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had an overweening confidence in external means, and was far less distinguished by a truly religious interest than the Nicene party. “On the side of the Arians,” he says, “the religious and dogmatic interest was ever subordinate to the political, and, as the whole period covered by the reigns of Constantine and Constantius shows, was interwoven with a whole series of machinations and court intrigues.”1

The tyrannical pressure of Constantius drove the Nicene party into the shade, and caused not a few instances of defection within its ranks. But unflinching advocates still sustained its cause. Athanasius, in particular, was unmoved by the storm of adversity, and his ardor was in no wise cooled by his repeated experience of banishment. This outward defeat of the Nicene party, however, prepared for the overthrow of the opposing forces. As the victory against the former appeared secure, the latter began to break ranks. The strict Arians thought it no longer necessary to train under the banner of the semi-Arians, and began to give open and definite expression of their sentiments. Aëtius and his disciple Eunomius, who were prominent among the later champions of that cause, taught Arianism in terms more disparaging to the nature of the Son than Arius himself had presumed to employ. This naturally alienated the semi-Arians; and, as they were made to feel the pressure of an Arian persecution at the hands of Valens, they found it easy to coalesce with the orthodox, from whom, indeed, a section of their party had never been very widely separated as respects doctrinal beliefs. The victory, therefore, had already been prepared for orthodoxy when the second ecumenical council assembled at Constantinople, in the year 381, under the auspices of the Emperor Theodosius. By that council the Nicene creed was successfully re-affirmed. Arianism appeared thereafter as a vanquished foe, and found little place except among certain of the barbarian tribes, in whose midst it maintained itself till the sixth century.

1 Dogmengeschichte.


Before the three-score years of struggle with Arianism had come to a close, another controversy arose, involving still more prolonged agitations, — indeed, invading the peace of the Church more or less for the space of three centuries. This was the controversy concerning the person of Christ, concerning the presence and the relation of the divine and the human in Him. Apollinaris, Bishop of Laodicea in Syria, introduced the first stage in this long contention by his teaching that the pre-existent Logos took the place of the rational soul in Christ, so that His incarnation involved no assumption of this part of human nature. The theory of Apollinaris was denounced in different quarters, and finally received an authoritative condemnation from the council of Constantinople in 381.

It was not, however, till the early part of the fifth century that the more turbulent era of the Christological controversy was introduced. The strife which then arose, so far as it was not the product of mere personal rivalries and ambitions, had its source in the diverse spirit and tendencies of the Antiochian and the Alexandrian schools. The former, which counted among

its exponents Diodorus of Tarsus and Theodore of Mop. suestia, was distinguished by its bent to sober and criti. cal exegesis. This naturally made them observant of the extent to which the New Testament ascribes to the Redeemer the purely human as well as the divine. They accordingly gave emphasis to the human factor, and distinguished broadly between the two natures in Christ. The Alexandrian school, on the other hand, had a leaning toward mysticism, was disposed to emphasize the divine in Christ, and dwelt rather upon the thorough union of the human with the divine than upon the distinction between the two natures. Neither of these tendencies necessarily involved positive heresy, but it was easy for either to pass on to an heretical extreme.

These two schools came to a collision in the persons of Cyril, Bishop of Alexandria, and Nestorius, Bishop of Constantinople. To neither of these can an unqualified sympathy be awarded. In personal character Nestorius was doubtless superior to the ambitious, unscrupulous, vengeful Cyril ; but he, too, was a very selfassertatory and unfair disputant. Each placed the worst

. construction upon the statements of the other; and, pursuing this method, each had about equal ground for casting the odium of heresy upon the other. If the worst construction of some of the sentences of Nestorius involves him in the error of compromising the unity of Christ's person, no less does the worst construction of some of Cyril's sentences involve him in the error of confounding the two natures in Christ.

i Cyril, in the third of his Twelve Anathemas, speaks of the divine and the human in Christ as being combined in ērwow Dvouknu. In Epist. xl., Ad Acacium, after remarking that ideally, or in conception, we may speak of two natures having been united in Christ, he adds, “But after the union, as if now the division into two were taken away, we believe that there is one nature of the Son,” -μετά δέ γε την ένωσιν, ώς ανηρημένης ήδη γε της εις δύο διατομής, μίαν πιστεύομεν τήν του νέου φύσιν. Cyril may have made some statements which modified the natural significance of these expressions. But his phraseology was decidedly objectionable, and the art of the interpreter is quite as much needed to save his orthodoxy as it is to rescue that of Nestorius.

If Cyril ought not to be charged with this error, equally well may Nestorius be acquitted of consciously entertaiving the heresy charged against him. No doubt he had not arrived at the most finished and guarded statement of the subject of Christology. But, on a question so little developed as was this at that time, the intent of a man is not to be judged by the extreme of the consequences toward which his position might be regarded as tending. Defective statement and lack of complete mental consistency are quite different from a clear and decided apprehension and advocacy of an heretical tenet. That Nestorius was guilty of the latter, is unproved. Certainly his disinclination to apply to Mary the term theotokos (Mother of God), which was the grand occasion of the crusade against him, is no adequate proof against his orthodoxy. For, as Nestorius explained, his objection to this terın lay in the unseemly heathenish assumption which it might convey respecting the parentage of Deity. Moreover, he expressed himself as will. ing to accept the term on condition that it should be guarded from the obnoxious sense. But the crusade had been begun. Cyril was supported by the Roman bishop, and was determined that Nestorius should be humbled. In the council convened at Ephesus in 431, he secured the emphatic condemnation of Nestorius, though at the expense of an unseemly haste in anticipating the arrival of the Oriental bishops. This slight occasioned a schism in the council. The coveted vengeance upon Nestorius was also delayed by the reluctance of the Emperor to sacrifice the patriarch with whom he had held friendly relations; but at length, in 435, Cyril was gratified by the banishment of his hated rival. Two or three years before, a supplement had been made to the unfinished work of the council of Ephesus by the adoption of a creed designed to reconcile contending parties. This creed, which was signed by Cyril among others, affirmed the term theotokos, but at the same time was careful to affirm two natures in Christ. It was a creed which, as Neander and Gieseler state, could have been signed by Nestorius without the sacrifice of a conscientious scruple.

Nestorius died in exile. But the victory over him had its offset. A schism arose that has never been healed. While denied tolerance under Christian emperors, the sect of the Nestorians found refuge in Persia. They were quite flourishing for several centuries, but suffered greatly from the terrible ravages of Tamerlane, near the end of the fourteenth century. A branch of them, known as the “ Thomas Christians,” became established in India.

The bent of the Alexandrian school toward the opposite of the heresy with which Nestorius was charged was revealed soon after his condemnation. The doctrine of Eutyches, a monk of Constantinople, that there is only one nature in Christ (the human in Him being assimilated to the divine, and His body being of different substance from that of ours), though condemned

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