teaching of the Saints gathered as to the Holy and Indivisible Trinity, and this is the one faith of the Catholic Church.”

Again he argues it from the relation to the Son,

“If on account of the unity of the Word with the Father, they will not that the Son Himself should be one of created things, but think Him, what He is in truth, the Creator of things made, why do they call the Holy Ghost a Creature, Who hath the same oneness with the Son, which the Son hath with the Father?” And, “The Son saith, ‘what I have heard from the Father, the same I speak unto the world:’ but the Spirit taketh from the Son, He saith, ‘He shall take of Mine, and shall shew it unto you.’ And the Son came in the Father’s Name, but ‘the Holy Ghost,’ He saith, ‘which the Father shall send in My Name.’ Since then the Spirit hath the same order and nature to the Son, as the Son hath to the Father, how shall he who calleth the Spirit a creature, not, of necessity, think the same as to the Son?” And again, “Such special relation as we know the Son hath to the Father, such we shall find that the Spirit hath to the Son.”

Even S. Cyril of Jerusalem, who avoided the word Homoöusion, not to give offence, says:

“There is One and the Same Spirit, which sanctifieth and subsisteth, and is ever co-present with the Father and the Son, not being spoken or breathed-forth from, the mouth and lips of the Father or the Son, not dispersed into the air, but subsisting.”

At this same period, and by the same writers, the Eternal Procession of the Holy Ghost “through the Son” (διὰ τοῦ υἱοῦ) is spoken of; the one expression “from” marking the more vividly, that the Holy Spirit, in the Eternal Being, issued from Father and Son in one, the Third in order of the All-Holy Trinity; the other, that, the Father being the One Source of Godhead, the Holy Spirit proceedeth, not directly or immediately from Him, but through the Son. Such language of S. Cyril has been given above. So also S. Athanasius; yet guarding against any poor conception which might be derived from the word “through” by itself, as though the Godhead could pass as through a channel, “through the Son,” and not rather that, through the Oneness of the Father and the Son, the Holy Ghost proceedeth from the Father and the Son as One. Thus, as S. Cyril speaks of the Holy Ghost, as “of the Son and in Him, and His very own,” so also S. Athanasius,

“The Spirit then is not one of created things, but rather is shewn to be the very own (ἴδιον) Spirit of the Son and not alien from God.” “But if the Son, since He is of (ἐκ) God, is the very own of His substance (ἴδιος τῆς οὐσίας αὐτοῦ), it is of necessity that the Spirit which is said to be of (ἐκ) God is the very own (Spirit) of the Son according to His Essence (ἴδιον εἶναι κατʼ οὐσίαν τοῦ υἱοῦ).” “The Spirit, not being a creature, but united with the Son, as the Son is united with the Father.”

This language of S. Athanasius is the stronger, because (as Petavius argues) he uses the very same of the relation of the Son to the Father;

“Since the Word is the very own of the substance of God by nature (ἴδιος φύσει τῆς οὐσίας τοῦ θεοῦ) and is of (ἐκ) Him and in Him.” “The true Son is by nature the real Son of the Father, the own of His Essence, Only-begotten Wisdom.” “The Word, then, is not a creature, but, alone, very own of the Father.” “Not alien but the very own of the essence of the Father.”

Guarding then that “the Spirit is in Christ, as the Son is in the Father,” that the Spirit is in us, which is in His Word which is in the Father, he says,

“The Spirit is not external to the Word, but being in the Word is through Him in God” (ἐν τῷλόγῳ ὄν, ἐν τῷ θεῷ διʼ αὐτοῦ ἐστιν). “1Since the Spirit is in the Word, it were plain that the Spirit is in (ἐν) God also through (διὰ) the Word.”

And S. Basil,

“One also is the Holy Spirit, which also is singularly enunicated, being united through the one Son with the one Father.”

and this S. Basil uses both ways, ascending from the Holy Spirit to the Father or beginning from the Father.

“The way of the knowledge of God is from the Spirit through the One Son to the One Father; and conversely, natural goodness and natural sanctification and royal dignity cometh from the Father through the Only-Begotten to the Holy Spirit,” and

“The Son hath the second place from the Father in respect to the Cause; the Spirit hath the second place from the Son by reason of the Cause.”

And, in answer to the question, “why the Spirit was not the son of the Son,”

“Not that He is riot of (ἐκ) God through (διʼ) the Son, but lest the Trinity should be thought an endless number, being suspected to have sons from sons, as among men.”

The question, as well as the answer, implies the belief in the eternal relation of the Holy Spirit to the Son; for without this belief it could not have arisen, as Bessarion argued, who alleged the passage in the Council of Florence.

And S. Gregory of Nyssa;

“We come from the Father through the Son to the Spirit.”

And again, as quoted by Bessarion,

“The Spirit, being joined to the Father, as Uncreated, is again distinguished from Him, in that He is not Father, as He is. But from the conjunction with the Son, as being Unbegotten, and in that He hath the cause of His Being from God the Father, He is distinguished by the property that He is not from the Father as Only-Begotten, and that He appeareth through the same Son. And again, whereas the creation exists through the Only-Begotten, that the Spirit may not be thought to have any thing common with it, because It appeareth through the Son, the Spirit is distinguished from the creation, in that It is unalterable and unchangeable and needeth no goodness from without.”

Bessarion again quoted S. Maximus;

“For the Holy Spirit, as He is by nature, according to substance, God the Father’s, so is He the Son’s according to substance, proceeding substantially from the Father through the Son, ineffably Begotten.”

This same truth, that, in the language of the writer known as Dionysius the Areopagite, “the Father is the Sole Fountain of the Supersubstantial Deity,” or in S. Augustine’s, that “the Father is the principle or beginning of the whole Divinity, or, if it is better so expressed, Deity;” is also expressed by the phrase that the Son is “immediately” (ἀμέσως or προσέχως) from the Father, the Holy Spirit “intermediately” (ἐμμέσως); or that the Father is the principal (προκαταρκτικὴ) Cause. But since the Father and the Son are One, and, in the language of the fathers, “All which the Father hath are the Son’s, except being the Beginning,” then the Son “hath this also from the Father, that the Spirit should proceed from Him also.” Again in S. Augustine’s language, “the Holy Spirit proceeds principially from the Father.”

“I added ‘principially,’ because the Holy Spirit, it appears, proceedeth from the Son also. But this the Father gave Him, not already existing yet not having it, but whatsoever He gave to the Only-Begotten Son He gave by begetting. For in such wise begat He Him, that from Him also should proceed the common Gift, and the Holy Spirit should be the Spirit of Both.”

Thus far the term preferred and most used by the great Greek Fathers is the same as that of the West, from. The later usage is obscure, since we have so few later Greek writers of eminence. Theodoret, in his heat against S. Cyril, rejected alike both the from and the through.

“That he [S. Cyril] says that He (the Holy Spirit) is ‘own Spirit of the Son,’ if he means of the same nature, and proceeding from the Father, we will assent, and receive his answer as pious, but if as having His Being from the Son and through the Son, we shall reject this as blasphemous and impious.”

This writing however had no weight in the Eastern Church, since it was condemned by the 5th General Council, which, in its origin, was especially a Greek Council, Pope Vigilius, as is known, at last unwillingly adhering to it; and Theodoret rejected alike the formulæ ‘from’ and ‘through.’

There continue to be traces of the “from” among Greek writers till A.D. 600, 50 years before S. John Damascene.

A Sermon attributed by Photius to S. Chrysostome, and, it is thought, by some contemporary, has the words;

“Christ came to us; He gave us the Spirit which is of Him, and took our body,”

Philo Carpathius was a younger contemporary of S. Epiphanius, and, it is said, much trusted by him. His words, as occurring in an allegorical interpretation, attest the use of the word “of” beyond the strict doctrinal writers.

“The mouth of God the Father is the Son. Wherefore, since He too is God, equal by nature to the Father, He is called the Word; since whatever the Father willeth, He speaketh, createth, frameth and preserveth through the Son together with that Divine Spirit, Who proceedeth from the Father and the Son.”

Anastasius Sinaita, Patriarch of Antioeh, A.D. 561, to whom all the Eastern Bishops so looked up, that when urged by the Emperor Justinian to accept his formula, they answered, that they waited to know the mind of Anastasius and should follow him, used it repeatedly.

“Taking the property of the mouth as an illustration, we have expressed the mutual connection (ἀλληλουχίαν) of the Divine Persons through the analogy and likeness of the members. For thus the Holy Spirit is said both to be the Spirit of His mouth, i. e. of God, since the Only-Begotten is the Mouth; and again the Spirit going forth from Him, and sent, not only from the Father, but also from the Son.” “The Lord, shewing that the Spirit is from Himself, (αὐτὸ ἐξ αὐτοῦ ὑπάρχειν) said to His disciples, breathing upon them, Receive the Holy Ghost.”

“We call the Father of the Word, Mind, in Whom is the Word, with Whom is the Holy Spirit, entitled the Spirit of the mouth of God; for the mouth of the Father is the Son.”

The martyrdom of S. Dionysius the Areopagite in Symeon Metaphrastes is doubtless from older materials. It gives additional evidence for the wide-spread use of the form in the East.

“And my Christ is raised to the heavens and returns to His Father’s throne, and sendeth on the disciples the Spirit Who proceedeth from Himself, to lead aright the unbelieving nations.”

Nor at Constantinople had any surprise been expressed, when Pope Hormisdas in a statement of faith sent to the Emperor A.D. 519 said,

“It belongeth to the Father, that He begetteth the Son; it belongeth to the Son of God, that He is begotten of the Father, equal to the Father; it belongeth to the Holy Spirit, that He proceedeth from the Father and the Son, in the one Substance of the Godhead.”

The most remarkable instance of the continuance of the form “of the Son” at this period is our great Archbishop Theodore, himself a native of Tarsus, well-versed, as is shown in his Penitential, in the usages of the Greek Church, with which he parallels or contrasts those of the West. He shews himself also familiar with the Greek fathers, and the East of his own day had such confidence in him, that the vith General Council waited for him. On Sept. 17 A.D. 680, not quite two months before the opening of the vith General Council, Nov. 7, A.D. 680, he presided over the Council of Hatfield, in which the Confession of faith was drawn up, which embodied the Filioque.

In it, it is declared;

“We have expounded the right and orthodox faith, as our Lord Jesus Christ, incarnate, delivered to His Apostles who saw Him in bodily presence, and heard His discourses and delivered the creed of the holy fathers; and in general all the sacred and universal Synods and the whole choir of the Catholic approved doctors of the Church [have delivered it].”

“And then after a brief confession of faith in the Holy Trinity in Unity, and a recital of the first Five General Councils, and of the Lateran Council of A.D. 649, it thus concludes:—

“And we glorify our Lord Jesus Christ as they glorified Him, adding nothing, taking away nothing; and we anathematize in heart and word whom they anathematized; we receive whom they received; glorifying God the Father without beginning, and His only-begotten Son, begotten of the Father before the ages; and the Holy Ghost, proceeding from the Father and the Son, ineffably; as those holy apostles and prophets and doctors, whom we above commemorated, have preached.”

The form “from the Son” must however have come to be disused at Constantinople, since it became a pretext for those who wished to pick a quarrel with the West. The Monothelites, having been condemned by the first Lateran Council under Martin i, A.D. 649, objected to the statement that the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Son also, but they accompanied it with the blasphemy of alleging it to be an error, that “the Lord was free, as Man, from original sin.” S. Maximus the confessor (himself a Constantinopolitan until the outburst of the Monothelite heresy, and the friend of Pope Martin,) writes that the Romans

“produced consonant testimonies of the Latin fathers and of Cyril of Alexandria out of his sacred work on the holy Evangelist John, from which they shewed that they did not make the Son the Cause of the Holy Spirit. For they knew that the Father is the one Cause of Son and Spirit, of the One according to Generation; of the Other, according to Procession; but (they used it) to convey that the One came through the Other, and to shew thereby the community of Substance and invariableness.”

S. Maximus calls the objection “a subterfuge” of the adversaries (Monothelites). Anastasius, who was long Apocrisiarius of the Roman see at Constantinople, writes about A.D. 754,

“We have besides translated from the Epistle of S. Maximus to Marinus Presbyter, the details concerning the Procession of the Holy Spirit, where he implies that the Greeks falsely except against us, since we do not say that the Son is the Cause or Principle of the Holy Spirit, as they imagine, but, knowing the oneness of Substance of Father and Son, we confess that as He proceeds from the Father, so He proceeds from the Son, understanding by the Emission, the Procession. Herein he interprets piously, and instructs to peace those who know both languages; in that he teaches both us and the Greeks, that in one way the Holy Spirit proceedeth, in another He doth not proceed from the Son, signifying the difficulty of expressing in one language the specialty of the other. By the like pious interpretation S. Athanasius formerly united Easterns and Westerns, when disagreeing about the word Hypostasis or Person, teaching that both believed and held the same truth, although, on account of the difference of language, they confessed it differently, and were angrily and idly contending with each other.”

Bessarion alleges the Synodical letter of Tarasius as shewing that the word, through, expressed the mind of the 7th General Council, in whose name he wrote it:

“The 7th of the Œcumenic Councils proclaimeth through the divine Tarasius, saying, that he believes in the Holy Ghost, which proceedeth from the Father through the Son, and Itself is known to be God.”

In A.D. 730 the form “from the Son” must have become obsolete in Jerusalem also. Perhaps, in the confusions of the Monophysite heresy and the Mohammedan oppression, learning had become circumscribed, and S. John Damascene, whose compendium the Greeks subsequently used, was better acquainted with S. Gregory Nyss. and S. Basil, who used chiefly “through the Son,” than with S. Epiphanius or S. Cyril of Alexandria. S. John Damascene, while holding the same faith as to the Procession of the Holy Ghost, says,

“We do not say that the Spirit is of (ἐκ) the Son, but we call Him the Spirit of the Son.”

Yet, although those among whom he lived had dropped the expression ‘from,’ it is clear that he himself held the ‘through’ in no other sense than the old Greek fathers, of the mode of the eternal existence of the Holy Trinity, and that he rejected the ‘from’ as involving, in his conception, the denial of the Monarchia of the Father. This he repeatedly adds,

“The Holy Ghost, the Spirit of the Father, as proceeding from the Father.… and the Spirit of the Son, too, not as from Him but as proceeding through Him from the Father; for the Father is the sole cause.”

Again, it is of His Eternal existence, not of His going forth to creatures, that he speaks,

“The Father always was, having of His own Self His Word and His Spirit proceeding from Him through His Word.”

And this Procession he speaks of, in contrast with the Eternal Generation of the Son,

“The Holy Ghost is Holy Ghost, for from the Father, through the Word and Son, He goeth forth, but not after the manner of a Son.”

He uses also the very language of S. Cyril, “The Spirit is the Son’s, because It is poured forth through Him and from Him;” and of S. Athanasius, S. Basil and S. Cyril; “The Son is the image (εἴκων) of the Father; and the Spirit, of the Son;” which implies the eternal relation to the Son. He says also “that the Spirit is united by the Son to the Father “and “proceeding indivisibly from the Father, and resting in the Son, He is of one substance with the Father and the Son:” which is the identical teaching of Gregory the Great; “It is manifest that the Paraclete Spirit proceedeth from the Father and abideth in the Son.” “Unlike (the way in which He dwelleth in the Saints) the Spirit abideth in the Son, from Whom by nature He never departeth.” And Vigilius Tapsensis, “We have proved by many testimonies of the Scriptures, that He is the Spirit of the Son and that He abideth whole in the Son; and as He proceedeth from God the Father, so He proceedeth from the Son, that the whole Trinity may be believed to be one God.”

Reasonable minds, both in East and West, saw that there was no ground for either side to inculpate the other.

When Charlemagne objected that Tarasius, Patriarch of Constantinople, professed his faith, that “the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Father through the Son,” Pope Adrian I, in a letter still extant”, expressly defended him. When some turbulent monks of S. Saba sent laymen to eject the Latin monks of Mount Olivet worshipping, on the Nativity of our Lord, at Bethlehem, because they said the Creed with the Filioque, the Patriarch of Jerusalem took no part in the accusation”, and it came to nothing. Leo III, (who refused to insert the Filioque into the Creed when asked by Charlemagne through his Missi, out of deference to the holy Fathers who framed it”) sent to the Eastern Bishops a confession of faith on the Holy Trinity with the words,

“The Holy Ghost Who proceedeth equally from the Father and Son, consubstantial with the Father and Son. The Father whole God in Himself; The Son whole God, begotten by the Father; the Holy Spirit whole God, proceeding from the Father and Son,”

and no exception was taken against it. The unhappy Photius gave it as an excuse for the great schism. “He, one and the same,” says a writer on the Greek side”, “both set himself to divide the Churches, using the difference of doctrine as a colour, and again made the agreement of the Churches the price of his private advantage.” Yet from his deposition A.D. 886 to, at least, A.D. 1199, East and West retained their own expression of faith, without schism.

Cerularius did not at first object to the Latins any matter of faith, but says that, “expressly acknowledging the life-originating and consubstantial Holy Trinity and the Incarnation of our Lord God and Saviour Jesus Christ, they stumbled in this one only thing that they used unleavened bread at the oblation.”

A.D. 1077 Theophylact excepted, not to the faith contained in the words but only to their insertion in the Creed.

“In all besides, I will allow you to use this word, the proceeding of the Spirit from the Father and the Son, as speech enableth thee; I mean, in common discourses, and ecclesiastical homilies; in the Symbol alone I will not grant thee.”

Nicetas, in the course of his conference with Anselm of Havelberg, about 1149, said that the Latin doctrine was not unreasonable, but objected apparently to the insertion of the words”.

In 1155 Basil Achridenus wrote to Adrian II, that the schism had arisen on account of some “stumbling blocks of slight moment.” The Bishops in the time of the Emperor John Ducas A.D. 1249 proposed that “the interpolation should be put out of the Creed but might be retained and used in any other form.” A.D. 1256 Alexander IV rehearsed the terms of union proposed to his predecessor Innocent IV. who disapproved indeed that this article of the Nicene Creed (“in which the Greek Church seems to disagree a very little from the Roman”) was excepted from the Council to be held, but granted that

“in the approaching Council the tenor of the aforesaid Creed should not be changed except by mutual consent, which, we hope, the harmony of reconciliation will bring, but should, in the Greek Church, remain in that form, in which the Synod aforesaid promulgated it, provided that, as to the faith in the Holy Trinity the Greek Church have throughout the same Catholic Faith [in omnibus catholicé consentiat] as the Roman.”

Even at the beginning of the Council of Florence, Mark of Ephesus, who in the end made it fruitless, said,

“Efface it from the confession of faith and place it where you will, and let it be sung in the Churches as the hymn, ‘The Only-Begotten Word of God, being immortal.’ ”

The conference at Florence made much impression on all the Greeks except Mark of Ephesus. The Patriarch who had been averse to the Latin formula, gave his vote in writing thus,

“Since we have heard the sayings of the holy Eastern and Western fathers, some saying, that the Holy Spirit proceedeth from the Father and the Son, others, that He is from the Father through the Son, (although the ‘through the Son’ is the same as ‘from the Son,’ and from the Son’ is the same as ‘through the Son,’) yet we, leaving the ‘from the Son’ say that the Holy Spirit proceedeth from the Father through the Son eternally and essentially as from origin and cause, the ‘through’ designating ‘cause’ in the procession of the Holy Spirit.”

To all this the Bishops assented, except five; among them, Mark of Ephesus. Syropulus says that the Patriarch had told him why he had subscribed to the union,

“that the writings of the Western fathers were genuine; that he had read Athanasius, affirming the same; also Cyril in various places; Epiphanius too, whose words were so express, that Joseph”, Monk and Doctor, once owned candidly, that he had what to answer to passages of other fathers, but to the Saint himself, nothing.”

The Decree of the Council, in declaring the identity of the meaning of the two formulæ, seems to be framed on one of George Scholarius, afterwards a great enemy of the Council, in which he draws out the Latin side very clearly, but leaves ambiguities in the Greek statement.

“Since we Greeks heretofore thought, that the Latins affirmed, that the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Father and the Son, as from two Principles or Spirations, and therefore did not affirm that the Father was the principle and fountain of the whole Deity of Son and Holy Spirit, therefore we have abstained from the addition or word which they added, for explanation, to the Creed, and likewise from their Communion. But we being collected into this second and Œcumenical Synod, by the singular grace of God, to bring about a holy union, after many questions and discussions had and ventilated, and very many testimonies being produced both from Holy Scripture and the holy doctors of the Church, we the Latins profess, that we do not say that the Spirit proceedeth from the Father and the Son, meaning to exclude the Father from being Principle and Fount of the whole Godhead of the Son and Holy Spirit, or as believing that the Son did not receive from the Father, that the Holy Spirit proceeded from the Son, or as setting forth two principles or two productions of the Holy Spirit; but we confess that the Holy Spirit eternally emanated from the Father and the Son, as from one Principle and by one Production: in like way, we Greeks assert that the Holy Spirit proceedeth from the Father, and is the own Spirit of the Son, and is poured forth from Him, and we professed and believed that He is poured forth by Both Substantially, viz. by the Father through the Son”

Scholarius shewed that he clearly understood the Latin doctrine, and that it was not open to the imputations of Photius; but on the side of the Greeks he repeated only unexplained sayings of some Greek fathers, capable by themselves of being understood without any reference to the Eternal Being of God, and perhaps the more so, as standing in contrast with the definite statements which he had put into the mouth of the Latins. On being asked to explain, Scholarius made no answer, and soon after left the Council. The Greeks answered that the Westerns rejected the sayings of the Fathers. They were only asked, in what sense they used them; e. g. whether they understood the “pouring forth” to be from eternity, and to relate to Substance and Person; what they meant by “pouring forth,” whether it meant the same as to “proceed” &c.

The Council adopted the statements of Scholarius only leaving out what was ambiguous:

“Seeing that in this holy Œcumenical Council by the grace of Almighty God we Latins and Greeks have come together for an holy union to be made between us, and have taken diligent care one with another, that that Article on the Procession of the Holy Ghost should be discussed with great care and diligent enquiry: testimonies too having been brought forward from the Divine Scriptures and full many authorities of holy Doctors Eastern and Western, some saying that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son, others from the Father through the Son, and all intending the same meaning under different words: We the Greeks have declared that what we say, that the Holy Ghost proceeds of the Father, we do not say with intent of excluding the Son: but, because we thought that the Latins said that the Holy Ghost is of the Father and the Son as of two origins and two Spirations, we have abstained from saying that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son. And we the Latins affirm that what we say, that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Father and the Son, we do not say in the sense of excluding the Father from being the Source of all Godhead, of the Son, that is, and the Holy Ghost: or that this, that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son, the Son hath not from the Father, or in the sense of affirming that there are two Sources or two Spirations, but we affirm that there is One sole Source and Only Breathing of the Holy Ghost, as heretofore we have asserted.”

De Turrecremata even proposed to anathematise the heresy imputed to the Latins:

“We follow the Apostolic See, we know that there is one Cause of the Son and the Holy Spirit the Father, … Therefore the Roman Church doth not believe two Principles or two Causes, but One Principle and One Cause. But those who assert two Principles or two Causes we anathematise.”

The Latins have not accused the Greeks of heresy; but individuals of them certainly have been heretics, denying the mode of the being of God. For denying the eternal Procession of the Holy Ghost through the Son, and, after the example of the Monothelites, limiting the words, by which the Fathers declared it, to His temporal mission after our Lord’s Ascension, they do in fact destroy the eternal relation of the Third Person of the Adorable Trinity to the Second, and conceive of God as existing otherwise than He has revealed Himself. It is startling to hear S. Epiphanius or S. Athanasius deny that the Holy Spirit is “the Brother of the Son;” it shocks us to have to deny, as to God, a relation analogous to one of our human relations, which God has not revealed to us of Himself. But it is, in our human words, what the denial of the eternal Procession of the Holy Ghost “from” or “through the Son” comes to. For God the Son and God the Holy Ghost issued forth from the Father’s Being as the Source and Original of Each. If then the Holy Ghost had not (which these deny) proceeded eternally “through the Son,” but had proceeded from the Father independently of the Son, they had had to each other that relation which in our human likeness had been that of brothers.

It would also much impair our idea of the Unity of God in the Adorable Trinity, did we conceive of Two of the Persons as having no relation to one another, except an independent relation to the One Father. The truth of the mutual Inexistence of the Three Blessed Persons, which our Lord reveals to us by the words, “I am in the Father and the Father in Me,” “The Father Who abideth in Me,” facilitates to us the conception of the simple Unity of God in the All-Holy Trinity. The doctrine excludes Arianism on the one side, and Sabellianism on the other; “neither confounding the Persons, nor dividing the Substance.” The Fathers had most occasion to dwell upon this against the Arians. In our human mode of existence, the father is external to the son, and the breath from the breather. In God, all is within Himself, in the absolute unity and simplicity of His Being.

“How,” asks S. Cyril, “could God be conceived as being One, if each Person withdrew into an entire individuality, and, wholly removed from the essential union and mutual relation, were called God?”

“In no way can there be imagined any division or separation, so that the Son could be conceived of without the Father, or the Spirit be disjoined from the Son.—But in Them is apprehended a certain at once communion and disjunction beyond words or thought” “They are united, not so as to be confused, but as to cohere together; and they have Inexistence in each other, without any commingling or confusion; nor are they parted from one another, or divided in essence, according to the division of Arius. But to speak concisely, Deity is, in Separate, Inseparate.

“In the Godhead we confess one Nature, but say that there are in truth three Persons, and we say, that all which is of nature and essence is simple, but we acknowledge the difference of Persons in these three properties only; the being Uncaused and Father; or caused and Son; or caused and Proceeding; but we know that they go not forth apart from Each other, and are inseparate and united, and inexist un-confusedly in Each other, and are united without confusion (for They are Three although they are united) and are, without division, distinct. For although Each exists by Himself, i. e., is perfectly a Person, and has His own property, i. e., His own separate mode of Being, yet they are united in Essence and natural properties, and by their not being separated or going apart from the Person of the Father, such are and are called One God.”

“By the natural unity,” S. Fulgentius says, “the whole Father is in the Son and Holy Spirit, the whole Son is in the Father and Holy Spirit, the whole Holy Spirit also is in the Father and the Son. None of these is external to any one of them, for none precedeth another in eternity, or exceeds in magnitude, or overpasseth in power.”

and Alcuin:

“God by the immensity of His Nature filleth and containeth the whole creation, and thereby the Father filleth the whole whatever is; the Son the whole; the Holy Spirit the whole. Wherefore also the Son and the Holy Spirit are by nature, One. The inseparable unity therefore of nature cannot have separable Persons. But this nature of Supreme Trinity and individual Unity, which Alone is whole everywhere, as it hath everywhere inseparable Unity of nature or operation, so it cannot receive separation of Persons.”

This Inexistence of the Divine Persons, which our Divine Lord lays clown in the words, “I am in the Father and the Father in Me,” is essential to any intelligent conception of the Divine Unity. The absence of the belief in it has been at the root of every heresy as to the Holy Trinity. Apart from the ‘from’ or ‘through,’ it is contained in every expression, that God the Holy Ghost is “in the Son” “is essentially Inexistent in Him,” “is in Him and His own,” “in Him by Nature.”

In the order of the Divine existence, contained in the baptismal formula which our Lord prescribed to us, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, the Father, as our Lord says, ever inexist in the Son, Who eternally and unchangeably has His existence from Him in the Immensity of Godhead, and the Father and the Son, being One, ever inexist in the Holy Spirit, Who is breathed forth from Both. Take away this belief, and the Inexistence is gone. Such introduce division into the Godhead, a sort of duality of existence, the Father being supposed ever to produce the Son by Generation, the Holy Ghost by Procession, but God the Son and God the Holy Ghost having no relation to one another.

The loss of the “and the Son” would to our un-theological practical English mind involve the loss of the doctrine of the Trinity.

It would be a great gift of grace to the Greek Church to own that they and their forefathers have been mispersuaded, to accuse of heresy the formula which their great S. Cyril and S. Epiphanius used so naturally, “from the Son.” It has been in those who inherited the mispersuasion, an unintentional false-witness of near 1000 years.

As for the objection that “the Roman Pontiff should not have added anything to the common Creed without consulting the other Patriarchs, who divide with him the rule of the Church;”

1. If true, a) the objection would come with a bad grace from the Greeks, since at the second General Council, in which the clauses as to the Holy Ghost were themselves added to the Nieene Creed, one Western Bishop alone was present, and he, not as any representative of the West. The heresy of Macedonius had its rise and adherents in the East, and was remedied by an Eastern Council, which became Œcumenical, only through its reception by the West. Else it had remained a Greek Council, being convened by the Emperor without any concurrence of the Western Church. b) Additions were made to the Creed from the first, without any authority of the whole. The Apostles’ Creed was varied both in East and West. Our Lord’s “descent into Hell,” though universally believed, “does not appear in any ancient Creed except that of Aquileia, and is directly stated by Ruffinus to have been wanting in the Roman and Oriental Creeds. The ‘Communion of Saints’ lying implicitly in ‘the Holy Church’ is not found in any very ancient Greek Creed, and hence was not incorporated into the Nicene nor into the Athanasian Creed. The earliest place in which it occurs is the Gallican Sacramentary of the end of the 7th Century.” c) The addition was made for the satisfaction of minds in the West, without any attempt to impose it upon the East. The Greeks refused to be in communion with the West, unless the West gave up the expression of the faith, in its hereditary language; the Latins did not attempt to impose the addition to the Creed upon the East.

The objection against altering the common Creed would have been valid, had there been manifested any intention of forcing it upon the East. But the Greeks were on the offensive. The charge of Photius was that the Roman Church in particular and the whole Latin-speaking Church generally were guilty herein of heresy; he explicitly said that the Creed was unchanged. The Greeks were expressly exempted from altering the Creed in case of reunion, in the negotiations under Innocent IV: in the Council of Lyons A.D. 1261, Michael Palæologus asked “that our Church should say the holy Creed as it said it before the schism.” In the Council of Florence, the Greeks declared, “this addition we will never receive, but” they added as a concession, “we permit you to have it in your Churches, yet not in those of the East: and we say, that under the pressure of necessity ye expanded the Creed; and we do not say, that that word ‘from the Son’ is either another faith or an addition, but that it is pious and an explanation of our Creed; and both Creeds are pious and of the same meaning, as ye say it in the Church of the Romans, and as we again say it in the Eastern Church, and so let the union be formed.” The Emperor had previously laid it down as a condition of union. “It being laid down that the Latins should neither compel us to add any thing in our holy Creed, nor to change any thing of the customs of our Church”; following herein the Patriarch, who “accepted the western Saints saying that the Holy Spirit is from the Father and the Son; yet admonishing, ‘only, let us not insert it in our Creed, but retaining all our customs, be united with them.’ ” Clement VIII decreed that the Greeks [in union with the West] should be bound to believe that the Holy Spirit proceeds from the Son but should not be bound to utter it, unless there were scandal; “wherefore,” adds Le Quien, “the Greeks who are in union with the Roman Church repeat [A.D. 1710] the Creed freely without addition.” But—

2. There was no such formal addition by “the Roman Pontiff” nor was there any intention to add a word to the Creed. It is well known now, that the tradition having been lost during the Arian times, the third Council of Toledo A.D. 589, which first introduced the Filioque, believed it to be part of the Creed of Constantinople. How they came to think so, we know not. “The Procession from the Father and the Son” had long been the popular expression of the faith of the West, and it seems to have come in unawares. It had, probably, been filled in by some one, who thought the omission of the Filioque a mistake. Transcribers fill up what they believe to be doctrinal omissions of MSS., which the context shews that they supply wrongly in that particular place. From Spain, (as is known) the “et Filio” came with the chanting of the Creed into France, was A.D. 930 not admitted by Leo III, and probably was admitted at Rome with the Creed, when, at the instance of the Emperor Henry II, this was sung there for the first time, in A.D. 1014.

It is strange that the Canon of the Council of Ephesus should ever have been construed as restraining the Church thereafter from guarding the faith by any addition to the Creed of Nice. For Almighty God alone could know certainly, whether or no there should be any occasion for this in the future of the Church. The Canon was framed on occasion of the Nestorian exposition of faith, which Charisius presented to returning Quartodecimans and Novatians.

The Council forbade to “produce or write or compose any other Creed, beside (παρὰ) that which was defined by the holy Fathers collected at Nice,” and decreed that clergy who should so do should be deposed and laity excommunicated. Obviously they could not mean to prohibit additions to the Creed of Nice. For this would have been to condemn the Fathers of Constantinople, who did add to the Nicene Creed and require subscription to the Creed so augmented. S. Cyril, who probably framed the Canon, explained that what was not against the Creed was not beside it. The Orientals had proposed to S. Cyril as terms of concord, that he should “do away with all he had written in epistles tomes or books, and agree with that only faith which had been defined by our holy Fathers at Nice.” “But,” S. Cyril answered,

“we all follow the exposition of faith defined by our holy fathers in the city of Nice, sapping absolutely nothing of the things contained in it. For they are all right and unexceptionable, and anything curious after that is not safe. But what I have rightly written against the blasphemies of Nestorius no one will persuade me to say that they were not done well:”

and against the imputation that he “had received an exposition of faith or new Creed, as dishonouring that old and venerable Creed,” he says,

“Neither have we demanded of any an exposition of faith, nor have we received one newly framed by others. For Divine Scripture suffices us, and the prudence of the holy fathers, and the symbol of faith, framed perfectly as to all right faith. But since the most holy Eastern Bishops differed from us as to that of Ephesus and were somehow suspected of being entangled in the meshes of Nestorius, therefore they very wisely made a defence, to free themselves from blame, and eager to satisfy the lovers of the blameless faith, that they were minded to have no share in his impiety; and the thing is far from all note of blame. If Nestorius himself, when we all held out to him that he ought to condemn his own dogmas and choose the truth instead thereof, had made a written confession thereon, who would say that he framed for us a new exposition of faith? Why then do they calumniate the assent of the most holy Bishops of Phœnicia, calling it a new setting forth of the Creed, whereas they made it for a good and necessary end, to defend themselves and soothe those who thought that they followed the innovations of Nestorius? For the holy Œcumenical Synod gathered at Ephesus provided, of necessity, that no other exposition of faith beside that which existed, which the most blessed fathers, speaking in the Holy Ghost, defined, should be brought into the Churches of God. But they who at one time, I know not how, differed from it, and were suspected of not being right-minded, following the Apostolic and Evangelic doctrines, how should they free themselves from this ill-report? by silence? or rather by self-defence, and by manifesting the power of the faith which was in them? The divine disciple wrote, ‘be ready always to give an answer to every one who asketh you an account of the hope which is in you.’ But he who willeth to do this, innovates in nothing, nor doth he frame any new exposition of faith, but rather maketh plain to those who ask him, what faith he hath concerning Christ.”

Eulogius of Alexandria, A.D. 581, puts the refutation very clearly, answering the Monophysites also;

“Again, the madness of heresy blames the 4th Council for setting forth an exposition, maintaining that any such attempt is wholly precluded by the first Council of Ephesus. And yet if, according to their idle speech, that Council had altogether forbidden making another definition, it would, before all others, have passed a sentence of condemnation against itself. For it does define what none before it defined. Nay its ἡ καθʼ ὑπόστασιν ἕνωσις is a definition, not made by the elder Synods. Yea, and in the vain speech a false charge is brought against the Synod of the 150 holy fathers at Constannople; for it, putting down the rebel against the Spirit, and adding the theology as to the Holy Spirit to the definition expressed at Nice, conjoined it therewith. For if the previous Councils, with their additions, escape blame, neither will those, after them, for the like acts have an unlike condemnation. So does this senselessness confuse and distort everything. For the Council of Ephesus wholly forbade that another faith should be set forth, whose dogmas were contrary to that at Nice; but that, what was defined by it being maintained pure and inviolate, to add what was required by circumstances was what it did itself. And this is the teaching of nature itself, and the tradition of the Church throughout is seen to acquiesce in this. Wherefore also at Alexandria, before the Ecumenical Synod was convened, the divine Cyril having gathered there select Bishops and having framed a written statement of faith, sent it to Nestorius.”

S. Maximus had to answer the same imputation from the Monophysites, as to “the confession of two natures of our Lord” and the term “in two natures,” in the Council of Chalcedon. He answers,

“How and with what reason do you accuse the holy Council of Chalcedon, although it manifoldly useth the words of the fathers, and abuse it and mock it as though it introduced another definition of the Faith?—If the Council of Chalcedon may be accused of making another definition of the Faith, on account of the words inserted in the Nicene definition, the same may be said against Cyril also, and the 120 fathers [the third and the second General Council]. How it should not lie against them and should lie against this [of Chalcedon] I comprehend not.—For Gregory, the defender of the Faith, will not any more escape your accusation against those of Chalcedon; rather he will lie under it exceedingly, expressing distinctly what was deficiently said as to the Holy Spirit by the Council of Nice, ‘because,’ he says, ‘this question had not yet been moved.’—If we may speak the truth, all the God-elected fathers after the Council of Nice, and every Council of orthodox and holy men, did not, through the introduction of words of their own, introduce another definition of the Faith, as you declare—but they firmly established that one and the same faith which was laid down by the 318 fathers, elucidating and, as it were, explaining it in detail, on account of those who understood it amiss and misinterpreted it and its doctrines to their own ungodliness.”

It was the habit of Eastern heretics to allege the decree of Ephesus, which was framed on occasion of an heretical Creed, to protect their own heresies from condemnation.

The Western statement of the Procession of the Holy Ghost “from the Father and the Son” was not, as far as we know, framed as a corrective of any heretical teaching; but it has, in the good Providence of God, been a great preservative against heresy, which would not have been guarded against by the Greek formula, “through the Son.” For although this, in the language of the Greek fathers, expressed the same doctrine, yet it admitted also of a meaning, compatible with a denial of the Faith, as contained in the Baptismal formula, given us by our Lord. The thirst for visible unity has directed itself the more towards the Greek Church, since the Roman Church has shut against us what seemed to be a half-open door. But therewith there has, among some, seemed to be a rising impatience of the “Filioque,” as though it were the hindrance to an union with the Eastern Church. It seemed then expedient on occasion of the publication of one of the great and most esteemed works of S. Cyril, to bring together, from the Greek fathers, some of the evidence of the use of the formula, now excepted against by the later Greeks since Photius, and especially since the renewal of the schism by Cerularius. Middle-age Greek writers have surmised that the ground of the prolonged schism was not the doctrine, but “the thrones,” Constantinople wishing to have an eminence over the other Eastern Patriarchates, which did not belong to it, Rome claiming an authority over Constantinople and the East, which it did not claim in primitive times. There seemed then, the more hope, that since this question did not lie between Greece and ourselves, they could not, if they would look into the question, except against our retaining the expression of the faith, which was common to their own fathers. Whether this will be so, He alone knoweth Who disposeth the hearts of men. One thing is certain, that we must not, in a desire for a premature union, abandon the expression of our faith of at least 1200 years. However the faith may be maintained by tradition in the East, but, in fact certainly is, more or less widely not maintained there, we, by parting with our inherited expression of it, should forfeit the belief itself, and become misbelievers in our God.]

JULY, 1874.

S. CYRIL,








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