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therefore, who has true love will rather give way and leave, than disturb the peace of the church (c. 54). With a general exhortation to submission, and the usual benediction, the epistle closes.
III. THE DOCTRINAL VIEWS OF CLEMENT.
4. General Character.
The Epistle of Clement shares the general character of the other writings commonly ascribed to his age-it attempts no formal treatment of doctrine as such; what of doctrine it contains is in the way of allusion, is advanced for a directly practical purpose, and not for its own sake. This is even more completely the case with Clement than with Ignatius or Barnabas. His references to what he deemed facts or conditions of spiritual life and redemption are plain enough; but his treatment of them is either not at all, or very slightly doctrinal. By this circumstance our doctrinal deductions must be guided. We must be on our guard against pressing his language in any one direction, whether for or against the orthodox system. At the same time, in view of the general character of his mind and of the position he occupied (to which we shall refer more fully hereafter), we must also guard against treating his words too lightly. We must allow that he felt in a broad manner the force of the terms he uses, even if we deny them to be the outflow of distinct doctrinal reflection. For though, as a man of a thoroughly practical turn, and living at a stage of the history of Christianity when there had as yet no palpable necessity arisen for a philosophical discussion of its doctrines, he advances his thoughts without scientific aim or precision, the culture, harmony, and masculine good sense which mark his epistle, force us to suppose that he, at all events, understood what he was about, and felt the weight of what he taught. Nor may we forget that, though the immediate successors of the apostles found no necessity for, and evinced no inclination to, theological speculation as
such, the fact of their standing in practical antagonism to Judaism on the one hand, and heathenism on the other, would compel them to weigh well the substance of the thoughts and the nature of the facts which they advanced, even where there was an absence of formal precision. Guided by these considerations, we will now examine the main doctrinal features of the Epistle of Clement.
§ 5. Its Representations of the Person of Christ. Clement's references to the person of Christ may be classed under three rubrics: those which affect,
1. His relation to God,
2. His personal character and endowments, 3. His relation to men.
1. The references to Christ's relation to God.
The most important passage bearing on Christ's relation to God is contained in the thirty-sixth chapter. Translated, it runs as follows: "This is the way, beloved, in which we found our salvation, Jesus Christ, the High Priest of our offerings, the protector and helper of our weakness. Through him we gaze up to the heights of the heavens; through him we look as in a mirror on his [God's] faultless and most excellent countenance; through him the eyes of our heart are opened; through him our stupid and darkened understanding shoots up into his wonderful light; through him the Lord willed that we should taste of immortal knowledge; who being the brightness of his majesty is by so much. greater than the angels as he hath inherited a more excellent name. For it is written thus: He who maketh his angels spirits and his ministers flames of fire'; but concerning the Son, the Lord spake on this wise, 'thou art my Son, this day have I begotten thee; ask of me and I will give thee nations for thine inheritance and the ends of the earth for thy possession.' And again he saith to him: Sit at my right hand till I make thine enemies thy footstool.' Who then are the enemies? The wicked and those who oppose the will of God." The most weighty portion of
this remarkable passage is identical with part of the first chapter of the Epistle to the Hebrews, and is, in all proba bility, a quotation from it. For our present purpose, however, it is a matter of indifference whether Clement be supposed to be quoting or not. Nor is it of consequence to justify his use and application of the passages from the Old Testament interwoven with his own words. All we have to do with, is his own conception of Christ, conveyed through the medium of quotation, or in his own language, as the case may be. Jesus Christ is μείζων ἀγγέλων, τὸ ἀπαύγασμα τῆς μεγαλοσύνης of God, Son of God, begotten by God, and his enemies are the enemies of God.
a. Christ is greater than the angels. In c. 34 he exhorts the Corinthians to "consider the entire multitude of the angels of God, how they do his will"; and in c. 29 he represents the boundaries of the nations as fixed" according to the number of the angels of God"; from which it would appear that he deemed them to be in some way superior to men, to stand nearer to God. And yet Christ is greater than the angels, greater in the measure in which he has inherited a more excellent name than they. But what other more excellent name can there be than that of angel, a term designating a very high, nay the very highest, order of created beings? The answer is given by Clement in the following words, quoted from Psalm ii., "thou art my Son."
b. Christ is God's Son, begotten by God. Angels, though higher than men, are yet still but servants; Christ is, by contrast, Son. What precise significance Clement attached to this term might be difficult to unfold, but we may be aided by the following considerations: It cannot designate a merely moral sonship, moral unity. If Christ had merely been, in Clement's estimate, a perfectly pure man, who for his eminent godliness was designated Son of God, why should he place him above the angels? It is true he approves, in c. 39, of the expression from Job iv.: "he charges his angels with folly;" but that he understood it
VOL. XXII. No. 87.
in an hyperbolical sense, and not as implying actual sin, is evident both from the words ȧyíwv ảyyéλwv, in the same chapter, and from the praise bestowed on them in c. 34, where he contrasts them with men, and sets them before men as an example of obedience and harmony. Further, the employment of the word yeyévvŋka, "I have begotten thee." However indisposed we may be to press such a word as this, we can scarcely avoid supposing that Clement must have felt, to some extent, its force. Concerning man, in c. 33, he speaks, most distinctly, as made, Toinowμev, ëπλaσev; and in the passage above referred to, in c. 39, angels are ranked with the rest of creation; the sole difference between them and men being their purity and obedience. Conjoining, then, the two words viós and yeyévvŋka, and bearing in mind the considerations just advanced, we are forced to conclude that Clement, as it were spontaneously, if not with a full comprehension of what he was doing, placed Christ in, what we may term, a blood-relationship to God, such as pertains to no creature, not even to that "most excellent creature, man" (c. 33), nor to that still higher creature, the angel. It is very improbable that Clement had any notion whatever of the eternal generation of the Son, which was subsequently based upon, if not deduced from, the words ἐγὼ σήμερον γεγέννηκά σε,1 though some writers have maintained it.
c. We may further notice, also, the expression Kekλnpovóμŋkev in connection with Son. Christ has inherited the name the name which indicates the nature, the name of Son, Son of God, born, not merely made. That which we inherit is ours by right, is ours by natural relationship; and to predicate of Christ a natural relationship to God of this kind, what is it but to make him divine?
d. There are still three remarkable phrases to be noticed in this passage: In Christ we look upon God's faultless countenance; we, who are ourselves the impression of the
1 See Origen; and, in modern times, Treffrey on the "Eternal Sonship," and Clark on Luke i. 14.
image of God (c. 33), see in Christ God's faultless and most excellent face, i.e. the perfect expression of the inmost essence of God.
Again, he is the ἀπαύγασμα τῆς μεγαλοσύνης αὐτοῦ. Man is the "character (xapakтýp) of his image," i.e. of Christ: Christ is the "bright reflection of his majesty." Clement seems really to have sought out the strongest terms he could find, in order to express how fully Christ represents God to us, without exactly styling him God.
And lastly, we read that the enemies of Christ are the enemies of God, which enemies God promises to bring into subjection to Christ. This is a further identification of Christ and God, which, taken together with the entire passage, must be allowed to be weighty. In-short, it is impossible to examine this thirty-sixth chapter without acknowledging that whatever stress may be laid on particular terms, Clement felt no hesitation in putting Christ into a position so close to God, that he only failed to style himGod and divine. He has interwoven with his own words the strongest expressions from (probably) the Epistle to the Hebrews, indicating, by the fact of selection, that it was distinctly his design to set forth Christ with the utmost possible glory short of absolute identification with God himself.
The remaining clauses of this chapter we shall advert to in another connection.
e. The next passage that claims notice is the somewhat obscure one in the sixteenth chapter: "The sceptre of the majesty of God, our Lord Jesus Christ, did not come with pomp and boastings, nor with arrogance, although it was in his power, but in lowliness of mind." From the use here of the impersonal term " sceptre," it might be concluded that Christ stood to God in the relation of a mere instrument. At first sight it seems to be employed in analogy to the word "rod," in Isaiah x. 5: "Ah! the Assyrian, the rod of mine anger"; that as the Assyrian was God's rod, so Christ is the sceptre of his majesty. But apart from the