A Manual Of Catholic Theology, Based On Scheeben's Dogmatik
Joseph Wilhelm, D.D., PHD. And Thomas B. Scannell, D.D.
With A Preface By Cardinal Manning
Vol. 1. The Sources Of Theological Knowledge, God, Creation And The Supernatural Order
Third Edition, Revised, London, Kegan Paul, Trench, Trubner & Co., Lt.
New York, Cincinnati, Chicago, Benziger Bros.
THE TRINITY IN SCRIPTURE.
SECT. 92. --The Trinity in the New Testament.
IN the Old Testament, the dogma of one God, Creator, and Ruler of the world is the doctrine round which all others are grouped; the Trinity of Persons is only mentioned with more or less distinctness in connection with the Incarnation. In the New Testament, on the contrary, the mystery of the Trinity is the central point of doctrine; it is here, therefore, that we must begin our investigation. We shall first consider the texts treating of the three Divine Persons together, and afterwards those treating of each Person in particular. We shall prove from Scripture the Personality of each Person as distinguished from the others by the mode of origin, and then the Divinity of each, from which the essential identity of the Three Persons flows as a consequence.
I. In the Gospels the Three Persons are mentioned at four of the most important epochs of the history of Revelation, viz. (1) at the Annunciation (Luke i. 35); (2) at the Baptism of our Lord and the beginning of His public life (Matt. iii. 13, sqq.); (3) in the last solemn speech of our Lord before His Passion (John xiv., xv., xvi.); and (4) after His Passion and before His Ascension, when giving the Apostles the commandment to preach and to baptize (Matt, xxviii. 19). Of these texts, the third is the most explicit as to the distinction of the Persons; the fourth points out best the distinction and unity, and declares at the same time that the Trinity is the fundamental dogma of the Christian Faith. The second text gives us the most perfect external manifestation of the Three Persons: the Son in His visible Nature, the Holy Ghost as a Dove, the Father speaking in an audible Voice.
1. Luke i. 35: "The Holy Ghost (Greek) shall come upon thee, and the power of the Most High shall overshadow thee, and therefore also the Holy which shall be born of thee shall be called the Son of God" The "Most High" is here God as Father of the Son, according to ver. 32: "He shall be great, and shall be called the Son of the Most High."
2. St. Matthew (iii. 16, 17), relating the baptism of Christ, says, "And Jesus, being baptized, forthwith came out of the water: and, lo, the heavens were opened to Him: and He. saw the Spirit of God descending, as a dove, and coming upon Him. And, behold, a voice from heaven, saying, This is My beloved Son, in Whom I am well pleased."
3. In the speech after the Last Supper, as recorded by St. John, three passages occur which may be connected thus: "/ will ask the Father and He shall give you another Paraclete, that He may abide with you for ever, the Spirit of truth (xiv. 16). . . . "But when the Paraclete shall come, Whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, Who proceedeth from the Father, He shall give testimony of Me (xv. 26). . . . But when He, the Spirit of truth, shall come, He will teach you all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself, but what things soever He shall hear, He shall speak. . . . He shall glorify Me, because He shall receive of Mine and will declare (it) to you. All things whatsoever the Father hath, are Mine; therefore I said that He shall receive of Mine and declare it to you." (xvi. 13-15).
4. The command to baptize: "Go ye therefore and teach all nations; baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost." (Matt, xxviii. 19). The form of Baptism is here given as the first thing to be taught to the receiver of the Sacrament. The import of the teaching is this: the three subjects named, Father, Son, and Holy Ghost, are They by Whose authority and power Baptism works the forgiveness of sin and confers sanctifying grace, and are They for Whose Majesty the baptized are taken possession of and put under obligation --in other words, to Whose honour and worship they are consecrated. The latter meaning is more prominent in the Greek formula (Greek), the former more in the Latin in nomine. Hence (a) the Father, Son, and Holy Ghost are three Persons, because only persons possess power and authority, (b} They are distinct Persons, because distinguished by different names, (c) They are equal in power and dignity, and all possess Divine power, because they all stand in the same relation to the baptized: for- giving sin, conferring sanctifying grace, exacting worship and submission of the kind required in baptism, are Divine prerogatives, (d) The singular number, "in the name," indicates that the Divine Dignity which this formula ex- presses is not multiplied in the Three Persons, but is undivided, so that the one Divine principle and end proposed to the baptized is likewise but one Divine Being. Cf. Franzelin, De Trin., thes. iii.
II. From the Epistles four passages are commonly selected in which the Three Persons appear at the same time as distinct and of the same Essence. The strongest would be the comma Johanneum (i John v. 7), the authenticity of which is, indeed, disputed, but which, on Catholic principles, may be defended. See, on this point, the exhaustive dissertation of Franzelin, l.c , thes. iv., and Wiseman's Letters on I John v. 7.
1. "No man can say the Lord Jesus but by the Holy Ghost. Now, there are diversities of graces, but the same Spirit; and there are diversities of ministries, but the same Lord [= Christ, the Son of God]; and there are diversities of operations, but the same God [= the Father], Who worketh all in all." (i Cor. xii. 3-6).
2. "The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ, and the charity of God, and the communication of the Holy Ghost be with you all." (2 Cor. xiii. 13).
3. "To the elect . . . according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, unto the sanctification of the Spirit, unto obedience and sprinkling of the blood of Jesus Christ." (i Pet. i. i, 2).
4. "Who is he that overcometh the world, but he that believeth that Jesus is the Son of God ? This is He that ' came by water and blood, Jesus Christ; not in water only, but in water and blood. And it is the Spirit which testifieth that Christ is the truth. For there are three who give testimony in heaven, the Father, the Word, and the Holy Ghost: and these three are one. And there are three that give testimony on earth, the spirit, the water, and the blood: and these three are one. If we receive the testimony of men, the testimony of God is greater" (i John v. 5-9).
The sense of the context is not without difficulty. It depends upon the question whether St. John had in view the error of the Gnostics, who attributed to Christ an apparent, not a real body; or that of the Corinthians, who distinguished Christ the Son of God from the man Jesus, and taught that, at the Baptism, the Son of God descended upon Jesus, but left Him again at the Passion. In the first supposition, St. John had to prove the reality of the humanity of Christ; and, in this case, the water is the water that flowed from His side on the cross, and the "spirit" of vers. 6 and 8 is the spirit (= soul) which Jesus gave up on the cross (cf. John xix. 30, 34, 35). In the second supposition (which is to us by far the more probable) the point was to prove the unity, constant and indissoluble, of Jesus with the Son of God; and, in this case, ver. 6 means: This Jesus, Who is the Son of God, came as Son of God in the blood of His Passion as well as in the water of the Jordan, and has shown what He is by sending the Holy Ghost and His gifts on the day of Pentecost as He had promised. In each of these three events, a testimony was given in favour of the dignity of Jesus as Son of God and Christ: at His Baptism, the voice of the Father; at the Passion, the affirmation of Jesus Himself; on the day of Pentecost, the Holy Ghost fulfilling the promises made by Jesus. St. John points to this continued threefold testimony as a proof of the continued unity of Christ, and he strengthens and explains the uniformity of this testimony on earth, by adding (ver. 7) that it corresponds with the three Heavenly Witnesses, from Whom it proceeded, and each of Whom had His share in it. In this connection, the unity asserted in ver. 7 need not be of the same order as that of ver. 8, viz. the unity of testimony; on the contrary, as it contains the highest reason of the latter, it must be of a higher order. At any rate, the Witnesses of ver. 7 appear as Persons giving testimony, whereas the witnesses of ver. 8 appear as the instrument or the vehicle of the testimony. Hence the unity of the witnesses in ver. 8 can be no other than a unity or uniformity of testimony; but the unity of the personal Witnesses, affirmed without any restriction, must be taken as an absolute and essential unity, in consequence of which They act in absolute uniformity when giving testimony that is, They appear as one Witness, with one and the same authority, knowledge, and veracity. This is still more manifest from ver. 9, where the former testimonies are simply described as "the testimony of God," and opposed to the testimony of man; consequently the Heavenly Witnesses must be One, because They are the one true God.
III. The doctrine contained in the above texts is further strengthened and developed in the passages relating to one or other of the Three Persons. The Personality and Divinity of the Father require no special treatment, because they are unquestioned, and, besides, are necessarily implied in the personal character of the Son. As to God the Son, His distinct Personality and origin from God the Father are so clearly contained in the name of Son, that only the identity of Substance requires further proof. But both Personality and identity of Essence must be distinctly proved of the Third Person, Whose name, Spirit, is not necessarily the name of a person, but rather the name of something belonging to a person.
SECT. 93. --The Doctrine of the New Testament on God the Son.
I. The doctrine of the New Testament on the Son of God centres in the idea of His true and perfect Sonship: if true Son, He is of the same Essence as the Father; if of the same Essence as God the Father, He is God just as the Father is.
The texts treating expressly of the Divinity of the Son are chiefly found in St. John's Gospel and in his First Epistle, especially in the introduction to chap. i. of the Gospel, and in three speeches of the Son of God Himself: (1) after healing the man who had been eight and thirty years under his infirmity (v. 17 sqq.); (2) in defence of His Divine authority, in the continuation of His description of the Good Shepherd (x. 14); (3) in the sacerdotal prayer after the Last Supper (xvii.), in explanation of His position as mediator. Other classical texts are Heb. i. and Col. i. 13-20.
II. The Filiation of the Son of God is a filiation in the strictest sense of the word that is, a relation founded upon the communication of the same living essence and nature.
1. This first results from the manner in which the name "Son of God" is used in Holy Scripture. That name is, indeed, also applied to beings not of the same essence as the Father, in order to express an analogical sonship, based upon adoption, love, or some other analogy. In such cases, however, the name is used as a common noun, and never applied in the singular, as a distinctive name to any single individual, as it is applied to the Person called Word of God, Jesus, and Christ. On the other hand, this Person is distinguished, as being the Son of God (Greek) and the only begotten (Greek) Son of God, from all creatures, even the highest angels and the beings most favoured by grace; so that His Sonship is given as the ideal and the principle of the adoptive sonship granted to men or angels. Hence, when applied to the Son of God, the term "Son" must be taken in its strict and proper sense, there being no reason to the contrary.
In illustration of these propositions, see, for instance, Gal. iv. 7; Apoc. xxi. 7; Exod. iv. 22. "For to which of the Angels hath He said at any time, Thou art My Son?" etc. (Heb. i. 5). The comparison of the real with the adoptive sonship is found in the beginning of the Epistle to the Hebrews and of the Gospel of St. John (see Heb. i. I. 3, 5, 6; John i. 12). The Jews who did not acknowledge Jesus as the Messiah, considered it as arrogance on His part to call Himself "the Son of God" even in the weaker sense, but they treated His claim to be the Son equal to the Father as blasphemy (John v. 18), and demanded His death on that count (Matt. xxvi. 63; Luke xxii. 66-71; John xix. 7).
The difficulty which some find in John x. 35, 36, where, according to them, Christ claims no other sonship than that granted to creatures, vanishes if we compare Christ's words with the accusation which He was repelling. The Jews had said, "We stone Thee because that Thou, being a man, makest Thyself God." To this Jesus replies, "The fact of My being a man does not essentially prevent Me from being also God. And if God called His servants gods, a fortiori, the name must be given to the Man to Whom the Father has given power over the whole world, Whom He has constituted the Heir of His dominions, and Who, in the Psalm quoted, stands out as God before the gods. And if I call Myself the Son of God, it is because I claim to be that Heir of God Who, in the Psalm, is introduced as the Judging God." Cf. Franzelin, De Verb. Incarn., th. vii.
2. The Filiation of the Son of God is further determined Epithets of in its true character by the epithets which Holy Scripture Filiation. gives it. The Son of God is called "True Son" (i John v. 20); "the own (Greek) Son" (Rom. viii. 32); the "only-begotten Son," unigenitus, (in Greek) (John iii. 16, and i. 14); "the beloved Son" (Matt. iii. 17, and Col. i. 13); "the only-begotten Son Who is in the bosom of the Father,'' and there alone beholds God (John i. 18); "the Son born of the Father" (Heb. v. 5, from Ps. ii. 7); "ex utero genitus" (Ps. cix. 3, in the Vulg.); "proceeding from God," (Greek phrase) (John viii. 42). If sometimes the Son of God is called "First-born" among many brethren, or from the dead, or of all creatures, the sense is that the Son of God, as only true Son, is not merely begotten by His Father before any creature received existence, but that He also is the exemplar, the principle, and the last end of all beings (Apoc. iii. 14), and especially of the adoption of rational beings into the Sonship of God. This idea is magnificently set forth in Col. i. 12-19, the classical text on the primogeniture of Christ: "Giving thanks to God the Father, . . . Who hath translated us into the kingdom of the Son of His love; . . . Who is the image of the invisible God, the First-born of every creature: for in Him were all things created in heaven and on earth, visible and invisible:...all things were created by Him and in Him (Greek): and He is before all, and by Him all things consist." On the ground of this original primo- geniture now follows the other: "And He is the Head of the body, the Church: Who is the Beginning, the First-born from the dead: that in all things He may hold the primacy, because in Him it hath well pleased the Father that all fulness should dwell."
These passages fully show that the formal and proper reason why Christ is called Son of God is not His wonderful generation and regeneration as man. Texts which seem to imply this ought to be interpreted so as to agree with the above.
3. The reality and perfection of the Sonship is further described when the Son is presented as the most perfect image of the Father, reproducing the glory, the Substance the Nature and the fulness of the Divinity of the Father, equal to the Father, and a perfect manifestation or revelation of His perfection. "His Son . . . Who, being the brightness of His glory, and the figure of His substance, and upholding all things by the word of His power "(Heb. i. 3); "Who, being in the form of God, thought it no robbery to be equal to God" (Phil. ii. 6; see also Col. i. 15, 20, and ii. 9; John xiv. 9).
II. The Son of God is represented in the New Testament as God just as His Father is, all the names and attributes of God being bestowed upon Him.
1. The substantive nouns "God" and "Lord," are given to the Person Who is also named the Son of God, in such a manner that nothing but the possession of the Divine Essence can be signified by them.
(a) The name "God," (Greek) besides the express affirmation that "the Word was God" (John i. i), is applied at least five times to the Person of God the Son: John xx. 28 (Greek); Heb. i. 8, quoting from Ps. xliv., where (the Greek) renders the Hebrew Elohim; "Waiting for the coming of the great God and our Saviour" (Tit. ii. 13); "That we may know the true God, and may be in His true Son: This is the true God, and life eternal" (i John v. 20; also Rom. ix. 5). These expressions are the more significant because in the New Testament the name (in Greek) is exclusively reserved for God. Besides this, there are in the New Testament many quotations from the Old Testament in which texts undoubtedly referring to God, because the ineffable name Jehovah is their subject, are applied to Christ For instance Heb. i. 6 = Ps. xcvi. 7; Heb. i. 10-12 = Ps. ci. (or cii. in the Hebrew); Mai. iii. i, quoted by Mark i. 2, Matt. xi. 10, Luke vii. 27. The explanation of the name Jehovah as "the First and the Last," given in the Old Testament, is, in the New Testament, repeatedly applied to Christ, with the similar expressions, "Beginning and End," "Alpha and Omega," "Who is, Who was, and Who is to come" (Apoc. i. 17; xxi. 6; xxii. 13).
(b] The name "Lord" is more commonly given to the "Lord." Son of God than the name God. When the Father and the Son are mentioned together, and the Father is called God, the Son is always called the Lord. The reason of this difference, after what has been said above, is not that the Son of God ought not to be called God as well as Lord. Where the Son is named Lord, He appears as manifesting in His Incarnation the dominion or sovereignty of God, Whose ambassador He is, and as the holder of a special sovereignty in His quality of Head of creation generally and of mankind in particular. On the other hand, God the Father, as the "unoriginated" holder of the Divine Nature, may be emphatically called God. Moreover, the way in which Holy Scripture applies the name of Lord to the Son of God, and the way in which it qualifies the same, clearly show that this name expresses in Christ a truly Divine excellence and dignity, just as the name God expresses the Divine Essence and Nature. Consequently, Lord in the New Testament is equivalent to Adonai in the Old. In the Old Testament the title "the Lord" had become a proper name of God; it would, therefore, never be applied without restriction and as a proper name to a person who did not possess the same Divine dignity. But no restriction is made; on the contrary, Christ is called "the only sovereign Ruler and Lord" Dominator et Dominus, (also in Greek) --(Jude 4); "the Lord of glory (1 Cor. ii. 8); "the Lord of Lords and King of Kings" (Apoc. xvii. 14, and elsewhere). The sovereignty of the "Lord of all "necessarily extends to all that comes from God, and is the foundation of the unity of the Christian worship in opposition to the worship of many lords by the heathen (cf. I Cor. viii. 5, 6).
2. Not only are the substantive nouns "God" and "Lord" given to the Son of God, but likewise all the predicates which express attributes proper to God alone, are stated of Him. Christ Himself (John xvi. 15) claims all such predicates: "All things whatsoever the Father hath, are Mine."And again, "All things that are Mine are Thine, and Thine are Mine" (xvii. 10). "What things soever (the Father) doeth, these the Son also doeth in like manner" (v. 19).
In detail, the Son is described as equal to the Father in the possession of that being and life in virtue of which God is the principle of all being and of all life out- side of Him; in the possession of the attributes connected with such essential being and life; and particularly in the Divine dignity which makes God the object of adoration. "All things were made by Him [the Word], and without Him was made nothing that was made" (John i. 3; cf. Col. i. 16, 17; I Cor. viii. 6; John viii. 25). "As the Father raiseth up the dead and giveth life, so the Son also giveth life to whom He will. . . . For, as the Father hath life in Himself, so He hath given to the Son also to have life in Himself" (John v. 21, 26; i John i. 2, etc.).
The texts in which the Son is represented as the principle through Whom (per quem, (Greek) all things are made, and the Father as the principle from Whom (ex quo, Greek) all things are made, do not deny the equality of the Son with the Father, but point to the different manner in which the Son possesses the Divine Nature, viz. as principium de principio; that is, as communicated to Him by the Father. This remark also solves most of the apparent difficulties arising from texts where Christ seems to object to certain Divine attributes being given to Him, as John v. 19; vii. 16; Matt. xx. 28. In Mark xiii. 32 the question is not whether the end of the world is known to the Son of God, but whether the knowledge is communicable.
The eternity of the Son is indicated where He is said to have existed before the world (John i. I; xvii. 5, 28; viii. 58); His omnipresence by the assertion that He is in heaven and on earth; His omniscience by His knowledge of the hearts of men and His prevision of the future; His omnipotence appears in the miracles which He worked by His own power, and also in the forgiveness of sin; He proclaims Himself the sovereign Teacher, Lawgiver, and Judge when He says, "All power is given to Me in heaven and in earth." (Matt, xxviii. 18; John v. 22).
3. If the Son of God is truly such, if He is God and Lord, if He possesses the attributes proper to God alone, to the Son. 1 Divine honour should certainly be paid to Him. We find Him laying claim to this honour, "that all may honour the Son as (Greek)) they honour the Father" (John v. 23). And the Apostle declares that it is due: "In the name of Jesus every knee should bow, of those that are in heaven, on earth, and under the earth" (Phil. ii. 10). See Card. Newman's Athanasius, i. p. 144. On the Divine attributes and works of Christ, consult Bellarmine, Controv. de Christo, 1. i., c. 7, 8; Greg, of Valentia, De Trin. I. i. On His Divine dignity see Franzelin, De Verb. Incarn., th. v.; Knoll. De Deo, 86.
III. The likeness of the Essence of the Son to that of Unity of the Father, implied in His Sonship and Divinity, necessarily consists in a perfect and indivisible unity of Essence. For there can be but one God, and the Son is spoken of as the God (Greek) consequently as one with the Father. The same unity of Essence is formally affirmed by Christ: "I and the Father are one," (Greek) (John x. 30). "Believe the works, that you may know and believe that the Father is in Me, and I in the Father" (ibid. 38). The unity could not be affirmed so absolutely if it did not refer to real identity of being; and the mutual immanence or (Greek), of which the Saviour speaks (x. 38) is only conceivable on the hypothesis of absolute identity of Essence and Nature.
IV. The whole doctrine on the Son of God is magnificently summed up in the prologue to the Gospel of St John. The Evangelist represents the Second Person of the Trinity as He was before and independently of the Incarnation, viz. as He is in Himself. He is introduced as (Greek), Verbum, the Word, emphatically, in which the fulness of the Divine Wisdom is substantially expressed and personified, which, therefore, is one and the same substance with God, and not a new being. This Word is "with God" that is, a Person distinct from the God Who speaks the Word; but, being the expression of His truth and wisdom, the Word is of the same Substance as the Divine Speaker. As a Person by Himself, but yet of the same Substance as God, the Word is "God" (Greek; without the article) that is, possessor of the Divine Nature, and as truly God as the Divine Person of Whom and with Whom the Word is. As possessor of the Divine Nature, the Word is the principle of all extra-Divine existence, life, and knowledge, and therefore in Himself "the Life" that enliveneth all, and "the Light" that enlighteneth all. The Word existed "in the beginning" that is, before any created thing, and was Itself without beginning, like the Divine Wisdom of which It is the expression; and It existed, positively and eminently "in the beginning" that is, before all creatures, of which the Word of Wisdom is .the principle and which are made by Its power. The Word, therefore, is not created or made in time, but generated from all eternity out of the Wisdom of the Father as His only Word, and hence It is called "the only begotten of the Father." (ver. 14), Who indeed came down into the flesh with the plenitude of His grace and truth, but, at the same time, remained in the bosom of the Father (ver. 1 8). Principle for V. It cannot be denied that the New Testament presents many difficulties against the Filiation, Divinity, and identity of Essence of God the Son. In general these difficulties arise from expressions used in a symbolical, analogical, or metaphorical sense, the true literal sense of which ought to be determined from the nature of the subject- matter; or they arise from the fact that the Son of God is commonly spoken of as God-man, and consequently is made the subject of many new attributes which could not be predicated of Him if He was only God. Other predicates, attributable to Him in virtue of His Divinity or of His origin from the Father, receive, as it were, a new shade or colouring when applied to the God-man, and are expressed in a way otherwise unallowable. In some passages, e.g. those relating to the sending of the Son by the Father, all the above causes of difficulties are at work. This Divine mission is entirely unlike human missions; it refers to the Person of the Son either before the Incarnation, or in the Incarnation, or to the functions of His human nature after the Incarnation. In the first two cases the mission is not an act of authority on the part of the Father, but rests simply on the relation of origin between Father and Son. In the last case only such an authority can be understood as is common to Father and Son over the human nature in Christ (cf. infra, 1 08). The same reflections apply to all the texts in which the Son is said to "receive" from the Father, to obey Him, to honour Him, or, in general, to acknowledge that the Father is His Divine principle. Such texts admit of various interpretations, which accounts for the diversity of explanations given by the Fathers and the Theologians.
SECT. 94. --The Doctrine of the New Testament on the Holy Ghost.
The impersonal character and the vagueness of the name Thesis. "Spirit," "Ghost," "Spirit of the Father," etc., by which Holy Scripture designates the Third Person of the Trinity, make it necessary to prove that this name really designates a distinct Person that is, (1) that the Holy Ghost or the Spirit of God is not a mere attribute, accident, or quality going out from God to creatures, but a spiritual substance, distinct from the beings to whom the Holy Ghost is given; and (2) that the Holy Ghost is not merely the substantial vital force or energy of the Father and the Son, but a possessor of the Divine Substance, distinct from the other two Persons. To this must be added the definition of the mode of origin of the Holy Ghost, upon which depends His distinct Personality and His Divinity.
I. The first of the two points mentioned is evident from the fact that the Holy Ghost is represented as the free -acting cause of all the gifts of God to man. "All these things one and the same Spirit worketh, dividing to every one according as He will" (i Cor. xii. 1 1). Again, the Holy Ghost is often described as a subject distinct from creatures, knowing, searching, willing, teaching, sending, approving, consoling, indwelling, and generally acting as an intellectual Being.
II. The second point, viz. that the Holy Ghost is a Person really distinct from the Father and the Son, is evident from the fact that the Holy Ghost is represented as acting side by side with, and as distinct from the other two Persons, and is proposed with Them as an object of worship; from the relations to the other Persons which are attributed to Him, and which are such as can exist only between distinct Persons for instance, receiving and giving and being sent; and from the manner in which He is mentioned together with the Father and the Son as being another Person (see texts in 92, I. 3). The proper personality of the Holy Ghost is especially characterized in the texts which represent Him as not only being in God like the spirit of man is in man, but being from God (Spiritus qui ex Deo est; (Greek) I Cor. ii. 12); and proceeding from the Father (John xv. 26) as the breath proceeds from man, and consequently as having His origin in the Father like the Son.
III. The Substantiality and Personality of the Holy Ghost being proved, His Divinity results clearly from Scripture, which states that the Spirit of God is as much in God and as much the holder of the Divine Life as the spirit of man is in man. But the spirit of man is but the innermost part of his whole substance, whereas the Spirit of God, in Whom there are no parts, must be the same whole Substance as the Divine Persons from Whom He proceeds. Thus, if the name Son implies a likeness of Essence to the Father, the name Spirit is still more significant, as it implies unity or identity of Essence with the Persons from Whom the Spirit proceeds. The classical text is I Cor. ii. 10 sqq.: "To us God hath revealed [those things] by His Spirit: for the Spirit searcheth all things, yea, the deep things of God. For what man knoweth the things of a man, but the spirit of a man that is in him ? So the things also that are of God, no man knoweth, but the Spirit of God. Now we have received not the spirit of this world, but the Spirit that is of God, that we may know the things that are given us from God."
The Divinity of the Spirit of God, the Holy Ghost, is further confirmed by the following considerations.
1. Although the Holy Ghost is never called "God purely and simply in Scripture, He is often represented as the same subject which, in the context or in some other text, is undoubtedly the one true God. The identity of
the "Spirit" with the "Lord" is formally asserted in 2 Cor. iii. 17; for this reason He is characterized in the symbol
of Constantinople as "Lord."
Instances of texts identifying the Holy Ghost with God: I Cor. iii. 16; cf. I Cor. vi. 19; Acts v. 3, 4; xxviii. 25, etc.
2. The Divine Nature of the Holy Ghost is set forth in The Divine the Divine properties, operations, and relations predicated of Him, especially in relation to rational creatures. Ghost.
(a) The attributes in question principally refer to the vivifying influence of the Holy Ghost on created spirits: He dwells in the inmost part of the soul and fills it with the fulness of God; He is the principle of life, and especially of the supernatural and eternal life of man which is founded upon a participation in the Divine Nature; He dwells in man as in His temple, and receives Divine worship. But such relations to creatures are proper to God alone, Who alone can make His creatures participators of His nature, and Who alone, in virtue of His simplicity and immensity, penetrates the secret recesses of created spirits. Moreover, Holy Scripture, in order to characterize the supernatural gifts of God, particularly the supernatural life of grace, as a participation of the Divine Life and coming immediately from God, represents them as the gifts and operations of the Holy Ghost. For this reason the Fathers who opposed the Macedonians appealed to these attributes of the Holy Ghost more than to others, and the Council of Constantinople added the title of Life-giver (vivificans, and in the Greek) immediately after the name of Lord.
Passages from Scripture corroborating our argument. are very numerous, John vi. 64, with 2 Cor. iii. 6; Rom. viii. ii; i Cor. vi. n; 2 Cor. iii. 18; Rom. v. 5; John xiv. 26; Acts i. 8; Rom. viii. 14 sqq.; Matt. x. 20, etc.
(b) The Divinity of the Holy Ghost results from two other attributes which He receives in Holy Scripture, and which are embodied in the Creed. The first is that He is an object of adoration, "Who together with the Father and the Son is adored and glorified." This is implied in all the texts which describe man as the "temple" of the Holy Ghost. "Adorability "being the expression of Divine dignity and excellence, Holy Scripture connects with it the manifestation of Divine authority, attributing to the Holy Ghost the inalienable right to forgive sins and to entrust the same power to others; and, further, the power to dispense all supernatural powers, notably the mission and authorization of persons endowed with such powers. "Receive ye the Holy Ghost: whose sins you shall forgive, they are forgiven "(John xx. 22). "The Holy Ghost said to them, Separate me Saul and Barnabas for the work whereunto I have taken them" (Acts xiii. 2). "Take heed to yourselves, and to all the flock, over which the Holy Ghost hath placed you bishops, to rule the Church of God"(Ibid. xx. 28).
(c) Further, the Divine attribute of knowing all the secrets of creatures and their future free acts is ascribed to the Holy Ghost This the Creed expresses, by saying that the Holy Ghost "spake through the prophets." Moreover, the original knowledge and the communication of the mysteries hidden in God and of all Divine truth is likewise ascribed to the Holy Ghost. The reason which the Apostle gives for this is that the Spirit of God is in God. Hence we have a double argument in favour of His Divinity: viz. the Holy Ghost is in man as God alone can be in man, and He is in God as God alone can be in Him- self. See I Cor. ii. 10-12. Compare also, "For prophecy came not by the will of mail at any time: but the holy men of God spoke inspired by the Holy Ghost" (2 Pet i. 21); i Cor. xiv. 2; Dan. ii. 28.
3. Lastly, the Divine Nature of the Holy Ghost is manifested by His relation to the human nature of the Son of God. Whatever is Divine and supernatural in Christ, His attributes as well as His operations, is referred to the Holy Ghost as its principle; the whole of the Divine unction in virtue of which the man Jesus is "the Christ" (the anointed) is attributed to the Holy Ghost, so as to make Him the medium of the Hypostatic Union and of its divinizing effects upon the humanity of Christ. Hence also the resurrection and glorification of Christ are attributed to the Holy Ghost as well as to the Father (Rom. viii. n). Christ is led by the Spirit into the desert (Luke iv. i); He casts out devils in the Spirit (Matt. xii. 28). See Luke iv. 18; Heb. ix. 14; Matt. xii. 31, 32.
IV. The origin of the Spirit from Father and Son The relation is also clearly stated in the New Testament. It is implied Ghost to the in the phrase "Spirit of God;" for this, according to Son."' I Cor. ii. 12, is equivalent to "Spirit out of, or from, God" (ex Deo, and in Greek). But as the Son is God as well as the Father, and as both are but one God, the Spirit of God is necessarily "from" the Father and the Son as from His principle. This argument is abundantly confirmed by Holy Scripture, especially in the speech of our Lord after the Last Supper.
1. The Holy Ghost is called the Spirit of the Son, as well as the Spirit of the Father. "God hath sent the Spirit of the Spirit of His Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father" (Gal. iv. 6; cf. Rom. viii. 9; I Pet. i. n; Phil. i. 19). The expressions, "Spirit of Jesus or of Christ," may, indeed, be taken as referring to the indwelling of the Holy Ghost in the humanity of Christ; this indwelling, however, is not an accidental one: the Holy Ghost is the own Spirit of Christ.
2. Christ expressly declares that the Holy Ghost, as The Holy "Spirit of truth, takes and receives from the Son what the Son has received from the Father and possesses in the Son has common with the Father. "But when the Spirit of truth shall come, He will teach you all truth: for He shall not speak of Himself; but what things soever He shall hear, He shall speak: and the things that are to come He will show you. He shall glorify Me: because He shall receive of Mine, and will declare it to you. All things whatsoever My Father hath are Mine. Therefore I said, He shall receive of Mine, and declare it to you" (John xvi. 13-15).
3. Christ further declares that the Son, in the same manner as the Father, sends the Holy Ghost, which is only possible if the Holy Ghost has His eternal existence in God, from the Son as well as from the Father. "But when the Paraclete shall come, Whom I will send you from the Father, the Spirit of truth, Who proceedeth from the Father, He shall give testimony of Me" (John xv. 26; see also xvi. 7). Note that "sending" cannot be understood as an act of authority, except in the wider sense of causing, in any way whatsoever, another person to act. Applied to the Persons of Holy Trinity, the Father cannot be sent (nor does Holy Scripture ever speak of the Father as being sent); the Son and the Holy Ghost are sent by the Father, and the Holy Ghost is sent by the Son, inasmuch as the Son is begotten by the Father, and the Spirit proceedeth from both: the relations of origin are the only conceivable foundation of missions on the part of the Divine Persons. (See infra, p. 343.)
4- Finally, the constant order in which the Three Persons are named, in the form of Baptism, and in I John v. 7, can only be satisfactorily accounted for by saying procession that the Holy Ghost proceeds from the Son. St. Basil thus comments on this point: "Let them learn that the Spirit is named (in the form of baptism) with the Son as the Son with the Father. For the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Ghost are given in the same order. Therefore, as the Son stands to the Father, so the Holy Ghost stands to the Son according to the traditional order of the formula of Baptism. If, then, the Spirit is joined to the Son, and the Son to the Father, it is clear that the Spirit also is joined to the Father. . . . There is one Holy Ghost, enounced, He also, in the singular number, joined through the one Son to the one Father, and completing through Himself the Blessed Trinity, to be glorified for evermore" (De Spirit S., c. xvii. 18).
SECT. 95. --The Doctrine of the Old Testament on the Trinity.
We learn from the New Testament that many texts in General the Old Testament point to the Blessed Trinity, although in themselves (and probably in the minds even of the inspired writers) the meaning attributed to them as quoted in the Gospels and Epistles is not evident. There are, however, many passages unmistakably referring to God the Son, and describing Him with a distinctness and fulness almost equal to anything in St. John and St. Paul. As an instance, we may refer to the doctrine on the "Logos" or Son of God in John i. and Heb. i., as compared with Prov. viii. and Wisd. vii.
It is natural to expect more references to the Son than to the Holy Ghost in the Old Testament, because it prepares and announces the coming and manifestation of the Ghost Son in the Incarnation. Where the Son is spoken of as the "Begotten Wisdom, "Sapientia genita, the Spirit Who proceeds from Him is designated, with sufficient clearness, by the term Spiritns sapientiae, the Spirit of Wisdom. The central point, however, of all the teachings of the Old Testament on the Trinity is the Second Person. The allusions to, or more distinct expositions of the mystery of the Trinity in the Old Testament are of more interest to the commentator on Holy Scripture, and to the historian of Dogma, than to the dogmatic theologian, who finds his demonstration perfect in the New Testament, and rather throws light upon than receives light from the older references. For this reason we shall reduce the present section to the smallest compass, confining ourselves to the outlines, and giving references to material for deeper studies.
The Second of the Divine Persons appears in the Old Testament in three progressive forms, distributed over three periods. The first period is prelude to the future sending of the Son, and is found in the theophanies in the times of the Patriarchs, Moses, and the Judges. At 'this first stage, the Second Person bears the general and indefinite character of an ambassador, coming from God, representing God, and Himself bearing the name of God. The second form is the direct prophecy of the Incarnation of a Divine Person, including the information that a son of David shall be at the same time Son of God and God, and that, in virtue of His Divine Sonship, He shall appear as King and Priest pre-eminently, and as the spiritual spouse of souls. The third form exhibits a comprehensive description of the Divine origin and essence of the Second Person, upon which His threefold functions as man are founded.
I The "Angel of the Lord, Jehovah, Elohim" spoken of in all the theophanies in question, is probably a created Angel, acting directly in the name of God. Still, upon the whole, the theophanies make the impression that a higher Divine envoy is at work, Whose instrument the created Angel is, and to Whom the titles "Angel of Jehovah," etc., really belong. Among the Fathers a diversity of opinion exists as to particular theophanies, but, on the whole, they agree in recognizing in them manifestations of the Son of God. See Franzelin, De Trin., th. vi. Cf. Gen. xvi. 7, 8, 13; xviii. 1-19; xix. 24; also xxii. n, 14; xxxi. 3, n, 13; Exod. iii. 2 (Heb. and Greek); xiii. 21; xiv. 19; xxiii. 20; xxxiii. 14.
II. In David's time, when the Messiah was prophesied as prefigured by Solomon, the Son of David (2 Kings vii.), He is also marked out as Son of God: first in the prophecy of Nathan (2 Kings vii.), to which Ps. Ixxxviii. is similar in its typical form; then, in a more marked form, in Pss. ii. and cix., where His Sonship is attributed to Divine generation, and His eminent dignity of King and Priest is founded upon His Sonship. In Ps. xliv. the Messias is represented as God and as the Divine Spouse of souls. His Divine Sonship is only mentioned a few times more in later books of Scripture, e.g. Prov. xxx. 4; Micheas v. 2, and Ecclus. Ii.; but His Divinity is asserted very frequently. It ought, however, to be remarked that the Messias always appears as the Ambassador and as the Anointed of God; hence, when He is mentioned as God, He must be conceived, as in Ps. xliv., as a Person distinct from and originated in the God Who sends and anoints Him. The signification which we attribute to the above passages of Holy Scripture is confirmed by the fact that in the New Testament many of them are expressly applied to Christ, and adduced as proofs of His Divinity. Cf. Isai. vii. 14, with Matt. i. 23; Isai. xl. 3-1 1, with Mark i. 3; Baruch iii. 36-38; Zach. xi. 12, 13, with Matt, xxvii. 9; xii. 10, with John xix. 37.
III. Whereas the Psalms (and similarly the Prophets Third stage: and the first three Gospels) represent the Second Person in God as Son of God, and as God, the Sapiential books describe, under the title of Divinely begotten Wisdom, His Divine origin and essence with such comprehensiveness that nearly all the utterances of the New Testament may be considered as a repetition or a summing up of the older Revelation. The subject designated as "Wisdom," is represented as the substantial exhalation and the personal representative of the Divine Wisdom, begotten and born of God from all eternity; as splendour, mirror and image of God, distinct from God as from His principle, but of the same Essence, and therefore existing in God and with God; executing and governing with Him all His external works, and hence the principle and prince of all things, their source and ideal, the mediator and the initiator of that participation in Divine Life which consists in wisdom.
These figures are, on the one hand, an introduction to or a preparation for the fuller understanding of the Incarnation, and, on the other hand, a commentary on the words of the Psalms concerning the Divine Sonship and the Divine Nature of the Messias. The figures of the three Sapiential books correspond with the three principal elements of the prologue to the Gospel of St. John; and again, each of them corresponds with one of the three principal passages in the Psalms, so as to set forth, in order, how the Anointed of the Lord, in virtue of His Divine origin and essence, is, in Ps. ii., the King pre-eminently; in Ps. cix., the Priest according to the order of Melchisedech; and in Ps. xliv. the beatifying Spouse of Souls. In Prov. viii. Wisdom appears as the born Queen of all things, who has dominion because she has made all things (cf. John i.: "The Word by Whom all things were made"); in. Ecclus. xxiv. Wisdom appears as the born priestly Mediator between God and man, who possesses the priesthood of life not of death, like the Levitical priesthood and who, therefore, is the real Mother of life (cf. John i., the Logos as Life and full of grace); lastly, in Wisd. vii., viii., Wisdom appears as a Bridegroom, entering into the closest connection with souls, filling them with light and happiness (as in John i., the Word as Light which enlighteneth every man). And, as in these three expositions there is an unmistakable progress of tenderness and intimacy, so there is a progress in the spirituality, sublimity, and completeness in the exposition of the Divine origin and essence of the Eternal Wisdom. In Prov. viii., Wisdom simply appears as begotten from all eternity; in Ecclus. xxiv., as the Word proceeding from the mouth of the Most High; and in Wisd. vii., as the splendour of the glory of God, one with God in essence and existence.
During the last centuries before the Christian era, the Jewish theology had substituted the Chaldaic name Memrah (= Word) for the name Wisdom. The change may have been due to Ecclus. xxiv., describing Wisdom as proceeding from the mouth of God, or to the influence of the Greek philosophy (cf. Plato's Logos}. Memrah was made equivalent (parallel) to the several names of the Angel of the Lord (= Maleach Jehovah, Schechinah, Chabod). Thus, the name of Word, as signifying the mediator between God and the world, was well known to the Jews when St. John wrote his Gospel, and this circumstance explains the use of the term by the Evangelist. See Card. Newman, Arians, 196, and Athanasius ii. 337.