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To this divine "subordination" it is probable that our Lord referred when He said to His disciples, “ The Father is greater than I” (S. John, xiv. 28). In one sense it is, of course, true that if the Father is God, the Son God, and the Holy Ghost God, “none is greater or less than another,” for the Godhead does not admit of degrees, and of “more” or “less." And accordingly many divines have understood the words of our Lord just cited to refer to Him as incarnate, as they are apparently taken in the Athanasian Creed: “Equal to the Father as touching His Godhead, and inferior to the Father as touching His manhood.” But it is also true that there is a sense in which the Father, as the Source of all the Divinity of both Son and Spirit, is “greater” than either. “The Son is the Father's equal, as partaker of His nature. He is His Subordinate' in that this equality is eternally derived.” 1
4. There is one other truth taught in Holy Scripture, which the Church has summarised in a definite theological term, in order to guard fully the unity of the Holy Trinity. It is the doctrine of the IIepixópnous, or Coinherence, the mutual indwelling of the Three Persons of the Holy Trinity. The doctrine is based on the words of our Lord in S. John xiv. 10, 11, “The Father abiding in Me (ο πατήρ εν εμοί μένων). I am in the Father and the Father in Me”; with which should be compared S. Paul's words of the Holy Spirit in 1 Cor. ii. 11,
Who among men knoweth the things of a man, save the spirit of the man, which is in him? Even so the things of God none knoweth, save the Spirit of God.” The meaning of the doctrine is well stated by Bishop Bull, from whose words it will be clearly seen that it
ի, * Liddon's Bampt th Lectures, p. 234. See Westcott, Commentary on S. John's Gospel, d,
sd note on ch. xiv. 28, for a full summary of Patristic references i text
effectually guards the faith of the Church from any approach to Tritheism, and secures her belief in the unity of the Godhead :
“The Father is the principle of the Son and of the Holy Ghost, and both are propagated from Him ‘by an internal, not by an external, production, from which it results that they are not only of the Father, but in the Father, and the Father in them; and that in the Holy Trinity one Person cannot be separated from the other, as three human persons are divided from one another; for they who hold that the three Hypostases of the Godhead are in this way separate are rightly called Tritheists ... The Father and the Son are in such sense One, as that the Son is in the Father and the Father in the Son; and that the one cannot be separated from the other. This mode of union the Greek theologians call trepixópnous, and the Latins, i.e. the schoolmen, circuminsession περιχώρησις and circuminsession may be said to be that union by which one thing exists in another, not only by participation of its nature, but also by a full and intimate presence.
This kind of inexistence, so to speak, our divines call circuminsession; because by it certain things, however much they may be mutually distinguished from each other without being separated, do yet exist in each other without confusion, and as it were flow into each other.” 1
1 Bull's Ante-Nicene Faith, bk. iv. ch. iv. § 9; cf. Newman's Arians, p. 178 seq. ; and Athanasius, Arian Orations, iii. ch. xxiii., with New. man's Notes,
De Verbo, sive Filio Dei, qui Of the Word or Son of God which verus homo factus est."
was made very man. Filius qui est Verbum Patris, ab The Son, which is the Word of æterno a Patre genitus verus et the Father, begotten from everæternus Deus, ac Patri consub- lasting of the Father, the very and stantialis, in utero beatæ Virginis ex eternal God, of one substance with illius substantia naturam humanam the Father, took man's nature in assumpsit: ita ut duæ naturæ, the womb of the Blessed Virgin, divina et humana, integre atque of her substance : so that two whole perfecte in unitate personæ, fuerint and perfect natures, that is to say inseparabiliter conjunctæ : ex qui- the Godhead and manhood, were bus est unus Christus, verus Deus joined together in one person, never et verus homo : qui vere passus est, to be divided, whereof is one Christ, crucifixus, mortuus, et sepultus, ut very God and very man, who truly Patrem nobis reconciliaret, essetque suffered, was crucified, dead, and hostia ? non tantum pro culpa ori. buried, to reconcile His Father to ginis, verum etiam pro omnibus us, and to be a sacrifice, not only actualibus hominum peccatis. for original guilt, but also for all
actual sins of men.
The original Article in the series of 1553 identical with our present one, except that in it the clause on the eternal generation and Divinity of the Son (“Begotten of one substance with the Father") was wanting. It was drawn almost word for word from the third of the Thirteen Articles of 1538, which, in
1 The title in the editions of 1553 and 1563 was Verbum Dei verum hominem esse factum, “that the Word or Son of God was made very man."
* This word is wanting in the Latin edition published by Wolfe in 1563, by the express authority of the Queen. It is, however, found in the editions of 1553, in the Parker MS. of 1563, and in the editions of 1571. The omission was therefore probably due to an accidental error of the press.
its turn, was taken entirely from the Confession of Augsburg
The clause on the eternal generation and Divinity of the Son was inserted in the edition of 1563 by Archbishop Parker, being suggested by the corresponding article in the Confession of Würtemburg.
This Article, like the previous one, was aimed against the Anabaptists, many of whom were unsound on the cardinal doctrine of our Lord's Divinity, reviving the Arian heresy, while others had adopted peculiar and heretical notions of the Incarnation, and others again rejected altogether the doctrine of the Atonement, denying that Christ is the Messiah and Saviour of the world, and actually venturing to speak of Him as "a mischievous fellow and deceiver of the world."
So early as 1535 we find that fourteen Anabaptists were condemned to the stake, for maintaining, among other things, that “in Christ is not two natures, God and man; and that Christ took neither flesh nor blood of the Virgin Mary”;4 and as late as 1379, one Matthew Hamant was burnt at Norwich for teaching that “ Christ is not God nor the Saviour of the world, but a mere man, a sinful man, and an abominable idol.” 5 There are three principal subjects considered in this Article, which falls accordingly into three principal clauses-
* Conf. August. iii., “ De Filio Dei. Item docent quod Werbum, hoc est Filius Dei, assumpserit humanam naturam in utero beatæ Mariæ Virginis, ut sint duæ naturæ, divina et humana, in unitate persone inseparabiliter conjunctæ, unus Christus, vere Deus et vere homo, matus ex Virgine Maria, vere passus, crucifixus, mortuus et sepultus, ut reconciliaret nobis Patrem, et hostia esset non tantum pro culpa origiảnis sed etiam pro omnibus actualibus hominum peccatis. Item descendit ad inferos,” etc.
2 See the passage from the Reformatio Legum Ecclesiasticarum, “De hæresibus," ch. 5, quoted below on Article IV. p. 182.
* See the striking letter of Bishop Hooper, quoted above in the Introduction, p. 22.
* Stow's Chronicle.
6 Hollinshed, and of. Strype, Annals, vol. iii. p. 557, for a similar case a few years later.
1. The Divinity and eternal generation of the Son.
I. The Divinity and eternal generation of the Son.
“ The Son, which is the Word of the Father, begotten from everlasting of the Father, the very and eternal God, of one substance with the Father.” Each expression in this clause requires careful consideration.
The Son. Bishop Pearson ? points out that there are four subordinate senses in which this title is given to our Lord. He is the Son
(a) As born of the Holy Ghost, of the Virgin Mary. See S. Luke i. 35: “The Holy Ghost shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee: wherefore also that which is to be born shall be called holy, the Son of God.”
(6) As designed by God's special will to His high office. See S. John x. 34-36: “If He called them gods, unto whom the word of God came (and the Scripture cannot be broken), say ye of Him whom the Father sanctified and sent into the world, Thou blasphemest; because I said, I am the Son of God ?"
(c) As raised by God from the dead. See Rom. i. 4: “ Declared to be the Son of God with power, according to the Spirit of holiness, by the resurrection of the dead.” Cf. Acts xiii. 33. (d) As appointed heir of all things. See Heb. i. 2–5:
i “ His Son, whom He appointed heir of all things
Pearson On the Creed, Art. II. ch. iii.