205 Jer. ix. 10. St. Ambrose follows the text of the LXX. with one or two variations in the punctuation. What St. Ambrose renders as "vox substantioe" ("word of substance" or "voice of substance") appears in the LXX. as "fwnh uparxew"" (which vox substantioe represents verbatim), and in Vulg. as "vox possidentis" ("the voice of the possessor"-i.e. landowner); in the A.V. and R. V. as "the voice of the cattle."-uparcij and substantia should be taken in the concrete sense (as they clearly represent a concrete term), like our "substance," or "possessions." Now in primitive society-like, e.g., that of the nomad Tartars-possessions consist mainly in horses and cattle. Cf. the evollution of the term pecunia=money.
217 The Sabellians reduced the distinction of Persons in the Trinity to a distinction of three different self-manifestations of one and the same Person, appearing at different times in different aspects or characters, as "one man in his time plays many parts." They, therefore, would mean, if they said that the Son was omoousioj with the Father, that He was identical with Him. Another perverse use of the term supervened upon the argument that if the Father and the Son were omoo/sioi there must be some ousia, identical with neither, but in which both, so to speak, had a share, by virtue of participation in which they existed and were what they were-a theory which adapted the Platonic doctrine of Universal Ideas to expound the mysteries of the Godhead. It was the perverse use of the term by such persons as Paul of Samosata (condemned by the Synod of Antioch, 269 a.d.) that caused it to be received at first with suspicion even by the orthodox at the Nicene Synod in 325 a.d. The true doctrine would be to this effect, that in relation to the Persons, the Godhead is not a separate, more comprehensive entity, existingin-dependently, and the fount of existence to each and all of the Persons-not as the Platonic autanurwpoj (ideal or archetypal man), for example, to the polloia anurwpoi (sundry individuals), but is in each of the Persons fully and completely, yet without destruction of its unity. The Godhead is a prwth, a single, individual substance. So also is each One of the Three Persons-but their inter-relation is such that neither is the Godhead anything apart from them, nor they anything apart from the Godhead or from each other. It is the Three together that constitute the One Ousia or Essence, it is the definition of this Essence that applies to Each of them equally, without difference, whilst Each Person retains His Personal characteristics and Personal (not natural or substantial) "differentia." Speaking logically, the Three Persons are "of one definition;" speaking metaphysically, they are "of one Essence" Now both "of one definition" and "of one essence" may be rendered by omoousioi.
220 The derivation is philologically incorrect, for ousia is formed upon the fem. of the pres. part. of einai, but for all that it embodies a certain truth, inasmuch as ousia in its abstract use denotes simple existence, without reference to conditions.
221 Ps. civ. 15. The term epiousioj has a spiritual import, inasmuch as the life of the body, supported by bread, is not all but should be subordinate to the spiritual life-the healthy body to be the instrument and vehicle of the healthy soul for man's real life (though he is not apt to think it such) is not dependent on bread alone-his whole existence is not material, though one side of it is. St. Ambrose, however, seems rather disposed to overlook the physical material bread (which we are certainly taught to pray for) for the sake of the supra.sensible Bread of Heaven and Food of Angels.
2 St. Ambrose perhaps meant that John Baptist had, for a space, lost the prophetic Light, when he doubted, and sent disciples to enquire of Jesus. The darkness of the dungeon had drawn a cloud over the prisoner's soul, and for a time he was in the state described by Isaiah ix. 1, walking in darkness and the shadow of death, the state of the people of Israel (represented by the synagogue) at the time of our Lord's Advent. See S. Matt. iv. 12-16.