25 cf. Orat. in Theoph. c. 12. The explanation seems to be, that the "Knowledge of good and evil" was a necessary part of the development of man's intellect, but that a premature attempt to attain it per saltum instead of by a gradual progress would prove fatal. Had human nature gone through its originally intended educational stages, it might have reached to the knowledge of evil without having that knowledge alloyed and deteriorated by the experience of evil, but might have known it, as God does, without taint. (Boount, Ann. Bible on Gen. ii. 7.)
43 The sense of Person (here pro/swpon), which is the usual post-Nicene equivalent of u 9po/stasij, was by no means generally attached to that word during the first Four Centuries, though here and there there are traces of such a use. Throughout the Arian controversy a great deal of trouble and misunderstanding was caused by the want of a precise definition of the meaning of u 9po/stasij. It seems to have been at first understood by the Eastern Church to mean Real Personal Existence - Reality being the fundamental idea. In this fundamental sense it was used in Theology as expressing the distinct individuality and relative bearing of the Three "Persons" of the Blessed Trinity to each other (to\ i!di/on pa\ra to\ koino/n, Suidas). But Arius gave it a heretical twist, and said that there are Three Hypostases, in the sense of Natures or Substances: and this doctrine was anathematized by the Nicene Council, which, apparently regarding the term u 9po/stasij as exactly equivalent to ou'si/a (as Arius tried to make it) condemned the proposit on that the Son is e'c e 9te/raj u 9posta/sewj h@ ou 9si/aj (Sybm. Nic.). Similar is the use of the word in S. Athanasius. As against Sabellius, however, who taught that in the Godhead there are tpi/a pso/swpa (using this word in the sense of Aspects only) but would not allow trei=j u 9posta/seij (I. e., Self-existent Personalities), the post-Nicene Church regarded u 9po/stasij as designating the Person, and spoke freely of trei!j u 9posta/seij. The Western Church increased the confusion by continuing to regard u 9po/stasij as equivalent to ou'si/a, and translating it by Substantia or Subsistentia. It was not till the word Essentia came into use to express ou'si/a that the Western Church grasped the difference, so long accepted in the East, so as to use the words accurately. Meantime, however, there would seem to have grown up a difference in the use of the two words supposed to represent u 9po/stasij, of the same kind as that between u 9po/stasij and ou'si/a; Substantia being appropriated to the Essence of a thing, that which is the foundation of its being; while Subsistentia came rather to connote a limitation, i.e., Personality. Thus the West also became confused, and Substantia was held to be the true equivalent of u 9po/stasij. Hence the condemnation at Sardica (A.D. 347) by the Western Bishops of the doctrine of Three Hypostases as Arian. The confusion lasted long, but in 362 a Council was held at Alexandria, when this difference was seen to be a mere logomachy, and it was pronounced orthodox to confess either trei=j u 9posta/seij in the sense of "Persons," or mi/an u 9po/stasin in that of "Substance." Our author in his Oration to the Fathers of the Council of Constantinople fully acknowledges this. "What do you mean," he says, "by u 9posta/seij or pro/swpa: You mean that the Three are distinct, not in Nature, but in Personality" And in the Panegyric on S. Athanasius (Or. xxi. c. 35), he remarks on the orthodoxy of the phrase mi/a ou'si/a, trei=j u 9posta/seij, that the first expression refers to the Nature of the Godhead, the second to the special properties of the Persons. With this, he says, the Italians agree, but the poverty of their language is such that it does not admit of the distinction between ou'si/a and u 9po/stasij, and therefore has to call in the word pro/swpon, which if misunderstood is liable to be charged with Sabellianism.
46 The Coining is simply of the adverbial form; the Substantive is found in earlier writings. S. Gregory himself uses it Orat. Theol. V. He uses other words also, as e!kpemyij, pro/odoj, and the verbs proerxesqai, proi!e/nai.
A to the question of the Double Procession (Filioque) see Introd. to Orat. Theol. V. Dr. Swete (Doctr. of H. S. p. 118) says, "It is instructive to notice how at this period the two great Sees of Rome and Constantinople seem to have agreed in abstaining from a minuter definition of the Procession. Both in East and West the relations of the Spirit to the Son were being examined by individual theologians but S. Gregory and S. Damasus appear to have alike refrained from entering upon a question which did not touch the essential of the Faith." He adds in a note "This is the more remarkable because Damasus was of Spanish origin."
"There was a peculiar glory in the creation of Man, distinguishing him from the rest of the creatures. The creatures inferior to man were called into being by a simple act of the Divine Will; but in the case of man, bearing as he does the nature and the form which God was about to assume as His own, and which, once assumed, was never again to be laid aside the process of creation was markedly different. Then for the first time the Most Holy Persons f the Blessed Trinity appear upon the scene. They are manifested as in mutual consultation and common action personally engaged. . . . `Let Us make Man in Our Image after Our Likeness0'. . . Then followed the exercise of creative power as a personal act, the putting forth the Hand of God to fashion the body of Man; `The Lord God formed Man of the dust of the earth.0' Afterwards came the yet higher work in the infusion of the immaterial invisible life enshrined in the body, perfecting the work of God; `He breathed into his nostrils the breath of life and Man became a living soul.0'" (T. T. Carter, The Divine Dispensations, p. 44)
49 Ullman comments on this passage as follows: There is in it, as follows especially from what come after, the double sense that the Infinite Godhead entered in Christ into the limitations of a finite human life; and in consequence of this, since otherwise as an infinite Being it was not fully cognisable by the finite human soul, became in this limitation cognisable in some degree to it, as it was not before this special manifestation in Christ.
50 "In this and several places pneu!ma and nou=j evidently denote the Divine the Spiritual, taken in the highest and purest sense, in which it is lifted above the sa/rc, and generally above all that is material; in which sense S John says, pneu=ma o 9 qeo/j." Ullmann.
51 "In a double sense; -either that the Godhead is, in union with the Man Jesus, subjected to suffering (cf. Or. XXI. 24), or that the Divine Substance, which is unapproachable by an y passion or suffering, combined itself with a Man, whose nature cannot be free from such emotions." Ullmann.
54 That the All-pure was baptized is to remind us of our need of preparation. That He was baptized by John is to teach us humility towards the Priesthood, even if the Priest be socially our inferior. That He was baptized at thirty years of age shews that the Teachers and Rulers of the Church ought not to be very young men. Scholiast.
90 In A.D. 251 Novatus, a Presbyter of the Church of Carthage, who with others had formed a party against S. Cyprian, their Bishop, came to Rome, and excited Novatian to become leader in a similar schism against Cornelius, the recently elected Bishop of the Apostolic See. The plea urged on behalf of the schism was that Cornelius, who was of one accord with Cyprian, had lapsed in the time of the persecution under Decius. A.D. 250. and that he had relaxed the discipline of the Church by admitting to Communion on too easy terms those who had been guilty of a similar offence; and that therefore he ought not to be recognized as a true Bishop of the Church, but a faithful Pastor should be chosen in his place. Consequently Novatian was elected by some who held these views, and was consecrated by three Bishops. There seem to have been a good many of his followers in Constantinople at this time. There had been at one time a disposition among them to reunite themselves to the Catholic Church, for they were orthodox in faith; but it had been hindered by the malevolence of their party leaders; so that the schism continued, and the Novatians must be added to the opponents with whom S. Gregory ad to deal.
96 "This too often ignored page gives a solemn contradiction to those who, falsifying history as well as theology, pretended two centuries ago to revive by their extravagant rigour the spirit of the primitive Church. The spirit of the Church never changes. In flexible against error, it is full of gentleness and kindliness for repentant sinners. The spirit of the Church is that of the Saints of all times; or rather it is that of the Divine Shepherd, Who made Himself known above all by His unspeakable tenderness and His inexhaustible mercy to lost sheep." (Benoit S. G. de N.)
1 Enlightenment (fwtismo/j) is one of the most ancient names for Holy Baptism; the name, in fat, which S. Gregory uses throughout this Oration, and which his Latin translator almost invariably renders by Baptismus