Sidor som bilder

Cyprian, see Rettberg, s. 300. In a much more anthropomorphite manner than Tertullian, the author of the Clementines seems to hold the corporeity of God, when he connects the love of God to us with His beauty (for one can love only the beautiful). But how can beauty be imagined without a bodily form? Hom. 17,2 ff. Baur, Dg. s. 412. Irenæus, with great sobriety, rejects both anthropomorphism properly so called and false anthropopathism. In no respect is God to be compared to human frailty; though His love justifies us in using human phraseology when speaking of Him, nevertheless we feel that, as to His greatness and His true nature, He is elevated above all that is human. God is simple, and in all things like Himself (simplex, et non compositus et similimembrius, et totus ipse sibimet ipsi similis et æqualis). Comp. Adv. Hær. ii. 13. 4, and iv. 5. 20. Duncker, l.c. s. 25 ff. Baur, Christ. Gnosis, s. 466; Trin.-Lehre, s. 190.

the contrary. It must also be borne in mind that the corporeity of God and anthropomorphism are by no means synonymous. It is possible to conceive of God as incorporeal, and yet in a very anthropmorphite way as a very limited spirit, like the spirit of man. On the other hand, the substantiality of God may be taken in so abstract a manner as to exclude all that is human and personal (so the Stoics). Tertullian combines both these modes of representation; but after all that has been said, it is the awkwardness of his style and mode of thinking, rather than any defective religious views, that has brought him into the repute of being a crude anthropomorphist. [This may be clearly seen from the following passage: "Divine affections are ascribed to the Deity by means of figures borrowed from the human form, not as if He were endued with corporeal qualities: when eyes are ascribed to Him, it denotes that He sees all things ; when ears, that He hears all things; the speech denotes the will; nostrils, the perception of prayer; hands, creation; arms, power; feet, immensity; for He has no members, and performs no office for which they are required, but executes all things by the sole act of His will. How can He require eyes, who is light itself? or feet, who is omnipresent? How can He require hands, who is the silent creator of all things? or a tongue, to whom to think is to command? Those members are necessary to men, but not to God, inasmuch as the counsels of man would be inefficacious unless his thoughts put his members in motion; but not to God, whose operations follow His will without effort."] Tertullian undoubtedly was struggling after more profound views than are even suspected by many who speak of his theology in depreciatory terms. For the same reason, too much is conceded to Cyprian by Rettberg, 1.c. Comp. Baur's Trinitätslehre, s. 188, note, and Dg. s. 412. On the distinction between anthropomor

phism and anthropopathism, see Neander, Dogmengesch. s. 111.

$ 39.

The Attributes of God.

[Comp. Dorner, Die Unveränderlichkeit Gottes, in Jahrb. f. deutsche Theologie, i. 2, ii. 3, iii. 3.]

Neither the existence of God, as we have already seen, nor His attributes, were at first defined with scientific precision (1). The Catholic Church simply adopted the concrete idea of a personal God, as propounded in the Old Testament, though under certain modifications (2). But by degrees metaphysical ideas, borrowed from the schools of philosophers, were transferred to the God of the Christians; and on this point, too, opinions are found to oscillate between the philosophical tendencies above described (3). Some connected their notions of the omnipresence of God with conceptions of His corporeity, as space-filling and displacing other bodies; others, on the contrary, maintained that He was exalted above space, or that He is to be conceived as abolishing it and taking its place (4). The doctrine of omniscience was to some extent mixed up with anthropomorphite ideas, and even Origen put limits to this attribute of God (5), as well as to His omnipotence (6). In harmony with the spirit of Christianity, along with the holiness of God (7), His love and mercy were made specially prominent (8). But it was to be expected that collisions would arise, which could be harmonized only by the attempt to take more comprehensive and elevated views; as, for example, to reconcile the omniscience (especially the foreknowledge) of God with His omnipotence and goodness (9), or His punitive justice with His love and mercy (10).

(1) Thus "Justin Martyr generally makes only a passing reference to the divine attributes, and in contrast with the common humanizing of deity found in the poetic and plastic mythology." Semisch, ii. s. 258. Justin, too, emphasizes the immutability

of God as one of His fundamental attributes, calling Him (Apol. i. 13) τὸν ἄτρεπτον καὶ ἀεὶ ὄντα θεόν.

(2) The Catholic Church preserved in this respect a medium between the anti-Judaizing Gnostics, who spoke of the Demiurge as a being either subordinate to the supreme God, or standing in a hostile relation to Him; and the Judaizing Ebionites, who, retaining the rigid physiognomy of Judaism, misapprehended the universality of the Christian doctrine of God. But here, as elsewhere, there is a wide difference between the North African and the Alexandrian schools.

(3) Comp. (§ 36, note 2) the passage cited from Athenagoras on the unity of God. With him agrees Theophilus (Ad Autol. i. 5), who compares the world to a pomegranate; as this is surrounded by its peel, so is the world by the Spirit of God, and kept together by His hand. Cyprian, De Idol. Vanit. p. 15, reproaches the heathen with attempting to confine the infinite God within the narrow walls of a temple, whilst He ubique totus diffusus est,—the image of a space-filling substance apparently floating before his mind.

(4) Philo had previously identified God with absolute space,1 and called Him His own limit (comp. the passages bearing on this subject in the work of Dähne, s. 281-284, and s. 193, 267 ff.); Theophilus, too, Ad Autol. ii. 3, calls God His own space (αὐτὸς ἑαυτοῦ τόπος ἐστίν). He does not confine the omnipresence of God to His local presence in one or another spot, but considers it as His uninterrupted activity known only from His works; comp. i. 5. Clem. Alex., too, opposes the localizing of God, Strom. ii. 2, p. 431: Où yàp èv yvódw (a needless conjecture of Rössler's here is ἐν χρόνῳ) ἢ τόπῳ ὁ θεὸς, ἀλλ ̓ ὑπεράνω καὶ τόπου καὶ χρόνου καὶ τῆς τῶν γεγονότων ἰδιότητος· διὸ οὐδὲ ἐν μέρει καταγίνεταί ποτε, οὔτε περιέχων οὔτε περιεχόμενος, ἢ κατὰ ὁρισμόν τινα ἢ κατὰ ȧTотоμn. According to Origen, God sustains and fills the ἀποτομήν. world (which Origen, like Plato, conceives to be an animate being) with His power; but He neither occupies space, nor does He even move in space, comp. De Princip. ii. 1 (Opp. i. p. 77). For an explanation of popular and figurative expres1 Comp. the opinions of the Peripatetics (Sextus Empiricus, adv. Physicos, x. p. 639, ed. Fabricius).

sions, which suggest the occupying of space and change of place, vide Contra Cels. iv. 5, Opp. i. p. 505, and comp. also p. 686. Concerning the expression that God is all in all, see De Princip. iii. 6 (Opp. i. p. 152, 153). Schnitzer, s. 231 f. Baur, Dg. s. 417.

(5) Just. Dial. c. Tryph. c. 127 : Ο γὰρ ἄῤῥητος πατὴρ καὶ κύριος τῶν πάντων οὔτε ποι ἀφίκται, οὔτε περιπατεῖ, οὔτε καθεύδει, οὔτε ἀνίσταται, ἀλλ ̓ ἐν τῇ αὐτοῦ χώρᾳ ὅπου ποτὲ μένει, ὀξὺ ὁρῶν καὶ ὀξὺ ἀκούων, οὐκ ὀφθαλμοῖς οὐδὲ ὠσὶν, ἀλλὰ δυνάμει ἀλέκτῳ· καὶ πάντα ἐφορᾷ καὶ πάντα γίνωσκει, καὶ οὐδεὶς ἡμῶν λέληθεν αὐτόν. Clement, Strom. vi. 17, p. 821 : Ο γάρ τοι θεὸς πάντα οἶδεν, οὐ μόνον τὰ ὄντα, ἀλλὰ καὶ τὰ ἐσόμενα καὶ ὡς ἔσται ἕκαστον· τάς τε ἐπὶ μέρους κινήσεις προορῶν πάντ' ἐφορᾷ καὶ πάντ ̓ ἐπακούει, γυμνὴν ἔσωθεν τὴν ψυχὴν βλέπων, καὶ τὴν ἐπίνοιαν τὴν ἑκάστου τῆς κατὰ μέρος ἔχει δι ̓ αἰῶνος· καὶ ὅπερ ἐπὶ τῶν θεάτρων γίνεται, καὶ ἐπὶ τῶν ἑκάστου μερῶν, κατὰ τὴν ἐνόρασίν τε καὶ περιόρασιν καὶ συνόρασιν, τοῦτο ἐπὶ τοῦ θεοῦ γίνεται. ̓Αθρόως τε γὰρ πάντα καὶ ἕκαστον ἐν μέρει μιᾷ προσβολῇ προσβλέπει. Origen, De Princip. iii. 2 (Opp. i. p. 49), proves that the world is finite, because God could not comprehend it if it were infinite; for that only may be understood which has a beginning. But it were impious to say that there is anything which God does not. comprehend. For Origen's opinion on the relation between the divine foreknowledge and predestination, see § 70, 9.

(6) Origen, De Princip. ii. c. 9, p. 97 (Redep. p. 10): 'Ev Tŷ ἐπινοουμένῃ ἀρχῇ τοσοῦτον ἀριθμὸν τῷ βουλήματι αὐτοῦ ὑποστῆσαι τὸν θεὸν νοερῶν οὐσιῶν, ὅσον ἠδύνατο διαρκέσαι· πεπερασμένην γὰρ εἶναι καὶ τὴν δύναμιν τοῦ θεοῦ λεκτέον κ.τ.λ. But in other places Origen expresses himself in a very appropriate way concerning the divine omnipotence; Contra Cels. v. (Opp. i. p. 595), he shows that God can do all things, but wills nothing which is contrary to nature (παρὰ φύσιν), οὔτε τὰ ἀπὸ κακίας, οὔτε τὰ ἀλόγως γενόμενα.

(7) The holiness of the divine will is the highest law in Tertullian's view. His highest moral law is, not to do the good for the sake of the good, but because it is commanded by God. (Comp. De Pœnit. c. 4.)

(8) The notion of Clement of Alexandria is remarkable, evidently borrowed from the Gnostic doctrine of an ἀῤῥενό

Oŋλus, viz. that the compassion of God presents the female aspect of His character, Quis Div. Salv. p. 956; to which there is an analogy in the Old Testament, Isa. xlix. 15; comp. Neander's Gnostische Systeme, s. 209. The works of Clement, in particular, abound with passages referring to the love and mercy of God. He loves men because they are kindred with God, Coh. p. 89: Πρόκειται δὲ ἀεὶ τῷ θεῷ τὴν ἀνθρώπων ȧyéλnv σwew. Comp. Strom. vii. p. 832. God's love follows owšei. men, seeks them out, as the bird the young that has fallen from its nest, Coh. 74, Pæd. i. p. 102.

(9) Origen, Contra Cels. ii. Opp. i. p. 405, Comment in Gen. Opp. ii. p. 10, 11. For more particulars, comp. the doctrine respecting Human Liberty, § 57.

(10) Here, too, was another point of distinction between Gnosticism and the orthodox Christian view of God; the former did not know how to reconcile the agency of God in inflicting punishment, with His character as loving and redeeming; on this account they felt compelled to separate objectively the just God of the Old Testament from the loving Father of Christians (so Marcion). In opposition to this unwarrantable separation, Irenæus, Tertullian, Clement, Origen, etc., insist particularly on the penal justice of God, and show that it can very well be reconciled with His love. According to Irenæus, Adv. Hær. v. 27, penalty does not consist in anything positive which comes from God, but in the separation of the sinner from God (χωρισμὸς δὲ τοῦ θεοῦ θάνατος). God does not punish προηγητικώς, but ἐπακολουθούσης δι ̓ ἐκείνης (τῆς ἁμαρτίας) τῆς κολάσεως. Tertullian considers the penal justice of God first from the judicial standpoint of the inviolability of law; distinguishing between true love and kindly weakness, he shows that the goodness and justice of God are inseparable; Contra Marc. i. 25, 26, ii. 12: Nihil bonum, quod injustum, bonum autem omne quod justum est. Ita si societas et conspiratio bonitatis atque justitiæ separationem earum non potest capere, quo ore constitues diversitatem duorum deorum in separatione? seorsum deputans Deum bonum et seorsum Deum justum? Illic consistit bonum, ubi et justum. A primordio denique Creator tam bonus quam justus. . . . Bonitas ejus operata est mundum, justitia modulatum est, etc. Comp. c. 13-16 (negabimus Deum, in quo non

« FöregåendeFortsätt »