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speak of two Gods;" and from other similar indications ; not only that Callistus's principal anxiety was to guard against any expression which could give a sanction to the notion of a difference of nature in the Father and in the Son, but also that it was precisely on this ground that he separated from Hippolytus, and refused to acquiesce in his teaching as against Sabellius.
There is a passage in the epitome of his history of the heresies which Ilippolytus gives in the tenth book, which supplies us with the precise point of difference between the two systems. Hippolytus, in order to establish against Callistus the substantial identity of his doctrine with that of Noetus and Cleomenes, argues as follows. “For he (Callistus) says that God is not a different Spirit [etepov a vevua) from the Word, nor this Word from God. They are, therefore, one Person, [mpoow nov] distinct indeed in name, but not in substance. Hence it would seem that Hippolytus supposed it to be essential to the distinction of persons in the Father and the Son, that they should be“ different spirits."
Accordingly, we find that Hippolytus is one of those Fathers whose language of the Son in explaining the generation of the Son, has appeared to many to be inconsistent, when taken literally, with the strict doctrine of the Eternal Generation. It is true that the ambiguity of the language on this head employed by Hippolytus in common with a few other Ante-Nicene Fathers, is removed by thọ explanation that, when they seem to speak of the Generation of the Word as not from eternity, they allude to the act by which the Word which had always existed in the Father, “ the doyos évồnaOétos" came forth from the Father, becoming the “doyos popopikos” for the work of Creation. Nevertheless, the form is in itself doubtful and susceptible of a false construction; and, especially in a controversy with an acute adversary like Sabellius, might well be deemed by Callistus dangerous and objectionable.
Again, there are other expressions of Hippolytus which tend to confirm this suspicion. His language, taken rigorously, in the very confession of faith which is appended to the Philosophumena, seems to imply the notion of the subordination of the Word, even in His divine nature, to the Father.
“For," he says,
“simultaneously with His coming forth from Him who begot Him, He hath a voice in Himself, the ideas conceived in the essence of
the Father, when, the Father ordering that the world should be created, the Word executed it, pleasing God."*
S.), again, Hippolytus appears to make the generation of the Son dependant on the will of the Father. In his Oration against Noetus, he speaks of the Father's " showing forth the Son when He willed, and as He willed.”+ Nay, in the Confession of Faith, it would almost seem as if he made the generation of the Son a voluntary act, dependant on the part of the Father, in the same way as it would have been dependant on His will to make us Gods, had He so willed it. “If He had desired to make thee a God, He could have done it: thou hast the example of the Word.I. And although these expressions are also susceptible of the same explanation, yet there can be no doubt that, in a controversy such as the Sabellian, they naturally lead to erroneous conceptions of the nature of the Word, and to false ideas of His relation to the Father,
We can now, with language such as this before us, understand what was the origin, and what the significance, of Pope Callistus's separation from Hippolytus. We can understand how it was, that when, according to Hippolytus, he had it in his power to set Sabellius right, by joining with Hippolytus in the line of argument which he adopted against that heretic, he neverthelesss refused to do so. We can even understand what it was in Callistus's teaching, that Hippolytus distorts into a “profession of agreeing with Sabellius.. [φάσκοντος τα όμοια φρονείν.]
[.] Because he would not surrender to Hippolytus his belief that the Father and the Son were one and the same Spirit, '[atvevua] he was set down, by a hasty conclusion, as agreeing with the heresy which professed that the Father and the Son
one Person. It was in vain that he protested against this inference. It was in vain that he declared that he did not hold them to be one Person. Hippolytus knew better. It is true "one God is called Father and Son." Now" this,” he contended, “ being one Person, cannot be two.” And he straightway concluded that, in using language such as this, Callistus necessarily “fell into the dogma of Sabellius.
* Philosoph. p. 350.
† p. 335. Οτε ηθελήσεν, καθως ηθελήσεν. Cont. Noctum, c. 10. ΙΙ. p. 13.
, . . , c. II. p. . Η Ει γαρ θέον σε ήθελησε ποιήσαι, αδυνατο έχεις του λόγου το παpadaryma. Philos. p. 336. I p. 285.
On the other hand, we can understand the significance of the reproach of “ Ditheism," directed against Hippolytus by Callistus. Understanding rigorously the language above alluded to-supposing it to compromise either the co-eternity, or the co-equality, or even the self-existent Divinity of the Word- Callistus believed that, in the system of Hippolytus, the Nature of the Word was represented as different from that of the Father; that the nature of the Word was subordinate to that of the Father; that the generation of the Word was dependant on the will of the Father; that the Word was a different Spirit (Tveüva] from the Father; in fine, that the Father and the Word were made, not merely two distinct Persons, but two distinct Gods.
In a word, Callistus, while he formally repudiated the Sabellian heresy, believed that the system adopted by Hippolytus in opposition to the Monarchianism of Sabellius, fell into the opposite error of subordinatianism. With the evidence of such a belief on his part which his very imputation of Ditheism against his adversary affords, we can understand how, in maintaining the Catholic via media, he was almost necessarily driven to use expressions which, to the ears of that excited adversary, would convey the impression of the very error which they both in common professed to repudiate.
The reader may have observed another of the imputations made by Hippolytus against the orthodoxy of Cal. listus, which at first sight presents greater difficulty. He imputes to the Pontiff not only the Sabellian error, but also the opposite error of Theodotus.
How could these contradictory principles ever be combined in the same creed?
Sabellianism confounds the Personality of the Son with that of the Father, representing the Son as but another name for the same Being. But it strongly maintains the Divinity of that Being.
On the contrary, Theodotianism represents Christ as a mere man, and pushes to the utmost extreme the distinction between the Father and the Son Christ; cutting away all the foundation of their unity, by denying to the Son even the semblance of Divinity which the lowest form of subordinatianism ascribed to Him.
Neither Dr. Wordsworth nor M. Bunsen has attempted any satisfactory explanation of this seeming anomaly
Dr. Baur, of Tübingen, is equally unsuccessful; but the explanation afforded by Dr. Kuhn, in the excellent periodical already referred to, is at once simple and complete.
It will be recollected, as a part of the system attributed to Callistus in the Philosophumena, that, in explaining how the Spirit (Tvevua) which was Incarnate in the Virgin was not different from the Father,” (by which Callistus merely meant that it was the same Divine Nature), Hippolytus goes on to say that, according to Callistus, in the Incarnate, “that which was seen, that is to say, the Man, was the Son, but the Spirit which was contained in the Son was the Father.” Now in the absence of all confirmation of such a notion, which is otherwise inconsistent with the rest of the views of Callistus, we may easily believe that it is but one of the many glosses in which this intemperate declamation abounds; but it at least explains in what sense Callistus is charged with the error of Theodotus. Not only is not the Word called the Son, anterior to the Incarnation ; but, even after the Incarnation, the name Son is given not to the indwelling Divinity, but to the Man Christ. Hence, in the system of Callistus as thus explained, although the Divinity dwells in IIim, nevertheless, Christ, the Son, is a mere man :-which so far at least, was precisely the error of Theodotus.
It is highly probable that this perversion of the meaning of Pope Callistus arose out of some of the answers which he may be supposed to have given to the passages from Scripture urged in favour of the qualified subordinatianism which the party of Hippolytus seemed to advocatepassages which Callistus (as did the later Fathers, in the Arian controversy,) must be believed to have interpreted of the human nature of our Lord. For an adversary at once so captious and so impetuous as Hippolytus, this would supply quite sufficient grounds for the imputation.
An equally palpable perversion is discoverable in the Sabellian construction which Hippolytus puts on that declaration of Pope Zephyrinus, which he ascribes to the influence of Callistus." I know one God, Christ Jesus, and beside Him I know none, who was born and suffered.” This sentence, it is hardly necessary to say, is in its terms so strictly orthodox, that it is difficult at first sight to understand how any error could be attributed to it. Nevertheless we know that the Noetian and Sabellian party were in the habit of concealing under this seemingly catholic form their Monarchian principle,-viz., that beside the Divine Person who suffered, there was no other Divine Person. So far, however, was this from being the natural and ordinary use of the formulary, that, on the contrary, as is well observed by Dr. Döllinger, it is the very formulary which would first present itself to every Christian; and was, in truth, the favourite profession of the martyrs when called by the heathen to declare what God they worshipped. It is only the extreme of partisanship, in truth, that could represent it, as Hippolytus does, as the shibboleth of heresy, and could draw an argument from the fact that Pope Zephyrinus employed it, in order to show that Pope Callistus was a concealed Sabellian.
In the same way it is not improbable that the imputation of his having taught that the Father suffered with the Son, grew out of a simple assertion, on his part, of the perfect identity of the Divine Nature in both these Divine Persons; or perhaps out of the doctrine of the circuminsession (Tepexwpous) of the Divine Persons, which is familiar to every student of the fathers of the Nicene period; and which, in truth, is the necessary complement of the orthodox belief of the unity of substance. That he cannot have meant it in the sense of Sabellius, or even of Praxeas and his followers, against whom Tertullian argues,* is evident from his disclaiming, even according to Hippolytus's admission, that the Father suffered. For, to use Tertullian's argument, if he disclaimed the idea of passibility altogether in reference to the Father, he must have equally disclaimed the idea of compassibility. For, as Tertullian acutely observes, “quid est compati, nisi cum alio pati? Porro si impassibilis Pater, utique et incompassibilis.
For an adversary, however, so earnest in making a case, the very notion of the complete identity of substance, and especially when applied to the explanation of this obscure relation of the mystery by the doctrine of the Tepexwprois, may well be believed a sufficient and more than sufficient ground for the imputation.
All this receives a very curious confirmation from the perfectly analogous case of the controversy which arose in Egypt about fifty years later, and which has become
* Adversus Praxeam, c. 29, II. 206. Semler's Edit.